10,000 Maniacs " Camp Fire Songs"
Long before Natalie Merchant was in the poster child for adult contemporary, she was in a folk rock band consisting of college professors called 10,000 Maniacs. This hippie bunch wrote songs about social issues such as illiteracy, alcoholism, violence of television, teen pregnancy, and corporate creed. My personal favorite "What's the Matter Here?" is a song about a bystander who sits ideally by why her neighbors abuse the crap out of their child (this song actually inspired me to get into Social Work).
All of 10,000 maniacs best comprise "Camp Fire Songs" first disc. The second disc is full of B-sides, rarities, and demos. Duets with Michael Stipe on "To Sir with Love" and David Byrne "Let the Mystery Be" highlight this disc. Also featured are covers of Morrissey's "Everyday is like Sunday", David Bowie "Starman" and Tom Wait's "Hope That You Don't Fall in Love with Me".
sadly, founding member and guartarist Robert Buck has passed, which means no reunion tour. This means we will have to continue to listen to Natalie rack up the top 40 hits like the over- thankful "Thank You", and the bleak sounding "Carnival".