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Swans Swans Are Dead album cover
3.92 | 23 ratings | 2 reviews | 74% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 - Black: Final Tour 1997 (72:17)
1. Feel Happiness (16:57)
2. Low Life Form (4:54)
3. Not Alone (13:12)
4. Blood on Yr Hands (2:59)
5. Hypogirl (3:22)
6. I Crawled (10:04)
7. I Am the Sun (5:26)
8. Blood Promise (15:23)

CD 2 - White: 1995 Tour (70:37)
1. Final Sac (8:43)
2. The Sound (12:51)
3. I See Them All Lined Up (6:26)
4. Lavender (8:02)
5. Yr Prp (8:51)
6. Yum Yab (4:36)
7. Helpless Child (17:44)
8. M/F (3:24)

Total Time 142:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Bill Bronson / bass (tracks 1-1 to 1-8)
- Joe Goldring / bass, guitar (tracks 2-1 to 2-8)
- Clinton Steele / guitar (tracks 1-1 to 1-8)
- Vudi / guitar, keyboards (tracks 2-1 to 2-8)
- Phil Puleo / percussion, dulcimer (tracks 1-1 to 1-8)
- Larry Mullins / percussion, vibraphone (tracks 2-1 to 2-8)
- Michael Gira / voice, guitar
- Jarboe / voice, keyboards

Releases information

Young God Records
Atavistic Records

Thanks to The Truth for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SWANS Swans Are Dead ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(74%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(13%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SWANS Swans Are Dead reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by HolyMoly
4 stars This 2 CD package served as official notice that the Swans were no more, following their 1997 opus Soundtracks for the Blind. This is a live album documenting two different tours - disc one is from 1997 and disc two is from 1995 (the latter promoting the Great Annihilator album). The Swans sound has always relied upon space - with each sound they make seeming to have a certain size and mass, such is the physicality of their music. For this reason, I've always thought that live albums generally do a better job at capturing their sound - for just about any era of their music, I've found a live album that gets a lot more plays than the studio albums they surround. And so, this live album for me supplants the mid to late 90s Swans material, the period during which what would be known as "post-rock" was a significant part of their sound. And since that genre of music is so reliant upon space anyway, all the more reason to hear this album to see just how huge the Swans could be.

The 1997 disc opens, as do many of their concerts, with a very long, slowly building piece: in this case "Feel Happiness", a track I don't think appears on any other Swans album. Then "Low Life Form" shows us a Swans rendition of a Michael Gira solo song (released on Drainland, well worth checking out). We also get a Jarboe solo song ("Hypogirl") and a couple of Great Annihilator songs. The closer, "Blood Promise", is greatly extended and far different from its studio counterpart, offering another of their by now common depression epics.

The 1995 disc has, oddly enough, a focus on 1997 material, or at least material that would form the backbone of 1997's Soundtracks for the Blind: "The Sound", "The Final Sacrifice", and "Helpless Child" are all here, as awesome as you'd hope, and together take up nearly 40 minutes of the show. Jarboe once again takes a few solo spots as well. Sound quality for both shows is excellent.

If I could only recommend one 1990s Swans album, this would be it. It doesn't really hit the early 90s material at all, nor the Burning World period, but I'm personally okay with that, there are other live albums covering that period. There's a live Swans album for almost any occasion, in fact. And Gira can keep putting out live albums and I'll be a happy guy - he also understands that the passion the band puts out on stage is just not something that comes off the same way in the studio, not for them at least.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars SWANS are one of those bands who have some very passionate fans and usually when I give 3 stars it's about explaining why, so I offer up my complaints which just gets the fans of that band even more upset(haha). So apologies to SWANS fans for not liking this live double disc recording. SWANS like THE FLOWER KINGS seem to have a goal to fill to the brim each album they release and to make matters more(ahem) interesting they release a lot of double albums so if your like me and haven't warmed up to 140 plus minutes of music man this is a chore to spin each time. Okay I've insulted some people already but yes SWANS released this as a final recording and the first disc is called "Black" and it features music from their final tour in 1997. Not songs from one show. Same with disc two, a 1995 tour and again the tracks were picked from many shows. I don't know I just feel that this is a recording I don't want to hear again and while I've given 4 stars to many of their later albums this 1998 release just doesn't hit the spot. I honestly have never been huge on this band because of many of the lyrics and also that vibe they give off. I prefer light.

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