JET - More Light Than Shade

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"More familiarly available as one half of the Fan Mael label's Nothing to Do with Us: A Golden Treasury of Jet two-CD set, More Light Than Shade is a 19-song compilation of the band's previously unreleased archive. (The companion disc reissued the group's CBS debut album.) Pieced together with little regard for chronology but telling a dramatic story regardless, More Light Than Shade is bookended by the band's first demo session, at which fiery versions of Davy O'List's "My River" and Marc Bolan's "Desdemona" were unleashed, and their last, from whence come the closing "Don't Cry Joe" and "Antlers," two songs that remain among songsmith Martin Gordon's most intriguing compositions. Another lost O'List gem, "Lady Ricochet," and a song known only from a BBC session, "Around the World in 80 Minutes," add further thrills, while large swathes of Jet's unreleased second album are given a maiden airing, and in doing so reveal why CBS was so repelled by it. Two years later, punk would make such madness sound acceptable. In 1975, the likes of "We Love Noise" and "Tax Loss" were simply madness. There's also a clutch of live recordings from one of the tragically few shows that the band was able to play before the propellers fell off, but they are little more than make-weight inclusions. The real meat is in the unheard and, in some instances, unsuspected magic that Jet wrought in the studio.

From the outset, Jet was regarded as the first supergroup of glam. Bassist Martin Gordon and pianist Peter Oxendale were former members of Sparks, their time with the band incorporating the recording of the seminal Kimono My House album and attendant "This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us" hit single. Vocalist Andy Ellison and drummer Chris Townson were ex-bandmates of Marc Bolan in the 1960s band John's Children -- Townson had also played with the Jook. And guitarist Davy O'List was little short of a living legend, following stints with the Attack, the Nice, and the formative Roxy Music. Producer Roy Thomas Baker, meanwhile, was highly regarded for his work with Queen; Jet's clothes were crafted by Elton John's tailor; they shared their management, the RAM agency, with Gary Glitter. In terms of dream teams, they were unbeatable. The fact that Gordon was also a songwriter of intense originality, gifting Jet with a repertoire that was equal parts humorous, quirky, and memorable, was surely simply icing on the cake."- AMaZON

What I wrote up originally at Not Lame back in 2003. There was a 2 CD set pressed up by the Sparks fan club back in 2000, which Not Lame carried - this is a single CD version that distills the best of that previous one. It had the 1975 debut on one cd and then a cd of 19 trax of unreleased material. It quickly sold out and became a collectors item for fans of Sparks, Radio Stars and John`s Children because Jet featured Martin Gordon and Andy Ellison, who played in those bands(well, Ellison was never in Sparks). The debut is classic and we heartily recommend fans of these band seeking it out(it`s due to be reissued any week) but here we have the bonus disc from that set released on its own to savor---adding one more track not on it, bringing it to 20(Track is "Guru or Gaga"). These are demos of songs on the debut and a bevy of unreleased trax that never made the light of day, including two John`s Children trax written by Marc Bolan (T. Rex) in demo form, "Desdemona" and "Lady Ricochet"). "a near perfect slice of fun"-AMG