Jerusalem - s/t. 1972 England
CD reissues: 2005 Deram/Universal (Japan mini-LP); 2009 Rockadrome (USA)
LP reissue: 2011 Lion/Rockadrome (USA)
Release details: Album is stored in a fine gatefold cover and can get quite pricey if you're interested in securing one. Like the Strange Days album, this is an album I completely missed in the 80s and 90s. Though at least I'd heard of Strange Days, but Jerusalem was an entirely new name for me in 2005. When the Japanese CD came out, I figured it was just some rock album outside of my interest area. But no, it read well, so I popped for the deluxe version immediately, which was the first legit reissue on the market after numerous bootlegs. But as we know, the expensive Japanese CDs won't keep the pirates at bay, and it wasn't until the Rockadrome CD hit the shelves, that Jerusalem was finally available to the majority of fans. Apparently this CD comes with 5 bonus tracks (one unreleased and 4 alternate takes), plus a 20 page booklet with liner notes from band member Paul Dean and producer Ian Gillan (yes, the Deep Purple Ian Gillan). At some point, I hope to secure this CD as well, as I'm sure it's the definitive version. The Japanese CD of course looks great, and in this case is a straight master tape transfer, so even the most fussy audiophile will likely be pleased with the sound. As for LP's, Rockadrome partnered with Lion, for the one and only legit reissue in that format. I wouldn't mind owning that as well!
Notes: "Alex, I'll take Obscure Hard Rock Bands from the 70s for $1000". "The clue is.... "1972 England"". "Who is Jerusalem?" YES! Jerusalem's sole album is so ridiculously square on in the hard rock zone, there can be no other answer. Gritty, no nonsense, twin guitar rockin' madness with gruff and slightly psychotic vocals. Every track is a winner. The compositions aren't brainless either, and especially on Side 2, a fair amount of complexity and extra heaviness enters into the picture. Highlights include the dense 'Midnight Steamer', the heavy fuzz overload of 'Primitive Man', and the Eastern progressive rock laced 'Beyond the Grave'. And when I see the name Jerusalem, and its cover theme portrays The Crusades, I'm in.
It's worth noting that the lead singer adopted the Jerusalem name starting in 2009, against the other members' wishes. I have not heard these two latter albums (including one from 2014).