Steve Taylor Now the Truth Can Be Told (Boxed Set) (Sparrow)

The Lighthouse
October 1994
© 1994 Polarized Publications

He's not dead. With a tribute album and a boxed set in the same year, I'm sure Taylor was wondering if his doctor was keeping secrets.

So, why do a boxed set? If you have to ask that question, you are obviously not a fan of Taylor. However, it is for that reason that this collection should appeal to you. It's a chance for exposure to a cross-section of his music, with descriptions to guide you through the serious and the satirical. Naturally, any fans will jump at the chance for this new item.

Enclosed with the 2-CD pack is a booklet that will be sure to please all. After an extensive biographical sketch and career history, the lyrics are included with a short description behind the conception of each song. There is, of course a wide range of off-the-wall Taylor.

The collection of tunes ranges from the classics like "I Want to Be a Clone," "Meltdown," "This Disco (Used to be a Cute Cathedral)," "On the Fritz," "To Forgive," and "Jim Morrison's Grave" to the lesser known "Am I in Sync?," "I Just Wanna Know," "Under the Blood," "Bouquet," "A Principled Man" and the elusive "Winter Wonderland." It includes the live tracks "We Don't Need No Colour Code" and "You Don't Owe Me Nothing" and Chagall Guevara tunes "Murder in the Big House," "Escher's World," and "Violent Blue." Overall, it would seem a fitting mixture to appeal to fans and to be a reasonable introduction to new listeners.

Of course a boxed set wouldn't be complete with something new--and there are two items that fit the bill. "Dream in Black and White" is a scaled-down tune about people who spend all their time away from work watching television--watching the world in color, but dreaming in black and white. "Shark Attack" is a compilation of several demos of early versions of his songs, including one that never made it to an album--very interesting to hear songs still very young in the creative process.

So, if you're looking for your first real picture of Steve Taylor or if you want something to add to your collection of his work, this is a well-compiled project that shouldn't disappoint.

Roger Appelinski