Real Gone Music is saying “Happy New Year!” a couple of months early with the announcement of the label’s January 6 slate of releases. This customarily eclectic batch is highlighted by the classic soul of The Main Ingredient and Jackie Moore, blue comedy from Redd Foxx, two otherworldly soundtracks from the films of cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky (on both LP and CD!), and more live jam-band greatness from Grateful Dead.
Real Gone’s press release, with full details on each title, follows!
LOS ANGELES, CA – One of the ironies of the career of Chilean-born filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky is that while he is best known as a visual stylist, his most avid and loyal champions have often been musicians. When Jodorowsky arrived in New York from Mexico City in 1970 carrying a copy of the then-unreleased El Topo, it was the jazz producer Alan Douglas who bought the distribution rights to the film. When Jodorowsky and Douglas were looking for a venue in which to screen El Topo, it was John Lennon and Yoko Ono who asked for it to run at midnight following their short-film festival at New York’s Elgin Cinema. And after six months of sold-out midnight screenings at the Elgin, it was Lennon’s manager, Allen Klein (ABKCO’s founder), who bought the rights to El Topo and agreed to produce its follow-up, The Holy Mountain. But then, music has always played a very large role in Jodorowsky’s films—and that has never been more evident than in the soundtracks to The Holy Mountain and to his latest film, The Dance of Reality. Both soundtracks are being issued by Real Gone Music in association with ABKCO Music & Records for the first time on LP and stand-alone CD on January 6.
When Jodorowsky wanted, in his words, “another kind of music—something that wasn’t entertainment, something that wasn’t a show, something that went to the soul, something profound,” for the soundtrack to The Holy Mountain, forward came jazz legend Don Cherry and crack studio musician (and one-time Archie) Ron Frangipane to share composing and (along with Jodorowsky) conducting duties. And, boy, did they deliver—the score to The Holy Mountain is every bit as hallucinatory as the fantastic visual imagery in the film itself. The deep, primordial chants that begin the movie, “Trance Mutation,” give way to an almost jaunty percussion-and-plucked-strings melody, “Pissed and Passed Out.” On the next track, “Violence of the Lambs,” a single flute is slowly joined by a set of mournful strings while, onscreen, Gestapo-like soldiers in gas masks parade with bloody lamb carcasses on sticks. “Drink It,” an upbeat sitar folk melody, follows, briefly accompanying the main protagonist The Thief’s ill-considered decision to guzzle tequila (or sleeping potion). Then there is “Christs 4 Sale,” a blaring orchestral riff that sounds like it was ripped from a 1950s swords-and-sandals epic. The next track, “Cast Out and Pissed,” begins with a bee-like buzz, then is overwhelmed by a cacophony of drums, horns, and, finally, screaming. “Eye of the Beholder” which follows, changes moods entirely once again—a string section swells with overwrought romanticism. (Onscreen, a group of young prostitutes prays in a church. One of them later walks arm and arm with a chimpanzee.) And then there is “Communion,” a brooding, trumpet-led number that would be at home on the noir-steeped Chinatown soundtrack. (As “Communion” plays, the Thief is not driving through Los Angeles at night but eating the face off a statue of Christ.) This veritable cornucopia of musical styles would be more than enough to fill an entire movie. It would be more than enough to fill three movies. But in fact, the eight musical compositions described above play entirely in The Holy Mountain’s first 24 minutes. Still ahead lie the hard rock of “Psychedelic Weapons,” the pomp and circumstance of the waltz “Miniature Plastic Bomb Shop,” the gospel-inflected sax of “Isla (The Sapphic Sleep),” and so on. Every one of the 24 tracks on the film’s soundtrack presents another vertiginous twist in the philosophical and spiritual journey that is The Holy Mountain.
Now, Real Gone Music/ABKCO presents, on gatefold double-LP and CD, the original soundtrack to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 masterpiece The Holy Mountain. Both editions feature liner notes by New York Times contributor Eric Benson that include exclusive quotes from Jodorowsky himself, festooned with copious production stills. Produced for release by Grammy-winning producer Teri Landi and Mick Gochanour, and mastered from the original tapes by Joe Yannece (with lacquer cutting on the LP by Carl Rowatti at Trutone Mastering), this long-awaited release of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain: Original Soundtrack offers a major addition to the soundtrack canon and a completely unique listening experience.
For the soundtrack to The Dance of Reality, which marked his triumphant return to the film world in 2014 after a 23-year hiatus, Jodorowsky tapped his own son, Adan Jodorowsky (a.k.a. “Adanowsky”), whose work as a composer and performer (with Devendra Banhart among others) has won him an international following in his own right. In the radiantly visceral autobiographical film, a young Jodorowsky (played by his son, Brontis) is confronted by a collection of compelling characters that contribute to his burgeoning surreal consciousness. Adding to the autobiographical nature of the work, the film was shot in Tocopilla, a coastal town on the edge of the Chilean desert, where the filmmaker was born in 1929. Blending his personal history with metaphor, mythology, and poetry, The Dance of Reality reflects Jodorowsky’s philosophy that reality is not objective but rather a “dance” created by our own imaginations. To accompany the film’s rich, dense and disturbing imagery, Adanowsky’s score is alternately lush and comical, blending brooding string passages with hypnotically repeating piano figures that create a mood that is at times foreboding, at times wistful and, as is always the case with a score to a Jodorowsky film, surreal. Real Gone Music/ABKCO’s release of the complete soundtrack to The Dance of Reality on LP and CD features a number of beautiful production stills from the film displayed on the album jacket and CD booklet, with mastering by Joe Yannece. Alejandro Jodorowsky’s tradition of remarkable film soundtracks lives on with The Dance of Reality.
After the jump: a look at a treasure trove of rare and never-before-heard music from Jackie Moore (of Sweet Charlie Babe fame!), plus some off-color laughs from the inimitable Redd Foxx and more from The Main Ingredient and Grateful Dead!
Florida-born soul singer Jackie Moore began her recording career in 1968 with singles on the Shout and Wand labels; however, it was her first release for Atlantic Records in early 1970 that catapulted her to national prominence in the U.S with a song—written by Jackie and her cousin Dave Crawford, who produced it—that started out as the B-side to her debut single for the label. The label selected the brass-laden “Willpower,” but a radio disc jockey flipped the record, got immediate reaction, and Jackie ended up with a gold record in the form of “Precious, Precious,” a lilting, gentle slice of Southern soul that remains a timeless R&B classic. Working initially with Crawford (and later with renowned co-producer Brad Shapiro) at Criteria Studios in Miami, Jackie cut 21 tracks over between November 1969 and June 1972 including the R&B-charting singles “Sometimes It’s Got to Rain (In Your Love Life),” “Time” and “Darling Baby” (a cover of the Elgins’ Motown hit). In late 1972, she began working with the Philadelphia team known as The Young Professionals, consisting of singer Phil Hurtt together with Atlantic A&R man LeBaron Taylor and singer/songwriter Bunny Sigler (who was later replaced by guitarist Tony Bell, producer Thom Bell’s younger sibling). The result was her second biggest Atlantic hit, “Sweet Charlie Babe,” a Top 20 R&B and Top 50 pop charted single. The track became the title for Jackie’s sole Atlantic album, which was released in 1973 and also boasted the Top 30 R&B hit, “Both Ends Against the Middle.” Real Gone Music (in association with SoulMusic Records) is now proud to present The Complete Atlantic Recordings, a 2-CD, 30-track set offering Jackie’s entire output for Atlantic with a total of 14 previously unreleased tracks (that’s nearly half the release)! Liner notes by acclaimed UK writer Charles Waring include extensive quotes from Jackie herself, producer Phil Hurtt and songwriter Vinnie Barrett. Remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision.
Originally formed in 1964 and known as The Poets, the New York-based trio of Luther Simmons Jr., Tony Silvester and Donald McPherson recorded a couple of singles for RCA Records before a name change in 1968 to The Main Ingredient. Their first album, L.T.D. (from the initials of each member), was released in 1970 and consisted of six original songs penned by the group along with a medley of two songs written by Jimmy Webb, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Wichita Lineman,” both originally recorded by Glen Campbell; and a cover of The Beatles’ “Get Back.” Production was primarily by renowned arranger Bert DeCoteaux (who would later become a co-producer with Tony Silvester of hits for Ben E. King, Sister Sledge and others), with one track produced by acclaimed New York conductor/arranger Horace Ott. The album contained four singles, one of which, “You’ve Been My Inspiration,” was a Top 30 R&B hit. After a follow-up album, Tasteful Soul, the group self-produced their third release, 1971’s Black Seeds, which boasted two singles with “Black Seeds Keep On Growing,” a black empowerment anthem penned by McPherson, reaching No. 15 on the U.S. R&B charts. Sadly, after a sudden and unexpected illness, McPherson succumbed to leukemia before the LP was released. The album was dedicated to his memory by the two remaining members, who added Cuba Gooding, Sr. as their third member in 1972. Now, Real Gone Music in association with SoulMusic Records is proud to present The Main Ingredient: L.T.D./Black Seeds, which offers these two rare albums on CD for the first time worldwide, along with a bonus B-side, “Psychedelic Ride,” with remastering by Vic Anesini at Sony’s own Battery Studios. Liner notes by acclaimed writer Kevin Goins document the early years of this mainstay R&B group of the ‘70s.
Lest someone be offended by Real Gone’s release of the album You Gotta Wash Your Ass, let’s just remember (aside from the fact that it’s true, you do gotta wash your…oh, never mind) that this is Redd Foxx, the guy who practically invented off-color humor! And this album, released by Atlantic in 1976 and the comic legend’s first album release in 12 years, was actually pretty tame compared to the “party records” that Redd recorded for the Dootone label that were so, um, salty that record stores had to hide them under the counter. That’s not to say, though, that this record isn’t downright raunchy at times; as befitting the man who paved the way for Richard Pryor, Chris Rock and even Andrew Dice Clay, there are plenty of unbleeped three-, four- and even twelve-letter words! So consider yourself warned. Actually, though, the ones who needed warning were the audience members at Redd’s old stomping ground the Apollo Theater that night; Foxx unmercifully picks on them with such routines as “I Hope Your Dog Dies”; “Who Does Your Hair?”; “Jaws on That Hippo,” and “You’re Kind of Dumb and Ugly,” while he addresses some of his favorite topics with “Cancer Better Not F— with My Body”; “My Old Lady Wanted to Make Love All the Time”; “I Talk About Sex Mostly,” and “Close Your Legs” among the comic riffs whose titles we can (barely) print. Those familiar with Redd’s work only via Sanford and Son definitely need to check this out. You Gotta Wash Your Ass got nominated for a Grammy, but we doubt Redd gave a $#@!
Finally, Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol. 13—Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY 5/6/81 presents a show that was already something of a legend among Dead collectors before archivist Dick Latvala selected it for this volume. Only the second concert (at the time) from the ‘80s to be tapped for the series, it was (and is) widely regarded to be among the best performances of the decade, particularly notable for a stunning second-set sequence featuring “He’s Gone” leading into the last-ever performance of the “Caution Jam,” which then morphed into the first performance of the “Spanish Jam” in five years. A real high point of the era. But before that, you are treated to a hidden (and fiery) 35-minute version of “Scarlet Begonias”/”Fire on the Mountain” from a show at the same venue hailing from 1979, as well as a very tight first set winding up with a rollicking “Deal!” The complete show, and a good one for fans of Brent Mydland, too. Out of print for years.
Real Gone Music January 6, 2015 Releases
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain: Original Soundtrack Gatefold Double-LP:
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Dance of Reality: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack LP: