December 22, 2009 – 4:08 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Stanford Campus 1985 [no label, 1CD]

Live at Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, May 11, 1985. Very good KZSU FM radio broadcast.

There was a time when “The Smiths were a more popular indie band than the Long Ryders in Europe and when only The Replacements were a more popular indie band in the USA.” So goes the blurb for the Long Ryders’ first full-length album, Native Sons (1984). And that was before the release of State Of Our Union in 1985, the group’s most well known and highest charting album.

Roots rock, jangle rock, alternative country and paisley underground are some of the terms used to describe the music of the Long Ryders. Fuelled by an earnestness that seemed overpowering, the Ryders backed up their hard-edged playing with intelligent and thought-provoking lyrics, not to mention those impeccable covers they did - Highway 61 Revisited (on this set); Prisoners Of Rock ‘n’ Roll (Neil Young), Masters Of War (Bob Dylan), Anarchy In The UK (Sex Pistols) and Billy Jean (Michael Jackson), just to name a few.

It’s one of those quirks of rock ‘n’ roll, or even destiny, that the Long Ryders never got that big break - U2 asked them to open shows on the North American wing of their Joshua Tree tour and REM told them “soon as we get through making the Replacements famous you guys are next!”

Despite the nostalgia and the memory of listening to one of the top bands of college radio, probaby more than anything else, the Long Ryders today remind the listener of the promises of what could have been. It’s not the innocence in the music but the joy in the playing that comes through.

And for the audience at Stanford Campus, they were in for a treat when the Ryders previewed Mason-Dixon Line, State Of My Union, Good Times Tomorrow, Hard Times Today and Southside Of The Story - tracks from their new album which would only be released in September 1985. Missing from the setlist was the big hit from the album, Looking For Lewis & Clark.

But just as explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in the 1800s helped laid much of the westward expansion of the United States, in “looking for Lewis & Clark,” the Long Ryders too helped to lay the groundwork for the popularity of roots rock which followed.

As the Ryders’ Sid Griffin noted on his website, “Ask anyone in Wilco, the Black Crows, the Jayhawks (who employed Stephen McCarthy on their final albums and tours) or Slobberbone and they will tell you: don’t miss The Long Ryders if they come to your town. It’s been too long since the stars in the sky shone brightly on rockin’ music such as this!”

A word of thanks to the person who split the recording and shared the lossless tracks on the internet.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Mason-Dixon Line (5.8MB)
Track 02. As God Is My Witness (4.1MB)
Track 03. State Of My Union (5.9MB)
Track 04. Highway 61 Revisited (6.8MB)
Track 05. Too Close To The Light (7.7MB)
Track 06. Ivory Tower (4.4MB)
Track 07. Good Times Tomorrow, Hard Times Today (5.8MB)
Track 08. I Can’t Hide (4.0MB)
Track 09. I Had A Dream (5.2MB)
Track 10. Final Wild Son (4.1MB)
Track 11. Wreck Of The 809 (5.0MB)
Track 12. Southside Of The Story (3.7MB)
Track 13. Still Get By (3.9MB)

Sid Griffin - guitar
Stephen McCarthy - guitar
Tom Stevens - bass
Greg Sowders - drums

Click here to order Long Ryders/Sid Griffin albums.

  1. 8 Responses to “LONG RYDERS - STANFORD CAMPUS 1985”

  2. Woah!
    What a great band Long Ryders were!
    For those of you that are too young to know them, take a listen to this concert…are R.E.M. superior to this band?
    That’s life isn’t? Some-bands have all the luck!

    By Alex Corvini on Dec 22, 2009

  3. thank you..thank you so very much and merry christmas to everyone at bigo !

    By sluggo on Dec 22, 2009

  4. Thanks for this show, these guys were great. A real treat to hear the Long Ryders doing what they did best, playing live!

    By Bob W. on Dec 23, 2009

  5. Thank you, BigO, for all the music!

    And a happy feast — solstice, christmas, chanukah, kwanzaa, whatever you celebrate.

    By Tom on Dec 24, 2009

  6. Nice post here. Saw the Long Ryders in DC in the early 80s. Another excellent band. Thank you.

    By hfs radio fan on Dec 25, 2009

  7. Anyone have tips on how to properly print the CD artwork at the proper size? Is there a formula, depending on the browser, or what?

    By Dan Aloi on Aug 20, 2010

  8. Hello Dan

    Thanks for your note. See that your print/printer settings (either for browser if you are using one to open the artwork) or, say, Acrobat (to open the pdf file) is set at 100 per cent.

    That should do it.

    By bigozine2 on Aug 20, 2010

  9. Thanks to Big O and everyone else for remembering my youthful days with the Long Ryders. They were golden days, golden years, even.

    I am still making music but now in London as a soloist and sometimes member of the Coal Porters. Check my stuff out on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon downloads and the usual low-paying outlets.

    But again, thanks for remembering my youth with me!

    All my best, Sid Griffin

    By Sid Griffin on Jul 18, 2015

Post a Comment