THE BEST REISSUES OF 2016-PART 8.

THE BEST REISSUES OF 2016-PART 8.

The Charlatans-The Limit Of The Marvellous-Vinyl.

Between 1964 and 1969, The Charlatans’ star shawn bright. They were larger than life mavericks who looked like a cross between 19th Century, wild west outlaws and Victorian dandies. This carefully cultivated image soon began to prove popular with the audience at their gigs. Soon, they arrived dressed in similar attire. Meanwhile,The Charlatans were embracing the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. LSD and pot were part of The Charlatans’ diet. It fuelled The Charlatans as they took San Francisco by storm. Commercial success and critical acclaim looked a formality. It wasn’t to be.

By 1969, The Charlatans were no more. They were just the latest band that should’ve enjoyed widespread critical acclaim and commercial success. However, for whatever reason, commercial success passes these bands by. That was the case with The Charlatans whose music wa celebrated on The Limit Of The Marvellous. It was recently reissued by Big Beat Records, an imprint of Ace Records on red vinyl. It’s a fitting reminder of The Charlatans’ finest songs.

Their musical legacy amounted to one album and two singles. It features on The Limit Of The Marvellous. It’s the perfect introduction to musical mavericks The Charlatans, who having taken San Francisco by storm, should’ve found fame and fortune. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. After several breakups, makeups and changes in lineup, The Charlatans, called time on a career that promised much, but ultimately, through bad luck and misfortune, came to little.

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The Damned-The Black Album-Vinyl.

 Having just released the most successful album of their career, and one that was hailed a classic, The Damned got to work on their fifth album. Most bands would’ve have decided to pickup where they left on Machine Gun Etiquette. However,The Damned weren’t most bands. Instead, they were about to head off on a musical journey through disparate genres.

The Black Album find The Damned moving towards goth rock, which they went on to embrace throughout the eighties. There’s also a psychedelic influence to The Black Album, as The Damned begin to move away from their punk roots. They didn’t cut the ties entirely, for fear of alienating their older fans, who had been around since The Damned released  their debut album in 1976. A lot had happened since 1976. 

Forty years later, and incredibly, The Damned are still going strong.They’ve had their ups and downs, but still keep making music and have released over thirty albums since The Black Album. However, The Black Album and its predecessor Machine Gun Etiquette are both reminders of The Damned in their prime, when they swaggered their way through albums, displaying a devil may care, rebellious attitude. This resulted in some of the most memorable music of their forty year career. Thos included the classic album Machine Gun Etiquette, and the album where The Damned came of age musically, The Black Album which featured a much more sophisticated and eclectic style.

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The Idle Race-The Limit Of The Marvellous-Vinyl.

For many musical connoisseurs, one of the highlights of  Record Store Day 2016, was Parlophone’s reissue of The Idle Race’s sophomore album The Limit Of The Marvellous. It was the followup to The Birthday Party, and found The Idle Race continue to combine pop, rock and psychedelia. They were lead by one of the most successful musicians of the seventies, Jeff Lynne.

He wrote seven of the eleven songs on The Limit Of The Marvellous. That wasn’t his only role with The Idle Race. Jeff Lynne arranged and produced The Limit Of The Marvellous. It was heavily influenced by The Beatles.  They would continue to influence Jeff Lynne when he lead the Electric Light Orchestra. Sadly, The Limit Of The Marvellous never enjoyed anything like the success of Electric Light Orchestra. 

Indeed, none of The Idle Race’s albums were particularly successful. However, The Limit Of The Marvellous is a cohesive and accomplished album which is long on hooks. It finds Jeff Lynne maturing as a songwriter and producer, on The Limit Of The Marvellous which nowadays, is regarded as The Idle Race’s finest album.

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The Velvet Underground-Loaded-Vinyl.

During 2016 limited edition vinyl pressings were all the rage. One of the albums rereleased by HMV as a limited edition was The Velvet Underground’s fourth album Loaded. This classic album that was meant to be “loaded with hits.” Instead, it proved to be The Velvet Underground’s swan-song. However, it was no ordinary swan-song.

Most critics were won over by Loaded. It followed in the footsteps of The Velvet Underground, which showcased a much more populist, commercial sound. Among  Loaded’s highlights were the hook-laden, Sweet Jane and Rock and Roll. When Loaded was released, it failed commercially. Alas, the album wasn’t: “loaded with hits.” However, Loaded  deserved to fare better. Especially as The Velvet Underground had sacrificed and suppressed their true sound to deliver an “album loaded with hits.” 

While Loaded wan’t an “album loaded with hits,” it had everything going for it. It benefited from a much more commercial sound, and plethora of hooks. This meant that Loaded was The Velvet Underground’s most accessible album. It was also their swan-song. However, The Velvet Underground left behind a rich legacy. That’s despite only recording four studio albums. Each is a classic. From The Velvet Underground and Nico to Loaded, each album features shamanistic performances from those musical shape shifters and high priests of music, The Velvet Underground.

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Three Man Army-Three Man Army and Three Man Army Two.

All too often, a truly talented group fails to find the audience their music deserves. As a result, the band only releases a few albums, which are cherished by discerning record buyers. That was the case with Three Man Army, who were founded by brothers Adrian and Paul Gurvitz in 1971 . Later in 1971, Three Man Army released their debut album, A Third Af A Lifetime in 1971. It was followed by 1973s Three Man Army iand 1974s Three Man Army Two. Sadly, this proved to be Three Man Army’s swan-song. A fourth Three Man Army was planned but was never recorded.

Drummer Tony Newman got the chance to join David Bowie’s band, this was too good an opportunity to turn down. For Three Man Army, it was the end of the road  Forty-two years after Three Man Army released their final album, BGO Records reissued Three Man Army and Three Man Army Two on one CD. These two albums are a reminder of one of the most underrated British rock groups of the seventies. Their fusion of blues, psychedelia and rock passed record buyers by. 

Nowadays, Three Man Army now have a cult following, whohave discoveredThree Man Army’s three albums. They’re  regarded as cult classics and Three Man Army  as one of British rock music’s best kept secrets, Three Man Army, who could’ve, and should’ve, become one of the giants of seventies rock. 

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Tim Maia-1970.

Between 1970 and 1973, Tim Maia released four albums. Each of these albums he named Tim Maia. This proved confusing, so nowadays, they’re entitled 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973.  They were rereleased by Oficial Arquivoknown and include some of the best music of Tim Maia’s long and illustrious career.

When Tim Maia released his debut album 1970, he was almost twenty-eight. 1970 was hailed a groundbreaking, genre-melting classic by critics. The album was a successful and seamless marriage disparate genres. Soul and funk rubbed shoulders with samba and Baião. There’s even hints of easy listening and soul jazz on Tim Maia 1970 on an album that featured a trio of Tim Maia classics, induing   Coroné Antonio Bento. So it was no surprise that 1970 spent twenty-four weeks in the upper reaches of the Brazilian charts. For Tim Maia, it had been a long, hard struggle, but belatedly he had made a commercial breakthrough. 

Tim Maia was a  hugely talented, charismatic and larger life singer, who lived life on the edge, and was determined to do things his way,His music was memorable, melodic, magical, eclectic and truly timeless. That’s a apparent on 1970, which was Tim Maia’s first classic album. It went on to influence and inspired further generations of singers. However, 1970 launched the career of Tim Maia 1970, a charismatic singer-songwriter career, who was touched by genius and fundamentally flawed.

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Tim Maia-1971.

A year after releasing his debut album 1970, Tim Maia returned with the followup 1971. Just like its predecessor, 1971 was hailed as another groundbreaking album. Elements of soul and funk were combined with samba and Baião. There were even hints of jazz, psychedelia and rock, during what was an ambitious and innovative album of genre-melting music. That was the case throughout 1971. 

From the opening bars of A Festa Do Santo Reis, Tim Maia picks up where he left off on 1970. He’s equally comfortable delivering tender ballads as he is kicking loose, and strutting his way through uptempo tracks. Whichever type of track it is, Tim breathes meaning and emotion into the lyrics. Helping him all the way, are his multitalented band. They ensure that Tim hits the ground running. This resulted in the second classic album of Tim Maia’s career, 1971 which was rereleased by Oficial Arquivoknown.

1971 is a tantalising taste of the charismatic Tim Maia, who was well on his way to becoming one of Brazil’s most successful singer-songwriters. However, after the success of 1971, Tim Maia headed to London where he discovered LSD. Tim Maia became an advocate of its supposed mind opening qualities. He took 200 tabs of LSD home to Brazil, giving it to friends and people at his record label. Little did Tim know, that this was like pressing the self-destruct button. After 1971, Tim Maia would only reach the same height once more.

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Tim Maia-1972.

After returning from London, where he discovered LSD, Tim Maia began work on his third solo album, 1972. By then, he was surviving on a daily diet of drink and drug. Despite this, Tim Maia was able to function normally and even recorded the third classic album of his career, 1972.

It was another mixture of tender ballads and uptempo tracks. Harmonies, strings and Latin percussion accompany Tim Maia and his band during this genre-melting album. Elements of funk, jazz, Latin, rock and soul were combined with samba and Baião. It was heady musical brew that won over critics and record buyers. Having been released to critical acclaim, 1972 reached the upper reaches of the Brazilian album charts. The rise and rise of Tim Maia continued.

1972 became the third classic album of Tim Maia’s career. It was also his final classic album. Tim Maia’s music changed direction on 1973. Good as it was, 1973 can’t be called a classic. However, 1972, with its groundbreaking and genre-melting sound, where ballads rub shoulders with uptempo tracks,  was another classic album from musical maverick Tim Maia.

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Tyll-Sexphonie.

Tyll weren’t a traditional band. They were formed to record a Krautrock album. This was the brainchild of  Fred Kersten, who owner Kerston Records. He approached Teflon Fonfara  to ask if he would be interested in recording a Krautrock album. For Teflon Fonfara this was interesting proposition, given his previous group Eulenspygel had been put on hold. Soon, he had agreed and put together Tyll which recorded Sexphonie in 1975.

Later in 1975, Sexphonie was released but  wasn’t the commercial success that everybody had hoped. Those who bought a copy of Sexphonie discovered an album were Tyll fused acid-rock with hard-psych, polit-rock, progressive rock. There were even the occasional excursion into avant-garde, folk, funk and polit-rock. Sometimes,  Eastern influences shawn through on Sexphonie a hidden Kraurtrock gem. It was a captivating album of groundbreaking music, where no two tracks were the same. Tyll were musical chameleons, whose music was variously beautiful, cinematic, dramatic, lysergic and melancholy. Other times, the music on Sexphonie was progressive, rocky, melodic and mesmeric. 

Despite being a truly talented and versatile band, Tyll were together less than a year. They left behind a memorable musical legacy. That’s their groundbreaking debut album Sexphonie. If finds Tyll switching seamlessly between musical genres, as they create what’s nowadays regarded as a hidden gem and a lost Krautrock cult classic, Sexphonie which was rereleased by the Mental Experience label, an imprint of Guerssen Records

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White Light-White Light.

Glasgow based White Light were no ordinary rock band. To the casual observer their fusion of rock, heavy metal, psychedelia and blues sounded no different to many other bands who played in Glasgow. However, when the audience listened more closely to White Light’s lyrics on songs like Prodigal and Pretty Big God, the picture became much more clear. White Light were a Christian rock band, who rather than play in churches, played in pub and clubs the length of Scotland. That had been the case since the early seventies.

By 1974, White Light made it to the final of the Melody Maker magazine’s competition, where they showcased their rock opera Parable. Buoyed by this success White Light recorded their debut album. When it was released later in 1974, Parable sported a lysergic cover. It was quite unlike what most people would’ve expected a Christian rock album to look like. If ever there was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, it was Parable. Its cover should’ve drawn attention to the album. Despite some critically acclaimed reviews, sadly, that wasn’t the case.

Recently, and somewhat belatedly, there’s been a resurgence in interest in Parable. It’s is now a collectors item, with copies selling for over $1,000. That is beyond the budget of most collectors. However, last year,  Parable was released by Sommor Records. This means that White Light’s sheep in wolf’s clothing, Parable is once again, available for music fans to rediscover.

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Every year, it seems, more albums are reissued. 2016 was no different. Each week hundreds of albums were reissued. This ranged from classic albums to hidden gems and cult classics that had been rediscovered. These albums were reissued by labels in Britain, Europe and America. Some of the albums that found their way onto what’s the definitive list of the best reissues of 2016. It’s no ordinary list though. Instead, it’s an eight-part list that features the eighty best reissues of 2016.

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