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After years out of print, Rickie Lee Jones’ first two albums will be available on LP. Rickie’s self-titled debut album and the lauded follow up Pirates were re-released digitally and on CD via AWAL Recordings in the latter half of 2018. Now they will receive their long overdue vinyl reissues on January 18.
Listen to Rickie Lee Jones and Pirates on Spotify:
Rickie Lee Jones skyrocketed to fame in 1979 when as a barely known artist she appeared on Saturday Night Live. Performing her biggest hit “Chuck E’s In Love” in her trademark red beret, Time Magazine instantly dubbed her “the Duchess of Coolsville.” Since then she has gone on to win two Grammy Awards, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone twice, and included in VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.
Released in 1979, her self-titled debut on Warner Brothers won her the Grammy Award for Best New Artist and reached #3 on the Billboard Albums chart. The album’s brilliant songs include the exceptional "On Saturday Afternoons in 1963", the haunting "Last Chance Texaco", and the popular "Chuck E’s In Love", a top 5 pop single. Check out Jones' Coolsville 1979 Trilogy featuring the music videos for "Coolsville", "Young Blood", and "Chuck E's in Love".
Watch the Coolsville 1979 Trilogy
Two years after that Grammy-winning debut, Jones released her much anticipated sophomore effort Pirates, which was awarded 5/5 stars by Rolling Stone and called “a remarkable piece of work” by The New York Times. The album featured an all-star band supporting Rickie, including Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, Victor Feldman, and trumpeter Randy Brecker.
Longtime Times music critic Jon Pareles said "The few unconventional songs on (her debut album) hardly foreshadowed what Miss Jones would attempt - and pull off - on '’Pirates’ in 1981…'Pirates' was unabashedly ambitious.”
In recent years, Pirates' reputation has continued to grow. British magazine The Word included the record as one of pop music’s 25 Most Underrated Albums of All Time while NPR Music listed it on their 150 Greatest Albums Made by Women.
Contemporaneous with that chart’s publication, Rickie performed the album in its entirety as part of NPR’s “Turning the Tables” live show at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park in 2017. On the NPR site, in a feature about Pirates, Alison Fensterstock said, "Few pop artists have ever been as effortlessly cool; still fewer have managed to create a piece of art that sounds like it could have been crafted thirty years before it was, or thirty years after. Pirates has been influential, but rarely imitated. Who could?"