As I mentioned in my last column, it is Christmas time and of course we always search for something special for someone we know or in fact may actually love. In music, the pool of possibilities is always quite deep and getting deeper as each day passes. With more, eh hem, music being produced each year, there are surely countless albums that become buried deeper and deeper in the archives of music history and yet present listeners with some very wonderful immersions. Yes, music isn't something to be listened to. It is something you should become immersed in.
And so continuing the list of albums you probably missed that were not the biggest sellers by a particular artist. So here, I'm going to amend that slightly as you will see.
The first album is one I discovered in high school by a band that really wasn't a band so much as a collection of musicians working under the tutelage of Yes frontman Jon Anderson and featuring former Yes keyboardist, Tony Kaye. The band was called Badger and their first release was a live album titled, "One Live Badger". Well, I have to admit, at the time I wasn't much of a keyboard rock fan but this album is so good I couldn't ignore it. No, there were no hits on it. And the band really didn't tour much to support it even though it was a "live" album. And as most of you know, Tony Kaye sold many more albums as part of Yes. So I doubt this one ranks as one of his best sellers.
The next album is one that has been dreadfully overshadowed by most because it wasn't what everyone wanted. West, Bruce and Laing was the follow up group for two supergroups. Leslie West and Corky Laing were the original members of Mountain and Jack Bruce was, of course, one of the "Cream". When they got together in 1973, everyone thought it was going to be something very special. And it was. The problem was, it wasn't Cream or Mountain but a melding of both. This, as was the case sadly for most of Jack Bruce's solo career, not accepted by the fans or media/critics. Their first release, Why Dontcha is honestly on my list of all time favorites because it is an incredible collection of songs. No, there is no hit on the album in the traditional sense though songs like the title track and "The Doctor" are both radio friendly and could easily have garnered attention. My suspicion is that the record label, Columbia, felt that the band didn't need a push since it featured name recognition and as such the normal payola and bribes that are sent out to accompany records to radio stations didn't exist. As such, DJ's didn't bother to play the songs or push them on the air and most of the public never heard any of it. No matter how much you tour, you can't have a hit record without radio play.
So if you're still wondering what to get that special rock and roll fan who may have everything, these two are definitely worth attention and, if you can find them, more that worthy of attention.