The Biggest Library Yet
Those of you who are fans of The Fall will recognize the subject of this news item as a lyric from the band's 1984 classic "No Bulbs." It's an appropriate reference not only because today is the release date for Iconoclassic's reissue of The Light User Syndrome by The Fall, but also because July is our biggest month yet with 3 new releases.
First up and out is our 2 CD Deluxe Edition of The Light User Syndrome by The Fall. The band's 18th studio album was its first and only release on the reactivated Jet Records label. The Light User Syndrome finds bandleader Mark E. Smith on top form and is often acclaimed as the last "classic-style" Fall album, owing both to the presence of longtime personnel including guitarist/singer Brix Smith, multi-instrumentalist Karl Burns, bassist Stephen Hanley and drummer Simon Wolstencroft, as well as its guitar-driven post-punk sound.
While previous CD reissues of this album have included a mere two bonus tracks, The Light User Syndrome has now been brought in line with the majority of The Fall’s acclaimed catalog reissues as a 2 CD set. This Deluxe Edition includes period-relevant singles, B-sides, alternate versions and live recordings from 1996, newly remastered byAndy Pearce & Matt Wortham. It's augmented by an expansive 24-page booklet including a brand-new 6000+ word oral history conducted by Daryl Easlea, who interviewed the band members in March 2022.
We suspect that a few longtime Iconoclassic Records fans may be shaking their heads a bit at this reissue. On the face of it, it does seem a bit different. Yet scratch beneath the surface and there are clear antecedents in the proto-punk of Mott the Hoople, the acerbic songwriting of Lou Reed and Graham Parker, the bass heavy grooves of The Isley Brothers and B.T. Express, and the sheer bloodyminded-ness of post-Bachman Guess Who -- all previously reissued by Iconoclassic Records. Mark E. Smith and The Fall define what it means to be Iconoclassic: they are iconic, their music is classic, and few artists conducted their career in a more iconoclastic manner.
The Fall - The Light User Syndrome (2 CD Deluxe Edition) is out now!
July 29th brings reissues of two hidden gems that we absolutely love: Dwight Twilley's Wild Dogs and the Ohio Players' Tenderness. Both of these great reissues give us the opportunity to do what we love best: right historical wrongs and give great music a second chance.
Wild Dogs should have solidified Dwight Twilley's 1984 commercial breakthrough with "Girls." Dwight more than delivered the goods for his 1986 album, with Wild Dogs debuting one of his strongest collections of songs ever. And that's no small claim, as this was the songwriter behind Sincerely and Twilley Don't Mind! Yet Wild Dogs was buried before release when Twilley's label head was engulfed in a payola scandal. If ever an artist and album deserved better, it’s this one. For its first-ever CD release, Iconoclassic Records presents the original Wild Dogs album remastered by Vic Anesini, plus 9 bonus tracks that not only double the disc’s length but present Dwight’s original demos for the album. Longtime Twilley art director Zox has contributed never-before-seen photos from the cover shoot, and power pop authority Ken Sharp’s liner notes are based on 2022 interviews with Dwight Twilley, Val Garay, Susan Cowsill and Zox. If you enjoy melodic, lush, dreamy, heartfelt, fun and playful pop/rock songwriting, any of Dwight Twilley’s previous records, or the mid-’80s music of Tom Petty, Lindsey Buckingham, Jeff Lynne or Marshall Crenshaw, you’re going to LOVE Wild Dogs. The CD is available for pre-order now, and will be out on July 29th.
Meanwhile, we're thrilled to rescue Ohio Players' 1981 gem Tenderness from the ignominious world of needledrops for its first CD reissue that's mastered from the original master tapes. Originally released in 1981 on the short-lived Boardwalk Records label, Tenderness finds a slimmed-down Ohio Players lineup featuring original members Leroy “Sugar” Bonner, Marshall “Rock” Jones, Ralph “PeeWee” Middlebrooks and Marvin “Merv” Pierce tackling a new decade. The band’s 13th album proved to be unlucky on the charts, but stands today as its last great organic work. Two Otis Redding covers first capture the attention, yet it’s the depth of soulfulness in Sugar’s own compositions and performances that makes Tenderness a must-hear entry in the Ohio Players discography. The album was a particular favorite of frontman Sugar. As he later commented, “Of all the albums I’ve ever made for mine, I think I like Tenderness the best. Because I got the chance to really write some good things. Even though it never did catch on selling I think one day it will…when people know what I wrote.” Learn the full story behind Tenderness in A. Scott Galloway's 3000-word liner notes which draw upon a new interview with Marvin "Merv" Pierce, the only living member of the Tenderness lineup. Vic Anesini once again did phenomenal work mastering this CD, and Chris Eselgroth's package designs on both Tenderenss and Wild Dogs are pure class. Tenderness is available for pre-order now, and will be out on July 29th.