Today I saw two releases that I needed to talk about real quick. The first is Numero Group’s 45th 45 RPM release Eccentric Soul: Omnibus. Celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, the label will release the mother of all rare 45 compilations. Here’s what the label had to say about this very special release:
“The complete box set includes forty-five 45s, each with its own replica label and stylish custom Numero sleeve, as well as an 108-page hardback clothbound book chock-full of liner notes, band photos, ephemera, and indices. Everything is housed in a sleek, portable case featuring metal hardware, durable handle, and a vinyl-wrapped exterior patterned with a de-bossed Numero logo. Available in 19 different color combinations, drawing from red, blue, yellow, green, and orange, this beautiful case is the perfect home for this comprehensive collection. For the first time ever we’re offering a complimentary digital download, allowing you to take our greatest work to date everywhere you go.”
If the What It Is Funk box set had a few records in it and the Wheedle’s Groove set got you salivating for Northwest Funk 45’s, this Numero release is going to blow your mind.
“ Through their releases they are preserving these often unknown and obscure artists and their music, making these releases two-fold. A new generation of Funk and Soul collectors and fans gets this music, while the original musicians and their families finally get their propers. ”
The other release that has just been announced is from Minneapolis boutique label Secret Stash. Eric Foss and company have been working hard as of late. With a new rare Nigerian Afrobeat, Funk, and Reggae release of Pazy and the Black Hippies fresh out of the box, they have already started to take pre-orders for their Twin Cities Funk and Soul Compilation. Here’s what Secret Stash had to say about the release:
“The Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota have long been recognized as great music towns. From the Andrews Sisters, to Bob Dylan, The Replacements, and Soul Asylum, the area has produced more than its share of influential artists. In 1979, Prince’s self-titled sophomore release drew attention the world over to the Twin Cities. Soon “The Minneapolis Sound” spread as other artists from the area began to build on the foundation laid by the purple one. For most, this is the genesis of funk and soul from The Land of 10,000 Lakes. However, the Twin Cities has a rich R&B history dating back decades before Prince’s rise to fame.
Twin Cities Funk and Soul: Lost R&B Grooves from Minneapolis/Saint Paul 1964-1979 is the first of its kind 21 track compilation uncovering and documenting this largely forgotten music. From sweet soul to full on dance floor funk, this record tells the story of the Twin Cities’ R&B scene starting with the days of unofficially segregated clubs right up to the explosion of “The Minneapolis Sound.”
Secret Stash Records has spent over a year painstakingly researching and interviewing musicians, photographers, club owners, writers and radio DJ’s from the time to paint a picture and fill in the tales of yesteryear which are documented in a 32 page newspaper included with each 2xLP pressing. The newspaper itself is a nod to the region’s most trusted music rag of the era, The Insider. Lovingly hand assembled by a group of loyal volunteers with a keen attention to detail, each copy comes in a resealable dust bag and includes a free download of the entire album. Each CD pressing comes in a premium digipack and also includes extensive liner notes and photos.”
Fans of rare Funk and Soul take notice, you have a chance to get some great music and some bonus merchandise as well. Both Numero and Secret Stash go the extra mile to put out a unique product while also giving back to the original artists, something very necessary in today’s world of music. You don’t know your future if you don’t know your past, and these companies do a superb job of making sure people realize this. Through their releases they are preserving these often unknown and obscure artists and their music, making these releases two-fold. A new generation of Funk and Soul collectors and fans gets this music, while the original musicians and their families finally get their propers. Don’t miss out on these two important releases.
Pre-order the Eccentric Soul: Omnibus box set here.
Pre-order the Twin Cities Funk & Soul Compilation here.