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Beggars Opera - Waters of Change  CD (album) cover


Beggars Opera


Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 177 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars One of the more interesting proto-prog albums, this one has instant appeal for the mellotron and Hammond lover, as there are lashings of both all over it. Beggar's Opera's style is hard to define. Though there are many symphonic moments and an occasional Scottish folk influence, Martin Griffiths' vocals are the defining aspect of the band's sound, and they are definitely an acquired taste (his vocals on their cover of MacArthur Park on Pathfinder are WAAY over the top). His ultra-melodramatic style actually nudges the band over towards the pomp rock of Queen at times...perhaps BO were a proto prog pomp band. At any rate, they sound more original than other bands like Fantasy, Gracious! and Cressida from the same period. The compositions are generally strong, as is the electric guitar soloing of Ricky Gardiner. The highlight of the album for me is an atmospheric instrumental, Nimbus, featuring some beautiful mellotron and almost E-bowish sustained guitar notes. Fortunately, the Nice-ish classical aspirations of the first album, Act One, are mostly absent here, with more emphasis on songwriting. Hence, this is the band's strongest album, just edging out Pathfinder, and I can easily recommend it to anyone looking for some quality early British prog...just watch out for those vocals.
Heptade | 4/5 |


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