Wacky Fan Letter
Hi, this is Camarillo Eddie. As you may or may not know, I'm in hiding right now.
But every once in a while I get a letter passed on to me from my friend Terry Taylor of Daniel Amos.
Anyway this is a letter from a guy in Dallas Texas. On the outside of the envelope it says
"Read this important personal letter, your career depends upon it."
Now this is a real letter, it's no put on. It goes on:
Dear Terry and the rest of DA and The Swirling Eddies,
I just purchased Bibleland today. Tomorrow I plan to return it. Sorry to say, but your music has become mediocre so I'm spewing it back to the store. As a long time Daniel Amos fan this is a very sad day. However, I do have some comments and questions and would appreciate a response.
First, is it possible to obtain Horrendous Disc on CD? My vinyl copy is a pain to turn over at the end of side one. This is your best album except for Shotgun Angel. And I'm terribly disappointed that I don't have the CD version.
Related to the lousy state of you band right now, I have some suggestions as well as comments on what made your early music great. First of all your best albums are Daniel Amos, Shotgun Angel, Horrendous Disc and Alarma. I loved Vox Humana in the 80's and still listen to it occasionally today. I became a Daniel Amos fan listening to Vox Humana and did not acquire Daniel Amos and Shotgun Angel until they were released on CD.
Now as to why I think your music has deteriorated in quality.
First, lately you seem to throw out albums every year without practicing adequate quality control in regards to what gets put on your CDs. Fans want to hear the good music that you write, not everything that pops into your mind.
Second, cynicism and obtusus cease to be useful when they squeeze out hope, joy and praise of God. There's more to life than complaining about the sad state of affairs in the world, in the church and in your comprehension of our Lord.
Third, you need to add more piano and acoustic guitar to your recordings.
Forth, sometimes simple three to six chord songs actually sound good.
Finally, you should stop the whining sound in your vocals and increase harmonies.
Your return to the using the Daniel Amos name for the band rather than DA, Swirling Stinking Eddies or Edward Daniel Dumb Daniel Taylor, is to be applauded. But this return to sanity is fraudulent with your recent music does not live up to the standards the Daniel Amos name connotes. Kalhoun and Motorcycle provide me with the limited hope that you were attempting to begin producing decent music again. But my hope has been dashed with Bibleland. Perhaps my deception is made all the more complete by your association with the two fine releases JT's Knock, Breath, Shine and Stonehill's Wonderama.
In appreciation for your years of work, recording and in the hope that I will help you get back to the right track musically. I'm providing you with a semi-comprehensive analysis of your recordings to date. It follows.
1. Daniel Amos, A-.
Good album all the way through. I'm from Texas and don't mind the country sounds. I like the vibe of Losers And Winners, Dusty Roads and the various 70s sounds of the cool Don't Light Your On Fire.
2. Shotgun Angel, A+.
Completely excellent album in all ways, even if it sounds like the eagles at times. I even bought your Revelation album.
3. Alarma, A-.
Pretty good. Thanks for the bonus tracks on the CD.
4. Horrendous Disc, A.
Please get this one out on CD as quick as possible and let me know about it. My record has a scratch. You sound like The Beatles, but keep in mind that The Beatles sold lots of records.
5. Doppelganger, Incomplete.
I'm still trying to figure this one out.
6. Vox Humana, B.
It was very good in it's time.
7. Fearful Symmetry, B-.
Was the name change to DA symbolic to the bands decline?
8. Darn Floor, Big Bite, C.
Glad I found this on sale.
9. Let's Spin, C.
Thanks for not putting your names on this. At least I can think someone else was responsible for it. Big Guns and Ed are the reasons this album gets a passing grade.
10. Outdoor Elvis, C-.
Didn't you already do your tribute to Mr. Graham on your first album? I find no joy in listening to songs about Swaggert, Baker and other quote unquote Masters. Were you trying to reassure yourself that you have some ability with Don't Hate Yourself?
11. Telethon, C.
I'm On Your Team, The Pool, Sprinklerheads, Only One, Sudden Heaven and Soon are all good. Especially Team, but who wants to listen over and over again to the rest of the trash on the CD. And who wants to take the time to program a CD player for 24 recordings.
12. Live Bootleg, D
The Surf Suite is great, and other songs are good too, but the recording quality is too poor to get this album over the hump.
13. Kalhoun, B
Interior Glory and Glory Hound are excellent, but Kalhoun and Virgin Falls are Hideous. (hideous, hideous!)
14. Motorcycle, B
Pretty decent, only Guilty seriously annoys. Unfortunately this CD doesn't have other really great songs. Traps and Snares, What's Come Over Me and Noel are all good.
15. A Briefing Of The Ascent, B-
A laudable effort.
16. Bibleland, F
I'm getting my money back tomorrow. I'm sick of having to make an effort to like any of your music. And it is time for you to record something encouraging and less muddled sounding Christian.
17. Knowledge and Innocence,
I've ordered it.
18. Dogs Albums,
They're fine, but you guys should be better than "fine."
I realize that there are a few albums that I've missed including a special release or two. Please provide me with a list or recording that did not make it onto my list here and tell me if they are worth purchasing and where I can purchase them. Also forgive me please, I've never seen Daniel Amos in concert. Will you be in Dallas any time soon?
Please keep in mind that some albums are better than the sum of their songs. In addition it is extremely annoying to have to program a CD to have to skip certain lousy songs. I encourage you to listen to some of your old music, and some Stonehill, Keith Green, early Second Chapter, early Resurrection Band or early Jacobs Trouble in order to be reminded of what good music is.
Thank you in advance for prompt personal response to my letters (questions are in bold type) if you have the time. I would be even more grateful if you heed my suggestions and start making better music.
Finally, does Daniel Amos have a specific purpose, mission or goals as a band? And if so, what are they?
Sincerely and In Christ,