Mugen is one of those japanese bands that make you feel you are listening to a pastoral italian band. The music is ethereal, full of magical changes, lots of full range keys, If you like fine keyboards, go for it.The singer has a great voice, though sings in japanese. Enjoyable even in the quietest moments. Ricardo Otero, Mexico. - Review by Ricardo Otero (Ricardo G. Otero mantecon)

This is another masterpiece of the symphonic prog. Even japanese prog sounds very different than the occidental, I think that Mugen brings us a beautiful experience, with some Genesis and classical influences. "Sinfonia della Luna" and "Dance... Romantic" are two great pieces of prog rock. Sounds like a magical tale of an ancient stroyteller. More than essential. If you want to continue this experience please listen "Leda et le Cygne"... - Review by progadicto (Ivan Avila)



Track Listings

1. Sinfonia della luna (8:20)
2. Magical wand (4:05)
3. Venezia (4:55)
4. Dance...romantic (5:25)
5. A parade of the wonderland (2:00)
6. Ballo della luna (10:30)
Bonus track on cd release:
7. Leonardo

Total Time: 52:09
Line-up/Musicians

- Masaya Furuta / drums, percussion
- Katsuhiko Hayashi / synthesizers, Mellotron, recorder, acoustic guitar
- Akira Kato / bass, bass pedals, acoustic & electric guitar
- Takashi Nakamura / lead vocals, synthesizers, acoustic guitar

GUESTS:
- Takako Hayashi / vocals (7)
- Makoto Kaminishizono / electric guitar (2-6)
- Takako Morita / vocals (1-5), keyboards(6)
- Kunihiko Yamazaki / vocals (4), glockenspiel (5)


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Sfinx - Zalmoxe (1978)

When my mother told me that she plans to go to Romania to discover the unknown, I took a quick browse on the Internet, and I gave her the list of Romanian prog bands that I was able to find on web. Two weeks later she came back with loads of souvenirs, Dracula T-shirt, few Romanian recorders and small flutes and a yellow cassette.

That yellow cassette appeared to be SFINX'es "Zalmoxe", poor edition without any details in inner sleeve, not even the year of issue. Just terribly printed list of tracks, and these track appeared to be in different order from the CD issues that I've found on Web. Maybe because of tape length. And no bonus tracks here. So I placed a tape into my cassette player...

...and didn't move or breathe for next 45 minutes. What can I say about this gem? It sounds like these guys came out of nowhere, reinventing the music and making an album that can't be compared to anything, because it's so unique.

There are quite a few multilayered vocals, based on orthodox monastery prayers. Somehow that reminds me of QUEEN, rather than URIAH HEEP or GENTLE GIANT. Electric guitar is doing some nice job here and there, but the keyboards got the prominent role. You can here some nice odd time signature sequences (based on the Balkan music) that reminds me of LEB I SOL or perhaps AREA's synth solos (only not so raw) and calm pads surrounding the vocals. These pads are the reason why this album sounds ahead of its time, really, it sounds like a mixture of symphonic keyboard oriented rock and ballads that could perfectly fit in a role of any of the 1980's world soccer championship anthems. But don't get me wrong, this formula works fine, because every moment you can expect a cross fade between ballad part and some absolutely insane sounds. Production is fine, sounds quite polished (in a good way).

Again, what can I say... I'm hesitating to give this album five stars because of occasional inconsistencies (some tracks are not weaker, they're just less enjoyable), and because some tracks could've been more developed. Actually, they are developed enough, but in which direction? This album is so strange, and so hard to rate. I guess you can easily call it a masterpiece, or dislike it...but definitely well worth giving a try. - Review by clarke2001 (Moris Mateljan)



Track Listings

1. Ursitoarele (Fortune Tellers) (5:30)
2. Blana de urs (Bear's Fur) (4:00)
3. Mierea (The Honey) (4:28)
4. Pestera (The Cave) (4:10)
5. Epifania (Epiphany) (4:11)
6. Furtuna cu trup de balour (Dragon Shaped Storm) (4:53)
7. Cãlãtorul prin nori (Cloud Traveller) (6:26)
8. Kogaion (5:28)
9. Epilog (Epilogue) (3:00)
Bonus tracks:
10. Din nou acasã (Home Again) (4:37)
11. Scufita Rosie (Little Red Riding Hood) (3:01)
12. Fetele albine (Bee-Girls) (2:51)
13. Zmeul (The Kite) (2:43)

Total Time: 55:18
Line-up/Musicians

- Dan Andrei Aldea / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Corneliu Bibi Ionescu / bass
- Nicolae Enache / keyboards
- Mihai Cernea / drums
Releases information

LP Electrecord ELCD 135 (1978)


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Long since forgotten gem from the late 70’s Ital-Prog scene with some beautiful melodies and colorful character. In many ways this album is reminiscent of the best work of PFM with the addition of loads of scrumptious fuzz guitar. This quartet juxtapose classical keyboard arrangements with a heavy dose of Progressive elements characteristic of this region during this time. "Zero – 7" features some strong keyboard work with organ, mellotron, moog and piano to boot! Sonically this well preserved but aged recording offers some wonderful stereo panning and grand speaker separation. IMHO I would rank this right up there with the classics of this era... An essential album my friends. Do not stop... do not pass go... go directly to jail. - Review by loserboy (James Unger)


Track Listings

Side 1
1. Introduzione (9:42)
2. Stacco 1 (4:09)
3. Cieli Aperti (4:05)
Side 2
4. Una Vecchia Storia (5:59)
5. 45 I (2:36)
6. 45 II (5:09)
7. Conclusioni (4:08)

Total Time: 35:52
Line-up/Musicians

- Ferry Bettini / vocals, keyboards
- Angelo Lenatti / guitar, vocals
- Dory Dorigatti / bass
- Bruno Stangoni / drums
Releases information

Lp-Disco Più-DP 39010-Ita-1977 / CD-Vinyl Magic-VM 034-Ita-1993


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Flash - Flash (1972)

After his days in Yes and a very brief stay in Bloodwyn Pig, Peter Banks started Flash together with lead vocalist Colin Carter, soon to be joined by bassist Ray Bennett and drummer Mike Hough. Former Yes-colleague Tony Kaye agreed to play keyboards on this one, more as a special guest than as a proper member. So, the final result turned out to be pretty similar to “The Yes Album”, regarding the melodic sensibility and the sense of excitement portrayed in the performances, but with a major presence of jazz swing and a general tendency toward working on a more concise number of musical themes. These elements make the listener aware of the caliber of Bank’s input for the forging of the Yes sound: something that should be more acknowledge than it usually is. In fact, Banks seems to have found in Flash a proper vehicle for a freer expansion of his guitar skills and musical ideas, with Bennett acting simultaneously as the perfect companion for Hough and an effective partner for Bank’s guitar riffs and harmonies. Bennett’s role proves crucial in the foundation of a solid ground for the musical colours displayed by the guitar, the vocal melodies and the keyboards. Tracks, 1, 3 & 4 are the longest and most elaborated numbers. ‘Small Beginnings’ and ‘Children of the Universe’ are tight and cohesively structured, catchy enough to call the listener’s attention, and complex enough to keep the progressive flame burning solidly. ‘Dreams of Heaven’ is the longest of the three, and also the least cohesive in terms of arrangement, but the jazz interlude jamming, the brief Spanish guitar solo that comes after the ad-lib opening, and the vocal melodies are really captivating – it seems as if the parts could shine brighter than the whole, while in tracks 1 & 3 the parts were fully integrated in the whole making it compact and fluid. The remaining two tracks are less ambitious, but not unattractive: ‘Morning Haze’ is a CSNY-ish acoustic piece with slight bluesy nuances, while ‘The Time It Takes’ is an eerie ballad in which the organ layers provide a proper landscape for Carter’s introspective singing and Banks’ soft picked leads. The whirling of a distant wild wind (played on ARP synthesizer) serves as a proper background for the fade-out, since it enhances the song’s ethereal ambience. A great record this is, so it must be considered as an excellent addition to any good prog collection. - Review by Cesar Inca (César Inca Mendoza Loyola)


Track Listings

1. Small beginnings (9:23)
2. Morning haze (4:32)
3. Children of the universe (8:55)
4. Dreams of Heaven (12:57)
5. The time it takes (5:48)

Total Time: 41:48
Line-up/Musicians

- Peter Banks / acoustic electric & Spanish guitars, Hooter, ARP synth, backing vocals
- Ray Bennett / bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals (2)
- Colin Carter / vocals, percussion
- Mike Hough / drums, percussion, cymbals, badinage
- Tony Kay / organ, piano, ARP synth
Releases information

Lp. Capitol SMAS 11040 (USA) / Cd. One Way Sovereign 21 17796 (1994)


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Vinegar - Vinegar (1971)

One of the countries that i consider pioneers of prog music is Germany, despite i am not a real lover of krautrock, i admit that several 70`s bands that came out from Germany were/are motif of inspirations between the bands themselves, they have developed an own style and that is why Germany is so big in this wide world of progressive rock.

Out of the ashes of that 70`s era, actually very early 70`s a band called Vinegar decided to make their own effort inspired mainly by the late 60`s psychedelic era and believing that they could contribute to the constant development of german rock, prog rock i mean, released a self-titled album and again, as several bands, disbanished after their first and only record This happened with several bands and the most of them remain being very obscure nowadays, Vinegar is not the exception, this album is very unknown and strange to get, even it is difficult to find some information about this band and relateds.

The music is very psychedelic as i said above, nonetheless sometimes i feel that they tried to experiment more that they should have to, the first song is not that powerful opener song that i expect in every album, actually it is the longest one of this album, but that doesnt mean that is the best, psychedelic guitar,some good riffs but it would have been better if the song lasted 7 minutes and not 12, sometimes repetitiveness is excelent, this time is pointless.

The next two songs could be considered as a one piece divided in two, "Sawmill" begins rockier than the first song and actually it sounds better, here we can find again some kind of experimentation but this time with the addition of both the flute and violin which sounds good but not superb, nice try and nice song.

The fourth song , is probably the one that fits perfectly in that German early 70`s psychedelic style, the organ ,drums and guitar will give you an idea, the horrible thing here are the vocals, i dont understand if they tried to be funny, but i dont like them at all, they sound ridicolous and terrible. "Fleisch" is the last song, and probably the one that i like the most, here the organ takes everything very calm and soft, sometimes sounds a bit dark, and then the songs turn heavier with some good guitar riffs.

I dont like to give so low ratings to unknown bands, but this time i have two things, in one hand the fact that i am not the most devoted follower of Krautrock (though i do love some kraut albums), and in the other hand being a prog lover as a genre, i find this album with no direction, i mean it doesnt show anything new, nor inspire me to listen to it frequently, so this time i will give to it only 2 stars, recommendable, yes, but only for fans of German kraut/psych music. - Review by memowakeman (Guillermo Hdez. Urdapilleta)



Track Listings

1. Missi Solis (12:31)
2. Sawmill - Tiel 1 (5:25)
3. Sawmill - Tiel II (5:10)
4. Der Kaiser Auf Der Erbse (7:07)
5. Fleisch (7:04)

Total Time: 37:17
Line-up/Musicians

- Bernhard Liesengang / bass, vocals
- Rolf Zwirner / guitar, violin
- Wolfgang Grahn / drums
- Ralf Modrow / organ, vocals
- Ambrosius Gulbatscher / gulbratsche
- Dagmar Dormagen / vocals, flute
- Jochen Biemann / guitar
Releases information

Recorded: January 1971 - Studio Rottenburg
CD Reissue GOD CD091 (2003)


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Yes - Yessongs (1973)

The ultimate live album. It perfectly captures Yes at (or near) their creative peak. The only problem is the sound quality, which is only fairly good by today's standards, but in 1973 was phenomenal. There are some subtle edits and dubs here and there, nothing blastphemous, mainly just odd jumps in volume occaisionally. Of course, there is still a little analog hiss, but nothing bad.

The music included is the best part. It starts with an excerpt from Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite," but unfortunately is just a recording, and not played by the band. Soon the band enters to play "Siberian Khatru," which is very well done, and doesn't stray much from the studio version except that the electric sitar is absent. "Heart of the Sunrise" is also fairly faithful to the studio version, nothing special but still as great as ever. BRUFORD plays on "Perpetual Change," and does a big drum solo at the end. However, the midsection of the song is the most interesting part, when the band speeds into a section in 14/8 much like the one in the studio album, but played live it is even more amazing. They end it with a huge amount of feedback, tricking you into thinking that something went wrong, then plunges back into the song.

"And You and I" is another great but not exemplary tune included, using electric guitar instead of the 12-string like on the studio version. HOWE's "Mood for a Day" is really the only filler on here, replicated exactly as it was in the studio, and even in the studio it was mainly filler anyway. Rick WAKEMAN's keyboard solo is another highlight, in which he incorporates quotations from his "Six Wives" album and the hymn "Hallelujah." After this is "Roundabout", which has some slightly muddy sound quality but still retains its effect.

Disc two is my personal favorite, however, beginning with "I've Seen All Good People." They keep the song fairly close to the studio version, once again, but it still has that live flavor you can't get in the studio. "Long Distance Runaround" segues into "The Fish," and is by far the most interesting moment on the album. I wondered how they would ever pull it off, but they do. SQUIRE performs superbly, taking individual themes from the studio version and twisting them through a wah pedal, with the rest of the band helping. You have to hear it to believe it.

"Close to the Edge" is as beautiful as ever, with a climax even more climactic than in the studio, with distortion, wah and everything. This version is my personal favorite, and HOWE actually plays his electric sitar the whole time onstage, another plus. BRUFORD plays once more on "Yours is No Disgrace," and they really stretch this one out with a lot more improvisations than their newer numbers. "Starship Trooper" ends with very good sound quality, and the "Wurm" section live is simply majestic.

This album could easily be enjoyed by YES veterans and newcomers alike. It could be a very good album to start with, actually, if you were just starting to get into YES. A must-have for fans. - Review by penguindf12 (Dex F.)



Track Listings

Disc 1: (66:04)
1. Opening (Excerpt from "Firebird Suite") (3:45)
2. Siberian Khatru (8:50)
3. Heart of the Sunrise (11:26)
4. Perpetual Change (14:08)
5. And You and I (9:55)
a) Cord of Life
b) Eclipse
c) The Preacher the Teacher
d) The Apocalypse
6. Mood For a Day (2:52)
7. Excerpts from "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" (6:35)
8. Roundabout (8:33)
Disc 2: (63:12)
1. I've Seen All Good People (7:00)
a) Your Move
b) All Good People
2. Long Distance Runaround / The Fish (13:45)
3. Close to the Edge (18:41)
a) The Solid Time of Change
b) Total Mass Retain
c) I Get Up I Get Down
d) Seasons of Man
4. Yours is No Disgrace (14:21)
5. Starship Trooper (9:25)
a) Life Seeker
b) Disillusion
c) Wurm

Total Time: 129:16
Line-up/Musicians

- Jon Anderson / vocals
- Chris Squire / bass and vocals
- Rick Wakeman / keyboards
- Bill Bruford / drums on 4 and 10
- Alan White / drums on everything else
- Steve Howe / guitars and vocals
Releases information

Atlantic records (lps 3SA-100)


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Download Disk 2

An utterly charming prog classic. Released in 1971, ‘In The Land Of Grey And Pink’ is the ultimate archetype of the so-called “Canterbury” branch of prog: whimsical lyrics, surreal imagery, hints of ‘60s psych, consistently mellow tone with only occasional outbursts, an adventurous approach to writing/performing/arranging while remaining true to the traditional late ‘60s/early ‘70s rock mindset…and a good dose of humor. This album is not only a Canterbury classic, but it’s the best Caravan album I have yet to hear. After digesting ‘Waterloo Lily’, ‘For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night’, the tiring ‘Caravan And The New Symphonia’ and the weak ‘Cunning Stunts’, I wondered if Caravan were maybe a little overrated. Having enjoyed lots of ‘Waterloo…’ and ‘For Girls…’, it still seemed Caravan were playing it too safe, considering their wealth of talent. But I GET IT now. This is one infectious album, one that brings a smile to my face with every listen. It is now an open-the-windows, turn-it-up-loud springtime tradition. A carefree escape. I can’t believe I went so long without hearing this album. Finally finding ‘In The Land Of Grey And Pink’ after all this time is like unearthing some lost Camel album from the ‘70s. There are similarities to those humpbacked legends, and with each song holding its own aura, accentuated by brilliant songwriting, adventurous choices and tasteful performances, there's a zen to this album that I look forward to returning to again and again.

If the quaint and wonderful bounce of “Golf Girl” isn’t the prefect cure for a miserable mood…it’s hard not to just let go with this light and silly tune, and the rhythm section gives it a nice pulsing momentum. The tone becomes a bit more serious, if not still fanciful, with the fantasy trip of “Winter Wine”. A dark aura creeps in, with a charismatic vocal pulling things along. Some excellent syncopation and dynamic interplay occurs between the rhythm section and the more buoyant keyboards/guitar. A gorgeous and mildly aggressive keyboard solo puts the song over the top into “classic” status. “Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)” is the requisite pop tune found on every Caravan album. It’s a nice, harmless, ‘60s-rooted piece, nothing spectacular but certainly important in the well-rounded personality of this album. The title track comes next, putting out a similar atmosphere as “Winter Wine”. Well- considered drum grooves are brought forth easily from the sticks and hands of Richard Coughlan. The vocal is beautiful and expressive, mimicked nicely by David Sinclair when the time comes for the keyboard spotlight. Finally, the sprawling “Nine Feet Underground” appears, which doesn't rush to the finish line, considering its lengthy 22 minutes. This is not an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink type of prog epic, rather it seems like a short song that was elongated to set a peculiar mood. Every piece is linked easily and patiently. Every segment works, especially the purposeful jamming heard throughout its latter half and the heavy guitar riff that kicks the song into its climactic conclusion. A perfect ending to what can only be called a perfect album. - Review by slipperman (Jeff Wagner)



Track Listings

1. Golf girl (5:05)
2. Winter wine (7:46)
3. Love to love you (and tonight pigs will fly) (3:06)
4. In the land of grey and pink (4:51)
5. Nine feet underground: (22:40)
- Nigel blows a tune
- Love's a friend
- Make it 76
- Dance of the seven paper hankies
- Hold grandad by the nose
- Honest I did!
- Disassociation
- 100% proof

Total Time: 43:28

Bonus tracks on remaster (2001):
6. I Don't Know Its Name (6:12)
7. Aristocracy (3:42)
8. It's Likely To Have A Name Next Week (7:48)
9. Group Girl (5:04)
10. Disassociation / 100% Proof (8:35)
Line-up/Musicians

- Richard Sinclair / bass guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals
- Pye Hastings / electric. guitars, acoustic guitar, vocals
- David Sinclair / organ, piano, mellotron, harmony vocals
- Richard Coughlan / drums, percussion
- Jimmy Hastings / flute, tenor saxophone, piccolo
- David Grinsted / cannon, bell, wind
Releases information

LP Deram SDLR1 (1971)
CD Deram/ Decca 820 520-2 (1989)
CD Polydor Records PO 1834 (1991)
CD Decca Record Company LC 0942 (2001 remaster)


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Another great, but little known gem of Krautrock. "A Meditation Mass" is perhaps the rarest album to be found on the Brain label, and it went through two versions: the original with the diecut cover, and the one without. Don't bother tracking down the LP (either version), as they don't exactly grow on trees. Later on, when reissued on CD, The Laser's Edge issued it in '92 with the diecut cover, and in '95, Spalax in France issued it without the diecut. If you're a fan of ASH RA TEMPEL, or early, percussion-dominated POPOL VUH, then this is for you. Given the title is "A Meditation Mass", expect the music to be laid-back, don't expect raw, aggressive, and mindblowingly intense passages like you might get with ASH RA TEMPEL at times. YATHA SIDHRA featured the guitar/keyboards (keyboards include Moog synthesizer and Hohner Pianet) of Rolf Fichter and drums/percussion of Klaus Fichter (presumably brothers) with tons of beautiful flute from Peter Elbracht and guitar/bass of Matthias Nicolai. The album is basically one long cut divided by four parts. Lots of nice, meditative passages, with some jazzy passages at times, especially "Part 2" and "Part 3". "Part 4" is mainly themes from throughout the album revisited. The guitar work often brings to mind Manuel Göttsching, but he often played his guitar more in the style of a sitar, in an attempt to create a droning effect. And given the band name is very obviously Eastern (presumably Sanskrit), little surprise that the cover artwork is very Eastern influenced, Indian style, of course. While most of the music is instrumental, Rolf Fichter provides the occasional vocals as well, nothing intrusive. This is truly an album that needs multiple listens, because it more or less keeps the same pace throughout. There are a few exceptions, especially the jazzier sections of "Part 3", where the band tries something a little more intense. Regardless, a truly wonderful gem of Krautrock, and if you can track a copy, do so! - Review by Proghead (Ben Miler)


Track Listings

1. A Meditation Mass 1 (17.45)
2. A Meditation Mass 2 (3.13)
3. A Meditation Mass 3 (12.00)
4. A Meditation Mass 4 (7.16)
Line-up/Musicians

- Rolf Fichter / moog synth, Indian flute, vibes, electric piano, electric guitar, vocals
- Klaus Fichter / drums, percussion
- Matthias Nicolai / electric 12-string guitar, bass
- Peter Elbracht / flute
Releases information

LP BRAIN 1045


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pass: sakallimusic.blogspot.com

Greenslade - Greenslade (1973)

Phew … Finally, I feel relieved that I got the CD version of this classic album which in a way has colored my childhood. I have been thus far holding a cassette version until last week when I visited one of local CD stores in Jakarta, I saw this under “Rock Legend” shelf. Wow …!!! What a lucky man I was. Even though I have been hearing “Feathered Friends” through classic rock FM radio station down here but I still want to have the whole album as this band was one of progressive rock icons of 70s. I fully agree with most reviewers that have said it like that. When I got this CD, I asked the store keeper to play it LOUD while I was continuing my search of other CDs. The crowd in the store was wondering “Oh, what music is this?” as previously the store played jazz music (uuuugghhh …!!!!). I don’t really care about it as I am the customer and I know that this band is so damn great! Pity them if they are at the same age with me but they don’t know about GREENSLADE???!! Come on! Where have they been? For sure, they are definitely not my friends because they did not prog during their teenage. When the CD was played at the store, I really loved the “sound” – it’s a very capped sound, I would say. The treble is not crispy or transparent, the bass is not that solid, mid range was a bit dull.. But, hey …that’s exactly what I want: they sound of seventies! Of course it’s way less superior than the latest prog recording. But I do even enjoy it, very much. When I hit the road, I played it again outloud in the car. Oh man …. what a great drive that evening. What a truly classic prog album! For those who like 70s prog and has not got this CD yet, BUY NOW man ….!!!!

Feathered Friends (6:42) kicks off the album with relatively fast tempo style and very unique snare drum sound – it’s like Bruford’s or like other 70s prog band: ENGLAND. Keyboard dominates the melody as well as rhythm section, augmented with organ / mellotron. When vocal enters the music with “What’s your poison? Well here’s mud in your eye …” it has a killing melody especially when it’s combined with organ and mellotron sounds. The bass guitar also demonstrates its role with its dynamic sound especially during the singing part. I especially love the organ sounds with many catchy melodies found throughout this track. Also, the mellotron is performed excellently here. Vocal quality is top notch! Excellent composition. [*****]

An English Western (3:25) continues with a previous track style: energetic opening dominated by organ and dynamic drum work. The music represents an original Greenslade music: keyboard-based, floating melody with accentuation, weird drum sounds and good composition with some jazz rock influence. I like the combination of organ / keyboard work and dynamic drumming in this track. It’s an excellent instrumental track with relatively complex arrangements. [****]

Drowning Man (6:40) begins with a low register notes voice line – something unusual in Greenslade singing style. It even reminds me to the voice of Gentle Giant even though this track seems mellower than typical Gentle Giant song. The singing is augmented with excellent organ work and bass line. At the end of first lyrical part, the music flows in faster tempo and uplifting mood demonstrating excellent combination of organ sounds augmented with mellotron. Drums still demonstrate its Bruford’s sounds especially in the snare drums that keep the beats. The organ work really brings me back to the glory years of 70s music. Excellent. [****]

Temple Song (3:32) starts mellow with sort of jazz influence music, featuring ambient vocal and combination of great organ and solid bass lines. Vibraphone is used throughout this track. Keyboard / organ solo in the middle is backed up with some light orchestration. [*** ½ ].

Mélange (7:27) starts with an uplifting music with medium tempo/fast style and turns slower with mellotron sound and inventive organ work. Drums demonstrate its contribution with normal snare drum sound. What follow is a bass solo segment with its inventive play that forms a melody of the song. Other instruments fill the music to support bass guitar solo. Right before the middle of the track, the music turns quieter featuring bass guitar solo only. The other later half of the track demonstrates mellotron work by maintaining dynamic bass guitar play and the snare drums sounds return to Bruford’s like. [****]

What Are You Doing to Me (4:40) opens with organ work in relatively fast tempo style followed with high register notes singing. It’s very Greenslade, sound-wise! Structurally, it’s relatively a straight forward track – however, there are some nice transitions, e.g. the inclusion of mellotron between musical segments. [****]

Sundance (8:45) starts mellow with piano work with some influence of classic music.What follows is an upbeat music demonstrating great keyboard / organ. With dynamic drumming. Again, the bass lines are really great even during the organ solo part. This instrumental track offers some variation of styles and tempo changes. The ending part brings the music to piano solo work as its opening. [****]

SUMMARY

For those who want to explore the treasure of 70s prog music, you should not miss this one. But for those who’s got used to recent quality of sound recording, you might regret hearing the sonic quality of this CD. But, the content (the music) is great. Keep on proggin’ ..!!!

Progressively yours,

GW



Track Listings

1. Feather Friends (6:42)
2. An english Western (3:25)
3. Drowning Man (6:40)
4. Temple Song (3:32)
5. Mélange (7:27)
6. What are you Doing to Me (4:40)
7. Sundance (8:45)

Total Time: 41:11
Line-up/Musicians

- Dave Greenslade / keyboards
- Dave Lawson / keyboards, vocals
- Andy McCulloch / drums, percussion
- Tony Reeves / bass guitar, double bass
Releases information

LP Warner Bros WBS K46207 (1973)
CD Warner Bros 7599-26812-2

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MANGALA VALIS are a three piece band from Italy who took their name from a place in a Jules Verne novel.Actually this record is a concept album that is dedicated to the great french writer Jules Verne.There are 6 guest musicians taking part on this record including 3 singers. Things start with "Overture" a short, spacey,haunting instrumental."Is the End the Beginning?" features the vocals of Matteo Setti, who sounds so much like Neal Morse that you would think your listening to a SPOCKS BEARD tune.This is an uptempo song with organ,drums and guitar leading the way,with some good bass lines as well.3 and a half minutes in the melody stops except for the waves of mellotron,and then back to the original melody.Again he sounds so much like Mr.Morse.Matteo sings again on the second song "The Book Of Dreams" that opens with drums and mellotron,as the keyboards come in.There is more of a GENESIS sound to this one,and some vocal arrangments that bring to mind GENTLE GIANT."The Journey" is the longest song,and features Vic Fraja on vocals.I like his vocals the best of the three,he reminds me of the singer for MARYGOLD.The song opens with acoustic guitar,vocals and a keyboard melody.Things change 4 minutes in with some nice guitar melodies and drums as the keys swirl about.About 5 minutes go by before we hear Vic sing again as the soundscape becomes quite dreamy the rest of the way."Days Of Light" is such a good song.With Vic again on vocals,this one has GENESIS written all over it,right from the first notes.This is a slower paced song that is so uplifting at times,and features two sax solos."Under the Sea" is an instrumental with some good ripping guitar,mellotron and drums, as again the keyboard swirls about.Organ comes in later."Asha (coming back home)" is next, and it almost sounds like Phil Collins singing,but it's Vic again.This song is another highlight on the album,so uplifting,and yes it's GENESIS sounding."A New Century" features Bernardo Lanzetti from PFM on vocals.This sounds so much like GENESIS with the acoustic guitar and mellotron.Things change 4 minutes in as it gets dark and serious but that doesn't last for too long before we have some wonderful,uplifting guitar. I really like this record,i know for some it probably sounds too much like GENESIS,but i highly recommend it.A great debut for the band! - Review by sinkadotentree (john davie)


Track Listings

1. Ouverture (1:40)
2. Is the End the Beginning? (9:30)
3. The Book of Dreams (7:07)
4. The Journey (12:14)
5. Days of Light (9:06)
6. Under the Sea (3:36)
7. Asha (Coming Back Home)(8:24)
8. A New Century (10:22)

Total Time: 61:59
Line-up/Musicians

- Gigi Cavalli Cocchi / drums, percussions (Remo, Paiste, Vic Firth)
- Enzo Cattini / Hammond C-3 w/Leslie, Minimoog-D, Mellotron M-400, Akai S-2000, E-MU Vintage Keys, Gem S-3
- Mirco Consolini / guitars & bass

GUESTS:
- Matteo Setti / vocals (2, 3)
- Stefano Menato / saxophone (5)
- Vic Fraja / vocals (4 - 5, 7)
- Elisa Giordanella / viola (2, 6)
- Bernardo Lanzetti (PFM) / vocals (8)
- Kimberly Duke / narrator
Releases information

CD-Tamburo Avapore-TAVR 012001-Ita-2002


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Yes - Yes (1969)

The Yes debut is mightily impressive. Today it seems even more creative when one looks back at their recorded history and how they continually developed with each album. This is where their foundation was set and everything that happened subsequently comes back to this fine recording.

Jon Anderson and Chris Squire melded their vocals in sparkling fashion in all of these songs. The melody and rhythm of tracks like “Every Little Thing” and “Dear Father” are an indication of what fruit the future would bear for this legendary band. Their ability to mix progressive sounds with pop would prove to be their strongest asset and it still is today.

The freshness and clarity of the sound on this version is outstanding, just as every other remaster I have heard thus far from the Yes catalog is. With a generous helping of bonus tracks (six), the listener gets a glimpse of different versions of tracks while listening to the developmental stages of each like never before. That can be the most rewarding aspect of bonus tracks when they are chosen with discriminating care as they are on this CD. This is the best place to start if you are purchasing all the remasters, although I did it in a different order, the impact was just as powerful. - Review by Muzikman (Keith Hannaleck)



Track Listings

1. Beyond and Before (4:50)
2. I See You (6:33)
3. Yesterday and Today (2:37)
4. Looking Around (3:49)
5. Harold Land (5:26)
6. Every Little Thing (5:24)
7. Sweetness (4:19)
8. Survival (6:01)

Total Time: 38:59

Bonus tracks on Elektra remaster (2003):
9. Everydays (single version) (6:23)
10. Dear Father (early version #2) (5:51)
11. Something's Coming (7:08)
12. Everydays (early version) (5:18)
13. Dear Father (early version #1) (5:31)
14. Something's Coming (early version) (8:02)
Line-up/Musicians

- Jon Anderson / vocals
- Chris Squire / bass and vocals
- Tony Kaye / keyboards
- Bill Bruford / drums
- Peter Banks / guitars
Releases information

LP Atlantic (UK) K40034 (1969)
CD Elektra Entertainment 73786 (2003 remaster)


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This is the all time winner of the NEKTAR studio releases and should have a high rated position in every prog rock collection. 'Remember the future' is a concept album about an alien called Bluebird who comes to mother earth. The production is brillant because it rrrrocks, has also psychedelic and jamming parts. And it never gets monotonous because it has a complex well organized structure. Albrightons guitar is not so dominant as in other NEKTAR productions and therefore the keyboard (Hammond) gets a better rule.

I bought the bellaphon release maybe 10 years ago and when I put it into my player I was very very disappointed. The guitar was terribly mixed into the background (The label did not use the original album master - oh - please bring back my vinyl!).

But 'Remember the future' was fortunately reissued in 2004 by NEKTAR with a much better sound quality based on the original tapes. They also added 3 bonus tracks - nothing new - don't know if this is really necessary - we have just new edits from the existing stuff: a shorter outtake so called 'west german edit', 'Lonely roads' as the closing section of Part I and 'Let it grow' the same of Part II.

Highly recommended for all NEKTAR neebies ... - Review by Rivertree (Uwe Zickel)



Track Listings

1. Remember the future (part I) 16:38
a) Images of the past
b) Wheel of time
c) Remember the future
d) Confusion/
2. Remember the future (part II) 18:55
e) Returning light
f) Questions and answers
g) Tomorrow never comes
h) Path of light
i) Recognition
j) Let it grow

Total Time: 35:33

Bonus Tracks:

3. Remember The Future (edit) 9:51
4. Lonely Roads (single edit) 3:50
5. Let It Grow (single edit) 2:19
Line-up/Musicians

- Roye Albrighton / lead vocals, guitars
- Mick Brockett / lights
- Allan "Taff" Freeman / keyboards, backing vocals
- Ron Howden / drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Derek "Mo" Moore / bass, backing vocals
Releases information

CD. Bellaphon 289-09-001 (1989)
CD. Dream Nebula DNECD 1204 (2004) with bonus tracks


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This was one of the first NEKTAR albums I ever bought, the American LP copy on Passport Records. I have not heard the original 1972 German Bellaphon version, I only heard the 1976 Passport Records version, which was remixed by Larry Fast (who was recording a series of electronic albums at that time on the same label as SYNERGY), so I really can't say the difference in sound. What I do know is "A Tab in the Ocean" is even better than "Journey to the Centre of the Eye", and that's saying a lot, because "Journey..." is such a great album. This time around, many of the spacy Krautrock experiments had been abandoned, concentrating more on great prog rock. No collections of cuts all segued in to each other like their previous, these are actual separate songs.

The album starts with the truly wonderful side-length title track, with plenty of wonderful instrumental passages, as well as vocal passages which tend to be short. "Crying in the Dark" is another favorite of mine, a great rocking number with a great organ solo from Allan "Taff" Freeman that reminds me of CAMEL (and remember this is 1972, when CAMEL were starting to get their recording contract, and they themselves wouldn't have an album released until the following year). "King of Twilight" is dominated by guitar riffs from Roye Allbrighton, and strangely enough, if I remember right, none other than IRON MAIDEN did a cover of this song years later. I understand the current CD reissue contains both the original 1972 mix and the 1976 Larry Fast mix on one disc, probably not to shock American buyers who might have only been familiar with the Passport Records version. - Review by Proghead (Ben Miler) Track Listings


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)

Total Time: 33:43

Track Listing of 2004 Dream Nebula remaster:

The Original German Mix 1972

1. A Tab In The Ocean (16:52)
2. Desolation Valley/Waves (8:12)
3. Crying In The Dark (6:28)
4. King Of Twilight (4:22)

The 1976 USA mix

5. A Tab In The Ocean (16:03)
6. Desolation Valley/Waves (8:33)
7. Crying In The Dark (5:13)
8. King Of Twilight (4:05)

Total Time: 69:53
Line-up/Musicians

- 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
Releases information

LP United Artists UAG29499
CD. Bellaphon 289-09-002 (1989)
CD. Dream Nebula DNECD 1201 (2004)

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Folks unfamiliar with the band Nektar think they are from Germany. What actually transpired was the quartet of Englishmen met in Germany in 1969 and formed the band. Ron Howden (drums, percussion), Derek "Mo" Moore (bass, vocals), Alan "Taff" Freeman (keyboards, vocals) and Roye Albrighton (guitar, lead vocals) would become huge in Germany and nearly broke big the in the U.S.

Eclectic Discs/Dream Nebula Recordings have reissued the four critically acclaimed albums that defined the band's career. "A Tab In The Ocean", "Journey To The Center Of The Eye", "Remember The Future" and "Recycled" are lovingly remastered with detailed liner notes for former fans and the newly indoctrinated to enjoy. Their well- known masterpiece "Remember The Future" was appropriately chosen for the SACD format as well as "Journey To The Center Of The Eye".

Their sound was a progressive-psychedelic mixture of rock that was far ahead of its time. For this listener this was a new wonderful listening experience. Prior to receiving these CDs, I had not heard any Nektar music besides a video of "Remember The Future" on a DVD compilation. I can understand now what all the talk has been about the band reforming and going on tour.

Roye Albrighton was the driving force of this band. His skilled guitar playing set the table for his fellow band mates. Each recording was outstanding and stands as a testament to their importance to the history of prog-rock music. What made this so interesting was how the label broke up each album into two parts respectively, the original recordings versus the newly remastered versions. You are now able to hear succinct differences between the two formats for the first time. Both versions are excellent and it was a treat to get the best of both worlds.

Any prog-rock listener will most certainly enjoy taking in this musical paradise in more than once, I listened to each CD four times myself and I know there will be many more spins of each CD down the road. I look forward to catching Nektar 2004 on the road this year to relive all of these great songs in a live setting. I never would have decided to see them in concert if it wasn't for this remastered series. - Review by Muzikman (Keith Hannaleck)



Track Listings

1. Prelude (1:27)
2. Astronauts nightmare (6:22)
3. Countenance (3:30)
4. The nine lifeless daughters of the sun (2:41)
5. Warp oversight (4:28)
6. The dream nebula (2:14)
7. The dream nebula part II (2:25)
8. It's all in the mind (3:22)
9. Burn out my eyes (7:48)
10. Void of vision (2:01)
11. Pupil of the eye (2:46)
12. Look inside yourself (0:53)
13. Death of the mind (2:52)

Total Time: 42:49
Line-up/Musicians

-Roye Albrighton / guitars, vocals
-Mick Brockett / liquid lights
-Allan "Taff" Freeman / Mellotron, pianos, organ, vocals
-Ron Howden / drums, percussion
-Derek "Mo" Moore / Mellotron, bass vocals
-Keith Walters / static slides
Releases information

LP Bellaphon, Bacilus records BLPS19064
Cd. Bellaphon 289-09-007 (1989)

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Jeff Wayne is not so much the performer as such; his role here is to bring together many highly talented musicians to perform his masterpiece. To be fair, he does contribute keyboards and backing vocals. While Wayne is indeed the main composer and producer, credit is due Garry Osbourne who writes virtually all the lyrics. “The War of the worlds” could perhaps be seen as a follow up to Lou Reizner’s excellent symphonic version of “Tommy”, with which it has more than passing similarities (although admittedly Reizner was not involved in the composition in that case).

The album is of course based on the HG Wells novel of the same name, with narration by the late Richard Burton. Burton’s distinguished voice is ideal for the music. While his interjections playing the part of a journalist tell the story perfectly, there is never any danger of this becoming a talking book. The music at times has an almost dance like beat as on the opening track ("The eve of the war”), but it is diverse with strong orchestration, and some first class instrumental work (especially from Chris Spedding on guitar). There are also moody, ambient phases (“Dead London”), and Rice/Lloyd-Webber like stage show pieces (“The spirit of man”).

The most familiar tracks will be the two that feature Justin Hayward (MOODY BLUES). While “Eve of the war” is largely an instrumental, it opens with a brief introductory narration from Burton, before the now so familiar orchestral theme crashes in. It is almost like the theme to a documentary or newsreel, where you just know what’s coming is not going to be good news. Hayward is the first singer to appear on the album as he reminds us, “The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, but still they come”.

The tracks on the album are all lengthy, each side of the double LP only holding two or three songs. Side one is completed by “Horsell Common and the Heat Ray”. The sound effects can be a bit too literal in this section, with what appears to be a tin can being slowly unscrewed, then the lid dropping to the ground, to simulate the Martian heat ray being unveiled. It's all a bit too BBC sound effects department!

The track distinctions and names are largely irrelevant, as the album flows as a continuous and complete piece. There are many excellent performances throughout the album. Phil Lynott (THIN LIZZY) as the manic and delusional preacher, Julie Covington as his devoted wife, and David Essex as the naive young artillery man who is going to build a whole new world from scratch, underground. The distinctive voiced Chris Thompson (MANFRED MANN’S EARTH BAND) tells the tale of the “Thunder child” warship, on which all hope for the future is resting, with his customary excellence.

Above all these however comes Justin Hayward’s performance on “Forever autumn”. If you have only ever heard the single version of this song, the full-length version included here will be a pleasant surprise. The lush orchestration, instrumental breaks, and narration interludes by Burton all go towards making this an absolute epic of a track. Lyrically (other than the narration), it doesn’t really add anything to the story, apart from painting a picture of the emotional devastation felt by the "journalist" with both his personal, and indeed the world’s predicament. Musically however, it is the highlight of the album, and one of the best pieces of music Hayward has contributed to (and he has been involved in many fine pieces).

Of course, there is the happy ending to the story to conclude, with a final sting in the tail added by Wayne(!).

“War of the worlds” is a quite stunning album, full of strong melodies, inspired song-writing, and excellent performances. I would recommend going for the full double LP/CD version, rather than the budget label “highlights”. While the latter contains a good selection of extracts, it also has some extremely dodgy editing, and some unnecessary remixes.

Watch out also for the dub remix version of the whole album, which contains various dance remixes of the tracks, but detracts from, rather than enhances the original performances. Finally, avoid also Wayne’s follow up album “Spartacus”, which had a similar structure to “War of the worlds”, but is devoid of inspired song writing or performances. - Review by Easy Livin (Bob McBeath)



Track Listings

Disc 1:
1. The Eve of the War (9:06)
2. Horsell Common and the Heat Ray (11:36)
3. The Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine (10:36)
4. Forever Autumn (7:43)
5. Thunder Child (6:10)

Disc 2:
6. The Red Weed (5:55)
7. The Spirit of Man (11:41)
8. The Red Weed (part 2) (6:51)
9. Brave New World (12:13)
10. Dead London (8:37)
11. Epilogue (Part 1) (2:42)
12. Epilogue (Part 2) (NASA) (2:02)

Total Time: 95:12
Line-up/Musicians

- Jeff Wayne / synthesizer, keyboards, voices, director, conductor, executive producer, performer, orchestration
- David Essex / vocals, performer
- Justin Hayward / vocals, performer
- Chris Spedding / guitar
- Julie Covington / vocals, performer
- Herbie Flowers / guitar (bass)
- Billy Lawrie / vocals (background)
- Phil Lynott / vocals, performer
- Chris Thompson / vocals, performer
- Richard Burton / vocals, performer
- Ray Cooper / percussion
- George Fenton / zither, taragat, santur
- Ken Freeman / synthesizer, keyboards
- Barry Morgan / drums
- Gary Osborne / vocals (background)
- Jo Partridge / guitar, vocals, performer
- Paul Vigrass / vocals (background)
- Roy Jones / percussion
- Barry Da Souza / percussion
Releases information

CD Columbia 35290 (1990)
Re-Release on 7/5/2005 - CD Sony DPCD96000


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The only album (the other one you may find in listings is a bunch of bad quality demo tapes for a second hypothetical album) these guys released is a small classic in Italian prog, and it came with an impressive triple gatefold depicting the horrors of war ion a strange planet.

The 12 min+ opener gives the tone for the rest of the album giving you a delightful cross of early Crimson, VDGG and ELP with some of the best Italian vocals. The second track follows suit even if it sounds a bit derived of a few Golden Earring tracks (Eight Miles High and the eponymous album AKA Wall Of Dolls), but is definitely endearing because of those seldom heard influences. Croma is a short instrumental track that will remind the Theme One VDGG track. Side 2 starts with a slow evolving synth line as a lenghty intro, but once the track gets under way, it does not seem to get a life of its own maybe the weakest track on the album. As for the closing track, it is maybe the most typically Italian prog track on this record and shows their inventivity at its fullest extent with a superbly syncopated middle section.

Vinyl Magic (cat # V M 051) made a special effort to respect the original artwork sleeve but should’ve added 1cm to the sleeve size because it is very hard to pull the disc without risking ripping the sleeve apart. I was thinking of sending a copy of the artwork sleeve to Dubya (W) to let him think of his actions in Irak, but since we all know he does not think.......

One of my favourite albums in the genre. - Review by Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine)



Track Listings

1. Le chamadere(Peccato d´orgoglio) (12:18)
2. Dopo L´uragano (4:48)
3. Croma (3:14)
4. La mente vola (9:21)
5. Ombra Muta (9:48)

Total Time: 39:29
Line-up/Musicians

- Michele Bavaro / vocals
- Alfonso Olive / bass
- Pietro Pellegrini / keyboards
- Giorgio Santanderea / drums
- Guido Wasserman / guitar
Releases information

LP:Magma - MAGL 18001

CD: Vinyl Magic VM 051

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Over the last 18 months we at Radioactive have reissued some of the rarest private pressings in existence. Albums by Summer Sounds (500), Fraction (200) and Totty (50) were all extremely limited, but these are huge numbers when compared with our latest release, Under The Burning Sun by Canadian prog rockers VIIth Temple. If obscure albums were steak, they couldn’t come any rarer than this!
A copy of Under The Burning Sun recently sold on ebay, and the vendor’s comments really sum it up:
“This is the last of seven known copies!!! I’ve never had the pleasure of hearing this as I don’t want to be the one to break the seal. This is the second copy I’ve had as I know the person who found all seven and that copy went on ebay for $600” To the best of our knowledge, 15 copies of this 1978 private pressing were actually produced which suggests that fewer than 50 people have ever heard this album.
A select group indeed. And more remarkably, this is a great recording, full of prog keyboards, synths and guitars. The lyrics are dark and mystical, and there’s a brooding, ethereal feel to proceedings. At only just over 18 minutes the album’s a tad on the short side, but what we do get to hear leaves the listener yearning for more. An obscure rarity and a musical gem rolled into one. Highly recommended. - chrisgoesrocks.blogspot.com



Track Listing:
1. Under The Burning Sun
2. See The Light
3. The Sky Is My Friend

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Eden - Perelandra (1980)

Eden was a large German band that did Christian prog, meaning that their work was based on Christian themes. I barely understand German, but this is obviously an adaptation of CS Lewis's science fiction Christian-themed trilogy. Eden was a big band that featured violin prominently, as well as flute and assorted percussion, but still with a rock base. excellent keyboard textures (if you like late 70s string synthy sounds) and a variety of good male and female vocals, often in powerful sounding choruses. Unlike their first album, "Erwartung", another concept album, the band went for shorter songs on this one, all of which pack a very dramatic, earnest punch. This almost-forgotten band won't be everyone's cup of tea, but fans of Novalis and late 70s Eloy will certainly enjoy this record. - Review by Heptade (Allister Thompson)


Track Listings

1. Abgesang (4:26)
2. Er Wird Sein (6:39)
3. Lichtlied (5:16)
4. Zwischenspiel (1:35)
5. Dem Verborgenen Zuwieder (4:25)
6. Perelandra (7:17)
7. Im Bragdon Wald (6:41)
8. Bilder Einer Welt (5:43)
9. Ausklang (1:53)

Total Time: 43:55
Line-up/Musicians

- Christos Charapis / bouzouki
- Kiriakos Charapis / bouzouki
- Michael Claren / bass, acoustic guitars, vocals
- Anne Dierks / vocals
- Michael Dierks / keyboards, vocals
- Hans Fritzsch / guitars
- Hans Müller / drums, percussion congas, timbales
- Dieter Neuhäuser / flute
- Annette Schmalenbach / vocals
- Dirk Schmalenbach / keyboards, sequencer, sitar, strings, percussion, vocals
Releases information

LP Eden Musik EM 20 001
CD Pila Music


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Eloy - Eloy (1970)

Fabulous album, and among the best Eloy albums I know. Produced by Conrad Plank, Eloy enters the music world with a classic rock attitude, combined with Floydian space atmospherics. The music sounds a bit like Uriah Heep, with some Cream influences. Very good instrumentalists and great songs. Eloy are often compared to Pink Floyd, but on this album that influence is not as apparent as on later releases.

1. Today (5:56) A very Uriah Heep like rock song, especially in the vocals, starting with some spacy guitar extravaganza, soon to take off into great classic rock. the nanananna vocal section is almost a direct rip off from Uriah Heep, but original enough to not get upset about it. Great guitar solo from Frank Bornemann. 2. Something yellow (8:15) Starting with fabulous keyboards, then a July Morning Uriah Heep like guitar takes the song to a more classic rock format, the end of the song is spacy blues with some great guitars.

3. Eloy (6:15) A Jan Akkerman (Hocus Pocus) type lead guitar, creates the back-bone for this song, again the vocals remind me of UH, great song, with a great soft drum solo in the middle, after which the music returns to good spacy classic rock. 4. Song of a paranoid soldier (4:50) Hey, they can play Cream type music also, maybe they should disquise their influences better, but a nice song all together, not brilliant though.

5. Voice of revolution (3:07) Again some Cream influences, mainly in the vocals and the drum/bass play, good song. 6. Isle of sun (6:03) A soft ballad, with great vocals, but mainly carried by the fabulous and compelling keyboards, very very good. 7. Dillus roady (6:32) Blues rock at most, again fairly reminiscent of Uriah Heep, especially the organ/bass/drum interplay, with the high edgy guitar on top of it. Great song.

In this review i've often compared Eloy to Uriah heep, but I just remembered this album was released in 1970. Anyway this is a great album, and a good listen to all who enjoy the softer Uriah Heep songs (July Morning, Salisbury). After this they became more space-rock oriented. I liked their debut album very much, and I recommend you give the band a listen, when you get the chance.

Not a masterpiece, but very good indeed. - Review by tuxon (Gerald)



Track Listings

1. Today (5:56)
2. Something yellow (8:15)
3. Eloy (6:15)
4. Song of a paranoid soldier (4:50)
5. Voice of revolution (3:07)
6. Isle of sun (6:03)
7. Dillus roady (6:32)

Total Time: 40:58
Line-up/Musicians

- Frank Bornemann / guitars, vocals
- Helmut Draht / drums
- Erich Schriever / lead vocals
- Wolfgang Stöcker / bass
- Manfred Wieczorke / keyboards
Releases information

LP Philips - 6305 089
LP Philips - 838 821-1
LP Second Battle Records - SB 004
CD Philips - 838 821-2
CD Philips - 838821-2 / SB 010


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Magma - Merci (1984)

This album is very interesting, we have songs sung in English, French and their native Kobaiian language. A friend of mine once said he'd pay to hear Magma from the 80's, as we were only familiar with the 70's material, of which 'De Futura' was an obsession !! Getting back to this album - it's surprising that the music is not harsh and relentless as usual, we have some funky tracks (I Must Return, Do the Music), and more meditative tracks - like 'Eliphas Levi', which is the most beautiful Zeuhl piece EVER !! It was composed by one-time member from the MDK days, Rene Garber, but he doesn't appear on the album itself, though the musician list is long with some familiar (and more unfamiliar) names. The song is full of magical flute playing and other wistful soundings, delicate piano play from Vander himself and I can't stress how wonderful this track is - worth the price of admission alone. ' Otis' is also very pretty. Call From the Dark (ooh ooh Baby) - this is Magma ?? (Please ditch the sub-title). It is a funky up-beat almost Euro-Disco number which features some powerful vocals from Stella Vander sung in English, with some blowing brass instruments - most people may say this track is a mess, especially in terms of Magma, but the track sits fine with me, uncharacteristic for sure, but a cool, 'cruisey' song. Disappointing that Vander was not behind the kit, mostly insipid 'Linn drum' programs but Francois Laizeau's drumming on 'Do the Music' is very Vander-like. A great, diverse album which can be enjoyed immensely, but it's not to be compared to Kohntarkosz, 1001 Degrees Centigrades etc. And whilst discussing 80's Zeuhl, Bernard Paganotti put some intense albums out during this time with his post-Weidorje band Paga. Eagerly awaiting inclusion on PA. - Review by Tom Ozric


Track Listings

1. Call From The Dark (Ooh Ooh Baby) (7:20)
2. Otis (5:20)
3. Do The Music (4:25)
4. Otis (Ending) (1:32)
5. I Must Return (6:32)
6. Elephas Levi (11:15)
7. The Night We Died (3:40)

Total Time: 40:24
Line-up/Musicians

- Christian Vander / vocals, piano, Celeste, keyboards, percussion
- Stella Vander / vocals
- Guy Khalifa / vocals
- Benoit Widemann / synthesizer
- Simon Goubert / synthesizer (1,3)
- Francois Laizeau / drums, drum programming
- Marc Eliard / bass
- Phillipe Slominski / trumpet on (1,3,4)
- Christian Martinez / trumpet on (1,4)
- Michel Goldberg / saxophone on (1,3)
- Liza Deluxe / backing vocals
- Jean Pierre Fouquey / Rhodes piano on (2)
- Michel Gaucher / saxophone on (2)
- Freddy Opsepian / trumpet on (2)
- Christian Guizen / trombone on (2)
- Alex Ferrand / vocals on (3)
- Jean-Luc Chevalier / guitar on (3)
- Patrick Gauthier / synthesizer on (3)
- Paul Bayle / saxophone on (3)
- Denis LeLoup / trombone on (3,4)
- Arrigo Lorenz / Soprano sax on (3)
- Maria Popkiewicz / backing vocals on (4)
- Jerome Naulay / trombone on (4)
- Zaka / percussion on (4)
- Michel Graillier / Rhodes piano on (5)
Releases information

CD-Seventh-REX III-1984 / Lp-Du Bon Independant-2403371-Fra-1985


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Goma - 14 De Abril (1975)

One of the better example of Spanish prog, the debut of this Sevillian group has become one of the most sought after vinyl in their home country. This quintet – your standard prog quartet plus sax man Pepe Sanchez – develops a rather punchy and relatively personal prog but mainly inspired of the British scene while maintaining a Spanish touch through the acoustic guitar. Four long tracks of which the shortest (still above the 8 min-mark) is divided into two sections make the backbone of this symphonic album.

The opening track is sometimes annoying with its approximate recording of a VDGG- like sax and vocals (too loud in the mix), but there are some beautiful moments. From the first guitar arpeggios of the 2-part Mother Earth track, this is all forgotten and all you have to do is let yourself be transported by the calm and wild ambiances – how these guys come from total chaos into superb arpeggios in twenty seconds without being abrupt is amazing. The third track is much harder rocking with its crunchy guitar power chords, but remains very charming. Unfortunately for the continuity of the album, the last track is sung in English (all the rest were in Spanish), but there are some evidences of very early Crimson in its slow start. The track is rather odd with its fade-ins and outs, but shows Goma at their most adventurous.

With their first album, Goma strike a minor masterpiece, but for some reason, will not be able to capitalize on this album, and by the time that came out the second album four years after, the feeling was quite different and the momentum lost. However, this album is really recommended for all progheads, maybe one of the top 10 from Spain. - Review by Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine)



Track Listings

1. Aqui Y Ahora (11:43)ss
2. Madre Tierra (8:11)
a) Madre Tierra
b) Pellicozo
3. Un Nuevo Abril Sin Sal (8 :15)
4. Shooting Up (11:37)

Total Time: 39:46
Line-up/Musicians

- Alberto Toribio / keyboards, voices
- Antonio Rodriguez / drums, voices
- Manuel Rodriguez / guitars, voices
- Pepe Lagares / bass, voices
- Pepe Sanchez / saxes
Releases information

Lp on Movieplay label – no release number,
CD on Fonomusic 5046703342 and Lost Vinyl LV 019


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Which are the main requirements for a prog masterpiece? IMHO, they are beauty, magic, great musicians and melodies that can makes the listener flow. Well, "Bilbo" has all these elements and more.

It's an incredible trip through a Tolkien story, with classical instruments and superb baroque and medieval tunes, and the fascinating Magdalena Hagberg's vocals (I'm sure, there's no any other female singer with such beautiful voice).

Each detail had been extremely care, showing a refinement hard to find out in the genre. All pieces are highlights, and Pär Lindh demonstrate once again why he is one the best keyboardists among the heavy weights. Björn Johansson's strings job, as well as flute and oboe performances, are great too.

It's a magnificent and delicated album. Forget the noise or the experimentation, just let this beautiful music, true symphonic progressive, penetrates on you. A masterpiece. - Review by Marcelo (Marcelo Matusevich)



Track Listings

1. The Shire (4:14)
2. Gandalf the Magician (3:25)
3. Song of the Dwarfs (6:02)
4. Rivendell (2:20)
5. The Dark Cave (4:36)
6. Running Towards the Light (3:02)
7. Uncomfortable Seats (6:30)
8. In Beorn's Garden and Beorn's Walk to Carrock (3:12)
9. Mirkwood Suite (11:19)
a. Mirkwood
b. In the Palace of the Elven King
c. Barrel Ride
d. Laketown Fugue
e. The Return of the King
10. Smaug (3:36)
11. Roäc's Tale (1:18)
12. The Battle of the Five Armies (5:31)
13. Thorin's Funeral (1:47)
14. Afterture (3:58)
15. Shire Song (4:08)

Total Time: 65:05
Line-up/Musicians

- Pär Lindh / drums, timpani, congas, gong, electric percussion, Hammond organ, Mellotron 400 and Mark V, Grand piano, Harpsichord, Church organ, Clavinet D6, Solina string ensemble, Fender basspiano, 11 synthesizers including the LSE 1, Korg 3100, Yamaha SY 1
- Björn Johansson / classical, electric & Slide guitars, Bass, Bassoon, Zither, Jews harp, Mandolins, Samples, Sound effects Programming
WITH:
- Anna Schmidtz / flute, oboe
- Magdalena Hagberg / vocals


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Novela - La Songerie (1979)

This Japanese progrock band was very popular in their own country, between 1980 and 1987 they made many albums. The line-up on their first albums included Terutsugu Hirayama (later he founded Teru's Symphonia) and keyboard virtuoso Toshio Egawa (later Gerard and Sheherazade). On their first four albums Novela sounded as a blend of hardrock and symphonic rock, later they turned more from 'heavy progressive' into a harder-edged rock band.

This debut album can be divided in short songs that are up- tempo with fiery and heavy guitarplay and a bit screamy vocals and long compositions with lush keyboards. My highlight on "La songerie" is the titletrack (running time 13.52). It starts very compelling with a bombastic climate featuring wonderful, very moving Mellotron waves and slow but powerful drum beats, goose bumps! Then the moods shifts from mellow (coloured by acoustic guitar, piano and harpsichord) to swinging (nice duet from piano and violin-Mellotron) and splendid bombastic eruptions with violin-Mellotron. After a short Spanish guitar solo the composition ends with a great 'grand finale' delivering wonderful Mellotron and a sensitive electric guitar solo, the final minute contain moving waves from the choir-Mellotron, again goose bumps!

This album is perhaps Novela their most progressive effort. In general they tend to sound a bit simple, the distinctive Japanese vocals (a bit high pitched, sometimes close to screamy) will not be everybody's cup of tea but the often breathtaking titletrack is almost worth buying this CD! And Toshio Egawa has a strong contribution by colouring the composition very tasteful with his keyboards. In Gerard he would deliver his best work! - Review by erik neuteboom (erik neuteboom)



Track Listings

1. Illusion (4:33)
2. Night with no name (3:49)
3. Unbelieving Words (2:27)
4. Letticia (11:11)
5. The boyhood - The cliff (9:11)
6. La songerie (13:52)
7. Shoot a burning arrow (4:53)

Total Time: 49:56

Line-up/Musicians

- Hisakatsu Igarashi / vocals
- Terutsugu Hirayama / guitars
- Mototsugu Yamane / guitars
- Eijiro Akita / drums and percussion
- Toshio Egawa / Mellotron, Hammond, synthesizers
- Yoshiro Takahashi / bass
Releases information

LP King Records KICS 2104


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Severely forgotten Italprog blending excellent analog keyboard shapes & sounds with excellent vocals (sung in Italian) and scrumptious guitar work. "Fiore Di Metallo" contains some highly memorable songs which are played with warmth (mainly due to their lovely keyboard work) and create some wonderful atmospheres. I CALIFFI were way ahead of their time and in a very foreboding sense bring forward many of the sound elements found later in rock. This is a highly complete album in many ways... soft vs loud, symphonic vs harder rock, acoustic vs electric... If you enjoy the classic Italian prog sounds then without a question "Fiore Di Metallo" is essential in your collection. - Review by loserboy (James Unger)


Track Listings

1. Nel Mio Passato (5:10)
2. Fiore Finto, Fiore Di Metallo (3:35)
3. Alleluia Gente (4:45)
4. Varius (5:10)
5. Felicità, Sorriso E Pianto (4:05)
6. A Piedi Scalzi (3:13)
7. Madre, Domani ... (4:25)
8. Col Vento Nei Capelli (3:48)
9. Campane (5:10)

Total Time: 39:21
Line-up/Musicians

- Sandro Cinotti / organ, piano, synthesizer
- Vincenzo Amadei / guitars, vocals
- Franco Boldrini / bass, synthesizer, vocals
- Maurizio Boldrini / drums, percussion, vocals
Releases information

CD Fonit Cetra CDLP 420 (1991)


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TREM DO FUTURO has released an only album so far. The album is quite fine, full of beautiful passages afforded by splendid flute tunes and majestic guitars, that delight the ears. I also appreciate the vocals, which are sung in portuguese language. For those who can latch unto the language, will surely perceive the lyrics are plenty of poetical qualities. It's also worth mentioning this band was formed by 6 young and talented musicians from the state of Ceará in the Northeast of Brazil, whose region has no tradition on Progressive Rock Music. though it is richly musical on many others tendencies, specially toward the local folklore. So listening to this album is a stunning opportunity of breaking away a bit from the english language's sway and know somewhat new and quite original. - Review by ADejesusmotta


Track Listings

1. Vagao 1 - Requiem Da Louca (6:22)
2. Mental Fisica (4:30)
3. Revolucao Das Flores (5:05)
4. Labirinto - Danca Dos lirios (5:33)
5. Bivar (3:43)
6. Moksha (3:24)
7. Sila (4:57)
8. O Anjo (6:53)
9. A Louca (6:05)
10. Entree (0:54)

Total Time: 47:26
Line-up/Musicians

- Gilmar Moura / keyboards
- Marcelo Macedo / guitars
- Marcos Bye Bye / drums
- Paulo Rossglow / vocals
- Jomar Sergio / bass
- Vlissea Germano / flute
Releases information

CD Progressive Rock Worldwide PRW 021


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Official debut album by my all-time prog act from the U.S.A., and what a debut! Happy the Man's namesake recording is one of the most relevant and peculiar in the history of prog. Brilliant compositions, incredible arrangements, top-notch musicianship, fluid collective functioning: the best ingredients you can ask for in a prog meal. The diversity of musical ideas that appear on the album is no small degree based on its influences: Canterbury's pleasant freshness, Gentle Giant's harmonized dissonances, 76-77 Camel's melodic taste, accademical stuff (Gershwin, Grieg), even some hints of Zappa-esque bizarreness and Retrun to Forever's colourful fusion. Yet, the overall result isn't derivative at all, but an original one. Kit Watkins' keyboard playing combines Emerson's fire and Bardens's texturial sensibility in a unique style, and IMHO, he's the most prominent masters in this band of talents. The rhythm section deals with all these complex time signatures with incredible ease and precise energy; meanwhile, Whitaker's guitars and Wyatt's wind instruments exhibit absolute finesse in their solos and harmonic parts. Many times it happens that Wyatt plays keyboards too (grand and electric pianos), and so he and Watkins interplay cleverly for the benefit of melodic lines and the enhancement of ambiences. The repertoire comprises reflective pieces ('Starborne', 'Hidden Moods') as well as explicitly energetic ones ('Stumpy Meets the Firecracker in Stencil Forest', 'Knee Bitten Nymphs in Limbo') and evocative ones (the sung tracks, 3 and 7): some tracks lay somewhere in the middle, like the longest ones (tracks 4 and 9, which are the most amazing ones), and we can even find an exquisite excercise in mysterious crescendo ('Carrousel'). There's always room for pyrotechnics in the hands of Watkins, Whitaker and Wyatt, but the impressive solos are never too long, always making sense as part of each track as a whole: somehow, these five guys manage to show their skills unabashedly without betraying the integrity of each piece. What else can I say? 5 stars!! - Review by Cesar Inca (César Inca Mendoza Loyola)


Track Listings

1. Starborne (4:22)
2. Stumpy Meets the Firecracker in Stencil Forest (4:16)
3. Upon the Rainbow (Befrost) (4:42)
4. Mr. Mirror's Reflection on Dreams (8:54)
5. Carousel (4:06)
6. Knee Bitten Nymphs in Limbo (5:22)
7. On Time as a Helix of Precious Laughs (5:22)
8. Hidden Moods (3:41)
9. New York Dream Suite (8:32)

Total Time: 49:30
Line-up/Musicians

- Stanley Whitaker / six and twelve string guitars, vocals
- Kit Watkins / mini-moog, acoustic piano, Fender rhodes, A.R.P., Hammond organ, Hohner clavinet, flute, marimba
- Frank Wyatt / sax, flute, piano, keyboards, vocals
- Rick Kennell / bass
- Mike Beck / drums


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Another masterpiece from Italy. I review only masterpiece? No, it is clear. But in this cese yes. Because "Generazioni (Storia Di Sempre)" is a very fine album.Complesso E.A. Poe recorded this masterpiece in 1974 and produced a very mellow album. A very fine Symphonic mellow album. This is a fine mix of Renaissance, PFM, New Trolls and VDGG but with more Romantic vein (eh, eh...T he RPI is the acronym of Power Romantic Prog or Mellow Romantic prog). In the case of Complesso E.A. Poe this mellow vein produced a very good Power Prog (listen to the ballad "Per Un'Anima", "Alla Ricerca Di Una Dimensione", the sweet "La Ballata Del Cane Infelice" or "Generazioni"). The use of acoustic guitar and organ or moog create a carpet of emotions that the good voice of Giorgio Foti increases and that the little insertions of electric guitar amplifiers. The writing of the songs are very fine and it shows a search for the not banal that, however, is banal because is easy to write this music for the authors. That they compel to use a light arrengements. Another point of force is the production because isn't invading, limiting itself almost to the mix of the various instruments.

For me "Generazioni (Storia Di Sempre)" is still a winning album also because is aged too well. And, for sure, because the writing isn't banal and the emotions that "Generazioni (Storia Di Sempre)" provoke are very genuine. - Review by Mandrakeroot (Andrea Salvador)



Track Listings

1. Prologo
2. Considerazioni
3. Per un'anima
4. Alla ricerca.....
5. Ad un vecchio
6. La ballata del cane
7. Generazioni

Total Time: 34:31
Line-up/Musicians

- Giorgio Foti / keyboards, vocals
- Beppe Ronco / guitar, mandolin
- Lello Foti / drums
+ Marco Maggi / bass
Releases information

LP Kansas, 5300 503 A (1974) / CD Vinyl Magic, VM027 (1991)


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