2005's most celebrated artist, Sufjan Stevens, will release The Avalanche: Outtakes And Extras From The Illinois Album on July 25 through Asthmatic Kitty Records. While this might seem to be a shameless attempt to capitalize on the success of Illinois by pulling together a bunch of half-finished throw away songs that weren't good enough to make it onto the album in the first place, that is actually not the case... not entirely at least.
Apparently, Illinois was initially intended for release as a double album with a total of about 50 songs being written for inclusion. As the project developed however, the decision was made to cut it in half and release Illinois as a single CD. At the close of 2005, Sufjan sat down with the scrapped songs on his 8-track and decided to go ahead and complete them. Some were almost done, others were just outlines of what the final product was intended to be, but almost all of them required substantial editing. So in late '05/early '06 Sufjan gathered many of the players who made Illinois the most celebrated album of last year and they cranked out 21 complete, finished tracks to act as a companion piece to the original. Will it be awesome? We'll find out soon enough.
Here's the full track listing.
01. "The Avalanche"
02. "Dear Mr Supercomputer"
03. "Adlai Stevenson"
04. "The Vivian Girls Are Visited In the Night By Saint Dargarius And His Squadron Of Benevolent Butterflies"
05. "Chicago (acoustic version)"
06. "The Henney Buggy Band"
07. "Saul Bellow"
08. "Carlyle Lake"
09. "Springfield, Or Bobby Got A Shadfly Caught In His Hair"
10. "The Mistress Witch From McClure (Rr, The Mind That Knows Itself)"
11. "Kaskaskia River"
12. "Chicago (Adult Contemporary Easy Listening Version)"
13. "Inaugural Pop Music For Jane Margaret Byrne"
14. "No Man's Land"
15. "The Palm Sunday Tornado Hits Crystal Lake"
16. "The Pick-up"
17. "The Perpetual Self, Or 'What Would Saul Alinsky Do?'"
18. "For Clyde Tombaugh"
19. "Chicago (Multiple Personality Disorder version)"
21. "The Undivided Self (For Eppie And Popo)"