It’s hard to believe, with some of the titles that have been resurrected from the depths of the vaults and digitally rendered and released on Compact Disc, that there are still some gems that have never, yes NEVER, been released on CD. There are still numerous major label releases that have never been made available on disc, ranging from the obscure to the not so obscure artists. Some are even releases that have a current demand and sales history.
The primary release that I’ve been hoping to see make it to disc is Jon Anderson’s “Animation” album. It was originally releases on LP and Cassette in 1982 by Atlantic Records. For those of you not familiar with this one, it's a solo project from the lead singer of the prog group Yes. In my humble opinion, it’s his best work outside the band. Every other major thing he’s done has, at one point or another, seen a professional label release on CD. Why this one hasn’t, is somewhat of a mystery. It supposedly has something to do with a dispute between the European label, the US label, the artist and/or management. A real mess from what I’ve heard. This is nothing new and not unique to this release. There are other albums that are being held up because of dumb disputes, red tape, financial woes, or because the label or artists have lost the masters. Hard to believe that there are major label releases out there that won’t make it to CD because the masters have been lost or destroyed, but it’s true. As with many of these, there’s been an online petition to get Animation released on disc. There’s also bootleg versions of this album on CD being sold on Ebay and the like, but the sound quality is not good, and there’s plenty of pops from the vinyl or hiss from the tape, depending on what the bootlegger used for the source. Just for the record, none of the so-called “import” versions of this title are legit or without glitches. I have a few copies on vinyl, but none of them are super clean, unfortunately.
Then there’s the mystery of the best selling Randy Stonehill album, “Equator.” Why Myrrh Records never released this or “Between the Glory and the Flame” on CD will be a question that haunts me forever I’m afraid. Both were produced by Terry Taylor and are two of Randy's best, alongside the magnificent "Wonderama," which was available on disc for a short period of time.
Here are a few of my other faves that have never made it to an official CD release:
Suburban Lawns – Both the self-titled IRS release and the IRS EP called “Baby”
Human Sexual Response – In A Roman Mood (just for the song Land of the Glass Pinecones)
Baxter Robertson – Panorama View EP (new wave power pop from the 80’s!)
Then there are those albums that do come out on CD but they go out of print right away…Here are a couple of those that I’ve been hoping to find:
Moraz & Bruford – Music for Piano and Drums
The Wallets – 17 Songs
Baxter Robertson – Mere Mortals
And while we’re at it, why isn’t the animated series of “The Tick” available on DVD????