by Dave Segal
on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 10:50 AM
Seattle's Light in the Attic Records has unearthed another long-lost gem—Jim Sullivan's 1969 LP U.F.O. Sullivan boasted one of those easy-to-love, mellow but manly voices and an unerring knack for achingly beautiful melodies, a skill set that produced the sort of cosmic-country compositions that sound like ex-Byrd Gene Clark or Fred ("Everybody's Talking") Neil being produced by orchestral-funk studio wiz David Axelrod.
U.F.O. should've made the Los Angeles singer/songwriter/guitarist famous, but it didn't sell and after another album failed to make a ripple, he decided to move to Nashville in 1975 to become a session musician. But Sullivan never made it there; he was last seen in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, but the circumstances surrounding his disappearance have never been conclusively resolved.
LITA had to do a lot of traveling and sleuthing to manifest this record, and the label's heroic efforts pay serious dividends. Like Rodriguez's Cold Fact, Sullivan's U.F.O. deserves to become a cherished cult LP. It ought to become a touchstone from which Americana-enthralled musicians can draw inspiration for years to come.
U.F.O. is released on CD and digitally Nov. 16; vinyl will be available in December. Jennifer Maas' video below sheds more light on the Sullivan legend.