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Eela Craig - Eela Craig CD (album) cover


Eela Craig


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.79 | 59 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Eela Craig's self-titled debut is probably the one album that most Eela Craig fans don't have. Why? First, few original vinyl copies were pressed (1500, I believe). Second, no other version was available until Garden of Delights reissued it on CD in 1997. Thirdly, the album sounds nothing like the music the band would later produce and become known for, namely, symphonic prog. Eela Craig circa 1971 was more of a heavy prog band with psychedelic leanings. The opening song, "New Born Child," starts off kind of like a gloomy Krautrock excursion, before settling into more of a heavy prog track with interesting horn sections. The song ends with the most awful editing job I have ever heard on an official release. That is the low point of the album, with the rest of the original album tracks flowing very nicely. The recording and production is sub-par, but that may be due to the fact that the original master tapes were lost, and the CD version used a previously unplayed vinyl copy as a master. The LP has a bit of a "hippie-dippy" feel to it, but is countered by some dark vibes here and there. Overall, a very enjoyable album worth a listen for those who enjoy early 70's heavy prog from Europe.

The CD version has 4 bonus tracks, which represent the band transitioning from what you hear on the debut to the more symphonic sound that they would become famous for. The first two bonus tracks, "Irminsul" and "Yggdrasil," are instrumental and feature a revamped lineup. They are OK, but nothing special or worth listening to very often. The last two bonus tracks, "Stories" and "Cheese," again with a different lineup, show their new, symphonic direction, and are quite dreadful in this reviewer's opinion. I never cared much for their later albums, but these tracks are of an even lesser quality .

To wrap things up, I would say Eela Craig's 1971 debut album is an enjoyable slab of early 70's heavy prog. While not entirely original, it is nonetheless, above average compared to many of its peers. Just hit the "stop" button after you finish track 4 ("Indra Elegy") and you'll be pleasantly surprised. 4 stars.

Igor91 | 4/5 |


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