Classic South Florida Album Commanding Big Bucks

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Take a look at this: Amazon.com is listing two original copies of the now out-of-print 1993 album Love Thirsty by local act Black Janet, each asking close to $80. It's hard to say how many have actually sold at this price, but I could definitely see this relatively unknown disc - just another in South Florida's black hole-like assortment of great music that's flown under the radar - being something of a collector's item. Thirsty, in addition to Janet's other efforts, is also available as a reprint or MP3 download for about $10 CDBaby, iTunes, CD Universe, and Amazon.com, but apparently these originals are hard to come by.

For those of you who don't remember, Janet was South Florida's early '90s answer to alternative rock, only tempered with a healthy dose of new wave, guitar rock, gothic overtones, and the coolly-delivered vocals of perennial frontman Jim Wurster (www.jimwurster.com). Wurster's been a big part of the music scene down here for 20-plus years, heading up the Atomic Cowboys and a number of solo projects in addition to Janet, so it's pretty cool to see one of his efforts has achieved a sort of cult status.

I had an original copy of Love Thirsty that was stolen many years back (I suspect a "friend" was responsible), but even if I still had it I wouldn't flip it for the dollars. It's a moody, dark album full of brooding love songs and some pretty stellar guitar work that might remind you a bit of the Cure or Echo and the Bunnymen. Actually, the first show I ever attended was a Black Janet gig, just after the release of Love Thirsty. I was a budding teenager and had just read my first Anne Rice novel, so the vampish lyrics in the title track "Love Thirsty" spoke right to me. Anyway, even if you're not interested in dropping 80 bucks on an original, you might want to consider giving Love Thirsty a download.

-- John Linn

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