What does it sound like?:
This three cd set is subtitled ‘The Underground Story of Transatlantic Records 1968-1976.’ For those who don’t know, Transatlantic was a small British independent label, covering a wide variety of music ranging from jazz rock to folk to heavier rock, all coming under the rather nebulous banners of ‘progressive’ or ‘underground. This compilation of newly remastered material lasts getting on for four hours, but is it any good?
Well, yes and no is the answer. As you’d expect in a set as diverse as this, there’s a whole mixture of material and artists, some of which is more successful than others, depending on your taste. The good thing is there’s such a wide range of styles and artists that you’re soon past any songs you don’t care for and are on with the next one.
There is some great material here that I’ve not heard for many a long year – Alan Hull (an old favourite of mine), Gerry Rafferty, Pentangle, Unicorn, Decameron, Gryphon, the list goes on. It’s especially good to hear something from Gordon Giltrap – I love his early albums and really must dig them out again, and also Stray, who have their own box set coming soon. Also watch out for early Mike Oldfield (as part of Sallyangie) and future Camel man Peter Bardens. The material does vary wildly, but there’s a place for everything here – see The Deviants, Mick Farren, Jody Grind, Marsupilami and Circus.
What does it all *mean*?
Overall this is a very well put together set, with the usual informative booklet, It’s rather a lot to get through in one sitting, but it’s good to dip in and out of one cd at a time, as long as you’re prepared to take the rough with the smooth content wise.
Goes well with…
Time spent reminiscing – it all seems so long ago now.
Might suit people who like…
Those who enjoy exploring unfamiliar sounds, although some of this is best approached with caution!