Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Quiet Sun - Mainstream CD (album) cover


Quiet Sun


Canterbury Scene

4.24 | 283 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars During a lull in the Roxy Music circus troupe's lengthy 70s run, guitarist Phil Manzanera took the unusual step of revisiting an old previously un-recorded group. Reconstituting Quiet Sun with a line-up that included keyboardist Dave Jarrett, bassist Bill MacCormick and drummer Charles Hayward, he scored a most unlikely triumph (well in a musical sense, not a commercial one!). Quiet Sun's only album is as far away from Roxy Music's standard fare as you can get, being a more overtly progressive set of barn-storming jazz-rock that is not dissimiliar to the efforts of say Hatfield And The North. In fact, this ironically titled album is nothing short of a lost Canterbury classic.

The opener Sol Caliente is a particular highlight, a triumphant spacey jazz-rock exploration ... driving yet unpredictable, quirky yet focussed, it is full of visceral playing from Manzanera and Jarrett. Trumpet With Motherhood is no more than a slight detour ... a brief electric piano/guitar feedback ride, before the band slowly builds into the back-breaking, eternally writhing Bargain Classics, on which Dave Jarrett turns in a momumental keyboard performance that ranks him momentarily alongside those other Canterbury keyboardist Daves ... Stewart and Sinclair.

R.F.D. is another stunner, all atmospheric swirling organ and jazz-inflected electric piano (actually in addition to Jarrett, both Manzanera and Hayward are also credited with playing keyboards, so I can't be sure who's doing what) to create that otherworld feeling we all know and love. Perhaps my favourite track of all is Mummy Was An Asteroid, Daddy Was A Small Non-Stick Kitchen Utensil (there's a title for you!) which brings agression back to the table, with Manzanera's impressive guitar work and a blistering classical keyboard solo (presumably from Jarrett) really stealing the show. A nod too to Hayward's exciting work on the drums.

Trot starts off as a doozy of a psychedelic ride with Manzanera's acidic guitar lines (more than once I was reminded of Robbie Krieger of the Doors) teasing life out of a repeated keyboard figure before a delightful lyrical piano solo unfolds. The raucous guitar that closes out the piece only underlines the unpredictablity of this great album. The curtain closes with Rongwrong, which is certainly an atypical finish, as it is a somewhat lighter piece (despite being the album's longest). It is a strange variety of piano dominated progressive pop (imagine a more adventurous Supertramp trying to make Syd Barrett-like melodies) with rather poor vocals ... courtesy of MacCormick, I believe. He may not do the job as a vocalist, but he definitely stars with an enormous, well-supported bass solo. Despite not quite fitting in with the mood of the rest of the album, I see it as more proof of the impressive array of skills that Quiet Sun possessed.

A true lost classic, I think this album is much better than any single album Manzanera cut with Roxy Music. If anything, despite belonging firmly in the Canterbury camp, Mainstream is a little more spacey and a little more symphonic, than yer "average" Canterbury masterpiece. A real treat awaits you here, folks! ... 78% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this QUIET SUN review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives