Craft Recordings is celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Connells’ breakthrough album, Ring, with its first widely available vinyl reissue and a CD with plenty of bonus material. In stores August 11th, 2023 and available for pre-order now, the album includes the North Carolina band’s international hit, “‘74-’75,” plus “Slackjawed” and “New Boy.”
Both formats of the album have been newly remastered by Brent Lambert at Carrboro, NC’s The Kitchen, and include 21 bonus tracks, including rare B-sides and 12 previously unreleased demos. Rounding out the packages are new liner notes by the Raleigh-based journalist and author David Menconi, featuring new interviews with the band. A very limited run of yellow LP pressings of the album are also available to pre-order exclusively through the band’s store.
The group has also shared a previously unreleased demo version of “‘74-’75” which is featured along with other recently discovered versions of tracks from Ring on this release.
Considered one of North Carolina’s most successful Indie Rock bands, The Connells carved out a niche for themselves in the early ‘90s Alt-Rock scene introspective jangle Pop. The band was formed in Raleigh in the early to mid-80s by brothers Mike Connell (vocals, guitar) and David Connell (bass), and soon expanded to include Doug McMillan (vocals), Peele Wimberley (percussion), and George Huntley (guitar, vocals), and played their first show ever in September of 1984.
In 1986, the band released their debut LP, Darker Days, followed by the Mitch Easter-produced Boylan Heights(1987). They continued to build momentum with 1989’s Fun & Games and 1990’s One Simple Word. Ring was released in 1993, most remembered for its hit “‘74-‘75.”
In the years following Ring, The Connells released three more albums (1996’s Weird Food and Devastation, 1998’s Still Life, and 2001’s Old School Dropouts) before taking a hiatus from recording. In 2021, the band, which currently includes the Connell brothers, MacMillan and Potak, plus guitarist Mike Ayers and drummer Rob Ladd, returned with their first album in a decade, Steadman’s Wake.