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The Enid - Touch Me CD (album) cover


The Enid


Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 87 ratings

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3 stars The Enid were surprisingly one of the few prog bands with a growing fame during the second half of the 70's.In 1977 keyboardist William Gilmour was introduced to the group in the place of Charlie Elston.Terry King, the manger of the band, succeeded to make a deal with PYE Records at the time, one of the most expensive signings by the label.The band was even promised to have its own studio to work in.However things would go wrong from this point.PYE's boss Lew Grade was facing huge financial problems, the result was that the label was taken over by an inconvenient management, which pressed The Enid to record a new work.In December 78' the band entered their own home studio in Hertfordshire and recorded ''Touch me'' in a two-months period.The album was eventually released in 1979, featuring also Tony Freer on oboe and cor anglais.

Despite the hard period the band was facing during the recordings, ''Touch me'' ended up to be a very good album and one of the most ambitious The Enid ever created.It consists of two sidelong suites, the first being the 22-min. long ''Charades'', divided in four movements.Again the ability of Godfrey and company to combine romantic Classical Music with Rock is just phenomenal.Filled with intensive piano preludes, orchestral interludes and melodic electric instrumentation, the arrangement comes as one of the best in The Enid repertoire.Pompous, dramatic but also highly melodic, it mixes the fundamentals of Classical Music with both grandiose and laid-back orchestrations with the complexity of Progressive Rock, featuring the elegant guitar work of Steve Stewart and the impressive dual keyboard deliveries of Godfrey and Gilmour, mainly performed on organ and harsichord.Side 2 is taken by the 16-min. ''Albion Fair'' in a quite similar but more haunting style.''Part 1'' is an almost psychedelic, long introduction, based on keyboards, piano and strings with a somewhat spacey feeling, which works as an extended intro to the pompous and longer second part.This comes with more evident Classical-influenced arrangements and less Rock elements (at least on the guitar parts), but the music remains at an extremely high level with constant breaks and rapid changes, even if we are talking about pure Orchestral Music in a significant deegree.The soft moments follow again a very romantic path of orchestral passages, the more pompous ones are absolutely bombastic and powerful.A more pronounced guitar/bass/drums flavor would be welcome, but even so ''Albion fair'' stands as an incredible piece of complicated Classical-based Rock Music.

Another solid album by The Enid, a band refusing to sell out in front of the upcoming Punk and Disco fashion.The first part of ''Albion fair'' somewhat lowers the consistency of this release, the rest of the album though is very good, cinematic Symphonic Rock of high quality.Strongly recommended, you can even chase down some of the interesting reissues, most of which contain a fair amount of extra material...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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