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Audience - The House on the Hill CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 117 ratings

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4 stars 20-Year Chronological Run-Through pt. Nine: 1971.

London-based group AUDIENCE debuted in front of a live audience in Marquee Club, February 1969 and signed a recording contract with Polydor. The eponymous debut came out the same year. The tours over Europe made them popular especially in Italy, and soon they were Charisma label mates with Van der Graaf Generator and Genesis. For their sax parts they share some charasteristics with VdGG, whereas the more delicate moments featuring nylon guitar and flute have some reminiscence with Trespass-era Genesis. Otherwise Audience's music is more blues flavoured like the early Jethro Tull. Vocalist-guitarist Howard Werth has a voice reminiscent of Mick Jagger, Van Morrison or Robert Plant.

The most appreciated album of this fairly short-lived band is undoubtedly the third one, House on the Hill, produced by Gus Dudgeon. In addition to the lengthy title track, a prog listener might be charmed in particular by the many- sided instrumental 'Raviolé', which in its Baroque nuances remind me of focus and Anthony Phillips. Rough songs like 'kackdaw' and 'Nancy' are like missing link between the rock'n'roll of The Rolling Stones and the prog of Jethro Tull or VdGG with their sophisticated arrangements. The strong interpretation of the old Jay Hawkins number 'I Put a Spell on You' is IMHO better than Arthur Brown's version three years earlier.

Despite good reviews the album sold poorly, and after the weak fourth album Lunch (1972) the band collapsed, although in 2004 they made a comeback, in a live context only.

Matti | 4/5 |


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