The Omnivore Recordings Week

Hands down (or should that be needles down?) the two Jellyfish releases, Bellybutton and its follow-up, Spilt Milk are not just 2 of the finest releases from the ’90s—but the best of any era. Which, as I pointed out yesterday, only speaks to the taste level of the fine folks over at Omnivore Recordings.

And yes, we’ve got an opportunity for one of you to win both Omnivore Jellyfish reissues today, but first a bit on Omnivore itself.

Omnivore Recordings may have been formed in 2010, but the idea has been in the heads of its owners forever. Four music business veterans, with over 100 years combined experience, set out to fix what was missing in the music industry—the love of music.

They’ve all lived and loved music for their entire lives—whether sweeping the floors of record stores to heading up entire divisions at major labels and publishers. Omnivore made its debut on Record Store Day in April, 2010 with the release of Big Star’s Third (Test Pressing Edition) and a Buck Owens single of previously unreleased vintage recordings.

They both sold out instantly with the Big Star release winding up in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine in an article about the success of Record Store Day. Focusing on music that is rare, overlooked or has never seen the light of day and specializing in quality, creative packaging, Omnivore is rolling into 2012 with new projects in including exclusive Omnivore webstore-only releases for the most hard-core collectors.

The Jellyfish Bellybutton and Spilt Milk Reissues
Early ’90s power pop at its finest—commercially available for the first time on vinyl in the U.S.! After the demise of Andy Sturmer and Roger Manning’s Beatnik Beatch, the two recruited Roger’s brother Chris and former Three O’Clock guitarist Jason Falkner to create Jellyfish.

While Jason and Chris left after the first album and tour—the follow-up, Spilt Milk, was created by Andy and Roger with help from Jon Brion (Aimee Mann, Kanye West, Fiona Apple, Spoon), Lyle Workman (Todd Rundgren, Bourgeois Tagg, Beck), and T-Bone Wolk (Hall & Oates).

Even though the group lasted for only two albums and four years, their influence on power pop bands since has been as profound as the bands that Jellyfish were influenced by: Cheap Trick, Big Star, Badfinger, Raspberries, Brian Wilson, and more—all part of the power pop tradition being handed down one generation at a time.

Omnivore Recordings’ release of the two Jellyfish albums on LP marks the first time either have been commercially available on vinyl in the U.S. Bellybutton was only released on vinyl as a promotional item in 1990—its only official release at the time was on CD. The first 1,500 copies of the Omnivore release carefully replicates the original tri-fold gatefold packaging and is pressed on translucent blue vinyl.

Spilt Milk has a similar story. It was only released on vinyl in the U.K. The U.S. release was, again, only on CD. This time around Omnivore is pressing the first 1,500 copies on translucent green vinyl.

Cheap Trick, Big Star, Badfinger, Raspberries, Brian Wilson—could there be a better set of influences?

Enter to win a copy of both of Omnivore’s Jellyfish reissues by adding a name to that list above in the comments to this post. Who have we left out that you feel should most certainly join the aforementioned heady line-up of performers as influences? (Pro tip: don’t say The Beatles.) 

We’ll choose one thoroughly enlightened winner with a North American mailing address on Monday, 1/16.

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  • reechie

    Harry Nilsson

  • tterry

    Supertramp

  • http://frednula.blogspot.com/ Frednula

    XTC

  • EdmundRudolph

    QUEEN!

  • Nick Marocco

    NICK MAROCCO

    BIG STAR

  • xtianDC

    The Move!

  • TheWickerMan77

    At least to my ears, “Bellybutton” sounds very Badfinger/Wings influenced, and “Spilt Milk” has a distinct Queen vibe

  • AnalogWalrus

    Spilt Milk is the best album Queen never made.

    • Nick Marocco

      @AnalogWalrus (shakes head)

  • http://www.myspace.com/scottcarr Superdown

    Image-wise….I always thought they were influenced by Redd Kross. Musically besides what has already been mentioned. I would add….

    Sparks and City Boy………

  • http://djmurphy.blogspot.com/ DJMurphy

    Definitely the Beach Boys… listen to those harmonies on “Sebrina, Paste, and Plato”. And don’t forget the Partridge Family quote on “Baby’s Comin’ Back”!!! There’s two new influences for you…

  • http://djmurphy.blogspot.com/ DJMurphy

    Don’t forget the Partridge Family quote on “Baby’s Comin’ Back”!!! In a way, that group must have been an influence, LOL.

  • mattwhitby

    Great work people… Great work. Pick me to win.. Pick me.. *points*

    Too much?

    I picked up both albums in the mid-nineties from Not Lame and they remain two of my favourite albums. I can’t imagine there will ever come a time when they don’t get a playing.

  • mattwhitby

    Great work people… Great work. Pick me to win.. Pick me.. *points*

    Too much?

    I picked up both albums in the mid-nineties from Not Lame and they remain two of my favourite albums. I can’t imagine there will ever come a time when they don’t get a playing.

    “Joinging a fanclub”. SUCH a great great song.

    I agree that I hear a strong Queen influence and perhaps a tiny smattering of Randy Newman.

  • jjwoosh

    Jellyfish synthesized influences better than any band in history. They also pretended the 80’s never happened. Spilt Milk is the most refreshing and familiar record I’ve ever heard. Likewise the list from TVD and other users comments is already stellar.
    I would add Player, who wrote baby come back, who “asked for royalties from baby’s coming back.” (Jellyfish Fanclub disc 3).
    Likewise Andy Sturmer was on record saying “Russian Hill” could have fit on Nick Drake’s Pink Moon.
    Finally I’ll add Pat Metheny for RJMJ’s keyboards and Donovan.

  • BenjiWare

    donald fagen

  • Chuck Konfrst

    There are some moments of Chicago in Spilt Milk – not the cheesy Chicago – but the good early Chicago.

    I LOVE JELLYFISH!!

  • TheWickerMan77

    Don’t know how I forgot it before: The Zombies!!! Listen to those harmonies on “odessey and oracle”, no doubt that album inspired Jellyfish!

  • chuck9sling

    XTC, for sure!

  • JasonMax

    Genesis (pre- and post Gabriel, just mix it together!), The Beatles (the albums they never made), Queen (background vocals), Roxy Music (fashionably speaking) SOOOOOOO excited about these!

  • shawnaldridge

    Queen seems to be one of the more obvious.

  • shawnaldridge

    The Cowsills

  • jcastrianni

    The Left Banke

  • gogoredhot

    Kiss and Queen

  • Dan Elliott

    Gotta go with Queen and XTC.

  • Raymond S

    Jellyfish was the sonic offspring of wings and the Partridge Family

  • jonathanbookout

    Definitely Queen. Nilsson, Supertramp, Zombies even.

  • tcote

    Definitely Queen, Steely Dan and Supertramp.

  • Clive

    I always thought of them as a cross between Todd Rundgren and Squeeze, because they could turn on that sunny 70s studio pop at the drop of a hat, but there was always that sense of curdled melancholy lurking around the edges.

  • https://www.thevinyldistrict.com/ thevinyldistrict

    A winner has been notified – please check your email. Thanks for reading and entering!

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