the seven step program

For those unacquainted fans amongst you, I present Seven (Lucky) Easy Steps To Worshipping Sarah :). This is a facetious look at how to become crazy about Sarah's music.
Step 1: Read "Sarah McLachlan For Dummies".

A nice chatty introduction to the world of Sarah, so make yourself a cup of raspberry tea, prop yourself up in your ergonomic chair (if that's possible), and to hell with your ISP charging by the hour, read at your own leisure.

If you're so inclined, you can also read the Discography or the FAQ, although both are of a highly technical nature to non-fans. We'll get there, though. :)

Step 2: Go and buy Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.

You could get the album from Music Boulevard. Or, if you're like most of us, you'll have to exit your Web browser, and run (yes, run) down to the nearest HMV or whatever, and get it. Why did I pick Fumbling as an album you should get first? Well, I think that Fumbling represents Sarah's most mature work to date, and that if you like Fumbling you'll most certainly like Surfacing, Solace or Touch but not necessarily the reverse.

Now, evidently, you'll have to listen to it. Right to the end, even the hidden track (that's the best). If you like it, you can come back here for more info. If you don't... well, too bad.

Step 3: See what others have to say about Sarah

Peer pressure, eh? Now that you're been completely blown away by Sarah's wonderful melodies, haunting vocals and incredible talent ("enough superlatives, don't you think, Julian"), see what others have to say about her. Here are some interviews, articles, and miscellany:

There are many more articles available on-line; just follow this link to see a whole plethora. (Plethora, plethora. I love that word.)

Step 4: Go and buy Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Surfacing and then Solace, in that order.

Why Fumbling Towards Ecstasy before Surfacing? It's a personal thing, somewhat -- I feel that even though Surfacing is good, Fumbling... is better. Fumbling... is the album that brought the most emotional response from me, and it has helped me through some difficult times. Surfacing has yet to do that, but then again, it's just been released and also, I haven't really had any "difficult times" recently. After you get those two albums, I suggest you purchase Touch and then The Freedom Sessions in that order.
Step 5: Subscribe to the Fumbling-Towards-Ecstasy mailing list

Joining FTE is the easiest way to keep up with the latest news and gossip on Sarah, and to chat with fellow Sarah fans. Actually, it's more of the latter at the moment; I'll warn you about the high level of BST (BullShit Threads) right now. But you'll find that Sarah fans are very sociable, and we FTE-ers consider ourselves quite a community, but one that welcomes new members with open arms. For more info, you can see FTE's (Un)Official HomePage.

If you decide that you'd like to subscribe, you can subscribe right here! Just fill out the form, hit Submit, and away you go! Your mailbox will mysteriously increase by 130K daily! :)

Step 6: Start your Sarah picture collection right here!

Admittedly, I don't have an enormous selection of pictures, but enough to get you started. For a very comprehensive selection of pictures, try Bianca Bickford's Sarah Pictures Page.
Step 7: Go see Sarah in concert, if possible.

I say "if possible", because Sarah is planning only a one-year tour to support Surfacing, her newest album. After touring for two and a half years to promote Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Sarah was emotionally and physically drained and doesn't want to do it again. Besides, she is busy organizing Lilith Fair, a womens' music festival that enjoyed great success this summer and will likely be recurring again next year.

I saw Sarah in concert in 1995 at the Molson Ampitheatre and it was awesome. It was quite an emotional experience, and I'm not usually a very emotional person. I also had the opportunity to see her twice on the Lilith Fair tour this summer.

Optional Stuff

All right, all right, some people are going to mail me saying that this stuff isn't OPTIONAL! I suppose it isn't, but I have to weigh the criteria as to what will fit in seven steps. You know, people only have attention spans of a certain length.

  • Purchase Freedom Sessions, Sarah's CD+Multimedia CD-ROM thingamajiggy. In addition to getting various different "studio" versions of songs from Fumbling..., you get an interactive multimedia thing in which Sarah describes her tour, her trip to Cambodia, and stuff like that. There are also sound and video clips from the various songs and videos (like, duh!)
  • Get Sarah's Rarities, B-Sides And Other Stuff collection. It's a collection of covers, b-sides and, like it says, "other stuff" that was only previously available on Sarah's numerous singles, or tribute compilations. Even Peter Howell, the Star's notoriously viliferous pop critic, says "It's a measure of great recording artists when even their experiments and second guesses rate a listen." Plus, like the Freedom Sessions, it's multimedia enhanced, with a full discography and the "I Will Remember You" video. (Personally, I don't like IWRY all that much; I prefer "Full of Grace" and wish they'd make a video for that, but alas...)
  • The FTE Live video. A great piece of work -- many videos of pop musicians are mostly full of energizing hype, but this, like everything else from Sarah, is restrained, honest, and chock full of content.
  • Sarah's video collection 1989-94. It's got all of the videos, and all the versions (American and Canadian). The videos are works of art in themselves -- I have never seen any other music video, by any other artist (ok, maybe Tori Amos) that has footage lasting more than three seconds, but Sarah does it.
  • You could start collecting Sarah singles if you're really into Sarah stuff. I'm sure that's pretty self-evident so I won't go into it. I will try to get permission from Taliesin Athor Govannon to put up his Sarah Singles Rating Chart here.
  • On your way out of this site? You may want to check out these fine web establishments which feature more pages dedicated to Sarah.
  • Get the silly banjo AU from the Freedom Sessions!
Well, that's it! If you made it this far, you've seen it all.

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