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photos by Lara Shipley

Throw the Needle to the Bar

August 18th, 2009 · 3 Comments

It’s bad enough that the late-lamented 90s alt-rock band Soul Coughing split after recording only three albums. What’s truly infuriating is that some of their catchiest songs—”The Brooklynites,” “Needle to the Bar,” “Rare Star Ball”—were only ever released as B-sides, vinyl promos, short-lived Web downloads of studio outtakes, or bonus tracks on foreign pressings. A few made their way onto the post-breakup “greatest hits” compilation Lust in Phaze (is there a point to doing a “greatest hits” for a band with three albums?) or various film soundtracks, but most remain out of print. Which is a damn shame, since I think you could assemble an album from those B-sides and outtakes at least as strong as any of their official releases. Fortunately, someone has gathered these otherwise lost tracks at the aptly-titled blog The Unheard Music, which until someone at the label decides to crack the vaults appears to be the only way to hear some of these. I’m also a little stunned that I hadn’t previously realized there’s a collection of SC live recordings available for free download at the Internet Archive. Needless to say, if you like that stuff, you should hie thee hence to the iTunes Store and buy all their albums.

Tags: Art & Culture



3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 the teeth // Aug 18, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Can’t say I share your enthusiasm for that band, but sometimes you can make a very strong case for a best-of record based on a small number of albums. The currently active band which comes to mind immediately is Art Brut — they have three records, and on each record, ~1/3 of the songs are brilliant, with the remaining 2/3 being pretty forgettable. A (proper) ‘greatest hits’ volume would be absolutely spectacular, where each individual record is merely rather decent.

  • 2 Matt // Sep 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Wow. Awesome. Always been a SC junkie and this has it all.

  • 3 nb // Aug 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    looking for a live version of needle to the bar, kinda punky, different lyrics, think it was a cleveland show. so sad a lost it…

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