Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of a new deluxe 3CD which tells the story of the so- called “underground” era of one of Britain’s great independent record labels of the 1960s & 1970s, Transatlantic Records. In the heady atmosphere of the late 1960s, the sea change in British popular music spearheaded by the Beatles experimentation on the Sergeant Pepper album and swiftly followed by the likes of Cream, Pink Floyd, Traffic, Family, Procol Harum, Jethro Tull and a host of groups and musicians who followed in their footsteps led to the album being seen as the medium in which “serious” musicians would explore and develop their craft. The apparently disparate genres of blues, jazz, rock, folk and even world music were fused together by many diverse acts all of whom were eager to be regarded as “progressive” in their musical approach. The so-called “underground” audience eagerly consumed this music, which sat alongside the social changes that were also taking place.
First the good news, which is really good: the sound on this 340-song set is about as good as one ever fantasized it could be, and that means it runs circles around any prior reissues; from the earliest Aristocrat sides by the Five Blazers and Jump Jackson & His Orchestra right up through Muddy Waters' "Going Down to Main Street," it doesn't get any better than this set. The clarity pays a lot of bonuses, beginning with the impression that it gives of various artists' instrumental prowess. In sharp contrast to the past efforts in this direction by MCA, however, the producers of this set have not emasculated the sound in the course of cleaning it up, as was the case with the Chuck Berry box, in particular.