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THE OLD MAN & THE SEA

Crossover Prog • Denmark


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The Old Man & The Sea biography
Record collectors into Nordic rock are well aware of this band that recorded one album that is very much sought after (it was also counterfeited at least twice), with its highly rated Hammond-driven hard rock rather typical of that era. They do have their own sound but can be compared to a rough TULL (Aqualung-style) or ATOMIC ROOSTER, playing tight music, but also leaving some space for instrumental interplay on some tracks.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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THE OLD MAN & THE SEA discography


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THE OLD MAN & THE SEA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 33 ratings
The Old Man & The Sea
1972

THE OLD MAN & THE SEA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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THE OLD MAN & THE SEA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.38 | 4 ratings
1972-75
2003

THE OLD MAN & THE SEA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

THE OLD MAN & THE SEA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Old Man & The Sea by OLD MAN & THE SEA, THE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.67 | 33 ratings

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The Old Man & The Sea
The Old Man & The Sea Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 really

The Old Man & The Sea from Denmark made one album selftitled in 1972 and then disappeared untill they disbanded in 1975. Denmark has some quite intresting prog bands in early to mid '70s like Ache, Secret Oyster, Burnin Red Ivanhoe and others with good petential in prog scene around that time. The Old Man & The Sea offers a heavy prog type of music quite typical for that era, organ laden with similarities towards british school of that time like Uriah Heep, Purple or Atomic Rooster. The name of the band is take from the novel with same name, a quite popular tale among nordic peoples I might say, danish band find intresting and opteining for the name. The sound is accesible and melodic but also are some more hard rock parts that is well integrated in the overall prog atmosphere. The opening Living Dead or the ending Going Blind are quite more then ok, hammong melted with bluesy guitars but under prog flag. Nice vocal arrangements, Ole Wedel has a very good tone for such music. So, 3.5 stars, better then average , but not fantastic, still worth some spins from time to time.

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 The Old Man & The Sea by OLD MAN & THE SEA, THE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.67 | 33 ratings

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The Old Man & The Sea
The Old Man & The Sea Crossover Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars The Old Man and the Sea, taking their name from the novel of the same name, is another one-and-done band, a curse that often befell numerous prog bands of the 70's! Originally pressed in small numbers, frequently boot-legged and eventually reissued on CD, it's much easier now to track down their self-titled album and finally appreciate this terrific band. Probably playing interesting and adventurous hard rock instead of full-fledged prog, their sound was accessible and melodic yet still providing extended instrumental passages between exquisite vocal melodies. Think bands like Tonton Macoute, Skin Alley and Maelstrom for a lazy instant comparison, and maybe a touch of Atomic Rooster with the constant presence of the Hammond organ. Despite being very talented musicians overall, the band had two secret weapons in the confident and powerful vocals of Ole Wedel, and the searing electric guitar playing of Benny Stanley.

The deeply funky `Living Dead', the tale of a heroin junkie, is filled with thick rollicking upfront bass, spiraling Hammond runs and scorching hard electric guitar soloing in the extended middle instrumental section. `Princess' is a sweet country rocker with classy group harmonies before an extended instrumental break in the middle with a long extended guitar solo that highlights the heartfelt lyric. `Jingoism' is a wild and delirious rocker with lots of call-and-response vocal passages with a jazzy run of piano and loose drumming in the middle.

After the short organ solo `Prelude', several sections of the first part of `Monksong' have such beautiful lilting Jon Anderson-like sighed harmonies, dreamy acoustic strumming and chunky bass that it could easily have come from that wonderful first Yes album. The darting flute and Hammond duel in the final minute really goes off, while `Part 02' turns into a grooving heavy stomping rocker with spiky electric guitar and super-thick melting Hammond. Very foot-tapping and addictive, it could have easily been on any of the first three Atomic Rooster albums, if only the lyrics were a little darker and more occult themed! The dirty and brooding finale `Going Blind' is a serious slow-burner that lets all the players unwind and go out on a high. Lots of bluesy guitar soloing, hellfire Hammond, punishing bass and aggressive drumming, an uplifting and joyous piano-driven middle before the band literally goes into raucous meltdown attack mode in the final minutes.

The latest CD version comes with a bonus track, the multi-part strident rocker `Circulation' has a very melodious vocal and swaps back and forth between bluesy electric soloing, lengthy group jamming and a catchy repeated chorus. It's strangely placed at the start of the album on this current edition.

Now given an official reissue by the band themselves (admittedly with the confession in the CD booklet of a few polished vocals here and there!), it's a great opportunity for new listeners to look into this wonderful album for the first time. It's hardly essential, but if you enjoy classy and sophisticated 70's rock with big instrumental breaks, you'll have a great time with this.

Three and a half stars.

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 The Old Man & The Sea by OLD MAN & THE SEA, THE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.67 | 33 ratings

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The Old Man & The Sea
The Old Man & The Sea Crossover Prog

Review by Lozlan

5 stars This is it for me. This is the apex of what organ-driven prog can acomplish. In line with another poster, I would strongly push for this band to be relocated to the Eclectic Prog category, but at the end of the day categories are just applied labels. The music of The Old Man and the Sea is timeless, powerful, beautiful, and breathaking. For me, at least.

What makes this band such a powerhouse? They jam, extensively, with plenty of virtuosic improvisation; I've neer really heard a group of musicians in such delicious, perfect sync with each other. The vocalist (and the lyrics he sings) were a pleasant surprise - here lieth no hokeyness, no poorly iterated english cobbled together in a bid for wider appeal. OMatS seem completely at home in a language not their own. Tack on some really very surpringly solid production values, and...wow. My mouth doesn't stop watering, not once.

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 1972-75 by OLD MAN & THE SEA, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
3.38 | 4 ratings

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1972-75
The Old Man & The Sea Crossover Prog

Review by Lozlan

4 stars A hodgepodge assembly of studio tracks culled from demos, live recordings and an unreleased second album that is nevertheless brilliant. The vivacity of the music eclipses the patchwork nature of the collection: thunderous organ lines, relentless energy and a lead vocalist capable of some truly stunning chops. The Sea of Green pts. 1 and 2 are a lost prog masterpiece, maintaining intense emotional tension; Nasty Backbone plays on the softer acoustic side, while The Jam is, predictably, a jam session whose predictability ends at its uninspired moniker. The Old Man and the Sea are a mutually driven organ/guitar outfit, allowing for mouthwatering interplay between instruments. You could power a major city for a year on the energy these guys are capable of composing at their height. Several tolerable-to-good tracks (Elvira, Sadness) are inescapable but enjoyable. Album really picks up towards the conclusion - everything from Sea of Green to Down By the Sea is undiluted prog mastery.

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 The Old Man & The Sea by OLD MAN & THE SEA, THE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.67 | 33 ratings

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The Old Man & The Sea
The Old Man & The Sea Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars I intended to give five star only to those, which caught me instantly (like Scenes From a Memory), or offered me great deal of music when I understaned them (like Goldbluff). I like absolutely everything on this record. But most prominent of them all is keyboard. And vocals. Music is good in general and instruments are just wonderful. I'm afraid I can't rate lyrics so much, because I wasn't listening. Just flying away in a great prog airplane. This "Princess" track reminds me another rock band, much more famous one (name of the song is Lady, I forgot the band. Could it be Uriah Heep?). This is probably my least favourite. I want also mention the last track. Great ending.

OK, second five star today. First one was The Dear Hunter (we understand each other, righ ?)

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 1972-75 by OLD MAN & THE SEA, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
3.38 | 4 ratings

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1972-75
The Old Man & The Sea Crossover Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars 1972-75 is a collection of songs that should have been the second album from Danish progressive rock act The Old Man & the Sea plus a few archive gems. Sadly in 1975 The Old Man & the Sea was dropped by CBS even before releasing anything on that label and it meant the end of the band as they couldnīt get another deal. When you listen to this album itīs hard to understand why though as the compositions are well written and the the musicianship is excellent. Some of the songs on 1972-75 also appear on the bootleg album called the white album together with some unreleased live songs from when the band re-united for a short period in the nineties.

The music lies somewhere between the early symphonic prog of Yes and the more hardrock prog of Kansas ( add a bit of Deep Purple to the mix and youīre just about there). The music is a bit more simple than the music of both Yes and Kansas though. There are many hardrock guitar riffs on the album as well as some very dominant organ playing. One of the biggest assets besides Tommy Hansenīs excellent organ playing is the vocals from Ole Wedel who is a very strong singer with a great voice. Tommy Hansen and Knud Lindhardīs backing vocals are also very strong. All lyrics are sung in English.

All songs are really good but I have to mention the instrumental synth dominated Love 77 as itīs a really great song that I very much enjoy. The Sea of Green part 1 and 2 are also pretty special as itīs actually a reworking af a track from 1972 where Tommy Hansen has only used the original drum tracks. Itīs one of the more progressive songs on the album. Nasty backbone is another favorite of mine.

The musicianship is really strong and they have to have been one of the best playing bands in Denmark back then.

The production has been kept true to the seventies when these songs where recorded and itīs a great sound IMO.

For all the praises I can say about The Old Man & the Sea, this is just not my kind of music and I canīt give 1972-75 more than 3 stars even though it might deserve more if youīre a fan of the band or more interested in the style.

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 The Old Man & The Sea by OLD MAN & THE SEA, THE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.67 | 33 ratings

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The Old Man & The Sea
The Old Man & The Sea Crossover Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The Old Man & The Sea is the sole self-titled studio album by Danish band The Old Man & The Sea. The album was released in 1972. The band enjoyed moderate succes with the album and played lots of live shows in the following years. Most notable on the Roskilde Festival, Denmark in 1973 and 1974. They have also opened for both Led Zeppelin and Ten Years After in Denmark.

The music has Yes influenced vocal harmonies and Kansas like hard rock parts. There are lots of Blues solos but also some soul inspired vocals. Princess is especially in the Yes mold and The Monk Song 1 is also in that vein. The Monk Song 1 also has some great flute. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Atomic Rooster and Deep Purple has also had an impact on the style on The Old Man & The Sea as the music is very organ laden.

The musicianship is excellent on this album. Lead singer Ole Wedel is a very skilled singer with a distinct voice and the rest of the band really knows how to rock but also play more subtle when that is needed. Organ and piano player and main composer Tommy Hansen is today one of the most famous Danish producers of rock and metal and owns his own sound studio called Jailhouse Studios.

The production is very good and really gives the music oppertunity to unfold.

I would probably have put The Old Man & the Sea in the eclectic prog catagory instead of the crossover prog one. The music has both hard rock, jazz and more symphonic influences and itīs actually hard to pin down one specific genre they belong to. I think The Old Man & The Sea is a good album and Iīll rate it 3 stars. This is not my favorite genre and Iīm sure that people more into this genre will rate this album higher because this is certainly a quality product.

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 The Old Man & The Sea by OLD MAN & THE SEA, THE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.67 | 33 ratings

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The Old Man & The Sea
The Old Man & The Sea Crossover Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars This band just made one sole hard-prog-rock album back in the era where Denmark had a lively prog scene (bands like Burnin'Red Ivanhoe, Coronaria Dans, Secret Oyster, ACHE and many more).

They took their name from the Old Tale (seems to be quite popular one around the Baltic Sea) and made their album based on that. All of the songs on the album has been awarded an icon image of this tale on the booklet of the CD. Thge songs are definitely hard rock with a predominent guitar but KB are also quite present . We are also gratified of a few flute interventions. The vocals are in English and quite apt. The Monk Song is the highlight and cut into two section with the first part showing all of the possibilities of the band.

All in all , with this album, we are hovering around Zeppelin, Purple , Heep, Rooster and a few more bands of the genre but this album is far from derivative of those cited here.

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