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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Rufus Wainwright Celebrates The 25th Anniversary Of His Self-Titled Debut Album


By Stevie Connor.



In celebration of the 25th anniversary of two-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright’s self-titled debut album, Geffen/UMe/Universal Music Canada has released an expanded, digital-only anniversary edition. Originally released on the same date in 1998, RUFUS WAINWRIGHT - 25th Anniversary Edition includes the original 12 tracks remastered from the original tapes plus three never-before-released songs from the album sessions and assorted tracks previously only available on his limited 13-disc boxset, House of Rufus. The new album art replaces the original portrait of Wainwright at 25 years old with a current image of the artist at 50.

“Obviously when you turn 50, you are not only looking forward but also back, and it comes in handy that my first album Rufus Wainwright came out exactly half a lifetime ago. In Broadway, there is a secret rule that you have to open with a bang and finish with an even bigger bang. Hopefully in 50 years, I will have proven that I did end with an even bigger bang but I think that I did open pretty strong with my first album. So excited also to bring some new material from those sessions to my fans and have all the tracks remastered.”

A critical hit, the album received praise throughout the media following its release in 1998. Salon quipped that the album was one of "foolish love and fantasy love, healing love and destructive love and love that makes you want to lose your sense of self just so you can find it again." Ann Powers of New York Times placed the album in her Top Five albums of 1998, while Rolling Stone proclaimed him Best New Artist. Rufus Wainwright appeared numerous times in Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop Critics’ Poll of that year.

Featuring an impressive array of rock, folk, opera and cabaret that ferries his highly literate lyrics with his soaring, distinctive vocals, Rufus Wainwright was a showcase in artistic expression that paved the way for a career that spans two and a half decades with ten studio albums, two classical operas, and a tribute to Judy Garland. His debut album, however, stands as a grand and majestic entrance for an artist who later garnered two GRAMMY® nominations, a BRIT Award nomination and won two JUNO awards in his home country of Canada.

Rufus Wainwright was largely produced by Jon Brion (Aimee Mann, Elliott Smith, Fiona Apple) except for “In My Arms” which was produced by Pierre Marchand (Sarah McLachlan, Kate & Anna McGarrigle), and “Millbrook” and “Baby” which were produced by Brion and Van Dyke Parks (Beach Boys, U2).


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