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Ache Green Man album cover
3.32 | 58 ratings | 6 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Equatorial rain (6:59)
2. Sweet Jolly Joyce (3:47)
3. The Invasion (5:58):
- Fanfaronade
- Invasion
- Monolouge
- Break-Down
4. Shadow Of A Gypsy (4:38)
5. Green Man (4:38)
6. Accheron (4:47)
7. We Can Work It Out (8:43)

Total Time: 39:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Finn Olafsson / guitar, vocals
- Peter Mellin / Hammond organ, piano
- Torsten Olafsson / bass, vocals
- Glenn Fischer / drums, percussion

- Gregers Bjørn Poulsen / effects

Releases information

Artwork: Johannes Mølleskov

LP Philips ‎- 6318 005 (1971, Denmark)
LP Universal ‎- 0602557859089 (2018, Denmark)

CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC2345 (2012, UK) Remastered by Ben Wiseman

Thanks to progbear for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ACHE Green Man ratings distribution

(58 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ACHE Green Man reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!!

Ache's sound is still very derivative of the early Purple and Nice (the duo of Lord-Blackmore and Emerson-O'List) and can resemble also Beggar's Opera Act 1 album. No long epics like on the first album , this one provides a good proto-prog and shorter songs (up to 9 mins still) with many highlights such as Equatorial Rain , Invasion (multi-movement piece) and Shadow Of The Gipsy. Unfotunately , tha album is a bit ruined by two sub-par tracks : Sweet Jolly Joyce and the title track.

All in all , this album is inferior to the debut , because they fail to capitalize on a good start by not developping their own sound and personality. I want for proof the Beatles cover of We Can Work It Out , excellently done but vastly copied on the MK I Deep Purple version on 68's Taliesyn album. If they do better the Purple version , it is only marginally so but also show how much they were hung up on imitating Lord and Blackmore sound.

Those first 2 albums are available on 2 on1 deal and this is an excellent value both for the wallet but for the ears.

Ache will break up after this album , reforming in 76 for a further two album, the first one a concept.

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars Well if you keep turning over rocks it’s inevitable that every once and a while you’ll find something worth keeping underneath some of them. That’s the case with Ache, a surprisingly underexposed proto/heavy prog Danish band whose existence dates back nearly forty years. These guys may be well known to their fans, but like the saying goes – ‘if you’ve never heard it it’s new to you’.

Well, I’d never heard these guys until recently, and had only heard of them from doing routine research of symphonic prog bands during the process of updated biographies and trying to find the logical connections between groups of various sub-genres. When I finally got a chance to check out one of their albums this seemed to be the best choice since it was more varied than their two-track debut and fell into a more promising time period than their final two mid-seventies albums.

I haven’t heard any of those other albums yet, but this sophomore release of the band is well worth taking some time to get to know. The music varies widely, from heavy Hammond-fueled rock to a sort of rock ballad to muddled-sounding psych to a really novel Beatles cover. All great stuff!

The lineup includes a bunch of unknowns: then seventeen-year old guitarist Finn Olafsson on a warm Rickenbacker as well as acoustic and 12-string; Peter Mellin on his fat Hammond and chortling out well-timed vocal harmonies, not to mention vibraphone and overlaid piano tracks throughout; percussionist Glenn Fischer; and bassist/vocalist Torsten Olafsson. There are also lots of “special effects”, mostly toward the first half of the album and mostly what appear to be pre-recorded sounds mixed back on tracks during the post-production process.

The album cover shows what appears to be a boogey man, or maybe just some creepy guy in a Halloween costume (do Danes recognize Halloween?). Anyway the lyrics for most of the tracks are typical late-sixties combination fantasy with vaguely social overtones, and partly psychedelic. The title track by the way kicks off sounding like some sort of early Manfred Mann ditty with a simple tempo, very little percussion beyond simple snare, and acoustic guitar. But the Rickenbacker kicks in shortly, and by the time the Hammond wades into the mix its clear this isn’t something from a 1965 playlist.

Back to the beginning though, “Equatorial Rain” starts off with some of those goofy sound effects, but these quickly give way to a Hammond/vocal dirge that could pass for Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison in a b-side of the Doors 1967 classic “The End”. In fact Torsten Olafsson shows an uncanny ability to sound like Morrison at several points of this album. This stuff isn’t quite as powerful as what the Doors were doing at the same time, but from what I’ve read these guys were better showmen in that they didn’t no-show half the time or have their lead singer puke and expose himself when they did make it to the stage. So in those two ways they weren’t like the Doors at all. Selah.

The more I listen to “Sweet Jolly Joyce” the more it makes me picture David Bowie trying to do punk while on acid. Hey, I’m all about word pictures, and that one works for me.

You can tell this wasn’t recorded in a single session (and maybe not even at a single studio). “The Invasion” is much more muddled and flat-sounding than the rest of the album, and is basically a slow, hypnotic psych number with long Hammond passages that culminate in a nice guitar/drum finish. This is a multi-part and rather abstract story of some sort that probably made a lot more sense in 1970 than it does today.

The band’s one-hit claim to fame must have been “Shadow of a Gypsy” since it still features on their web site (both the lyrics and the music). This is a very Procol Harum-sounding tune, mysterious, Hammond heavy, mystical lyrics, and deep harmonic backing vocals from what sounds like the whole rest of the band. I can easily see this being a hit any time between 1968 and 1973.

“Acheron” is another tune whose keyboards and guitar remind me a lot of the late-sixties Doors, but maybe with a little more of a jazz texture than what those guys ever displayed.

Finally the album ends with the most unexpected and original version of the Beatles “We Can Work it Out” I’ve ever heard. Basically this is an organ and drum dirge that progresses into a highly rhythmic and very psychedelic extended instrumental/ chanting passages and vocals that sound more like a stoned Londoner than some Nordic dude. Hard to describe, but if you can find this it’s a very original rendition that most prog fans will probably enjoy. Best guitar work on the album as well.

According to the band’s web site these guys seem to still be making music in some fashion or another, although it doesn’t appear they put any albums out in about thirty years. This seems a bit obscure to me but the CD has only been out for about eight years so there must be many more well-informed proggers than I as the demand must have been there to reissue it on CD. A great find, one of those rare examples of excellent very early prog that didn’t end up on the overexposed, overplayed list like most of the huge prog bands of that day. Highly recommended to pretty much any prog music fan. Four stars.


Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Danish symphonic prog rock band Ache released their debut album De Homine Urbano in 1970 and in 1971 their second album Green Man was released. The style from the debut album was continued. The only change is that Green Man consists of shorter songs and not long epics like on De Homine Urbano.

The music is organ driven like many other early seventies prog rock albums. Equatorial Rain starts the album off with some very simplistic vocal melody lines but the song has many good instrumental parts. This is the way most of the album sounds. There are no deviations from the style. Maybe that should be Ache´s reworking of The Beatles We Can Work It Out/Workin' which is by far the worst song here. The quality in the compositions are generally very good though.

The musicians are very good and it´s a joy listening to them play. Finn Olafsson´s guitar solos have to be mentioned as they are great but I also enjoy Glen Fisher´s drum playing a lot.

The production from the in Denmark Famous Johnny Reimer is very good and it brings out the best in the music. Johnny Reimer is mostly known in Denmark for being the father of the Smerfs and being an entertainer in the light pop/ rock scene in Denmark.

I prefer Green Man over Ache´s debut but I will still only give it 3 stars. It´s 3 big stars though. I can´t be more patriotic than that.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ache's first steps into this Symphonic/Proto-Prog Rock style they performed were more than encouraging.From January 70's and until the spring of the same year ''De Homine Urbano'' had been performed in different occasions as a Rock Ballet/Opera at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen in a show that included classically educated dancers and a psychedelic lightshow.With the confidence at high levels the group moved on to a second album the following year.It was entitled ''Green Man'', again featuring the promotion of Phillips.

Ache left aside the sidelong suites of the debut for the sake of shorter and more flexible compositions, however their style was more or less the same as in ''De Homine Urbano''.They still sound extremely similar to BEGGARS OPERA and THE NICE in a Proto-Symphonic Rock style with strong Psych overtones, which included massive organ waves and a powerful rhythm section, while the vocal parts evoke the style of PROCOL HARUM.Their sound was unbelievably energetic and dynamic regarding the time of the album's release with the guitars of Finn Olafsson supporting constantly the keyboards of Peter Mellin in pounding rhythmic parts.A couple of compositions like ''Shadow of a Gipsy'', which even became a great hit, or the eponymous track still retain a late-60's feeling with even stronger psychedelic vibes along the lines of PROCOL HARUM, featuring melodic organ textures and guitars and choir-like vocal lines.The general style is not actually competitive for today's standards and the new Ache album seems to lack any killer moments, though the talent of the group is more than evident

Good release, fans of early-70's British Progressive Rock will love this album, though the band was Danish.The monster organ moves and the overall very passionate sound is the biggest achievements of ''Green man''.A bit dated yet recommended.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Green Man' - Ache (61/100)

Say what you will about the notion of a 'rock ballet'; Ache were onto something interesting and - dare I say - unique with their debut LP, De Homine Urbano. Though decidedly less successful or promising than its operatic counterpart, Ache innovated the rock ballet, and a Danish ballet company even staged the nineteen minute piece; from what I've read, the performances were great. Moreso than that, Ache had a firm grip of symphonic prog at least a year before the style hits its peak. The bottom line is that, in spite of the debut's issues (of which there were several), Ache had a promising foundation from which to explore and develop their sound.

...and what do they go off and do? With Green Man later in 1970, we hear Ache receding to a far more conventional and period-appropriate heavy psych rock. The band's second album solves my biggest concern with the debut (an uneven structure) but it's come at the cost of their unique edge. In the end, the albums roughly equal one another in terms of quality, although that quality is derived from fairly different avenues.

While De Homine Urbano was impressive for its scope and ambition, Green Man offers a less problematic set of songs- quite a far cry from the pseudo-classical compositions from before. Instead, it sounds like Ache are trying to sample a range of other artists' styles, most notably Procol Harum, The Nice, Yes and Deep Purple, even The Beatles at times. Though the time between the release of this and De Homine Urbano was only months, the quality of their execution has increased notably. Green Man enjoys a fine blend of heavy organ and guitars, much like the first pair of Yes records.

For what it lacks in identity or cohesion, Green Man does offer an engaging variety of material. "Equatorial Rain" is a great piece of heavy psych that lays the atmosphere on heavily from the start. "Sweet Jolly Joyce" is a surprisingly prurient tune with catchy riffs and upbeat hooks enough to explicitly distance this album from the debut. "The Invasion" and "Acheron" are slight returns to form, bringing the focus back on the organs. "Green Man" (the song) is steeped in 60's pop. Closing off the album, Ache offer a cover of The Beatles' "We Can Work It Out". Although this wouldn't be the first time Ache tipped their hat to the Fantastic Four, it's a great example of how a song can be reimagined successfully. Instead of taking the song at face value, Ache make "We Can Work It Out" their own, taking the skeletal frame and chorus and fusing it into a Hammond organ jam that nearly kisses the nine minute mark.

Even if it feels like a disappointing step backwards in many respects, Ache's second album is still pretty good. In abandoning the possibility of further exploring their organ-rich longform compositions, they went for something different. For what it is, Green Man feels more realized as an album, and the songs have benefitted from the sort of improved musicianship that only comes with time. Still, there's no denying the sort of missed opportunity entailed with this album. In my eYes, originality is still miles more important than polish or finesse. Green Man sounds like it could have been done by a hundred other psych and progressive bands from 1970; what more is there to say?

Latest members reviews

3 stars A nice return to the flower power era, aka the Danish version of flowers & power. Ache continues with their symphonic spaced out pretty heavy flower power music. The references to the likes of Deep Purple, Beggars Opera, The Nice and The Beatles. Unfortunate, Ache have included a pretty subs ... (read more)

Report this review (#293656) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, August 7, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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