An album Maximum Rock 'N' Roll deemed not punk enough to review, Unwound's 1994 sophomore effort was a lethal depth charge aimed at major label grunge and independent hardcore alike. From the off-kilter, vertiginous rhythm of "Entirely Different Matters" to the neck-snapping velocity of "What Was Wound" to the relentless pounding at the end of "All Souls Day," New Plastic Ideas is the Sonic Youth-loving older sister to Fake Train's post-punk-obsessed little brother.
Vision Songs Vol. 1 (1984) is the LARAAJI album like no other, located at the intersection of new age and gospel. It is both his outlier and magnum opus, the feel-good DIY tape of the century.Discovered busking in Washington Square Park by Brian Eno in the late 70s, engagement with the eternal flow has led Laraaji to, seemingly by magic, emerge as the most beloved avatar of the unstoppable new age music revival of recent years.Now Vision Songs rewrites Laraaji's musical history. Vision Songs is literally a revelation -- of a master songwriter whose unbelievably catchy best compositions such as "We Shall Be Lifted", "All Of A Sudden", and "Is This Clear?" belong in any great American songbook.Casio synth jams recorded at spiritual retreat guest rooms and a tiny bedroom on the Upper West Side, lysergically-spectacular anthems for a continually arriving new moment, "channeled," as Laraaji states in the album's eloquent liner notes, "from the sky," previously available in an edition of 100 cassettes sold at yoga retreats and on the streets of New York City, Vision Songs is humbly offered on vinyl, CD, and streaming for the very first time.
Experience the punishing sonic origins of a punk icon. Collected here for the first time, and skillfully remastered from original board tapes, demos, and session masters, this collection is an authoritative chronicling of the wellspring and maturation of Grant Hart, Greg Norton and Bob Mould - three Minneapolis teenagers who'd go on to become the most heralded trio of the American punk underground. Follow the HĂĽskers to their earliest gigs in 1979, through extensive road dog touring, and to the start of their partnership with West Coast tastemaker SST in 1983.
This primitive stage in the fabled career of HĂĽsker DĂĽ is presented as a deluxe box set and packaged with a hardbound book crammed full of never before seen photos, flyers, and a sprawling essay with participation from the band. Spread across four LPs or three CDs, 47 of the 69 songs compiled here are previously unissued. Also included are Statues/Amusement, In A Free Land, Everything Falls Apart, and an alternate recording of the Land Speed Record set.
Known by genre aficionados as one of the greatest singers and most riveting stage presences in soul music, Jackie Shane has remained largely unknown outside Toronto, where her career briefly flowered in the 1960s. Beyond her unmistakable gift of the gab, Shane is a pioneer of transgender rights, born in a male body but unabashedly living her entire life as a woman at a time when to do so seemed unthinkable. Any Other Way is the first artist-approved collection of Ms. Shane's work, collecting all six of her 45s and every highlight from the legendary 1967 live sessions at the Sapphire Tavern, including three mind blowing, previously-unreleased tracks. Rob Bowman's 20,000 word essay is Jackie's first communication with the public in nearly half a century, telling for the first time ever Jackie Shane's story in her own words.
Lion- and the mean ecstasy of "You’ve Got A Woman," the B-side to their sole release - comprise a rare burst of psychedelic-Western soul from two names best known for Dutch progressive rock and new wave. Drummer Peter de Leeuwe, departing from the symphonic leanings of Dutch prog-fixtures Ekseption, penned it in 1975, layering syncopated explosions of hand-claps, vibraslap and slick drumwork with neutron-star density, withsuper-producer Hans van Hemert nearly bursting Glenn Robles' vocals through the fore. The "Shoes Subtle Edit" provides exactly that, gently teasing the organ- and requintohinted contours of the track to better suit the treasure within. Chicago-based septet Whitney have brought some attention to "You’ve Got A Woman" with a recent cover, and the faith with which they recreate much of the original instrumentation proves the extent of Lion's accomplishment.
Recorded in 1971 by a 27-year-old pastor and an after school program choir, Like A Ship is a stirring and powerful meditation on the wayward aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement. Tracked with the help of Chess/Cadet maestros Gene Barge, Phil Upchurch, and Richard Evans, the album is a mix of euphoric gospel and Mayfield-esque political soul, with sleigh bells, hand claps, and jazzy piano stabs. Sampled by T.I., Kanye, and Khaled, Barrett created a rapturous, crossover gospel classic that’s still wildly relevant.
As the hippie movement hurdled towards its emanate demise, bad vibes infiltrated the rock world. Tainted LSD, loud motorcycles, and a series of brutal deaths spawned inspiration for guitar-wielding teenagers across the globe. Implementing deafening fuzz and satanic screams to create their proto-metal monstrosities, short-lived stoner bands pressed their lysergic experiments in microscopic quantities before blacking out entirely. Lifted from the ashes of the acid rock hell fire are 18 distorted tales of dope fiends, pill poppers, and the baddest of trips.
Deluxe 2LP comes housed in a blacklight poster-style jacket, replete with flocking and lysergic neon. 24 pages documenting the creeping existential dread of the hard rock underground are tucked into the gatefold pocket alongside two dead dinosaur-heavy LPs. Compact disc is packaged in standard Numero slipcase, with digipak and 40-page book, limited to 2000 copies.
The Numero Group's dive into the deep end of America's private press continues. Having battled the witches and wizards of Darkscorch, the outlaws of Cosmic Americana, and traveled alongside Ladies From the Canyon and their Lonesome Heroes, it's time to take it easy.
With pop music's volume knob adjusted for deflation in the early '70s, softness begat smoothness. Crewmen arrived from the worlds of jazz, folk, rock, and soul, all peddling a product that was sincere, leisurely, and lofty. A sound that was buoyant, crisp, defined. Sometimes classified as West Coast - and, later, Yacht Rock - the compass points of our Private Yacht expedition are the blue-eyed harmonies of Hall and Oates, the cocaine-dusted Fender Rhodes of Michael McDonald, and the combover strums of James Taylor. Here, at the glassy apex of rock's softer side, 20 strong swimmers are gathered together. An album for both relaxation and reflection, where listeners can enjoy the present, a cool breeze, and a taste of the good life.
Before Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Lookout Records put the East Bay's burgeoning punk scene on the map, a trio of Berkeley kids were reinventing the genre with music that was melodic but full of feedback, and a singer who sounded like he gargled glass. Crimpshrine's debut EP was Lookout's fourth release, followed by an album, a second EP, and a slew of split singles and compilation tracks before the band imploded in 1989 after a ridiculous two-and-a-half-month tour in a Ford Pinto hatchback. Formed around teenage binary stars Jeff Ott and Aaron Cometbus Crimpshrine went through a series of lineups in their four-year run, utilizing future Tilt and Go Sailor bassists Pete Rypins and Paul Curran, and briefly including second guitarist Idon Bryant. Not overtly political, their fiery brand of introspective punk touched on homelessness, teenage pregnancy, drug use, friendship, isolation, and a grimy sort of romance. Two collections have emerged posthumously: 1992's Duct Tape Soup and 1998's The Sound Of A New World Being Born, both falling out of print in 2002. Ott went on to form Fifteen and author two books; Cometbus founded Pinhead Gunpowder with Billie Joe Armstrong and continues to edit his long-running fanzine.
Before Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Lookout Records put the East Bay's burgeoning punk scene on the map, a trio of Berkeley kids were reinventing the genre with music that was melodic but full of feedback, and a singer who sounded like he gargled glass. Crimpshrine's debut EP was Lookout's fourth release, followed by an album, a second EP, and a slew of split singles and compilation tracks before the band imploded in 1989 after a ridiculous two-and-a-half-month tour in a Ford Pinto hatchback. Formed around teenage binary stars Jeff Ott and Aaron Cometbus, Crimpshrine went through a series of lineups in their four-year run, utilizing future Tilt and Go Sailor bassists Pete Rypins and Paul Curran, and briefly including second guitarist Idon Bryant. Not overtly political, their fiery brand of introspective punk touched on homelessness, teenage pregnancy, drug use, friendship, isolation, and a grimy sort of romance. Two collections have emerged posthumously: 1992's Duct Tape Soup and 1998's The Sound Of A New World Being Born, both falling out of print in 2002. Ott went on to form Fifteen and author two books; Cometbus founded Pinhead Gunpowder with Billie Joe Armstrong and continues to edit his long-running fanzine.
Pressed in a quantity of 500 and available to Bay Area stores only is the Berkeley Sampler, a vinyl reissue of the original Cometbus-issued 1987 cassette. The A-Side is Crimpshrine's first demo, while the B-side is the Rosetta Stone of Berkeley punk, with members of Operation Ivy, Samiam, Rancid, Tilt, and Wynona Riders in their earlier, teenage bands.
Biff! A violin bow scrapes across the strings of a guitarBang! The hiss of a an aerosol can releases paint on to canvasPow! As the violin bow pierces the canvas.
Presented here for the first time are the complete Creation studio recordings. All 42 tracks (CD version) have been remastered from the original tapes by Shel Talmy, and given fresh stereo mixes where previously unavailable. New essays by Dean Rudland and Alec Palao tell the band's story and dive into their complete studio sessions. Scores of previously unpublished photographs adorn the accompanying 80 page hard bound book (CD version). We've rounded the whole package out with four tracks by pre-Creation freakbeat quartet the Mark Four, making Action Painting the definitive collection of this legendary UK band.
Reproduction of The Creation's ripping debut single "Making Time," with a previously unissued instrumental version. Remastered by producer Shel Talmy (The Who, The Kinks, The Easybeats) from the original analog tapes. Housed in a stock Numero sleeve, with UK-style break away spindle.
Nobody - and I do mean nobody - has a funkier band than Syl Johnson! His famous Chicago outfit cooks up such powerful rhythms that there isn't an R&B band in all the land that can come close to touching them. When Syl's out front in the spotlight, delivering his dynamic vocals while his funky, funky band lets loose with their unstoppable rhythms, I defy anybody with two working ears not to head straight to the dancefloor.
Will Syl Johnson ever run out of soul? No way, baby. He's got a bottomless supply! Syl's inspiring voice and his mighty band, the Pieces of Peace, are a match made in soul heaven. Hit songs "One Way Ticket To Nowhere" and "Get Ready" are just two of the highlights from this LP, adding to his sky high stash of smashes. They're joined by a super-funky "Annie Got Hot Pants Power," the uplifting "We Do It Together," and "Thank You Baby," and revivals of Jackie Wilson's "That's Why," and the Temptations' "The Way You Do The Things You Do," transformed so completely that you'd swear they were written specifically for Syl.
Having anthologized his '60s songbook with 1976's overdue long-player Positive-Negative, Grand Rapids, Michigan's Tommy McGee was eager to place something more modern into the marketplace. Brass at Brunswick and MCA failed to hear a hit in McGee's sultry-yet-assured delivery of "Now That I Have You." Unable to find a home for the romantic anthem, McGee issued his 2-step masterpiece on his own TMG Records in 1981. McGee would revisit the composition later in the decade, dressing the tune with drum machines and synthesizers for a run of 12-inch singles. However, this 45-only version from 1976 captures the progressive soul stepper at its most organic.
By 1970, the folk revival had all but ended. Gone were the heady days of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" and "If I Had A Hammer." Hootenanny had been cancelled. Broadside was out, Rolling Stone in. Richard FariĂ±a was dead; Bob Dylan had plugged in. Paths paved by Joan Baez and Judy Collins had led a younger, more introspective generation of songwriters into the woods, while the ethos forged in weather-beaten hills and tempered on the lower east side of Manhattan was being reborn in the canyons of California, as songs for seagulls crafted in Joni Mitchell's visage. Culled from beyond the crop of crit-revisionist darlings Linda Perhacs, Judee Sill, or Vashti Bunyan, Ladies From The Canyon examines the world of private folk via the works of 15 unlikely heroines who sang beneath the infrastructure of the music business, playing to coffeehouse chatter and church picnic silence. Each of these Wayfaring Strangers walk in the handmade aesthetic of lyrics scribbled into faded denim, of delicate movements captured and released.
Joseph Washington Jr.'s 1983 holiday LP puts a soulful, funky, suave ribbon on nine frosty Christmas cuts. In that season of music's traditional descent into threadbare schmaltz, Merry Christmas to You restores joy and wonder to a blizzard of bland. Under this tree, find undiscovered classics for our cynical age: the buoyant "Jesus’ Birthday," the hot and bothered soul of "Merry Christmas," the ridiculously catchy wallet-opener "Shopping." The world of records produces just a precious few yuletide keepers: Spector's A Christmas Gift for You; Fahey's The New Possibility; Guaraldi's indelible Charlie Brown Christmas. Down another nog and file Joseph Washington Jr. comfortably next to those.
The self-proclaimed "most sampled artist ever," Syl finally gets his due on this 4CD box covering his most productive period, 1959 through 1972. Collected for the first time are all of Syl's Federal, Twinight, Zachron, Special Agent, Cha Cha, and TMP-Ting 45s, plus period cuts from his Japan-only LP Goodie Goodie Good Times, and a murderer's grip of previously unreleased and little-heard out-takes. Lovingly remastered from the original source tapes, these 81 songs never sounded sharper, clearer, or funkier. And historian Bill Dahl's comprehensive track-by-track annotations bring deep-research backstory to every one. Our handsomely detailed and artfully crafted 40 page, 12" x 12" booklet also features a 13,000-word biography, scores of unpublished photos, a must-read index covering the history of every Syl-sampling artist (paid-up or otherwise), and the most complete and accurate discography you're likely to find in this universe.
Everybody's still talking about the good ol' days! A rough and rugged collection of Numero Group classics that have inspired swarms of killer beats. A head nod to the sounds of Shaolin, the thirteen chambers of Shanghai'd Soul have led a generation of lyrical chefs and production geniuses to compose some of their most ominous hip-hop. Bound by heavy drums, moody chords, and haunting melodies, Gods and Earths alike will appreciate the raw funk and smoother-than-a-Lexus soul that come together like Voltron on this special compilation.
From his studio in central Bobo-Dioulasso, photographer Sory SanlĂ© documented a nation's transformation from colonial foothold to cosmopolitan oasis. Bobo Yeye: Belle Epoque in Upper Volta provides an intimate look into the landlocked nation's pop culture explosion of the 1970s. A melange of community elders and emboldened youth spill from the brightly lit confines of SanlĂ©'s Volta Photo into the dimly lit nightclubs of Upper Volta's cultural capital. Accompanying this hardbound monograph are dozens of rare and evocative recordings spread over three discs by Bobo-Dioulasso's musical titans: Volta Jazz, Dafra Star, Echo Del Africa, and Les Imbattables LĂ©opards.
Steeped in Caribbean flavor and seasoned with a fistful of hand-percussion, "Yamar" was initially sidelined from 2009's Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama Goombay for feeling less like cargo than an authentic piece of pan-Americana. Phish fans may recognize this previously unattainable A-side as it as been a staple in their setlists since the late '80s, imported by bassist Mike Gordon who heard the Mustangs performing it in a Bahamian hotel. Backed with the sweltering "Words To My Song," this doubler-sider is a must for any sea side or pool side DJ.
A sinewy guitar, a throbbing bass, and a chorus of haunting females oohs... Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label started with one unrelenting pleader of a track:'Them Two's "Am I A Good Man." Since its 2006 rerelease, "Am I A Good Man" has appeared in dozens of films and television shows and has been sampled by the likes of Ghostface Killah and 50 Cent. Ten years later, this deep soul classic from Miami returns to its original format with it's long-vaulted B-side "Love Has Taken Wings" on the reverse. Both songs were co-written by Clarence "Blowfly" Reid and produced by Liberty Citywunderkinds Johnny Pearsall and Willie Clarke.
Teeming with the energy and grit of pre-Giuliani Manhattan, Blonde Redhead's long out-of-print early recordings have finally crawled their way out of the '90s basement thanks to Numero Group who will issue the set on Sept. 30. Weighing in at 37 tracks, Masculin FĂ©minin compiles the band's first two albums for Steve Shelley's Smells Like Records (self-titled and La Mia Via Violenta), their period singles, extant demos, and radio performances across four LPs or two CDs. Dozens of previously unpublished photographs illustrate two lengthy essays on this essential New York band's formative years.
This is the latest installment in Numero Group's 200 Line series which has also included releases from Unwound, Bedhead, Codeine, White Zombie and The Scientists.
The formula was simple: marry bubblegum and soul to the absolute sincerity of an enthusiastic child, cross your fingers and pray for airplay. But while the youthful sums of that formula may have grown up and walked away from their illusions of stardom, their permanent records remain.
A decade removed from our acclaimed Home Schooled compilation comes a fresh batch of talent show titans. With enterprising parents, neighbors, and teachers turning play dates into recording dates, groups like Magical Connection, Little Man and the Inquires, and Five Ounces of Soul emulated the Jacksons, who'd made grade-school stardom appear easy as ABC. Afterschool Special: The 123s Of Kid Soul contains 19 tiny tunes ranging from bilingual D.A.R.E. anthem, to James Brown bio, to young love and life beyond the playground.
With a sound that was swampy, primal and modern-urban all at once - as much in the tradition of rock n' roll and punk rock as it was a rejection of those things, the Scientists' formula was as universal as it was specific to their own experience. The themes of getting wasted, driving around in hotted-up cars, being trapped in crap jobs, and paranoia were their subject matter. Machine throb bass and drums with jagged car-wreck guitars were their modus operandi. Fitting into no place or time they spurned all but the most rudimentary and elemental of rock structures to create a sound all their own.
"The Scientists proved to me that rock 'n' roll could be played by gentlemen in fine silk shirts half unbuttoned and still be dirty, cool and real." —Thurston Moore
"They wrote fantastic singles and looked like they just crawled out of the ooze. What more could you ask for?" —Warren Ellis
"The Scientists turned my head around and made a man out of me! They grew hair on my palms and made my socks stink!" —Jon Spencer
Hear the document of one man's passion crossing over into obsession. Chicago radio disc jockey and soul archivist Bob Abrahamian was deeply devoted to celebrating and documenting unknown Chicagoland group harmony music. Upon his untimely passing in 2014, he left behind hundreds of radio programs and a daunting collection of 35,000 carefully-selected 45s. Our collection borrows its title from Abrahamian's long-running and acclaimed WHPK radio show, and it spins a tale that's cautionary, inspiring, and set to the sounds of the impossible-to-find tracks that made Bob Abrahamian's on-air playlist and animated the radio programs that were his life's work. Collected here are 12 artists (16 on the CD) featured on Sitting In The Park, in their own words and through the lens of our friend Bob.
A decade into its limitless ambitions, Numero's flagship Eccentric Soul series is effectively remapping the American soul diaspora. Each compilation explores, in exacting detail, another US city's smallest time hooks and would-be world beaters tossed into the glutted big-hole record sea of the 1960s and '70s. In Eccentric Soul's alternate universe are motley and mishandled Motowns beyond number, and the unforgettable records that could have, and should have, and never did. Find their stories here, retold for the first time.