On the Record
"Tons o' fun - proud to be associated it with it! The whole section after Michael is first rate Foremenalia." -- Kenny Rhodes, FormerMan
"It's great to hear these recordings again! (Even if we are starting to repeat ourselves, 'peat ourselves...)" -- Andy Corwin, FormerMan
"... a terrific exposé of the inside of Roy Zimmerman's brain" -- Doug Whitney, FormerMan
"Wow, THE BEST OF THE FOREMEN is a trip down memory highway bringing back the musical mirth and political poignancy of the second folk scare." -- Denny Croy, FormerMan
"At last - a true, candid history of The Foremen and a chronicling of the humongous effect they had on the world as we know it - You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll sing along!" -- D.C.Anderson, FormerMan
"Tribute? Parody? YOU make the call. But whatever it is, The Foremen is still topical as hell. This album, a nostalgic look at a nostalgic project, is positively Escher-esque in its nostalgic-ness. Type "nostalgia" a few times ... it starts looking really funny." -- Stevie Coyle, FormerMan
"It's a great reminder of the Foremen in their prime."
-- Jeff Morris, Demented Discographies
"Ah, the Foremen! I remember listening to them on Dr. Demento when I was in high school. What an amazing honor it is to now be the guy who gets to work with these recordings!" -- Jory Prum, Engineer, THE BEST OF THE FOREMEN
"It was so great hearing those rare recordings. It made me long to be back downstairs at Luna Park watching the guys in action." -- Grant Baciocco, Throwing Toasters
"THE BEST OF THE FOREMEN is a delicious dish -- er, disc. Tastes like chicken!" -- Jeannine Frank, Foremanager
"I never Metaphorman I didn't like." -- Melanie Harby, CoProducer, THE BEST OF THE FOREMEN
"This collection proves once again that The Foremen were a retro act ahead of their time, " -- Darren Zieger, Web Designer, Songwriter, Forehead.
The first 16 cuts on THE BEST OF THE FOREMEN read like a set list from one of our countless (115, I think) shows in the downstairs cabaret room at Luna Park in West Hollywood. Melanie and I wanted this CD to recreate the experience of a live Foremen show in that space and time. (We thought of adding the sound of someone kvetching about the narrow staircase, but that was overkill.)
We chose the most timeless tunes, and the best recordings in the Metaphor Records catalogue. Fans who were there in the Luna Park days might miss the more temporal gems - songs about Oliver North, Jesse Helms, Newt Gingrich, Dan Rostenkowski, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Pete Wilson, OJ Simpson, etc. - but the 16 tunes we chose remain relevant, funny and musically compelling.
Then as a special bonus section, we added a selection of Foremen treasures - field recordings from the personal collection of ethnomusicologist Lenny Hudbutter. This was our way of doing honor to the two distinct Foremen line-ups that preceded The Foremen everyone knows and some love.
Beethoven's 9th Symphony is 78 minutes long, so the recording industry decided to use that length as the maximum amount of music a CD can hold. We included as many Foremen classics as that time limit allowed, and brought the album in around 77:20. I like to think Beethoven would approve, and I'm happy that you'll be able to enjoy these early songs and the great spirit and musicianship Dana, Stevie, Denny and DC brought to the project.
THE BEST OF THE FOREMEN ends with "The Water Is Wide," a track we pieced together from three different live shows. It features the two earliest Foremen line-ups, audio from our first-ever public performance and new guitar work by Stevie Coyle.
In The Foremen's early days, we'd do "The Water Is Wide" at the end of every show as a blessing, a sign of our sincerity, a way of saying "Go in peace." Soon, "Michael" took its place in the set, and served those functions well, but here, it makes sense to have "The Water Is Wide" give the benediction. I'm proud of the entire record and of The Foremen's legacy in general, and "The Water Is Wide" really brings the thing full circle.
Happy listening, go in peace and watch the stairs on your way out.
Free Foremen Songs from
the Personal Collection of Lenny Hudbutter
Click on one of my 45s to hear an unreleased or out of print Foremen song or a live performance of a Foremen song you may already know! These ten free songs are downloadable and are offered for your enjoyment and ethnomusicological edification. If you want to support the arts (particularly politically-progressive, non-dumbed-down, independent art) please visit the Roy store and buy a CD or two. (They make great gifts!) Tell 'em Lenny Hudbutter sent you.