Big Boys

The Skinny Elvis

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In 1992, with the remastering and assembling help of Kerr and longtime producer Spot, Touch and Go thankfully reissued the entire Big Boys oeuvre on two discs, preserving what by then had become a terribly out-of-print or hard-to-find back catalog scattered across several labels. As the title implies -- also making a joke on the then current decision between a slender or portly Presley for a stamp -- Skinny Elvis collects the releases from the first part of the Boys' life in 1980 and 1981. Including the hyper-rare debut single "Frat Cars" was a good move to start with, while adding the Boys' half of the Recorded Live at Raul's Club split album and Where's My Towel resulted in a killer hour of Big Boys brilliance. The sound is faultless, letting the Boys jump out of the speakers like never before. Complete release notes are a bonus, as are reproductions of the original sleeves. The real fun in the packaging, however, comes from the tons of archival photos and testimonials from other musicians: Henry Rollins, Thurston Moore, Ian Mackaye, and Gary Floyd, among others, offer up some amazing stories -- the recollections of the live shows make even the outrageous concert snapshots look tame -- and Byron Coley gives a nice precis of the band's history. The funniest bit has to be the rejection note from Columbia Records in 1980, wherein a perhaps well-meaning but still clueless executive tries to give "honest advice," only to inadvertently expose himself as an out-of-touch old fart. As for those photos, seeing Turner in a wig, makeup, and some sort of sequined or lame top with a baby-doll leopard-skin semi-mermaid duct-taped to his wrist is just one highlight of many.

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