Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Lemonheads Return

While it's easy to think of the Boston indie scene in the 80's and early 90's as belonging to all the girl bands (Throwing Muses, Belly, The Breeders, etc...), you just can't forget the contributions of Evan Dando and The Lemonheads. The band labored in obscurity for roughly five years until they majorly hit the big scene with the release of their 5th album in 1992, It's a Shame About Ray, which sky-rocketed the band into the public's gaze. Fueled originally by their alt-punk cover of Simon & Garfunkel's Mrs. Robinson (recorded as publicity for the video release of The Graduate), the album brought the band much critical and popular acclaim. Interestingly enough, the album was originally released without Mrs. Robinson and ended with the twelfth track, Frank Mills (which gives the album's closing notes a completely different feel). I actually never knew that fact until I read the liner notes for the re-released collector's edition, which comes out today.

Another interesting factoid which I didn't previously know about Frank Mills, which happens to be my favorite track on the album, is that it is a cover of a song from the Broadway musical Hair. Expanded liner notes with facts like that alone are enough to convince me to pick up re-issues of classic albums like It's A Shame About Ray. Then, add on ten more bonus tracks: a B-side (Shaky Ground) and nine demos (see the list of additional tracks below). And then then throw a DVD with 45 minutes of videos and live performances that were previously released only on VHS as Two Weeks In Australia, and you've really sealed the deal.

14. "Shaky Ground"
15. "It's A Shame About Ray" - Demo
16. "Rockin Stroll" - Demo
17. "My Drug Buddy" - Demo
18. "Hannah & Gabi" - Demo
19. "Kitchen" - Demo
20. "Bit Part" - Demo
21. "Rudderless" - Demo
22. "Ceiling Fan In My Spoon" - Demo
23. "Confetti" - Demo

Honestly, if you've never heard this album, it's worth every bit of the hype. Don't judge it on the Mrs. Robinson cover alone, as there's much more to it than that. Besides this fabulous re-issue, the band is due to release a long awaited album of brand new material next month.

The Lemonheads - Frank Mills (Hair cover) : It's a Shame About Ray (Collector's Edition)

The Lemonheads - It's A Shame About Ray (Demo) : It's a Shame About Ray (Collector's Edition)

Visit their website, the re-issue's label Rhino Records, and become their friend on MySpace.


The Lemonheads - My Hero, Zero : School House Rock! Rocks

The Lemonheads - Stove : This Is Fort Apache

The Lemonheads - Purple Parallelogram (w/Noel Gallagher) : Unreleased

Shelley Plimpton - Frank Mills : Hair - The American Tribal Love Rock Musical (1968 Original Broadway Cast)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I managed to miss out most cool music during the late 80's and early 90's but somehow I caught on to this album, bought it, and then wore it out. 13 tracks that clock in at about 30 minutes. I never knew that Frank Mills was from Hair, suddenly the song seems less hip, nah, it still is. Thanks for the post. I will now listen to the original version thanks to you.