How long 'til my soul gets it right?
March 11, 2018 4:04 PM   Subscribe

Fantastic, transformative album. Opens doors and heals wounds. Thanks hippybear.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 4:27 PM on March 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

Aaaaand I'm instantly in 1992. I spent a lot of time noodling around on cheap acoustic guitar with collections of their tablature. "Galileo," "Virginia Woolf," and their cover of "Romeo and Juliet" are for sure my top tracks on this album. (It would be hard to kick "Ghost" and "Closer to Fine" off my Top Indigo Girls Songs Ever list--the ones you encounter first, before you know who The Indigo Girls are, I think will always hold the sentimental lead.)
posted by tzikeh at 4:35 PM on March 11, 2018 [4 favorites]

Oh god I love this album thank you so much for the reminder.
posted by jeather at 4:37 PM on March 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

And "You and Me of the 10,000 Wars," and "Secure Yourself," and "Blood and Fire," and "History of Us," and ...

Welp that's the next few days of my life planned out.
posted by tzikeh at 4:42 PM on March 11, 2018 [6 favorites]

I played that album so many times and always heard something new. Thanks for the reminder.
posted by mermayd at 5:13 PM on March 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

This album will forever be associated with the van ride to the 1993 March on Washington. Ten queers playing this over and over for 1600 miles. I love it so much.
posted by AFABulous at 5:41 PM on March 11, 2018 [8 favorites]

God, I love “Galileo.” I cry every time I hear it.
posted by greermahoney at 5:42 PM on March 11, 2018 [17 favorites]

Forever favorite. Instantly transports me back to high school when my best friend and I used to take long, aimless drives around the suburbs, singing through this entire album at the top of our lungs.
posted by merriment at 5:46 PM on March 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

All I have to do is read those song titles and the music is playing in my head. Thank you for that!
posted by selfmedicating at 6:00 PM on March 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

Galileo is so good. And the Romeo and Juliet cover - I remember breaking down and crying over a badly-ended relationship over that. Not even Love Will Come To You could heal it for a while.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:31 PM on March 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

Forever favorite. Instantly transports me back to high school when my best friend and I used to take long, aimless drives around the suburbs, singing through this entire album at the top of our lungs.

I did the exact same thing in high school. My best friend and I also got really good at the harmonies -- she has the vocal range of Emily and I have the vocal range of Amy. To this day, I will only sing Amy's part on all Rights of Passage and Swamp Ophelia songs.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:59 PM on March 11, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'm also going to throw in some love for "Joking." I've had so many non-relationship relationships that remind me of that song.

(I love the whole album, but that song hadn't been called out yet.)
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:07 PM on March 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

This is one of the albums my wife and I sing on road trips.

My favorite 'Indigo Girls' story: I used to work with a concert promotion company. They handled an 'Indigo Girls' a show in Memphis. My wife was so excited. Unfortunately the show got canceled. My wife was so bummed.

They rescheduled the show, which was at a college campus. Somehow my wife did not hear about this. I was finishing up some grad school work at the time and convinced my wife to ride over to the campus with me the night of the show "to pick up some paperwork."

We walked across the campus. She didn't suspect a thing. As I got near the venue I went to the ticketbooth. My wife looks at the poster and says, "they still have up Indigo Girl posters." The ticket booth says, "grimjeer is here". I get front row center seats. My wife looks at me terribly confused.

And then she realized what was going on.

One of the better Valentine's Day gifts I've pulled off.
posted by grimjeer at 7:13 PM on March 11, 2018 [36 favorites]

grimjeer's story is an interesting variation on Tig Notaro's hilarious Indigo Girls bit, which Vulture wrote up as Tig Notaro Unleashes the Best Closer I’ve Ever Seen (reading this will spoil the joke, except that I once read this and then saw Notaro do it live, and knowing the bit and what she did at Carnegie Hall actually made it even more hilarious to hear her do it last year).

What I'm saying really is that there should be more Indigo Girls surprises.
posted by zachlipton at 8:44 PM on March 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

Ray's cover of Romeo & Juliet is one of those covers that illuminated the original for me. There's no denying Knopfler's talent but his performance on this one fell flat for me, while Ray's dragged me through the fireworks and the ache in a raw and unabashed way.*

In the process of grieving a relationship that fell apart (partly because it was just that the time was wrong)**, I worked up my own cover of the song about 2 years ago. It owes a lot to Ray. It's fun to perform. I thought it'd be old hat to so many potential audiences but I find it's fresh to a lot of people and they laugh at some of the wit and the room gets quiet in the right spots.

Love Galileo, Airplane, and Three Hits too.

* Musical Sidenote: this cover of Wild Horses did that for me too, and there's the same kind of intensity toward the end. The fact that this went around the internet with the performance being attributed to half a dozen artists is also kindof interesting.

** This ex preferred the Knopfler original to Ray's cover. Maybe it wasn't just the time that was wrong?

posted by wildblueyonder at 11:36 PM on March 11, 2018 [7 favorites]

The drumming on this album is amazing. Wikipedia tells me that Budgie - he ex of Siouxsie and the Banshees - was the person responsible. Here he is with them, playing Three Hits from Right of Passage.
posted by rongorongo at 11:45 PM on March 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I remember the first time I saw the video for Galileo and I ran out and bought the CD. I wore that disc OUT. Changed my life. Still have the long box.
posted by buzzkillington at 11:49 PM on March 11, 2018

I'm seeing them in concert in two weeks, and this is just what I needed. Galileo, and Romeo and Juliet, that's my jam.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 12:07 AM on March 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Galileo and Closer to Fine rank high in the firmament of guiding stars on my journey of coming to grips with being gay and becoming my own person in my early 30s. Great songs. Thank you for the reminder, hippybear.

As an aside, I recall exactly how I first came to learn about the Indigo Girls, rather late in the game around 2000. It was on Lore Sjoberg’s now defunct (?) Brunching Shuttlecocks site, in the Flash cartoon “Your Roommate Plays the Indigo Girls”.
posted by darkstar at 1:06 AM on March 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

Oh, man. Such a formative album for me. I was 16 when it came out, and was introduced to it by the girl I'd had an unrequited crush on for a couple of years prior. Her and her best friend and myself and my best friend went for a drive in my parents' borrowed car up Coldwater Canyon from the Valley side to Mulholland Dr. She had just broken up with her boyfriend, so the soundtrack was a cassette tape of the Indigo Girls' cover of Romeo and Juliet on seemingly endless repeat. With all respect to Mr. Knofler, this remains the definite version of the song for me. We hung out at a secret-ish lookout point for a couple of hours and sang along to my mangled approximation of the chords on a nylon string guitar.

This album, and Aimee Mann's "Whatever" shortly after, made a huge change to my music brain. I went from a very good drummer who loved playing technical shit and fast aggressive metal - but didn't really like listening to either - to a serious, guitar-playing songwriter. would take me nearly a decade after to realize that if I tuned my guitars down a couple steps I could actually sing the songs I was writing. Pro tip: Karaoke can be very useful in finding your natural singing range, especially if you normally speak from your head/nose voice.

Anyway, thanks for this. I haven't listed to it in a few years, and I'm glad that it still holds up. Still my favorite album of theirs.
posted by Anoplura at 1:15 AM on March 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

Make it your business to see them live, if the opportunity arises. I saw them a couple of months ago in a small London venue. Breathtaking.
posted by Optamystic at 6:09 AM on March 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

I saw them at the World's Fair Site in Knoxville in 1992. It was the summer before I went to college and I was in a very interesting place. My friends were all the new friends I met at the gay bar (where they never carded anyone to get in.) And even though I was largely convinced I was straight, all of my friends at the time were open to any and all experimentation. It was the perfect group of friends to see this show with and the perfect place.

I still prefer their version of Romeo & Juliet over the original and to this day I can close my eyes and see Brett, Laura, and Casey dancing to Joking in the grass in front of us.
posted by teleri025 at 6:55 AM on March 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

One of my closest pals at the time dedicated Love Will Come to You to me on her radio show on WZLY, the Wellesley College radio station. I'll never forget it, it hurt so good. I'm still hoping that because she spoke the words that they're true, yo.
posted by wellred at 8:07 AM on March 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

I was introduced to the Indigo Girls in 1998 by my college boyfriend. He was a chain-smoking, whiskey-drinking fraternity boy (and I a chain-smoking, whiskey-drinking sorority girl), and his favorite thing to listen to was their Best Of album. We would drive around on nice days with the top down, signing "Joking" at the top of our damned lungs.

To this day, hearing that song brings me right back to that place, and also kinda makes me want a cigarette.
posted by tryniti at 8:31 AM on March 12, 2018

This is such a great record. Those first three Indigo Girls albums all killed me in their own ways.

I saw them open for REM in 1989 or 1990, at the Worcester Centrum, before the first record hit big (at least before it hit big in my corner of New England - I'd never even heard their name.) Sold out show of 15,000 REM fans, and we seemed to be sort of tolerantly bewildered by this no-name opening band of folkies with no drums. But god those harmonies - steadily won us over and when Michael Stipe came out of the shadows to sing on Kid Fear, it was transcendent. One of the most haunting and beautiful performances I've seen, to this day. I ran out and bought the CD the next day.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:51 AM on March 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

This album! When I was scrolling down the homepage and just saw the title of this post, nothing else, my brain immediately started playing the song and I was transported. I still know every single word to every single song. I can't begin to describe how many memories I have from this period that are inextricably linked to this album. I'm not a huge concert goer, but I think the Indigo Girls are the band I've seen more than any other, including all 3 original Lilith Fairs.

Galileo - just wow. That cover of Romeo and Juliet that blew the pants off the original, which I still love, but feels like a little ditty in comparison to Amy's raw, painful, puts-you-right-THERE, chills-inducing "cover". It's right up there with Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah for a "cover" that takes an already really good song into an entirely different stratosphere. And Love Will Come to You - one of my favorite songs - ever. The lyrics are so damn good. Haven't we all felt like this?

Guess I wasn't the best one to ask
Me myself with my face pressed
Up against love's glass
To see the shiny toy I've been hoping for
The one I never can afford

hippybear, once again - thank you!
posted by widdershins at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

I think I put this in my walkman and let it flips sides for months. Only Nevermind could compete for that travel spot. It is the sort of album you sing along to, study the lyrics, daydream, come back to reality crying - whether from pain or joy or you couldn't tell what, didn't matter. Because it was good.
posted by meinvt at 9:48 AM on March 12, 2018

I love this album.

My former fiance and I used to perform "Ghost" and "Airplane" (just vocals and acoustic guitar). When his grandfather was dying, his mother asked us to record a few songs for him. We did, probably with terrible cassette-deck quality, and sent the tape off to his deathbed with her. She told me that he heard us perform "Airplane" (always my favorite) and smiled and said, "Good."

And thus (with help from the Indigo Girls), I got to inspire someone's last word. I still feel like that's one of the best things I've done with my life.
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:47 AM on March 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

(God. It just hit me that that story is literally a rite of passage. How appropriate.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:49 AM on March 12, 2018

I'm a dude with a baritone/tenor ish voice and I loved the fact that I could sing Amy Ray's parts
posted by secretseasons at 12:50 PM on March 12, 2018

My high-school debate coach was a good bass player, so every year we'd put together a little band and pick an Indigo Girls song to play at the annual pops concert. He really created a monster there, 'cause I couldn't get enough of their harmonies.

Then in college, my best friend Shep and I would buy a box of banana popsicles and drive around in the country, belting IG for a couple of hours. I love this album. My voice has always been in Amy range, but he usually took her parts, so I learned both hers and Emily's inside and out.
posted by lauranesson at 1:06 PM on March 12, 2018

So many memories with this album. Hanging out in A's dorm room, singing Galileo with her. She was the first woman I fell hopelessly in love with - particularly hopeless because she was straight as. So there were also many times I privately sang along to "Ghost", sometimes rather tearfully (there was not enough room in this world for my pain). (There's another story about getting very drunk with her and another friend on my 19th birthday - me on cheapo peppermint schnapps which I have never been able to touch since, cheap or otherwise - and singing "Blood and Fire" meaningfully in her general direction.) Then there was "Joking", which I will forever associate with coming out to my brother, who when I told him tentatively that I had something to tell him responded with "don't tell me, you're coming out of the closet at last!" with a big cheesy grin and I said, well, actually, yes. He was only joking, you see. And then "Love Will Come To You", which to this day makes my voice break and my eyes get teary, even though my inner cynic rails against its sentimentality and optimism. My heart knows better and is still pressed up against love's glass, tail wagging, hoping; always hoping.

True confession: I never cared for "Romeo and Juliet" and when I taped the CD left it out. I still skip past it. I appreciate the artistry, I just don't like the song. The second side generally is weaker for me, though as an English major I obviously approve of "Virginia Woolf". I didn't like "Chickenman" when I was young but it has grown on me with time. "Airplane" is another one I skip, always; it was amusing the first time or three I heard it, but then ceased to be funny and it is annoyingly catchy. And then "Cedar Tree" - I can still see the view from my parents' living room when I was home on Christmas break and my grandmother died and I played that song on their stereo and wept.

Definitely a rite of passage, this album. I listened to it again on the way to work - well, most of it; as always I skipped R&J and Airplane, and arrived at the beginning of "Let It Be Me". It's still so good.
posted by Athanassiel at 2:49 PM on March 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thank you for this. I don't think I'd ever heard the whole album. I heard "Galileo" and "Closer to Fine" via a college a cappella group, I think. And darkstar I remember that animation!
posted by brainwane at 6:29 AM on March 14, 2018

I never cared for "Romeo and Juliet"
Me either. The original version is lovely to me in its restraint; the IG version seems tacky and over the top in comparison, like Jim Steinman got ahold of it. It's a weak spot on the record.
posted by uberchet at 6:32 AM on March 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

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