CD reissue: 2002 Musea (France)
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.
Netherworld has always been a collectible private press from the US. However this album received quite a bit of distribution in its day, so there's always been enough supply to keep the price to a reasonable figure. It's a basic single sleeve cover, so nothing special from a packaging perspective. 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. Jan 2017 update: And I've reclaimed the original vinyl, obtaining a sealed one in a trade with a friend.
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?
Last update: January 29, 2017