'For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night' saw Caravan go back to the drawing board after the tepid response to the slightly disappointing 'Waterloo Lily'; some serious line-up reshuffles were around the corner. Dave Sinclair returned to the fold to replace Steve Miller, but Richard Sinclair was in turn replaced by John G.Perry. This album also marked the first appearance on record of viola player Geoffrey Richardson who remains very popular with the fans. This meant that the sound of the band had changed again; the band sound more confident than ever before. The album's success is ultimately proved by the amount of songs here that remain true fan favourites to this day. It is rightly regarded as one of their very best efforts.


The English whimsy of earlier albums has generally been played down, but is still present to a certain extent. The most obvious example of this is on the classic track 'The Dog The Dog He's At It Again', which has some risque but fun lyrics that fit in line with the album title but also the band's earlier songs 'Waterloo Lily' and 'Golf Girl'. This being Caravan, the track has a killer melody that will stick with you for a long time after the track has finished. Another notable thing about this track is that Dave Sinclair has added synthesisers to his artillery; Caravan were seemingly one of the last of the old-wave prog acts to use synthesisers, and it's great to hear Sinclair cut loose in his solo, which is succinct and does the job admirably. The band's way with a tune continues on the beautiful 'Surprise Surprise', which has some wonderful vocals from Hastings and Perry and some fluid, melodic viola lines from Richardson.

The presence of 'Backwards', an old Soft Machine standard (that can be heard on their 'Slightly All The Time' from the classic 'Soft Machine Third'), in the epic 'A Hunting We Shall Go' again reveals they had not cut the ties with their Canterbury Scene heritage. The rest of this track, however, was one of their most musically expansive and elaborate tracks, featuring some lavish orchestrations that predicted the band's project with the New Symphonia in the following year. The band's interplay here is superb, with some gutsy guitar work from Hastings and tight, syncopation-heavy drumming from Richard Coughlan, but it's arguably Geoffrey Richardson who shines most vividly here.

As I hinted, there is a more muscular sound to the band than ever before; some tracks here are their heaviest, most rock- friendly tracks up to that point. 'Memory Lain Hugh' and 'C'thulu Thulu' in particular are notable for this, with some gutsy guitar riffs that must have been something of a surprise for those used to their gentler moments. Both tracks are excellent though; 'Memory Lain Hugh' is a stompalong rocker which segues into the uptempo 'Headloss' which is a more traditional track that again features some fine harmonies from Hastings and Perry. 'C'thulu Thulu' has a quite bleak atmosphere, with an eerie melody and lengthy instrumental section with Dave Sinclair at the top of his game. 'Be Alright/Chance Of A Lifetime' juxtapose the new, heavier Caravan with the older, folkier one, the first part being a John G.Perry-led rocker and the second being a pleasingly mellow Pye Hastings-sang track.

It's fair to say that the album was a resounding success, in terms of updating the band's sound. The album still stands up today, and was arguably the last bona fide 5 star classic album they would record, though subsequent albums have their pleasures too... - Review by salmacis (James Jeffery)


Track Listings

1. Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss (9:14)
2. Hoedown (3:18)
3. Surprise, surprise (4:05)
4. C'thlu thlu (6:12)
5. The dog, the dog, he's at it again (5:38)
6. Be alright / Chance of a lifetime (6:35)
7. L'auberge du Sanglier / A hunting we shall go / Pengola / Backwards / A hunting we shall go (reprise) (10:05)

Total Time: 45:07

Bonus tracks on remaster (2001):
8. Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss (9:18)
9. No! ("Be Alright") / Waffle ("Chance of a Lifetime") (5:10)
10. He Who Smelt It Dealt It ("Memory Lain, Hugh") (4:43)
11. Surprise, Surprise (3:15)
12. Derek's Long Thing (11:00)
Line-up/Musicians

- Richard Coughlan / drums, percussion, timpani
- Pye Hastings / vocals, elelectric guitar
- John G. Perry / bass, vocals, percussion
- Geoff Richardson / viola
- David Sinclair / keyboards
+ Paul Buckmaster / electric cello (7)
- Tony Coe / clarinet, tenor sax (1)
- Jimmy Hastings / flute (1)
- Rupert Hine / synthesizer (1-2-6)
- Pete King / flute, alto sax (1)
- Harry Klein / clarinet, baritone sax (1)
- Henry Lowther / trumpet(1)
- Jill Pryor / voice (5)
- Chris Pyne / trombone (1)
- Frank Ricotti / congas (2-3-5-7)
- Barry Robinson / flute, piccolo (1)
- Tom Whittle / clarinet, tenor sax (1)

Orchestra arranged by John Bell & Martyn Ford, conducted by M. Ford
Releases information

LP Deram SDLR12 (1973)
CD Polydor Records PO 1836 (1991)
CD Decca 82980 (2001 remaster)



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The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation's second album was much the same as their first, offering competent late-'60s British blues, given a slightly darker cast than was usual for the style via Victor Brox's somber vocals. Like their debut, it was dominated by original material, and as on its predecessor, the compositions were rather routine blues-rock numbers, though they benefited from arrangements by highly skilled players. The best of these tracks were the ones that utilized Brox's gloomy, almost gothic organ, if only because it made them stand out more among the company of the many similar bands recording in the prime of the British blues boom. Otherwise the main fare was straightforward blues-rock that was well played, but rather average and forgettable, the most distinguished ingredient being Dunbar's hard-hitting, swinging drums. If only because it has some original songs that were better than anything on the first album ("Fugitive," "Till Your Lovin' Makes Me Blue," and "Tuesday's Blues," the last of which has some songwriting and guitar work quite similar to Peter Green's late-'60s style in those departments), it's a slightly better listen, though not up to the standards of somewhat similar groups like Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers [Allmusic.com]

Track list;
01 Change Your Low Down Ways
02 The Fugitive
03 'Till Your Lovin' Makes Me Blue
04 Now That You've Lost Me
05 I Tried
06 Call My Woman
07 The Devil Drives
08 Low Gear Man
09 Tuesday's Blues
10 Mean Old World


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Flor de Loto is a novel Peruvian instrumental act whose young blood is providing an energetic flow of creativity in South American prog scene: they already have a solid cult following in their native country. The material comprised in their eponymous debut album has been written for a 1 ½ year period before the recording sessions took place, and it’s fair to say that the sound production does justice to their overall energy on stage. Their prog style is quite punchy, mostly based on the interplaying between guitar and flute and robustly sustained by a versatile rhythm section: main influences range from “Red”-era KC to early 70s JT and hard rock with heavy touches of jazz-fusion and Peruvian folk, and added nuances of contemporary psychedelia. The opener ‘La Entrada’ kicks off with a languid atmosphere that evokes a sense of mystery before a wild interlude comes in expanding itself right up to the initial motif’s final reprise. The mixture of hard-rock oriented prog and folk that is so effectively displayed in the opening number also works quite well in ‘Ayahuaska’ and ‘El Ritual’ – in many ways you can tell that these tracks are straightforward statements of Flor de Loto’s musical ideology. Tracks 2, 5 & 6 are, IMHO, the album’s most accomplished numbers: they epitomize the band’s essential energy and comprise some of their most complex musical ideas, which gives the musicians the chance to show their skills as well as their interacting abilities more prominently than in any other parts of the album. ‘Libélula’ is an awesome showcase for the band’s penchant for dense atmospheres in a rock context, creating well-sustained contrasts between ascents and descents all the way toward the sinister coda. Meanwhile, ‘El Errante’ simultaneously combines the special majesty of baroque and the intensity of blues-rock without falling into the trappings of excessive self-indulgence, but keeping a clear focus on the basic melodic motifs. Finally, ‘El Niño y el Puerco’ finds the band exploring the realms of jazz-rock with special depth - it includes a splendidly aggressive guitar solo over a African-Peruvian fusionesque rhythm pattern… and it works beautifully! ‘Negativos de una Memoria Inexistente’ comprises two distinct passages: the first one is an explosive metal-oriented tour-de-force in which the flute surprisingly feels at home, while the second one is an ethereal Andean-based motif. 'El Ritual', which has been metioned before, has a very cosmic feel to it, melting the candid touches of folk and the oppressive moods of post-rcok and psychedlic prog in a very effective manner. ‘Flor de Loto’ is a bucolic 3- minute acoustic instrumental that shows the band’s introspective side, bringing a momentary occasion for easy relaxing. The closing track is basically a pretext for each individual member’s soloing: on the basis of a few varying motifs (including a brief reggae passage), the successive guitar, flute, bass and drum solos flow on as a kind of ultimate celebration. A nice ending for a great album: in conclusion, “Flor de Loto” is an excellent debut, and that’s why the namesake band gives us Peruvian prog-heads justified hope for the preservation of good prog music in our country. - Review by Cesar Inca (César Inca Mendoza Loyola)


Track Listings

1. La Llegada (7:20)
2. Libélula (7:22)
3. Negativos de una Memoria Inexistente (6:15)
4. Ayahuaska (4:10)
5. El Errante (9:02)
6. El Niño y el Puerco (7:36)
7. Y (1:55)
8. Ritual (6:28)
9. Flor de Loto (2:53)
10. Suculentas Frutas (9:35)

Total Time: 62:36
Line-up/Musicians

- Alonso Herrera / electric and acoustic guitars
- Alejandro Jarrin / bass
- Jorge Puccini / drums, percussion
- Johnny Perez / flute, recorder, zampoña*, midi sequencer

Additional musicians:
- Rafael Valderrama / flute, recorder
- Octavio Castillo / mandolin (4)
- Lalo Williams / synthesizer (8)
Releases information

CD Mylodon Records MyloCD029 (2005)



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By the time I post this review there had been 75 entries that talked about this seminal album (and some people called it as the first prog rock album on earth) of legendary band: King Crimson. I am not going to raise an issue whether or not this was the first or not; as for me personally, the first prog album was Yes “Fragile”. Full stop. It does not matter if in fact the other album(s) came first. Well, .. it matters only when you try to review an album on the basis of “influence” of other bands. Let’s put aside that.

So, why should I give the 76th entry then? As a matter of statistical vote to prove that this is a masterpiece? Or, to counter review for those reviewers who have given less than 4 stars? (Ahem … I always view that people have different views based on taste and background. So I have no problem with it at all). No no no no ….Not all of that things, my friends ….My reason is simple. I’ve just read a great story about the band from its inception (embryo stage) until “The Construction of Light” album through a well- researched book by Sid Smith (got nothing to do with Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd) titled In The Court of King Crimson (Helter Skelter Publishing, 2001 – reprinted 2003). It’s a great book as it was written by a die-hard fan of the band. As Mr. Fripp put at book cover: “Sid Smith’s opinion is worthy of respect”.

Of course I won’t tell you about the book in detail because it’s 346 pages and also what would be “my view” if I take everything from the book? I don’t want to be in the circle of plagiarism. But, the book has given me a powerful nuance and reference to review any album of King Crimson. (If you notice, this is my first review about the band and I want to do it right, with the best available references).

It’s gonna be boring if I review track by track as I used to do it with other prog albums. This time I would do it at album level because you know it well track by track. Let’s do it this way …

The result of a struggling band. This album was a culmination of concerted effort by the band members from the embryonic Giles, Giles & Fripp until it was formalized under the name of KC. It’s important to notice how the band members were not aware at all that they did a great job. In the a.m. book it was mentioned that the making of “21st Century Schizoid Man” albeit it’s the first track but was recorded the last. The song was made through collective efforts by its members and they did not feel that they accomplished something great that rocked the music industry later on. Each member did not pat others for example “Hey great, we did it one”. No, not at all. They just said “OK, that’s it”. (page 59).

The Change master that inpires ….. Yeah …. We know it that this album had created major change in music industry. At that time people never thought a music with powerful riffs and “very” distorted vocal as in the opening track “21st Century …”. Even the first time I listened to this song (sometime in 1976) I thought that my cassette was in trouble. Couple months ago, our local newspaper in my country featured this album in a great details (reviewed by my colleague Tom Malik). What interesting was the prog discussion that followed after the article. It was discussed that the riffs have inspired many heavy metal bands. You may or may not agree with it.

The Music. Now, let’s talk about the music. The overall album has a strong structure offering a variety of styles: progressive rock, ballad with classical touch and avant garde- and overall album offers dark nuance. The music demonstrates catchy and memorable melodies that still valid thru the passage of time. Having listened to “Epitaph” or “I Talk To The Wind” in decades I’m still touched by their melodies. Wonderfully crafted!

If I may advise, it’s not a matter of recommendation. But, if you want to explore prog music, this album is must in your prog collection. Don’t step into prog wagon if you do not own this album yet. Keep on progging! GW, Indonesia.

Note: With an earthquake disaster happening in my country and neighborhood, “Epitaph” might be best to play as condolences for twenty three thousand brothers and sisters who have lost their lives tragically …”Confusion will be my epitaph …” ….South East Asian countries are crying now …(Jakarta, 28 Dec 04) - Review by Gatot (Gatot Widayanto)



Track Listings

1. 21st Century schizoid man Mirrors (7:20)
2. I talk to the wind (6:05)
3. Epitaph (8:47)
a) March for no reason
b) Tomorrow and tomorrow
4. Moonchild (12:11)
a) The dream
b) The illusion
5. The court of the crimson king (9:22)
a) The return of the fire witch
b) The dance of the puppets

Total Time: 43:45
Line-up/Musicians

- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Greg Lake / bass guitar, lead vocals
- Ian McDonald / reeds, woodwind, vibes, keyboards, mellotron, vocals
- Michael Giles / drums, percussion, vocals
- Peter Sinfield / words and illumination
Releases information

LP Atlantic 8245 (1969)
CD Virgin 848099 (2001)
LP EG EGLP-1
CD Plan 9/Caroline 1502
CD Caroline 1502 (1999)
CS EG EGMC-1
CD EMI 811270
CD Discipline GM UK (2005)



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UK - Danger Money (1979)

Having impressed the remaining prog audience and the most open-minded musical press of the late 70s, the combined forces of symph prog and jazz rock stopped being allies and became mutually incompatible while the band was touring. It was clear then that the most unsatisfied parties - jazz purveyors Holdsworth and Bruford - had to leave, and so they did. That left Jobson and Wetton in charge of determining UK’s direction, and that trend was focused on an ELP-ish bombastic symph prog with an incorporated powerful melodic aspect - ELP-ish albeit neither cloning nor ripping off. The trio was completed with the entry of drummer Terry Bozzio, who unfortunately couldn’t afford to let his particular magic develop within the band’s artistic confines, which had already been determined by Jobson and Wetton as more restrained, in order to wash off any remains of the jazzy grandeur that the estranged alumni had provided for the band’s debut album. On the other hand, “Danger Money” turns out to be a more cohesive album, indeed, and anyway, Bozzio can still manage to dispose of some room to display his own percussive skills now and then, appropriately bringing his peculiar sense of energy to the band’s overall sound. IMHO, ‘Caesar’s Palace Blues’ and ‘Carrying No Cross’ stand out as the album’s most accomplished gems. The former is a hard rocking tour-de-force, featuring Jobson’s most explosive electric violin performance ever: the powerful rhythm anchor provided by Wetton and Bozzio proves crucial in order to sustain an appropriate articulation for the incendiary, electrifying fire that keeps itself constantly burning at white-hot level. The latter is an amazing old-fashioned prog suite that dates back from the days of the “UK” album touring. Performed now by the power trio formation, it successfully conveys a solid variation of motifs and moods with robust fluidity. Both gems are showcases for the trio’s ability to interplay masterfully. I find tracks 1-3 less impressive in comparison, but still they are great tracks. ‘The Only Thing She Needs’ is an up tempo piece that comprises some of the best drumming provided by Bozzio: the way he uses his kit as a vehicle for dialogue with Jobson’s keyboard harmonies is awesome, and so are the successive violin and organ solos performed by the latter. Meanwhile, Wetton plays his bass lines as a bridge between his two partners. ‘Rendezvous 6.02’ is a melancholy ballad that conjures images of a lonely pub before the first light of dawn: the romantic atmosphere is delivered with absolute elegance and the complex rhythm patterns are structured with a deceitful air of simplicity - actually, there's a bossa-nova vibe in it that makes it subtly complex in many passages. Oh,and those eerie synth adornments and ambiences during the interlude are simply delicious. The post-apocalytptic lyrics, which set a portrait f solitude among ghosts, adds to the music's ethereal sadness. The namesake opener is the least impressive to me: it certainly is powerful and catchy - that’s undisputed - which makes it an effective opener, but in terms of compositional creativity it turns up to be less satisfactory than the other two aforementioned numbers. Now, let’s talk about ‘Nothing to Lose’. What can I say? It’s a favourite prog guilty pleasure of mine. This prog-pop showcase contains a beautiful violin solo and a clever alternation of 3/4 and 4/4, which makes it quite dynamic; it also comprises an inventive series of keyboard orchestrations that makes the song rise above the ‘intended single’ status. But those silly lyrics and those corny backing harmonies… my God, how they ruin what could have been just a nice prog tune, taking it dangerously closer to ABBA-meets-The Wings territory, instead. What was supposed to be a celebration of self-determination ends up a trivial sing-along about whatever. All in all, my specific objections regarding this particular song (which, as I stated before, I happen to enjoy) won’t stop me from labeling “Danger Money” as an excellent album, a very valuable successor of the amazing debut. - Review by Cesar Inca (César Inca Mendoza Loyola)


Track Listings

1. Danger money (8:12)
2. Rendez-vous (5:00)
3. The only thing she needs (7:53)
4. Caesar's Palace blues (4:42)
5. Nothing to lose (3:57)
6. Carrying no cross (12:20)

Total Time: 42:02
Line-up/Musicians

- Terry Bozzio / drums, percussion
- Eddie Jobson / keyboards, electric violin
- John Wetton / lead vocals, bass


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Panna Fredda - Uno (1971)

This is an Italian one-shot band that made only one album entitled "Uno". You don't need an Italian dictionary to understand that this means 'one' but to my surprise Panna Fredda showcases two faces on their album! The first and final part features swelling and moving organ play and raw guitar work, to me it sounds a bit like early Eloy (if you disagree, OK but don't disqualify me by using words like ' absurd', respect that music is subjective). It all sounds very sumptuous, mainly due to the heavy Hammond organ chords. But halfway this album Panna Fredda changes their sound to very mellow featuring acoustic guitar, sensitive vocals and medieval-like keyboards, wonderful. An unique album! - Review by Heptade (Allister Thompson)



Track Listings

1. La Paura (6:02)
2. Un Re Senza Reame (5:06)
3. Un Uomo (4:56)
4. Scacco Al Re Lot (4:32)
5. Il Vento, La Luna E Pulcini Blu (9:58)
6. Waiting (3:08)

Total Time: 33:44
Line-up/Musicians

- Angelo Giardinelli / guitar, vocals
- Giorgio Brandi / keyboards, guitar
- Filippo Carnevale / guitar, drums
- Carlo Bruno / bass

Releases information

Vinyl magic VM001



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This band figures among the pioneers of proto-industrial krautrock next to Kluster. Totally weird and damaged this first release includes four long experimental suites made of disturbing, chaotic, claustrophobic and really dark sounds. The musicians use a wide range of effects obtained by different electronic gadgets, distorted electric elements and collage techniques. "Oneway Trip" starts in pure experimentations to reach the top with an amazing psych-jam made in a total disorder, including an insistent repetitive motif led by the bass guitar. On the edition I've got track number 2 (called "im tempo eines") is entirely built around "samples" taken from an orchestral piece in major. A big and funny contrast compared to the previous tune. A lot of derision, invention and a radical taste for "happening", disappointing revisited classics and non common uses of instruments. Primitive and really non-conventional compositions for a nice essay in "dark waters". We can hear a rather closed musical experience in MOOLAH "Woe Ye Demons Possessed". - Review by philippe (Philippe Blache)


Track Listings

1. Oneway Trip
2. Valiha
3. Breughel's Hochzeitstanz
4. New Atlantis (Islands Near Utopia)

Line-up/Musicians

- Odysseus Artnern / various instruments
- Bernd Henninger / various instruments
- Gerd Kraus / various instruments

Various instruments: bass / guitar, vocals / flute, guitar, vocals
Releases information

LP Germanafon 941042 (1969)



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This was a total surprise to me! All old versions of the songs on this one are far more better than on the "Sacrifice" album! Kay's vocals bring a strange and wonderful extra element to this music, and it's sad that they didn't continue doing material with the same line-up. I believe that the reason for this was Kay getting a child. I also found the sound from analog source pleasant, and the faint cracks of the vinyl bring a nice extra atmosphere to this release.

I think that the album covers were bit more better on the 1970 version, though there's a funny hidden element on this one (a face of a devil?!). I first thought this was a four star album, but careful listening cleared it out that this is truly an unique masterpiece, and it deserves five stars. The only album by this band you seriously need! - Review by Eetu Pellonpää



Track Listings

1. In ancient days (9:28)
2. Way to power (4:08)
3. Come to the sabbat (4:11)
4. Conjuration (5:53)
5. Seduction (4:41)
6. Attack of the demon (3:57)
7. Sacrifice (10:48)

Total Time: 43:06
Line-up/Musicians

- Jim Gannon / lead guitar, vibes, spanish guitar
- Zoot Taylor / organ, piano
- Kip Trevor / lead vocals
- Kay Garret / lead vocals
- Clive Jones / flute, saxophone, clarinet
- Bob Bond / bass guitar
- Clive Box / drums & percussion
Releases information

CD MYS CD 129 (1998)
This album was recorded in 1969. It contains the original versions of material that would be re-recorded and released as the band's debut album 'Sacrifice'.



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Here is my review..''Soundtrack 1984'',about 3.5 minutes long,is a space-rock guitar song,with swirling keyboards.''Maybe'',about 6 minutes long,is a melodic rocker,with a blues edge to it.''Soft Focus'',a little over 3.5 minutes long,is a piano ballad,with beautiful vocals.''Fantastic Mirror'',4.5 minutes long,is a rock song,with keyboards,a'la ELP.''Poltergeist'',4.5 minutes long,is a rock song,with kind of a pop beat to it,and has a bit of violin work as well. The title track,a little over 18.5 minutes long,is broken down into 4 songs..''Forest of The Death''starts out with 2 minutes of mellotron-keyboard work,and the band starts jamming,continuing on for the next 4 minutes.Then,the song mellows down for the last 18 seconds,segueing into ''The Cursed''(4'41),which starts out with some keyboard- mellotron work,and turns into a melodic,steady paced rock song.''Darkness of the World''(2'53)segues into ''An Old Castle of Transylvania''(4'47),both of which are melodic rock songs.During the last 1'17 of an old castle of transylvania,you can hear some rain,thunder,and blowing wind sound effects.For those who like late 60's/early 70's guitar rock,with keyboards and psychadelic influences,along the lines of PINK FLOYD/DEEP PURPLE,you may like this.I got this from cd universe for US$28.50,and it was a small investment worth the price. I recommend this.the singer sings in japanese language,as well. - Review by jasonpw. (jason paul weinstock)


Track Listings

1. Soundtrack 1984
2. Maybe
3. Soft focus
4. Fantastic mirror
5. Poltergeist
6. An old castle of Transylvania:
I) Forest of the death
II) The cursed
III) Darkness of the world
IV) An old castle of Transylvania

Total Time: 40:26
Line-up/Musicians

- Tsutomu Izumi / keyboards, Mellotron, synthesizers, vocals
- Hirashi Mizutani / guitars, vocals
- Kazuo Okamoto / drums, percussion
- Toshikazu Taki / bass, vocals
+ Misao / violin (5)
Releases information

Lp. Columbia/Merry Go Round / Cd. Nippon columbia COCA 7253 (1991)



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For a band which released only one studio album (Thrak) , there's an awful lot of material by the double trio available, especially if you count the ProjeKcts. This double set gives a good selection of live versions of 90s material, updated versions of older material, some improv and a cover version thrown in for good measure. King Crimson has always come alive on stage, and these 2 discs show just how powerful they can be when they're firing on all cylinders.

The two discs were recorded during concerts in Mexico City (disc 1) and New York (disc 2). Somewhat confusingly disc 1 was recorded 9 months after disc 2, which means that the band sounds slightly less polished on disc 2 if you listen to them in order. Although they were drawing on the same repertoire for these shows, only one piece (THRAK) crops up twice.

Disc 1 sees the mighty Crim beast launch a non stop, no holds barred assault on their audience, 60 minutes of the kind of high intensity few other bands can deliver. The first five selections come from Thrak, including a storming version of Dinosaur with Belew in fine voice. This is followed by a blast from the past as they give us The Talking Drum and LTIA II, with Bruford and Mastelotto almost matching the Muir/Bruford partnership for manic interplay. Neurotica is another bravura vocal from Belew, a white knuckle ride on a piledriving rhythm that constantly threatens to fall apart but somehow holds together. Two other oldies get the double trio makeover; Red, which sounds a bit messy compared to the version on Absent Lovers, and a nu-metal reworking of 21st Century Schizoid Man which works surprisingly well once you get over the initial shock.

Disc 2 is a slightly looser affair which draws mainly on Thrak and the 80s albums. The 80s material is reworked by the expanded line up to great effect, especially Elephant Talk which gives Gunn and Levin an opportunity to trade licks at lightning speed. Indiscipline shows the bands mastery of wildly fluctuating dynamics and stop/start rhythms, while the gentler songs show that the double trio was also capable of great subtlety and restraint, particularly the the closer, Walking on Air. An unexpected surprise is a cover version of the Beatles Free as a Bird, which was released at the time of these concerts. Belew does a remarkably fine job as a Lennon impersonator, and you can hear the band and audience audibly cracking smiles during this performance.

Vroom Vroom is a great Crimson live album which sits well alongside The Night Watch and Absent Lovers, although of the three it is probably the least essential. It gives a good overview of a remarkable band in full flight. - Review by Syzygy (Chris Gleeson)


Track Listings

Disc 1: 59:44
VROOOM VROOOM - Live In Mexico City

1. VROOOM VROOOM (5:01)
2. Coda: Marine 475 (2:44)
3. Dinosaur (5:05)
4. B'Boom (4:51)
5. THRAK (6:39)
6. The Talking Drum (4:03)
7. Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part II (6:13)
8. Neurotica (3:40)
9. Prism (4:24)
10. Red (7:03)
11. Improv: Biker Babes Of The Rio Grande (2:27)
12. 21st Century Schizoid Man (7:37)
Disc 2: 68:43
ON BROADWAY - Live In New York City
1. Conundrum (1:57)
2. Thela Hun Ginjeet (6:44)
3. Frame By Frame (5:12)
4. People (6:12)
5. One Time (5:52)
6. Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream (4:55)
7. Indiscipline (7:16)
8. Two Sticks (1:50)
9. Elephant Talk (5:14)
10. Three Of A Perfect Pair (4:16)
11. B'Boom (3:47)
12. THRAK (6:43)
13. Free As A Bird (3:03)
14. Walking On Air (5:35)

Total Time: 128:37
Line-up/Musicians

- Robert Fripp / guitar, soundscapes
- Adrian Belew / guitar, voice
- Trey Gunn / Warr touch guitar
- Tony Levin / basses, Stick
- Pat Mastelotto / acoustic drums, electronic drums, percussion
- Bill Bruford / acoustic drums, electronic drums, percussion
Releases information

Discipline Global Mobile DGM-0105



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I approached this album with skepticism after discovering it on the website www.progarchives.com. I was, when I found this album, madly in love with Genesis (still am), but didn't quite appreciate the other big name in symphonic prog, namely, Yes. And the lyrics aren't in English. So, all in all, I wasn't too thrilled with the prospect of getting this album. I felt a need to get something, though, and I settled on Bacamarte's Depois do Fim, based on several well written reviews that praised it effusely.

Well, I could not have been more wrong in my expectations. Sure the lyrics aren't in English (they're in Portugese), but I can live with that. And before you say, "well, who cares about the lyrics, anyway," I'd like you to know that I care. Deeply. I am somewhat a poet, and, as a result, I am very picky when it comes to lyrics. On progarchives.com, I have given an album three stars because of the lyrics, when the music itself earned four to four point five stars.

But anyway, on the album itself. It is very progressive, changing tempo/time signatures (I don't know enough about music to tell the difference) constantly, meaning that it is always refreshing. Ever musician is at top form here, and there are no weak tracks. The highlights here are the keyboards and the often tull-esque flute. I've never been a fan of female vocals, but here, they shine. The vocalist's voice is absolutely beautiful, and a joy to hear. And did I mention the amazingly beautiful and top notch music?

I will now discuss each song in relative detail, so if that doesn't interest you, feel free to skip to the last paragraph or two. The album opens with UFO, which opens with some soft guitar that is simple and beautiful, and gives no hint of what is to come. Other instruments start to come in, creating a beautiful soundscape, until the song picks up about a minute and a half in. The flute is amazing (though I've heard it might be recorder flute). And even then, it doesn't hit top gear until two minutes in. But when it does... Heaven. The drums are great, the keyboards/moog/whichever are lush, the guitar excellent, and whatever instruments there are there, they all come together perfectly, creating an excellent opening instrumental. It goes through several changes from this point to the end, but never loses the intensity or beauty it has had from the beginning.

Somehow, however, the album manages to get even better. If you remember me talking about tull-esque flute, here is where it really comes in. You can almost imagine Ian Anderson (my favorite flautist) playing behind the vocals here (of course, if he were on the album, he'd lend his amazing voice...). This one takes no time to build, just getting started right away with some fast guitar and excellent rock flute. The song is called Smog Alado, but it might as well be called Ode to Tull. The vocals here are top notch, the music is beautiful while almost but not quite hard rock, and it's simply pure prog, and pure heaven. This may be my favorite track on the album, but it would be hard to call any other song on the album "worse." Because worse implies badness.

Which leads to the next song, another instrumental, and another favorite of mine off this album of favorites. Miragem opens with a drum guitar collaboration in a classic buildup. The guitar is the star here, but everything is in its place, creating a joy to listen to. And, like any prog track, it does change, as, about 1: 30 in, it mellows out a bit, putting more emphasis on beauty (the flute is incredible here, as always), until, with about 1:45 left in the song, it gets back into some excellent guitar, closing the track majestically.

Passaro de Luz is my least favorite track here, a short, vocals dominated track that is beautiful, but doesn't leave a lasting impression on my mind, as the other tracks here do. It's not bad by any means, but neither is it stellar. Not one to skip in context of the album, but not one to listen to out of context, either.

Cano opens with some soft percussion, then immediately breaks out into the full track, a short one that serves as a segue (albeit a great one) into the main track on the album. About 30 seconds in, Cano picks up in intesity, and though I wouldn't see myself liking this even one year ago, it now seems spectacular to me. If you want to call this filler, it's some of the best filler you'll ever hear.

Ultimo Entardecer is the album's (mini) epic, clocking in at just over nine and a half minutes. It opens with some beautiful (and do I mean it!) keyboards, and then some beautiful (and do I mean it!) guitar, and just generally creating a beautiful track. I'm no expert, but it sounds like both electric and acoustic guitar are going, and they're going majestically. The vocals are, as always, beautiful, and the first four minutes of this track are pure gold. After this, however, the track takes a turn for the worse (without ever being bad, just less amazingly good). There is a short piano solo that just doesn't grab me, and some vocals that are beautiful, but sort of sound the same as the rest of the vocals on the album. It's softer and seems to lack intensity, until... with about 1:20 left in the song, it returns to what made the beginning so spectacular, and closes amazingly. A great track, if inconsistent.

Controversia opens with some nice drum work, with piano (or keyboards) coming in over it, and then something that I think is either moog or synthesizers, and it all comes together to create a very good short track, another "filler" track that seems too good to be filler. Not the highlight of the album, but in no way bad.

Depois Do Fim is up with Smog Alado as one of the best tracks on this amazing album. It opens with some howling winds, over which comes the main theme of the song, bombastic but not over the top, and very good as a whole. This continues for the first minute, when some deep bass comes in, and some very nice vocals. It builds, and creates a great track, and an excellent closer. What a magnificent end to a magnificent album.

Note: my version contains a bonus track, the instrumental Mirante Des Estrelas from their following album. It's not nearly as good as the main parts of Depois Do Fim, but it's not bad. It did not factor into my rating of the album.

To conclude, this is a fantastic album that everyone ought to own. And that's not something I throw about lightly. The ONLY problem here are the vocals. Yes, they are beautiful and a joy to listen to, but they all seem to sound the same on each track. BUT!, as I said, they are beautiful, and the sameness doesn't detract much from this album, and I feel able to give this album a solid four star rating. An excellent addition to any prog music collection. - Review by inpraiseoffolly




Track Listings

1. UFO (6:26)
2. Smog Alado (4:11)
3. Miragem (4:54)
4. Pássaro De Luz (2:28)
5. Caño (1:59)
6. Último Entardecer (9:29)
7. Controvérsia (1:57)
8. Depois Do Fim (6:31)
9. Mirante Das Estrelas (6:11)

Total Time: 44:03
Line-up/Musicians

- Jane Duboc / vocals
- Márcus Moura / flute, accordion
- Mario Neto / acoustic & electric guitars
- Mr. Paul / percussion
- Delto Simas / acoustic & electric basses
- Marco Verissimo / drums
- Sergio Villarim / keyboards
Releases information

CD Som-Arte Discos (1996)




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Well, Perigeo is one of the classic and most important italian bands of this genre, along with “Area” and “Arti e Mestieri”. Often regarded as the more refined, gentle and polite of the three, they produced their best known opus in 1973. Over 44 minutes of music, unusual for the italian classic scene. Nevetheless it's difficult for me to appreciate entirely their music 'cause, as you know, despite some of the most famous records, I don't know very well this genre. All I know is that this album has its moments of grandeur but is too jazzy for my personal tastes. I feel to lose any sense of direction 'cause its “simple complexity”! That' why, even after so many listenings, I hardly manage to appreciate it in the right way. So you won't read from me the usual “lobbying” for another italian band...actually, all I can say, it's that I find more easy and exciting the music of Arti e Mestieri, their “Tilt” in particular. - Review by Andrea Cortese (Andrea Cortese)



Track Listings

1. Non c'é tempo da perdere
2. Déjà vu
3. Rituale
4. Abbiamo tutti un blues da piangere
5. Country
6. Nadir
7. Vento, pioggia e sole
Line-up/Musicians

- Bruno Biriaco / drums, percussion
- Franco D'Andrea / acoustic & electric pianos
- Claudio Fasoli / alto & soprano saxophone
- Tony Sidney / guitar
- Giovanni Tommaso / vocals, basses
Releases information

Lp. RCA Records DPSL 10609 / Cd. RCA Records ND 71934 (1989)



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The Flock - Inside Out (1975)

After a brief breakup some of The Flock's members found themselves another fantastic electric violinist, Mike Zydowsky, and hit the road with a stripped down version of the band. Gone was the impressive horn section, with it the complicated arrangements, and much of the band's former jazz/rock fusion sound. Basically, they became just another rock band, but with a plugged-in fiddler.

Inside Out is a fairly lame affair by and large, but two lengthy fusionesque workouts stand out superbly. Surprisingly, they are two of the strongest compositions in the Flock’s repertoire: Metamorphosis and the very impressive disc-closer Straight Home. The vocals songs are dismissible, but these two tracks make this record worth finding.

Do not expect the former Flock propensity for complex production and chaotic interplay. However, if you enjoyed Glickenstein and company on the group's first two pressings this one may surprise you, especially if you dig Where Jerry Goodman went after he left this group. The Flock attempted to follow his flight, but it’s apparent they couldn't quite keep up. - Review by vingaton (David L Gordon)



Track Listings

1. Music for Our Friends
2. Back to You
3. Metamorphosis
4. Hang On
5. My Ok Today
6. Straight Home
Line-up/Musicians

- Jerry Smith / bass, vocals
- Fred Glickstein / guitar, vocals
- James L. Hirsen / keyboards, vocals
- Ron Karpman / drums, vocals
- Felix Pappalardi / vocals
- Mike Zydowsky / violin
Releases information

LP Mercury SRM-1-1035 (1975)



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Taï Phong - Windows (1976)

This French progressive rock band has 2 Asiatic members: they give the music a unique, charming and original style. The intensely floating keyboards and the miscellaneous acoustic guitars parts of a couples of tracks remind the Gandalf's "Imaginary voyage" album. There are some excellent, melancholic, expressive and melodic electric guitar solos. This progressive record contains many delicate and ethereal bits, although at a slightly lower level if you compare to the previous album. Some bits have excellent piano parts. Like on the first album, there are still many AWESOME, androgynous & catchy backing vocals; it seems there are more acoustic guitars than on the previous album. There is also an omnipresent densely floating combination of organ and more modern keyboards, which gives an overall ambient mood to this record. The rhythm is rather slow, so the tracks are often relaxing. There are a couples of acoustic Oriental ambiences. If you like their first album, then you should like this one too. - Review by greenback


Track Listings

1. When it's the season (8:06)
2. Games (3:52)
3. St John's avenue (7:36)
4. Circle (5:22)
5. Last chance (3:40)
6. The gulf of knowledge (10:24)

Total Time: 39:00
Line-up/Musicians

- Khanh Mai / vocals, guitars
- Tai Sihn / vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, keyboards
- Jean-Jacques Goldman / vocals, guitars
- Jean Alain Gardet / keyboards
- Stephan Caussarieu / percussion, drums
Releases information

LP Warner Brothers records-FLP 56264-1976-Canada



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Parzival - Legend (1971)

One of the keenest Folk Prog group to come from Germany, Parzival should appeal to most progheads especially those looking into medieval music as a main influence. In this regard, they are to be compared to countrymen Ougenweide (but Parzival sings in English), Malicorne for one side and The Pentangle, Spirogyra or The Trees for the second. Organized around a guitar-bass-drums trio (the bassist being multi- instrumentalist from KB to violin) with an added instruments ranging from the cello, flute to the oboe. Sounds tasty does it not? Ya Betcha!-)

Oddly enough the Cd starts with a bonus track, a non-album single, but a masterstroke that puts you right away in superb joyous mood and the album is in the same mould. Cellos and flute gives a rather medieval feeling to the music, but never really completely indulging in it like Gryphon would, they sound more like ELO’s first superb album also. The 8 Years Later almost instrumental is an incredibly beautiful track where they are soaring away like eagles from us poor mortals. Senseless and a few other tracks have slightly acidic-sounding vocals reminding Sopirogyra’s Martyn Cockerham or Comus’s Wooton, but without having that eerie feel to it. Empty Land is based on Bach’s Matthew’s Passion, but the previous track always had another classical influence I could never place.

Their largely acoustic sound is incredibly contagious and highly joyous (I know I already said this at the start of the review but this must be stressed again here. Their lenghty Groove Inside (you guessed it, based on an improvisation) is never less than interesting but reaches the enthralling stages too especially when they get to a raga section much like the Third Ear Band (and even reminding me of Jan Dukes De Grey’s Sun Symphonia), until it ends on a rather pointless and not-so-nice wink to The Beatles’s When I’m 64. But only on this lenghty track does the mood become …… moody ;-)

Two more short bonus tracks (on top of the opening one) are ending the album in a rougher manner than necessary, both being demos dating from 69 and largely forgettable, this album is one of the real pearls from Germany’s folk scene and the fact that it was produced by Conny Plank, certainly is no coincidence. - Review by Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine)



Track Listings

1. One Day (3:37) (bonus track from 72 single)
2. Marshy Legend (2:20)
3. Resignation (2:53)
4. 8 Years Later (4:40)
5. Senseless No. 6 (4:54)
6. Wall Bungalow (2:40)
7. Empty Land (5:12)
8. Groove Inside (16:00)
9. Change Your Mind (2:04) (bonus track rough demo 69)
10. Sarah Girl (1:58) ) (bonus track rough demo 69)

Total Time: 46:18
Line-up/Musicians

- Lothar Siems / guitar & vocals
- Walter Quintus / violin, bass, organ & piano
- Thomas Olivier / drums, vocals & percussion
- Matthias Müller-Menckens / flute & piano
- Joachim Reichhold / cello
- Hans Jaspers / viola
Releases information

Telefunken 3984-23108-2



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Quill - Sursum Corda (1977)

In the early Nineties several USA progrock labels released CD’s on a LP size so you could experience the technical progress of the CD sound and the pleasure of the size of a record. To me this was a fine but expensive initiative, especially because post from the USA tot Holland is expensive. This CD “Sursum corda” (the LP is from 1977) made by USA progrock band Quill was one of those releases, recently it has been re-released on the normal CD size. If you like the vintage keyboard sound, this trio is heaven on earth! The CD contains two movements (19 and 15 minutes) featuring warm and melodic symphonic rock. The parts sound flowing and alternating, from mellow to bombastic eruptions and from compelling to up-tempo. The music is very tasteful: powerful Hammond runs, fat Moog flights, majestic Steinway grand piano (with echoes from Gandalf), beautiful Mellotron waves and a soaring string-ensemble. The vocals have a bit melancholical undertone and fits perfect to the atmosphere on this CD. Every fan of Le Orme, Triumvirat, Hecenia or Rare Bird should give this wonderful album a chance. RECOMMENDED! - Review by erik neuteboom (erik neuteboom)


Track Listings

I. First movement: (19:58)
a) Floating
b) Interlude
c) The march of dreams
d) The march of kings
e) Storming the mountain
f) Princess of the mountain
g) Storming the mountain (part II) ~ Lift up your heart
II. Second movement: (15:32)
a) The call
b) Timedrift
c) Earthsplit
d) The black wizard
e) Counterspell
f) The white wizard
g) The hunt
h) Rising
i) The spell
j) Sumnation
k) Finale

Total Time: 35:30
Line-up/Musicians

- Keith Christian / vocals, Rickenbacker 4001 bass, nylon string guitar
- Ken DeLoria / Hammond B2 organ, Moog synths, Mellotron, Baldwin electric harpsichord, Steinert grand piano-forte, Arp string ensemble, RMI Keyboard Computer.
- Jim sides / vocals, drums, orchestral & tubular bells, tympani
Releases information

LP Cotillion SD 9017 (Issued as a pre-release only) / CD Syn-Phonic SYNCD 10 (1993)



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Tony Stratton-Smith who was at that time a manager for The Nice, the Bonzo Dog Band and Van der graaf generator, formed Charisma records and signed Vdgg as his first act. Keith Ian Elis leaves while two new members, saxophonist and flutist David Jackson and bassist Nic Potter join the band. It’s the first time that Guy Evans, Peter Hammill, David Jackson and Hugh Banton form the classic line-up that defined Vdgg. Only Nic Potter is an exception (on later cds High Banton will replace him playing bass guitar on the recordings and bass pedals on live performances). In 1970, Vdgg record their second album named “The least we can do is wave to each other”.

-About the cd

The title of the cd was taken from Francis John Minton “We're all awash in a sea of blood, and the least we can do is wave to each other". What we have here is a true masterpice but also the first representative Vdgg album. The big difference from the debut album is that it has more a sense of an album rather than a colection of songs.

Peter Hammill’s lyrics are really great on this album. His performance is outstanding and his compositions are much better than Vdgg’s debut album. Hugh Banton with David Jackson’s wind instruments combine together so well to create this scary, dark, chaotic atmosphere that characterizes Vdgg. Hugh Banton, a classicaly trained organist, creates a dominant sounds with his hammond organ that are enough to drive someone crazy while David Jackson playing both alto and tenor saxophone and flute has an amazingly unique and magical sound that varies from atmospheric to mind blowing sax screams. Nic Potter though less dominant than Elis seems to do a better job with the bass parts. Last but not least, Guy Evans, a unique drummer with a very jazzy sound that shows he is not just a part of the rythmic section but also a part of the music. An amazing line-up that consists of members who are really unique and have a distinctive sound. You can’t go wrong with these guys.

The result is weird music that is new to the crowd. As Nic Potter said: “This music was entering territory that hadn’t been touched”. Even Hammill says : “The end of White Hammer is the scariest piece of music we ever played”. David Jackson adds: “White Hammer is actually about the forces of good, but the end’s pretty demonic”. “I put down a flat 5th, which they call ‘the Devil’s interval’. C to F sharp –very unfriendly noise” he continues. Needless to say that if something like that was played a few decades before they would burn you for witchery. Mabye all these created an atmosphere rather unfriendly and scary for the young at Nic Potter who left before the next album was recorded.

Dark baroque, full of foreboding, grand gestures and menance this cd managed to reach number 47 and Top 10 in England. If you are new to Vdgg you may try this one. If you like it from the beging you’re one of the few lucky people who managed to get hooked insatnly. Mostly, Vdgg need time. A true masterpiece from these amazing musicians, full of emotions. Five stars - everyone should have this cd! - Review by sularetal (Leandros)




Track Listings

1. Darkness (11/11) (7:27)
2. Refugees (6:22)
3. White Hammer (8:15)
4. Whatever Would Robert Have Said? (6:17)
5. Out Of My Book (4:07)
6. After The Flood (11:28)

Total Time: 43:56

Bonus tracks on remaster (2005):
7. Boat of millions of years (3:50)
8. Refugees (single version) (5:24)
Line-up/Musicians

- Peter Hammill / lead vocals, acoustic guitar
- Hugh Banton / organ, piano, backing vocals
- Nic Potter / bass, electric guitar
- Guy Evans / drums and percussion
- David Jackson / saxes, flute, backing vocals

GUESTS:
- Gerry Salisbury / cornet "White Hammer"
- Mike Hurwitz / cellos "Refugees"
Releases information

LP Charisma CAS 1007 (1970)
CD Charisma / Virgin (EMI) (1988)
CD Charisma / Virgin (EMI) CASCDR 1007 (2005 remaster)



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1970 was a watershed year for progressive rock. That year saw the newly-born musical form -- in the shape of bands like Genesis, Yes, Jethro Tull, and Gentle Giant -- gain strength and conviction, consciously exploring and exploding the "limits" of rock, with a spirit of pure unfettered experimentation. Two pioneering bands who had been key progressive rock players from the genre's emergence each recorded their third albums late that year: King Crimson's eclectic LIZARD added overt jazz flavours to the mix, and Van Der Graaf Generator's oddly-titled H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE (the first part of the title refers to the thermonuclear fusion of hydrogen to helium in the sun) further expanded the boundaries of progressive in the form of an oftimes dark, and sometimes disturbing masterpiece.

The two albums have more than a passing resemblance: Like LIZARD, "H TO HE" has strong jazz influences, largely expressed through the dynamic sax of David Jackson. In addition, Crimson's Robert Fripp puts in a guest appearance on the Van Der Graaf album, adding his trademark electric guitar to "The Emperor in His War Room." Furthermore, both LIZARD and "H TO HE" are prime examples of "difficult" albums that can be initially challenging, but ultimately very rewarding auditory experiences. I was a latecomer to the music of Van Der Graaf Generator, and I admit that it took several listens before this disc really began to "sink its hooks" into me. Yet I soon found that I was no longer playing the disc out of a sense of duty for reviewing purposes, but as a source of musical pleasure. I use the word "pleasure" guardedly, however, because founder and lead singer Peter Hammill's introspective lyrics are often illustrative of the axiom that "some of the best art arises from pain."

On the disquieting, almost menacing opener "Killer," Hammill sings of a monster fish born "on a black day, in a black month, at the black bottom of the sea" that, though "very lonely," kills all that draw near, then muses that "I'm really rather like you, for I've killed all the love I ever had." Death, loneliness, and the need for love are recurring themes on this brooding work. "House With no Door," aided by Hugh Banton's melancholy piano and Jackson's flute, offers an effective, sadly beautiful portrait of the artist as a tortured man, imprisoned in the cavern of his skull, whose self-made "walls" have shut out the love that he so desperately needs and craves. The aforementioned "Emperor in His War Room" deals, through gruesome imagery, with the wages of a misspent life: "Begging for your life, as the impartial knife sinks in your screaming flesh.... You must pay the price of hate, and that price is your soul." The next song, "Lost," is perhaps the album's strongest (with the final track, it also contains many of the disc's more up-tempo, heavier moments), and finds Hammill, with a voice that favourably compares to that of Gabriel in its embittered and impassioned delivery, addressing the spectre of a lost love.

Throughout the disc, Hammill's singing is very strong. Sometimes he almost whispers, sometime he nearly screams and spits out his lines, while at other moments he affects a falsetto that may well have helped shape the later vocal acrobatics of Gentle Giant. Peter Hammill is certainly no boring or undistinguished vocalist! At several junctures, his singing reminds me of Bowie's during his MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD era, and the final track, the bizarre, science-fictional "Pioneers Over C" has a theme which is reminiscent of Bowie's "Space Oddity" -- that of a lost and lonely spaceman.

As with LIZARD, I wouldn't want to listen to this CD too much; hearing Hammill's searing depictions of inner pain, self-loathing and regret can be cathartic (he's likely worse off than you!), but also disturbing. Still, H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE, is a classic recording that is a must for Van der Graaf fans, and essential listening for all who would discover just how wildly experimental, powerful and moving progressive rock could be in its infancy! - Review by Peter (Peter Rideout)




Track Listings

1. Killer (8:07)
2. House With No Door (6:03)
3. The Emperor In His War-Room (9:04)
a) The Emperor
b) The Room
4. Lost (11:13)
a) The Dance In Sand And Sea
b) The Dance In The Frost
5. Pioneers Over C. (12:05)

Total Time: 46:32

Bonus tracks on remaster (2005):
6. Squid 1 / Squid 2 / Octopus (15:24)
7. The Emperor in his War-Room (first version) (8:50)
Line-up/Musicians

- Peter Hammill / lead vocals, acoustic guitar, piano (3)
- Hugh Banton / organs, oscillator, piano, bass (2,5), vocals
- Guy Evans / drums, tympani, percussion
- David Jackson / saxes, flute, vocals

GUESTS:
- Nic Potter / bass (1,3,4)
- Robert Fripp / electric guitar (3)
Releases information

LP Charisma CAS 1027 (distribution Germany Philips 6369 907) (1970)
LP ABC/Dunhill DS-50097 (USA) (1970)
CD Virgin (EMI) (1989)
CD Virgin (EMI) CASCDR 1027 (2005 remaster)



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With the astounding Pawn Heart, VDGG has reached its peak artistically, although financially they were broke. Only three tracks made up this fourth album of theirs, but awesome, each and every one of them, they were. Again a Paul Whitehead-designed artwork, with a very controversial inner gatefold. With this album , they reach to the comparison of Thick As A Brick, Selling England, Angel’s Egg, Lark’s Tongue (or Lizard), Grey and Pink, Dark Side or Close To The Edge. A real reference!

This is the album where Peter Hammill reaches maturity mixing meaningful lyrics with superb melodies for his astounding vocal range and weird voice. I must say that once again the remastering job did miracles but on this album, Hammill’s vocals seem to have profited most from the job.

Lemmings is one of my fave VDGG track and with its && min+, it has every chance to please any proghead not allergic to that peculiar voice. Man-Erg is another superb classic and reaches a maximum in conciseness also making reference to the two previous albums by evoking Killers and Refugees. A real tour de force, but was those evocations of previous tracks not prophetic? A bit like Fripp closing off a Crimson chapter by bringing back previous members for the grande finale of Starless on Red.

From the first notes of piano of the last track of the vinyl and the first goose bumps after hearing Jackson evoking the fog horn of the lighthouse with his sax ( again evoking another earlier song? Darkness, in this case), a real fan can only be awed at the grandiose voyage that lay ahead for us – for the Hero of the story, however no trip, voyage or even promenade except on the top ledge of his building. I always shiver in delight at the beginning of the haunting melody of the second verse of Eyewitness: “I prophecy disaster, then I count the cost …. I shine but shining, dying, I know that I am lost.” - What perfection. Many more motions lay ahead , notably Banton and Jackson’s impressive rendition of what a lighthouse keeper can feel among which solitude and boredom must the cake. Only Klaatu will make an even more eerie lighthouse keeper theme in their second album: Hope

In case someone has problem getting into this great track, I can only suggest them to find the Belgian TV special where they do this track almost un-rehearsed (they had not expected that request), with Hammill having to find a lyrics sheet from the album to remind himself of the words/ it is right there on his piano. Grandiose!!!!

The first bonus track is a rather quirky BBC theme and dos stick out of the album, but not like a sore thumb. Then comes W, much more in tune with the dark forebodings of the other tracks, but still not bringing that much added value to the album. The last three bonus tracks are little more than bits and pieces, jams and improvs from baton Evans and Jackson: not really in line with the album, either.

Then will come some three years before VDGG will be re-formed , but all Generator unconditional fans can turn towards the fabulous trilogy of Hammill solo albums : Chameleons , Silent Corner and In Camera. Do make the financial effort for the mini-Lp sleeve, it is worth it! - Review by Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine)



Track Listings

1. Lemmings (11:39)
2. Man-Erg (10:21)
3. A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers (23:04)
a) Eyewitness
b) Pictures / Lighthouse
c) Eyewitness
d) S.H.M.
e) Presence of the Night
f) Kosmos Tours
g) (Custard's) Last Stand
h) The Clot Thickens
i) Land's End
j) We Go Now

Total Time: 45:04

Bonus tracks on remaster (2005):
4. Theme One (original mix) (3:15)
5. W (first version) (5:04)
6. Angle of Incidents (4:48)
7. Ponker's Theme (1:28)
8. Diminutions (6:00)
Line-up/Musicians

- Peter Hammill / lead vocals, guitars, pianos
- Hugh Banton / organs, piano, mellotron, bass pedals, bass guitar, synthesiser, vocals
- Guy Evans / drums and percussion
- David Jackson / saxes, flute, vocals

GUEST:
- Robert Fripp / electric guitar
Releases information

LP Charisma CAS 1051 (Distribution Germany Philips 6369 915) (1971)
CD Charisma Virgin CASCD 1051 (1987)
CD Charisma Virgin/EMI CASCDR 1051 (2005 remaster)



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I essentially agree with Tarcisio Moura review although I find that Saga and FM to be more descriptive of their sound (along with Asia and Rush). For an 80's American band, I find the lyrics to be incredibly mature, comtemplative and dark especially in "Give Up The Ghost" and "Digital Animal Suite". However, I disagree with the low production comment by Tarcisio. It may be that he has a bootleg because the official CD has stellar production. I recommend that those interested seek prog distributors in the US (such as M&M Music) to find the official CD release which is still available. - Review by proggirl2 (Michelle Bouffard)


Track Listings

1. Feel The Fire (5:05)
2. Give Up The Ghost (5:41)
3. The Seed Has Been Sown (6:43)
4. Hymn For 84 / The Second Coming (4:28)
5. Life On Your Own (3:55)
6. Digital Animal Suite (9:39)
i) The Animal
ii) The Technology Highway Boogie
iii) The Nightmare Of Reality
7. Moroccan Sand (8:50)

Total Time: 44:21
Line-up/Musicians

- Bruce Alger / keyboards, guitar and vocals
- Brian Emerson / drums
- Michael Amedure / guitars and backing vocals
- Kenneth Bates / bass, guitar and vocals
Releases information

RAPTOR 27596



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Caravan - Caravan (1968)

Even though this is their debut, the confidence of Caravan just leaps from this record, and ranks with sensational debuts like 'In The Court Of King Crimson' rather than lukewarm ones like 'Camel' and 'From Genesis To Revelation' as unlike those two, there are no weak points to speak of, bar the production, which both of those albums also suffered from, but this one has terrific material... 'Place Of My Own' is one of the best psychedelic songs of all time in my opinion, showcasing the superb organ work from the underrated David Sinclair, and Pye Hastings' soft but effective voice to dizzying effect. It has a particularly potent organ solo, which is as good as most solos I have heard from the period. 'Ride' is another classic, and was the B side of 'Place Of My Own' when released as a single. The backing vocals are very effective, and allow one to drift away with the music on a great voyage, with more excellent keyboard work. The vocals on 'Policeman' is almost rendered inaudible by the echo, and were even worse on the record, but the CD improves it a fair bit. It's a typical Caravan song with whimsical lyrics, from what I can hear anyway, so that is another good number. 'Love Song With Flute' is one of my favourite Caravan songs, as Pye Hastings' vocal is splendidly moving as ever- and the flute work from Jimmy Hastings is amongst the best I have heard on record. The organ propels this song throughout. 'Cecil Rons' is a typically naughty ditty that fans of Caravan would expect. However, they are always great fun, and charming pop songs, and nobody could be offended by their tone. More excellent organ work, and a truly splendid finale with some nice percussion work from the ever reliable Richard Coughlan. 'Magic Man' is another gem, and has some truly divine vocals from Pye and Richard Sinclair with some more organ work that works perfectly. This is true psychedelia- and it's easy to drift off with this album to a truly utopian atmosphere, as the music is so blissful. 'Grandma's Lawn' is another jokey number, with some good work from all the band, but again, it's hard to hear the vocals in the swarm of echo in the mix... 'Where But For Caravan Would I' is an epic comparable with 'For Richard' and 'Nine Feet Underground'. It's hard to believe this was a debut- the confidence of the playing belies that fact 100%, as this is one of the great prog rock epics to me, David Sinclair being outstanding throughout, but every aspect of the piece is amazing, the vocals again being tranquil and beautiful, and a climax that is similar to 'Apocalypse In 9/8' from Genesis and just as effective, with a quite cacophonous ending of morse code guitars and drums, ending a truly magnificent song. All of these reasons show why this album gets a high rating, and though the production is dated, the songs are good enough to forgive it. Some of the songs are amongst the best Caravan, have ever done, making this one of their best records. - Review by salmacis (James Jeffery)


Track Listings

1. Place of my own (4:01)
2. Ride (3:42)
3. Policeman (2:44)
4. Love song with flute (4:10)
5. Cecil runs (4:07)
6. Magic man (4:03)
7. Grandma's lawn (3:25)
8. Where but for Caravan would I be (9:01)

Total Time: 35:13

Track list of Verve remaster (2002)
1. Place of my own (mono mix)(4:01)
2. Ride (mono mix)(3:42)
3. Policeman (mono mix)(2:44)
4. Love song with flute (mono mix)(4:10)
5. Cecil runs (mono mix)(4:07)
6. Magic man (mono mix)(4:03)
7. Grandma's lawn (mono mix)(3:25)
8. Where but for Caravan would I be (mono mix)(9:01)
9. Place of my own (stereo mix)(4:01)
10. Ride (stereo mix)(3:42)
11. Policeman (stereo mix)(2:44)
12. Love song with flute (stereo mix)(4:10)
13. Cecil runs (stereo mix)(4:07)
14. Magic man (stereo mix)(4:03)
15. Grandma's lawn (3:25)
16. Where but for Caravan would I be (stereo mix)(9:01)
17. Hello Hello (single version)(3:12)

Total time: 73:38
Line-up/Musicians

- Richard Coughlan / drums
- Pye Hastings / vocals, guitars, bass
- David Sinclair / keyboards, vocals
- Richard Sinclair / vocals, bass, acoustic guitar
+ Jimmy Hastings / flute
Releases information

LP Verve Forecast (1968)
CD HTD Records HTDCD 65 (1996)
CD Verve 8829522 (2002 remaster)



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The troll under the bridge would let out a loud “harumph” each time some passerby would call this CAMEL’s best album. “Philistines", he’d mutter, unaccustomed to work. Give ‘em the Spiegel gift certificate because for them the curtain is too terrible to contemplate. Until one day, while listening to this album, smoothing out a fresh piece of paper with his hand to catalog what would surely be its forthcoming shortcomings, the troll caught sight of his own reflection in the water. And the face he saw smiled back at him, wading in the pleasurable moment of “Wait", the song’s kinetic energy unleashed in giddy little wavelets.

And thus we come to our moral prematurely: that a treasure can be buried by an otherwise invisible bias. My loyalty to an old "Mirage" prevents me from crowning "I Can See Your House From Here", and common sense tells me that I should save my breath for such things until hearing "Breathless". Yet I can see where some listeners would champion this album. Andy Latimer’s guitar work is inspired, and CAMEL’s gifts have seldom been so succinctly packaged. It’s a different chapter than the original foursome’s smoke-borne flotsam, but not unlike "Rain Dances" seen on a brighter day. With three new members (plus the immovable Andys), CAMEL’s allegiance to the old Gods was negated, freeing them to pursue ALAN PARSONS PROJECT in a mix of vocals and instrumentals more suited to short attention spans.

In that context, "I Can See Your House From Here" is a triumph, prescient in some spots (“Wait” is about gambling, the theme for APP’s next album), tuneful at every turn, made approachable by a newfound sense of humor, and possessed of some lovely instrumentals (“Ice", “Eye of the Storm”). That CAMEL didn’t ride off into the sunset of commercial success after this is not a reflection on the music, but on the fact that they hadn’t built up a brand for this sort of thing. Old fans, trolls the lot of us, might cringe to see CAMEL’s strong backbone carry such a commercial load, clinging to the familiar “Hymn To Her” with a sigh of what might have been. But on this day, in this moment, I can see the wonder of it all, and it’s a wonder I didn’t see it before. - Review by daveconn (Dave Connolly)



Track Listings

1. Wait (4:50)
2. Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine (3:14)
3. Eye Of The Storm (3:42)
4. Who We Are (7:26)
5. Survival (1:04)
6. Hymn Ho Her (5:23)
7. Neon Magic (4:39)
8. Remote Romance (4:01)
9. Ice (10:10)

Total Time: 46:13
Line-up/Musicians

- Andrew Latimer / guitars, vocals, flute, autoharp
- Andy Ward / drums
- Colin Bass / bass, vocals
- Jan Schelhaas / keyboards
- Kit Watkins / keyboards
WITH:
- Mel Collins / sax
- Phil Collins / percussion
- Rupert Hine / vocals
Releases information

LP 1979 GAMA Records/ Deram/ The Decca Record Co. Ltd. London, England
CD 1990 Deram/ The Decca Record Co. Ltd. London, England/ A Gama Records Ltd. Production (820 614-2)



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Another one-shot Italian prog album (well, at least until the 1990s, when Mellow Records released some live and archival material). Their only album released during their lifetime was released in 1976 on the Grog label (owned by Vittorio de Scalzi of NEW TROLLS). This was a band that featured two keyboardists (Riccardo Zegna, Alessio Feltri), a bassist (Gabriele Siri), a drummer (Flavio Scogna), and vocals (Graziano Zippo), but no guitar. The only guitar you hear is on the opening cut, "...E Verrà L'Uomo", which was provided by Vittorio de Scalzi himself.

This album comes to prove that the Italian prog scene still has some good music to offer in 1976. To me, I think the music sounds a bit like a cross between BANCO (similar duo keyboard format, often in a classical manner) and Le ORME (since vocalist Graziano Zippo has a rather high-pitched voice). Maybe a little ELP thrown in, particularly on "Verso Il Sole". Moog, string synths, piano, electric piano, and Hammond organ are the keyboards you hear. "Una Storia Fiabesca" does get a bit repetitive, but has grown on me. "Il Rituale Notturno" is a rather pleasant number complete with string synths. I like the electronic effects found at the end. "I Due Amanti" finds the band starting off a bit spacy, with the string synths, and electronic effects (presumably played off an EMS synth), before the music sets in. The vocals here seem to be lower-pitched and a bit off-key, making me think it was someone other than Graziano Zippo doing the vocals. I love how the music starts slowing down, simulating the sound of someone turning off their record player. Nice album to have for the Italian prog rock collector. - Review by Proghead (Ben Miler)



Track Listings

1. ...E Verrà L'Uomo (7:00)
2. Verso Il sole (6:34)
3 .Una Storia Fiabesca (6:52)
4. Il Rituale Notturno (7:12)
5. I Due Amanti (13:40)

Total Time: 41:18
Line-up/Musicians

- Alessio Feltri / keyboards
- Riccardo Zegna / keyboards
- Graziano Zippo / vocal
- Flavio Scogna / drums, percussions
- Gabliele Siri / bass

Guest musician:
- Vittorio De Scalzi / guitar
Releases information

Grog (GRL 04)


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OK, “Time” might not be the most challenging album you’ll ever hear, but it is a masterpiece of symphonic pop, and a fine concept album. Jeff Lynne gathers together some of his strongest compositions ever, adds some delightful orchestration, and comes up with an album full of tracks which stand up well as great pop songs individually. Where "Time" really succeeds though is that the songs come together to form an album which demands to heard as a complete piece.

It may seem sacrilegious to mention “Supper’s ready” in the same breath, but the basic idea is the same, a number of individual pieces segued together with occasional recurring themes, to create a much stronger whole. The main difference here is that virtually any of the tracks would have enjoyed success as a single.

After the brief overture of "Prologue", we dive straight into the totally infectious "Twilight", and the mood for the album is set. "The way life's meant to be" has more than a hint of George Harrison about it, "Hold on tight" is a Wizzard like romp through a wall of sound, and "Here is the news" has some truly inspired satirical lyrics.

There are several slower ballad style songs, of which "Ticket to the moon" is the highlight. This pained sci-fi love song bemoans the fact that the ticket is "just one way", Lynne giving one of his most emotive performances ever. "21st Century man" paints a reflective picture of the future (now the now!), while "Another heart breaks" is primarily an instrumental piece, broken only by the repeated title.

There is a real temptation to dismiss "Time" as a pop album, and to judge it on a superficial basis. To do so is a real injustice, this is a truly superb piece of work by any standards. Lynne's attention to detail is constant throughout, indeed, it is ironic that were it not for the fact that his compositions are so commercially successful, he would undoubtedly gain far more recognition as a musical genius. - Review by Easy Livin (Bob McBeath)



Track Listings

1. Prologue (1:15)
2. Twilight (3:35)
3. Yours Truly, 2095 (3:15)
4. Ticket to the Moon (4:06)
5. The Way Life's Meant to Be (4:36)
6. Another Heart Breaks (3:46)
7. Rain is Falling (3:54)
8. From the End of the World (3:16)
9. The Lights Go Down (3:31)
10. Here is the News (3:49)
11. 21st Century Man (4:00)
12. Hold on Tight (3:05)
13. Epilogue (1:30)

Total Time: 43:38
Line-up/Musicians

- Jeff Lynne / lead vocals, backing vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, piano, synthesizers
- Richard Tandy / piano, electric piano, synthesizers, guitar
- Bev Bevan / drums, percussion
- Kelly Groucutt / bass guitar, backing vocals
Releases information

LP/CD Jet Records FZ 37371 (US) (1981)


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FAR EAST FAMILY BAND is one of the pioneering prog bands to emerge out of Japan. Several musicians who later made careers of themselves by releasing New Age albums in the 1980s were members of this band. They were Fumio Miya[&*!#]a, Akira Ito, and most of all, Masanori Takahashi, which most of you don't know by that name, but by the name of Kitaro. Other band members included guitarist Hirohito Fukushima, bassist Akira Fukakusa, and drummer Shizuo Takasaki. Fumio Miya[&*!#]a was previously with a band called FAR OUT (which many just simply regard as another FEFB album, even if only Fumio Miya[&*!#]a was the only person in common with both bands). Now, if you're expecting the music of FAR EAST FAMILY BAND to be more cheesy New Age, throw that thought at the window. FAR EAST FAMILY BAND is pretty much to KITARO what VANGELIS was to APHRODITE'S CHILD, that is, these bands music are much more rock oriented than the careers these keyboardists later pursued in the 1970s and '80s. "Nipponjin", with the subtitle of Join Our Mental Phase Sound is the second album from FAR EAST FAMILY BAND. Basically these songs are remakes of stuff from "The Cave - Down to the Earth" and the FAR OUT album. The album starts off with the title track, which sounds exactly like the original, but with added on synthesizers and Mellotron (and if you ever heard the FAR OUT original, you'll noticed how effective that song is without the synths and Mellotron). The music starts of with spacy electronic effects, synthesizers, and electric sitar. Mellotron is used as well, then the music kicks in to a wonderful ballad, with drug oriented lyrics. After a few minutes, the ballad is over, and kicks in to a wonderful guitar jam. After a couple minutes, the music slows down once again, with the electric sitar once again. Then the song ends with chanting in "Om", with some chanting in Japanese as well. The next song, "The Cave" is more the style of FAR EAST FAMILY BAND. Most of the music is sung in English, but the more intense passage has Fumio Miya[&*!#]a singing in Japanese. "Undiscovered Northern Land" sounds like something Klaus SCHULZE might do, with the big exception of the Mellotron and bamboo flute (SCHULZE did produce the album, but did not play on it, and the album was recorded in Japan). "Timeless" is one of the more rocking numbers on this album. "The God of Water" is simply an ambient piece, that segues in to the ballad "River of Soul". Several more pieces segue in to each other, before the final piece, "Mystery of Northern Space". First few listens, I hated this piece, but it started to grow on me. It is more dramatic than the rest, and it also has some strings. But in light of that, I'm glad to say it's nowhere as bad as that wretched "Four Minds" off The Cave: Down to the Earth. Although an excellent album, and this pretty much demonstrates what FAR EAST FAMILY BAND is about, their following album, "Parallel World" blows "Nipponjin" (and everything else they did) out of the water, still "Nipponjin" is recommended. - Review by Proghead (Ben Miler)


Track Listings

Side 1:
1. Nipponjin (16:51)
2. The Cave (8:37)

Side 2:
3. Undiscovered Northern Land (2:54)
4. Timeless (4:26)
5. The God of Water (2:06)
6. River of Soul (8:28)
7. The God of Wind (2:33)
8. Movin' Lookin' (1:39)
9. Yamato (0:48)
10. Mystery of Northern Space (5:57)

Total Time: 54:19
Line-up/Musicians

- Fumio Miyashita / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Akira Ito / keyboards
- Masanori Takahashi (Kitaro) / keyboards, percussion
- Hirohito Fukushima / guitar, vocals
- Akira Fukakusa / bass
- Shizuo Takasaki / drums
Releases information

Lps-Vertigo-6370 850-Germany-1975


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