Nektar — Remember the Future - 40th Anniversary Edition
(Purple Pyramid CLP 0274, 1973/2013, 2CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-06-20
In late 1973 and early 1974, Nektar was at the peak of their powers, and this concept album was about to sweep over American audiences with generous radio play followed by a massive concert tour with light show. Their star was clearly rising, but it was all short-circuited by a less than stellar follow-up (the appropriately titled Down to Earth album, released in late '74) and a live album of the Remember the Future US tour that wasn’t released for another three years, as two separate single LPs, long after the excitement had faded. That said, one can still be awestruck by this achievement by the band that follows several other excellent albums.
Anyone who bought the first Bellaphon reissue in the 1980s will recall the mastering horror, taken from only two channels of the quadraphonic master tapes, missing much of the guitar that made RTF so powerful. It took many years, but the mistake was finally corrected on several subsequent reissues, and now we have at hand the 40th anniversary two-disc edition. The original album (ten seamless tracks broken only by the sides of the original LP) sounds pretty much the same as the last few reissued versions. The bonus tracks have all been relegated to the second disc, and include a couple of radio edits as well as a ten-minute condensed version of the entire album. Also included are the eight tracks from The Boston Tapes – Nektar's very first studio recordings from 1970 that were collectively supposed to comprise their first album, but ended up getting shelved. About half of the Boston tracks ended up being re-recorded, some released as singles, and those different versions included on the Sounds Like This album that immediately preceded RtF. But the original 1970 versions of those cuts, plus four more that were never revisited, including a cover version of the early sixties Brian Hyland hit "Sealed with a Kiss," offer a rare look at where it all began for Nektar. On a very close listen, those early tapes are in less than perfect condition, but their inclusion here makes this 40th anniversary set the definitive reissue.
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more