The complete works of Byzantium – including their rare albums for A&M, their self-released album of the mid 70s, and their initial outing as the group Ora! Ora was a wonderfully lean group – sing-songy material, handled with a mostly acoustic vibe, but not entirely folksy either. Yet the first Byzantium album is something completely different entirely – a nice set that's almost funky at times – proggy guitars, but filtered down into leaner modes that maybe mark the record as a key early effort from Chaz Jankel – who handles both the electric stings and some of the piano and organ work of the group. There's a nice balance with acoustic guitars too – and warmer harmonies at points, too – which makes for a record that's filled with overlooked surprises! Seasons Changing is excellent work from Byzantium – a group who never fully got their due, but who feature strong early guitar work from Chaz Jankel – in ways that are very different than his records of the 80s! The group show a strong understanding of the overall sound of their music - maybe the same comma
nd of the studio that later made Jankel so great – and the lead vocals of Robin Lamble and Mick Barakan trade back and forth nicely from tune to tune – often harmonized with an America-like warmth, but set up in very different song formats. Next is the much more obscure Live/
Studio album – work from 1974 that the group issued themselves – and which includes some continued development of their sound, although without Jankel in the lineup. Last up is High Time which features rare live material from 1974 and 1975 – previously download-only, here on CD for the first time! 61 tracks in all, including some rare bonus material and demos – plus a nice booklet of notes.