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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - The Zodiac - Cosmic Sounds CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.95 | 33 ratings

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3 stars What a trip! A one time studio project by professional studio musicians. A concept album about the signs of the zodiac. There is no singing. All the vocals are narrator Cyrus Faryar reading poems about each sign. The music is generally mid-60s West Coast psych rock. Most of the instrumentation is of it's era: guitars, bass, drums, organ, harpsichord, flute, sitar, tabla, etc. The big exception being the Moog synthesizer. This album features some of the earliest use of Moog in a non-academic field. The Monkees had an album with Moog before this, but it was only used on two songs. The Moog here is played by Paul Beaver of the electronic pioneering duo Beaver & Krause.

Although this is technically "psychedelic" music, it is performed by skilled studio musicians. For 1967 this album sounds great. Better sounding than a Beatles or Doors album from the same year. One of the members of the Moody Blues described this as the first psychedelic album. That statement isn't too far off the mark, but the first psych album was the debut of The 13th Floor Elevators a year before. This is actually one of the first 'proto-prog' albums. A good one too.

"Taurus" has a great bass line done on Moog for the whole song. Not only does this album feature some of the earliest use of synth, but very well the first example of synth bass; long before people like Stevie Wonder and Gary Wright were doing bass lines of synthesizer. With the Moog bass is some nice flute playing. A bass guitar doubles with the Moog bass about halfway through. "Cancer" has great guitar and some trippy Moog sounds. "Scorpio" has marching drums. Also a good riff/melody done on guitar and organ.

Overall a really good proto-prog album. Not something you would want to listen to everyday, but a great artifact from the late 1960s. 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |


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