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The Habibiyya

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

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The Habibiyya If Man But Knew album cover
3.09 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Two Shakuhachis (1:40)
2. Koto Piece (5:03)
3. The Eye-Witness (8:22)
4. Mandola (5:51)
5. If Man But Knew (9:01)
6. Fana-Fillah (8:35)

Total time 38:32

CD bonus tracks:
7. Procession Of The God Intoxicated (2:27)
8. Peregrinations (3:09)
9. Peregrinations Continued (6:42)
10. Another Ode (6:05)
11. Bird In God's Garden (6:24)


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Susan Archuletta / shakuhachi, vocals, viola, guitar
- Ian Whiteman / shakuhachi, piano, vocals, bina organ, oboe
- Roger Powell / safi drum, drums
- Conrad Archuletta / shakuhachi, vocals, nay flute, zither, banjo
- Michael Evans / mandola, guitar

Releases information

LP Island 9305 (1972)
CD Sunbeam Records SBR 5043 (2007, UK)

Thanks to Oliverstoned for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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THE HABIBIYYA If Man But Knew ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE HABIBIYYA If Man But Knew reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars It is necessary to contain the situation including the fashion of psychedelic and mods that roll as details until this work is completed with this band in the latter half of the 60's and have happened. And, it is detailed of each member to this album. Or, it has details where this album can be caught as a novel work very specially when thinking about the flow from the situation.

They are taking an active part in the flow of psychedelic and Acid Folk that was the original derivation in the latter half of the 60's. When a situation at that time was considered as a transition of the band, the band that was called "The Action" acted by them. It gradually changes the form and the name. It takes the place of the band that is called it "Mighty Baby". The element of psychedelic, Folk, and avant-garde POP who spread as a music character at that time faced complete time. It is said that it acted with an original form to be related to the performance of of each and to create the work to the album by which each member produced this "Mighty Baby" naturally.

Or, they were creating music through the exchange and the performance with Richard Thompson by an original methodology. And, it is said that the member of the band was visiting Morocco at the time before this album is especially produced. This situation and the flow agreed with the dissolution of Mighty Baby. It can be guessed that the member touched the music character that has stuck to the culture and the region in the visit destination.

The element of the culture of Iran and Turkey that existed flowed, Moroccan that had dissolved Mighty Baby, and around and the Arab music might have exactly given a rapid impact to their directionality. The direction of the music character done with Mighty Baby is reflected in this album by taking the culture of the Africa continent further.

In The Habibiyya that forms mainly members other than Reg King who was the member of Mighty Baby, the music character that exists exactly in Morocco will be a center. An original interpretation and the Music character are established taking a neutral music scale boldly. Or, music has been established with the introduction of a variety of classics musical instruments.

Establishment of rhythm section of Michael Evans and Roger Powell. And, the diversity of the performance that Ian Whiteman that serves as the leader of Mighty Baby does. And, it succeeds by introducing the classics musical instruments of Japan into the performance as a point that should make a special mention in constructing a stateless element and the idea. Classics musical instruments of Japan used with this album are "Koto" and "Shakuhachi". "Koto" can be translated into Bamboo Flute. A very fantastic, soft sound can be performed. And, "Shakuhachi" can be translated into A Long Japanese Zither With Thirteen Strings. The sound and the music scale made by suppressing directly and playing the bowstring of the stringed instrument can perform a mysterious sound. There is exactly an element that creates the music made by introducing the Arab music and the classics musical instruments with the unique method and the idea.

The activity of The Habibiyya did not continue long. After it dissolves, this band is related to all the activities of each member. Richard Thonpson and the record that dared the tour again in 1976 remain, too. Or, Ian Whiteman concentrates on the activity of the religion further. Each member also has the theory said that it gradually parted from the activity of music since this album is announced. The Music character that The Habibiyya did is completely mirror to this album with the part of flexibility, the culture, and classics. the desire and zealThe impression without the borderline completely though the part of not only simple classics music but also various musical instruments and good classics is followed is given to the listener.

"Two Shakuhachis" is their greetings by Bamboo Flute. A fantastic space is produced as a wind instrument of a soft sound in which the nationality is not felt. Only the sound of Shakuhachi is collected to this tune. However, it is attractive enough as Intro that gives the expectation.

As for "Koto Piece", the charm of the sound in which the bowstring is played is demonstrated enough. The sound of Koto is very graceful and is fantastic. The sound that flows gently twines round a constant rhythm that lays the foundation. The tastes of the classics musical instruments of Japan are drawn out enough. An enchantment a few impressions might be the methods by their original interpretations.

The melody and the song of "The Eye-Witness" are complete. A neutral music scale of the Arab music is completely reproduced. Repeated song and melody. Rhythm to which percussion instrument is steady. And, the atmosphere of the flute and the guitar in close relation to the flow is complete. Atmosphere and the music scale of the Arab music exist exactly. The repetition that the band makes in union gives the gaga impression. Twining of the stringed instrument is also good each other. The method of the processing of the part and the chorus who increases tempo at the end of the tune is also complete.

As for "Mandola", the wind instrument that twines from another angle round the melody of an enchantment guitar is expressed well. The tune progresses while gradually introducing the percussion instrument. The culture that exists in a pastoral element and the continent and the music character might be followed. An enchantment melody that flows to the whole has originality.

The melody of Shakuhachi and the sound of the percussion instrument make atmosphere in "If Man But Knew". An enchantment chorus and the song produce a neutral music scale. Part of melody and song that flows overall. And, it is continuous that opens feelings of the song and partial of woman's song. It might be a tune to express the atmosphere of the Arab music by an original interpretation. It has a very indifferent impression and the gaga flow is had.

"Fana-Fillah" produces the place where the melody and the song are deep. In the part of a pastoral melody and continental classics, there might be a sense of relief. Flow of chorus and song in close relation to constant tempo and repeated melody. The tune gradually increases the sense of relief and heads for the top. A certain kind of blissout extends.

"Procession Of The God Intoxicated" is a part of Fade-In by a constant rhythm. And, the melody with originality twines gradually. Flow of stringed instrument that produces flute and metallic sound. It gives a ceremonial impression.

"Peregrinations" gives the impression with sublime divine rhythm in close relation to the melody of an enchantment flute. Part of melody of wind instrument that flows incessantly. The rhythm intermittently repeated is religious. Thought might be projected to the tune. The repetition shows continental power.

"Peregrinations Continued" uses the line of Bass used by "Peregrinations". However, the tune emphasizes Ensemble of the band. The melody of the piano and the wind instrument in close relation to the line of repeated Bass gives the atmosphere of live. The tune flows chaotically further attended with the metallic sound. The melody of Organ and the rhythm of the percussion instrument are complete. It progresses with the flavor of atmosphere of initial Soft Machine and a few, modern pop. It has very good atmosphere.

The melody of the stringed instrument with expression of feelings and the melody of the flute produce the music scale of the Arab music to "Another Ode". The impression of the tune is a little loose. However, their performance and method interpret the music scale of classics well. The flow of the tune by a melody of Oboe and a constant tempo expresses atmosphere well. It has atmosphere with a philosophical this tune.

"Bird In God's Garden" has a complete anacatesthesia and an original melody. Listener's aural and nerve will be stimulated. The song and the chorus in close relation to the repeated rhythm produce a complete anacatesthesia. It is a tune with the anacatesthesia and the dash feeling with a complete this tune. Part of melody of Bass that produces element and Groove of psychedelic. It succeeds in the creation of one complete space. The tempo that Trip Music is good for the element of the impression of a little ambient music and the classics music twines well.

The music character that they took might be completely interpreted as an idea and technical respect. If the flow that they shift from the route of psychedelic to the taste of this album is considered, it is possible to catch enough as a progressive part. Their activities might not have been so remarkable. However, it can be felt that it is one established different band established by challenging the field of the classics music.

Review by Guldbamsen
2 stars Kum bay ya my lord, Kum bay ya!

Coming back to the UK after a trip to Morocco this band felt deeply inspired by the meditations of Sufism. The search for god through a spiritual inner path. Well to be frank, I am far from being an expert on the subject, but I felt instantly intrigued by this band's history and how this record actually came into fruition. I've always had a thing for meditation (even if I myself have used music as my guiding beacon - drilling into the deeper layers of my cabeza), the focus on finding that peaceful place through a series of deep breaths, the ringing of some holy bells, the whole notion of leaving your body map, going to the next level - or whatever one would call such a thing: THAT interests me a great deal to say the least! I've always wondered where I go, when Pink Floyd's Echoes lets loose and Gilmour's playing suddenly becomes this wafting ethereal phoenix. I go somewhere that is for damn sure...

Anyway, coming into this release thinking it would be a psychedelic venture with all these Eastern touches and saucy esoteric bits that would have me levitating in a jiffy, - I felt enormously let down once popping it on the stereo. Yes, I got what I hoped for - as a matter of fact it seems to be all there: mumbling acoustic guitars that sound undetermined yet very effective - spiralling these individual pieces into orbit. On top of these spinning tops you are served with all kinds of endemic instruments - like the foghorn imitating oboe - or the gentle flute work that by contrast to the guitars - actually feel bound for something up there in the skies. You get banjo, the Japanese answer to the pan flute shakuhachi, something called a bina organ(?), mandola and a viola to boot. A regular smorgasbord of exotic instruments to take you on a magical journey through the Moroccan desert, or so one could easily hope for.

The rhythm section, and here I am using the term very loosely, because what we get in terms of beat enhancers here are the occasional clay pots and tambourine. The aim of these are completely lost on me - mainly for their inability to interact with the surrounding instruments. The result amounts to the sort of low-fi jamming you'd find at a forest hippie camp, where everyone apparently have been entirely more enthralled by the year old aged mushroom whiskey, than sprucing up the local rhythm section for the night's big sing along.

Keeping with the hippie camp image, I could very easily picture both the male and female vocalists doing a late night rendition of Kumbaya. That certain let's-get-together feel is all over the vocals here - with the hayaayyaa-haaamayyyammaaajjiiiaaahh and the shjaawaaaarmaaa-shhjjjioouuaaawaarmaaaa it all gets a little bit too much for me to tell you the truth, and this is coming from one of the biggest "hippie fans" out there. I just don't get the whole Kumbaya notion - sitting around holding hands for the hell of it - making the world a better place through rubbish music tomfoolery. What I do get is when the music of said era broke through the barriers and connected with people on an emotional level - just like Hendrix did at Woodstock, when he assassinated The Star Spangled Banner in plain sight. He played it beautifully, but he incorporated a lot of sorrow and hurt into it as well - drawing parallels all across the globe to the deepest darkest jungles of Vietnam. That I love and respect, - and I applaud the whole feel of that specific time. Not everything has to aspire to what Hendrix, or Miles for that matter, did. No, but I expect music that flirts with meditation and what I'd personally call the spiritual condition to be clouded in mystifying musical caravans of sweeping colourful notes and passages, but this one never leaves the ground the performing musicians are sitting on. Somehow it just doesn't ring true to me, and I'm kind of bummed out that it wasn't the high flying bird I was yearning for.

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