Michael Angelo - s/t. 1977 USA
CD reissues: 2009 Big Pink (South Korea); 2015 Anthology; 2015 Lion (2 CD w/Nuts and A Sorcerer's Dream)
LP reissues: 1997 Guinn; 2005 Void; 2015 Anthology
There are two distinct aspects that define Kansas City based Michael Angelo's work: The year and the mystique. I know for a fact this album gained its reputation originally under the pretense that Mr. Nigro was some sort of forlorn figure who basically lived under a bridge and somehow managed to get this "real people" album recorded (have the catalogs from the 80s to prove this). His bombed-out-of-his mind front cover look may have helped with that legend. And of course, the fact the album came out in 1977 - a year most known for slick pop, glossy fusion, and mirror ball disco - does create quite the anachronism. So with factual history at our disposal, we find out that Michael Angelo was an accomplished session musician recording at a professional studio. Hard to believe really, given the end result, but yes it's true. No idea why this album sounds so under-produced then, which is a somewhat compelling story right there.
So what do we have here? Basically a 10-years-past-its-shelf-life folk psych album, with a certain naive outlook. Now it would be easy to criticize those who love this album as being suckers to an imaginary hype , but I can absolutely understand the allure here. It's beyond my personal interest area, but let's be respectful to those who do love it. The album is somewhat unique despite the historical facts. I personally find it ironic there is a track called Journey, as to my ears, I immediately could envision Michael Angelo as the lead singer for you-know-who.
As you can see, there are multiple reissues to be had. It would appear that the Lion CD and the Anthology LP are the way to go here, as each features more material, especially the CD which encompasses 3 albums. I recently picked up the self-released Guinn reissue on the cheap, and my copy is 16 out of 450. No idea how it compares to the original or any other reissue. If I get a hold of one, I'll update this post.