Jade Warrior - Released. 1971 England

Jade Warrior's sophomore release continues their unique blend of psychedelic hard rock and world fusion. Of the former style, highlights include the eye opening 'Three Horned Dragon', 'Eyes on You', and 'Minnamoto's Dream'. The latter is one of the album's peak moments and probably is the track that most represents the debut album. The best track for my tastes is the stunningly beautiful jazz / world / rock piece 'Water Curtain Cave' which sounds as if lifted straight from Nucleus' Elastic Rock sessions. 'Yellow Eyes' closes the album in a similar mellow fashion. The 15 minute 'Barazinbar' seamless mixes all these styles into one wonderful psychedelic jam and is clearly the album's centerpiece. Only misstep is the dull rock-n-roll 'Reason to Believe' and is completely out of place here. Otherwise a very fine album, and comes highly recommended.

Personal collection
CD: 2005 Air Mail (Japan)

Originals are stored in a very cool 6 part multi-fold out cover and is extremely sought after. Despite Jade Warrior being a relative household name, UK originals on Vertigo can often times soar over $1,000. The second scan is the much more common and inexpensive US release, that comes in a standard gatefold, and is instantly recognizable for the different cover (which is actually 1/3 of the poster) and the "Mercury stripes" in the upper right hand corner. This version was my introduction to the album many years ago. The German press is a single sleeve with a 6 part poster included. It appears the Venezuela press is a straight single sleeve. As for CD's, the always basic Line was first to market before giving way to the Background and Repertoire labels. I picked up the Japanese mini, which of course replicates the original in every way, and I believe uses a similar master to the Repertoire release. The sound is fantastic on this reissue. Mine comes in a mini-LP box set with the first 3 Vertigo Jade Warriors. A treasured set for certain. Oh, starting with the Background press, all feature one bonus track that is basically a duplicate of one of the album's songs, and is not necessary.

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