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Ariel A Strange Fantastic Dream album cover
3.43 | 19 ratings | 2 reviews | 16% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Jamaican Farewell (2:50)
2. No Encores (3:47)
3. Confessions of a Psychotic Cowpoke (4:43)
4. And I'm Blue (2:52)
5. Garden of the Frenzied Cortinas (7:46)
6. Miracle Man (5:29)
7. Chicken Shit (4:23)
8. Worm Turning Blues (2:56)
9. Wheezer Grunter Module Threadaboy/Harry v. Dirchy (God the Man) (4:20)
10. Hard Way to Go (3:49)
11. And if it Wasn't for You (2:32)
12. Red Hot Momma (2:38) (Bonus Track on CD Version)

Total Time 48:05

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Rudd / Lead Vocals, Guitars, Backing Vocals, Harmonica
- Bill Putt / Bass
- Tim Gaze / Lead Guitar, Vocals
- John Mills / Keyboards
- Nigel Macara / drums

Releases information

Produced by Peter Dawkins
Engineered by John Taylor
Recorded at EMI A & B Studios, Sydney, October 1973.
Cover art by Stephen Nelson

Thanks to AmericanProgster for the addition
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ARIEL A Strange Fantastic Dream ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ARIEL A Strange Fantastic Dream reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This long-forgotten Australian art band arrived with the all the promise the early 1970s had to offer. Mike Rudd's flamboyant vocals, founding partner Bill Putt's easy right hand on bass, keyboardist John Mills and lead guitar of Tim Gaze adding their subtle colors made Ariel's debut one of the brighter and less grimly serious offerings of 1974. A cross-pollenation of Rudd&Putt's Spectrum and Sydney group Tamam Shud, their A Strange Fantastic Dream provided some fun and humor alongside complex songs and soulful performances. Recalled is Supertramp, Babe Ruth, classic Split Enz, period Yes, and Aussie mates Fraternity and though the LP is more sportive party than stoic prog, the skills of the five-piece were unmistakable.

'Jamaican Farewell' starts the ball rolling in the right direction, an easy going swinger led by Mike Rudd's infectious riff continued for mid-tempo 'No Encore' with Rudd's throaty whine, the prog emerging fully here-- John Mills' synth washes, the building rhythms and altered chords of Putt&Rudd's fine compositions. Eight minute 'Garden of the Frenzied Cortinas' is even more convincing, a house of many rooms and a lost artrock treasure featuring a very gooey extended vamp between Mills' keys and Tim Gaze's bluesy lead guitar, climaxing finally with big pageantry and Rudd's plaintive wail. And 'Chicken Sh*t' belies its title and is one of the best cuts here, leaving no doubt these guys were serious if waggish about their music.

There is also material on A Strange Fantastic Dream that is more blues-rock than art, and during the band's final incarnation in 1977 they released the ridiculous single 'Disco Dilemma' as a tongue-in-cheek response to the dance phenomenon. But overall, this one is Ariel at its prime, full of great ideas and good spirits, and should be considered by anyone with a soft spot for the lighter side of the artrock movement.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Officially the first Ariel release, this is really a continuation of Spectrum in both personnel - the only musician missing from the last line-up of Spectrum is Ray Arnott - and musical direction. Arnott's place at the drum stool is taken by former Tamam Shud drummer Nigel Macara, and he also brough ... (read more)

Report this review (#722262) | Posted by sl75 | Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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