Oct 222013

Patty Griffin’s 2000 album Silver Bell finally got a proper release this year — many of the songs had been kicking around on other albums and covered by other artists — most notably the Dixie ChicksNatalie Maines put the title track on her solo album this year. I’ve kind of been wearing it out the last couple of weeks. I don’t why A&M finally put it out now…evidently it had reached “lost” album status in Americana circles. Being Robert Plant’s girlfriend can’t hurt either.

Silver Bell” and the fact that I finally finished Pete Townshend’s autobiography, where he spends a lot of time writing about the Lifehouse sessions, got me thinking about “lost” albums. As a kid, and Who obsessive for a while, I was happy to find remnants on Who Came First in the cutouts. I always really liked “Pure and Easy” and  “(Nothing is Everything) Let’s See Action.” I had not listened to “Pure and Easy” for 20 years — to my ears, it’s pretty good and far superior to the Who version on “Odds & Sods.” I think it would be cool if Pete could stitch together a Lifehouse release like Brian Wilson did for Smile.

What “lost albums” are worth the time to dig up in your book?


  37 Responses to ““Lost” Albums”

  1. I’d like to hear the lost version of the original recording of Graham Parker & the Rumour’s Stick to Me, which was supposedly much better than the version they had to re-record after the original tapes suffered some severe technical flaw.

  2. diskojoe

    Even though most of the songs are now available as bonus tracks on reissues, I would like to see The Great Lost Kinks Album available again. I think the main reason why it was never reissued is that Ray was probably ticked off about the liner notes by John Mendelsohn.

    As for truly “lost” albums, the Kinks did record a version of Preservation in 1973 which was scrapped around the time of Ray’s emotional problems. I wonder what it would have sounded like.

    Finally, how did you like that Townshend autobiography? I read it myself this past summer & it was OK, although it got boing having him list the houses & boats that he bought near the end.

  3. I liked Pete’s biography overall — but it does get tedious at the end. I found it interesting how much time he spent explaining the “Lifehouse” concept and spent relatively little time on some of the other records. I did think it funny that he didn’t like the “Who’s Next” album cover.

    A surprisingly good biography is the new one by Graham Nash — “Wild Tales. ” The Hollies years are fun to read about and he’s got a unique take on Neil Young. It also gave me a bit more appreciation of Stephen Stills and David Crosby. The e-book version I got has songs imbedded into the text, so you can listen the music he’s writing about, which was cool Good airplane reading/listening. I am turning into a real retro rocker revisiting some of this old stuff I swore off in the 1980s.

  4. I didn’t know there was a different version — “Stick To Me” was another “cutout” classic you could get at a Twin Cities Target or Woolworth in the early 80s for $1.99. My brother must have dug it up when my mom moved out of the family homestead a few years back, because he sent me the stickers that came with the LP.

  5. Yes, I still have some of my stickers! I think I even still have a row that has yet to completely wear off one of my guitar cases.

    Was that album ever sold at full price? I didn’t realize that was a cutout classic in other cities. I thought it was released directly to the cutout bins in Philadelphia:)

  6. hrrundivbakshi

    Speaking of books and movies: I finally got around to watching “Sound City” last night, and thought it was great.

    Lost albums: err…. um… must think.

  7. hrrundivbakshi

    Aren’t there some great lost Neil Young albums?

  8. misterioso

    I did not know that!

  9. misterioso

    Agreed on TGLKA but almost everything is now available as bonus tracks or whatever, no?

  10. Didn’t one of the most legendary ones actually get released a couple of years ago? It has a name like Chrome Dreams. Our old friend saturnismine burned me a bootleg of it years ago. It was pretty good. It contained some early versions of Rust Never Sleeps material, if memory serves. I have no idea why it wasn’t released when Young made it. Maybe he was bummed that it wouldn’t sound the way it was intended to sound, like it can now, on Pono, being pumped through the high-end soundsystem on a retro-fitted “green” 1957 Lincoln Continental.

  11. misterioso

    Many, I believe. I have an early, somewhat different version of Tonight’s the Night and a ready-to-release lp called Chrome Dreams, which contains songs that ended up on American Stars & Bars, Zuma, Comes a Time, etc., sometimes in different form. Certainly would have been a good record in its own right.

  12. I’d love to have the St. Hubbins/Smalls Project complete “Saucy Jack.”


  13. A quick confirm from Wiki, for what it’s worth (no pun intended)

    Fans have long speculated that an alternate version of Tonight’s the Night exists. Neil Young’s father, Scott Young, wrote of it in his memoir, Neil and Me:

    Ten years after the original recording, David Briggs and I talked about Tonight’s the Night, on which he had shared the producer credit with Neil. At home a couple of weeks earlier he had come across the original tape, the one that wasn’t put out. “I want to tell you, it is a handful. It is unrelenting. There is no relief in it at all. It does not release you for one second. It’s like some guy having you by the throat from the first note, and all the way to the end.” After all the real smooth stuff Neil had been doing, David felt most critics and others simply failed to read what they should have into Tonight’s the Night — that it was an artist making a giant growth step. Neil came in during this conversation, which was in his living room. When David stopped Neil said, “You’ve got that original? I thought it was lost. I’ve never been able to find it. We’ll bring it out someday, that original.”



  14. hrrundivbakshi

    Which is the Young album that has a car buried in the sand on the cover? Isn’t that a lost album, or just one that Young refuses to reissue until the recording industry catches up to Neil’s coal-fired, solid brass earbud technology?

  15. misterioso

    The album called Chrome Dreams II that came out a couple of years ago is a different entity entirely. This might be the only sequel to an unreleased album that I can think of.

  16. misterioso

    What I have purports to be from an acetate of an early version of Tonight’s the Night. I don’t have it hand for comparison purposes, but I think it is the same as the acetate described here http://neilwiki.wikispaces.com/Tonight%27s+The+Night+Acetate

  17. BigSteve

    Most of the ‘lost albums’ I’m interested in now circulate on the internet, such as the double album version of Combat Rock and the demos for Ray Davies’ stage version of Around the World in 80 Days. Pete Townshend did eventually release The Lifehouse Chronicles, I have a two-CD version, but there’s a six-CD version as well. http://www.discogs.com/Pete-Townshend-Lifehouse-Chronicles/release/3760311

  18. misterioso

    On the Beach. But it’s been available for a while now, though it was not for a long time. Time Fades Away is still unavailable. Too bad, too, since it is a great record. I can’t wait for the direct brain implant version that promises to be Neil Young the way he was always meant to sound.

  19. misterioso

    One cd of music, five cds of Pete explaining the concept he had in mind.

  20. BigSteve

    That’s On the Beach, and that is a normal album that has been reissued fairly recently. The one he refuses to reissue is Time Fades Away, an excellent live album of all-new songs originally released in the early 70s. The reason is apparently that Neil hated that tour, and he hates the album. There are reports that an alternate version of it will be included in the second Archives boxset, due sometime around 2052.

  21. hrrundivbakshi

    …the double album version of Combat Rock…

    Now THAT intrigues me. And yes, I am serious.

  22. Prince didn’t release the Black Album for about 10 years because the label thought it was too sexual, so I had to hear that. It’s not bad, I though “Bob George” and “Cindy C” were cool.

  23. cliff sovinsanity

    There is audio somewhere of Springsteen WITH the E Street Band demoing the songs on Nebraska. That would be a very interesting take on those songs.

  24. Who’s Next deserves a remix, and Pure & Easy (my fave Who song after the Rock n Roll Circus version of A Quick One) should replace Song is Over.

  25. Your Pure & Easy up top is an okay panel & paint job, but I’ll take the Odds & Sods version.

  26. Billy Swann has a terrific album, which never copped a proper release. I saw Swann play at a Melbourne (Australia, not Florida) club in 1990 – he was Harry Dean Stanton’s guitarist. Yes. He was.

  27. One of these days I need to hear another song by Billy Swann other than his fantastic single “I Can Help.” I LOVE that song, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard or even seen an entire album by him. Thanks for the tip.

    Recently, sammymaudlin and I watched Repo Man together for the first time (together, that is – we’d each seen the movie dozens of times apart). Then we watched the bonus DVD, which included a long, depressing interview with Harry Dean Stanton. Man, what a pain in the ass he must be in real life. His character in Repo Man is a hundred times more pleasant than the guy who sat down with one of the film’s producers. Harry did play some guitar and sing. I knew he had a musical side, but I’d never heard it before. He was solid.

  28. machinery

    There was a Black Flag Album I had that had the name blacked out . I think it was called Everything Went Black or some such thing. It was a lot of early recordings with original singers before Rollins. I think it was held up for many years due to contract issues with the name (?)

    I wish I could find that album. It mysteriously disappeared from my collection along with some other rarities …

  29. diskojoe

    That was the album that I commented about recently w/one side full of commericals for their gigs which were pretty funny.

    As for Harry Dean Stanton, here’s a recent Onion AV Club interview of him:


  30. Thanks for passing along that interview. Too bad he doesn’t get deep into his cranky Buddhist philosophies, as he does in the Repo Man interview. I was blown away by his Luke Askew reference. I had no idea that guy was still around, still acting. I love his role in Easy Rider.

  31. cherguevara

    Is that Buckingham NIcks album any good? I’ve never heard it, but I guess somebody keeps it out of print.

  32. The Buckingham Nicks album is actually pretty great. It was released on CD in Japan around 1990 and then remastered as a Japanese promo.

    “lost” albums I know of
    Cheap Trick – In Technicolor (In Color re-recorded w/Steve Albini)

    Green Day – recorded an entire album before American Idiot

    Fugazi – Steady Diet Of Nothing – the one released was the second time it was recorded. I saw the original master tape in Albini’s studio that he had recorded and mixed for them.

    The Posies – Eclipse – full album recorded before “Frosting”
    including a cover of Neil Young;s “when you dance”

    Supersuckers – Evil Powers Of RNR was re-recorded after having been done by a producer that they hated who layered the album with keyboards

    KISS “Alive II” – original single album recorded at Budokan and then partially used as tracks for the double album recorded at the LA Forum…. KISS also has never released the Wicked Lester album though parts are on the box set.

    Redd Kross – Neurotica was considered lost for a long time though the original Tommy Ramone mix is still out of print

    The Avengers – finally released their 1st album this year, only 30 years after recording it

    Def Leppard – Hysteria was re-recorded by Mutt Lange after they had recorded about 80% with Jim Stienman which would be interesting to hear.

  33. misterioso

    I could be wrong but it seems to me that if there is ever a Cars box set (is there one already?) it won’t include the proto-Cars Milkwood lp.

  34. Thanks — somehow I missed the Lifehouse Sessions release — I see that Wiki has the original intended album track listing. Whatever happened, Pete was on a major creative jag during this period.

  35. Hank Fan

    Here’s an interesting blog on lost albums:


    The author does a nice job recreating them (and imaging some others that never existing in the first place to become lost).

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