Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

This Can't Be Life

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Released  August 13 1996
Artist  Wild Colonials
Label  Geffen Records
Length  45:07
Release date  13 August 1996
Producers  Tony Berg, John Porter
Recorded  1995 at A&M Studios, Capitol Studios, Zeitgeist Studios, House of Blues Studios, Mad Hatter Studios, California, U.S.
This Can't Be Life (1996)  Reel Life, Vol. 1 (2000)
Genres  Alternative rock, Folk music, Folk rock
Similar  Fruit of Life, Reel Life - Vol 1, Genetic World, Angel Milk

This Can't Be Life is the second album for American Alternative band Wild Colonials, released in 1996 (see 1996 in music).



This Can't Be Life features a more Rock-oriented sound than their first more acoustic debut Fruit of Life. This update in sound and volume was due to the band touring extensively the previous year and playing larger venues. The band toured nationally in the U.S. as headliners as well as the opening act for Los Lobos, Chris Isaak, Midnight Oil, Cyndi Lauper and The Kinks. The band also toured as co-headliners with Young Dubliners. The band headlined the second stage as part of the ground breaking first Lilith Fair '97 tour.

The music video for the first single and Radio hit "Charm" directed by Paul Boyd, was played often on MTV that year. This was the first album to feature new member Thaddeus Corea on Drums/Percussion.

Cover artwork

The cover image is from a 1917 German postcard. The sleeve design and photos were taken by Wild Colonials' violinist Paul Cantelon's brother Lee Cantelon. Lee had borrowed the postcard from American singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones. Rickie had received the postcard from a friend in Europe and had it up on the wall of her kitchen. Lee has designed many album covers including Tracy Chapman (New Beginning) and Rickie Lee Jones (Naked Songs - Live and Acoustic, Ghostyhead).

"Wake Up Sad" remixes

A radical reworking of the track was remixed by Frankie Blue and Jason Bentley. A rap remix “Wake Up Sad (East Side re-mix with Rap)” was done by the World Rap Maniacs from New York City.

Soundtrack appearances

  • The song "This Misery" was featured in Nick Cassavetes' film Unhook the Stars starring Gena Rowlands and Gérard Depardieu.
  • The song "Blue" was featured in Dan Rosen's film The Curve starring Keri Russell and Dana Delany
  • The song "Blue" was featured in the film Anarchy TV starring Jonathan Penner and Moon Zappa.
  • The Frankie Blue/Jason Bentley remix of "Wake Up Sad" was featured in Dan Rosen's film Dead Man's Curve aka The Curve starring Keri Russell and Dana Delany and on the motion picture soundtrack CD.
  • Trivia

  • The album starts with the very faint outro chorus' of "Dear Mike", the last track on the previous Wild Colonials album Fruit of Life.
  • American actress Winona Ryder was originally cast in the band's video for first single "Charm". After a last minute scheduling conflict the video was recast with Canadian actress Brigitte Bako.
  • Track listing

    All songs written by the Wild Colonials

    1. "This Misery" – 4:13
    2. "Spirit" – 4:50
    3. "Coy" – 3:44
    4. "Wake Up Sad" – 5:05
    5. "Charm" – 3:17
    6. "Want" – 5:14
    7. "If" – 4:05
    8. "Blue" – 5:36
    9. "Different" – 3:54
    10. "Childhood" – 5:49


  • Charm
    1. "Charm (LP version)" – 3:17


    A Video was made for "Charm" directed by Paul Boyd.


  • Angela McCluskey - vocals
  • Shark. - guitars, vocals, percussion, ambient bass
  • Paul Cantelon - violin, piano
  • Scott Roewe - bass, piano, organ, melodica, wurlitzer, casio, didgeridoo, bass clarinet, penny whistle, tenor sax
  • Thaddeus Corea - drums, percussion, vocals
  • With

  • Martin Tillmann - cello
  • Jon Brion - chamberlin, guitar, organ on "This Misery"
  • Juliet Prater - world percussion
  • Tony Berg - optigan, guitar, tambura
  • Andrew Scheps - mütes galore on "Wake Up Sad" and "This Misery"
  • Rickie Lee Jones - Guest vocals on Spirit
  • Eric Reigler - uilleann pipes on Want
  • Ethan James - hurdy-gurdy on Childhood"
  • Robert Burns - vibraphone on Wake Up Sad
  • Whitney Wade - additional vocals on If
  • Production

  • Producers: Tony Berg, John Porter
  • Mixers: Tchad Blake, Jim Rondinelli
  • Recorded by: Brian Scheuble, Joe McGrath
  • Additional engineering: Howard Willing
  • Songs

    1This Misery4:13


    This Can't Be Life Wikipedia

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