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Greenslade Greenslade album cover
3.70 | 264 ratings | 34 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Feathered Friends (6:42)
2. An English Western (3:25)
3. Drowning Man (6:40)
4. Temple Song (3:32)
5. Melange (7:27)
6. What Are You Doing to Me (4:40)
7. Sundance (8:45)

Total Time 41:11

Bonus CD from 2018 remaster* :
1. Temple Song
2. Feathered Friends
3. An English Western
4. Sundance
5. Drowning Man
6. Feathered Friends
7. Melange

* Recorded Live: BBC Radio One "Sound of the Seventies" session - 10th January 1973, plus BBC Radio One "In Concert" recorded at the BBC Paris Theatre, London - 5th April 1973

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Greenslade / keyboards
- Dave Lawson / keyboards, vocals
- Tony Reeves / bass, double bass
- Andy McCulloch / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Roger Dean

LP Warner Bros - WBS K46207 (1973, UK)

CD Warner Bros - 7599-26812-2 (1992, Germany)
2CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- PECLEC 22645 (2018, UK) Remastered by Ben Wiseman with a bonus disc including 1973 Live recordings

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy GREENSLADE Greenslade Music

GREENSLADE Greenslade ratings distribution

(264 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

GREENSLADE Greenslade reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars I think the number of stars that iIgive is self explantory of my opinion of this band. This double Kb has been done much more successfully by Procol Harum before and Supertramp later. Lawson coming from the Web and Samurai helps out Greenslde and Reeves from Colosseum , with McCullough from KC - another example of a supergroup not really clicking it together.
Review by loserboy
5 stars Former COLOSSEUM member David Greenslade's debut album is an essential piece of UK Prog 70's history. The band also included Dave Lawson who earlier had played with both "The WEB" and "SAMURAI". As you would expect the music is highly keyboard-centric with both Greenslade (Organ, mellotron) and Lawson (piano, synths) playing keyboards. Overall sound is distinctly British styled progressive rock and fits into the YES school of prog. Songs are well written and performed with great musicianship. Album will definitely appeal to fans of 70's styled British prog.
Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Lots and lots of lovely Mellotron and organ, backed up by bass, double bass and drums, plus some great tunes and good lyrics make this a classic album. Three of the seven tracks are instrumentals. Dave Lawson's voice lacks some strength and he has to strain sometimes, but actually I don't mind this one bit - it seems to fit with the keyboard sounds.

There are some clever tracks, such as the instrumental 'An English Western' and the song 'What Are You Doing To Me'. The latter has one of my all time favourite lyrics. To top it off, the album has a wonderful cover by Roger Dean.

I bought the LP in 1973 and instantly liked the music (those keyboards!), and in 2004 still listen to the CD often. This album is essential.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars IMHO, Greenslade has always been a great unsung prog hero from the UK. I fell in love with their style at first listen, which happened the day that I purchased their first two albums. I felt connected with the dual keyboard interplay, the jazz/blues nuances that were fluidly instilled in their symphonic approach, the powerful rhythm section, the way that all the virtuoso playing was accurately placed in the logic of the compositions, and even Lawson's peculiar singing. 'Feathered Friends' kicks off the album with an effective, fast-paced motif, which softly turns down and gives way to the slower, blues- based sung motif that fills 90 % of the song: this is an appropriate opening number, since it shows straight away the typical keyboard interplays fluidly sustained between both Daves, the solid rhythm partnership of McCulloch and Reeves, and Lawson's sharp vocal. 'An English Western' is an effective instrumental pretty much focused on Greenslade's organ excursions, with Lawson and himself delivering some well crafted complementing labour on grand and electric pianos: the bluesy aspect is somewhat pronounced on this one. That same bluesy aspect is evident in 'Drowning Man' (one of the most popular Greenslade tracks, well, under the boundaries of the popularity they managed to achieve), but it goes more places, from jazz to R'n'B to symphonic prog all throughout its developing themes. 'Temple Song' is a candid semi-ballad based on a Far East-like motif: beautiful dialogues between vibes and electric piano, and the first time Lawson chooses to assume a gentle vocal cadence in order to deliver a more "conventionally pleasant" singing. 'Mélange' is another Greenslade classic, going for the rockier side of things while being supported on a jazz fusion basis. Reeves shines particularly here, with his fuzz bass assuming the leading role in many passages: McCulloch delivers a more compact drumming in order to compensate for his rhythm partner's melodic excursions. Were it not for the closing track, this one would be my personal fave in this album. Without the presence of a guitar, it's amazing how Greenslade can get really aggressive whenever they want to: the organ chord progressions and the dual mellotron layers of 'What are You Doin' to Me' feel really dense and heavy, and the way that Lawson delivers his sung demands as stated in his lyrics don't make things any softer. Generally speaking, I feel this number as an appropriate moment of energy and irony between the exhibitions of instrumental tour- de-force delivered in the preceding and following numbers. So now, here it comes, last but not least, the closure 'Sundance'. The epic multicolored explorations and immaculately cohesive interplaying contained in this 8 ¾ minute long piece make it the most impressive number in the album, and a most amazing closure as well: it has all the common recurrent elements in the quartet's style, albeit with an overtly featured symphonic feel. If this is the first Greenslade experience for the listener, 'Sundance' sure makes them willing to keep track on this band's efforts - they won't be disappointed by the follow-up "Bedside Manners are Extra", but that's an issue for another review. As for "Greenslade", I think it's an excellent sample of prog stuff with a jazz-blues twist, and it would make a great addition for any good prog collection.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator

Phew . Finally, I feel relieved that I got the CD version of this classic album which in a way has colored my childhood. I have been thus far holding a cassette version until last week when I visited one of local CD stores in Jakarta, I saw this under "Rock Legend" shelf. Wow .!!! What a lucky man I was. Even though I have been hearing "Feathered Friends" through classic rock FM radio station down here but I still want to have the whole album as this band was one of progressive rock icons of 70s. I fully agree with most reviewers that have said it like that. When I got this CD, I asked the store keeper to play it LOUD while I was continuing my search of other CDs. The crowd in the store was wondering "Oh, what music is this?" as previously the store played jazz music (uuuugghhh .!!!!). I don't really care about it as I am the customer and I know that this band is so damn great! Pity them if they are at the same age with me but they don't know about GREENSLADE???!! Come on! Where have they been? For sure, they are definitely not my friends because they did not prog during their teenage. When the CD was played at the store, I really loved the "sound" - it's a very capped sound, I would say. The treble is not crispy or transparent, the bass is not that solid, mid range was a bit dull.. But, hey .that's exactly what I want: they sound of seventies! Of course it's way less superior than the latest prog recording. But I do even enjoy it, very much. When I hit the road, I played it again outloud in the car. Oh man .. what a great drive that evening. What a truly classic prog album! For those who like 70s prog and has not got this CD yet, BUY NOW man ..!!!!

Feathered Friends (6:42) kicks off the album with relatively fast tempo style and very unique snare drum sound - it's like Bruford's or like other 70s prog band: ENGLAND. Keyboard dominates the melody as well as rhythm section, augmented with organ / mellotron. When vocal enters the music with "What's your poison? Well here's mud in your eye ." it has a killing melody especially when it's combined with organ and mellotron sounds. The bass guitar also demonstrates its role with its dynamic sound especially during the singing part. I especially love the organ sounds with many catchy melodies found throughout this track. Also, the mellotron is performed excellently here. Vocal quality is top notch! Excellent composition. [*****]

An English Western (3:25) continues with a previous track style: energetic opening dominated by organ and dynamic drum work. The music represents an original Greenslade music: keyboard-based, floating melody with accentuation, weird drum sounds and good composition with some jazz rock influence. I like the combination of organ / keyboard work and dynamic drumming in this track. It's an excellent instrumental track with relatively complex arrangements. [****]

Drowning Man (6:40) begins with a low register notes voice line - something unusual in Greenslade singing style. It even reminds me to the voice of Gentle Giant even though this track seems mellower than typical Gentle Giant song. The singing is augmented with excellent organ work and bass line. At the end of first lyrical part, the music flows in faster tempo and uplifting mood demonstrating excellent combination of organ sounds augmented with mellotron. Drums still demonstrate its Bruford's sounds especially in the snare drums that keep the beats. The organ work really brings me back to the glory years of 70s music. Excellent. [****]

Temple Song (3:32) starts mellow with sort of jazz influence music, featuring ambient vocal and combination of great organ and solid bass lines. Vibraphone is used throughout this track. Keyboard / organ solo in the middle is backed up with some light orchestration. [*** ½ ].

Mélange (7:27) starts with an uplifting music with medium tempo/fast style and turns slower with mellotron sound and inventive organ work. Drums demonstrate its contribution with normal snare drum sound. What follow is a bass solo segment with its inventive play that forms a melody of the song. Other instruments fill the music to support bass guitar solo. Right before the middle of the track, the music turns quieter featuring bass guitar solo only. The other later half of the track demonstrates mellotron work by maintaining dynamic bass guitar play and the snare drums sounds return to Bruford's like. [****]

What Are You Doing to Me (4:40) opens with organ work in relatively fast tempo style followed with high register notes singing. It's very Greenslade, sound-wise! Structurally, it's relatively a straight forward track - however, there are some nice transitions, e.g. the inclusion of mellotron between musical segments. [****]

Sundance (8:45) starts mellow with piano work with some influence of classic music.What follows is an upbeat music demonstrating great keyboard / organ. With dynamic drumming. Again, the bass lines are really great even during the organ solo part. This instrumental track offers some variation of styles and tempo changes. The ending part brings the music to piano solo work as its opening. [****]


For those who want to explore the treasure of 70s prog music, you should not miss this one. But for those who's got used to recent quality of sound recording, you might regret hearing the sonic quality of this CD. But, the content (the music) is great. Keep on proggin' ..!!!

Progressively yours,


Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars Colosseum was one of the first progressive bands although their mix of jazz, blues and rock was miles away from the sound of later progrock dino's like Yes, Genesis or ELP. But Dave Greenslade his keyboards added 'a symphonic element' to the music, the best example is the 'sidelong' titletrack of Colosseum's second album Valentyne Suite. His strong build up solo on the Hammond organ ended almost psychedelical! Dave decided to form his own band and contacted his former bandmate Tony Reeves (who had become a record producer). Tony introduced Dave Lawson from a band called Samurai, Dave was quickly convinced of his skills. Drummer Andrew McCulloch had just left King Crimson and was willing to complete Dave Greenslade's own band, simply called Greenslade. On their eponymous album you can enjoy a very unique blend of rock, blues, jazz, symphonic and classic, embellished by dual-keyboardplay, a good rhythm-section and distinctive vocals. It's not the usual progrock in the vein of ELP, Genesis, King Crimson or Yes but it sounds very tasteful and refined featuring a fine melodic structure and great harmonics. THIS IS GREAT PROGROCK THAT DESERVES MORE ATTENTION!!
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is my personal favorite recording from Dave Greenslade. The mellotrons, electric piano, soft singing voice and well working rhythm section form a sound being similarly pleasant and unique. When compared to the other works of this artist, I'm also satisfied to the overall quality, which I think reduces quite dramatically after this record. The starter "Feathered Friends" is one of the most beautiful minor art rock songs I have yet heard. I have some personal strong associations, which focus directly to this song. I got to know this record in first place as a father of my friend spotted this album from a local second hand record store. He got to a bad argument with the shop owner after criticizing his high prices, but as this wise shopkeeper realized in early 90's that vinyl records are obsolete as merchandise, he sold everything out with 50% discount, and I fetched this one for him. When I delivered the record, a sad tale was told to me about the particular copy of the album. It was told being from an estate of a local guy, who had jumped out from the roof of block of flats. On the song "Feathered Friends", always as I listen to the lyrics "It's time to leave, if we can heave ourselves away from here, while the sun is still burning, even though we're just learning to fly, we can get by, by and by?", the mellotron solo enters? I can see the last flight of desperate man in my soul's eyes, making this a really deep and disturbing listening experience. From the western-interlude follows the tune "Drowning Man", this being some sort of sacral song along with the following "Temple Song", sticking to more orientalist motifs. Both associate with some sort of spiritual experiences, and I think especially the fine composition closing side A oscillates wonderfully from anticipating moments of sorrow to the hopeful glimpses of redemption, thus surviving the test of time on turntable selections. "Mélange" cruises more deeper to the pleasant symphonic prog depths than the other tracks, strengthening the group's sound from this aspect to the general prog scene style. However I liked here the vivid aspects of the group playing, which I fear later went to too confusing levels, making the albums quite messy, and losing similarly quality control or innovation from compositional qualities. "What are You Doing to Me" reminds slightly the tones of Badger, mello-illuminated riff-driven groovy track with bluesy edge in vein of softer 70's Deep Purple tracks. The album closes to grandiose epic of "Sundance", which finds it place from the end justified as "a final word", but sometimes I think putting the most essential songs to the end of an album require high quality from the whole record, and also listening patience from the record spinner. In addition of the musical content, the album covers by Roger Dean are also exceptionally marvelous, so if you can, I would recommend acquiring this one as vinyl.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Frustrating

For a prog fan like myself in the early 1970's, Greenslade appeared to have everything. An eponymous band leader who played a variety of electronic keyboards, long elaborately structured tracks, and on top of everything a Roger Dean sleeve. In fact, the sleeve is the best thing about this album, being an absolutely essential Dean illustration, which demands to be seen in its original foldout LP cover format.

Behind the sleeve though, the story is different. It is hard to identify what it is about the music of Greenslade which made it so obvious that they had little chance of being anything other than a second division prog band. Perhaps an examination of the opening track "Feathered friends" will help. Here we have a wonderful mellotron break surrounded by some diverse but weak melodies. The vocals are high pitched but not particularly tuneful. On the face of it, the lyrics are structured into rhyming phrases, but in reality, they are sung without any cognisance of that phrasing. The song passes by but makes little impression. And so it goes throughout the album. When the mellotron sweeps do appear, they are symphonic and majestic, but they stand like pyramids in a vast desert of sand.

The twin keyboards of Dave Greenslade and Dave Lawson dominate tracks such as "An English Western" and "Drowning man", and while the organ and mellotron tones are pleasant to the ear, they lack the melodic substance to make them genuinely compulsive. At this point, I am going to make it clear that there are many positives in the music of Greenslade. The lyrics are thoughtful, the overall sound is accomplished and pleasing, and there are far worse vocals than these about. And there is the rub. It is frustrating to find a band who were so clearly capable of becoming one of the prog giants for want of some decent melodies.

Side two of the LP consists of just three tracks, ranging from four to nine minutes. They are predominantly instrumental, and seem largely improvisational. There are times on "Mélange" when the bass and mellotron combination has strong echoes of Yes' "Heart of the sunrise" but where Yes would burst into a strong hook, Greenslade drift back into another muddled passage or simply fade. Only the rather out of character "What are you doing to me" stand out as being different, its earthy blues being interrupted by a mellotron fanfare.

Perhaps it is the band's leaning further towards jazz than their peers which is the defining factor. Those coming to the band via Genesis or Yes, as many would have done lured by the instrumental line up and sleeve illustrations, would most likely have been disappointed to find that the melodies and hooks were not nearly as strong. They would quickly have realised that while the band was awash with talented musicians, their compositional skills were less clear.

Review by Matti
3 stars Notice the new Esoteric Recordings' re-release (late 2018) that includes interview-based liner notes and a bonus disc of live tracks. I've grown to like this band more over the years, and I appreciate their vintage sound. I still don't like Lawson's vocals, so thank God they did instrumental tracks almost as much as vocal songs.

Perhaps the second Greenslade album Bedside Manners Are Extra is slightly better in my opinion, but really these two are so close to each other that if you like one you'll like the other too.

(In 2007 I was all too negative towards this album, this "review" being among the weakest I've ever written: "To some this is a 5-star gem, but I'm not very impressed. The songs are ignorable - the best being the opener 'Feathered Friends'-, the dual keyboards that very much dominate the music sound too fuzzy and unclear to my taste. Most of all, the singer-keyboardist Dave Lawson has a terrible 'forced' singing style. The closest band to compare Greenslade is RARE BIRD, only with a worse singer.")

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I've recently bought the first two albums by Greenslade and I have been pleased, with the first one, in particular. This is a very accessible prog, very listenable with many haunting, strong and suddend mellotron eruptions often enriched by a wonderful work on bass guitar. Really very good job, Tony Reeves!

A strong and convincing combination with keyboards even if the sound's quality of the cd I isn't of the best I've heard. I wonder if the rights' owners have planned to release a remastered serie. It would be great to re-light this delightful music.

The album isn't based on complex, adventurous and technical keyboards-based extended tracks. Notwithstanding the band reached a high level of quality with also excellent vocals and melodies. Some sparkling moments of jazz is the icing on the cake!

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Melange

As someone who is crazy about keyboard-driven, Symphonic Progressive Rock, of course I like Dave Greenslade and his eponymous band. Compared to usual suspects like Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson, Greenslade is more subtle and the music is lighter.

This debut album, like later albums by the group, is a bit of a mixed bag. About half of the album tracks are instrumentals, and these are the best with album closer Sundance being top notch. The vocal tracks are harder to appreciate due to the somewhat weird voice of Dave Lawson. Personally, I think that Greenslade would have been more successul as an all instrumental band.

The visual aspect should not be forgotten, with a very beutiful cover picture by the amazing Roger Dean.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the debut album from symphonic prog rock band Greenslade. Greenslade consists of Dave Greenslade ( Keyboards) and Tony Reeves ( Bass) who where both formerly with Colosseum. Drummer Andy McCulloch had previously played on King Crimson´s Lizard album and Dave Lawson ( Keyboards and vocals) was a former member of Samurai. After Colesseum disbanded in 1971 Dave Greenslade had played as a session musician while assembling musicians for his new band Greenslade. It took him two years and Greenslade was released in 1973.

The music is very symphonic and notably without any guitar. It´s not missed though as the two keyboard players fill every vacant space with every imaginable vintage keyboard sound. This is vintage keyboard heaven. Dave Lawson´s vocals are distinct and pretty good without reaching excellent while the rythm section delivers some great backing. But this is first and foremost keyboard dominated music. Songs like Feathered Friends and What are You Doing to Me are good vocal tracks but the instrumental songs are also very enjoyable.

The musicianship is excellent and as this is keyboard dominated music I have to mention Dave Greenslade and Dave Lawson for their great complimenting interplay.

The production is a bit weak and muddy. I have this album both on LP and on CD and the CD unfortunately doesn´t have a better sound than the LP. It´s a bit of a shame and takes away some of my enjoyment.

Greenslade is one of those symphonic prog bands that are not quite in the elite but certainly near it. I think it would send a wrong signal to rate this album 3 big stars so instead I´ll rate it 4 small ones. Recommendable to vintage keyboard freaks.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Dave Greenslade's Hammond organ and Tony Reeves' bass play really stand out on this GREENSLADE debut.They both of course were part of the legendary band COLOSSEUM before this. Greenslade plays mellotron on every track as well. The vocals of Dave Lawson remind me of the way Peter Hammill sings, very expressive and theatrical, he also is the second keyboardisit for the band. Andrew McCulloch on drums played briefly with KING CRIMSON and he's very prominant on this album.

"Feather Friends" is a catchy, uptempo track with lots of organ runs and great drum fills. Vocals come in as it settles before 1 1/2 minutes. This is where he reminds me of Hammill the most. Nice bass throughout. A mellotron storm after 4 minutes. More great organ late. "An English Western" is an uptempo instrumental with drums, organ and bass standing out. Mellotron ends it in style. "Drowning Man" is fairly mellow with reserved vocals and organ for the first 2 minutes then a fuller sound arrives. The tempo then picks up as bass and organ shine. Mellotron 4 minutes in and then back to the original melody.

"Temple Song" is a mellow track with plenty of vocals and vibes. Prominant bass before 3 minutes. My least favourite. "Melange" has more energy, I like the drumming on this one. Some huge bass before 1 1/2 minutes followed by mellotron. Vocal melodies come and go. The song brightens somewhat 4 minutes in with drums, organ and mellotron following a minute later. Nice. "What Are You Doing To Me" has a nice heavy intro with passionate vocals. Some great organ work here with mellotron after 3 1/2 minutes. "Sundance" opens with piano before we get a fairly heavy sound before 2 minutes. Drums, bass and organ dominate. Impressive. Mellotron 5 minutes in as the melody stops. It kicks back in after 5 1/2 minutes and then speeds up. It ends as it began with piano.

This is one of those albums that has character. I do prefer "Bedside Manners Are Extra" but there's enough here to give it a low 4 star rating.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Having two keyboard players, I guess that it is all too normal to compare them with ''Procol Harum'' and ''Rare Bird''. But IMHHO, ''Greenslade'' only falls shy of these two (especially the former of course).

Keyboard lovers will of course appreciate the lush mellotron lines, the fine organ parts but the whole of this work is lacking of melodies, passion and structure. This is probably the reason why the band has always been a second to third tier and called it quit pretty rapidly.

Still, this album is pleasant (but not brilliant). I was charmed by the beautiful middle part of ''Feathered Friends'', and by the ELP oriented ''An English Western''. To be honest, there are no weak tracks on this album, but no real highlights either. An easy listening album with some jazzy textures (''Drowning Man', ''Temple Song'') and fine dual keyboards all the way through.

The only problem of this album resides in the fact that there are very little great moments available. ''Melange'' features a great start, but turns out to be an average jamming effort after two minutes or so. Bass play is prominent, almost soloing and I have to admit that this has never been my cup of tea.

There is hardly anything wrong with the musicianship of the guys of course, just that the overall song writing was not on the expected level. Here and there, the listener will face some fine and bombastic passages but those are really too spread out to be convincing. The very good closing ''Sundance'' is another example of this theory. Still, I like very much and it is without doubt one of the best track available here.

I also feel that to name a band with your own first name sounds rather pretentious and little respectful of the other band's members. As if you could only impose your own stuff, since you are the ultimate boss.

I can't really consider this album as a masterpiece as other colleagues have done. Maybe because I have listened to too many records which leads me to be more strict in my ratings.

This album is still a pleasant one which I rate with three stars.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars I remember I was always impressed by Greenslade´s debut cover. It is really one of Roger Dean´s best works and still stands as one of the ultimate prog icons. Unfortunate the music inside was no match for the striking illustration it comes with. Not that is bad, far from it, but certainly is easy to understand why Greenslade never reached the prime league of prog rock. It is the simple case of fantastic musicians who just didn´t gel together and neither had enough chops in the songwriting department. Yes, simple as that.

If you like keyboard driven prog music in the vein of ELP, Focus (without Akkerman, of course), Trace and others, give it a try, but don´t expect anything too symphonic or lengthy moments. The songs are shorter, not fully developed and nice. What are you Doing to Me has a bluesy, different approach that has its charm, but not much more than that. A pity, since they are obviously a talented bunch. The best tracks are Drawning Man and the long Sundance. The melodies are not exactly memorable, but there are some good moments on most tunes. Production is quite good for its time. 2,5 stars, really, for its great musicianship.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Evidently the high-quality but sometimes sedate jazzrock of drummer Jon Hiseman's Colosseum wasn't enough for David Greenslade, the extraordinary keyboardist/composer, so after that landmark band dissolved in 1971 he began building a formidable unit of his own; the warm jazz basses of Tony Reeves, Andrew McCulloch's totally freakin' drums, and Dave Lawson's accompaniment on keys and lead vocals. In an amazingly freethinking venture for the time - or perhaps a perfect example of it - David Greenslade succeeded in creating a near-masterpiece of rock theater by balancing what could have been a very unstable meeting of orchestrina fantasy, garage art, and deep lakes of inspired progressive rock. This was prog unmasked, stripped of most of the studio trickery and flash for flash's sake in much music of the period. The real thing, a group that took up the challenge, seized the surely brief moment, put any notions of mass appeal aside and just let go with a brand of symphonic rock that was more raw and personal than their bigger siblings but still retained the intricacy and ridiculousness of prog. Unashamed, childlike but haughty, Greenslade was a special offspring of the era and gave us several jewels, this debut probably their finest.

'Feathered Friends' hits the floor with a mean groove, Lawson's prepubescent falsetto screeches over big chords of organ, the band's soundwall, David Greenslade's mellotron a beauty of another age and the band's production quite good if ancient. Instrumental 'An English Western' absolutely rocks the house with all sorts of blues, gospel-jazz and classical kitsch in a Wakeman vein, and churchly 'Drowning Man' is a somber condolence that jumps up with samba, drowsy acid and bassy late 1960s dance beats. Forgettable 'Temple Song' follows but 7-minute 'Melange' is another good instrumental that inhales deeply of space and jazz as it grows large, kicker 'What Are You Doin' to Me' shows just how appealing this group can be with a successful fusion of pop and symphonette, and David's piano slowly introduces nine-minute sprawler 'Sundance' that varies between soft and magisterial.

Entirely original though doses of everyone from Procol Harum and Morgan to The Nice and Supertramp can be heard, and urgently recommended to anyone who's past their own expectations of what prog is, was or should be.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Not an act of UK's top progressive rock league,but nevertheless a very good company of important musicians,formed in autumn of 1972 and named after keyboardist Dave Greenslade.Greenslade,along with bassist Tony Reeves ,were among the founding members of one of the best early prog/blues bands,''Colloseum''.Other members were keyboardist Dave Lawson (ex-''Web'' and ''Samurai'') and drummer Andrew McCulloch,who had played on KING CRIMSON's ''Lizard'' and in ''Fields''.GREENSLADE's eponymous debut was released in 1973 on Warner Bros.

The band delivers absolutely great musicianship with excellent flowing compositions in a typical British symphonic style.With two keyboardists in the line-up,their sound is obviously led by the double keyboard plays,featuring atmospheric synth work,groovy Hammond organs and,of course, vintage mellotron breaks.Regarding the style of the compositions,this one starts from almost heavy symphonic organ-driven rock like BEGGAR'S OPERA and even DEEP PURPLE and ends up in almost smooth progressive rock with an intense romanticism in the vein of YES,GENESIS and lesser known-acts like CRESSIDA and FRUUPP.The vocal lines,sung by Lawson,are definitely satisfying and emotional,fitting excellently in the whole concept.A great balanced album,presenting old-school prog rock from the very first minute,that comes strongly recommended to anyone looking for this kind of sound.

Review by Sinusoid
2 stars I honestly could never get where this album was going or what the music was supposed to do. This keyboard soaked album has the utmost potential of being a prog rock classic, but the execution just sounds ''empty'' for lack of a better term.

There's no real feeling I have for GREENSLADE other than it really puts me to sleep, and that feeling occurs in just about every song. It's as if the music is in some sort of stupor; it comes across as blatanly monotone to my ears. Some bits stick out, mostly coming from ''An English Western'', but 75% of the album doesn't click with me whether it's the tempos being too slumpy or weak vocals or noninteresting mellotron thingys.

I don't get it. I'm sure there's plenty of progsters out there who will because of all the keyboard passages, bass fills and off metre shifts. It's one of those albums where I really cannot describe why it doesn't work with me; it just doesn't.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Greenslade's debut album underscores what the Greenslade project was all about - namely, Dave Greenslade and his sidemen tackling symphonic prog. I'd previously not been too keen on this album, but I've mellowed on it since then - in part because the remastered Esoteric rerelease (available by itself or as part of the Temple Songs boxed set) is a notable sonic improvement on previous CD reissues.

The overall approach is reminiscent of ELP jamming with Genesis - specifically, you have the pastoral atmosphere of Genesis in the quieter moments, and in the faster and louder moments you have a lot of showboating and classical flourishes, as well as pinches of jazz fusion harking back to Dave's past in Colosseum. It's also notable that the band has a similar configuration to the first two Rare Bird albums - namely, you have bass, drums, two keyboardists for the price of one, and no lead guitarist.

Whilst Colosseum played a crucial role in the early days of prog, especially the jazz fusion end of it, I'd say Greenslade is a bit less critical to the "golden age" of prog during which they were operating. That said, as far as solid bands who hit the second tier (in terms of commercial and critical recognition) go, they aren't half bad. I particularly like that they are able to throw in some lighthearted, boisterous moments in without crossing the line into outright novelty music, something which ELP were often much more clumsy at.

Don't go in expecting a staggeringly original missing piece of the 1970s prog landscape - but if you like the sort of groups I've cited above, do expect something which will tickle your fancy whilst not sounding so derivative as to be an outright clone of any of them.

Latest members reviews

4 stars When I first heard this album I was somewhat disappointed as I came expecting I Spider Part Two. That is not what Greenslade offers on their debut, this album will please fans of the band members earlier bands (Colosseum, Web, King Crimson circa Lizard). The music is less jazzy and overall more chip ... (read more)

Report this review (#2522163) | Posted by Beautiful Scarlet | Monday, March 8, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The English band GREENSLADE are named after their founder and keyboard player, Dave Greenslade (born 1943). Greenslade sounds like an ideal name for a Prog-Rock band, conjuring up images of magical castles, occupied by fairies, elves & goblins. It's handy to have a proggy-sounding surname if you'r ... (read more)

Report this review (#2286141) | Posted by Psychedelic Paul | Sunday, December 8, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Greenslade was one of the few members of that prickliest of musical aggregations, the prog supergroup (a club which also included ELP and, later on, Asia and GTR). The band's namesake and de facto leader, Dave Greenslade (who I will call DG to avoid confusion), and bassist Tony Reeves both came from ... (read more)

Report this review (#1451256) | Posted by cfergmusic1 | Tuesday, August 11, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An underrated british symphonic prog gem. Dave Greenslade, the man from COLOSSEUM, just plays the keyboard like I wanted to hear. Supported by members of King Crimson, Colosseum and Web-Samurai, Greenslade put out the heavy rock without any guitar, but tasty organs and keys. Highly reccomen ... (read more)

Report this review (#1057099) | Posted by VOTOMS | Wednesday, October 9, 2013 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I have little to say about this album "Feathered Friends" (2.00 out of 5.00) After the good intro, all turns into a dramatic way, wich became unbearable and monotonous. "An English Western" (2.00 out of 5.00) Is the first instrumental song, this song means nothing to me but the performance i ... (read more)

Report this review (#747723) | Posted by raul_siberian | Wednesday, May 2, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A Sundance in the Temple ☞note: this review stands for Greenslade's first two albums. You, who were around 18 in 1973, have to admit it. Do not deny it. Whenever you saw that green Dean cover glittering from the shopwindow as it if were inside a cave of wonders with vaults as high as a cath ... (read more)

Report this review (#620021) | Posted by ibnacio | Thursday, January 26, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars As a person very interested in Prog Rock and trying to learn more about it, I came across this band, Greenslade. Greenslade seemed to have something, whether it was the engrossing cover (done by Roger Dean of Yes artwork fame), or the keyboard work done by Dave Greenslade himself. But lookin ... (read more)

Report this review (#422043) | Posted by ProgressiveMitch | Thursday, March 24, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's hard to believe its taken me this many decades to get around to listening to Greenslade. Somehow, even though I grew up in the late 70s as a huge fan of English prog rock, I never got turned on to Greenslade. It's a shame, because I missed out on many years of listening to this fantastic m ... (read more)

Report this review (#278490) | Posted by peskypesky | Monday, April 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is an album of mostly pleasant, and occasionally bluesy, keyboard-driven prog, not far at all from Yes and ELP's musical space. I don't think it's aged nearly as well as the efforts of either of its larger cousins, however. The weak point in the band is the songwriting, which ranges from c ... (read more)

Report this review (#226902) | Posted by ods94065 | Wednesday, July 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars ***** FIVE STARS First of all, I am a big fan of Colosseum and Dave Greenslade. His first solo album is simply marvelous. It is full of intelligent well-crafted rock-music. Being a debut this album is one of the best debut albums ever. As for musicianship, the members from Colosseum are ... (read more)

Report this review (#104928) | Posted by Hejkal | Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When I bought this album way back in 1973 I could hardly wait to put the record on my turntable to hear these two former Colosseum members; the names of Dave Lawson and Andy McCulloch have even additionally spur up the tension; two great keyboard players, bass virtuoso and Crimson reputation d ... (read more)

Report this review (#88056) | Posted by bsurmano | Wednesday, August 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a masterpiece of keyboard-based prog, which I have consistently enjoyed since it was first released. There is excellent use of Hammond organ, piano, and especially mellotron, throughout. Four of the seven tracks have vocals, Dave Lawson doing the honours with his unique, if slightly do ... (read more)

Report this review (#79321) | Posted by dmwilkie | Thursday, May 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Take Colosseum and start opening it as an onion. Take away the roughness. Take away the clumsy melodies. What do you get. A prog GEM: Greenslade. I admire Colosseum when they play the Valantyne Suite and such but there are a lot of material that is not of the same standard. Greenslade is much ... (read more)

Report this review (#74920) | Posted by pirkka | Friday, April 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Debut album released in 1973 "Greenslade". It is a feature there are a sound and warmth in the entire sound like having the dream. It is a work that can be especially recommended for the fan of YES and GENESIS. Appreciating music is unlimited and is deep. The fantastic jacket based on green by ... (read more)

Report this review (#57005) | Posted by braindamage | Saturday, November 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars With the unique combination (RARE BIRD did it earlier)of 2 keyboard players...a bass player and a drummer. GREENSLADE set out to make a a time of Guitarheroes....and they this is a superb piece of UK prog music. The keys of Lawson and Greenslade are quite wonderful.. interc ... (read more)

Report this review (#3052) | Posted by Tonny Larz | Friday, November 28, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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