Cult Hero Daniel Johnston's Old Cassettes Get A Digital Makeover

Known by those in the "know" as the Godfather of Lo-Fi, 42-year-old indie rock icon Daniel Johnston saw a number of his rare early recordings go digital this week. Indie distributor The Orchard has made a dozen of Johnston's early albums available on iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and Napster this week, with a full roll out involving over 100 online music services to be underway next week. Until this week, these albums, recorded between 1981 and 1992, were only available on cassette, through mail order. Over the years fans like Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Beck, Tom Waits, Sonic Youth and even Simpsons creator Matt Groening have declared Johnston as one of rock's best known secrets. With a new album on the way, these early re-releases will give indie rock kids an easy way to get acclimated to a true DIY rock legend.

The last year has been quite an exciting one for Johnston. In late 2004 Gammon records released the tribute compilation, The Late Great Daniel Johnston, which featured contributions from the likes of Beck, Tom Waits, Death Cab, and Bright Eyes. Director Jeff Feuerzeig's documentary on Johnston's life, The Devil And Daniel Johnston won the Documentary Best Director award at Sundance this year. It also won the Audience Award and was named Best Documentary at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival. The film will be distributed theatrically in North America in 2006. Johnston has also recently finished a brand new album, aptly titled Lost And Found.

Album's now available in digital form:

Continued Story/Hi How Are You (1985)
Don't Be Scared (1982)
Frankenstein Love (1992)
Live at SXSW (1990)
The Lost Recordings (1983)
The Lost Recordings II (1983)
More Songs of Pain (1982)
Respect (1985)
Retired Boxer (1984)
Songs of Pain (1981)
The What of Whom (1982)
Yip/Jump Music (1983)

Cult Hero Daniel Johnston's Old Cassettes Get A Digital Makeover