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Philosophy of the World
The Shaggs
  • RCA Victor
    09026 63371-2

1. Philosophy Of The World
2. That Little Sports Car
3. Who Are Parents
4. My Pal Foot Foot
5. My Companion
6. I'm So Happy When You're Near
7. Things I Wonder
8. Sweet Thing
9. It's Halloween
10. Why Do I Feel?
11. What Should I Do
12. We Have A Savior

Who Are Parents (clip #1) ra
Things I Wonder (clip #2) ra

The Shaggs: Dorothy Wiggin, Betty Wiggin (vocals, guitar); Helen Wiggin (drums)
Additional personnel: Rachel Wiggin (bass)
Producer: Austin Wiggin, Jr.
Reissue producers: Irwin Chusid, Terry Adams
Recorded at Fleetwood Studios, Revere, Massachussetts on March 9, 1969.

"PHILOSOPHY OF THE WORLD was one of Frank Zappa's favorite albums. Rolling Stone's 1996 'Alt-Rock-A-Rama' book ranked it among "The 100 Most Influential Alternative Releases of All Time," "The Greatest Garage Recordings of the 20th Century," and "The 50 Most Significant Indie Records."

The Shaggs -- sisters Dorothy, Helen, and Betty Wiggin -- hailed from the culturally disconnected backwater of Fremont, NH. Having never seen a live rock band, but having heard their favorite songs on the radio, these hothouse siblings formed a trio playing two guitars and drums. In 1969 they recorded PHILOSOPHY..., now recognized as a monument of "aboriginal rock."

The Shaggs are a touchstone of unpretentiousness. Their music is earnest, authentic, and refreshingly guileless. Hacked-at chords, missed downbeats, out-of-socket transitions, blown accents, and accidental convergences abound. And yet -- it all works! The Shaggs' lost-chord wonderland has an internal logic that transcends the conventional relationship between ability, technique, and originality. PHILOSOPHY... crowns the Wiggin sisters as the legendary, if unwitting, Queens of Outsider Music.

1999 marks the 30th anniversary of the rarely-seen original release. A 1980 vinyl LP reissue on Rounder/Red Rooster is long out-of-print. In 1988, PHILOSOPHY... was issued on CD by Rounder, but the songs were remixed, the tracks resequenced, later (and far more proficient, i.e., less interesting) tracks were included, and the original album cover art was omitted.

The RCA Victor package represents the first authentic reissue of the original PHILOSOPHY OF THE WORLD, as conceived by the Shaggs' proud papa, Austin Wiggin, Jr. In addition to the original sequence, cover art, and liner notes (and NO extra tracks), this package includes new biographical notes by Irwin Chusid, and the first-ever publication of a rare photo of Austin and Annie Wiggin, subjects of the Shaggs' classic song, "Who Are Parents?" " ©BMG/RCA Victor

The Shaggs
  • Rounder CD 11547

1. I'm So Happy When You're Near 2:12
2. My Companion 2:04
3. That Little Sports Car 2:06
4. Sweet Thing 2:57
5. Philosophy Of The World 2:56
6. What Should I Do 2:18
7. My Pal Foot Foot 2:31
8. Who Are Parents 2:58
9. Things I Wonder 2:12
10. Why Do I Feel 3:57
11. It's Halloween 2:22
12. We Have A Savior 3:06
13. Who Are Parents 3:03
14. You're Somethin' Special To Me 2:03
15. Wheels 1:18
16. Paper Roses 3:48
17. Shaggs' Own Thing 2:05
18. Painful Memories 3:54
19. Gimme Dat Ding 1:40
20. My Cutie 2:14
21. Yesterday Once More 3:23
22. My Pal Foot Foot 3:04
23. I Love 2:18
24. Shaggs' Own Thing 3:54
25. Love At First Sight 3:36

The Wiggin sisters, teenagers from New Hampshire who recorded in the late '60s and early '70s as the Shaggs, had a unique, original musical vision, one that was either complemented or detracted from by the fact that they could barely play their instruments, at least not by conventional Philistine standards. But there is no doubt that they were utterly sincere -- you can hear it in their voices. This CD comprises the complete recorded output of the Shaggs as we know them, including material not issued on other formats or albums. Much of the material has been remastered by NRBQ's Terry Adams to reflect the true sound of the original recordings, whatever that was. Believe us: if can find it in you to let the Shaggs make it past your funnybone, they'll get to your heart. ©Rounder

The Shaggs. Better than the Beatles -- even today.

Frank Zappa

The Shaggs are like castaways on their own musical island.

Bonnie Raitt

. . . For me, one song about your real life is worth ten "professional" songs. The Shaggs convince me that they're the real thing when they sing.

Jonathan Richman

They bring my mind to a complete halt.

Carla Bley

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