"Virgo" is a re-issue of a 1989 house album by Virgo Four and proclaimed by some to be the best house music album ever made. It isn't, although it is very good. Whilst it doesn't hit the same highs as the best early works of Marshall Jefferson, Phuture or Mr Fingers - there's nothing here in the same league as "Open Your Eyes", "Acid Trax" or "Can You Feel It" - it's remarkably consistent and avoids the out-and-out cheesiness that nearly all the US house pioneers have occasionally veered towards. Nor was "Virgo" particularly ahead of its time - it's preceded, for example, by 808 State's Newbuild (now that one IS a contender for best house album of all time).
So what is it about Virgo then? Well, I guess you could call it an early example of deep house. It's hardly dated at all: the group's "business problems" - as referred to in the liner notes - seem to have enforced a corresponding economy of style which, though not strictly-speaking minimal, has served this record well over the years. The stand-out track (and only one with which I was already familiar) is "In A Vision", which until now I'd always presumed was a Marshall Jefferson production. Wrong Virgo (although Marshall did also record for Trax under the Virgo name) - apparently the infamous Trax label owner Larry Sherman was to blame for that one.
If you were asked by someone to give them a CD which represents the house sound of Chicago in a nutshell - this would be the one.
Virgo's Eric Lewis & mewryn sanders to me never got the credit they rightfully deserved. Recording under the legendary 'trax records' (Larry Sherman) produced endless classics such as 'do you know who you are' & ' in a vision' those tracks had a deep, atmospheric & a emotional feel to them not mention many more. Eric & merwyn continued to produce many more gems that sadly never got released due to differences with Larry. However listening to this album today it still sounds fresh back then from 89. This Virgo album is a 'timeless masterpiece'