Placebo – Ball of Eyes. 1971 Belgium

Placebo – Ball of Eyes. 1971 CBS (Netherlands)

CD reissue: 2011 P-Vine (Japan mini-LP)

Since I seem to be in a "rare groove" mode here at UMR, and on UTRCD we're featuring another great Belgian band (Quantum Fantay), I thought this would be a good time to marry the two and feature the 3 Placebo albums.

Packaging details: Original LPs are off the charts expensive, and I personally wasn't aware of Placebo until the last 6 years or so. After obtaining CD-R copies and pleading for a reissue on the CDRWL, we were all rewarded last year with fully authorized Japanese mini-LPs from P-Vine. Ball of Eyes in particular benefits from the format, given that the original features a cool gatefold cover. There are unauthorized LP versions floating about, so watch out!

Notes: Marc Moulin's three Placebo albums are the "Holy Grail" for the rare groove crowd, a sector of music fans who love that unique 70s style of cool. The beat and the mood of the sound are key.

For an album from the 1971 jazz scene, "Ball of Eyes" is remarkably focused, without any experimentation or free jazz moments which were still in vogue during that time. Not edgy like same era Miles Davis, Wolfgang Dauner or even other rare Euro groovers like the Sunbirds. In fact when I first heard it, I was certain it was from 1975 or later. The horn charts are all very well done and they do catch that certain 70s spy groove. It's all a bit too laid back for me to consider it a 5 star masterpiece, but its wide appeal is undeniable.

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