Long a highly-coveted collector’s album, Jon Tabakin’s self-titled LP has been selected for the Waxidermy 100. There is probably no other record so packed with perfect pop and yet which sold so few copies. The songs sit together and mesh so perfectly despite each track having its own distinct personality. It’s an ode to pop music, all-encompassing and intensely personal at the same time.
Some comments from the Internet:
“I can't tell you how happy I am to own this LP. It's fantastic lo-fi, very authentic Todd Rundgren inspired pop. His voice isn't perfect, but that's fine, his passion is infectious. This is not a record filled with radio ready pop songs but it's a grower; it has a slow burn. It's a perfect expression of one guy’s musical enthusiasm.”
“Incredible and super obscuro homemade 70s outsider folk rock singer songwriter. Hard to classify, especially because the instrumentation varies from song to song. There’s a strong Brian Wilson west coast 60s sunshine pop recluse undercurrent throughout, with the strange addition of prominent 70’s progressive keyboard/organ moves on several tracks. This guy obviously spent many hours orchestrating this material, and there’s plenty here to keep things interesting for repeated listens.”
“Surprisingly well crafted private LP, seems to equally channel The Beach Boys + Zombies in spots, Bowie + Elton John in others. Exceptional songwriter, a great start-to-finish album ...”
“Tabakin is a creative, thoughtful and complex songwriter and has crafted a set of memorable and enjoyable pop songs.”
About Jon Tabakin:
After spending his teen years in local bands, Tabakin had a motorcycle accident at the age of 19. This experience turned his attention inward, focusing on musical composition and poetry rather than performing. After graduating he wanted to sell the songs he had written during that time, which would become his sole record. He bought a Teac 4-track and laid down keys, guitar and vocals himself in his apartment. The rhythm section was added on later in the studio, with Tabakin overdubbing the bass. The record was pressed up under the banner of Larrow Records and sold a few copies locally, but ultimately went nowhere. Disheartened by the lack of interest, Tabakin switched his focus from pop writing to more classically-influenced piano improvisations. Tapes of these recordings ended up with RCA, who thought he was ready to “break-out” – but his reluctance to tour as an improvisational pianist nixed the deal. After this second opportunity petered out, he all-but turned his back on music and went on to graduate studies, eventually becoming a psychoanalyst.