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Lisa Loeb


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Contemporary folk and folk/rock, mainstream and alternative pop

Status:

Most recent release, Nursery Rhyme Parade! (children's, 2015); most recent general release, No Fairy Tale (2013)

See also:

Lisa Loeb's official site

A fan page

Comparisons:

A dash of Suzanne Vega's bookishness and perhaps some hints of Shawn Colvin and Juliana Hatfield. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

Covers/own material:

Writes own material

General comments:

A crystal clear voice, and simple, pretty songs with good, if somewhat unclear lyrics. (Nyxnight@aol.com)

Singer/songwriter who was the first artist with a #1 hit and no record contract, for the song "Stay" released on the Reality Bites soundtrack. Her decidedly nerdy image, particularly her glasses, set her apart from many other artists, and the song's success instigated a major bidding war. Tails, her debut album that came out a couple years later, was charming and winsome, but then she suffered a sophomore slump. A decent talent, but seems to cater to the mainstream too much. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

Eep. Someone teach this chick how to write lyrics. (valerie@smoe.org)

Comments about live performance:

She was doing an in-store for her new release Tails. She did about a thirty minute acoustic set and then signed for as many people as she could (probably about 150 people). She was all alone as I understand Nine Stories has all been fired. She is currently trying to put together another band so she can go out on the road.
     I picked up her cd as I was somewhat impressed with the 8 or 9 songs she did that night. I had only heard "Stay" previous to that. I'd say anyone that enjoyed that song won't be disappointed with this new material. Her guitar playing was pretty respectable and her lyrics pretty catchy. (ptv@rtp.scm-metals.com)

I saw her open up for Sarah McLachlan last year, and I thought she blew Sarah away. While Sarah's performance seemed over the top, Lisa was really charming in her six or so songs. Nothing really remarkable, but fine performances of her best known songs highlighted the night for me. "I Do", which was the current hit, especially took on a new life live. And she skipped most of the annoying songs from Firecracker. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

Lisa Loeb put on a real nice show here. (panflx@earthlink.net)

First up was Lisa Loeb, playing acoustic guitar backed by a string trio. I've never really been a fan but I quite enjoyed her set. (BridgesM@logica.com)

Recommended first album:

Tails

Recordings:

  • The Purple Tape (circa 1993)
  • Tails (1995)
  • Firecracker (1997)
  • Cake & Pie (2001)
  • Hello Lisa (2002)
  • The Way It Really Is (2004)
  • The Very Best Of Lisa Loeb (compilation, 2006)
  • Purple Tape (reissue, 2008)
  • Catch the Moon (children's book and CD, music w/ Elizabeth Mitchell, 2007)
  • Camp Lisa (children's music, 2008)
  • Lisa Loeb's Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs (children's book and CD, 2011)
  • No Fairy Tale (2013)
  • Lisa Loeb's Songs for Movin' and Shakin': The Air Band Song and Other Toe-Tapping Tunes (children's book and CD, 2013)
  • Nursery Rhyme Parade! (children's, 2015)

The Purple Tape

Release info:

circa 1993—Furious Rose Music—LLB1240-4

Availability:

Tough to find, and available in tape only. Available through Lisa Loeb's official site

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans only

Group members:

Lisa Loeb—guitar and vocals

Comments:

Acoustic versions of many of Lisa Loeb's songs, all done solo acoustic. Most of the songs appeared on her subsequent two albums except for a couple in a more produced form. Some of the tracks sound wan next to the actual versions, like "Do You Sleep?", and others sound much better than their overproduced, updated versions, like "This." Very quiet and obviously homemade type album, and I'd recommend it for any Lisa Loeb fans. But it's only available in cassette form, and it's not crucial for any collection. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

Tails

Release info:

1995—Geffen Music

Availability:

Wide availability

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Lisa Loeb—vocals, acoustic & electric guitars
Tim Bright—electric guitar
Joe Quigley—bass
Jonathan Feinberg—drums, percussion, acoustic guitar

Guest artists:

Jesse Harris—acoustic guitar
Dan Seiden, Daniel Littleton—electric guitar
Jennifer Frautschi, Joseph Lin—violin
Eric Gaenslen—cello
Steve Forman—percussion
Juan Patino—background vocals, piano
Elizabeth Mitchell—background vocals

Produced by:

Juan Patino and Lisa Loeb

Comments:

Part of the single, "Do You Sleep?" sound kinda like suzanne vega (there is one song in particular it sounds like but it escapes me). i looked forward to the album, but when i picked it up i found it rather mediocre, but what was i expecting? (iflin@speakeasy.net)

I find Tails springs to my CD player more often, however. It's just charming; very pretty and saddish, but not depressive and downbeat. A crystal clear voice, and simple, pretty songs with good, if somewhat unclear lyrics. Lisa Loeb has extreme potential, and I think this is a great debut album, at the very least. ;) Favorite Track: "Hurricane". (NyxNight@aol.com)

To me, this album is a real underrated gem. I love it. Lisa Loeb's songwriting isn't perfect (too many line repetitions, too many pretentious words) but her vocals and the production is superb. The songs waver from soft acoustic affair, like "Sandalwood" and the hit "Stay" to harder punchy pop songs like the energetic "Alone," "Taffy", and "Garden of Delights." The best tracks are difficult to choose, but the superb guitar work of "Alone", the great production of "Snow Day" and the beautiful lyricism of "Do You Sleep?" are definite highlights. A very poppy, catchy, and fun album, with plenty to make it interesting. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

I doubt I'm going to make a top 10 list this year, and this certainly wouldn't be on it, but I had made some disparaging remarks about it after reading over the lyric sheet, so I felt it deserved some comment now that I've actually heard it. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the sound of the album. It was more varied and entertaining than I expected. I'm not much of a lyrics person, but there are a lot of lyrics here that drive me up the wall. In fact, I think over time the lyrics would make the album unlistenable for me, since I find myself really annoying walking around humming "don't stultify". Still, there are a few catchy songs that aren't hampered by annoying verse. I think "Garden of Earthly Delights" is one. So, my view of Lisa Loeb went up a little bit, but still isn't all that high. (neal)

I was a bit sceptical about this album. And even if the lyrics are not that bright, I like this album quite a lot. Maybe that's because most of the times I don't really listen to lyrics. That only happens with very special music (Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan and just a few others), and those with lyrics in German (even if my English isn't that bad, my German is better. And as such I cannot close my ears with German lyrics ;-) ). (uli@zoodle.robin.de)


Firecracker

Release info:

1997—Geffen Records

Availability:

Wide availability

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans only

Group members:

Lisa Loeb—vocals, acoustic & electric guitars
Tony Berg, Mark Spencer—guitar
David Gresham—clarinet
Juan Patino—piano, vibraphone, drums, tambourine, bongos, shaker, triangle, loops, background vocals
Leland Sklar, Joe Quigley, Trent Hellerstein—bass
John Robinson, Ronny Crawford—drums

Guest artists:

Shawn Colvin—backup vocals on "Falling In Love"

Produced by:

Juan Patino and Lisa Loeb

Comments:

"Falling in Love" is a great song, (with Shawn Colvin harmony vocals by the way) but the one I get running through my head all the time is "Dance with the Angels". (sspan)

My favorite example of a sophomore slump. Firecracker has some fine moments, like the lovely "Jake" and "How", the finely-written "Falling in Love" (one of Loeb's best songs ever) and the catchy head-bopping "I Do" and "Let's Forget About It". But overall this is pretty mediocre. Loeb and Patino forget the punchy guitars and somewhat raw production that made Loeb's debut album so special, replacing it with a blah, homogenized sound that is devoid of hooks. "Truthfully" is the worst example of a seemingly blatant attempt for radio airplay, with its false hook and insipid lyrics. The one moment where Patino and Loeb decide to turn up the guitars, "Split Second", sounds like a retread from a Juliana Hatfield B-side. Not a total waste, but a disappointment. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

I *love* this album. (Sherlyn.Koo)


Hello Lisa

Release info:

2002—Artemis Records—751151-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Lisa Loeb—lead vocals, background vocals, harmonies, acoustic guitars, electric guitar, 12-string electric guitar, piano

Guest artists:

Dweezil Zappa—electric guitar, keyboards, fretless guitar, bass, acoustic guitar, fuzz bass, electric guitar solo (4)
Ronny Crawford—drums and percussion
Leland Sklar—bass
Abraham Laborial, Jr.—drums
Michael Sherwood—grand piano, Wurlitzer piano
Steve Forman—percussion
Joe Travers—snare drum fills, drums, percussion
Mark Meadows—bass
Anne Previn—background vocals and whistling (3)
Lala Sloatman—whistling (3)
Joe Quigley—bass
Rusty Anderson—acoustic and electric guitar
Matt Chamberlain—drums
Randy Scruggs—electric guitar
Jim Cox—keyboards
Marvin B. Gordy III—percussion
Dave Bassett—background vocals, acoustic and electric guitar
Jonatha Brooke—background vocals (10)
Chad Fischer—drums, percussion, vocals, keyboards, strings (11)
Kevin Harp—Greg Brady tambourine
Dan Coleman—all string arrangements, conductor (2)
Ben Loeb—conductor (5, 9)
Jackie Brand, Mario DeLeon, Alan Grunfeld, Anatoly Rosinsky—violin (2)
Endre Granat, Charlie Bisharat, Joel DeRouin, Bruce Dukov, Armen Garabedian, Tiffany Hu, Natalie Leggett, Sara Parkins—violin (2, 5, 9)
Murray Adler, Clayton Haslop—violin (5, 9)
Mario Fisher, Simon Oswell—viola (2)
Pam Goldsmith—viola (2, 5, 9)
Brian Dembow, John Scanlon—viola (5, 9)
Steve Erdody, Larry Corbett, Tim Landauer—cello (2)
Cecilia Tsan, Eric Gaenslen, David Low—cello (5, 9)

Produced by:

Lisa Loeb, Dweezil Zappa, Peter Collins, Randy Scruggs

Comments:

Lisa Loeb is changing record labels and releasing a new version of her album Cake and Pie, which came out a few months ago. The new version is called Hello Lisa and has a similar track listing (8 of the 12 songs from Cake and Pie, plus 3 others) and new artwork. Seems like a large reason for the change is the lack of support from her previous label—hopefully her new label will give her the support she deserves. It's an interesting tactic though... has anybody ever done this before on such a short timeframe? I think Cake and Pie only came out about 5 months ago.
     In any case I really really like Hello Lisa album. If you liked Firecracker you oughta like this one. (Sherlyn.Koo)

While not quite as catchy as Firecracker, there are a lot of gems here amid Lisa's trademark quirky folk-pop songs. (JoAnn Whetsell)


The Way It Really Is

Release info:

2004—Zoë Records—01143-1070-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Lisa Loeb—vocals, backing vocals, harmony vocals, acoustic guitar, additional piano (9)

Guest artists:

Dave Bassett—electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals
Mark Meadows—bass
Joe Travers—drums
Chad Fischer—drums, percussion, keyboards, piano, shoe, fake cello
Dweezil Zappa—electric guitars, solo
Jamie Muhoberac—keyboards
Shelly Peiken—harmony vocals (4)
John Shanks—guitars, bass, keyboards, harmony vocals (4)
Michael Sherwood—grand piano
Ronny Crawford—drums, percussion
Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls)—background vocals (7)
Maia Sharp—acoustic guitar, background vocals (7)
Jimmy Harry—guitars, keyboards, programming
Matt Laug—drums
Larry Goldings—piano (9)
Jason Falkner—Wurlitzer piano, harmony vocals, electric guitars (11)

Produced by:

Lisa Loeb, Dave Bassett, Chad Fischer, John Shanks, Jimmy Harry, Dweezil Zappa

Comments:

Lisa veers slightly in a new direction on her new album. Many people have called it more melancholic; I think of it as darker but not necessarily melancholic or sad. More electric guitar in the instrumentation gives it more of a rock sound. (JoAnn Whetsell)

The Very Best of Lisa Loeb

Copy-protected disc

Release info:

2006—Geffen Records—B0006083-02

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans

Group members:

Lisa Loeb—lead, harmony & background vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar

Guest artists:

Leland Sklar—bass (1, 2, 4, 7, 18)
John "JR" Robinson—drums (1, 4)
Tony Berg—electric guitars (1, 4)
Juan Patiño—harmony vocals (1, 3-5, 12, 14, 16, 17) loops (1, 4), percussion (3), piano (4, 11), shaker (5, 12), tambourine (5, 9), drums (11, 12), string arrangement (11)
Dweezil Zappa—electric and acoustic guitars (2)
Abraham Laboriel, Jr.—drums (2)
Michael Sherwood—grand piano (2)
Steve Forman—percussion (2, 10)
Joe Travers—snare drum fills (2)
Dan Coleman—orchestral arrangements (2, 3, 9, 11), conducting (2)
Endre Granat, Charlie Bisharat, Jackie Brand, Mario DeLeon, Joel DeRouin, Bruce Dukov, Armen Garabedian, Alan Grunfeld, Tiffany Hu, Natalie Leggett, Sara Parkins, Anatoly Rosinsky—violins (2)
Pam Goldsmith, Marlo Fisher, Simon Oswell—violas (2)
Steve Erdody, Larry Corbett, Tim Landauer—cellos (2)
Ronny Crawford—drums (3, 5, 9, 11, 15, 18), percussion (18)
Mark Spencer—electric guitars (3, 5, 9, 11, 12, 15)
Joe Quigley—bass (3, 5, 9-12, 14-17)
Jennifer Frautschi, Ann Kim, Tom Chiu, Colin Jacobsen, Janet Sung, Sang-Mi Lee, Helen Kim, Yosuke Kawasaki, Anne Chalez, Naomi Katz, Nurit Bar-Josef—violins (3, 9)
Pauline Kim—violin (3, 9, 11)
Leo Suzuki, Martin Sher, Conway Kuo—violas (3, 9)
Pitnarry Shin, Nina Lee—cellos (3, 9)
Eric Gaenslen—cello (3, 9, 16)
Trent Hellerstein—bass (3, 9)
David Gresham—clarinet (3, 9)
Kenneth DeCarlo—trumpet (3, 9)
Paul Redman—trombone (3, 9)
Ben Loeb—conducting (3, 9), string arrangement (16)
Shawn Colvin—vocals (3)
Jamie Muhoberac—keyboards (6)
Shelly Peiken—harmony vocals (6)
John Shanks—guitars, bass, keyboards, harmony vocals (6)
Rusty Anderson—electric guitar (7)
Matt Chamberlain—drums (7)
Jimmy Harry—guitars, bass, keyboards (8)
Adam Marcello—drums (8)
Tim Bright—electric guitars (10, 14, 16, 17)
Jonathan Feinberg—drums, percussion (10, 14, 16, 17)
Daniel Littleton—electric guitar (10)
Elizabeth Mitchell—harmony vocals (10)
Joseph Lim—violin (11)
Matthew Herren—cello (11)
Jesse Harris—additional acoustic guitar (13)
Dan Seiden—additional electric guitar (17)
Randy Scruggs—electric guitar (18)
Jim Cox—keyboards (B3) (18)

Produced by:

Compilation produced by Lisa Loeb & Mike Ragogna; songs produced by Lisa Loeb, Juan Patiño, Peter Collins, Dweezil Zappa, John Shanks, Peter Collins, Jimmy Harry, Brian Malouf, Randy Scruggs

Comments:

There isn't much new here to entice fans; all the songs are from her records except "Single Me Out," the theme song for her TV show #1 Single and "All Day" from the Rugrats movie soundtrack. Still, it's a well-done compilation with nice flow from song to song and Lisa's personal insights on each song in the liner notes. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Camp Lisa

Release info:

2008—Furious Rose Productions—CD-FRP-003

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of Lisa Loeb or children's music

Group members:

Lisa Loeb—vocals, acoustic guitar, claps, stomps

Guest artists:

Michelle Lewis—harmonies, vocals, kazoo, claps, stomps
Dan Petty—guitars, acoustic guitar, mandolin, tambourine, ukulele, whatnots, vocals
Leland Sklar—bass
Jay Bellerose—drums, percussion
Doug Petty—piano, Wurlitzer
Kay Hanley—harmonies (1)
Finn Logue— sing-along (1, 15); woodchucks (3, 8, 11)
Steve Martin—banjo (7)
Maia Sharp—vocals (9)
Dave Gibbs—harmonies (12, 14)
Jill Sobule—banjo and vocals (16)
Nina Gordon—harmonies (19)
Hayden Begley, Henry Eisenstein, Zoe Eisenstein, Arden Kelly, Georgie Pettus, Harry Pettus, Isabel Petty, Trystin Saure—sing-along (6, 10, 13, 17)
Camden Alchanati, Franchesca Alchanati, Parker Alchanati, Nicole Ciravolo, Sophia Ciravolo, Arlo Logue—sing-along (1, 15)

Produced by:

Lisa Loeb, Dan Petty, and Michelle Lewis

Comments:

This is a fun album, a well-balanced mix of children's camp songs (with campers' voices) and regular Lisa Loeb songs. (JoAnn Whetsell)

No Fairy Tale

Release info:

2013—429 Records—FTN17888

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Lisa Loeb—vocals, electric and acoustic guitars

Guest artists:

Chad Gilbert—guitar and bass, backup vocals
Colin Strahm—drums
Paul Miner—bass (3, 6, 8-10)
Jarrod Alexander—drums (3, 9)
Brad Wood—piano (3, 7); synthesizer (8); additional guitar (9); organ (9, 11); shakers (11)
Chick Wolverton—shakers (3, 4); tambourine (9)
Tegan Quin (Tegan and Sara)—harmony vocals (5, 12)

Produced by:

Chad Gilbert and Lisa Loeb

Comments:

Nothing really new here, but it's a catchy and enjoyable listen. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Performed with Liz Mitchell during her college days in a band called "Liz and Lisa". Liz Mitchell guested on Tails, and is currently the vocalist for the band Ida. Loeb also was in a band with Duncan Sheik while at Brown University. She was given the soundtrack slot for "Stay" on Reality Bites because her friend, Ethan Hawke, gave her tape to director Ben Stiller and he was impressed. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

Lisa stars in her own reality television series, #1 Single. Loeb's television credits include her own series, Dweezil and Lisa, a weekly culinary adventure that debuted on The Food Network in January 2004 and showcased the pair's passion for food, cooking and music. Other TV appearances include: MTV's animated Spiderman as the voice of Mary Jane, The Chris Isaak Show and The Drew Carey Show. Loeb also starred in the movie, House on Haunted Hill in 1999.


Thanks to Mark Miazga and JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2016-07-21 16:42:27.
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