Exposé Online banner

Quiet Sun — Mainstream (Deluxe Edition)
(Expression Records 2335 242, 1975/2012, CD+Book)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2014-01-23

Mainstream (Deluxe Edition) Cover artIt’s common knowledge that long time Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera recorded both his first solo album, Diamond Head at the same time as his pre-Roxy quartet, Quiet Sun, recorded Mainstream. Coordinating those furious sessions, of course, meant long nights, excellent brew, and cross-collaboration with both Roxy alumni as well as reconvening the old band to reinvent song arrangements and create something fresh. The new Expression records edition of Mainstream shows the quartet as anything but a conventional rock act struggling to establish a unique identity but in the best possible fashion. This album is clearly the other side of the musical coin with distinct variations on Diamond Head. Does the recording stand the test of time? The answer is a resounding yes despite no substantial sound improvements for this reissue. The songs and understated nature of the project made the recording almost a tribute to the previous incarnation of the band with hints of the 801 Live to be. Probably the best piece is still “Mummy was an asteroid, daddy was a small non-stick kitchen utensil” due to both keyboardist Dave Jarrett’s and Manzanera’s playing. Demos of the band’s early works which were sent to various record labels of the day are included (as well as the rejection slips) which further reveal Jarrett as the Mike Ratledge acolyte he truly was. Pieces such as “Years of the Quiet Sun” and two differing versions of “R.F.D.” show the organist and the entire band in fact playing in the wonderfully twisted Soft Machine improv style as signposts for them to finding their feet. Also it’s especially quite cool to hear Manzanera’s soaring leads on those tracks. The bonus tracks are an essential part of the band’s history and do not detract from the cohesion of the original album. “Talking History” in fact documents a reconvening of the three surviving members to mull over the good ole days. The packaging is a collector’s dream, if a little hard on the eyes, that conveys how little notice the band received early on, and later the complete opposite. The small book packaging is complete with an excellent set of reviews (not necessarily favorable) and memorabilia. Especially of note is Island records chief Muff Winwood’s rejection letter. It’s ironic in that they were later signed to the same label. Highly recommended.

Filed under: Reissues, 2012 releases, 1975 recordings

Related artist(s): Phil Manzanera, Quiet Sun

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Asgard - Arkana – Arkana is the latest offering from the Italian neo-progressive band Asgard. Their sound is full of power and grandeur, very symphonic, with affected vocals, shifting moods and almost schizophrenic...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues