More Light Than Shade

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More familiarly available as one half of the Fan Mael label's Nothing to Do with Us: A Golden Treasury of Jet two-CD set, More Light Than Shade is a 19-song compilation of the band's previously unreleased archive. (The companion disc reissued the group's CBS debut album.) Pieced together with little regard for chronology but telling a dramatic story regardless, More Light Than Shade is bookended by the band's first demo session, at which fiery versions of Davy O'List's "My River" and Marc Bolan's "Desdemona" were unleashed, and their last, from whence come the closing "Don't Cry Joe" and "Antlers," two songs that remain among songsmith Martin Gordon's most intriguing compositions. Another lost O'List gem, "Lady Ricochet," and a song known only from a BBC session, "Around the World in 80 Minutes," add further thrills, while large swathes of Jet's unreleased second album are given a maiden airing, and in doing so reveal why CBS was so repelled by it. Two years later, punk would make such madness sound acceptable. In 1975, the likes of "We Love Noise" and "Tax Loss" were simply madness. There's also a clutch of live recordings from one of the tragically few shows that the band was able to play before the propellers fell off, but they are little more than make-weight inclusions. The real meat is in the unheard and, in some instances, unsuspected magic that Jet wrought in the studio.

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