Lal And Mike Waterson’s legendary 1972 album “Bright Phoebus” – long acknowledged as a vital release in the British folk rock timeline – has remained deleted for many, many years as a result of complicated legal wranglings over the rights to the material. We shan’t dwell on the gory details (suffice to say the Waterson family are entirely blameless in all of it – they did not own the rights and were as powerless as the rest of us to do anything about it) but the end result is that the album has never been properly reissued (aside from a cheap and nasty CDR that did the rounds a few years back which may or may not have been entirely legit). Original vinyl copies shift hands for serious coin. The only other way to hear it was via YouTube or naughty filesharing sites. Until now…
What amazing news then to hear that the album is FINALLY, 45 years after its release, being given the reissue treatment courtesy of Domino Records.
Released in August, the reissue comes in vinyl editions (regular single disc edition, and a deluxe two disc gatefold edition adding a set of 1971 demo recordings) and a deluxe double CD package (also including the demos). We assume the demos are from the same recordings as those featured on the 2013 Lal Waterson book/CD “Teach Me To Be A Summer’s Morning” – in which case they are a worthy addition to the original album and definitely make the double LP or CD the format to get.
We can’t overstate the importance of this release – Bright Phoebus is a genuine lost classic, a truly groundbreaking work of art that should never have been allowed to dwell in such unjust obscurity for all this time. A massive bravo to all concerned for making this long awaited reissue a reality. We can’t wait.
Read more about the album and pre-order Bright Phoebus via Domino here.