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Last Man on Earth


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Loudon Wainwright III (vocals, guitar, banjo); Johnny Gale, Little Isidore, Suzzy Roche (vocals); Steuart Smith (acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica, accordion, Wurlitzer piano, organ, bass);
  • David Mansfield (guitar, dulcimer, mandolin, fiddle, viola, percussion);
  • Stewart Lerman (guitar, Wurlitzer piano, organ, bass, percussion); Mary Rowell (violin, viola); Marshall Coid (violin); Dorothy Lawson (cello);
  • Dick Connette (piano, cleste, harmonium, percussion); Brian Stanley (bass);
  • Sammy Merendino (drums, percussion).
  • Recorded at Shinebox Studios, New York, New York. Includes liner notes by Loudon Wainwright III.
  • Personnel: Loudon Wainwright III (vocals, guitar, banjo); Johnny Gale, Suzzy Roche (vocals); David Mansfield (guitar, dulcimer, mandolin, fiddle, viola, percussion); Stewart Lerman (guitar, organ, Wurlitzer organ, percussion); Steuart Smith (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, accordion, piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ); Mary L. Rowell (violin, viola); Marshall P. Coid (violin); Dorothy Lawson (cello); Dick Connette (piano, spinet, celesta, harmonium, percussion); Sammy Merendino (drums, percussion).
  • Audio Mixer: Stewart Lerman.
  • Recording information: Passport Recording, New York, NY; Shinebox Studios, New York, NY.
  • Photographers: Patti Perret; Deborah Feingold.
  • Arranger: Dick Connette.
  • The songs on LAST MAN ON EARTH were written in the wake of the passing of Loudon Wainwright's mother. While this experience set the usually good-humored singer-songwriter emotionally adrift, it provided the inspiration for a batch of tunes that look in a trenchant, unflinching manner at mortality and its complex ramifications. "Missing You" and "Homeless," which bookend the disc, are simple, eloquent statements of loss. "I'm Not Gonna Cry," which manages a degree of dark humor despite its turbulent subtext, is concerned with the inevitable phase of denial following such a loss.
  • On the emotionally complex "Surviving Twin," Wainwright looks back at the difficulties he experienced in his relationship with his late father. Towards the end of LAST MAN ON EARTH, just before reaching the overly cranky title song that's the album's sole dead spot, Wainwright offers a trio of tunes pondering his own fate. These are as distinctive and penetrating as anything he's ever written. Leaving the light-hearted stuff behind for a while, this album is a deep, moving meditation on a universal subject too seldom dealt with effectively in song.
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (12/28/01, p.138) - Ranked #8 "Album of the Year" in EW's "Best of 2001".

Entertainment Weekly (9/28/01, p.74) - "...Twisted brilliance..." - Rating: A

Q (10/01, p.136) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Vintage Wainwright..."

Uncut (11/01, p.132) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Fearless as ever, Wainwright chronicles his life and the world around him with wit, humour and poignancy..."

Mojo (Publisher) (10/01, p.120) - "...A fine album..."
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