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XTC - Black Sea
(EMI Toshiba TOCP-65714 Jap-01 175:-)

XTC's fourth album showed the full flower of their two-guitar lineup, begun on the previous DRUMS AND WIRES. Perhaps their most powerfully rocking work, the songs were no less compelling live. Unfortunately, as touring began in support of the release, leader Andy Partridge's long-standing stage fright blossomed into immobilizing panic, forcing the band to permanently retire from the stage. Their palette was continuing to expand sonically and Steve Lillywhite's production made the most of every towering beat and rhythmic nuance.

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve with 3 Bonus Tracks
XTC - English Settlement
(EMI Toshiba TOCP-65715 Jap-01 175:-)

Any doubt's about XTC's abilities and directions following their permanent withdrawal from live performance after the release of BLACK SEA were cast aside when this album appeared in 1982. Originally released as a double album (and subsequently formatted onto a single CD), it marked the dawning of their more pastoral phase. However, far from setting aside their rocking grooves, they now came wrapped in a softer blanket, of more intricate arrangements.

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve
XTC - Go 2
(EMI Toshiba TOCP-65712 Jap-01 175:-)

With their second album XTC was already showing signs of outgrowing their own clothing. Similar in style and content to their debut WHITE MUSIC, GO 2 features a less brittle production and, perhaps most notably, comes packaged in a design which finds the group standing apart from and commenting on the market forces meant to convey their music to the public. XTC were clearly at a crossroads with this album, a situation borne out by their subsequent releases which moved them further away from any accidental peers of the era, and into the ongoing tapestry of pop music. Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding's songwriting skills were in evidence from the beginning, and this album found XTC doing exactly what those songs needed. Those needs, however were to soon change, and this album marks the end of the band's brief "New Wave" era.

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve with 1 Bonus Track
XTC - Nonesuch
(EMI Toshiba TOCP-65720 Jap-01 175:-)

XTC's NONSUCH falls somewhere between the high-polish shine of ORANGES & LEMONS and the pastoral reverie of SKYLARKING. The album also marked the end of the band's dealings with their original label, the beginning of protracted legal maneuverings, and a seven-year gap in releases (which ended with APPLE VENUS VOLUME ONE in 1999). The generous total of 17 songs was also the result of the three-year recording gap preceding it.

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve
Yamauchi, Tetsu - Kikyou
(Showboat SWAX-1006 Jap-12 250:-)

Tetsu Yamauchi (山内哲夫 ) is a Japanese bassist. In the late 1960s he played with Mickey Curtis and his band called Samurai. His involvement with Samurai led to him working as a session musician in both Tokyo and London. He became close friends with Ginger Baker and Alan Merrill. In 1972 he recorded the album "Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu and Rabbit" with Free guitarist Paul Kossoff and drummer Simon Kirke, together with keyboard player John "Rabbit" Bundrick. He subsequently joined Free for their final album. He then replaced Ronnie Lane in the Faces, and continued working as a session musician after the Faces broke up.

HiQuality Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve
Zappa, Frank - Orchestral Favorites
(Ryko VACK-1237 Jap-02 225:-)

ORCHESTRAL FAVORITES contains five symphonic works written by Frank Zappa, performed by Zappa himself and his mid-'70s rhythm section with a full orchestra. Recorded at the Royce Hall in Los Angeles in 1975, ORCHESTRAL FAVORITES is similar to Zappa's other symphonic works (parts of BURNT WEENY SANDWICH, 200 MOTELS, etc.). The album was not released until four years later however, due to a skirmish with Warner Bros. Zappa wanted to release a three-record set entitled LATHER, which was to include material from ORCHESTRAL FAVORITES plus the other late-'70s releases SLEEP DIRT and STUDIO TAN. But Warner Bros. forced him to release the complete work as separate albums.

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve
Zappa, Frank - Baby Snakes
(Ryko VACK-1245 Jap-02 225:-)

The soundtrack to Zappa's "movie about people who do stuff that is not normal" features some of the man's trademark musical madness: quirky shifts of time signatures, style and mood, sterling instrumental work (featuring drummer Terry Bozzio, guitar ace Adrian Belew and '60s Zappa cohort Roy Estrada).

The record is full of boisterous, sarcastic and sometimes soulful singing and Zappa continues his ruthless public defacement of all things shallow, greedy and vacuous in modern society. Warning: your parents might not like some words on this album. If you're a devoted Zappa fan, these early-'80s recordings are a must-have.

Diecut Circular Paper Sleeve with "Baby Snakes" adhesive sticker
Zappa, Frank - The Man from Utopia
(Ryko VACK-1244 Jap-02 225:-)

By the '80s, Frank Zappa became known as a genius who hid a social conscience behind a biting sense of humor. No matter how crude the lyrics were, he was always making a point. Occasionally, however, he did like to just make a silly record, and THE MAN FROM UTOPIA is mighty silly. On "The Radio Is Broken," he roasts those really bad sci-fi movies that inhabit late night TV. "The Jazz Discharge Party Hats" tells what we can only hope is a fictional groupie story over free-jazz backing. Zappa could even write a funny instrumental, picking a baritone sax to handle the melody on "We Are Not Alone." UTOPIA also features an up-and-coming Steve Vai who had the unenviable task of transcribing and then doubling Zappa's vocal part on "The Dangerous Kitchen" and "The Jazz Discharge Party Hats".

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve