Loudon Wainwright III: Years In The Making

Loudon Wainwright III: Thirty Years In The Making

Loudon Wainwright III: Years In The Making

April 16, 2024
Malcolm Mills

Loudon Wainwright III’s career took off in 1967 and the prolific songwriting that has endeared him to so many has been represented throughout in a growing multitude of albums which he refers to as “a tapestry.”

But the process of selecting the material that has formed this tapestry was often constrained by the way that the recordings were made available by various record companies. There was the obvious limitation of space on vinyl LPs in the early days, but the main reason was always finding the right mix of material that fit with the other tracks on an album at any one time. And then the producer and artist put the whole lot through their own critical filters until the final running order was agreed. Inevitably, some material did not merit inclusion at the time.

Back when artists’ careers were solely in the hands of major record companies, these missing tracks were ditched, never to see daylight in fear of damaging the producer’s vision.

The fans’ filters are not so fine. They want embroidery or to get a peek in the drawer where this stuff was left…and they got lucky here.

Knowing there must be bags of this stuff somewhere, SoundStory Records CEO Dick Connette meticulously went through Loudon’s archive with him to see what could be found…

…and they pulled out a lot of brightly coloured threads including some gold to weave into Loudon’s tapestry.

The result is a set, aptly named YEARS IN THE MAKING. The forty-two recordings that made it onto these two CDs are categorized by the pair as; folk; rocking out; kids; love hurts; miscellany; Hollywood; the big picture. They comprise home demos and scraps, radio appearances, live recordings and cuts that didn’t make it onto albums for reasons noted above.

The hard cover book contains over fifty pages filled with dozens of doodles, documents, drawings and drafts. It is richly illustrated by Edward Steed (best known for his work on The New Yorker).

When I was the owner of Proper Records, I released some of Loudon’s albums because I have enjoyed his work since the start. It was also a real pleasure promoting his SURVIVING TWIN show for a week in London in 2017.

I sold Proper in 2021 and when I saw that Loudon was returning to London for a run of shows in March 2024, I contacted Dick to see if we could collaborate on a special edition of YEARS IN THE MAKING to sell while Loudon is over here in the land of the fried slice.

So, here’s your chance to get weaving while there is a brief opportunity to own this unique T-shirt and some other stuff with this twin set of discs. Click the link below, to visit our SHOP page.

You may still be able to buy tickets for one of the London shows--check out our ON TOUR page for further information.