Shaggs: Dorothy Wiggin, Betty Wiggin
(vocals, guitar); Helen Wiggin (drums)
Additional personnel: Rachel Wiggin
Producer: Austin Wiggin, Jr.
Reissue producers: Irwin Chusid, Terry
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