LOS ANGELES – Just who is Tom Northcott? Rhino Handmade unravels the mystery with an exquisitely packaged collection that sheds light on this unheralded singer-songwriter, whose distinctive voice and wonderful artistry remain among the best-kept secrets of the 1960s.
Between 1966-69, Northcott recorded a catalog of ornate psychedelic-folk for Warner Bros. Records with producers Lenny Waronker and Leon Russell. Among those were two almost-hit singles, including his versions of Donovan’s “Sunny Goodge Street” and Harry Nilsson’s “1941.” In 1970, Warner Bros. collected 10 of those recordings on The Best of Tom Northcott, an album released exclusively in the singer’s native Canada that has remained a stateside rarity until now.
Rhino Handmade fills in the details of Northcott’s musical journey with a 20-song collection that includes all of Northcott’s Warner releases, plus several previously unreleased tracks. SUNNY GOODGE STREET: THE WARNER BROS. RECORDINGS is available now for pre-order, exclusively at www.rhino.com for $24.98, and will be released on February 21. There are four versions of the cover art, each with a different color variation, which will be shipped at random.
The music comes in a beautifully detailed, oversized (10” x 10”) letterpress-printed folio created by Bruce Licher of Licher Art and Design, whose previous album cover designs have garnered two Grammy® nominations. Along with a reproduction press photo, the folio also contains an “underground newspaper” that serves as the album’s liner notes. Written by producer Andrew Sandoval, they recount Northcott’s years with Warner Bros. and provide a helpful track-by-track introduction to the artist’s music.
Northcott came up through the Vancouver music scene in the early ’60s along with legendary psychedelic concert poster artist Bob Masse. His artwork is featured on the cover of SUNNY GOODGE STREET, which also contains a reproduction poster that Masse made in 1966 to promote the Tom Northcott Trio’s show at the Vancouver club Afterthought.
SUNNY GOODGE STREET: THE WARNER BROS. RECORDINGS includes the 10 tracks originally issued in 1970 on The Best of Tom Northcott, including the four singles: “Sunny Goodge Street,” “1941,” “Girl Of The North Country” and “The Rainmaker.” The latter, a song written by Harry Nilsson and Bill Martin, paired Northcott with Jack Nitzsche’s outstanding arrangement.
The compilation boasts six previously unreleased tracks that Northcott recorded between 1968-69. Several are from sessions in Los Angeles, (“Ain’t Nobody Home,” “A Soulful Shade Of Blue,” “A Long Way Down” and Randy Newman’s “Somebody Always Gets Hurt”) while others were recorded in London at Pye Studios (“See The Tinker Ride” and “There’s No Time”).
The album also features the single versions of “Sunny Goodge Street” and its b-side “Who Planted Thorns In Miss Alice’s Garden,” plus Northcott’s final single with Warner Bros. Records, “Make Me An Island.”
SUNNY GOODGE STREET: THE WARNER BROS. RECORDINGS
2. “Cities Make The Country Colder”
3. “Sunny Goodge Street”
4. “Landscape Grown Cold”
5. “Night In The City”
6. “Girl Of The North Country”
7. “Who Planted Thorns In Miss Alice’s Garden”
8. “The Rainmaker”
9. “High Hope”
10. “And God Created Woman”
11. “A Soulful Shade Of Blue”*
12. “Somebody Always Gets Hurt”*
13. “Ain’t Nobody Home”*
14. “A Long Way Down”*
15. “Make Me An Island”
16. “See The Tinker Ride”*
17. “There’s No Time”*
18. “Sunny Goodge Street” – Single Version
19. “Other Times”
20. “Who Planted Thorns In Miss Alice’s Garden” – Single Version
* Previously Unissued
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