Ginsberg Recordings is a project aimed at releasing Allen Ginsberg’s recorded work, both released and unreleased, under one umbrella. Our goal is to create and maintain a full digital library of recordings of his poetry and music, and moving into the future, we’ll see further reissues in physical forms. It’s a culmination of a partnership between The Allen Ginsberg Estate and Esther Creative Group (ECG: the management company of artists Lou Reed, The Gaslight Anthem, and Bryan Ferry). We’ve teamed up to bring equal parts knowledge of Allen and his life, works from the Estate, and the creative means of releasing digital recordings for consumption from ECG.

We will be collecting long-lost recordings scattered around the world on small, defunct, and/or obscure labels, as well as major labels that have simply let Allen’s material fall out of print. Our endeavor will navigate these convoluted and overlapping worlds of record labels and copyright laws to re-release the now nearly extinct physical editions into the 21st century digital world. Allen’s near-compulsion for recording poems/music and annotating with notes, letters, times, dates, etc. has amassed in a huge archive at Stanford University. We’re looking to dig deeper into uncovering completely unreleased material and more personal recordings.

As a record label, we’re looking to avoid the aforementioned legal difficulties for faster turnaround for the release and licensing/publishing of all of Ginsberg’s poetry and music recordings. Allen’s focus on order and collection of his work seems almost a precursor to these posthumous releases.

Our first output as Ginsberg Recordings will be a digital edition of Holy Soul Jelly Roll: Poems And Songs 1949-1993. It offers the best overview of Allen’s life with examples from all of his major life periods and recording projects. Produced by Hal Willner, it was originally released as a four-CD box set in 1994 (when box sets were all the rage…) just three years before Allen’s passing. This edition will retain the original liner notes, introductions, and images so cherished from the box set but in digital format. As our first release, this looks to a front-end of better known material being re-issued, followed by lost and unreleased recordings in the coming years.

To quote Hal Willner from the Holy Soul Jelly Roll notes: “Limiting the wealth of material down to four CDs was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do, for I know that this box set is only the beginning of what should be released on Allen. The sixteen volume set compiled by Barry Miles and a complete double disc of all the William Blake would still only scratch the surface of what else is available, and what else is available is worth finding and listening to.”

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