The well of Pavement b-sides and non-ablum tracks is deep. It’s vast. It’s not all worth hearing but a lot of it is. Most of it is. Matador Records, the bands long-time label after putting out several EPs via Drag City first, mined that well pretty exhaustively in the early to mid 2000s releasing “deluxe” versions of Pavement’s first 4 albums–Slanted and Enchanted, Wowee Zowee, Brighten the Corners, and Crooked Rain. The double-CD sets were jammed packed with b-sides, live cuts, Peel sessions, and tons of other material. They are all great and easily worth the $20 price tag. Only one of these deluxe sets was pressed to vinyl–Brighten the Corners. Since the vinyl boom is in full swing, Matador is now going back and pressing all the exclusive material to vinyl…for the first time. The first set comes from the Slanted and Enchanted era–The Secret History Vol. 1. The 2 LP set comes lavishly packaged with all the same liner notes and essays from the original 2002 S&E CD reissue. So yea, this stuff has been out before but it’s worth going back to. My CDs from 2002 are scratched to hell anyways and the vinyl just sounds and looks so damn good.
From the Matador Records website:
The strangest thing about Pavement? Not that there were ever many non-strange things about Pavement? Even though they made their era’s finest rock albums, the albums only told half their story. Pavement also made some of the Nineties’ best albums that *never* happened. Until now.
Pavement made five proper album-as-albums: Slanted and Enchanted (1992), Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994), Wowee Zowee (1995), Brighten The Corners (1997) and Terror Twilight (1999). Each has its own sound. Each has its own legend. But each of their official albums has a shadow album—and it’s usually as strong as the album that actually *did* come out. It’s time for the world to hear the albums Pavement could have made, if they’d been a little less ambitious about music and a little more ambitious about the music business. If they’d been the kind of band to sweat the legacy. But if they were that kind of band, would they have written so many great songs? Much less *these* great songs? No.
Matador is finally releasing a series of these shadow albums. The first, naturally, is *The Secret History Vol. 1*, collecting the songs that got away during the era of Slanted and Enchanted, which Stephen Malkmus, Scott Kannberg and Gary Young recorded on the cheaper-than-cheap in January 1991. *Secret Slanted History* collects gems from Peel Sessions (“Kentucky Cocktail,” “Circa 1762”) and seven-inches (“Baptist Blacktick”) as well as live slop from the first European tours, with Mark Ibold and Bob Nastanovich in the fold. Some are outtakes from *Slanted*—imagine leaving these tunes off your first album, when as far as you know or imagine, it’s your *only* album. These tracks (some of which had never been rumored among Pavement freaks) came out on the 2002 *Slanted and Enchanted* reissue. But they’ve never been separately available as an album in their own right, and many of them have never been on vinyl before.
The rarities collected here could have been—or maybe even should have been—cobbled together into a quickie stopgap album, a Slantedsequel.
1. SUE ME JACK
2. SO STARK (YOU’RE A SKYSCRAPER)
3. SUMMER BABE (7” VERSION)
4. MERCY SNACK: THE LAUNDROMAT
5. BAPTISS BLACKTICK
6.MY FIRST MINE
7. NOTHING EVER HAPPENS
8. HERE (ALTERNATE MIX)
10. CIRCA 1762 (PEEL SESSION 1)
11. KENTUCKY COCKTAIL (PEEL SESSION 1)
12. SECRET KNOWLEDGE OF BACKROADS (PEEL SESSION 1)
13. HERE (PEEL SESSION 1)
14. RAIN AMMUNITION (PEEL SESSION 2)
15. DRUNKS WITH GUNS (PEEL SESSION 2)
16. ED AMES (PEEL SESSION 2)
17. THE LIST OF DORMS (PEEL SESSION 2)
18. CONDUIT FOR SALE [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]
19. FAME THROWA [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]
20. HOME [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]
21. PERFUME V [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]
22. SUMMER BABE [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]
23. FRONTWARDS [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]
24. ANGEL CARVER BLUES MELLOW JAZZ DOCENT [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]
25. TWO STATES [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]
26. NO LIFE SINGED HER [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]
27. SO STARK (YOU’RE A SKYSCRAPER) [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]
28. BOX ELDER [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]
29. BABY YEAH [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]
30. IN THE MOUTH A DESERT [LIVE BRIXTON 1992]