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JIM SULLIVAN

Jim Sullivan

Jim Sullivan

    On March 4, 1975, Jim Sullivan mysteriously disappeared outside Santa Rosa, New Mexico. His VW bug was found abandoned, his motel room untouched. Some think he got lost. Some think the mafia bumped him. Some even think he was abducted by aliens.

    By coincidence–or perhaps not–Jim’s 1969 debut album was titled U.F.O.. Released in tiny numbers on a private label, it too was truly lost until Light In The Attic Records began a years-long quest to re-release it–and to solve the mystery of Sullivan’s disappearance. Only one of those things happened, and you can guess which…

    Light In The Attic’s reissue of U.F.O. introduced the world to an overlooked masterwork and won him, posthumously (presumably), legions of new fans. Those new admirers are in for a real treat: a lavish reissue of Jim’s 1972 sophomore album, Jim Sullivan.

    The self-titled LP was originally released on Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner’s short-lived Playboy imprint. Horns sweeten this funky and bombastic session driven by Jim’s unmistakably larger-than-life voice and exceptional song-writing chops, alongside a cast of legendary session musicians including Jim Hughart. Another LP you’ll rarely see in the wild, it is by no means the poor relation of U.F.O., but rather a big stride into country, folk rock, and swampy blues, mesmerically finger-picked, brass-bedecked, and with that uniqueness of phrasing–part crooner, part jazz singer–that makes Sullivan such a rare performer.

    Each song could have been a bonafide radio hit, but with spotty promotion and negative connotations surrounding the Playboy name, the self-titled album suffered a fate known all too well and fizzled out. While Sullivan’s disappearance remains unsolved, his music endures and is finally gaining him the recognition he deserves, albeit long overdue.


    Jim Sullivan

    If The Evening Were Dawn

      On March 4, 1975, Jim Sullivan mysteriously disappeared outside Santa Rosa, New Mexico. His VW bug was found abandoned, his motel room untouched. Some think he got lost. Some think the mafia bumped him. Some even think he was abducted by aliens.

      By coincidence–or perhaps not–Jim’s 1969 debut album was titled U.F.O.. Released in tiny numbers on a private label, it too was truly lost until Light In The Attic Records began a years-long quest to re-release it–and to solve the mystery of Sullivan’s disappearance. Only one of those things happened, and you can guess which…

      Light In The Attic’s reissue of U.F.O. introduced the world to an overlooked masterwork and won Sullivan, posthumously (presumably), legions of new fans. Those new admirers are in for a real treat: a lavish, first-time release of a previously unheard 1969 studio session.

      If The Evening Were Dawn contains 10 acoustic solo recordings that have never seen the light of day. Whereas U.F.O. was bolstered by legendary sessioneers The Wrecking Crew, this is Jim Sullivan on his own terms, stripped down and soulful as ever. Recorded at a Los Angeles studio circa 1969, the session contains acoustic versions of a handful of U.F.O. tracks alongside a half dozen previously unheard songs. This, then, is the closest thing to those fabled Malibu bar performances at which Sullivan was first noticed.
      According to his widow, Barbara, this was the album Jim always hoped to record. It serves as an unprecedented glimpse into the mysterious, larger-than-life figure who’s become the stuff of legends.

      While Sullivan’s disappearance remains unsolved, his music endures and is finally gaining him the recognition he deserves, albeit long overdue. This recording serves as an unexpected missing piece of the puzzle; this is Jim Sullivan’s true swan song.


      In March 1975, Jim Sullivan mysteriously disappeared outside Santa Rosa, New Mexico. His VW bug was found abandoned, his motel room untouched. Some think he got lost in the desert. Some think he fell foul of a local family with alleged mafia ties. Some think he was abducted by aliens.

      By coincidence - or perhaps not ' Jim’s 1969 debut album was titled "UFO" The album was a fully realised album of scope and imagination, a folk-rock record with its head in the stratosphere. Sullivan’s voice is deep and expressive like Fred Neil with a weathered and worldly Americana sound like Joe South, pop songs that aren’t happy – but with filled with despair. The album is punctuated with a string section (that recalls David Axelrod), other times a Wurlitzer piano provides the driving groove (as if Memphis great Jim Dickinson was running the show). "UFO" is a slice of American pop music filtered from the murky depths of Los Angeles, by way of the deep south.


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