Dead Box

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The first two CDs of this three-CD box set (in a standard CD-sized package) are just straight reproductions, in their own sleeves, of Josefus' two 1970 albums, Dead Man and Josefus. Collectors and fans will be most interested in the third disc, which contains live and studio rarities spanning the late '60s to the late '70s. There are two fair undated studio demos by Rip West, the band that Ray Turner and Dave Mitchell played in during high school, which are far more psychedelic pop-inclined than Josefus' output. Also here is the studio demo "I Love You," credited to United Gas, featuring everyone who would play in Josefus slightly later save Pete Bailey, and which edges closer to a hard blues-rock style. A 26-minute live version of "Dead Man" from Josefus itself, alas, is way too overlong and not in great fidelity. Three cuts from a 1969 Josefus show at Love Street Light Circus in Houston are likewise of marginal sound quality, encompassing as they do three songs that didn't make it onto their two albums, though "Get Off My Case" at least did appear on the demo session rescued for reissue as Get Off My Case years later. The remainder of the third CD is filled out with late-'70s reunion recordings, four of which came out as 1979 Hookah singles, others of which (with Stone Axe drummer Jerry Ontiberoz) were studio outtakes. Unsurprisingly, those late-'70s recordings are dispensable and dated hard rock. A 12-page insert has pictures and a basic history of the band. Note that Dead Box, even though it contains three CDs of a pretty obscure band, doesn't have everything Josefus did. It's missing their first, unreleased attempt at an album in late 1969, which has come out as Get Off My Case (and was coupled with Dead Man on a Sundazed CD).

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