Pearls Before Swine – Jewels Were The Stars

Lavishly annotated four-disc box collates albums 3-6 from Tom Rapp's gently stoned psych-folk collective

Trending Now

Departing notoriously eccentric label ESP Disk, Pearls Before Swine signed to Reprise in 1969, having sold 250,000 copies of second album Balaklava. None of the five subsequent records made lynchpin/ideologue Tom Rapp a star (the fifth was a collection of demos put out without Rapp’s consent) but these and the two ‘solo’ albums he made for Blue Thumb before retiring from music are wondrous things. Rapp’s wistful, sibilant tone is hugely affecting, and though there are a handful of Leonard Cohen covers here, Rapp’s own songs?delicately arranged, conjuring a perfectly judged pastoral lushness?better them effortlessly. It’s impossible not to be moved by “Rocketman” or “The Jeweller” (as covered by This Mortal Coil), Rapp filtering the radicalism of the times in exquisitely drawn character studies of the individual at odds with circumstance.


Latest Issue

Nirvana, Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse, Altın Gün, Sly Stone, Grateful Dead, The Jam, Will Sergeant, Rodney Crowell, Sparks, Rodrigo Amarante, Lump, Jakob Dylan and PJ Harvey


The Grateful Dead revisit the year that changed everything: “We were just coming alive”

1971 was a momentous year for the band – involving landmark shows, bizarre ESP experiments, French Acid Tests, new faces and emotional farewells. Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and other eyewitnesses share tales from this journey