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John Sebastian Reissues


12/07/06
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(conqueroo) From his days as an insider on the Greenwich Village folk scene to his role as leader of the Lovin' Spoonful and through his subsequent solo work, John Sebastian has been a central figure in American pop music. And now, Collectors' Choice Music will "welcome back" Sebastian's Reprise solo albums from the 1970s with five CDs shipping to stores on February 20, 2007. The reissues feature liner notes by Richie Unterberger containing quotes from Sebastian himself.

o John B. Sebastian. Sebastian's Reprise debut was the highest charting of the bunch, reaching no. 20 in 1970. It was cannibalized by Kama Sutra's bootleg version, which was eventually withdrawn.

o The Four of Us. This 1971 release was the most ambitious of John's career, highlighted by the eponymous 16-minute suite that occupied all of Side 2. But this is not prog-rock - John is a master songwriting storyteller taking his time to get all the insights down on tape.

o Cheapo Cheapo Productions Presents Real Live John Sebastian. After issuing an unauthorized version of Sebastian's first solo album for Reprise, MGM (parent company of Kama Sutra) continued its shenanigans by releasing an unauthorized live album. So John and Reprise struck back with this vastly superior 1971 concert recording, featuring a charming assortment of covers, Spoonful favorites and newer tunes.

o Tarzana Kid. This 1974 album, recorded while Sebastian was living in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley, was peppered with many guest stars. Lowell George and Emmylou Harris join in on a version of Little Feat's "Dixie Chicken." Sebastian is also joined by former Even Dozen Jug Band bandmate David Grisman plus David Lindley, the Pointer Sisters, Ry Cooder and Phil Everly.

o Welcome Back. Released in 1976, this album was a "welcome" return to the charts for John, thanks to the title tune theme song to the TV show featuring Gabe Kaplan and a young John Travolta. The album contains the single version, which was different from the demo used on TV.

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