"News flash! Third Italian Aviation album found in England!" Yes, Brian Elton, an audiophile in the U.K. found a reel-to-reel box labeled "Italian Aviation" with some dusty graphics pasted on the front and rear. After a web search, he contacted Starfish Records in Cincinnati, the label that re-issued the two previous albums I had restored with help from my comrade Matt Hart. As you Tape-Op historians may know, home reel-to-reel recordings were the best fidelity in the pre-compact disc world.

Several months of meticulous reconstruction later, here you the third known record from missing-in-action sound pioneers Italian Aviation. Check out the notes on this site under their other two albums if you don't yet know the back-story of these fascinating records.

Even without vinyl record scratch, this reel-to-reel tape was in far from perfect condition. Tape degenerates badly. Matt Hart and I had to plug a few gaps through clever editing. The main chore was finding someone who could convert the reels to digital so we could even hear the damn thing. Luckily, Kelly Morelock, drummer for our band Travel, has connections.

I have to be honest: this is my least favorite of the three discovered records. Since the August 2004 release of "1971", I rank that one as my favorite, followed by "1975", the first record we found and released in March 2003. This one is really interesting, don't get me wrong, but if I had to pick favorites I'd go with "1971." It's slightly more emotional.

One thing that's interesting on this one is that the duo has incorporated a lot of new sounds. Part space-age bachelor pad music, part new wave record, part b-movie soundtrack, it's a wealth of late 70s memorabilia. Not as musical as the others, though. The first time I heard it I thought it was fascinating, but also a bit unfocused. It also clocks in a little shorter than the other two. Don't know if that's a sign that the band was running out of steam. Still, totally worth a purchase from Starfish or from this very site. It's a great companion to the other records. My opinions are just personal reflections, not the gospel truth.

There are names assigned to the two photos that sat inside the tape box, so we now know who is Dante and who is Giovanni.

So that's the story so far for Italian Aviation. Three records. One decade. Light years ahead. More to follow? Perhaps. Four years apart for each record, we could go either backwards or forwards from this point. You never know.