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Happy The Man - Beginnings CD (album) cover


Happy The Man


Eclectic Prog

2.97 | 57 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Rutgers Joe
4 stars This collection turned out to be an intriguing and surprisingly good acquisition for my collection. I'm happy (.man)!

The first track, Wyatt's Leave That Kitten Alone, Armone is a rough diamond which was recorded in July, 1975...a typical HTM meandering piece, it would have fit comfortably on their first album.

Passion's Passing (Wyatt) from April, 1974, is a little too long for it's own good, and drags a bit, but has some sublime instrumental passages midway and also towards the end.

Don't Look to The Running Sun from April, 1974, is the first of two tracks written by Cliff Fortney, who departed in 1974. His compositional style is closer to the progressive rock tradition than the 3 W's (Watkins, Whitaker and Wyatt) as this track shows.

Gretchen's Garden from February 1974, is an HTM classic, and perhaps Frank Wyatt's finest composition of the 70's.

Partly The State from February, 1974, is the second Fortney-penned track and, while still distinctively HTM, is the closest they would ever come to sounding like Gentle giant. An aggressive, yet refined sound...excellent.

Broken Waves from July, 1975, is an energetic, if somewhat melodically underdeveloped instrumental written by Watkins. Some excellent keys towards the end of the track rescue it from mediocrity.

Finally, Portrait of a Waterfall from July, 1975, written by Stanley Whitaker closes thing out. A very intriguing track, it is led throughout by Wyatt's pleading saxophone. A unique arrangement in HTM's history...I cannot think of another track (except perhaps Eye Of The Storm) which follows the sax from start to finish.

In summation, this collection is a very worthwhile addition to any HTM fan's collection and, while I admit I'm a fan, I honestly think this is 60 minutes of generally excellent prog-rock/fusion/ I will round my 3.7 up to a 4.

Thank you Cuneiform Records!

Rutgers Joe | 4/5 |


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