Numero Group: By The Numbers

WTNG 89.9FM: Solid Bronze REVEALED
February 28, 2012, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Record Store Day, WTNG

Last Record Store Day we went all out and made an epic double album sister compilation to our Boddie Recording Company box set. This year we mellowed out a bit, compiling a smooth LP from the comfort of our company hot tub. No, really.

WTNG was a pirate radio station we launched last Record Store Day, servicing a five mile radius in Chicago with a plethora of Numero weirdness.  WTNG 89.9FM: Solid Bronze is an ode to radio station compilation albums of yore, back in the days of when FM jocks stoked the flames of stage acts in their broadcast area with hyped-up talent shows, invaluable airplay, and homegrown LPs stacked with the best efforts of bands not more than a few counties away. Solid Bronze covers all of that ground and then some: smooth rock, AOR, easy glide, hot tub soul, and earnest yacht rock sailing gentle radio waves. Fans of the Dans—Fogelberg, Steely, Seals, and Hill—this is your Numero record.


Here’s where we wax poetic:

There was a time when your hometown station really was your hometown station. Before media conglomerates demanded your coastal burg’s FM band be auto-shuffled via hard drive from a bunker in Alberta, regional frequencies battled tooth-and-nail for listener loyalty. Your allegiance was hard fought for by nicknamed jocks like Mad Dog Mike, The Big Bumper, and Captain Whammo, guerilla marketers high on major label cash and coke who’d stoop to any gimmick to keep the listener tuned in. They’d hand out keys to shiny new convertibles at remote broadcasts from Dairy Queen whilst skywriters spewed call letters over their broadcast domain. Free t-shirts were promised to eleventh callers who could recite station jingles. Repurposed weather copters spotted bumper stickers during drive time, offering the registered owner tix to REO Speedwagon’s gig at the county fair. At Chicago’s Comiskey Park, WLUP’s Disco Demolition Night rigged 100,000 unwanted LPs with explosives, detonating the pile on-field between games at a White Sox doubleheader and sparking a riot of fans united only by radio-promoted anger at a pop genre. At their best, though, radio stations offered coin of unique value back to their listeners. Though local acts got less than 5% of any given playlist, even such airwave leftovers kept small-time hopes alive. “Battles of the Bands” were staged, judged by on-air personalities and regional A&R reps, and winners got their shot at the big time. A handful of these epic contests were committed to wax for posterity, ad dollars, or tax shelter; only in hindsight is their full brilliance apparent.

When done correctly and courageously, radio station comps were referenda on the local pop talent, generating minor mountains of magnetic tape piled upon Program Directors’ desks, and culminating in alternately grueling and inspiring late-night listening sessions. Most groups hoped to emulate contemporary hitmakers, tailoring their sounds to the fickle tastes of major label brass. Unlike run-of-the-mill custom-recorded and privately issued amateur LPs, these best possible efforts of a listening area’s crop got the sheen of professionalism that obscures their “local” status: Ordained into service by radio overlords, these tracks were gonna make it. How could their humble creators ever doubt it?

In the spirit of the Great Radio Comp, we present WTNG 89.9 FM: Solid Bronze, in tribute to 11 would-be chart-climbers that scaled only their given city’s broadcast tower and fell. Here are working artists who deserve acknowledgement for their working-class commitment. None of them “made it,” but they believed—and so will you—in their one great song, that single shining moment in which everything came together and even those who owned the airwaves had to stop…and listen. These shouts into the void inspired momentary dreams of the big show, sold out in hours by a 15,000-seater’s box office, and a single pair of tickets left, awarded only to the 89th caller.

Phone lines remain open.

WTNG 89.9FM: Solid Bronze will be available on CD and LP, with both formats limited to 1000 copies, on April 21st 2012.

Track list:

Timothy – Your Love Rolled Over Me
Leder Brothers – I’d Like To Touch A Star
Cream & Sugar – Between Us
J. Michael Henderson – Nite People
Archie James Cavanaugh – Take It Easy
Caroline Peyton – Try To Be True
Roach Band – Aladdin
Greenflow – I Got’Cha
Dwain Vigil – Heaven’s Child
Donna Kime – Golden Pony
Lorren Cornelius – Fantasy Woman

27 Comments so far
Leave a comment

will this be sent to subscribers like last years was ???

Comment by trevor gage

I was wondering if it will be possible to pre-order that lp via your shop at some point. I hate going in record store on that specific date, it’s like a freakin’ zoo.

Comment by lg

it’s possible you’re missing the point…

Comment by Orbital John

There’s no way to hold orders for RSD. We tried it last year and it was a total fucking disaster.

Comment by numerogroup

For the record, though… we’re not bound by any bullshit Record Store Day rules.

Comment by numerogroup

I take it these will be going to U.S. record stores or any chance of getting it elsewhere?

Comment by jamie

We’ll have some in the UK, France, Japan, Germany, Greece, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Korea.

Comment by numerogroup

So, does this come under the ‘any other stuff we make’ banner for subscribers?

Comment by Arthur

Can we take it by your silence that this isn’t being sent to subscribers?

Comment by Sam Hussain

We’re having internal discussions about this very subject.

Comment by numerogroup

WTNG will be sent to subscribers the week before RSD.

Comment by numerogroup


Very many thanks.

Comment by arthur

Awesome! Thanks so much.

Comment by Kev

THANKS !!! now for #occupycodeine

just kidding ….. ill bite

Comment by trevor gage

Who designed the cover? love it!

Comment by ab

Eliza Childress did the cover. We’ll be blogging about Eliza and her work shortly.

Comment by numerogroup

wow, that’s a great write up. You got me in the spirit man! Now just tell me how to get one in Germany.

Comment by Kallan

[…] in their Numero archive. We’ll also be selling our limited edition record store day LP/CD WTNG 89.9FM: Solid Bronze, and a limited-to-100 copies 45 that  can only be purchased at this […]

Pingback by The Numero Store Returns for Record Store Day 2012 « Numero Group: By The Numbers

I’ve gotta hand it to you, a great listen. Wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. Thank you from a new subscriber for throwing it in with the latest release!

Comment by Jeff

[…] it into a dusty center of commerce for the day. Thank to everyone, here and abroad who purchased WTNG: Solid Bronze, which made its world debut on this very day. And from the DJs to the customers to the passersby […]

Pingback by Record Store Day Wrap Up « Numero Group: By The Numbers

[…] RSD exclusives. No luck with the Feist/Mastodon collab. But we did score The Numero Group’s yacht rock compilation, The Flaming Lips/Mastodon joint, Cains & Abels’ very exclusive cover of Harry […]

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Is a work of great beauty internally and externally..

Comment by Jason Boardman

Is it already available in France, and can you tell me where i can get it ?

Comment by bleon75

are there any copies available for mail order?

Comment by andrew mk warren

any copies of this left for purchase???

Comment by andrew mk warren

[…] excepção da compilação WTNG 89.9fm Solid Bronze, lançamento da Numero para o Record Store Day, que é, nas palavras da própria Numero, uma […]

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[…]  I also picked up Numero Group’s WTNG 89.9FM: Solid Bronze compilation that the label put together for this pat Record Store Day. I’m basically becoming a Yacht Rocker at this point in my life, and I’m totally […]

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