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5 stars

This is one of the best pieces of jazz-fusion out there. IAN CARR's trumpet work is top notch on this album and the band plays flawlessly as well. The opener track is a very catchy tune with an excellent bass line and CARR's excellent trumpet work. This album reminds me of a funkier THIRD by SOFT MACHINE. If you're deciding which album to introduce yourself to NUCLEUS to, get this album! You wont be disappointed. Excellent album, masterpiece of the fusion genre.

Report this review (#42770)
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
5 stars The apex of British jazz-rock fusion so hot, that your speakers will simply melt and your brains will have fried much before that. Un-mistakably the best album of Nucleus but also in the top 5 of all fusion albums including Miles, Mahavishnu etc.... If Elastic Rock (their debut) had given the tone both musically but pictorially also with the incredible Roger Dean cut-out cover of magma/lava about to burst out in the open, it is clear that this album betters it by not one notch but three.

"We'll talk about it later" is somehow not the best title for this album as this is a definitive statement if fusion. The sleeve artwork is again a Roger Dean gatefold cut-out work but not as impressive as the debut but the centre photos is about the Irish uprising in 1916, a recurrent theme in early Nucleus albums (four tracks over the first three albums). The power exudes from every one of these tracks and Bearded Lady , Sun Child , Oasis are incredibly hardcore but nowhere is this so evident than on the title track. In this track , Karl Jenkins saturates his organ to a level that even Banton, Lord, Emerson, Ratledge, Sinclair could not even imagine possible, but Chris Spedding comes in (like he does on the whole album ) with a brilliant guitar, subdued, awesomely restrained, powerful, fearful. In a word: Flabbergastingly breathless performance. The horn players can simply only sublimely accompany the Jenkins-Spedding duo , with John Marshall providing dantesque drumming, Clyne - although trying to add something simply gets drowned out in such a mass of molten and fused lava flowing from your speakers directly into your brains: orgasmic , orgiastic , stupendous!!!!!!!!!!

Side 2 is rather a different as it contains three tracks but Ballad Of Joe Pimp , while revisiting the title track is clearly under its own life with Carr and Smith blowing their horns as if their lives depended on it and the records closes on a Nucleus rarity: A sung track. Easter 1916 is the third time in two albums they revisit the Irish upheaval of the times and that will eventually lead to the Irish independence (well partially anyways as Ulster is still not freed). The lyrics are astounding somehow halfway sung halfway declaimed (almost as if to be disclaimed).

Very poignant end to a superb record, one of my top 5 of all time! Breathlessly beautiful and astoundingly flabbergasting ................words fail me...........Goose bumps and spine chills guaranteed. A must!!! No life can be complete before you heard this at ear-splitting level.

Report this review (#42943)
Posted Monday, August 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Nucleus step up a few gears, and even miss a couple, with the release of their second album, We'll Talk About It Later. The band, consisting of the same line up of Carr/Jenkins/Spedding/Clyne/Smith/Marshall, fuse their brand of British fusion with a little more aggresion and urgency but at the same time the band fail to contain the cohesive consistency of the Elastic Rock album. "Song For The Bearded Lady" literally kicks starts the album. Carr's fine trumpet line plays as an introdution before the band swagger through the tune with a funky groove and very cool riff. In fact Jenkins liked this structure so much he would revists it when he joined Soft Machine as it would form the nucleus of the massive "Hazard Profile" on the Bundles album. Chris Spedding must take credit for his work here. His guitar comes alive throughout the recording with a wide array of effects and sweet and mean playing. But while he was inspired band leader Ian Carr is not as constructive as he was on the debut album. Obviously he gives it as much as he can but I sense that he was being overshadowed by both Carl Jenkins and Chris Spedding. Though on "Lullaby For A Lonely Child" the band really draw on all they can muster to make it a memorable piece of jazz rock before the dirty sleaze of the title track. Of course with the good comes the strange. "Ballad Of Joe Pimp" is strange due to fact that there is a vocal on it! Though this does not come off that exciting, and being a big riff like tune it may have passed off well hidden on Black Sabbath's eclectic Never Say Die (no joking). But its place here is rather questionable. If the track, sung poorly, was meant to carry a sense of humour it fails, but the band continued to go down a unclear path with "Easter 1916" by, again, having a lyric that is neither here nor there and then vanishes somewhere... but the end of the track is some wild free jazz but sounds more forced than free. All in all the second Nucleus album hits the energetic heights missed by the first one. But the lack of consistency, though perthaps it may be only subtle, is a draw back in areas. The production leaves a lot to be desired and that extra needed dynamic is never there for an auaral ride, just to give the music that extra needed punch.
Report this review (#43573)
Posted Saturday, August 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Carl floyd fan
5 stars This is oozing with passion! These guys are from another world, just insane musicianship. I can't even grasp this album completely and its not even like its overly complex like magma, just dripping with intensity through the use of instruments, as this is mostly an instrumental affair. How this escapes most baby boomers lists as favorite early 70s classic rock (and music in general) is beyond me..what were you older folks doing??? Why do they seem to be obscure these days?
Report this review (#54006)
Posted Sunday, October 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zac M
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Definitely a masterpiece of British Jazz-Rock/Fusion along with Neil Ardley's amazing Kaleidoscope of Rainbows. Here, Nucleus appear a much tighter group. After their stunning first album, they decided to create this amazing follow-up, as if the first album wasn't great to begin with. I can't even express in words how highly I regard this album, truly Nucleus's finest effort.

The opening track is quite possibly the most famous Nucleus piece, and for a good reason. What a fantastic opener! By the way, for those who have heard Soft Machine's Bundles, Jenins decided to use the riff on "Song for the Bearded Lady" for "Hazard Profile Part 1." While this is by far my favorite piece on the album, the other ones are just as great; tons of wicked oboe, trumpet, guitar, etc.. pasages played by these virtuosos. This is, to my knowledge, the only Nucleus album with vocals, although they only appear on two tracks. Sure, they take some getting used to, but definitely do not affect the album in any negative way IMO. In fact, I think they even enhance the album, making it seem more coherent overall.

Although I do not think that this album is quite as good as the Neil Ardley album I mentioned earlier, this is a MUST for all fans of Jazz-Rock, a masterpiece of the genre. Buy it, now, you won't be disappointed! In fact, you can get this and the first album in a 2-CD set from BGO, so you have no excuse. Highly recommended, 5 stars, no doubt in my mind!

Report this review (#69743)
Posted Friday, February 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars Jazz / Fusion at it's best ! As the bio reveals, around ten members of NUCLEUS had left this band over the years to join SOFT MACHINE. Although NUCLEUS may not have made it commercially, they certainly created some of the best music i've ever heard. This album is my favourite from the band, and maybe not surprisingly it reminds me of Miles Davis a lot. This is NUCLEUS' second album and it's the same lineup from the debut. The songs here are much longer than what the debut offered up, and Jenkins is the prime song writer. I have to tell you that this album is absolutely incredible. If your into Miles Davis you need to check this one out.

The first song "Song For The Bearded Lady" opens with horns followed by a full sound. Check out the guitar playing with the bass and drums as horns play over top. Great sound ! I like when it settles before 2 minutes and Carr comes in sounding like Miles. The trumpet stops after 4 minutes but it still sounds amazing. Chunky bass and ever-present drums as the guitar not only lights it up but also gives us that wah-wah effect. Horns are back late to end it. "Sun Child" was written by Marshall and Clyne so expect some great bass and drumming here. The bass is fat while the horns are anything but melodic at times. Nice. Man I could listen to this all day. Marshall is so impressive here. Check out the guitar too ! Fantastic tune ! It settles some after 4 minutes but this is so good ! "Lullaby For A Lonely Child" features some atmosphere with lots of room for the instruments to breathe. Some bouzouki from Spedding as well. A mellow track.

"We'll Talk About it Later" is another highlight. Dark and atmospheric with bass and guitar taking their time. It starts to build 1 1/2 minutes in. Amazing sound ! Horns after 2 1/2 minutes sound so good. Check out Marshall a minute later. This is mind expanding music man. Killer track ! "Oasis" opens with cymbals, piano, aboe and smooth horns.This reminds me of WEATHER REPORT actually. The tempo picks up before 2 minutes. Nice bass as smooth horns continue.This is pleasant and enjoyable. The song starts to get more aggressive as the horns play over top. It settles back after 5 1/2 minutes. Aboe comes in late and leads. "Ballad Of Joe Pimp" is a very different song from the rest. It's a dark tune with lots of bottom end and vocals. Excellent tune.The last song "Easter 1916" also has vocals, although they are more words then singing.The sax / drum interplay is absolutely amazing in this song. The melancholic horns early are a reprise from "1916" (debut album).

A must for fans of SOFT MACHINE and Miles Davis.

Report this review (#96699)
Posted Wednesday, November 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars We'll Talk About it Later is a seamless continuation of the hot and liquid jazz-rock that Nucleus introduced on their debut. Few people will contest that it is their masterpiece. The line-up remained unchanged and the band found an unseen musical confidence and a fluency of interaction that dwarfed their nearest competitors.

The quality of the compositions is so high that even an amateur band would have a hard time turning them into anything less then a merely good album. With the superb musicianship of this band the obvious outcome is a masterpiece. But before you dive in expecting to hear the British version of Return to Forever, it might be a good idea explaining that the superb musicianship I'm hinting at isn't about flashy virtuoso playing, but rather about restraint, fluency, space, breath, feeling and interplay. It allows the band to open up their melodious compositions with intricate improvised parts.

In the ensuing years, trumpetist Ian Carr would take a leadership position in Nucleus but on this album the band is still a musical democracy, allowing every player his place in the sun. The resulting sound is very rocking, organic and slightly psychedelic, with Marshall's intuitive drum playing taking pole position and Jeff Clyne tightening up the sound with deep bass lines. Special points go to Spedding's unique guitar contributions that sound unlike any other player in jazz-rock. Karl Jenkins adds both electric piano and baritone sax. Carr's trumpet and Smith's tenor saxophone divide the remaining space between them.

We'll Talk About It Later is a brilliant album with attractive jazz music that pairs the energy of rock with strong melodies and engaging jazz musicianship. One of my top 5 jazz related masterpieces and highly recommended to fans of Miles Davis and the jazzy side of Soft Machine.

Report this review (#391756)
Posted Tuesday, February 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Got bored with ELASTIC ROCK and wondering what the fuss is with this Nucleus thing? Then try out WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT LATER, the debut with the amps turned up and a fiercer punch. Here's where Nucleus really cut loose on ''rocking'' without sacrificing any jazz semblances. I feel that guitarist Spedding and drummer Marshall are core to the Nucleus sound almost as much as the horns overhead and Karl Jenkins's writing; here, the guitar and drums really do push this album into that masterpiece status that seems to elude me.

You'll know if you've run into great territory if the opening moments jump out at you and make your eyelids wider. Nucleus waste no time in grabbing the listener's attention with ''Song for the Bearded Lady''; blaring on the opening notes, establishing a memorable riff (sounds like a variant of the ''1916'' motif from the last album), jamming without draining the power bar, throwing a jaunty, off-ball riff that fits well with the song, putting it all together at the end...great stuff. There's a reason why I single out the opener and that's because it sets the tone for the rest of the album as well as making sure the listener is paying attention.

I honestly can't find a track that is the overall low point here. Parts of tracks are weak like the ending of the album that just fizzles out into a drum solo; I like John Marshall's drumming, but it's not the best way to cap an album. Nucleus take the risk of throwing the odd vocal in there; ''1916 (Easter)'' starts out with the familiar theme (if you've heard the first album) but with gritty, angry vocals over it that just works. And ''The Ballad of Joe Pimp'' is entirely sung in a cool-but-not-offish way that adds charm to the track. ''Oasis'' has some tight interplay between the instruments over a great, choppy guitar riff. It reminds me of the title track from ANGHERR SHISSPA (Koenjihyakkei).

It sometimes takes tracks time to make sense. The title track was out of my comprehension for a long time until I really sat down and gave it an honest listen; there's a great climactic buildup in there, a quality of which I'm a sucker for. Add that to some of the grittiest, meanest playing on the album and you have a monster jazz-rocker. The whole album is any one of powerful, gritty, mean or funky except for ''Lullaby for the Lonely Child'', a smoother track that harkens to the debut, but with a warmer feel and more welcome to offset the madness.

If I could use one phrase to describe WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT LATER, ''one, huge, powerful jazz monster'' could sum it up. There's a good reason why this album is highly accoladed on PA, and if you like the jazz as processed by bands like Chicago, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frank Zappa, or the like, this album is pretty close to a must. The musicians on board are simply mindblowing not just in their playing ability but how well they mesh together to make the songs breathe. Other than a few slip-ups, one of the most brilliantly executed yet amazingly satsifying albums in jazz-rock.

Report this review (#552368)
Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Nucleus' second album has been hailed by many as a masterpiece of British jazz-rock and I can only fully concur! The parameters were set with the 1970 debut Elastic Rock and the same crew kicks it up a notch on 'We'll Talk About it Later', released the same year. Well, it's time to talk about it NOW! What an incredible and timeless piece of music this is! Tighter than a Republican Tax legislator, the flow of tidy compositions wreak impossible pleasure to the unaware audiophile, dense tapestries of brassy sound from the sax, oboe and trumpet, raucous guitar friction from axe God Chris Spedding and a taut rhythm section that steers the music brazenly forward. Even after 40 years, the material resonates with shimmering grace and elegance. Many ensuing bands listened fixedly and were duly inspired by the brilliant tunes laid down on this vital recording.

Blastoff with a rollicking Karl Jenkins composition 'Song for the Bearded Lady' which would be remodeled on the 1974 Bundles album as 'Hazard Profile 1', a pervasive riff that seeks to hypnotize and make comfortably numb, featuring some Ian Carr trumpet magic, Spedding's sexy guitar moans and some propulsive drumming from John Marshall, perhaps the most underrated drummer in prog. Thrill seekers will get their jollies here.

For those who worship the bass guitar altar, 'Sun Child' provides a Jeff Clyne platform to rumble front and center, seduced by some scintillating collective brass work, funky wah- wah guitar that defies logic and possessed drumming. Sounds a lot like Roxy Music's 'the Bogus Man' but without the synthesized Eno gloss!

'Lullaby for a Lonely Child' coils out like a jazz reprise of ELP's 'Take a Pebble', a gently, serene and percussive heavy piece that shudders and trembles with suave enchantment, giving lieu to some more Carr lung work.

The monumental title track is a protracted bluesy jam that launches Spedding's guitar into deeper experimental expanses, letting all the soloists exploit their talent and inner muse to the hilt, thus creating an audio cacophony of utter urgency, something Led Zeppelin would do on 'Dazed and Confused', for example.

The colossal 'Oasis' reveals in the course of its near 10 minutes the band's ability to seduce with atmosphere and not just chops, a sonic sanctuary where Brian Smith's sulfuric saxes, Jenkins' opulent oboe and Carr's trumpet and flugelhorn, all coalesce into a mesmeric refuge of sound . This is assuredly the jazziest piece yet, with a more obvious Miles Davis inspiration. The Clyne/Marshall duo deal out some fine work, thus cementing the loosey-goosey improv into relaxed heights of accomplishment.

'Ballad of Joe Pimp' offers vocals that rekindle thoughts of early King Crimson and to a certain extent some of Zappa's oblique fixings or even a lighter version of Black Sabbath (the riff). Just tremendously creative stuff!

'Easter 1916' is a jazz-rock adaptation of Yeats poem of the Irish uprising that ultimately led to some nasty executions. Musically, the powerful political emotions are delivered by some furious sax explosions and hyper polyrhythmic drumming from John Marshall who proves his mettle without a pause of any kind (his wrists must be sore as he takes this one home!). The mood is frenetic, raging, brittle and desperate. Unreal!

A masterpiece and timeless monument of contemporary rock music.

5 chatty cores

Report this review (#641902)
Posted Sunday, February 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Though I think the last two compositions on the album are rather spoiled by the inclusion of vocals, We'll Talk About It Later is still a very confident and capable follow-up to Elastic Rock, with Nucleus continuing to practice their own distinctive style of fusion. Debate over whether or not they had any influence in their early material from In a Silent Way or Bitch's Brew aside, by this point they're very much ploughing their own furrow, developing a style of jazz-rock which would end up having a glancing influence on late-phase Canterbury bands such as Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, National Health and, of course, the later Soft Machine albums.
Report this review (#755848)
Posted Sunday, May 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Over all I'd call this an exceptionally good collection of experimental jazz-rock fusion songs with the artists all sounding like they are coming from the jazz world trying to cross over into rock. Though not all of it stands up as being "fresh" since so much J-R Fusion has come since this album's 1971 release, most times it works very well. Definitely a wonderful accomplishment for it's time.

1. "Song For The Bearded Lady" (7:25) upbeat, hard-drivin, great musical weave, great use of horns. At two minutes in the sound calms down to support Ian Carr's soloing. He sounds so much like American jazz great Freddie Hubbard it's uncanny! Background instrumentalists start getting a little frisky in the fourth minute (awesome!) but then Chris Spedding takes a turn in the lead as Karl Jenkins toys with him on the Hohner Electra piano in the opposite channel. in the fifth. Nice contrasting styles. Everybody remerges together for the final minute--an outro to bookend the intro. (14.5/15) 2. "Sun Child" (5:19) opens with some saucy, spacious bass, drums and guitar over which a soprano sax teases seductively. The interplay intensifies insidiously over the first couple minutes until it feels as if each instrument is kind of in their own world. The arrival of Ian's trumpet kind of soothes and shifts the direction and intensity of the collective, creating more space but less "competitiveness." (8.75/10)

3. "Lullaby For A Lonely Child" (4:21) opens with delicate bass, cymbal and electric piano interplay before controlled yet emotional trumpet takes the lead. Support is joined by gently picked guitar and saxes before a little whole-group chorus spaces out the next section of trumpet and bouzouki solos. Intensifies slightly for the second chorus but then bouzouki takes us to the end. Pleasant but nothing to write home about. (8.25/10) 4. "We'll Talk About It Later" (6:19) opens with some raunchier guitar sound accompanied by subdued bass, hi-hat, and Hohner. Accompanying instruments shift into second gear as the song becomes fully blues. Guitars, Hohner, and drums all shift into third and fourth gears as bass and muted trumpet remain rock steady until the second half of the third minute when trumpet takes on a more prominent roll. Has a very DOORS-like quality and sound. Chris Spedding's free-wailing guitar really stands out on this one. (8.5/10)

5. "Oasis" (9:49) opens as if all instrumentalists are in their own world, expressing their own moods, until around 1:50 the keys' chord selection become steady, guitar strums, bass line and cymbal play support this. Horns too, before trumpet goes off on a solo. Guitars, drums and keys start amping up their inputs as Ian continues to solo into the fifth minute. At the end of the fifth minute, Ian goes a little freestyle but then everybody else softens and backs down, making room for a prominent muted soprano sax solo in the sixth, seventh and eighth minutes. Drums begin to go rogue in the seventh and eighth before a calm appears in which Brian Smith continues playing his sax as Chris Spedding and Jeff Clyne's bass take more foreground prominence. Horn section enters to bring everybody together just before the end. (18/20)

6. "Ballad of Joe Pimp" (3:48) Vocals! Sounds like it could come off of an early SOFT MACHINE album. Horns take over after the first verse. A very Philly R&B/Soul feel to this one. (8.5/10) 7. "Easter 1916" (8:47) Sounds like a classic experimental late 1960s experimental jazz fusion song as BRAINTKICKET-like vocals and keys are driven along by blues-rock bass, guitar and drums play. Its a great groove, despite it's odd meter. Melodic jazz sax solo in the third and fourth minutes becomes more free form in the fifth and sixth. Support instrumentation disappear in the seventh minute as drums solo while sax continues it's spitting and spouting. Awesome drum play! Ends with a familiar "Love Supreme" sound and drum solo. (19/20)

Total Time: 45:48

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music from the early era of Jazz-Rock Fusion experimentation.

Report this review (#1705808)
Posted Tuesday, March 28, 2017 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars What a spirit! Trumpet player Ian Carr has been head of this crew, yet existing until 1989, called up as pioneers of Jazz Rock with good reason. Anyhow, concerning this line-up in 1971, if you are genre affine somehow, two other names are absolutely striking in the first instance. Karl Jenkins (keyboards) and drummer John Marshall also were longtime Soft Machine key figures later. You won't fail to recognize this sound-wise. They are opening with the absolute highlight Song For The Bearded Lady which features some wonderful jam appeal. The song's main theme later will appear on Soft Machine's 'Bundles' again, while showing Alan Holdsworth in the ranks. Backed by a compelling groove all members are coming into bloom here with some solo activity more or less.

Chris Spedding is responsible for the guitar playing, not in the same unique Holdsworth style of course, but absolutely fancy-pancy too, especially while beautifully interacting with Jenkins. Strong wind instrument implementation to notice, not only by Carr, but also due to Brian Smith on sax and flute. Some oriental touch given by the way on the following Sun Child. This stuff must have inspired the German Embryo crew too, I'm sure. Just mentioning Oasis for example some avantgarde moments leaning towards Miles Davis are presented. Well, this is an album I'll be stuck to as long as I'm still breathing. The extraordinary verve decreases a bit towards the end, otherwise I would have rated this a masterpiece of prog music with ease. 4.5 stars.

Report this review (#2344985)
Posted Wednesday, March 25, 2020 | Review Permalink
5 stars Unbelievably good! It's probably my favourite album of the whole fussion genre. I love Soft Machine, Mahavishnu is very good obviously, Weather Report too and of course Miles and Herbie are both titans, but this Nucleus is something special. Significantly better from their first one, which is nice, but "We'll talk about it later" is another level. The musicianship is flawless, the compositions brilliant, the improvisations marvelous. I know I'm not very specific here, but it's hard to be when dealing with a masterpiece like this. There is a place for calm and beautiful moody moments and for frenetic interplay. There is always something interesting going on but never too dense which in some cases can make a listener a bit tired and tracks hard to differ one from another. But not here, here everything is in the right dose, vocals included. Perfect! I'm listening with awe.
Report this review (#2496154)
Posted Thursday, January 21, 2021 | Review Permalink

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