Epitaph - Outside the Law. 1974 Germany

Epitaph - Outside the Law. 1974 Billingsgate (USA)

CD reissues: 2000 Repertoire; 2010 Made in Germany; 2015 Made in Germany

LP reissues: 1974 Membran; 1978 Babylon

Outside the Law is the 3rd effort from German rock band Epitaph. Recorded in Chicago, this album really stretches the definition of the term "Krautrock". At this point, it is very clear the band is aiming their sound towards American audiences, and even the titles refer to common southern "redneck" themes. Couple that with the twin guitar attack, and one cannot ignore The Allman Brothers reference here, though as others have stated, Wishbone Ash is also a fair guideline - especially when one considers bandleader Cliff Jackson is British. A fine album (especially side 2), though not at the level of its two heavy rock predecessors, most notably the debut.

Both RYM and Discogs continue to maintain that the German release on Membran is the primary, though I don't think that is historically correct. Especially when one considers the Membran label says "An Billingsgate Production" (grammatical mistake understandable), and that Membran was primarily a distributor. The US label went bankrupt not long after this, and left Epitaph in a lurch for awhile. The original comes in a gatefold cover, though it's somewhat basic in its presentation. I bought the Billingsgate LP while still in college in the middle 80s (used, on the cheap - of course), but it wasn't much to my liking back then. I currently own the Repertoire CD, which features fine sound, and full liner notes that explain much about the band and recording. The Made in Germany reissues add 7 bonus tracks, which I haven't heard yet of course.

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