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Day Of Phoenix

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Day Of Phoenix Wide Open N-Way album cover
3.59 | 31 ratings | 5 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wide Open N-Way (11:33)
2. Cellophane #1 & 2 (13:44)
3. If You Ask Me (4:49)
4. Mind Funeral (12:29)
5. Tick-Tack (1:10)

Total Time: 43:45

Bonus tracks on 2012 CD:
6. Tell Me (3:01)
7. I Think It's Gonna Rain Today (2:28)

Line-up / Musicians

- Hans Lauridsen / lead vocals
- Ole Prehn / electric & 12-string guitars, vocals
- Karsten Lyng / lead guitar
- Erik Stedt / bass, piano, saw
- Henrik Friis / drums, percussion

- Ulrik Jensen / oboe (4)
- Kenneth Knudsen / piano (4)
- Peter Friis / double bass (4)

Releases information

Artwork: John Ovesen with Mogens Carrebye (photo)

LP Sonet ‎- SLPS 1519 (1970, Denmark)
LP Stateside ‎- 2 C 062-93073 (1970, France)

LP Greenwich Gramophone Company - GSLP 1002, GSLP-R.1002 (1971, Germany)

CD Repertoire Records ‎- REP 4439-WP (1994, Germany)
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC 2331 (2012, UK, remastered by Ben Wiseman, with 2 bonus tracks from 1969 single)

LP ViNiLiSSSiMO - MRSSS 553 (2017, Denmark)
LP Sonet ‎- SLPS 1519, Universal - 60255785920 (2017, Denmark, remastered)
LP ViNiLiSSSiMO - MR-SSS553 (2018, Spain)

Thanks to Rivertree for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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DAY OF PHOENIX Wide Open N-Way ratings distribution

(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DAY OF PHOENIX Wide Open N-Way reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
4 stars As you can expect from an album the title song should be a highlight. Not true in every case - but this time by all means. When listening to Wide Open N-Way you're first immediately forced to believe that this is an american westcoast psych band. Accent-free vocals and a very cool straightforward sound with acoustic guitar. But then they are showing another second sight right away with a weird piano and guitar echoes dominated krautrocked interlude. And that's nowhere near enough - we also have high speed guitar jamming (with some slight technical problems) - and then surprisingly coming back to the main theme in between. Very complex what can be stated for nearly the whole album by the way.

The two Cellophane parts are noticeably headed by Karsten Lyng and Ole Prehn delivering an excellent accentuated virtuoso twin guitar work. And then Mind Funeral has to be mentioned - they didn't take the song title literally by the way - as for the compositional aspect at least. The song consists of two different moods - first the solid westcoast psych touch. And then the band takes a deep breath in the second half and offers a wonderful jamming jazzy part which you may not have expected when listening for the first time.

'Wide Open N-Way' is not plain psych/space music - you should brace yourself for sophisticated psychedelic based rock with some jazz elements by contrast - sometimes even eclectic and ahead of the times in 1970. Highly recommended because absolutely enjoyable even nearly 40 years later!

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars A Copenhagen group, whose first singer left after a single and a soundtrack to form Culpepper's Orchard, DOTP hired Hans Lauridsen as a new vocalist. Formed around the double guitar attack of Lyng (lead) and Prehn (2nd and vocals), their debut album, produced by Colosseum's bassists Tony Reeves saw the light of day on the Sonet label (Alrune Rod, Burnin'Red Ivanhoe etc.) in fall 70 and was relatively surprising for these days. With most of the music written by the two guitarists, you can guess that there are plenty of guitar fireworks all the way through.

The album starts with two lengthy numbers that are more improvs than epic, with their West Coast double guitar attack, with the enigmatic title track being a collage of a few clumsily assembled parts, the middle one sounding like a garage band days Byrds or Dead. Quite messy really, but the group sounds fresh enough that they can be forgiven easily. However I'm wondering how Tony reeves could let that by, knowing how Colosseum was way more self-demanding. The following Cellephane is split into two parts, but it doesn't seem to make them anymore tidier or tighter, but it's clearly the band's best moment on this album

The flipside is a bit more uneven (and much shorter despite having one more song) with the rockier If You Ask Me (fairly straight forward), the ultra short Tick Tack and yet another 12-minutes track promisingly titled Mind Funeral. Obviously the album's other highlight, Mind Funeral sees the appearance of future Secret Oyster's Knudsen on piano and Ulrik Jensen on oboe, both giving a demented jazzy

Days Of Phoenix will find itself invaded by ex-BRI members, following that group's first line-up break up, with another future Secret Oyster Jess Staehr playing on bass. But for now, their debut album had enough interesting moments to make this album definitely worth the hearing while not being essential.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Wide Open N-Way" is the debut full-length studio album by Danish psychadelic/progressive rock act Day of Phoenix. The album was originally released on vinyl through Sonet Records in 1970. "Wide Open N-Way" was reissued in 1979 as a double LP along with the band´s second album "The Neighbour's Son (1972)". It´s since been re-released both as a single CD and as a double CD set with "The Neighbour's Son" in more recent years. Day of Phoenix was formed in 1968 and initially included one of the most prolific musicians on the experimental part of the Danish music scene of the late 60s/early 70s in Cy Nicklin (Pan and formed Culpeper's Orchard).

Day of Phoenix initially started out as a blues rock band but after Cy Nicklin left their style took a more experimental and psychadelic turn. The music on "Wide Open N-Way" is a combination of west coast psychadelic rock and semi-progressive rock with a touch of jazz rock. The music is guitar driven and the two guitarists Karsten Lyng and Ole Prehn compliment each other brilliantly throughout the album. Hans Lauridsen´s vocals are pretty strong and as a plus the Danish accent is actually not that obvious (which is something that can´t be said about many Danish bands singing English language lyrics in the 60s/70s). The rhythm section with drummer Henrik Friis and bassist/pianist Erik Stedt (also a member of Danish psychadelic rock act Beefeaters) are also very capable musicians (Erik Stedt sadly died in 1971 and Day of Phoenix disbanded for a while).

The music is generally pretty dark and with three out of five tracks on the album which feature a playing time exceeding 10 minutes there´s lots of room for long jamming guitar solos. The music is well composed but sometimes suffer a bit because of the experiments. Sometimes the experiments are successful but other times they just don´t work that well. The greatest highlight is "Mind Funeral" but the other two lengthy tracks "Wide Open N-Way" and "Cellophane #1 & 2" also stand out.

The album is produced by Tony Reeves (Colosseum, Greenslade) and received quite a bit of attention as a result of that. That´s not to say that the music isn´t of a high quality because it certainly is but the choice of producer was definitely wise. The sound production is organic and very well sounding. There are a couple of technical playing errors featured in the music. Something which probably would have been fixed on a more modern production. Maybe it was a money issue or limited studio time but it gives the album an unpolished quality that you don´t hear often in music today. It´s quite charming really.

Overall "Wide Open N-Way" is a good quality release by Day of Phoenix, and anyone into guitar driven West Coast rock with progressive leanings are recommended to give it a listen. Along with contemporary artists like The Young Flowers, The Savage Rose, Beefeaters, Alrune Rod, Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe, and Steppeulvene, they held the Danish flag high on a rock scene that unfortunately didn´t notice them outside the borders of their homeland (at least not enough for them to break through outside Denmark). So while "Wide Open N-Way" isn´t a perfect release by any means, it´s still an entertaining and occasionally intriguing listen, and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating isn´t all wrong.

A little related background info from the Danish scene (and Cy Nicklin) for those who have an interest in that:

Cy Nicklin who was British had started his music career in the Danish based folk duo Cy & Maia with Danish singer Maia Aarskov whom he had met at a dinner party in 1965. The duo later became a trio and was renamed Cy, Maia & Robert, when Danish based French musician Robert Jean Francis Lelièvre who had deserted the French army in 1962 and lived in political exile in Denmark, joined the two. Cy & Maia recorded the single "Portland Town/Chickens Are Coming" in 1966 and it was the only recording they made as a duo before Robert Lelièvre joined them. Cy, Maia & Robert recorded their debut album "On the Scene" in 1966 and their second album "Out of Our Times" was released in 1967. They also released three singles in that period in "Green Rocky Road/Harvest of Hate (1966)", "A Church Is Burning/Take a Look Inside (1967)", and "Cheers Dears/Natural Man (1967)". The latter was recorded using the Maia & Full Limit monicker. Cy Nicklin and Robert Lelièvre also played guitar on Scottish folk singer Alex Campbell's 1967 album "Alex Campbell At the Tivoli Gardens". Cy, Maia & Robert split up in November of 1967.

Robert Lelièvre then went on and recorded an album titled "Alliance (1968)" with Scottish folk singer Iain Campbell and then went to England where he recorded a solo album "The Hare (1968 or 1969)" and was signed by Polydor as a songwriter and studio musician. Robert Lelièvre came back to Denmark in June of 1969 where he teamed up with Cy Nicklin again (who had just left Day of Phoenix with whom he had recorded the single "Tell Me /I Think It's Gonna Rain Today (1969)") and formed the folk/rock band High Crossfield. That band later evolved into the progressive rock act Pan whose sole self-titled album "Pan (1970)" is widely considered as one of the most important progressive rock ( proto-prog) albums in Denmark. Robert Lelièvre sadly suffered from depression and took his own life in August of 1973 (Pan disbanded in 1972). Cy Nicklin had left the band before the recording of "Pan (1970)" and formed Culpeper's Orchard who is also considered one of the most important bands on the Danish progressive rock scene.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The debut album by Day of Phoenix reminds me more of soft-rock/psychedelic UK bands than US acts. It has lengthy sometimes quite busy songs and no appetite to experiment. In the "Wide Open N-Way" we hear some proto-prog guitar soloing, ambitious composing and straightforward rhythms. Slight d ... (read more)

Report this review (#2632072) | Posted by sgtpepper | Tuesday, November 9, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Progressive psychélédique Rock is little present here it sagit here more than a progressive Rock beginning heavy and folk novice. Tres soft has the ear by the singing(song) and the guitars pure tres, the battery(drum kit) makes it tres heavy leaving part has the imagination of a simple rock a ... (read more)

Report this review (#226718) | Posted by Discographia | Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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