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Gracious - Gracious ! CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 182 ratings

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mystic fred
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Gracious!......!!!

......was one of many good albums vying for one's cash in 1970 amid a host from many other excellent bands, very stiff competition - though this deserved better! A fine album, an excellent example of British early Prog - great sound quality, adventurous though certain influences from major bands abound. Originally released on the still new "Vertigo" label, it is otherwise known as the "exclamation mark" album by collectors. Thanx to Akarma (vinyl copy) we are again able to enjoy this interesting album, especially if you're a a lover of keyboards, they abound on here - harpsichord, piano, mellotron, organ, though not swamped or overdone, and a collection of very good songs which stand up well today.

The first tracks "Intro" (very catchy song), "Heaven" and "Hell" form something of a suite and contain intelligent use of the aforementioned instruments, they contain good melodies and make great listening, though comparisons with "The Moody Blues" on "Heaven" are valid, the vocal arrangements are very similar. The song is mainly instrumental and builds into an almost classical finale. "Hell", as you would guess, starts off with stepped keyboard notes taking you "down" the note-steps into a completely different, dark mood, and keybords reminiscent of "Rare Bird's" "Flight", very ("mello"?) dramatic, as you would expect "Hell" to be! The piece ends in a bar-room style/megaphone-vocal finale, everyone having a jolly good time in Hell, including dancing the "Can Can"!! (??) The comparisons to King Crimson are also evident in this song.

"Fugue in D Minor" is an instrumental, as you would expect a classical piece on the Harpsichord, very beautiful indeed, i like this track a lot being a fan of classical music but it may not appeal to all. The final track on the album "The Dream" crashes in, then you hear a snippet of Beethoven's "Moonlight" piano sonata which drifts into a dreamy echoey vocal chorus bidding you all "Goodnight", the song then kicks into a jazzy, bluesey instrumental piece like a jam which includes some fine guitar and keyboard solos with spoken interludes reminiscent of "The Crazy World of Arthur Brown", and even a snippet from "Hey Jude" - cheeky! Only the kitchen sink is missing from this piece, and does he get his "dream girl"?? Not sure where they were going with this, it seems to be all over the place, i did suggest a jam, but it does make very interesting listening! Overall an excellent album for any Prog collection.....Goodnight!!

mystic fred | 4/5 |


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