Morgan - Nova Solis. 1972 England
LP reissues: 1972 RCA; 1987 RCA (Japan); 2001 Black Widow (Italy)
CD reissues: 2000 Angel Air; 2004 BMG (Italy); 2005 Air Mail (Japan mini-LP); 2011 Belle Antique (Japan mini-LP); 2012 Esoteric
Morgan's debut Nova Solis is certainly one of the more unheralded UK progressive rock albums from the golden era. There's a strong influence from the "majors", primarily ELP and Yes, which wasn't as common for English bands in those days as you might initially think. Morgan Fisher's piano and organ work, in particular, are quite engaging. But how on Earth did they end up in Italy? Band member Mo Bacon's father was an international merchant, and passed on the band's tape, which ultimately ended up in the hands of RCA in Rome. The album was recorded in Italy with the likes of Il Rovescio della Medaglia and The Trip both in the studio at the same time. The latter band was most certainly influenced by Morgan's presence. Due to some ill-timed hard line negotiation, both RCA USA and UK declined to repress the album in their home countries. Thus its obscurity today. A fate it did not deserve.
The Italian original comes in a gatefold with a "top opening". Eventually the LP did get released in the UK, but with a single sleeve and little distribution. The album has been well served in the reissue market, both at home and in their adopted home country of Italy. The Esoteric reissue features detailed liner notes. I haven't compared the sound to the Air Mail release, which most assuredly was sourced from the original Angel Air CD. At some point, I hope to pick up the Italian original LP, but it's not a high priority.