The Millions (NE) long out of print M is For Millions album back in 2009, I didn't give a second (or for that matter a first) thought to it ever being reissued. When you come right down to it, that's what motivates me to share such arcane delights, but I digress. Before we get to the subject at hand, it would be a good idea if I got some/most of you up to speed. The Millions were a top-shelf modern rock entity based in the unlikely locale of Lincoln, NE (hence the slight appendage to their name) to distinguish from other "Millions" running amok. By sheer coincidence, the Millions shared members from the only other Lincoln band I had familiarized myself with called For Against. Drummer Greg Hill comprised half of that cross-pollination, but more notably it was guitarist Harry Dingman III who embellished both groups with chiming, echo-laden leads that went a long way in defining their respective sonic palates. But the For Against dudes were only half of what the Millions had to offer. The other part of the equation was largely filled out by Lori Allison, a startlingly powerful and melodic front-woman, whose operatic pipes seemed to resonate into the stratosphere.
Commercially, MifM didn't enjoy the best fate when it was issued in 1991, but those who encountered album were no doubt taken aback by Allison's penetrating vocal panache, and Dingman's ringing chords. The quality of this unmistakably immense pairing is evidenced on "Smiling and Shaking" and "Sometimes," both worth the band's namesake in
currency, as well as selections like "Riga (Freedom)," "Breathe," and "Ordinary Men,"
that fall just shy of the perfect ten threshold. A written description can only do so much justice to songs of this caliber. Luckily the world at large now has the opportunity to discover or re-discover the Millions by virtue of a new double disk reissue. Before the Millions inked themselves to a major label contract, they self-released an early version of MifM, which featured different mixes of seven tracks that made the migration over, and three more tunes that didn't. The reissue is designed as such to preserve the running order of the original incarnation of MifM on disk one, with the second disk carrying all the other songs produced in the sessions, about half of which have heretofore been unreleased, including the scintillating "Kisses Without Sugar" and "Something for Nothing." In short this isn't your typical reissue. As much as I've become endeared to the PolyGram Records iteration of MifM, I enjoy the true-to-the-original reconfiguration just as much.
And of if this humdinger of a reissue wasn't enough, it was preceded by another one, fittingly the unreleased, 1989 precursor to MifM, Poison Fish, which comes courtesy of the same label, Randy's Alternative Music. I'm supplying two songs below, "Smiling and Shaking" from MifM, and "Photograph" from Poison Fish. Both are available from CD Baby, and digitally through iTunes, Amazon and Emusic.