The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Baby’s Coming Back: Jellyfish Goes Deluxe In January

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Jellyfish - BellybuttonThis January is all about Jellyfish, thanks to the team at Omnivore Recordings. On January 20, 2015, the label will release the eagerly-anticipated 2-CD deluxe editions of both 1990’s Bellybutton and 1993’s Spilt Milk – in other words, the complete original album oeuvre of the power pop revivalists. In total, 51 bonus tracks will be spread across the two releases for the most complete account of the short-lived yet fondly-remembered Bay Area band.

Formed by singer/drummer Andy Sturmer and keyboardist Roger Joseph Manning, Jr., both late of San Francisco’s Beatnik Beach, Jellyfish initially featured Manning’s brother Chris on bass and Jason Falkner of The Three O’Clock on guitar. Inspired by The Beach Boys, The Beatles and Badfinger (among others), Bellybutton yielded a modest hit in the form of the single “Baby’s Coming Back,” but while the single was sweet, band relations weren’t. Chris Manning and Jason Falkner would depart the band after the completion of its first tour. (A document of the group in action can be heard on the splendid 2012 Live at Bogart’s, also from Omnivore.) But the 10 tracks the original group left behind speak volumes for the quartet’s musical compatibility. The upcoming edition of Bellybutton contains the original, remastered album in full, plus a generous 26 bonus tracks. The 2-CD set, housed in a digipak, adds demo and live versions of both released and unreleased tracks, plus covers of favorites from Paul McCartney & Wings (“Jet”), Donovan (“Season of the Witch”) and even The Archies (“Sugar and Spice”). The full-color booklet boasts an essay from author Ken Sharp based on recent interviews with Andy Sturmer, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and the album’s producers (Bee Gees veteran Albhy Galuten and Jack Joseph Plug). Sturmer and Manning also participate in track-by-track commentary on the original tracks. The Bellybutton Demos, consisting of 16 demos found on Disc 2 of the deluxe edition CD, will also be released as a digital-only standalone set.

Hit the jump for more, including the complete track listings for both titles!

Jellyfish MilkAndy Sturmer and Roger Manning were joined by a rotating cast of musicians for Spilt Milk (1993), including producer Jon Brion, Lyle Workman and Hall and Oates’ associate T-Bone Wolk, but the band called it a day not long after finishing a tour to promote that record. Still, the Jellyfish legend grew. A comprehensive rarities box set was released independently in 2002, and a compilation was released in 2006. The next year, the U.K. band McFly revived “Baby’s Coming Back” and it soared up the charts in England. The new Spilt Milk contains the original 12-song album in full, plus another host of bonus tracks – 25, to be exact. This 2-CD set, housed in a digipak, has demo and live versions of both released and unreleased tracks, and this time, the covers include choice songs by artists such as Harry Nilsson (“Think About Your Troubles”). Ken Sharp again supplies the essay based on recent interviews with Sturmer and Roger Manning, who also contribute track-by-track commentary on the original album’s songs.

Both Bellybutton and Spilt Milk will be released by Omnivore Recordings on January 20. The label quotes Andy Sturmer on Jellyfish: “All the bands we worshiped harmonized and wrote catchy hooks. That’s what we want to do. It’s very natural.” These two releases will undoubtedly prove just how well Sturmer and co. lived up to their mission. You can pre-order both titles below directly from Omnivore, and we’ll update with Amazon links as soon as they become available!

Jellyfish, Bellybutton (Charisma 91400-1, 1990 – reissued Omnivore, 2015)

CD 1

  1. THE MAN I USED TO BE
  2. THAT IS WHY
  3. THE KING IS HALF-UNDRESSED
  4. I WANNA STAY HOME
  5. SHE STILL LOVES HIM
  6. ALL I WANT IS EVERYTHING
  7. NOW SHE KNOWS SHE’S WRONG
  8. BEDSPRING KISS
  9. BABY’S COMING BACK
  10. CALLING SARAH
  11. THE KING IS HALF-UNDRESSED (Live)
  12. SUGAR AND SPICE (Live)
  13. MR. LATE (Live)
  14. ALL I WANT IS EVERYTHING (Live)
  15. JET (Live)
  16. THE KING IS HALF-UNDRESSED (Live)
  17. BABY’S COMING BACK (Live)
  18. I WANNA STAY HOME (Live)
  19. SHE STILL LOVES HIM (Live)
  20. ALL I WANT IS EVERYTHING (Live)

CD 2

  1. THE MAN I USED TO BE (Demo)
  2. THE KING IS HALF-UNDRESSSED (Demo)
  3. I WANNA STAY HOME (Demo)
  4. SHE STILL LOVES HIM (Demo)
  5. ALL I WANT IS EVERYTHING (Demo)
  6. NOW SHE KNOWS SHE’S WRONG (Demo)
  7. BEDSPRING KISS (Demo)
  8. BABY’S COMING BACK (Demo)
  9. CALLING SARAH (Demo)
  10. DELIVER (Demo)
  11. QUEEN OF THE U.S.A. (Demo)
  12. ALWAYS BE MY GIRL (Demo)
  13. LET THIS DREAM NEVER END (Demo)
  14. SEASON OF THE WITCH (Demo)
  15. THAT GIRL’S A MAN (Demo)
  16. BYE BYE BYE (Demo)

Jellyfish, Spilt Milk (Charisma V2 86459, 1993 – reissued Omnivore, 2015)

CD 1

  1. HUSH
  2. JOINING A FANCLUB
  3. SEBRINA, PASTE AND PLATO
  4. NEW MISTAKE
  5. GLUTTON OF SYMPATHY
  6. THE GHOST AT NUMBER ONE
  7. BYE BYE BYE
  8. ALL IS FORGIVEN
  9. RUSSIAN HILL
  10. HE’S MY BEST FREIND
  11. TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
  12. BRIGHTER DAY
  13. FAMILY TREE (Demo)
  14. IGNORANCE IS BLISS (Demo)
  15. WORTHLESS HEART (Demo)
  16. WATCHIN’ THE RAIN (Demo)
  17. I NEED LOVE (Demo)
  18. I DON’T BELIEVE YOU (Demo)
  19. LONG TIME AGO (Demo)
  20. RUNNIN’ FOR OUR LIVES (Demo)

CD 2

  1. SPILT MILK INTRO (Demo)
  2. HUSH (Demo)
  3. JOINING A FAN CLUB (Demo)
  4. SEBRINA, PASTE AND PLATO (Demo)
  5. NEW MISTAKE (Demo)
  6. GLUTTON OF SYMPATHY (Demo)
  7. THE GHOST AT NUMBER ONE (Demo)
  8. ALL IS FORGIVEN (Demo)
  9. RUSSIAN HILL (Demo)
  10. HE’S MY BEST FRIEND (Demo)
  11. SPILT MILK OUTRO (Demo)
  12. THINK ABOUT YOUR TROUBLES
  13. THAT IS WHY (Live)
  14. THE GHOST AT NUMBER ONE (Live)
  15. JOINING A FAN CLUB (Live)
  16. S.O.S. (Live)
  17. FAN CLUB MESSAGE

Written by Joe Marchese

December 1, 2014 at 14:38

Posted in Jellyfish, News, Reissues

11 Responses

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  1. I don’t have my Fan Club box set or Jellyfish Comes Alive EP in front of me, but I’m wondering how many of the bonus tracks were included on those releases and how many are truly “previously unreleased.” Does anyone know?

  2. Best as I can tell, all the bonus material was previously released on FAN CLUB. But since the box set is rare and fetching exceedingly high prices, no doubt the folks that have missed out previously will eat up being able to acquire this material. Not unlike Big Star, the Jellyfish legend continues to grow.

    electricbozo

    December 1, 2014 at 14:54

    • Thanks for confirming my suspicion about the extra material on these releases, electricbozo. I’ve been a Jellyfish fan since the beginning and bought my copy of Fan Club from Not Lame Records as soon as it was announced. I may end up skipping these reissues since I already have the original CDs, the box set, the Omnivore vinyl reissues, a couple of live bootlegs, the Jellyfish Comes Alive EP, the Stack-A-Tracks instrumental set, etc. But I’m thrilled for newcomers to their music. These should be the definitive versions of Bellybutton and Spilt Milk for them to enjoy.

  3. Was “Season Of The Witch” on FanClub? Doesn’t really matter – I’ll buy these anyways! Liner notes! Remastered!

    Kent

    December 1, 2014 at 20:04

    • Yes it is…even tho I have my copy of “Fan Club”, I will be buying these reissues for the remastered albums on CD…I have the coloured vinyls too…want to read the commentary as well…as for live “Spilt Milk” recorded concerts, I have a feeling something will emerge…plus yes, a DVD/BluRay of all vidclips, TV footage, live footage, etc…would be essential…I’m happy that even tho this has stuff from “Fan Club”, it’s not everything from that rare boxset…

      As for a reunion…a double bill of Jellyfish and XTC would be extra sweet but will never happen…credit (or blame) Andy and Colin for that, but I’d rather it not happen than them do it for the money and be depressed and do it half-arsed that it would suck and taint their legacies…

      Larry Davis

      December 2, 2014 at 19:52

  4. If I were an eccentric billionaire, Jellyfish is definitely one of the bands I’d try to bribe into reuniting for a one-off private concert. (XTC is another one.) But until the day that an unlikely accident renders me permanently eccentric, entitling me to a multi-billion-dollar settlement, these vault-clearing reissues will have to do.

    I’ve got the “Fan Club” box set, and therefore all the bonus tracks, but if the albums themselves are remastered then that might be the excuse to go ahead and indulge.

    Kudos to Omnivore for keeping the ‘Fish swimming. But the vault isn’t empty yet! “Fan Club” has some live material from the “Spilt Milk” tour, but there must be more out there to justify a standalone CD release along the lines of the “Bogart’s” disc documenting the “Bellybutton” tour. And I’d love to see a comprehensive DVD release. More than one concert was professionally filmed, and they could fill up another disc with music videos and TV appearances.

    Steve Bruun

    December 1, 2014 at 21:42

  5. Was “Sugar and Spice” recorded by the Archies (as stated in the article)? Their #1 hit (in 1969) was “Sugar, Sugar,” while “Sugar and Spice” was a hit for the Searchers and the Cryan’ Shames (their track on the original Nuggets compilation on Elektra/Sire) several years earlier.

    Mike S.

    December 2, 2014 at 01:49

    • The Archies’ “Sugar and Spice” is a Ron Dante/Gene Allan composition, not the Tony Hatch song recorded by The Searchers and the Cryan’ Shames.

      Joe Marchese

      December 2, 2014 at 11:22

  6. I wonder if Amazon will fulfill my order that is still open from the beginning of 2014.

    colechow

    December 2, 2014 at 08:31

  7. And when the Jellyfish vaults are empty Omnivore can start releasing Imperial Drag stuff!

    Kent

    December 3, 2014 at 04:56

    • There are 2 discs worth of ID demos – sounds like a good idea to me!

      electricbozo

      December 5, 2014 at 14:52


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