Omnivore Recordings Announces Alex Chilton, Jellyfish, and Richard Thompson Releases


Omnivore Recordings has announced the upcoming releases for a trio of new recordings including the 30th Anniversary reissue of Richard Thompson’s long out-of-print instrumental recording Strict Tempo! on November 29th; followed on January 10, 2012 by influential power-pop band Jellyfish’s two studio albums Bellybutton and Spilt Milk; and also on January 10, 2012, Free Again: The “1970” Sessions by Alex Chilton—the musical architect of The Box Tops and Big Star.

Richard Thompson “Strict Tempo!” CD/Digital – November 29, 2011
For over 40 years Richard Thompson has been the guitarists’ guitarist, the songwriters’ songwriter, and a consummate artist. As a founder of the legendary British folk-rock group Fairport Convention, through the ’70s releases with his then-wife, Linda Thompson, to his highly successful solo career and work as a session player for other artists, Thompson has left behind a trail of recordings and compositions nearly unequaled in modern music history. His solo career can be traced to 1972’s Henry The Human Fly, after which he went on to record a string of critically acclaimed albums with Linda Thompson. It wasn’t until 1981 that Thompson released another solo album, this time it was called Strict Tempo! and, not surprisingly, due to his gifts as an instrumentalist, was an instrumental album that showcased his extraordinary talents by Thompson playing all instruments himself, accompanied only by former Fairport bandmate Dave Mattacks on drums/percussion.

Strict Tempo! was originally released on Thompson’s own imprint, Elixir, in 1981 and later reissued by the Hannibal label but has been out of print for some time. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of this dexterous collection of traditional jigs and reels—with an original Thompson composition and a Duke Ellington cover thrown in for good measure. Omnivore Recordings is proud to celebrate the reissue of this recording with a CD release packaged in a special limited edition “greeting card” digipack (after which will be available in standard jewel case), featuring new notes on each song by Thompson. Additionally, Strict Tempo! will be made available for the first time digitally, all on November 29th.

Jellyfish “Bellybutton” LP and “Spilt Milk” LP – January 10, 2012
On January 10, Omnivore Recordings will release influential power pop band Jellyfish’s debut album Bellybutton and follow up Spilt Milk exclusively on vinyl LP. The only two full-length studio albums in the band’s short, storied history, each release has been cut directly from the album’s original analog masters. Distributed by EMI, this will be the first time Bellybutton and Spilt Milk will be made commercially available in the U.S. on vinyl.

Bellybutton, originally released at retail in the U.S. only on CD, will be limited to 1,500 copies pressed on 180-gram translucent blue vinyl complete with replicated original album tri-fold sleeve. The band's 1990 debut album was released to rave critical reviews, hailed for its fresh, effervescent, power pop sound, and charted three singles. Spilt Milk, originally released at retail in the U.S. only on CD, will also be limited to 1,500 copies pressed on 180-gram translucent green vinyl. The bands follow up release took up where Bellybutton left off, an elaborate and complex studio creation described as a “flawless pop gem” with comparisons to The Beatles and the Beach Boys for its lush vocal harmonies.

Formed in San Francisco by singer/songwriter Andy Sturmer and singer/songwriter Roger Manning, the duo rounded out the band’s initial lineup with guitarist Jason Falkner (The Three O’Clock, The Grays) and Roger’s brother Chris Manning on bass. Following Bellybutton’s support tour, Falkner and (Chris) Manning left the band due to creative differences and exhaustion from life on the road. Their next album, Spilt Milk, was created by Andy and Roger with help from then session men Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Spoon, Kanye West), Lyle Workman (Beck, Todd Rundgren) and T-Bone Wolk (Hall & Oates). Following a tour in support, the group disbanded in 1994.

Alex Chilton “Free Again: The ‘1970’ Sessions” LP/CD/Digital – January 10, 2012
In the latter months of 1969, somewhere between the moon landing and the start of the Vietnam draft, the concerts at Woodstock and Altamont, Alex Chilton decided to take back his life. During that annus mirabilis, while the world experienced a generationally sparked social, political, and cultural upheaval, the 18-year-old Chilton was in the midst of a revolution of his own. For the past year, Chilton had been strapped in a creative, professional, and personal straitjacket. He was the lead singer of a million-selling band, the Box Tops, but felt like little more than a puppet of the group’s producers. In the era of free love, he’d been pressured into a shotgun marriage and fatherhood. And he’d ultimately come to see himself as the pawn of an unscrupulous business machine, sent to grind it out on the road in a series of silly lip-synched TV performances and one-night stands while someone else cashed his checks. As he entered the studio that summer to make his first solo recordings, the man who would come to define the very spirit of musical independence was still bound in chains. At a time where liberation and self-expression were rallying cries, Alex Chilton was about to break free.

Free Again: The ‘1970’ Sessions are the first solo recordings from a post-Box Tops/pre-Big Star Alex Chilton. The album, mixed and engineered by Terry Manning (CREDITS), will be released as a 20-track CD featuring six previously unreleased songs, and 12-track LP. The first 1,500 LPs will be pressed on limited-edition clear vinyl (black vinyl thereafter). The first 500 LP orders from the Omnivore Recordings webstore will come with a bonus 7" that includes two additional versions of the previously unreleased "All We Ever Got From Them Was Pain" - the original mix and the demo. The album will also be available digitally at all major online retailers, as well as the Omnivore Recordings webstore.

You can now pre-order and purchase all Omnivore Recordings titles direct at their all new online webstore. Omnivore is currently offering an online exclusive of the Big Star Third [Test Pressing Edition] as a clear vinyl version. This is your second chance to grab the wildly popular album that instantly flew off shelves, selling out during Record Store Day this past April. The webstore’s Big Star Third [Test Pressing Edition] is limited to just 500 copies and features the same cut and packaging, manufactured at the same time as the 2000 black vinyl copies for Record Store Day. Don’t miss out!

About Omnivore Recordings:
Founded in 2010 by longtime, highly respected industry veterans Cheryl Pawelski, Greg Allen, and Brad Rosenberger, Omnivore Recordings’ vision is to preserve the legacies and music created by historical, heritage, and catalog artists while also releasing previously unissued, newly found “lost” recordings and making them available for music-loving audiences to discover. Omnivore Recordings is distributed by EMI in North America and Ace Records UK in Europe. The label’s first releases included the limited LP release of Big Star Third, a limited edition Buck Owens 7” of previously unreleased material, The Motels shelved third album Apocalypso, the first official stateside release of Leon Russell’s 1971 Live in Japan album originally released and available only in Japan, original soundtrack score to the documentary Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place, and legendary Bay Area soul singer Darondo’s unreleased Music City Sessions and Bay Area teen soul and funk combo The Two Things In One Together Forever: The Music City Sessions.