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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Love Proge 2 CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Label Samplers)


Various Genres

4.02 | 3 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another compillation of Love Lecords label focusing to their prog rock releases was a very pleasant double CD to get familiar with. There are several tracks from each artists, and the flow of songs are logical by their release years, band member relations and stylistic transitions.

The early days are introduced with three Blues Section tracks, opening with experimental "Shivers of Pleasure", originating from B-side of their Jimi Hendrix influenced "Hey Hey Hey" hit single. "Sun of Love" is a jazzy ballad residing on the B-side of single "Faye", which would have been interesting to be heard also, as this second single had Frank Robson on vocals, Jim Pembroke been already left to make plans of the upcoming group Wigwam, which refreshingly is not present on this presentation, focusing to other artists with lesser fame. Next two tracks are from rare fourth album released by Love Records, "Perspectives 68 - Music in Finland". The Blues Section track titled "Football" was written by their saxophonist, and it starts as joke pop song without any real lyrics. There are later some more experimental and aggressive psychedelic rock sequences, and I felt the tune was only opening and warming up, as it is faded out. The other track from this compilation is Erkki Kureniemi's "Antropoidien Tanssi" (The Dance of The Anthropoids). An excerpt of this composition can be heard on Wigwam's "Tombstone Valentine" album introducing song "Frederick and Bill". I believe as such intro this piece of work works more pleasantly, as though the vintage sounds are funny, the mathematically organized noise does not feel very comfortable listening experience in spite of its uniqueness.

Focus is turned to Tasavallan Presidentti's first single. It's B-side "Obsolete Machine" is a bit obsolete addition in my opinion, as this cut doesn't differ from the album track, being though a good song. "Time Alone with You" hasn't been re-released before this album, and the track is decent, happy and fast song resembling stylistically the tunes of their first very fine studio album. After this there are more rarities from Blues Section, as the band recorded two new tracks for a compilation album "Reunion" in 1970, both songs being instrumental from a line-up without a singer. "Lucy Jane" runs about eight minutes, and it's full of adventurous and groovy jazz rock jammings, being quite psychedelic and interesting, though it ends up irritatingly with a fade out during a solo. "For Mods Only" has a more tighter saxophone theme, and the sound structure isn't as open than in the previous track. There's also another track from this "Reunion" vinyl here, and it's in the end of the first CD: "The Dish" by group Soulset. The famous drummer Edward Vesala played on this line-up, and his ethnic influenced drumming is truly the soul of this music along with Mike Koskinen's trumpet. These qualities make the track resemble a bit of the late 1960's and early 1970's Miles Davis sounds.

Following song is from Swedish band Atlantic Ocean (featuring Björn J.Son Lindh & Sten Bergman). They got a single released through CBS, but they refused to release their long player album. These tapes got to Love Records office, and they released their LP "Tranquility Bay" in 1970. "Weather: Snow/Wind/Sun" is nearly twenty minutes long, and it starts with a long early Pink Floyd resembling impressionistic sequence. The composition continues as funny bluesy rock, which evolves through open and loose instrumental logics. Along with some classical piano movements, there are some Jade Warrior resembling ethnic feelings, culminating as quite promising epic track. I believe hunting down the "Tranquility Bay" album would be a worthy task. The group Tylympi Kohtalo (Ruder Fate) released only one single, and it is re-released here completely. The name of the A-side song "Popparienkeli" has grown famous, as it was adopted as for a name of a famous record shop. Musically this single wasn't very progressive or even pleasant, being more like primitive groovy rock. I think that the main focus here were the bit filthy lyrics, which were probably unconventional during the releasing time.

The second CD starts with an album track pick from the group Pepe & Paradise. "Tuuleen Kylväjä". The composition is a bit jumpy and chaotic, phasing from from faster jazz rock sequences to more calmer moments. Another glance to Tasavallan Presidentti leads to their later line-up with Eero Raittinen on vocals. Sadly the magnificent A-Side of the single "Sisältäni Portin Löysin" has been omitted, and only the B-side "Selvä Näkijä" is preserved here. This track resembles quite much their song "Confusing the Issue" from their "Milky Way Moses" album. Though it is quite fine, I think that their version of Pekka Streng's psychedelic folk song not heard here is really fabulous, much stronger and visionary than the original song.

Then there are three rare tracks from the band Finnforest. These songs are their first recordings, and they were not done originally for Love Records. The beginning of the A-side of the first single "Tyhjyyteen Syvyyteen" sounds little like Wigwam's "Losing Hold" intro. Otherwise it's a bit poorly sung fast rock song with groovy guitars and keyboards. The B-side's "Sanomaton Kirkkaus" is more softer tune with beautiful psychedelic lyrics. "Hanhilampi" is from same recording sessions, and it was released on a compilation called "Rock'n'Roll Juhlaa 2". This track is a heavy bluesy number with very silly lyrics. These early recordings of this band are quite clearly influenced by Wigwam, and their sound is not yet very jazzy. Quite interesting tracks to listen however. At the end of the CD there is still another single of this band re-released, this being from year 1976. During this time there were only two members in the band, so the songs were recorded in studio with several takes. I think this affects the music, as the real interaction from musicians is missing. "Ketto" introduces their sound which is dominated by loud synths, sounding slightly disturbing to my ears. The composition is calm and has a peaceful melody. "Tekee Meisseliä" (!) is more groovy rock tune with keyboard driven themes and good drums. Next rare single is from the year 1973 and from a group called Magyar. I wonder if the name refers to a cheap wine used by Finns for economic boozing? Both "Autiolla kadulla nimettömässä kaupungissa" and "Tänään iltapäivällä" are dominated by funny flutes and a saxophones, making these resemble a softer incarnation of Black Widow. Both songs are very similar, and the lyrics are committing to social issues.

The attention is then drawn to a selection of rarer tracks from the fabulous Charlies, and I curse my copy loaned from the library, as just these three tracks are quite much ruined by a deep surface scratch of a CD. These are the last recordings of the band from 1970's, the group reunited like Tasavallan Presidentti has done. Two of these tracks were released on the Love Records compilation "Rock'n'Roll Juhlaa 2". "Karjakko Moisio" has a country music theme on it, and this is not musically maybe the most best material of the band that I have heard, though the lyrics are warmhearted. "Ohutta Yläpilveä" is a slow ballad, having also country oriented steel guitar solo (maybe country music destroyed the band?). "Pikku Musta" is from the same session as the previous tracks, but it hasn't been released earlier yet. This song is driven by acoustic guitar, bass and flute, and there are no drums on it.

Then, "Sanni Blue" is the A-side of the single from group Session. The song is fast psychedelic oriented rock composition with good percussions, but the singing is very painful to listen. I think that the B-side of the single was re-released on the earlier "Love Proge" compilation. Following is heard Hector's King Crimson cover "Tuulet Kirkuu Hautoihin", trying to interpret Peter Sinfield's poetic visions of "Epitaph" with Finnish lyrics. The words are not translated very exactly, but their idea is restored quite faithfully. The performance isn't good as the original, and there aren't Mellotrons used for the symphonic layers, but I believe this is an interesting tune to listen for Finnish prog fans.

The next rare single is from the band Nova. The A-side's "Käytävä" sounds bit like a shorter version of their longer keyboard driven album tracks, though there are some more dynamic elements here. The B-side is another mix of the painful bluesy "Kaupungin Naiset" rant, leaving the single as an interesting anecdote but not as interesting as the monumental LP. Following single cut is from year 1975 by the band Kummitus. The A-side "Kalman Koura" has been omitted, but if it is similar as the B- side "Kuoleman Liekki", the loss is not great, as that track sounds quite conventional rock of the 1970's without any really artistic elements.

After these the CD introduces an album pick "Absurdi Balladi" from Pihasoittajt. I'm not very familiar with this band, so I don't know is the album presented here rare. The track is quite soft and folk influenced rock, maybe little resembling early 1970's Fairport Convention sounds. As a funny anecdote, the band performed at the Eurovision contest during year 1975, reaching 7th position. Then we hear a performance of the classic Shadows track "Apache" by a band Mescalero, which didn't release anything else except this single. The track is a guitar driven instrumental song, and actually it's quite good. Sadly the B-side with an original composition is omitted from here.

On a whole I think this compilation was a bit more better than its predecessor "Love Proge", as there are less conventional album picks here, and quite interesting and rare singles not found easily elsewhere. One thing which I criticize about realizing this compilation is the changing policy of choosing either A or B sides or both here. The most ideal solution would have been a creation of "Love Proge: Singles" with always both sides included. But some of the rare single tracks here are bit poorer as songs, so I would suggest this album for those who are interested generally of Finnish prog scene of the 1970's, and especially fans of Blues Section and Finnforest get lots to listen from this release. A funny anecdote is also the CD covers which were drawn by Finnish cartoonist Juho Juntunen, describing his deep insight of the world of progressive rock music culture.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 4/5 |


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