Sunday, August 31, 2008

U.K. - U.K. (1978)

This album brought Allan Holdsworth to a wider audience, while Bill Bruford (Yess, King Crimson) , John Wetton (Family, King Crimson) and Eddie Jobson (Roxy Music, Curved Air), made their fame prior to this line up. A Supergroup of epic proportions, and one to actually live up to the billing. In The Dead of Night, broken into three sections, is a tour-de-force of battered roto-toms, tortured keyboards, slashing violin and jaw-dropping guitar solos. I've always enjoyed Wetton's "edge of his range" vocals, straining and powerful. Part II, In the Light of Day, offers some respite, softly bringing forth the eye of the storm before the finale. Thirty Years features some of the most powerful Bruford drumming on the record. Alaska/Time to Kill has great punishing keyboard work from Eddie Jobson. The intro to "Nevermore" is one of the best moments in music. The keyboard, guitar trade offs are incendiary. Mental Medication offers up even more tasteful solos, but leaves you hanging and wanting more at the end. This is a classic, a "Must Have" for any progger. - Progarchives

Eddie Jobson - Electric Violin, Keyboards & Electronics
John Wetton - Voice, Bass
Allan Holdsworth - Guitars
Bill Bruford - Kit Drums, Percussion

1. In the Dead of Night (5:36)
2. By the Light of Day (4:40)3. Presto Vivace and Reprise (3:06)
4. Thirty Years (8:02)
5. Alaska (4:38)
6. Time to Kill (5:00)
7. Nevermore (8:09)
8. Mental Medication (7:24)

The Gods - To Samuel a Son (1970)

The GODS made two albums- ‘Genesis’ in 1968 and ‘To Samuel A Son’ in 1970. Both were innovative affairs, with superb musicianship, with heavy guitar work, crunching organ and early mellotron use to the fore, plus bombastic harmonies and a pop sensibility in the mix. However, both albums made next to no impact. - Progarchives

Ken Hensley - Keyboards, Vocals
Joe Konas - Guitars, Vocals
Lee Kerslake - Drums, Vocals
John Glascock - Bass, Vocals

1. To Samuel a Son (3:29)
2. Three O' Clock in the Morning (3:16)
3. He's Growing (2:25)
4. Sticking Wings on Flies (2:39)
5. Lady Lady (3:18)
6. Penny Dear (2:34)
7. Long Time, Sad Time, Bad Time (3:12)
8. Five to Three (2:59)
9. Autumn (3:12)
10. Yes I Cry (2:42)
11. Groozy (3:41)
12. Momma I Need (3:57)
13. Candlelight (2:34)
14. Lovely Anita (3:32)
15. Maria (3:58)

Grobschnitt - Ballermann (1974)

This album took a big step further into prog. They incorporated some elements of Yes (vocal harmonies) and Genesis (symphonic texture, keyboard work) in their style but they don't sound derivative at all. Their soundwritting definitely improved on this album. They also started to be funnier. They are known for making sudden outbursts of wit. Some people just don't get their unique jokes e.g. funny intro, caricature singing and speed up effect in "Sahara" and some inserts in other tracks. Their attitude is similar to ZAPPA, who thinks that humor belongs in music. Some like it some don't. First two tracks are maybe weaker but other tracks are all outstanding. Especially beloved by fans is the epic "Solar Music". To sum it up. An excellent prog effort of a hard prog band successfully transforming into symphonic! - Progarchives

Stefan Danielak - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Joachim Ehrig - Drums, Percussion & Voice
Volker Kahrs - Keyboards
Otto Kühn - Lead Guitar
Bernhard Uhlemann - Bass

1. Sahara (5:33)
2. Nickel-odeon (9:14)
3. Drummer's Dream (6:11)
4. Morning Song (5:42)
5. Magic Train (13:20)
6. Solar Music Part I (17:28)
7. Solar Music Part II (15:58)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gong - You (1974)

You is an album by psychedelic rock band Gong, recorded and originally released in 1974. Recorded at The Manor, Oxfordshire, the original side 1 (the first five tracks listed below) was mixed at Pye, Marble Arch, side 2 at the Manor. Produced by Simon Heyworth and Gong "under the universal influence of C.O.I.T., the Compagnie d'Opera Invisible de Thibet", and engineered by Simon Heyworth. "You" is the third of the "Radio Gnome Trilogy" of albums, following Flying Teapot and Angel's Egg. The Trilogy forms a central part of the Gong mythology. - Wikipedia

Mike Howlett - Bass Guitar
Pierre Moerlen - Percussion
Mirielle Bauer - Percussion
Benoit Moerlen - Percussion
Steve Hillage - Lead Guitar
Didier Malherbe - Wind Instruments & Vocals
Tim Blake - Moog, EMS Systhesisers & Mellowdrone
Daevid Allen - Vocal Locust & Glissandoz Guitar
Gilli Smyth - Poems & Space Whisper
Miquette Giraudy - Wee Voices & Chourousings

1. Thoughts for Naught
2. A P.H.P.'s Advice
3. Magick Mother Invocation
4. Master Builder
5. A Sprinkling of Clouds
6. Perfect Mystery
7. The Isle of Everywhere
8. You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Jane - Between Heaven and Hell (1977)

Jane followed up their previous album quite well with "Between Heaven and Hell". The album had more abrupt chord-changes and didn't have the same seamless flow as "Fire, Water, Earth & Air". But that made it on the other hand a more dynamic and varied record that better captured all the different sides of the band. The 20-minute title-track had it all: sinister instrumental-passages with some electronic effects, pleasant Pink Floyd-like vocal-parts, loud heavy-prog riffs, sweeping solo-passages with atmospheric string-synths, and even a gothic choir to make the right gloomy mood. "Twilight" starts as an average hard rock song, but turns quickly into a beautiful and energetic instrumental-part that easily is some of the best that Jane ever recorded. "Voice in the Wind" is a melodic and heavily synth-based song that floats graciously away in its spacey feel. The closing-track "Your Circle" is a very basic and ordinary boogie-rock track, but it's still kind of funny as it makes such a big contrast to the rest of the album. "Between Heaven and Hell" was yet another proof that Jane was on a winning streak in the late 70's, as it's easily among their best albums. - Vintageprog

Klaus Hess - Guitars, Moog & Vocals
Martin Hesse - Bass, Vocals
Peter Panka - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Manfred Wieczorke - Keyboards, Vocalswith
A. Zchenker - Harp

1. Between Heaven and Hell (19:47)
2. Twilight (8:14)
3. Voice in the Wind (5:14)
4. Your Circle (3:51)

The Soft Machine - Third (1970)

Third is a 1970 double LP by Soft Machine, with each side of the original vinyl consisting of a single long composition. Its music explores the emerging jazz fusion of the type present on Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, which was released in the same year. Third is considered by many to be the seminal recording to emerge from the Canterbury scene, featuring incredible interplay between the band's members, led by keyboardist Mike Ratledge, Elton Dean on woodwinds, Robert Wyatt on drums and Hugh Hopper on bass. The track "Slightly All The Time" was used as the background for the syndicated "Realities" news program distributed by many 1970s-era "underground" radio stations. The album remained in print in the Columbia U.S. catalog throughout the 1970s and into the '80s despite its unusual format, based largely on word of mouth reviews. - Wikipedia

Robert Wyatt - Drums, Vocals, Piano, Organ & Bass Guitar
Hugh Hopper - Bass Guitar
Mike Ratledge - Organ, Piano & Electric Piano
Elton Dean - Alto Sax, Saxello
Lyn Dobson - Flute, Soprano Sax

1. Facelift (18:54)
2. Slightly All The Time (18:14)
3. Moon In June (19:18)
4. Out-Bloody-Rageous (19:17)

Uriah Heep - Look at Yourself (1971)

Look at Yourself is the third album released by British rock band Uriah Heep. The title track and "July Morning" were released as singles in North America in 1971 and 1973, respectively. The original cover art (not pictured opposite) was innovative, the LP coming in a single sleeve with a die-cut opening on the front through which a reflective foil 'mirror' was seen. This relates the cover art directly to the album title. The idea was that of guitarist Mick Box. Not being a perfect reflecting surface, one sees a distorted image of oneself. Indeed, this theme is carried on with the band photos on the rear of the LP sleeve, which have also been distorted. The band identifies with the listener and vice versa. The LP itself was housed in a heavy-duty card inner, complete with lyrics. The song "July Morning" has become the inspiration for the Bulgarian tradition of the same name (called July Morning). - Wikipedia

Ken Hensley - Organ, Piano, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar & Vocals
Mick Box - Lead Guitar & Acoustic Guitar
David Byron - Lead Vocals
Paul Newton - Bass Guitar
Ian Clarke - Drums

1. Look at Yourself (5:07)
2. I Wanna Be Free (3:59)
3. July Morning (10:36)
4. Tears in My Eyes (5:02)
5. Shadows Of Grief (8:40)
6. What Should Be Done (4:13)
7. Love Machine (3:37)

Nektar - A Tab in the Ocean (1972)

Tab in the Ocean is one of my all time favourite progressive rock recordings. Psychedelic landscaped atmospheres in a classic progressive rock setting with the highest of crafted songs. "Tab..." is essentially 2 great epic tracks both of which approach the 20 min mark. In my opinion "Tab..." is perhaps the pinnacle NEKTAR album culminating some of their greatest pieces of work ever. Tab contains superb guitar/bass workouts which are layered with organ soaked melodies, vintage classic rock drumming and excellent vocal harmonies. The melodies here are simply amazing and will certainly capture the heart and soul of the listener. Without a question, "Tab In The Ocean" is essential progressive rock and remains to this day one of my all time most treasured progressive rock recordings. - Progarchives

Roye Albrighton - Guitars, Vocals
Mick Brockett - Liquid Lights
Allan Freeman - Keyboards, Backing Vocals & Mellotron
Ron Howden - Drums, Percussion & Backing Vocals
Derek "Mo" Moore - Bass, Vocals

1. A Tab in the Ocean (15:31)
2. Desolation Valley (5:45)
3. Waves (2:53)
4. Cryin' in the Dark (5:27)
5. King of Twilight (4:07)

Epitaph - Epitaph (1971)

A producer is Gerd Muller. It is said that he was the person who did not know which switch carries out what done in the mixer room.I want you to hear introduction of "Moving To The Country" which is the opening tune of this album. This thick beautiful melody of Twin lead guitar sound me as if it had declared that EPITAPH made an excellent piece of music one after another after this activitys. And next tune, "Visions" is an excellent piece of music too. The whispers-sound of the merotoron which flows calmly behind voice is the sound which cannot be heard if it is not in this 1970's music scene.The sound of EPITAPH is peculiar to such a European band charm truly. - Progarchives

Cliff Jackson - Vocal, Guitar
Klaus Walz -Guitar
Bernd Kolbe - Bass, Mellotoron
James Mcgillvray - Drums

1. Moving to the Country
2. Visions
3. Hopelessly
4. Little Maggie
5. Early Morning

Camel - Moonmadness (1976)

Moonmadness is an album released in March 1976 by Camel. It is the final album that featured the classic line-up (Latimer, Bardens, Ferguson, Ward) from the band. After the release of The Snow Goose in 1975, the band decided to move back into a more accessible direction by adding vocals to their music again. The album still has an overall theme, just as their previous one did, but doesn't follow a storyline since it's mostly based on the band members themselves. As written in the CD Booklet: Overall, the tracks comprising the album were conceived as a loose concept based on the individual personalities that made up Camel; "Air Born" about Andrew Latimer, "Lunar Sea" about Andy Ward, "Chord Change" about Peter Bardens and "Another Night" about Doug Ferguson. - Wikipedia

Andrew Latimer - Guitar, Vocals
Peter Bardens - Keyboards, Vocals
Doug Ferguson - Bass, Vocals
Andy Ward - Drums, Percussion

1. Aristillus
2. Song Within a Song
3. Chord Change
4. Spirit Of The Water
5. Another Night
6. Air Born
7. Lunar Sea
8. Another Night (Single Version)

King Crimson - Islands (1971)

Islands is an album by the band King Crimson, released in 1971. The last King Crimson studio album before the group's trilogy of Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black and Red, it is also the last to feature the lyrics of Peter Sinfield and the last to feature the band's 'traditional' progressive sound. The album was not particularly well received critically, although fans have suggested that the second side of the LP is much stronger than the first, which could have something to do with the poor reviews. There are four tracks with lyrics on this album, and three of them concern women, one of them in a notoriously misogynistic way: "Ladies of the Road", about groupies, although fans have suggested that the song might be a joke. - Wikipedia

Robert Fripp - Guitar, Mellotron & Harmonium
Boz Burrell - Bass Guitar, Vocals
Mel Collins - Flute, Saxophone & Vocals
Ian Wallace - Drums, Percussion & Vocals
Peter Sinfield - Lyrics

1. Formentera Lady (10:14)
2. Sailor's Tale (7:21)
3. The Letters (4:26)
4. Ladies of the Road (5:28)
5. Prelude: Song of the Gulls (4:14)
6. Islands (11:51)