Uncut’s 50 greatest lost albums


This month’s Uncut magazine celebrates 50 extraordinary albums that are not officially on sale right now.
Starting with Tin Machine, ‘Tin Machine II’ (1991). David Bowie had formed Tin Machine in 1998 with guitarist Reeves Gabrels and rhythm section Hunt and Tony Sales. EMI dropped them on the eve of this second album. Expect to pay: £20 for the CD.


49: Bill Drummond ‘The Man’ (1986). The erstwhile visionary behind Liverpool’s Zoo label stepped out as an unbashedly Scottish singer-songwriter with this remarkable LP, created to mark his turning 33-and-a-third. Expect to pay: Quite a lot – sellers are asking £30 to £50 online


48: Lotion, ‘Nobody’s Cool’ (1995). While the bright and wry college rock of their second LP didn’t quite match its predecessor, its current unavailability has resulted in a significant piece of literary ephemera being lost. Expect to pay: Very, very little…



47: Buckingham Nicks, ‘Buckingham Nicks’ (1973). What is remarkable is that there has never been a CD repress of this cult record. Perhaps the duo (Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks), who own the rights, would rather it stays that way. Expect to pay: £30 for a mint vinyl copy


46: Sandy Bull, ‘Demolition Derby’ (1972). This 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 rarefield improvs and disposable cheeseballs. Expect to pay: No more than £20


44: Eire Apparent, ‘Sunrise’ (1969, 1992-CD). The Hendrix connection – Jimi produced it, and plays on a number of tracks – has long made this a collectable. But Errnie Graham’s fine songwriting makes this band’s sole LP more than a footnote on the great guitarist’s discography. Expect to pay: Around £20 for the CD, over £100 for the original vinyl


43: Frank Zappa & The Mothers, ‘200 Motels OST’ (1971, 1997-CD). Most of Zappa’s catalogue is owned by his estate, but not this. The 90-plus minutes of music on the now-deleted ’90s reissue confirmed this as typically ornery Zappa. Expect to pay: £20-£40. The new issue of Uncut is on sale now.



42: Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, ‘The World We Knew’ (1987, 1994-CD). Late Big Star legend Alex Chilton hooked up with Dada-inspired video artist Panther Burns in 1979. This was their definitive statement: a wondrously sloppy, swampy and spooky collection of obscure, even mysterious covers. Expect to pay: £30-£50


39: Rainy Day, ‘Rainy Day’ (1984). The Paisley Underground supergroup! Dream Syndicate, Opal, The Bangles and The Three O’Clock pooled resources to cut an album of immaculately chosen covers of their musical heroes. Expect to pay: Difficult to find, but £25, maybe?


36: British Electric Foundation, ‘Music For Stowaways’ (1980). Following their exit from the Human League, Sheffield synth-stabbers Martyn Ware and Ian Gregory unleashed this album of icy instrumental electronica. Only ever issued on cassette in the UK – although a limited export vinyl version was pressed. Expect to pay: £20, worth it if you’ve still got a working tape player…


35: The Pop Group, ‘For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder?’ (1981). This 1981 follow-up album, never officially reissued on CD, was the stuff of direct action. Poetry took a back seat to polemic. Expect to pay: £40 for a decent vinyl copy, as long as it’s got the four original posters



33: Spring, ‘Spring’ (1972, 1994-CD). One of Brian Wilson’s esoteric projects away from The Beach Boys, the group known variously as The Honeys, Spring and American Spring were perhaps closest to his heart. Expect to pay: £40-60, maybe less for the CD, if you can find one…


31: The Fall, ‘The Marshall Suite’ (1999). This ushered in a new phase of The Fall that continues to this day: Smith hiring apparently random musicians who sound identical to those they replaced. Expect to pay: £30 or so, The new issue of Uncut is on sale now.


29: The Sound, ‘From The Lion’s Mouth’ (1981, 2001-CD). While their second LP still sounds like a crucial document of the era, the success never arrived. Adrian Borland tragically died in 1999, and The Sound’s sic great albums have only briefly been available on CD since. Expect to pay: £25 for the vinyl, more like £60 for the CD


27: Viv Stanshall, ‘Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead’ (1974). After the decline and fall of his Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Stanshall surprised everybody with this unexpectedly swampy Afro-funk tinged solo debut. An online petition, begging the label to re-release it on CD, has been signed by 2200 names to date. Expect to pay: A rather surreal £70


26: American Music Club, ‘California’ (1987, 1993-CD). This was the record on which Mark Eitzel found his voice, and he still plays several songs from the album in his live set. Eitzel believes securing a reissue is more important than the historic rifts within the band. Expect to pay: £25 if you just can’t wait


25: The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, ‘1987 (What The Fuck’s Going On?)’ (1987). Considering the notoriety they’d later achieve as the KLF, it’s sometimes easy to forget the significance of The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu. In October, they issued the album with the offending samples removed. Expect to pay: £10 for the legalised recut. Don’t tell Abba if you’ve got an original


24: Alex Chilton, ‘Bach’s Bottom’ (1981, 1993-CD). Chilton never fully endorsed producer Jon Tiven’s decision to release these creepy remakes and covers, ywt when four songs filtered into the punk underground via a 1977 Ork Records EP, listeners found the results quite punk rock. Expect to pay: Depends on the version. £10-20, maybe?


23: David Stoughton, ‘Transformer’ (1968). Never on CD, vinyl copies are becoming scarcer – but it is scheduled for digital re-release in the summer ahead of Elektra’s 60th anniversary. Expect to pay: £15, if you find one!


20: Jimmy Page, ‘Death Wish II – Original Soundtrack’ (1982). The Zep guitarist was asked by his Buckinghamshire neighbour Michael Winner to soundtrack the second of his new shoot-em-up franchise starring Charles Bronson. Apart from a long-gone late ’90s import, this feverishly composed Zeppelin footnote has never been reissued. Expect to pay: £20, ballpark


19: Virginia Astley, ‘From Gardens Where We Feel Secure’ (1983, 2003-CD). Originally issued on Astley’s own Happy Valley via Rough Trade, Geoff Travis’ operation finally put out a CD in 2003; now deleted, it, too, has become highly collectible. Expect to pay: £40 should do it


16: The Undisputed Truth, ‘The Undisputed Truth’ (1971). It was with his own group, The Undisputed Truth, that Norman Whitfield embarked on far more radical experiments into psych soul and political commentary. Expect to pay: £25 for the UK vinyl


11: Various Artists, ‘Silver Meteor’ (1980). Subtitled ‘A Progressive Country Anthology’, this excellent set might be noteworthy solely for its brace of rootsy – and rare – 1969 cuts from The Everly Brothers, as well as four won’t-find-’em-anywhere-else tracks from The Byrds’ preternaturally talented guitarist Clarence White. Expect to pay: £30, including shipping – it’s a US-only release


10: John Cale, ‘Music For A New Society’ (1982, 1994-CD). This was daunting, a blasted requiem for an unravelling world and the victims of insane times. Not currently in catalogue, Rhino US licensed the album from Cale, but the term of that license expired in 2004. Expect to pay: £70-plus from some chancers online, unless you fancy a cassette copy on eBay?


6: Tom Waits, ‘Night On Earth OST’ (1992). Jim Jarmusch’s underrated portmanteau movie perhaps helps explain why Waits’s soundtrack – at the time, his first new material in five years – has fallen off the radar. Expect to pay: Up to about £50. Even the cassette is worth a tenner…


5: Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers, ‘It’s Time For…’ (1986). Showcasing Richman’s love of early rock’n’roll and doo-wop, it’s nostalgic without being sentimental, as warm and true as an old valve amplifier. Expect to pay: A high-end £50


2: Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, ‘Lick My Decals Off, Baby’ (1970, 1989-CD). Like many albums released on Frank Zappa’s Straight label, Decals was released on CD in 1989, but was withdrawn for legal reasons. While re-released on vinyl in 2007, other considerations make a re-release on CD unlikely. Expect to pay: CDs change hands for £40 or so