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The Decemberists

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The Decemberists Billy Liar album cover
2.08 | 9 ratings | 4 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Billy Liar (4:08)
2. Los Angeles, I'm Yours (4:17)
3. Everything I Try To Do, Nothing Seems To Turn Out Right (4:03)
4. Sunshine (2:23)

Total Time: 14:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Rachel Blumberg / percussion, drums, vibraphone, glockenspiel, backing vocals
- Chris Funk / synthesizer, electric guitar, dobro, lap steel guitar, pedal steel, percussion
- Colin Meloy / acoustic guitar, design assistant, illustrations, vocals, percussion, electric guitar
- Jenny Conlee / percussion, backing vocals, Hammond organ, accordion, Fender Rhodes, upright piano, Wurlitzer
- Jesse Emerson / percussion, upright bass, electric bass

Releases information

CD Kill Rock Stars KRS419 (2004 USA)

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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THE DECEMBERISTS Billy Liar ratings distribution

(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (44%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE DECEMBERISTS Billy Liar reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars This is basically a little promo CD single that includes “Billy Liar” and “Los Angeles, I’m Yours” from the “Her Majesty” album along with a couple of rather forgettable b-sides – “Everything I Try To Do, Nothing Seems To Turn Out Right” and “Sunshine”, The Jealous Butcher vinyl version leaves off “Los Angeles, I’m Yours”.

“Sunshine” appears to be a little ditty about staring at someone’s ass. Typical Decemberists bawdy humor, but not much musically really. The subject matter fits well with “Billy Liar” though, since that one is also a coarse tale about a peeping Tom who seems to be pleasuring himself while peering in some young lass’s window, mostly because his life sucks so much that he doesn’t have much else to do.

“Los Angeles, I’m Yours” is a strange choice since it is probably the weakest track on the “Her Majesty” album, and is little more than a decent pop tune.

In all this is a little bit of a weird collection for a single. I would have thought “Shanty For The Arethusa”, “The Soldiering Life”, “I Was Meant for the Stage”, or even “Red Right Ankle” would have made for much stronger promo singles. All told this is just an interesting curio for collectors, so don’t expect any more of it than that. Two stars.


Review by Chris H
2 stars This is one of those releases that makes you wonder. Two of the best tracks off of the Her Majesty album are balanced out with two of The Decemberists' weaker efforts. This is one of those cases where I think the band was eager to release the promo and slacked off on the B-side selections.

Billy Liar is a great tune, like I mentioned before as one of the best off of Her Majesty with touching melodies and realistic lyrics. Los Angeles, I'm Yours has often been referred to as a weaker track on the album, and musically I can't disagree with that statement. There isn't much there for substance, but what is there really gets me thinking. It is quite a good catchy song, and the simple rhythms get addicting after a while.

I don't recommend looking for this, but if you come across it and don't own the Her Majesty album yet it might something worth your time to check out. But for those of you that own the album already, save your cash for the next studio release!

2 stars.

Review by The Whistler
2 stars It seems that, yes, The Decemberists are incapable thus far of making bad product. But, you ask, can they make USELESS product? Well, as it turns out, yes. Yes they can.

We kick off with the bouncy, beautiful baroque popper “Billy Liar,” and follow it up with the built ballad “Los Angeles I’m Yours.” Both are great songs, to be sure, some of the best off Her Majesty...but why? They’re easy enough to find on Her Majesty. I don’t need them here particularly. Why just slap them onto the EP, without know, changing the order from the original album? (Seriously, I half expected “Gymnast High Above the Stage” to start up next.)

So the new material is represented by “Everything I Do, Nothing Seem to Turn Out Right” and “Sunshine.” “Everything” is a fairly standard indie pop rocker, only notable for the slide guitar peeking out of background. “Sunshine” is probably the better of the two; it might be even more standard by indie rocker standards, but it’s somewhat catchier, and certainly much more amusing. It’s also shorter, but hey, who’s keeping track of that?

All in all, you COULD obtain this...but why would you want to? The first two tracks are great, but why not get them on the Her Majesty record, so you can enjoy some decent music? The second two tracks are tolerable, but not really that good. They sound like outtakes from the first album...not very good outtakes either. If you pop “Sunshine” onto a rarities collection somewhere down the line, it might make an inoffensive surprise with its stab at Beach Boys charm. But making it the center of attention? Not a good idea. So, yes, the Decemberists CAN make useless material. Like this EP for instance.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars "Billy Liar" is a short EP, or the bands first single. It consists of 2 songs from the album "Her Majesty" and 2 b-sides, not available anywhere else as far as I know. The first track is "Billy Liar" and is the same version as what is on the album. It is an upbeat, jaunty tune. "Los Angeles, I'm Yours" is also from that album in the same version. This is a nice tune, again upbeat with strumming guitar and other accompanying instruments, and features a harmonica solo reminiscent of Stevie Wonder mixed with strings. It seems both of these songs deal with child-ish perversions.

The last two tracks are unique to this EP. "Everything I Try to Do, Nothing Seems to Turn Out Right". It starts out with keyboards and repeating chords and vocals. Some guitar and percussion is added later. It stays at a midtempo. There is some nice slide guitar in the instrumental breaks. "Sunshine" has a retro sound, but again deals humorously with someone's butt. Again, it is a bright tune, mostly acoustic.

The songs fit together well, but do very little to hold my interest. There is no semblance of prog here, and, as a matter of fact, not much folk either. Just bouncy pop songs with a mostly acoustic flavor. The best surprise is the slide guitar in the 3rd track. But, all in all, it's not really worth searching for. The 2 b-sides are really nothing special. This one is for the fans and collectors.

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