Robbie Basho was one of the big three American acoustic guitar innovators, John Fahey and Leo Kottke being the other two. Basho was the least commercially successful of the three, but his influence and reputation has steadily grown since his untimely death in 1986 at the age of 45. And with good reason; for Basho’s deeply spiritual approach, intellectual rigor, and formal explorations (among his goals was the creation of a raga system for American music), present a deeply compelling, multi-faceted artist. Basho was actually a college friend of John Fahey, and his early recordings (like Kottke’s) were for Fahey’s Takoma label. Following Fahey ‘s move to Vanguard, Basho followed suit, and released Voice of the Eagle and Zarthus for the label in 1972 and 1974, respectively (his most commercially successful records were made for the Windham Hill label later in the decade). Flash forward to 2009: Vanguard contacted guitarist (and long-time Basho champion) Glenn Jones with the intriguing news that an unreleased Robbie Basho album session had recently been found, on a tape that, alas, lacked any real documentation. It was only 12 years later, when Jones, in the process of researching the liner notes for this release, discovered the truth: that not just the mysterious tape but both Voice of the Eagle and Zarthus were the result of one marathon session in 1971 or 1972 recorded in New York City by Vanguard staff engineer Jeffrey Zaraya. Songs of the Great Mystery—The Lost Vanguard Sessions, then, takes its place as the third of the triumvirat of albums Basho recorded for the label, and it is their equal in every way, exploring, in particular, some of the same Native American themes found on Voice of the Eagle. Some of the tunes showed up on later albums in much different forms; 1978’s Visions of the Country featured “A Day in the Life of Lemuria” (re-titled “Leaf in the Wind”) and “Night Way,” and “Laughing Thunder, Crawling Thunder” went through various permutations before appearing on 1981’s Rainbow Thunder as “Crashing Thunder.” But for Basho fans, the originals will probably steal the show, particularly “Song of the Great Mystery,” which, unlike some of the songs here that showcase Basho’s singing and piano-playing, brings to the fore his amazing six-string guitar technique and touch. Vanguard briefly put these sessions up digitally when they were located, but Real Gone Music’s release represents the first time they have come out in any physical form (and the alternate take of “A Day in the Life of Lemuria,” also discovered by Jones, has never been heard anywhere). Featuring track-by-track annotation, rare photos (including Basho’s own handwritten notes found in the tape box), and remastering by Mike Milchner of SonicVision, Songs of the Great Mystery—The Lost Vanguard Sessions is a timely release heralding the release of a new documentary and an upcoming Basho box set. Available on a double-LP set pressed in clear vinyl limited to 1000 copies at Gotta Groove Records and housed inside a gatefold jacket. A great American artist, finally getting his due!
In Stock March 17, 2020
It was indeed a miracle that this San Francisco outfit returned to action after a hiatus of about five years with their line-up largely intact’their debut, self-titled 1967 album on the Kama Sutra label had scored the first hit to emerge from the Bay Area psychedelic scene with ‘Hello, Hello,’ but the band broke up within a year of its release. And those familiar with the groupa only from its Lovin’ Spoonful-esque hit (Sopwith Camel not only shared a label but also producer Eric Jacobsen with the Spoonful) might well have concluded that they had indeed gone to the moon (or somewhere else celestial) in the interim, for the 1973 Reprise release The Miraculous Hump Returns from the Moon was, ahem, light years ahead of its predecessor with respect to concept, scope, and musical sophistication. Here was a record that, as a 2014 appreciation in The Guardian put it, ‘sounds like it was recorded about a week ago…Taking in elements of FM schmaltz, prog-rock, jazz, showtunes, Krautrock and Indian classical music, this is an album that overflows with ideas, but never overwhelms.’ To that point, parts of this remind us of Tame Impala or even Stereolab with a self-referential, ironic edge that lends some tang to the album’s perfumed exoticism; those looking for more contemporaneous comparisons might reference early Supertramp or Steely Dan. At any rate, it’s one of the lost classics of the early ’70s, which we at Real Gone Music are thrilled to be reissuing on vinyl for the first time in 45 years with the original gatefold artwork intact. Marbled ‘smoke’ pressing limited to 750 copies!
In Stock March 17, 2020
Talk about an album that shoulda/coulda/woulda been a hit ‘1969’s Fiends & Angels paired the powerful pipes of American singer Martha Veléz with the crème de la crème of the British blues-rock scene. And when we say ‘the cream’ we mean it literally: Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton are both on this record! Not to mention Brian Auger, Johnny Almond, Jim Capaldi, Paul Kossoff, Christine McVie, Mitch Mitchell, Stan Webb, Chris Wood’the mind boggles. All were assembled by producer Mike Vernon, upon whose Blue Horizon label Fiends & Angels came out in Britain, while it was released Stateside on the Sire label. Which may explain why the album didn’t become a bigger hit; at this early point in its existence Sire was a small imprint basically dedicated to importing the best of British blues and progressive rock, several years away from its Ramones/Talking Heads heyday. So perhaps the marketing resources weren’t there’how else to explain how Fiends & Angels (so named by Veléz in honor of her backing musicians, who, to paraphrase her words, were fiends when playing and angels when not) didn’t make a bigger splash, especially when you consider that her voice rivaled Janis Joplin’s in its range and power. We at Real Gone Music are thrilled to present the first American vinyl reissue (and the first LP reissue in nearly 50 years) of this blues-rock cult classic, with its original Sire gatefold album jacket art housing a limited pressing of 700 copies in purple vinyl.
Real Gone Music grants the wishes of record collectors and TV fans worldwide by releasing, for the first time ever on CD and for the first time on vinyl since its original issue in 1967, the only album Barbara Eden ever recorded! As you can tell from the cover, she made the record at the height of her fame starring in the TV comedy I Dream of Jeannie, her huge break which came after years of appearing in such series as How to Marry a Millionaire, Burke’s Law, and Route 66 and in films like 7 Faces of Dr. Lao and Flaming Star (opposite Elvis Presley). So, one could be excused from going into this album thinking that Barbara’s chops were more on the acting than the musical side. But she got her start performing while singing in the church choir, and studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music long before the camera found her. She subsequently headlined on stage in Las Vegas and appeared in TV music-variety shows and specials as well. So, Miss Barbara Eden is not just a highly sought-after curio from the long career of a TV icon but an irresistible pop platter in its own right! With Bill Justis conducting and arranging, and songs by Bill Anderson and Ted Daffan among others, there’s a little bit of a country tinge, but it’s definitely not of the cry-in-your-beer variety as Barbara keeps things light and lissome while offering plenty of personality along with the pipes. For our money, the stand-out track is the last one, “Bend It,” which belongs (complete with sitar…it is 1967, after all!) in the bubblegum hall of fame right up there with “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy.” Our CD reissue includes copious photos and notes by Joe Marchese with fresh quotes from Barbara herself, while our LP reissue comes in pink vinyl limited to 1000 copies. One more note on the LP: we’re releasing it at 45 r.p.m. to ensure maximum fidelity to “the master” (wink, wink). Remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision…another Real Gone find!
The hit title track alone makes this 1970 release worth having, but it’s the other cuts on this record that make it one of the greatest psychedelic soul/funk albums of all time. Charles Wright’s beautiful falsetto kicks off the opening track (and #16 pop hit) “Love Land,” in which this L.A. band takes a page from Philly soul, and “I Got Love,” with its oh-so-funky descending bass line, is a stone groove. But the fun really starts with the first slice of “High as Apple Pie,” which offers just the first six minutes of what turns out to be a 23-minute jam. Adventurous production touches, loose-limbed arrangements, and a bit of old-time gospel make this the love child of Dr. John’s “I Walk on Guilded Splinters,” James Brown, Sly Stone, and the Chambers Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today” (and you can bet George Clinton listened long and hard to this record)! Previous issues of this classic LP have never been up to snuff sonically, so we went in and had it remastered (by Mike Milchner of SonicVision) from original tape sources especially for this release. Pressed in brown vinyl limited to 750 copies!
Willie Hale a.k.a. Little Beaver (so dubbed as a child because of his prominent front teeth) was one of the extraordinarily talented musicians Henry Stone assembled at his Hialeah, FL-based T.K. Records label and its assorted imprints. Among the artists who recorded for Stone were K.C. & the Sunshine Band, Timmy Thomas, Gwen McCrae, Betty Wright, and Benny Latimore…and backing them on a lot of those records was Hale, laying down mellow ‘n’ funky, jazz-influenced licks on his hollow-body Gibson. Hale’s talent was so distinctive that when Stone finally let Hale step out of the studio shadows to record his own album on the Cat imprint, the effects were immediate and long-lasting. Featuring contributions from Thomas, Wright, Latimore, and Jaco Pastorius (under the name Nelson “Jocko” Padron), 1974’s Party Down scored a #2 hit with its title track and has been repeatedly sampled by latter-day rap artists ranging from People Under the Stairs to Jay Z. himself (the “Party Life” track on his American Gangster album). Our Real Gone reissue of this nonstop groove-athon features a fresh remastering by Mike Milchner at SonicVision, and comes in a metallic gold vinyl pressing to honor the gold record Little Beaver has hanging on his wall on the front cover…limited to 1000 copies!.
The music business is replete with stories of outsized talents who, due to label mismanagement, misguided career advice, or just plain bad luck, never got their due. But the story of Sean Bonniwell is one of the saddest. He and his band The Music Machine broke through in 1966 with “Talk Talk” and the accompanying album (Turn On) The Music Machine. Because the record came out on the thinly-resourced Original Sound label, though, tour support, promotion, and, most importantly, royalties were in short supply, causing the band to disintegrate in short order. Undeterred, Bonniwell had the group’s contract transferred Warner Bros., and, after recording a few tracks for the next album with the original line-up, basically started from scratch with session musicians, naming the band and the album The Bonniwell Music Machine to acknowledge the fact that the record had become a solo project. After the first two singles (“Double Yellow Line” and “The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly”) tanked, Warner Bros. lost interest and the album, which finally came out in February 1968, was deleted not long thereafter (after recording a solo release for Capitol, Bonniwell left the music business altogether). Interest in the record bubbled under for years in esoteric collector circles, but for most of the music cognoscenti, the 2014 release of The Bonniwell Music Machine on CD by Ace Records’ Big Beat imprint came as a revelation. Here was an album that retained the pop-punk fire of Talk Talk yet, with each track, branched off into completely unexpected directions including folk-rock and orchestrated chamber pop. And Bonniwell’s lyrics explored dark psychological themes with Morrison-ian aplomb without the accompanying pretense. Now, Real Gone Music is very, very proud to present the FIRST-EVER VINYL REISSUE of The Bonniwell Music Machine, in an olive green pressing limited to 900 copies. Absolutely positively a ‘60s classic!
If this 1972 record for the Paula label was the sum total of Dallas, Texas soul man Bobby Patterson’s career output, then he’d still be reckoned a cult figure among R&B fans. In fact, it’s so good that the fact that he went on to cut five other albums and produce artists ranging from Fontella Bass to Chuck Jackson to Little Johnny Taylor almost seems besides the point. This is a stone soul masterpiece, full of grit and groove, with a breathtaking stylistic breadth stretching from funky soul (“If You Took a Survey”; “How Do You Spell Love”) to romantic soul balladery (“I Get My Groove from You”) to James Brown-style workouts (“Make Sure You Can Handle It”) to socially-conscious, wah wah-drenched commentary (“The Whole Funky World Is a Ghetto”) and all points in between. But what really makes this record mind-blowing is that Patterson wrote all but one song (the one he didn’t write, “Right On Jody,” is an answer song to Johnnie Taylor’s big hit “Jody’s Got Your Girl and Gone”). For its first-ever LP reissue, we’ve pressed up 700 copies in transparent purple vinyl and re-created the original album art complete with lyric sheet. Every soul searcher needs this one!
The title of Horace Tapscott’s debut release is apt, if not self-referential, for indeed a giant of West Coast jazz had awakened with this, the pianist/composer/bandleader’s 1969 album for the Flying Dutchman label. Tapscott went on to form two groups crucial to the flowering of modern jazz in the Los Angeles area, the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (or P.A.P.A.; the name is an homage to Tapscott’s predecessor and peer, Sun Ra), which eventually became part of a larger umbrella organization, Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension (UGMAA). Out of UGMAA came a host of LA-bred musicians, singers, and poets, including Arthur Blythe (who goes by Black Arthur Blythe on this recording), Stanley Crouch (who wrote the original liner notes), David Murray, Butch Morris, Wilber Morris, Jimmy Woods, Nate Morgan, and Sinclair Greenwell, Jr. (a.k.a. Guido Sinclair). And anchoring it all was Tapscott himself; as Kamasi Washington, whose vision of a large, Los Angeles community-based ensemble echoes that of P.A.P.A. and UGMAA, said in 2015: “Horace is one of the most important figures in the foundation of music in L.A., from both a purely musically and socially conscious perspective.” Now, Real Gone Music is proud to present the first-ever LP reissue of The Giant Is Awakened (original copies go for hundreds of dollars), taken from high-resolution audio sources and complete with original gatefold artwork. Neon green vinyl pressing limited to 1000 copies…a foundational document of West Coast modern jazz!
Famously formed in 8th grade for a school talent show, The Donnas began as a self-styled co-ed answer to The Ramones, each taking the first name of Donna (as opposed to the last name of Ramone), and playing gleefully unapologetic, pop-punk paeans to adolescent alienation and hedonism from a decidedly female perspective. But by the time of 2004’s Gold Medal, their sixth album and second for the major label Atlantic, the group has clearly—dare we say it?–matured. With the notable exception of the single (and career highlight) “Fall Behind Me,” Gold Medal marks a move away from the Donnas’ harder/faster ethos towards a more polished (acoustic guitars…whaaat?) pop sound veering towards ‘70s psychedelia under the helm of Avril Lavigne producer Butch Walker. And you can tell it from the album’s graphics, which flash vintage, Peter Max-esque squiggles on the front cover and feature a faux black light poster inside (which we have reproduced for this reissue along with the original printed inner sleeve). The result was an album that lead vocalist Brett Anderson a.k.a Donna A. deems her favorite, and one that stands as probably the band’s crowning artistic achievement. Our reissue comes in black and gold splatter vinyl, and is limited to 750 copies…an overlooked early-oughties gem!
Like his buddy and occasional collaborator Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez is one of those film directors whose movies always come with incredible soundtracks. But it’s tough to top the array of music he assembled for his gun ‘n’ guitar-slinging western Desperado, the 1995 sequel to his breakthrough debut El Mariachi. Not only was the Desperado score composed and performed by the L.A. bands Los Lobos (whose performance of “Mariachi Suite” won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance) and Tito and Tarantula (memorably seen the following year as the house band at the Titty Twister in Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn), but it also boasted contributions from Dire Straits, Link Wray, Carlos Santana, and the Latin Playboys among other artists. A blend of ranchera, Chicano, and garage rock, it’s the perfect accompaniment for the blood-soaked imagery of the film…and for this, the first vinyl release of the soundtrack, we at Real Gone Music have created the perfect visual accompaniment as well. For the gatefold jacket housing our 2 X LP set, we commissioned Illustrator Matt Ryan Tobin to create one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-reprinted illustrated artwork, a lyrical yet lurid tableau that was approved not just by Robert Rodriguez but also by all four actors depicted (Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Steve Buscemi, and Joaquim de Almeida). Inside the gatefold, we designed two 4-color inner sleeves offering production stills from the film, and pressed up 2500 copies in sultry “Blood & Gunpowder” vinyl. This pressing is exclusive for RSD Black Friday, and, again, both the jacket and the colored vinyl will never be reprinted…this might be the most collectible release we have ever created!
With apologies to groups like The Meters, Bar-Kays, and Average White Band, when it comes to all-time great instrumental R&B bands, for most folks Booker T. & the MG’s represent the gold standard. And with good reason…or, actually reasons! First of all, as the house band of the hallowed Stax label, The MG’s pretty much invented the sound of Southern soul, playing on records by everybody from Otis Redding to Wilson Pickett to Carla Thomas. Second, on their own as Booker T & the MG’s, they came up with some of the most indelible instrumental jams of all time, including—but by no means limited to!—“Green Onions.” And, third, each member of the band was an absolute monster on their instrument, to this day revered and copied by untold numbers of musicians.
Indeed, by the time the mid ‘60s rolled around, bands on both sides of the Atlantic wanted to sound like Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Al Jackson, Jr, and Lewie Steinberg (replaced about halfway through this collection by the great Donald “Duck” Dunn). And what was that sound? Well, a typical MG’s tune started from the bottom-up, resting on the rock-solid drumbeat of Jackson and the in-the-pocket bass work of Steinberg and, later, Dunn, over which keyboardist Jones and guitarist Cropper traded slinky and/or stinging licks.
But these cats weren’t just riff-happy groove masters; Jones basically codified the classic Hammond organ sound and Cropper’s guitar tone remains the Holy Grail of anyone who’s ever picked up a Fender Telecaster. Together, they recorded 49 single sides for Stax under the name of Booker T. & the MG’s, and you’ll find the first 29 (yes, 29!) of ‘em right here. As with all of our singles collections, these songs have been carefully vetted to make sure they are the correct mono single versions, with mastering by Dan Hersch at d2 Mastering, and tape research and sourcing by Mike Johnson and Aaron Kannowski with help from Bill Inglot. Ed Osborne has contributed detailed notes and discographical information, too, and the set’s produced by Real Gone’s own Gordon Anderson. As for the music, it pretty much speaks for itself: 29 songs, 15 of which reached the charts, including, along with “Green Onions,” such classics as “Boot-Leg,” “Hip Hug-Her,” and “My Sweet Potato.” Get ready to get into the groove and stay there for a nice, long while!
Dandy is Robert Livingstone Thompson a.k.a. Dandy Livingstone, the Jamaican British songwriter performer producer responsible for the hits Suzanne, Beware of the Devil, Rudy, A Message to You (later covered by The Specials), and Version Girl (later covered by UB40). This 1968 platter is his second solo album, and one of the first long-players issued by the legendary Trojan label (catalog # TRL-2!); it’s a must-have, highly sought-after rocksteady release featuring a host of Dandy originals along with covers of Chad & Jeremy’s Only a Fool Breaks His Own Heart (also notably recorded by Mighty Sparrow at about the same time) and the Beatles Yesterday. This is the first-ever reissue in any format of this highly collectible classic; we’ve pressed it up in orange vinyl limited to 1000 copies!
First-Ever U.S. LP Reissue and First LP Reissue in Over 30 Years
Original Album Art, Red & Yellow Starburst Vinyl Pressing. Limited to 1000 Copies
Though there are a number of worthy contenders’Dream Syndicate’s The Days of Wine and Roses, The Bangles’ All Over the Place, Green on Red’s Gas Food Lodging among them’The Rain Parade’s 1983 release Emergency 3rd Rail Power Trip places at worst in a tie for first among the greatest albums to emerge from the early ’80s L.A. Paisley Underground scene. That’s because the band’and the album’were probably the most transparent in their influences and probably the most successful in transcending them. Here was the jangle-rock of the Byrds married with the soft, downbeat vocal harmonies of early Pink Floyd, infused with a Love-like delicacy, peppered with a Buffalo Springfield twin lead guitar attack’yet the dark lyrical themes and droning melodies made listening to Rain Parade a singular experience, like being on an acid trip teetering on the knife edge between pure nirvana and colossal bummer. Which, for true fans of psychedelia, was an awfully sweet spot to be. Emergency 3rd Rail Power Trip was the band’s debut album, and the only one to feature the original line-up of multi-instrumentalist Will Glenn, drummer Eddie Kalwa, bassist Steven Roback, and guitarists David Roback (later of Mazzy Star) and Matt Piucci; it hasn’t been reissued on LP for over thirty years, and never in the U.S. We have pressed up 1000 in red & yellow starburst vinyl with original artwork intact’this record’s ready to blow your your mind all over again.
Now for one of the oddest’and most sought-after’albums in the voluminous Trojan label catalog! In 1972, the production team of Joe Sinclair, Webster Shrowder and Des Bryan placed classic Trojan instrumental riddims in the hands of prog-rocker Ken Elliot (formerly of the group Second Hand), who proceeded to lay down utterly twisted ARP-2600 synthesizer lines over them. The intent (we think) was to cash in on the strong, early ’70s easy listening market a la Switched On Bach, but the result, like so many like-minded commercial concept albums, turned out to be several parsecs weirder than the original intent. The combination of electronic music and reggae walks the tightrope between cheesy and cosmic, like a B-movie soundtrack listened to on laughing gas, and if a few tracks fall into the merely comical, don’t worry, cuz the next track is gonna boldly dub where no track has dubbed before. In short, a one-off, stone cold classic, here reissued on LP for the first time ever in ‘Deep Space Maroon’ vinyl limited to 1000 copies!
What do three budding music moguls from Brooklyn do when all the music business is obsessed with the British Invasion? Easy…they pretend they grew up in Australia (on a sheep farm, no less)! But, as it turns out, Richard Gottehrer, Jerry Goldstein, and Bob Feldman (a.k.a Giles, Miles, and Niles Strange) didn’t need any gimmicks to succeed in the music business. They had already written and produced The Angels’ hit “My Boyfriend’s Back” when they launched the Strangeloves; Gottehrer went on to co-found Sire Records and The Orchard, while Goldstein produced Sly & the Family Stone and War among the band members’ many industry achievements. But for their one and only album, Giles, Miles, and Niles Strange they were, adorned in caveman gear on the front cover of this 1965 release on Bert Berns’ Bang label. “I Want Candy” (later, of course, covered by Bow Wow Wow) was the big hit, but “Cara-Lin” and “Night Time” also scraped the Top 40, and the trio also premiered their song “Hang On Sloopy” before they gave it to their discovery The McCoys who took it to number one. In short, this is a one-off slice of classic ‘60s pop-rock, reissued for the first time in over 30 years on vinyl (candy apple red vinyl, to be exact). Limited edition of 1000!
Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes’ groundbreaking albums for Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman label don’t get the attention from jazz fans that they should. In fact, among the many distinguished alumni of Miles Davis’ fusion bands, keyboardist Smith and his cohorts arguably ran with Davis’ stylistic breakthrough the farthest. In five albums stretching over four years, Smith and the Cosmic Echoes stretched the fusion aesthetic to embrace post-bop modal and spiritual jazz, funk, rock, pop, and even the smooth jazz, quiet storm, and crossover genres. And if those latter styles raise your traditionalist hackles, Smith imbued all of his records with integrity, vision, and his unique spacy sensibiity; instead of playing it safe or commercial, he fearlessly paved a path for modern jazz musicians to follow (Kamasi Washington, for one, no doubt listened to these records at length). Real Gone Music is proud to present his 1973 debut album as a bandleader, which featured a killer band of Cecil McBee on bass, George Barron on sax, James Mtume and Sonny Morgan on percussion, David Lee, Jr. on drums, Badal Roy on table, Geeta Vashi on tamboura, and Joe Beck on guitar. Such a multifaceted ensemble was perfectly suited to explore the spiritual jazz that Smith had encountered while playing with Pharoah Sanders (“Let Us Go into the House of the Lord” appears here and on Sanders’ 1970 album Summun Bukmun Umyun which featured Smith), all presided over by Flying Dutchman label owner and former John Coltrane producer Bob Thiele. For its first vinyl pressing since the late ‘70s, we’ve re-created the original gatefold artwork with Nat Hentoff’s liner notes, and pressed up 1000 copies in limited edition blue “eternity” vinyl. One of the great jazz albums of its era!
Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes’ groundbreaking albums for Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman label don’t get the attention from jazz fans that they should. In fact, among the many distinguished alumni of Miles Davis’ fusion bands, keyboardist Smith and his cohorts arguably ran with Davis’ stylistic breakthrough the farthest. In five albums stretching over four years, Smith and the Cosmic Echoes stretched the fusion aesthetic to embrace post-bop modal and spiritual jazz, funk, rock, pop, and even the smooth jazz, quiet storm, and crossover genres. And if those latter styles raise your traditionalist hackles, Smith imbued all of his records with integrity, vision, and his unique spacy sensibiity; instead of playing it safe or commercial, he fearlessly paved a path for modern jazz musicians to follow (Kamasi Washington, for one, no doubt listened to these records at length). 1974’s Cosmic Funk was his second album as a bandleader; nestled somewhere between the soul jazz, spiritual jazz, fusion, and post-bop subgenres, this record headed, as the title indicates, in a funkier direction, with Lonnie Liston Smith’s brother Donald contributing smooth vocal stylings to John Coltrane’s “Naima” among other tunes. A transitional work but a fascinating one, with sure handed production once again from Bob Thiele. We’ve pressed up 1000 copies in limited edition gold vinyl inside the original gatefold album art…another “post-fusion” masterwork from the Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes!
You can have your Big Jay McNeely, Wynonie Harris, even your Little Richard…cuz when it comes to R&B wildmen, we’ll see you and raise you with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the craziest SOB ever to grab a microphone. Jay’s legend begins on September 12, 1956, when, after reputedly being plied with bottles of cheap Swiss Colony wine by A&R man Arnold Maxin, he and the band cut what is probably the single most insane slab of vinyl ever released, “I Put a Spell on You.” The song became an underground hit, and launched a career spanning three-plus decades during which, in the indelible words of liner note writer Chris Morris, “Hawkins materialized on stages around the world as a shrieking, tail-dragging hoodoo creature. Rising like one of the undead from a coffin, his hair sculpted in a towering conk, his noise pierced by a pointed bone, he shook a stick topped by a skull (nicknamed Henry) in his audiences’ faces, declaiming his wacked-out songs…in a molten baritone punctuated by throat-rending howls, profound groans, jibbering wails, and guttural howls.” This 10-track compilation captures the best tracks that Hawkins cut in the early ‘90s for Bizarre Records (could a label have a more perfect name for Screamin’ Jay?), the imprint originally founded by Frank Zappa and his business partner/manager Herb Cohen. Among the highlights are his two Tom Waits covers, “Whistling Past the Graveyard” and “Heart Attack and Vine,” Jay’s first-time-on-vinyl disquisition on oral hygiene, “Shut Your Mouth When You Sneeze,” and his lustful ode to the Twin Peaks star, “Sherilyn Fenn,” (Parental Advisory, y’all!). Pressed in lurid purple vinyl limited to 1000 copies, with the aforementioned notes by Mr. Morris. Bizarre indeed!
First vinyl reissue in over 45 years for a long-lost, pivotal jazz fusion record! Natural Feelings, originally released in 1970 on the thinly-distributed Skye label, marks Airto’s debut as a bandleader and captures the percussionist right at the time he recorded Bitches Brew with Miles Davis, and right before he joined Weather Report for their first album. Indeed, the line-up on this album reflects the fact that Airto had one foot in the NYC jazz scene and one foot in his native Brazil, as bassist Ron Carter joins Airto’s countrymen Sivuca and Hermeto Pascoal, along with Airto’s wife Flora Purim. The music’s a fascinating blend of jazz-funk-fusion and Brazilian tropes, here presented on 180-gram black vinyl, housed inside the original wild, Hieronymus Bosch album art. Limited to 500 copies!
Now, here’s a cult classic album long overdue for a vinyl reissue! Norma Tanega was discovered while singing to Catskill summer campers by producer Herb Bernstein, who brought her to Four Seasons songwriter Bob Crewe. Crewe signed her to his New Voice label, and success was instantaneous: the title song to Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog went to #22 on the charts.
But, despite the album’s folk-pop trappings, Norma Tanega was not an artist destined to stay at the top of the charts for long; her voice was unconventional, and her songs were too idiosyncratic, not sticking to typical song structure or even meter (for example, “No Stranger Am I” is set to a 5/4 time signature). In fact, Tanega’s songs were so unusual that she had to hire session musicians to play them on the North American tour she took to support the album instead of her erstwhile back-up band The Outsiders! Upon returning, she then embarked on a British tour that was to change her life forever; there she met Dusty Springfield, and the two embarked on an artistic and romantic relationship that prompted Tanega to move to London for five years.
After the pair broke up, Tanega wound up moving to California and shifted to playing percussion in more experimental settings, following the wayward muse that makes Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog such an entrancing and unique listening experience to this day (in fact, the new FX show What We Do in the Shadows uses “You’re Dead” for its theme song!) Real Gone Music is proud to reissue this album just like it originally came out in 1966, in stereo with the original album artwork. Just one difference: this is a green vinyl pressing limited to 1000 copies!
This 1968 release wasn’t just the debut album for the British band The Gun; it also marked the debut of a number of notable artists and their creations. First of all, this was the first album recorded by the Gurvitz brothers, bassist/vocalist Paul and guitarist/vocalist Adrian; they went on to form Three Man Army (with Buddy Miles among other drummers) and then The Baker Gurvitz Army with Ginger Baker of Cream among many other projects. Gun also introduced the song “Race with the Devil,” which scored the band its only hit and was covered by everybody from Judas Priest to Girlschool to Black Oak Arkansas. And, finally, take a gander at that incredible front cover artwork…yes, that is the maiden album illustration of one Roger Dean, whose otherworldly creations graced the covers of many a Yes album cover (Yes vocalist Jon Anderson was for a short time a Gun member, in fact). Armed with such a collection of talent, and a dazzling stylistic breadth that ranged from psychedelic to hard rock to mod to Procol Harum-esque prog, it’s little wonder that Gun has seen multiple reissues, but it’s been about 30 years since it’s been available on vinyl. Our limited edition (of 1000) “red devil” vinyl pressing presents the original artwork intact. A classic of ‘60s British rock!
What do two Faces do when their lead singer (bon vivant Rod Stewart) doesn’t show up for the Ooh La La recording sessions? They work on a soundtrack for an obscure film by actor and friend Alexis Kanner (most famous for his guest roles on the late-‘60s TV series The Prisoner), and draft the uppermost rank of British rock royalty to play on it! Indeed, given the pedigree of the personnel on this project, it is rather stunning how obscure this 1976 album from Faces members Ron Wood and Ronnie Lane remains, having only been issued on CD abroad and for a brief time at that (and never reissued on LP); one suspects it has much to do with the flop of the film (which appears to have only been screened at the Canadian Film Festival), and the fact that the original LP was released four years after it was recorded in 1972. Just listen to the roll call of session men on Mahoney’s Last Stand, which was produced by Glyn Johns, himself a British rock and roll noble of good standing and fresh from producing Paul McCartney and Wings’ Red Rose Speedway when he worked on this album: Pete Townshend (guitar and “special electronic effects”), Blind Faith and Family member Rick Grech, fellow Faces Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones, soon-to-be fellow (for Wood) Rolling Stones habitués Ian Stewart, Bobby Keys, and Jim Price, Micky Waller (Wood’s fellow member in the Jeff Beck Group of the late ‘60s), and Grease Band member Bruce Rowland to name but a few. As for the music, much of it has a rustic, rural feel in keeping with the film’s setting, which follows the misadventures of a recluse who rents a ramshackle farm in the Canadian countryside, with some nods (“Woody’s Thing”) towards the blues-rock Wood would explore with Keith Richards in the Stones. But without a doubt the highlight is Lane’s “Just for a Moment,’ which is here in both vocal and instrumental versions; it’s a prime example of the wistful rootsrock that made Lane’s post-Faces solo career so compelling. For the first-ever vinyl reissue of this overlooked gem, we’ve pressed up 700 copies in green vinyl…better hurry, though, cuz they will indeed last “just for a moment.”
If the saga of the Grateful Dead is a long strange trip, then we’ve definitely been along for part of the ride! First, we brought you the entire Dick’s Picks series of live concerts on CD, all 36 volumes of it, many of them never before available at retail. Then we began putting out the Road Trips series, none of which has ever been in stores before. But now, dear Deadheads and Real Goners, the time has come to take the next step in our evolution as a key source for rare Grateful Dead recordings. It’s time to cross…the vinyl frontier. And we are hoping you will cross it with us, because we aren’t even offering this release to retail until you have had a chance—at a special low price—to snag all 1500 hand-numbered, limited editions of our new 6-LP set, Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol. 34—Rochester, NY 11/5/77!