Five 'Forgotten' Albums We Never Thought We'd See On Spotify!
Those who still consider the major labels blameless in their own demise need only remind themselves of that one time back in the mid-80's when the labels took it upon themselves to force an entirely new format upon their consumers. Keep in mind that the record industry had gone through a major sales slump in '80-'81 that had them searching for new methods to inflate profits:
"How about we sign better artists?" they suggested before reminding themselves that signing better artists would only lead people to stop buying music by their current artists.
"How about we lower the price of records and tapes during this downturn because more people buying more music means more people going to more concerts and everybody wins?" said the new guy in the corner of the boardroom with the clip-on bow tie. "Who let him in here," the other execs respond before bow-tie guy is escorted out the window.
"Wait, whoa, I think I've got something here," said the guy with the biggest cigar and the best seat at the head of the table. "What about if we embrace a new format and then force everybody to re-buy albums they already own?"
"Hey, that's great!" said the others in unison.
"I'm not done yet," he responded, shaking his head. "And what if we jack up the price to consumers even though the cost of pressing this new format will be cheaper than manufacturing vinyl or cassettes?"
"That's why you're the big guy, Big Guy!" said the others in unison, each envisioning a bountiful year-end bonus in their future.
Thing is, in their infinite wisdom, the record industry chose to ignore a shit-ton of product when it came time to release deep catalog titles in this new format. In fact, over the years, there are many worthy artists whose footprint in the digital world is virtually nonexistent. Thankfully, labels like Wounded Bird and others have at least brought some otherwise ignored titles to the marketplace, but those titles quickly go out-of-print, too.
And just because a few titles might get rescued from the vaults doesn't mean the label owning the rights to said title cares one iota about making the title available in other digital formats, such as download or streaming, meaning your chances of finding say, the entire Rainmakers Mercury Records catalog on Spotify would be slim, to say the least.
Or so we thought:
A recent fit of searches just to test the breadth and scope of Spotify's catalog has revealed a wealth (well, not for the artist) of surprises, which we are happy to share with you here:
The Rainmakers' full Mercury Records catalog
Past searches on Spotify had yielded a large chunk of the band's recent indie output, including the group's very first album, Balls, released under their original name Steve, Bob and Rich, but very little of the material for which they were best known.
This is thankfully no longer the case as each of the band's three '80s Mercury Records albums is available on Spotify, meaning you no longer have to just tell your friends what they're missing by never hearing "Big Fat Blonde" or "Snakedance".
After issuing their 1984 Atlantic Records debut and scoring a moderate MTV hit with the proto-rock "All That I Wanted", this innovative German band disappeared off the face of the earth. In fact, they couldn't have been any harder to find if they'd entered into the Witness Protection program and Atlantic didn't make matters any easier by sitting on the band's sole album for over thirty years. Our recent Spotify search reveals that not only is the original version of the album available to stream, but so is a "Deluxe Edition" of the album that gives you not one, but FIVE versions of "All That I Wanted."
Big Black's 'Atomizer'
Seeing as how the iconic Chicago punk band's discography has been sorely under-represented in the digital age, our recent Spotify search yielded some startling results/ Apparently, the recent vinyl re-issues led the powers that be to flesh out the group's digital catalog.
Mind you, the songs themselves have been available on CD, don't get us wrong.
If anything, we would have expected them to simply make Rich Man's Eight Track Tape (the band's cheekily-titled first entry into the CD marketplace) available, but to see that they went one better by making the songs available in their original album configurations means that, yes, Big Black's Atomizer is actually available on Spotify.
Even the band's singles ("Heartbeat" and "He's A Whore") and Headache EP are also represented. 'Holy shit!' is right.
Sadly, still no Rapeman Two Nuns And A Pack Mule.
Anything you could ever want by Love Tractor
Every song you've ever loved by Athens, GA's third-best band (but #1 in our hearts) is now available in all of its digital glory on Spotify. While we had previously been surprised to see the band's Themes From Venus on the streaming services, we knew that the legal issues that kept their sole major label album This Ain't No Outer Space Ship from ever seeing the light of day on CD might also extend to streaming sites, but were we ever glad to be wrong on that count.
What should we also find when doing a recent search of Spotify's database but the appearance of literally every other album the band has ever done, including the magnificent 2006 Christmas album Before And After Christmas that sees our heroes spicing up the holidays with their own cool originals while covering Vince Guaraldi and the Residents.
That Shaun Cassidy album that Todd Rundgren produced
While he may be most remembered as David Cassidy's younger brother, scoring two pop hits of his own ("Da Doo Ron Ron" and "That's Rock & Roll" before receding into the mists of time, very few know the scope of Cassidy's recording career.
Whatever log-jam that kept most of this stuff under wraps for the past 40 years seems to have worked itself free, sheeding new light on lost gems such as the Rundgren-produced Wasp and the previous year's ambitious Room Service, among others.
They've even got Cassidy's "A Star Beyond Time", aka "the love theme" from the original Star Trek film in 1980.
Superior St. Rehearsal Facility
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