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Friday, 18 November 2022

The Forgotten Arm


2022 Charity Shop Purchases #74 Aimee Mann  - The Forgotten Arm

While maybe not as difficult to spell as Kristin Hersh you still have to have your wits about your wits about you when it comes to writing down the name Aimee Mann.

The blurb on the back of the CD cover reads Aimee Mann's records have revealed much of the secrets of the dark soul. But never before has she told a tale so lonely and sad or created characters so compelled and compelling as those in The Forgotten Arm.

Yes that's right it is the dreaded concept album. But don't let that put you off. I have listened to it on a couple of occasions blissfully unaware of that fact and enjoyed it. Having said that, it is not necessarily an easy listen
It is apparently about two characters who meet at the Virginia State Fair who go on the run, as you do. Rather than solving their problems they end up with more. As the  album cover  and title suggests  there are also references to boxing thrown in for good measure as do addiction issues which are a recurring theme in her work. Aimee has had her own trauma and PTSD issues which she speaks about openly in this interesting Guardian article

The Forgotten Arm is her 5th album and was released in 2005 on SuperEgo Records and is produced by Joe Henry. Over the years I have now acquired five Aimee albums either via the record library (when that was still a thing) or from charity shops. It is the first for a while to come my way.

As with any concept album it is sometime difficult to highlight one or two tracks in isolation and there is certainly nothing on this album that you would mark down as singles material
I've chosen two tracks which would not necessarly be out of place in JC's occasional Some Songs Make Great Short Stories series

Aimee Mann -Going Through the Motions

Aimee Mann -I was Thinking I Could Clean Up for Christmas


  1. I was obsessed with this album when it came out. Thanks for the reminder that I need to have a listen in its entirety soon.

  2. One man's concept album is another man's midlife crisis. You're right of course that individual tracks can't do justice to the whole - I'm still processing Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick from 1972! These two tracks have enough about them though for me to feel I wouldn't be disappointed with the whole shebang

  3. Great record.

    (But then, you knew I'd say that.)

  4. Excellent post, CC, and thanks for including the link to The Guardian interview. I hadn't seen it before and it was a compelling read. I have very little music by Aimee Mann in my collection and I really need to rectify that.

    That said, her versions of The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas have been a festive playlist staple since the early 2000s and will be coming out again in a couple of weeks.