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BRIAN AUGER’S OBLIVION EXPRESS – THE COMPLETE WORKS ON LP AND CD

I am somewhat confused about the announcement of all of the Oblivion Express LPs in a boxset as I see no mention of it on the Soul Bank Music label website which mostly deals in downloads. This is the label that you are directed to on Brian’s own site. “Auger Incorporated” is on sale at a very reasonably priced 3 LP/ 2CD set with 10% off for registering.

However, I am confused by the choice of tracks on “Auger Incorporated” which, by and large, are to me, not representative of the keyboard genius’s back catalogue. The classic first two Oblivion Express albums are seriously underrepresented and the selection of Trinity tracks makes some surprising omissions. Brian’s solo career and the early days with Steampacket are there. But who am I to judge when Brian himself was involved in the selection and sleeve notes? I am told that the live version of Eddie Harris’s ‘Freedom Jazz Dance’ is pretty amazing and that the alternate mix of Marvin Gaye/ James Nyx Junior composed ‘Inner City Blues’ is also a standout.

Although collectors will want “Auger Incorporated” for the unreleased and live tracks, for me the complete Oblivion Express is a better bet: there are four excellent albums in the six included: the first eponymous LP, “Second Wind” (a personal favourite- the Auger/ Mullen/ Dean/ McIntosh line-up was astounding) “Closer to It” and “Straight Ahead”. “A Better Land” and “Reinforcements” are less essential. The two live Oblivion Express albums are pretty darned good as well.

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