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Easter Island

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Easter Island Now and Then album cover
3.00 | 39 ratings | 10 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wanderer's Lament (3:20)
2. Face To Face (5:49)
3. Genius Of The Dance (4:18)
4. Solar Sailor (6:20)
5. Winds Of Time (6:46)
6. The Alchemist's Suite: Prelude (1:31)
7. The Alchemist's Suite: Life Celebration (4:18)
8. The Alchemist's Suite: Telesterion (5:31)
9. The Alchemist's Suite: Resurrection (5:51)

Bonus Tracks on 1991 release
10. Summerland (4:49)
11. Now And Then (1:43)

Total Time: 50:16

Line-up / Musicians

- Rick Bartlett / vocals
- Park Crain / bass, synthesizers pedals, percussion
- Mark Hendricks / drums
- Mark Miceli / guitar, vocals, synthesizer
- Ray Vogel / keyboards, Mellotron

Releases information

LP 1979
CD Make Make Music/BMI (1991)
Compilation and digital remix by Mark Miceli
Cover Art - Mark Miceli and Bill Horan

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to aapatsos for the last updates
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EASTER ISLAND Now and Then ratings distribution

(39 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (21%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

EASTER ISLAND Now and Then reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
3 stars A classic issue in the late seventies, featuring two US vocalists such as Rick Bartlett and Mark Miceli, by a derivative band-YES like- with hints of such a simphonic style by ELP in their lightest vein, and their use of accessible melodies too. Well their recent come back ("Mother Sun" is the title of their new album) in the course of year 2000, is a bit disappointing, being too much technological and emulating also the CRIMSONian sound of the eighties. Instead the present "Now and Then" is recommended, even though it is not a masterpiece...
Review by kenethlevine
2 stars Now here is an American band that actually sounds British for the most part, but unfortunately more like a parody of all their idols, especially Yes, Genesis, and ELP with a bit of KC thrown in. The band knows how to play riffs and little keyboard runs borrowed liberally from the above, but hasn't much skill in songwriting, composing or arranging. It's not clear when they actually prepared the material for this album, and by 1979 it would have been a non starter even if the band had more prowess in all these departments, but this is no long lost classic.

Nonetheless, Now and Then does contain some worthwhile moments, especially in the opener Wanderer's Lament, containing ethereal mellotron flutes (since regular flutes are not named in the credits),. By far the highlight is the "Telesterion" part of the "Alchemist's Suite", dominated by Park Crain's hypnotic synthesizer pedals and percussion. "The Life Celebration" and "Solar Sailor" contain some of the better Yes-like vocals as well as a cool dose of mellotron and moogs. But beyond that, Now and Then doesn't and didn't contain enough to sustain us now or then. 2.5 stars rounded down.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars EASTER ISLAND were a talented American band from the seventies. Originally only 300 copies of this album were released making it quite the collectors item. It was re-issued on cd in 1991 with bonus tracks. This is now out of print making it a difficult recording to track down. I was reminded of YES a lot especially with the guitar playing.There's lots of synths and mellotron.Two different vocalists here and the one guy I find very annoying.

"Wanderer's Lament" is the opening instrumental that's kind of experimental then spacey after 2 minutes. Mellotron late. "Face To Face" kicks in right away and I like the drumming. The vocals before a minute are truly cringe worthy. He sounds like a Motown singer or something. Nice bass 3 minutes in. "Genius Of The Dance" is pastoral with reserved vocals. It picks up a minute in then turns much fuller as drums and mellotron dominate. The tempo then picks up with vocals. Themes are repeated.

"Solar Sailor" is laid back with mellotron and vocals standing out. Good tune. Lots of synths after 3 minutes. The guitar reminds me of Howe here. "Winds Of Time" is uptempo with lots of keyboards. It settles after 2 1/2 minutes with piano. Kicks back in as contrasts continue. Vocals come in for the first time after 5 1/2 minutes. "The Alchemist's Suite" is divided into 4 parts. "Prelude" is a great intro with intricate sounds. "Life Celebration" opens with vocals and light keys (harpichord ?). It picks up. Some bottom end after 3 minutes, guitar follows. "Telesterion" opens with tribal-like drumming. Mellotron and synths help out. It also has an Eastern vibe. "Resurrection" has lots of synths and the vocals come in fairly quickly. Not a fan of this one.

Worth 3 stars but the vocals can be difficult to take at times.

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars The only reason I was interested in this band at all is because visiting Easter Island is on my list of things I want to do before I get so old I can't make the trip. The wife and I have evenly seriously discussed ? next summer might be the time we finally make the plunge!

Anyway this band and album have nothing to do with the island except for the moai drawings on the cover. This is a digital remix of the original 300 copy limited edition (probably vanity) recording from 1979. Band founder Mark Miceli digitally remixed that record and released it under the obscure Make Make label with BMI distribution in 1991. the original album is re-presented in it's entirety along with an introductory and almost completely synthesized tune ("Wanderer's Lament") that appears to feature only Miceli; and the closing title track which was recorded at the same time (presumably 1991), again by Miceli.

This does qualify as progressive, symphonic rock music given the mildly classical leanings of most of the arrangements as well as liberal use of moog and Mellotron. That said, there's nothing particularly original here, and nearly every track call to mind several prog gods of the early and mid-seventies, who undoubtedly influenced Miceli and friends.

For example, "Genius of the Dance" borrows unabashedly from Yes circa 1974-75, and "Solar Sailor" could have been included on Kansas' 'Vinyl Confessions' album without anyone batting an eyelash. "Winds of Time" sounds like a warm-up track for 'Tales From Topographic Oceans', and the four-part "Alchemist's Suite" takes the form of too many ELP compositions to count, but with a touch of Klaatu just to make things really weird. Finally, "Face to Face" reminds me an awful lot of the later Salem Hill (who themselves owe a debt to Yes, ELP and Kansas) and the two 1991 add-on Miceli tracks, which frankly are the best- sounding on the album, both come off as Alan Parsons-like studio wizardry.

And the point must be made that these guys are not in the same talent league of any of those bands I just mentioned, as evidenced by the comparatively simple and derivative keyboard passages as well as the sub-par vocals, particularly the falsetto singing on 'Ressurection', the last stanza of the Alchemist's Suite and something that sounds like Jon Anderson on a bad-throat day.

Mark Miceli seems to have made a career of art and music if his website is any indication, and more power to him I say. This is a decent album, but not spectacular and not a lost classic by any stretch. Miceli seems more than anything to have been a victim of unfortunate timing; the original version of this album released in 1979 when the backlash against the dinosaurs of prog was so strong he wouldn't have stood a chance even if with a major-label distribution deal. And the reissue in 1991 was a few years too early to catch the resurgent wave of nostalgic prog interest. So in the end the CD version of this album faded into the same obscurity of its LP ancestor. Mildly recommended as a curiosity to serious symphonic prog fans with deep pockets, but otherwise not much more than a high two stars out of five on the prog rating scale.


Latest members reviews

3 stars Average symphonic fare in the vein of the classics everyone love to sound a bit to much like (ELP in this case). So yeah Keyboard dominated music with singing as another prominent element. Unfortunately when the fellas play they forgot to write songs and not just play scale really fast. The album ... (read more)

Report this review (#2569867) | Posted by Beautiful Scarlet | Wednesday, June 9, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Now And Then poses a problem many other 70's American prog bands pose, how important should the amount of originality be when rating or if you should just rate it on its own merits. Overall there's a lot to like here for any fans of Yes and prog in a similar vein, but it's overall lacking in inn ... (read more)

Report this review (#2164346) | Posted by VayuOfficial | Monday, March 11, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album originally came out in 1979 (actually on december 31!) on the Baal Label with only 300 pressings (with a different cover depicting the band standing with a crying moai). Of those 300 pressings 100 were collector's edition (as if it already wasn't) with a gold moai's tear. Anyway this ... (read more)

Report this review (#1470954) | Posted by MyDarling95 | Wednesday, September 30, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another terribly underestimate North-American band ! Maybe due the influence of the British prog masters, like Yes, E,L & Palmer, Genesis, Gentle Giant and others. Easter Island bring to us in their wonderfull music a lesson of a mix symnphonic/hard and space prog !!! The themes are dev ... (read more)

Report this review (#238863) | Posted by maryes | Saturday, September 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Nowandthen" is the CD reissue of one of the most symphonic albums ever recorded by an American progressive rock group. Ranking, by most people's estimation, right up there with other great releases by Cathedral, Lift & Pentwater (to name but three), Easter Island's opus is rightly called a maste ... (read more)

Report this review (#217505) | Posted by ZNR | Friday, May 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The first couple of tracks are great, but then there's a big decline in quality. One of those super-obscure albums that probably got more attention from 1990 to now than it did in its first decade of existence. Some nice mellotron parts. ... (read more)

Report this review (#135453) | Posted by Ootsandnoots | Thursday, August 30, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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