Five excellent albums from the 1970s you may have overlooked 

Here are five often overlooked albums which deserve more listeners.
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Be-Bop Deluxe - Sunburst Finish

This is one of my favourite albums. I had to buy a CD copy to replace the almost worn-out vinyl version I bought back in the 1970s. Sunburst Finish, released in 1976, was the third album from Be-Bop Deluxe and by far their best. It’s filled with brilliant songs and had a rare hit UK single for the band in “Ships In The Night”. In a big nod to the overlooked status, the single did only reach number 23 and the album sales were around 60,000.

Be-Bop Deluxe were perhaps crossovers of a few genres. A bit art, or glam rock, sometimes pop rock or even prog-pop perhaps. There's a touch of reggae in that hit single which also has various other styles prevalent plus some excellent keyboard riffs and harmonies linking it all together. 

All of that ties in with the band mainstay Bill Nelson holding back on his guitar virtuoso extremes, cutting back to some excellent guitar playing but without losing himself on wandering solos as he did in previous albums. There’s still room for some brilliant Nelson solos, but they are under control here.

The album also supports Nelson’s decision to add Andy Clark on keyboards to the recording band for it. Clark had previously played with the band on live gigs. His keyboards, as “Ships In The Night” very capably showed, gave a new edge to the band's sound.

There isn't a poor tune on the album. And more styles emerge throughout. The opener “Fair Exchange” shows off those keyboards but also has an air of Queen in the intro guitars. “Like An Old Blues” has, as you might expect, a great rocky blues theme to it.” 

“Blazing Apostles” has rips of the Peter Gunn Theme on guitar here and there. “Sleep That Burns” has an incredibly catchy chorus and guitar run. It’s another favourite song from the album. If you haven't heard Sunburst Finish, please do play it soon. It's from a band at their peak.