Rare Motown, Stax, Decca Albums Hit the Web at New Lost Tunes Store

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After a year in the works and countless debates over what albums and tracks should make the cut, Universal Music Catalog has launched Lost Tunes, a U.K. download store with a seemingly bottomless catalog and rare, exclusive and "overlooked" tracks (one caveat: people in the U.S. won't be able to purchase anything until later 2008). The site will tap into artists on the Trojan, Fiction, Decca, Verve, A&M, Motown and Stax labels. Individual tracks are priced at $1.96, with albums starting at $11.85.

"Think of us as your small local record store run by a team dedicated to helping you find the very best music," a statement from the store reads. "Alongside the rarities, we've also picked what we think are unmissable albums for you to add to your collection, and we've pulled together articles and reviews to help you discover music that we know you'll love."

In all, Lost Tunes has eight categories including rock, pop, dance, reggae, soul, jazz/blues, roots and spoken work, plus an extensive 28 sub-genres. So far, in the rock category, most played includes Decca's The Moody Blues: Live at the BBC 1967-1970 and the Tubes' self-titled debut album. Under the punk banner, A&M released the Go-Gos' Talk Show and Mercury's New York Dolls' Too Much Too Soon.

Another popular release out today from British-based Jamaican music company, Island Records — one of the most popular and successful producers of the ska and rock steady eras — is Jimmy Cliff's Wonderful World Beautiful People. Stax' most popular release was Booker T & The MG's/ The Mar-Keys' Back to Back. Decca coughed up some 1960s paisley psychedelia with Leaf Hound: Growers of Mushrooms. Under Jazz/Blues, Motown rolls out Rick James' Street Songs, and A&M releases Nine Below Zero: Live at the Marquee. There are 829 albums currently available on the site, and 129 are exclusive to Lost Tunes and unavailable elsewhere.