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Friday, June 20, 2014

Bodkin, Scotland

Bodkin - s/t. 1972 West

(sigh). Bodkin is another album that has recently come up in the CD-R revisit project, and after some thought, I decided to give it an entry into the CDRWL. Like some of my CD-R's, this is an album I once owned (in this case a reissue), but decided to part with it - primarily because it was an inferior product, moreso than a true evaluation of the music itself.

So, as mentioned above, if I had a reissue already, why place it here? Well - good question, and perhaps not an easy answer will follow. Some of you are most likely expecting me to say "because they are all boots, that's why." But that's not the case here.

The first photo is the actual LP. It was not issued with a cover - or if it was - only a plain white sleeve. The story goes then that a West German dealer in the 1980s bought the remaining stock, and created a cover for it to make it more attractive to potential buyers (second and third photo - though the label itself is different making that story seem a bit suspect). In 1989, the German label Witch & Warlock debuted their catalog with a CD reissue of the album (4th photo). Ah, but you say, I know Witch & Warlock is a pirate concern. Perhaps they ended up making poor decisions, but they didn't start out that way. Witch & Warlock are in fact the same guys behind the German Oak album. And I think we can safely presume they did not bootleg their own privately released album. To this day I own that version of the German Oak CD, and it's without question authentic and most certainly the best copy to possess. The next CD on the label was Dom's Edge of Time, and while I later upgraded to the Second Battle versions (LP and CD), it's pretty apparent from the short notes on the CD that the members knew each other. Most everyone accepts this version as legit (though the sound wasn't improved upon at all). This was followed by an archival German Oak album, and then finally they decided to try their hand at needle drops and foregoing obtaining legal permission. Those things are just so tiring after all... (confession: I still own their CD version of Diabolus and patiently await for a legit version to surface). Anyway, before they reissued their own album, they reissued three albums from Scotland including Soho Orange and Tentacle - both of these being archival releases. Most websites consider these to be legit. And it makes sense, when you consider the German connection to the Bodkin album, as mentioned above.

Problem is... that CD version is near extinct. Foolishly I did not buy it at the time (1989-1990), though I'd heard the album and had easy access to it. By the time I did got off my arse (2001?), all that was available was the Akarma releases. Once I saw the absolutely amazing multi-foldout LP cover that opens up to a cross, I had to have that version (5th photo). It seemed my patience had paid off. This most assuredly is the definitive edition right? Wrong! What an utter disaster of a reissue. A needle drop (fine), but with skips and scratches. C'mon, really? How stoned do you have to be? I eventually parted with it... and so that's why it's only on CD-R here at Casa Ashratom (June 20, 2015 note... yes, exactly one year later! I did manage to score the W&W CD. But that changes nothing regarding the status for a better CD).

There is a legit LP that recently surfaced from England on the Acme label (2012). I wouldn't have high hopes for a sonic revelation, but it's probably the only way to own the album at this point. Unless...

...unless someone reissues it again on CD. Legit that is....

Priority: 3

Oh, the music you ask? It's been well documented, so I didn't feel the need to describe... but basically it's heavy organ rock with long tracks and plenty of jams including guitar - one of the better pure Hammond driven albums out there.

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