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The CD Reissue Wish List blog has been discontinued as of October 2015, as it had served its initial purpose.

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Monday, May 31, 2010

News: Mediterranea to be reissued by BTF


This one sort of fell under the radar, but noticed while browsing around this afternoon. A pretty good Italian progressive rock album from 1981. I never published my entry separately, but here it is!

Mediterranea - Ecce Rock (Italy) 1981 Amiamoci. Relatively simple, but fun, instrumental guitar trio with quite a bit of mandolin as well. As is expected by the title and the cover of the Italian version (frankly the Japanese cover that was issued simultaneously is nicer), it has a Turkish/Greek/Arabian vibe. (note: Fortunately BTF agrees and they used the Japanese cover)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Topper, USA


Topper - At Last. 1977 private

As stated in many places, I truly enjoy the underground rock scene of the great American Midwest and Topper are no different. This time hailing from Kansas City, we have a band that was typically over ambitious, and wonderfully amateurish. The Moog soloing in particular is inspired. There are a lot of ideas on their one album, and it's clear they had a few Uriah Heep, Nektar, Yes, and Led Zeppelin albums in their closet. Basically a mix of hard rock, progressive, and a little bit of FM/AOR too. And they get a little too close to plagiarism in a couple of places ('Smile for the Clown' rips straight from 'Stairway to Heaven' incredibly. Guys, surely you were aware everyone knew this song already. Right?).

Priority: 3

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vindication, USA


Vindication - s/t. 1973 Custom Fidelity.

Indiana based Christian progressive rock band. No mistaking its Midwest identity, with those unique bowling-alley-beer-binges-meets-barbershop-quartet harmony vocals. Music is insanely complex for the time and place, and especially for the subject matter. It would seem Ohio's The Load may have heard or known Vindication as well, though they weren't near as complex as their brethren to the West. This one seems to get better with age.

Priority: 3

Thursday, May 27, 2010

White Summer, USA


White Summer - s/t. 1976 private.

Michigan based hard rock and funk. Most of the tracks are under the 3 minute mark, tritely executed, and are scarce worth mentioning. However, there are 3 long pieces (5+, 6+ and 13+) that are absolutely fantastic with great guitar soloing, changes in dynamic and rhythms - not to mention excellent songcraft. Worth seeking out, though probably not enough here in sum to give a Priority 3.

Priority: none

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Zanov, France




Zanov - Green Ray. 1977 Polydor
Zanov - Moebius 256 301. 1978 Polydor
xxx Zanov - In Course of Time. 1983 SFPP *** Reissued by Groove Unlimited April, 2015 xxx

Sequencer based electronic musician, whose real name is Pierre Zalkazanov. Given the one man nature of the recordings, Klaus Schulze would be the obvious influence. Though musically there's more Tangerine Dream "Stratosfear" than "Mirage" or "Blackdance". And surprisingly very little Heldon touches, given how influential Pinhas was in his own country (at least in the underground). There were very few artists in this field in the late 1970s (today there are hundreds), so Zanov deserves credit for being one of the pioneers. Though from a purely musical perspective, "Green Ray" and "Moebius 256 301" aren't quite as well developed as his more recognized peers of the day. Still, always nice to hear those fat analog synths battle it out. I haven't heard the 1983 album.

(1/19/11 update: OK, now I've heard the In Course of Time album. And it's precisely in the style of the first 2. A very good album. In fact, good enough to convince me that all of these should be Priority 2 instead of 3. Essential listening for Schulze fans (like me).)


Priority: 2

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fernando Yvosky, Venezuela


Fernando Yvosky – Dos Mundos. 1975 private.

Yvosky's sole album is a good example of the pastoral progressive rock that was coming out Italy in 1972/1973, and perhaps closer to home, in Argentina. Early PFM combined with Aucan is what you can expect here. Well worth discovering. Features a beautiful gatefold cover, which is hard to imagine given that it's a private press from a country not known for that. Bootlegs exist.

Priority: 3

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Vanessa, Norway



Vanessa - City Lips (Norway) 1975 On.
Vanessa - Black and White (Norway) 1976 Compendium.

The more known of the two albums, "Black and White", is a better than average instrumental jazz fusion album, with some tight rhythms and occasional funky lines. Primary leads come from the sax, but plenty of good guitar and keyboard leads as well. Comparisons to the French group Spheroe wouldn't be out of place. This album received pretty good distribution in the US, and it wasn't too difficult to find in the used bins in the 1980s. Because of this, I'm surprised it still hasn't been reissued to date.

"City Lips" is similar, again a mix of funk and fusion, with a couple of experimental bits thrown in for good measure. A bit more meaty than "Black and White", but not as focused.

Priority: 3

Saturday, May 22, 2010

This Oneness, USA


This Oneness - Surprize. 1975 Oz.

Minnesota based group who performs a Mahavishnu styled heavy fusion with Canterbury touches. The song portions are of the Midwest progressive rock variety ala Ethos, Albatross. The odd song out is 'Please the Sunshine', an almost-gospel like vocal track that is a bit painful to endure. Overall an excellent fusion album.

Apparently the master tapes are lost, so unfortunately one well-respected reissue label that was on the cusp of issuing this one on CD, dropped out. But I have a perfect mint LP copy - and certainly I'm not the only one. So maybe we'll still see this one on CD!

Priority: 2

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

St. Helena, Norway


St. Helena - Hello Friend (Norway) 1974 / 1992 Colours.

St. Helena play a very complex progressive sound akin to the UK scene at the time. Matches closest with the band Gracious! on their debut. I also hear parallels to another classic Norway band, Junipher Greene, especially from their "Friendship" album. Unfortunately the album is under 25 minutes, but it's time well spent. Only an archive LP exists, from the late great Colours label. Would be nice to pair this with the archival Hades album, that is also under 25 minutes.

Priority: 3

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rancid Poultry, England





Rancid Poultry - Controlled Exposure. 1989 Poultry Productions. Cassette only release.

Rancid Poultry came out of the 1980s festival scene, but arrived with some influences out of the industrial movement. Had they stuck around another year or two, most likely they would've been on a label like Mystic Stones or Demi Monde. Good raucous space rock - with some interesting screamed vocals. They had other cassettes, but this is the only one I purchased back then. Comes with a nice booklet as well.

Priority: 3

Thanks to the Alaskan Connection, we know their other cassettes as the following:

Rancid Riffs (1985) Land of Yrx
Leyline Lords of the Motorway Web (1986) Land of Yrx
Midnight Disendowed (1986) Land of Yrx
* Delicate Creatures (1986) Land of Yrx
* Rock 'N' Roll Won't Never Die! (1987) Poultry Productions
* Lungs Full of Lead (2xMC, 1989) Poultry Productions
HTIABR! (1990) Poultry Productions
* Live In Leads (But Steve Doesn't) (1992) Poultry Productions
* Musicide (19??)
* Qaotic Pestilence (19??)

The AC has provided me with many of these (noted with an *), which will probably take me until summer to get to. He's also provided me with the AMA album, which is related to Rancid Poultry.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Stefano Panteleoni, Italy


Stefano Panteleoni - Alle Muse. 1989 LMC.

Dark and brooding electronic album that recalls Arturo Stalteri's debut or maybe even Franco Leprino's "Integrati...Disintegrati". Very obscure album that I owned on LP for a few years (after first hearing it in Rome), and I haven't seen one since then.

Priority: none

I can't find a photo on the internet. The cover is pretty generic, with a white background. I'm sure one will turn up eventually, and I'll add it then. I sold my copy on ebay about 10 years ago.

Update: Well, leave it to Laser Ken to let me know this has already been reissued on CD! Looks like a private job on the Maestro label. Still no original cover, but I've pasted in the CD front. And I've also updated the year to 1989.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Omega Plus, France


Omega Plus - How to Kiss the Sky. 1969 Pitch.

Featuring Claude Engel on guitar (later with Magma, Dayde, Univeria Zekt and many others), this is generally considered France's first psychedelic record (see also Dickens, Octopus 4 and Popera Cosmic). Interesting to note that Engel himself, on his website at least, does not even reference this album. I don't know why not, as it's not a bad example of the Hendrix psych sound, and with the addition of flute, adds more than the usual copyist acid psych rock that many American band were doing during this time. Also includes one long free rock improvisation that's pretty interesting. A short record, that doesn't even break the 30 minute mark. A CD label would be wise to pair this with another psych obscurity - again, perhaps the Dickens album would make a good companion. Naturally a bootleg exists already, not surprising given Engel's disassociation.

Priority: none

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chris Neal, Australia


Chris Neal - Winds of Isis. 1974 Infinity.

Instrumental, mellotron heavy, symphonic rock work. At its best, the music recalls the early albums by Duncan Mackay and Mike Oldfield. The music is relatively simplistic, but highly melodic. I was also reminded some of the French group Catharsis and even Roland Bocquet's "Paradia". This is certain to appeal to fans of lush symphonic rock and comes recommended. Would be a natural reissue for Aztec Records.

Priority: 3

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Magic Spell, Switzerland


Magic Spell - Is There Anywhere a Gasstation? 1980 private.

Just when you think you've heard all the private press progressive albums from Switzerland, on comes another one. I first heard of Magic Spell through a German catalog a few years ago, but given the title of the album, I just presumed it was another hyped piece of trash, which this catalog was prone to do. But in this case, they were right! This is fastball-down-the-middle progressive rock, with clear nods to early Genesis, late 70s Eloy, mid 70s Grobschnitt and a host of other Swiss bands like Agamemnon, Elysium and Eloiteron. One of the better ones I've heard from this peculiar Swiss scene. Side 1 is particularly strong, whereas Side 2 takes on a bit more of a commercial stance.

priority: 3

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Leong Lau, Australia *** REISSUED ***



Leong Lau - Dragon Man. 1976 Sunscape. *** Reissued ***
Leong Lau - That Rongeng Sound. 1977 Sunscape.

The cover to Dragon Man is a bit misleading, showing head honcho Lau holding up a saxophone, which would indicate a honk fest. In contrast, this is a deep psychedelic funk album, with lots of wah wah guitar, phased/echoed sax, flute, heavy bass & drums with plenty of ranting from Lau, channeling his best Frankie Dymon imitation. Picking up a strong Hendrix influence as well. Considered by many to be the rarest album from Australia, and it's easy to see why. Super album.

A year later, Lau returned with the equally obscure "That Rongeng Sound". The 24 minute EP length sophomore album can only be described as a disappointment. Gone are the edgy guitars and general mayhem of "Dragon Man". In its place a far more slick sound is introduced, though Lau continues to rant and rave about God knows what. Perhaps we could call it proto rap. Stick with "Dragon Man" and don't look back.

*** Dragon Man Reissued by Strawberry Rain in 2014.

Priority: none (for That Rongeng Sound)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

News: Esoteric to reissue rare Asgaerd album


Other than a rare Japanese press from the 90s, this is the first reissue of their sole album. Here's our entry from the OCDRWL:

Asgaerd (Asgard) - In the Realm of Asgaerd (England) 1972 Threshold. I had this on LP many years ago, and recently received a request to add here. I don't recall much about it but ProgArchives says "A sound very reminiscent of the Wooden Nickel era Styx, Asgærd combine Dennis deYoung-like vocals with Uriah Heepish guitars and the overall pastiche of bands like Rhapsody, only at the height of the progressive (aka art) rock era. In other words, they were dead-on for their time. The sound doesn’t wear all that well with time, but some accommodation must be made since this album was released in the very early seventies."

Other Esoteric reissues include:

June
Aphrodites Child-End of the World (rain and Tears)
Aphrodites Child-Its Five O clock
Soft Machine-Softs
Brainticket-Psychonaut (Reactive)
Brainticket-Celestial Ocean (Reactive)
High Tide-High Tide
High Tide-Sea Shanties
Flash-In the Can
Lloyd Langton Band-Night Air (atomhenge)

July
Soft machine-Land of Cockayne
Fields-Fields
Jade Warrior-Waves
Jade Warrior-Floating World
Eela Craig-One Niter (Reactive)
Trifle-First meeting (jazz rock)

Many of these have also fallen OOP.

Yasuo Inada & Bemi Family, Japan ***REISSUED***

Yasuo Inada & Bemi Family – Kankaku Shikou. 1976 Tam

*** Reissued by Bridge in 2013 ***

Moved to UMR

Priority: 3

Monday, May 10, 2010

Heta Linjen, Sweden


Heta Linjen - Feta Heta Linjens Supershow. 1971 Odeon.
Heta Linjen - Won't You Step Inside? 1971 Odeon.

Mixed album, but generally with strong results. In the horn rock genre, but with a distinct Zappa vibe on top (early jazz rock, silly humor), along with some Canterbury references. Solid record, that fits the Scandinavian tradition along with Dr. Dopo Jam, Splash, Solar Plexus and Made in Sweden. Band name translates to Hot Line. Have not heard their debut album, but understand that "Won't You Step Inside?" is the stronger of the two.

Priority: 3

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Gemini, England


Gemini - Counterbalance. 1981 Airship.

A strong album for melody and composition but they get dinged though for period instrumentation. Sounds like their lead synth choice was a Moog Opus 3, or some other early polyphonic synthesizer. And the lack of other lead instrument vehicles like sax, flute, organ, etc… makes this one a bit tougher to sit through, given that it's an instrumental album and all. Rhythm section is quite good however, not crisp but precise all the same. And the final long track features quite a bit of electric guitar soloing, adding exactly what they need. Good album and on par with the other Airship label album by Protos.

Priority: 3

Friday, May 7, 2010

The First International Sex Opera Band, Netherlands


The First International Sex Opera Band - Anita. 1969 Sexclusief.

Despite the band name, and the location of said group, this is decidedly NOT erotic in the least bit. The female vocals (more like nagging shrieks, heavy sighs, rollercoaster screams and other irritants) are completely annoying. On this front, the closest comparison would be to Japan's JA Caesar, but without any of the purpose and tension they bring. Musically, FISO is fairly interesting, as the band pretty much play in a loose free rock style with decent guitar and organ leads. My guess is this album was influenced by the Vampyros Lesbos movie/album from Germany, that enjoyed a cult following even back then.

Priority: none

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Champignons, Canada


Champignons - Premiere Capsule. 1972 GG.

Starts off in a trite go-go 1960s way, with an energetic keyboard driven instrumental number. This is followed by a very slow, depressing and excruciatingly boring 7 minute blues song with French vocals. From track three on Side 1 to the conclusion of the record, it's all aces. The music becomes primarily instrumental while taking on a darker stance. The guitar has that ominous fuzz tone, and there's an underlying jazzy structure lead by the fine flute and sax work. For these excellent tracks I'm reminded of the Eden Rose / Sandrose family out of France, and the relative progression from one to the other. If Champignons were lead by a female vocalist, that would solidify the Sandrose comparison. Bootlegs exist.

Priority:3

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Victor Brady, USA


Victor Brady - Brown Rain. 1970 Polydor.

In doing research for this site, I sure do run across some weirdo albums, and this has to rank amongst the top tier for that. At its core, New York City based Brady, an African-American, has created a seriously heavy psych album, with non stop fuzz and plenty of ranting ala Frankie Dymon or Gil Scott-Heron. Some of the material is more pop oriented, but still maintains the heavy fuzz throughout. But we haven't got to the weird part yet. The lead instrument? Caribbean steel drums! Unfortunately after awhile, it all starts to sound more like a gimmick rather than as accompaniment. Perhaps it's the association of the instrument with island vacations, but it doesn't give off the right feeling when compared with the rest of the instrumentation and atmosphere. I mean, I wouldn't want to hear someone wailing on harmonica through a similar set of tunes either. In any case, quite a find and definitely recommended. Take it in small doses though. Victor Brady apparently was associated with the "Sound of Central Park" and, according to their website: "Victor Brady went on to cut a record deal with Polydor Records and released the album “Brown Rain”. Victor subsequently released a classical album called “Classical Soul” and later appeared in Las Vegas with Charo, on PBS’s Sesame Street, wrote a book about the steel drum, and performed and lectured at the Smithsonian Institute". Sounds like a true Renaissance man! Bootlegs exist.

Priority: none

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Alcatraz, Germany




Alcatraz - Energie Programm in Rock. 1978 private.
Alcatraz - Live: Trockeneis zum Frumstruck. 1980 private.
Alcatraz - No. 4. 1982 private.

Absolutely one of the strangest bands to ever come from the original Krautrock era. Their debut "Vampire State Building" is an excellent jazz tinged Kraut fusion album - very much a product of its day and certainly a classic of the genre. It was originally issued on Philips and reissued by Long Hair a few years ago. Had they stopped there, they would've been like countless German one-offs from the early 1970s. But they resurfaced in the late 1970s, not as a pop band like most of their former brethren, but a totally off the wall band, who changed style from album to album. "Energie Programm in Rock" mixed complex progressive rock with polit-rock vocal sections. Because of the difficult music presented, it recalls the band Oktober or perhaps P.P. Zahl. But on their next album "Live: Trockeneis zum Frumstruck" they had switched gears entirely and tried their hand had instrumental jazz fusion. Then "No. 4" demonstrates an excellent guitar fronted hard rock album similar to perhaps Mahogany Rush. They continued into the CD era with at least 4 more albums - the only one I'm familiar with is "Holm" (1998) - a German language progressive rock album with some metal and some truly progressive segments. Their last album, that I'm aware of anyway, is from 2002. It's hard to imagine a group that's been more "progressive" than Alcatraz over the years, other than maybe Embryo, and even the latter has been more predictable. Not all of it works, but there's no question the non-commercial stance the band has chosen. Completely defies categorization. Bizarre really.

*** June 2014 update: Ultima Thule via their Cosmic Egg imprint have reissued the three above albums on CD-R in an original run of 20 copies each (?!). These are of course with band permission, as Ultima Thule does things the right way when it comes to ownership. As you know, the CDRWL does not count CD-R's as fully reissued CD's, but for those that are interested, Ultima Thule has them for sale directly from their webshop. I'm hoping this isn't "as good as it will get", but I'm glad to own the LPs all the same.

Priority: 3

Monday, May 3, 2010

Abacus, Germany





Abacus - s/t. 1971 Polydor.
Abacus - Just A Day's Journey Away. 1972 Polydor.
Abacus - Everything You Need. 1972 Polydor. (reissued legit)
Abacus - Midway. 1973 Zebra.

On Abacus' debut you can hear a lot of parallels to another quirky German band: Nine Days Wonder. Like NDW's debut, this album is radically progressive, covering anywhere from Frank Zappa's more complex works to any number of UK outfits. The vocalist is from England, and he writes much of the material, so this album doesn't sound much like Krautrock as we know it. Until the last couple of years, I'd only heard the band's last 1970s work "Midway" (1973) and it was pretty horrendous save the long title track.. Recently I heard their 3rd effort "Everything You Need", which is quite a drop off from the great first album. All of Side 1 is rural/country rock and is downright terrible. But all is not lost, as the second side is one long suite. Though based again on a rural rock theme, there are plenty of quirky progressive rock moves, that recall the first album. The dramatic difference between the first and later albums reminded me, again, of Nine Days Wonder. There are multiple bootlegs, but never reissued legit.

Priority: 3 (for the debut only)

Per Ken's note in the comments "Everything You Need" has been reissued legitimately. Thanks Ken!