The Best Reissues Of 2017-Part 6.

Radiohead-OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 – 2017.

Label: XL Recordings.

In June 1997, post rock pioneers Radiohead released the album that transformed their career, and catapulted them to music’s premier league. OK Computer with its abstract lyrics, densely layered sound and eclectic range of disparate influences was very different to the bubblegum Britpop sound that was popular at the time. Radiohead had released an ambitious and innovative classic album that would lay the groundwork their later, more experimental albums.

Requiem-For A World After.

Label: Mental Experience.

For six months, George A. Speckert and Massimo Grandi laboured long and hard in Sparky Studios to record Requiem’s debut album For A World After. Eventually, the two men had completed what was an ambitious and innovative concept album, For A World After. It had been written by George A. Speckert and “tells the story of world annihilation through nuclear war.”  Requiem had recorded a powerful and poignant musical statement which was released as private press in 1981. Sadly, it failed to find an audience until recently. Now this genre-melting, cult classic which fuses elements of ambient, Berlin School, Krautrock and psychedelia is receiving the recognition it deserves.

Ronnie Milsap-Out Where The Bright Lights Are Glowing, There’s No Gettin’ Over Me, Keyed Up and One More Try For Love.

Label: BGO Records.

Right up until the release of Keyed Up, Ronnie Milsap was one of the biggest names in country music. Proof of this a trio of critically acclaimed albums Out Where The Bright Lights Are Glowing, There’s No Gettin’ Over Me and Keyed Up, which are a reminder of a giant of country music at the peak of his powers. However, in 1984, Ronnie Milsap changed direction on One More Try For Love which featured AOR, country, electronica, pop, and rock. While the music was slick, carefully crafted, melodic and memorable, the album reached a lowly 180 in the US Billboard 200. Ronnie Milsap’s eighties makeover backfired, and brought to an end the most successful period of his career.

Roy Buchanan-Loading Zone and You’re Not Alone.

Label: BGO Records.

For his second album for Atlantic Records, Loading Zone, Roy Buchanan was paired with producer Stanley Clarke. The pair bonded whilst recording the genre-melting Loading Zone, which featured an all-star cast. When it was released in May 1977 and certified gold, it became Roy Buchanan’s most successful album. Raymond Silva produced the followup You’re Not Alone, which was a much more ambitious, complex and sophisticated album from Roy Buchanan. and received the same critical acclaim as Loading Zone. Sadly, upon its release in late 1977, You’re Not Alone failed to trouble the charts, and was the one that got away for  Roy Buchanan. However, Loading Zone and You’re Not Alone are the perfect introduction to the late, great Roy Buchanan.

Rupture-Israel Suite/Dominante En Bleu.

Label: Sommor Records.

In 1973, Rupture released an Israel Suite/Dominante En Bleu, which was an ambitious concept album that set out to document the history of the Israel. Very few copies of this private press were released, which nowadays, is a spiritual jazz classic. It’s also one of the rarest European jazz records of the past fifty years. Copies hardly ever come up for sale, and when they do, they’re beyond the budget of most record buyers. However, the reissue of Israel Suite/Dominante En Bleu means that this spiritual jazz classic is within the budget of everyone, and they can enjoy one of the most ambitious concept albums of the seventies.

Sea Level-Ball Room.

Label: BGO Records.

After Capricorn Records filed for bankruptcy, a new lineup of Sea Level signed to Arista, and began work on Ball Room. It was one of the most eclectic albums Sea Level’s career and features anthems, rockers and ballads. Critics were won over by Ball Room, which it was thought would transform Sea Level’s career. Sadly, it wasn’t to be and Ball Room failed to chart, resulting in Sea Level  calling time on their career. However, their’s swan-song Ball Room is an underrated hidden gem in Sea Level back-catalogue.

Skid Row-Skid and 34 Hours. 

Label: BGO Records.

On Skid and 34 Hours, Skid Row, who were lead by guitar virtuoso Gary Moore rewrite the rules for future power trios.  They created music that was cerebral, complex, hard rocking, innovative and progressive. Skid Row also fused and flitted between disparate and unlikely musical genres during Skid and 34 Hours, which are a reminder of one Ireland’s greatest musical exports during their sadly short, but memorable musical career.

Sly and the Family Stone-Small Talk, High On You and Heard Ya Missed Me, Well I’m Back.

Label: BGO Records.

Between 1969 and 1974, Sly and The Family Stone could do no wrong musically. They released Stand in 1969 with their  first Greatest Hits album fowling in 1970. Then came Sly Stone’s Magnus OpusThere’s A Riot Goin’ On in 1971 which ensured the commercial success and critical acclaim continued. That was the case with 1973 Fresh and 1974s Small Talk which brought this golden period to a close. However, 1975s High On You which was Sly Stone’s debut solo album, and 1976s Heard Ya Missed Me, Well I’m Back are oft-overlooked and underrated genre-melting albums from one music’s pioneers and innovators.

Split Decision Band-Split Decision Band.

Label: Now Again Records.

Ever since its released the Split Decision Band’s eponymous debut album has been much prized amongst record collectors. However, it’s an incredibly rare album and copies change hands for large sums of money. This meant that many people were unable to discover the delights of this mysterious band from Des Moines, Iowa. Sadly, Split Decision Band was their one and only album. It features carefully crafted and polished boogie and disco penned by lead vocalist Gordon Starr Flipping. It’s irresistible funky, soulful and dancefloor friendly and even today, will get a party started.

Stoneground-Family Album.

Label: BGO Records.

Prior to the release of Stoneground’s sophomore album Family Album, Warner Bros, began promoting what believed would be their breakthrough album. Family Album featured cover versions and original songs, and was captivating fusion of blues pock, pop, psychedelia, rock and soul. Stoneground was a tight, talented band who played with a fluidity that would be the envy of many bands. Their potential shawn though on what was an accomplished and eclectic album. It lived up to Warner Bros heavy marketing campaign. Sadly, Family Album wasn’t a commercial success and is a hidden gem in Stoneground’s back-catalogue.


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