New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Carmaig de Forest's 1987 Alex Chilton-produced album I Shall Be Released was one in a long line of albums subjected to the whims of the record business. Initially slated for release on a larger label with some marketing muscle, the LP eventually wound up on a small, San Francisco indie and never got the exposure it deserved. A follow up live EP didn't even see a release in the U.S.
Fast-forward a few decades. Now, on the 30th anniversary of Released's release, it's time to relish in de Forest's wit, passion and talent in a re-release that will reintroduce an artist many missed the first time around.
Omnivore Recordings will issue the expanded edition of de Forest's I Shall Be Released, re-titled I Shall Be Re-Released, on November 10, 2017. It's the album's first time on CD, and will be available digitally as well.
The package combines de Forest's original album and live EP with four previously unissued tracks from the original album sessions plus an additional unissued live recording, and includes new liners from set co-producer Pat Thomas, new interviews with Carmaig and his contemporaries, and rare photos.
"From the moment I first heard Carmaig's songs when he opened up for us — during our very first tour around the whole country — he's always been one of my favorite songwriters," writes Gordon
Gano of the Violent Femmes. John Doe of X noticed as well, recalling: "Who the hell is this guy singing smart and funny songs playing a damn ukulele?"
De Forest recollects: "This whole reissue thing came out of the blue. Excavating the masters, old photos and clippings for Omnivore has been a real blast from the past — taking me back to those heady days and all those California-post-punk-new-wave-art-damaged characters with all their various crazy creative projects and rock-star dreams which was me too of course. And just as important it takes me back to Alex Chilton: To so many people, I was some kind of ukulele-punk-rocker, but Alex heard the songs; and he plugged them — and me — into his no-nonsense way of recording them as simple but twisted garage rock or whatever you'd call that music we made. The sessions were magic and Alex gave me so much of himself to this project.
"If I didn't fully retire from the music scene, I certainly began what's become a very long hiatus, when Diana Froley (now de Forest) and I started our family twelve years ago. I was washing dishes and listening to NPR when I heard that Alex had died. I hadn't been in touch with him for years and now he was gone. It's funny, when I Shall Be Released first came out I was all "Yes! This is my album and my time to take on the world." These days, I think of it more this great lost little gem of Alex Chilton's as much as mine. Just listen to that guitar! I'm so happy it's getting out back out there."
According to annotator Thomas, "This release captures not just a snap-shot of his sojourn with the iconic Alex Chilton, it captures the San Francisco that I loved during the 1980s when we'd all hang out at the Paradise Lounge and the Kennel Club, watching the local talent and loving every freaking minute of it."
It was released, but it's time for an official re-release. Be Re-Released.
1. Los Angeles
2. Long Distance
4. Risks in Spring
5. Eddie Prince
6. Big Business
7. Hey Judas
9. I'd Be Delighted
10. Crack's No Worse Than the Fascist Threat
11. Blank Verse
12. Touch of Red
13. Secret Agent Man
15. I'll Be Your Angel
16. Kate Said*
of the Ohio*
18. I Don't Wanna Go to Your Hometown*
19. Dark Place*
20. One More Time (Live)
21. Risks In Spring
22. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)/You Can't Always Get Want You Want (Live)
23. Kate Said (Live)
24. Dark Place (Live)
25. Long Distance (Live)
26. Dayenu (Live)*
* Previously unissued