Rhino/Elektra is celebrating the career of 10,000 Maniacs with a two-disc set compiling the band’s best songs and a slew of rarities. Slated for Jan. 27 release, “Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure and Unknown Recordings of 10,000 Maniacs,” spends one disc collecting 17 of the band’s best-loved songs, including “These Are Days,” “Trouble Me,” “What’s the Matter Here?” and its cover of “Because the Night.”
The second disc includes previously unreleased demos (“Noah’s Dove,” “Circle Dream,” “Eden”), alternate versions of some songs (“Circle Dream”) and several covers, including the band’s takes on Cat Stevens’ “Peace Train,” Jackson Browne’s “These Days,” Morrissey’s “Everyday is Like Sunday,” David Bowie’s “Starman” and the Carter Family’s “Wildwood Flower.”
The latter disc also features vocalist Natalie Merchant’s duets with ex-Talking Heads frontman David Byrne on Iris DeMent’s “Let the Mystery Be” and R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe on “To Sir With Love.”
“Peace Train” was included on the original pressing of 1987’s “In My Tribe,” but was removed from later pressings after the media reported that Stevens, now known as Yusef Islam, supported Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s February 1989 proclamation that author Salman Rushdie should be put to death for writing his controversial “The Satanic Versus.” Islam later said that he was misquoted, paving the way for the cover’s return.
Merchant supervised the project and designed its packaging. She includes liner notes, as does guitarist John Lombardo, keyboardist Dennis Drew, bassist Steven Gustafson, drummer Jerome Augustyniak and music critic Anthony DeCurtis.