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ONLY A STAR

Pell Mell

Symphonic Prog


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Pell Mell Only a Star  album cover
3.21 | 15 ratings | 3 reviews | 13% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Count Down
2. Daydreamer
3. Only A Star
4. Across The Universe
5. Disillusion
6. Trailors In Movie Halls
7. Phoebius Is Dead

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Wolfgang Claus / drums, vocals
- Gotz Draeger / bass
- Cherry Hochdorfer / keyboards
- Ralph Lipmann / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Thomas Schmitt / flute, violin, keyboards, vocals
- Rudolph Schon / percussion, vocals

Releases information

LP Venus 78PMF1006 (1978)

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Only a StarOnly a Star
Import
2006
Audio CD$39.99
$28.83 (used)
LP from the new world ~ USD $24.35
LP marburg ~ USD $24.69
CD the entire collection ~ USD $37.21


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PELL MELL Only a Star ratings distribution


3.21
(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
27%
Good, but non-essential (40%)
40%
Collectors/fans only (13%)
13%
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)
7%

PELL MELL Only a Star reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
4 stars This was the last of Pell Mell's trilogy of disks that, shall we say, "borrowed" heavily from the classics: "From the New World", "Rhapsody", and "Only A Star". I am not a classical afficionado but some of the references are blatant, even if I don't know the real composer. Some mistakes were made in "From the New World" that were rectified in "Rhapsody" and further refined here, chiefly in the approach, which is very light and airy here while still possessing plenty of complexity and cleverness in arrangements to keep any German symphonic progger very happy.

The band's talents and ingenuity are best showcased in the nearly 9 minute long "Disillusion", which features a wide array of keys which often simulate orchestral effects, sprightly vocals, time changes and, most importantly, harmonious interplay between them and within the segments. The band has plenty of time to stretch out and they do not disappoint.

The gentler side of Pell Mell is to the fore in "Trailers in Movie Halls", a mellotron drenched affair that features a pleasant acoustic guitar break, and "Daydreamer", which includes pastoral use of recorder. The closer "Phoebus is Dead" wraps up the various themes in a neat package.

The band very occasionally gets a bit too poppy, as in the title cut with its overly precious harmonies and superficial melody, where they sound uncomfortably like Nektar, not that there is anything wrong with that, when you are Nektar. Thankfully, such moments are the exception on this disk which far exceeds what one might have legitimately expected during prog's prime, let alone in 1978 when it was released.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#125970) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 15, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This is not really a fine offering from this German band. Their output reached a remarkable quality level so far (this is their fourth album). Even if I preferred their debut album, each one of the follow-up can be considered as good albums (in my standards).

When you listen to "Countdown" the symphonic yet simple structure shines. The violin play is very much "Kansas" oriented, but this is not the major problem of this album. The pastoral and peaceful "Daydreamer" is probably not a masterpiece of prog music, but the overall melancholic mood and a fine melody are quite welcome. The medieval atmosphere rendered by the smooth fluting is another fine part.

The title track features extremely weak and mellow vocals; which is a pity since the instrumental breaks are quite well organized. But the soul aspect that has to be endured is rather hard to bear. In comparison, Pell Mell sounds good while "Across The Universe" starts. This is some hard-rocking tune which is not really a band's highlight. They are mixing these hard influences with some very average vocals and honestly, this track leads nowhere.

The classic inspired "Disillusion" is one of the best moment from this album, but when it is compared to "Rhapsody" or "From The New World" it sounds very pale and dull. The vocal department is again on a very, very weak side.

This album is by far their weakest IMHHO. While I was rather enthusiast about their first three releases (especially their great debut one), my feeling here is very close to the utterly boredom. There are lots of mellowish and dull parts in here ("Trailors." for instance but not only). A song as "Phoebus. "holds both some superb symphonic parts but they are combined with some weak vocals and popish sounds as well.

In all, this album is just average IMO. I feel sorry for this because I was used to a better performance from "Pell Mell". I will double the premonitory title of this album...Two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#188578) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 09, 2008

Latest members reviews

4 stars Another pleasant surprise. I've been wanting to check out this band, practically for decades. The reality is that there are countless of - potentially - credible works, yet to find time to listen to. I choose this album ahead of higher rated ones, assuming that it'll give me an insight into th ... (read more)

Report this review (#921275) | Posted by BORA | Friday, March 01, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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