Uncut’s greatest lost albums

Masterpieces and forgotten releases from Neil Young, The Who, Bowie and more, still hard to find today…

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BUCKINGHAM NICKS
Buckingham Nicks
(Polydor, 1973)

Misty-eyed Fleetwood Mac fans would call this 1973 debut by young lovers Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks a classic, but those who come to it having gorged on Rumours and Tusk might be underwhelmed. What is remarkable about Buckingham Nicks is that there has never been a CD repress of this cult record. Perhaps the duo, who own the rights, would rather it stays that way. Certainly, Polydor washed its hands of the couple shortly after the LP flopped: longhaired and bell-bottomed, much of the pair’s Cali folk was indistinguishable from that of fellow LA minstrels. Nevertheless, “Without A Leg To Stand On” and “Long Distance Winner” are superb, displaying the flair that convinced Mick Fleetwood to invite them to join his rudderless outfit in 1974.
EXPECT TO PAY: £30 for a mint vinyl copy
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SANDY BULL
Demolition Derby
(Vanguard, 1972)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmzTfzy1gNI

The New York-born master of cross-cultural guitar spent the ’60s exploring fusions of American folk-blues with Middle Eastern scales, jazz and effects-laden psychedelics. Demolition Derby was the last recording he made before heroin addiction sent him lurching off the radar for 16 years, and it was a strange mix of rarefied improvs and disposable cheeseballs. Bull overdubbed himself playing the Arabic oud, fuggily tremoloed acid guitar, percussion and harmonised vocals which at times descended into goofy falsetto. “Carnival Jump” and “Easy Does It” featured hand drums by Denis Charles, percussionist with free jazz pianist Cecil Taylor; “Sweet Baby Jumper” saw Bull slapping some Jamaican steelpans. But someone responsible should have had a quiet word about the schlock-country “Tennessee Waltz”.
EXPECT TO PAY: No more than £20
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RICHARD & LINDA THOMPSON
First Light
(Chrysalis, 1978; Hannibal, 1992)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqpNNtbkNN4

Released after the couple’s three-year sabbatical to follow their recently adopted Sufi Muslim faith, First Light was a cautious return that doesn’t hold a candle to their Island albums or the intensely brilliant Shoot Out The Lights, which followed this, and companion Chrysalis LP Sunnyvista. Linda was in fine, clear voice, but Richard’s contribution was subdued, buried beneath the ill-matched American rhythm section of Willie Weeks and Andy Newmark. Despite some great songs – “Strange Affair”, “Don’t Let A Thief Steal Your Heart” – the album never caught fire. Although First Light was released briefly on CD by Hannibal, Richard has expressed a certain indifference to both Chrysalis albums. But, missing master tapes permitting, “never say never” to a reissue.
EXPECT TO PAY: A tenner for the album, quite a lot more for the CD.

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