The reign of Jellyfish was a devilishly short one. Yet with only two albums and a cataclysmic lineup change at the halfway point, Jellyfish's output deserves a place in the edifice of power pop, alongside such luminaries as Badfinger, Cheap Trick and XTC. And now, fans will be able to enjoy those two albums on vinyl - one for the first time in the U.S. and one of them for the first time anywhere - thanks to the good folks at Omnivore Recordings.
Jellyfish was the brainchild of singer/drummer Andy Sturmer and keyboardist Roger Manning, both former members of San Francisco outfit Beatnik Beach desperate to perform their own songs. The duo hooked up with Manning's brother Chris on bass and an underrated luminary on guitar: Jason Falkner, a member of underground L.A. band The Three O'Clock, whose final album, Vermillion (the only one he contributed to) was released two years prior on Paisley Park Records. (Prince, under the pseudonym "Joey Coco," wrote the LP's lead single, "Neon Telephone.") Falkner and Manning had nearly joined forces on a musical project after the breakup of The Three O'Clock, but ultimately decided not to.
Though the band's debut Bellybutton, released in 1990, was a moderate success, spawning a modest hit in bubblegum-sweet single "Baby's Coming Back," Chris Manning and Falkner would depart after the completion of their first tour. (Ironically, Falkner left because his songwriting contributions were not getting used - the same reasons behind Sturmer and Manning's formation of the band in the first place.) A rotating cast of musicians filled out the band's sophomore album, Spilt Milk (1993), including producer Jon Brion, Lyle Workman and T-Bone Wolk, but the band folded not long after finishing a tour to promote that record. Nonetheless, their popularity lasts among power-pop connoisseurs; an extremely sought-after rarities box set was released independently in 2002, and a proper hits compilation was released in 2006, not long before U.K. band McFly took "Baby's Coming Back" to the top of the U.K. charts the next year.
Omnivore's reissues of both albums (Spilt Milk making its vinyl debut) feature both albums in their entirety; the first 1,500 copies of each album will be pressed on translucent vinyl (blue for Bellybutton and purple for Spilt Milk) and, in the case of Bellybutton, those limited copies will also feature the original gatefold sleeve. Each are available on September 27 and can be ordered at Amazon after the jump.
Bellybutton (Charisma Records 91400-1, 1990 - reissued Omnivore, 2011)
- The Man I Used To Be
- That is Why
- The King is Half-Undressed
- I Wanna Stay Home
- She Still Loves Him
- All I Want is Everything
- Now She Knows She's Wrong
- Bedspring Kiss
- Baby's Coming Back
- Calling Sarah
Spilt Milk (Charisma Records V2-86459, 1993 - reissued Omnivore, 2011)
- Joining a Fan Club
- Sebrina, Paste, and Plato
- New Mistake
- Glutton of Sympathy
- The Ghost at Number One
- Bye, Bye, Bye
- All is Forgiven
- Russian Hill
- He's My Best Friend
- Too Much, Too Little, Too Late
- Brighter Day
Would be nice to get some information on who was doing the mastering and where it was being done.
Mike Duquette says
From Omnivore's site, it looks like John Golden is doing the mastering. Here's a look at some of his credits: http://www.albumcredits.com/Profile/80670
Gary Thompson says
I'm not sure where you got the info re Spilt Milk, but I have an original vinyl pressing. I think the confusion may have arisen as it wasn't released in the US in this format.
Paul Blubaugh says
I was wondering the same thing - I've got both albums on vinyl.
will these be on 180 gram???
Dean Davenport says
Looks like these have been delayed until Jan. 10, 2012. No info on Omnivore's website yet.
Paul Blubaugh says
Now, according to Omnivore's website, the first 1,500 pressings will be on 180 gram vinyl! Also, Spilt Milk will be gold instead of purple. http://omnivorerecordings.com/
Paul Blubaugh says
I don't know when this changed, but now the Omnivore website is stating that Spilt Milk will be on GREEN vinyl.
Nick Kennedy says
Just listening to Bellybutton on 180gm blue vinyl and it's leaping out of the speakers. Sure leaves my UK vinyl copy of Spilt Milk and all Jellyfish CD's in the dust. Don't debate - it's worth the cash.
Friend of the Mannings says
Just got my albums from Amazon today and ordering two more. Amazing.