A blaze of glory, indeed…
Even before the world lost musician Scott Miller last year, the work he did with his band Game Theory had been unavailable for decades. Omnivore Recordings will remedy the lack of Game Theory recordings as it launches a series of expanded reissues featuring the Davis, California band’s classic catalog.
Blaze of Glory, originally released in 1982, was the first Game Theory album; previously the band used the name Alternate Learning. The LP laid the cornerstone for the layered power pop for which Game Theory would become known, while foreshadowing Southern California’s neo-psychedelic Paisley Underground sound (Scott Miller and Dream Syndicate nucleus Steve Wynn were roommates at UC Davis in the late 1970s).
Unavailable in its original form since its initial release (Blaze of Glory was later re-recorded/remixed for an out-of-print 1993 CD compilation that now commands top dollar in collector circles), the new Omnivore CD, out September 2, 2014, contains the original album’s 12 songs, supplemented with 15 bonus tracks — four from Alternate Learning and 11 previously unissued tracks from Scott Miller’s archive.
The vinyl LP also sees its first reissue in more than three decades. The first pressing on translucent pink vinyl (followed by black vinyl in subsequent pressings) contains a download card for the entire 27-song program.
The package was mastered from the original tapes and featuring a 24-page booklet in the CD (eight pages in the LP) with rare photos, an essay from Game Theory tour manager (and set co-producer) Dan Vallor, and remembrances from band members and colleagues, including Wynn.
Game Theory bass player Fred Juhos, says in the liner notes, “The first record foreshadows Scott’s other recordings admirably. Within it, I hear some of Scott’s freshest material. It’s innocent and contains no hint of the jaded cynicism found in his later work.”
According to Vallor, “Scott had mixed feelings about his early work. At times he was convinced it was best not revisited, and at other times he appreciated that it could stand on its own. His uncertainty was borne of rigorous standards he set for himself as a writer and as a musician. But his work from the very start shows an unrelenting creative energy rarely matched by his contemporaries. For many of us, each record remains amongst the best releases of the year they first appeared, and Blaze of Glory remains the wonderfully uncynical pop gem Scott mischievously packaged in a trash bag when it first appeared on vinyl in 1982.”
“With Game Theory and his later band, The Loud Family,” Vallor continues, “Scott created some of the most inventive and sublime pop music of the ’80s and ’90s. While he never saw the kind of commercial success some of his friends, peers, and even fans attained, his commitment to his art was unwavering.”
Reissues of highly sought-after Game Theory titles like Real Nighttime and Lolita Nation are on the horizon.