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Social Studies (Loudon Wainwright III album)

Social Studies is a studio album by Loudon Wainwright III, released in 1999. The album comprises various topical and satirical songs, originally produced for National Public Radio and based upon then-current issues and events, such as the Tonya Harding scandal, the O. J. Simpson murder trial, the lead-up to Y2K, and controversies surrounding comments made by former Republican U.S. Senator Jesse Helms.

Social Studies
Studio album by
GenreFolk, satire
ProducerJoe Boyd, John Wood
Loudon Wainwright III chronology
BBC Sessions
Social Studies
Last Man on Earth
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau(1-star Honorable Mention) link
Rolling Stone3/5 stars link

Regarding the album's topical nature, Wainwright notes: "It's something that no-one does anymore; write songs about current events. When I was young there were a lot of topical songwriters around; maybe folk music had more impact on culture back then. I see these songs as a kind of musical journalism. My father was a journalist, for Life magazine, and I've definitely inherited something of that approach."[1]

Track listingEdit

All tracks composed by Loudon Wainwright III

  1. "What Gives" – 3:29
  2. "Tonya's Twirls" – 3:37
  3. "New Street People" – 2:50
  4. "Carmine Street" – 2:57
  5. "O.J." – 3:13
  6. "Leap Of Faith" – 2:53
  7. "Conspiracies" – 2:17
  8. "Christmas Morning" – 3:36
  9. "Y2K" – 6:13
  10. "Number One" – 3:39
  11. "Bad Man" – 3:21
  12. "Inaugural Blues" – 3:19
  13. "Our Boy Bill" – 3:11
  14. "Jesse Don't Like It" – 4:06
  15. "Pretty Good Day" – 4:19


Release historyEdit

  • CD: Hannibal HNCD 1442


  1. ^ "Loudon Wainwright III". 1999-06-20. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2012-01-12. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)