Opal - Early Recordings/Happy Nightmare Baby

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How good is the Opal full-length? Early Recordings is going for $75 on Ebay, and that's just way too much for me to spend on an album.

miloauckerman, Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:19 (nineteen years ago) link

Happy Nightmare Baby is good - if you dig Kendra Smith, Roback, et al - it's nice - worth getting but AVOID any kind of price tag like THAT for anything Roback-related.

roger adultery (roger adultery), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:22 (nineteen years ago) link

HNB is a good album but Early Recordings is simply stunning - IMO one of the greatest psych albums, and without a doubt the best thing to come out of the Paisley Underground scene. I got mine cheap, but if I didn't have it I'd pay $75 or even twice that.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:24 (nineteen years ago) link

This would be the one CD i would run into a burning building to save

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:27 (nineteen years ago) link

IMO one of the greatest psych albums, and without a doubt the best thing to come out of the Paisley Underground scene

ok - one of the greatest albums to emerge from the PU scene, ok - up against The Bangles, for chrissakes, - possibly - but one of the greatest psych albums ever? Having not heard it, I can say for certain that it couldn't possibly scratch the top ten thousand. It's David "Throwback" Roback, man!! Take two Pearls Before Swine LPs and call me in the mourning

roger adultery (roger adultery), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:27 (nineteen years ago) link

I don't know about the Early Recordings (I'm looking to get a copy of it too), but I really like Happy Nightmare Baby, maybe even a little more than some of the Mazzy Star stuff.

A Nairn (moretap), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:28 (nineteen years ago) link

ER and HNB might as well have been different bands - it's not unlike comparing "White light white heat" with "Loaded"..

Having also heard Pearls Before Swine, Opal tops out. To be fair, I guess ER is a lot more VU than it is psych..

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:30 (nineteen years ago) link

ok - i admit - NOW i'm curious. Damn you! No way am I shelling out $75, but if you wanna do a cd-r trade, i'm up for it if you are. what do ya need?

roger adultery (roger adultery), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:37 (nineteen years ago) link

a 60s/70s psych primer would be schweet.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:41 (nineteen years ago) link

much of it is on vinyl, so it'd have to be a tape - but sure. anything in particular?

roger adultery (roger adultery), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:46 (nineteen years ago) link

my knowledge starts and ends with the two Nuggets boxes. from thereon it's open slather.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:48 (nineteen years ago) link

ok - email me with yr particulars - i'd really love to hear that Opal record

roger adultery (roger adultery), Thursday, 6 March 2003 06:51 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm with Jim. I've heard Pearls Before Swine (and have a pretty major psych collection too) and I listen to both Opal albums WAY more often than anything else. If I didn't already have a copy (and a mp3 backup copy), I'd spend the $75 for it.

But I'm also a product of that paisley scene too.

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Thursday, 6 March 2003 09:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Early Recordings easily outshines Happy Nightmare Baby... it's just utterly gorgeous straight through. "Fell From the Sun" has to be one of the top ten songs in the universe. But HNB isn't bad... it just rocks out a bit too much for my taste.

You might consider getting either of the later Kendra Smith albums, which are both (IMHO) much better than Happy Nightmare Baby. Five Ways of Disappearing is probably a tad easier to find than the Guild of Temporal Adventurers, especially on eBay where you can probably snag it for $3-5.

A lot of Super Falling Star songs are very Early Recordings-era Opalesque, particularly the songs on their split single with Fuxa.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Thursday, 6 March 2003 10:10 (nineteen years ago) link

I'll add in that Early Recordings is amazing.

tigerclawskank, Thursday, 6 March 2003 10:17 (nineteen years ago) link

heh, fortunate hazel i was briefly a member of Super Falling Star (i'm not on any of the recordings) and well and truly agree with the comparison.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Thursday, 6 March 2003 10:51 (nineteen years ago) link

Early Recordings is fantastic, it's true. (I looked for it on CD for years, and then my eyes nearly fell out of my head when I saw it in a used bin for three bucks. One of my warmest record-store memories ever.) "Happy Nightmare Baby" is pleasant enough, in a T-Rexy kind of way, but this is lovely, delicate psych that for my money kicks everything else Roback or Kendra ever recorded off the map.

(If you'd prefer not to spend the 75 bucks, though, you can e-mail me...)

M Specktor (M Specktor), Thursday, 6 March 2003 13:33 (nineteen years ago) link

yeah ER is great. I sold my copy on ebay for like $50 bucks. I couldn't believe it actually, because I had just picked up a copy on vinyl for $4. But anyway, worth grabbing any time you see it in a used bin...

Sorry about being a ebay scum seller, but i needed the money to buy more records. My starting bid was only $5 tho...

g (graysonlane), Thursday, 6 March 2003 15:58 (nineteen years ago) link

_Happy Nightmare, Baby_ is far better as a cohesive album, and i really dig the T-Rex vibe. Perfect for driving around LA in the late afternoon. _Early Recordings_ is good, but it's such a legendary album that it's got a lot to live up to in terms of reputation. I'm gonna be a wet blanket and say it's not worth $75. I'd also be happy to trade a CD-R of it.

_The Guild of Temporal Adventurers_ smokes the ass of _Five Ways of Disappearing_ in every known dimension. Her cover of "Bold Marauder" is good though, a sweeping cinematic revision of to me what always sounded a bit like a sea chantie.

Wonder why _ER_ hasn't been bootlegged yet? I figure that even if it wasn't swallowed by _Rough Trade_ that Roback would be enough of a bastard to keep it out of print. It wouldn't be the first time.

Speaking of which...._The Rainy Day Album_, which often comes up in these discussions, is vastly overrated in my view. Some interesting moments, but certainly not worth what it commands/commanded in the collector market. I doubt it'll ever be reprinted as well, which'll keep the ebay mavens happy.

Matt Maxwell (Matt M.), Thursday, 6 March 2003 16:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Adding to the ER praise -- worthy shtuff. In light of this $75 mention I can't believe I got the damn thing for $5 or something at a clearout of American Rough Trade product about ten years back. Should have gotten two!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 6 March 2003 16:51 (nineteen years ago) link

Two cents more: I like HNB. It's fun. But it does sound pretty pedestrian next to ER, which, despite the fact that it's a comp, has a charmed feel to it. And I would concur that Kendra-era Roback problems beat Mazzy Star hands down. Why? In a word: soul.

Lee G (Lee G), Thursday, 6 March 2003 17:09 (nineteen years ago) link

That is to say, "I would concur that Kendra-era Roback PROJECTS beat Mazzy Star hands down."

Lee G (Lee G), Thursday, 6 March 2003 17:14 (nineteen years ago) link

I LOVE the Rainy Day album. Susanna Hoffs does an amazing "I'll Be Your Mirror."

mike a (mike a), Thursday, 6 March 2003 18:11 (nineteen years ago) link

anyone wanna trade me a cdr copy of early recordings?

roger adultery (roger adultery), Thursday, 6 March 2003 18:17 (nineteen years ago) link

I strongly recommend all this stuff too (especially Rainy Day and HNB). I listen to it all pretty regularly.

I'm looking for live recordings of Hope Sandoval singing Opal songs - I saw her do these at the Hollywood Palladium opening for The Jesus and Mary Chain after Kendra bailed on the tour. I think the Opal songs are much stronger in general than Mazzy Star stuff.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Thursday, 6 March 2003 18:19 (nineteen years ago) link

Roger -- ask me (via e-mail) and ye shall receive.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 6 March 2003 18:24 (nineteen years ago) link

Time to fish out the tapes and get them onto CD-R... I've got at least one tape of Opal w/Kendra and another of Clay Allison (Roback, Kendra, and Keith Mitchell) outtakes .

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Thursday, 6 March 2003 20:30 (nineteen years ago) link


Matt Maxwell (Matt M.), Friday, 7 March 2003 03:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Sorry, I meant "at least one tape of Opal w/Hope"

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Friday, 7 March 2003 03:41 (nineteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
CD80 'portable' David Roback's Paisley Underground go!

Rain Parade - You Are My Friend
Rainy Day - I'll Keep It With Mine (feat Susanna Hoffs)
Rainy Day - Flying on the Ground is Wrong (feat Kendra Smith)
Rainy Day - I'll Be Your Mirror (feat Susanna Hoffs)
Opal - Empty Box Blues
Opal - She's a Diamond (Early Recordings vers.)
Opal - My Only Friend
Opal - Strange Delight
Opal - Fell From the Sun
Opal - Rocket Machine
Opal - Magick Power
Opal - She's a Diamond (Happy Nightmare Baby vers.)
Opal - Happy Nightmare Baby
Mazzy Star - Halah
Mazzy Star - Blue Flower
Mazzy Star - Ride It On
Mazzy Star - Ghost Highway
Mazzy Star - Fade Into You
Mazzy Star - Mary of Silence
Mazzy Star - Five String Serenade
Mazzy Star - Into Dust

(81:40 overburn!, pretty much chronological. nb - I don't believe that David Roback appears on "You are My Friend", but it's such a good song and he certainly influenced it (wrote it???) - does anyone know how much? Chris?

also, I've ignored the last Mazzy Star album as I don't remember anything from it...)

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Thursday, 6 November 2003 23:10 (eighteen years ago) link

David was definitely involved in that track but AFAIK had left the group by that point. only one track from Third Rail?! (sorry for being such a whinger BTW). you gotta find somewhere to stuff "I Look Around" into.. and no Harriet Brown!??!!? "Early Recordings" really is one of the best albums ever released.

the surface noise (electricsound), Thursday, 6 November 2003 23:16 (eighteen years ago) link

Someday I'm going to open this thread and it will actually say that Early Recordings has been rereleased. I think it's the single most anticipated rerelease on ILM...

dave225 (Dave225), Friday, 7 November 2003 12:23 (eighteen years ago) link

oh rykodisc why hast thou forsaken us?

the surface noise (electricsound), Friday, 7 November 2003 12:25 (eighteen years ago) link

three years pass...

I just saw something called Volume II on ebay with these tracks:

1. My Canyon Memory

2. Sisters of Mercy

3. Sailing Boats

4. Vespers

5. Lisa's Funeral

6. This Town

7. Freight Train

8. Wintertime

9. Little Bit of Rain

10. What You've Done

11. Cherry Jam

12. Indian Summer

Spencer Chow, Thursday, 6 September 2007 22:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Indian Summer?!

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 6 September 2007 22:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Magick Power, Magick Power...

sexyDancer, Thursday, 6 September 2007 22:48 (fourteen years ago) link

i've got this -- it's a bootleg right? Has slightly dodgy sounds anyway. Roback (I think) sings quite a bit on it, if I recall correctly. There's a male singer at least ...

tylerw, Thursday, 6 September 2007 22:48 (fourteen years ago) link

Voice of dissent, re: Early Recordings. It's good, but nowhere near as great as Happy Nightmare Baby. Best bits (Fell from the Sun, Northern Line, Harriet Brown, etc.) are lovely, dreamy psychedelic folk-pop -- some of my favorite music of that kind. But at least half the songs don't make much of an impression. Extremely pleasant, but too often limited to that.

Happy Nightmare Baby, on the other hand, is one of the best damn guitar rock albums out there. So incredibly dense, lush, SEXY, physical and intuitively right-fucking-on. Retro as hell, and locked into a psychedelic hard rock thing that necessarily limits its appeal, but absolutely unbeatable at its own game. Every song is distinctive, memorable, endlessly seductive. Maybe you have to be messed up, and you certainly have to dig "passionate" guitar solos, but even so...

Mazzy Star can't hold a candle. Nice, but nowhere near as deep. The Rainy Day thing is worth it only for I'll be your mirror - otherwise disposable. Kendra Smith's Guild of Temporal Adventurers EP is nearly as good as Early Recordings. Much creepier, often awkward as hell, but w/ tons of sick magnetism and an unbeatable Can cover.

Bob Standard, Thursday, 6 September 2007 23:13 (fourteen years ago) link

Shakey, the "Indian Summer" track is indeed a Doors cover, appeared on a Chemical Imbalance 7", and is as great as anything on ER.

Wonder why _ER_ hasn't been bootlegged yet?

I bought a counterfeit LP a few weeks ago. I seriously doubt it was an actual Rough Trade reissue!

All Opal is CLASSIC. I need that boot CD really bad. Kendra solo is essential as well.

sleeve, Thursday, 6 September 2007 23:26 (fourteen years ago) link

Happy Nightmare Baby is definitely the pinnacle of Roback's vision (especially the title track), but Early Recordings is surprisingly strong, especially without the heavy psychedelic assist from the guitars. Parts of Rainy Day, and certainly more than just "I'll Be Your Mirror" are just wonderful, especially "I'll Keep it With Mine" and "Flying On the Ground is Wrong" is just devastating. Mazzy Star obviously has many incredible tracks too. I certainly wouldn't dismiss it just because it's not quite as amazing.

Spencer Chow, Friday, 7 September 2007 00:15 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah for years I snottily dismissed Mazzy Star as Opal wannabes given their lineup, thought Hope was just trying to imitate Kendra and thought Roback was striving to recapture past glories. Then at a particularly surreal, druggy party back in '98 I heard both CDs and they suddenly made a ton of sense. These days I think those first two MS CDs express the heroin-as-music vibe better than anything except a coupla Spacemen 3 records. Soporific in a good way.

sleeve, Friday, 7 September 2007 00:24 (fourteen years ago) link

man i love opal so much, and strongly prefer the early/ clay allison stuff to 'happy nightmare' though it's def. good.

somehow and very weirdly with 'chemical imbalance' i managed to release two covers called "indian summer" --one the opal cover of the doors song, the other dean wareham's first solo release and a version of the beat happening song. (to further complicate things, later sonic boom covered dean's version thinking it was dean's song).

anyway, i hope to release the opal track in the best-of ci book/ cd out next year though i'm not holding my breath that roback and smith will okay that, even though the project is a benefit... we'll see.

Mike McGooney-gal, Friday, 7 September 2007 01:46 (fourteen years ago) link

The ERII boot is pretty good and worth a moderate hassle to track down. There's a FLAC version circulating around on the torrent sites. Try tracking it down there first. I am also biased in this opinion.

I believe that the source of these was originally a cassette tape of unused tracks that would have made up some of the second Opal album. Roback sings most of them.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 7 September 2007 01:54 (fourteen years ago) link

I must have this collection. (I think late summer is also good Opal listening weather in the gloaming -- will put it on in a bit here.)

Ned Raggett, Friday, 7 September 2007 02:04 (fourteen years ago) link

early recordings 2 is kinda disappointing, but "sailing boats" is a great song, i'd love to hear a decent quality version of it.
(early recordings is one of my top 5 albums ever)

zappi, Friday, 7 September 2007 02:12 (fourteen years ago) link

Bob Standard very OTM.

inhibitionist, Friday, 7 September 2007 05:44 (fourteen years ago) link

i managed to get hold of the UK pressing of fell from the sun with 'frieght train' on it. great song, if not quite at the level of the a-side.

i love opal, and my ER cd sits next to my DAW as my reference disc of what an amazing recording sounds like

electricsound, Friday, 7 September 2007 08:09 (fourteen years ago) link

has anyone heard beachouse? they capture that spooky early recordings sound pretty well. so when and what label did this volume 2 emerge? when do the recordings date from? is it post hnb?

cw, Friday, 7 September 2007 09:44 (fourteen years ago) link

theres no official release, just low quality mp3s. its pretty much all the demo stuff left off early recordings, and with two or three exceptions (sailing boats, what you've done, vespers maybe) i think the compilers of the official album made the right choices.

zappi, Friday, 7 September 2007 09:58 (fourteen years ago) link

do you like the kendra smith solo stuff joni? i ain't never heard it.

cw, Friday, 7 September 2007 10:00 (fourteen years ago) link

i love the guild 10", but i found the songs on the 4ad album lacking, although she did a cracking version of richard & mimi farinas "bold marauder". email me your address & i'll send ya some stuff if ya want.

zappi, Friday, 7 September 2007 10:04 (fourteen years ago) link

ta joni. what's that farinas stuff like? i haven't heard a note but i like been down so long it looks like up to me, is it straight ahead folkie fayre?

cw, Friday, 7 September 2007 10:14 (fourteen years ago) link

yeh pretty much straight folk with boy/girl harmony singing on first album, second album is more dylan-like with guitars & drums. its all good though! j has been hassling me to read that book for years now.

zappi, Friday, 7 September 2007 10:22 (fourteen years ago) link

it's funny, a bit kerouac-y, you get the feeling he had better in him, i'll keep an eye out for those r & m rekkids!

cw, Friday, 7 September 2007 10:29 (fourteen years ago) link

Early II is a bootleg of B-sides that was put together on a music blog with handy downloadable cover art included. (I'll try to track down which it was later.) It was never released even as legitimate bootleg cd, so some "entrepreneur" is basically taking the mp3s from the music blog, making cds from them and then selling them on ebay.

Bill in Chicago, Friday, 7 September 2007 15:24 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...

Youtube comes through. Hope singing for Opal:

Spencer Chow, Monday, 22 October 2007 04:52 (fourteen years ago) link

You can find Early Recordings II on this website, hXXp://xholdesert.blogspot.com/, look in the March archives, Rainy Day is also there. The best tracks were indeed kept for the official release, but finding this collection of unreleased songs today makes me happy beyond words. "Sailing boat" is a beauty, and Kendra's voice on the Leonard Cohen cover "Sisters of mercy" is at its honey sweetest.

catessence, Wednesday, 24 October 2007 15:13 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...

a bump to mention that a really great clay allison live show from 1984 just popped up recently on dime, as well as a 1987 opal show which i haven't listened to yet. the clay allison show makes me wish there was much more documented from them from this era. from the notes of the person who posted it, it seems there's more to come as well.

city worker, Thursday, 30 April 2009 13:06 (thirteen years ago) link

ooooooooooooooooh! thanks for the tip

zappi, Thursday, 30 April 2009 13:34 (thirteen years ago) link

one year passes...

if anyone's interested i just posted a 1984 opal show here: http://ow.ly/4tAZq probably the same one city worker mentions above? anyway, it's great.

tylerw, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 16:12 (eleven years ago) link


Marco Damiani, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 16:15 (eleven years ago) link

CD80 mix upthread needs more Rain Parade but no idea what i'd remove :/

hey ilxor, thanks for contributing, glad you stopped by (ilxor), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 16:18 (eleven years ago) link

i'd remove all the mazzy star (i like 'em, but..)

ita butthurt (electricsound), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 01:26 (eleven years ago) link

re-upped this with a better link -- track order was all out of wack.

tylerw, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 15:45 (eleven years ago) link

four years pass...

weird, there's a vinyl bootleg of that 1984 clay allison gig floating around: http://www.discogs.com/Clay-Allison-Live-At-The-Electric-Banana-5221984/release/5456137
anyone got it?

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 15:19 (six years ago) link

I have this. My wife is a major Kendra fan so I bought this for her for her birthday last year. Sound quality a solid B, and the songs / performances sound terrific. Cool cover art, too, not very bootleg-y. Definitely worth the plunge.

Jimmywine Dyspeptic, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 15:59 (six years ago) link

yeah, i've heard the tape previously -- pretty cool performance (and fairly different from Early Recordings in some respects, if i remember correctly. some pretty heavy moments).

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:01 (six years ago) link

yep, if it's not too pricey, I'd get one... I got it as a gift and agree with Jimmywine's assessment!

erry red flag (f. hazel), Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:01 (six years ago) link

I need to look and see if that was one of the shows that came up on Dime a few years back, there were a bunch. If it's the one I'm thinking of, it is pretty great.

sleeve, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:02 (six years ago) link

pretty sure it's the one i posted upthread a few years ago (link is dead however)

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:09 (six years ago) link

Re that Early Recordings II bootleg, Matt Piucci found out about it earlier this year and was really pissed off as a couple of the songs are apparently not Opal songs at all but are I guess Rain Parade demos or just Matt P solo, and he was somehow under the impression that David Roback was responsible for putting it out!

Just noise and screaming and no musical value at all. (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:20 (six years ago) link

weird! what an odd career roback has made for himself. still seems crazy that the opal stuff hasn't been collected/reissued properly.

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:39 (six years ago) link

agreed, just madness

sleeve, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:39 (six years ago) link

numero group putting out a deeeluxe box set w/ early recordings + happy nightmare, plus live & unreleased action (hopefully not matt piucci solo demos, haha) ... i would buy it.

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:53 (six years ago) link

that is so weird about Early Recordings II, I'll have to give that a closer listen

sleeve, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:59 (six years ago) link

that version of "indian summer" on ERII -- so good. though this one w/ hope is very good too...

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 17:02 (six years ago) link

so that LP is not one of the 4 shows I have, another thing to add to the list. when looking, I also found this tragically lost item with three more early songs that have never appeared anywhere afaict:


sleeve, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 23:16 (six years ago) link

oops, they are on Early Recordings II, carry on

sleeve, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 23:17 (six years ago) link

two months pass...

gahhhh compilation tracks and ephemera I was not aware of

a Syd Barrett cover!!! some song called "Ghost Highway" from a Rough Trade promo tape?!?!


the 'major tom guy' (sleeve), Monday, 22 February 2016 22:29 (six years ago) link

yeah, found that barrett cover on youtube a little while ago
pretty good!
didn't know about "ghost highway" -- the same song that mazzy star did?

tylerw, Monday, 22 February 2016 22:36 (six years ago) link

it might just be that track, yeah

the 'major tom guy' (sleeve), Monday, 22 February 2016 22:41 (six years ago) link

three years pass...

OPAL - 1987, Sept.17, Live VIDEO, w. Kendra Smith singing, San Diego, SST Records Fest


sleeve, Monday, 15 July 2019 16:25 (two years ago) link


tylerw, Monday, 15 July 2019 16:35 (two years ago) link


( X '____' )/ (zappi), Monday, 15 July 2019 17:02 (two years ago) link

holy shit I was at that gig!

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 15 July 2019 21:16 (two years ago) link

too bad the mic was right next to Suki's foldback! What a great find.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Monday, 15 July 2019 22:52 (two years ago) link

Before this event took place, SST had scheduled a festival in the L.A. area with Sonic Youth headlining but it fell through, so instead they held this festival on the steps of the main gym at UC San Diego, with Opal headlining.

I remember this, a free, all day thing at the Santa Fe dam in Irwindale! My friend and I drove out there only to find it had been cancelled.

nickn, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 03:25 (two years ago) link

"Fell From the Sun" has to be one of the top ten songs in the universe.

Absolutely. There are few songs which marry melody and guitar distortion as successful as this one. Listening to this is way better than doing acid. And additionally the risk of a bad trip is zero.

je est un autre, l'enfer c'est les autres (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, 16 July 2019 09:48 (two years ago) link

in case anyone missed it, Kendra Smith recorded a song for the Leave No Trace soundtrack last year and it's amazing:


the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 16 July 2019 14:04 (two years ago) link


sleeve, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 14:17 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

It looks like 'Early Recordings' is being reissued November 1 on a label called Salley Gardens. Salley Gardens Publishing is listed on every Mazzy Star release.

Spencer Chow, Thursday, 3 October 2019 16:03 (two years ago) link


the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Thursday, 3 October 2019 16:07 (two years ago) link


tylerw, Thursday, 3 October 2019 16:38 (two years ago) link


sleeve, Thursday, 3 October 2019 17:03 (two years ago) link

Looks like a straight reissue, no bonus tracks or what have you... not even "hear the wind blow". Amazon track listing could of course just be wrong, but there's no other real info about it yet!

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Thursday, 3 October 2019 17:04 (two years ago) link

this better not be some sketchy Amazon boot

sleeve, Thursday, 3 October 2019 17:06 (two years ago) link

It's Prime and ships from and sold by Amazon so that's a good sign.

Spencer Chow, Thursday, 3 October 2019 17:12 (two years ago) link

ha, i don't think i knew that "hear the wind blow" isn't on some versions ...

tylerw, Thursday, 3 October 2019 17:12 (two years ago) link

it's not on the vinyl version, it was a CD bonus track originally

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Thursday, 3 October 2019 17:29 (two years ago) link

^^ yeah it was a B-side

sleeve, Thursday, 3 October 2019 17:37 (two years ago) link

I thought Hear the Wind Blow was only ever on the Early Recordings CD... they could add Soul Giver and Freight Train, those b-sides never appeared on CD before I don't think?

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Thursday, 3 October 2019 17:43 (two years ago) link

oh yes you are correct, was thinking abt Freight Train

the version of Soul Giver on that 12" is the same as on Happy Nightmare Baby iirc

sleeve, Thursday, 3 October 2019 18:11 (two years ago) link


I’m Kendra Smith’s manager - while we are in discussions, nothing has been approved yet. This had better not be real, just yet.

— Pat Thomas (@PatThomas1964) October 3, 2019

tylerw, Thursday, 3 October 2019 20:27 (two years ago) link

I must admit I'm glad to know that she has a manager

sleeve, Thursday, 3 October 2019 20:39 (two years ago) link

haha, yeah, seems unlikely, but that guy is legit, I think.

tylerw, Thursday, 3 October 2019 20:48 (two years ago) link

normally I'd be suspicious if the artist themselves said nothing about a reissue, but with Opal I'd be more suspicious if they did.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Thursday, 3 October 2019 20:51 (two years ago) link

haha, yeah, seems unlikely, but that guy is legit, I think

I didn't know he was handling Kendra's stuff, but Pat is definitely legit.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 4 October 2019 22:55 (two years ago) link

I played Early Recordings for the first time in maybe ten years and I have to say I remember liking it more than I do. I think in my old age I actually prefer Happy Nightmare Baby. I don't remember all the lousy slide playing on this album! Total respect and admiration for Roback as a guitarist but Kendra remains the draw for me. And I still love the Rainy Day album more than all the Opal and Mazzy Star albums combined.

That said, if a reissue of Early Recordings materializes, I'll probably buy it, as my copy of this is beat to hell.

Paul Ponzi, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 19:14 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

This is now in stock...

Spencer Chow, Saturday, 2 November 2019 17:42 (two years ago) link

here's the latest from pat thomas:

I had to have this release postponed until the record company recognizes Kendra’s % of ownership - records are sitting in warehouse awaiting legitimacy- should be soon, I hope

— Pat Thomas (@PatThomas1964) November 2, 2019

tylerw, Saturday, 2 November 2019 18:18 (two years ago) link

thanks Tyler

Book Doula (sleeve), Saturday, 2 November 2019 21:07 (two years ago) link

I believe Amazon is already shipping these (it says shipped from and sold by Amazon - delivery by tomorrow). I'd order it but I already have the earlier CD.

Spencer Chow, Sunday, 3 November 2019 17:11 (two years ago) link

yeah i don't really know, haha.

tylerw, Sunday, 3 November 2019 17:36 (two years ago) link

I wonder what source was used to master the thing... did they just take the CD version and master it for vinyl, lopping off "Hear the Wind Blow"?

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Sunday, 3 November 2019 17:50 (two years ago) link

This is a CD.

Spencer Chow, Monday, 4 November 2019 06:00 (two years ago) link

The new CD comes with the original CD bonus track "Hear the Wind Blow" plus four additional bonus tracks: "I Called Erin," "Don't Stop the Train," "Sailing Boats" and an alternate version of "Empty Bottles." It sounds great (i.e. not compressed), and the bonus tracks are wonderful. I have been waiting for a legit reissue for a long, long time (25+ years) since I refused to pay collector prices, ha (and yes, I did download MP3s to tide me over). "Empty Box Blues" goes through my head *all the time*. For the record, Rainy Day's cover of "Flying on the Ground is Wrong" is one of my favorite tracks ever recorded by anyone.

ernestp, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 00:48 (two years ago) link

Rainy Day reissue next, I hope? That album kills Early Recordings (and I have always really liked Early Recordings)

Anyway, I bought this.

Paul Ponzi, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 00:56 (two years ago) link

xpost - thanks for the report! I think I've only seen "Sailing Boats" on 'Early Recordings 2'.

Ordering this now.

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 01:01 (two years ago) link

And yes, fingers crossed for 'Rainy Day'.

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 01:03 (two years ago) link

double wow! it was listed as a vinyl release on amazon initially

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 01:09 (two years ago) link

Ah, ok. I'm really glad it's not just some vinyl repackage.

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 01:13 (two years ago) link

gahhhh OK thanks

Book Doula (sleeve), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 03:04 (two years ago) link

can anyone give me a link to buy other than Amazon?

Book Doula (sleeve), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 03:06 (two years ago) link

oh hell yeah looks like they did Happy Nightmare Baby as well


Book Doula (sleeve), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 05:32 (two years ago) link

would kinda like to know who is behind these reissues

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 05:46 (two years ago) link

love Sailing Boats, can't wait to hear the others!

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 08:49 (two years ago) link

Re: "who is behind these reissues" - in the credits, it says: "2019 reissue Frank Gironda- Lookout Mgt., Pat Thomas"

ernestp, Thursday, 7 November 2019 12:15 (two years ago) link

OK, that's Mazzy Star's management company.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Thursday, 7 November 2019 14:40 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Rainy Day reissue next, I hope?

Happy Nightmare Baby reissue now has a listing on Amazon US with a Nov 1 release date, still unavailable though:


the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Sunday, 24 November 2019 18:08 (two years ago) link

Early Recordings reissue is still not listed on Discogs, so I assume there are no actual physical copies out there yet:


Book Doula (sleeve), Sunday, 24 November 2019 20:56 (two years ago) link

there are, I have one

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Sunday, 24 November 2019 22:44 (two years ago) link

ah cool!

Book Doula (sleeve), Sunday, 24 November 2019 22:52 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

god damn it this appears to have vanished completely, still not listed on Discogs and unavailable anywhere (even Amazon)

f. hazel plz ILXmail me if you can rip yr copy?

so frustrating

subway Stalinist (sleeve), Tuesday, 7 January 2020 01:25 (two years ago) link

The CD reissue of Happy Nightmare Baby also vanished, I assume the few copies Amazon got last year of Early Recordings were not meant to be sold, in reference to the tweet from Pat Thomas about the reissues being embargoed until the royalties for Kendra Smith get worked out.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 7 January 2020 17:10 (two years ago) link

haha, the saga continues ... the reissues are listed for preorder over here, but who knows: https://www.propermusic.com/label/s/sally-gardens.html

tylerw, Tuesday, 7 January 2020 17:20 (two years ago) link

in the meantime, i recently came across a 1985 recording (with opening set by Hope Sandoval's first band): https://ia801509.us.archive.org/32/items/Opal1985-04-22TexasRecordsLosAngelesCA/Opal1985-04-22TexasRecordsLosAngelesCA.mp3?cnt=0

GOING HOME (opener)
Texas Records L.A.(CA) USA

Going Home:
1. Give You My Lovin' 3:53
2. The Scarecrow 4:32
3. 2:41
4. 2:09
Total: 13:15

5. Lisa's Funeral 8:03
6. Rock Section 7:09
7. Blue Flower 4:58
8. Lullabye 6:03
9. She's A Diamond 3:30
10. Fell From The Sun 4:49
11. Soul Giver 9:24

tylerw, Tuesday, 7 January 2020 17:22 (two years ago) link

thx for the webmail f. hazel, much appreciated!

subway Stalinist (sleeve), Tuesday, 7 January 2020 17:46 (two years ago) link

thanks tylerw, a Kendra version of Blue Flower is pretty cool, and the fuzzed out Lullabye too! complete with dude creeping on Hope Sandoval after their set... Mazzy Star played Blue Flower and Rock Section when I saw them last February!

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Wednesday, 8 January 2020 04:03 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

dear f. hazel, sorry to bother you but I have not seen a second email from you, just checking!

let's talk about gecs baby (sleeve), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 18:49 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...


Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 26 February 2020 00:03 (two years ago) link


an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Wednesday, 26 February 2020 00:29 (two years ago) link

via Ned on FB:

Pat Thomas just posted a note including this: "I manage Kendra. There will be some news soon about Opal reissues. Please do NOT ask me any more details about the release of Opal at this time. Roback made some magical music (with many of my close friends) - my favorite is the early Opal material."

sleeve, Wednesday, 26 February 2020 01:47 (two years ago) link

Roback made some magical music


Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 26 February 2020 03:40 (two years ago) link

Just the most amazing song (and video)

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 26 February 2020 06:03 (two years ago) link

Just noticed that the "Verified Artist" page for Opal on Spotify--while including an authentic band photo and bio--completely features music by an unrelated artist using the same name.

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 26 February 2020 07:35 (two years ago) link

<iframe width="616" height="462" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/iEamS2sQO9Q"; frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

cw, Wednesday, 26 February 2020 21:38 (two years ago) link

ahhhh, evidently not how that works, empty box blues, beautiful stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=50&v=iEamS2sQO9Q&feature=emb_logo

cw, Wednesday, 26 February 2020 21:42 (two years ago) link

via Elvis Telecom on FB, never seen this (great) show before


sleeve, Wednesday, 26 February 2020 22:44 (two years ago) link

wow never seen that one before!

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Wednesday, 26 February 2020 23:37 (two years ago) link

nice! it's nice that for a relatively obscure band, Opal/Clay Allison was pretty well-documented, bootleg-wise. here's one of their earliest live gigs: https://doomandgloomfromthetomb.tumblr.com/post/611039000197775360/clay-allison-mccabes-guitar-shop-santa-monica

tylerw, Wednesday, 26 February 2020 23:51 (two years ago) link

sleeve do I still owe you an email?

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Thursday, 27 February 2020 01:49 (two years ago) link

"Rocket Machine" is such a jam. What a band.

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Thursday, 27 February 2020 04:06 (two years ago) link

xp yes please!

sleeve, Thursday, 27 February 2020 04:16 (two years ago) link


— Pat Thomas (@PatThomas1964) February 27, 2020

(Release date on record shop sites I use went back to April the other day.)

Tim, Thursday, 27 February 2020 07:34 (two years ago) link

So I think I read that the opal reissue from 2019 wasn't authorized? I see it up for pre-order now. Confused

god_of_hell_fire, Thursday, 27 February 2020 16:34 (two years ago) link

My guess (genuinely only a guess) is that it was put together by someone who thought they had the rights or didn't think there would be a problem with them, then a few copies got out, then there was a problem with the rights, subsequently resolved, release is back on.

Tim, Thursday, 27 February 2020 16:39 (two years ago) link

otm imo

sleeve, Thursday, 27 February 2020 17:32 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

how did I space on the Early Recordings vol 2 mentioned upthread? I'm having a very enjoyable afternoon catching up. If I'd been handed a copy of this 25 years ago my brain would have exploded.

assert (MatthewK), Wednesday, 17 June 2020 06:27 (one year ago) link

...is this available for purchase? It's on youtube for streaming.

that's not my post, Friday, 19 June 2020 03:36 (one year ago) link

It's a boot, apparently from a tape stolen from David Roback. A few of the songs are not Opal but another member of Rain Parade I think.

assert (MatthewK), Friday, 19 June 2020 04:13 (one year ago) link

I can ysi if u ILXmail me

also paging f. hazel, I did email you but never got that link

sleeve, Friday, 19 June 2020 05:01 (one year ago) link

At least one of the songs on Early 2 is from the very first Rain Parade recordings. Matt Piucci talks about it in one of the recent episodes of the paisley underground podcast.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 19 June 2020 07:33 (one year ago) link

yeah when Matt P was first made aware of Early 2 iirc he got mad because he thought it was a legit release and Dave R was ripping off his songs or something?

chipstick rebellion (Colonel Poo), Friday, 19 June 2020 13:07 (one year ago) link

four weeks pass...


Sadly - they may never come out now - difficulties with David Roback’s management

— Pat Thomas (@PatThomas1964) July 17, 2020

tylerw, Friday, 17 July 2020 23:22 (one year ago) link


f. hazel plz check yr ilxmail

sleeve, Saturday, 18 July 2020 00:55 (one year ago) link

Sucks to hear it. :-/

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 18 July 2020 00:56 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

Thanks to David Roback, his management and the record company- these two releases are permanently cancelled. Yes, CDs were manufactured and a few copies were sold last November. Sadly the remainder will be destroyed. Kendra & I did everything we could to make this release happen

— Pat Thomas (@PatThomas1964) November 11, 2020

tylerw, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 15:41 (one year ago) link


howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 16:17 (one year ago) link

such bullshit

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 16:17 (one year ago) link

he goes on to say: "it’s too complex to write it all out on Twitter, but I will say there were unreasonable and immoral demands set forth."

tylerw, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 16:25 (one year ago) link

i'm trying to imagine who would be good for an opal / kendra smith tribute album ...

heron oblivion
damon & naomi
magik markers
dream syndicate
dean & britta

who else?!

tylerw, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 16:26 (one year ago) link

I saw Opal split up onstage in London in 1988, not their greatest show I'm guessing.

happy dreamhorse baby (Matt #2), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 16:35 (one year ago) link

I'm still baffled a bit: was this some sort of final wish of Roback's before he died or was in his will, or is his estate just jerking everyone's chain?

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 17:03 (one year ago) link

yeah i really have no idea.

tylerw, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 17:37 (one year ago) link

yeah it's a bit weird to blame him now given he's dead

akm, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 17:59 (one year ago) link

the 'immoral' statement makes me assume that there was some assertion on Roback or his estate's part that would have denied any funds going to Kendra. Did they hate each other?

akm, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 18:02 (one year ago) link

well that's depressing!

thousand-yard spiral stairs (f. hazel), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 18:04 (one year ago) link

Low would be great for a tribute album.

akm, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 18:04 (one year ago) link

there's already four Opal tribute albums, the last one was called Seasons of Your Day

thousand-yard spiral stairs (f. hazel), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 18:07 (one year ago) link

haha, really? well i missed those.

tylerw, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 18:14 (one year ago) link

oh lol, i get it now.

tylerw, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 18:15 (one year ago) link

Wouldn't mind hearing William Reid sing "She's a Diamond".

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 18:50 (one year ago) link

so weird that they are going to destroy the remaining copies of this. I get that they can't sell them but surely they could give them away, at least?

Paul Ponzi, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 19:06 (one year ago) link

that's a pretty typical aftereffect of these kinds of injunctions, iirc. like Prince w/the Black Album.

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 19:10 (one year ago) link

it's hard to believe this band or anyone associated with it has the legal or financial wherewithal to impose any kind of injunction though.

akm, Thursday, 12 November 2020 03:48 (one year ago) link

I'm guessing they made a fair amount of money from Mazzy Star over the years, especially "Fade Into You"

thousand-yard spiral stairs (f. hazel), Thursday, 12 November 2020 04:07 (one year ago) link

Roback and Hope, yes. But Roback is deceased. So I guess this falls to whoever is handling the estate, or whoever owns the rights to these recordings; I also know, from the little I've dealt with the American music club reissues, that dealing with rights holders for independent music from the 80's and 90's is a complete pain in the ass. Hats off to Light in the Attic and Omnivore and other reissue labels that have the patience to deal with it

akm, Thursday, 12 November 2020 04:13 (one year ago) link

I mean yeah, remember that Happy Nightmare Baby was released on SST!

thousand-yard spiral stairs (f. hazel), Thursday, 12 November 2020 04:18 (one year ago) link

I believe it was a similar rights issue that kept the Game Theory records out of print in Scott Miller's lifetime, after Enigma Records had collapsed.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 12 November 2020 04:20 (one year ago) link

So sad that there's this kinda of wrangling over what must be a thin gruel of royalties

Julius Caesar Memento Hoodie (bendy), Thursday, 12 November 2020 14:56 (one year ago) link

exactly. Pat clarified on twitter that the rights are owned 50/50 but Roback's demands were unacceptable. Hard to understand what kind of demands you can have when it's understood that you only own 50%. Frankly owning 50% of your rights for this stuff is pretty good.

akm, Thursday, 12 November 2020 15:05 (one year ago) link

Is the thinking sells on Discogs for $75, therefore the demand must be huge!?

Julius Caesar Memento Hoodie (bendy), Thursday, 12 November 2020 18:19 (one year ago) link

god who knows. it's probably more along the lines of 'fade into you has made oodles of money and so there must be huge demand for his back catalogue' but I don't think reissues of Emergency Third Rail Power Trip sold out instantly and made trillions of dollars.

akm, Friday, 13 November 2020 03:51 (one year ago) link

which songs on Early Recordings II are actually Opal songs? I assume the ones where Kendra is singing, but other than that...

thousand-yard spiral stairs (f. hazel), Friday, 13 November 2020 19:15 (one year ago) link

seeing as some CDs were supposedly sold have the extra tracks surfaced anywhere yet? really want to hear the properly mastered Sailing Boats

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Friday, 13 November 2020 19:21 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

belated thanks to f hazel, just my webmail for the first time in months!

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Tuesday, 15 December 2020 20:10 (one year ago) link


thousand-yard spiral stairs (f. hazel), Wednesday, 16 December 2020 01:18 (one year ago) link

ten months pass...

A 1988 show after Hope replaced Kendra. Audience recording but good once they get going.


nickn, Saturday, 30 October 2021 07:05 (six months ago) link

two months pass...

I ponied up for a copy of the deleted Early Recordings remaster (making it the only album I have overpaid for twice, both times deleted) and in addition to the fascination of the extra tracks, I gotta say the remaster is excellent. The music is so much more present and alive, whereas the original feels distant and slightly muffled.

assert (matttkkkk), Tuesday, 4 January 2022 21:52 (four months ago) link

Live show above is lovely. The compression of the recording plus the LOUDLY mixed guitar is wonderful. Cheers for the link.

Psychocandy Apple Grey (Pyschocandles), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 00:12 (four months ago) link

The remaster is great — lol, it really is so stupid that it's not available.

tylerw, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 15:32 (four months ago) link

really sad the Happy Nightmare Baby reissue never made it out either, the original CD master of that one isn't bad but it isn't great either

Jaime Pressly and America (f. hazel), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 15:40 (four months ago) link

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