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The Collectors - The Collectors CD (album) cover

THE COLLECTORS

The Collectors

 

Proto-Prog

4.17 | 50 ratings

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BrufordFreak
5 stars Where has this album been hiding? I am blown away by the passion, maturity, and confidence exuded throughout every aspect of this album! Too bad Canadian music had such trouble gaining access to US-UK markets and marketing machines, cuz this is some powerful stuff--so far ahead of its time! Yes, the band is launching from the sound and in-your-face sound of The Doors, but the lyrical and compositional experimentalism shown here is so far beyond anything else I've heard before this. This is progressive rock, synthesizing elements of blues, rock, classical, jazz, folk, with incredibly incisive and confrontational social-political commentary in ways that many bands in the early "prog" era will only dream of. Plus, there is a full-length, multi-part, side-long epic on Side Two! How many other full-side 19-minute epics can you point out in or before 1968???! How is this not prog? How is this relegated to "Proto-Prog"? And it's a debut album!

1. "What Is love" (3:45) sparsely-backed organ and picked electric guitar over which vocalist Howie Vickie and church choir-like supporters ponder the definition of love. Such sensitivity; such a powerful vocal presence--and with David Clayton-Thomas-like passion! (9/10)

2. "She (Will Of The Wisp)" (3:45) simple folk-rock weave with more multi-voice vocals in the realm of church angels over bass, snare, acoustic guitars, and flute. Pretty. (8.75/10)

3. "Howard Christman's Older" (5:10) a fascinating story with a supernatural sci-fi theme and music that builds from sparsity to heavy psychedelia over and over. Reminds me of the sound of many of today's Psychedelic/Space Rock bands. (10/10)

4. "Lydia Purple" (2:45) the Baroque pop psychedelia that was so popular in this era from bands like The Mamas and Papas, The Association, and The Buckinghams, and which informs so much of early YES and GENESIS. (9.5/10)

5. "One Act Play" (3:40) a gem of a song, perfection in sound, composition, performance, and engineering. Almost a Paul Anka or Andy Williams vocal. (10/10)

6. "What Love" (19:15) mostly slow and vocal-centric, the Indian-influenced and Jefferson Airplane-reminiscent musical palette does occasionally vary and build dynamically (for example, the excellent jazz-guitar-centered passage in the fourth and fifth minutes which is then followed by a kind of RAVEL "Bolero"-like section, and then the aggressive WHO/STONES/DOORS-like passage in the 11th minute--which is then contrasted by the following Gregorian chant-like passage). But, once again, it is the passionate vocal and timeless, issue-piercing lyrics that keeps the listener on edge, enrapt. (That is, the predominance of masculine perspectives in our intellectual and cultural interpretations of "love".) I find myself quite often reminded of Tim Buckley during this performance. Also Aphrodite Child's classic 666 album. (35/40)

Total Time: 38:20

A-/five stars; in my opinion, this is one of the earliest masterpiece representations of all that is meant by the term "progressive rock music." Brilliant! and so brave!

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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