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Greenslade - Greenslade CD (album) cover

GREENSLADE

Greenslade

 

Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 220 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
4 stars The English band GREENSLADE are named after their founder and keyboard player, Dave Greenslade (born 1943). Greenslade sounds like an ideal name for a Prog-Rock band, conjuring up images of magical castles, occupied by fairies, elves & goblins. It's handy to have a proggy-sounding surname if you're going to name the band after yourself. It's a good thing Dave Greenslade wasn't named Smith, Brown or Jones. Dave Greenslade and the bass player Tony Reeves had previously been members of the Jazz-Rock band Colosseum. This album is the first of four albums released in the 1970's. The self-titled "Greenslade (1973) album was quickly followed by " Bedside Manners Are Extra" (1973), "Spyglass Guest" (1974) & "Time & Tide (1975). A comeback album "Large Afternoon" was released in the year 2000. Dave Greenslade also released five solo albums between the years of 1976 and 2011. The fantasy artwork for the "Greenslade" album was designed by renowned album cover artist Roger Dean. All but one of Greenslade's albums featured the familiar figure of the Greenslade wizard on the album cover.

The album takes flight with "Feathered Friends". Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it's a bluesy Jazz-Rock number. If you listen carefully, you can hear the mellifluous sound of a Mellotron in the background, which comes as no surprise, when Greenslade are often referred to as a Mellotron band, alongside other melodic Prog-Rock luminaries such as The Moody Blues, Barclay James Harvest and Genesis. Next up is "An English Western". What's it all about you may well ask. Well, it's impossible to say, because it's a bright and breezy, proggy instrumental with not a cowboy or indian in sight. And now we come across a "Drowning Man", a sad lament, which is only to be expected with a song title like "Drowning Man". Although we may have arrived too late to save him, the music is saved by some uplifting and rousing keyboard virtuosity from Dave Greenslade. "Temple Song" closes Side One. We're getting all flowery with this pleasing little Jazz-Rock ditty, as these lyrics reveal:- "See the flowers in the garden, All the petals there are falling, falling, falling." ..... This charming song sounds as English as, well..... an English country garden!

Side Two opens with "Melange", which IS a bit of a melange, which can't be a bad thing as variety is the spice of life, or so we're told. It's seven and a half minutes of Jazzy prog, underlaid with the gorgeous sound of the Mellotron, so relax and enjoy "Melange", while you eat a blancmange. Onto the penultimate and sixth song on the album now with "What Are You Doin' to Me", a rollicking, rock & rolling, Jazz-Rock barnstormer of a song. The album is brought to a radiant close now with "Sundance", the stunning highlight of the album. At nearly nine minutes long, it's the longest song on the album, which gives Dave Greenslade time to really get into his element and let loose with some very impressive keyboard dexterity. Take it away Dave!

If you're in the mood for some melodic and Jazzy prog, imbued with the mellifluous and hauntingly beautiful sound of the Mellotron, then "Greenslade" might be just the album you're looking for. It's a worthy addition to the progosphere and after listening to this first album, you may be inspired to check out Greenslade's later albums too!

Psychedelic Paul | 4/5 |

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