Pop Kulcher

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Member Since: 7/1/2002
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The Great Lost Album

Artist Song Buy
The Who  Pure And Easy   buy on itunes
Elliott Smith  A Passing Feeling  buy on itunes
Beach Boys  Do You Like Worms  buy on itunes
Mary Lou Lord  Smells Like Teen Spirit  buy on itunes
Velvet Underground  One Of These Days  buy on itunes
The Beatles  Dig It [complete]  buy on itunes
Neil Young  Powderfinger [acoustic]  buy on itunes
Sonic Youth  Bookstore (Mote)  buy on itunes
West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band  Booker T & His Electric Shock  buy on itunes
Joy Division  No Love Lost [RCA studios]  buy on itunes
The Kinks  Til Death Us Do Part  buy on itunes
Electric Banana [The Pretty Things]  It'll Never Be Me  buy on itunes
Neutral Milk Hotel  Up & Over (Synthetic Flying Machine)  buy on itunes
Grateful Dead  Doin' That Rag [original mix]  buy on itunes
The Byrds  One Hundred Years From Now [Gram Parsons vocal]  buy on itunes
Badfinger  Keep Believing  buy on itunes
Velvet Underground  Caroline  buy on itunes
Guided by Voices  Back To Saturn X  buy on itunes
Harry Nilsson  Blow Me Down  buy on itunes
David Bowie  Shadow Man [orig.]  buy on itunes
Trey Anastasio  The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday
(Opening Narrative) 
buy on itunes
Jeff Buckley  New Year's Prayer  buy on itunes

Comment:

This one was a labor of love; hope you enjoy it. (Please note that, while some of this comes from official releases, much comes from, shall we say, unofficial releases, so there is a bit of variation in sound quality.) (Further note: due to AOTM limitations on comment size, the comments below are continued in the feedback boxes.)

Here, then, a selection of tracks from the great lost albums of rock & roll - the unreleased masterpieces, the scrapped projects left by the wayside, the works-in-progress cut short by the artist's demise, the legendary failures that never made it to the digital age.

1. After the success of Tommy, Pete Townshend struggled to create an ambitious sci-fi concept album/multimedia project called Lifehouse; he never quite pulled it off. Some of the material ended up on 1971's Who's Next, and other bits dribbled out on various Who and Townshend solo albums. "Pure & Easy," the work's centerpiece, showed up on 1974's Odds & Sods leftover collection.
2. Elliott Smith was partway through a planned two-album set at the time of his 2003 (likely) suicide; some of the more polished tracks (including this) were later mixed and released as 2004's surprisingly solid From A Basement On The Hill.
3. Undeniably the most notable "lost" album is Brian Wilson's unfinished masterpiece Smile, recorded from '66-'67. Versions of selected Smile tracks were released on various Beach Boys albums over the next half decade (and Wilson later re-recorded the entire project and released it as a 2004 solo album); a decent chunk of the recordings (including this) showed up on 1993's Good Vibrations box set.
4. Mary Lou Lord started her recording career with 1992's fine Real, a mix of covers and originals that was released only as a limited-edition cassette (which is a damn shame).
5. The Velvet Underground recorded an album's worth of material in 1969, but when they changed labels for their final [but see below!] album, Loaded, the songs were left behind. They finally saw (official) light of day on 1985's superb VU, with a few straggling tracks on 1986's Another View.
6. The Beatles' tortured 1969 Let It Be sessions were originally mixed into an album entitled Get Back by producer Glyn Johns; but that project was shelved, with Phil Spector later brought in to (over?) produce the album for release as 1970's Let It Be. (Another version, Let It Be. Naked, was officially released in 2003, with a more stripped-down sound than Spector's mix, but it still differed from the Johns version.) "Dig It" is from the Glyn Johns mix (including the full 4-minute version of the tune, rather than the 30 second excerpt found on Let It Be. Not a good song by any stretch, but interesting for historical value.
7. Alongside Smile and Lifehouse in the pantheon of "lost" albums is Neil Young's Chrome Dreams. Most of the material from 1977's planned album eventually showed up in one place or another. This is an acoustic studio version of "Powderfinger," much different from the live electric version he officially released on 1979's Rust Never Sleeps.
8. Before recording their 1990 major label debut, Goo, Sonic Youth recorded a demo version of the album (preferred by some fans over the polished official version), which was given out to their fan club and widely bootlegged; they officially released it as part of the 2005 reissue of the album.
image for mix

Feedback:

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Pop Kulcher
Date: 1/14/2008
Comments, continued:9. The WCPAEB were a good-to-mediocre L.A. 60's psyche band with a fascinating backstory. Alas, their last two albums (which abandoned the trippy grooves for a more pastoral sunshine pop/folk sound) were never released on cd and are all but impossible to find. Though not great, or even very good, there are some interesting tracks, and they help round out the legend of this troubled band.
10. In 1978, Joy Division recorded a planned debut album for RCA, but, unhappy with the finished product, left the label. (They instead brought in produce Martin Hannett to record their legendary 1979 debut Unknown Pleasures for Factory Records. The RCA album was widely bootlegged, and later released as a semi-official import as "Warsaw" (though the band was no longer using that name by 1978). This version is different from the original ep track that showed up on the Substance collection.
11. When the Kinks moved from Reprise to RCA in the early 70's, Reprise issued a 1973 collection of b-sides and rarities called The Great Lost Kinks Album (without bothering to tell the band). Though some of the tunes have subsequently showed up as bonus tracks on various reissues, a few great tunes (including this, from a British movie soundtrack) are still unavailable on official cd's.
12. Electric Banana was a pseudonym for Britain's Pretty Things. In the late 60s, they recorded a bunch of albums as Electric Banana for various movie soundtracks. Though filled out with some nonessential music, there were also some great lost psychedelic masterpieces to be found, though for God knows what reason these have never been officially released on cd.
13. Before releasing his two bona fide mid-90's masterpieces, Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum recorded a handful of lo-fi cassettes for limited distribution to friends and fans. "Up and Over" (also known as "Synthetic Flying Machine") was later rerecorded and became "King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 3" on 1998's Aeroplane album.
14. 1969's Aoxomoxoa was the Dead's first album recorded on a 16-track machine. Not surprisingly, they went a bit nuts in the studio, resulting in (at least for some) an album that was a bit too busy. In 1971, Jerry Garcia remixed the album, and his remix is the version that has been utilized for all subsequent reissues. This mix of "Doin' That Rag," from the original vinyl release, has some pedal steel and an extra a capella coda that Garcia removed from the remix.
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Pop Kulcher
Date: 1/14/2008
Comments, continued:
15. Though Gram Parsons brought his country sound to the Byrds' 1968 Sweetheart of the Rodeo, the original version of the album ended up with most of Parsons' vocals on the cutting room floor - either because of contractual issues or because Roger McGuinn (who replaced them with his own vocals) had a really big ego (depends who you believe). Fortunately, 2003's reissue included the original Parsons vocal tracks as alternative versions.
16. Badfinger, who had been afflicted with unbelievable bad luck throughout their career, had 1974's Head First album pulled before it could be released due to legal issues. Sadly, this was the last straw for singer/songwriter Pete Ham, who committed suicide in 1975. The album finally saw the light of day in 2000.
17. After Lou Reed left the Velvet Underground, guitarist Doug Yule recorded a final album, 1973's Squeeze, with a new band, while still using the Velvet Underground moniker (picture Ron Wood releasing an album as The Rolling Stones). It tanked, and was never issued on cd. It's a pretty bad album - bland early 70's pop-rock - though not without its humble charms.
18. Robert Pollard supposedly had a Guided by Voices album planned called Back To Saturn X; unclear whatever happened to it, though Pollard - who has apparently never recorded a snippet of music he didn't feel compelled to release - included several songs from the supposed project on various albums. This track, one of GbV's catchiest, showed up on one of GbV's 3 box sets (to date).
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Pop Kulcher
Date: 1/14/2008
Comments, concluded:
19. Harry Nilsson wrote the score to Robert Altman's 1908 (abysmal, imho) Popeye film. The soundtrack, including Nilsson's strange music performed by the actors, was critically panned and never released on cd. This comes from Nilsson's demo recording of the soundtrack, and it's actually kinda cool.
20. David Bowie recorded several songs around 1971 for a rumored album between Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust. That album was never released. Then, in 2001, he rerecorded a bunch of old, forgotten songs for an album called Toy -- which he also never released (though some tracks showed up as b-sides. This is the original early 70's version.
21. For his 1987 Goddard College senior thesis, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio recorded a concept album, with several songs (most of which ended up in the Phish repertoire) and a spoken-word narrative. It's a pretty silly fairly tale, rather nonsensical, but the bootleg version of the studio project is a fan favorite and kinda cute in its own way.
22. Another posthumous release, we close with a song from Buckley's work-in-progress at the time of his 1997 death, released as Sketches From My Sweetheart The Drunk in 1998.
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Pop Kulcher
Date: 1/14/2008
Er... sorry, Popeye was 1980, not 1908. But it still sucked. (Though Robin Williams had many more cinematic atrocities up his sleeve...)
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Sean Lally
Date: 1/14/2008
This ... is ... great!
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Doowadette
Date: 1/14/2008
I like worms, and I like the mix. Of course, the notes are what do it for me, as you correctly point out that some of these songs were lost for the good of music. I am always amazed at Robert Altman, who could create such masterpieces and then lay such eggs. I am surprised, and disappointed, to not see any of the songs that would have been the true version of Infidels, an album which really suffered due to noodling with the song selection.
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mahdishain
Date: 1/14/2008
mix of the week in a new record time. congratulations, well deserved.
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anthony lombardi
Date: 1/14/2008
this is one of the best collected mixes i've seen on this site, marc - a total music geek's dream - so many gems on here, i can barely contain myself - congrats on a very, VERY well deserved MOTW - i'd love to hear this in full, so thanks for the link
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Mark Petruccelli
Date: 1/14/2008
just phenomenal .... congrats and thanks
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Rob Conroy
Date: 1/14/2008
The full version of "Dig It" is 15 minutes long. And this is a fine mix. Congratulations.
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Terrific idea! Got me to thinking what I might include, like the gorgeous live performance of "Amelia Bright" by Ben Folds Five who melted down in the studio just a few months later, or "Princeton Junction" from the Natural History who broke up before they found a label to release their second album (although looking it up tonight, turns out they finally digitally released the album recently).When it comes to Elliott Smith, your description is fairly accurate, although he was mostly done with the record, and it wasn't clear whether he was still planning to release it as a double album (because Dreamworks probably wasn't going to let him release it that way). The more interesting lost Elliott Smith album was the original incarnation of what would eventually become From a Basement which he was recording with Jon Brion. Brion eventually objected to Elliott's drug use and Elliott broke off all ties with Brion, and allegedly disposed of the tapes. It's not clear whether some of the leaks like "True Love" are Brion-era or were re-recorded later.
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tornadoZ
Date: 1/14/2008
wow, impressive. clearly, lots of time and love went into putting this together. the notes were a delightful and informative read. very much looking forward to the listen - and congrats on the well-deserved pick of the week!
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KathrynandRupert
Date: 1/15/2008
MOTW in a particularly good week for geeky mixes is a great achievement. A brilliant piece of work. I have to tell you that the Electric Banana is available on CD as I have it right in front of me. It may not be official, the label is Carnabeat and it also has a Music De Wolfe logo on it.
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hemizen
Date: 1/15/2008
Excellent
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MarkSmith
Date: 1/15/2008
impressive!
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Mixxer
Date: 1/15/2008
Well done! I always have the sneaky expectation that the unknown tracks might not be as good as known ones, but no doubt there are a lot of gems in here.
Impressive research, and thanks for the history as well as the music.
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Mr. Mirage
Date: 1/15/2008
The cover chosen here is from one of the attempts to release [i]SMiLE[/i}, which a pal o' mine let me borrow & burn. I love it, and think that it has moments far superior to the eventual release of Brian's later attempt. imho, of course...Love this collection, and the liner notes make me wonder if y'all don't work for Rhino, the only label that has superb liner notes for pop music (as opposed to, say, Verve, as jazz labels do go that extra yard).I may just have to defend Popeye as yet another misunderstood Altman masterpiece. Granted, it isn't Nashville (what is?), but as an oddity, it has it's moments... but then again, no.Congrats on a well-deserved MOTW.
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Funky Ratchet
Date: 1/15/2008
Phenomenal mix and fantastic notes! Quite a towering acheivement...
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G-Sphere
Date: 1/15/2008
Wonderful project, mix, notes, cover, etc. Congrats!
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Dead Man
Date: 1/15/2008
This is great
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Mesh
Date: 1/15/2008
Nicely done. Congrats on MOTW!
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blasikin
Date: 1/15/2008
Wow. The depth of knowledge on this site never ceases to amaze me. Congrats!
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sport !
Date: 1/15/2008
Congrats on the MOTW and the GREAT mix! And thanks for the links.
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SwankQueen
Date: 1/15/2008
Congratulations on the MotW and a superb project!
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bufo alvarius
Date: 1/16/2008
Incredible stuff here, man! Very deserving of MOTW honors, for sure.
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Salman1
Date: 1/16/2008
Cool concept and pretty good execution on it. It would have been interesting if you could have incorporated a lot of jazz or hip-hop lost gems, but I know that's not your thing so I'll stop ragging on you! Congrats!
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gobi
Date: 1/17/2008
excellent concept and execution . . . . very inspirational and very much deserved of MOTW.
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Saaf
Date: 1/19/2008
Superb concept and interesting notes. Look forward to digging into this one. CoMotW!
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Bear
Date: 1/21/2008
Congrats indeed, great mix topped off with totally appropriate cover art.
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Skipper Bartlett
Date: 1/21/2008
Awesome! Well deserving of MotW.
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senatorhung
Date: 4/18/2008
excellent research and notes !
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big big big ones
Date: 7/26/2008
Please reupload!

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