Joan Osborne will mark the 20th anniversary of her classic “Relish” album with a reissue and a tour. The new CD, Digital, Two-LP vinyl versions will be available on October 30.
Osborne hit the road for a fall tour with Mavis Staples, which started September 25 in San Francisco. The singer songwriter has toured with the Grateful Dead as well as her own band for the past 20 years. She also toured with the legendary Motown sidemen, The Funk Brothers, and appeared with them in the acclaimed 2002 documentary, Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
The reissue of 1995 album features original acoustic demo of Eric Bazilian’s “One of Us,” previously unreleased track, “Mighty One,” while digital version includes four live tracks and previously unreleased “Here Comes What’s Coming”
Relish was recorded at Big Blue in Katonah, New York, with additional recording at The Crawlspace in Philadelphia and PIE Studios in Glen Cove, New York. The album included Osborne originals like “St. Teresa,” “Pensacola,” “Ladder” and “Crazy Baby,” interspersed with covers (Bob Dylan’s “Man in the Long, Black Coat,” Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Help Me” and, of course, Bazilian’s “One of Us”) and collaborations with the band on “Right Hand Man” (including Captain Beefheart), “Spider Web,” “Let’s Just Get Naked” and “Lumina” (the latter two with Bazilian).
“One of Us” captivated the public with its exploration of the nature of faith and people’s belief in God, rising to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Bazilian wrote the song to “impress a girl,” who later became his wife, and originally placed the song on a solo album as a hidden track. When producer Chertoff heard it, he asked Joan if she thought she could sing it.
They recorded a live demo of her performing the song, which is included on both the CD and Digital Tracks versions of this reissue.
“When I got into my car and popped the cassette in,” said Bazilian, “I started practicing the Grammy speech that I should’ve gotten to give.”
The Relish 20th Anniversary Edition will be available on October 30 in three separate formats, featuring expanded liner notes written by Chris Talbott and a variety of bonus tracks. The single-CD version includes the original demo of “One of Us,” with songwriter Eric Bazilian accompanying Joan on guitar; a demo version of “Pensacola” in a completely different, reggae style featuring the entire band, and the previously unreleased track, “Mighty One,” from the Relish recording sessions.
Originally from a small town outside of Louisville, KY, Joan Osborne moved to New York to attend NYU Film School in the late ’80s, but gravitated toward the vibrant downtown roots music scene, playing clubs for years.
Osborne formed an independent label, Womanly Hips, and released her debut, a live album dubbed Soul Show: Live at Delta 88 in 1991, where she showed off her roots in folk, country, blues and rock.
Signing with Mercury Records, Osborne’s major label bow, Relish, came out on March 21, 1995. Produced by Rick Chertoff, who released the album on his own Blue Gorilla imprint at PolyGram, Relish features such supporting performers as multi-instrumentalist Rob Hyman, bassist Mark Egan, Jeff Buckley collaborator Gary Lucas, and the Hooters’ Eric Bazilian, who not only played guitar, mandolin, sax, harmonica and electric piano and wrote “One of Us.”