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50 Years of dark Around The Edges 1972-2022
Seelie Court are pleased to announce the release of the complete recordings of Dark as the result of a mammoth 2 year archival project in collaboration with the band
Dark issued one of the worlds most historically significant LPs, self released in 1972 and epitomising the seventies underground ethic. Its rediscovery saw it become the most valuable rock LP in the world. Original copies have sold for over £35,000, in stark comparison to the 64 copies sold and given away in 1972.
The centrepiece of these 14 releases is the first ever accurate reproduction of one of the last surviving original 12 gatefold copies, with no digital enhancement, no additions, just a pure reproduction of that invaluable original. This Definitive Edition faithfully reproduces the original gatefold, including its defects, patina, and wear. For the first time after 30 innacurate previous editions the cover is reproduced the correct way round, every previous edition has printed the gatefold with the back as the front. The original booklet is also reproduced in an expanded 20 page edition, an additional poster, and a special printed paper bag that features new art by legendary Sci Fi artist Mark Salwowski.
The band members and original recording engineer have added extensive sleeve notes and detailed technical information about every track. This edition of Round The Edges has been remastered with precision at the legendary and world renowned Abbey Road Studios, from the original Master Tape, with the band members in attendance . Lacquers were cut at Abbey Road. The pressing quantities range from 200 - 600 copies per LP, with 1000 limited copies of the Dark Round The Edges Colour Facsimile edition (011). Our recent release of the Dark ‘Doodle’ Sleeve version became one of the hottest micro-releases of 2022 with copies being offered for an astonishing £500 within a week of its release. The Leeds Charity Emmaus auctioned a donated copy, number 200 of 200, and sold it on Ebay for £260, a 1600% increase on its original wholesale price.
Seelie Court stress that this series includes some of the most damaged recordings you are likely to ever hear on vinyl on 2 lps of the 14 titles. Mastering and cutting was extremely difficult due to the amount of degradation of some master tapes, involving wrestling with complex frequencies making the cutting of lacquers a work of genius from DKS.
Seelie Court considers Darks work to be of great archival importance and has been dedicated to releasing the band’s life works and documenting everything, no matter what the condition, while it is possible to be restored . This goal has finally reached fruition. Each LP features a detailed printed inner sleeve with minute technical detail about each recording session - the dates, the locations, and every instrument model used on the tracks is named and categorised. To achieve an authentic aesthetic, every LP cover uses a reproduction of the actual precious white gatefold sleeve of the original 1972 LP as the frame/background to photos relevant to the particular recording sessions and showing the members at the time of each recording. This creates a uniformity within the series and is true to Steve Giles Photographic heritage. It is an honour & privilege to issue this monumental series, there are moments of disentigrating flaking tapes that verge on white noise, as the beginnings of Dark were documented in the dank cellars of Northampton, and then there are the startling early works of proto doom-psych such as the strikingly melancholic and hypnotic ‘I’m Not Sad’, and as we hit the vintage year of rock, 1972, the band entered SIS Studios and laid down an unparalleled masterpiece, strikingly original in sound and yet integrally part of the British Underground of the time, Round The Edges is a sublime Heavy Progressive Masterpiece with a unique style that has no real contemporaneous comparisons. The burning soul of the LP is the controlled violence of the lead guitars, a beautifully toned fuzz guitar that ploughs relentlessly through all in its path . It culminates in the genius of ‘Live For Today’ which wrestles with Fuzz and Wah Wah in seething waves of sonic fury. It is one of the greatest tracks of the seventies, with masterful musicianship, and a unique mood, the song is like an ancient all powerful god at the dawn of time, bathing in primordial fuzzing cosmic power. Dark really do now stand alongside Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Curved Air, Wishbone Ash and Deep Purple. They are nothing like them musically, but they are on the same inspired level. From almost nothing, Dark has belatedly drawn respect from collectors, music fans, and big names in the music industry. Their original LP is justifiably the ultimate dream of all collectors. Look carefully at one crumpled photo of main man Steve Giles in his attic studio 1972, and on a shelf in the background you’ll see The Groundhogs - Thank Christ For The Bomb LP, a small significant detail, that shows Dark were always authentic, genuine, the real deal. This authenticity is what new audiences have picked up on & why Dark Round The Edges is always and forever, the ultimate lost Seventies masterpiece. - Seelie Court November 2022