Now where were we? Ah, yes….
I originally intended to tap out a longer review of this particular release, but getting my ears on it proved as elusive now as it was for me then. I read a review of We Get There When We Do somewhere — most likely CMJ New Music Monthly — and immediate decided it was likely in my aural taste wheelhouse, probably because of comparisons with Juliana Hatfield (lead singer Beth Sorrentino sometimes sounds like a vocal twin) and a weakness for piano-based pop that compelled me to own every last Billy Joel album. What little I can find readily available for sampling in the eddy of the internet confirms that I would have felt okay about the investment if I went ahead and bought it note unheard. I never did find it then, and my usual avenues for listening to music online (wholly legal, I assure you) come up blank when I type Suddenly, Tammy! into the search box, at least as far as this album is concerned. Thus is remains pop sugar I’ve barely sampled. This was the trio’s second album, and their first after being signed by major label Warner Bros. They worked on their followed up, dubbed Comet, the following year, only to see it shelved for almost a decade-and-a-half after the label decided to pare down its roster. The band broke up in 1997, with Sorrentino going on to release a handful of solo albums.
Down around #88, I owned up to the side I chose in the Uncle Tupelo divorce. I think most of the band’s stalwart fans were on the opposite side as me, especially in the immediate aftermath when Trace, the debut album Jay Farrar, arrived. It was largely deemed a truer extension of the Uncle Tupelo sound. For me, it was dull as a well-eroded skipping stone, an impression that wasn’t improved by the snoozy concerts I sat through in solidarity with my true believer pals. While Farrar has also had some solo ventures over the years, Son Volt remains his primary going concern, releasing a new album as recently as 2013. The success of the band hasn’t waned, either. That album, Honky Tonk, charted in the same rough range as most of the group’s most successful releases.
Del Amitri was one of those bands that fit snugly onto the playlists of my broadcasting alma mater. Always a little less daring than other stations that made their home on the left end of the dial, 90FM was happy to celebrate those groups that operated with a certainly rootsy earnestness. I don’t remember any of the albums during my days really burning up the charts, but a single or two received generous attention. Twisted, the band’s fourth album, was surely boosted on the station’s charts by the presence of a bonafide hit: “Roll to Me” made it into the Billboard Top 10. The Scottish band officially broke up in 2002, but of course reunions happen. The principal members have been playing together since 2012, which led to the dreaded double live album.
— An Introduction
— 90-88: The Falling Wallendas, Parasite, and A.M.
— 87-85: North Avenue Wake Up Call, Live!, and Life Begins at 40 Million
— 84 and 83: Wholesale Meats and Fishes and Orange
— 82-80: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory, Fossil, and Electric Rock Music
— 79-77: Coast to Coast Motel, My Wild Life, and Life Model
— 76-74: Gag Me with a Spoon, Where I Wanna Be, and Ruby Vroom
— 73 and 72: Horsebreaker Star and Wild-Eyed and Ignorant
— 71 and 70: 500 Pounds and Jagged Little Pill
— 69-67: Whirligig, The Basketball Diaries, and On
— 66 and 65: Alice in Chains and Frogstomp
— 64 and 63: Happy Days and Exit the Dragon
— 62-60: Lucky Dumpling, Fight for Your Mind, and Short Bus
— 59-57: Good News from the Next World, Joe Dirt Car, and Tomorrow the Green Grass
— 56 and 55: …And Out Come the Wolves and Clueless