Just in time for the holidays
The Jigsaw Seen’s recently released rarities compilation is a great gift choice for any music fan. The digital-only album is titled The Jigsaw Seen For The Discriminating Completist. The ten tracks are rare single, EP and compilation versions of what guitarist Jonathan Lea says are “some of our better known early material for people that might’ve just recently discovered the band. “
For folks not in the know, The Jigsaw Seen is an L.A. band founded in 1988 by lead singer (and former United States Of Existence artist) Dennis Davison and guitarist Jonathan Lea. Their most recent roster includes Davison (lead vocals/primary songwriting/acoustic guitar/keys/percussion), Lea (guitars/bass/mellotron), Tom Currier (bass/piano) and Teddy Freese (drums/timpani).
Davison and Lea organized the tracklist. The songs have all been remastered by Dave Schultz at Digiprep in L.A., California. The album opens on “The Best Is Yet To Come (Alternate Version)”. This is a previously unreleased version they recorded back in 1992. What makes it most different is that this is a more driving, fuzzed-out version than the previously released recording.
The second selection is “Celebrity Interview (Single Version)”. As advertised, this is the edited single put out in 1999. The next number is “We Women (EP Version)”. It’s the titular track from the 2003 EP of the same name and one of the songs that more recent fans may not have previously heard.
“Melody Fair (EP Version)” is another such song. This one is off the 1994 EP Melody Four. It’s actually a noteworthy cover of The Bee Gees’ song off their 1969 platter Odessa. It’s followed by “Luci Baines”. This track first appeared on the 1999 disc Delphonic Sounds Today. It’s the band’s adaptation of a lesser-known song by Love frontman Arthur Lee. The Jigsaw Seen gives this pre-Love tune what Lea calls “a slinky, low-fi treatment.”
Next is the fun cut “Baby Elephant Walk”. It’s an original, tuneful take on Henry Mancini’s classic instrumental written for the movie Hatari! It dates back to 1996 and has a cool retro-feel to it. The seventh selection is the single edit of “When You’re Pretty”. It’s a B-side from 1996.
The musically memorable “Whore Kiss (Single Version)” from 1998 follows here. Also included here is “My Name Is Tom (Nuggets Edit)”. This was originally offered on the 2005 Rhino box set Children Of Nuggets. The album end-note is another B-side not so appropriately “Another Predictable Song (Single Version)” from 1999.
The digital-only album indeed offers everything it promises in the form of an interesting audio assortment of songs largely only available to long-time hardcore fans of the band. It sheds some light on the group, their creative choices and the evolution of their signature sound. Check out The Jigsaw Seen For The Discriminating Completist, now available from iTunes and Amazon MP3, and you just might find that not one track is just “Another Predictable Song”.
(Images courtesy of Vibro-phonic and The Jigsaw Seen)