Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Strange Days - 9 Parts To The Wind CD (album) cover


Strange Days

Prog Folk

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Residing somewhere between SUPERTRAMP, GENESIS, 10CC and STRAWBS is this English one-shot from 1975. It's an album that grew on me after initial apathy, but on revisiting it I find it to be like the middling efforts of the above groups, in other words, there is plenty to like but a bit too much of it is not particularly noteworthy.

Tracks like the two openers "Nine Parts to the Wind"and "Be Nice to Joe Soap" are clever enough but also a bit too much in the province of the novelty song, while "Monday Morning" shows the rocking side of the group that might have best been left unexposed, not that it is bad, but it is clearly not a strength.

But the longer tracks show some brilliance in composition, songwriting, and development, and are truly progressive in a folk rock sort of way, even lyrically. The presence of good vocals, melodic acoustic and electric guitars, and organ dominated keyboards enhance "The Journey" and "The Unanimous Decision" in particular, while the closer "18 Tons" is also noteworthy, and not just for mentioning "hard core porn of the dirtiest form" in 1975.

The suites even include several forays into dance hall style (with my favourite segment in which is pronounced "In the business there aren't many of us left"), in a manner approached by contemporaries Decameron ("Jan" on "Mammoth Special") but considerably more wholeheartedly. I hear some of "The Battle of Epping Forest" in the lengthier vocal oriented sections in the level of verbosity and the backing, but that is one of my least favourite Genesis songs so forgive me if I think Strange Days handles the style better.

I see there is a Japanese CD release with 2 bonus tracks, but my comments pertain to the LP with its six original songs. It's not a strong 4 stars, but there is much to like here for the fans of Genesis-influenced symphonic with a heart of folk.

Report this review (#126502)
Posted Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I do not agree that Strange Days are Progressive-Folk , but, i do agree that like Wallenstein's No More Love, and Jail's You Can Help Me, their album 9 Parts To The Wind just cries out to be more recognized, and deserves to have been huge. I discovered this rare gem quite by accident, really, as a stray used lp in 1988, years after it's initial release in '75.

I find that Strange Day's influences are a challenge to quickly isolate and pin down-they are a curious mixture of styles that unite in a unique way, and the group ends up quite an individual entity-if i had to put a label on them, though, i would say they are Symphonic Prog. They are progressive, but with a lighter rock element that should have made them more accessible to non progressive listeners-again a sound that could have appealed to a wider and bigger audience. But we are talking 1975 for a debut album, not 1969 or 1970-and thus easier to be lost in time. More a matter of bad timing than lack of quality music.

Especially noteworthy is the keyboard player Eddie Spence, who is a natural musician in his element just as much as a big name like Keith Emerson, and wrongly obscured by time.

The group's lyrics are as individual as their meshing of musical styles-everything from a kid having control-freak parents, pornography, the struggles of a union, finding work in a depressed economy, and (i think) homosexuality. The whole thing leaves you wishing that you could sort of go back to 1975, and fully reconnect with the time and the music-imagine having seen them live! This well remastered album is a precious thing-five stars.

Report this review (#262750)
Posted Tuesday, January 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Got this LP a few days ago. It is a pleasure to make a conclusion now - here is another progressive-rock masterpiece has been discovered here, wondering how come it so a little known. There is another tragically obscured group. I would rather call it sympho?prog with some touches of folk-prog. To get rough idea - it is wonderful mix of Genesis, Wallenstein, Strawbs and Octopus (Ger) with whimsically catchy melodies, featuring beautiful keyboards/guitar interplay and story-telling vocal. Some pop-rock elements are present as well, but they are in a form that won't disappoint prog listeners. Fans of mentioned above groups will be very pleased definitely. Five stars, no doubts! Progressively yours. Dreamfish
Report this review (#481256)
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars If Fruupp melded with Nursery Cryme-era Genesis, and were then tasked with writing a pop-prog album to compete with the likes of Supertramp, the end result might be something like this sole album release by Strange Days. From the opening title track onwards, the band present progressive stuck with a highly theatrical style, a comparatively simple musical backing that keeps proceedings accessible, and whimsical and eccentric vocals. I suspect that, much like England after them, whether or not you dig Strange Days will hinge a lot on whether you find these vocals charmingly entertaining or irritatingly grating.

Another common feature that Strange Days have with England is emerging slightly too late for their sound to make an impact; just as England were throwbacks to where the prog scene stood in 1972-1973, Strange Days have a sound which might have been more groundbreaking back in the early prog days of 1970 but by 1975 had been rather left behind by the scene. This, and the fact that by 1975 it was already becoming difficult for new prog acts comprised of fresh, unproven talent to break their way into commercial success, undoubtedly accounts for the album being overlooked for so long - a fate it doesn't really deserve.

Report this review (#1134471)
Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars Sometimes they appear, like ghosts from a foggy past, the forgotten albums by even more forgotten groups. Often enough these faint echoes of yesteryear would be better off buried but then again there are gasps of life, beauty and brilliance in the music created. The lone album of Strange Days is one such example of that brilliance.

While 1975 and the following years of that decade treated progressive rock in a less amiable way than the previous, excellent music was created. England's "Garden shed" from 1977 is one and "9 parts to the wind" is equally a splendid showcase for prog from the latter half of the decade.

The music on "9 parts..." is as elaborate as anything from the classic days and bolster a musical landscape that does not sound dated. It sounds fresh and exciting, just like classic Yes (for instance).

The music is a mixture of Yes, England, Supertramp and other bands in that vein. That means that the music is intricate, melodious, challenging and blessed with an occasional pop feeling. Instrumentally it is flawless. The vocals may be different from what you are accustomed to but they are actually a perfect fit for the music.

The title track is absolutely brilliant in a Supertramp styled kind of way. It is a pop flavored piece of progressive music of the highest calibre and could well have been a hit back in the day. The longer tracks tend to be the best. Epic and built from multiple musical bits and pieces, blended together in the most delicious fashion.

Conclusion: This is a piece of prog history. Though buried for the overwhelming part of it's existence, the album sounds as fresh and exciting as ever. You really ought to pick it up.

Report this review (#1236512)
Posted Wednesday, August 6, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 stars really

One of the forgotten groups who gone under the radar in the glorious '70s is for sure the british Starange Days. Despite the unknown status , they managing to release a quite good album in 1975 who turned to be their only one. 9 parts to the wind is the title of the album and is a pleasent ride if you like bands like Kestrel, Druid, Supertramp Fruupp and alike. The music is well played and melodic , sometimes keyboard orientated sometimes poppy based on vocal department but all in all all pieces have clearly a progressive rock direction. All pioeces stands as good, with a plus on first 2, at least for me. So, a fairly good album and definetly needs attention to prog lovers, some of the musicians involved were active after the disbanding of Strange Days, for example the keyboardist Eddie Spence was invited to join the excellent Gordon Giltrap band, or the drumer Eddie McNeirl was part of the band Illusion (who had members from Renaissance), the rest pretty much gone unnoticed. 3 solid stars rounded to 3.5 , a fairly decent and enjoyble release by this obscure group. Nice art wok awell.

Report this review (#1538158)
Posted Friday, March 11, 2016 | Review Permalink

STRANGE DAYS 9 Parts To The Wind ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of STRANGE DAYS 9 Parts To The Wind

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


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

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

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.