STEVENS, MICK - The River/The Englishman

These are the last recordings of Mick Stevens, originally released in 1977 ( The River ) and 1979 ( The Englishman ), respectively. Mick Stevens arrived on the music scene and then disappeared, seemingly without anybody noticing. Two sublime, inventive, and beautifully-crafted homemade albums in the early 1970s -- See The Morning and No Savage Word -- (previously reissued by Shadoks, SHAD 038CD) were evidence of the superior songwriting and arranging skills that he possessed. Though highly personalized, the performances, the songs, the musicianship, and the painstaking (low-budget and homespun) production of these first two records gave them a sound and a feel that suggested that here was a real talent on the launch-pad of a musical career of some substance. By 1977, and with no record contract in sight, Mick took a group of musician friends into Spaceward Studios in Cambridge (England) and recorded the tracks for The River , the first CD in this 2CD collection. The dreamy vocal layers so prevalent in the earlier albums are subservient to a much harder and rockier" sound, while Stevens electric guitar-playing is of the highest order. Since the 70s were a time of much creativity and wholly new approaches to sound, a number of musical influences can be heard in Stevens music on this particular album. The opening to the lengthy "Suite (To A Seagull)" has overtones of King Crimson or Gentle Giant , developing into a Yes -like section and a middle-eight reminiscent of early Steely Dan . The album The Englishman is self-assured, confidently and beautifully played by a bunch of first-rate musicians including Ric Sanders of Soft Machine , the Albion Band and Fairport Convention , and Michael Gregory -- whose crisp drumming patterns are a real highlight.-Ç The track "The Englishman" is the clear apex of the album, with Stevens voice and solo acoustic guitar completely filling the audio waves in a song about an Englishman overseas. The original vinyl pressings of all Mick Stevens albums are now collectors items, all exorbitantly expensive. These songs have never sounded as good as they do on these CDs due to the care and attention of the transfer process in removing all the surface noise to be found on the original vinyl and tapes." - Shadoks.

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After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.
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