Borderline “Sweet Dreams & Quiet Desires”

Here’s yet another gem I found tucked within these pages at the The Band’s best fan site. Involvement from a Band member or two can’t guarantee a record’s gonna be a good one, but most of the time, you can count on it.  Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson both grace this class act recording credited respectively as “Dick Handle” and “Campo Malaqua,” but they’re no show stealers next to some heavy hitting session men, a fine set of original tunes and Borderline’s down home, roaming feel.

Sweet Dreams and Quiet Desires somehow manages to blend classic rock with the Bearsville sound, Nashville country, even as far as bluegrass – albeit more of a laid-back and stoned grass-rock than that of the Dillards, Brummels or Goose Creek. Brothers David and Jon Gershen turn in 8 original numbers ranging from swampy groovers like David’s “Don’t Know Where I’m Going” to Jon’s strung-out, anthemic ballads “Please Help Me Forget” and “Dragonfly.” Traditional numbers arranged by producer and guitarist Jim Rooney (“Clinch Mountain,” “Good Womans Love,” and “Handsome Molly”) seamlessly flow next to classic sounding country numbers by David Gershen (“Marble Eyes,” Sweet Dreams”). In addition to the Band members, Band producer John Simon appears on piano as well as Billy Mundi on drums and Vassar Clements on fiddle.

Sadly, Sweet Dreams and the ill-fated Second Album remain criminally unissued.  For now, get yer Borderline info/story here. This record certainly deserves as much recognition as any other genre-forging classic country rock record I’ve heard.

Update:  Borderline is finally being issued, along with their never before released Second Album, by Real Gone Music! The CD includes new liners with a limited amount autographed by the band. Scoop this edition up before it leaves us again.

mp3: Don’t Know Where I’m Going
mp3: Please Help Me Forget

:D 2CD Reissue | 2012 | Real Gone Music | buy from real gone ]
:) Original Vinyl | 1972 | Avalanche | search ebay ]

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  • thevandalstookmyhandle

    Great post as always. Ever since I saw Pure Prarie League open for ZZ Top, in I believe 1975, I developed a love for country rock/ alt country/ americana. Much to the dismay of my Kiss lovin peers! Thanks a ton for the education! In the past year you have introduced or reintroduced us to lots of great overlooked music from the 70’s. It’s been a lot of fun researching and listening etc….. Thanks again and keep it up. We’re reading out here!!

  • Brendan

    Thanks a lot! We’ll try and keep good records coming, and we’re do for an update of some kind here sooner or later. Totally get what you mean about the country dilemma.

    Btw, the above tracks are accidental mono, I forgot to pan the tracks left and right.

  • Len Liechti

    Wow, that’s good sh*t, Brendan. The Band meets the Burritos! Good enough not to worry about the mono mix, or even the vinyl crackles on the runouts, and definitely deserves a remaster and CD release.

  • Adam2

    Is there any way you guys could PLEASE post this whole album? I know you don’t do this normally, but this album is so rare and really just impossible to find. I haven’t been able to find this anywhere, it’s just so obscure. this album obviously features well-known musicians, though. it’s such a shame this isn’t available anywhere. is there any way you could do this?

    Steel guitarist Ben Keith (Neil Young) supposedly plays all over this album, and he died just this week. I’ve been searching for everything I can that he appeared on, and this is one of the few real gems I haven’t been able to acquire.

  • Andrew Hawkey

    This record is everything you say and more … folks might like to know that the Gershen brothers released a wonderful CD called ‘Faded Glory’ back in 2003 on a small indie label called Rockinghouse Records – still available by mail-order, for sure, and not to be missed by any lovers of the Borderline LP. Guitar maestro Arlen Roth is all over it, and the songs are really up to the standard set back in ’73. Has much the same feel as ‘Sweet Dreams’ … the same laconic/wasted vocals, the same high-altitude backwoods vibe … Jon Gershen is still very much active in the Woodstock area, and was the co-producer, along with Arlen Roth, of Arlen’s superb ‘Toolin’ Around Woodstock’ CD (2008), which features Levon Helm, Bill Kirchen, Sonny Landreth etc.
    The peerless Amos Garrett was among the musicians on the follow-up album that never saw the light of day … A ‘twofer’ CD reissue would be something to treasure, for sure …

  • John F

    Like Adam (one year ago), I’d really like to hear the whole album, which I just cannot track down in England. “Don’t know where I’m going” is on Youtube, together with a track from The Second Album which sounds even better; don’t suppose you have that one? Even if you cannot help … it’s a great blog, keep up the good work.

  • Stuart

    Can I add my name to list of people who are searching hard for this album. Is the rest of it as good as ‘Please Help Me Forget’ and ‘Don’t Know Where I’m Going’ ?

    Fantastic blog BTW…. I think you’ve provided 90% of all my new listening over the last year or two!


  • Rose

    Echoing the comments above, I too am in desperate search of this album, any suggestions? Thanks so much for this incredible blog, it’s opened my eyes to a whole new world!

  • Mike

    I had this LP in the 70s. I can still hear the title track in my head, and now I get to hear ‘Don’t Know Where I’m Going’ online. I hope someday someone re-releases this – I know I’d buy it in a heartbeat if Rhapsody made it available or even run to the local store and buy the album.

  • Michael

    Just recently discovered your blog. Wow. Great reviews of great artists. You’ve turned me on to a lot of good music. This album sounds amazing, but I’ve been unable to find it anywhere online – anyway you guys can help? Thanks again for the great blog. Keep it up.

  • Tiny

    Good news for all of you trying to find this record. Sweet Dreams and Quiet Desires was just re-issued on the Real Gone Music label and the CD also includes Borderline’s previously unreleased Second Album which is amazing.

  • Gail

    I have Borderline Sweet Dreams and Quiet Desires,, Album AV-LAO16-F 1973 copy,, Im Trying to find out what its worth,,I am looking at selling it,,,anyone out there want to make me a good offer on it,I know its rare,,

  • Patrick

    With some patience, I finally got this record a couple years ago (after reading your review) for around £10 on discogs and then got the autographed CD after your update. Thanks again for another great recommendation.

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