Saturday, March 11, 2017
Nuova Idea - Mr. E. Jones. 1972 Italy
LP reissue: 1978 Oxford
CD reissues: 1992 Mellow; 2011 Sony (mini-LP); 2014 Sony
Nuova Idea's sophomore release continues to show the evolution of a band caught twixt and between two distinct popular movements within Italy in 1972. On the one hand, they possess that post beat/psych pop sound you might find on an I Santoni or Capricorn College album. On the other, you'll hear the rough and ready complexities of Raccomandata Ricevuto Ritorno or Quella Vecchia Locanda's debut. Not only is the album a mix of both, but you can hear it happen within the album itself, as it starts with the former and moves towards the latter. It peaks on the middle tracks and finishes where it started. This is definitely one for those who possess a 1970s Italian prog graduate degree, as it will likely fail to impress those just getting their feet wet. But once you have the full picture, Nuova Idea is history in the making, and a pleasant listen along the way. I can accuse myself of this observation, having first heard the album via the Mellow CD in the early 90s, only to heave-ho it quickly. Not wise.
I have to say the covert art, on the other hand, is one of my favorites in a scene that has many such great covers. A striking early 60's modernist Twilight Zone vibe permeates. The album itself is apparently about the life of the dreary office clerk, better represented in the artwork than within the music I would conclude.
I currently possess the 2014 CD on Sony, which can be had for cheap. The sound quality is quite bad, and I have to think it's a poor mastering. I've been looking for the original LP for many years, but it's been prohibitively expensive, especially with the poster. I need to hear the Mellow CD again to compare. I find it strange that this album has never been reissued in Japan, nor has it received a modern LP reissue. It's been pretty much neglected by the traditional reissue market.
Nuova Idea - Mister E. Jones / Svegliati Edgar. 1972 Ariston