NYC poet Jim Carroll is best known for his autobiographical novel, The Basketball Diaries, which later became a popular movie as well. But Carroll also fronted the Jim Carroll Band, who released three new wave/punk-influenced albums in the early '80s (1980s Catholic Boy, 1982's Dry Dreams, and 1984's I Write Your Name). Since Carroll's books deal with the seedier and/or sadder side of life (prostitution, homelessness, drug addiction, etc.), it's only logical that his songs would delve into the same subject matter. His semi-hit (and most popular song) "People Who Died" is highlighted here, and finds Carroll pulling no punches as he describes in lurid detail how many of his friends died. Other highlights include "I Want the Angel," "It's Too Late," and "Them," among others. Longtime Carroll fans will want to check out World Without Gravity: The Best of the Jim Carroll Band, since it contains two previously unreleased tracks (the studio outtake "Plain Division" and a live version of "City Drops into the Night"). Although Jim Carroll never achieved mass chart success, he's been able to gain the praises of such high-profile artists as Patti Smith and Keith Richards, no doubt due to his gripping and honest body of work.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato