The Jayhawks: Music From The North Country – The Jayhawks Anthology (American, 2009)
The Jayhawks is one of my own favourite bands. They were a giant landmark on my way from pop music to country music. Obviously I didn’t abandon pop music. Bands like The Jayhawks and Wilco just made me realize that country music might have something to offer as well. I’m grateful for that. After all, where would I be without country music. Who knows, I might even be happy. I might be singing pretty pop songs on the beach instead of squeezing my self pity into an empty whiskey bottle in a dark room. Hurray for country music.
There’s two versions of The Jayhawks Anthology. There’s the 1 CD version that only contains the best of part and then there’s this bigger version that contains an additional disc of rarities and a DVD. Mine is obviously the bigger version, because the interesting part for The Jayhawks fans are the rarities. I already have all the albums so the greatest hits disc wasn’t a must, but it’s a welcome reminder about the fact that The Jayhawks created some of the finest music of the last 20 years. The so-called alternative country just doesn’t get any better than this. Gary Louris and Mark Olson were both fantastic songwriters and the singing. Oh my, oh my. It’s just heavenly. Those voices just fit together so perfectly. It’s a great collection of their finest songs. I couldn’t have done a better job with the selection. Well I could come up with a few that should be there, but I wouldn’t have the heart to remove any of the ones that made the cut. A perfect introduction for the ones that don’t know the band.
The rarities is the important part for a long time fan. It has some great demos like Olson’s Mission On 2nd and Louris’ I Can Make It On My Own. B-sides and compilation tracks are also most welcome. Victoria Williams cover Lights and Darling Today from Blown Away soundtrack are the standout songs for me. The big dump rocker Get The Load Out is also a great one. Heck, that would be more suited for KISS than The Jayhawks. Enjoyable stuff nevertheless. Rarities dics also contains several early versions of their (should-be) famous songs. It’s quite interesting to see how the songs have evolved from the early days, but I’m not sure do I really need them. They are great as well, but the finished jewels would be enough for me.