A Head Full of Wishes

A Head Full of Wishes is a site for Galaxie 500, Luna, Damon & Naomi, Dean & Britta and Dean Wareham. With news, articles and lists of releases and past and future shows.

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My record collection
#012: International Sad Hits Volume One (CD)

The first, and only physical, volume of international music put out on Damon & Naomi’s 20-20-20 label. Subtitled Altaic language group - the artists featured are from Turkey, Korea, and Japan - which I must admit puzzled me, as a non linguist, that Turkey and Japan can be in the same language group… but, hey, what do I know? Although, it’s all a bit… controversial.

International Sad Hits Volume One
International Sad Hits Volume One

But, the album is a fine look at some singer-songwriters from beyond my comfort and language zone. The booklet has notes and translations of the lyrics to reassure me.

Stewart Lee reviewed the album for the Sunday Times:

Touring with their Japanese collaborators Ghost, Boston’s acid-folk duo Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang discovered many Asian singer-songwriters of the 1960s who were legends in their homelands, but unknown elsewhere. This compilation offers 16 selections from four of them, with handy translations. Fikret Kizilok is a Turkish Nick Drake, propelled by tablas and soaked in strings. From Japan, Tomokawa Kazuki’s declaimed vocals seem problematically mannered, while Mikami Kan suggests Scott Walker busking in the Underground. Kim Doo Soo bends bluesy notes like Bert Jansch. His fatalistic protest song Bohemian drove one Korean listener to commit suicide and convinced another not to. Swings and roundabouts.

I bought the album direct from Damon & Naomi - and it came, as my orders from D&N always do, with a sweet little note from Naomi!

Volume Two was planned to cover the Iberian Peninsula, but ran into rights problems and never saw the light of day until it arrived as a couple of YouTube playlists, which of course get gradually more sparse as the videos, or accounts that posted them, are removed from YouTube… you can read the story and listen to what’s left of Volume Two on 20-20-20.com.

Damon called his Tumblr blog International Sad Hits although it has fallen silent since he moved his writing and ranting to Substack.

  • Catalogue Number: AHFOW 10/026
  • Artist: Various artists
  • Title: International Sad Hits: Volume One: Altaic Language Group
  • Notes:
  • Packaging:
  • Format: CD
  • Bought from Damon & Naomi $12.98