Music

The Mavericks: The Best of the Mavericks: 20th Century Masters -- The Millennium Collection

Kevin Oliver

The Mavericks

The Best of the Mavericks: 20th Century Masters -- the Millennium Collection

Label: MCA
US Release Date: 2001-08-28
Amazon
iTunes

Though they enjoyed a modicum of success in their 10-year run, in the end the Mavericks outgrew their audience with an ever-expanding musical palette that ranged far from their original Orbison-esque retro country.

Arriving on the scene as a critically acclaimed band out of Miami, Florida in the late 1980s, their sound was centered on Cuban-American vocalist Raul Malo and a rollicking batch of original tunes influenced by Roy Orbison and Buck Owens. After a self-released debut in 1990, their first MCA album, From Hell to Paradise, was released in 1992. The beautifully rendered "This Broken Heart" represents that disc here.

The Mavericks next album, 1994's What a Crying Shame, was their career-maker, eventually going platinum in sales on the strength of the hit title track. Four tracks of this collection are drawn from that effort, including "There Goes My Heart", "I Should Have Been True", and their cover of Bruce Springsteen's "All That Heaven Will Allow."

From there, the band indulged in a bit of swing and pop tomfoolery on 1995's Music for All Occasions, which contributes a pair of songs here, including "Here Comes the Rain" and the tejano-flavored "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down". That latter tune would prove to be a harbinger of different sounds to come from the band on what would prove to be their final album of new material. Tying in with the more pop sounds to come, this collection includes the band's take on the classic "Blue Moon", originally released on the Apollo 13 soundtrack in 1995.

Trampoline, released in 1998, was where the Mavericks got off the contemporary country roller coaster and went wholeheartedly into doing their own thing. It wasn't really that much of a departure from past efforts, though the mariachi-style horns of the single, "Dance the Night Away", made them a tough sell at country radio. So tough, in fact, that the band was turned over to the pop and rock division of MCA to see if they could make a commercial dent on that side of the radio fence. The only headway they made was overseas, where typically broader-minded audiences latched onto the catchy tunes unconcerned with what niche they fit into. New fifth member, keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden, a roots rock weirdo in the best way, added some significant energy to the proceedings this time around, and his pop tendencies no doubt played a role in the band's shifting sound.

Like most of the collections in the 20th Century Masters series, the track selection is adequate but incomplete. In The Mavericks' case, however, one has the option of their full-price best of, Super Colossal Smash Hits of the '90s, which contains most of these songs and more. Only get The Millenium Collection if you want only one or two of these songs and don't feel like spending four or five more bucks to get them.

Though the band's sales slipped considerably after their early peak, The Mavericks never stopped making the kind of music they wanted to: retro-leaning country that still remembered the roots of rock and roll. Lead singer Raul Malo is still actively recording, with a solo disc that further explores his velvety voice and its full potential, regardless of genre.

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image