Back from the Grave (series)

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Back from the Grave is a series compilation albums of 1960s garage rock created and compiled by Tim Warren [1] and released by Crypt Records. The series originally consisted of eight LP records released between 1983 and 1992. Volumes seven and eight were double albums. Starting in 1994, the series was reissued on compact disc. Due to the longer playing times offered by CDs, the first seven volumes were contained on four discs, save for a few tracks that were omitted. In addition, the eighth volume of the series was released on CD in 1994, with four tracks omitted from the vinyl version. As such, it is the only CD reissue from the series that closely corresponds to its vinyl counterpart. The eight vinyl albums are titled "Back From The Grave, Volume 1," etc. The five CDs are titled "Back From The Grave, Part 1," etc. The five CDs are Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 8. There are no 5, 6, or 7 for the CDs. Parts 1-4 correspond to the first seven vinyl albums, and Part 8 corresponds only to Volume 8. Two separate LPs for Vol. 9 and 10, as well the CD which combines Volumes 9 and 10, were released in early 2015.

The music[edit]

Unlike many garage rock compilations, the Back From The Grave series focuses exclusively on the rawer and more aggressive side of the genre. Psychedelic rock is categorically excluded. The series also includes very few pop or folk oriented songs. As a result, the albums are primarily populated by louder songs that are characterized by fuzztone guitars, rough vocals, and are clearly influenced by groups such as Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, the early Kinks, and the Pretty Things. The lyrics and performances tended to focus on anger, lust, and cheating girlfriends, matching the often chaotic music. According to the liner notes, the songs were recorded by American groups, between 1964 and 1967.


The series tends to follow the packaging format established by the Nuggets album and the Pebbles series: Each volume includes detailed liner notes that include basic information about each song and group, such as origin and recording date. However, the Back From The Grave series' liner notes are very distinct. The information that they present suggests especially thorough research, often including humorous anecdotes about the artists included, information about the circumstances of the recordings, and brief biographical sketches of the groups, in addition to more basic information. The Back From the Grave series was one of the first to actively seek out bands for this sort of information, sometimes even paying royalties to bands included in the compilations.[2] The liners are also notable for their distinctive style – they tend to be highly enthusiastic, full of intentional spelling errors and slang, humorous asides and tangents. They are noticeably opinionated, and often include tongue-in-cheek insults directed at psychedelic, art rock, and commercially oriented music.[3] As a result, the notes convey a conversational tone. The albums also include photographs of the included groups, and the covers tend to elaborately drawn cartoons by Mort Todd that feature zombies (intended to personify the music found on each volume) emerging from graves and "attacking" various manifestations of the pop-and-progressive oriented world that had come to musical prominence by the end of the 60s, such as disco music and MTV.


Back From the Grave is one of the most important and influential garage compilations series ever assembled. Though it takes a much narrower approach to the genre, the tracks compiled on its ten volumes are considered to be of exceptionally high quality throughout.[4] Back From the Grave's influence can be seen in other series that take a similar approach to compiling garage records.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ L. Jones, "Back From the Grave Compilations - Album A & E," New Musical Express, 10/10/12.
  2. ^ Mike Stax, [1] Back From the Grave Volume 3 review, Ugly Things #4, 1985. Retrieved on 2009.06.18.
  3. ^ Review of Back From the Grave Vol. 1 (CD), Turn Me On, Dead Man [2]. Retrieved on 2011.03.12.
  4. ^ Mike Stax, [3] Back From the Grave Volume 8 review, Ugly Things #15. Retrieved on 2009.06.18.
  5. ^ Ben Blackwell, [4] Quagmire Volume 3 review, Ugly Things #22. Retrieved on 2009.06.18.

External links[edit]