The Best Reissues Of 2017-Part 5.

Melissa Manchester-Home To Myself, Bright Eyes, Melissa and Help Is On The Way.

Label: BGO Records.

Success didn’t come overnight for Melissa Manchester. She released her debut album Home To Myself in 1973, which was well received by critics, but reached just 156 in the US Billboard 200. In 1974, Melissa Manchester’s carefully crafted sophomore album Bright Eyes which featured beautiful ballads and uptempo tracks stalled at 159 in the US Billboard 200. However, Melissa Manchester made a breakthrough with Melissa in 1975. It featured slick, polished and lush arrangement and was certified gold, and launched the career of Melissa Manchester. Two years later Melissa Manchester’s fifth album Help Is On The Way which reached just sixty in the US Billboard 200. Despite that, these four albums are the perfect introduction to Melissa Manchester.

Mick Clarke Ramdango, Crazy Blues and Shake It Up!

Label: BGO Records.

Mick Clarke’s life changed when he was fifteen, heard Eric Clapton for the first time. This was the start of a journey that saw Mick Clarke follow in Slowhand’s footsteps, and become one of the greatest British blues men of his generation. Proof of that, are his first three albums, 2013s Ramdango, 2014s Crazy Blues and 2015s Shake It Up! which are the perfect starting introduction to Mick Clarke.


Label: Pharaway Sounds.

In 1976, Moğollar released their eponymous album which was just the third of their career. It’sa captivating fusion of ancient Anatolian melodies and instruments which is combined with elements of classical music, progressive rock and psychedelia. Add to that, Eastern sounds and bursts of fuzzy guitar. The result is a heady  brew that comprises Turkish folk songs; Azerbaijani folk song, classical pieces and B-Sides. Sadly, Moğollar wasn’t a commercial success, and failed to follow in the footsteps of Hittit Sun. That was the last straw for Moğollar, who called time on their career after eight years together.


Label: Chiswick Records.

Two years after Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister founded Motörhead in 1975, the classic lineup of his band entered the studio in April 1977 to record their classic debut album, Motörhead. It was released in August 1977, reached forty-three in the UK charts and was certified silver. Motörhead showcased the band’s unique and inimitable style that had taken shape since they made their debut in 1975. By 1977, Motörhead were fusing hard rock and rock ’n’ roll with a hint of blues rock, which all played a part in their barnstorming, speed-fuelled performance on Motörhead. Forty years later, Motörhead has stood the test of time, and quite rightly is regarded as a classic album.

Mulatu Astatke-Mulatu Of Ethiopia. 

Label: Strut.

For Mulatu Astatke, Mulatu Of Ethiopia was a game-changer of an album. At last, after years of searching for his own sound, Mulatu Astatke had discovered his own unique sound. This Mulatu Astatke called Ethio-jazz. It was a genre that influenced a generation of  Ethiopian musicians when they heard this groundbreaking album.While other artists would release Ethio-jazz classics, Mulatu Astatke had set the bar high for those that followed in his footsteps. Their albums were compared to Mulatu Of Ethiopia, which isn’t just as Ethio-jazz classic, but a jazz classic. Mulatu Of Ethiopia was a career defining album for Mulatu Astatke, the founding father of Ethio-jazz. who influence several generations of musicians. 

Non Band-Non Band. 

Label: TAL.

Although Non Band were primarily a punk group, their eponymous debut album was much more than a punk album. There were elements of the post punk and new wave sounds, and occasional diversions into funk, free jazz, traditional Japanese music and even some poppy hooks. Very occasionally, Non Band took on a jazz and experimental sounds and headed in the direction of avant-garde. Mostly, Non Band evokes the spirit of ’78, when the punk arrived in Japan. However, music had changed by late 1981 when Non Band was recorded, and this explains why it’s such a genre-melting album, that launched the career of punk pioneers Non Group.

Olafur Arnalds-Eulogy For Evolution.

Label: Erased Tapes Records.

By 2017, composer, multi-instrumentalist and BAFTA award-winning producer Ólafur Arnalds was a successful soundtrack composer, who had already released three critically acclaimed solo albums. This included his ambitious and cerebral debut album Eulogy For Evolution, which documents the journey of life from birth to death. It was written while Ólafur Arnalds was still a teenager, and released to plaudits and praise in 2007 as Ólafur Arnalds approached his twenty-first birthday. Critics were astounded than someone so young could record such a profound album. Ten years later, and that is still the case when Eulogy For Evolution was reissued.

Oregon-Out Of The Woods and Roots In The Sky.

Label: BGO Records.

Having released seven albums for Vanguard between 1972 and 1978, Oregon signed to Elektra Records. For Oregon this was the opportunity of a lifetime as Elektra Records was one of the biggest record labels in the world, and had the marketing expertise and financial muscle to promote and distribute Oregon’s music worldwide. This proved to be the case when Oregon released Out Of The Woods to critical acclaim and commercial success in 1978. With its fusion of jazz, folk melodies and world music, Oregon were on their way. Roots In The Sky was released to plaudits and praise in 1979, and found Oregon fusing jazz, classical and world music. Sadly, Roots In The Sky failed to find an audience and Oregon’s success was short-lived. However, Oregon’s two albums for Elektra Records are among the best and most innovative in their back-catalogue. 

Ozark Mountain Daredevils-Ozark Mountain Daredevils.

Label: BGO Records.

After releasing six albums of Southern fried country rock for A&M, Ozark Mountain Daredevils signed to Columbia Records in 1979, and released their eponymous album in 1980. It showcased the Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ new sound. Stylistically, it sounded as if Ozark Mountain Daredevils were following in the footsteps of The Eagles and the Little River Band by recording an album of carefully crafted, melodic and radio friendly songs. They were bang on trend, and should’ve attract the attention of radio programmers. Critics were in agreement, but when the album stalled at 170 in the US Billboard 200 Ozark Mountain Daredevils were dropped by Columbia Records. However, Ozark Mountain Daredevils is an oft-overlooked hidden gem that shows another side to one of the most successful Southern rock bands of the seventies.

Quintessence-Move Into The Light: The Complete Island Recordings 1969-1971.

Label: Esoteric.

Quintessence was founded in Notting Hill, London in 1969, and over the next three years, forged their own unique sound where jazz, psychedelia and progressive rock was combined with Indian influences. This is apparent on their first three albums 1969s In Blissful Company, Quintessence and Dive Deep which were released by Island Records. These three albums feature on Quintessence-Move Into The Light: The Complete Island Recordings 1969-1971, and are a reminder of a pioneering band at the peak of their powers.

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