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Various Artists (Label Samplers) Losing Our Virginity: The First 4 Years '73-'77 album cover
2.10 | 2 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (76:35)
1. Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells (Two Sides excerpt) (13:29)
2. Faust - Krautrock (11:45)
3. Gong - The Pot Head Pixies (2:58)
4. Camelo Pardalis - I'll Be Home (2:43)
5. Camelo Pardalis - Woman Lib's Song (5:17)
6. Kevin Coyne - Marlene (2:42)
7. Henry Cow - Teenbeat (reprise) (5:11)
8. Faust - Giggy Smile (alternative version) (5:53)
9. Kevin Coyne - Eastbourne Ladies (5:54)
10. Link Wray - I'm So Glad, I'm So Proud (4:07)
11. Gong - I Never Glid Before (5:37)
12. Captain Beefheart - Upon the My-Oh-My (2:37)
13. Klaus Schulze - Some Velvet Phasing (8:22)

CD 2 (63:18)
1. Robert Wyatt - I'm a Believer (4:57)
2. Comus - Down (Like a Movie Star) (4:07)
3. Fred Frith - Glass c/w Steel (5:35)
4. Robert Wyatt - Yesterday Man (3:15)
5. Hatfield and the North - Let's Eat (Real Soon) (7:31)
6. David Bedford - An Extract from Stars End (3:16)
7. Egg - Wring Out the Ground (Loosely Now) (8:13)
8. Ivor Cutler - I Believe in Bugs (1:16)
9. Captain Beefheart - Mirror Man (live) (4:48)
10. Mallard - Road to Morocco (3:03)
11. Tom Newman - Sad Sing (2:23)
12. Clearlight - Extract from Clearlight Symphony Part One (4:12)
13. Hatfield and the North - Fitter Stroke Has a Bath (7:35)
14. Boxer - Hip Kiss (3:07)

CD 3 (68:16)
1. Steve Hillage - The Salmon Song (8:29)
2. White Noise - An Extract from White Noise II (5:21)
3. Henry Cow / Slapp Happy - War (2:28)
4. Wigwam - Freddie Are You Ready (5:37)
5. Edgar Froese - Extract from Epsilon in Malaysian Pale (3:57)
6. David Bedford - The Rio Grande (4:21)
7. Tom Newman - Don't Treat Your Woman Bad (3:56)
8. Ivor Cutler - The Dirty Dinner (3:36)
9. Daevid Allen & Euterpe - Wise Man in Your Heart (11:28)
10. Mike Oldfield - First Excursion (5:57)
11. Steve Hillage - It's All Too Much (6:31)
12. Can - Silent Night (3:17)
13. Can - Don't Say No (3:18)

Total Time 208:09

Line-up / Musicians


Releases information

3CD Virgin / CDV 4001(UK 2013)

Thanks to Per Kohler for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Losing Our Virginity: The First 4 Years '73-'77 ratings distribution

(2 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (50%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Losing Our Virginity: The First 4 Years '73-'77 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
2 stars Virgin Records was founded in 1972 by [the future millionaire] Richard Branson and three other fellows. The prog oriented label got a wonderful start with the unexpected success of its first release, Tubular Bells (1973) by Mike Oldfield, but it's definitely the challenging musical nature of that seminal album, not the commercial success, that laid the ideological groundwork for Virgin. The first few years embraced far-from-mainstream artists such as German Krautrockers Tangerine Dream, Faust and Can, the psychedelic space rock act Gong and other artists familiar to progheads from the Canterbury scene, plus some even more marginal and unorthodox artists like Ivor Cutler. To cite Paul Sexton's liner notes on this three disc set, "These were the days of unfettered, maverick artistic expression, before the words 'music' and 'business' were superglued together". Like several other prog oriented record labels (Vertigo, Harvest, Charisma, etc.) Virgin truly deserves a retrospective multi-disc compilation to be reviewed on a prog site.

Have to say that absorbing this set (borrowed from library) was not as inspiring as the various artists compilations on a specific retrospective theme can be at their best. Especially on British folk-rock I've come across many highly delightful and educative compilations. Much of the appeal has directly to do with the way the compilation is edited and represented, and in this respect "Losing Our Virginity" is disappointing. What's interesting is the outlining of the background and the birth of the company which "took its baby steps in the business of selling gramophone records via the Royal Mail". But when it comes to representing the music on offer here, the 5-page liner notes leave a lot to be desired. A minus also from the omission of track lengths and album sources. The music samples are put in a chronological order in a month's precision, which I find unnecessary and somewhat problematic for the overall reception. The miserable-looking booklet has 16 pages in total; the diminutive illustration consists of a b/w Mike Oldfield photo and four page-size album covers: Tubular Bells, the V.A. release Manor Live, Steve Hillage's L and Faust's Faust IV, not even very exciting ones from a visual point of view. For example by placing four album covers on one page there would have been 16 of them within the same space.

It is of course obligatory to start the set with Tubular Bells, but since the album is surely familiar to the listener, a 13-minute excerpt is a useless exaggeration. MIKE OLDFIELD returns on the third disc with the less heard 'First Excursion'. FAUST is represented by 'Krautrock' and 'Giggy Smile', GONG by 'The Pot Head Pixies' and 'I Never Glid Before'. Other artists on CD 1 include STEVE YORK's CAMELO PARDALIS - never heard - , KEVIN COYNE, HENRY COW ('Teenbeat Reprise'), LINK WRAY, CAPTAIN BEEFHEART and KLAUS SCHULZE ('Some Velvet Phrasing'). Since the musical styles change very radically between the tracks -- as well as the unmarked track lengths --, one cannot speak of any coherence or consistency in the listening.

CD 2 happens to include several Canterbury artists: ROBERT WYATT ('I'm a Believer', 'Yesterday Man'), HATFIELD AND THE NORTH ('Let's Eat', 'Fitter Stroke Has a Bath') and EGG ('Wring Out the Ground'). Interesting samples from COMUS, DAVID BEDFORD, TOM NEWMAN and others. The lack of album information is a pity really, and especially for the more obscure bands such as MALLARD and BOXER one would wish to have information in an articulate artist by artist approach. The liner notes do speak a little of the represented artists, but not in a user-friendly way. Also, I find the small white font on pale green tiring to read for my middle-aged eyes.

By the time you've arrived to the third CD it also becomes a little frustrating how the same artists keep reappering, and the strictly chronological running order also results as a lack of any coherent flow in music. As a Finn I'm pleased to mention that WIGWAM's 'Freddie Are You Ready' (1975) sounds lovely amidst the less accessible stuff. IVOR CUTLER's 'The Dirty Dinner' is actually a story-reading, not music. The set is finished by two pieces from CAN, 'Silent Knight' and 'Don't Say No', the latter strangely being the only 1977 recording.

So, instead of being a delightful, informative, cultivated, ear & eye opening journey into the colourful output of Virgin's first five years, "Losing Our Virginity" sadly turns out to be a frustrating mess and a missed opportunity.

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