Remember surfing Myspace to find music? Following endless tips from your favorite artists' "Top 16" until something hit? After surfing through a million failures (mostly shitty bands with "animal" names), I don't have much to show for my time except for Stan Hubbs' Crystal LP. And after months of searching for the best new thing, and coming up virtually empty-handed, I finally stumbled across the inviting thumbnail above.
After listening to so many hours of B-grade chillwave bands, the last thing I expected to find was any material ripe for reissue. But after replaying "Golden Rose" and "Seems Like It's a Rich Man's World" on repeat for a few hours, I became so addicted that I actually ended up downloading some freeware specifically just so I could lift the MP3's directly from my sound card. And now, thanks to Companion Records, I can add a physical copy to my collection. Supposedly there a few original pressings known to exist, and they are pretty much lost forever. But the reissue is faithful to the original, even reprinting the original sixteen pages of liner notes.
With Hubbs' oral legend still growing nearly thirty years after the original release of Crystal, there are questions that we're never going to have the answers to. You see, Hubbs died only a few years after the record came out. But how he died is, well, unique. I know you probably heard this was impossible, but Hubbs supposedly died from a, uh, "weed overdose." I know, right? I'm going to refrain from writing about how awesome that is out of respect for Hubbs, but it definitely puts Hubbs' stony aesthetic in perspective. Not that the guy should be typecast as your typical pothead. The record has a woozy feel to it, and it jumps from prog to paisley to buttrock within single songs, but it's remarkably well arranged and cohesive. This isn't your run of the mill reissue, and it isn't every day you stumble upon a treasure like this.
Stan Hubbs' 1982 neo-classic Crystal is available now on Companion Records.
Stan Hubbs - "Golden Rose"
Stan Hubbs - "Seems Like It's a Rich Man's World"