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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Supernatural Fairy Tales - The Progressive Rock Era CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.01 | 18 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars It's unclear to me how a set like this could be rated higher than three stars. On one hand, this is as good as (and probably better than) any other of the handful of prog-rock compilations of which I'm aware. For me personally, this boxed set served its purpose of exposing me to a variety of artists and styles, and there are about five truly excellent songs here that I doubt I'd ever have heard otherwise. On the other hand, it seems self-evident that a progressive rock compilation album which leaves out Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, and King Crimson could not be "essential," and thus could not rate four stars. Of course, even if Rhino had been able to include Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, and King Crimson, I would complain that they'd licensed the wrong songs! Furthermore, where's the progressive jazz? Why limit the collection to the 60s and 70s? Or, where's the second collection of more recent music, including perhaps some new-prog or math rock or progressive metal?

Even if Rhino could address all of my concerns and exhaust all of my complaints, the compilation still wouldn't be essential because it would still contain only one song from each of many essential albums.

I'm sure Rhino's purpose in releasing this boxed set was to generate profit, but I also feel that the compilers did their best given the time and licensing restrictions. They managed to represent Zeuhl, Krautrock, RIO, and RPI along with the more obvious subgenres. They also included a fair balance of longer songs (by my count, eleven songs over eight minutes). As others have noted, the liner notes and artwork are nice too, and in this case, that counts for something.

So: on this website, the three-star aggregate rating of Supernatural Fairy Tales is exactly what it should be. However: if you're new to prog rock (as I was when I bought this) and you can find a copy, and it's affordable, buy it. If it does its job, you'll probably rate it four or five stars to begin with, but at some time in the future, I'll bet you'll agree that it will no longer be "essential."

patrickq | 3/5 |


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