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Legal rare/psychedelic/etc downloads...?

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Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1320

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:39 pm    Post subject: Legal rare/psychedelic/etc downloads...? Reply with quote

I wish there was a website that had a listing of where one can buy legal, paid downloads of rare albums!
I love being able to buy albums in MP3 form from Amazon for 7.99 or 8.99, with one click, and they actually do have a pretty good selection. But for a lot of weird rare albums, the only options seem to be to either buy the reissue CD for an expensive price, like $18-$25, or find it as an illegal download on a blog. I've certainly downloaded a lot of stuff from blogs, and some of these are my favorite albums, but the best is when I can find these albums available to buy cheap. Like The New Creation, i found a website for the reissue record label, and bought a legal download for like 8 bucks, that was great. Or D.R. Hooker, another classic weird lost private-press album from 1971, the record label that did the CD reissue has buyable downloads available cheap from their own website. BUT these albums are not findable on Amazon or iTunes, you have to find the actual individual websites of the little reissue label to find out if they can be bought as downloads.
SO I wish there was a website that had a list of all of the non-Amazon albums that are buyable as downloads direct from the artist or direct from the record label... Like, if there was a blog like Julian Cope's "Head Heritage" where they discuss lots of cool rare albums, they could also list where you can buy the downloads.
This is especially on my mind lately as some of the usual download methods have been shut down by the FBI, etc, like mediafire, I think that one doesn't exist now, and maybe some others, and even some of the blogs have been shut down.
This came to me as I was searching for an album called "Supernatural Girl" by a band called Ferris Wheel, the CD reissue costs about $20 which is too expensive for me to spend on a CD, so I was trying to find a website where I could pay 8 to download it, and could only find blogs to get the album for free. When faced with the choice of $20 for the CD or FREE for the download, I think most people would pick the free option! If there was a middle choice inbetween, like a $5-$10 download, I think it would be a very popular option.
At least for me!
Maybe a different method can be used - an "Artists' Rights" blog, where you can get all these illegal downloads but you can pay $5-$10 for them, and the money just sits in the "Artists' Rights" bank account until someday when one of the artists pops up and says "hey, this website has been selling my stuff! They might have collected some money for my album sales all this time while I've been unaware of this...." And then the artist would be able to collect the money that has been paid so far for any downloads of their material. In the meantime, perhaps the "Artists' Rights" website could fund itself just from the bank interest collected from the money that is sitting uncollected.
I guess it gets more complicated because of "who" the artist might be... like, if the bass player of a band pops up, does that person get all the money? How do they prove who they are and how much they deserve? What if the original record label from 1971 pops up and collects the money before the artist does? Maybe it's still better than nothing... and if the guitar player appears and says "hey I should have gotten some of that money instead of all of it going to the bass player" then the website can say "sorry, but now that we know you exist we will split the new money into two parts so you two can share the new income, plus you can politely ask the bass player to pay you some of what was already collected, maybe, just maybe, the bass player is a nice person and not a greedy thief."
There! How's that!?
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Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1320

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently found a list of "Top 5 rare/weird/psychedelic/private press albums" from Paul Major, he's one of the top experts/collectors of this sort of stuff since the 70s (and he's currently in the band Endless Boogie)...

Paul Major says:

"If I were to make a top five of the whole genre of weird underground psych folk, Id put the Dark record [Round the Edges] in there along with records by artists like Fraction, Maitreya Kali, Forever Amber, and Damon. These are all things you can find on CD reissues. I highly advise getting these."

Actually, the whole little interview with him that this list comes from is worth reading, it's short -

After reading this, I immediately downloaded the Dark record and the Damon record! Haven't had a chance to give them a good listen yet, although the Dark album so far sounds kind of like a late-60s/early-70s version of Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks! Obviously it's got a different lyrical style, but the jammy guitar melodies and tones have a certain undeniable Malkmus flavor to them.

I do already have the Fraction album ("Moon Blood") and I do like it although I wouldn't put it in my own top 5 (or even my own top 20, but it's good). To me it sounds a bit like a less-professional, more-improvisational version of Steppenwolf (you know, "Born to be Wild", etc), like maybe what Steppenwolf would sound like if they were just having a late-night jam session AND if the singer was feeling just a little tiny bit more pretentious than usual (which in this case I consider a good thing not a bad thing). Some great Jim Morrison-esque growls and howls with a nice hint of "tough biker turns to Jesus after LSD experience" vibe.

I've never even heard of Maitreya Kali or Forever Amber. Obviously I'll have to find a way to listen to these eventually! I'm always exited to get more recommendations like this (though at this point I know not to get TOO excited, disappointment is more frequent than revelation...)!
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