Just one more pointless year-end list to go and then it’s time to move on.
FAVOURITE REISSUES & COMPILATIONS OF THE YEAR 2010:
10. Kathy McCord: From New Jersey To Woodstock (Big Beat, 2010)
Kathy McCord’s self-titled album has been a highly sought cult classic. Well not highly sought by me obviously. Up until this reissue I had never heard her name. But that just shows how little I know about folk music. Big Beat’s beautiful 2CD reissue contains the whole album on one CD and another disc full of previously unreleased tracks from the seventies. The cult classic is worthy of that “cult” status. It’s a really wonderful album and shows that her name should be said in the same sentence with Vashti Bunyan, Linda Perhacs and Sibylle Baier. However, I’m not that excited about the second disc. It’s not bad my any means, but there’s not much really exciting material there. Perhaps a cheaper one CD edition could have been a better option, with 5 or 6 best of those unissued tracks as bonus tracks after the magnificent self-titled album.
9. Califia – The Songs Of Lee Hazlewood (Ace Records, 2010)
If I had some money, I would buy all the Songwriter Series compilations that Ace Records are releasing. Even when I don’t have money, I have to buy some of them like this new one that introduces the songwriting talent of the great Lee Hazlewood. But why haven’t I really paid much attention to Dino, Desi & Billy beforehand. I love both of these songs on Califia. Totally my kind of stuff. That’s just one example. There’s a lot of great songs and cool performances on this one.
8. Bruce Springsteen: The Promise (Sony, 2010)
I’m not the world’s biggest Bruce Springsteen fan, but I do love almost everything up until Nebraska (obviously some later stuff as well like Devils & Dust). I didn’t have the money or the interest to invest to the giant 3cd + 3dvd packet and settled for this wonderful 2cd set. There’s nothing that haven’t already been said about this one. If you love Bruce, you will love this. If you don’t love him, I promise this won’t change your opinion.
7. Book A Trip: The Psych Pop Sounds Of Capitol Records (Now Sounds, 2010)
Now Sounds searched the Capitol Records vaults and found 26 psych pop / soft pop / sunshine pop gems. Ok, maybe not all of them are pure class A gems, but a huge chunk of them really are. Book A Trip is a fantastic compilation full of obscure bands and obscure songs. I’m in love with the Sidewalk Skipper Band, Burgundy Street Singers, Summer Snow and many others.
6. The Holy Mackerel: The Holy Mackerel [Deluxe Expanded Edition] (Now Sounds, 2010)
The Holy Mackerel was a short-lived 60s pop band led by the wonderful Paul Williams. I hadn’t heard The Holy Mackerel beforehand, but Paul Williams made my expectations sky high. The Holy Mackerel album didn’t disappoint. It contains lots of little pop treasures. Nothin’ Short Of Misery always makes me smile with lines like “I said woman / if you are looking for excitement honey / Do your looking elsewhere and someday you will see / that the life of high excitement isn’t half as fun as being bored with me”. A wonderful album and the song Bitter Honey is stylewise like the prologue to the solo album Someday Man that followed two years later and turned out to be one of the greatest sunshine pop albums ever released.
5. Luke Gibson: Another Perfect Day (True North, 2010)
Luke Gibson’s Another Perfect Day is a great Canadian folk album. Luke Gibson is probably better known from Luke and The Apostles if you know a little bit about canadian music. I don’t know and therefore I didn’t know anything about Luke Gibson before I found this album. Anyway, Another Perfect Day is a really gorgeous folk & country rock album. Such a lovely and heartwarming music.
4. Jim Sullivan: U.F.O (Light In The Attic, 2010)
Jim Sullivan’s story is mysterious. In march 1975 Jim Sullivan disappeared in New Mexico and nobody knows what happened. Up until now, his music has been really mysterious as well. Hopefully that is about to change. Thanks to Light In The Attic who released Jim’s debut album U.F.O. However, I was actually slightly disappointed after a couple of first listening sessions. At that point I thought that the story itself was more interesting than the music. Thankfully you know that I’m often totally clueless. Nowadays I’m totally into this album and regard it as a folk rock classic. Whistle Stop was the real eye opener and soon I fell in love with the whole album.
3. Ted Lucas: Ted Lucas (aka The Om Album) (Yoga Records, 2010)
I’m totally addicted to this album by Ted Lucas. Or let me rephrase that. I’m completely addicted to the first six songs on this album. The last three songs are not my cup of tea. I think I need to get some kind of enlightenment to understand Indian guitar raga. I’m obviously not ready for that yet. Still this has to be on the podium, because of those first six songs. Oh my oh my. That’s just perfect music. In a way so simple, but still so incredibly captivating and magical psych-folk. I’ve listened to these six songs huge amount of times during the past month. I just can’t get enough of them no matter how hard I try.
2. Blaze Foley: The Dawg Years (Fat Possum, 2010)
was a country legend. Well maybe still way too unknown to be a legend, but a fantastic songwriter and a true cult hero nevertheless. Blaze Foley is probably best known as the writer of Merle Haggard’s
hit If I Could Only Fly
, but that’s just one fantastic song he wrote. This wonderful compilation The Dawg Years
gathers together his amazing early recordings from 1976 to 1978. Oh and you can watch a great documentary Duck Tape Messiah
about him at imdb.com
1. Paul Williams: Someday Man [Deluxe Expanded Edition] (Now Sounds, 2010)
I rarely buy albums that I already own, but this time I had to make an exception. My favourite reissue label Now Sounds releasing one of my favourite albums. How could I resist that. Paul Williams’ Someday Man is a truly wonderful and totally amazing sunshine pop treasure. Paul Williams and Roger Nichols wrote a lot of great songs together like The Carpenters’ hit We’ve Only Just Begun, but to me this album is their finest effort. Perhaps a lot said, but this is just perfect from start to finish. I even have all the reasons to hate it. I usually prefer simple, down-to-earth things. Just man and an acoustic guitar is often enough. Still I totally love this heavily orchestrated pop heaven and it never sounds too big or overproduced to me. It just works beautifully on every level. The reissue of the year. No doubt about it.
One more thing! Because I bought this Now Sounds Edition, I now have a Collector’s Choice 2005 CD release of this album that I don’t need anymore. It’s got some minor scratches (I blame careless FOTM DJ Team), but nothing that would affect the play. I thought I give this one away. If you want it, leave a comment below. Everyone who comments this entry (and wants the CD) before sunday (23rd) midnight is in for the draw. No need to leave a full name, first name or nickname will do just fine. I’ll make the draw on monday 24th and after that one lucky person gets this beautiful album free of charge. Only for Finnish residents though. I’m not prepared to pay for international shipping.
Update: There doesn’t seem to be much interest towards a free Paul Williams CD. Well let’s change the deadline to 6th of february and see if some interested souls arrive. If not, then I just keep ’em both.