I Killed the Monster - The Songs of Daniel Johnston
Shimmy-2014 Release date: Feb 10, 2023
Sale Sold out
Regular price $24.00
Regular priceUnit price per
Kramer & Daniel Johnston (Art Basel / Miami, 2013)
In the late 1980's, Kramer brought Daniel Johnston into his Noise New York recording studio and produced the LP that remains - to this day - his masterpiece; "1990". Prior to these recordings (his very first in a "professional" studio), Daniel was an underground/'outsider' artist with an extraordinary catalog of cassette-only releases, a small but infinitely loyal cult following, and a fast-widening range of established artists covering his songs and proclaiming him to be the best songwriter of his generation.
They were right. "1990" (originally released on Shimmy-Disc) brought his rapturous songs to new ears. In American Indie Music, there was the world before "1990", and the world after. It was a watershed moment in the musical arts. There was nothing else like it. There still isn't. Daniel's place in history will be studied for centuries to come. He had many disciples, but no peers. His songcraft stands alone in the American songbook.
Following the global success of "1990", Kramer travelled to West Virginia the following year and produced "ARTISTIC VICE", a very different LP of songs featuring a full band that Daniel had been performing concerts with while living at his parent's home. The recordings were made in their garage over the course of 3 days on a barely functional 8-track tape machine. The resulting LP was the perfect follow-up to "1990", and set Daniel on a path that would bring him a major label deal with Atlantic Records, and the attention he'd always deserved both as a songwriter and as a visual artist. It wasn't long before his drawings began to appear in art galleries, and eventually his work was featured at the renowned Whitney Biennial. The rest is history.
Daniel left us on September 11, 2019. We will never see the likes of him again, but we can experience his music anew with "I KILLED THE MONSTER", available now for the very first time on Vinyl following its initial 2006 CD-only release.
Kramer re-Mastered all 21 songs from the original CD, and hand-picked 11 of his favorite songs for this limited-edition Vinyl LP release.
The Cassette and Download versions include all 21 songs.
(Note: This is the first Cassette release from Shimmy-Disc since the 1990's. We love Cassettes. TAPE, is where it all began. We are thrilled to bring this archival format back to the Shimmy-Disc catalog. Nothing sounds as good as tape, and we have spared no expense in bringing the highest quality product to the avid Cassette collector.)
This "Various Artists" compilation of songs by Daniel Johnston filters the Texas genius's snow-globe sad-pop confections through the mercurial lens of indie rock and anti-folk. Daniel's painfully honest lyrics and gently ecstatic melodies easily lend themselves to the interpretations of others, whether it's the genius collaborations of Danielson & Sufjan Stevens ("Worried Shoes") or Jad Fair & Kramer ("True Love Will Find You in the End"), the honest-to-goodness real-life realities of Kimya Dawson ("Follow That Dream") or Jeffrey Lewis ("Adventures of God As a Young Boy"), or the proto-psychedelic pop of R. Stevie Moore ("Cathy Kline") and home-grown Shimmy-Disc artist Lumberob, or Kramer himself with the definitive version of the song he considers Daniel's very best, "Bloody Rainbow".
Produced by Kramer in 2005/2006, the LP closes with his daughter Tess singing Daniel's seminal tearjerker, "It's Over". Recorded when she was 13 years old, it's the perfect song to bring the curtain down on this indispensable LP.
Daniel, Kramer and Tess (2000, NYC)