TVD Radar: Moloch self-titled debut in stores on 180-gram vinyl, 7/21

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Stax Records, an imprint of Concord Music Group and its Catalog Division, Craft Recordings, is pleased to announce the reissue of Moloch on 180-gram vinyl. Cut at Memphis’ Ardent Studios on the original Stax lathe, and pressed at Memphis Record Pressing, this release marks the first official domestic reissue of the 1969 title on 180-gram vinyl, and the first digital availability of this rare hard blues gem. New liner notes by award-winning writer Bob Mehr round out the package.

Comprised of guitarist Lee Baker, drummer Phillip Durham, bassist Steve Spear, organist Fred Nicholson and vocalist Gene Wilkins, Moloch was a lynchpin of the Memphis psychedelic scene of the late ’60s. Their one and only album was produced by Don Nix (the Mar-Keys, Leon Russell), who also wrote most of the songs on it. Wilkins and Baker are the stars of the effort, however, with the latter giving a pointed schooling in the essentials of blues-rock guitar on tracks such as the original recorded version of the standard “Going Down,” which would go on to be covered by a who’s who of Blues and Rock legends, including Jeff Beck, Deep Purple, JJ Cale, Bryan Ferry, Pearl Jam, Gov’t Mule, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Who, and Led Zeppelin, among many others.

Moloch’s self-titled album is an outlier in the Stax catalog with its combination of rock, hard blues, psychedelic acid-washed guitar solos, and blue-eyed soul. But despite the band members’ abbreviated time together, Moloch remain influential in the Blues world, and, even more so in Memphis lore. In his liner notes, Bob Mehr writes, “the legacy of the band is bigger than a single song.

Over the decades, the LP became a totem for guitarists and blues seekers alike, for whom Moloch remains godhead.” Mehr goes on to praise the band’s late guitarist, Lee Baker, declaring that “Baker’s work continues to exert a profound influence on a generation of Memphis guitar players. The Moloch LP served as a touchstone for the North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson and the Hold Steady’s Steve Selvidge, among other acolytes.”

The reissue of Moloch is part of a wide-ranging, year-long initiative, celebrating Stax Records’ 60th anniversary. The cross-label collaboration between Concord Music Group and Rhino Entertainment will highlight the hits, deep cuts and rare tracks from the Memphis label’s heyday of the ’60s and ’70s.

A1. Helping Hand
A2. Maverick Woman Blues
A3. Outta Hand
A4. Same Old Blues
A5. Going Down
A6. She Looks Like An Angel
B1. Gone Too Long
B2. Dance Chaney Dance
B3. Mona
B4. People Keep Talking
B5. I Think The Same Of You
B6. Night At The Possum

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