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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! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 1, 2014 at 14:38

Posted in Jellyfish, News, Reissues

Release Round-Up: Week of December 10

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Eric Clapton - Give Me StrengthEric Clapton, Give Me Strength: The ’74/’75 Recordings (Polydor/UMe)

One of Clapton’s most prolific periods is revisited with this six-disc box, featuring expanded versions of 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974), There’s One in Every Crowd (1975), a remixed and expanded double-disc version of live album E.C. Was Here (1975), a disc of sessions at Criteria Studios with blues legend Freddie King and a Blu-Ray featuring new 5.1 surround and original quadrophonic mixes.  (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Ella The Voice of JazzElla Fitzgerald, The Voice of Jazz (Verve/UMe)

A ten, count ’em, ten-disc overview of one of the greatest jazz vocalists ever. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Radio JellyfishJellyfish, Radio Jellyfish (Omnivore)

Join the fan club! The power-pop cult legends took a stripped-down approach for a 1993 radio tour, and we now get to enjoy these performances for its first official release.

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

Mellencamp big boxJohn Mellencamp, John Mellencamp 1978-2012 (Mercury/UMe)

All of Mellencamp’s official studio albums for Riva, Mercury, Columbia and Rounder – from 1979’s John Cougar to 2010’s No Better Than This – plus the out-of-print soundtrack to his 1992 acting and directorial debut, Falling from Grace. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

White Light - White Heat Box SetThe Velvet Underground, White Light/White Heat: 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Polydor/UMe)

The VU’s second album gets the deluxe treatment as a triple-disc set, featuring the album in mono and stereo with 11 bonus tracks, plus a third disc recorded live at New York’s Gymnasium in 1967. (A double-disc version omits the mono disc.)

3CD Deluxe Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2CD Deluxe Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Neil Young - Cellar DoorNeil Young, Live At The Cellar Door (Reprise)

A previously-unreleased disc culled from Young’s late-1970 run at the small Washington, D.C. club – the latest in his ongoing Archive Performance Series.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.

Saving Mr BanksThomas Newman, Saving Mr. Banks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Walt Disney Records)

The deluxe version of this new release – from a new Disney film telling the tale of how Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) brought P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson)’s classic children’s novels to the screen – contains never-before-released “pre-demos” from the original 1964 film! (In the U.K., those demos are available on a new double-disc reissue of the original Mary Poppins soundtrack.)

The Complete Motown Singles Volume 12BVarious Artists, The Complete Motown Singles Volume 12B: 1972 (Hip-O Select/Motown)

The final volume in the long-running box set series features five discs of soul-pop classics from the back end of 1972. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Verve The Sound of America Box SetVarious Artists, Verve – The Sound of America: The Singles Collection (Verve/UMe)

A new five-disc anthology from one of America’s most notable jazz labels. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Omnivore Re-Joins Jellyfish Fan Club with Unreleased Radio Performances

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Radio JellyfishFans of eternally underrated power-pop outfit Jellyfish have had nothing but friends over at Omnivore Recordings. The label first released the band’s two studio albums, Bellybutton and Spilt Milk, on vinyl. Then there was the unreleased Live At Bogart’s and the Stack-a-Tracks compilation, which featured mostly-instrumental mixes of the two albums uncovered from the vaults.

Now, Omnivore prepares Radio Jellyfish, a ten-track compilation of radio broadcasts recorded two decades ago. All but one of the tracks are presented here for the first time (one first surfaced on a long out-of-print Jellyfish box set from 2002), and paint another clear picture of just what an impressive band Jellyfish were, live in studio.

In 1993, Jellyfish released their sophomore album, Spilt Milk, with a slightly modified lineup that included returning members Andy Stuermer (vocals/drums) and Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. (vocals/keyboards) and new members Tim Smith (bass) and Eric Dover (guitar) in place of the departed Jason Falkner (and, in concert, bassist Chris Manning and second guitarist Niko Wenner). Spilt Milk was a more elaborate affair than even its densely-packed predecessor, with tracks like “The Ghost At Number One,” “New Mistake” and “Joining a Fan Club” featuring even more complex arrangements and overdubs.

While Jellyfish were no stranger to replicating these big sounds in concert, the two broadcasts included on Radio Jellyfish – one recorded in The Netherlands, one in Australia – showcase a band happily playing to the “unplugged” style of the rock world (the live acoustic MTV series was arguably at the peak of its popularity). But even stripped-down Jellyfish has the same qualities you love about the band proper, from hooky melodies to chill-inducing vocals. With selections ranging from both of their albums, and two covers to boot (The Move’s “I Can Hear the Grass Grow” and Badfinger’s “No Matter What”), this disc is shaping up to be another pleasant sting from Omnivore in the ever-increasing Jellyfish discography.

Radio Jellyfish streets on December 10. Hit the jump to preorder your copy (on CD or vinyl) and check out the track list!

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 14, 2013 at 12:15

Posted in Jellyfish, News, Reissues, Vinyl

Release Round-Up: Week of March 12

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Motown Musical - OriginalsVarious Artists, Motown the Musical – Originals: The Classic Songs That Inspired the Broadway Show (Motown/UMe)

The Sound of Young America is now the sound of The Great White Way, with a new musical entering previews this week. This new compilation presents all the original versions of the songs that feature in the show!

1CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

TV ManiaTV Mania, Bored with Prozac and the Internet? (Tapemodern)

Completed by Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes and former band guitarist Warren Cuccurullo in the late ’90s and presumed lost until recently, this experimental concept disc offered some surprisingly trenchant social commentary on an increasingly wacky media culture. (MP3: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Stack-a-Tracks-Digi-with-discsJellyfish, Stack-a-Tracks (Omnivore)

Released last year as a Record Store Day/Black Friday exclusive, this 2CD set, featuring original, lead vocal-free mixes of the power pop legends’ Bellybutton and Spilt Milk, is now available for all audiences to enjoy. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Jamiroquai, Emergency on Planet Earth Return of the Space Cowboy Travelling Without Moving: Deluxe Editions (Sony Music U.K.)

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the U.K. dance group’s first album, the first three Jamiroquai LPs have been remastered and expanded.

Emergency 2CD: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S. :: 2LP: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S. (no pre-order link available at present)
Cowboy 2CD:  Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S. :: 2LP: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Travelling 2CD:  Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S. :: 2LP: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

Paul Revere - Evolution to RevolutionPaul Revere and the Raiders, Evolution to Revolution: 5 Classic Albums 1965-1967 (Raven)

Five of The Raiders’ classic Columbia LPs are put on two discs for the value-savvy collector. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Merman - Her GreatestAndrews Sisters, Greatest Hits in Stereo/Great Golden Hits / Enoch Light and the Light Brigade, Provocative Percussion 3 & 4 / Ethel Merman, Her Greatest / Various Artists, Stars for a Summer Night (Sepia Recordings)

The latest vintage hits compilations from Sepia include some classic compilations from The Andrews Sisters and Ethel Merman and a great set of easy listening classics for summertime!

Andrews: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Enoch: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Ethel: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
StarsAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Black Friday 2012: Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa Lead Off Packed Slate of RSD Exclusives

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Here in the U. S. of A., Black Friday is almost upon us: that unusual date following the prior day of giving thanks, in which consumers make a mad dash to the local big-box store, mall or shopping center to procure bargains for the holiday season ahead.  Retailers are controversially beginning Black Friday “festivities” even earlier than usual this year, with many sales starting on Thanksgiving Day itself and not even at midnight but in the early part of the evening.  For a number of recent years, music buyers have had our own Black Friday, that day in April known as Record Store Day in which the aisles of our independent retailers are filled with hunters of collectible vinyl and CD releases.  Record Store Day has in the past sponsored a mini-RSD event on Black Friday, but this year, the titles on offer are as enticing and nearly as plentiful as those on the main RSD itself.  For some, this will be a source of frustration, for others, excitement.

This year’s line-up for Record Store Day – Black Friday brings titles from some of the biggest names in rock including The Beach Boys, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Nirvana, plus cult favorites like Leonard Cohen, Lee Hazlewood and Frank Zappa, and country-and-western legends such as Wanda Jackson and Buck Owens.

After the jump and without further ado, we’ll fill you in on the crème of the reissued crop come this Black Friday!  Just click for your full list of the catalogue releases to watch! Read the rest of this entry »


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Written by Joe Marchese

November 19, 2012 at 10:07

WE HAVE A WINNER of Rare Jellyfish Vinyl LPs from Omnivore Recordings!

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Written by Joe Marchese

October 29, 2012 at 07:01

Omnivore’s Black Friday Schedule: Capitol Rarities on Vinyl, Jellyfish Instrumentals on CD

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We’re close to that most wonderful time of the year, folks! No, not Christmas, but – well, yeah, I guess Christmas is closer than we’d all wish it would be. But ANYWAY, the wonderful time I was alluding to is Record Store Day’s Black Friday event. The day after Thanksgiving, our beloved local independent record stores join forces with major and independent labels alike to release special exclusive treats as a way of thanking us for patronizing their businesses.

While a full list of RSD exclusives has yet to materialize, at least one of our favorite reissue labels has announced their release slate for that November weekend: Omnivore Recordings is planning four very special 10″ vinyl EPs and a double-disc set of familiar works by a power-pop artist in a very unfamiliar way.

Let’s have a look after the jump, shall we?

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 15, 2012 at 13:57

Review: Jellyfish, “Live at Bogart’s”

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When Jellyfish’s Live at Bogart’s was recorded on February 21, 1991, did anybody realize that neither the band nor the venue were long for this world?  On December 2, 1993, The Los Angeles Times lamented the closure of the Long Beach, California club, calling it a “mighty blow” to the local music community.  Yet Bogart’s actually outlasted the first iteration of the band that hailed from miles up north in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Andy Sturmer (drums/vocals), Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (keyboards/vocals) and Jason Falkner (guitars/vocals) – aided live by Chris Manning (bass/vocals) – called it a day following the tour in support of its 1990 album Bellybutton.  Andy and Roger soldiered on as Jellyfish with 1993’s Spilt Milk, but the group that had burned so brightly soon faded away.  Jellyfish disbanded just one year later, leaving behind a two-album legacy that was great in influence if small in size.  Omnivore Recordings won’t let us forget just how exciting the group could be, though, on the newly-unleashed Live at Bogart’s (OVCD-25).  Even if both the band and the venue are now things of the past, the music is as present as today.

1991 was the year of Pearl Jam’s debut and Nirvana’s breakthrough Nevermind, but where songwriters Andy Sturmer and Roger Manning were concerned, it might as well have been the year of Badfinger, Cheap Trick, Big Star and The Beach Boys.  Their tight, hour-long set at Bogart’s, leaning heavily on the Bellybutton repertoire, certainly recalled those forebears more so than any of their contemporaries.  High-energy, amped-up power pop was the order of the evening, with the songs calling out for handclaps, harmonies alternately recalling The Beach Boys or Queen, and melodies that might have crackled out of an AM radio years earlier, albeit with a post-punk attack. Jellyfish paid tribute to those past pioneers with a twist, and it’s that sense of the unexpected that makes Live at Bogart’s so engaging, even as the sound threatens to jump right out of your speakers!

Hit the jump for much more on Bogart’s! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 3, 2012 at 10:02

Posted in Jellyfish, Reissues, Reviews

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Release Round-Up: Week of July 3

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Jellyfish, Live at Bogart’s (Omnivore)

A fine 1991 gig from the criminally underrated power pop band, captured on CD and three sides of vinyl.

Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits (Audio Fidelity)

The Bard’s first compilation gets the 24K gold disc treatment.

Elton John, Classic Album Selection (Universal U.K.)

Elton fans have a neat little budget compilation of studio albums to look forward to (from 1970’s self-titled album to 1973’s Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player).

Small Faces, Odgens’ Nut Gone Flake: Deluxe Edition (Snapper Music)

A triple-disc expansion of the seminal 1968 album, featuring mono and stereo mixes as well as an assortment of treasures from the vault.

Ray Parker, Jr. and Raydio, Two Places in the Same Time A Woman Needs LoveThe Other Woman / Woman Out of Control: Expanded Editions (Funkytowngrooves)

Raydio’s last two albums, and the “Ghostbusters” hitmaker’s first two solo efforts (including the excellent, undeservedly-forgotten hit “The Other Woman”), newly remastered and expanded.

The Searchers, Hearts in Their Eyes: Celebrating 50 Years of Harmony and Jangle (Sanctuary/Universal)

From Liverpool’s other ’60s hitmakers, a four-disc set of hits and rarities.

Bronski Beat, The Age of Consent/Hundreds and Thousands / Communards, Commundards Red/Storm Paris: Deluxe Editions (Edsel)

Jimmy Somerville’s one album with the Bronski Beat and subsequent two with his own group the Communards get the double-disc expansion treatment in the U.K. from Demon Music Group.

George McCrae, Rock Your Baby: Expanded Edition (Big Break Records)

A disco classic gets the usual expanded treatment from BBR.