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David Bedford - Star Clusters, Nebulae & Places in Devon / The Song of the White Horse CD (album) cover


David Bedford


Crossover Prog

3.14 | 7 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

After an almost six year break, where he produced early-80's pop music, Bedford returns to his then-abandoned solo career, with another 'grandiose' concept cosmic album that comprises two orchestral sidelong suites, that can be considered a mix of symphonic and avant-garde music the whole thing being sprinkled with a sometimes heavy dose of new age. Actually, given the time of release (early 80's), this is rather surprising a release, given its 'progressive' nature, but then again the mainstream pop current probably didn't give a hoot.

In some ways, the album can easily be the target of ridicule arrows, both on the pop side, but also the prog side, because some of the passages are bloody cheesy and kitsch. But on the whole, I think there is certain amount of respect that comes from this project from both sides, because given the means developed, this was quite a daring bet for release. Not sure Bedford saw immediate financial rewards from this oeuvre, but I'm rather certain he prides himself of the birth of these two pieces. Sometimes close to Kubrick's 2001 soundtrack music, it can go to slightly dissonant lengths (but never shocking), but in general, the listener will remember the choral passages and the symphonic orchestral arrangements to back them up; and let's face it: this is about as fine as it gets, despite its grandiloquent dimension. More than once, you'll also be reminded of Floyd's Atom Heart Mother's title track suite, and that's definitely a compliment.

If I must give the closest Bedford works to the present, I'd no doubt say that Ancient Mariner is the one, but in some ways, we're more between Stars' End and AM, than we are between AM and Odyssey. But Places In Devon is definitely the best place to start on Bedford's musical realm, and in some ways, it is also the pinnacle of his career.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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