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EAST OF EDEN

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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East Of Eden picture
East Of Eden biography
Formed in Bristol, UK, in 1967 - Disbanded in 1978 - Reunited in 1996

I think that EAST OF EDEN is a very good and worthmentioned prog rock band. They where formed in 1967 and signed with DECCA RECORDS around the year 1969. Their line-up included Dave Arbus (electric violin, flute, saxophone), Ron Caines (alto sax), Geoff Nicholson (guitar, vocals), Steve York (bass guitar) and Dave Dufont (percussion). Their sound was a mixture of jazz-fusion with many oriental influences.

Their first two albums where "Mercator Projected" (1969) and "Snafu" (1970). Excellent albums where you get an outburst of electric violin, flute and saxes combined with Bela Bartok and other classical, oriental and even gypsie tunes always of course on a heavy rock basis. Their most recent album to my knowledge is "Kalipse" (1999) but it is just to be mentioned. I would really like to see this band featured and I think it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that they are.

: : : Kostis, GREECE : : :

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Mercator Projected   /  East Of EdenMercator Projected / East Of Eden
ESOTERIC 2018
$10.48
$10.63 (used)
Snafu                /  East Of EdenSnafu / East Of Eden
ESOTERIC 2018
$10.43
$13.68 (used)
KalipseKalipse
Transatlantic Record 1999
$14.93
$13.39 (used)
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EAST OF EDEN discography


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

EAST OF EDEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 134 ratings
Mercator Projected
1969
4.15 | 159 ratings
Snafu
1970
3.44 | 44 ratings
East Of Eden
1971
2.42 | 24 ratings
New Leaf
1971
2.53 | 17 ratings
Another Eden
1975
2.77 | 13 ratings
Here We Go Again...
1976
2.50 | 8 ratings
It's The Climate
1978
2.88 | 8 ratings
Silver Park
1978
3.33 | 15 ratings
Kalipse
1997
3.18 | 11 ratings
Armadillo
2000
2.32 | 12 ratings
Graffito
2005

EAST OF EDEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EAST OF EDEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

4.17 | 18 ratings
Jig-A-Jig
1971

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

4.00 | 7 ratings
Jig-A-Jig/ Marcus Junior
1970

EAST OF EDEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Snafu by EAST OF EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.15 | 159 ratings

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Snafu
East Of Eden Eclectic Prog

Review by Zephyr

4 stars Probably the place to begin and end your East of Eden experience. The more psych-rock of their debut has not aged very well. In contrast, Snafu is an engagihg listen every time. I think about how Kansas' song "Leftoverture" was a series of stitched-together musical ideas and favorite warm up jams; maybe because we have become so familiar with that great piece that it all seems to naturally flow together. But, of course, you can certainly hear the not so subtle transitions within the piece that one could argue make it sound exactly the way it was made. With Snafu I get that same feeling, but the changes that occur (the many that don't build on the theme, that just start a new one) seem very exciting. That anticipation of changes of tempo is, dare I say enthralling. This is a real solid album, and any critique I've read about lack of cohesion is exactly what is great about it. Lots of musical ideas to consume....and in the end, just like Leftoverture, it all seems just as it should be. Adding to the many melodies and anti-melodies explored here are an array of fascinating instruments that add a non-western flavor that is quite exotic to these New York ears. I listen to a lot of prog and I keep coming back to this. Other reviewers have done a great job with the song by song rundown. Listen with a nice system for max affect.
 Snafu by EAST OF EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.15 | 159 ratings

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Snafu
East Of Eden Eclectic Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

5 stars With their debut album, Mercator Projected, East Of Eden approached a unique territory that could be described as a crossover of psychedelic rock and world music. One year after the work, the group started recording Snafu, an album that many years later is considered their best work.

The music on Snafu is nearly unclassifiable. East Of Eden's highly complex style introduces elements of Arabic music, Jewish folk, Celtic folk, jazz, European art music of the middle ages and renaissance, Eastern European folk, ambient, avant-garde rock, and experimental music. Yes, it's that complicated. However, every second on the album passes by naturally, making it an incredibly fascinating journey. Sophisticated arrangements, skillful instrumental workouts, dynamically varied parts, tongue-in-cheek moments, melodic songs, atonal cacophony - all of these elements are to be found on this album. Let me just say, that this review is short and subjective, because Snafu is among my favorite musical creations of all time.

Electric violin with Israeli music influences is one of the things that gives East Of Eden a distinctive sound. Others include various saxophones, trumpets, bagpipes, African hand drums, a Celtic fiddle and many more. Geoff Nicholson's guitar work links the band's world music-infused sound with progressive rock. In short, the musicianship on this release is out of this world.

There are eight tracks on the album, every single one has its own personality. "Leaping Beauties for Rudy", "Xhorkhom/Ramadhan/In the Snow for a Blow", and "Gum Arabic" bring a little bit of middle-eastern influences. "Nymphenburger", which I consider the best track on the album seems to owe a great deal to musical traditions of Eastern Europe, as well as Israeli music with some blues flavoring at moments. "Boehm Constrictor", a part of a three piece suite is another fascinating piece with an exotic folk sound. There are more ambient, melody-less moments such as "Beast of Sweden" or "Uno Transito Clapori".

All in all, I consider this to be one of the best and most representative progressive rock albums of all time. This is without a doubt a must-listen for every prog rock fan. Very highly recommended!

 Snafu by EAST OF EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.15 | 159 ratings

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Snafu
East Of Eden Eclectic Prog

Review by aglasshouse

5 stars Snafu is one of those amazing things you discover on this site. A rather obscure piece of music from England in 1970, the band East of Eden released their undeniably perfect album on the apex of progressive music's creation.

Many of the bands sounds point to Gentle Giant,who has the same sort of eclectic zeal that's present in Snafu. East of Eden in the very same manner didn't achieve heavy popularity with their releases either, but was significantly more successful. David Arbus brings a whole new spin on it however, combining the intricate stylings of Darryl Way (Curved Air) and the moving wind instrumentation similar to the soundscapes created by Chris Wood (Traffic). Even in a similar manner to Winwood, Nicholson brings out some fantastic guitar playing as well.

Most if not all of the more significant tracks are six to eight minutes in length, providing enough entertainment while still not going overboard. The aforementioned instrumentation is fantastic with just the right amount of zany attitude. I'd say it's a very good one to pick up if you've heard of them. Give them a listen.

 Snafu by EAST OF EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.15 | 159 ratings

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Snafu
East Of Eden Eclectic Prog

Review by Einwahn

3 stars I saw East of Eden twice on the early 70's rock circuit. The first time I had never heard of them - the second time I was really looking forward to it. They were electrifying as a live band, led by their commanding virtuoso violinist Dave Arbus. Rock audiences didn't usually dance wildly in those days, but East of Eden were truly irresistible. At my second concert, they proved a dream warm-up act for a very depressed outfit called Supertramp, who started by announcing a song from "our last album, which nobody bought". But the supercharged audience soon lifted Supertramp's spirits and they gave a passionate thank you to "the best audience we've played to in years". (My personal contribution to Crossover Prog history.)

All that said, I'm not quite sure why this album is garnering so many five-star ratings. There is some firebrand stuff (especially on the Jig-a-Jig bonus tracks, which take me way back to the above-mentioned evenings). But it is a mixed bag of alternately interesting and perplexing tracks, the latter being anarchic in the comic mode of Frank Zappa or early Soft Machine. Fun, mostly, but not a masterpiece.

Verdict: they were better live.

 Snafu by EAST OF EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.15 | 159 ratings

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Snafu
East Of Eden Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars After the interesting experiments blended with 60s heavy psych on their debut album, EAST OF EDEN were in no mood to rest on their laurels with the sophomore release SNAFU. They refined the approach started on the debut and literally jazzed it up a few notches also replacing the bassist and drummer. Alternating between bluesy and ska guitar, free-form jazz and catchy jazz-fusion with ethnic world music incorporated into the fabric. In fact, the band was one of the very first to heavily incorporate influences and rhythms from around the world. In addition to standard rock instruments we also get violin, flute, saxes and various other wind instruments and percussion. One of the most surprising tracks is "Uno Transito Clapori" which is a strange hypnotic electronic piece that sounds like it would be more at home on a COIL album than a jazz-fusion one. Various other unorthodox experiments really add spice to an already strong album.

This album really delivers in the eclectic department and I am absolutely amazed that this album was released way back in 1970. Apparently they took the success (and influences) of King Crimson from the year before to heart and decided to pave their own unique musical path. They did just that and this is an even more enjoyable album than their debut. Unfortunately the experiments would end after this album and they would drift more towards a country folk sound which isn't surprising since a the next year a country folk tune "Jig-a-jig" was a huge hit in Europe and set the course for a tamed down more accessible sound. The track was released only as a single but is included on the remastered version of this album. It's excellent as well. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5

 Mercator Projected by EAST OF EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.07 | 134 ratings

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Mercator Projected
East Of Eden Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars An amazing album from an amazing year ? 1969. The year where music crossed that invisible line into higher progressive arenas. This album was one of the first to successfully do just that but unfortunately remains rather obscure.

It is still rooted in the hard-psych of the late 60s but really jumps into new territory with the crazy different instruments used (electric violin, flute, bagpipe, recorders, saxophones, organs, harmonica, Indian thumb piano in addition to standard rock instruments), the wild jazz improvisation inserted where they see fit (especially the wild instrumental outburst on "Centaur Woman") and the sheer innovative and daring experimentation that they employ. It is very playful and it's apparent that good times were being had by all involved in its creation. It has many of the elements of progressive music that would be expanded upon and refined in the 70s.

Although I prefer the following album to this one, this is definitely an incredible album that I will be revisiting. It's a wild ride that has the best of what the late 60s psychedelic experience was all about with the added bonus of zany creativeness that makes it oh so fun.

 Mercator Projected by EAST OF EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.07 | 134 ratings

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Mercator Projected
East Of Eden Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Somewhat more hard-edged and a little less jazzy than the followup (Snafu), East of Eden's Mercator Projected is a credible bit of early prog which compares favourably to King Crimson's debut or Van der Graaf Generator's The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other. Like those two albums, it confidently bridges the psychedelic underground on the one hand and the new frontiers of progressive rock on the other. Dave Arbus in particular deserves acclaim for his violin and flute contributions. Although I think Snafu is the better of the first two East of Eden albums, their quality is so close that I think anyone who enjoyed one would also like the other.
 Snafu by EAST OF EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.15 | 159 ratings

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Snafu
East Of Eden Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Jazzy without obviously slotting into any particular jazz-influenced tradition of 1970s prog - it's not heavy enough to be a riff on the Mahavishnu Orchestra, the inclusion of Dave Arbus' violin and various wind instruments sets the lineup apart from many other fusion outfits of the time, and whilst there is a certain playfulness to the album it doesn't sound like a product of the Canterbury scene - East of Eden's Snafu is a compelling overlooked gem from the golden age of prog. The band are at their best when they get into intense, extended jams, which the long running time of the tracks offers plentiful scope for, and the inventiveness on display means the album offers a stimulating mental workout for the attentive listener.
 Mercator Projected by EAST OF EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.07 | 134 ratings

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Mercator Projected
East Of Eden Eclectic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars East of Eden - Mercator Projected (1969)

Now here's an almost forgotten effort by a very early progressive group from England. One doctor of philosophy that retreated for a year on a mountain near Mecca (wind instruments), a painter/football player (sax & organ), a graphic designer (guitar & vocals), a student of oriental music in Turkey (bass) and a coca-coal addict on drums. "Take one violin which blows rock and Bartók, add one flute from the East, mix in Sumerian saxophones, bass, drums, guitar and liquid wordpictures - mark East of Eden", chronicles the backside of the sleeve.

East of Eden projects a psychedelic backgrounds, world music influences, classical influences and some jazz-bassguitar. There are some similarities to the King Crimson debut, mainly the avant-garde endings of the tracks, the use of up-tempo jazz parts, the grotesque arrangements and mystical atmospheres. A bit different from King Crimson's debut is the recording quality that doesn't allow all ideas to solidify and sometimes leaves us with pitch anomalies in the arrangements (which normally bother me a lot). The vocals of Nichelson aren't too melodic, but if you listen to the record a couple of times you'll get into it. I like his gentle approach.

Especially strong are the haunting ballads with classy violin-melodies, like 'Isodora' and 'Waterways'. Opening-track 'Northern Hemisphere' has hard rock vibes but the melodies are well developed. 'Centaur woman' is a psychedelic rock 'n roll track used as a vehicle for several solo sections. The production really lets us down on this track and it's the only weaker track of the album. On side two the first two tracks continue the style of side one. Third track 'Moth' impresses with its bombastic world music arrangement and mystical vocals. The ending track 'In the Stable of the Sphinx' has a lot of different parts and an eclectic progressive style. Brilliant ending that will satisfy proglisteners a lot.

Conclusion. Well developed eclectic progressive rock album that would have been a real masterpiece had it been given the proper production. Buy it I if you are interested in the development of the progressive genre or when you want a really original early progressive record that has a unique take on world-music influences. I'm going to give it the big three- and-a-halve rating.

 Mercator Projected by EAST OF EDEN album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.07 | 134 ratings

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Mercator Projected
East Of Eden Eclectic Prog

Review by Apollo2112

5 stars WOW!

This album just blows me away. How East of Eden managed to be so 'progressive' and yet still rocking in 1969 just amazes me. The blending of eastern influence (as indicated by the band's name) puts this album over the edge. Still, the more traditional rock tracks (Northern Hemisphere, Isadora, Bathers) are still just as great.

Centaur Woman is definitely a standout... for more reasons than one. I personally love the short lyric sections and the riffs are just fun and rocking. Then comes the bass solo. Just perfectly executed, takes up the whole middle section (about half) of the song.

In the Stable of the Sphinx also deserves a mention due to its length. I have to say... what live versions there are of this song are much better... and shorter. The only less-than-perfect moments on this album come during the middle part of In the Stable. After a powerful opening riff, it sort of loses its direction. Thankfully, it gets better and ends strong as well. As I said, this track is better on bootlegs, getting shortened and joined with Bathers.

Northern Hemisphere gets my last shout-out. Very rocking track, got a spot on my personal "Prog that Rocks" compilation. Great opening... a riff that is not easily forgotten.

Overall rating: 9/10 (5 stars)

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