A Newbury Comics exclusive color vinyl pressing.
The story behind this album, which marked Jack Kerouac’s debut as a recording artist, is almost as fascinating (but not quite) as the performances it contains. Kerouac had completely bombed in his first set during a 1957 engagement at the Village Vanguard when TV personality, comedian, and musician Steve Allen volunteered to accompany him on piano during the second. The results were so impressive that legendary engineer Bob Thiele then brought the duo into the studio to record an album for Dot Records. In true, stream-of-consciousness, Beat fashion, the entire album was cut in one session with one take for each track, Allen’s piano weaving in and out and occasionally commenting on Kerouac’s verbal riffs to great effect. However, when Poetry for the Beat Generation was ready for release in March 1958, Randy Wood, the president of Dot Records, was appalled by the then-daring language and subject matter and canceled the release...but not before 100 promo copies got out (and if you have one you’re set for life)! Thiele then left the company over the dispute and got the master tape in the bargain, which he finally released on the Hanover label which he founded with Allen in June 1959. That release still stands as one of the most momentous spoken word albums not just of the ‘50s but of all time.
For years, Jack Kerouac’s debut album, Poetry for the Beat Generation, has had a discrepancy in its side breaks between the original album jacket and label art and what is listed online. The original album art shows Side 1 with five tracks and Side 2 with nine; yet all references to the album online display the sides with seven tracks each (which makes sense because that way the two sides are nearly equal in timing). Real Gone Music’s reissue of this classic spoken word record reflects this discrepancy; it preserves the original album art and label art showing Side 1 with 5 tracks and Side 2 with 9 tracks, but the actual disc splits the tracks seven and seven. All the material is intact.