I’ve been online since 1998, but have only been able to watch YouTubes and explore the wondrous world of music blogs since 2013, which was when a fibre-optic cable for internet access made its appearance near Jakartass Towers.
I’ve been much like a squirrel ever since, gone nuts grabbing any album which glittered in my memory and/or curiosity to stash in my archives. I’ve rebuilt most of my three long-lost (through marital separations and house moving since you ask) record collections, given away most of my cassettes and tried unsuccessfully to sell my CDs.
I suppose I’ve been trying to relive those excursions I would make to the Record and Tape Exchange emporia I used to visit in lunchtimes and spare hours. I’d invariably come away with something I hadn’t heard, or even heard of, but which attracted me because I recognised a name in the credits.
Sometimes I bought something which I’d resell later, or give away, because it had little appeal for me. More often than not, though, there were hidden gems, albums which didn’t sell then and are largely forgotten now by all but a few dedicated crate diggers. Some of them now make these albums available through their blogs.
Being a contrary kind of bloke, I seek out esoterica, albums unavailable from regular outlets, or which are only available for rich bidders on eBay.
Lisa Sinder who posts mainly ’70s albums on Ezhevika Fields offers no information whatsoever about the albums. If there’s no info about them via an internet search either, or just minimal facts on Discogs.com, then her site is a lucky dip. Check her tags for the music genre.
However, her blog list in the left column did lead me to Julian Ryan’s Progressive Reviews (PR). He also posts albums from the seventies, but in addition he offers his opinions, minimal reviews, on a musician’s discography and places the chosen album(s) in their context, with links to the various releases of the supporting players.
What intrigues me the most about both blogs is that I’ve heard of very few of the musicians they bring into the limelight. How many names do you recognise in this screen-grab from Julian’s site?
I just had to dig in, and, yes, there are certainly gems for my ears, but also some albums which didn’t sell then for pretty good reasons.
I’ve put together a compilation of tracks – download here – from albums discovered on PR’s site. Click on the names below to go to the pages which have the albums. Most have some sample tracks to listen to before deciding to download the complete album.
Kenneth Knudsen – Danish keyboardist
Gerardo Bátiz – Mexican pianist and flautist
Peter Thorup – Danish singer-songwriter who toured with Alexis Korner, “the godfather of the British blues”, in the early ’70s. He was then the vocalist in CCS, which has a hit with Led Zep’s Whole Lotta Love.
Vanessa – Norwegian prog-rock group
Zbigniew Seifert – Polish jazz violinist who died too young
Waterfall – early 70’s UK ‘hippy-dippy’ folk-rock
A couple of other music blogs with a similar range of esoterica worth exploring: