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Friday, December 24, 2010

Luna Sea, USA

Luna Sea - s/t. 1976 Luna Tunes.

Well, this really is lunacy. About as dramatic a difference in A-side, B-side as the Eik - Speglun album.

This is a newly discovered rarity out of Nebraska, that's just starting to make the rounds. Interesting to note that Queen used the exact painting on their 1991 "Innuendo" album, except in color (thanks Waxidermy for that info!).

This is another rarity sent in from The Alaskan Connection. I thought he did a magnificent job at describing the album, so take it away AC:

"It's the lone private press LP by an almost totally unknown US band named Luna Sea. They were from Blair, Nebraska of all places, but the album was recorded in Iowa. The first side is going to really test your willpower, as it's just straight radio-rock a la the Eagles, so you'll just have to "man-up" and slog through it. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, though, because side 2 is totally different. Suddenly the synths appear, and things start getting a lot more interesting. It starts out in a still fairly accessible style, but things get proggier literally by the minute, until the last track "Rousing The Ghost", which is a fantastic piece of instrumental symphonic prog with great guitar, keys, and even a little flute. Oh, and be sure to stay tuned for the unlisted (and totally stupid) outro! A completely schizophrenic album, but even the band seemed to know this as they named the first side the "Light Side" and the second side the "Dark Side"! Hard to tell what they were really trying to accomplish here. But, such is the nature of the US underground. One part confusion and one part inspiration. I guess that's kind of the charm! In any case, this thing is seriously rare. It only first emerged onto the collector scene within the last year or two, and since it was first discovered only like two or three copies have popped up."
Thanks AC!

So true on the question "what are they trying to do here?". It was very typical for bands in the 1970's to try for a radio hit while mixing in their progressive rock ambitions. That strategy never did work.

One of those bands you just hope has more on tape somewhere, to make for a truly great album. The last track is brilliant but Side 1 is indeed dreadful...

Be sure to read insights from friends of the band in the comments section!

Priority: none (way higher if they have unreleased material like Side 2)


mrsevcojr said...

I can't believe this record exists in even a blog. My old roommate in Hot Springs Arkanasas, Collin Thompson, was the drummer in this band, and also did a lot of the vocals. They toured with the band Firefall in the late 70's, and when Firefall came out with an album titled "Luna Sea", this upset band members enough to file a lawsuit. From the stories I have heard, Luna Sea members sold equipment and paid legal bills. Well you all know what happened: Firefall went on and Luna Sea disappeared. Unfortunate too because I rate this album better than any Firefall! I love the song "Everybody You Ever Met" and "Almost Profound Melancholia". Only a couple hundred of these records were made and mine is autographed. Thanks for remembering this!

Tom said...

Thanks for the great insights on the band mrsevcojr. Good stuff!

- Tom

Joshua Gear said...

Another one to join in with a tie to this:

My old guitar teacher, Craig Nance, was the guitar player for this album. He now lives in Harlan, Iowa where he performs with jazz groups though the area and teaches lessons (I learned from him from age 5 though high school).

He gave me a copy of this album, played onto a CD. I would KILL to get a copy of this record, but I recall him saying that there are probably very LPs left around.

He is an amazing, fantastic guitar player, and it's a shame these guys never took off.

Thanks so much for this write up, it was really surprising finding this review online!

Tom said...

Thanks Joshua. I love reading comments like that!