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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
UK - UK CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 556 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars An absolutely stunning debut.

UK represents the last gasp of the Golden Age of Prog, and does so in a most competent and professional manner. One could be deceived into thinking that this is a concept album, as the quality and the sound (esp. Jobson's keyboard work) is maintained throughout the album. Also, this album features some of Holdsworth's best guitar work. I swear that his solos here match Fripps when Fripp was at the very top of his game. Add in Wetton's comfort zone in the grey area between prog and pop, and Bruford's talents on the drum kit and you have a truly exceptional prog album at a time when prog was rapidly devolving.

The first three tracks are really a suite. The first contains one of the best guitar solos ever. Bruford's work on the second track shines. The third gives Jobson a chance to show off on his violin.

Thirty Years sums up this album. Atmospheric keyboards and guitar work followed by a fast section worthy of the most talented prog bands. Switching tempos and atmospheric settings is a motif that defines UK and they pull it off well here.

Alaska/Time to Kill: I'm reviewing these two together because Alaska is really a really great intro to the next song. Alaska is the better part of this. It's another track where Jobson gets a chance to stretch his legs. Time to Kill benefits from such a beautiful introduction.

Nevermore/Mental Medication: These get combined because they are both Holdsworth tracks, but both enjoy the benefits of Jobson's atmospheric keyboards and the trademark tempo changes of UK. On my first listen I would have tagged them as weaker tracks (along the lines of Time to Kill) but repeated listenings have forced me to re-evaluate Holdsworth's compositional and playing skills. These are gems, even if they are gems in the rough.

Anyhow, this is a masterpiece. It's not quite Going for the One, but it is one of the best examples of the late Golden Age ever recorded on vinyl. Highly recommended. If you haven't heard it yet, get it.

ghost_of_morphy | 5/5 |


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