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The Vinyl Issue:
Unsung Classics

From T.Rex to Van Halen, ten unfairly overlooked LPs by legendary artists.

Old ones, loved ones, neglected ones.

FREE 

Free (ISLAND, 1969)

Everyone and his brother might’ve been going apeshit over Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, but Paul Rodgers’ ramshackle Free were the true toked-up connoisseur’s choice as the 60s staggered into the 70s. The cover of the band’s second album depicts the spreadeagled silhouette of a woman made of stars leaping across the sky. At the time of Free’s release, much heated debate ensued concerning the strategic positioning of certain of those ‘stars’. It is impossible to listen to – no, better make that absorb – dreamy anthems Lying In The Sunshine and Mouthful Of Grass on anything but vinyl; they just don’t sound right, man.

PATTI SMITH GROUP

Easter (ARISTA, 1978)

Poor undervalued Easter suffered for Radio Ethiopia’s indulgent sins. While Horses was critically flameproof, RE stunk up Patti’s reputation so badly that critics were still wafting when Easter arrived. Smith poured all she’d learned into Easter’s provocative androgynous sleeve: babbling beat poetics, feral rock’n’roll, a Spectoresque, Springsteen-enhanced Because The Night and lashings of proto-Madonna Catholic guilt.

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