Stuff I Missed: An Alternate History Of American Popular Music

From the shores of Alabama to the Cape of Mexico and traveling up north, this compilation presents the best of what it means to embody the American Dream.  If you listen to this compilation front to back, you will be changed.

VA: An Alternate History Of American Popular Music, 2011 Numero Group

Disc 1
1. Niela Miller – Baby Don’t Go To Town
2. Fern Jones – Strange Things Are Happening Every Day
3. The Dontells – Moaning And Crying
4. A.C. Jones – Oh Baby
5. Syl Johnson – Try Me
6. Frank Williams & The Rocketeers – Show Me What You Got
7. Stormy – The Devastator
8. Them Two – Am I A Good Man
9. George McGregor & The Bronzettes – Temptation Is Hard To Fight
10. Pisces – Motley Mary Ann
11. Voices Of Conquest – O Yes My Lord
12. The Chantells – World Of Soul
13. Performers – Mini Skirt
14. Shirley Ann Lee – There’s A Light
15. Syl Johnson – Same Kind Of Thing
16. Mourning Sun – Where’s Love Gone Today
17. Mourning Sun – Benashaw Glenn
18. Pisces – A Flower For All Seasons
19. Pisces – Sam (feat. Linda Bruner)
20. Donald Thomas – Calling Me Home
21. Jennie Pearl – Maybe In Another Year
22. Trevor Dandy – Is There Any Love
23. Syl Johnson – Concrete Reservation
24. Lil’ Ed & The Soundmasters – It’s A Dream
25. Marion Black – Who Knows
26. Joe King – Speak On Up
27. Angela Alexander & J.D. Saddler – Don’t Make Me Kill You
28. Annette Poindexter & Pieces Of Peace – Mama
29. Sharon Clark & The Product Of Time – I’m Not Afraid Of Love

Disc 2
1. Eddie Ray – Wait A Minute
2. Pastor T. L. Barrett & The Youth For Christ Choir – Like A Ship
3. Deliverance Echoes – Heaven
4. Creations Unlimited – Crystal Illusion
5. Lowlands Studio Band – Lizard
6. Harvey & The Phenomenals – Soul & Sunshine
7. Kool Blues – I’m Gonna Keep On Loving You
8. Father’s Children – Dirt And Grime
9. The Majestic Arrows – If I Had A Little Love
10. Shira Small – Eternal Life
11. Little Chris & The Righteous Singers – I Thank You Lord
12. Promise – I’m Not Ready For Love
13. Wee – Try Me
14. The Procedures – Give Me One More Chance
15. Ebirac All-Stars – Plena Matrimonial (feat. La Calandria & Ramito)
16. Willie Wright – I’m So Happy Now
17. Millionaire At Midnight – Coit Tower
18. Boys – Please Change Your Mind
19. Jackie Stoudemire – Invisible Wind
20. David Kauffman – Kiss Another Day Goodbye
21. Golden Echoes – Packing A Grip

from the press release:

Living in The Age of The Reissue offers a variety of benefits for the musically-minded person. Now, you can get to know Carl Perkins in the same way that the public at large knew Elvis Presley back in the day. The constraints of what is popular now no longer dictate the kinds of music we are familiar with, in spite of sales figures, the proliferation of music videos (distributed through whatever means is popular at the time), or even their inclusion in TV and film. The Age of The Reissue liberates us from the stale conformity of Top 40, and allows our musical dollars the chance to flow in obscure, seldom traveled paths, and in many cases, offer us a chance to excavate the past in a way that was never previously thought possible.

It is with this in mind that The Numero Group persues their catalog. This will not come as a surprise to any of the moderate-to-late-stage Collectors out there; anymore, a well-rounded collection demands at least a passing familiarity with their releases. Which is why when something like this Alternate History collection comes along, it is important to take notice. This is not merely a casual compilation of old musty 45s, nor is it a sort of Sampler Collection that allows you a chance to “get to know” The Numero Group. In fact, the title really does say it all: this compilation allows the listener to experience An Alternate History of Popular Music, taking us from 1959 (with the invention of the blues by a woman named Niela Miller, all the way to 1985, the year that disc died with this swan-song track by Golden Echoes. If those names aren’t familiar to you, don’t worry. The music in between is just as – if not moreso – unheard of.

The beauty of The Numero Group releases is their careful selection. While the artists may be unfamiliar, these tracks embody the zeitgeist of the era in a way that feels entirely appropriate. You can picture this history unfolding, as black artists dominate the charts, while later white artists integrate into this form of music. A world where funk and soul were the standard pop tunes to arrange yourself around, and where gospel is even more tied to mainstream culture than ever… through music. It is all here, and it is a fascinating document of what could have been. And than, in and of itself, is the primary benefit of living in The Age of The Reissue: experiences like this are possible. The Numero Group understands that collectors are not merely obsessive compulsives with an eye for small pressings and imported vinyl (though that may be the case, too). In collecting, we ourselves are assembling a musical universe all our own, where certain artists loom larger than others, according to our own vision of Popular Music.

In this collection, you can sit back and listen as someone else’s musical universe assembles before your ears. How cool is that? –Austin Rich, KPSU

About spinladen

DJ at KWVA University of Oregon campus radio, record collector, artist.
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