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Aftertones
Aftertones

1976

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The Basics: Produced by Brooks Arthur; recorded 1975 in various New York studios; released 1976 (Columbia); the album contains a duet with Phoebe Snow and Odetta. "Love Is Blind" was the #1 single on Japanese pop charts for six months (a record still unbroken); the album was the highest selling album by a solo female artist in Japanese history (a record still unbroken); it was also a top twenty & gold record in the United States, England, Ireland, and Holland.

Personnel: Musicians: Wayne Andre, Phil Bodner, George Browne, James Buffington, Earl Chapin, Selward Clarke, Mike Commins, Donald Corrado, Harry Cykman, Richard Davis, Eugenie Dengel, Gonzaolo Fernandez, Bobby Fortunato, Ron Frangipane, Al Gorgoni, Mickey Gravine, Larry Harlow, Max Hollander, Janis Ian, Arthur Jenkins, Lewis Kahn, Artie Kaplan, Kathy Kienke, Ezra Kliger, Barry Lazarowitz, Jeff Layton, Jesse Levy, Harry Lookofsky, Tom Malone, Charles McCraken, Kermit Moore, Peter Nater, Gene Orloff, Romeo Penque, Buddy Pizzerela, Jerry Ragavoy, Bruce Rogers, Ernie Royal, David Sackson, Julius Schacter, Joe Shepley, Larry Spencer, Manny Vardi, Paul Winter, Stu Woods, George Young. Vocalists: Brooks Arthur, Claire Bay, V. Martin Fink, Janis Ian, Odetta, Phoebe Snow.

Inside Scoop: Janis was getting mighty tired, performing 5 nights a week with television and radio appearances in-between, and managing to write and record a new album every nine months. She didn't feel she had the material for this record, but was convinced otherwise by her manager & producer. Years later she discovered they didn't think she did, either, but were swayed by tremendous record company pressure to "make that quarter's bottom line." Things were further complicated because Brooks had closed 914 Studios, which Janis felt "was a great great studio. Held together with safety pins and masking tape, it had that indefinable thing money can't buy. That's why Bruce Springsteen and I did all our records there."

Lyrics

Aftertones

Janis Ian

* Also recorded by Mel Torme

Sometimes it's all too much to say aloud
The sound's a shroud
The meanings crowd
Sometimes the words are painful to the ear
They disappear
and nothing's clear

'til all that's left to see are aftertones
I take them home
We live alone
but I remember chains of melody
It pleases me
this song's for free

Within the memories of our life gone by
afraid to die
we learn to lie
and measure out the time in coffee spoons
In fading suns
and dying moons

'til all that's left to see are aftertones
I take them home
We live alone
but I remember chains of melody
It pleases me
this song's for free

And ooo, I like the sound
of harmony from time to time
I really do believe
in some kind of tomorrow
when it speaks to me

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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I Would Like To Dance

Janis Ian

Look at me
I would like to dance
but I haven't the clothes for romance
so I'll stay with the boys in the band
I would like to be cool
like the ladies who drool as they advance
But I can't get my feet to go
where I lead with my toes

At the debutante's ball
everybody does all they can do to enhance
every corset in town
in a gown made specially in France
and the men here can tell at a glance
I would like to maintain
but it sure seems a shame to sit on my hands
And I only got into the swimbBy the seat of my pants

Not another woman in the world
who could make a living
pitching the light fandango
Dancing on the streets of the city
Look at me, playing
freelance at the ball
Catch my entrance to the hall
far from the gilded lily

Look at me
Would you like to dance?
I've a book illustrating the stance
And I can't get my head to go
where I lead with my toes
I feel solo

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Love Is Blind

Janis Ian

Love is blind
Love is only sorrow
Love is no tomorrow
since you went away

Love is blind
How well I remember
In the heat of summer pleasure
winter fades

How long will it take
before I can't remember
memories I should forget?
I've been burning
since the day we met

Love is blind
Love is without a mercy
Love is "Now you've hurt me"
"Now you've gone away"
Love is blind
Love is no horizon
and I'm slowly dying
here in yesterday

In the morning
waken to the sound of weeping
Someone else should weep for me
Now it's over, lover, let me be

Love is blind
Love is your caress
Love is tenderness
and momentary pain
Love is blind
How well I remember
In the heat of summer pleasure,
winter fades

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Roses

Janis Ian

She never had too much of money
Friendly strangers were all she knew
Nobody ever came to call but you
I would not say she isn't happy
though the eyes of a fool will make her blue
Nobody's ever seen the tears, it's true
I guess nobody wanted to

We'll have a celebration
Ice cream and candy cakes
She's very young to go so far away
And then there'll be the papers
in black and white, to say we're through
Nobody ever loved me quite like you
I guess nobody wanted to

And there'll be roses
in the springtime still
I guess there will
I wish her roses and song
And she'll be older
as the years go by
and how they fly
Will she be lonely
without me along?

She doesn't make friends easily
She's only known a few
The incidental stranger passing through
On Sundays and holidays
I'll take her far away
We never tried to save the love we knew
I guess nobody wanted to

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Belle Of The Blues

Janis Ian

I'm the belle of the blues, and it's easy to see
If I win or I lose, it's all one to me
I was born on a shelf
in the rare books library
I reside by myself
with my books and my TV

I'm an old age pension for the fossilized routine
Anybody for nostalgia? put a record on and see
Here's a memory of olden days
And a heartbreak grown cold
All that glitters isn't gold
You get no love for free

You live and you die
And I'll probably throw it away
But in the end it's mine,
and nobody has a right to say
"Go down lightly
"Go down silently"
I'll go down screaming
"Give it back - it belongs to me"

I'm the belle of the blues - I'm used to mingling
with the crème de la crème of higher society
I promise them roses,
and an eight-by-ten of me
but when the party's over,
they're all to glad to leave

Their children sing of sorrow - it's the same old routine
They've begged and they've borrowed someone else's misery
It's an easy act to follow...
at least, an easy one for me
Give me my tomorrows.
You can have my memories

Souvenirs
from an old-fashioned school
plays coquette on the pillow
like an old-fashioned fool
Go down lightly
Go down silently
You go down lonely
You go down like me

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Goodbye To Morning

Janis Ian

Don't sing me love songs
You know they make me cry
Don't bring me any promises
You've none I want to buy
Don't send me any letters
You know I never learned to read
Leave them on the doorstep
Sit back and watch me bleed

Bleeding for the sailors
who never caught the tide
and the wind goes on forever
Tomorrow never dies
And I wave goodbye to morning
and stake my life on land

I was sitting on the doorstep
watching Satan have his day
It was half past morning
'fore I tore myself away
I've never looked beyond the mirrors
of our used-to-be
The gilded edges shadow sketches
In the light of memory

And I found the paint by number
with your name across the top
and the room began to dance
to the spinning of the clock
and I waved goodbye to morning
but I left the door unlocked

Well, the tears flow like wine
and the salt makes you blind
so you beg a little time
'cause you're choking on the vine
but the words begin to pour
and it feels just like war
and your face is on the floor
and you cannot find the door

And I think I found the answer
where you left it on the shelf
But it's too late to wonder
if I left it there myself

And the room begins to rock
The walls begin to steam
The clock won't stop
and I'm living in-between

So I wave goodbye to morning
and stake my life on dreams

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Boy, I Really Tied One On

Janis Ian

* Also recorded by Esther Philips

Boy, I really tied one on
I spent the night away from home
I know you're not to blame
if I can't recall your name
and I'm sorry if it causes you pain

Boy, I really lost my head
I woke up in a double bed
Allow me the pleasure of taking your measure
though I'm sure you ain't nobody's treasure
(And I know it isn't ladylike
to do what I've done tonight)

Wake up, I've got news for you
Nobody's knocking at your door
Nobody's gonna pull you through
Nobody needs you any more
Nobody's knocking at your door

Boy, I went around the bend
Thought I'd made a life-long friend
Imagine my surprise when i looked into your eyes
and I saw the kind of friends you meant

I think I'm gonna take the cure
I'm going on the wagon for sure
I may feel a fool for a Sunday or two
but it's better than a Sunday with you
(And I know it isn't ladylike
to do what I've done tonight)

Wake up, I've got news for you
Nobody's knocking at your door
Nobody's gonna pull you through
Nobody needs you any more, nyah nyah
Nobody's knocking at your door
Wake up, I've got news for you
Nobody's knocking at your door

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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This Must Be Wrong

Janis Ian

I gave a party
I said you could come
You showed up at my door
with all your leathers on
I said - This must be wrong
It can't be right
How can you make love to me
dressed up for a fight?
Pick me up off the floor
No more, 'cause you surely can't be mine

Religion came,
almost overnight
You were the high priest
I was the sacrifice
I said - This must be wrong
This can't be right
Take off that stupid robe
and put down that knife
These ropes are getting tight
All right, you surely can't be mine

I come home half dead
late on a Saturday night
You stand on the bed and you
tell me you're learning to fly
I said - Take off those boots
Take off that cape
Throw away those long johns
I ain't no Lois Lane
Before I get my kryptonite
All right, 'cause you surely can't be mine

I was ready for love
Big brass bed and all
I was ready for love
You said - Let's talk about the war
I said - What war?
What war?
Take off your clothes
And don't you worry me no more
I ain't no fly by night
All right, you surely can't be mine

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Don't Cry, Old Man

Janis Ian

Winter's cold, summer's hot
Love is old, dreams are not
Times are hard and so am I
Tired heart, too tired to cry

Dreams are all I have to give
When we die our dreams still live
Old man, I'm thirsty still
One day I'll drink my fill

Oh, I've been away too long
I've been away too long
I don't remember how it's done
Can I call on you for help
Do I have to help myself

Are you glad with what you've got
Are you burning, are you hot
When we're old, like as not
We will burn until we rot

Don't weep old man, don't cry
I knew you when
I was so much colder then
Fathers always build the dreams
Children tear apart the seams

Old man, I'm thirsting still
One day I'll drink my fill
Old man, please don't die
Before our thirst is satisfied

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Hymn

Janis Ian

When we grow old
and love grows cold
and time runs down
like a river
that calls us home

The eyes grow dim
The light grown thin
and time will
end here forever
Long time gone

Then time and the river
must stop in their tracks
or roll on forever
There's no turning back
I've waited too long
to be left here like this
Long time gone

Then weep no more
The heart is pure
These hands are sure
like a river
that clings to shore

The love we learn
The love we burn
A love that burns
in the darkness
will weep no more

Dreams die young

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Tour Dates

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All tour dates updated on September 12, 2017

  • Saturday, April 28th, 2018

    The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA,

    The Birchmere

    Alexandria, VA,

    Phone: 703-549-7500

    Visit the venue's website

    Janis returns to the legendary venue with a show full of new songs and new ideas - one appearance only! See venue closer to the date for more information.

[full tour dates list]

In The Store
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Remember: Live 1977 Australia & Japan CD

Remember: Live 1977 Australia & Japan CD

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Best Of Janis Ian:
The Autobiography Collection
CD

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Signed 1st ed. hardcover

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