eight consecutive nights of Chanukah gifts, for you dear readers. A few days ago I spread the good news that I would be bringing the series back, and it is with this waaaay out-of-print Jellyfish 4 CD box that I am going to commence the festivities.
For the uninitiated, Jellyfish were one of the leading "smart" pop groups of the late '80s and early '90s - not quite power pop, but almost entirely too crafty and catty for the banal Top-40 set. Featuring alumni from Beatnik Beatch (Andy Sturmer, Roger Manning, Jr.) and The Three O'Clock (Jason Falkner) Jellyfish embraced a pronounced psychedelic appearance, that wasn't necessarily a reflection of their music, but made for decent eye-candy on MTV. Couched inside this colorful visage were highly melodic tunes, ten of which occupying Jellyfish's Charisma Records debut, Bellybutton in 1990. It produced a pair of moderately successful singles in "Baby's Coming Back," and "The King is Half-Undressed," but frankly, the album as a whole functioned like a great hits package unto itself.
There was a slight delay with the second and final JF album, Spilt Milk, which tumbled into record shop racks a good three years later. Exponentially more ambitious and gratifying than the band's debut, Spilt Milk was a sophisticated concept LP, which barely made a ripple, even with the Bellybutton crowd from what I recall. Problem was, Jellyfish's paisley ethos ran diametric to a world that had recently embraced flannel and Doc Martens. Not long after the last drop of milk evaporated from the floor, Jellyfish parted
ways, but over the ensuing years, die-hard fans were still clamoring for
more. To quote the liner notes on the back cover, as luck would have it, there is more. The "more" is two very packed CDs of demos and outtakes, one dedicated to each album, and ditto to two more disks of live/radio session material from the accompanying Bellybutton and Spilt Milk tours. While the 80-track Fan Club will be of considerable fascination to established customers, I suggest newcomers would be served better by investigating Jellyfish's two proper albums beforehand. Links to each disk are the track listing headers below. Enjoy responsibly.
Bellybutton demos 1988-89 CD 1
The Man I Used to Be/Bedspring Kiss/Deliver/Now She Knows She's Wrong/Queen of the USA/Always Be My Girl/I Wanna Stay Home/Let This Dream Never End/Season of the Witch/That's Girl's a Man/ Callingb Sarah/All I Want is Everything/Bye Bye Bye/She Still Loves Him/Baby's Coming Back/The King is Half-Undressed
The Bellybutton tour 1990-91 CD 2
MTV promo/King is Half.../Suagr and Spice/91x San Diego promo/Two All Beef Patties/Mr, Late/All I Want.../Much Music promo/Hold Your Head Up~Hello/Calling Sarah/She Still Loves Him/Will you Marry Me/Baby's.../Now She Knows.../Let Em In~That is Why/Jet/Much Music promo/King/Baby's.../I Wanna Stay Home/She Still../All I Want....
Spilt Milk demos 1991-92 CD 3
(World Cafe)/Hush/Spilt Milk intro/Joining a Fanclub/Sebrina, Paste and Plato/New Mistake/Gutton of Sympathy/Ghost at Number One/All is Forgiven/Russian Hill/He's My Best Friend/Family Tree/Spilt Milk outro/Ignorance is Bliss/Worthless Heart/Watchin' the Rain/I Need Love/I Don't Believe You/Long Time Ago/Runnin' for our Lives/Fan Club message
The Spilt Milk tour 1993 CD 4
Glutton.../Baby's Coming Back/That is Why/Ghost at Number One/Joining a Fanclub/(World Cafe)/I Can Hear the Grass Grow/New Mistake/Eleanor Rigby/S.O.S./S.O.S./All is Forgiven/Sebrina/Joining.../The Ghost../Man I Used to Be/Glutton/New Mistake/Think About Your Troubles/King is Half...