Monday, May 18, 2009

Juliana Hatfield's Lost Album...?

God's Foot was the name of Juliana Hatfield's unreleased album recorded in 1996 that never saw a proper release because her record label at the time, Atlantic Records was not satisfied with the album. Juliana terminated her relationship with Atlantic, but they refused to give the recording to her. Various reports claimed that Atlantic was willing to sell the album back to Juliana for about $200,000 roughly the cost of making the album so she could release it herself, but she felt though it was a good record, it wasn't worth it. She still can't release it now because she doesn't own the masters, but through the community of file-sharing and music downloading these recordings are out there and available for listening. On Juliana's excellent blog, An Arm and A Leg, she talks about why she was "angry and frustrated" with the versions of her unreleased God's Foot that popped up in cyberspace. She left all the mixes and songs and sequence unresolved and when people acquired the tracks from the sessions and put them in random order and called it, God's Foot it offended her. This is understandable because the artist should have control over what songs are left in, what order and the whole packaging right down to album sleeve and credit notes.
Juliana explains this better (quoted from her entry "Remember November" from her blog: An album that is made to be an album – a series of songs with an arc and a flow – and not a bunch of random songs or singles or “hits” or featured tracks – is called an album because it is presented to the world in a certain sequence. And it matters SO MUCH in what order the songs are presented. If the songs are switched around, it can make a good album a not so good album; something might be “off.” Some kind of je ne sais quoi might be lacking. A great sequence, along with good mix choices, can turn an alright bunch of songs into a whole cohesive listening experience.

But the Internet version(s) of “God’s Foot” were chopped up and haphazardly thrown together, Burroughs-style (and I never liked Burroughs). And it made me sad, etc.

So. That was my beef.

But as the years have passed my anger has faded. I know that the people who found the “God’s Foot” songs (and outtakes) only wanted to hear the music – they had no other way but to download them, since the record was never released (in CD or digital or any format) and since I cannot release it (I don’t own the masters). And I guess I am glad that people know the songs and enjoy them.

I do sympathize with her, but I know there are a lot of people that want to hear her music. I did come across this recording a number of years ago, I can't remember where I got the tracks from, it might have been the old Napster or Soulseek. I don't think I received it in a trade as I usually didn't trade in mp3's and I mainly traded live shows. Regardless, here's God's Foot presented in the original song order I received it. Enjoy! JULIANA HATFIELD God's Foot (unreleased) 1996
1. Fade Away 2. Mountains Of Love 3. Don't Need A Reason 4. Perfection 5. What Have I Done To You? 6. Losing Your Looks 7. Takin' It Easy 8. Can't Kill Myself 9. You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Melody 10. Chance Is Waiting 11. How Would You Know? 12. Eye To Eye 13. Charity 14. Jakes 15. Fade Away (Part Two) download the whole file (I couldn't upload a rar or zip file, I'm experiencing proxy/setting issues, sorry) p.s- for more information about God's Foot, check out Dan LeRoy's book, The Greatest Music Never Sold: Secrets Of Legendary Lost Albums, which features a chapter that tells the story of god's Foot.

1 comment:

Brad H said...

Thanks for posting this up! She released demos during a pledge run which unfortunately I did not know about. I have a very thorough collection as I have been following her since the very early days after seeing her in Chapel Hill play the cats cradle early 90s. There were two songs on her hods foot demos “Get Over Me” and “Take me to your master”. The latter I have heard on tumblr But the former I can’t seem to find anywhere to listen to. Any chance you were fortunate enough?

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