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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - The Zodiac - Cosmic Sounds CD (album) cover

THE ZODIAC - COSMIC SOUNDS

Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

 

Various Genres

3.98 | 27 ratings

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Modrigue
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Cosmic at the time

One of the first releases to feature the Moog, and also one of the first concept albums, "Cosmic Sounds" is a collaborative project realized by multiple professional studio musicians and arrangers. Consisting in twelve short pieces representing the signs of the Zodiac, it features all the various psychedelic elements of the late 60's, and an important usage of keyboards, especially the well-known synthesizer, played by Paul Beaver. Each track is built around small musical patterns and narration interludes pronounced by Cyrus Faryar. The words were written by Jacques Wilson, and, most important, the music was composed by Mort Garson, who will later become one of the Moog's audacious explorers.

True story: the back cover includes the mention "Must Be Played In The Dark"...

The opener "Aries - The Fire-Fighter" is a psychedelic rock typical of the 60's. One of the best passages of the record, very catchy! Then comes "Taurus - The Voluptuary", a soft pastoral ballad, followed by the strange "Gemini - The Cool Eye", displaying various spacey ambiances but a bit uneven. "Cancer - The Moon Child" opens with a mysterious threatening ambiance, to then release furious guitars (at the time). Although "Leo - The Lord Of Lights" is a nice psyché-rock, my personal favorite track is undoubtedly the stellar "Virgo - The Perpetual Perfectionist" is. A perfect (short) trip into the stars!

The trippy meditative "Libra - The Flower Child" uses Indian instruments, whereas the martial "Scorpio - The Passionate Hero" is more oppressive. On the contrary, the weird circus "Sagittarius - The Versatile Daredevil" sounds a little out of place. No the best sign here... Much more mysterious is the sinister ritual "Capricorn - The Uncapricious Climber". The record finishes with the aerial crystalline "Aquarius - The Lover Of Life" and the peaceful melancholic "Pisces - The Peace Piper".

Despite its short tracks and length, the music manages to offer multiple varied atmospheres. For sure, the disc sounds a bit dated now and contains a few weak moments, but the result is very nice, ahead of its time and spacey for 1967. Accessible and not too experimental, "Cosmic Sounds" is a colorful and trippy journey around the Zodiac.

This album will influence other bands, such as MOODY BLUES for their pioneering "Days of Future Passed", usually considered as one of the first progressive record ever. An innovative and historic proto-prog album, and an essential listen for psychedelic and space rock lovers. Cosmic pop from the sixties!

Modrigue | 4/5 |

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