Sensations' Fix - Portable Madness. 1974 Italy

And here we have... the single greatest space rock album of all time!

No small claim that. Not an irreverent throw out to grab one's attention. Not an epiphany on the 4th beer. No - this is pretty much where I've stood for the 26 years I've owned the album. Last night it comes up again, and reminds me that it is, indeed, the single greatest space rock album of all time. Of course, not everyone will agree with that, and probably the it's overrated crowd will be along here any minute...

Twisty, turny, kinetic, psychedelic, jumpy, murky, primordial, psychotic, and melodic are just a few adjectives that come to mind here. The opening two numbers are great enough, but once 'Phase One and Phase Two' starts spinning in multiple directions, you are sucked into the vortex of another world and dimension. If this doesn't happen to you, then stop surfing the net, watching TV, texting on Facebook with a Russian hooker, or vacuuming the rug. Start from the beginning and pay close attention. OK you there now? Good, so now by the time you get to 'Pasty Day Resistance', you have reached what I consider the single greatest space rock track of all time. There's more twists and turns on this 5 and half minute track then I've heard on full double albums. 'Leave My Chemistry Alone' will finally polish you off, and presumably you're in a cold sweat by now. The album closes with two relatively sane compositions, and tries to return you to Earth, but doesn't quite get there. You are lost forever.

The fuzzy photograph on the front cover, taken in the same spirit as Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster, tells you all you need to know about its provenance. This can't be Italian - nor German as it may seem - but something from another galaxy.

Personal collection
LP: 1974 Polydor
CD: 2009 Universal (as part of Progressive Italia Gli Anni '70 Vol. 1 - The Universal Music Collection)

According to my database, I bought this in 1991, which would have been a bit late for an album such as this. But I do remember the circumstances. It was not one I could find locally, though I had found the other albums already by them. And then every time a mail order dealer had it, I was always too late and it would be gone. Once I procured it, and put it on the turntable, it blew my mind. And still does, a full 26 years later. It never fails.

As for reissues, the album has been poorly served in the marketplace. The only CD reissue is part of the box set above. It's not the best transfer either. However, on this listen I heard the CD first, and then pulled out the LP for a second listen. Truth is, it's not a great recording, but that's part of its charm I think.

It appears the rights are tied up with the label, and Falsini has gone about releasing alternate recordings of Sensations' Fix work - which is known as Music is Painting in the Air, which is worth seeking out too.

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