News / Love
Bar/None to Reissue the Feelies’ First Two LPs
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 4:39 PM
On Sept. 8, Bar/None Records will re-release 1980's Crazy Rhythms and 1986's The Good Earth, the first two LPs by the Feelies, a New Jersey group who epitomized a certain strain of college rock in the ’80s. They merged Talking Heads’ rhythmic jitteriness with the Velvet Underground’s mantric riffing and deadpan vocalizing while sometimes instilling a rural, downhome aura that made it easy and logical for DJs to segue them into R.E.M. and dB’s songs. They also executed an amazing cover of the Beatles' "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey."
The Feelies could impress you with songs that either moved at a lackadaisical lope or zipped by in blurred overdrive (their cover of VU's "What Goes On" is a case in point; also, "Slipping [into something]" is a masterpiece of gradual acceleration). On top of that, Glenn Mercer and Bill Million's melodies typically hit you with an understated poignancy. These guys are classic introverts who nevertheless can sneak up on you with rave-ups that will send you to the burn unit.
Press release after the cut.
Bar/None Records is proud to re-release two classic albums by the Feelies, that critically acclaimed crew of hyperactive alt rockers from Haledon, New Jersey that had such a powerful influence on the sound of indie music 1980s and beyond. Their debut release Crazy Rhythms is a masterwork of perfectly honed minimalist rock that leaps and darts into the corners of the listener's consciousness, a true sonic tour de force that Rolling Stone deemed one of the "100 Best Albums of the 1980s." Fans of the Velvet Underground, Wire and Brian Eno's early solo work will surely appreciate the "forces at work" (to quote a song title!) on this masterpiece. Their follow-up recording, The Good Earth, came some six years later co-produced by Feelies' co-regents Glenn Mercer and Bill Million with REM's Peter Buck (a Feelies admirer since his days as a record store clerk). The Good Earth was an early release on Coyote Records, the label founded and run Steve Fallon, also the original owner of famed Hoboken indie roc mecca, Maxwell's. This album introduced the line-up that continues to this day. Both albums feature deluxe packaging (CD and vinyl LP) with liner notes by Jim Deragotis and Jim Sullivan respectively. As the band consider each album to be a discrete aesthetic artifact, the copious bonus material including demos, b-sides, EP tracks and some new live recordings from the re-united group will be included on digital download cards. Crazy Rhythms and The Good Earth will be released to coincide with the Feelies' September performance at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival where they will perform the classic Crazy Rhythms in its entirety. Summer activities for the group include an acoustic performance at the Whitney Museum in New York City on June 26 as part of the Dan Graham Retrospective, as well as a free show at the Pritzke Pavillion in Chicago's Millennium Park on June 29, and a series of shows at Maxwells in Hoboken over the 4th of July weekend.