follow in footsteps

Follow Your Footsteps

Follow Your Footsteps is the second album released in 1986 by avant-folk/blues singer/songwriter Jandek, and his thirteenth overall, released as Corwood Industries #0751. It marked an entirely new, more tuneful direction for the artist, which would be expanded on Blue Corpse.


Coming off the molten punk of Telegraph Melts, follow-up Follow Your Footsteps couldn't be any more removed. This is the first appearance of a guitarist/vocalist/harpist usually called "Eddie," and he brings something entirely foreign to the Corwood catalog thus far - a guitar in standard tuning played in a way that would make Simon & Garfunkel proud. A headscratcher, for sure, but then Jandek never sits still for long. Actually, this album plays a leap-frog of sorts with the psyche-punk band of the preceding and following albums, and it's guessed that it was probably recorded around the same time as Blue Corpse. If so, then why was it released out of order? Only Corwood knows.

What's here is actually quite transitional, as "Eddie" and the Corwood Representative seem to be feeling each other out, and it's telling that over half the album consists of instrumentals. A woman's voice IS heard once - very briefly - saying "what do you want to sing," in the second track. Whether this is "Nancy" or someone else is impossible to say, but the male response is "a song." That leads to "Jaws of Murmur," which has very quiet lyrics that are difficult to hear.

The majority of vocals up to the last three songs are scarce, tossing off a line here or there and, again, giving the feeling that the principal artist is getting a feel for playing with "Eddie." That makes Follow Your Footsteps almost more an album to put on for ambience. The title of "Dearly Need Some Words" seems to poke fun at the lack of singing, but the Jandek of old makes a sudden re-appearance on "For Today" and "Collection." Suddenly, the uniquely tuned, picked off-blues acoustic returns, and the lyrics and vocals are closer to what a listener might expect. The album ends with more fooling around, as a male voice says, "all together now/one, two we're all through." A surprisingly light stop-gap on the way to more fuzzed-out rock.

Track listing

  1. "Honey" – 3:13
  2. "What Do You Want To Sing?" – 2:09
  3. "Jaws of Murmur" – 5:26
  4. "Preacher" – 3:13
  5. "Didn't Ask Why" – 4:04
  6. "Leave All You Have" – 3:46
  7. "I Know You Well" – 3:06
  8. "Dearly Need Some Words" – 4:02
  9. "Straight Thirty Seconds" – 2:40
  10. "Bring on Fatima" – 2:41
  11. "For Today" – 3:55
  12. "Collection" – 3:44
  13. "We're All Through "– 1:24
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