Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now: Out-of-Print Edition
Hard-to-find classics from Neil Young, half of Fleetwood Mac, and more.
Each week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: shamefully out-of-print picks from James Eldred of music blog The Lost Turntable.
Albums go out of print for any number of reasons. Labels go under, artists disavow work as misguided experimentation, or arcane legalities prevent a rerelease. And in the case of these five albums, that sucks.
1.Various Artists, Urgh! A Music War Original Soundtrack (1982)
Filmed around the world with no sense of continuity, Urgh! A Music War is a bizarre, bare-bones concert film that presents the best new wave, synth-pop, and punk that the early ‘80s had to offer. The soundtrack collects nearly all of the songs from the film, and includes amazing live performances from some of the most influential acts of the era (Joan Jett, The Police, Gang Of Four), as well as a few of the more obscure cult acts as well (Au Pairs, 999, Magazine). The movie can be bought today the Warner Archive website, but the soundtrack will most likely be forever out-of-print, thanks to the number of artists and labels involved.
Listen: The Au Pairs, “Come Again”
2. Nicks & Buckingham, Buckingham Nicks (1973)
This is the album that got Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham hired byFleetwood Mac, but for some reason it hasn't seen a proper rerelease since the mid-‘70s. And that’s a shame, because cuts like “Crying In The Night” and “Long Distance Winner” easily stand up to the best tracks that the Nicks/Buckingham-era of Fleetwood Mac had to offer. And while “Crystal” would be re-recorded with Fleetwood Mac for their 1975 self-titled record, the sparse, quiet version found here is far superior.
Listen: “Crying in the Night”
3. The Comsat Angels, Waiting For A Miracle (1980)
Somewhere between the bleak dissonance of Joy Division and the dark but commercial sound of Echo & the Bunnymen was The Comsat Angels. While the group never found the success of their contemporaries, their 1980 debut remains a must listen if you can track a copy down. Full of excellent tunes like the stand-out title cut and the single “Independence Day,” it served as just as much an influence on acts like Bloc Party and Interpol as Joy Division did. Renascent Records re-released the album with bonus tracks a few years ago in the U.K., but since then the album has once again fallen out of print.
Listen: “Independence Day”
4. Neil Young, Trans (1982)
Neil Young dipped his toes in the new-wave pool with his 1981 album Re-ac-tor, but on Trans he jumped in headfirst, complete with electronic drums and what sounds like an endless array of synthesizers. He even went as far as to mask most of his vocals behind a wall of vocoder effects (which made most of his lyrics incomprehensible). Honestly, as a Neil Young record it's pretty terrible, but as a new-wave record it's pretty great. Trans remains out of print in America, but a release in the next volume of Young's Archives series seems likely. (Import copies aren't that hard to find, in the meantime.)
Listen: “Sample and Hold”
5. Game Theory, Lolita Nation (1987)
“Pop” albums don't come any less accessible than Game Theory's Lolita Nation. It's seventy-four-minutes long; the lyrics are obscure at best; and for every piece of power-pop perfection, there's a bizarre, sound-collage experiment to match it. But when you take it all in and let it settle, you can only come to one conclusion: this album is a masterpiece that only gets better with age. It's one of the greatest albums ever made. Period. Sadly, it's been out of print since the band's label went belly-up in 1991, and there seems to be no hope for a re-release anytime soon.
Listen: “Dripping With Looks”
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