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Return of The Paisley Underground: Omnivore Anthologizes the Early Three O’Clock

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The Hidden World RevealedPower-pop legends The Three O’Clock stunned even their most devoted fans by announcing their first live dates in decades this year, including a stop at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. To sweeten the deal even more, the fine folks at Omnivore have prepped a brand-new compilation covering their earliest years on Frontier Records – half of which is entirely unreleased.

Singer/songwriter/bassist Michael Quercio had a funny, catchy term to describe what L.A. bands like his were doing in the early ’80s: “The Paisley Underground.” Combining the sonic aesthetics of punk and alternative genres with the songwriting tropes of ’60s psychedelia and folk, Quercio, guitarist Louis Gutierrez, keyboardist Mike Mariano and drummer Danny Benair were perhaps the band that mastered that sound the best, alongside contemporaries The Dream Syndicate and The Bangles. The Three O’Clock were signed to the Frontier label, releasing their first LP for the label in 1982 under the moniker “The Salvation Army.” That name was quickly changed for legal reasons, and the band released the Baroque Hoedown EP and Sixteen Tambourines LP in 1982 and 1983 for the label.

The group later signed to I.R.S., releasing two albums, Arrive Without Travelling (1985) and Ever After (1986), the latter featuring new guitarist Steven Attenberg. He was duly replaced in 1988 by Jason Falkner; that lineup recorded one final album, Vermillion, for Prince’s Paisley Park Records. (Minneapolis’ favorite son penned one track for them, “Neon Telephone,” under the alias Joey Coco.) The band broke up shortly thereafter, with Falkner arguably the highest-profile of the group as a member of fellow Omnivore favorite Jellyfish for their first LP, Bellybutton.

It’s Quercio, Gutierrez and Benair that will keep the flame alive on the road this year, however, and all three players contribute to The Hidden World Revealed, a new compilation of the band’s Frontier-era work. Quercio and Gutierrez penned the liner notes while Benair provides running track-by-track commentary on the 20-song program, which includes choice tracks from Baroque Hoedown and Sixteen Tambourines as well as 10 unreleased cuts, including alternate takes, unheard songs and demos (including one by The Salvation Army).

Available June 25, this is one CD you will not want to be late for! Full track details and links from the label are after the jump!

The Three O’Clock, The Hidden World Revealed (Omnivore, 2013)

  1. All in Good Time
  2. With a Cantaloupe Girlfriend
  3. In Lone In Too
  4. Stupid Einstein
  5. Lucifer Sam
  6. Rodney on the ROQ Commercial *
  7. Jet Fighter
  8. When Lightning Starts (Alternate Version) *
  9. Sound Surrounds (Demo) *
  10. Around the World
  11. On My Own (with Strings) *
  12. I Go Wild (Alternate Version) *
  13. In My Own Time (Alternate Version) *
  14. Why Cream Curdles in Orange Tea *
  15. A Day in Erotica (Alternate Version) *
  16. Jennifer Only (Home Demo) — The Salvation Army *
  17. The Girl with the Guitar (Says Oh Yeah) (Demo) *
  18. Seeing is Believing
  19. Regina Caeli
  20. Feel a Whole Lot Better

Track 1 from The Radio Tokyo Tapes (Ear Movie Records EM C0027, 1983)
Track 2 from Baroque Hoedown EP (Frontier Records FLP 1010, 1982)
Tracks 3, 5 and 20 from French release of Baroque Hoedown (Lolita 5003, 1983)
Tracks 4, 7 and 18 from Sixteen Tambourines (Frontier Records FLP 1012, 1983)
Track 10 from Sixteen Tambourines/Baroque Hoedown CD reissue (Frontier Records 01866 31012-2, 1991)
Track 19 from holiday fan-club single and B-side to “Warm Aspirations” single (I.R.S. Records IRM 127 (U.K.), 1986)

Written by Mike Duquette

April 10, 2013 at 10:05

2 Responses

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  1. wow! sounds awesome! saw the Clock many times when living in both AZ and Los Angeles in the early 80s, was even on a few gigs opening for them in some bands or another, and they were a GREAT live band……nice to see this unexpected surprise!


    April 10, 2013 at 10:22

  2. Happy to read this news, as I recall the band fondly, having interviewed at least two of them live on my college radio station WRCT in Pittsburgh in 1985 (or perhaps 84).

    Mark I.

    April 10, 2013 at 15:26

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