Label: Light In The Attic Release date: 16/11/10 Link: Amazon Jim Sullivan was a mysterious character. We don’t know a lot about this LP’s origin, other than it was released twice under different names and labels, and that Sullivan mysteriously disappeared in the mid 70’s. Apart from that, there’s not a lot more to know. Sullivan lived a life away from fame or recognition and it seems that it’s only a chain of coincidences that he’s received latest surface to light, and about time. The person on that label who discovered this album happened to find a rip on a music blog, and fell in love with it, leading him to track down everyone responsible. Jim, it turned out, disappeared under mysterious circumstances, in the dessert in New Mexico, never to be seen again. All that was left was his abandoned VW, his motel room untouched. There’s no evidence leading anywhere to tell us what happened in Santa Monica in 1975, but we are left with an amazing lost album that got even more mysterious. What makes it even more interesting is that this supposed nobody that pressed his album on a tiny label on a one off, had managed to snare some of the biggest session musicians of the time, the type of musicians that can cost a label thousands. He had managed to get some of the famed “Wrecking Crew” musicians, musicians from California that were considered some of the best musicians in the world in the 60’s and 70’s. No matter how he got them, he used them alright. The deadly combination of Earl Palmer’s jazzy drums, Don Randi’s subtle keys and Jimmy Bond’s bass that could carry any song effortlessly created a pop style, combined by Sullivan’s gently depressing and introspective lyrics, brings together a psychadelia sound that is at once as crisp as Dylan, exciting as The Grateful Dead and as forlorn and as poetic as Arthur Lee at his best. It’s a true masterpiece, one that has the potential to be so much bigger. Take the jaunty tune and closer Sandman for example. This is what James Taylor could have sounded like, or maybe even a stripped down Rolling Stones. It’s the blues of the guitar with the upbeat drums that offsets the song and makes it unforgettable – the strength of Sullivan’s voice, it’s frailty yet strength despite it, that makes it so haunting. I think the strongest asset of this album is that in all of its 29 minutes, not one bit of it is forgettable or wasted. This is the definition of an album that needs no filler – it’s not very long, but each of the 10 tracks is a classic; every one you could imagine up there, heralded as an inspiration next to Love, Nico and The Velvet Underground. To put it simply, this album defies belief. That so much talent and beauty could be locked up in such a rare and undiscovered record is unjust – this record deserved that status of Forever Changes when it came out, it deserves to be heard as a classic. Needless to say, Light In The Attic have done it again, and we should be grateful. If it wasn’t for them, it’s not likely this classic would get another chance. Check out more on Sullivan’s story here. Photobucket