Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Eclectic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alquin The Mountain Queen album cover
3.82 | 108 ratings | 12 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

Buy ALQUIN Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Dance (13:04)
2. Soft-Eyed Woman (2:39)
3. Convicts of the Air (3:53)
4. Mountain Queen (14:49)
5. Don and Dewey (1:28)
6. Mr. Barnum Junior's Magnificent and Fabulous City (Part One) (8:16)

Total Time 44:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Job Tarenskeen / vocals, alto & tenor saxophones, percussion
- Ferdinand Bakker / guitar, piano, electric violin, vocals
- Dick Franssen / organ, piano, e-piano
- Ronald Ottenhoff / alto, tenor & soprano saxophones, flute
- Hein Mars / bass
- Paul Weststrate / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Martijn Reeser, Rob Mori

LP Polydor ‎- 2925 019 (1973, Netherlands)

CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC2145 (2009, UK) Remastered by Ben Wiseman

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy ALQUIN The Mountain Queen Music

ALQUIN The Mountain Queen ratings distribution

(108 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ALQUIN The Mountain Queen reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A step down from their amazing debut.

The 2nd album by the Dutch band Alquin. Consensus opinion has it that this was their best album but I have to disagree. "Marks" was an amazingly varied and interesting treat filled with fun and great songs. "Mountain Queen" is clearly less bold to me-it's like they surveyed the landscape of the early 70s and decided to trade in the quirks (fun) for a more typical, predictable rock album. MQ does rock and it is good in parts, but it trades in the magic of the Camel/Caravan/Supersister/Floyd mixed breed for a showy purebred who may have the papers, but who lacks the charm of the mutt. The album is dominated by two 13-15 minute long jam tracks that are plenty competent on chops, but in dire need of inspiration. Both have their good moments but are woefully short on ideas to sustain those kinds of lengths, these are the kind of jams that spawned the joke about people yelling "Freebird." There are points in both songs where I'm just baffled as to where the spark went. "Soft-Eyed Woman" reminds a bit of Clapton with some nice, expressive bluesy leads. "Convicts of the Air" is another blues rocker that uses some flute but is really quite mediocre, going nowhere fast. "Don and Dewey" is a short little violin piece. "Mr. Barnum Jr's Magnificent and Fabulous City" is probably the highlight of the album with more variety to the feel. Violin, horn, and flute parts accent the jazzy rhythms that venture into Soft Machine territory just a bit. This track is very well assembled and convincing. The latter part features good organ work, a flute solo, and some raunchy guitar work. 2 stars and not enough for me to round up. A huge disappointment after my excitement with their debut but keep in mind most reviewers disagree with me. There is a "2 on 1" CD edition out there that features both "Marks" and "Mountain Queen" so if you can find that, you'll get great value and be able to decide for yourself which direction was more interesting. In my humble opinion there is nothing on Mountain Queen that approaches the best moments on Marks.

Review by friso
4 stars Alquin - Mountain Queen (1973)

Alquin is a Dutch progressive rock group whose debut 'Marks' (1972) and 'Mountain Queen' (1973) are acclaimed albums of the classic progressive scene in Holland. On the debut Alquin sounded as an enthusiastic nave band with many influences (from Pink Floyd to Soft Machine) with a mild touch, good melodic compositions and effective song-writing.

On their second album Alquin sounds more professional and the sound of the band is more balanced. The band now focuses on long compositions (whereas the debut was made up of a big collection of short pieces). The influences of jazz (perhaps from the Canterbury scene) are widespread, whilst Alquin has the format of a progressive rock group with many different melodic parts in every composition and expressive vocals. The style of the band is bit hard to nail down, but is comes down to combing jazz-rock jams with wind soloists and many melodic parts with some vocals and catchy melodies. To some extend the main themes of the longer tracks are like the classic epics of the genre, though without much lyrical content. There are two of these longer compositions, The Dance (13.03) and Mountain Queen (15.04) and some shorter tracks.

The use of many different instruments is attractive, adding violin, sax and flute to the normal rock equipment. The organ sounds and piano-playing of Dick Franssen can get very exciting, but during vocals sections he also some great subtle passages. The Les Paul guitar of Ferdinand Bakker is a great element of the music, his melodic style is derived from the age when bands would release instrumental singles. A good example of this is the short 'Soft-eyed Woman'.

Conclusion. This a strong jazz-rock influenced progressive rock album, recommended to fans of eclectic prog, jazz rock and classic progressive rock in general. A big three-and-a-halve star rating.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Behind one of the uglier artwork around (especially the back cover showing a brute beating a tramp with on-lookers probably betting on the issue), Alquin's second album is the logical continuation of their debut album. And if the outer gatefold wasn't ugly enough, the inner one is completely missed as well, but at least printing the certainly-not-unforgettable lyrics accompanying the no-doubt ambitious music they'd set out to do. Indeed the album gives two major multi-movement suites, but they're overstretching their talents a tad too much and had to look for inspiration to Caravan (amongst others), or

Let's first look at the shorter tracks, Soft-eyed Woman (repetitive riff ala Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, but remaining thankfully short) and Convicts Of The Air (with its slightly Floyd-ish sound) are both quite pleasant but fail to enthuse beyond the initial surprise of the discovert. On the flipside, one gets less than one minute of Lazy... eeeehrrrr.. IBD's Don & Dewey, which is actually setting the record straight, but it's kind of useless and the Mr Barnum's track, which is fairly successful in painting the circus's idea of city with its excellent Caravan-ey feel (For Girls-era) instrumental.

As for the epics, the 15-mins '-movement title track has a certain Caravan feel (Cunning Stunt-era) and not just because of the presence of the violin (Richardson in Caravan) or the sax (Bother Jimmy in Caravan), but the track regularly changes tempos, and its middle section has a lengthy space for instrumental interplay, just before the Orange And Green final movement gives us plenty of shivers down our spines but a predictable end sort of ruin it. The 13-mins two-parts The Dance is generally faster tempoed than its alter-ego track and is looser in construction (in a Floyd-ish way) and sonically (also Floyd). Plenty of cool moments

Although clearly derivative of the Richardson-era Caravan but with an original touch as well, TMQ is still a good album to acquire if you're into soft symphonic rock with some jazzy overtones. The Mountain Queen is still only available on Cd format through the 2 on 1 series, coupled with the debut, which is definitely the best Alquin combination, the other coupling their third and fourth vastly inferior albums, which are best avoided. But this one isn't, and outside its poor artwork (BTW, they actually had the track list wrong on the flipside on the back cover and n ot on the discs central label.

Review by patrickq
4 stars The Mountain Queen is Alquin's second and best album (at least until the group reformed in the 2000s). Marks, their first, was marked, if you will, by the same kinds of novice indulgences that have beset many a debut album. And their other two 1970s albums, Nobody Can Wait Forever (1975) and Best Kept Secret (1976), went in a more radio-friendly direction, which didn't really suit Alquin, in my opinion. On The Mountain Queen, Alquin finds their sound, which is suggestive of Camel and Caravan, but nonetheless not derivative.

The Mountain Queen retains the confidence of Marks but with substantially improved material. Side Two in particular employs themes and styles familiar from Marks, but more creatively and with more consistency. But as good as the flip side is, the real gem is the obverse.

Side One is divided into three tracks on the digital-download release I have, but the first track could be interpreted as a three-part medley. On the other hand, the entire side ("The Dance"→"Soft-Eyed Woman"→"Convicts of the Air") works pretty well as a continuous piece, la "Supper's Ready" or "Fly From Here." In a recapitulation reminiscent of "Close to the Edge," the vocal theme introduced in "The Dance" ("where will you be tonight / where will you be tomorrow?") is presented in altered form in "Convicts of the Air." Now, Side One of The Mountain Queen is not at the same level as these classics, but it's very good.

The same can be said for The Mountain Queen as a whole. Four stars for Alquin's best: an excellent mix of 1970s rock, jazzy Canterbury, and symphonic prog.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Another strong album from ALQUIN as this followup to "Marks" continues the quality this band from The Netherlands showed on their debut. A six piece with two sax players and one of them plays flute. The guitarist adds vocals and violin. And we get an organ/piano player along with bass and drums.

"The Mountain Queen" was released in 1973 and features six tracks although that short "Don And Dewey(Theme By Don Bowman)" is an intro to the closer. Don Bowman was a Country musician and comedian out of Texas. This is where we get the violin mostly. The violin continues when this song ends and "Mr. Barnum Jr.'s Magnificent And Fabulous City" begins but the sax will replace the violin fairly quickly. This is uptempo and piano will lead for a while but so does the organ and we get more sax later.

The title track is excellent giving us a brief Canterbury section with those keyboard and flute leads. Vocals on this one too and distorted keys later on but at almost 15 minutes this is a ride folks! I just don't like the start with the blasting sax and heavy drums. A minor complaint. The opener is catchy with pulsating organ as the guitar solos over it the bass and drums. A calm with reserved vocals before it kicks back in. I like the flute then we get more guitar. Sax before 7 minutes but then the guitar starts to solo too. Another calm with vocals follows. Love the trippy sound here. Some bluesy guitar on "Soft-Eyed Woman" along with flute leading the way. A mellow tune overall. I like "Convicts Of The Air" for that determined sound and it just sounds cool. A catchy beat too with guitar and flute over top. Vocals follow, some sax later but the guitar and flute are more prominent.

Tough to pick which one I like better of their first two recordings but who cares when you have them both.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 4.5 Stars. This album suits my tastes to the nines. Blistering lead guitar, long Hammond passages, eclectic arrangements with sax, flute, piano, and electric violin thrown into the mix. There's not a wasted note on this entire record, and the power these guys display from the jump is impr ... (read more)

Report this review (#968517) | Posted by Suedevanshoe | Saturday, June 1, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars To me, not so good as the first album Marks but is other balanced album for this band from Netherland. This work are more fast that the first and in fact it takes away quality for this work. The guitar are nothing special and drums don't have quality for this work. Keyboards and sax give some ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#231484) | Posted by Joo Paulo | Friday, August 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is probably their best. It was produced by Derek Lawrence, and the sound was heavier and more guitar driven than on their first album. References to Camel and early Roxy Music can be found. When you are interested in the music of Alquin, you must purchase this album. It is released ... (read more)

Report this review (#73664) | Posted by Agemo | Friday, March 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I was 14 years old when I saw Alquin Live (Breda Turfschip). The psychodelic Soulband War introduced the night... Alquin played most of the the Mountain Queen album and I was really blown away. Great musicians going from jazz-rock through symphonic. It was during those days the best from Hollan ... (read more)

Report this review (#61782) | Posted by peter lensvelt | Monday, December 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Not only is this the best Alquin album , it is one of the best albums of the 1970's period.The interplay between the musicians is superb , everyone a master of their instrument, and the playing is disciplined and without ego. It has been said that the vocals are the weak link in Alquin but I disa ... (read more)

Report this review (#61746) | Posted by | Monday, December 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Another Alquin essential release by Dutch band Alquin. This time they dropped the Caravan sound and showed more of their own. Songs such as the title track and "The Dance" are played live even today. "The Dance" cointains some of the best music the band have ever done, specially on the instru ... (read more)

Report this review (#45157) | Posted by Prosciutto | Thursday, September 1, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Together with Nobody Can Wait Forever this is a good progressive rock album. On this album you have 2 classic Alquin tracks: The Dance (13.00 minutes) and Mountain Queen (14.45 minutes). These tracks are really great: you here hammond solos, powerfull sax and guitar work. These men from the Du ... (read more)

Report this review (#32972) | Posted by | Monday, September 27, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of ALQUIN "The Mountain Queen"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.