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Omnivore Succeeds with Reissue of The Posies’ “Failure”

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PosiesLast week Omnivore Recordings announced their latest title for the late summer: an expansion of the debut album by power-pop idols The Posies.

The Washington-based group, built around singers/songwriters/guitarists Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, earned immediate indie acclaim when first album Failure was released on the PopLlama label in 1988 after Scott McCaughey – leader of The Minus 5 and a constant collaborator with R.E.M. since the mid-1990s – was given a self-released copy of the album on cassette. The album opened the band up for widespread success in the next decade; The Posies ultimately signed with DGC Records, had their modern rock hit “Golden Blunders” covered by Ringo Starr and (perhaps the highest level of power pop ascension you can get) became part of the Big Star story when Auer and Stringfellow were recruited to join a new lineup of the group with Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens in the 1990s and 2000s. The Posies continue to record and tour to this day, no doubt inspiring countless fans of gorgeous hooks and beautiful harmonies to continue the tradition.

Omnivore’s expanded Failure restores the album’s original 12-track running order (preserved on cassette but cut down by one song on vinyl) and adds eight bonus tracks. Many of these are sourced from a long out-of-print 2000 box set and a 2004 reissue of the album proper, but one, a demo of “At Least for Now,” is being heard for the first time on this disc.

The power-pop goodness of Failure is reintroduced on August 19 on both CD and LP (which will feature the original 12-track playlist with the bonus tracks available on a download card). The first pressing of the LP edition will be on green vinyl – hence that green square you see above! Amazon links currently only exist for CD versions, but you can find those, as well as the full track list, below.

Failure: Expanded Edition (Omnivore Recordings, 2014)

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

  1. Blind Eyes Open
  2. The Longest Line
  3. Under Easy
  4. Like Me Too
  5. I May Hate You Sometimes
  6. Ironing Tuesdays
  7. Paint Me
  8. Believe in Something (Other Than Yourself)
  9. Compliment?
  10. At Least for Now
  11. Uncombined
  12. What Little Remains
  13. Believe in Something Other (Than Yourself) (Live)
  14. I May Hate You Sometimes (Demo)
  15. Paint Me (Demo)
  16. Like Me Too (Demo)
  17. Alison Hubbard (Instrumental)
  18. After Many a Summer Dies the Swan (Instrumental)
  19. Blind Eyes Open (Instrumental Demo)
  20. At Least for Now (Demo)

Tracks 1-12 released PopLLama PL-2323, 1988
Track 13 from At Least At Last box set – Not Lame Recordings NLA-006, 2000
Tracks 14-19 from 15th anniversary expanded edition – Houston Party HPR091, 2004
Track 20 previously unreleased

Written by Mike Duquette

June 30, 2014 at 13:12

3 Responses

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  1. What’s a typical production run on a title like this?? I’d be interested in the CD first (but not right away), since I only have the original 12-song CD. Might want the LP eventually, but I’ll definitely wait – don’t want to go for it at full price.

    Bill Janowski

    June 30, 2014 at 15:57

  2. I was very happy to hear about the Posies expanded reissues. I’m lukewarm about this one because I already have the box set and the expanded edition issued by Houston Party in 2003, but band members have confirmed that the three DGC albums (“Dear 23,” “Frosting on the Beater” and “Amazing Disgrace”) are all slated for expanded reissues as well, which promises more great stuff. I really hope we get to hear more (all??) of the abandoned “Eclipse” album that was to have been the follow-up to “Dear 23”.

    A note for completists – the Omnivore reissue has most, but not all, of the bonus tracks from the earlier Houston Party reissue. The 2003 version includes full-band remakes (by the “Dear 23” lineup) of two songs: “Compliment?” and “I May Hate You Sometimes,” along with a video of the latter.

    Now we need to get Omnivore to add the Posies’ 1998 PopLlama swansong “Success” to the roster, and to release a complete concert recording from Jellyfish’s “Spilt Milk” tour to complement “Live at Bogart’s.”

    Steve Bruun

    June 30, 2014 at 17:42

  3. One of the best power pop bands to come of of grunge central (Seattle) when things were mostly getting noisy.


    June 30, 2014 at 22:31

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