Shuttah – The Image Maker Vol. 1 and 2 (Shadok’s Music)

This concept double-album is shrouded in enough mystery to make record collectors salivate. The names of the band members, songwriters and producers involved in The Image Maker Vol. 1 and 2 are all unknown. Even a search of the music’s copyright owners didn’t reveal any answers. To add to the mystery, this CD comes from the only known copy of an acetate, which is the only proof Shuttah ever existed. OK, so the story’s great, but how’s the music? Well, pretty bad. Shuttah were pretentious prog-rockers, like Yes, ELP and Jethro Tull. They’re proficient players, capable of a few captivating instrumental interludes, and the album is superbly recorded (the only known fact about Shuttah, beyond their name, is that they recorded this at Britain’s esteemed IBC Studios), but at the end of the day The Image Maker sounds like the overly-indulgent music from the early-‘70s that punk came along to destroy. Thank you, Ramones.