70's Prog Rock

A few weeks ago, I was browsing around and noticed a couple of other seemingly very affordable copies of Led Zeppelin I. There was one copy in particular that looked kind of nice but the price was still a little higher than I was willing to pay for an LP. Out of curiosity I also checked on E-bay to see what the current going rate was for the first Led Zeppelin album, any pressing. They all seemed kind of expensive so that was that.

The next night, I again happened to be looking through Discogs and noticed that there was a late pressing that was advertised as near-mint/mint for pretty cheap, so I looked through some of the other albums the seller was selling. Was pretty surprised how much 70's progressive rock was in their catalog, and all in near-mint/mint condition so I was pretty excited.

First is the 1974 U.S. re-issue Led Zeppelin I. It's a regular sleeve, not like the earlier gatefold versions. The stereo re-issue also has the original inner sleeve, which is kind of a minor bonus. The vinyl is in great condition, plays flawlessly and was especially a treat with the new Ortofon cartridge. I think this was maybe the second Led Zeppelin album I've ever heard, the first was probably Houses of the Holy. There's a lot of acoustic music mixed with the rock, a nice balance of songs. One thing that I thought was a little weird, not sure if it was the release or something else, is that it sounds a bit dull compared to the CD. I'll have to take it through another listen and compare it closer next time.

This was an interesting find. A first U.S. pressing of Booker T. and the M.G.'s "The Booker Set", from Stax Records in 1969. Aside from having a shiny foil cover, it's a collection of covers from the likes of The Beatles, Paul Simon, The Doors, and The Isley Brothers. An interesting collection of songs, for sure, but with a totally different spin. The album is also flawless, though it could probably use a cleaning.

Now to get to the prog, we arrive at King Crimson's "In the Wake of Poseidon", their second album. This is a 1973 U.S. Reprint from Atlantic. I think that a lot of the early Crimson, though I prefer it over stuff from the Adrian Belew era, can be a bit hit or miss. They've got a ton of great music but as far as complete albums go, there's always a couple of songs that aren't as good as the others. Some of the earlier albums have a couple of musical poetry that I could probably skip, but they're all short. I probably like this album better than their first album, "In the Court of the Crimson King" as far as the album as a whole goes. It's hard to beat 21st Century Schizoid Man, and at the same time, it's kind of amusing how closely Pictures of a City's format mimicks it. This album was only graded at a VG+ but was surprisingly clean. There's a lot of quiet parts so that was a big plus.

While we're still on the 70's prog rock, I also scored a near-mint copy of probably one of Yes' better older albums. This is a 1997 U.S. Re-issue from Atlantic of "Close to the Edge". This was when Bill Bruford and Steve Howe were both in the band, and this also isn't one of the vocal heavy albums, and not one of those albums with 20 minute long songs.


For something a little different, this is a 1971 compilation album of The Who called " Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy" released by Decca but manufactured by MCA. The album cover is kind of neat and the sleeve is in really good condition as well as the vinyl. The other LP's of The Who I have are a bit worn, some worse than others, so it's nice to have a really clean copy of one of their albums, even if it is a compilation. It's got a lot of their popular songs so it's not a bad compilation to have.

Then, a 1972 first U.S. pressing of The Rolling Stones "Exile on Main St.", a double LP gatefold unipak, where the inner sleeves slide into an interior slot and both ends of the closed outer sleeve has no slots. This does make it a little trickier to get out as you need to remove the mylar protective jacket to get the actual LPs out, but still kind of a novelty. The vinyl was graded at near-mint while the sleeve was only VG, but the sleeve was probably better than that. Both albums play clean with one track that had a few pops, but overall great quality.


Finally, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Are You Experienced" 1970 Reprise Records stereo re-issue. Again, near-mint graded vinyl and original inner sleeves, sounds awesome. This was an album that I ended up listening to a lot while I was in college because a friend and cello player was crazy about Jimi Hendrix, and may have been a bit obsessed. Nevertheless, it's a pretty good album and one of Hendrix's more famous ones with some of his most iconic songs. The only problems was with the sleeve being kind of compressed, not a big deal.

As I write this up, I've actually got another shipment of LP's on its way, this one includes "Electric Ladyland", and a few others. Wife wanted a certain Peter, Paul and Mary album so I had to oblige.

Filed under: Music