After recording one classic album for Epic Records in 1969, and three more classic albums for Blue Thumb Records from 1971 to 1973, Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks were signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1975. And in 1978 It Happened One Bite, featuring Hicks and three of the five Hot Licks, was released by Warner Bros. to great acclaim but poor sales. As a result, for most of the intervening quarter century this remarkable album has been out of print in the USA and most everywhere else.
Throughout his decades-long musical career, Dan Hicks has earned quite the reputation as one of contemporary music's true eccentrics. His albums are usually found in record stores under the bin cards marked “rock 'n' roll” or “pop,” but these neologisms aren't entirely accurate, as we all know. It is precisely because of this that the careful listener may often discover that his songs are like cross-country journeys exploring the somewhat forgotten but often brightly-lit corners of the entire twentieth-century American musical spectrum, including this nation's indigenous folk, country, western swing, and Tin Pan Alley jazz, ragtime and vocal jazz idioms. His humorous, off-centre point-of-view and playful folk-swing melodies are perfectly complimented by quirky lyrics embodying complex rhymes and “jive” vocabulary.
Rhino Handmade is pleased to restore Dan Hicks’ It Happened One Bite to its full musical glory. To the original 13 tracks of the album we’ve added nine previously unreleased tracks. Three of these are alternate takes from the original recording sessions that resulted in It Happened Once Bite. The other six are from a subsequent recording session that captured Hicks and band using some available recording time to enjoy playing some standards. These latter six tracks were all recorded in one take and all have a wonderfully spontaneous feeling. As a result of the inclusion of these additional recordings to the soundtrack of a movie that never existed, we have titled this heavenly expanded release It Happened One Bite: Widescreen Edition.