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10,000 Maniacs

An acclaimed, multi-platinum selling American alternative rock outfit whose agreeable blend of jangle pop and folk-rock helped to define college rock scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s, 10,000 Maniacs (named after the low-budget horror movie 2,000 Maniacs) were formed in Jamestown, New York, in 1981 by singer Natalie Merchant and guitarist John Lombardo. Other members of the sextet were Robert Buck (guitar), Steven Gustafson (bass), Dennis Drew (keyboards), and Jerry Augustyniak (drums). The group gigged extensively and recorded independently before signing with Elektra and making The Wishing Chair in 1985. Co-founder Lombardo left the band in 1986, and they continued as a quintet, releasing their second album, In My Tribe, in 1987. This album broke into the charts, where it stayed 77 weeks, peaking at number 37. Blind Man's Zoo, the 1989 follow-up, hit number 13 and went gold.

After 1992's Our Time in Eden had finished its run on the charts, Merchant announced that she was leaving for a solo career. MTV Unplugged was released a few months after her departure. The remaining 10,000 Maniacs decided to continue performing, adding the folk-rock duo John & Mary (original member Lombardo and violinist/vocalist Mary Ramsey). The new lineup released Love Among the Ruins. Merchant released her first solo album, Tigerlily, in the summer of 1995 and a follow-up, Ophelia, in 1998. In 1999, the remaining Maniacs released The Earth Pressed Flat on Bar/None. Sadly, a year later lead guitarist and founding member Robert Buck, who co-wrote some of the band's classics like "Hey Jack Kerouac," "What's the Matter Here?," and "These Are Days," died of liver failure on December 19, 2000. He was 42.

Following Buck's death, 10,0000 Maniacs took a year-long hiatus, reconvening in December 2001 to play a benefit concert with Jeff Erickson (now playing guitar). After this concert, Gustafson, Drew, and Augustyniak assembled a new lineup of 10,000 Maniacs featuring guitarist Erickson and vocalist Oskar Saville, who previously sang with Rubygrass. Over the next four years, this version of the Maniacs toured regularly -- their profile was raised somewhat in 2004 when Rhino released the career retrospective Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure & Unknown Recordings -- and in 2006, Mary Ramsey began playing the occasional concert with the band. Saville left the band in 2007 and Ramsey returned to her role as frontwoman.

10,000 Maniacs remained a staple on the folk-rock circuit right into the new decade, and in 2011 they released their first new recording in a decade: an EP called Triangles, which appeared on their label, Ruby Wristwatch. That year, the group also played two 30th anniversary concerts in their hometown of Jamestown, New York, then set out to record a new album in 2012. The resulting Music from the Motion Picture -- the first new 10,000 Maniacs album in 14 years -- appeared in February 2013. Not long after its release, Bob Wachter (who had played drums with the group back in 1981 before Augustyniak joined on full-time basis) died at the age of 49. John Lombardo re-joined the band in 2014 as they were recording the album that became Twice Told Tales, a 2015 collection of British folk covers. The following year saw the band celebrating their 35th anniversary with the release of Playing Favorites, a collection of their best-known songs recorded live in Jamestown, New York. ~ William Ruhlmann
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Music From The Motion Picture

1. I Don't Love You Too

2. When We Walked On Clouds

3. Gold

4. Triangles

5. Live For The Time Of Your Life

6. It's A Beautiful Life

7. Whippoorwill

8. Fine Line

9. Tiny Arrows

10. Downhill

11. Chautauqua Moon

x

Track List: Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure & Unknown Recordings

Disc 1

1. Planned Obsolescence

2. My Mother The War

3. Tension

4. Scorpio Rising

5. Like The Weather

6. Don't Talk

7. What's The Matter Here?

8. Hey Jack Kerouac

9. Verdi Cries

10. Trouble Me

12. You Happy Puppet

13. Eat For Two

14. Stockton Gala Days

15. Candy Everybody Wants

16. These Are Days

17. Because The Night (Live)

Disc 2

1. Poppy Selling Man

2. Can't Ignore The Train (Demo)

3. Peace Train

4. Wildwood Flower

5. Hello In There

6. To Sir With Love

7. Everyday Is Like Sunday

8. These Days

9. I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You

10. Starman

11. Let The Mystery Be

x

Track List: Earth Pressed Flat

1. Earth Pressed Flat

2. Ellen

3. Once A City

4. Glow

5. On & On (Mersey Song)

6. Somebody's Heaven

7. Cabaret

8. Beyond The Blue

9. Smallest Step

10. In The Quiet Morning

11. Time Turns

12. Hidden In My Heart

13. Who Knows Where The Time Goes?

14. Rainbows

x

Track List: Love Among The Ruins

1. Rainy Day

2. Love Among The Ruins

3. Even With My Eyes Closed

4. Girl On A Train

5. Green Children

6. A Room For Everything

7. More Than This

8. Big Star

9. You Won't Find Me There

10. All That Never Happens

11. Shining Light

12. Across The Fields

x

Track List: 10,000 Maniacs MTV Unplugged (Live)

1. These Are The Days (Live)

3. Candy Everybody Wants (Live)

6. Hey Jack Kerouac (Live)

7. What's The Matter Here? (Live)

9. Like The Weather (Live)

10. Trouble Me (Live)

12. Because The Night (Live)

13. Stockton Gala Days (Live)

x

Track List: Our Time In Eden

1. Noah's Dove

2. These Are Days

3. Eden

4. Few & Far Between

5. Stockton Gala Days

6. Gold Rush Brides

7. Jezebel

8. How You've Grown

9. Candy Everybody Wants

10. Tolerance

11. Circle Dream

12. If You Intend

13. I'm Not The Man

x

Track List: Blind Man's Zoo

1. Eat For Two

2. Please Forgive Us

3. The Big Parade

4. Trouble Me

5. You Happy Puppet

6. Headstrong

7. Poison In The Well

8. Dust Bowl

9. The Lion's Share

10. Hateful Hate

11. Jubilee

x

Track List: In My Tribe

1. What's The Matter Here

2. Hey Jack Kerouac

3. Like The Weather

4. Cherry Tree

5. The Painted Desert

6. Don't Talk

7. Gun Shy

8. My Sister Rose

9. A Campfire Song

10. City of Angels

11. Verdi Cries

x

Track List: The Wishing Chair

1. Can't Ignore The Train

2. Scorpio Rising

3. Just As The Tide Was A Flowing

4. Lilydale

5. Back O' The Moon

6. Maddox Table

7. The Colonial Wing

8. Grey Victory

9. Among The Americans

10. Everyone A Puzzle Lover

11. Cotton Alley

12. Daktari

13. My Mother The War

14. Tension Makes A Tangle

15. Arbor Day

x

Track List: Playing Favorites (Live)

1. What's The Matter Here? (Live)

2. Like The Weather (Live)

4. Trouble Me (Live)

7. Stockton Gala Days (Live)

10. Candy Everybody Wants (Live)

12. Hey Jack Kerouac (Live)

x

Track List: Twice Told Tales

1. Lady Mary Ramsey

2. The Song Of Wandering Aengus

3. She Moved Through The Fair

4. Dark Eyed Sailor

5. Misty Moisty Morning

6. Bonny May

7. Canadee-I-O

8. Do You Love An Apple?

9. Greenwood Sidey

10. Carrickfergus

11. Death Of Queen Jane

12. Wild Mountain Thyme

13. Marie's Wedding

14. Lady Mary Ramsay II

Comments

Report as inappropriate
distrait72
I also used to have a crush on Rob Buck. Lol
Report as inappropriate
distrait72
Always such deep lyrics. Great song, and this was a really good album.
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mflores3339
Some of the most beautiful music ever. I was mesmerized by the MTV Unplugged segment. I wish I had the DVD.
Report as inappropriate
This was sung by 10,000 Maniacs with Natalie Merchant on vocals for MTV unplugged. I loved the original line-up the best.
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My song!!!
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2 my daughter tyler
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Mary Ramsey's voice is so gorgeous...
Report as inappropriate
In this song, she recaptures River Phoenix's drug overdose.
Report as inappropriate
Her voice makes me happy.
Report as inappropriate
Saw THEM in Savannah Ga. Small club many years ago.
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I agree Nchanted. Pandora missed on this one.
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tntara
IM TNTARA'S DAUGHTER AND IF SHE WAS HERE SHE WOULD LOVE YOUR VOICE I DO ANYWAY!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Report as inappropriate
Fleetwood Mac and 10,000 maniacs are nothing alike!
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(Band)
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Love the bsnd
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maguilera90
The best voice ever. Such a beautiful woman.
Report as inappropriate
By something very sweet and kind.... We Are Lucky !!!
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Always knew that we are touched and blessed ........We are
Report as inappropriate
Natalie Merchant may be the 10,000 Maniacs, but her music has not been nearly as interesting since she left the band. So perhaps John, Rob, et. al., had something to do with it.
Report as inappropriate
shaolin_gase r
Natalie's vocals are amazing, but they are lost without the music of Lombardo as guide. It's their symbiosis that propelled the 10,000 Maniacs to the height of thier popularity.
Report as inappropriate
doyleflower
Natalie Merchant IS the 10,000 Maniacs.
Report as inappropriate
Natalie Merchant's drollness depresses me. Thumbs down
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Love them to Death
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kevin-burns9
Natalie merchant rocks love her!!!pkb45
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I simply love you.
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Thanks for playing in Burlington, Nathalie! You're the best!
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timtime
she always takes me back to washington square park, nyc... my time...
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kevin-burns9
Natalie merchant vocals sounds so penetratj
Report as inappropriate
I love her voice that is so distinctive which gives all her music a life of it's own. Charming, yet strong and willful to defy standards set by others.
Report as inappropriate
I saw them in June 2014 in Des Moines IA.... Mary was awesome.... energetic stage performance. . . c r o w d was dancing and having a great time....
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twnz2trips
Natalie voice gives me a feeling of calm comfort and her music is always what I go back to.
Report as inappropriate
Natalies voice is soothing, magical & just a pure soulful sound of whatever or whomever she sings with or about. The songs are just magic!!!!
Report as inappropriate
More unplugged tracks please :-). Wow that voice. The maniacs were such a wonderful fit. Clean, complimentar y , strong! Damn I miss tramping to shows on a whim. Who? Where? Sure I'll get my coat. Youth, don't waste it when you're young!
Report as inappropriate
Magic in her voice!!!
Report as inappropriate
skoivu
She's a storyteller, musically. <3
Report as inappropriate
Natalie's voice is magic. I was hooked the first time I heard it in college. Verdi cries strikes a cord so deep in me I can't explain it.
Report as inappropriate
do you remember the first time you heard this song
Report as inappropriate
Unplugged and In My Tribe will forever be etched on my heart.
Report as inappropriate
katejmiddlet o n
Please don't hate on our wedding song and Natalie Merchant.
Report as inappropriate
katejmiddlet o n
this is our wedding song from 1998
Report as inappropriate
This is Natalie Merchant. she was with the band when they recorded this song
Report as inappropriate
What the hell. This isn't Natalie Merchant. She left 10,000 maniacs? They don't sound nearly as good. Major bummer.
Report as inappropriate
Love this band, Natalie makes the band brilliant. Great songs.
Report as inappropriate
Patti Smith version on Because the Night is better
Report as inappropriate
MAN I GROW UP IN THE 80' I SO LUCKY I GOT TO SEE 10.000 MANIACS
Report as inappropriate
Wow! Takes me back ! ❤ still love her voice !
Report as inappropriate
I was on JCC radio. Knew the boys before Merchant. Sweet to watch it from the ground floor.
Report as inappropriate
Wow bcmac87 knows so much about the 10,000 Maniacs;) hahaha ;-b
Report as inappropriate
:-)♡
Report as inappropriate
Another mistake on the bio is she announced leaving before the release of Eden. The Ramesy Maniacs were better anyway.
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