Andrew Hultkrans

  • Jim Ford, 'Harlan County' (Light in the Attic)

    A Kentucky-born singer-songwriter once called the "baddest white man on the planet" by Sly Stone, Jim Ford pioneered a seamless blend of country, soul, and funk on 1969's Harlan County, using a crack studio band that included Elvis guitarist James Burton and Dr. John. Other, more famous artists (Bobby Womack, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations) covered his material, but Ford's debut sank without a trace. This is the first stateside CD reissue of the stylistically peerless album.

  • R.E.M., 'Lifes Rich Pageant: 25th Anniversary Edition' (I.R.S./Capitol)

    R.E.M., 'Lifes Rich Pageant: 25th Anniversary Edition' (I.R.S./Capitol)

    For their fourth album, in 1986, R.E.M. hired John Mellencamp's producer Don Gehman and crafted their cleanest, biggest-sounding production and most straightforwardly bold political statement. Leaving behind guitar arpeggios and mumbled vocals, activist rockers "These Days" and "Hyena" alternate with midtempo psych-poppers "Fall on Me" and "Flowers of Guatemala." This two-CD edition adds 19 demos of songs for Lifes Rich Pageant as well as future albums.

  • The Left Banke, 'Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina, Left Banke Too' (Sundazed)

    Thrown together in 1966 New York to record a promising song by classically trained pianist Michael Brown, the Left Banke had a fractious history -- first-album standouts "Walk Away Renee" and "She May Call You Up Tonight" were rumored love letters by Brown to bandmate Tom Finn's girlfriend (Brown left, returned, and left again before the second album). Regardless, their music was often as gorgeous and lushly arranged as that of the Beatles or Zombies. Long out-of-print, the two albums are released (separately) here for the first time in their original form.

  • Various Artists, 'True Soul: Deep Sounds From the Left of Stax Vols. I & II' (Now-Again)

    3 Sharecropper's son, art ?teacher, record store/label owner, Lee Anthony nurtured a Little Rock, Arkansas soul and funk scene that produced the Gap Band, among others. Befriending and learning from Sun's Sam Phillips, Stax's Al Bell, and Hi's Willie Mitchell, Anthony brought homespun sonic experimentalism to the greasy funk of groups like the Leaders and York Wilborn's Psychedelic Six. Crate-diggers DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist still salivate over the 45s collected here.

  • Peter Tosh, 'Legalize It: Legacy Edition; Equal Rights: Legacy Edition' (Columbia/Legacy)

    Peter Tosh, 'Legalize It: Legacy Edition; Equal Rights: Legacy Edition' (Columbia/Legacy)

    Malcolm X to Bob Marley's MLK in the original Wailers, Peter Tosh left the group on the eve of global acclaim for a militantly uncompromising solo career, taking early public stands against apartheid and brandishing a guitar in the shape of an AK-47. On 1976's Legalize It, he brashly mixed pro-ganja agitprop and Rasta musings, while introducing riddim section Sly & Robbie to an international audience; 1977's Equal Rights is roots reggae nonpareil and one of the most powerful political statements in any genre. These two-CD editions add unreleased demos, outtakes, and dubplates.

  • Various Artists, 'Our Lives Are Shaped by What We Love: Motown's Mowest Story 1971-1973' (Light In The Attic)

    5 Flush with Motown success, Berry Gordy opened an L.A. branch of his Detroit institution to supposedly sign West Coast acts and, in industry parlance, be "closer to the business." His subsequent roster of lesser-known soul and funk artists (along with off-message oddities like psych rockers Lodi) was no match for Marvin, Smokey, Stevie, and Michael. But Mowest did boast the Commodores and Thelma Houston, plus slick, languid funk acts Odyssey and Syreeta.

  • Sebadoh, 'Bakesale' (Sub Pop)

    2A hypersensitive Joni Mitchell fan caught up in '80s hardcore, Lou Barlow endured years of psychodrama as Dinosaur Jr.'s bassist before starting Sebadoh with Eric Gaffney and Jason Loewenstein. The trio churned out cassettes, seven-inches, and albums bursting with lo-fi bedsit folk, heavy indie angst, and experimental tape collages. Bakesale was the catchy, coherent 1994 breakthrough -- a missing link between Nick Drake and Sonic Youth. Unreleased period tracks are included on a bonus disc.

  • Marvin Gaye, 'What's Going On: 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition' (Motown/UME)

    Marvin Gaye, 'What's Going On: 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition' (Motown/UME)

    Disconsolate over duet partner Tammi Terrell's death, disturbed by his brother's letters from Vietnam, depressed by Detroit's urban blight, chafing against Motown's factory system, Marvin Gaye was at a crossroads in 1970. After receiving an unfinished protest song by Four Tops member Renaldo "Obie" Benson and in-house songwriter Al Cleveland, Gaye and the Funk Brothers went into the studio and created the innovative title track, a crossover smash. Then came the album, an indelible quiet-storm jeremiad. This two-CD edition adds single mixes, demos, instrumentals for future songs, and the original "Detroit Mix."

  • Reatards, 'Teenage Hate/Fuck Elvis 
Here's the Reatards' (Goner)

    Reatards, 'Teenage Hate/Fuck Elvis 
Here's the Reatards' (Goner)

    With help from his mentors, the late Memphis punk James Lee Lindsey Jr. recorded several singles, EPs, and debut album Teenage Hate under the name the Reatards, when he was an actual teenager. Howling like an unholy mix of Black Francis and Memphis garage legend Greg Cartwright (Oblivians, Reigning Sound), "Jay" Reatard was a true live-fast-die-young talent, and this CD reissue, which includes two ?cassette EPs, is a fitting tribute.

  • Kate & Anna McGarrigle, 'Tell My Sister' (Nonesuch)

    These Québécois sibs were singer-songwriters of sophisticated folk music cribbed from Irish and French-Canadian traditions, and their first two albums -- 1975's self-titled debut and '77's Dancer With Bruised Knees (compiled here plus demos and unreleased tracks) -- influenced everyone from Emmylou Harris to Nick Cave. The McGarrigles' songs are deceptively simple, but their inventive arrangements, unpredictable harmonizing, and hints of chanson reveal an eccentric genius.

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