Originally released in March of 2003, Songs: Ohia‘s The Magnolia Electric Co. is the hallmark of Jason Molina’s career. Ten years later, we wanted to place a spotlight on this important release and on our late friend’s extraordinary body of work by releasing the 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Magnolia Electric Co, out now in North America.
To celebrate this release we asked fans on our Twitter and Facebook pages to tell us their favorite Jason Molina / Songs: Ohia songs. We received an overwhelming response so we put together a playlist of some of the most voted for songs. Listen to it below, on Rdio here, or on Spotify here.
Secretly Canadian co-founder and friend, Chris Swanson, remembers Molina and the buildup to Magnolia Electric Co.:
“Phone calls with Jason were always a bit dizzying. He was able to fit more ideas and more (often conflicting) opinions into one conversation than there were hours in a lost weekend. The day he called to talk about the album he wanted to do with Steve Albini, however, he was especially focused. He’d collaborated with Steve before, but he had a vision to use the full canvas for this next session, which he envisioned as his next full-length. He was always very proud of not spending a lot of money on his albums, of being an affordable artist, one that did not need money to do great things. It played into his working class pride. There was nothing bourgeois about Jason. But he had a big ask for this one. And with Jason, a big ask came with a big – albeit focused in this instance – wind-up.
He warned me that this was going to be a large sum of money, but that it’d be worth it. He was going to make an important album and he was going to do it as albums were supposed to be made. He would make it the right way, with the right players & engineer in the right room. But more importantly, they were going to do great work. Terrified, I asked “How much is it going to cost, Jason?” “Listen. It’s not going to be cheap, but I’m not going to let you guys down.” And he sold me hard, knowing that his pitch would have to have enough sell in it to make it through to my partners when I re-pitched it to them. The budget was less than $10,000, a significant sum of money at the time (his last album had cost just $2500). But he was our guy. Of course we were in.
Fast forward a few months, after lots of planning, to that first playback of the mixes and the collective chill & glee we felt listening to it with Jason. He was very proud. He had done great work and he had done it taking big creative risks in the studio. It feels like a century ago. I’m convinced that the album – which Jason was so clear about from its conception – will stand up a century from now”
The deluxe edition LP comes stocked with demos and rarities which any Molina fan will want to hear including one unreleased track, an outtake and uniquely mesmerizing version of fan favorite “Whip Poor Will”.
CD and LP versions of the 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition are available now in North America (November 25th in Europe) with a deluxe bundle that includes a classic Magnolia Electric Co. shirt and a special 10″ vinyl of “The Big Game Is Every Night” and “Whip Poor Will”.
Read the track listing below.
1. Farewell Transmission
2. I’ve Been Riding With the Ghost
3. Just Be Simple
4. Almost Was Good Enough
5. The Old Black Hen
6. Peoria Lunch Box Blues
7. John Henry Split My Heart
8. Hold On Magnolia
1. Farewell Transmission (Demo)
2. I’ve Been Riding With the Ghost (Demo)
3. Just Be Simple (Demo)
4. The Old Black Hen (Demo)
5. Peoria Lunch Box Blues (Demo)
6. John Henry Split My Heart (Demo)
7. Hold On Magnolia (Demo)
8. The Big Game Is Every Night (Demo)
9. Whip Poor Will (Demo)
Side A – The Big Game Is Every Night
Side B – Whip Poor Will