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SCOTT FAGAN

Scott Fagan

South Atlantic Blues - 2024 Reissue

    The long lost 1968 debut album by singer-songwriter, Scott Fagan, once tipped to be bigger than Elvis, is set for release on 9th February 2024 via Earth Recordings. ‘South Atlantic Blues’ will be reissued for the first time in its original artwork, with an iconic portrait of Fagan by famed rock photographer, Joel Brodsky, following a widely celebrated 2015 release.

    Revisiting his mystical, mythical, and deeply soulful masterpiece, this psych-folk gem doffs a Tropicalia hat direct from downtown New York. “His songs embrace a broad sonic fantasia, swirling in ’60s New York R&B and ’40s jazz, as well as the Caribbean rhythms of calypso, meringue and Pachanga.” New York Times

    Scott Fagan’s story is worthy of a movie in itself. A swinging hipster who landed in 60s Greenwich folk scene, escaping the abject poverty of his U.S. Virgin Islands upbringing, Fagan found himself mentored by the Brill Building’s Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, and feted as the next big thing. “Forget Rodriguez, forget Searching for Sugar Man,” says Sharyn Felder, daughter of the late Doc Pomus, the legendary songwriter who signed Fagan to management in 1964. “Scott was so much more. He was cut from a different cloth.”

    ‘South Atlantic Blues’ is the perfect soundtrack to this tale, an epic song cycle wrapped around an impassioned love story, driven by Fagan’s dense, allusive lyrics, and production by Elmer Jared Gordon (Pearls Before Swine) and rich arrangements by Horace Ott (Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, The Shirelles). The Earth Recordings reissue coincides with a resurgence in activity for Fagan, with a new album in the works – the never-recorded soundtrack to ‘Soon’, the 1971 Broadway rock musical he co-wrote and starred in – and a documentary ‘Soon: the Story of Scott Fagan’ currently filming through Scissor Kick Films, from director Marah Strauch, writer Chris Campion (who rediscovered the singer-songwriter in 2015), and producer Eric Bruggeman.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. In My Head
    A2. Nickels And Dimes
    A3. Crying
    A4. The Carnival Is Ended
    A5. South Atlantic Blues
    B1. Nothing But Love
    B2. Tenement Hall
    B3. In Your Hands
    B4. Crystal Ball
    B5. Madam-moiselle

    Scott Fagan’s debut album, ‘South Atlantic Blues,’ is a genuine lost classic - a mystical, mythical and deeply soulful masterpiece.

    Recorded when Scott was just 21, virtually homeless and with pennies to his name, it was released in 1968 on Atco Records but remained obscure, confounded by a series of frustrating near-misses. From being mentored by Doc Pomus to being discovered by Jasper Johns, Scott’s incredible story and music unfolds on ‘South Atlantic Blues,’ remastered and reissued for the first time ever on CD and vinyl on Saint Cecilia Knows (the label that also released the acclaimed Mickey Newbury box set, ‘An American Trilogy) in association with Scott Fagan’s own lil’fish records.

    Steeped in delicate psych, soul and resonant acoustic guitars “that stroke and stone you to the core” (Shindig). It’s an epic song cycle about Fagan’s hard-scrabble life in the Virgin Islands, where he was raised and lived until 19 before returning to his birthplace of New York City. A teenage prodigy, mentored and managed by songwriters Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Scott recorded early material for Columbia and Bert Berns’ BANG label before signing with Atco. In 1969, artist Jasper Johns discovered ‘South Atlantic Blues’ in a cut-out bin, fell in love with the record, and used it as the inspiration for three artworks, known as ‘Scott Fagan Record.’

    The pieces are now housed in the permanent collections of MOMA, the Met and the Walker Art Center. Born on 52nd Street, Scott was the son of a sax player and singer who fraternized with jazz greats. That familial connection with music would come full circle when Fagan discovered he was the biological father of songwriter Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. They did not meet until the premiere of a documentary about Doc Pomus in 2013. A conversation between the two is included in the liner notes of this CD release. The initial pressing of the vinyl comes as a limited edition, hand-numbered, 180g vinyl with a reproduction of Jasper Johns’ 1970 lithograph, ‘Scott Fagan Record,’ as cover art, and includes a digital download.

    The CD comes with extensive liner notes, rare photos, and a download of five bonus tracks—the original 1965 demo for Doc Pomus as well as a recently-discovered acetate, the only copy in existence of a previously-unknown Doc Pomus song, All For The Sake Of Love, that only Scott Fagan recorded. 

    TRACK LISTING

    1. In Your Head
    2. Nickels And Dimes
    3. Crying
    4. The Carnival Is Ended
    5. South Atlantic Blues
    6. Nothing But Love
    7. Tenement Hall
    8. In Your Hands
    9. Crystal Ball
    10. Madame-Moiselle.

    Bonus Tracks (download With CD Only) :
    1. They Think She’s Crying Cause She’s Happy
    2. When You’re Lonely And You’re Blue
    3. Bonua
    4. I’ve Been So Lonely For So Long
    5. All For The Sake Of Love


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