The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience CD

The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience CD

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Blake’s writings from the late 18th century and Ginsberg’s interpretations from the 20th come full circle in the 21st century’s The Complete Songs Of Innocence And Experience

Allen Ginsberg's 1968 recording The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience on CD (2 discs)

Includes rare and previously unissued material

"I once saw Ginsberg do a gig at the Troubadour in L.A. He was doing Blake stuff. I thought, this all connects.” - Van Morrison

Disc 1: Songs of Innocence

Introduction / The Shepherd
The Echoing Green
The Lamb
The Little Black Boy
The Blossum
The Chimney Sweeper
The Little Boy Lost / The Little Boy Found
Laughing Song
Holy Thursday

Disc 1 (cont.): Songs of Experience
Nurses Song
The Sick Rose
Ah! Sun-Flower
The Garden of Love
The Human Abstract
To Tirzah
The Grey Monk

Bonus Tracks:
The Grey Monk (Alternate Take)
Brothels of Paris

Disc 2: Blake Songs

A Cradle Song
The Divine Image
Nurses Song
Infant Joy
A Dream
On Another Sorrow
Holy Thursday
The Fly
The School Boy
The Voice of the Ancient Bard

Padmasambhava Mantra
Om Namah Shivaye
Roghupati Raghava

The original 1970 MGM album on CD for the first time, plus a second disc of rarities and previously unissued songs. Lester Bangs, in Rolling Stone magazine, said the album was, “like a labor of love, a salute from a young visionary to an ancient sage.”

Allen Ginsberg began “tuning” William Blake’s poetry in 1968 (inspired by attending the tumultuous protests at that year’s Democratic Convention in Chicago), but the origin of the album dates back to a 1948 vision or “auditory illumination” as he called it, of William Blake reciting poetry to him in his Spanish Harlem apartment. Moved by this, Ginsberg began to set Blake’s poetry to music. In 1969, he began recording musical versions of Blake’s poetry with Peter Orlovsky, and jazz legends Bob Dorough, Don Cherry, and Elvin Jones. 19 of those songs were released the following year as Songs Of Innocence And Experience. That material finally arrives on CD as The Complete Songs Of Innocence And Experience in 2017. In addition to the original tracklist, 2 previously unissued tracks have been added: an alternate take, as well as a song intended for the album, but left off due to time constraints.

But, that is not where the story ends. In 1971, Ginsberg returned to the Blake material, recording 11 songs in San Francisco with avant-garde cellist Arthur Russell—four of which were never issued. The ensemble also recorded 3 Tibetan mantras with a Buddhist choir - resulting in a full on psychedelic East-West experience - also all previously unissued. This material comprises a second CD, truly making this complete. With restoration and mastering from Grammy®-winner Michael Graves, the material sounds timeless.

Complied by producer Pat Thomas (who also worked on 2016’s The Last Word on First Blues box set), this double CD package includes a new essay from Thomas, who tracked down several of the original musicians (never before interviewed) for this project uncovering rare session photos as well.

And remember: “The Beats did everything first” —Jimmy Page