Various Artists, “Ork Records: New York, New York”
Available: now as a double CD or a four LP collection
Label: Numero Group
The Numero Group is a record label based out of Chicago that has dedicated its time, energy and resources to reissue music … often in the form of expansive compilations to the many of us who may have missed them the first go-around. The laundry list of reasons the contemporary listener missed them initially is as expansive as the comps themselves. Perhaps it was a small run of production? Maybe they were artists who never got their due in genres that were not well received or ahead of their time. It could’ve been a region that produced a slew of releases that never made it out of the state/tristate area, or perhaps, still, it was something as simple as timing. A music critic friend of mine once correctly quipped that “you don’t get to choose when you’re born or to whom.” In the pre-Internet age, those two factors often informed your music sensibilities.
Numero takes it upon themselves to find the “dustiest gems” – this time from what they consider “the world’s first punk label,” – and release their favorites. Terry Ork founded Ork Records in 1975 and released 45s from the bands that were fringe Warhol Factory and CBGB’s regulars. Some of the bands are obscure, others have been canonized, all are worth discovering again or for the first time.
Recommended if you like Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Television, Suicide, Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys), or Alex Chilton (Big Star).
Jon E. Lynch[email protected]