THE BARGAIN BUY: Terry Reid; Original Album Series

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Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace
THE BARGAIN BUY: Terry Reid; Original Album Series

Because Elsewhere recently essayed the life and work of this British guitar-singer cult figure -- prompted by the release of material recorded at the time of his River album in '73 -- we are pleased to see this bargain-priced five CD set floating around.

It's slightly odd in that, because Terry Reid label-hopped a little, it picks up his first three albums (River being his third), skips Seed of Memory of '76, comes back for Rogue Waves ('79) then leaps over The Hand Don't Fit the Glove ('85) to land on The Driver from '91 . . . so that's a survey from his '68 debut to an album from over two decades later.

Let's concede that Reid's raw and sometimes odd approach -- the opener on his debut is an ear-challenging version of Sonny and Cher's Bang Bang and later there is folk-rock on Sweater and a version of the ballad Something's Gotta Hold of My Heart -- can make for what might charitably called "a diverse listening experience".

Hard to believe that his producer on his first two albums was Mickie Most, a man who was more interested in (and adept at) creating pop-rock for radio. He certainly tried to steer Reid that way.

But Reid was a wayward talent right from the start and that debut also includes a 10 minute version of Donovan's prescient Season of the Witch and an equally long Writing on the Wall/Summertimne Blues.

Reid was a folk-rock and blues singer who knew his way around psychedelic guitar and tripped-out sounds. You can hear why Jimmy Page was so interested in him when he was pulling together what would become Led Zeppelin.

But Reid had his ear on chart radio too. 

Although he was an excellent songwriter -- his Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace was turned into magical power-pop by Cheap Trick for example -- he wasn't above using his gifts on songs by others, so across these albums there is another song by Donovan (Superlungs My Supergirl opens his self-titled album from '69), Highway 61 Revisited which segues into Friends (the sole hit for Arrival!), the Ronettes' Baby I Love You, Walk Away Renee, Then I Kissed Her, All I Have to Do is Dream, The Whole of the Moon, Gimme Some Lovin' . . . All in  his own manner.

JB_logoThen there's the excellent second half of The River which takes you into a more dreamy world.

Yep, Terry Reid has always been "a diverse listening experience" but you can at least explore this catalogue cheaply because this nice little set is just $15 at JB Hi-Fi stores here.

It's a real trip from scouring blues to pop and  . . . elsewhere. 

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