Starting in his teens, Rhode Island-born Roger C. Reale was a party to New England’s raucous band scene, but his shot at stardom came when he signed to Connecticut indie Big Sound in 1978. “Big Sound initially patterned itself after Stiff,” reveals Reale. “Stiff Records, The Jam, The Clash... we were getting all those singles and we wanted to be a part of it.”
For his explosive debut LP Radioactive, Reale enlisted hotshot local guitarist G.E. Smith (later of Hall & Oates, Bob Dylan, SNL Band) and Sparks drummer Hilly Michaels. “That record is a MONSTERPIECE of magic, and power and pop,” gushes Michaels." G.E. Smith confesses, "I’ve played on a bunch of things since then, but that whole album is really one of my top two or three.”
“I brought Roger’s record over to Mick Ronson’s house,” recalls Michaels. “‘F**king hell, Hilly, this is amazing! Can I play on the next one?’” In January 1979, recording sessions began for the followup, Reptiles In Motion, with Michaels on drums, and guitars from Jimmy McAllister (Sparks, Beckies) and the already legendary Mick Ronson (David Bowie, Lou Reed, Morrissey).
Cue record company turmoil at Big Sound, and the realization that sessions for the second album would likely never be released. Reale left Big Sound with ownership of songs and masters out of his control, where they languished in the vaults for decades. Flash forward to 2018, Reale finally acquires ownership of his publishing and masters for release on Rave On Records’ The Collection (CD) and first time vinyl release of the previously unreleased Reptiles In Motion.