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The Greatest Show On Earth - Horizons CD (album) cover

HORIZONS

The Greatest Show On Earth

 

Eclectic Prog

4.05 | 68 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Progfan97402
4 stars When I go hunting records in Eugene, Oregon, I often come up with my share of surprises. In Eugene, the few record stores still remaining might not be overflowing with rare and obscure prog, but over the years I've came across a few treasures, some of them I never seen in the flesh before. Original LPs of Curved Air's Airconditioning (the picture disc), Celeste (Italian Grog pressing), Embryo's Father Son & Holy Ghosts, Latte e Miele's Papillon, Satin Whale's Desert Places are a few huge shockers I've seen in Eugene. Grant it, it's usually one or two of these type of LPs showing up in Eugene at any given time, not just tons, and I frequently come empty-handed (the more common prog I've long got years ago). Eugene record stores, in general, despite what I've found, isn't exactly prog heaven. And every time I thought was ready to give up, another one shows up, and that's The Greatest Show on Earth's Horizons.

Now I can understand why this wasn't a priority one band for me, feeling I'd probably be more interested in buying if I saw a copy in the flesh than ordering it online. Which happened. I realize this is not particularly easy to find. But it's still a very good album, but didn't quite blow me away, hence it wasn't high priority. I've long realized it was EMI, or at least Harvest Records' idea of having a British equivalent to American horn rock groups of the time like Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears, which is true. The vocalist sound undeniably like David Clayton-Thomas, but the music lacked the more commercial pop-edge that Chicago succeeded big time in, and BS&T did for a few years before vanishing into obscurity. Some of the music has a psychedelic edge like "I Fought For Love" and "Skylight Man". The latter seems to have a bit of a 1967//'68 vibe, making me think this was probably one of the first things the band wrote when they formed in '68. The title track is a bit different, an extended jam, with a drum solo, as well as letting the horn players jam later on, and even a psychedelic guitar solo. "Day of the Lady" really starts off lame, what on Earth were they thinking starting it off like some slow-paced polka? Luckily that part is short, and they get into something a bit more folk-oriented, something that would be foreign on a Chicago or BS&T album. The rest is more of that horn rock, British style that other such similar groups like IF, Web, Brainchild, Warm Dust has done. Maybe a couple of ideas I didn't quite go for, so I can't give this album five stars, but at least the music is inspired and energetic and deserving of four stars.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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