Signed By: Storm Thorgerson in pencil
Edition: 100 World Wide
Dimensions: Paper 25
Atelier: Coriander Studios London UK from original artwork.
Medium: Silkscreen 22 colour glazed Somerset tub sized paper 410gsm
The Widow is a song by The Mars Volta, from their second album Frances the Mute. The song was first performed at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles during The Mars Volta’s three-night residence closing the tour supporting their debut LP, De-Loused In The Comatorium. At the concert, the song was dedicated to Jeremy Michael Ward, who had died of a drug overdose in May 2003.
It is notably the only short, pop-structured song on Frances The Mute, (although the album-version features a very long and radio-unfriendly electronic outro, taking up half of the track). The edit of “The Widow” cuts the last instrumental part of the regular album track and fades out when the vocals start to be distorted. It is also the only Mars Volta song to chart in the United States.
The song features a brief trumpet part from Flea, after the third chorus. Omar performs a brief solo in the same section. On the vinyl version of the single, “The Widow” is taken from one of the Wiltern performances, and features only acoustic guitar and vocals, with some distortion effects.
The single also contains the 14-minute track Frances the Mute, which was supposed to be the first track on the record of the same name. However, this would have made the CD nearly 90 minutes long, beyond the capacity of a normal CD. The song is supposed to explain the otherwise very obtuse story line of Frances The Mute. It is unusual in that the structure is very compartmentalised, almost in movements. An intro of jangly electronic effects gives way to a loud rock section with vocals. This ends, and is replaced by extremely quiet acoustic guitar and whispered vocals. Then there is a solo. Then there is a distinct instrumental / electronic outro, which features the riff from Sarcophagi that opens and closes the album. Each of these sections has almost nothing in common with any of the previous ones, and only a couple flow into each other like in most Mars Volta songs.
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