Exposé Online banner

Thinking Plague — Early Plague Years
(Cuneiform Rune 141, 1986/2000, CD)

by Steve Robey, Published 2001-03-01

Early Plague Years Cover art

The recent resurgence of Thinking Plague has finally yielded the reissue of their (rare) first two albums (both included on this one CD in their entirety), showcasing the beginnings of one of the more adventurous bands of our era. ...A Thinking Plague and Moonsongs show that Plague’s creative energies and talents were already highly developed, even at this early stage, and with a minimal recording budget, no less. Bassist / drummer / violinist Bob Drake plays a greater role here than on later releases, and his “compositions” make interesting use of drones and sound effects. Guitarist Mike Johnson still handles the bulk of the writing, and his style at this point includes somewhat aggressive tempos (such as “I Do Not Live” from the first album, and “Warheads” from the second) as well as the majestic epics that we’ve come to expect (“Moonsongs”, “The War”). ...A Thinking Plague features vocalist Sharon Bradford, who left shortly after, and who receives a pair of writing credits. Suzanne Lewis sings on Moonsongs, the title track of which is one of her finest recorded moments. Prior to this reissue, I had both of these albums on cassette, and I can vouch for the fact that the remastering that went into this issue have added great depth and dynamics to the sound. While not quite on the level of In This Life or In Extremis (which is a hard order to fill at any rate), these first two albums are a great bargain as a two-fer, and well worth the attention of those interested in more Plague.


Filed under: Archives, Issue 21, 2000 releases, 1986 recordings

Related artist(s): Thinking Plague, Bob Drake

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Pineapple Thief - Someone Here Is Missing – The Pineapple Thief have always had an affinity for indie rock that’s put them at the forefront of the new generation of British prog bands. They push the envelope even further here, with a modern...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues