Mike Cooper Reissues Now Available for Pre-Order.
Hello friends of Paradise,
After two years of tireless work to liberate these long out-of-print masterpieces from the vaults, we are thrilled to announce pre-orders for the first artist-sanctioned reissues—and first-ever vinyl reissues—of iconoclastic English-born, Rome-based folk and experimental music legend Mike Cooper’s classic trio of early 1970s avant-folk-rock records: Trout Steel (1970), Places I Know (1971), and The Machine Gun Co. with Mike Cooper (1972). The latter two titles are presented for the very first time as the definitive double album, as Cooper originally intended them to be released.
Mike Cooper’s name belongs in the pantheon of folk and blues revival guitar masters–he turned down an early offer to join the Rolling Stones (Brian Jones took the gig), toured with Michael Chapman, and traveled in the same circles as Bert Jansch, Wizz Jones, and Davey Graham, among others–but his work rapidly progressed into freer frontiers, toward the New Thing jazz of Pharaoh Sanders, Sonny Sharrock, and Derek Bailey, without sacrificing any of his lyrical songwriting or forsaking his established roots in the soil of the American Southern vernacular. The result was an alchemical music of astonishing power and singularity that must be heard to be believed.
Trout Steel presents a heady homebrew of lap steel blues traditions, melodically inventive songwriting, avant-jazz group improvisations, and studio explorations that presaged Cooper’s adventurous work for decades to come. His groundbreaking 1971-72 double album sessions veer from the impeccable conceptual folk-rock artistry of Places I Know to the utterly singular, long-form “songmaking” deconstructions of the more radical The Machine Gun Co. (Click the album covers below for more details.)
Pre-order Trout Steel LP/CD (PoB-13):
Pre-order Places I Know/The Machine Gun Co. 2xLP/CD (PoB-14):
Pre-Order the digital-only editions now ($10/$13) (via Bandcamp)
These deluxe reissues both feature remastered audio, restored artwork, and 16pp. liner notes chapbooks (20pp. in the CD version) with extensive essays by PoB and Cooper, oral history excerpts, never before published color photos, and lyrics. To purchase the album, and for more details, click the button below and select your preferred format(s). The gatefold vinyl LPs are available in a limited edition, featuring digital download coupons. The CDs are likewise housed in gatefold wallets.
Pre-orders will ship in advance of the official June 17 release date. Check out the stream and the story of “The Singing Tree” from Places I Know/The Machine Gun Co. here (involving the mystical Persian poem “The Conference of the Birds” and a job painting swimming pools), thanks to the Wall Street Journal.
To celebrate these releases, all of our historical reissues are now on sale until June 3. While supplies last, use the coupon code “COOPARIA” during checkout to purchase copies of these critically acclaimed titles for 15% off: