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16 "Lost" Records That Should Be Made Available Right Now!

Being a record collector is sometimes like being a fisherman -- you think about the ones that got away, like recordings that went out of print before you could snatch them up. Or else you dream about the stuff that's only available on crackly-sounding, decomposing bootlegs, having never received the sparkly studio treatment. Below are some works that are in dire need of recording/reissue -- for Christian's sake (it's so sad to watch him forlornly perusing those record bins over and over again) and for the good of humanity!

There are more, of course (so many more), but you can only tell so many "big fish" stories in a single sitting. Anyone with a line on these, or a "recording that got away" story of his/her own, is encouraged email the author.


Jim O'Rourke's I'm Happy and I'm Singing and a 1,2,3,4
This album of laptop symphonies from the latest member of Sonic Youth has more buzz than a wasp's nest helmet, but I have yet to be able to find it in the US. Yes, I know I can purchase it from Japan for fifty dollars, but if I started down that road, my CDs and I would be living in a refrigerator carton.

Craig Taborn's T.S.: Craig Taborn Trio
Versatile and talented avant jazz pianist Taborn's first release as a leader, for DIW, is another one that is "Big in Japan", but well nigh impossible to scare up in Nueva York.

Chris Difford's Chris Difford
Rounding out the "I am not paying 40 bucks for an import of this" trifecta, Difford's debut solo album. I always loved his songwriting and basso vocal contributions to Squeeze, and can only hope that some yutz sells this to a used record joint near me in the near future.

Creedence Clearwater Revival's Early and Unreleased Tracks
Sure, the latest Fantasy boxed set of their complete catalogue included a bonus disc with these previously unreleased rarities, but what about all of us who bought the boxed set in its first incarnation (released just a year prior, mind you) -- the version with just the albums and no extra goodies? Huh? What about us ?!? (Ahem) A separate release of these goodies on a single disc would appear to be in order.

Spacemen 3's Performance
Space rock/skronk mayhem from a 1988 concert in Amsterdam.

Laddio Bolocko's Life and Times of
Okay, 10,000 websites said that this CD was the bee's knees, and they all wouldn't lie, would they? But, for the life of me, I haven't been able to track the sucker down. What's worse, the group's broken up already. Oh, the humanity!

Genesis's Spot the Pigeon EP and other rarities
After the tepid sales of the first boxed set, plans for three career retrospective releases on Genesis were scrapped; two would have to do. Then the second boxed set was pared down to three discs, which were supposed to suffice for the years 1976 to 2000. Obviously, a lot was left off (though not nearly enough Phil Collins songs were among the omissions), particularly material from the long-deleted Spot the Pigeon EP and some of the "4th side" studio tracks of Three Sides Live, lovely Duke-era compositions.

Barsuk Records' Treats
This label sampler came out in May 2003 and is gone already. This is what I get for holding my fall order of recorded loot with puppy pictures on it until the release of the new Death Cab for Cutie album. Bummer.

Joe Maneri's Piano Concerto
Maneri's stock as a leader or of small jazz groups has risen in recent years, with recordings now available on Leo, ECM, AUM Fidelity and Hat Hut. But his classical compositions languish without proper recorded documentation, particularly his largest orchestral work, a concerto for piano and orchestra.

Ralph Vaughan Williams's Choral Music (as performed by Richard Hickox)
These recordings of RVW's classical choral works, originally released as a boxed LP set on EMI, are gorgeous renderings of some of his most stirring works. Alas, there has yet to be a comprehensive CD reissue of these; instead they have been tacked on, a work at a time, as filler for other EMI releases of RVW's music. They deserve a reissue in which they are collected together and presented complete.

Borah Bergman/PeterBrotzmann/Anthony Braxton
Released on the now-defunct Mixtery label, this hard-blowing session from three avant jazz greats needs to be put back on the market! Putting these three forceful players in a room has combustible potential.

Ornette Coleman's Opening the Caravan of Dreams
This a 1985 release from Coleman's band, Prime Time. In addition to Coleman, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Bern Nix, Denardo Coleman and several other free jazz luminaries tear it up. Ornette Coleman is a living national treasure; it is a crime for any of his works to go out of print, particularly this.

Giant Sand (in general)
Gosh, a lot of their stuff is out of print. Wouldn't you love to see a label like Ryko get their hands on Giant Sand's back catalog and do a reissue series, complete with bonus material?

Tortoise Vs. Spring Heel Jack/Jim O'Rourke
Kinda' sounds like a post-rock Holy Grail, doesn't it?

Low/Spring Heel Jack
Can there be two Indie Holy Grails, or will that bother the Templars?

Luna's Days of Our Nights
This is one of those CDs that I meant to grab about ten times while at the record store but, put off by that big $17.99 sticker, I always figured it would be on sale someday. It never went on sale, and now it's gone, and I am sad. Sad sad sad.

-- Christian Carey

Think you're some sort of clever boots? Why not send us your damn list? Come up with a creative topic and make certain to include artist, title, and label information. If we use your list, we'll send you some sort of prize...most likely a Splendid t-shirt. Or not, if you'd rather we don't.

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