With just a few exceptions, I’ve not spent much time exploring the rocky world of private press records. Numero Group is responsible for a lot of what I know—the rest has come to me by word of mouth, various blogs, or through work. I’m not even sure I know what qualifies a record as “private press,” but I guess that isn’t important. The point is that this stuff doesn’t usually catch my attention.
But Light in the Attic, the label partially responsible for reintroducing Rodriguez to the world and for several popular private press reissues, is now distributing music from Portland based Machu Picchu, and their first release, an officially licensed and remastered reissue of Anonymous’s Inside the Shadow, definitely has me impressed.
A Major Label first released the record in 1976, in an edition of just 300 copies. Two vinyl reissues followed in 1997 and 2001, one of which might have been a bootleg. A CD version, coupled with the band’s second album No Longer Anonymous, was released in 2000 by Aether Archives. Even with the vinyl reissue imminent, original copies of the vinyl record sell for over $200 and have gone for over $600 in the past. The reissues were very popular too and, as far as I can tell, are hard to find.
The descriptions I’ve read everywhere are pretty accurate: there’s a bit of The Byrds and Jefferson Airplane in what they do, but CSNY and The Hollies come through just as strongly for me, thanks mostly to Ron Matelic, Marsha Rollings, and Glenn Weaver’s vocal harmonies. Absolutely beautiful stuff and highly recommended.
Acid Archives author Patrick Lundborg is enthusiastic about it too, calling it “close to the perfect album.” You can read Lundborg’s interview with Ron Matelic by clicking here and you can listen to “Pick Up and Run” below.
Machu Picchu’s website says Inside the Shadow will start shipping on both CD and LP starting April 30th. You can expect to see both online and in record stores shortly thereafter.