The idea for a reissue of this classic recording came about shortly after Fantasy released the Howls, Raps & Roars boxed set in 1993. Fantasy had kept the Howl album continuously in print from 1959 to sometime in 1985, when the company finally ran out of finished LPs. Reissuing it as a Compact Disc in the mid-1980s would have been considered a bit adventurous. But Allen and I discussed the possibility of this release a number of times over the years, most recently in November 1996 at the reception for an exhibit of his photographs at the Koch Gallery in San Francisco.
What is issued here is more or less what Allen had wanted us to do. He had asked that Anne Waldman write an "update" or timely "consideration" of "Howl"; and my suggestion to use a photo of the apartment where "Howl" was written (and other period shots) led to the inclusion of the three photos reproduced [in the CD booklet]. Anne also contributed a poem she had read at one of Allen's memorial's, as well as two anecdotes which could be titled "Adventures with Allen."
"Howl" remains one of the most important poems of the mid-20th century.--from the producer’s note by Bill Belmont