Songs: Ohia - The Magnolia Electric Co. demos

So last night after I put the finishing touches on my review of Josephine I started listening to a bunch of Magnolia Electric Co./Songs: Ohia rarities that I’ve collected over the years, and got to thinking that I should make this week “Jason Molina Week” here at PHW. And so it shall be. Every day this week I’ll be featuring an assortment of Molina outtakes, rarities, or videos from over the years - some things I’ve posted before and others I have not gotten around to sharing.

Those who purchased the final Songs: Ohia studio album, Magnolia Electric Co., on vinyl were rewarded with a bonus disc of acoustic demos from the same album. Unavailable anywhere else, the set does exactly what one would expect - it strips down the Crazy Horse-inspired sound that dominated that classic album to show just what a powerful singer and lyricist Molina had developed into at this point of his career.

These songs are interesting to collectors for several reasons. First, songs like “Farewell Transmission”, “John Henry Split My Heart”, and “I’ve Been Riding With The Ghost” appear in very early forms (with their original titles - “The Long Dark Blues”, “You Can‘t Save Everything”, and “I Made The Change”, respectively), with some different lyrics and structures as those that appeared on the actual album. Also, there are a number of quality outtakes from the album that did not, until recently, appear on any other release. “Whippoorwill”, one of his finest songs and finally resurrected for Josephine, is especially poignant here. Finally, we get to hear Molina sing “Peoria Lunchbox Blues” and “The Old Black Hen”, sung on the album by Scout Niblet and Lawrence Peters.

I’m not sure if the vinyl still comes with the CD, so I’m only going to post a handful of the songs. Believe me though - if you dig these the whole thing is absolutely required listening and well worth hunting down.

MP3 :: The Long Dark Blues
MP3 :: Peoria Lunchbox Blues
MP3 :: The Old Black Hen
MP3 :: Whip-Poor-Will
(from Magnolia Electric Co. demos. Buy original album on vinyl here)


songssavelives said...

these are a treasure. I went to school in indiana, and used to listen to farewell transmission driving the hours up through blurry soybeen fields up to chicago. man, these are just wonderful. thanks.

Ben said...

doesnt seem that the lp version comes with the bonus disc. damn it

James said...

yeah - they are a treasure and no, i don't think the LP comes with the bonus disc any longer. shoot me an email and i can send you a zip.

britt said...

Hi James - just wondering if you still have the bonus disc of demos, I've lucked out on trying to find the LP release.

James said...

Since it is no longer commercially available:

Magnix said...

This was not only available with the LP. I have the CD as a double set which includes the demos disc. From what I know the first 1000 copies of the CD and all 2000 copies of the LP included this bonus disc of demos from the Magnolia sessions, and it was only available through mailorder at Secretly Canadian. I got my copy there. Unfortunately the package got heavily damaged in the mail, and the bonus disc was destroyed. Luckily I had pre-ordered, and not all discs had gone yet, and they were able to send me another copy.

Layne said...

Did the album art provided above actually accompany the CD, or is it fan-made/unofficial?

Also, thanks for the music.

Layne said...

Also - I found a picture of the bonus disc on Discogs and was trying to decipher the text on it, beneath the track titles. I can see "Recordings made at home in Chicago, farewell transmissions" but not the rest. Also, is the text around the center ring say anything interesting?

Thanks again!

Magnix said...

The double CD version did not have additional art for the bonus disc. It only has a sticker with the following text: "Magnolia Elec. Co. the sixth full length album from Songs: Ohia includes ltd. ed. bonus disc!" I don't know how the disc was/is packaged coming with the LP-version. Maybe someone else can give those details.

The text on the disc itself, besides the tracklist, is as follows: "Recordings made at home in Chicago, farewell transmissions from 1319 West Lake Street and Apt. 605"; whilt the text on the inner rings reads: "c. 2003 Jason Molina (Autumn Bird Songs/ASCAP) & Secretly Canadian 1021 South Walnut Bloomington, Indiana 47401" which is the same as on the regular disc.

Hope this helps!?

Layne said...

Sure does! Thanks for answering all of my really specific questions (and putting up with my overuse of the word "also").

Great blog - looking at some other Molina posts now.
- Layne