April 13, 2011

In love with beauty: Rufus releases a boxed set!



Thirteen years into his multi-faceted career, 37-year-old Rufus Wainwright will take the curious step (on July 18) of releasing a 19 - yes, NINETEEN! - disc boxed set called House of Rufus. I'm honestly not sure I understand this move. No doubt fans will want it, but it's unclear at this stage how much of the material will be unheard to hardcore Rufus followers.

Insanely talented, wicked funny, maddeningly self-absorbed and one of the best lyricist of modern pop, Rufus always challenges his audience with a twist. I just did not expect him to look back so soon. He is trying to raise funding to make a documentary about his late mom, the folk singer Kate McGarrigal, so that may be the impetus for this project.

The box, likely to cost about 250 US dollars, will contain:

6 studio albums: Rufus Wainwright, Poses, Want One, Want Two, Release The Stars and All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, all with additional previously unreleased bonus material.

2 concerts on CD: Milwaukee at Last!!! and Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall (2CD), with previously unreleased songs from the show.

4 additional CDs: Disc 1 features previously unreleased songs and rarities. Disc 2 contains many of the songs Rufus has recorded for soundtracks including, "Hallelujah" from the film Shrek. Disc 3 is drawn from Rufus' collaborations with friends and family members such as Leonard Cohen, Teddy Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III, Martha Wainwright, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, The Pet Shop Boys, and Burt Bacharach. Disc 4 is made up of the demos from the tape which secured Rufus his first record deal.

6 DVDs: Live at Fillmore, Rufus Does Judy at the London Palladium, Milwaukee at Last!!!, Release The Stars album commentary and live performance and two feature length documentaries, All I Want and Prima Donna: The Making of An Opera.

All the discs will be packaged in a beautiful red velvet encased, 90-page hardback book containing rare and unseen photos, Rufus' early hand-drawn tour posters, handwritten lyrics, four art prints and other memorabilia, extensive sleeve notes featuring interviews with Neil Tennant, Martha Wainwright, Linda Thompson and Lenny Waronker and an introduction by Rufus.

Whew!

Xolondon's Top Ten Plus One Rufus Wainwright Songs

I Don't Know What It Is my favorite
The Tower Of Learning
Poses
Grey Gardens
Waiting For A Dream
This Love Affair
Pretty Things
Dinner At Eight
11:11
Between My Legs
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother*

*that last one is a cover that will likely be on the boxed set. It was the song I played constantly during the 9/11 period. Not sure if it would be clear to anyone, but I was right in the middle of that drama.

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Some Rufus links:

My review of 2004's Want and 2007's Release The Stars

My interview with Rufus in Instinct (you have to highlight the whole page to read it properly) and the outtakes here.

Thanks to The Second Disc

4 comments:

billcsistunedon said...

Here are mine:

Foolish Love - my fave
April Fools
California - such an atypically good-timey song for him
Tulsa
Leaving For Paris No. 2
Imaginary Love
I Don't Know What It Is
Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk
Grey Gardens

I saw Rufus in concert before I bought his first record. He played in the Rivoli club in Toronto in September 1998 - that club only holds about 250 people and it was just Rufus and his piano. And I was completely sold.

billcsistunedon said...

Oops I'm forgetting Greek Song

ultraplus said...

GREY GARDENS is stunning. Totally agree

Tim said...

I'm still angry that "Nerve" magazine 10 years ago ran a cover of him with half-a dozen half-naked women lying on top of him, and never once talked about how his private life impacts his music. So much of his music comes from deep within, and yet that so-called "liberated" magazine utterly ignored who Rufie is.