Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Various Artists (Label Samplers)

Various Genres

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Various Artists (Label Samplers) You Can All Join In album cover
3.53 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

Write a review
from partners
Boxset/Compilation, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Song For Jeffrey by Jethro Tull
2. Sunshine Help Me by Spooky Tooth
3. I'm A Mover by Free
4. What's That Sound by Art
5. Pearly Queen by Tramline
6. You Can All Join In by Traffic

7. Meet on the ledge by Fairport Convention
8. Rainbow Chaser by Nirvana
9. Dusty by John Martyn
10. I'll Go Girl by Clouds
11. Somebody Help Me by Spencer Davis Group
12. Gasoline Alley by Wynder K. Frog

Line-up / Musicians

... As shown in track listing ...

Releases information

Island records IWPS 2

Entitled "The Best Of Island" in Holland

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
Edit this entry


More places to buy VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) music online Buy VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) You Can All Join In ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(80%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars What's that sound?

I believe this was the earliest of Island samplers. "You can all join in" is a single LP compilation containing 12 tracks from artists signed to the Island label. At the time (the late '60's, early 70's) Island records were one of the most adventurous labels in the industry, and did far more than their fair share to discover and promote bands we now know as "prog".

This collection is light when compared to the samplers which followed such as "Bumpers" and "El Pea", but nevertheless it contains a number of gems.

The album opens with "Song for Jeffrey" from Jethro Tull's first album. Bear in mind that this was several years before "Thick as a brick", Tull at the time being virtually unknown. The track therefore does not have the more familiar sound of the Tull of the 80's, but is heavier and more guitar led.

A number of the tracks bear the psychedelic influences of the late 60's, Art's "What's that sound" and Tramline's "Pearly queen" (written by Traffic's Steve Winwood and Jim Capalidi) being cases in point. Traffic also contribute the pop ditty Dave Mason composition which give this album its title.

The standout track for me is the wonderful "Rainbow chaser" by proto-prog band Nirvana (not the Seattle outfit!). This is a symphonic masterpiece in three minutes, with head-spinning phasing, and wonderfully delicate vocals.

Elsewhere, "Meet on the ledge" is Fairport Convention's classic tribute (composed by Richard Thompson) to their former band mate Martyn Lamble who was tragically killed in a crash. Spooky Tooth are still in full pop mode with "Sunshine help me", they would later explore much more complex and challenging territories. Clouds are another band who sit on the periphery of prog, "I'll go girl" being the most commercial track from their excellent self-titled debut.

In all, a wonderfully eclectic mix of tracks, clearly geared to make the bands sound as commercially attractive as possible. The sleeve photograph manages to gather together all (or virtually all) the performers on the album including Paul Rodgers, Ian Anderson, Sandy Denny, Steve Winwood and a host of others. They all look frozen stiff!

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ...if you're feeling brave...

On a cold day, bleary-eyed following a wild party, the marketing men at Island cruelly assembled their stable's finest in Hyde Park for a photo shoot that was to grace the cover of one of the earliest Progressive music compilations ever, following the success of CBS in this field with their two "Rock Machine" samplers. A veritable deluge of Progressive music compilations was to follow - notably from CBS (despite the appalling cover featuring the then unknown Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Rockbusters" is one hell of a great collection!), but also from the other "progressive" labels, such as Harvest and Vertigo, but also Decca, who had a string of "Progressive World of..." albums.

On the cover can clearly be seen all the artists that featured on this album - Ian Anderson unmistakable at the back, Sandy Denny at the front extreme right, the guys from Clouds in the middle near the front - I'm fairly sure that's Billy Ritchie with the silly hat...

This album is absolutely packed with bands that made it (Tull, Free, Traffic), bands that should have made it (Nirvana, Clouds, Tramline), great bands that became greater bands (Art, Spencer Davis Group) and bands and musicians that were colossally influential on the development of Progressive Rock (that'll be all of them);

Let's Get This Party Started

Jethro Tull start the proceedings, with "A Song For Jeffrey". A catchy little blues number augmented by Anderson's trademark flute, this one is positively driven by the harmonica, with a strong Bluesbreakers feel. Anderson's peculiarly processed vocals are a little uncomfortable, but convincingly delivered. The intro is quite striking, with the flute/bass duet creating a unique Tull-style atmosphere. When the harmonica kicks in, it's a bit of a culture shock, and when Anderson's vocals hit, we know we're listening to something a bit experimental - even if the experiment isn't 100% successful. What is majorly successful is Anderson's wizardly (but sadly short) flute solo. The rest of the piece comprises these sections alternating, with an interesting burn-out.

Spooky Tooth are up next, with the deliciously crunchy "Sunshine Help Me", sounding remarkably like Traffic in places, thanks to the Jimmy Miller production. This is a wondrously Prog-flavoured psychedelic song, powerfully driven by the Hammond, which contrasts nicely with the more delicate keyboard sound, and some of the most gut-wrenching soulful vocals around - on a par with the great Stevie Winwood and Chris Farlowe - not to mention some of the silliest falsetto you'll ever hear... Like Winwood, Spooky Tooth feature twice on this album - the second time is in their previous incarnation, Art.

The excitement doesn't let up, with an offering from the mighty Free - to my jaded ears, a tad on the lugubrious side, but a strong head-nodder, if not a banger, with some superlative pre-Zeppelin riffing and soloing.

Art's cover of the Buffalo Springfield number transforms the opening riff into "You Sexy Thing" by Hot Chocolate, and for me at least, is a more exciting performance than the Free number, and a nice'n'heavy interpretation of a strong song, successfully combining the popular heavy blues and Northern Soul styles.

The excellent Tramline follow this with a less than excellent song; the Jim Capaldi (later of Traffic!) "Pearly Queen" is altogether average, and performed as if by session musicians - ie no feeling whatsoever. Still, it fits the overall sound and style of this album, and, as a weak number, isn't too shabby at all.

Traffic themselves close side 1 with the song that gives this compilation its title. Sadly, this is a bit of a marketing gimmick, as the song itself is not one of Traffic's best, with strong flavours of the Benny Hill theme tune, and super-cheesey lyrics. The absence of Mr Winwood in the vocals and keyboard depts really hurts this number too, turning it into a C&W-flavoured square-dancing happy dirge, and making the rest of this collection sound more like Traffic than the band themselves do!

Side 2 kicks off with a folk-flavour, underlining the fact that this truly is one of the very first Prog Rock compilations - almost all the various influences are represented! Fairport Convention's "Meet on the Ledge", with it's anthemic chorus is not one of my favourites, but a sure crowd-pleaser, and a reasonably strong start to the second side. In its' favour is a strong bassline, the haunting vocals of Sandy Denny, and an interesting piano-driven instrumental arrangement. On the down side is an unbearably repetitve song and some over-loose drumming.

Fortunately, it's onwards and upwards from here, with the original Nirvana's swirly psychedelic masterpiece "Rainbow Chaser", which uses the phasing/flanging effect found in The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows", "Jimi Hendrix's "Bold as Love", "The Small Faces' "Itchycoo Park and Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men" throughout the song, mainly on the piano, to create the psychedelic swirling. While this is an obvious case of "tarting up", it has to be said that the song has exactly the right flavours of British psychedelia to put it on a level with Kaleidoscope and the Zombies - but not quite with Pink Floyd or the Beatles of that era.

John Martyn puts in a fine performance with "Dusty", a fabulous folk-flavoured song with intertwining flute, reminiscent of later Jethro Tull, and dead-pan vocal delivery very similar in style to Roy Harper.

Next we have a track from The Clouds, another largely overlooked and forgotten-about band - and this sounds like it was added about 10 years after everything else on the album. It wasn't, of course, but the quasi-classical piano opening and balladic delivery of the opening lines belie the swift and complex harmonic progression, packed with modulations and adventurous key relationships.

The strong chorus carries strong hints of the Righteous Brothers and songs from the early 1960s - but the immediately catchy opening stanzas hide the conplexity of the following lines of the chorus; You simply forget that you're listening to a song and get swept away into the music - or, more likely, it suddenly becomes background, as the rush of sonic information becomes a bit too much. After the second chorus, advanced harmonic progressions are topped with Matt Bellamy-alike vocals, and this section begins to sound like something from "Origin of Symmetry". The music completely changes direction, key and suddenly we're back into the verse and chorus. The coda section is absolutely packed with exciting material to end the piece - there is so much happening in this song that it's hardly surprising that the band got overlooked at the time and still get overlooked now.

It's the personal, relationship-oriented lyrics and strong pop-oriented melody fragments that put this song right at the edge, into an unchartered realm of Progressive Pop rather than Progressive Rock - there's simply not enough jazz, folk or blues for it to have made much of an impact on the emerging Prog Rock scene, but this is a piece that should be of great interest to any fan of Prog music. The trick is to listen past the catchy fragments of melody and follow the rest of it - if you can!

Steve Winwood puts in his final appearance on this album next in the monster groover "Someboy Help Me", with his pre-Traffic fellows, the Spencer Davis Group. The distinctive (and progressive) sound of this group with the awesome fuzz guitar, fat bass - and of course, Mr Winwood's glorious vox, is all over this catchy pop/rock song penned by the superb Jamaican singer/songwriter Jackie Edwards.

To wrap things up, we have the Booker T - alike sound of Wynder K Frog with an amusing version of "Gasoline Alley", propelled by his Hammond B3. In all fairness, the great Wynder (AKA Mick Weaver, who co-incidentally replaced Winwood when he left Traffic - as well as playing with some of the greats, including Joe Cocker, Keef Hartley and Taj Mahal) has a far raunchier, dirtier sound than Booker T - it's just that the overall style is remarkably similar... all very good, though!


A great compilation of the very embryo of Prog Rock from the label responsible for releasing the largely undisputed first album of that genre, containing almost every element that went into the Prog melting pot, and anyone who was anyone (on Island, at least) in the Progressive Music scene in the late 1960s. Not only a coll collection of tunes, but an important historical document too - Essential listening for all Proggers!

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) "You Can All Join In"

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