Monday 31 August 2015

Luna Sea, USA 1976, by request

I remember long ago (almost five years ago!) reading about this record on the cd reissue wishlist.  At that time Tom certainly didn't make it sound appealing and worth fighting for.  But in time a friend sent me a copy so I could ascertain that he was (or perhaps rather the AC), indeed, spot on in his assessment:

"This is another rarity sent in from The Alaskan Connection. I thought he did a magnificent job at describing the album, so take it away AC: ' It's the lone private press LP by an almost totally unknown US band named Luna Sea. They were from Blair, Nebraska of all places, but the album was recorded in Iowa. The first side is going to really test your willpower, as it's just straight radio-rock a la the Eagles, so you'll just have to "man-up" and slog through it. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, though, because side 2 is totally different. Suddenly the synths appear, and things start getting a lot more interesting. It starts out in a still fairly accessible style, but things get proggier literally by the minute, until the last track "Rousing The Ghost", which is a fantastic piece of instrumental symphonic prog with great guitar, keys, and even a little flute. Oh, and be sure to stay tuned for the unlisted (and totally stupid) outro! A completely schizophrenic album, but even the band seemed to know this as they named the first side the "Light Side" and the second side the "Dark Side"! Hard to tell what they were really trying to accomplish here. But, such is the nature of the US underground. One part confusion and one part inspiration. I guess that's kind of the charm! In any case, this thing is seriously rare. It only first emerged onto the collector scene within the last year or two, and since it was first discovered only like two or three copies have popped up." Thanks AC!  So true on the question "what are they trying to do here?". It was very typical for bands in the 1970's to try for a radio hit while mixing in their progressive rock ambitions. That strategy never did work.'

The last track ('Rousing the Ghost,'  mentioned above) is clearly killer, there will be no political debates on this issue, not at all, not ever:

Information from database here.

Please note that in Tom's comments section, the following appear:

I can't believe this record exists in even a blog. My old roommate in Hot Springs Arkansas, Collin Thompson, was the drummer in this band, and also did a lot of the vocals. They toured with the band Firefall in the late 70's, and when Firefall came out with an album titled "Luna Sea", this upset band members enough to file a lawsuit. From the stories I have heard, Luna Sea members sold equipment and paid legal bills. Well you all know what happened: Firefall went on and Luna Sea disappeared. Unfortunate too because I rate this album better than any Firefall! I love the song "Everybody You Ever Met" and "Almost Profound Melancholia". Only a couple hundred of these records were made and mine is autographed. Thanks for remembering this!

Anonymous Joshua Gear said...

Another one to join in with a tie to this: 

My old guitar teacher, Craig Nance, was the guitar player for this album. He now lives in Harlan, Iowa where he performs with jazz groups though the area and teaches lessons (I learned from him from age 5 though high school).

He gave me a copy of this album, played onto a CD. I would KILL to get a copy of this record, but I recall him saying that there are probably very LPs left around. 

He is an amazing, fantastic guitar player, and it's a shame these guys never took off. 

Thanks so much for this write up, it was really surprising finding this review online!

And thanks indeed to the guys in the band, for crafting this beautiful record!



  2. killer post, thanks a lot mate!

  3. very cool! looking forward. thank you!

  4. Hi
    The track above is a killer symph prog, ok ! I will try the rest of the album !
    Thank you very much !


  5. HO,
    it's exactly that : the first side is light and cool mainstream US rock ! However I think it's not bad because it sounds right with good rythm, harmonies and even little guitar solos ! Good work for me ! The first track of side two is continuation of first side (with synth), the second also but a little more unusual rhythmic structure and "Rousing the ghost" beyond the usual scheme both by its bucolic intro, its rhythmic leaps and especially exclusive developments in instrumental jazz rock and sometimes symphonic progressive eyeing to Camel (Lunar sea).
    Great !

  6. and it seems that the group QUEEN uses the same cover in its last record " Innuendo" with Freddy Mercury in 1991 !