Amazingly, star-crossed rocker Dwight Twilley, who had gone more than a decade between releases, put out two albums within seven weeks in 1999. In June came Tulsa, his first album of new material in 13 years, followed in July by the archival Between the Cracks, Vol. 1, subtitled, "a collection of rarities." Clearly, the reclusive Tulsa-based musician has been writing and recording all along, and he sifted through more than 20 years of tapes to compile this collection of outtakes, demos, and lost tracks from album projects that were never released. Kent Benjamin's liner notes reference unheard albums like Blueprint and The Luck that were the victims of record company machinations and bad luck, not to mention numerous recording sessions dating back to Twilley's teens. Twilley himself annotates the songs, some of which he has specific recollections about, others that he doesn't even remember writing. Dating from 1973 to 1994, they include polished pop/rock performances in the standard Twilley style, with its driving guitars and heavily echoed vocals, as well as oddities such as a Christmas song ("Christmas Love"), a near re-creation of the sound of Alvin & the Chipmunks called "Eli Bolack" ("I have no idea how, or why, this happened," Twilley writes), and a stately ballad that, as the artist notes, sounds like a song from a musical ("Where the Birds Fly"). Neophytes probably should pick up a copy of XXI, the Twilley best-of, before moving on to the arcana here, but initiates will welcome more of the pop sound the singer/songwriter/guitarist has been making since the mid-1970s.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann