Rock bands from the 1970s are rarely resurrected from obscurity through the vinyl bin in a record store, but this is exactly what happened to the Detroit band Death, when one of only 500 copies of a 7-inch released in 1975 found its way to Drag City Records. The discovery led to a 2009 full-length release of the band's original United Sound Studios recordings from 1974. The record, For the Whole World to See, was soon followed by a 2011 Drag City release. This new album was titled Spiritual Mental Physical and featured more remastered demos from the band's original incarnation.
The band was founded by three brothers from Detroit in 1971. David, Bobby and Dannis Hackney formed what is now being called the first proto-punk band. They are regarded as the missing link between the established classic rock of the 1960s and the punk-edged hard rock of the mid-to-late '70s. Their reemergence is embraced by fans, yet bittersweet. The premier songwriting brother of the band was David, who passed away in 2000. The surviving two brothers, however, answered the call when the world finally came looking for their music 35 years after it was recorded. Bobby and Dannis were determined to honor the vision of their late brother, recruited guitarist Bobbie Duncan from the reggae band Lambsbread, and began playing concerts in 2009.
Death's music is enjoying a second life as the band continues to attract fans with its amazing story. Enthusiasm for the music is shared by musician Jack White, who told the New York Times in 2009 that Death was "ahead of punk and ahead of their time." The band is keeping fans engaged and eager for live-performance tickets with the recent single "Relief," and they plan to release more music in 2014, to be supported by live tour shows.