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Loud Fast Words

Loud Fast Words

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Soul Asylum Collected Lyrics

Author Dave Pirner

Minnesota Historical Society Press (March 15, 2020)

The collected lyrics of one of the most beloved alternative rockers of the past thirty years, with insights into the creative process behind the songs.


Soul Asylum has been a leading force on the alternative rock scene since the 1980s behind Dave Pirner’s passionate and inspired songwriting. Beginning with his high school band, the Schitz, and then the precursor to Soul Asylum, Loud Fast Rules, Pirner’s songs have run the gamut from punk rock ragers to soulful ballads, from humorous ditties to intense social commentary.

Collected here, for the first time, are the complete lyrics from more than forty years of songwriting by Pirner. From Soul Asylum’s early Twin/Tone releases—Say What You Will, Made to Be Broken, While You Were Out—through the latest, hot-off-the-presses release—Hurry Up and WaitLoud Fast Words offers firsthand commentary from Pirner reflecting on every album and every song from his repertoire. He leads you through the band’s early indie success and the songs that helped catapult Soul Asylum into the major-label mainstream with Hang Time, And the Horse They Rode in On, and the triple-platinum Grave Dancers Union, including the Grammy-winning “Runaway Train.” Two more albums in the 1990s—Let Your Dim Light Shine and Candy from a Stranger—were followed by three full-length records, two live albums, and several compilations leading up to the newest 2020 release. Pirner also digs into the vault and shares his recollections of the 1986 cassette-only release, Time’s Incinerator.

Loud Fast Words takes you inside the mind and creative process of one of America’s great songwriters. Dig into the words and meanings for more than 150 songs from this hugely popular and durable band.

Also of interest:
Hijinx and Hearsay: Scenester Stories from Minnesota's Pop Life
First Avenue: Minnesota's Mainroom
Heyday: 35 Years of Music in Minneapolis
Prince: Before the Rain
Complicated Fun: The Birth of Minneapolis Punk and Indie Rock, 1974-1984
I Live Inside: Memoirs of a Babe in Toyland

MNopedia article: First Avenue & 7th Street Entry

Minnesota History articles: PunkFunkRockPop and Funky Towns

MNHS Collections: PunkFunkRockPop

Author information

Dave Pirner is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, and longtime frontman for the band Soul Asylum. He began writing and performing songs as a teenager in Minneapolis, and Soul Asylum went on to become one of the longest running and most successful bands of the indie/alternative rock world. Pirner has also undertaken several solo pursuits and worked alongside other top musicians, including Victoria Williams, Mike Watt, the Jayhawks, and more. When he's not touring with the band, he splits his time between Minneapolis and New Orleans.


Book Trailer with Dave Pirner
Video: "If I Told You"
Video: "To My Own Devices"
Video: "Never Really Been"
Video: "Lately"

Reviews and news

Star Tribune
Short excerpts in Star Tribune

The Current's Rock and Roll Bookclub


American Songwriter


San Francisco Weekly


Colorado Springs Independent

The Aquarian

San Diego City Beat

Hawai'i Public Radio

Fox 9 (On the 25th anniversary of "Runaway Train".)

  • This title is also available at your favorite e-book vendor.
  • 320 pages
  • 30 b&w photos
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • ISBN: 9781681341729

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