Something of an anomaly on the Sub Pop roster, the Supersuckers bore a limited surface resemblance to grunge, but they were a party band at heart, donning cowboy hats and kicking out a gleefully trashy brand of throttling, rockabilly-flavored garage punk. Their lyrics were a raucous, over-the-top celebration of all the attendant evils of rock & roll – sex, booze, drugs, Satan, and whatever other vices the band could think of, all glorified with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Save for an abrupt and temporary detour into hardcore honky tonk, their approach stayed relatively consistent through the '90s, as did their quality control.
John McNeil had the idea of applying some of Gerry Mulligan's arranging principles to free jazz after arranging some of the late baritone saxophonist's music for a tribute band. Recruiting baritone saxophonist Alan Chase, bassist John Hebert, and the much in-demand drummer Matt Wilson, McNeil's experiment creates some provocative music. "Deadline" features a constantly shifting time signature, changing its mood throughout the piece, contrasting it with the more steady and loping "A Time to Go." McNeil's humorous take of "Bernie's Tune" (long a part of Mulligan's repertoire, though written by Bernie Miller) quickly takes it away from its roots for a wild ride on his horn into the world of free jazz. He also adapts Arnold Schoenberg's 12-tone classical music into his realm with his playful arrangement of "Schoenberg's Piano Concerto." Throughout the session the band is up to the challenges of McNeil's compelling music, producing a provocative CD that should open ears for decades to come.
Marc Bolan died in September 1977, exactly two weeks before his thirtieth birthday. His achievements in the last seven years of his life included over 20 UK hit singles, 11 of which made the top 10 in less than three years. This compilation features 14 of those singles, along with some celebrated b-sides and album tracks.