Steve Wynn has always been a fan of live studio (or nearly enough) recordings; some of them include the self-titled Dream Syndicate EP from 1982, the Danny and Dusty album The Lost Weekend (recorded in 1984 with Green on Red's Dan Stuart) and, less successfully, the first album by Gutterball. The 11 songs on Take Your Flunky and Dangle are outtakes from similarly unadorned sessions, recorded between 1987 (an acoustic quartet version of "The Woodshed Song" recorded at a radio station while Wynn was still in the Dream Syndicate) and 1993. The songs, largely demos of unused songs that were recorded during the sessions for 1994's Fluorescent with some earlier material added, mostly aren't top-drawer material, though the opening "Animation" is one of Wynn's finest songs, a '60s-influenced exercise in pure pop every bit as catchy as "Carolyn" or "Tuesday." That said, rough-edged arrangements and stripped-down production almost always enhance Wynn's music rather than detract from it (the Dream Syndicate's Medicine Show would have been a much better album had Sandy Pearlman not gone with the glossy big-guitar sound), and there are no outright stinkers on the disc. Take Your Flunky and Dangle is strictly for fans, but it's not unessential. Originally released in a limited edition on the German label Return to Sender, Take Your Flunky and Dangle was reissued by Innerstate records in 1998.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason