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Aragon - Rocking Horse - And Other Short Stories From The Past CD (album) cover





3.91 | 69 ratings

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5 stars I have to agree with SouthSideoftheSky here in saying that the pre-Don't Bring the Rain demos collected on Rocking Horse are truly excellent, and I'm also baffled that fantastic songs such as Rocking Horse or Ghosts weren't included on the band's debut album. Had these pieces been released in the latter half of the 1980s, when they were originally recorded, the entire history of the band might have been very different and they might have been held in much greater esteem than that they enjoy today.

Combining a Marillion-inspired theatrical neo-prog approach - singer Les Dougan rivals Fish when it comes to emotionally expressive vocals in the neo mould - with more prominent and varied keyboard work, at points drawing more on the progressive electronic genre than on the symphonic prog keyboardists most neo-proggers found inspiration in, the band come up with a truly original and haunting sound which is express perfectly in the songs collected here. It's rare that I feel inclined to give what is essentially an odds-and-sods collection a high mark, but in this case I feel compelled to. The band's decision to hold back this material - only releasing it after the neo-prog high water mark had come and gone - must surely go down as one of the greatest strategic blunders on the part of any neo-prog band.

Warthur | 5/5 |


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