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Friday, August 14, 2009

Placebo, Belgium *** REISSUED ***




Placebo - Ball of Eyes. 1971 CBS.
Placebo - 1973. 1973 CBS.
Placebo - s/t. 1974 Harvest.

*** Reissued by P-Vine, December 2011 ***

Marc Moulin's three Placebo albums are the "Holy Grail" for the rare groove crowd, a sector of music fans who love that unique 70s style of cool. The beat and the mood of the sound are key.

For an album from the 1971 jazz scene, "Ball of Eyes" is remarkably focused, without any experimentation or free jazz moments which were still in vogue during that time. Not edgy like same era Miles Davis, Wolfgang Dauner or even other rare Euro groovers like the Sunbirds. In fact when I first heard it, I was certain it was from 1975 or later. The horn charts are all very well done and they do catch that certain 70s spy groove. It's all a bit too laid back for me to get hugely excited over, but it's wide appeal is undeniable.

The "1973" album continues in the same vein as "Ball of Eyes", though it's definitely more funky and head boppin' than the debut. And the real ear grabber is the superb Moog soloing by Moulin. Strangely, the album finishes in a completely different direction. The next to last track is more towards straight jazz and the closer has more in common with Electronik Musik, than anything one would associate with Placebo. I thought the sophomore effort surpassed the debut, and from what I could tell, many considered it their best.

However, my vote goes to the 3rd and last album. Here the grooves go deeper, the solos more intense, and the ideas are, to a greater degree, unique. In all, a two CD, three album comprehensive reissue would be ideal.

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