Freshly in from 1987, here’s In My Tribe by 10,000 Maniacs. This is their third album, their second for Elektra. The copy I have is the one that has their cover of Cat Stevens’s “Peace Train” on it, which I grabbed somewhere along the way. I think a friend may have picked it up in Europe for me (friend, if you’re out there, fill us in). We have another copy without it.
This record is loaded with hits, “Hey Jack Kerouac,” whose lack of a comma always annoyed me, “What’s the Matter Here?” “Like the Weather” and “Peace Train.” This one fits right into that corner of 80s music that was led by REM. In a lot of ways, In My Tribe sounds like an REM record with Natalie Merchant out front. I’ve always thought of 10,000 Maniacs as being a bit too serious for their own good, and more importantly, for my good. I guess they were still young enough here for it to work well. With ease, this is my favorite of their albums, and I’m glad to have taken the time to listen to it again.