No singer-songwriter has ever stared at himself in the mirror with quite the intense honesty displayed by Loudon Wainwright III throughout his career, but his first two albums, cut for Atlantic in 1970 and 1971, respectively, really bare the soul to a degree perhaps only rivaled by John Lennon’s first solo album with the Plastic Ono Band. Lust, suicidal feelings, fear of parenthood; all are grist for Loudon’s songwriting mill—with such fearless introspection, little wonder he later became an acclaimed actor. But if this all sounds like a tedious wallow, it’s not, for Wainwright is also probably the funniest singer-songwriter ever (Sample rhyming couplet: “And a baby can spot your shtick/All the coochy coochy coo is a lot of poo poo when you spread it on that thick”). This Real Gone release finally brings to retail the original limited edition Rhino Handmade set that was only available online, and then only for a heartbeat before it sold out, complete with bonus track (“Drinking Song”). These 24 tracks represent Loudon’s complete Atlantic recordings…indispensable stuff!