In the late '80s, Minneapolis was home to a tightly knit music scene that claimed its fair share of groups on college and alternative radio playlists. When they weren't playing in their own bands, singer Kraig Johnson (Run Westy Run) and guitarists Dan Murphy (Soul Asylum) Gary Louris (the Jayhawks) and Marc Perlman (the Jayhawks) got together as Golden Smog to play with friends and have a good time. The band recorded a pair of albums for Rykodisc in the early '90s, featuring Uncle Tupelo/Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and drummers Noah Levy (Honeydogs) and Jody Stephens (Big Star).
Rhino brings together the essential tracks from both of those early releases for STAY GOLDEN, SMOG: THE BEST OF GOLDEN SMOG. This 18-song collection also features an alternate version of the fan favorite ("Until You Came Along") and an unreleased Brian Wilson cover ("Love And Mercy.") On September 23, this compilation will be available from Rhino Records at all retail outlets, including www.rhino.com, for a suggested list price of $16.98 on CD and $10.99 for digital download.
What began as a wicked cover band in 1989 evolved into a group featuring a rotating cast of talented musicians. The group's greatest strength has always been its collective songwriting prowess. Solid contributions from members writing solo and together helped the band create a lovable pastiche of soulful twang and thrilling garage bravado. The band released an EP, On Golden Smog, in 1992, then its first full-length album, Down By The Old Mainstream, in 1996 and its follow-up, Weird Tales, two years later.
STAY GOLDEN, SMOG: THE BEST OF GOLDEN SMOG contains eight tracks from the group's full-length debut, including a trio of great collaborations: "V" (Johnson/Louris), "Radio King" (Louris/Tweedy), and "Red Headed Stepchild" (Murphy/Perlman). Also featured are the standout solo efforts: "Pecan Pie," Tweedy's bubbly ode to dessert, and "He's A Dick," Johnson's ode to jerks.
The group's second album is also represented on THE BEST OF by eight tracks, including strong contributions by Murphy ("To Call My Own"), Johnson ("Looking Forward To Seeing You"), Louris ("Until You Came Along") and Tweedy ("Please Tell My Brother.") STAY GOLDEN, SMOG: THE BEST OF GOLDEN SMOG also contains a pair of Johnson/Louris efforts "If I Only Had A Car" and "Jennifer Save Me." The collection ends with an early version of "Until You Came Along" and an unreleased cover of Brian Wilson's "Love And Mercy," a song that originally appeared on his 1988 solo debut.
STAY GOLDEN, SMOG: THE BEST OF GOLDEN SMOG Track Listing:
1. "Until You Came Along" (Gary Louris)
2. "Looking Forward To Seeing You" (Kraig Johnson)
3. "Ill Fated" (Dan Murphy)
4. "Lost Love" (Jeff Tweedy)
5. "Jennifer Save Me" (Kraig Johnson, Gary Louris)
6. "Making Waves" (Kraig Johnson)
7. "Glad & Sorry" (Ronnie Lane of the Faces)
8. "V" (Kraig Johnson / Gary Louris)
9. "To Call My Own" (Dan Murphy)
10. "Pecan Pie" (Jeff Tweedy)
11. "Won't Be Coming Home" (Gary Louris / Mark Olson)
12. "Red Headed Stepchild' (Dan Murphy / Marc Perlman)
13. "He's A Dick" (Kraig Johnson)
14. "Radio King" (Gary Louris / Jeff Tweedy)
15. "Please Tell My Brother" (Jeff Tweedy)
16. "If I Only Had A Car" (Kraig Johnson, Gary Louris)
17. "Until You Came Along" (1997 version) - Bonus Track (Gary Louris)
18. "Love And Mercy" - Bonus Track (Brian Wilson)