Dear Lost Tunes: Please Find These Four Out-Of-Print Albums For Us (And The World)

Jul 31st, 2008 // 12 Comments

ponyexpress.jpgUniversal’s just-launched download store, Lost Tunes, is currently only available in the UK, but it’s worth noting: It’s meant to approximate the effect of going into a small, carefully curated record shop where the stock is limited to a relatively small selection of “hand-picked” albums, many of which are exclusive. The good news is that whoever’s curating the thing has picked some good stuff, including music by the likes of Cerrone, Lloyd Cole, The Tubes, Black Uhuru, and a host of funk and R&B greats. But there’s always more room on virtual shelves, so we’d like to recommend a few albums for resurrection by Lost Tunes–or, really, any other service that will enter the digital-reissue world.

Hank How To Prosper In The Coming Bad Years
Released back in 2004, the first proper album by Canada’s most confusingly named indie band may be of a far more recent vintage than pretty much everything else in Lost Tunes’ inventory, but it is ridiculously obscure, and it sounds totally out of time. The record is a peculiar lo-fi stew of girl-group vocals, droll male vocals, obscure lyrics, and grooves knicked from post-punk, disco, Motown, and old timey 50s rock and roll. It’s precisely the sort of record that would impress the kind of record geek who thinks they’ve heard it all.

Holger Czukay, Rome Remains Rome
The former Can bassist’s 1987 album has been out of print for years, and contains much of his best solo material. The album should be stocked if just for the fact that it contains the woozy, Pope-sampling epic “Blessed Easter,” a composition so gloriously groovy and weird that it trumps nearly everything in the Can discography.

Shudder To Think, Pony Express Record
It could be a hassle to get the rights to Shudder To Think’s major-label debut, but it’d be worth it. The record has its cult for sure, but outside a relatively small number of alt-kids from the ’90s, the album’s bizarre, surreal blend of prog, glam, punk, and pop is almost completely unknown.

The Silures All You Can Eat EP
This is another fairly recent record, but this 2003 collaboration between electronic DJ Vitalic and singer Linda Lamb may be one of the most unfairly slept-on releases of the decade, and the high water mark of the Electroclash era. “21 Ghosts,” the duo’s best song, appears in two mixes–one is spare and somewhat atmospheric, and the other is a stomping electro monster with one of the most devastating synth hooks you’ll ever hear.

  1. tigerpop

    Pony Express Record is about the strangest record to ever come out on a major, up there with Angel Dust.

  2. Al Shipley

    I didn’t even realize Pony was OOP, I’ve been searching for my copy of it all over the place lately since I’m seeing them at Virgin Fest next week, and I kept thinking “well, if need be I can buy a new copy.” Damn.

  3. janine

    I know it isn’t cool to like your vinyl too much, but yeah, I have Pony on vinyl.

  4. Captain Wrong

    I was going to say my suggestions is the self titled Masters of Reality album originally on Delicious Vinyl. The later albums were nowhere near as good (IMHO) and with stoner and doom and like minded bands abound these days, the time is right for a Masters of Reality revival.

    Hadn’t looked for it on Amazon since they did their mp3 store and lo and behold there it is! Whoo-hoo! Suck on that Marketplace profiteers!!!

  5. Captain Wrong

    @Al Shipley: Oh and I checked on Pony, as it’s been on my “to buy” list for a decade or so. You can get a copy cheap on Amazon or you can get the mp3 version for $10. So, there you go.

  6. PengIn

    @Captain Wrong: Thanks for the info on that first Masters album.

    Also, fuck you, Sub Pop, for not making Tad’s Salt Lick/God’s Balls available anywhere. It’s only the best album of the grunge era.*

    *rum-based exaggeration

  7. februarymakeup

    Crazy Rhythms.

    Crazy Rhythms.

  8. westartedthis

    i once found a torrent of like 11 albums by the Tubes. E-Leven! and…now there are too many Tubes songs on my ipod.

  9. Michaelangelo Matos

    @februarymakeup: Crazy Rhythms is being reissued ([blogs.villagevoice.com])

  10. Luke N Atmaguchi

    The Brains (s/t)

  11. TheContrarian

    @tigerpop:

    Totally right the fuck on. And neither Pony Express nor Angel Dust are on iTunes. Such a cryin’ shame.

  12. blobby

    @Al Shipley: see you there

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