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ALQUIN

Eclectic Prog • Netherlands


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Alquin biography
ALQUIN were an innovative Dutch band who released four studio albums during the early to mid-70's, their first two being of particular interest to progsters. With a mixture of rock, jazz and classical music, they show elements of SOFT MACHINE, CARAVAN, PINK FLOYD, CURVED AIR with tinges of ROXY MUSIC. The band split up in 1977 following line-up changes and differences in musical direction - some of its members went on to form a new wave/punk band called The METEORS.

"Marks" (1972), their first release, is mostly instrumental with a highly jazzy feel. Quite versatile, it features snippets of calypso, circus music, Dixieland and (of all things!) country music. Their best progressive effort, however, is their second album "Mountain Queen" (1973) which features long instrumental passages with prominent lead guitar, whirling Hammond organ, dual saxophones, electric violin and catchy choruses in a slightly Canterbury style. With the release of "Nobody Can Wait Forever" (1975) and "Best Kept Secret" (1976), however, the band went for a more hard rock sound with shorter, more accessible tunes. Two live albums as well as six compilation cd's of their material were subsequently released by Polydor and various other record labels.

The symphonic style of "Mountain Queen" should appeal to progsters; "Nobody Can Wait Forever" is recommended if you like a more bluesy/funky approach.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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MarksMarks
Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2009
Audio CD$9.95
$16.05 (used)
Mountain QueenMountain Queen
Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2009
Audio CD$11.37
$16.05 (used)
Alquin: One More NightAlquin: One More Night
Import
Alpha Centauri Ent. 2007
DVD$8.77
$8.77 (used)
Wheelchair GroupieWheelchair Groupie
Import
Universal Import 2001
Audio CD$18.69
$8.99 (used)
Nobody Can Wait ForeverNobody Can Wait Forever
Import
Universal Uk/Zoom 2010
Audio CD$19.49
$29.48 (used)
nobody can.../best kept..nobody can.../best kept..
Polydor
Audio CD$9.71
$10.43 (used)
Marks SessionsMarks Sessions
Import
Imports 2013
Audio CD$41.79
$25.88 (used)
Mountain Queen / MarksMountain Queen / Marks
Import
Universal Nl 2012
Audio CD$22.90
Sailors & SinnersSailors & Sinners
Import
Universal Uk/Zoom 2009
Audio CD$27.68
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ALQUIN discography


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

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

3.82 | 47 ratings
Marks
1972
3.65 | 52 ratings
Mountain Queen
1973
2.99 | 23 ratings
Nobody Can Wait Forever
1975
2.42 | 13 ratings
Best Kept Secret
1976
3.21 | 9 ratings
Blue Planet
2005
3.33 | 3 ratings
Sailors and sinners
2009

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

3.00 | 4 ratings
On Tour
1976
4.08 | 4 ratings
One More Night
2003

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
One More Night
2003

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Crash - The Best Of Alquin
1976
5.00 | 2 ratings
Marks / Mountain Queen
1990
3.00 | 2 ratings
Nobody Can Wait Forever / Best Kept Secret
1990
3.00 | 1 ratings
Wheelchair Groupie
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
3 Originals
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Universal Masters Collection
2002

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Wheelchair Groupie
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fool in the Mirror
1976

ALQUIN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mountain Queen by ALQUIN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.65 | 52 ratings

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Mountain Queen
Alquin Eclectic Prog

Review by Suedevanshoe

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 impressive. "The Dance" starts a bit slow but really starts to move the record around the three minute mark with blaring sax and organ fueling the soaring guitar. Vocals are substantial and fair - with an excellent vocalist and some finely tuned harmonies this could be a masterpiece. That's the only flaw I can find thus far.

The album contains six tracks, two extend 14+ minutes, one more than eight and the others are short transitional pieces warming up the listener for the next steaming jam. Still, they are nice little songs that showcase the dexterity of the group - with blues, psych, and "Sugar Cane" Harris influenced tracks.

What a superb find "Mountain Queen" was for me. Powerful, eclectic, exciting rock with splashes of jazz-it's like a half-brother to the best Caravan albums. This album heads my list of underrated progressive albums from the "golden age" of prog - along with This is Gracious!, To Pagham and Beyond, and Being.

Check it out

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 Nobody Can Wait Forever / Best Kept Secret  by ALQUIN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1990
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Nobody Can Wait Forever / Best Kept Secret
Alquin Eclectic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Alquin from Holland is a progressive rock band who had a moderated succes in the '70s. Beggining very well with first two albums being very appreciated among fans with time passing by they slowly drop the eclectic/canterbury feel in vein of Caravan or Supersister of the first two albums and optained with the third album for a more accesible harder edge combined with progressive elements. Well, the 2 in 1 CD issued by Polydor in 1990, have the third album from 1975 named Nobody can wait forever and the forth from 1976 named Best kept secret. The first album from this CD is Nobody can wait forever - 1975. I like what I've heared here, is the type of hard prog very well performed with uptempo passages and very strong musicianship. All pieces stands as good for me, specialy the opening track New Guinea sunrise with pleasent flute break and the ending track Revolution's theme aswell with great guitar , keyboards, flute interludes. The middle of the album is ok but nothing really special, prog melted with hard edgy passages. I like a lot the vocalist Michael van Dijk , very competent , with strong tone in his voice and has some very good parts on this album. Overall ok release, enjoyble, 3 stars maybe in parts 3.5. The second album from here and forth overall from their career is Best kept secret - 1976. This is little dissapointing face previous one, not to mention is far from first two albums in manner of composing. This is a a very mainstrem and accesible hard prog where only the opning track Fool in the mirror worth mentioned, the rest while are ok are totaly forgetable tracks. They gone here like Golden Earring same period. Aswell vocal parts are good, strong. For sure weaker then all previous works band done. 2.5 stars to this one. So overall for the both albums 3 stars. Still I like to hear from time to time this 2 in 1 CD.

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 Marks by ALQUIN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.82 | 47 ratings

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Marks
Alquin Eclectic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars First album from this Dutch sextet (the standard prog quartet, plus two wind players), released late 72 and coming with a fairly ugly potato album artwork (although a red fingerprint graced the export (British) version), Marks is a rather pleasant surprise (at least many moments are), as it is sounding much like its own, despite a wide pot-pourri of influences and ambiances gathered a bit all over the musical map. The group took its roots in 69 in Delft (the University town between The Hague and Rotterdam), when three students began playing R&B as Threshold Fear, then slowly expanded to a sextet, recorded a single, then changed its name into Alquin in late 71 to Alquin, based on a local monastery.

The very Genesis-like guitar-arpeggio and flute intro of the instrumental Oriental Journey opens the album on an enjoyable note, the rest of the band gradually kicking in soon, before the flute veers Asian and the band passes clutches in the turbo which will lead into a great finale. A tad Canterbury-ish but mainly its own self and a tremendous opener. The following The Least You (also an instrumental) starts off a bit goofily, but calms down superbly in its second section. The Traffic-ian 7-mins Soft Royce is probably the highlight of the album, with its beautiful jazzy ambiance and constantly changing time sigs, including some bossa nova, but the short vocal bits are a bit surprising in their rawness, but the track goes on mercilessly until a fading telephone tonality draws it to a close. The Barnum track (I'm guessing it was ousted to fit those Polydor 2on1 discs) is a low-key improv piece that borders on the dissonant side with a String Driven Thing-like violin to boot. A mainly instrumental A-side contrasting somewhat with the much wordier flipside.

The 11-mins+ I Wish I Could is a slow crescendoing track where a psychedelic twangy guitar gradually speeds up over the superb Floydian organ underneath, until midway through where the rather clumsy vocals enters for a few verses with a flute separating the first, while a guitar adds some dramatics. Unfortunately the sung passages are over- staying their welcome and unfortunately disserving the track. The following piano and acoustic guitar ballad of You Always Can Change is not one of my fave of the album, but it does retain some charm, especially in the moody ending. As always, the Dutch try to infuse some humour in the music and here it is in the form of thunderstorm bolts that announces the instrumental Marc's Occasional Shower with sax and clarinets, while the folky Catherine's Wig has the fiddle diddling with diverse winds, but both tracks provide an unfitting close to an otherwise fine album. The Esoteric remaster has a short bonus track, the b-side of a single and obviously a wink atr their Soft Royce track and it features heavy guitar and Beefheart-style vocals. Barely in line with the rest of the album, but not shockingly different.

This album will be strong enough to have the group be part of that Dutch wave of groups ala Earring, Supersister, Focus, Ekseption/Trace, and Alquin will gain some exposure in England by playing the Grey whistle Test TV show, leading to opening some show for The Who in France a while later. Too bad this debut album will be their most inventive and their future albums will not foray further in the avenues that Alquin opened for themselves, here. Indeed the following MQ will be a flawed but good successor, but after that, the group will sporadically have moments of greatness glimpsed in this present album, but for the most will produce average pomp rock music. In some ways, this album could be assimilated to a wiser early Supersister (same producer, so that helps) but much wiser and less virtuoso. Marginally better than their second album, but Alquin remains a second division Dutch group, leaving no essential trace in their country's rock scene compared to Focus, Earring or that Super Sister.

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 Marks by ALQUIN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.82 | 47 ratings

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Marks
Alquin Eclectic Prog

Review by The Runaway

4 stars There's not much I can say about Alquin, as I do not really know anything except this album. They're a dutch band formed somewhere around the early 70's, and only released 5 albums, and this one, Marks, is their first.

Oriental Journey starts with a flute and acoustic guitar prologue, very similar to Camel, or Jethro Tull during Heavy Horses. Then the band enters into a very jazzy feel of the earlier theme. Then it goes into a wah wah empowered section, very influenced by Blind Faith, and jazz artists of that time. Then they play the flute/guitar riff on horns, and then piano. The whole band is very talented, and I'm pretty sure that they learned music somewhere in their lives. This song is constantly changing, until its faded into The Least You Could do is Send me Some Flowers, which sounds just like the previous song. Then comes a saxophone solo very similar (judging by feel) to the one in Pink Floyd's Money. The song then comes to an abrupt piano ending.

Soft Royce starts with something that sounds like Air's La Femme d'Argent jazzified! a funky bassline and phased drums, played with a steady saxphone line played with insane feel and tightness. This song is very reminiscent of Focus, Jethro Tull (During APP), and Wishbone Ash, the latter one especially during the guitar solo. The song then goes into a samba part, and right afterwards come in the vocals, which sound very similar to Roye Albrighton of Nektar. Then the song goes into a slow 9/8ths keyboard solo reminiscent of Camel, especially on their debut.

Mr. Barnum Jr. starts with a pumpy Hammond organ part and a drum roll, which sound like a train rolling, and then abruptedly ends after a few seconds. Then a horn is sounded, much like on The Decemberists' The Infanta, which made me think it was gonna come again, but no, there is a flute solo, similar to that on JT's My God.

I Wish I Could starts out with a mellow guitar/hammond piece, which keeps feeling like it'll explode into something huge. After a few rounds, the bass and drums enter. Now even Pink Floyd can't get more Pink Floyd than this! Then it goes into an acoustic guitar part which sounds like a cross between Camel, the music in Battlefield 2 when you lose to the MEC, and Get My Goat by Phideaux. The whole feel of this song is very haunting, until the vocals come in. In my opinion they're pretty cheesy, and the accent isn't so good.

You Always Can Change starts out reminiscent of David Bowie, or Byzantium, maybe even Genesis. It's an upbringing song, lyrically and musically. Even reminiscent of the country music around that time, such as CSNY, and Neil Young.

Marc's Occasional Showers starts with with thunder crashes exploding into a 7/8ths insanity with phased drums playing really fast 16ths, saxophones blaring, guitar chords strummed like hell, and then it slows down into a 4/4 bit with orchestral vocals in the background, reminiscent of Capability Brown's Circumstances, somehow.

Catharine's Wig starts out with a string section which sounds like Fruupp playing Gryphon covers, until the must-have wah-guitar solo comes in. Oh wait, it's a violin! Back to the main theme, this time with drums and piano, and then, STOP, piano interlude, GO, wah-violin solo, very reminiscent of those in Gentle Giant, especially in River. One of the most beautiful songs on this album.

And that's it, actually. On my first listen I wasn't so focused, so I didn't pay attention to the beauty in some of these songs. I'll give this a 4 out of 5. Most of the songs are good, and even great, but I Wish I Could isn't good enough, and it seems a bit too influenced off Camel and Jethro Tull.

Still a fantastic album though, and if you have the money for lesser-known gems, buy this.

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 Mountain Queen by ALQUIN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.65 | 52 ratings

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Mountain Queen
Alquin Eclectic Prog

Review by João Paulo

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 balanced atmosphere and create some beautifull part´s. We can listen a violin in final tracks that does not belong to the context of the work but is quite beautifull. The flute are nothing special. it had a more positive expectation for the second album of this band but such it did not happen. I give 3 stars because I like this band.

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 Marks by ALQUIN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.82 | 47 ratings

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Marks
Alquin Eclectic Prog

Review by João Paulo

4 stars Nice album for this band. Very harmonic and balanced with a good work in guitar with a old pedal effect but efficient. The sax remember me the calm night and all this atmosphere. Some parts remember me Meedle Pink Floyd but they are short that it reveals that this work are not a copy. The mellotron parts and keiboards give quality to this album. The drums, nothing special but balanced in this work. In global album, i really apreciate because it's a good work in 70 décade that i like very much and we can listen very often and enjoy. I give 4 stars because is a good progressive work for this band fromjk Netherlands.

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 One More Night by ALQUIN album cover DVD/Video, 2003
3.00 | 1 ratings

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One More Night
Alquin Eclectic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars One More Night of Alquin, 2003 LIVE

Alquin made two highly rewarding albums in the beginning of their career. Of their nice progressive debut they don't play even one song, which is a pity. Of their second progressive achievement 'Mountain Queen' they play 80% of the material. The other material is from later albums and can be seen as pop/rock songs with sometimes a slight progressive tendency. Alquin is a progressive artist consisting of rock elements accompanied with a wind section by Ronald Ottenhof. Also the Keys of Dick Franssen play a central role in the progressive songs. The guitar is played by Ferdinand Bakker with a nice warm Les Paul sound.

The sound of the dvd is good, the performance a bit boring. But hey.. these guys must be in the second halve of their fifties. The little choir is nice addiction to the vocal parts. Though the performance is a bit low, Alquin proofs to be a professional band playing perfectly in form.

As said earlier the songs from Mountain Queen are of our progressive interest. The Dance and the song Mountain queen count both 17 minutes and are worthy material to play. For information about this material I refer to my review of the Mountain Queen lp.

A nice dvd, but no excellent addition. The feeling of a Dutch golden oldie alive and playing gives a good feeling. It might have been a four star dvd if more material from their debut was included. For now, three stars. Very nice for fans of Alquin, good for people who can enjoy crossoverpog.

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 On Tour by ALQUIN album cover Live, 1976
3.00 | 4 ratings

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On Tour
Alquin Eclectic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

3 stars There was only one revies of this live album, so I dicided to write something about it. Alquin is a Dutch progressive/pop rock band. Their first two albums are great additions to your collection, their later work is not important for people who want to invest their money and time in progressive music, for their music became fully songbased and poppy.

On this live album we have an akward situation, for it falls precisely in between their progressive and their pop period. The fifteen minute lang suite The Dance is played like Alquin is a classic prog band, other songs like L.A. Randez Vous and Wheelchair Groupie and some other are popbased rocksongs with good vocals. One nice extra is the Amy - I Wish I could ten minute piece from their debut. So we have 25 minutes of prog and 25 minutes of rock.

The recording is very good, even better then their studiorecordings. I wonder whether this is an real live album or live in the studio, you almost never any for of a crowd.

Conclusion. Nice recording, well played. Not very important for the halve of this album is pop and the other halve is also available on other records. Good... but non-essential that is. Three stars!

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 Nobody Can Wait Forever by ALQUIN album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.99 | 23 ratings

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Nobody Can Wait Forever
Alquin Eclectic Prog

Review by mictester

3 stars This is not a masterpiece, but has some great tracks. Other reviewers are very disparaging of this album, but they fail to spot the glimpses of pure genius that are here.

Alquin lacked a real leader - someone to steer their course in a definite direction - and this is reflected in their muddled selection of tracks. However, I select material for radio play, and inclusion of the occasional track from this album is usually welcome. Listen to individual tracks - not the whole album - and you'll get much more from it.

Some people suggest the band were influenced by the Canterbury bands, but this was entirely untrue. The Bakkers did hear Caravan (for example) but not until 1977! These folks ploughed their own furrow, and in common with many of the other Dutch acts were "out on a limb" - away from the mainstream of prog music, and therefore not influenced at all by others!

Enjoy, but only in small doses!

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 Best Kept Secret by ALQUIN album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.42 | 13 ratings

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Best Kept Secret
Alquin Eclectic Prog

Review by mictester

3 stars Only about half of this album could be considered "prog", but the whole album has a high degree of musicianship. The centrepiece of this album is "One More Night", which is most certainly "prog". The jazz influences, enhanced by their use of brass, are very obvious. They had also been listening to some of the other 70s jazz/rock/funk crossover bands, and the influences are easily heard. Alquin were a great live band (particularly in their early days), and I was privileged to see them live several times.

It's a good album, played by great musicians, but is obviously from a band in transition to other genres.

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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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