Relish (20th Anniversary Edition) Joan Osborne

Album info



Label: Island Records

Genre: Rock

Subgenre: Blues-Rock

Album including Album cover

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  • 1St. Teresa05:21
  • 2Man In The Long Black Coat04:50
  • 3Right Hand Man05:01
  • 4Pensacola04:32
  • 5Dracula Moon06:19
  • 6One Of Us05:21
  • 7Ladder04:13
  • 8Spider Web05:32
  • 9Let's Just Get Naked05:10
  • 10Help Me05:15
  • 11Crazy Baby06:33
  • 12Lumina03:12
  • 13One Of Us03:59
  • 14Pensacola04:30
  • 15Mighty One05:07
  • 16Here Comes What’s Coming06:10
  • 17One Of Us05:12
  • 18Crazy Baby08:08
  • 19St. Teresa04:18
  • 20Spider Web05:26
  • Total Runtime01:44:09

Info for Relish (20th Anniversary Edition)

Joan Osborne cut her teeth on the Greenwich Village club circuit, and with her major label debut, „Relish“, she confidently shows off the fruits of paying her dues. Osborne's music starts with a raspy vocal style that is stock for the musical bouillabaisse that she cooks up.

Osborne's roots lie in Kentucky and like Janis Joplin, another southern songbird, she has a voice that easily goes from a sexy growl to a sassy purr. Aided by Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman of Hooters fame, Osborne mixes in distinctive covers (Bob Dylan, Sonny Boy Williamson) with her own offbeat originals. A snippet of an Alan Lomax field recording of Nell Hampton's 'The Airplane Ride' prefaces the theological musings of 'One Of Us,' which wonders whether God may be an anonymous being shuffling along as one of the faceless masses. Omar Hakim's drumming paces 'Spider Web,' a song about a world where Ray Charles can see.

Though Osborne loves to delve into religious mysticism, she isn't afraid to cut loose with frisky abandon. 'Right Hand Man' is a randy romp with a love-starved Osborne looking for lust, while 'Let's Just Get Naked' uses a plodding fuzz guitar as a backdrop to suggest a way to avoid ennui instead of filling a burning need.

„Relish“ was nominated for the 1996 Grammy Award for Album Of The Year. The single 'One Of Us' was nominated for 1996 Grammys for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. 'St. Teresa' was nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Joan Osborne was nominated for Best New Artist.

'Relish' can be a sharp, bittersweet condiment; it can also suggest a determined gusto to live to the fullest. Combined, these two images provide a good taste of Joan Osborne's major-label debut (the live Soul Show was self-released in 1992). Grounded in blues, soul and gospel, the Kentucky native wields her gritty voice with personality and forceful presence, kind of Melissa Etheridge meets Sophie B. Hawkins with a splash of Jann Arden. Osborne's passion for life oozes from the grooves. There's an uplifting fervor to her material and delivery, as if every second, every note was being individually savored. Key track 'One of Us' sets the disc's optimistic tone. It's a simple, direct statement of faith, honest and unadorned, one framed in a near-perfect chorus and delectable Neil Young-ish guitar riff. This isn't one of those sugary, superficial, goody-two-shoes Amy Grant kind of deals. 'Right Hand Man' and 'Let's Just Get Naked' confirm that Osborne's earthy, enlightened spirituality shares the same bed with sensuality and sexuality. Well-rounded both lyrically and musically, there's also no contradiction in this universe between 'Lumina''s thoughtful balladry and the wailing harp and acoustic slide bursting the seams of 'Help Me.' (Roch Parisien, AMG)

Joan Osborne, vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion, background vocals
Eric Bazilian, chant, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, saxophone
Rick DiFonzo, guitar, acoustic guitar
William Wittman, guitar, electric guitar
Gary Lucas, guitar
Chris Palmaro, fiddle, electric piano, organ, Mellotron
Larry Campbell, fiddle
Wade Schuman, harmonica
Rob Hyman, piano, electric piano, organ, Mellotron, synthesizer, background vocals
Andy Kravitz, drums, percussion
Omar Hakim, drums
Sammy Merendino, drums
Rick Chertoff, percussion
Catherine Russell, background vocals

Recorded at Big Blue, Katonah, New York and The Crawlspace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Engineered by Rob Hyman, William Wittman
Mixing and additional recording at PIE Studios, Glen Cove, NY
Mastered at Sterling Sound, New York, NY
Produced by Rick Chertoff

Digitally remastered

Joan Osborne
was born on July 8, 1962, in the town of Anchorage, Kentucky, but it wasn't until relocating to New York City in the early '90s (to study at NYU's film school) that she began to take a singing career seriously after performing Billie Holiday's classic 'God Bless the Child' at a local bar's open-mike night. In addition to Holiday, Osborne looked to such legendary vocalists as Etta James and Ray Charles as role models, as the up-and-coming singer decided not to cater to major record companies and formed her own label, Womanly Hips, which resulted in such releases as 1992's in-concert Soul Show, among others. But eventually Osborne decided to sign on with a major label, Mercury, which in turn issued the singer's next release, Relish, in March 1995. The album proved to have a long life, as almost a year after its initial release the track 'One of Us' became a massive MTV and radio smash, camping out at the number one spot on the U.S. singles chart for two weeks, and Relish eventually racked up sales of three-million copies. Further tracks ('Right Hand Man' and 'St. Teresa') failed to match the success of Osborne's first hit, but the singer still managed to connect with a large and appreciative audience, especially after touring as part of the 1997 edition of Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair tour. Osborne also received numerous Grammy nominations in both 1996 and 1997. Producing a worthy follow-up to Relish proved to be a time-consuming challenge for Osborne. Mercury tried to buy some time by issuing a compilation release, Early Recordings (which collected the early releases Live at Delta '88 and Blue Million Miles). In the meantime, Osborne focused on supporting a few groups/causes she felt strongly about, such as Rock the Vote and Planned Parenthood (eventually being named an honorary member of Planned Parenthood's board of advocates), in addition to covering 'I'm Just a Bill' as a duet with Isaac Hayes on the 1998 Schoolhouse Rocks the Vote! benefit album. She also studied briefly with late Qawwali master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and performed alongside such notables as Stevie Wonder, Melissa Etheridge, Taj Mahal, Luciano Pavarotti, Spearhead, Bob Dylan, and the Chieftains. September 2000 finally saw the release of Osborne's next all-new studio album, titled Righteous Love, which failed to match its predecessor's commercial success and sank from sight shortly after release. She bounced back in 2002 with How Sweet It Is, a collection of covers that leaned heavily on classic soul and R&B tunes from the '60s and '70s. A career retrospective, One of Us, followed in 2005. Vanguard picked her up shortly after this, and Osborne released her first full-length on that label, a country-tinged effort called Pretty Little Stranger, in 2006. It was followed in 2007 by Breakfast in Bed and in 2008 by Little Wild One. After a break of three years, Osborne re-entered a recording studio with her road band and co-producer Jack Petruzzelli. They emerged with a raw, wooly collection of classic blues and R&B covers entitled Bring It on Home; it was released in the spring of 2012. She took more direct control over her next release, Love & Hate. Osborne and Petruzzelli re-teamed for co-production duties, but this time she but wrote or co-wrote every song. The album was released in the spring of 2014. (Greg Prato)

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