Another Reissue? Oh-OK
Steered by Linda Hopper and Lynda Stipe, Oh-OK’s simple swirl of minimalist post-punk and danceable dream-pop was a cool and refreshing addition to the early Athens new wave club scene at a time before such genre descriptors had yet to develop palpable meaning. They existed all of three years, releasing only a four-song 7-inch (Wow Mini Album) and six-song EP (Furthermore What) (both through Atlanta’s astute DB Recs), but are (justifiably) fondly remembered, with Hopper and Stipe carrying on, respectively, in Magnapop (with former Oh-OK drummer David McNair) and Hetch Hetchy, among others. Add to that onetime Oh-OK guitarist Matthew Sweet’s subsequent (and ongoing) success as a solo rocker, and original drummer David Pierce’s eventual reincarnation as cheeseball Atlanta disco DJ Romeo Cologne, and it’s clear Oh-OK were pivotal for a host of reasons.
The Collectors’ Choice reissue label compiled Oh-OK’s studio output and appended live recordings from 688 and New York’s Peppermint Lounge for an essential CD collection released in 2002 titled The Complete Recordings. Athens indie label Happy Happy Birthday To Me released a truncated vinyl version of that in 2011, misleadingly called The Complete Reissue as it dropped a handful of the live tracks (including covers of “Psycho Killer” and Hayley Mills’ “Let’s Get Together” from The Parent Trap) and substituted newly recorded studio versions of “Courage Courage” and “Random” (by the short-lived 21st Century rendering of the band, which was basically Hopper added to Stipe’s group Flash to Bang Time) in place of the live versions on the Collectors’ Choice CD.
After selling out quickly and remaining out of print for the ensuing years, that HHBTM Complete Reissue LP is being completely reissued on Feb. 5th on vinyl, cassette and digital download. The songs still sound as fresh, fun and peculiar as they did in those carefree early 1980s.
Photo by Laura Levine.