Just as they’ve done with all their earlier albums, the Jayhawks will reissue their three 1997-2003 albums “Sound of Lies,” “Smile” and “Rainy Day Music” as expanded-edition sets this summer. The news popped up on the beloved Minnesota twang-rockers' Facebook page today with a formal announcement from the band, which reads:
"These 3 albums will be reissued in deluxe packages featuring bonus tracks, fresh artwork and new liner notes. And good news for vinyl fans: There will be high quality 2 LP releases for each title to ensure maximum fidelity. ... These reissues will offer a fresh look at 3 classic Jayhawks albums originally released between 1997 and 2003. Stay tuned for more details and exciting news."
The news was reportedly made public a few months earlier than planned in order to alert fans, some of whom have been paying jacked-up import prices for semi-unapproved, overseas vinyl editions of some of these records – particularly “Smile,” which was never released on vinyl stateside (the other two had very limited runs).
All three of the records were made after original Jayhawks co-leader Mark Olson left the band in 1995 and feature Gary Louris at the helm. They are generally less twangy and more rock-oriented than the earlier records – particularly 2000's “Smile,” again, which was produced by Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper).
Louris did all of the singing on those albums save for three gems by drummer Tim O’Reagan (“Bottomless Cup” on “Sound of Lies,” and “Tampa to Tulsa” and "Don't Let the World Get in Your Way" on “Rainy Day Music”), while other O'Reagan and other members pitched in on the writing (most notably, Marc Perlman's "Trouble" on "SoL"). Personally, I'll take 1997's "Sound of Lies" over any other Jayhawks album.
There is no word yet on the band playing any live shows timed to the reissues, but the members haven't ruled out the idea. Any reunion would probably not be anything long-term, though, and it likely would not feature Olson, who returned to the Jayhawks for their 2009-2012 run (but didn't play on any of these discs). Louris is working toward his next solo album and playing assorted solo gigs this year, including a May 13 show at Hopkins Center for the Arts.