Rock Over London…Rock on Chicago…The Big W is Back! The major label dust has settled; the cult following is ready for a fresh helping of seconds.
Compiled once again by Jello Biafra (who is also writing the liner notes), “Greatest Hits Volume II” combines the best of Wesley’s side-splittingly original insight with more personal songs that dignify and tell his story.
For those new to Wesley Willis; Wesley is from Chicago. He quickly became a cult hero by performing (playing his Technics KN-2000 keyboard and singing) on the street and getting opening slots for bands playing in Chicago; bands which he then recorded songs about as an homage to their performances (“Urge Overkill”, “Hammerhead”, “Swervedriver”, “Foo Fighters”, “Superchunk”, “The Frogs”,…) Heck, Rocket From The Crypt even named one of their albums after one of his outbursts : “Scream, Dracula, Scream”. Some have called him the hardest working man in show business. Since being diagnosed schizophrenic in 1989 he has recorded over 30 CDS. Writing, performing, and recording serve as therapy helping Wes quiet the voices in his head.
Wesley Willis has been compared to Franz Kafka, Brian Wilson, Jad Fair, and Wild Man Fischer among others. And, not unlike other great songwriters, his songs have been described as: disturbing, hilarious, unique, raw, intoxicating, and honest.
The tracks on Greatest Hits Volume II are culled from over 700 songs on 30 hard-to-get CD’s that were mostly available only from the man himself, plus his many unreleased tapes. The LP comes with a bonus 7″ (whose songs are on the CD as well) with songs by The Wesley Willis Fiasco – Wesley’s band whose covers of classics by Duran Duran and Pure Prairie League are, as usual, unique. Wes is arguably the most honest and original artist in music today. For those who have only heard the two major label albums, the (A.T.’s) “Greatest Hits” series is far more consistent and hardcore Wesley. (a pure harmony joy ride) Guaranteed to whip a cheetah’s ass with a belt.
Rock Over London…Rock on Chicago…Alternative Tentacles Records – Giving Art a Bad Name Since 1979