Missing In Action

These records (or artists) are missing in action from the streaming world (at least Google Play and Spotify). Now I’m not going to really care about obscure albums and bands before 1980 or so, because I know about licensing and all that rot – and a lot of these missing bits and pieces are due to licensing, but they licensed most of them for CD, so why not streaming? Anyway:

MAJOR LOSSES:

Ray Charles – Um, excuse me MCA or whoever owns Charles’ ABC albums and recordings. WHY AREN’T ALL OF THEM STREAMING??? There are collections around with songs from that period on there – but Charles’ albums deserve to be heard in full. Atlantic has released the session masters and outtakes from the 50’s. Why not Charles on ABC? (They finally streamed both volumes of Modern Sounds in Country and Western. Finally.)

Captain Beefheart – His discography is kind of a mess, especially for streamers. There are a lot of semi-and-quasi legit releases out there. Avoid them. But….many of his legit releases are missing from the streams. Strictly Personal, Trout Mask Replica (!),  Unconditionally Guaranteed and Blue Jeans and Moonbeams are all missing, as is the recently released Bat Chain Puller (the early version of Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller <NOTE: Gail Zappa pulled this, damnit!>)). You Tube is probably your best bet for on-demand listening.

The Yardbirds – I am sure this has to do with licensing agreements and arrangements, but on Google Play, their two US only releases (For Your Love and Having a Rave Up with the Yardbirds) are missing. You CAN put them together using other streaming entities, but that’s still work you shouldn’t have to do. On Spotify, Five Live Yardbirds ain’t there. Wow.

Also, there was a great Rhino collection called Ultimate!, which had almost everything you’d need. That’s not the same as the Ultimate Collection. The big issue is that the Yardbirds had a lot of single-only releases and those are just hard to corral into a cohesive unit.

Funkadelic – All of Parliament’s albums (except Osmium, and that’s really hard to find anywhere) are streaming, and the Westbound records Funkadelic made are extant online. But the Warner Brothers late 70’s Funkadelic records aren’t around. I have some of the cuts thanks to a Russian web site, but that’s not the same and the fidelity and legality is sketchy. Uncle Jam Wants You and especially One Nation Under a Groove are desperately needed to teach the youngsters about funk.

Scorpions – Their RCA catalog is woefully underserved by their compilations, and even the compilations aren’t streaming in full. Virgin Killer (well, I can see why, kinda) and Fly to the Rainbow aren’t out there now.

Bob Seger – It took forever and a day to get his catalog released on CD, and now he’s not streaming on some outlets. What hurts him most is trying to explore his earlier work, which, flaws and all, are more interesting than his later, safer albums. Those still aren’t streaming.

Jefferson AirplaneTakes Off is gone on Google Why, RCA?

MINOR INCONVENIENCES:

Quiet RiotQuiet Riot and Quiet Riot II have had no official US release thanks to the request from the family of Randy Rhoads. That may say something… (NOTE: I’m not reviewing them, either.)

Matthew SweetInside, his 1986 debut was released on Sony Records. It’s not on Google Play nor Spotify. It did stiff, but Sweet has a decent size cult that would guarantee some plays, I think. (NOTE: Some tracks are on You Tube but not the whole thing, so I’m passing for now.)

Pantera – Their first four albums aren’t anywhere to be found on a streaming site. Now I know they rather much disowned them but for historical purposes they should be out there somewhere. (NOTE: I’m not going to review them, because it’s not really relevant to making a library with Pantera in it.)

The Chairmen of the Board – I think this is a licensing problem with the Invictus / Hot Wax labels. They had two big hits and other minor ones, and were well reviewed as well. “Give Me Just a Little More Time” is one of the soul songs of the 70’s, and the part where everything drops out but the bass, drums and General Johnson is sublime. We want the Chairmen! (NOTE: There’s a collection streaming, but it omits the cuts from the first album, and without that why bother?)

Dwight Twilley – His catalog’s a mess. It was even in 1976. However, Shelter came out with a collection of the unreleased tracks in the 90’s and added bonus tracks to albums. Those went missing on Google Play and Spotify – and that’s a shame.

Curve – OK, not a household name, per se. However, they were on the leading edge of the shoegaze movement in the UK (along with Ride, Lush and Swervedriver). Their first two albums charted well in the UK and got some play here in the US. It may be a record company / licensing thing but those first two albums are MIA on Google and Spotify.

Nazareth – It’s not like we’re missing the greatest albums in the history of the world, but the licensing mess (has to be) between Vertigo, Castle, A&M and Lord knows who else means that a few prime Nazareth albums are missing, especially Loud ‘N’ Proud, which had a US hit in “This Flight Tonight”. Yes, it’s the Joni Mitchell song.

American Music Club – Marc Eitzel and his crew released four albums from 1985-1989, and all have been re-issued with bonus tracks. But none are streaming on Google Play or Spotify. Why? Everclear is on Amazon, thankfully.

Henry Rollins / Rollins Band – It’s hard to find his independent work, and Amazon has some of his spoken word. Except for major label stuff, he’s kind of vanished streaming.

Dr. Dre – Yeah, he’s one of the investors in Tidal. But Compton and 2001 are on Google Play. I want The Chronic. We all want The Chronic! Where’s The Chronic?

Bad Religion – 1983’s Into the Unknown was a bold step for the band, but it was a huge failure in terms of keeping the fan base happy, and the band soon distanced itself from it and it faded out of print, and never was released on CD. But a few years ago they re-issued it as part of a vinyl box set, and for a band that is historically important, it would be nice if it was out there. You can find it on You Tube and that’s how I’ll review it.

Faust – Now, Krautrock has a lot of weird-for-weird-sake stuff out there, and some things are downright unlistenable to everyone but Julian Cope and the Sprockets gang, but Faust was influential and groundbreaking, and none of their early stuff save one record is streaming.

Dream Theater – Yes, it’s mostly songs they wrote while under the name Majesty, and yes, it has a vocalist that they soon 86’d, but Dream Theater’s first album, When Dream and Day Unite, is missing. Probably because the band want it to be missing (or maybe it’s a record company thing…)

The Mysteries of Life – For those of you playing the Lemonheads / Blake Babies / John Strohm game, this band was an offshoot of Antenna, and had the drummer for both the Blake Babies and Antenna. What’s missing is their 2001 independent release. Maybe I’m the only one who cares.

Al Green – Everything before he went religious is streaming, which is good. However, there were two secular albums released in the 2000’s – 2003’s I Can’t Stop and 2005’s Everything’s OK, which while not masterpieces, were quite good. But they’re not streaming although 2008’s Lay It Down (on the same record label) is.

George Jones – Technically, you can find all of this important stuff streaming. But, because of licensing issues around his Musicor output, you really have to cobble together a comprehensive hits collection. He has a decent collection from 1955-62 and post-1972, but that Musicor era is tough to gather.

Robyn Hitchcock – I don’t know who has the digital and streaming copyrights for A&M Records, but I’ve noticed a lot of things missing and Hitchcock is the first I’ve tried to review. His most popular work was in the late 80’s, and except for a greatest hits record none of those works are streaming. It’s quite perturbing to have an artist like him have his crucial work missing. So whoever holds these rights, unleash them!

The Zutons – One of their three albums is streaming on Google Play and Spotify. It may be a UK/US licensing deal, but they sold a lot of records in the UK in the 2000’s and deserve a listen on this side of the ocean.

Richard & Linda Thompson – The classic albums by the duo are streaming, but three albums from mid-career (when they were living in a Sufi Muslim commune in England) are missing. Two are OK, but Pour Down Like Silver is one of their best.

Rammstein – This isn’t a huge loss, to be honest, but Rammstein is good for shits and giggles now and then. (On Amazon, though).

The Fixx – Their catalog is spotty, and it’s kind of odd that some titles aren’t streaming. For example, their debut Shuttered Room is nowhere. In fact, even though it was on MCA like their other records, their hits package used live versions of their two big hits from that album (“Stand or Fall”, “Red Skies”) when it was first issued. Weird.

The Jesus LizardShow is missing from streaming, which is sad, because we all need to some live Jesus Lizard to annoy friends and loved ones from time to time.

Soft Machine – Their second record, where they moved from Kevin Ayers and his weirdness toward Robert Wyatt and some tasty jazz fusion (before that was a bad word), is not streaming.

Veruca Salt – Their bridge EP, Blow It Out Your Ass, It’s Veruca Salt, is missing, as is their first album post Nina Gordon, Resolver. The former has four nice nuggets of Veruca Salt that could have improved their second album, or at least be bonus cuts on a re-release.

FleshtonesHexbreaker is streaming, but not Roman Gods, nor Up Front, nor any collection with songs from those two early, crucial, releases. They don’t want us to have fun, do they?

Throwing Muses – Their first 4AD and two EPs that were stand alone aren’t streaming, even the EP that the UK version of 4AD appended onto House Tornado.

Moby Grape – Incomplete collections and incomplete albums. It’s really frustrating that you can’t really hear the best tracks from this interesting band.

Collective Soul – Now, their Atlantic Records catalog isn’t streaming on Google. It is on Amazon. So be warned.

The Church – Their early records, including “The Unguarded Moment” are missing here in the US. That’s unfortunate.

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