I received an email yesterday from Jim Fairchild, guitarist for Grandaddy announcing the up-coming arrival of the long out of print first three albums from his former band. He wrote, “after months of searching for the original tapes, locating long-lost artwork and remastering the albums themselves, the first three Grandaddy albums, Under The Western Freeway, The Sophtware Slump and Sumday are being reissued by our friends at The Control Group on July 19.”
Fairchild, who currently keeps occupied with his solo project All Smiles, also noted the reappearance of T-shirt designs the band had released during the period covered by the albums (’97 – ’03). Nice touch, but most notable is the fact that the band (now disbanded) took the time to release these records sourced from the original tapes.
Even though Grandaddy seems long over, the band members still got together to sign a poster designed by frontman Jason Lytle available in a collector’s package of all three records with a T-shirt unique to the bundle. “The poster was designed by Jason specifically for these reissues and will be signed (initialed actually) and numbered by each band-member,” Fairchild stated in his email. No word on how limited this edition is, but if it is signed, you can bet it won’t last long in the Grandaddy store.
The band from California were sort of late comers to the America noise pop scene defined by bands like Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips, and I had my hesitations of embracing them, as many spurned them as copy cats. But their ornate sounds have stood the test of time nicely, even if it’s contained in a scene that was more popular in the slacker years of the nineties versus today’s more baroque and stylized indie scene. Besides, David Bowie was a fan after his son, sci-fi film director Duncan Jones, turned him on to the album pictured at the top of this post. The single off that album, “Crystal Lake,” remains one of my all-time favorite nineties indie songs. I leave you with a stream of the track from Grandaddy’s official website (though I always thought it sounded more powerful with the lugubrious “Jed the Humanoid” preceding it on the album– all the more reason to experience the vinyl):