BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Most legendary lost albums begin with a backstory, and the collection that’s become the holy grail for Green Pajamas’ fans, heretofore entitled November (named for the month it was re-conceived) is no exception. Originally intended as a live recording that would follow their seminal set Book of Hours back in ’88, it was ultimately nixed and given limited release only on cassette. Nevertheless, an attempt to remix the original tape for wider release resulted in endless nitpicking and the entire project was shelved until a decade later when the band gave it another go.
Still, it’s taken fifteen years for the entire album to see the light of day, and while diehard fans might have lost patience with the marathon trajectory, they’re rewarded here with a slew of bonus tracks and a rare early glimpse of the Green Pajamas live in concert during their formative years, their guard down and pretty much having a go at whatever inspires them. (Note the enthusiastic, off the cuff rendition of “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore” and what essentially became their title tune, the lovely “Green Pajamas.”) Elsewhere, early hints of their psychedelic stance take shape with “Strange City” and “Get Away,” although for the most part, #November# reveals an outfit clearly intent on rocking to the rafters. Lead off track “Mary Magdalene” sounds like a boozy replay of the Yardbirds’ oldie “I’m a Man,” while the stomp and shudder of “The Sickless Lovers Despise,” the kinetic surge of “Temple Sisters” and the cries of “Baby go down on me” that ring through “Down” suggest that they were happiest when they were able to exorcise their primal urges. While hardly revelatory in the truest sense, November is a prize find, a curio that now seems essential to the Green Pajamas’ journey.
DOWNLOAD: “Green Pajamas,” “Down,” “Temple Sisters”