"Philosophy of the World," Shaggs Rock Album That Inspired New Musical, Gets CD Re-Release

News   "Philosophy of the World," Shaggs Rock Album That Inspired New Musical, Gets CD Re-Release
 
"Philosophy of the World" by The Shaggs, the 1969 cult album that inspired the Off-Broadway musical The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, has been remastered and reissued for CD in time for the current New York City run, Playwrights Horizons and New York Theatre Workshop announced.

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The private-label recording is now being sold exclusively through the production in three ways: at performances of the musical at Playwrights Horizons Mainstage Theater (416 W. 42nd Street), online at www.TicketCentral.com and by calling (212) 564-1235 ext. 3152.

CDs are $16 each. In addition to the original liner notes from 1969, the booklet also features new liner notes written by Joy Gregory, book writer and co-lyricist for the musical.

Formed in 1968, the all-female rock group The Shaggs was composed of sisters Dorothy "Dot" Wiggin (vocals/lead guitar), Betty Wiggin (vocals/rhythm guitar) and Helen Wiggin (drums).

Produced by Austin Wiggin, Jr. and The Shaggs, "Philosophy of the World" was originally recorded on March 9, 1969, at Fleetwood Studios in Revere, MA. It was first released in 1969 on the small label Third World Records, and is the only recording by the rock trio. "Following an extremely limited release and only local performances centered around their New Hampshire hometown, the group disbanded in 1975 upon the death of their manager/father," according to production notes. "The LP was reissued by Rounder Records in 1980, prompting Rolling Stone to proclaim the group 'Comeback of the Year' and one reviewer to call it 'the most stunningly awful wonderful record I've ever heard.' Legendary rock critic Lester Bangs declared the record a 'landmark in rock 'n' roll history' in The Village Voice. In 1996, Rolling Stone's Alt-Rock-A-Rama named the album among the '100 Most Influential Alternative Releases of All Time.' Kurt Cobain loudly championed The Shaggs, cementing their reputation among indie artists as godmothers of the DIY movement."

The LP was originally issued on CD by RCA Victor in 1999 and has been out of print until now. The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World is a new musical based on the true story of the group. It features a book by Joy Gregory; music by Gunnar Madsen; lyrics by Gregory and Madsen; and story by Gregory, Madsen and John Langs. Directed by Langs, the co-production has an official opening night on June 7. The limited engagement will play through July 3. Previews began May 12.

Here's how the musical is billed: "Set in Fremont, New Hampshire in the late '60s, The Shaggs is based on the true story of a working class dad (Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner Peter Friedman) who has a vision of rock 'n' roll destiny for his three talentless daughters (Jamey Hood, Sarah Sokolovic and Emily Walton), convinced they're his family’s one-way ticket out of hardship and obscurity. But the girls have ideas of their own – and as their father’s ambition turns to obsession, the price of familial obligation becomes all too clear."

The cast also features Kevin Cahoon, Annie Golden, Steve Routman and Cory Michael Smith.

For tickets, visit TicketCentral.com or call (212) 279-4200. For more information, visit www.playwrightshorizons.org or nytw.org.

Sarah Sokolovic, Emily Walton and Jamey Hood
Sarah Sokolovic, Emily Walton and Jamey Hood Photo by Joan Marcus
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