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Kayak Periscope Life album cover
3.17 | 85 ratings | 7 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Astral Aliens (3:40)
2. What's in a Name (4:10)
3. Stop That Song (3:15)
4. If You Really Need Me Now (4:16)
5. Periscope Life (3:25)
6. Beggars Can't Be Choosers (4:41)
7. The Sight (4:00)
8. Lost Blue of Chartres (3:36)
9. Anne (4:19)
10. One Way or Another (3:20)
11. Sad to Say Farewell (4:26)

Total Time 43:08

Bonus tracks on 1993 CD release:
12. Total Loss (4:10)
13. What's Done Is Done (3:40)

Line-up / Musicians

- Edward Reekers / lead vocals
- Katherine Lapthorn / vocals
- Irene Linders / vocals
- Johan Slager / electric & acoustic guitars
- Ton Scherpenzeel / keyboards, backing vocals, arrangements
- Peter Scherpenzeel / bass, recorder
- Max Werner / drums & percussion, vocals

- Jim Gordon / saxophone solo (6), clarinet
- Jim Price / trombone
- Lee Thornburg / trumpet, flugelhorn

Releases information

Artwork: Govert de Roos

LP Vertigo ‎- 6413 960 (1980, Netherlands)

CD Mercury ‎- 514 997-2 (1993, US) With 2 bonus tracks
CD Mercury ‎- 371 913-4 (2012, Netherlands)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KAYAK Periscope Life ratings distribution

(85 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

KAYAK Periscope Life reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Introvert?

"Periscope life" is another competent collection of pop based songs, with simplistic structures, and straight forward instrumentation. The diversity of previous albums is maintained, perhaps even enhanced, although the 10CC/City Boy similarities are still very much to the fore.

There's a bit more emphasis on funkier sounds this time, especially on the Jim Capaldi like "Stop that song", the prosaic "Beggars can't be choosers", and the Billy Joel pop of the title track. The album improves substantially towards the end, the final four tracks being the most notable.

The instrumental "Lost blue of Chartres" has some fine Tony Banks like piano, while "Anne" moves through various atmospheres including medieval, stage show, and a sing-along 60's sad ballad sound. "One way or another" is reminiscent of "Stackridge", leading to the Bees Gees/Hollies influenced closing ballad "Sad to say farewell". The orchestration and simple guitar solo on this track serve to enhance the retro pop atmosphere.

As a whole, there are just too many average pop rock tracks here to distinguish the album from its many peers. The overall feel is of a band playing so far within themselves, they redefine the meaning of the word introvert.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This album is in line with most of the band's work.

Pleasant and easy listening prog-pop music. Crafted vocal harmonies, nice melodies, performing keys by Ton Scherpenheuvel and a global fine feeling.

But this has already been the case for several albums and actually, it is a bit of the same meal which is served here. Record after record. My absolute fave from "Kayak" being their debut of course, which was followed by a bunch of good albums.

I would include this one on the same level even if there are hardly one great song included. But there aren't any poor ones either, so!

It is hard to write a long review about this album: the music is simple, at times catchy (mostly vocals) and very much easy listening. Just grab a bunch of friends around the fireplace, get another bunch of drinks, talk about nice souvenirs and here you go!

Quite a decent work finally. Three stars.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Kayak in 1980 with Periscope life. You wonder what Kayak was doing in early '80's, well good I might say, they keep the same formula and the music is another example of a good Kayak album, no more no less. The music on the base is pop prog with a good doze of mainstrem elements but not a comercial album IMO, kinda easy listning at first time, but in the end is a typical Kayak album, that is a good thing. Same manner of composing, same vocal choruses brings to the listner a pleasent album, to me was another ex of worthy investment in their music. The forte tracks are What's in aname, excellent piece full of great musicianship and intristing keybords, Periscope life , Astral aliens and the great instrumental Lost blue of Chartres with a Genesis touch here and there, mainly prog pop but well produce and played. By this period Kayak remind me a lot of Machiavel (who were with Urban games ) on the market, but aswell Styx or Supertramp. So another worthy album from Kayak catalogue, 3 stars, again good one but less intristing for ex then Duke or Drama, who were miles ahead in terms of progressive rock in that period.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars For sure this seventh album is not the best from Kayak as there are not so many masterpiece songs taken from this one. As far of the way I define Kayak, it's basically a pop rock band with some elements of prog that makes them in the prog scene. The strenght of Kayak music is in most of their melodies as many tracks they have produced have very strong and memorable melodies with great vocal harmony. As for this album there are two masterpiece songs: "Anne" which has a very good vibe and flow, plus - of course - memorable melody. The other one is the ballad "Sad to Say Farewell" which has become my personal favorite of all time. It's great in terms of vocal as well as how the piano blends together in the music. I really consider this album still worth as personal collection especially for those melody-maniac. Keep on proggin' ...! Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Latest members reviews

3 stars This desert submarine brings me back to were my prog addoration began! It is about eight years ago when I bought a second hand pick-up and a few vinyl records: Mike Oldfields Tubular Bells and this record of Kayak. The price of the pick-up and the records was about 15 euro together and became the ... (read more)

Report this review (#667984) | Posted by the philosopher | Monday, March 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Periscope Life is the most pop-orėntated album of Kayak. That absolutely doesn't mean it's a bad album! I can understand that this album came as a little dissapointment after the beautiful and succesful "Phantom Of The Night". Where that album had her symphonic and mysterious moments, this recor ... (read more)

Report this review (#62892) | Posted by Robin | Monday, January 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Not the most progressive of progrock outings, this has serious pop leanings, but the two styles blend nicely on several tracks. The standout opening three tracks (the first flowing into the next, with the third a standalone) are worth the price of admission, and the title cut is excellent as well. ... (read more)

Report this review (#4175) | Posted by | Wednesday, April 28, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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