I've uploaded photos of the original issue due to fraudsters continually listing unofficial bootlegs for several hundred Euros. The outside cover of the original is gloss laminated. Look for details like the paste-on liner on matt uncoated paper on the inside gatefold – on bootleg copies the inside gatefold concert image is printed onto coated paper and has a sheen, it also isn't pasted on like the original, so edge of the outside cover can not be seen on the inside gatefold of the bootleg. Orange labels should match the images I've uploaded.
Hot on the heels of Miles Davis and Nucleus, PLACEBO was the first Belgian group to advance in jazz-rock territories. Leader Marc Moulin (already a veteran by the early 70's since he started in 63 with saxman Scorier) was the main composer of this rather large group (they had a four-man brass section) somewhere between Nucleus and a funky Chicago Transit Authority but with that bizarre and sometimes weird/silly Belgian spirit/absurdism.
Their three albums (from 71 to 74) were widely played on the alternative scene in the early 70's, so much so, that they appeared in concert on National TV (still to be released commercially but aired two years ago). Their debut "Balls Of Eyes" is maybe their better one (it won a prize at 1972's Montreux Jazz Festival), but the 1973 album is not far behind. After a rather disappointing eponymous album (on the Harvest label), they slowly disbanded, giving their last concert in 76. Marc Moulin will then have a long solo career (his best album being Sam Suffy in 75), diddle in Eurovision spoof-group Telex, work with great Belgian group Cos (see their entry), produced many artist (Philip Catherine a.o.), host his own radio show, had his own record label and for the last 15 years has been a precursor in acid-jazz.
Actually their records gained back some interest since they were sampled a few times for Trip-hop records. Marc Moulin left us on Sept 26, 2008 at the age of 66
The first album of Placebo was a real shock in Belgium, and nobody was really prepared for it. All that had come about before was a few proto-prog groups such as Waterloo, Wallace Collection (actually a pop outfit) and a few others. So 71 saw Arkham (who never released an album per se) and Placebo (Lagger Blues Machine was to follow the year after). Leader Marc Moulin was already a veteran by the time of this album, but this was his first project.
The sound on this album oscillates between Bitches Brew and Nucleus's debut on one side and Chicago Transit Authority on the other. If there are some really superb tracks on this album, it is also somewhat uneven with some rather surprising (and clumsy) covers of Marvin Gaye and Isaac Hayes, but clearly the highlights are the self-penned tracks. From the superb Aria with an infectious groove greatly underlined by Moulin's electric piano, to Planes with its superb semi-free jazz intro and impeccable crescendo, and Humpty Dumpty's haunting slow pace, this album is a slap in the face to most historians not knowing of this group. Showbiz Suite being another highlight, it is clear that Moulin was a bandleader in the jazz style, providing a great platform for the other musicians - the four-man horn section is plenty of frontman - so he stays content of providing the solid base (rarely taking the spotlight to himself at this point), but he is the chief composer and pulls of some real stunts in making his role quite interesting.