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

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Silverman - Blank for Your Own Message – The secondary title for this release is “A Zen Opera in Seven Parts,” and I will set aside any questions about the appropriateness of the Buddhist reference. If you really want to call it an...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues