Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

GRAVY TRAIN

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gravy Train picture
Gravy Train biography
Founded in Manchester, UK in 1969 - Disbanded in 1975

GRAVY TRAIN were formed by guitarist/vocalist Norman Barratt. They managed to get a contract with the famous Vertigo label. And their first outing aptly named "Gravy Train" hit the street in early 1971. Second album, by many critics and followers hailed as their best, came later that same year (december 1971) titled:"Ballad of a Peaceful Man". That also saw the ending of contractaul obligations with Vertigo. However Dawn records signed them for another 2 albums. "Second Birth" were released in 1973 and "Staircase to the Day" 1974. After that nobody really heard of them... rumour has it, that Barrett saw the light in Christian music and apparently he were involved in the MANDALABAND project.

My favorite album by GRAVY TRAIN is "Staircase to the Day", even though many, as mentioned, swear to "Ballad to a Peaceful Man". Musically they´re sort of a mix of good solid UK prog / rock / folk (plenty of wonderful flute playing.) Ccheck them out, you might be in for a surprise!

: : : Tonny Larsen, DENMARK : : :

GRAVY TRAIN forum topics / tours, shows & news


GRAVY TRAIN forum topics Create a topic now
GRAVY TRAIN tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "gravy train"
Post an entries now

GRAVY TRAIN Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to GRAVY TRAIN

Buy GRAVY TRAIN Music


Staircase to the DayStaircase to the Day
Extra tracks · Limited Edition · Remastered
Repertoire 2007
$7.42
$7.86 (used)
Gravy TrainGravy Train
Limited Edition
Repertoire 2005
$9.03
$9.09 (used)
Ballad of a Peaceful ManBallad of a Peaceful Man
Limited Edition
Repertoire 2006
$9.05
$9.12 (used)
Second BirthSecond Birth
Flawed Gems
$59.33
Second Birth: Re-Mastered & Expanded Edition /  Gravy TrainSecond Birth: Re-Mastered & Expanded Edition / Gravy Train
Remastered
ESOTERIC 2018
$10.60
$9.87 (used)
All the Sweet StuffAll the Sweet Stuff
Cochon Records 2007
$2.24
$1.45 (used)
Strength of a DreamStrength of a Dream
Castle Music UK 2006
$54.53
$33.99 (used)
Are You Wigglin?Are You Wigglin?
Kill Rock Stars 2005
$2.75
$1.14 (used)
Gravy Train by GRAVY TRAIN (2006-10-31)Gravy Train by GRAVY TRAIN (2006-10-31)
Repertoire
$29.37
$26.43 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Waiting On The Gravy Train, New Music USD $14.98 Buy It Now 4h 5m
Gravy Train!!!!-Are You Wigglin? (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $13.60 Buy It Now 4h 39m
Various - Gravy Train - Hillbilly Meets R&B Before Elvis - Hillbilly/Boogie/H... USD $29.50 Buy It Now 7h 45m
Gravy Train ?- Second Birth RARE CD! FREE SHIPPING! USD $20.00 Buy It Now 8h 45m
GRAVY TRAIN - A Ballad Of A Peaceful Man CD Mini LP 2008 Japan Vertigo UICY-9031 USD $22.13 Buy It Now 8h 59m
NEW Gravy Train (Audio CD) USD $20.63 Buy It Now 14h 16m
GRAVY TRAIN!!! - All The Sweet Stuff (CD 2007) *NEW* USA New Wave Electro Surf USD $3.89 Buy It Now 1 day
Lou Donaldson-Gravy Train [rvg Remaster] CD NEW USD $14.45 Buy It Now 1 day
LOU DONALDSON - BLUES WALK/GRAVY TRAIN/LOU TAKES OFF * NEW CD USD $11.82 Buy It Now 1 day
Gravy Train - Staircase To The Day (CD Used Like New) USD $9.02 Buy It Now 1 day
Thunder Company 7 " Single - Ridin' on the Gravy Train / UK Columbia IN MINT USD $23.18 Buy It Now 1 day
Gravy Train - Gravy Train s/t LP UK 1970 EX-/VG+ # Original Vertigo Swirl! USD $515.44 Buy It Now 1 day
LOU DONALDSON-FOUR CLASSIC ALBUMS (BLUES WALK / GRAVY TRAIN (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $8.22 Buy It Now 1 day
(ET405) Phantom Limb, Gravy Train - 2011 DJ CD USD $3.33 Buy It Now 1 day
Gravy Train-S/T (180G) (UK IMPORT) VINYL NEW USD $32.22 Buy It Now 1 day
Shaffier Smith & Tempo's 45 HEAR GARAGE ROCKABILLY My Gravy Train Is Gone REACT USD $75.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Gravy Train-S/T (180G) (UK IMPORT) VINYL NEW USD $31.04 Buy It Now 2 days
Lou Donaldson - Gravy Train (CD Used Like New) USD $8.78 Buy It Now 2 days
Gravy Train [RVG Edition] by Lou Donaldson (CD, Sep-2007, Blue Note (Label)) NEW USD $9.25 Buy It Now 2 days
Lou Donaldson - Gravy Train LP - Blue Note - BST 84079 Stereo RVG Ear NY USA USD $7.50 [2 bids]
2 days
GRAVY TRAIN Japan Mini LP CD with OBI, (BALLAD OF) A PEACEFUL MAN G/F COVER USD $39.99 Buy It Now 3 days
IOWA BEEF EXPERIENCE Vinyl LP Cool -Ass Gravy Train, EX+ USD $15.65 Buy It Now 3 days
York Brothers King 78 Dee Jay Special Take a Number Gravy Train Hillbilly USD $10.00 Buy It Now 3 days
CD COUNTRY TRACKS GRAVY TRAIN PROMO JOHNNY CASH+ RARE!! USD $10.95 Buy It Now 3 days
Lou Donaldson CD Gravy Train (Blue Note) New /Sealed USD $12.74 Buy It Now 3 days
(DE53) Phantom Limb, Gravy Train - 2011 DJ CD USD $2.60 Buy It Now 3 days
Lou Donaldson - Gravy Train 2007 Blue Note CD Album (RVG) Ex/Mint USD $5.21 Buy It Now 4 days
IOWA BEEF EXPERIENCE ~ Coolass Gravy Train ~ VINYL LP + INSERT USD $11.48 Buy It Now 4 days
HOODOO GURUS Gravy Train EP NEW USD $7.34 Buy It Now 4 days
Gravy Train!!!! - All the Sweet Stuff (2007) CD USD $4.41 Buy It Now 4 days
Gravy Train Staircase To the Day CD Album Compilation Limited Edition Repertoire USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4 days
GRAVY TRAIN S/T LP 1972 Polydor 24-4056 US M SEALED Prog PROMO ORIG USD $36.00 [10 bids]
4 days
Gravy Train by Gravy Train (CD, 1990, Repertoire Records) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 4 days
LOU DONALDSON "GRAVY TRAIN" CD NEW+ USD $17.43 Buy It Now 4 days
THE FREIGHT HOPPERS Waiting on the Gravy Train CD promo Rounder '98 album NM/EX+ USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Gravy Train!!!! - Hello Doctor (2003) USD $1.29 Buy It Now 5 days
?FS?GRAVY TRAIN?THE DAWN YEARS?JAPAN MEGA RARE CD EX?TECP-25475 USD $25.00 Buy It Now 5 days
GRAVY TRAIN - GRAVY TRAIN USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $10.32 Buy It Now 5 days
Lou Donaldson - Gravy Train pt 1&2 45 Bluenote jazz vg+ USD $10.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Hear! Jazz 45 Lou Donaldson - Gravy Train / Same On Blue Note USD $15.00 Buy It Now 5 days
HOODOO GURUS - GRAVY TRAIN EP - CD USD $12.51 Buy It Now 6 days
GRAVY TRAIN (A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man JAPAN CD UICY-9031 2000 NEW USD $59.06 Buy It Now 6 days
Germany Vertigo Swirl White LP> Gravy Train< Repertoire RR 2063-LX Free Shipping USD $38.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Gravy Train by Gravy Train (CD, Oct-2005, Repertoire) USD $21.08 Buy It Now 6 days
Gravy Train LP - Same / GERMAN VERTIGO SWIRL Press in VG+ USD $138.94 Buy It Now 6 days
LOU DONALDSON - LOU DONALDSON: GRAVY TRAIN [REMASTER] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $6.16 Buy It Now 6 days
GRAVY TRAIN - A BALLAD OF A PEACEFUL MAN USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $10.23 Buy It Now 6 days
THE INSTANTS-Gravy Train-Rarer Girl Group Soul Promo 45-RENDEZVOUS #201 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 6 days
(DJ884) Phantom Limb, Gravy Train - 2011 DJ CD USD $2.60 Buy It Now 6 days
IOWA BEEF EXPERIENCE Cool Ass Gravy Train LP - 1988 UK Pressing USD $12.00 Buy It Now 7 days
HOODOO GURUS - GRAVY TRAIN [EP] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $6.59 Buy It Now 7 days
ADU Human To Human 12" VINYL UK Modtone 1985 3 Track B/W Gravy Train USD $2.74 Buy It Now 7 days
ADU Human To Human 7" VINYL UK Modtone 1985 B/W Gravy Train Instrumental (Adu1) USD $5.47 Buy It Now 7 days
LOU DONALDSON Gravy Train CD Europe Blue Note 2007 9 Track Expanded Rvg Edition USD $8.86 Buy It Now 7 days
Gravy Train : Hello Doctor CD (2003) USD $10.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Gravy Train - (A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man / JAPAN MINI LP CD (2000) Sealed USD $22.99 Buy It Now 8 days
LOU DONALDSON: Gravy Train / Part 2 45 (clean VG-) Jazz USD $6.00 Buy It Now 8 days
Gravy Train Second Birth MINI LP CD JAPAN POCE-1024 USD $21.99 Buy It Now 8 days
GRAVY TRAIN S/T LP / Reissue USD $26.08 Buy It Now 8 days
LOU DONALDSON - BLUES WALK/GRAVY TRAIN/LOU TAKES OFF * USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $8.89 Buy It Now 8 days
JJ Sansaverino - Gravy Train CD Innervision Records sealed new USD $23.00 Buy It Now 8 days
Lou Donaldson - Gravy Train [New CD] Lou Donaldson - Gravy Train [New CD] Bonus USD $8.79 Buy It Now 8 days
GRAVY TRAIN ~ S/T SELF TITLED ~ LP VINYL ALBUM ~ LOTS MoRE MUSIC IN MY SHOP USD $13.04 [0 bids]
8 days
Gravy Train ?- A Ballad Of A Peaceful Man - Vinyl LP Album Record USD $39.15 Buy It Now 8 days
GRAVY TRAIN - STAIRCASE TO THE DAY REPERTOIRE REPLICA CD ALBUM LIMITED EDITION USD $16.95 Buy It Now 8 days
GRAVY TRAIN - BALLAD OF A PEACEFUL MAN REPERTOIRE REPLICA CD ALBUM LTD EDITION USD $16.95 Buy It Now 8 days
GRAVY TRAIN : STAIRCASE TO THE DAY : CD USD $10.00 Buy It Now 8 days
Gravy Train (CD Used Like New) USD $10.33 Buy It Now 9 days
GRAVY TRAIN Staircase To The Day VICP-62165 JAPAN MINI-LP CD w/OBI 03564 USD $18.99 Buy It Now 9 days
LOU DONALDSON Gravy Train JAPAN CD TOCJ-4079 1993 USD $32.99 Buy It Now 9 days
GRAVY TRAIN - REPERTOIRE REPLICA CD ALBUM USD $16.95 Buy It Now 9 days
GRAVY TRAIN Second Birth Original 1973 UK Dawn HEAVY PROG LP Xian Rock Hear It! USD $169.99 [0 bids]
9 days
LOU DONALDSON - LOU DONALDSON: GRAVY TRAIN [REMASTER] NEW CD USD $7.35 Buy It Now 10 days
GRAVY TRAIN - A BALLAD OF A PEACEFUL MAN NEW CD USD $12.31 Buy It Now 10 days
HOODOO GURUS - GRAVY TRAIN [EP] NEW CD USD $8.31 Buy It Now 10 days
(Rauf) Adu Human To Human 7" PC UK ORIG 1985 Modtone Gravy Train (Instr) VINYL USD $2.60 Buy It Now 10 days
MOTORMAGS Slummin With The Riff Raff CD Atomic Action Deli Delay Gravy Train oop USD $24.95 Buy It Now 10 days
GRAVY TRAIN AKARMA PROG PSYCH TEST PRESS MEGARARE LP LIMITED ONLY 3 COPIES MADE! USD $99.99 Buy It Now 10 days
GRAVY TRAIN-The Dawn Years JAPAN 1st.Press w/OBI Pink Floyd Yes Genesis Rush USD $39.99 Buy It Now 10 days
LOU DONALDSON-FOUR CLASSIC ALBUMS (BLUES WALK / GRAVY TRAIN (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $9.05 Buy It Now 10 days
GRAVY TRAIN-SECOND BIRTH (BONUS TRACK/REMASTER)) CD NEW USD $46.24 Buy It Now 10 days
(CW368) Phantom Limb, Gravy Train - 2011 DJ CD USD $3.33 Buy It Now 10 days
GRAVY TRAIN - GRAVY TRAIN NEW CD USD $12.34 Buy It Now 11 days
Gravy Train!!!! - Hello Doctor [New CD] USD $14.88 Buy It Now 11 days
GRAVY TRAIN - STAIRCASE TO THE DAY [EXPANDED EDITION] NEW CD USD $19.70 Buy It Now 11 days
All the Sweet Stuff * by Gravy Train!!!! (CD, Jul-2007) BRAND NEW USD $2.13 Buy It Now 11 days
GRAVY TRAIN - All the Sweet Stuff (Riot Grrl) CD(432) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 11 days
GRAVY TRAIN - STAIRCASE TO THE DAY [EXPANDED EDITION] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $14.47 Buy It Now 11 days
Strength Of A Dream - The Gravy Train Anthology (2 x CD 2006) USD $30.00 Buy It Now 11 days
(CX190) Phantom Limb, Gravy Train - 2012 DJ CD USD $3.20 Buy It Now 11 days
Gravy Train - Ballad Of A Peaceful Man [CD New] USD $12.30 Buy It Now 11 days
Gravy Train - Ballad of a Peaceful Man [New CD] Germany - Import USD $11.01 Buy It Now 11 days
Gravy Train - Staircase to the Day [New CD] Bonus Tracks, Ltd Ed, Rmst, With Boo USD $9.40 Buy It Now 12 days
Gravy Train - Staircase to the Day [New CD] Bonus Tracks, Ltd Ed, Rmst, With Boo USD $11.02 Buy It Now 12 days
MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM Delusion LP/'71 Switzerland/Krautrock/Jethro Tull/Gravy Train USD $34.98 Buy It Now 12 days
Lou Donaldson-Gravy Train [rvg Remaster] (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $7.39 Buy It Now 12 days
Blues Walk/gravy Train/lou Takes Off/ - Lou Donaldson Compact Disc Free Shipping USD $13.72 Buy It Now 12 days
Gravy Train-RVG Edition - Lou Donaldson Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $13.73 Buy It Now 12 days
GRAVY TRAIN - SECOND BIRTH NEW CD USD $19.47 Buy It Now 12 days
Lou Donaldson - Gravy Train [New CD] Lou Donaldson - Gravy Train [New CD] Bonus USD $8.74 Buy It Now 13 days

More places to buy GRAVY TRAIN music online Buy GRAVY TRAIN & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

GRAVY TRAIN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GRAVY TRAIN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 64 ratings
Gravy Train
1970
3.48 | 74 ratings
(A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man
1971
3.14 | 47 ratings
Second Birth
1973
3.64 | 85 ratings
Staircase To The Day
1974

GRAVY TRAIN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GRAVY TRAIN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GRAVY TRAIN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 5 ratings
Strength Of A Dream, The Gravy Train Anthology
2006

GRAVY TRAIN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

GRAVY TRAIN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Staircase To The Day by GRAVY TRAIN album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.64 | 85 ratings

BUY
Staircase To The Day
Gravy Train Heavy Prog

Review by steamhammeralltheway

3 stars Make that 2.67. The buzz on the street on Gravy Train's fourth album Staircase to the Day is that it represents the band's finest hour. I certainly do not think so and am prepared to explain why. In a nutshell, it is too funky, frolicking and diverse for my tastes. I prefer a rockier, more somber sound. This I found on Gravy Train's first album. That work has the additional advantage of weaving together unusual instrument combinations, strange moods and trippy jams, little of which surfaces on Staircase to the Day.

'Starlight Starbright' does have a rarified melody and a pageant of instrumental activity grooving in the background. I can't help finding the choruses of 'yeah' and the uttering of the words 'Starlight, starbright' corny. Yet on this track the band has made a considerable achievement; they have captured the spirit of Yes in a slightly harder, more driving fashion with a lower-register vocal. I actually have met Jon Anderson haters, who unlike devotees like myself, find his sweet countertenor sickening rather than angelic. (Even the best vocalists have their detractors; a few people find Bruce Dickinson annoying, as well.) Gravy Train's biggest claim to notoriety could very well be their uncanny ability to emulate Yes without parroting, not an easy feat.

On a couple tracks Norman Barrett's voice seems a bit gravelly and hoarse. This is just simply irritating. Furthermore some tracks seem lightweight and contrived. This is the case, for instance, on 'Bring my life on Back to Me.' Here liberal use of a piano contributes to a mood of frivolity. I have always thought piano is difficult instrument to integrate into prog. rock and rock and general. Beckett and Journey succeed marvelously in my estimate and Van der Graaf Generator founders miserably on 'The House with no Door,' especially in the context of H to He ' , where the ivory tinkling follows the 70 ton 'Killer.' 'Bring my Life back to Me' is almost as ridiculous. Too bad because its message is pretty grave, it appears from a peak I was finally able to take at the lyrics. 'Evening of my Life' here on Staircase to the Day is as piano saturated and no less odd.

Some tracks capture the blues-based escapades of the debut but don't fully reach that level of mood and nuance. 'Never wanted You' fits this description. 'Going for a Quick One' occasionally delivers a very juicy chord change or pattern but altogether is so funky to be dated sounding and with a completely overcooked vocal. 'The Last Day' reminds me of a lighter Grateful Dead 'Fire on the Mountain,' replete with an obnoxious vocal.

Some tracks like the title piece have the complexity, introspection and build of tension I look for in a prog. record. What gives, then? While Norman Barrett sings of 'haunting my days and night' and 'excursions of delight,' certainly what I would like to find here and almost do, there is a certain inexplicable hollowness about the whole enterprise. Obviously this is my opinion and may not be fair, but I feel obliged to report what I feel in my heart. A string-filled Moody Blues-like echoey symphonic, lacking the Moodies' depth just drives home the slightly empty feeling the title track gave me. Of course I am being extremely finicky here. By all measure 'Staircase to the Day' is a remarkable, intricate epic, the likes of which most bands would be pressed to achieve. In this review I try to balance the objective and subjective. Gravy Train brews up a cauldron of spellbinding instrumental magic in the jam following the main theme of 'Busted in Schenectady.' The first part of this song is the whimsical musical throwaway I have come to expect from this album after the several largely uninspired cuts. Then suddenly at the eleventh hour, this record goes places and how! And just when it's getting good and really grooving, it ends! The band could have ran with that rollicking vibe another couple minutes.

 Gravy Train by GRAVY TRAIN album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.41 | 64 ratings

BUY
Gravy Train
Gravy Train Heavy Prog

Review by steamhammeralltheway

4 stars MAKE THAT 4.5 STARS, I only recently found out about Gravy Train but have been quite impressed. This debut is a masterpiece. From the opening strains, it is a cavalcade of catchy riffs, blues and rich instrumentation. 'The New One' features ample flute and several sections: never a dull moment. The moodier 'Dedication to Sid' dishes up of course the trademark flute but also fuzz guitar, tribal drums and a pensive vocal. The only detracting factor is vocal overdubs in an annoying extreme falsetto. The flute and guitar interplay and get both psychedelic and soulful on this track. Then the song takes off on a spacy journey where the drum assumes a heartbeat style and guitar feedbacks, later building to crescendo with the expressive flute.

'Coast Road' is a bonafide blues track, but far more engaging than most blues numbers because it's anchored by flute and fuzz guitar -- not your typical blues instruments for sure, and ones to add much texture and depth to this tried and true musical form. Later on the song becomes more cookie cutter and rambly with the addition of harmonica and lack of any new motifs to move it beyond the blues formula. And the band insists on droning on over six minutes for no clear reason. A soaring and fluid sax does furnish some additional focus. The amateurish sounding vocal enters briefly late in the song and very well could have been omitted altogether for better effect.

'Enterprise' along with 'Think of Life' are the album's most memorable songs. Laughter and snippets of conversation near the beginning of "Enterprise" lay down a playful mood. This counterbalances the forceful and intense main theme on flute and drums. This very tight jam well contrasts to the introspective, thumping vocal theme. Though some will undoubtedly find the lyric forced, to me it's so hyperbolic as to be sublime, a case of the cheesier the better. Not easily dismissed is the perfect proggy flute accents. And I want to praise the vocals a little more: the delivery is superior to anything on the album. A later much darker vocal bridge illustrates singer Norman Barrett's versatility. A lengthy very intense flute solo interwoven with the darker vocal takes things to new heights.

'Think of Life' begins with similar vocal silliness to 'Enterprise.' This one is a pounder, very enjoyable if the lyric only wouldn't get insipid in spots. But 'Think of Life' levitates towards the stratosphere in the middle and never lets up until it's completely out of sight.

The final track, 'Earl of Pocket Nook' very skillfully walks a line between lightheartness and wistful melancholy. The vocal aids this unusual mood. Again the flute and fuzz guitar are the perfect implements to relay this adventure in sound. This track oozes '60s hippiedom. The vibe is just a touch retro. Soloing makes the most use of Hughes' bluesy saxes than any of the prior tracks. 'Earl of Pocket Nook' is the longest number on the album, and time is used wisely. Things start getting weird past the six minute mark with the sax on a never-ending but much variegated solo. Ethnic drums and flute punctuate an instrumental escapade, bringing to mind Nik Turner's sage words that music is the real drug. Who would need to be chemically enhanced under the influence of something as mind-expanding as this album!? The Gravy Train debut is truly a far out trip.

 Gravy Train by GRAVY TRAIN album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.41 | 64 ratings

BUY
Gravy Train
Gravy Train Heavy Prog

Review by Dark Nazgul

2 stars Not a goldmine.

In the seventies Gravy Train are one of the bands of the British underground scene. This album, their debut and one of the pieces of Vertigo catalog, is in my opinion an average record and nothing more.

There is nothing particularly innovative in this album and sounds are typical of other blues/rock bands of the same period with heavy guitars, flute and sax and a few keyboards. The style reminds a bit other bands like Catapilla , East Of Eden, and early Tull, but the results are not the same.

In particular the long jam Earl Of Pocket Nook, in my opinion, is particularly tedious. In this track the attempt to create new sounds leads the band in the wrong direction, and soon the confusion prevails over everything else: the result is a song full of experimentation for its own sake, totally incoherent and inorganic, a bit noisy, without musicality and harmonies. The raw blues Coast Road and the mediocre Think Of Life do not increase the overall quality of this work.

Things go better with the other tracks: Enterprise, a song with exotic mood, with flute, sax, guitars and filtered voices, very reminiscent of the style of early East Of Eden. The New One is the most enjoyable song of the album, featuring beautiful harmonies and a delicate flute interlude. Dedication To Syd has good rhythmic variations and strange choruses in tone, however, with the atmosphere of the song.

Another thing that I find very hard to digest is the voice of the singer and leader Norman Barrett. Surely his voice does not leave indifferent: you love it or you hate it, without compromise. Personally I find that Barrett exceed in emphasis when interprets the lyrics, and this happens especially in the slower tracks where it would require a more measured approach (and this is even more evident in "A Ballad Of A Peaceful Man", the band's second album ).

If you are interested in the underground scene of 70s British music, I suggest you first listen to other bands, such as T2, High Tide, Catapilla, Tonton Macoute and East Of Eden.

Final rating 4/10.

Best song: The New One

 (A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man by GRAVY TRAIN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.48 | 74 ratings

BUY
(A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man
Gravy Train Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. GRAVY TRAIN's second album is less experimental and the jamming has been stopped, so yes this sounds quite different in style when compared to the debut. I like this better surprisingly enough.This album offers up a collection of good songs with Norman's expressive vocals and the ever present flute standing out. I must admit i'm surprised at how quickly I warmed up to this record but there's an emotional element at work that just draws me in. Unfortunately there are a couple of tracks I just don't like at all.

"Alone In Georgia" opens with flute,strummed guitar and strings as the vocals come in.Too commercial sounding to my ears, I just can't get into it. "(A Ballad) Of A Peaceful Man" is better especially when it picks up before 2 minutes with guitar and some attitude. It settles back as contrasts continue. "Jule's Delight" opens with flute as reserved vocals and other sounds help out in this mellow soundscape.The vocals do get passionate at times though. Good song. "Messenger" is the only track with mellotron on it. I like when it settles into a very CAMEL- like mode.That changes when the vocals arrive 1 1/2 minutes in. Flute then leads before 4 minutes followed by guitar. Nice. Excellent track.

"Can Anybody Heal Me" like the first track is one I can't get into.This one is heavy with flute and aggressive vocals. A soaring chorus too. It just doesn't work for me. "Old Tin Box" is good with that steady beat and sax. Catchy. Vocals before 2 minutes. A calm with percussion before 3 1/2 minutes then it kicks back in with vocals. "Won't Talk About It" features relentless guitar as the flute plays over top.Vocals join in. A brief guitar solo comes in at 1 1/2 minutes. Good song. "Home Again" is one of the best tracks on here. A native-like beat as the flute and guitar join in. Soft vocals also join in along with backing vocals. I like the atmosphere here.

Like the album cover for the debut the cover art here leaves me scratching my head. Oh well the music is good and that's the important thing.

 Gravy Train by GRAVY TRAIN album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.41 | 64 ratings

BUY
Gravy Train
Gravy Train Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars GRAVY TRAIN came out of Manchester, England and this is their debut from 1970.They are very much a guitar / flute driven jam band with pretty good vocals. One song is straight-up Blues but the rest are of the psych / jam style. Not a fan of the album cover at all.

"The New One" is my favourite. It kicks in with a beat along with guitar and flute rather quickly. A calm with flute before 1 1/2 minutes then the drums arrive as it kicks back in. Some choral effects then vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. Catchy stuff.The flute replaces the vocals around 4 minutes. "Dedicated To Sid" and i'm thinking it's not Barrett either. A flute / drum intro before it changes and picks up around a minute with vocals.There are some vocal effects here that make him sound like one of the chipmunks. Not a fan at all. Flute and guitar 3 minutes in when the vocals stop. A silent calm 4 1/2 minutes in then it slowly comes back to life. A beat builds late as the flute joins in to end it.

"Coast Road" is the Blues track and it's a lot of fun.Vocals after 4 minutes as it settles. It picks back up to the end when the vocals stop. "Enterprise" is led by the flute and drums early on.Vocals around a minute as the sound changes.The tempo picks up when the vocals stop. It turns heavier with vocals later. "Think Of Life" turns heavy quickly with flute.Vocals before a minute as the heavy guitar continues.The tempo picks up as it lightens some. "Earl Of Pocket Nook" is simply a 16 minute jam and I like it.The tempo shifts occassionaly and the vocals come and go. Some nice bass after 14 minutes as well.

I have to agree with Hugues on the 3.5 stars. I do like this but it's not without it's faults and limitations. Good album though.

 Staircase To The Day by GRAVY TRAIN album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.64 | 85 ratings

BUY
Staircase To The Day
Gravy Train Heavy Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Funkier, rockier and more confident than this group's first two releases, 'Staircase To The Day' finally sees this Lancashire group blooming into something approaching the real deal. Gone are the Jethro Tull-lite musical passages and shredded guitars; in come synthesizers, funky bass riffs and more expansive song-writing. This change of direction is evident on the album's fist-pumping opening track 'Starlight, Starbright', which positively blows the listener away in an orgy of swirling, feel-good keyboards, powerful guitar riffs and blazing synth runs, fulfilling the group's obvious potental at long last. Elsewhere, the synth-bass funk is pushed to the fore on the epic 'Busted In Schenectady', whilst the uplifting prog of 'Going For A Quick One' fills out the album's mid-section. This is, by a country mile, easily Gravy Train's most accomplished album, though, considering both 'Gravy Train' and '(A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man', it's actually no great feat. Still, 'Staircase To The Day', despite it's slightly dodgy title, does show a group learning from their mistakes and producing genuinely enjoyable prog-rock. Good, but non-essential. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
 (A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man by GRAVY TRAIN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.48 | 74 ratings

BUY
(A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man
Gravy Train Heavy Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Made in the same vein as it's self-titled predecessor, Gravy Train's second album ('A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man' features the same guitar-and-flute heavy mix and screeching vocals as before, just this time the group's leader Norman Barrett has split the album into two sections, the first of which features ballad's and songs of a slower tempo, whilst the second is made up of the group's heavier and rockier numbers. Again, there is nothing wrong with the group's actual playing, it's just the material is pretty un-inspiring. The syrupy album opener 'Alone In Georgia' is possibly the worst thing this band has recorded, but luckily it's a one-off abberation. The rest of ('A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man' is made up of competent, guitar-heavy prog that could well appeal to fans of Jethro Tull, Black Widow and Uriah Heep, but probably won't win any prizes for originality. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

 Gravy Train by GRAVY TRAIN album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.41 | 64 ratings

BUY
Gravy Train
Gravy Train Heavy Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Pretty straight-forward guitar-and-flute orientated prog-rock that doesn't sound unlike Jethro Tull and features some seriously shredded vocals from the groups founder, leader, guitarist and main singer Norman Barrett. To cut a long story short, Gravy Train were a Lancashire rock group who released their eponymous debut in 1970. It failed to make a significant impact on the charts, but did give the group enough space to record three more studio albums that covered the same musical ground as this energetic-yet-hardly original slice of rocky prog. A lot of Gravy Train's appeal depends on whether you can dig Barrett's screeching vocals, and for those that can there are some small rewards to be had, especially in the album's lengthy closing number 'Earl Of Pocket Nook' and in the impressive flute-playing of J.D. hughes on the mid-tempo rocker 'Coast Road'. However, when compared to the prog era's big beasts like Genesis, Yes or Pink Floyd, Gravy Train seem very tame. Enjoyable, but hardly essential. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
 Staircase To The Day by GRAVY TRAIN album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.64 | 85 ratings

BUY
Staircase To The Day
Gravy Train Heavy Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Forth release of this discrete heavy prog band named Staircase to the day from 1974. A little better then the predecesor Second birth and maybe at same level with their most mature work from all 4 albums A peacefull men,but less captivating, this album brings nothing new in their sound, same hard rock combined with heavy prog moments and some folk traces here and there. Only new thing is that the trusty Barry Davenport is out and officially replaced by Russell Cordwell at the drums. While the album as a whole is not bad, too many times is mid tempo, with out many bursting moments, too monotonous in places, saving the great flute play and the guitar who realy shine son couple of pieces, in the rest same old formula, who in the end didn't work for them, they disbanded next year, all members understand that tehy will never make it big in prog scene. The cover art painted by the famous Roger Dean didn't save the album to become a lost one in the shelf of progressive rock music. The inprovements over previous albums are not obvious, same rockier numbers interplayed with more progressive ones, some couple memorable pieces like Starbright starlight or the longest track from here Busted In Schenectady, great musicianship here and Climb around the gravy train with a touch of Cockney Rebel atmosphere, the rest are from good to mediocre. As I said as a whole the album is a good one, no really bad moments, but very vague puted in contrast with other albums of that period, even less exciting then their classic A peacefull man. I will give again 3 stars, nothing groundbreaking or over the top, but plesent and most of the time sincere and well played. One of the forgotten bands from early movement of prog, while thier sound is not so progressive in musical terms, they has some truly amazing moments on all 4 albums. I don't think this is their best album, I remain to A peacefull man to be their most mature work and thier most intristing one aswell. Although long gone they should never be forgotten.
 (A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man by GRAVY TRAIN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.48 | 74 ratings

BUY
(A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man
Gravy Train Heavy Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Gravy Train is and was always considered a band that for some resons never hit big time in prog scene, they were in shadow of the bands that emerges in late '60's to early '70's, and I'm talking about the big names of that period, Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Tull. While their music is more heavy prog in places with a good dose of folk here and there with excellent flute arrangements, Gravy Train has a special emotional atmosphere on almost every piece , mainly because of Norman Barrett voice. The music besides heavy prog with folk touches has that psychedelic feel of late '60's british music, very well combined with more rougher ones, the guitar of Norman Barrett does the main work here. A peaceful man is their second album from 1971 , from totaly of 4 albums released between 1970-1975, when disbanded and gone almost unnoticed in prog circles. This album is a little better then predecor in my ears, is more solid, more better composed, and has a special atmosphere of that early '70's progressive music. All the pieces are good, not a weak moment here, the guitar, keys where are more in front, the voice, and the flute done a wonderful job, living the listner with no regrets that he was able to listen to them. Even the album was released in the golden era of prog, and specially when progressive music was taking wings, this second album is considered also a classic or a lost little gem in prog music. As a whole A peaceful man is no masterpiece or close, but is enjoyble and has some very good moments. They remind me in places , maybe because of the flute with Jethro Tull early years, but aswell some comparation with french Triode is obvious. Best track are to me:Jule's Delight with nice string arrangements and superb chorus, Old tin box, a heavy prog piece withe some great sax interplay with the rest of the instruments, Home again another worthy track with great flute play, the rest are ok. Something worth mentioning is that the whole album is mid tempo with here and there some laid back moents, but very good combined to each other. The pieces flow very nice one to other living the listner satisfied about this second Gravy Train release. I will give 3 stars, a good album all the way, not a weak moment, maybe Alone in Georgia is lesser good with a country feel, but the rest are all good and even great in places. A little underrated band from early years of prog with their own contribution to the unmatch world of progressive music.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives