Bertelsmann gets religion by resurrecting the old Buddha record label reincarnated with a new mission

From March 1999’s Ice Magazine came the following news, kindly sent to me by Brian Beuchaw and Uwe Krueger.

BMG-owned Buddha Records will debut in the spring with expanded, newly remastered reissues of such out-of-print works as Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band’s Safe as Milk and Mirror Man, Nilsson’s John Lennon-produced Pussy Cats, Graham Parker’s The Mona Lisa’s Sister and Daryl Hall’s Sacred Songs. All will be fleshed out with CD bonus tracks, some of them previously unreleased.

Like Sony’s Legacy imprint, Buddha – with a new spelling to boot – will have access to its parent company’s vaults, but will focus on artists whose significance is measured by more than chart numbers. The inaugural batch, which also includes compilations of previously unreleased Frank Sinatra and Fats Waller radio broadcasts, should quash any comparisons to the label’s original incarnation as Buddah.

On June l, Buddha plans to dig into the vaults for Beefheart’s Safe as Milk and Mirror Man, the latter retitled The Mirror Man Sessions. Both albums are fleshed out with bonus tracks recorded during the same October-November 1967 sessions that resulted in Mirror Man, which was originally intended to be a two-LP set called It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper. The seven added tracks on Safe as Milk, which featured a 19-year-old guitarist named Ry Cooder, are:

  • “Flower Pot,”
  • “Safe as Milk (Take Five),”
  • “On Tomorrow,”
  • “Big, Black Baby Shoes,”
  • “Dirty Blue Gene,”
  • “Trust Us (Take 9)”
  • and the newly discovered “Korn Ring Finger.”

The Mirror Man Sessions augments the original four tracks with:

  • “Trust Us (Take 6)”
  • “Safe as Milk (Take 12)”
  • “Beatle Bones n’ Smokin’ Stones”
  • “Moody Liz”
  • “Gimme Dat Harp Boy.”

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