The Artist: Andy Prieboy
The CD: “Sins Of Our Fathers” (out of print)
The best album of 1995 was so poorly distributed that I couldn’t find a copy until one turned up at an affordable price on eBay three years ago. I knew it was out, but I could never find a copy at the same time that I had the disposable income to pick it up. It was worth the eight-year wait. This is an epic album, musically diverse, lyrically brilliant, with a perfect blend of humor and gut-wrenching emotional wreckage. Fueled by the dissolution of a long-term dysfunctional relationship and frustration from twenty years of being bounced around by the music industry, “Sins Of Our Fathers” is a masterpiece that deserves to be ranked with Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” and John Lennon’s “Plastic Ono Band” as one of the great catharthic achievements in rock music.
A recurring theme of the album is the collapse of Prieboy’s deal with MCA Records, and the desperation at having your dreams dashed and your career left in ruins. This CD would have made the perfect soundtrack for the dot-com bubble bursting and the Enron debacle. Mixed in with the songs about business are the songs about Prieboy’s personal hell in dealing with his failing relationship. His drug-addicted ex is a major character in these songs. One of the admirable things is that Prieboy doesn’t shy away from exposing his own faults. The song “Psycho Ex” (which you’ve probably heard about by now), tells the tale of an obsessed ex who doesn’t want to let go. It’s followed immediately by “You Cannot Not Want Me,” which is exactly the flip side–Prieboy’s plea to a woman who’s rejected him. It’s a bold move, artistically , portraying behavior as “psycho” in one song, then exhibiting that same tone in the next.
Other highlights of the album are “Who Do You Think We’re Coming For,” a hair-raising tune which compares an executive at MCA to a Cardinal who turned his back on Louis XIV during the French Revolution, and “When The Dream Is Over,” a doomed-love song, starkly arranged with piano and strings.
Mixed in among the heavy tunes are lighter moments with Prieboy’s sardonic humor and a dash of vaudeville. The musicianship is top-notch, particularly Scott Thunes (late of Frank Zappa’s band) on bass. Sadly this CD is out of print, and sells for as much as sixty bucks on the secondary market. Once in a while, you may luck out and find one for less than ten dollars on eBay. It’s worth hunting down.