Exposé Online banner

The Green Pajamas — November
(Green Monkey GM1021, 1987/2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-10-07

November Cover artBy 1987, when the Green Pajamas released their masterful second album, Book of Hours, they already had quite a backlog of material that hadn't been released — songs that tended more toward a garage sound than the more elaborate psych style that they were leaning towards. Their next studio album, Ghosts of Love, would continue in that same vein, so it seemed unlikely these other songs would find a home anytime soon. As a way of "getting this rock-and-roll stuff out of your system" (as producer Tom Dyer put it), they set up a live in-studio performance and recorded the whole thing as it happened. Afterwards, they went back to polish it up a bit, but ended up mostly preferring the warts-and-all raw sound. It was released as a cassette in 1988 with minimal distribution. In 1998, the material was remixed and made available as a download, but it's only now in 2013 that it's presented in CD form. While this set of 19 songs (just over an hour), jumps out of the gate with "Mary Magdalene" and a great garage riff, this is still recognizably the same band that made Book of Hours. Other tunes in the set would have fit comfortably on a studio album, with delicate sections and even some guest musicians on oboe and bassoon. "I Wish That It Was Christmas" is another rocker, but "What in the World" and "Just Like Seeing God" are as delicate as anything they've recorded. Audience noise is minimal, so you often forget this is a live recording. There are some vocal moments they probably would have fixed after the fact, but as a whole, the energy of the performance and the quality of the material shine above such considerations. November stands comfortably alongside Book of Hours and Ghosts of Love, and deserves the praise given by engineer Jack Endino: "Sort of the great lost Pajamas album."

Filed under: Reissues, 2013 releases, 1987 recordings

Related artist(s): The Green Pajamas, Jeff Kelly

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Amon Düül II - Eternal Flashback – By now everyone should know that these classic German space rockers have reformed after about a twelve year hiatus. Last year's Nada Moonshine #, while not quite up to the standards set by their early...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues