Clearly I made this mix was when I was in college. As an English major, we had to take all sorts of classes. I took Bible as Lit, Shakespeare, Poetry, American Lit, British Lit (Romanticism – Present), etc. For a lot of the Romantic English poets, it was my first exposure to them. William Blake somehow holds a high position in my mind, kind of a godfather status, like John Donne, Ben Jonson, John Milton. Blake was a contemporary of sorts of Wordsworth, Coleridge, but a bit older, and seems sandwiched between Donne/Jonson/Milton and Wordsworth, Coleridge, and, later on, Keats, Tennyson, the Brontë sisters, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
As somewhat of an iconoclast, of course I would be drawn to this poem (“The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”) and its couplet that I turned into the names of the A & B sides: “Prisons are built with stones of Law, brothels with bricks of Religion.” Just the idea is powerful: Without law, we don’t have prisions – without religion, there would be no need for brothels. It works two ways: that we need the law and religion, but Blake seemed to be of the position that both the law and religion were too overbearing.
Much of this work reminds me of the Tao Te Ching, with Blake pointing out truths like “Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.” “Expect poison from the standing water. You never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough.” Sounds like what I’ve adopted as my credo: “All things in moderation – including moderation”.
The music here shows that I was pretty well into my college radio DJ life as well. The gorgeous Marc Almond tune “Meet Me In My Dream” following an equally lush “Blown A Wish” by My Bloody Valentine is a delectable segue. Nothing too hellish on this mix, however, unless you count “Jesus Built My Hot Rod”. I think that’s about as thematic as the mix gets. Well, that and “Jesus Was Way Cool.” 🙂 I’m putting the tape’s creation in either late 1991 or early 1992.
The playlists are a little thin because of the nature of the music here – I was working at a college radio station, I had access to a lot of stuff that is off the mainstream path. 🙂 I’ve included YouTube videos of the unavailable songs below the playlists. The only one I still can’t find is “Universe” by Solar Enemy.
Take it to heart: Proverbs of Hell
Marc Almond – “Meet Me In My Dream”
The Overlords – “Holiday In Cambodia”
Dinosaur Jr. – “Show Me The Way”
Venus Beads – “On Second Thoughts”
John Eddie – “Inbetween Days”
Marc Almond – “Jacky”
Nitzer Ebb – “Lovesick”
Special Bonus William Blake Video!
Annie Savoy and “Crash” Davis in Bull Durham
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