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I was browsing allmusic for bios and reviews and such. I looked at the overview of the Eels’ discography and noticed that, despite being 15 years in the past and despite all the other glowing, highly rated albums that have followed it, Beautiful Freak is still AMG’s choice from E’s ouevre.
Some might say it’s great, that Beautiful Freak is wonderful and the best the Eels have to offer. Well, alright. Maybe. But to me it just says that a) in the critical mass conscious E’s still working in that grumpy post-grunge shadow and b) this accounts for how few dearly earned accolades E’s been racking up. People still think that the ’96 Eels are the 2011 Eels.
This performance at Philadelphia’s Trocadero, August 3, 1996, is the earliest Eels bootleg I could find. (Well, I have a few radio interviews/performances, but sharing those are a no-no.) The newly formed Eels had played a few try-out gigs in 1995, and one in June of 1996, but this is the first full-fledged on-the-road concert the trio had put on. And it’s pretty damn good. Read the rest of this entry »
Eels collectors have a great many “holy grails” to pursue, few of which are chased after more feverishly than the 1996 Beautiful Freak cassette single distributed in the UK by Rondor. Read the rest of this entry »