Omnivore Recordings is heading to Surf City…and everybody’s gonna have some fun! The label is presenting an oldie but a goodie from Jan and Dean, as you’ve never heard it before. On September 1, Omnivore will premiere the original, rejected version of the legendary surf duo’s 1966 album Filet of Soul in a package featuring the participation of Dean Torrence himself.
In 1965, Jan Berry and Dean Torrence were eager to extricate themselves from their deal with Liberty Records, for whom they owed one more album. They hit upon the notion of releasing a live album combining both music and comedy, which would have followed their 1965 Command Performance. When Jan and Dean turned in Filet of Soul, however, the Liberty brass let their displeasure be known, and rejected the album. Then, on April 12, 1966, Jan Berry suffered the debilitating accident that forever altered the course of the Jan and Dean story. Liberty seized upon this tragic opportunity to retool the rejected LP into what was dubbed Filet of Soul – A “Live One” and actually consisted of a hodgepodge of various live and studio performances, including a trio of Beatles covers.
Filet of Soul Redux: The Rejected Master Recordings brings the album full circle to its genesis as a “live” comedy album also featuring the music for which Jan and Dean were known (including those Beatles tracks), plus sound effects, in-studio skits, and more. Torrence has joined with David Beard of Beach Boys/surf music fan magazine Endless Summer Quarterly, to contribute the liner notes. Beard describes the project as a “trendsetting homage to Jan and Dean, by Jan & Dean. A live comedy album featuring great music performed by L.A.’s top studio musicians, an in-joke, a subversive and evolutionary lampooning of other ‘soul albums,’ and — most importantly — a recording of a couple of buddies hanging out together onstage and entertaining not only their hardcore fans, but one another as well.”
Omnivore’s press release quotes Torrence as adding, “The Beatles released Rubber Soul in 1965. Jan and I rushed out to our local record store (remember those?) and bought two copies. It was a great album — the music was awesome, and the production was brilliant. But there was something that was missing: we didn’t discover the meaning of the so-very-cool title Rubber Soul. Such a cool title must have some very deep meaning that was right up there with discovering The Meaning of Life or The Theory of Relativity, for God’s sake. So how did we miss it? Traveling in the car, we talked about this whole Rubber Soul thing, and it got us thinking . . . what kinda soul did Jan & Dean have? And it was perfectly obvious to us that Jan & Dean had ‘Filet of Soul’ . . . the thing I get the biggest kick out of to this very day is listening to these original Filet of Soul recordings. I find myself still chuckling and remembering what a great time Jan and I had in making it. Listen to what we recorded and you can tell that these people are really having fun in the studio with one another.”
Now, audiences everywhere will have a chance to travel back to 1965 with Jan and Dean to discover the original Filet of Soul – and it’s a cut that isn’t just rare, but promises to be well-done! Look for it on September 1 from Omnivore in CD and DD formats. You’ll find pre-order links below!
Jan and Dean, Filet of Soul Redux: The Rejected Master Recordings (Omnivore, 2017) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada Links TBD)
- Prelude / Honolulu Lulu
- Boys Down At The Plant / Cathy’s Clown / Pigeon Joke
- Brass Section Introductions / Dead Man’s Curve
- Beatle Part Of Our Portion / Rhythm Section Introduction / Michelle / Whistling Dixie
- We Want Jan & Dean / Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
- Lightnin’ Strikes
- You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
- And Now Back To The Show / Let’s Hang On Introduction
- Hang On Sloopy / Jan & Dean, They’ll Be Back