Burnin Red Ivanhoe - M 144. 1969 Denmark
CD reissues: 1997 Sonet (2 CD); 2010 Universal
LP reissues: 1979 Sonet (2 LP); 2016 Shadoks (Germany 2 LP)
Burnin Red Ivanhoe's debut album M 144 is a groundbreaking effort, and the blueprint for many a Scandinavian album for the next few years. A double LP set, where half the album is sung in the native language, is unheard of for Continental Europe at such an early date. The influence of the Mothers of Invention looms large, and as such the album can be wildly inconsistent just as Zappa's own works can be. But at its core, we are introduced to a mixture of jazz, blues, rock, combined with the local folk music tradition. Highlights include the opener, 'Antique Peppermint', 'Tingel-tangelmanden', 'Purple Hearts', and the lengthy finale 'Ksilioy'. Essential historical album for fans of progressive rock, but certainly not among the best the genre can offer.
My first copy was the 2 LP set on Sonet. A slightly later press on the purple/orange label and without the gimmix. I sold the album over 15 years ago. Real originals on the red Sonet label and the moving pieces are quite expensive and sought after. And now in 2016, Shadoks has come through with a deluxe LP reissue like the original with the gimmix intact.
I recently sourced the 1997 double CD (also on parent label Sonet), which features many live and studio bonus tracks. Even a modern rendition (from a reunion effort) of 'Kaj' is included. This particular CD is hard to find as well.