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Omnivore Boils Ron Nagle’s “Bad Rice” In Deluxe Edition of 1970 Cult Classic

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Bad RiceToday, Ron Nagle may be best known for his groundbreaking work as a ceramic sculptor.  The “baron of sculptural intelligence” has been pushing the boundaries of art for decades now with his award-winning variations on the basic form of a cup.  The San Francisco Gate recently praised the “master ceramic sculptor and painter whose original sense of color is equally informed by Mark Rothko and the hot rod aesthetic.”  But for music fans, Nagle is known for his double life as a singer, songwriter and musician.  A member of the Bay Area band The Mystery Trend and the pop duo Durocs, Nagle has co-written songs with Barbra Streisand (“Believe What You Read,” from Streisand Superman) and provided sound effects for The Exorcist.  In 1970, in the salad days of the Warner Bros. Records label, Nagle recorded one album with co-producer and arranger Jack Nitzsche that has gone on to attain cult classic status.  Now, Omnivore Recordings is restoring that long-lost platter, Bad Rice, to print in a deluxe, 2-CD expanded edition.

Featuring what Omnivore aptly describes as “Nagle’s trademark blend of Stones-y raunch, Beach Boys lilt and Newman-esque black humor,” Bad Rice features guest appearances by Sal Valentino of The Beau Brummels and Ry Cooder, both of whom were sharing the WB family of labels with Nagle, as well as John Blakeley (Stoneground), George Rains (Mother Earth, Sir Douglas Quintet), and Mickey Waller (Pilot, Silvermetre).  Nitzsche, the legendary Wall of Sound architect, co-produced and arranged the LP alongside Nagle’s mentor, San Francisco radio personality Tom “Big Daddy” Donahue.  Despite receiving critical acclaim upon its release, Bad Rice failed to trouble the charts, leaving its charms to be appreciated only by those who found it in dusty record racks and dutifully found themselves spreading the word.  A vinyl reissue arrived from Edsel Records in 1999, but CD release somehow eluded Bad Rice.

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Written by Joe Marchese

December 15, 2014 at 11:14

Posted in News, Reissues, Ron Nagle