Fans of eternally underrated power-pop outfit Jellyfish have had nothing but friends over at Omnivore Recordings. The label first released the band’s two studio albums, Bellybutton and Spilt Milk, on vinyl. Then there was the unreleased Live At Bogart’s and the Stack-a-Tracks compilation, which featured mostly-instrumental mixes of the two albums uncovered from the vaults.
Now, Omnivore prepares Radio Jellyfish, a ten-track compilation of radio broadcasts recorded two decades ago. All but one of the tracks are presented here for the first time (one first surfaced on a long out-of-print Jellyfish box set from 2002), and paint another clear picture of just what an impressive band Jellyfish were, live in studio.
In 1993, Jellyfish released their sophomore album, Spilt Milk, with a slightly modified lineup that included returning members Andy Stuermer (vocals/drums) and Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. (vocals/keyboards) and new members Tim Smith (bass) and Eric Dover (guitar) in place of the departed Jason Falkner (and, in concert, bassist Chris Manning and second guitarist Niko Wenner). Spilt Milk was a more elaborate affair than even its densely-packed predecessor, with tracks like “The Ghost At Number One,” “New Mistake” and “Joining a Fan Club” featuring even more complex arrangements and overdubs.
While Jellyfish were no stranger to replicating these big sounds in concert, the two broadcasts included on Radio Jellyfish – one recorded in The Netherlands, one in Australia – showcase a band happily playing to the “unplugged” style of the rock world (the live acoustic MTV series was arguably at the peak of its popularity). But even stripped-down Jellyfish has the same qualities you love about the band proper, from hooky melodies to chill-inducing vocals. With selections ranging from both of their albums, and two covers to boot (The Move’s “I Can Hear the Grass Grow” and Badfinger’s “No Matter What”), this disc is shaping up to be another pleasant sting from Omnivore in the ever-increasing Jellyfish discography.
Radio Jellyfish streets on December 10. Hit the jump to preorder your copy (on CD or vinyl) and check out the track list!
Radio Jellyfish (Omnivore, 2013)
- New Mistake
- She Still Loves Him
- I Can Hear the Grass Grow *
- Baby’s Coming Back
- The Man I Used to Be
- Joining a Fan Club
- The King is Half Undressed
- The Ghost At Number One
- That is Why
- No Matter What
* released on Fan Club: From the Rare to the Unreleased…and Back Again (Not Lame NLA-007, 2002). All other tracks previously unreleased