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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Love Proge CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Label Samplers)


Various Genres

3.02 | 4 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars First I must say that Eetu's review on this 2-CD compilation (subtitled on the back cover as "Progressive Rock and Popjazz of the Love Records' output 1968-1979"; the front cover's word "prog classics" is partly very inaccurate) is more informative and detailed than mine. The second issue was compiled too, and together they paint a comprehensive picture of the proggy side of that pioneering, legendary Finnish label. However, it must be pointed out thatit's not the same thing as the Finnish prog in general; there were at least two important bands - HAIKARA, KALEVALA - and a bunch of short-lived worthy groups that were NOT released via Love. Even some groups here made their main albums elsewhere and are thus represented by 7" or V.A. compilation tracks.

Nor is it a puristic "prog only" compilation. Probably more than half of the artists are not to be found in ProgArchives, but then again the representative tracks of those internationally best known household names such as TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI, WIGWAM and all the related solo paths (TOLONEN, GUSTAVSON, POHJOLA) form the majority of the contents. Examples of the choices: TP - 'Deep Thinker' (7", 1970) and 'Lounge' from Lambertland. WIGWAM - 'Luulosairas' (7", 1969), 'Crisader' from Being, 'Do Or Die' from Nuclear Nightclub and 'Oh Marlene' from 1977' Dark Album. Hmm, the fourth one is already rather unnecessary... PEKKA POHJOLA - 'Virtojen kiharat' (from the 1972 debut Pihkasilmä Kaarnakorva). JUKKA TOLONEN - 'A Passenger to Paramaribo'.

Other PA-included prog bands featured here are NIMBUS (though their only album wasn't released by Love, here's a previously unreleased track), NOVA (the 9-minute title track of their sole album Atlantis, 1976), TABULA RASA (the wonderful 'Vuorellaistuja' from the eponymous 1975 debut), FINNFOREST ('Pablo' from their final - and in comparison weaker - album Demonnights, 1979) and PEKKA STRENG (beautiful song 'Sisältäni portin löysin' from the Tasavallan Presidentti -featured 1970 album Magneettimiehen Kuolema).

The rest of the artists/groups are more or less unknown for non-Finnish listeners and some of them are not prog artists, such as PEPE WILLBERG (popular singer whose track is a Finnish translation of Wigwam's non-prog song 'Wishful Thinker'). CHARLIES played heavy blues-rock in the late 60's. ROYALS were an ambitious supergroup of mid-70's, but not considerably progressive in style. Guitarist-composer JUKKA HAURU and a one-album (1979) group SUKELLUSVENE played instrumental Fusion and are not very well remembered by us Finns either.

Many groups are only obscure footnotes to the Finnish rock history, such as FERRIS (featuring Dave Lindholm), MANIFEST (f. vocalist Harri Saksala also known from Apollo), MANDALA (whose vocalist made a couple of solo albums as "Kristian"), LIMOUSINE (whose leader Zape Leppänen participated in Kalevala) or DONNA who managed to record one single only. A single-only rarity is also JANUS featuring Maarit & Sami Hurmerinta; the latter - best known as the main collaborator of his popular singer-wife - made a solo album in 1977, represented here with a good instrumental 'Summer -72'. MAGYAR's sole album unfortunately cannot be considered progressive unlike 'Elävien hauta' and other single releases from the beginning of the 70's.

If you're non-Finnish and use these "Love Proge" compilations in order to widen up your picture of the Finnish prog history, please note that texts are only in Finnish, and also the musical contents should be taken with a pinch of salt; these two compilations are not compiled (and simply couldn't have been compiled) with such goal in mind. If you primarily want to have a good selection of the Finnish prog legends, it's more recommendable to purchase their own albums or compilations in order to avoid overlapping as your music libary grows, and because so many of the lesser - and less proggy! - acts here may not be very interesting for you.

The cover designs are hideous and totally unsuitable for a context of vintage prog. (PS. As I corrected some details I also decided to drop my rating from three stars to two that may be more honest for an international audience.)

Matti | 2/5 |


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