If you’re unfamiliar with the legendary Yazoo Records, you can familiarize yourself a bit with the history of the label here, here and here. “Yazoo’s mission has been, and will continue to be, to make available as many classic performances of early rural American and ethnic music as we can and at the highest standards we possibly can. The goal is to broadly disseminate these wonderful performances, the likes of which will not be seen again…”
Like a lot of people, I first took notice of some records out from Yazoo because of their covers. In the early 1970s someone at the label had the brilliant idea to hire R. Crumb, the cartoonist, to do cover illustrations. You can see more of those covers here.
The recently released 3-LP box set, Aimer Et Perdre: To Love & To Lose: Songs, 1917-1934, also has a cover by R. Crumb, and so naturally it also caught my eye. Originally released as a CD set by Tomkins Square, Angry Mom Records has done the vinyl honors.
If a collection of remastered 78s featuring “the unique pre-war music of the Cajun bayous, the Carpathian Mountains of Uraine [sic] and Poland, and the American rural countryside” is your thing, you’d better act quickly. Though they don’t state exactly how many they’ve made, how many can it possibly have been? 300? Maybe fewer. By the way, an interesting interview with the set’s producer, Christopher King, can be read here.
Popsike shows more than 1800 completed auctions featuring an album released by Yazoo. Sorted oldest (in their database) to newest, you can see that original pressings of these types of records have gone for some good money. But as re-issues have become available, prices have cooled a bit, as you can see from the same results, sorted most recent to oldest.
Based on the on-going interest in roots music collections, the beautiful packaging of this set and its presumed scarcity, I’m going to give Aimer Et Perdre: To Love & To Lose: Songs, 1917-1934 a strong buy; I imagine it will be gone before a lot of collectors know it exists.
You can buy it here.