Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present State Of The Union - The American Dream In Crisis Various Artists (Saint Etienne)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
XXQLP2 057

This product is also available in these versions:
Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present State Of The Union - The American Dream In Crisis, CD (£12.56)

The sound of a country trying to work its way out of a crisis. On 24-track CD and 25-track 180g blue vinyl gatefold 2LP.

By 1968 there was a growing consensus that something had gone horribly wrong with the American dream. With urban riots, Vietnam, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, and ever-climbing divorce rates, the American way of life was under scrutiny from all sides. The nation’s youth had loudly made their feelings clear, but now the older, pre-Beatles generations began to look at the country and wonder what the hell was happening.

This album includes rare classics (the Beach Boys’ ‘4th Of July’), lost masterpieces (Roy Orbison’s seven-minute ‘Southbound Jericho Parkway’) and forgotten gems by some of the biggest names in the business (Elvis Presley’s ‘Clean Up Your Own Back Yard’). Reactions to America’s existential crisis ranged in subject matter from divorce (Frank Sinatra’s ‘The Train’) and the break-up of the nuclear family (the Four Seasons’ ‘Saturday’s Father’, Mel Tormé’s ‘Take A Letter Maria’), to eulogies for fallen heroes (Dion’s ‘Abraham Martin And John’), sympathy for Vietnam vets (Johnny Tillotson’s ‘Welfare Hero’), the church’s institutional racism (Eartha Kitt’s intense ‘Paint Me Black Angels’), the hypocrisy of establishment figures (Dean Martin’s ‘Do You Believe This Town’) and even questioning the ethics of the space programme (Bing Crosby’s terrific ‘What Do We Do With The World?’).

It is now shocking to read that, as recently as 1968, the Bureau of Land Management proposed to build dams in the Grand Canyon; Richard Nixon would sign an executive order setting up the Environmental Protection Agency in December 1970. His administration then commissioned the Documerica photography project, which launched in 1971 – the year Marvin Gaye sang about “fish full of mercury” in a Top 10 hit – and it showed, shockingly, how the American way of life was trashing the landscape and poisoning the population. It provides the artwork for this album, a condensation of what America’s older generation were thinking when they turned on the TV, or the radio, or simply walked down Main Street in 1968.



Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Clean Up Your Own Back Yard - Elvis Presley

  • 02 Preview Brand New Day - Della Reese

  • 03 Preview Abraham, Martin And John - Dion

  • 04 Preview The Train - Frank Sinatra

  • 05 Preview Saturday's Father - The 4 Seasons

  • 06 Preview 4th Of July - The Beach Boys

Side 2

  • 01 Preview Wine In The Wind - Anita Kerr & The Anita Kerr Singers

  • 02 Preview What Do We Do With The World? - Bing Crosby

  • 03 Preview Lord Of The Manor - The Everly Brothers

  • 04 Preview Hitchhiker - The Four Preps

  • 05 Preview Paint America Love - Lou Christie

  • 06 Preview Mr Businessman - Ray Stevens

Side 3

  • 01 Preview Paint Me Black Angels (Angelitos Negros) - Eartha Kitt

  • 02 Preview Southbound Jericho Parkway - Roy Orbison

  • 03 Preview Questions - Bobby Darin

  • 04 Preview This Crazy World - Paul Anka

  • 05 Preview Take A Letter Maria - Mel Torme

  • 06 Preview Give Peace A Chance - Louis Armstrong & His Friends

Side 4

  • 01 Preview Cherrystones - Eugene McDaniels

  • 02 Preview Some People Sleep - The Tokens

  • 03 Preview Cardboard California - Buddy Greco

  • 04 Preview Do You Believe This Town - Dean Martin

  • 05 Preview Welfare Hero - Johnny Tillotson

  • 06 Preview Save The Children - Teresa Brewer

  • 07 Preview Revolution - The Brothers Four

Delivery & Returns


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You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

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