THE IDLE RACE – The Birthday Party

Long before joining Roy Wood and Bev Bevan in The Move, a young hopeful named Jeff Lynne became a member of a Midlands beat group named The Nightriders. Soon after Lynne’s arrival, The Nightriders mutated into The Idle Race, a move reflecting a gradual shift from 60s beat group sounds to the burgeoning psychedelic scene. Despite releasing two albums and a handful of singles, The Idle Race failed to make much of a commercial impact in the 60s, but due to Jeff’s later megastar status as the leader of Electric Light Orchestra and part time Wilbury, their work has built a cult following.

Continue reading

RENAISSANCE – Turn Of The Cards

For British progressive and art rock, the relatively short period between March 1973 and December 1974 was particularly fruitful. Roxy Music released ‘For Your Pleasure‘ and ‘Stranded’, Genesis released two of their most ambitious works in ‘Selling England By The Pound’ and ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’, while King Crimson gave us ‘Larks’ Tongues In Aspic’ and Emerson, Lake & Palmer tipped the scales of self-indulgence with their ‘Brain Salad Surgery’. Meanwhile, Yes continued their long voyage into the epic with the help of ‘Relayer’, and Pink Floyd and Mike Oldfield released albums that would eventually become worldwide all-time best-sellers. Given the quality and love for each of these records, it’s hardly surprising that, in comparison, ‘Turn of The Cards’ – the fourth studio release from British symphonic rock combo Renaissance – hardly ever gets talked about.

Continue reading

MICK RONSON – Only After Dark: The Complete MainMan Recordings

For many, Mick Ronson needs no introduction. However, for his much celebrated fame with Bowie’s Spiders From Mars, his associations with Mott The Hoople and Lou Reed and having a lifetime champion in Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, there’s one aspect of Ronson’s career that’s sometimes overlooked: his 1970s solo recordings.

Continue reading

THE FALL – The Fall Sound Archives Vol 3 – 1982

Many albums get tagged with the word “seminal”, but few are more deserving of that than The Fall’s ‘Hex Enduction Hour’. Spearheading the beginning of a very prolific period for the band, ‘Hex’ is more than an album – it’s an art project. Given its subsequent influence upon on experimental underbelly of rock, punk and indie music, it’s fitting that it would eventually provide the heart of a great box set.

The third edition of Cherry Red’s Fall Sound Archives reissue series, ‘1982’ does exactly what it says on the tin. It brings together two studio albums (‘Hex Enduction Hour’ and ‘Room To Live’), various Peel Sessions and a slew of live recordings (a vastly expanded edition of ‘In A Hole’ and a harder to find live recording sourced from an Australian gig).

* Continue reading

Brand new Anthony Phillips album released in October

It’s a good time to be an Anthony Phillips fan.  Following the October release of Rocking Horse Club’s excellent tribute album ‘Which Way The Wind Blows’ [a full review can be found here], the original Genesis guitarist will release a new solo album on 25th October.

Continue reading