March 24, 2009 – 4:18 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

The Lost Album [no label, 1CD]

This was the information that came with this CD:

“A great lost Jonathan Richman LP, from unreleased studio sessions, all the songs are different versions to anything officially released, and a couple of them, far as I know, never found their way onto any other JR recordings. This is probably the only place you’ll hear a copy of ‘In The Checkout Line’ and ‘Try This Brand New Dance’.”

The likely year for these sessions is 1981 when Richman took a break from the Modern Lovers and embarked on his solo career. Very basic instrumentation, mainly acoustic guitar, with an all-girl chorus. The simplicity and playfulness of I’m A Little Airplane sounds like leftover from 1979’s Back In Your Life. It recalls I’m Nature’s Mosquito. But when he hits the spot as on The Morning Of Our Lives, with a nice chorus and proper instrumentation, it’s heavenly. Check out the French. The song seems to be a nice complement to the Bee Gees’ In The Morning. Maybe.

Throughout, the sparse instrumentation, and one-take recording style suggests this was either a rehearsal that got recorded or studio demos.

By the time you reach Shirin And Fahrad, a love song with a Middle Eastern atmosphere but a poor cousin to Abdul & Cleopatra, Richman seems to have run out of funds. He’s singing acapella, slapping and clapping, making throaty sounds to mimic rhythm and bass on this and the final two¬† - Walter Johnson and Five Year Old Feeling. An acquired taste to be sure.

Richman is generally credited as a forerunner of proto-punk for his Modern Lovers music but by 1980, his yearning to tell stories sans the drama of rock ‘n’ roll was out of step with ’80s hair bands and the new wave. Richman actually grew up in an earlier period infatuated with the Velvet Underground. His first demos were recorded with John Cale. Many of the songs on this “lost” album seem to be reaching for those Velvet Underground sounds of a delicate melody with a simple story. He avoided all of the excess of Lou Reed’s early solo albums. Thankfully, his music is no mirror of the Velvets but beats a path all of its own.

Sometimes the sound cuts out from the right speaker and there are infrequent digital clicks. But overall, this is in great soundboard quality. Thanks to the fan who shared this on the net all those years ago.
- The Little Chicken

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.Track 01. I’m A Little Airplane
Track 02. The Morning Of Our Lives
Track 03. In The Checkout Line
Track 04. Try This Brand New Dance
Track 05. Theme From The Moulin Rouge [instrumental]
Track 06. And That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll
Track 07. Ancient And Long Ago
Track 08. The Fenway*
Track 09. Not Yet Three+
Track 10. Stop This Car+
Track 11. Shirin And Fahrad#
Track 12. Walter Johnson*
Track 13. Five Year Old Feeling

+ finally released in a different version on 1983’s Jonathan Sings! his debut solo album.
* finally released in a different version on 1985’s Rockin’ & Romance.
# finally released in a different version on 1986’s It’s Time For Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers.

Jonathan Richman is prolific. Worse still, he never wrote singles. So any compilation is ultimately biased. Rounder Records put one out in 2002, Action Packed, that covered Richman’s solo albums from the ’80s and ’90s. Buy it here.

The hardest Jonathan Richman album to find is It’s Time For. If you can find one in mint condition, be prepared to part with US$100.


  2. this is the ultimate Jojo boot. Thank you so much

    By pascal on Mar 26, 2009


    By G O D on Mar 29, 2009

  4. this is amazing, thanks!!!

    i have some more richman bootlegs over on my blog:

    By boxing duck on Apr 3, 2009

  5. Sounds great, thank you.

    By Joachim on Apr 5, 2009

  6. Thanks BIGTIME!
    There’s just not enough Jonathan live around (even if there were too many, still would’nt be enough)

    By Wayne on Apr 29, 2009

  7. And you do not know, how it is possible to find the author and to talk to it concerning this information. Someone can knows it ICQ?

    By kansascagerz on Mar 15, 2010

  8. I have a copy of “Its Time For” although it has been played so much its probably worn down. Definately in my top 10 along with the Beatles Revolver and Joy Divisions Unknow Pleasures. Definately not gonna fetch $100 but does anyone know of a download of it if so please reply to

    [email protected]

    By Eddie Cochrane on Jan 28, 2011

  9. 25 yrs or so ago, I had a tape of an unreleased Jonathan album billed as “the phil spector tapes.” an absolutely fantastic album and obviously much more ‘produced’ than his other solo albums. and I dont think these songs have ever been released in any form. about 7 yrs ago I asked Jonathan about this album. He said: “I never worked with Phil Spector.”

    By xanthor fek on Sep 14, 2011

  10. If you poke around the web, you still might find a great boot of Jonathan’s called “Early Demos 173-1974″ aka “Living Room demos”. It’s essentially Jonathan simply performing some songs and snippets of songs, some with guitar and some acapella, to a few friends in a living room setting. Pure childlike JR, even all the way back then.

    By Dfactor on Dec 7, 2011

Post a Comment