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Sigmund Snopek III

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Sigmund Snopek III First Band On The Moon (as Snopek) album cover
2.49 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. First Band On The Moon 3:40
2. Doktor Alles 3:42
3. Living Out Loud 4:47
4. Controller's Reply 3:47
5. Highway Ghosts 6:10
6. Avenue Motion 3:16
7. Let's Take A Trip 4:45
8. The Armpit Shuffle 3:27
9. Crazy Crazy Angel - Part 1 7:41
10. Ride In The Dark (Robotiko) (Instrumental) 3:02
11. Solalex 6:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Sigmund Snopek III / Keyboards, Synthesizer, Flute, lead vocals (/3,8,9)
- Jim Gorton / bass, lead vocals (3-5)
- Mike Lucas / drums, percussion
- Byron Wiemann III / guitar, lead vocals (2,6,7,11)
guest musicians:
- Betsy Kaské / vocals (5)
- Ann Labotzke / harp (9)

Releases information

LP Mountain Railroad MR-52795 (USA 1980)

CD Musea Records FGBG 4417.AR (France 2002)

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
and to clemofnazareth for the last updates
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SIGMUND SNOPEK III First Band On The Moon (as Snopek) ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (60%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SIGMUND SNOPEK III First Band On The Moon (as Snopek) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars 'First Band on the Moon' was Sigmund Snopek III's sixth studio album and the third as part of a group after 1970's eponymous Bloomsbury People record and the prior Snopek band album 'Thinking Out Loud'. Like that record, and like just about everything else recorded on or around 1980 this album consists almost completely of New-Wave pop songs full of random and gratuitous other-wordly synthesizers, drum fills, and David Byrne-like faux- bored vocals. For the most part that's about all there is to say about the music, but I suppose a few more words are in order.

Sigmund Snopek had produced a couple of moderately interesting progressive rock albums in the seventies after leaving his post-Beat band the Bloomsbury People in 1972. He also put together a suite of sorts with the ambitious but under-fulfilled 'Nobody to Dream' in 1975, all fleshed out with copious helpings of guest musicians mostly from the Milwaukee and upper Illinois area before trying his hand once again with a proper band lineup, the appropriately named Snopek. That band lasted about six years and this was their second and final release.

For the first time Sigmund tables both his classical and progressive leanings in favor of decidedly commercial fare for Mountain Railroad, a regional label that mostly featured folk acts like Jim Kweskin's Jug Band, Tom Paxton and the weary acoustic ramblings of Gamble Rogers. One can assume this was an attempt by both Snopek and the label to produce something more commercially appealing in the early days of MTV and heavily industry-driven manipulation of musical fads. Unfortunately for both of them the label had poor distribution outlets and little promotional money so the album didn't take off, and I don't believe there were even any singles generated from the effort.

There are only a handful of moderately interesting songs here, including "Highway Ghosts" with its spastic tempo and decent guitar riffs that give off a slight Bad Company vibe; the quirky "Robotico"; and the extended "Crazy Crazy Angel (Part One)" where Snopek can't help but sneak in some mild traces of his progressive background. Otherwise this is standard early eighties fare and nothing to get too excited about.

If you're really interested in Sigmund Snopek's pop music I would suggest checking out the very tight 'WisconsInsane', and for the best of his progressive work try the last Bloomsbury People record 'Virginia Woolf', issued under Snopek's own name. This one is nowhere near as interesting as either of those. Two stars.


Review by kev rowland
3 stars Sigmund Snopek III has been working in the music industry for over thirty years, and most recently has been seen touring with The Violent Femmes. However, he started off working in progressive music, and this is a re-release of his band's 1977 album. Knowing that he has been working on symphonies with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra I wasn't quite sure what to expect of this album, I certainly didn't expect to find an album that twenty five years on from its' release does not sound too dated for the most part and is really enjoyable and fun to listen to.

Easily the band which this album reminded me most of was Saga, but this album was released prior to the Canadian outfit's debut so it is extremely unlikely that they had any bearing on the music. Three of the band share lead vocals, and musically it is based very much around the keyboards of Sigmund, with harmonies and melodies, but there is also room for a little of guitar and the result is very much a band album, not a keyboard fest. There is also room for elements of Talking Heads and even The Moody Blues, and this is an album that anyone into prog/pop with a sense of humour would do well to investigate. I certainly enjoyed it.

Originally appeared in Feedback #69, Aug 02

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