omnivore recordings Archive

Hundred-word Reviews: February 2021, Part 3

These five are all archival, reissue and/or compilation releases. There’s even a vinyl release here. Wolfgang Lackerschmid & Chet Baker – Quintet Sessions 1979 I was only recently introduced to the sublime collaborative genius of Lackerschmid and Baker via this release. Now, from the same era, comes this archival release. It’s even better, featuring as

Album Review: Little Richard — The Rill Thing

By the end of the 1960s, it was reasonable to assume that Little Richard’s rock ‘n’ roll career was moribund. Though he was one of music’s most important figures, by 1958 he had forsaken secular music in favor of gospel. And while he would return to rock in the ‘60s, too often he and his

Album Review: Little Richard — King of Rock and Roll

Just slightly more than a year after releasing a well-received (if non-charting) comeback album in The Rill Thing, Little Richard returned with the audaciously-titled King of Rock and Roll in September 1971. But while The Rill Thing’s defining aesthetic was a Southern soul sound (thanks in large part to its being made at FAME Studio

Album Reviews: Three from Little Richard

Quite recently, Omnivore Recordings reissued a pair of long out-of-print Little Richard albums, The Rill Thing and King of Rock and Roll. The first was an impressive updating of Little Richard’s style into soul, and the second was an only-sometimes-successful attempt at making a thematically cohesive album. But there exist more albums from that era

Hundred(plus)-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Four

Here’s a quick look at five new releases. Four are reissues; the other is a compilation of previously-unreleased material. All are simply superb; essential, even. For the first time in a decade-plus, I’ve allowed myself to exceed my 100-word limit. Flamin’ Groovies – Now Originally released in 1978, this album was – intentionally or not

Album Reviews: Five from the Coed Record Label

Doo-wop – or r&b vocal, if you prefer – is an important part of the rock and roll story. The style began just after World War II, and doo-wop enjoyed its heyday in the early (read: pre-Beatles) 1960s. Doo-wop was primarily an African-American phenomenon, but many white groups got into it as well (and there

Album Review: Holsapple & Stamey — Our Back Pages

As wonderful as the dBs were during their original run (featuring Peter Holsapple with and then without Chris Stamey), the more acoustic-flavored efforts by Holsapple and Stamey – 1991’s Mavericks and 2009’s hERE aND nOW – were truly special as well. Decidedly different in tone and energy, but simply superb they were, even for a

Album Review: Game Theory — Across the Barrier of Sound

One of the larger projects that Omnivore Recordings has undertaken in recent years is the Game Theory catalog. The alternative rock band (there are other labels that might apply, but the group’s work is eclectic enough that none fits perfectly) led by Scott Miller released five albums and a pair of EPs during its time

Album Review: Andrew Gold — Something New: Unreleased Gold

Andrew Gold’s name has been circulating quite a bit of late, at least in music nerd circles. And that’s pretty remarkable considering that he passed away just about nine years ago. The first instance of his name popping up on my radar screen was around the time that Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice

Album Review: Bobby Hatfield — Stay With Me

The history of popular music is scattered with tales of aborted projects, albums that for one reason or another never saw the light of day. Though it finally saw a kind of official release in the 21st century, the Beach Boys’ SMiLE is perhaps the most famous white whale of them all. And in that