Have you ever gone to the record store, record collector's show or flea market looking for rare 45 RPM singles long out of print and never reissued on compact disc? There are some people (including other blog writers) who love these hard to find pieces of vinyl and will gladly fork over plenty of greenbacks for the opportunity to own them. Everyone else is just lucky when a staffer at the record company answers the call to go dust off the tapes in the vault and put together a killer compilation.
In this instance it's the latter of the two and we've been saved the time, effort and money. Vanguard Records announced recently that they will release a compilation to coincide with Record Store Day on April 16, 2011 entitled - Follow Me Down: Vanguard's Lost Psychedelic Era (1966-1970). The offering is the first release to group rare Rock 'n Roll recordings from the Vanguard vaults into one cohesive package. Originally recorded during one of the most pivotal periods in music history, these songs sat languishing in the vaults until Vanguard staffer Stephen Brower and Birdman Records founder David Katznelson dug them out. This is great news for those music collectors that love "Lost 45's" and get excited about 1960's material that seems new and fresh by not being played to death over the last 45 years.
Founded by brothers Maynard and Seymour Solomon in New York in 1950 as a classical label, Vanguard Records soon began diversifying the roster into Folk and Blues artists and finally entered the Rock 'n Roll genre by signing Country Joe and The Fish in the mid 1960's. Many of the artists included in this compilation only recorded a few singles or one album thereby increasing the rarity of these recordings. The records may be rare, but the some artists who recorded these songs achieved greater fame after their stint at Vanguard.
As with most reissues of material found in the vaults there is a reason this music was left in the vault for so long. These songs were not hits at the time and may have imperfections, but overall the quality of these tracks is quite good. Besides we all don't like hits nor does perfection the most important aspect. For the majority of the public under the age of 60 these songs are brand new to us, yet still firmly rooted in the context of the late 1960's era they were recorded.
In 2011, Record Store Day celebrates its fifth year promoting the independently owned record store. The day provides a yearly occasion for all independently owned record stores an excuse to join together in celebrating all that is music. The record labels and artists jumped on board to issue limited edition vinyl and cd releases exclusively for the day. Around the country hundreds of musicians perform at various events hosted by the local record stores. In the last year or so the idea has even spread to shopping days like "Black Friday."
Only if they would have released this package as a 45 rpm box set so I could play these records on the jukebox.
Follow Me Down: Vanguard's Lost Psychedelic Era (1966-1970) track listing
LP 1Side A
- The Third Power - Getting Together
- Erik - You Said/But I've Got My Way
- Listening - Stoned Is
- The 31st of February - A Nickel's Worth of Benny's Help
- Elizabeth: You Should Be More Careful
- Jeff Monn: I Can Understand Your Problem
- Listening: See You Again
- Circus Maximus: Travelin' Around
- The Frost: Take My Hand
LP 2Side C
- Notes From The Underground: Where I'm At
- The Vagrants: I Can't Make a Friend
- Serpent Power: The Endless Tunnel
- The Family of Apostolic: Saigon Girls
- The Third Power: Persecution
- Notes From The Underground: Why Did You Put Me On
- The Hi-Five: Did You Have To Rub It In?
- The Far Cry: Hellhound
- The Frost: Big Time Spender