Late January in Portland, 1996. The Dandy Warhols are hammering out the most deranged psych pop of their career in hopes of blowing the lids off their newfound suitors from Capitol Records, completely unaware that one of Oregon's biggest natural disasters was raging outside their studio walls. The notorious Willamette Valley flood of '96 chalked up over $500 million in property damage in the Pacific Northwest, but fell short of The Dandys' studio space by 2 blocks. Courtney, Peter, Zia and Eric escaped the carnage without a scratch, the perfect metaphor for the band's 3-decade-spanning journey. They survived the major label buzz, an international hit single, "the documentary", the rise and fall of brit pop, and a post-Napster music industry. What's a little water gonna do?
Riding off the debut hype of 1995's Dandys Rule Ok, this new batch of songs saw a band spinning into an unknown. Bigger budgets meant bigger expectations, and The Dandy Warhols didn't want to lose their lipsticked sneer by bowing down to the powers that be. Knobs were turned into the red and chemical hors d'oeuvres were served around the clock with the intent of pushing themselves to uncharted waters. They even got a trumpet to feed back. Picture the band sending Capitol a song called Crack Cocaine Rager and just try not to smile.
But we all know the story. After a brief tour with Love and Rockets to clear their heads, the label and the band both decided to hit the reset button. The demos for Boys Better and Minnesoter among other fragments and oddities ended up on the now-legendary ...The Dandy Warhols Come Down and those fabled demos collected dust until 2004 when they were released as The Black Album. The sound of these scuzzy fuzzed-out recordings began to echo through a new generation of garage rock bands who preferred a little noise in the cracks of their harmonies, and the legacy of The Black Album grew. Now, for the first time ever, the songs are getting released on vinyl. It's about damn time.
Fellow Portlandians Little Cloud Records are putting out a mere 500 copies of the album on wax, 250 slabs on black vinyl and 250 on a clear and black splatter colorway. Either one will look perfect in the psych section of your record shelf. U.S. collectors can grab one from Little Cloud after the 'buy' link and U.K. folks can get it HERE from The Dandys online store.
SlyVinyl also had the pleasure of interviewing the band all about the recording of The Black Album. It was a blast. Check that out below!