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For the Sake of the Song

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (49 ratings)
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For the Sake of the Song album cover
01
For The Sake of The Song
4:47
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02
Tecumseh Valley
2:44
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03
Many A Fine Lady
3:54
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Quicksilver Daydreams of Maria
3:41
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Waitin' Around to Die
2:26
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I'll Be Here In the Morning
2:46
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Sad Cinderella
4:42
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the Velvet Voices
3:17
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Talkin' Karate Blues
3:10
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All Your Young Servants
3:01
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Sixteen Summers,Fifteen Falls
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 11   Total Length: 37:09

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Weird production, still great

dan'schic

I actually like the odd production. Very late '60s, and if you like other over-the-top production of that era (Lee Hazelwood, Scott Walker), it's strangely satisfying in the way it counterpoints the melancholia.

user avatar

Badly Produced, but still Townes...

ckosel

This recording does not serve Townes Van Zandt's vision very well. Those who have heard his other recordings, particularly his live ones, will recognize his genius through this over-produced mess. Others may want to wait until they have listened to "Live At The Old Quarter" or one of his other live performances first before listening to this.

user avatar

Some Great Songs, But. ..

soulfulnotes

would be better without the "countrypolitan" production. If you can get over all the strings and Lawrence Welk backing vocals, this is some really amazing material.

They Say All Music Guide

Townes Van Zandt wrote songs with an uncommon grace and poetic clarity, and he sang them with a voice that was at once straightforward, eloquent, and mindful of the arid beauty of his images. A decade after Van Zandt released his first album, there would be dozens of singer/songwriters following his example, but he was a rather unusual commodity when For the Sake of the Song was released in 1968, and the album’s production and arrangements occasionally suggest that Jack Clement and Jim Malloy didn’t always know what to make of what he brought them. The 11 songs on Van Zandt’s debut are all fine stuff (even the throwaway novelty “Talkin’ Karate Blues” at least brings a chuckle), and the emotional force with which Van Zandt delivers “(Quicksilver Daydreams Of) Maria,” “Tecumseh Valley,” and the title tune belies the fact this was his first album. But on several tracks Clement and Malloy attempt to match the elusive mystery of Van Zandt’s music with overblown accompaniment and deeply echoey recording, especially the cheesy chorus on “The Velvet Voices,” the clichéd Western accompaniment of “I’ll Be Here in the Morning,” the tinkling keyboards on “Sad Cinderella,” and the rattling percussion of “Waitin’ Around to Die.” In spite of the occasionally misguided production, For the Sake of the Song remains a classic debut. These songs make clear that Van Zandt’s genius was already fully formed, and as both a composer and a performer he was a man of rare gifts; even when the backing threatens to drown him out, his gifts come shining through, and For the Sake of the Song was an auspicious debut offering from a talent of the first order. – Mark Deming

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