Nick Tosches | For the taking

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Avant Garde: Sound Art Spoken Word: Storytelling Moods: Type: Sonic
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For the taking

by Nick Tosches

Spoken word ala Kerouac, Morisson, beat poetry with dreamlike electronica. Spellbinding, dangerous, and different like nothing you have ever heard before. Or ever will again.
Genre: Avant Garde: Sound Art
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Erebos
3:38 $0.99
2. May the Gods without names forgive me
3:16 $0.99
3. Ptolemy II
2:25 $0.99
4. Dante in Ravenna
3:00 $0.99
5. The Dreambook of Artemidorus
3:37 $0.99
6. All of gust and sigh
3:29 $0.99
7. Cybeles Night
2:00 $0.99
8. My kind of lovin
3:29 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Breath from dead places. Gods who dwell in madness. Ancient wisdom and ancient rhythms come back to town in mohair britches. Welcome to Chaldea: place of all dark magic, deep in the lake of the heart; place of resurrection, annihilation, breezes of all that is

Nick Tosches (born 1949) is an American writer, music journalist, novelist, biographer and poet.

After a string of different and unusual jobs, he started writing for music magazines like Creem, Rolling Stone, and Fusion.

His first book, Hellfire, published in 1982, a biography of Jerry Lee Lewis established him as a significant writer on the music scene. His subsequent biographies have covered the lives of Dean Martin, Michele Sindona, Sonny Liston, Emmett Miller (one of the last minstrel singers), and Arnold Rothstein (the man who some say fixed the 1919 World Series, and inspired the character Hyman Roth in The Godfather Part II).

He has also published a collection of poetry, Chaldea, (from which the material for the "For the Taking" album comes.)and the novels: Cut Numbers, Trinities and In the Hand of Dante. The latter is considered, by the author himself, to be his finest work. He has been published in Vanity Fair and Esquire.

His writings have been collected in The Nick Tosches Reader. A must have for Tosches fans.

He is also a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.

Nick Tosches Discography (on CD):

1. Blue Eyes And Exit Wounds, website spoken word and poetry CD with Hubert Selby Jr., 1998

2. Nick & Homer, with Homer Henderson, 1998

3. Fuckthelivingfuckthedead, with Patti Smith, 2001, DSA, France

4. For the taking, Vol I from CHALDEA, with Rick Whitehurst 2006 , USA spoken word to music CD.

Poetry and spoken word by Nick Tosches, Music by Rick Whitehurst. Produced by Nick Tosches and Rick Whitehurst. Copyright 2006.



to write a review


This is a bizarre and cool CD. Frightening spoken word ...
This is a bizarre and unusually cool CD. Frightening spoken word by world renowned author Nick Tosches (Dino, Country, Hellfire, In the hand of Dante)is paired up with weird and morose electronic music by some guy named Whitehurst. This has got to be one of the most insane original albums I have heard this year... there is nothing "usual" about it and I highly recommend a listen. A warning is in order though, this is an adult or mature audience thing as it gets a bit dirty toward the end. NOT FOR KIDS!.

Evan Colson

weird stuff
This was the weirdest stuff I have ever heard. Scared the hell out of my Mom. After the initial shock I found myself playing it over and over in my car for weeks on my way to work. I never heard Nick Tosches before, but have read a few of his books. He seems like a freaky guy... Trippy album.


Fascinating and hallucinogenic... I loved it!


I REALLY like what you did with "Dreambook". Nick Tosches not only brings you am
I REALLY like what you did with "Dreambook". Nick Tosches not only brings you amazing spoken word but his voice has an amazing tone and timbre. What a great collaboration you;ve got going. You definately take me to a dreamtime of post-bop pre-deconstructed rock and roll romanticism where the voices of the elders, Ginsberg-Kerouak-Morrison and like that-those cats have come calling via a digital original resurrection of sunshine and shade. Keep going. Stay on the road. I will keep thinking of hoakey, coffee-house, "beatish" cliches long after I have finished writing this to you... herb .. ..

Donna Lethal (myspace review)

Nick meets Rick = a travelogue of Hades with sound and voice. about as far from
Nick Tosches!...Do I like spoken word?... no. Why? oh ... a few things come to mind, you know, pretentious, didactic, beat-you-over-the-head-with-my-brilliance kind of stuff. on the other hand, there's people's voices I just like to listen to. Not necessarily singing either...Talking, growling, coughing, sighing... Just sounds. So what happens when you take electronica (and I use that word with care, because the word has become generic and flattened and almost meaningless, but think electronica in a baudalamenti/vein and you know what i mean) and a voice that you could just sit around and listen to it talking to you because you want to know what it is he is talking about? That doesn't happen too often, does it? If it does, I want to know where your world is. I'm not talking Charlton Heston reads from the Bible either. Sure you know Nick. You know him from Jerry lee, and from Dino, from Sonny Liston and everything in between. I used to see him on Bleecker street and he always reminded me of that pic of James Dean in rainy times square. I also had the feeling that he was funny... no, seriously... you'd HAVE to be to name a song "Ptolemy II" and sing it in the first person and not be either pompous or have an audience consisting solely of egyptologists. Nick meets Rick = a travelogue of Hades with sound and voice. about as far from "spoken word" as you can get

Olav Bjornssen

For the Taking
Nick Tosches is an American writer, with vast experience from the fields of journalism, biography, fiction and poetry. For the Taking is his fourth CD release, on which Tosches has written the lyrics and do the vocals; while instrumentation is handled by Rick Whitehurst.

Musically this release is a rather odd one. The music is most times close to ambient industrial and ambient techno in style, where mostly dark moods from the synth combined with mostly tribal rhythms form the musical foundation for Tosches, reciting his prose in a very calm, warm dark and likeable voice. Fleshing out the soundscapes and flavouring the mood are sounds, pure samples, electronically enhanced samples and electronic noises.

The music seems to be quite simplistic in style; although there are more than a few moments of complexity on these 8 songs. As for mood and style; it's generally dark, with more than a few macabre moments. The individual elements each track consist of seems to have been added to add to the general mood of the dark and the macabre that is the foundation of most of the lyrics here.

The noises, the moods and the melodies here seems to have been pulled from some sort of terrifying nightmare; albeit a poetic one. There are no horrors or atrocities here, but when you hear a calm voice speaking words like "when I slew and severed into many / our son" over a musical landscape of tribal-inspired rhythms, sampled screams and generally dark and disturbing music; an intense feeling of uneasiness will be the result in most listeners minds. And much of this release is kind of similar to that; more or less slightly disturbing words; poetic in form and style; recited over a dark, bleak likewise disturbing musical framework.

Clearly not a release that will top the Billboard chart; but a potential gem in the CD collections of people that find the macabre and the dark fascinating - fans of Lovecraft and the darker side of Edgar Allan Poe should be amongst those that'll be intrigued by this release.

My rating: 90/100


Nick Tosches on disc
Nick Tosches on disc

It began with the sale of an old rarity and ended with the making of a future one. Vinyl collector and musician Rick Whitehurst one day found an old vinyl single, "I'm a Lover", by heavyweight boxer Sonny Liston, recorded a few days before Liston's death and until then mostly known by rumour only.

"I bought the single", Whitehurst says. "But when I started investigating it turned out that there weren't any known history about the recording or how it came to be. Actually, nothing at all was known, apart from a slight suggestion in Nick Tosches biography "The Devil and Sonny Liston". So I checked with Tosches. It turned out that he had been obsessed with getting hold of this recording."

The result was that the legendary rock journalist and writer Nick Tosches purchased "I'm a Lover", and that Rick Whitehurst convinced him to record an album, "For the Taking Volume I". What it was really about was that Whitehurst was allowed to use previously recorded spoken words performances the writer had done from his poetry collection "Chaldea and I Dig Girls".

Tosches himself, known amongst other releases for his Jerry Lee Lewis biography "Hellfire" (often regarded as the best rock biography ever written), the Dean Martin book "Dino", the novels "Cat Numbers" and "In the Hands of Dante" as well as loads of classic rock journalistic work in magazines such as Creem and Rolling Stone, says he really didn't have much to do with the final result.

"He asked, and I told him that he could do what he wanted", Tosches explains in an e-mail. "The recordings already existed, I made them with Hubert Selby Jr. many years ago".

"The recordings scared the living daylights out of me. The poems were totally psycho! But also filled with insight. The music had to resonate to that. I worked at one poem at a time and experimented with it, sometimes adding baby cries, screams and similar stuff, sometimes adding sampled violins", Whitehurst says. "Nick seemed to like the end result, bit I don't really know. He might just have been polite."

If any more albums will be made is unclear, but you shouldn't miss out on "For the Taking Volume 1". Tosches poetry actually becomes even more interesting and nightmarish when you listen to him reading them on this release.

Klas Ericson