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Nils Lofgren | Face the Music

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Published on Apr 6, 2014

Nils Lofgren - Face the Music
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The stellar work of singer-songwriter-guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nils Lofgren receives a comprehensive retrospective in Face the Music, a definitively annotated nine-CD/one-DVD boxed set that takes in Lofgren's 45-year solo career.

The collection's music component, selected by Lofgren himself, comprises 169 tracks, stretching back to Lofgren's early work with his Washington, D.C.-area band Grin, which he founded at the age of 17 in 1968, and surveying both his major-label solo albums and independent self-released music. Two of the CDs contain 40 previously unreleased tracks and rarities. The DVD features 20 video clips selected from a body of performances as diverse as Nils' career.

A detailed, lavishly illustrated 136-page booklet, with an introduction by noted rock journalist Dave Marsh, contains Lofgren's track-by-track commentary and personal reflections on his work, as well as his tours of duty as a sideman with such luminaries as Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Ringo Starr. The set also contains homages to Lofgren by such colleagues as Bonnie Raitt, Joe Walsh, Sting, Bono, and Paul Rodgers.

In its entirety, the set gives a full-length, intimately detailed picture of the performer Neil Young — who hired the 18-year-old Lofgren to play piano and guitar on After the Gold Rush in 1969 — calls "an inspiration to me for many years." A true triple threat, Lofgren has distinguished himself as the writer of melodic, affecting, and hard-rocking songs, a sensitive and seemingly ageless singer, and a guitarist of incomparable power and imagination.

Lofgren says the project was initiated during a 2012 meeting with executives from Concord Music Group. "To my surprise, they said they wanted to do this boxed set, a retrospective of my entire 45 years, of my music," he says. "That's how the ball got rolling. The record company had their good ideas, and then they said, 'It's your boxed set, so you pick.' They asked me to make the final choices and decisions, including every song."

Lofgren selected his own personal favorites from his four albums with Grin (1970-73) and his highly praised solo releases for A&M, MCA/Backstreets, CBS, and Rykodisc (1975-1992), many of which had been allowed to go out of print during the compact disc era. He says, "If it takes 45 minutes of work on the Internet to find one track from 40 years ago, that's not really available in my eyes."

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