Joy, Phish's first studio album in five years, will be released on September 8th. Joy will be available in three configurations: CD, vinyl (two 180 gram discs in a striking double gatefold sleeve) and as part of the Joy Box, a limited edition deluxe box set. In addition to the new CD, the Joy Box will contain 10 individual drawers, which hold limited edition posters designed for each of the album's 10 songs, plus Party Time, a second complete album, a hardbound book with lyrics, artwork and more and a DVD capturing live performances from the first half of Phish's sold-out summer 2009 tour. The DVD features the band performing each song from Joy, with footage from the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, the tour's opening dates at Fenway Park in Boston and many other stops. The Joy Box will ship in early October.
Fans can now pre-order any version of Joy at the band's online store, Phish Dry Goods. Those who pre-order the vinyl or the Joy Box will receive a free MP3 download of Joy on September 8th. And fans pre-ordering any configuration at Phish Dry Goods will automatically be entered to win a travel package for two (including air fare, hotel and tickets) to Phish's Festival 8, which will take place October 30th, 31st and November 1st at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA. Phish will play eight sets - including a Halloween performance wherein the band dons a "musical costume," performing an album by another band - during the three-day celebration, which, as its name implies, is the band's eighth festival. As with previous Phish festivals, fans will enjoy on-site camping, numerous attractions and art installations. For ticket information and additional details about Festival 8, click here.
Working with Steve Lillywhite, who produced Phish's 1996 Billy Breathes and albums by U2, Dave Matthews Band and the Rolling Stones, the band recorded Joy in April and May of 2009 at Chung King Studio in New York City. A loose yet focused vibe is apparent from the first notes of the album's opening track and lead single, "Backwards Down the Number Line," which was cut live in the studio - solos and all - and left entirely intact. In contrast, the epic 13-minute, 29-second "Time Turns Elastic" was recorded section-by-section, in more than 260 takes. Throughout, Phish strikes a remarkable balance, keeping a strong sense of songwriting while allowing its trademark improvisations room to stretch out. In fact, Joy includes more improvisations than most of the band's previous albums. For that reason, says bassist Mike Gordon, "in some ways, I think this one is more for our fans than any of our other albums."
Joy marks the first-ever non-archival release on JEMP Records, an independent record label created in 2005 by the members of Phish. The label's initial function was to release live concerts in CD, DVD and digital formats from the band's extensive archives, which are located in Burlington, VT. In a recent interview with Billboard for the cover story of "The Indie Issue," keyboardist Page McConnell noted: "We're still outside the mainstream of the business and happy to be existing there."
Phish - comprising lead guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio, drummer Jon Fishman, bassist Mike Gordon and keyboardist Page McConnell - has released 10 studio albums as well as a series of 44 complete live concert CDs. Its series of 91 full concert downloads is currently available on livephish.com. The band will wrap up its summer tour on August 16th in Saratoga Springs, NY.
The track listing for Joy is as follows:
1. Backwards Down The Number Line
2. Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan
4. Sugar Shack
6. Kill Devil Falls
8. I Been Around
9. Time Turns Elastic
10. Twenty Years Later