Jon Strongbow is a nearly-hidden Pacific Northwest wonder, with six albums of his songs and another six albums of his instrumental music, most with his band Mystery School. He is an author and a graphic artist with multiple books and art prints which he sells at the Pike Place Market, where he is a community fixture.
It starts here. Alien City was his first album. Originally released in 1979, it is a brilliant gem, long lost in the rubbish heap of time. It is a wandering pop/rock masterpiece. Ray Davies meets Bowie in a sprawling non-linear western space time adventure.
From the original cover notes: ALIEN CITY was composed over a period of five years. It is a song cycle of epic proportions centered around the Incarnation of Celestial Visitors to this planet. They take youthful bodies with the soul mission of increasing the intelligence of the human race. Alas, in their compassionate endeavors they become trapped in the pernicious web of the world and their aim becomes warped and sarcastic. In taking mortal bodies they lose their reference point, their center of gravity, and they eventually become depraved and stupid as the people they initially intended to illuminate. There is no story line; no characters are formally introduced. The work is arranged in four movements: 1. When Everything Is Too Fast Too Soon 2. When Everything Is All Wrong 3. When Everything Is Alright 4. When Everything Is Nothing (the LP contained only the first two movements).
Who found this jewel in that heap? Mastering engineer Steve Turnidge had it land in his lap in 2014, basically as a favor for a friend. Steve was enraptured and became the album’s champion. You can read an insightful interview with Jon and Steve by the late, great Frank Gutch Jr. here: https://bobsegarini.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/frank-gutch-jr-jon-strongbow-meltdown-in-alien-city-plus-notes/
Among others, Steve eventually sent a copy of the remaster to Green Monkey. GMR prez Tom Dyer still owns the original Alien City LP he got in 1979 and was quite familiar with Jon’s work, having released Jon’s Something Different LP and A Normal Sort Of Guy cassette in 1989. The loop was closed and the dye was cast.
This new beautifully remastered edition contains 5 previously unreleased bonus tracks from the Third and Fourth movements.
Green Monkey is developing plans to re-release the entire Strongbow catalog.