AS HIGHLY RATED collectibles go the Alpha Centauri album has to be one of the most coveted records of all time. It’s an album that spent years lurking in the shadows, heard by few but lauded quite rightly as a masterpiece of 70s rock, embroidered with the all the moves and grooves of the great headlining acts of the day. Compared favourably to such heavy hitters as Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Styx, Angel and Head East, the band’s style was a formidable blast of pompous energy but not, it must be said, a carbon copy or pastiche. This was a unit that knew how to play and also how to write serious material.
Originally thought to have originated from Canada, it came as something of a surprise to eventually find out that they were formed and mainly based in Colorado, but had moved to Winnipeg for a while to expand their horizons and record an album. Represented by an expat British manager, they planned to issue the record for promotion (it’s thought that 300 copies were pressed at the time) using it to attract major label interest. However, despite concerted efforts and a professionally filmed half hour live-in-concert appearance for Canadian TV, it all failed to achieve the desired attention.
Issued in 1977, on the band’s own Salt Records label, the album is a masterclass in heavy pomp rock, showcasing a band who could not only write catchy melodies but also imbue them with the sort of stunning arrangements normally associated with far more successful groups. Tracks such as ‘Hard Life’, ‘Love Is A Curse’ and ‘One Night At A Time’ benefit enormously from stellar instrumental dog fights. In particular, the guitar playing of Jess Redmon is off the chart, drawing accurate comparisons to Ritchie Blackmore and Tommy Bolin.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 16 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with unpublished photos and new band interview.
TRACK LISTING: 1. HARD LIFE 2. ONE NIGHT AT A TIME 3. I’M A REBEL 4. EARTH IN MOTION 5. LOVE IS A CURSE 6. YOU SHOT ME DOWN 7. LOVE ONLY YOU 8. MAKE IT AT ROCK ‘N’ ROLL