According to their website, Numero is a “multi-format media company, devoted to dragging brilliant recordings, films, and photography out of unwarranted obscurity”. I am a huge fan of their “Eccentric Soul” series of albums. They find work released from these amazing record labels that didn’t see wide distribution and they repackage and re-release them to a larger audience. A lot of these labels were run out of dance halls and neighborhood joints. The reason I like it so much is because I’ve heard all the work of Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, the Four Tops, etc. all my life. I love that music, but it’s great to hear these small-time groups who were taking their shot. It’s inspirational to me - mostly because I am a still small-timer myself, still trying every day to take a shot at my own dream.
I also like these CDs and albums because great care is taken in the design and production of the packaging. With the economy hurting and MP3 downloads and sales being an easier option on music consumers, it’s nice to see people earning the edge, giving you something extra to make you want to take something home from the store and put it on your shelf. You get something to read, something study and give you a feel for the music. To me, it’s comparable to the days when an album cover was worth studying, when it was a piece of art that would entice you to buy the album.
I treated myself recently to this 3-CD set from Numero: Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio. Aside from the CDs, the set comes with booklets of information about the label, songs, and artists. It also has reproductions of show fliers and really cool photos. Music like this makes me eager to sit down at my desk and draw. It’s my drawing soundtrack for the new year.