The beauty of "The Black Session" (si that's the correct English translation)

For many years, if held at gunpoint by rock fascists compiling The Ultimate Top 20,000 Best Albums Ever, I would have had to declare a preference for The Orange Juice as the fullest expression of our boy's genius on a single record. Listening to a lot of the Collins/Juice canon at the moment, and I think if this dangerous critical menace were to burst in on me and my collection and require a choice, I'd have to declare a preference for The Black Session.

If nothing else, this selection would buy me a little time while they consulted their Guinness Books and back issues of Q in search of an authoritative review, and give me a chance to slip out.

But omigod it's a great recording and captures better than anything I have the 3D genius of the Edwyn live experience, with the added bonus of the French radio commentary. (A great moment is at the end of Bridge when one guy shifts from French to English and declares "That's Rock & Roll!")

It's really so good, but like recent live gigs, it is inclined to leave me weeping a lot as you are reminded of what he has lost.

Part of me wants to mount a lobby for a commercial release. Another part wants it to remain very little known, because it's so very sad to register anew what he's had to go through.

What do other diehards think?

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