Socrates Drank the Conium - On the Wings. 1973 Greece

Socrates Drank the Conium - On the Wings. 1973 Polydor International
Socrates - On the Wings. 1973 Peters International (USA)

CD reissue: 1996 Polydor

LP reissues: 1991 Polydor; 2008 Anazitisi

Packaging: As you can see above, the record labels seemed to have fun playing around with the images and poses. The top is the Greek original; the middle is the US original with a different photo and a shortened name (that they were later to adopt); and the last photo is the CD which reverses the silver and black. True Greek originals are very rare, and I've never actually held one, and they go for multi-hundreds in auction. Like the Sahara album we spoke of before, the Peters copy is likely to be the introduction for 99.5% of American collectors. I found mine at a Dallas record show in the late 1980s. I did sell it eventually a few years later, and that looks to be a mistake. While most Peters International albums are still cheap and easy to source, Socrates would have to be considered the exception, and copies have been known to sell for well over a $100 in mint shape (though that can be tough to find given the black cover). I was surprised to learn of the '91 LP reissue, given that vinyl was becoming extinct about that time. The 2008 release is a gatefold apparently, so that would appear to be the desired reissue. As for CDs, the '96 major label release is all there is. Like the other CDs on Greek Polydor, they are straight reissues with little more than what was on the original LP. But they are from the masters! I had forgotten about this album until a good friend of the UMR had one for sale recently, so I nabbed it. This is the only copy I own.

Notes: Socrates' third album shifts from the blues rock of their first two albums to full throttle hard rock here. In some ways, On the Wings could be considered a distant cousin to the Icecross album we recently spoke of. It's not quite as sinister, and Socrates hasn't quite yet abandoned its blues rock background, but there's no denying this is a pioneering album in the hard rock genre. I appreciate that Socrates occasionally uses Greek scales within their guitar melodies. This is a good one for fans of early 70s aggressive hard rock.

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