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This is not John Doe's new album. Originally an EP called For the Rest of Us
(1998, Kill Rock Stars), Yep Roc's new version is a full-length, now entitled For the Best of Us
. The new, expanded version includes five previously unreleased songs recorded during the same sessions as the EP. "I want to put it out again because we can and because it sounds cool," says Doe. And he's right, it does sound cool. It sounds great. Ever since the landmark discography of the punk rock band X, Doe has been a vital, poetic and important figure in the world's musical landscape. For the Best of Us
represents some of his most exciting work and marks the beginning of his fruitful collaboration with producer Dave Way (Macy Gray, Sheryl Crow) that has since yielded four albums, including 2005's Forever Hasn't Happened Yet
, which was hailed by a long list of critics as one of the top ten albums of 2005. There's an all star band on For the Best of Us
featuring Smokey Hormel (Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Beck) on guitar, Joey Waronker (REM, Beck) on drums, and Tony Marsico (Matthew Sweet) and Steve McDonald (Redd Kross) sharing duties on bass. And because there was no record company or specific release in mind when recording the album, the sense of adventure and freedom is audible. "We recorded it in '96 and '97, a time when things were still pretty open as far as interpreting rock and roll music," Doe says. "So, we certainly felt that - a sense of adventure - when recording it."