Elliot Schneider | Surreal Survivor

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Rock: 60's Rock Rock: Classic Rock Moods: Mood: Quirky
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Surreal Survivor

by Elliot Schneider

Salon.com’s renowned columnist Cary Tennis reviewed Elliot Schneider: "Elliot Schneider’s gold lame shirt and spandex pants, his Jagger moves and Elvis Costello delivery, his frizzy hair and his Bob Dylan nose make it impossible to classify him..."
Genre: Rock: 60's Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Surreal Survivor
3:35 $0.99
2. Outside-Inside Man
5:22 $0.99
3. Wise Men Never Say
3:59 $0.99
4. Double Amnesia
4:43 $0.99
5. Children of the Freeway
3:15 $0.99
6. Ready and Willing (acoustic version with cello)
4:45 $0.99
7. Protection
3:35 $0.99
8. Splendid-I'm Suspended
2:51 $0.99
9. When The Party's Over
4:18 $0.99
10. Old Folks (Disagree)
3:07 $0.99
11. Any Angel Can Have Me
1:59 $0.99
12. Rubber Band
5:41 $0.99
13. Queen Of Adventure
4:09 $0.99
14. Interaction
2:55 $0.99
15. Ready and Willing (original version)
9:00 $0.99
16. Love Never Lasts
3:15 $0.99
17. Airmail Messiah
3:25 $0.99
18. The Carousel Song
3:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Better a fool than aloof." -Elliot Schneider


We’re humans.
We destroy anything we don’t understand.
Since we don’t understand the universe,
We’re in trouble.

--Elliot Schneider

Salon.com’s renowned columnist Cary Tennis reviews Elliot Schneider

Review: Elliot Schneider & The Banned V.I.S. Club - April 1986

Elliot Schneider’s gold lame shirt and spandex pants, his Jagger moves and Elvis Costello delivery, his frizzy hair and his Bob Dylan nose make it impossible to classify him, categorize him, deny, defy or crucify him. Everything about him invites skepticism; you know right off he’s either a total flake or a total genius.

His songwriting runs from the straight rocking of “Splendid- I’m Suspended,” about a rebellious high school troublemaker, to the spine-chillingly touching ballad “ Ready and Willing,” a declaration of explosive love that Costello would have been proud to write.

Schneider’s surrounded himself with players who take his direction with alertness and conviction; when he leaps they soar with him, and when he drops to his knees their playing follows him down. If he wasn’t so professional his acrobatics would seem foolish, dated and juvenile, but instead his flips, splits and windmills punctuate the music, and he uses them to conduct the Banned. It’s exciting to see not just a frontman, but a genuine bandleader in action.

I especially enjoyed it when Eric, The Banned’s teenage ace drummer, started soloing on “Satisfaction” and couldn’t stop; Eric’s got the power and madness of a Keith Moon and a precision Moon would have paid money for. As the solo hammered on and on, Schneider eventually gave up trying to bring the band back into the song, instead choosing to stand in the shadows like a jazzman listening to one of his players reach new heights.

The true test of a great showman and a great band is how you feel after the show. I gave Schneider the ultimate test--I was fighting with my girlfriend when we walked in, and by the time the first song was over we were happy again. Schneider deserves to be widely heard and acknowledged.

Cary Tennis Calendar Magazine, April 1986

“Your music sounds really great—still a rock and roll original!”
Jim Campilongo
Dazzling experimental twang/rock guitarist
Also plays in “The Little Willies” with Norah Jones

This CD contains the original version of ‘Ready And Willing’ right after it was written. This is the version John Hammond, Sr. and his assistant Mikie Harris heard and really loved. (So did Jorma Kaukonen of the Jefferson Airplane and beyond.) When Cary Tennis reviewed me and raves about this song, my live performance he saw was basically this version with the fourth verse dropped. Also appearing on the album is the abridged acoustical version with the cellist Frederick Zlokin (who won a world competition in Zurich in the 1970s.) We just recorded it live in his living room rather casually.

If it weren’t for Chris Halaby, who I met through the great visionary, John Hammond, many of my songs wouldn’t be here today. Working with Chris was one of the great joys of my life. Christian Halaby is the only person I know who both spoke to President John F. Kennedy as a child (his father was the head of the FAA) and also pitched a no-hitter in high school in a Zen state of meditation. (John Hammond discovered Billie Holliday, Benny Goodman, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.)

(In 1970 during an earlier folk period, I played original songs for Les Paul in his house in Mahwah, New Jersey. He wanted to produce my song, ‘The First Day Of Summer’. Alas I was too nuts at the time to take him up on it. Just put it down to the Sixties.)

Zanily Yours, Elliot Schneider



to write a review

Stephen Cann

Surreal Survivor
My cousin recommended this album to me, and when I popped it into my car CD player I had my own surreal experience. It was as though I had tuned in to the greatest hits channel of another universe. Every song brought a smile to my face. There was a hint of The Rolling Stones, wait that's The Cars, no Elvis Costello--The Police??--no, it was all Elliot Schneider!!

Even his lyrics are really funny or poignant, or both. He lists some of the above named artists as his influences--but maybe in an alternate universe he is their influences. Hmmmm. Anyway, I'm anxiously awaiting a next album.

And I'm going to ask my cousin for more tips.


Can't get enough of Elliot...
WOW!! I am in love! I'm beginning to wonder if you are, in fact, a true genius…. I've been singing and dancing to your music all week...played it for some friends who also fell in love. The harmonies on "Protection" are fab, your vocals are so unique...."When the Party's Over" is great...the electric version of "Ready and Willing" almost made me cry...Some tunes remind me of old Stones, the CD is punky, sweet, angry, happy and sexy all at the same time....and yeah, the pics are great. My faves have to be Surreal and Double Amnesia, but I love them all. Rubber Band could have been an old Stones blues song, Any Angel could have been the Beach Boys. Protection is a gem....besides the obvious, (you); the band is terrific. This is my new favorite CD.

It is amazing--from the first kickass notes of Surreal Survivor to the ethereal Carousel Song, these are 18 brilliant, timeless songs that won my heart.

Buy this CD, and buy one for everyone you've ever met that you really like.

Claudia Gaustad

Got to have this music!
So cool, so profound, and a groovy sound!
Get it now while it's still available!

Jim Campilongo

still a rock and roll original!
Hi--I'm Elliot and I'm adding on this review I was proud to receive...
“Your music sounds really great—still a rock and roll original!”
Jim Campilongo
Dazzling experimental twang/rock guitarist
Also plays in “The Little Willies” with Norah Jones

June filan

I Love it!
Everything about this album is great! The vocals are well delivered and the Melodies are captivating. A taste of the blues and rock wrapped in a style all his own.. What more do you need? Buy it you'll love it!!

Carmen Ford

This is a must buy CD! Elliot Schneider is a wellspring of musical talent. Let all who are thirsty come to drink of this hard rocking, soul stretching magical music. I was lucky enough to catch a live performance of this artist and didn’t sleep for two days. This guy is ready to break into the stratosphere so turn your friends onto this now and they will be forever grateful. I almost envy those who haven’t heard it yet, you are in for the rarest taste of musical artistry in the pure texture of his voice and lyrics. Get ready to dance and melt. Intoxicating!

James Penzavecchia

Surreal Survivor
I first saw Elliot Schneider perform at CBGB's. Since then,I've heard others say, Schneider reminds me of The Smiths, Elvis Costello, Phil Collins, Tom Petty (before Feefalling), Jagger. . . Sure--you may hear elements of other artists in his new CD. But, Elliot Schneider has been working out of the limelight for too many years, not to be his own unique--often excitingly bizarre--artist, with a great gift for melody and substantive lyrics. Roll down the car windows, turn the volume up. God, the guy is good.