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SILVER APPLES

Silver Apples

Proto-Prog


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Silver Apples Silver Apples  album cover
3.33 | 16 ratings | 4 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1968

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Oscillations (2:47)
2. Seagreen Serenades (2:53)
3. Lovefingers (4:10)
4. Program (4:05)
5. Velvet Cave (3:28)
6. Whirly-Bird (2:39)
7. Dust (3:42)
8. Dancing Gods (5:55)
9. Misty Mountain (2:38)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Dan Taylor / Percussion, Vocals
- Simeon / Synth, Vocals

Releases information

Kapp Records
Design Records 2009 reissue

Thanks to philippe for the addition
Edit this entry

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Buy SILVER APPLES Silver Apples Music


Silver Apples [Vinyl]Silver Apples [Vinyl]
Phoenix Records 2008
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$29.01 (used)
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Import
Mca 1997
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$3.64 (used)
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Whirlybird (1998-10-06)
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SILVER APPLES Silver Apples ratings distribution


3.33
(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(12%)
12%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(50%)
50%
Good, but non-essential (31%)
31%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

SILVER APPLES Silver Apples reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 styars really!!

First album of the NY duo that had begun as a quintet named Overland Stage Electric Band, but slowly disintegrated into the groundbreaking Silver Apple duet. The metamorphosis was mainly due to leader Simeon's increased interest in electronic sounds and gizmos, which scared the other members, except for drummer Taylor. Indeed, as the defections went on, Simeon acquired a bunch of oscillators (some played with hands, others with feet), some of which were used as bass guitar proxy, all of it mostly self-assembled. They received much attention for their first appearance at a Central Park all-day concert that featured Zappa, Fugs, Steve Miller Band, and this landed them a recording contract with Kapp Records.

Silver Apples were definitely one of the electronic music pioneers, along with United States Of America, Fifty Foot Hose, and White Noise & Tangerine Dream (across the Atlantic), and in some ways, the music on their debut album can resemble a bit the one that Neu!, Can or Kraftwerk would develop some five years later. The least we can say is that the drug- induced psychedelic electronic soundscapes developed on their s/t debut is completely un- commercial (at least back in those days), and was very repetitive and had a minimalist side to it. Some of these tracks even are a little hypnotic and even develop a certain Amerindian incantation feel (Dancing Gods). Right from the first electronic pulse of the opening Oscillations, you'd swear that you're somewhere in the mid-70's if not even in the early 80's, if it wasn't for the "poor" production and naïve vocals. Lovefingers features the repetititititive electronic beats and melodies (often limited to binary) with plenty of tape extracts and effects from all sorts of source, including classical music. While few people remember SA's legacy though their two albums, I have little doubt that some musicians heard them and inspired their sounds from them. While I wouldn't call any of SA's two albums masterpieces of electronic music, if you're into the genesis of the style, then they both become essential and very groundbreaking albums, a bit like White Noise's Electric Storm or Tangerine Dream's Electronic Meditations. But as pure musical quality, this album is fairly average, most of its interest lies within the historical context and its avant-garde aura.

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Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This synthetically shimmering rare metal duo was certainly ahead of their time, pioneering the droning beats for meditative space rock pulsars, trance techno electronics and monotonic psychedelic dronings. On the time of recording this album, Third Ear Band were searching their own path to autistic ecstasy from archaic primitivism and Fifty Foot Hose projected their electronic fields as evocative textures among their hippie compositions, but Danny Taylor's and Simeon's duo Silver Apples relied to foreign mechanical perspectives granted by self-constructed audio oscillator, counterbalanced with human touch of drums and singing voice.

As a Finnish listener a first association from the constructed audio generator monster "Simeon" is the electronic quartet machine built by Erkki Kureniemi, the tonal aesthetic shimmering the humanism equal to post-second world war computer's brutal processing of analogue tapes and information cards. The compositions on this first album of the duo implements the scale of sonic variations of quite limited possibilities quite well, overall feeling being stoned, distressing and alienating. The vocal lines follow the paths of meditative choruses and machine sounds fulfil vast array of pitch dimensions, creating a convincing but foreign sound realms. The union of mechanical and man played rhythm instruments unite as enchanting dreamy pulse sequences, and the contrast of tender vocals and brutal machines are quite powerful, certainly beating with pulse of an unique record artifact. Tracks like "Program" also introduce use of sampled loops of other records, from their own part predicting the birth of dj culture, mixing classical music and radio broadcasts to the hypnotic and relentless rhythmic drive of the song. Also quite impressionistic soundscapes are introduced along with reciting like "Dust", and "Dancing Gods" floating to hypnotic spheres of American Indian drumming rituals.

I believe the album has also quite much historical value, and those interested of the development of electronic music or cosmic causeways of Hawkwind related bands might be interested to hear this album. As a listening experience I found this innovative material interesting, but not enchanting, forcing me to preserve listening time for this stuff in notable measures.

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Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Moderator
3 stars An enjoyable pioneer of Psychedelic / Progressive / Electronic call.

Basically their eponymous album was created with bluesy psychedelic / heavy pop songs, that were deeply veiled with weird old-fashioned electronic blows. Their electronic sounds were not so precise nor experimental but amazingly innovative for the end of 1960s ... in a different sense from other progressive prototypes.

Not all stuffs are interesting as honestly I say, but each track has definite eccentricity through electric mind waves. The very first shot of "Oscillation" is peculiar enough for icing our brain really, regardless of its basically "pop" feeling. In the third one "Program", just like the title, lots of dramatic / classic samples are featured here and there, that reminds me some touches like John Lennon's "Revolution No.9". "Dust" is another bulky experiment launched by them with horribly unstable synthesizer-oriented atmosphere and floating (and cheesy) voices. For me this track can be called as progressive indeed.

Progressive electronic really? No for me. But cannot be avoided as an innovator for this subgenre. Silver Apples would have been shining for progressive rock freaks I imagine?

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Review by LearsFool
COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
LearsFool avatar
4 stars It was 1968, and all the world knew of electronic music was Stockhausen, Delia Derbyshire's theme song for "Doctor Who", and that weird little instrument Brian Wilson played on "Good Vibrations" - that is, the Electro- Theremin, originally put down by Paul Tanner in the studio. Then an Armenian American calling himself simply Simeon put together a band through which he wished to explore electronic sounds in a psychedelic context. Forced by monetary concerns to thumb his nose at Moog's original modulator, he took a few '40's era oscillators and over time built an extensive set. This alienated all but talented and loyal drummer Dan Taylor, and they ended up cutting a couple of records. As a result, we can thank them for White Noise, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Throbbing Gristle, New Order, Aphex Twin, Massive Attack, Underworld, Nimh, and Com Truise. They managed to use Simeon's beloved electronic sounds to make some wonderful psychedelic music, especially as supported by Taylor's own vast drumset, played like Hephaestus at his forge. It's smooth, light, unique stuff that takes a listener on a relaxing yet alien journey. There is nothing else like this in all music, especially in light of the particular oscillators used to create it, with the unique sound they gave. This is also the font of electronic music in a more popular context, something even the masterful "United States of America" couldn't hope to achieve on its own. Of all of psychedelia's albums, this, "Sgt Pepper's", and "Electric Ladyland" had to be the three particularly forward thinking and influential albums. And, though not quite as good as Joe Byrd's and White Noise's work in proto-pop- electro, it is still great. A unique, wonderful, required listen.

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