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GYPSY

Gypsy

Eclectic Prog


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Gypsy Gypsy album cover
3.83 | 29 ratings | 7 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing


Side 1
1. Gypsy Queen Part I (4:21)
2. Gypsy Queen Part II (2:33)
3. Man of Reason (2:59)
4. Dream If You Can (2:48)
5. Late December (4:12)

Side 2
6. The Third Eye (4:55)
7. Decisions (8:16)
8. I Was So Young (4:00)

Side 3
9. Here In My Loneliness (3:10)
10. More Time (5:35)
11. The Vision (7:30)

Side 4
12. Dead and Gone (11:07)
13. Tomorrow Is The Last To Be Heard (5:48)

Total Time: 67:13
Bonus track on Bedrock CD:
14. The Innocence (4:37)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Enrico Rosenbaum / guitar, vocals
- James Walsh / keyboards, vocals
- James Johnson / guitar, vocals
- James Epstein / drums
- Doni Larson / bass
- Preston Epps / percussion
- Jimmie Haskell / string arrangements

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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GYPSY Gypsy ratings distribution


3.83
(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
17%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(59%)
59%
Good, but non-essential (21%)
21%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

GYPSY Gypsy reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by soundsweird
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I bought this album when it came out in 1970 because of the wonderful cover art and the fact that it was a double album with a single album price. My friends and I liked it right away. It seemed to blend the sounds of several groups that were popular at that time. It took the harmonies of groups like Crosby, Stills & Nash, the song structures of progressive groups, and the styles of more mainstream rock acts. The main problem with the album is the by-the-numbers production technique. When you've got 3 or 4 tracks of harmony vocals, you don't place them all dead center in mono!!! Likewise, the drums have that "cardboard box" sound sometimes. Of course, we're talking about 1970, and we're talking low-budget recording. I prefer the longer tracks over the more commercial short songs. All in all, I have never heard another group that blended seemingly disparate elements so well in a fairly commercial way.

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Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This had been another one of those ancient bands I've grown up with and actually still highly enjoy listening to nowadays every now and then. Gypsy never had been a band in the genuine Prog sense, not like ELP, Genesis, Yes or Crimson. Their music also hadn't been that much keyboard-dominated as the one by The Nice, Procol or early Rare Bird. If you imagine CSNY's vocal harmonies and guitar sound (just more rocking) combined with some ELO-type tasteful string arrangements, some nice Hammond sound and some gentle percussive rhythms (not that much the latin Santana-type ones) added then you might get a rough idea how they sounded like (at least on their first two releases). Their music had been usually highly harmonic, melodic with nice hook lines but not without having a certain degree of complexity thus it hardly becomes really boring even after repeated listens. Their first three albums have been reissued on CD whereas their fourth one is only available on vinyl but I doubt that the latter one is really worth hunting for, at least for Prog fans since "Antithesis" revealed already a more funky straight forward rock vein.

Their debut here in review, a double vinyl in its original release though should be rather interesting and enjoyable for collectors of early proto Prog. It contains a mixture of shorter (but not necessarily worse) and longer tracks of which "Dead and Gone" had received quite a lot of airplay in US stations despite its length of 11 min as I'm reading in some other review. That one doesn't appear to me being the strongest track actually and rather a bit lengthy but on the other hand we could be very happy if radio stations nowadays would play such songs, hard to imagine in our commercial times. Anyway there are enough other highlights here on this album like "Gypsy Queen Pt.1", "Dream If You can", "Late December", "Decisions", "More Time", "The Vision" or "Tomorrow Is The Last To Be Heard" to make up for worthy purchase. The rest of the tracks are good as well and in fact the only downer is the poor sound quality but keep in mind we're in 1970 and this record hadn't been produced under professional conditions.

As a summary I wouldn't consider this usually overlooked band an essential addition to a Prog collection in general but nonetheless their debut in particular might be interesting for any lover of early Prog records. Sound fetischists and Prog purists would be rather disappointed I guess. For me this one deserves a 4-stars rating though (but keep in mind this might be due to more personal and nostalgic reasons)!!

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Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars The early seventies were generally seen as the heyday of British progressive rock, and they pretty much were, although in America groups like Captain Beefheart, Spirit, Santana, Providence and Utopia staked out some prog territory of their own on the east and west coasts.

But across the heartland there was some decent American progressive music being created as well: bands like Kansas, Happy the Man, Cathedral, Arabesque, Starcastle and even Styx were quietly cranking out their own brand of progressive rock in places like Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas and elsewhere. Much of their music would be dismissed as derivative, but no more so than the Beatles, who owed some of their sound to Buddy Holly and Elvis, or Eric Clapton who owed much of his to Robert Johnson and Bo Diddley.

Anyway, one of those Midwestern bands who toiled in relative obscurity was this one. Gypsy hailed from Minneapolis Minnesota, future home of Prince. They scored a major coup after relocating to Los Angeles in 1969 with a gig as house band at Whiskey-a-Go-Go, but followed that up with a major faux pas by declining a contract with Atlantic Records in favor of one with the fledgling Metromedia Productions. Metromedia may have been the company that spawned Soul Train, but their expertise in the record business seems to have been mostly limited to teen idol Bobby Sherman’s catalog and various novelty records. To their credit, the label did due diligence to the production of Gypsy’s first album, springing for an expensive double-disk gatefold vinyl recording sporting the Czech artist Alfons Mucha’s painting ‘Zodiaque’. But they apparently didn’t know much about promotion, and despite having a minor hit single with the opening track, the album faded rather quickly.

Too bad, because this is one of those little gems that has resurfaced numerous times over the decades, having been reissued several times and developed something of a fabled reputation. And for good reason, as the sound is an outstanding blend of the West Coast sound, Latin grooves, a little jazz and some great vocal harmonies. Comparisons to Santana are valid, but there’s a little bit of Spirit and some of the big instrumental sound of Chicago woven in as well.

The late Enrico Rosenbaum, who wrote virtually all the lyrics for the album, was not the virtuoso on guitar that Carlos Santana was (and is), but he had a smooth and easy style that combines jazz, soft psych and a little funk that gives each track a very American sound. James Walsh has a heavy presence on keyboards throughout, mostly with his Hammond B3 organ. In one of their few great moves the label brought in opera vocal consultant Julio Aiello to arrange the band’s superb vocal harmonies, something they would unfortunately largely abandon in their later albums. In fact, the vocals make the biggest difference between this and their sophomore record ‘In the Garden’.

The first disc is full of vibrant, solid music with plenty of percussion courtesy of bongo player Preston Epps, who would be replaced by future Robin Trower drummer Bill Lordan by the time the band reentered the studio.

I’m not sure why the band felt the need to stretch this into a double-album, and there do seem to be some filler tracks on the second disk. “Here in my Loneliness” has the feel of a Chicago b-side single, and “The Vision” is a string-driven orchestral number that goes on for seven minutes or so and turns into an improvisational piano/bass jam toward the end. The nearly eleven-minute “Dead & Gone” is similar, and even the vocal harmonies fail to capture the ear after the first three or four minutes.

But “Gypsy Queen” (I and II), “The Third Eye”, “Man of Reason”, “Decisions” and “I Was so Young” on the first disk are all solid and energetic with plenty of soul and toe-tapping rhythms; and “Dream if you Can” is a quintessential early seventies West Coast soft psych number that should have been a single.

The band would be gone by 1974, and a resurrected Gypsy a quarter-century later would include only James Walsh form the original lineup, and frankly was nothing much more than an oldies nostalgia act.

That doesn’t take away from this album though, which is without a doubt a solid four star effort despite some of the filler on the second disk. That stuff isn’t bad either, its just that after the first two sides there isn’t much new or innovative that the last two sides offer. No matter, this is an album that most prog fans would do well to have in their collection. Fans of the funk, percussion and rhythms of Santana, Osibisa and many Latin and Caribbean bands will appreciate this music as much as those who get off on the Anglo soul of Chicago or Average White Band. Highly recommended if you haven’t heard it.

peace

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Review by Sagichim
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars This could have been much better!!

I never heard of this band until i saw a review here some years ago and i was intrigued to say the least , of a 1970 release from an eclectic band called gypsy !? after i managed to get a copy i listened to this a few times and first impressions were very good , some of the melodies really moved me , guitar was nice with some rocky parts , and i sensed that i would like it more the next couple of times i would hear it , since it is a long double album. but you know what... it never happened!! the more i listened to it , the songs seemed very simple and pretty much dated , like ordinary 70's rock songs. what a bummer i wanted to like this. actually there are no bad songs but there are no amazing spectacular ones either , every song contain something that i like , if it's the melody or a riff or a nice piano or a break , but it's not being utilized like it should , something is missing. they should have shaped things a little bit more.

Another thing is that it's not progressive at all , definitely not eclectic , i heard prog related albums that were much more progressive than this , songs doesn't really take off but stay in the same level , and that's really a shame because they are talented . production is also simple and sound dated , which does not help the overall mix , especialy the backing vocals. the longer tracks contain some development but not professionaly done . 'decisions' and 'the vision' are the only tracks where everything did click , they are the progiest and are worthy of mention , 'decisions' contain good atmosphere , good guitar and good keys .'the vision' contain great singing , beautiful piano and orchestra and has a good break using the orchestra and piano.

I hate to slay this one up , since this might appeal to some who like 70's melodic rock. So what do i like?? melodies are good some are really good , the drums when they are not just there to serve the song they are really good and can drive the song somewhere , i wish they would focus on that more , guitar is pretty simple nothing to expect on that department. there are some good jazzy latin parts , and some good orchestrated songs too , and of course the songs i've mentioned before.

There are so many better releases i could think of so don't rush and look for it. i thought maybe the next albums would improve but according to the ratings here it didn't happen. as i said all the right ingredients are here , keys , piano , good drumer , good melodies and vocals but when you mix them together it's certainly edible but not very tasty.

a classic 3 stars album

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Latest members reviews

3 stars This is the only Gypsy album I own "Gypsy Queen Part I & II" (3.75 out of 5.00) Since the first time I heard this opening track it attracted my attention completely. I was amazed. I have found what could have been a hit in the early 70´s from a little known band, and certainly it was. The song ... (read more)

Report this review (#805236) | Posted by raul_siberian | Thursday, August 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Some things in life are worthy of keeping. Gypsy, is one of the things musical that blossoms new , year after year. It is a paradox that a group, long gone as a concept,yes I know that some members are still active,keeps oozing tons of lyricism,and way too small surprises,every time that gets ... (read more)

Report this review (#113409) | Posted by wjlb | Saturday, February 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars You really shouldn't dismiss this album because only a few people have heard it (or at least rated it). Although I hadn't thought of it as falling into the progresive heading. Its a little hard to pigeon-hole as the other reviewers have pointed out. I first heard these guys on KSHE-95 (St.Lo ... (read more)

Report this review (#56775) | Posted by geminn | Thursday, November 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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