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Druid Fluid Druid album cover
3.08 | 97 ratings | 14 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Razor Truth (5:41)
2. Painters Clouds (4:59)
3. FM 145 (2:10)
4. Crusade (7:52)
5. Nothing But Morning (4:10)
6. Barnaby (3:13)
7. Kestrel (3:37)
8. Left To Find (7:18)
9. The Fisherman's Friend (0:45)

Total time 39:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Dane / guitars, vocals
- Andrew McCrorie-Shand / keyboards
- Neil Brewer / bass
- Cedric Sharpley / drums, percussions

Releases information

Artwork: Cream

LP EMI ‎- EMC 3128 (1976, UK)

2xCD Beat Goes On Records - BGOCD285 (1995, UK) Bundled edition with "Toward The Sun" album
CD EMI ‎- TOCP-65790 (2003, Japan)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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DRUID Fluid Druid ratings distribution

(97 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DRUID Fluid Druid reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
4 stars Despite this British band was strongly influenced by the most melodic side of YES, "Fluid Druid" isn't a copy or a clone. In the same vein of another great (and underrated) group of the same period (ENGLAND), DRUID took the best elements of the 70's monsters and made an album plenty of quality and beauty.

Dane, the vocalist, seems to sing like Jon Anderson, but he sounds derivative, not imitative. Guitar player job (as Howe) is extremely good. All tracks are very enjoyable altough not really complex, being present all the best classic symphonic rock characteristics: frequent and surprising changes, majestic chorus, fantastic melodies and elaborated instrumentation.

"Razor Truth" and "Painters Clouds" are two magnificent tracks where the YES influence is easy to recognize, and "Barnaby" is a sort of a reggae rythm short song, but the pearls are "FM 145" (mostly instrumental Camel-esque beauty), "Crusade" (what an unique song!) and the mini suite "Left To Find" (a progressive jewel: it begins like a YES theme but suddenly a delicious flute invades the ambience and melody flows slowly, in crescendo with piano and guitar, creating a special atmosphere. We can find some CAMEL influence here again).

"Fluid Druid" is a very recommended album, very melodic and beautiful, and a must for all YES fans.

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This was the album where Druid ditched their 'name' producer and tried to do their own thing in an attempt to get away from some of the hype of their debut. Musically, they were partially successful - this album is far less of a Yes copy than before, but sadly their timing was all wrong. Even as the album was appearing in record stores, the storm clouds of Punk were gathering to wash away the weak and infirm. Druid would not survive.

Fluid Druid is a good album, but in some ways a tantalising one because amongst some bland pop (Razor Truth), late Moody Blues style soft rock (Painter's Clouds after an encouraging start) and Yes cloning (Kestrel), are some glimpses of originality and excellent musicality. The core songs are not too strong, and sometimes the band seem to be trying just a bit too hard, but arrangements are generally good to excellent with gutsy lead guitar work and magnificent pipe organ courtesy of the Royal Albert Hall. Dane's vocals sound more like Michael Jackson than Jon Anderson this time around, but he is still singing mostly in a very high register and with poor diction. He is an acquired taste but you get used it in time.

Highlights include the far too short FM145, a punchy instrumental which shows what they might have been capable of achieving. Crusade has some silly affected vocal mannerisms which mars an otherwise excellent song featuring both children's and adult choirs and the pipe organ before lapsing into some Yes-isms. Nothing But Morning is a majestic song built around choir and organ which contrasts with a cod-reggae beat reminiscent of 10CC on Barnaby. Left To Find chills out in a relaxing mellow mood, led by flute and choir but with cutting guitar somewhere near Camel territory.

Fluid Druid is not consistent enough to be considered 'excellent', though some of the individual pieces are, but it is well worth investigating if you love mid-70s melodic Symphonic Prog. Of course, the accusation of being derivative still cannot be avoided entirely, but Druid have made progress towards their own voice. It's anybody's guess how much further they might have gone.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars Nothing has really changed under the "Druid" sun. But how could it ?

Since their unique source of inspiration is "Yes", and that the originality of the band was not its best asset, they could only repeat their debut album. I was even disappointed with the opening number which only starts in the second half. "Razor Truth" is really boring in its initial phase. Really wonder what the band wanted to achieve there. Fortunately, the closing section is as good as it could be : fully symphonic and aerial music backed up with pleasant Anderson vocals.

Strangely enough, the lead singer, Dane is trying to sing with the same demonstrative vocals as Peter Gabriel during "Cruisade", but with Anderson's voice. Rather a bizarre and totally inappropriate mix. I really don't like this. The ridiculous chorus won't do any good to raise the quality of this song, I'm afraid.

The band is even trying to play a pure "Druid" song for a while! "Nothing But Morning" is probably one of their most original work. Pleasant melody, bombastic all the way through, powerful bass play (reminds me of someone...). My fave so far. Don' t worry, there will be some Howe-ish guitar break as well. As if "Druid" couldn't really write a full song of their own style... "Barnaby" on the contrary is the weakest of all their numbers. A mix of reggae and jazz with awful vocals. What the heck ??? I know that reaggae started to be popular in Europe in those days but this is really out of purpose and poor.

There will also be some short songs that are not really useful like "FM 145", "Kestrel" and the closing "The Fisherman's Friend" which ends after forty-four seconds. Rather bizarre to close an album. As you can read, there is nothing to be over-enthusiastic about this album.

The second good track of this album is "Left To Find". A long and pleasant instrumental intro featuring some beautiful keys and guitar : full of subtlelty, sweetness and harmony. Considering the average quality of this album, it stands out. This melodic intro will leads to a soft vocal part. A bit jazz, but still symphonic. By far the best song of this "Fluid Druid". If only more of this could have been proposed!

Both "Druid" albums have been released in a double CD format. You can get it for less than eleven ? (excluding shipment). So, why not ? But only if you have been through to the "Yes" repertoire so extensively that you are willing to get a bit more of their type of music. But remember, this is "Druid". And it is very much more limited than any one of the great "Yes" albums.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Fluid Druid" is the second full-length studo album by UK progressive rock act Druid. The album was released through EMI Records in May 1976. Itīs the successor to "Toward the Sun" from June 1975. Druid were active in the period 1971-1977 and released two albums during their run, this being the last one before disbanding.

"Fluid Druid" continues the symphonic progressive rock style Druid initiated on "Toward the Sun". Itīs a sound and music style greatly influenced by Yes, but also by other contemporary artists like Queen (take a listen to "Nothing But Morning" to hear that influence) and Genesis. Druid are a well playing act and lead vocalist/guitarist Dane Stevens has a strong voice and a convincing passionate delivery, further enhanced by the many choirs and harmony vocals featured on the tracks. Various types of keyboards/synths/piano/organ carry the tracks along with organic bass and drum playing and both acoustic and electric guitars.

The tracks are cleverly composed and quite memorable, but what Druid havenīt achieved is a personal and distinct sound. Itīs too bad because all other elements of their music and performances (the album is also very well produced) are of a high quality. They were probably also a bit late to the game releasing their debut as last as 1975, when progressive rock was already in decline, but Iīll still speculate that they could have made it bigger and have been more recognised for their output today, if they had produced more unique material. "Fluid Druid" is however still a high quality progressive rock release and itīs both a challenging and pleasant listen, and a 3.5 star (70%) rating isnīt all wrong.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Swan Song of a sadly underappreciated, quality group

The second Druid album is written off by some as the weaker one but I'm not sure that is correct. It does feature material that is less connected: the first album has a consistent almost conceptual feel about the tracks whereas this one tries a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But the playing is still top notch, the changes of pace invigorating, and the band's commitment to their sound apparent to me. Had they not folded after this album and had the luxury of taking some time off and having a big budget third album I think Druid could have made a fantastic one. But as it is we are left with two quality documents of a band with much talent and an ability to create something fresh in the same general zone of other 70s symphonic acts.

"Razor Truth" sees the supposed "Yes clones" charging out of the gate with a Styx sound, the vocal so close to DeYoung's voice that you might do a double-take. But it's a good rocking track with a strange quiet interlude in the middle. Pretty good lyrics as well. "Painters Clouds" intros with the big bass sound again and crisp acoustic guitar before some nice electric leads. The mellotron again holds down the background here but the imagery seems just a tad closer to Earth this time around. Dane proves he is a vocal chameleon here by sounding neither Anderson or DeYoung-like, but rather sounding like Dane Stevens. Very high range squealing solo to close it out. "FM 145" shows the first break from the Druid sound to date with a decidedly synth-pop sound to the Styx-like rock track. "Crusade" really tests your cheese limitations with Dane leading a choir of children into a chorus of "la la las" over and again. I really don't mind it but it will be a bigger eye roll for some of you than Cat Stevens ever provided. It turns quite theatrical with a big Queen style section that is robust and jamming. "Nothing but Morning" is another majestic over-the-top thing with organ, arms in the air vocals, and harmonized guitars over huge bass and drums. In some ways the jammy sections here are as Yes-like as anything on the debut, perhaps more so because they are a bit more aggressive. "Barnaby" is another change-up for the chameleon Druid band who I'm beginning to think could have been a very interesting band if they continued. Here they are Steely Dan, laying down Babylon Sisters a few years before the does that mean Dan is a Druid clone? Just kidding. But seriously that's what this track reminds me of, sans the girls singing the chorus. "Kestrel" has a lovely solo piano opening that crescendos with a dramatic vocal before the band joins in. It then gets really fast and lively before reverting back to a piano/quiet vocal ending. "Left to Find" is really the anchor of this second album. It is a lovely, brooding, hopelessly romantic piece of symphonic prog as elegant as anything you will find in the period. A cymbal shimmer, bass line, and flute usher in a wavey and peaceful piano melody. Soon Dane begins with clean leads over the piano and it is very beautiful indeed, slow but building emotionally like Sebastian Hardie's best work. The drums and bass slowly up the ante until Dane is forced to turn up his volume as well. Mid way through the band pauses for a brief vocal section that ends with haunting lines, as if Druid as much as knew this moment was their swan song:

Shattered dreams

Broken and left on the table

Breakfast done

Sweep them all away...

After the vocal the flute returns for a beautiful ending with piano as well. This is really the finale, as the last track "Fisherman's Friend" is simply a silly coda of 40 seconds that showed Druid were going out with a sense of humor. They headed out in the Spring of '76 to tour the album but the liner notes say that in the same issues of the rock mags that carried ads for their album and tour, there began to appear buzz for a new group called The Sex Pistols. Their days were numbered.

Most feel that the first album is easily the better one and I thought that initially as well. But after a while I began to appreciate the fact that they were trying some different things on this second one. It doesn't always work but there are enough moments that do to make "Fluid Druid" worth checking out for fans of late 70s proggy pop/rock. One of the few reviewers whose view I share is ProgressiveWorld's Tom Karr who writes "the second disc in this set, Fluid Druid, has a more mature and individual sound. It is slow moving and quite gentle, and has that mellow energy of the first few PFM releases. I think the second disc is superior to the first in some ways. It allows the band to move further afield from the Yes sound of the first album, and the group displays a more solid, yet more sensitive sound than on the first disc, though the material is not as uniformly strong as that of the first CD. In my opinion, all the songs from the first disc were good and more than half the material of the second disc was outstanding and memorable."

I enjoy this band for their reckless sense of playfulness and their great ear for the joy in music. The have a rather naïve approach to things but with that an almost childlike wonder that is now but a moment trapped in their mid 70s story. I think neo-prog fans would do well to check out the ear pleasing Druid sound. Another 3-plus for me but just shy of 4 I think.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Fluid Druid, I remember very well this album cover on many record stores in my teen years. It was an easy album to find, but I never heard it until recently. My friends, like everybody else, called them a poor imitation of Yes and a group to be avoided. So I was quite surprised when I played the album and found little of Yes here. In fact, it reminded me more of the Barclay James Harvest, Styx or Moody Blues than Yes. Ok, there are strong influences from that great group (the bass parts are, for sure), but Iīve heard far closer cloning stuff (Starcastle comes to mind, but there are many others).

It seems that Druid tried hard to shield away from Yes with this one and the results are only average. Mostly short songs that are somewhat pop-ish without a strong hook, or symphonic without a consistent songwriting or skill. They just stay between these two lines. Singer Dane tries hard to be original but the results simply do not work. They try too hard to do something original but they come out only with something derivative and bland. Nothing But Morning is a good example: it sounds like a cross between Queen and... guess who? Left to find has a nice flute but is just boring. Crusade uses children choir to try to lift up a rather weak attempt to create an epic. And so on. The songs just never take off.

It is clear that those guys did know how to play their instruments. But their effort to sound different and original didnīt succeed here. No track is moving enough to be memorable. Maybe they could have done a better work if they had time to develop their own sound on the road. But this was not to be. Hence, I found Fluid Druid a rather weak CD that I can recommend only for fans and collectors.

Review by ghost_of_morphy
4 stars Every once in a while, when I am exploring the more far-flung reaches of the progressive universe, I find an album that I had never heard of back in the day that sticks with me. Fluid is such an album. Somehow I find it memorable and keep coming back to it. Not necessarily because of it's progginess, but just because I think the music is good and tastefully executed for the most part.

The first thing that struck me about the album was the vocalist. He's good, but he sounds eerily like Dennis DeYoung of Styx. So eerily that it surprised me that Druid was recording before DeYoung really took over Styx's direction. That some of these tracks have the grand sweep of those operatic ballads DeYoung loved to crank out helps support the similarity.

Next I noticed the bass. Brewer is no Chris Squire from the same time period. He doesn't seek out complexity for complexity's sake, but what he does do is give Druid a very solid foundation on which to build, and those growling plodding notes he churns out penetrate through the music and really drive the instrumentals.

As for the keyboardist, he's well above average if not worshipful. Good but not great chops, and he gets some really nice varied sound textures out of his equipment. The same could be said of Dane's guitar although not with quite as much enthusiasm.

But it's the material that really distinguishes this album. These guys have transcended the material that they released on their first album. They fearlessly tread through the realms of both pop and prog, churning out the best parts of each as they play this series of songs. What results is a very good album that sticks in my mind, and given the high volume of varied music that I listen to, that is definitely a compliment. I strongly recommend this album to all prog fans. I feel you will find that it stacks up well against much more well known albums from the classic age of prog. 4 stars.

Review by Warthur
2 stars Druid evidently decided to craft a more distinctive sound for themselves after the Yes worship of Toward the Sun - a good idea with one vital flaw, namely that they don't seem to have much idea of what they want to change their sound to! With a few bits and pieces of Yes imitation cluttering up the place, the band also try their hand at jazz fusion a little (unconvincingly) and on one track (Barnaby) try their hand at a bit of ska in the vein of The Specials or Madness - a musical direction which might have seen them survive the onslaught of punk, were it not for the fact that the song is a completely incompetent jab at the genre.

Fluid Druid is 40 minutes of the sound of sheer panic setting in, as the band remove the safety net only to find that, at the end of the day, they just aren't ready to move out the shadow of the topographic oceaneers.. Two stars.

Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review Nš 275

Druid was a 70's progressive rock band from England. The career of the band began very promising, after they had won a young talent competition of the magazine Melody Maker. Shortly thereafter, they were on the front page of that music magazine. In addition to the prize money of 500 pounds, this sense of achievement helped the band to a record deal with EMI. Thus, formally the starting position for Druid as a young band from the field of progressive rock was very favourable indeed. In 1975, their debut studio album 'Toward The Sun' was presented to the public in a release party. But, unfortunately, the fact that Druid won the competition was curiously almost a drawback, as the rest of the music press and some radio stations considered the band more or less as a pupil of a large magazine and a large record label.

Musically, Druid is comparable to their compatriots Yes, and sometimes is even charged as a pure clone. Guitarist and singer Dane has a distinctive falsetto voice. For the most part, he sings even higher than Jon Anderson, whose vocal qualities he doesn't achieve. The striking bass by Neil Brewer is obviously inspired by Chris Squire. With the release of their second studio album 'Fluid Druid' in 1976, the band distanced themselves from their first production and Melody Maker connections. As it couldn't make up for the weaker material on their sophomore effort, the band finally gave up.

The songwriting on 'Fluid Druid' is more varied than on 'Toward The Sun' and less Yes oriented, as if they wanted to find their own way. Druid had developed stylistically in search of more autonomy. It was apparently the concern of the band to bring their compositions to the point, without neglecting the symphonic note. This endeavor is partially exemplary succeeded. Still, they managed to keep the warmth and atmosphere in their sound. The use of the Mellotron was withdrawn compared to their debut. The guitar playing has become more variable and expresses its own stamp on the more compact compositions. It harmonizes well with the again crisp bass runs. With a few exceptions, the vocals no longer move in the dizzying heights of the first work. There's less falsetto-vocals on the arrangements in this time.

'Fluid druid' is the second album of Druid and was released in 1976. The line up on the album is Dane Stevens (vocals and guitars), Andrew McCrorie-Shand (keyboards), Neil Brewer (bass) and Cedric Sharpley (drums and percussion).

'Fluid Druid' has nine tracks. The first track 'Razor Truth' is a melancholic opener to the album. Yes' influence is easy to recognize. This is a good rocking track with a strange quiet interlude in the middle and with some pretty good lyrics as well. On the second track 'Painters Clouds' reins the acoustic presence, the bass heavily heavy and present, a true 'stone'. The Mellotron holds down the background here. Dane's romantic voice brings life and a nice guitar solo ends it gracefully. The third track 'FM 145' is an energetic instrumental track. It shows the first break from the Druid sound to date with a decidedly synthesized sound. The tone that Neil takes from the bass is great, but Cedric's drums, Andrew's keyboards and Dani's guitar are also great. The fourth track 'Crusade' has a song structure quite interesting. It starts with a fast track and a vocal with a heavy accent. The following melody is beautiful and carries peace in your notes. The second part of the song is instrumental and carries the 'weight' of classical training, including organ and chorus. The fifth track 'Nothing But Morning' is basically a harmless ballad, giving to Dane the chance to dizzy heights. In the dynamic middle a part of Yes let greet again. Packed by a melody on the piano the voice carries beauty and the sequence in any theme is carried by a strong atmosphere. The sixth track 'Barnaby' is considered the most unusual composition of Druid. It's a quite funny surprise with its ska/funk influences and differs completely from everything else they did before. The seventh track 'Kestrel' is a short and nice song, with the synth play briefly reminiscent of 'Gates Of Delirium', but not at all so fits into the overall concept of this short song. It's a more acoustic and Renaissance side of the band. The eighth track 'Left To Find' presents a dreamy facet of the band. A romantic piano playing in combination with a majestic guitar, determine the mainly instrumental character of this song. After quiet vocal lines in the middle section, romantic flute play brings the title to a close. The ninth track 'The Fisherman's Friend' is nothing more than a joke with a fast keyboard theme and vocals throughout the short song. It closes the album in a nice way.

Conclusion: For me, the last tracks on 'Fluid Druid' give me the impression that Druid was desperately searching for their own identity. Thus, the second side of the former LP it seems to me a bit inexperienced. And because of that, despite the album contains some really great tracks the final result isn't very well balanced, really. Although despite some changes on this album, they weren't so terribly drastic. It represents a decent symphonic prog album. If you like the first album, you'll probably like the second one too, but maybe a little less. If you're a devoted fan of symphonic progressive rock fan, I'd suggest starting with 'Toward The Sun' and then proceeding to this album if you're eager for more. But if you buy the double CD of the two albums in only one package, it represents an excellent value certainly.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

2 stars Definitely not as good as its predecessor, Fluid Druid contains about 40mins of average prog pop-rock. Dane's singing, which in my opinion was one of the highlights of the debut album, becomes more aggressive and unnatural at places (e.g. Crusade). The production is also rather disappointing. H ... (read more)

Report this review (#278717) | Posted by lukretio | Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars YES plagiarism or not............ Druid does a pretty melodic form of YES like symphonic prog. The music is easy-listening and almost pop at times. I do not find the music particular intricate. It is symphonic prog for the masses. When that is said, I do not think this album is bad. The two op ... (read more)

Report this review (#187492) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, October 31, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Not quite as enjoyable as the previous "Towards The Sun", "Fluid Druid" is non the less a pleasant follow-up. Perhaps stung by the (well deserved) "Yes Clones" accusations, the boys this time try to aim for a more original-sounding collection. This they achieve (despite the penultimate track " ... (read more)

Report this review (#27802) | Posted by Tony D | Friday, February 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars One of the first Prog albums I ever bought. A bit chaotic in places but some items of real quality such as 'Razor Truth'. And here's some trivia for you ... Ced Sharpley went on to be Gary Numan's drummer while Andy McCrorie-Shand went on to write music for TV shows and even scored a Number 1 ... (read more)

Report this review (#27801) | Posted by | Tuesday, January 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Fluid Druid survive the test of time in that they personify the other side of insanity offered by contempories of their time. Think nothing of listening to tunes that will blend in with your world as we knew it then and feel it now. Life moves, but in no finer scale than the muscical. Here we have i ... (read more)

Report this review (#27799) | Posted by | Thursday, April 15, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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