The Wesley Willis Fiasco: Wesley Willis (vocals); Dale Meiners (guitar, bass); Pat Bernard (guitar); Dave Nooks (bass); Brendan Murphy, Elliot Dicks (drums).
Includes liner notes by Jello Biafra.
Personnel: Wesley Willis (vocals); Dale Meiners, Patrick Bernard (guitar); Elliot Dicks, Brendan Murphy (drums).
Liner Note Author: Jello Biafra.
Editor: Dale Meiners.
This second collection of "hits" from Wesley Willis assembles the schizophrenic underground artist's work from the late '90s, including three tracks released by the Wesley Willis Fiasco, his short-lived punk rock band. Willis is at his best as a storyteller with his perpetually programmed Casio-beat backdrop. His tendency to start and end many songs in the same style, along with his frantic choruses, garnered Willis a fanatic fan base during the 1990s. Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 was released in 1999 on San Francisco's Alternative Tentacles Records. Jello Biafra compiled the collection and wrote the liner notes. He even included Willis' ode to him, simply titled "Jello Biafra." The inclusion of the Duran Duran cover "Girls on Film" is a definite highlight. Willis' songs often narrate his experiences at various indie rock concerts in Chicago. This time around, "The Frogs" is the only such song. Instead, Willis waxes poetic about pop culture icons on songs like "Caryn Shaffer,""Arnold Schwarzenegar,""Mr. Scarface," and "Al Capone." The unique cadence of Willis' songs combine with his alternating emotions (from anger to unadulterated enthusiasm) to create a truly unique sound. The disc's 22 songs were culled from various albums and compilations. ~ Stephen Cramer