Numero Group: By The Numbers

Yo La Tengo Inside The Way Out Songbook
May 26, 2015, 11:36 am
Filed under: Way Out | Tags: , ,


Performing as their alter ego, Condo Fucks, the members of Yo La Tengo took to the stage of New York City’s Cake Shop on Friday night to perform a set of garage standards and surprises. Right out of the gate, the trio reprised “Harmonics On A Warpath” by Way Out recording artists, The Harmonics. Re-imagined as “Condo Fucks On A Warpath,” this is by most standards a deep cut from a relatively low-profile Numero Group release. Many breakers, DJs, and producers picked up on the Harmonics later release “Gangster Boogie” (as the Chicago Gangsters), but “Harmonics On A Warpath”? Off Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label?

Kudos to the Yo La Tengo gang for dragging this song into the basement of the Cake Shop, which shall live forever in MP3 at The whole show is available for download at the aforementioned website.


Way Out Records In Cleveland Magazine
November 20, 2014, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Way Out


The enduring story of Way Out Records hit Cuyahoga County newsstands this month, thanks to Nikki Delamotte of Cleveland Magazine. Buy your copy now to find out where these noodles came from! As a DJ with the Secret Soul Club (November 28th at the Five O’Clock Lounge), Tom  Dechristofaro was asked to riff on Way Out: “They have a sound that’s completely raw. So when we started playing Way Out, a bunch of really young people just went crazy to a record that was made down the street from the bar 40 years ago. We love to see kids react that way today to songs that are so strange and unique.”

Click here to read “Lost and Found: the Soul Sounds of Way Out Records” at

Click here to find out where you can purchase Cleveland Magazine.

“We’re Northeast Ohio” is the Official Tourism Jam of the Season
October 17, 2014, 12:16 pm
Filed under: Way Out

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While several Way Out alumni remain active in the biz, Billy Carter of the Occasions has left the biggest impression on us with his musical tribute to his corner of the Buckeye State. This video has everything—flying saucers, pirates, the umbrella from Mary Poppins (with a few C.G. extras from Birdemic), and most importantly, a catchy hook. What does Ohio have to loose by hitching a ride on Carter’s soon-to-be-viral jingle? Citizens of Northeast Ohio—we urge you to call your representatives and let them know that there’s a friendly man with a magical piano and he needs to be heard!

Cleveland: Keep an eye out for Billy Carter, who still performs and records with his group The Next Language.

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Way Out on Cleveland Public Radio
August 21, 2014, 2:05 pm
Filed under: Press Archives, Way Out


Yesterday, our own Jon Kirby joined Way Out VP Bill Branch and Sound Of Applause host Dee Perry for a roundtable discussion on the history of Way Out Records, and the role the label played in the maturation of Cleveland’s music scene. The WCPN staffers picked their favorite tracks from Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label, and Bill Branch discusses the heartache associated with hearing so many beautiful productions that failed to find an audience at the time of their initial release.

Stream, download, or share yesterday’s episode of The Sound Of Applause at

Cleveland Scene Magazine Digs Way Out
July 24, 2014, 12:48 pm
Filed under: Way Out


Cleveland Scene reporter Chris Parker sat down recently with Way Out VP Bill Branch at an area Wendy’s to get his take on Way Out’s legacy and renaissance. Way Out utility man Lou Ragland and the Numero Group’s Jon Kirby also contributed to this report. In addition, Cleveland Scene compiled a Top 5 of favorite Way Out cuts (with commentary). All in all a great article for those who might be feeling timid about this captivating 3LP collection.  

Read: “Old Soul Never Dies: A Quirky, Historical Record Label Gets New Life” 

Listen: “Five Tracks From Way out Records You Should Listen To

Purchase: Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label

New Releases: The Way Out Label and Nikki Sudden’s Texas
July 16, 2014, 1:42 pm
Filed under: Nikki Sudden, Way Out


Another Tuesday has come and gone and two new albums have joined the Numero Group family. Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label tells the tale of the well dressed label from the Eastside of Cleveland whose modest catalog had an enviable killer-to-filler ratio between the years 1962 and 1973. Order from us directly, and a bonus LP of haunting gospel, garage rock, and doo-wop can be yours.

Tuesday also saw the release of another Nikki Sudden LP, this time, 1986’s Texas. On his solo debut for Creation records, Sudden stews enduring influences T. Rex and early Rolling Stones to render a product that sounds like anything but 1986.

Our next release date is going to be a head-shaking, head-banging, head-nodding doozie of a day. Get amped up for Solaris, Little Boy Blues, and Nikki Sudden’s Dead Me Tell No Tales.

Way Out Praise, Press, and GIFs
June 19, 2014, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Way Out

Last Friday, CBS This Morning aired a segment on the “recent” resurgence of vinyl, entitled “Vinyl’s Got Its Groove Back.” A guided tour of Nashville, Tennessee (courtesy of Akron, Ohio’s Black Keys) found CBS producers at United Record Pressing, where the Numero Group presses the bulk of their vinyl. And wouldn’t you know, they happened to stop by while Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label was rolling off the assembly line? Our design team crafted this GIF to give readers a better understanding of what this means for consumers.


Then on Monday, Pitchfork was kind enough to award this hunk of history a 8.0. Click here to read that.

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Pitchfork has got the whole thing streaming on their website, which will hopefully tide you over until Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label goes on sale July 15th. It will be available on CD, MP3, and get this: vinyl! By Charlie Rose’s estimation, “the unique sound is coming full circle.”

Jim Brown Mints Promotional Gold for Way Out
May 22, 2014, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Way Out

Jim Brown at Way Out records

Back in 1966, as Jim Brown was transitioning from football demigod to Hollywood utility man, he caught wind of a budding record label on the east side of Cleveland and immediately pledged his support. Brown helped secure public funding for the musical upstart, and held a small function at a tire shop in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Cleveland to mark the occasion. Although Way Out never issued a full length during the course of its 11-year-run, Brown cradled a 12-inch blank in this publicity photo to drive the point home. Brown would soon relocate permanently to Los Angeles, but Brown’s flash of involvement with the independent would remain a key component of Way Out’s self-propelled promotional machine. Within a few years, Jim Brown was managing Friends of Distinction, a mixed-gender quartet that bore a striking resemblance to The Occasions, whose lone release on Big Jim Records brings Brown’s Way Out story full circle.


The 2CD/3LP set Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label, hits stores July 15th, encapsulating 40 of the Cleveland institution’s brightest moments. Pre-orders will be made privy to a bonus LP with 11 additional songs from the Way Out archives. Stream the whole thing here… Perfect for holiday weekends! 


Stream Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label
April 14, 2014, 2:04 pm
Filed under: Way Out



During the Decade of Way Out (1962-1972), the little label on the Eastside had a pretty high hit-to-miss ratio. Perhaps this was due to the caliber of musician wandering Cleveland in the late ’60s. Perhaps it was the eye for quality possessed by Way Out cosmonauts Lester Johnson and Bill Branch. Perhaps it was vision; while Motown was peddling “The Sound of Young America,” Way Out principals were trying to concoct something that the nation’s youth could grow in to. Is Way Out the mature Motown that never grew up? Here’s an idea: Why don’t you listen to the entirety of Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label and decide for yourself. Tracks 1 through 40 constitute the mighty recordings included on the 3LP/2CD set; tracks +1 through +11 constitute the bonus LP available to you, if you preorder here. Listen to all of it here, now, for free, on our Soundcloud page. Dissect and diagram as me might, we feel the songs of Way Out speak for them self. What it is that they’re saying exactly, is open to interpretation.

Stream Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label 

Introducing 051 and 053
March 7, 2014, 3:23 pm
Filed under: Capitol City Soul, Capsoul, Way Out

Summer is the weekend of all seasons, and this summer we’ve got two ice cold compilations buried in our styrofoam cooler that will sound especially good in the sun, yet just as refreshing in the shade.


Taking a long look back at the Numero Group’s first release, Eccentric Soul: The Capsoul Label, we revisit Columbus, Ohio to offer listeners a generous portion of Eccentric Soul: Capital City Soul. Above is label owner Bill Moss whose apropos “Number One” made his little enterprise a great place for Numero to begin their journey a decade ago. What to expect: More good stuff.


We then head north to Cleveland, the setting of Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label. From 1962 to 1973, Way Out evolved from doo-wop foundry to lawless clubhouse for number runners, slick-talking entrepreneurs, and Cleveland Browns. Above is Jesse Fisher, one of the last men standing at Way Out’s E. 55th St. headquarters. With a total of 40 songs spread over 3LPs or 2CDs, subscribers and preordering individuals will be awarded and entire bonus LP of bonus material. What to expect: More in-sounds from Way Out.

Both titles will hit shelves, on-line shopping carts, and party playlists on June 24th, 2014.