Time to head down the rabbit hole. John Fahey’s Revenant and Jack White’s Third Man Records are gearing up to release their wunderkammer, or Cabinet-of-Wonder, of Paramount Records. The full contents of this big-box retrospective have been released, and damn have we got a lot of ground to cover. Let’s get to it.
The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27) already sounds plenty imposing. It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that a purchase of the package nets you a healthy tracklist, but there’s plenty more to the big box than that.
Paramount Records isn’t a household name these days. The company, like so many others, bit the dust in 1935, left high and dry by the great depression. But, dig back a little, and you’ll find yourself staring at a pivotal moment in American musical history. Paramount’s origins can be traced back to a Wisconsin furniture company that had absolutely no business coming within ten feet of a record, and the early days at Paramount were basically an attempt to aggressively prove their critics right.
But things changed. Paramount became the first in a wave of record companies to dig into the depths of musical talent in the African American community. Musicians like Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Duke Ellington found their feet with Paramount.
…and so the story goes from there.
There’s more than just music when you’re talking about Paramount Records, and the package set reflects that.
Grab the package, and you’ll find yourself with:
– 800 newly-remastered digital tracks
– 200+ fully-restored original ads and images
– 6 x 180g LPs w/ hand-engraved metal leaf center labels
– Deluxe large-format hardcover art book: 250 pages, narrative w. full-color plates
– Encyclopedia-style reference manual: 360 pages, field guide to artists & repertoire
– Handcrafted elements: rich woods, lush upholstery, and custom-forged metal hardware
– Track & Image App: First-of-its-kind music and image player app, allows user management of 800 tracks and 200+ original ads; housed on custom-designed USB drive
We’d recommend sitting down before looking at the price tag, but for those of you still interested, click through here.