Igra Staklenih Perli - Soft Explosion Live. Recorded 1978. Released 1993 Kalemegdan. Igra Staklenih Perli - Inner Flow. Recorded 1978. Released 1993 Kalemegdan. Igra Staklenih Perli - Drives. Recorded 1977. Released 1994 Kalemegdan.
"Soft Explosion Live" is basically a live version of their 1979 debut album. "Inner Flow" contains various recordings (live and studio) taken from 1976 to 1978. "Drives" is their most freaked out album, and is culled from roughly 5 hours of recorded private tapes called "Triple Live Numbers 1-3". All are from prior to their first actual studio album, and thus more similar to their early Pink Floyd improvisational style. Apparently some of the "Triple Live" tapes are still missing, and there was talk (back in 1994 that is) of releasing more material from these sessions. Obviously that was put on hold, as I write this 14 years later. All of these archival releases were reissued on LP with excellent sound and covers. In particular, the "Drives" cover is simply amazing, and could be rated amongst the best album covers of the 1970s. Since the Brazilian label Rock Symphony licensed the Tako's from Kalemegdan, I would presume it's only a matter of time before these albums are licensed by some enterprising CD label. Unfortunately Kalemegdan never did reissue the actual RTB albums back in the day, though the parent label RTB PGP of Serbia did finally reissue them on CD in 2008.
Incidentally, the only legit CD version of the first two studio Igra Staklenih Perli's, came out in Serbia. If your cover doesn't look like the below, you're in possession of a bootleg (which were numerous prior to this reissue).
Connecticut based group whose sole album is truly a "legend" amongst early heavy rock collectors. You'll find scant evidence of music like this on the open market, especially from this era. What is today known as epic heavy metal, Legend were pioneers of a style that didn't find its audience until 20 years later. If you're a fan of early Manilla Road ("Invasion", "Metal", "Crystal Logic" or the archival "Mark of the Beast"), then by all means seek this one out. Long, involved, semi-complex tracks with fantasy imagery is what you'll find here. And very heavy for 1979. So a little out of scope for the CDRWL, but too good to ignore.
Rockadrome (formerly Monster) had claimed their intention to reissue on CD - though it's been a few years since that announcement. Originals are a small fortune in the 4 digit range.
Mosaik are yet one more fusion group from Germany. There were so many great bands from that era in Germany, and we’re just now learning about many of them. Kraan and Embryo were the knowns. If you really were into the scene, you may have learned about Missus Beastly, Moira and Munju, possibly even Aera. Through CD reissues, we then learn about bands like Morpheus, Frob and Skyline. And still we find out the surface is just being scratched. Ceddo, Nanu Urwerk, Sun, Syncrises, Surgery and many more keep bubbling up. For my ears, Mosaik is in the top tier of these groups. The guitar work is superb (like Frob) and there’s some really nice melodic sax playing throughout. They’re clearly informed by bands like Soft Machine and Passport, but add their own ingredients. Another group that hopefully Garden of Delights or Long Hair gets to in the near future.
Some of the best retro Krautrock ever made, and is the best album on the label along with the second Quad. Ohr Musik also has a followup release called "Friction Burns", which is even better, and that one was released only on CD (a MUST BUY!). It's doubtful the 99 copy only LP issues of the Prescription Drug series will ever see the light of day, as the master tapes were purposely destroyed (supposedly). But it's still possible to take from a clean LP and add bonus tracks, etc.. Will be interesting to see.
This is one of only two that I own from the series (the other being Quad 2). At least I own the best two IMO. Mother Yod is a close third and I just missed winning that one recently (March 2011).
I never included this album in the original CD Reissue Wishlist, but Mike McLatchey and I were talking about the album yesterday, and it made me think we all could use a better reissue at the very least. The Akarma issue is barebones, with no info, and is taken from vinyl.
For many years, since I first bought the LP in the late 1980s, I've felt that Ram is one of America's more unheralded progressive rock albums. The first two tracks are straight ahead rockers, almost like Rare Earth or similar US street rock groups. But the last two tracks on Side 1, and especially the 25 minute side long suite 'Aza', show a remarkable progression.
'Aza' is fascinating, as it sounds like synthesizers, or even mellotron, are the dominant instruments. But on a careful listen, you can hear they are using saxes, flutes and contact mics to emulate the synthesized sounds. The electric guitar and fuzz bass are blistering on this track. I find it hard to believe a creative band like Ram doesn't have other similar sounding tracks sitting in a vault somewhere. Can you imagine a CD reissue with one or two extra epics like 'Aza'? For me, that could raise Ram to the very best the US ever put out, especially from the early 1970s.
In researching the group on the Internet, there's very little info. Apparently they're from New York (that may not be the case either - as all we know is the LP was recorded there), and one of the members showed up in a later incarnation of Hot Tuna (maybe).
Any former Ram band members, producers out there who would like to get in touch with me and set the record straight? Anyone out there know more about this group? I sure would like to know more.
Wikipedia says this: "Ram is a musical group that was based in New York City in the United States and was active in the early 1970s. Band members included brothers John and Ralph DeMartino as well as Bob Steeler who later played with Hot Tuna. Many reports state that a mellotron was the instrument used for the spatial and electronic effects of Ram's music. Actually, they were the result of electronic flute and in some cases, tenor alto and soprano saxophones (sometimes played 2 at a time) by John DeMartino. The band produced one album on Polydor in 1972 entitled Where? (In Conclusion). "
Fuzz, Acid & Flowers - American Garage, Psychedelic & Hippie Rock 1964-1975 says: "This heavy progressive album by a New York progressive outfit is becoming rare and in demand. It consists of five long tracks (one occupies the whole of one side). The music's full of complex arrangements, with lots of mellotron and flute as well as some vicious guitar leads."
Dennis Carbone - Piano, Tambourine, Vocals John Demartino - Sax, Flute, Clarinet Ralph Demartino - Guitar, Vocals Michael Rodriguez - Bass, Vocals Steeler - Drums (As it states above, the prevailing opinion is this is Bob Steeler, but maybe not?)
Super horn rock album, that absolutely kills on most of the 12 short tracks. There are a couple of bluesy moves and at least one James Brown styled funker, but mostly this just rips from start to finish. The kind of album you wish all horn rockers were. Smoking guitar and great brass charts. The rhythm section never stops. California based group was actually known as MAX, and toured extensively with groups like Malo and Tower of Power. Album sports a fantastic drawing on the cover.
One of the band members has started his own label called Digital Cellars, and there's a chance this obscurity will be reissued eventually.
March 2011: Still no word on the Rodan album. And an original copy just went for over $1K on ebay. I guess I won't be getting this one anytime soon.
At the crossroad of jazz and rock, with emphasis on the latter. Sax, flute and organ lead the solo parade (there are no less than 3 full time winds players). Some inventive compositions, and the progressive rock element comes out in the unison playing, which at times is complex. Occasionally I hear same period Missus Beastly, though Kaleidoskop are definitely more jazz oriented. Side 2 features a lengthy suite, utilizing Eastern scales, that is quite interesting, if not overly inspired. Overall a good jazz rock album, that I'm sure would do well as a CD reissue, especially amongst the more adventurous jazzers out there.
Thanks to Midwest Mike for this one (our first of many from Mike that we will feature on the blog)!
This is an announcement we've been waiting on for some time. Congratulations to Sean and the whole ProgQuebec team. Great news!
"Today, ProgQuebec signed a licensing agreement with Sony Music Canada to reissue the two albums by Quebec-based 1970s symphonic fusion artists Sloche. This agreement is the culmination of close to four years of communication with various groups within Sony in an effort to make a legal, high-quality reissue of these essential progressive rock albums a reality. Both albums, 1975's "J'un Oeil" and 1976's "Stadaconé", will be released on September 15th 2009 and will be available at the 2009 edition of the FMPM.
Originally released on the now defunct label RCA, the masters for these two albums have been located in Sony's archives, and the reissues will be remastered from these tapes. This is ProgQuebec's first licensing agreement with Sony, and follows the 2007 licensed reissues of the Morse Code and early Maneige catalogs from EMI.
Sloche is one of the best-loved 1970s groups from Quebec, having created two albums of exceptional quality inspired by symphonic rock, in particular Gentle Giant, and jazz fusion. The line-up that recorded these two albums was virtually a complete turn-over of the original Sloche line-up, driven by a relentless search for superior musicianship by the conservatory-trained keyboardist Rejean Yacola. While their instrumentals can be compared to groups such as Finch or Gentle Giant, the atmospheric vocal passages on the first album also bring to mind other Quebec groups such as Opus 5 or Morse Code.
Sloche has been one of the most hotly requested progressive rock reissues from any part of the world for over a decade, and has been our top priority for a while. For years, the only way to get this album was to find it on vinyl, or buy unauthorized knockoff pirate releases. It will be one of ProgQuebec's proudest moments when properly licensed and high quality editions of these CDs are finally available. And after 30 years, the members of Sloche will finally start getting paid for their work again.
ProgQuebec also hopes this will be the start of a fruitful relationship with Sony Music Canada, who have the rights to a number of excellent projects that have been largely forgotten by the mainstream markets but are beloved to progressive fans. We intend to pursue further collaborations with Sony Music Canada going forward.
Thank you to everyone who has waited patiently and held off on buying bootleg versions while we pursued this through the proper channels. It has taken a long time to get to this point and we are very excited about it. "
Tortilla Flat - Für ein ¾ Stündchen. 1974 private.
I bought this LP from a well known German dealer in the 1990s. Comes in a cheap folder cover.
Review below originally published in Gnosis on March 30, 2001
In the early 1970s, there were plenty of German bands playing an exciting blend of psychedelic, cosmic rock, and free jazz. There was another movement that played music which was later to be known as Industrial with its metronomic, rigid rhythms and fuzzy sounding instruments. All of the above are generally tagged with the all encompassing Krautrock tag. However, there was a much smaller group of bands in Germany that took to the Canterbury sound, a complex, highly melodic and jazzy approach to music that was popular in England at that time. Brainstorm, Tomorrow's Gift on Goodbye Future and, to a lesser extent, Missus Beastly were proteges of this style. Tortilla Flat falls into this latter group, though with a Continental slant very similar to the Dutch group Supersister.
Tortilla Flat's sole album is an instrumental exercise in superb jazz composition combined with tight rhythms and driving rock guitar. Tortilla Flat were a six-piece with flute, electric and acoustic guitar, bass/fuzz bass, drums, percussion, and electric piano. The primary lead instrument here is the flute, with plenty of room given to the Rhodes piano and biting fuzz guitar, while the melodies are bouncy and playful, recalling Supersister's 1970 masterpiece Present From Nancy. The sole difference is that Tortilla Flat is a bit more jazzy and less psychedelic than their proteges from next door. This fact probably has more to do with the styles of the year 1975 than anything else. The seven tracks on display feature plenty of room for improvisational jamming over complex rhythms while the compositions are memorable and, at times, beautiful.
Even better is the SWF Sessions which I will cover when we get to unreleased albums.
The Viola Crayola - Music: Breathing of Statues. 1974 Fautna.
You know, there are great guitar trio albums and then there's San Antonio's Viola Crayola. This jazzy psych freakout jam album is just remarkable and sounds about 15 years ahead of its time in technique. And fortunately it IS of its era sound-wise. This thing just rips and shreds and wah-wah's until you collapse from exhaustion. The last 2 minute goofball track allows us to see Viola's mentor - Mr. Zappa. If these guys released this in 1991, there would be a monthly feature in Guitar Player for him. Unfortunately, Tony Viola died tragically later in 1974. Album is only about 29 minutes long. A bootleg exists.
Thanks to long time friend Alex, we just learned of two reissues, buried under other guises.
To quote Alex:
"Certain Lions & Tigers - (El) Soul Condor was re-issued by MPS as a part (CD1) of 4cd box set: Peter Herbolzheimer - "Big Band Man - The MPS & Polydor Studio Recordings." All the compositions go in the proper order. I have also heard about an earlier cd-re-issue with alternative track order. Never seen it though...
Melodiya Jazz Ensemble – Labyrinth was re-issued (in 2004) by Melodia (Russia) as a beginning part of the compilation: George Garanian - "All that Jazz. " "
Sometimes this is how reissues are done. In fact, I was talking with Mike M the other day about the first Smak album, which was reissued in its entirety under the name "Best of Smak".
Zog - Do ze Funkie Wiz Me. 1983 Disaster Electronics.
Another chance ebay buy that worked out!
Entirely unique album from post Het Pandorra Ensemble guys. While still very much a product of the 1980s (song structures, vocal style), Zog also possess a strong admiration for 1960s psych and even the early 70s Krautrock pioneers. Some wonderful acid guitar soling belies its 80s heritage. There's also the occassional reference to their fondness for "Red" era King Crimson, featured more prominently in the Pandorra Ensemble days. About the only other album I can think of that sounds like this is Iskander's "Boheme", another oddity from the 80s. Maybe the best way to describe is to call it 1980s psychedelia, and I don't mean neo-psych, if that makes any sense. Over the years, I've come to appreciate Zog's album more and more, perhaps due to its uniqueness. This, Zog's only album, is a live recording. And at 56 minutes, quite a lengthy album for one disc.
Very interesting release. It's an all-over-the-map type album, but all within the confines of what normally constitutes progressive rock (rather than the usual kitchen sink that represents all facets of music in general). There's pomp, Canterbury, proto, symphonic, fusion, Zappa. Lots of mellotron and flute, in the most unexpected places. Some parts are more simplistic, giving it a radio friendly sound, and then followed by something entirely difficult and complex. Maybe a little too diverse for its own good, but undeniably fascinating!
There was a time in the 1980s and early 90s when Musea had all of these great private French LPs for cheap. I bought many, including this gem. It's just too bad they didn't subsequently reissue it on CD. It's one of the better albums in the style.
Far superior to most instrumental fusion albums coming from Europe during this time, Saino provides much more firepower than expected, plus the melodic content is very high - keeping this from a cold technical academic exercise. Five piece group that employs both a lead and rhythm guitar, which seems to be the magic formula that propels Saino's music forward. Apparently they have a second album, though it isn't touted as high.
Well as unbelievable as it sounds, Sony Music of Belgium (I didn't even know Sony had a special division in Belgium?) has reissued the first two Kandahar albums "Long Live the Sliced Ham" and "In the Court of Catherine Squeezer". Kandahar were a Belgian group influenced by Zappa and Canterbury, somewhat like Supersister and Pazop, though perhaps more zany like Dr. Dopo Jam. I need to listen to these again!
Recreation - Don't Open. 1971 Triangle. Issued with a different, and better, cover on Bellaphon (the second one displayed here). Recreation - Music or Not Music. 1972 Barclay.
I recently bought the LP of Music or Not Music. A cover like that needs to be owned! I only have a CD-R of Don't Open.
The debut by this Belgian trio is a kick – somewhere between the avant space psych of Group 1850, the rigid metronomics of Egg and exploito organ-led covers of classic psych tracks. Great fuzz bass and go-go organ sounds throughout. For “Music or Not Music”, the music takes a decidedly creative turn while adding guitar to the mix. An all-over-the-map type release, totaling 15 tracks, that reminds me some of Aphrodite’s Child’s “666” album, minus the pop songs. The quirkiness and overall demeanor recall some of the earlier work by Supersister. Like the debut, this is entirely instrumental.
Pseudonym would have done this a few years ago - would love to see a label like Musea tackle it. Or even Esoteric!
One of a handful of entries here that I first heard courtesy of my old radio and Gnosis colleague Craig.
Quad 2 starts with an Indian stringed instrument that sets the tone (or drone) while tribal drums and acid guitar slowly float the listener away. Lots of mellotron and acoustic guitar. One of the most blissfully tranced out Krautrock albums since Dom's "Edge of Time".
Their debut LP album has been reissued, but it remains to be seen if any of the limited Drug series will ever see the light of day on CD.
March 2011 update: I bought an original on ebay this month. The cover shot that is going around and what is posted on RYM is incorrect. I've left that one here, and included the actual item I purchased.
*** June 2010 update: This album is part of Vol. 5 of Universal's Italian Progressive Rock Box sets *** Claudio Dentes - Pantarei. 1978 Mirto.
Generally solo artists from Italy during this era were singer-songwriter focused, but Dentes is primarily a multi-instrumentalist, and he puts his talent towards creating a strong instrumental work (though there are some sparse vocals). At times, "Pantarei" reaches the space rock heights of Franco Falsini's "Cold Nose". I'm most reminded of this when I hear the electric guitar, which is super compressed and fuzzed out. While certainly not an Italian prog rock classic, Dentes' album is not one to overlook and is worth seeking out for a listen or two.
It was bound to happen sooner or later, but it looks like the very German label Sireena (that is to say, they don't bother describing anything in English) have begun to license the more progressive rock leaning albums from the classic post Brain label, Sky Records.
In the next couple of months look for Octopus' classic "The Boat of Thoughts", both Shaa Khan albums, Bullfrog's "High in Spirits", and the Harlis album.
October - s/t. 1979 Charisma Sound Studios. October - After the Fall. 1980 private.
I bought the first LP from Greg Syn-Phonic back in the early 90s. "After the Fall" remains as probably the single rarest US progressive rock album, with supposedly only 25 pressed, each with a hand painted watercolor cover. I can honestly say that in all the years I've been collecting, I've never seen one actually for sale. CDRWL benefactor Heavyrock paid dearly for one, and it's a site to behold. And that's where my CD-R is burned from.
October are a Detroit, Michigan area based progressive band. Their sound is a unique combination of symphonic prog rock with a pronounced fusion flair, probably due to the abundance of electric violin. The vocals have that late 1970s "private press voice" that is found on many albums from America during this time. Strangely, the vocals remind me a bit of the guy from Babylon, though not quite as Gabriel-esque. "After the Fall" is more symphonic rock oriented, and a bit looser in structure. Long passages are reserved for jamming and other instrumental experiments. Both albums have stood the test of time well.
Neither have been reissued legitimately on CD to date, though bootlegs abound. Greg Walker did tell me he has the masters, so we just need to arm-twist him into releasing them! I'm flying to Utah now to do just that :-)
Maajun - Vivre La Mort Du Vieux Monde. 1971 Vogue.
As I've stated in a couple of places already, two words that go so well together are Wacky and French. Mix in 1971 and Underground Rock and you have the perfect Champagne Cocktail. There's the expected juxtapositions that match the anguished French tantrums with the delicate flute, the heavy electric guitar with the spacey voice, the menacing violin with the soft acoustic guitar, the screeching sax with the chanting monks. Well, we could go all day here. It's what you would expect from an album that translates more or less to "Long Live the Death of the Old World". This unabashed creativeness defines the time and place. Makes you almost want to riot at La Sorbonne, just as a raison d'etre. VDGG fans, listen for the French Peter Hammill-like vocals interspersed throughout here.
The group slightly changed its name to Mahjun on subsequent albums.
If we're lucky, perhaps Musea will crank up the reissue machine and get onto this one!
Organisation - Tone Float. 1970 RCA. Kraftwerk - s/t. 1971 Philips. Kraftwerk - II. 1972 Philips. Kraftwerk - Ralf and Florian. 1973 Philips.
Other than maybe Tim Buckley, this has to be the single most recognized name in the entire CD Reissue Wishlist. The first Kraftwerk and the Organisation album are practically the invention of the term Krautrock as we know it. "II" and "Ralf & Florian" begin down the metronomic man-machine path that made Kraftwerk so famous. These are the experimental albums before they hit the big time.
These guys are too powerful to let record execs bully them, so it appears it is they alone who do not want anyone to get their paws on them. Which is why all of these have thrived in the bootleg market. That's a shame.
Priority: 1 (based on Organisation and the first Kraftwerk album)
Del Jones' Positive Vibes - s/t (psych mix). 1972 Hikeka.
Long time Dallas friend Mark T introduced me to this album in 2003, and it's one of the best personal discoveries in the last 15 years. I found the reissue LP shortly thereafter.
The single most intense Black America album ever. Basically Del Jones is the Philadelphia ghetto version of the Berlin based Cosmic Couriers clan. Intense does not even begin to describe this album. The anger that comes through will melt your mind. And all the freaked out vocals, wah wah guitar, flute and heavy rhythms will make you grab for your Ash Ra Tempel albums and hold on tight. Given the economic conditions of the housing projects of the early 1970s, it's surprising more albums didn't seep through like this. 'Cold Turkey' has some of the most anguished freaked out madness since John L. on 'Flowers Must Die' from Ash Ra Tempel's "Schwingungen"!
Like Velvert Turner, Del Jones released two versions of the same album: A "soul" mix and a "psych" mix. The soul mix is available on CD and appears legit. The psych mix has only been reissued on LP so far, and did involve Del Jones, so we'll consider that legit. But no one has issued it on CD to date. The soul mix is not that much different really - there's an additional horn section and some of the guitar work has been moved into the background. It's still a monster and highly recommended. On both albums, there are a couple of throw away soul numbers that are fortunately short - but most of the album will fry your brain!
I bought this and its sister LP, St. Helena, when they were first released. I sold them a few years later because they are so short in duration it hardly seemed worth it. Today I would have kept them anyway. At least until a CD arrived. So all I have is a CD-R at the moment.
This archival live album (soundboard quality) reminds me a lot of Osanna's "L'Uomo", which in itself was a strong play on the early Jethro Tull sound. Another way to say blues based heavy rock with aggressive, stuttered flute as the lead instrument. Many time changes also point to the Osanna way of doing things. The Norwegian vocals recall the unique Scandinavian flair found in bands like Host or Trettioariga Kriget. Great fuzz guitar leads as well. Short album (under 25 minutes), but great all the way through.
It would be nice to pair Hades with the archival St. Helena album, that was also under 25 minutes.
Please Note: THIS IS NOT A DOWNLOAD SITE! This is strictly an informational blog.
Key to the Priority codes:
Priority 1: Amongst the greatest albums ever made. Almost criminal that it is not available on CD.
Priority 2: An excellent album. One of the greatest albums still not on CD.
Priority 3: A very good album, and worthy of a CD reissue.
No Priority: The rest, which range from good to terrible and everything in between. Many of these albums are borderline Priority 3, and should not be presumed to be poor efforts. I had to draw the line somewhere.