Netherworld - In the Following Half-Light. 1981 USA

Netherworld are the quintessential American band from the late 1970s and early 80s - a band that mixes complex progressive rock with FM sensibilities. Had they been from the Midwest rather than California then they would have been a perfect fit for my USA Midwest / Ontario Progressive Rock (1970's/early 80s) list. Tracks like the opener 'Too Hard to Forget' will instantly make one think of the original NWOBPR movement. By the time we get to side 2 and 'Isle of Man' all pretension of this somehow being a radio friendly album are thrown to the wind. We're in full blown "Selling England..." era Genesis, and it only gets more progressive from there. By the time we hit the 3 part closer 'Sargasso', Netherworld are in the same off the rails league as Yezda Urfa, Pentwater, and Mirthrandir. And, oh by the way, it's also a mellotron feast for the analog gear heads out there. The Musea CD adds the 10 minute instrumental 'Cumulus Nimbus' that was previously on the Past-Present-Future compilation from Syn-Phonic. And word down at the soup kitchen says Netherworld has plenty more where that came from. Perhaps urban legend, perhaps absolute truth. We all live for the Queen's Court gossip don't we?

Personal collection
LP: 1981 REM
CD: 2002 Musea (France)

Netherworld has always been a collectible private press from the US. I sold mine when the CD came out. This isn't one of Musea's best reissues, missing the full biography that is normally associated with the label. But sonically it's fantastic and includes a very important bonus track as noted above.

January 2017 update: And I've reclaimed the original vinyl, obtaining a sealed one in a trade with a friend.

4 comments:

  1. Tom, any rumors about that unreleased material seeing the light of day?
    I'd say "sign me up" if they do!

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  2. Hey Mark - Naw, I wish! I remember Greg telling me there was a lot more than just that one track. Not sure if that was the band just blowing smoke, or Greg actually has heard them. But that's 20 year old data. Pretty slow news, eh? :-)

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  3. Yeah, not exactly encouraging, lol.

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  4. This is the guitarist from the band Netherworld. There are other recordings, but many were lost (they were not in my or Randy Wilson's possession), which is disappointing. I think that there are some old 4-track recordings from the early-early days floating around. Randy Wilson and I have spoken about trying to locate more material, but to my knowledge nothing as surface in our effort to contact folks that may have had archaic masters. I have some demos of Isle of Man when I first wrote the song, but nothing that could be released. It is very nice to see people still enjoying our music. We longed for a record deal and touring opportunities back in the late 70's, but nothing developed. It is ironic that after so many years Musea signed the band. We are very grateful to Musea for keeping what did alive.

    ReplyDelete

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