Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills

Various Topics Briefly Addressed

I was transferring the tracks from the Fear + Whiskey Anthology CD to my computer (somehow I'd lost the original wav files) and started listening to some of them and quickly realized that that album deserves to be heard on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, and so on. I'd like to do some remastering, a few re-mixes, and perhaps search for a couple of additional tracks I could include, so it's likely that the Anthology won't show up for another three months...at least until I get another semi-free upload from my web host CDBaby. Then again, I might decide to release the Anthology first.

Accidentally found a cache of old bookofkills.com web pages from the late '90s to the mid-2000s. I'll be going through them on occasion and if I find anything interesting, posting excerpts here. Below is one such excerpt from 2004:

The Complete Recordings Of Book of Kills

"Starting June 25, 2004, I made a valiant attempt to put every Book of Kills song ever recorded, by album appearance on this page for free download.  I encouraged fans of BOK music to download the songs, burn them to CDs and share them with friends.  As I noted at the time, the distribution of music is changing, though BOK has always championed freely sharing music.  Besides, no one bought BOK albums anymore anyway.  It was either post the songs on the web and hope a few people downloaded them and listened to them, or over sixteen years of writing and recording became basically a sad, almost absurd, lesson in futility.  I couldn't bear the thought that over five hundred songs born of my strange, inexplicable passion to create music would more or less pass into virtual oblivion.  But, most likely, that'll be the case regardless.

"Anyway, I eventually ended up posting probably 80% of everything I've ever recorded by album, about 350 songs.  I even included artwork and copies of the insert information.  But it was costing me over $200 a year to keep the mp3's available and the expense, in the face of various recent financial responsibilities, no longer seemed justifiable.  I know a fair number of people (the page received 2312 hits in ten months--good for an unknown band) visited this particular page and downloaded songs.  I know of a couple of local kids who downloaded every single song of every single album. 

"So I'm going to transfer the web page (sooner or later) to a different company and didn't feel like uploading all those songs again (it took hours!)  For the time being, I've left up two pages of relatively recent live material."

It's almost laughable now to read how I'd gotten 2300+ hits over ten months. I have had almost 8,000 "hits" over the course of the first ten days of this month alone. Twelve years hence, however, I can still report that no one buys BOK albums anymore. Fortunately a few people still stream them.

It's worth noting that Brian Jones played his last live show with the band he founded, The Rolling Stones, on this day in 1968 at Empire Pool in Wembley, England. Jones would die a little over a year later. The Stones were never the same after Jones left the band. They seemed to lose all sense of adventure. That's not to say they didn't put out some stupendously great albums after Jones' departure, but they never again created anything as sonically sublime as "Under My Thumb", "19th Nervous Breakdown", "Mother's Little Helper", "Ruby Tuesday", "Lady Jane", "She's a Rainbow", "Jumping Jack Flash", "Paint It, Black", or "2000 Light Years From Home".

"We piss anywhere, man." -- Brian Jones