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Now Hear This | The Shaggs | Shaggs’ Own Thing

The eccentric sister act's more mature followup returns in remastered form.

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I ran out of time and words before I ran out of music to write about this week. So strictly speaking, this isn’t a review — but it’s definitely a recommendation. Check out the press release, watch some videos and hear for yourself.


 

THE PRESS RELEASE: “When The ShaggsPhilosophy Of The World came out in 1969, some people couldn’t or wouldn’t understand it. But many musicians, including Frank Zappa and Kurt Cobain, cited The Shaggs as a major influence. Heck, Zappa exclaimed they were “better than The Beatles!” NRBQ’s Terry Adams and Keith Spring were fans, and after reissuing Philosophy in 1980 on their own label, Adams began work on a collection of recordings the Wiggin sisters had made in the years following their debut. The result was Shaggs’ Own Thing — a beguiling followup that reveals a more developed and mature sound while still retaining all of their homespun uniqueness. “The songs were better and they were recorded better, so it naturally made a better album,” Dot Wiggin said shortly after the original release of Shaggs’ Own Thing in 1982. It’s a “natural, organic extension” of the utterly original sound that The Shaggs had created, intentionally or not, with Philosophy Of The World, as John DeAngelis writes in the new liner notes. While Dot Wiggins originals like You’re Somethin’ Special To Me and My Cutie, and covers of classic songs like Yesterday Once More reveal a maturity not displayed on the debut, the two versions of Shaggs’ Own Thing and the revisiting of My Pal Foot Foot show that The Shaggs lost none of their pure and honest charm over the years. Remastered from the original tapes with liner notes by DeAngelis, this reissue includes the bonus track Love at First Sight, first issued on the 1988 CD and here on LP for the first time, plus three additional tracks on CD: Sweet Maria and The Missouri Waltz, first released as a limited-edition Record Store Day 45 in 2016, and the previously unreleased cover of the classic surf instrumental Wipe Out.”