Rare LP discovered by Islington musician released nearly five decades after recording
PUBLISHED: 11:31 07 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:14 08 September 2020
A demo by an Islington musician has been picked up and released by a Spanish label some 48 years after it was recorded.
After discovering a 1972 record by his Islington-born prog-rock band Grit, vocalist and guitarist Francisco Martinez posted a recording of it on YouTube.
The upload was picked up by Lleida recording label Guerssen Records and this summer the demo has been released as a full LP.
The original acetate is believed to be one of only three original copies in existence.
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A third copy was discovered in a German flee market in 2012 by a scout of renowned record collector Hans Pokora, and featured in his book 7001 Record Collector Dreams.
“I think they valued the record at €1,000, that’s what one of the guys from Guerssen told me,” 73-year-old Francisco told the Gazette.
Francisco, who grew up off Holloway Road on Wedmore Road, said: “On Christmas eve 1972 we did a recording in Clerkenwell’s SWM studio and it was our base player’s copy that Pokora’s scout found in Germany 40 years later.”
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In the book, Grit’s self-titled original acetates are rated to have the maximum rarity possible.
Seven years later in 2019, Francisco, who now lives in southern Spain, rediscovered his own copy of the demo: “I was clearing out my electronics equipment when a friend and I came across my copy of the acetate and he encouraged me to put a recording on YouTube.
“Only a few days later I was contacted by Guerssen Records.
“Shortly after, Alex Carretero from Guerssen came down to have a look at the demo. He said ‘send it to us’, so I did and they made the record – 48 years later.”
Grit went on tour to Greece in 1973 but after Francisco’s father fell ill, they ended the tour early and disbanded.
Alex Carretero of Guerssen Records said: “The music was raw, unadulterated hard-rock with psych and prog touches, fuelled by a powerful vocalist, a killer guitar player and a fabulous drummer.
“Basically, the kind of stuff we crave for. I arrived at the right time, because prior to my interest, Frank was thinking of throwing away everything.”
Grit’s self-titled LP release is €20.00 from Guerssen.
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