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Nektar - Recycled CD (album) cover

RECYCLED

Nektar

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.75 | 223 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Environmentally friendly

Released in 1975, "Recycled" was light years ahead of its time in terms of the message it contained. Apparently inspired by all the throw away plastic cups, packaging etc. in the studio, the album conveys the "save the planet" message which even today is struggling to be heard.

The recordings were mainly undertaken in France but, as with a number of other British bands, (Jethro Tull and Uriah Heep for example), the band were not particularly happy there, and returned to the UK to complete the album. Beatles engineer Geoff Emrick originally mixed the album but the band were not entirely satisfied with the finished product. They therefore secured funding from their record label to commission the services of the English Chorale. The album was then remixed, and further overdubs added.

An interesting aspect of the album was the guest performance of Moog synthesiser pioneer Larry Fast, this being one of the first albums to feature "polyphonic" moog sounds.

The original Geoff Emrick mix can now be heard in full on the remastered version of the CD in the form of "bonus tracks". It is very much a matter of taste which version you prefer, both have their own appeal, and of course the actual music is identical.

Although there are eleven titles on the album, there are effectively two tracks, and even then the split was only down to the logistics demanded by having two sides to an LP. The tracks flow seamlessly together, with various themes recurring throughout. Part one nominally consists of seven short tracks, but when heard as a complete piece, it is a wonderful, fast moving suite. There are suggestions of Yes, in particular the guitar of Steve Howe, on "Automaton horrorscope", and of Genesis on "Recycling". I was also reminded at times of Beggars Opera's excellent first album at times. The final track of part one "Unendless imagination?" brought to mind Utopia's "Ra" album, the pace finally relenting for the first time towards the more ambient, twinkly end of the track.

Part two opens with a reprise of the mood music which closed part one before bursting into life again for " São Paulo sunrise", apparently an ironic title reflecting the obliteration of the sun's light in that polluted city. The track veers towards the country rock of Crosby Stills and Nash, the following "Costa del Sol" having echoes of Home's magnificent "The alchemist".

"Recycled" has many of the ingredients which make for a great prog album. On first listening, it is thoroughly enjoyable with toe tapping melodies, strong hooks, and excellent production. This perhaps is where it is the album is slightly flawed, it is rather commercial. The instant accessibility of the music belies an underlying lack of depth which means after repeated playing, the album loses rather than gains appeal.

In summary, a thoroughly enjoyable album, even if it is in prog terms is a bit of a Bimbo.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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