Sep 28, 2005 at 12:00 am

You’ll recognize Terry Reid on an elemental level. When his blues wail rises on a torrent of unknown vowels, or he caresses the buzz of the amplifiers in a fey British lilt, Reid oftentimes sounds like the wild seed of Robert Plant and Donovan. He was a contemporary of both — Reid was Jimmy Page’s first choice to sing for what would become Led Zeppelin — but his work hasn’t resonated in the ensuing years. Naturally that quiet legacy has built him a cultish following among musicians and sundry longhairs (Reid even resembles rock prima donna Ryan Adams on Superlungs’ cover), and Astralwerks is tapping that market in vintage musical antiheroes with this retrospective. You can imagine a young Patti Smith listening to the wooly fury of the Donovan-penned title track, and it’s the tumbling psyche-rock of “Marking Time,” and “Silver White Light” that make the most immediate impression on Superlungs. Reid’s the typical English folkie for ballads like “July” and “May Fly,” and he’s a blues rambler for Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited.” Superlungs has a little of everything, but at its center is Reid’s voice. Indeed: He’d convince anyone with the pleading, anguish and intimacy in “Stay With Me Baby.”

Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].