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

fluxington | July 31, 2008 1:00 am

Universal’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.