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THE LORELI

Quasar

Neo-Prog


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Quasar The Loreli  album cover
3.25 | 22 ratings | 9 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Loreli (5:10)
2. Seeing Stars, Pt. 2 (The Dark Star) (4:56)
3. As You Fall Alseep.... (10:34)
4. Logic? (10:30)
5. Power in Your Hands (7:02)

Total Time: 38:12

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Tracy Hitchings / lead vocals
- Toshi Tsuchiya / guitar, Midi guitar
- Keith Turner / bass, Roland/Moog bass pedals, acoustic guitar
- Dave Wagstaffe / drums, triangle, vibes

Releases information

LP Q Records QUA-2 (1989)
CD Q Records QUA-2 CD (1990)

CD Progressive International PRO QU2 (1991) USA
Re-Issue with Bonus Tracks
6. The Loreli (Single) (4:09)
7. Logic (Single) (4:10)

Total Time: 46:39

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Grendelbox for the last updates
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QUASAR The Loreli ratings distribution


3.25
(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
5%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
35%
Good, but non-essential (45%)
45%
Collectors/fans only (15%)
15%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

QUASAR The Loreli reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Fishy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars An album in the neo prog vein. For seven years the band worked on this album, going through several line-up changes which is probably the reason why it took so long. In the credits you can find the names listed of some of the former band members. Obviously the theatrical voice of vocalist Tracy Hitchings is taking the quality of this album to a higher level. A bit overacting maybe but talented in any case. You can tell Hitchings use to be the singer in heavy rock bands like Heart before she joined a prog band. The way she sings is also a bit reminiscent to Toyah ; better known as mrs Robert Fripp. The album has a keyboard driven sound which is clearly influenced by electronic music but early Marillion is also close at hand. Even the guitars sound like keyboards ; these were the eighties and the midi guitar was a new invention at the time and this album includes lots of it which is not always turning out good when listening in 2005. When combined with electronic drums, the album has a thin, plastic sound. It prevents the music from flowing though the floating keyboards could use an organic sound. Still the symphonic flavours of the keyboards are nice to listen to like they are. There's a sombre feel to the music and on a fascinating track like "as you fall asleep" the sadness changes into a frightening nightmare with Hitchings in the role of a witch. The songs all have a solid structures but like on Marillion's debut album the changing from one mood to another isn't smoothing. In other words sometimes the tracks seems to be nothing more than a compilation of several fragments tied together in one track and there's nothing to prevent you from noticing that. The majestic endings aren't helping. When you really want to get in the essence of "The Loreli" you have to give it some time before the beauty of the music is revealed. The title track is different and can be considered as the highlight. The mysterious song grabs the essence of a story of a ghost ship perfectly. With Hitchings wonderful singing on top of several layers of melodic keyboard lines ; this calm song has a stunning mood and it's ending holds another surprise. Toshi Tsuchiya seems a skilful guitarist performing a splendid guitar solo which has been fade out too soon ; I wanted to hear more of this.

Unfortunately this album isn't really on par with the first one. The sound quality is only little better. The way the keyboards are handled is less virtuous and adventurous although the symphonies on "The Loreli" still are marvellous to listen to. Like other eighties releases the music seems to be locked in a cage and would have sounded better without. Another difference when compared to the debut is the emphasis on the sad, ethereal mood rather than on the song writing. But if you like the sound of the keyboards of Vangelis or Rick Wright and you have the patience to let the music grow on you then you should give this album a try. barely 3 stars

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Send comments to Fishy (BETA) | Report this review (#37673) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 25, 2005

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
2 stars This is a pretty amateurish neo prog album. The "band" plays together only very loosely, both keyboards and guitars are somewhat cheesy, and the vocalist Tracy Hitchings seems to hiss her words. Several of the tracks are appallingly long for this style, and seem short on development or thematic ingenuity. Yet the band also has more of an idea of what simple neo prog should be than many of the biggest names of the genre. As a result, the melodies on the two standout tracks, "The Lorelei" and "Logic", are quite beautiful and touching, and the lyrics, while not brilliant by any stretch, are suitably mystical. The band also includes shorter versions of the two aforementioned tracks, which, particularly in the case of "Logic", are all you really need to hear. This distillation process would be well adopted by others, and, while I can't stretch my assessment beyond 2 stars, I must say this is a more enjoyable listen than most other 2 star efforts I own.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#172819) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 01, 2008

Review by Gerinski
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Between 2.5 and 3 stars for this Neo-Prog album with a strong 80's feel.

This is the 2nd release by this british band and I never heard the debut so I can not compare between them. Only founding member Keith Turner remained from the debut line- up, and two points stand out from this new line-up: First the distinctive voice of Tracy Hitchings, who would later on work with Landmarq and Clive Nolan among others. There's no question that Tracy had a beautiful and powerful voice, but her singing style is a bit too rocker and dramatic for this music, which is otherwise very gentle and smooth. Secondly, if I understand well the credits, there was no keyboardist and all the keyboard sounds were played by Toshi Tsuchiya on a midi guitar, so considering that the album sounds very keyboard-driven one must reckon that he did an amazing job.

While being totally Neo-Prog, they do not sound as an early Marillion clone, but rather as a soft version of Pallas with more 80's feel, unlike other bands who looked for a more retro sound Quasar fully embraced the 80's new sounds such as the electronic drums and the mentioned midi guitar with those typical 80's thin synth patches. This has two consequences, firstly the sound is very thin and plastic, very dated when we listen to it in 2010, and secondly it has the effect that the music sounds more pop than it really is, making every 4/4 segment sound as if it was some new-wave band playing a proggier than usual song.

Despite these weaknesses the compositions are actually quite decent and the quality level is consistent throughout the full album so it's difficult to single out best or worst tracks. Maybe I would point "Logic?" as the worst because in the 2nd half it features an excessively poppy chorus. I have the USA edition which has as bonus tracks 2 totally unnecessary shorter edit versions of the title track and of "Logic?".

Possibly interesting for Neo fans who want to explore the lesser known bands of the genre, but surely dispensable for the vast majority of other proggers.

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Send comments to Gerinski (BETA) | Report this review (#289088) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, July 04, 2010

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars "She should have gone to her grave a thousand years ago, but the haunts the waves and lost and lonely souls"

Some seven years after their rather underwhelming debut, Quasar returned with the present album which is their latest to date (but a new album is apparently in the making as I write these words!). Quasar was plagued by line-up changes throughout their career and the only member that remains from the previous album is band leader Keith Turner. The addition of Tracy Hitchings on lead vocals was something of a stroke of genius as her presence injects the music with an energy and passion that puts it head and shoulders over the band's early effort. Hitchings would later go on to work with Clive Nolan and Karl Groom and then with Landmarq, but the present album was (as far as I know) her first venture into Prog territory. The vocal performance of Tracy here is simply astonishing; she gives us all she's got. But not only the vocals stand out here, the band is up for it and the compositions are very strong.

Loreli consists of five tracks two of which are over ten minutes in length. The gorgeous opening title track is based on the folkloric tale or Loreli. There are many versions of the story and Quasar give us theirs. Here the name 'Loreli' seems to refer to a ghost ship of some kind (as depicted on the lovely sleeve painting) rather than to a character who enchants sailors who passes by. The song begins with subtle sea-noises and Tracy almost whispers the opening words over discrete keyboards and guitar. Her vocal performance is so passionate as it sounds as if she had just seen the Loreli herself and is running home in awe, eager to tell us all about it! She is a technically skilled vocalist for sure, but it is not this that primarily appeals to me but rather her ability to sing as if the really believed every single word she is singing.

The title track together with the anti-war song Power In Your Hands that closes the album are probably the least progressive songs here. Seeing Stars (Part 2) (part 1 was on the debut, but I don't see much musical connection between the two) allows for more instrumental work. The line-up is the traditional one with drums, bass, electric guitars, keyboards and vocals. The sound is rather keyboard-heavy throughout and the keyboard sounds are lush and modern, but the bass and drums are restless and never timid. The drum sound is a bit thin like it often is in music from the 80's, but they are well played and I don't mind this at all on this occasion; indeed, it fits the music fine! The production of the album is not perfect, but for me the great melodies and the strong passion for music are more important than sonic perfection. There are perhaps some flaws in the recording and production stages, but the compositions and performances are impeccable. Make sure you listen to this one on a decent sound system, it does not sound good out of my laptop speakers (not much does, but this sounds worse!). But out of my best speakers and also my best headphones, it sounds very good!

There is an energy and power in this music like that in the best of Metal music, but the sound is not Metal at all. I would not call this typical Neo-Prog as it does not sound like any of the biggest names in the subgenre. As You Fall Asleep features again a very strong vocal by Tracy, she sings as if she was positively possessed! This ten minute track is one of the highlights for me. I'm reminded of one of my favourite bands here in Legend, but Quasar is much less dark and much less hard-edged than that band. This is followed by Logic? which is the album's second ten minute song.

This album is admittedly an acquired taste with its bombastic 80's sound and I can understand those who don't like it. It is a bit like Pomp-Rock where the catchy choruses have been replaced with great instrumental sections and the typical lyrics about love are replaced by folklore, fantasy, dreams, war and logic!? This is, I guess, "catchy", or accessible, in its own way, but the focus is on verses and instrumental movements and not on choruses. This is hardly ground-breaking nor breathtakingly original music and neither is it overly complex or technically extravagant, but I find much charm in this music and the arrangements are appropriately elaborate and not conventional. It gripped me on the first listen, but it remains consistently enjoyable after many repeated listens.

Tracy Hitchings certainly has her very own vocal identity and an expressive and distinctive voice and she propels the band forward here. Quasar was thus a predecessor to more recent female-fronted Neo-Prog bands. Some of the members would go on to form Landmarq, and the rest is history.

Four stars might seem like a generous rating, but I like this so much that I could have given five if this had been better recorded and produced! Please don't think that I give this a high rating to compensate for others' lower ratings, I never do that. This album deserves my praise it on its own merits.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#293814) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 08, 2010

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 for sure.

Quasar is one of the most unnoticed bands from neo prog movements from early '80's from british scene. They were always in the shadow of othe rnamed like Pendragon, Marillion, Iq , etc. They release so far two album, the second one from 1989 named Loreli is to me they most intristing one from the two. Featuring the excellent female vocalist Tracy Hitchings the album sounds as neo as can be an album from this genre, melodic , lush and with some memorable moments. While the album is not very well recived here, I can trace some excellent moments in this album, like opening track The Loreli or Logic?, great pieces with a lot to offer, like all of them aswell. Good keybords in the mix here, maybe little dull at times in comparation with other arrangements from neo from that period but for sure has it's grace and beauty of their own. Only 5 pieces here and lenghty like almost an ep from our days, Loreli is a winner to my ears, a good realease who don't desearve less then 3 stars IMO. A forgotten little album from neo prog zone that needs maybe in prog circles a wider recognition. Great cover arts front/back.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#442130) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars After the release of their debut album in 1985 the band changed approach bringing in female singer Susan Robinson (Solstice) on lead vocals and hitting the road. They definitely suffered with line-up changes, but in 1985 provided a track for the EMI compilation 'Fire In Harmony'. Dave Wagstaffe had joined on drums by then, and not long afterwards there was yet another major change with Tracy Hitchings joining on vocals, Steve Leigh on keyboards and Uwe D'Rose on guitar (Keith Turner was of course still there at the helm, providing bass). So, it wasn't until 1989 that the band started on this their second album, but during recording both Steve and Uwe left so Toshi Tsuchiya came in on guitar and midi guitar.

I still remember the first time I played this album, something over 20 years ago, as I fell in love with it immediately. It was the first time I had come across Tracy, and this felt like a perfect combination of soaring prog with vocals to match. Unlike the debut, where Keith had provided all of the material, this is much more of a band album although only the title song was co-written by two current members of the band. The keyboards do sound a little uncomplicated, but given that they were being played on a midi as opposed to 'proper' keyboards that probably isn't surprising. The star of the show is Tracy, and the music is designed to show her off in the best light. Here she is full of confidence and the production is spot on, allowing her to be a little 'dry' in places to really show off her quality as opposed to coating everything in reverb.

Although some of the keyboard sounds do appear little dated, since it is the best part of 25 years since it was released that really is a little picky as here is an album that neo-prog fans should investigate. Not long after the album was released and this line-up, like so many others, had disappeared. Dave joined forces with Uwe and Steve to form Landmarq with Steve Gee (Artemis), and Tracy departed to work with Clive Nolan on his Strangers On A Train projects and others, before finally joining Landmarq herself. So Quasar were never really able to maximize the potential of a wonderful piece of work, and as I write this (at the beginning of 2013) they have yet to release another studio album. That is nothing short of criminal as this is a great album and something that belongs in all prog lovers' collections. As with the debut, if you go to the band's website you can play all of the songs, so why not go and discover some prog history? quasar.netne.net/

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#933071) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars UK band QUASAR was formed back in 1979, and is a band that suffered from a multitude of line-up alterations in their early history. The one constant member is bassist Keith Turner, the only remaining member from the foundation of the band to the constellation that released their debut album "Fire in the Sky" in 1982, and he was also the sole member of that line-up still in the band when their second production "The Loreli" appeared in 1989.

Seven years and a brand new line-up had done a lot for Quasar as a band. As had better recording quality and production I surmise. Like their debut album this is a production that will be regarded as a neo progressive one. Accessible, melodic symphonic progressive rock, albeit with more of a sophisticated nature to it than the material on their debut album.

A central premise in the band's sound on this occasion is the manner in which the bass guitar is rather central in the arrangements. On one hand the bass is in tight interplay with the drums to construct a firm drive and rhythm foundation, but on the other hand it serves as the main contrasting element in the compositions. The guitar may chime in with the occasional darker toned texture, but is first and foremost used as a resonating light toned supplemental motif provider when not providing guitar soloing harmonizing with or supplementing the keyboards. The keyboards mainly use the lighter tones of the register to provide layers of surging and playful symphonic textures and backdrops to the proceedings. The bass guitar is the one constant provider of darker toned motifs to contrast the otherwise lighter toned instrument details, and due to that gets a more distinct placement in the arrangements. Which may also be the reason for why Turner's bass and pedals are also utilized in a more melodic sense than ordinary.

The compositions are accessible and melodic creations all, alternating between gentler movements and sections sporting either a more intense and majestic expression or the occasional lapse into sections of pace-filled and more intense excursions. The latter occasionally containing minor references to bands like ELP. What adds a lot more life and intensity to this album are the lead vocals. Tracy Hitchings is the singer on this disc, and her expressive, emotional voice is of the kind that comes with drama and tension as a natural element. While the instrumental constructions might be a bit too smooth for some, the raw emotion of Hitchings lead vocals adds nerve and tension aplenty to keep matters interesting. All of these elements arguably finding their perfect form on final track Power In Your Hands.

While both production and most instrument textures comes with a distinct 80's sound to them, and due to that will have a limited appeal, "The Lorelei" is a fine example of neo progressive rock from the 1980's, and if you enjoy that kind of music in general and are fond of the melodic, accessible variety of it in particular this album merits a check. Especially for those who have a soft spot for emotional, dramatic female lead vocals.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#1009752) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 02, 2013

Latest members reviews

3 stars This is a difficult review to write for me, as back in the early 80s, along with IQ they were my favourite band from the neo prog genre, which was then known as the prog rock revival. I remember seeing the band live in probably '83 at Warrington and they completely blew me away. By this poin ... (read more)

Report this review (#202570) | Posted by Roj | Friday, February 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is the second and last album from Quasar, however THE LORELI should be the third release from the band if we take into account the cassette-only release "Forgotten Dreams" from 1988. THE LORELI shows some huge improvements from the debut album FIRE IN THE SKY on terms of composition, after ... (read more)

Report this review (#141566) | Posted by Prosciutto | Tuesday, October 02, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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