's self-titled 1974 album and his 1976 LP release are paired together in a narrow double jewel-case CD set that captures the best elements of both albums in their optimum state. The sound fairly roars and the astonishing crispness of the Jeff Wayne
production on David Essex
shines through on the first disc, making this still some of the most beautiful "teen pop" rock you're ever likely to hear. Out on the Street
blasts through in all of its proto-punk glory as well, and the annotation by Alan Robinson
(and the recreation of the second album's original internal cover art) makes this a must-own package, not just for Essex
fans but for Britpop listeners with long memories. What's more, there's a revelation here -- the degree to which Essex
's music utilized reggae elements is rather startling to appreciate at this late date.