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SHIVA BURLESQUE - Mercury Blues + Skulduggery black vinyl double LP

At long last, the double LP vinyl edition of the definitive expanded re-issue of Shiva Burlesque’s classic second album is now available. This black vinyl edition includes both a remastered version of the original Mercury Blues album along with a second album consisting of previously unreleased demos and outtakes titled Skulduggery. This numbered vinyl edition also features entirely new artwork, printed in 5 colors on IPR’s iconic die-cut packaging, a 5-color 12” x 24” folding insert with liner notes by David Fricke - who in a 1988 issue of Melody Maker called the sound of Shiva Burlesque “a marriage of Joy Division’s shadowy abstractions and Love’s Forever Changes," and includes a postcard-sized full-color download card with code for a free download of the album.


Creators of what Uncut Magazine editor Allan Jones lauded as “…timeless, brilliant music” Shiva Burlesque was founded by transplanted northern Californians Jeffrey Clark and Grant-Lee Phillips, emerging from the alternative music scene of subterranean Hollywood/Downtown Los Angeles in the mid-1980’s. Drawing comparisons to everything from John Cale to Echo & the Bunnymen to early Leonard Cohen, and described by All Music Guide as “… a powerful and graceful band too post-punk to be folk rock, and too folk to be post-punk”, the group forged its eclectic (and at times hallucinatory) sound in Raji’s, the Anti Club, The Scream and similar fly-by-night L.A. venues of the time. Shiva Burlesque released a pair of vivid, multi-faceted albums: Shiva Burlesque (1987) with drummer Joey Peters and bassist James Brenner; followed by Mercury Blues (1990), again with Peters on drums, Paul Kimble replacing Brenner, and featuring cellist Greg Adamson. Between the two albums the songwriting output by Clark and Phillips elevated into high gear, and the band recorded a number of new songs in demo versions, mostly on a home studio eight track cassette machine with Paul Kimble engineering. Work began on the Mercury Blues album proper in early summer of 1990, tracking (largely after-hours during “down time”) at Village Recorders, one of the best equipped, finest sounding, studios in Los Angeles at the time. Along with the intense and potent results of those sessions, IPR’s beautiful, remastered, 2021 reissue includes a bonus album of ten of the demo songs, none of which have ever been previously released. Although both Shiva Burlesque albums garnered high praise in the US and in Europe, (“… a trip into startled wonder”: Melody Maker, 1988); and resonated deeply with tuned-in listeners, they found scant commercial success in the proto-Grunge / pre-Shoegaze era; and the group disbanded in late 1990, (thereby helping to midwife the also excellent Grant Lee Buffalo).     




Mercury Blues

Do The Pony

Cherry Orchard

Sick Friend

Chester the Chimp

Who is the Mona Lisa?

Nez Percé

Sparrow Song


At Last Our Flag Has Fallen

Chrome Halo


Nez Percé (Demo #2)

Stoves! (4 Track demo)

Moonchild (4 Track demo)

Sick Friend (4 Track demo)

Who is the Mona Lisa? (4 Track demo)

Chrome Halo (4 Track demo)

Paul is Dead (24 Track demo)

Do the Pony (4 Track "Trio" demo)

Sparrow Song (4 Track demo)

Mink Emeralds Play (8 Track recording)

SHIVA BURLESQUE - Mercury Blues + Skulduggery black vinyl double LP