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Clouds - Up Above Our Heads CD (album) cover




Prog Related

3.51 | 22 ratings

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4 stars The first ever symphonic prog album ? It probably is !

For some very strange reason, this album was only released in the USA and Canada back in 1969 and only made available 1. November 2010 (some weeks ago) both here in Europe and on CD (as a part of the 2 CD box Up Above Our Heads which also include the two other albums). I have no clue why. Anyway...........

The music on this album is cobbled together with some songs from Scrapbook which the band was not happy with (did not reflect their playing abilities, according to the band) and some new tunes. The music here is a mix of jazz improvisations and the type of symphonic prog workouts Keith Emerson copied over to The Nice and ELP. The songs are pretty cleverly put together too. My version of this album is from the above mentioned box and hence; the sound is crystal clear. The vocals are great (typical 1960s), the drummer drums for dear life and does it wonderfully. The bass too is excellent. The leading instrument are the Hammond organ too and Billy Ritchie creates an absolute wonderful sound and vibe with his Hammond. His solos here is worthy the whole album itself. They are in fact jaw dropping and exhilerating.

Having included the best of Scrapbook on this album in addition to some new great songs plus added some extra solos on this stuff, it goes without saying this album is really pulling the heart strings on any symphonic prog fan. This album is indeed a good reminder why I started to love this type of music in the first place. My only gripe is the lack of a really outstanding track. And that and the fact I wish I was a fly on the wall when Keith Emerson was listening to this album for the first time is my only gripes with this album.

4 stars

toroddfuglesteg | 4/5 |


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