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AUDIENCE

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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Audience biography
Listed under Folk Rock, AUDIENCE consisted of Howard Werth, vocals/guitar, Keith Gemmell, sax/clarinet/flute, Tony Connor, drums and myself on bass. We ran from 1969 to 1972 and, although featuring acoustic guitar, were not exactly folky. I think we were more usually classified as art rock. When band folded, Howard joined The DOORS as replacement for Jim Morrison then went solo, Keith joined STACKRIDGE and later The PASADENA ROOF ORCHESTRA and I joined The NASHVILLE TEENS, then Jonathan Kelly's OUTSIDE. Tony joined HOT CHOCOLATE, where he has been ever since. The band has recently reformed with only one personnel change - that of John Fisher on drums.

We produced albums as per your list. A recent addition is "Unchained", which is a best-of with two additional unreleased tracks. The most lauded album was "House on the Hill".

: : : Trevor Williams (AUDIENCE), ENGLAND : : :


AUDIENCE was a London-based group that recorded their first album in 69 and had their eponymous debut pulled from the stores a few months after its release, which makes the album a major collectible (Cd versions were also hard to come by until a recent reissue). They got signed by Tony Stratton-Smith of the Charisma label ( GENESIS , VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, THE NICE and a few others) but although not a purely progressive group , they bore a lot of characteristics of the masters. Among which , a profound (and somewhat derangesome) singer whose voice reminds you a bit of PETER HAMMILL, a great wind players able to switch to from flutes to saxes and oboe and a bassist (who wrote the acknowledgement written above ) that doubled on KBs but those remain discreet.

Three more albums were released under the Charisma label , and Friend's Friend's Friend is easily their best although the much-better known House On The Hill is equal in quality , both featuring tight frenetic and high-energy rock but also virtuosity and inventiveness. No real long epics , but plenty of space for all musicians to expand themselves and minor classic tracks like "Raid" , "Jackdaw" , "Priestess" and "House On The hill" can be called minor classic in their own right. Then , the band seemed to want to take things a step further by adding three extra musicians ( a KbB and two reed men) writing a concept album that was supposed to be their crowning achievement. Sadly the album was only partially succesful and the band folded almost immediately after due to internal friction. Only a compilatio...
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House on the Hill: Remastered & Expanded EditionHouse on the Hill: Remastered & Expanded Edition
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$10.19
$10.22 (used)
House on the Hill: Remastered & Expanded Edition by AUDIENCE (2015-05-04)House on the Hill: Remastered & Expanded Edition by AUDIENCE (2015-05-04)
Imports
Audio CD$36.88
AudienceAudience
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$10.06
$9.40 (used)
Lunch: Remastered & Expanded EditionLunch: Remastered & Expanded Edition
Import · Remastered
Imports 2015
Audio CD$10.33
$10.32 (used)
Friend's Friend's FriendFriend's Friend's Friend
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$10.19
$10.25 (used)
Friends Friends FriendFriends Friends Friend
Import
EMI Europe Generic 1992
Audio CD$24.99 (used)
Alive & Screamin & Kickin & ShoutinAlive & Screamin & Kickin & Shoutin
Import
Eclectic Discs 2005
Audio CD$14.94
$12.99 (used)
I Got the WherewithalI Got the Wherewithal
Import
Polygram Records 1998
Audio CD$9.80
$2.75 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Audience-The House On The Hill CD NEW USD $9.53 Buy It Now
David Soul ?- Playing To An Audience Of One LP Gatefold - PVLP 1026 - Ex USD $9.23 Buy It Now
Unknown Artist : An Audience of One CD USD $5.99 Buy It Now
AUDIENCE - YOU'RE NOT SMILING ( NO SONRIES) - SPAIN 45 SINGLE USD $24.99 Buy It Now
Big Shot - An Audience With Big Shot EP - Centrestage - 1997 #157164 USD $3.95 Buy It Now
NEW Warts N'Audience (Audio CD) USD $22.82 Buy It Now 46m 21s
Michael Neale No Greater Audience Live with Christ Fellowship 2007 CD Preowned USD $5.99 Buy It Now 6h 24m
DAVID SOUL Playing To An Audience Of One 1977 UK VINYL LP EXCELLENT CONDITION USD $10.55 Buy It Now 7h 21m
WAY INTO THE 70's RARE PROG / BLUES COMPILATION LP TASTE AUDIENCE FERRIS WHEEL USD $13.19 Buy It Now 8h 20m
Billy Connolly - An Audience With Billy Connolly (2005) USD $3.23 Buy It Now 9h 19m
REFLECTION AUDIENCE NOSTALGE GERMAN PRESS LP PSYCH PROG BLUES 10 BIG HITS USD $10.42 Buy It Now 9h 28m
AUDIENCE THE HOUSE ON THE HILL LP 1971 PROG ART PSYCH GREAT COND! VG+GATEFOLD USD $10.42 Buy It Now 9h 28m
Terry Wogan - The Janet & John Stories - An Audience With! (CD A/B 2012) *NEW* USD $39.60 [0 bids]
11h 42m
(CD) AUDIENCE - The House On The HIll / Import USD $15.99 Buy It Now 12h 6m
Mindless Self Indulgence - Alienating Our Audience Live CD USD $19.99 [0 bids]
USD $29.99 Buy It Now
12h 13m
AUDIENCE : 3 Small CONCERT ADVERTS -1971- USD $4.36 Buy It Now 12h 16m
MICHAEL NEALE_No Greater Audience_worship__used CD_ships from AUS!__zz3_L10 USD $9.46 Buy It Now 12h 20m
Dancers And Architects by Audience USD $21.11 Buy It Now 12h 26m
DAVID SOUL PLAYING TO AN AUDIENCE OF ONE PRIVATE STOCK RECORDS SEALED !! MINT USD $7.77 Buy It Now 14h 51m
IAN DURY - Warts 'N' Audience (Live Recording, 1991) UK CD DEMON USD $13.19 Buy It Now 15h 12m
WEAPONS - CAPTIVE AUDIENCE - CD+DVD - New Factory sealed RARE USD $33.95 Buy It Now 15h 28m
David Soul "Playing To An Audience of One" 1977 Pop LP, SEALED/ MINT!, Original USD $2.95 Buy It Now 16h 53m
David Soul-Playing to an audience of one LP 1977 USD $3.30 Buy It Now 17h 38m
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Original Movie Soundtrack Audience Participation USD $2.00 [0 bids]
19h 2m
ra1870 David Soul Playing To An Audience Of One EMS-80949 Vinyl L USD $1.71 Buy It Now 20h 16m
Cut Chemist The Audience's Listening CD album (CDLP) USA promo 48559 WARNER USD $21.77 Buy It Now 20h 58m
Wim Mertens Maximising The Audience Limited 180gram Audiophile 2LP Set USD $39.60 Buy It Now 23h 40m
USED (VG) An Audience With John Farnham (2003) (DVD) USD $33.86 Buy It Now 1 day
New Music CD Liquidation Sale ** Artists: B-B #8 ** Buy 1 Get 1 flat ship fee USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Vaclav Havel - Audience - RARE Original Czechoslovakia Press "Bonton" Radioplay USD $44.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Oren Ambarchi - Audience of One [New CD] USD $16.16 Buy It Now 1 day
the rocky horror picture show audience par-tic-i-pation album V/A LP USD $6.60 [0 bids]
1 day
AVEX0011 Ayumi Hamasaki ????? Audience 2000 Taiwan Promo CD BoA-Madison Avenue USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Colosseum in concert with Audience - 1970 Oxford Town Hall Ticket USD $13.19 [0 bids]
1 day
David Soul - Playing To An Audience Of One, Private Stock PVLP-1026 Ex Condition USD $11.87 Buy It Now 1 day
NEW! Audience of One by Heather Headley (CD, Jan-2008, EMI Music Distribution) USD $16.00 Buy It Now 1 day
DAVID SOUL - PLAYING TO AN AUDIENCE OF ONE / LP / GATEFOLD / 1977 / USD $7.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Finish Him! - An Audience With New Hardcore CD 2009 CSK180 USD $1.32 [0 bids]
1 day
KANSAS CITY POP CROONER LOUNGE LP: BRENT STREEPER - Audience - mint sealed copy USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Remnant of AUDIENCE 1971 Oxford Gig Ticket USD $2.63 [0 bids]
1 day
T.REX IN CONCERT LP (1970`S) PROMO PRESS WITHOUT AUDIENCE NOISE USD $3.96 [1 bids]
1 day
Audio CD I Got the Wherewithal - Audience - Free Shipping USD $7.77 Buy It Now 1 day
AUDIENCE - FRIEND'S FRIEND'S FRIEND - Psych Prog Pink Scroll Charisma Uk First USD $8.19 [1 bids]
1 day
Wim Mertens/Maximizing the Audience(twi CD 480) CD Album USD $15.33 Buy It Now 1 day
Rock Lp David Soul Playing For An Audience Of One On Private Stock USD $4.99 [0 bids]
1 day
AUDIENCE Lunch SEALED Original 1972 gatefold Elektra EKS 75026 Prog Rock vinyl USD $30.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Wim Mertens - Maximising The Audience 2x 180g Vinyl LP USD $40.92 Buy It Now 1 day
BETTY WRIGHT: Lovin' Is Really My Game / With No Audience 12 (dj) Soul USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1 day
SEGAL [Elizabeth Segal] Audience Of One - 1999 UK CD Demo - Folk, Pop - BARGAIN USD $3.30 Buy It Now 1 day
For An Audience Of One USD $6.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Mademoiselle: Premiere Audience Unknown, New Music USD $18.23 Buy It Now 1 day
Factory Sealed BOB MORLEY The Audience And Bob Morley MONARCH XIAN FOLK LP USD $18.00 Buy It Now 1 day
AUDIENCE - Lunch - CD - Import - **Excellent Condition** USD $38.49 Buy It Now 2 days
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Audience Par-Tic-I-Pation Album by Original... USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Warts 'N' Audience [Deluxe Casbound Book Edition] by Ian Dury/Ian Dury USD $8.59 Buy It Now 2 days
Hariprasad Chaurasia-An Audience WithOO CD NEW USD $14.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Arise from Thorns - Before An Audience of Stars [New CD] USD $13.53 Buy It Now 2 days
Elvis Presley "A Private Audience" Rare Live 2x CD Las Vegas Dec 8th 1976 USD $34.99 Buy It Now 2 days
WAY IN TO THE 70's TONY WILLIAMS LIFETIME*TASTE*AUDIENCE 1970 UK POLYDOR COMP LP USD $10.55 Buy It Now 2 days
Cut Chemist ?- The Audience's Listening WPCR-12372 +1 JAPAN CD G2 USD $21.99 Buy It Now 2 days
SMAK LIVE WITHOUT AUDIENCE , SERBIAN PROGRESSIVE ROCK 2 CD USD $37.00 Buy It Now 2 days
DAVID SOUL PLAYING TO AN AUDIENCE OF ONE LP VG++ VINYL 1977 PRIVATE STOCK LABEL USD $6.74 Buy It Now 2 days
AUDIENCE-FRIEND'S FRIEND'S FRIEND 1970 1ST PRESS CHARISMA PINK SCROLL LP USD $59.42 [0 bids]
2 days
(-0-) Ian Dury warts and audience A5 MAGAZINE CD LP ADVERT (-0-) 001 USD $3.90 Buy It Now 2 days
Audience - Lunch CD - Very good USD $3.95 [1 bids]
2 days
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW audience par tic i pation album 2 Record Set 1983 USD $42.50 Buy It Now 2 days
David Soul - Playing To An Audience Of One (Private Stock - PVLP 1026) LP USD $1.32 [0 bids]
2 days
AUDIENCE IN THE HOUSE ON THE HILL RECORD LP 12" GATEFOLD USD $31.52 Buy It Now 2 days
CUT CHEMIST Audience Is Listening Theme Song CD UK Warner Bros 2006 2 Track USD $6.32 Buy It Now 2 days
DAVID SOUL Playing To An Audience Of One LP VINYL UK Private Stock 1977 12 USD $5.53 Buy It Now 2 days
Captive Audience by Toxic Audio (CD, Jun-2005, Toxic Audio) Free Ship #LB03 USD $6.97 Buy It Now 2 days
Brent Streeper (sealed Lp) AUDIENCE ~ M mint Missouri pop rock USD $4.38 Buy It Now 2 days
Audience, Lunch, LP. 1972 Original VG+ Condition USD $15.00 [0 bids]
2 days
AUDIENCE: Lunch LP (butterfly label, insert, gatefold cover, some cover wear) USD $18.00 Buy It Now 2 days
AUDIENCE Lunch LP VINYL Canadian Elektra 1972 10 Track (Eks75026) Small Punch USD $14.52 Buy It Now 2 days
MCCALMANS An Audience With LP VINYL UK Rca 1973 13 Track (Lsa3179) Sleeve Has USD $10.35 Buy It Now 2 days
PRUDENCE Fooling Myself 12" VINYL UK Irs 3 Track Promo With Irs Audience USD $4.15 Buy It Now 2 days
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Audience Participation Album DOUBLE LP VINYL UK Ode USD $18.67 Buy It Now 2 days
Big Daddy Weave : Audience Of One CD USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2 days
HOUSE OF LOVE Audience With The Mind CD UK Fontana 1993 12 Track Promo With USD $10.35 Buy It Now 2 days
Dear Audience Vol 2 - Blanche Yurka - Folkways Lp USD $8.00 Buy It Now 3 days
AS NEW CD. An Audience with Margaret Roadknight and Bruce McNicol USD $7.88 Buy It Now 3 days
HOUSE OF LOVE - Audience With The Mind / Cassette Album Tape / 2012 USD $9.23 Buy It Now 3 days
David Soul playing to an audience of one includes silver lady vg+ USD $13.40 Buy It Now 3 days
David Soul Playing To An Audience Of One UK vinyl LP album record PVLP1026 USD $18.42 Buy It Now 3 days
CCM CD. Audience - Reason (Christian worship) USD $6.31 Buy It Now 3 days
DAVID SOUL PLAYING TO AN AUDIENCE OF ONE VINYL PVLP 1026 USD $3.29 [0 bids]
3 days
Belladonna Moonshine Audience 7" vinyl single record UK CB-126 CHARISMA 1970 USD $23.70 Buy It Now 3 days
The First Audience Album Audience CD album (CDLP) UK RPM148 RPM 1995 USD $16.51 Buy It Now 3 days
The Audience's Listening by Cut Chemist (CD, Jul-2006, Warner Bros.) USD $17.73 Buy It Now 3 days
Toxic Audio : Captive Audience CD USD $4.49 Buy It Now 3 days
Playcolt : Message to My Audience CD USD $4.49 Buy It Now 3 days
ALBERT HAMMOND - Anyone Here In The Audience / Rains In Southern CA - 45rpm USD $2.25 Buy It Now 3 days
Chadwick & the Rising : For An Audience of One CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 3 days
David Soul - Playing To Audience Of One LP 1977 funk soul Argentina Press Rare USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3 days
RARE CCM CD. Audience - Bring It EP (Christian worship) USD $6.31 Buy It Now 3 days
Cut Chemist - Audience's Listening (2006) CD USD $2.63 [0 bids]
3 days
BRENT STREEPER AUDIENCE LP ON PRIVATE SELF PRODUCED RECORD LIMITED AVAAILABITLIT USD $5.04 Buy It Now 3 days
Anchondo : Audience Is Waiting CD USD $5.99 Buy It Now 3 days
The House on the Hill by Audience (CD, Oct-1990, Tbc) USD $7.47 Buy It Now 3 days

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AUDIENCE discography


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

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

3.53 | 55 ratings
Audience [Aka: The First Album]
1969
3.63 | 67 ratings
Friend's Friend's Friend
1970
3.89 | 98 ratings
The House On The Hill
1971
2.76 | 42 ratings
Lunch
1972

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

3.25 | 4 ratings
Alive&Kickin'&Screamin'&Shoutin'
2005

AUDIENCE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.00 | 4 ratings
You Can't Beat Them
1973

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Bella Donna Moonshine
1970
4.00 | 1 ratings
Indian Summer
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
You're Not Smiling
1971

AUDIENCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The House On The Hill by AUDIENCE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.89 | 98 ratings

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The House On The Hill
Audience Eclectic Prog

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars I bought the American LP on Elektra was a bit miffed to see that "Eye to Eye" wasn't on it. Also I noticed "Indian Summer" in its place, plus one song off Friend's Friend's Friend, "It Brings a Tear". Turns out "Indian Summer" was a single the band put out around this time and became a minor hit, but as usual in the UK that song never made it on LP, but did in the States, at the expense of a truly great song. At first I didn't like the album, I think it was a lot to do with Howard Werth's voice. I have since found the original UK LP on the pink scroll Charisma label, so I can get "Eye to Eye". To me, this music sounded strangely like if Van Morrison was backed up by Van der Graaf Generator, if Van Morrison had artsy ambitions, that is (since Van Morrison's music is anything but art rock, never mind prog, and his music is very much R&B based, it's no wonder he's a darling to rock critics everywhere). "Jackdaw" is without a doubt one of the great high points of the album, I especially dig those extended jazzy jams. "You're Not Smiling" I couldn't stand, and even to this day I still have trouble with it. "I Had a Dream" bears more than a passing resemblance to Moondance-era Van Morrison, the band even managed to create that "And It Stoned Me" vibe in the song, I can't help but think of that Morrison song upon hearing "I Had a Dream". "Raviole" is a largely instrumental orchestral piece with nice acoustic guitar playing. "Eye to Eye" is an incredible piece with more than a passing resemblance to Jethro Tull. They do perhaps one of the most interesting take on the blues standard "I Put a Spell on You" (Screamin' Jay Hawkins') giving it a wonderful jazzy bent to it, complete with flute. Seems everyone from the Crazy World of Arthur Brown to the very mainstream Creedence Clearwater Revival wanted to take on this song, but nothing like how Audience did it. The title track is amazing! I really dig the lyrics, it sounds like how kids may feel of some creepy house on the hill and how they want to avoid it, so the song really has an ominous vibe. Also there's some great proggy passages to go with it, especially the nice flute.

It's one of those album I didn't care for at first, and while I still don't care for "You're Not Smiling", the album really grew on me. Wonderful stuff that I can highly recommend.

 Lunch by AUDIENCE album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.76 | 42 ratings

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Lunch
Audience Eclectic Prog

Review by TerryDactyl

3 stars I don't always do what my records tell me to do. Let's get this straight, I might be crazy but I'm not THAT crazy. Yet, there was this one day when I was standing by the door whilst listening to this album, because, frankly the first track on it is more or less a command to do just that, so I decided to play along to see what would happen. Well, what happened was...exactly...nothing. But, another time I was standing by the door and listening to this album and I saw an incredibly beautiful sunset, sky all pink and purple and yellow and orange, fluffy stringy clouds hanging over the mountains, all marshmallowy and then there was the moon lording over the whole thing and I felt truly blessed that I had, in fact, stood by the door because this record told me to. That story has absolutely nothing to do with the record and what it sounds like and if I think others would enjoy it, or even more importantly, if I enjoy it. Well, here's the answer to those most important questions of all....

I enjoy the bejeezus out of this album. No, it is not nearly as good as "House on the Hill" and it probably isn't as good as the first two either, but it's a decent album, still light years beyond alot of other things and at least darn interesting.

See, the problem I have with Audience, that no one ever points out on here or anywhere as far as I can tell, is that this band is not strictly speaking "normal." Well, what do I mean by that? First of all whatever form of this music is, what it was when it came out, to my ears this sounds like a grunge band, think Soundgarden or Mother Love Bone specifically, and that it's very pop and seventies instead of dank and nineties, but the gist of the music is very similar. Which is kind of weird to think since Audience weren't exactly an electric guitar band. I guess this isn't exactly a problem, just one of those other things, like doing what my records tell me, that make me feel a little touched, ya know? THEY DO SOUND VERY GRUNGE! I promise it's not a delusion!

Also, they sound less grunge on this album than on "House on the Hill" which is roughly 3.1415926 times better than this album. Still a good record though, a spin every couple months should be enough to charm the pants off a camel and the toes off a sloth. Works good with substances should also be another disclaimer (raises glass of kool-aid and tokes on a hookah filled with a non tobacco herbal mixture of basil, oregano, sage, and ((sigh)) hair...) Honestly close to a 3.5.

 Audience [Aka: The First Album] by AUDIENCE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.53 | 55 ratings

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Audience [Aka: The First Album]
Audience Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Led by the idiosyncratic Howard Werth, Audience were one of those uncanny groups who were just so difficult to categorize, a prog-rock outfit in the same way that David Bowie was a pop star(the point being that yes, Bowie was a pop star, but he was also so much more; the same can be said of Audience). This was a truly singular outfit from a forward thinking era chock full of singular outfits, but even then somehow Audience stood out. Issued by Polydor in the summer of 1969, the group's self-titled debut exuded a far reaching sweep of musicsl styles, taking in everything from folk and blues to rock, jazz and psychedelic pop. It was't big seller, but it has become something of a cult favourite over the years as the group' reputation has steadily grown, original vinyl copies now worth a small fortune on the collector's circuit. Audience would issue four albums overall, with their debut followed by 1970's 'Friend's Friend's Friend', the following year's 'House On The Hill', and final album 'Lunch' from 1972, though it is this self- titled debut that is arguably the strongest. Ironically, 'Audience' is probably the group's least progressive effort, Werth and his line-up of Keith Gemmell(sax, flute), Tony Connor(percussion) and Trevor Williams(bass)instead favouring a kund of acoustic-electric hybrid sound, and much more more interested in spinning their mixture of good time folk, chamber pop and classical influences rather than engaging in extended solo's and complex musical arrangements. This makes for a highly-eclectic listen, and despite a couple of lightweight cuts - 'River boat Queen' simply doesn't work; then there's the naff and silly 'Harlequin' - one can only sit back and admire the breadth and scope of Werth' ambition. Highlights include the glorious bass-heavy twang of 'If Heaven Was An Island', a rocky, chest-puffing anthem Audience-style, the raucous folk-blues of 'Maiden's Cry' and, as a suitable closer, 'House On The Hill', a sparsely melodic slow-burner that would inspire the group's next album. Witty, rambunctious, brilliantly-played and full of character, this is the perfect introduction to the sounds of the late-sixties most inventive groups. It may not be to everyone's tastes, but that's what makes it so damn good. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2014
 The House On The Hill by AUDIENCE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.89 | 98 ratings

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The House On The Hill
Audience Eclectic Prog

Review by Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In the vein of acts like Traffic and Gnidrolog, Audience combines the natural feeling of styles of folk and blues and the more musically engaging styles of jazz and classical. It's prog rock in a non-traditional stance, and that's what makes HOUSE ON THE HILL as exciting as other proggier albums.

Think of Audience as Gnidrolog's rhythm section (that good) with Van der Graaf Generator's woodwinds and a unique lead singer with a distinctive voice and plays strictly acoustic guitars. The delicacy of the acoustic guitars mixed in with the thrust of everything makes a near perfect sound balance that few can match. Maybe that explains the relative obscurity of Audience; the sound, while great, was hard to categorise, and that seems to have made it difficult for Audience to achieve even cult status.

On this particular album, the North Americans again get the better bargain much like on MOONTAN. Sure, Europe got the snappy ''Eye to Eye'', a great song in its own right and better than ''It Brings a Tear'', but the order on the NA release is better. I know there isn't much of a difference, but ''Indian Summer'' does not sound like a track that should close the record; it opens the record on the NA release, much more suitably too. The slow moving yet epic ''Jackdaw'' doesn't sound like an opener to me. I know I'm being nitpicky, but still?

HOUSE ON THE HILL can thrust power when it needs to; the title track is a perfect fusion of blues, rock and folk with an extended jam session at the right spot. The saxophone solo with two echoes is quite imaginative, and it's a few years before Mr. Freddie tried that when singing about prophets. There are also calmer, quieter bits as offsets. The beautiful rendition of Screamin' Jay's ''I Put a Spell on You'' is a slice of freshness to a normally sinister piece (it still kind of sounds that way), and classical buffs will enjoy the interceding orchestra on ''Raviole''.

There are times when HOUSE ON THE HILL compromises the two dynamic levels. ''You're Not Smiling'' executes this near flawlessly. The softness of the verses crescendoing into that haunting vocal/sax line is pure music euphoria.

It's hard to rate an album like HOUSE ON THE HILL on a prog site, but it belongs here and it's one of the better albums of this genre. The country-fied ''Nancy'' is the only blemish I could find (either version, it's on both), and even then, Howard Werth's vocal delivery saves the song. Highly recommended.

 The House On The Hill by AUDIENCE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.89 | 98 ratings

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The House On The Hill
Audience Eclectic Prog

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is a wondeful little gem that should be re-discovered, probably the most important effort by Audience.

The band doesn't use any keyboards' sound. The structure of music is based on guitars (acoustic mainly) and, above all, a SUPERB gruff saxophone (and clarinet) playing that reminds the typical VAN DER GRAAF mood, as it's evident up to the powerful opening number "Jackdaw". The album sounds eclectic, folky, baroque, periodically turning into avant-garde and jazz.

Some reviewers have linkened "I Had A Dream" to Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heavens Door" which was written - from what I know - in 1972 or 1973, quite some time after Audience's track (so to say how far Audience's influence spread). Other highlights are "Raviolé" (beautiful folk and classical arrangements) and the pleasant "Indian Summer" (nice flute).

The title track is simply stunning with those alternatings between crispy vocals and mad saxes, with slow interludes, flute, drums' solo, excellent bass playing.

This record was certainly written and composed during the golden hours of the early seventies: highly recommended.

 Audience [Aka: The First Album] by AUDIENCE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.53 | 55 ratings

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Audience [Aka: The First Album]
Audience Eclectic Prog

Review by 1967/ 1976

4 stars Audience is the 1969 debut album by British art rock band Audience. It was deleted shortly after its release and is now collectable in its original vinyl version. I've the CD version made by Akarma.

The debut of Audience does not contain real Progressive. In fact it is composed of 12 songs, all more or less progressive, but plain and simple. I like this kind of music, since it is not easy POP but neither Rock, stopping half way between POP and Rock. The addition of flute, tenor sax and clarinet plus a good Blues song is is the feature that I like to listen in this type of music. Audience, than, is not a band that plays covers as Affinity (for examples) and that is to build a personal and non-trivial. Defect, rather obviously, is that although magic and feeling are still intact, we understand that music is from 1969, because even with breaths of Prog Blues and Beat, although not very obvious.

But if you love early prog and try something really mature in early Prog you can not find yourself in your hands this CD.

 Friend's Friend's Friend by AUDIENCE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.63 | 67 ratings

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Friend's Friend's Friend
Audience Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars At first hearing I didn't like the sound of this band at all. The album opens with rocking songs somewhere between folk and blues-rock; the sound is a bit messy and the vocalist sounds like a bad, less expressive version of BEGGARS OPERA vocals. Acoustic guitar and banjo can be heard a lot, keyboards almost missing. But further down the album I started to get the idea of this little known band in the Charisma label. Their ace in the sleeve is the sax/ woodwind player Keith Gemmell, who has a wide spectrum in handling his instruments. Well, the vocals may also be a trademark but I personally don't like them much. Howard Werth uses some mannerism that makes comparisons to VDGG's Peter Hammill and FAMILY's Roger Chapman, but with notably poorer results, I think. Also Lindisfarne is mentioned here. Indeed, AUDIENCE really sounds like a Charisma band!

Album's highlight is the 8-minute 'Raid' where saxes show their magic, and on the whole the album is better in the latter half. At times the music comes close to the more jazzy/ meditative/ impressionistic moments of VDGG with its wailing saxes or woodwinds, and that's when I like it the best. Another good song is the effectively dramatic 'Priestess'; the lyrics repeat "priestess... murderess..." However there are some rather poor compositions, and none that could be considered excellent, especially from prog's point of view. The only instrumental 'Ebony Variations' remains quite boring. Maybe their following album House On The Hill (from which I've heard one track) is better, even though some think this one is their best. But being an album from the year 1970, definitely not one to ignore completely.

 The House On The Hill by AUDIENCE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.89 | 98 ratings

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The House On The Hill
Audience Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A fantastic little album which uses the flute, clarinet and sax stylings of Keith Gemmell to great effect, fans of early prog should not be put off by the fact Audience don't use keyboards - this has a big, lush sound worthy of any of the band's competitors like Rare Bird or Van der Graaf Generator - though with a bit more jazz influence than either. Howard Werth's vocals are powerful and haunting, and work especially well on the accusatory Jackdaw and the eerie title track. The album isn't perfect - I thought Eye to Eye was a bit underbaked (and, indeed, early US editions of the album left it off in favour of a track from the previous album) - but otherwise it's a great little gem from the early prog era, one which I'm surprised hasn't achieved more attention.
 Friend's Friend's Friend by AUDIENCE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.63 | 67 ratings

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Friend's Friend's Friend
Audience Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Audience on this album come across much like Charisma Records' answer to Family - a psych-prog band with a vocalist with a distinctive and energetic style. Musically speaking, Audience have much more jazz and folk influence than early Family, but Werth's powerful delivery really does put me in mind of Roger Chapman's vocal mannerisms. It's a good match to the music, which manages to get far darker and heavier than you'd expect psychish folk-jazz to get - especially on the menacing and accusatory Priestess. Audience seem to be comparatively forgotten compared with other Charisma stalwarts like Genesis, Van der Graaf Generator, or even Rare Bird or Lindisfarne, and this is a real shame; they certainly deserve recognition for their contributions to early prog. Four stars.
 The House On The Hill by AUDIENCE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.89 | 98 ratings

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The House On The Hill
Audience Eclectic Prog

Review by Dark Nazgul

4 stars Doing great prog without keyboards is possible.

A very good album from this group of the famous Charisma Records (the label of Van Der Graaf Generator, Genesis and Lindisfarne). The music is a sort of contamination, done with great elegance, of different styles (blues, jazz, classical, american folk and country music). No keyboards here, so nothing is bombastic or pompous: acoustic guitar is the lead instrument and saxes and vocal parts are very important too.

The amazing voice of Howard Werth, that reminds an american bluesman, is perfect for pieces like Jackdaw (the best song of the album and in my opinion a masterpiece of progressive rock), Nancy and the fantastic cover of the classic of Screamin' Jay Hawkins, I Put A Spell On You.

In every song there is a great use of wind instruments by Gemmell, and Van Der Graaf comes immediately to mind. But notice that we are miles far away from the experimental music of Peter Hammill and his band, because most of the songs are very catchy and melodic (You Are Not Smiling, Nancy, I Had A Dream).

Maybe not a masterpiece but I really can not find weak moments in this album. Maybe you'll like it at first listen and, I know, for prog lovers this is not ever a good thing, but I also think you'll never find it boring and you'll play it for a long time.

Rating: 8/10.

Best song: Jackdaw

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