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ISLAND

Eclectic Prog • Switzerland


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Island biography
Good band which sounds pretty much canterbury like. The band format includes keys, sax, drums and vocals. The biggest influence for ISLAND definitely seems to be VdGG, and the band certainly approaches progressive rock from the darker end of the spectrum. Sometimes the influence of GENTLE GIANT gets very clear in their music. Recommended!

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DAVID JOSEPH - YOU CAN'T HIDE (YOUR LOVE FROM ME) 7" VINYL, ISLAND, IS 101 USD $7.66 Buy It Now 1h 34m
STEVE WINWOOD ARC OF A DIVER RARE PINK ISLAND PAPER LABELS CASSETTE USD $1.38 [0 bids]
1h 34m
GEMMA RAY Island Fire 2011 UK 11-trk promo test CD USD $6.96 [0 bids]
1h 34m
Missionaries Moving by Gettovetts (Cassette, 1988, Island (Label)) NEW Sealed USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1h 35m
So Good by Mica Paris (CD, Apr-1989, Island (Label)) USD $12.95 Buy It Now 1h 37m
U2 Fire 1981 Double Pack 2 x 7" VINYL UK Import Island U WIP 6679 USD $16.00 Buy It Now 1h 38m
HORACE JOHNSON - PARADISE ISLAND / ROCKERS PARADISE - 1978 - VERY GOOD- USD $1.46 [2 bids]
1h 39m
Yerba Buena - Island Life - Latin POP CD - Orishas Ajay Naidu Les Nubians USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1h 39m
U2 - NEW YEAR'S DAY + 3. (UK, 1983, 12 INCH EP, ISLAND, 12WIP 6848) USD $4.87 Buy It Now 1h 39m
The CHRISTIANS ?- COLOUR 12" Vinyl Lp Island Records- ILPS 9948 USD $3.84 Buy It Now 1h 40m
U2 - Unforgettable Fire - Island 90231-1 SEALED USD $40.00 Buy It Now 1h 41m
Elton John Love Songs (CD, Sep-1996, Island/Mercury) USD $2.29 Buy It Now 1h 43m
(CD) U2 - The Joshua Tree (1987, Island (Label)) USD $6.87 Buy It Now 1h 43m
Lifescapes JUST RELAX: MAUI - INSTRUMENTAL TROPICAL ISLAND LUAU SOUNDS OF HAWAII USD $12.95 Buy It Now 1h 45m
CD Album :Herbie Hancock ?- Cantaloupe Island -Free Shipping- USD $12.00 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Metropolis by Turtle Island String Quartet (CD, Feb-1989, Windham Hill Jazz (USA USD $8.45 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Dark Sky Island [Deluxe Edition] [Slipcase] by Enya (CD, Nov-2015, Warner Bros.) USD $15.32 Buy It Now 1h 48m
GUY LOMBARDO AND HIS ROYAL CANADIANS/POOR LITTLE ROADE ISLAND/OH! MOYTLE USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1h 49m
ULTRAVOX-Systems Of Romance-Vinyl LP- USA Pressing--Black Antilles/Island Label USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1h 49m
MICHAEL PROPHET Serious Reasoning LP NEW VINYL Island Roots Regg USD $24.99 Buy It Now 1h 49m
A Night at the Opera by Queen (CD, Mar-2011, Island (Label)) USD $13.57 Buy It Now 1h 49m
The Game by Queen (CD, Jul-2011, Island (Label)) USD $11.14 Buy It Now 1h 49m
Greatest Hits [Island] by Lynyrd Skynyrd (CD, Aug-2008, Island (Label)) USD $6.69 Buy It Now 1h 49m
Anthrax - 3 Inch CD - Anti-Social - Cardboard Sleeve - Island Records USD $4.18 [1 bids]
1h 50m
Emile Straker and the Merrymen - Island Woman, Barbados 196? 7" Wirl Recs USD $5.57 [0 bids]
1h 52m
The Circle by Bon Jovi (CD, May-2010, Island (Label)) USD $3.94 Buy It Now 1h 55m
Lost Island - Adam Pate (CD Used Very Good) USD $12.81 Buy It Now 1h 55m
Have a Nice Day by Bon Jovi (CD, Sep-2005, Island (Label)) USD $2.99 Buy It Now 1h 57m
DAVID GILMOUR / PINK FLOYD - ON AN ISLAND / ARNOLD LAYNE 2xCD incl. PROMO BOWIE USD $49.99 Buy It Now 2h
Silly / Alles Red (island-universal 0602527315225) CD Album USD $15.72 Buy It Now 2h
John Martyn - Best of the Island Years [New CD] UK - Import USD $37.76 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Traffic The Low Spark Of High Healed Boys 1971 Island ILPS9180 Orig US Press VG+ USD $12.75 Buy It Now 2h 4m
The Glenn Miller Orchestra Returns To Glen Island Casino LP RCA LSP-3880 Stereo USD $13.94 Buy It Now 2h 5m
AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN<>SOUNDTRACK<>LP Vinyl~Can. Pressing<>ISLAND 99 00171 USD $14.03 Buy It Now 2h 5m
*NICE* Mike Oldfield - 4 LPs (Tubular Bells / Island / Hergest Ridge) VG+ Vinyl USD $4.99 [0 bids]
2h 6m
Fairport Convention - Nine 12" LP Island Records Pink Rim RARE 1973 VG+ USD $13.94 [0 bids]
2h 8m
Shark Island - Law Of The Order (Cassette, Epic, 1989) USD $2.62 Buy It Now 2h 9m
Grace Jones Muse LP 1979 Island EX gatefold USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2h 9m
THE ISLAND STORY_Compilation_used VINYL LP_ships from AUS!__shE2f USD $22.85 Buy It Now 2h 10m
Gordon Lightfoot 4 45 RPM Title Strips - Carefree Highway - Seven Island Suite USD $6.00 Buy It Now 2h 12m
GO Stoma Yamashta Live From Paris ISLAND 2 LP sterling steve winwood al di meola USD $19.95 Buy It Now 2h 12m
TRAFFIC JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE LP ORIGINAL PRESSING PINK ISLAND LABEL ILPS9116 USD $91.52 Buy It Now 2h 14m
TRAFFIC MR FANTASY LP MONO ORIGINAL PRESSING PINK ISLAND LABEL ILP 961 USD $183.04 Buy It Now 2h 14m
KING CRIMSON IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING Island 69 A2B4 UK Pink Label EX USD $320.81 Buy It Now 2h 15m
[SOUL/FUNK/JAZZ]~EXC LP~WAS (NOT WAS)~Self Titled~{Original 1981~ISLAND~Issue]~ USD $6.00 Buy It Now 2h 15m
THE CHRISTIANS. WORDS. NEAR MINT 7" IN BLACK BOX WITH 4 POSTCARDS. 1989 ISLAND. USD $6.96 Buy It Now 2h 17m
ISLAND DISCO BOOGIE 12" CLYMAX "MUSICLAND" LPS RECORDS (1980) listen USD $20.00 Buy It Now 2h 17m
PAUL WELLER Heavy Soul LP ISLAND ORIGINAL PRESSING ILPS8058 USD $137.29 Buy It Now 2h 17m
PAUL HAIG Rhythm of life LP Island ILPS 9742 USD $16.93 Buy It Now 2h 17m
Royal Hawaiian Band - The Legacy: Songs In Tribute - 2009 US CD - Island Music USD $19.95 Buy It Now 2h 19m
Club 8 - Golden Island [CD] USD $17.00 Buy It Now 2h 19m
NICK DRAKE BRYTER LAYTER ORIGINAL PRESSING ISLAND PINK RIM UK LP ILPS 9134 USD $457.60 Buy It Now 2h 20m
Live from the Have a Nice Day Tour by Bon Jovi (CD, 2006, Island/Def Jam) USD $8.49 Buy It Now 2h 21m
AMAZING BLONDEL Fantasia Lindum '71 Island pink rim original US press NM- USD $12.00 Buy It Now 2h 21m
Robert Palmer "Secrets" 12" Vinyl LP Record ISLAND ILPM9544 Mint USD $11.15 Buy It Now 2h 21m
VARIOUS LONDON POP NEWS 1969 ISLAND 88 514 DY 1Y 2Y EXCELLENT GERMAN SAMPLER USD $23.84 Buy It Now 2h 21m
Soul Modern Boogie 80's LP-By All Means-By All Means-US Island recs issue copy USD $3.49 Buy It Now 2h 23m
Lexicon Of Love by ABC CD 1987 Island/Mercury) USD $1.29 [0 bids]
2h 25m
Soul 45 K.C. AND THE SUNSHINE BAND Do You Wanna Go Party / Come To My Island USD $3.00 Buy It Now 2h 26m
KEANE STRANGELAND LP 12" VINYL VINYL ISLAND GATEFOLD 2012 NEW SEALED NEW USD $29.59 Buy It Now 2h 26m
Bell X1 ?- Flame 12" Vinyl Single Promo Island Records ?- 12 IS 919 DJ UK USD $11.15 Buy It Now 2h 26m
BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS Burnin' LP SEALED Original 1974 vinyl Island ILPS 9256 USD $9.99 [1 bids]
2h 29m
Funk Soul Breakbeat 70's 7"-Wild Tchoupitoulas-Brother John-Island samesidepromo USD $20.92 Buy It Now 2h 29m
Charmbracelet by Mariah Carey (rare ISRAELI CD, 2002, Island USD $40.00 Buy It Now 2h 29m
Anthrax Attack of the Killer B's cd March 1994 Island Label USD $7.47 Buy It Now 2h 32m
Ronald Shannon Jackson Decode Yourself vinyl LP NM 1985 Island Records USD $9.95 Buy It Now 2h 32m
THE KILLERS: SAM'S TOWN 2006 Island/Def Jam CD inc. When You Were Young USD $14.00 Buy It Now 2h 32m
FREE All right now 12" PIC DISC Island 12PIEP6 USD $22.58 Buy It Now 2h 33m
FAIRPORT CONVENTION LiEge & Lief LP Island ILPS 9115 Orange Sunrise Label USD $18.82 Buy It Now 2h 33m
FAIRPORT CONVENTION Rosie LP Island ILPS 9208 Pink Rim label USD $18.82 Buy It Now 2h 33m
U2 -WAR- ORIGINAL 1983 ISLAND LP 1-1/1-1 1ST PRESSING GATEFOLD EX/NM USD $16.95 Buy It Now 2h 34m
Eddie & The Hot Rods 45 Wooly Bully / Loud - Island M- pop rock USD $5.00 [0 bids]
2h 36m
Doo Wop 45 The Excellents - Coney Island Baby / You Baby You On Blast USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2h 37m
? Inner Circle - Everything Is Great (Island 9558) (PS) (reggae) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2h 37m
ROCK ISLAND SELF TITLED PROJECT RECORDS NO.4005 1970 MINT- USD $9.95 [1 bids]
2h 37m
45 PICTURE SLEEVE ONLY-NO RECORD, BLONDIE, ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, DRAGONFLY USD $3.60 Buy It Now 2h 41m
Rock Lp Mike Harrison Rainbow Rider On Island USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2h 41m
Can't Feel Nothin / No Man Is An Island - Relatives (2016, Vinyl New) USD $13.33 Buy It Now 2h 43m
The Christians Christians UK vinyl LP album record ILPS9876 ISLAND 1987 GOOD USD $13.88 Buy It Now 2h 44m
Infinity on High by Fall Out Boy CD Feb-2007 Island Label USD $7.00 Buy It Now 2h 44m
The Eloise Trio 45 Calypso Island/Chi Chi Merengue Decca 931047 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 2h 44m
Shark Island Law Of The Order Cassette 1989 USD $5.09 Buy It Now 2h 45m
Island My Land - Yuki & Cuties (CD Used Very Good) USD $16.20 Buy It Now 2h 46m
NEW Island of Lost Children, Vol. 2 [Vinyl] USD $23.58 Buy It Now 2h 46m
FREE FREE ULTRA RARE UK ISLAND 8 TRACK CARTRIDGE FREE POSTAGE USD $23.02 Buy It Now 2h 47m
Island Of Lost Souls - Skulgrinder (CD Used Very Good) USD $11.73 Buy It Now 2h 47m
Hot Space by Queen (CD, Jun-2011, Island (Label)) USD $12.01 Buy It Now 2h 48m
Various Artists - Classic Ibiza (1998) CD 20 Classic Balearic Party Island songs USD $2.78 Buy It Now 2h 49m
The Langleys - Green Island 7" Single 1965 / MINT USD $9.76 Buy It Now 2h 51m
(HS805) Low Island, That Kind Of Love - DJ CD USD $8.36 Buy It Now 2h 51m
JETHRO TULL ROCK ISLAND CASSETTE TAPE CHRYSALIS 1989 USD $11.15 Buy It Now 2h 53m
ISLAND Feels Like Air 2018 UK 11-trk promo test CD USD $5.57 [0 bids]
2h 53m
U2 Dbl LP Rattle And Hum 1988 Island bono edge USD $13.50 [5 bids]
2h 55m
Rock Lp Steve Winwood Self-Titled On Island USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2h 55m
Rock Promo Lp Jim Capaldi Short Cut Draw Blood On Island USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2h 55m
Island of Dr Moreau Audio CD Buy 3 Get 1 Free USD $5.91 Buy It Now 2h 58m
The Relatives - Can't Feel Nothin / No Man Is An Island [New Vinyl] USD $10.70 Buy It Now 2h 59m
JIM CAPALDI IT'S ALL UP TO YOU ISLAND RECORDS UK 7" VINYL SINGLE - TRAFFIC USD $4.87 [0 bids]
3h
ROXY MUSIC LOVE IS THE DRUG ISLAND RECORDS UK 7" VINYL SINGLE - BRYAN FERRY USD $4.87 [0 bids]
3h
FREE WISHING WELL ISLAND RECORDS UK 7" VINYL SINGLE RECORD - PAUL ROGERS USD $4.87 [0 bids]
3h

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ISLAND discography


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

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

4.13 | 155 ratings
Pictures
1977

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

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

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

3.17 | 10 ratings
Pyrrho
2005

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

ISLAND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 155 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars A very dark, obscure journey into the deepest vestiges of prog's reaches.

Dug up from the absolute bowels of music, the sole studio offering from an obscure Swiss band, "Pictures" is a bit of an oddball release. Like its chilling album artwork, the album is bleak and cold, and inhumanly intricate. The music is keyboard-heavy with saxophone touches, a la Van der Graaf, and is primarily instrumental. There are some English vocals, but they're unconventional to say the least. As in, singing backwards, and waxing poetic about gastric juices. Many reviewers are quick to note heavy influences from other eclectic and jazz-based prog artists but the atmosphere of this album is really like nothing else out there. The first time you listen to this album it's generally hard to take in more than the first 10 minutes or so, as the music is often very dense and technical, but with each listen you slowly begin to appreciate it more and more. Having said that, this seems to be an album that you put on for the experience, not necessarily for the music.

While there are truly riveting, and frankly haunting, moments on the album, and the atmosphere is extraordinarily eerie, I would not recommend this to just anyone. This is certainly not an album for newcomers to prog but more something for the listener who's heard anything and everything and is craving for something a little (read: a lot) different. While I would normally assign a high rating to music as interesting and original as this, I feel that 3 stars does "Pictures" justice not only because I find (even after repeated listens) that many of the instrumental passages overstay their welcome, but also due to the incredibly niche appeal of the album. So if you like your prog headspinningly kinky (Mmmm - gastric juices, anyone?), then this should be right up your alley.

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 155 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by tmay102436

5 stars How in the world can an avid lover / fanatic / caused a divorce (many years ago - happily married now) / devotee of progressive rock have missed this fabulous album!? But, I did. I just got this through Synphonic Music, and what a surprise.

Very complex, and yes, as others have mentioned there's Van der Graaf, Gentle Giant, ELP, avant prog, RIO, etc...influences. But also, a similarity to USA's, Fireballet, actually both fabulous albums from them. Of course another point of reference might be their fellow Swiss, Flame Dream.

Still, this is so very unusual, personal, yet extremely professional and well recorded and remastered. And that combination is what makes it 5 stars for me.

I just love the addition of woodwinds, and the sax here on Island's "Pictures" is what takes them to another level. The keyboards (oh my gosh, on this third listening I just noticed that there's no guitar - not even missed) are the predominate, with the bass pedals sounding like there supposed to, just in the right spot. Very cool through a surround decoder, with the subwoofer slightly pinning the whole tapestry down. I usually don't like the "extra track(s), but this one is quite good, although maybe not necessary. Still, nice to hear sometimes.

OK, I'm gushing now, but again, what a pleasant surprise. May there always be these nuggets of pure inspiration and performance to be found. And as always, thanks to this wonderful site, Progarchives.com for being able to share our love of this musical miracle, Progressive Rock.

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 155 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

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

5 stars ISLAND was one of a handful of eclectic progressive rock bands to emerge from Switzerland in the 70s and managed to release this sole offering PICTURES in 1977 well after the boom of the early prog years but still managed to pack a major punch with the intensity. While somewhat based in symphonic prog with crazy synth runs dominating the soundscape, the Van Der Graaf Generator-esque passages emanate from a deeply darkened end of the prog spectrum that includes Gentle Giant complexities, jazz-fusion sensibilities and uncompromising prancing through overtly complex time signature workouts. While mostly instrumental there are vocals performed by Benjamin Jäger that probably remind most of Colin Goldring of Gnidrolog. Everything about PICTURES is off-kilter and progressive as [%*!#]!

Living up to their name, it really seems like this band was stranded on an island somewhere far away for a really long time and had nothing better to do except create this otherworldly (based on earthly alchemy) music. This sole release is some of the most demanding prog workouts to be experienced. Yes, influences of Van der Graaf, Gentle Giant, ELP, avant prog, RIO and the rest are here, but this music really doesn't sound like anything else that exists in the musical universe. It is utterly eerie, spectral and spooky, crazily complex, pungently powerful and brashly bizarre! The decision to leave out the inclusion of guitar adds and focus on percussion, crotales, saxes, flute and clarinet really add to the uniqueness and sets it apart from virtually everything else of the era.

Warning! This eclectic stew takes a few listens to grow on you. Just as Rome wasn't built in a day, most likely neither will PICTURES jump to the top of your prog appreciation list. This is approaching a 10 on the progometer but will reward those who have the patience to let its secrets unfold. I have grown to love this! I heard this several times on YouTube ( where it is free and still expensive to track down on physical format) before I tracked down a copy and after several listens I only love love love this more each time. The bonus track "Empty Bottles" on the CD is definitely no throwaway. It fits in perfectly with the rest of the album and clocking in at over 23 minutes adds a huuuuuge chunk of time. Surely it would have been included if time lengths had permitted in the day as it actually exceeds the complexity of the actual album in many ways. So what are you waiting for? Go out and find this! It's the perfect soundtrack for cuddling up to H.R. Giger's Necronomicon!!! :P

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 155 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Not much is known about this legendary Swiss Prog band, but it seems certain that Island evolved from the disbanded Deaf, as the very early mid-70's five-piece line-up included drummer Güge Jürg Meier and guitarist/singer Dany Ruehle (also a member of The Shiver).However their sole album ''Pictures'' would only see the light in 1977 on the unkown Round Records (propably Island's members had some involvement with the label), featuring from the original line-up ex-Toad Benjamin Jäger on vocals and percussion, Güge Jürg Meier on drums, Peter Scherer on keyboards and bass pedals along with the newest addition of wind-instrumentalist René Fisch.

The album is a British-influenced experience of dense and complex Progressive Rock along the lines of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, GENTLE GIANT and GNIDROLOG, very unpopular for the time of its release but definitely well-executed and offering plenty of interesting material already from the opening minutes and the superb instrumental ''Zero'', a milestone of rich and frenetic Progressive Rock with fantastic interplays between piano, organ, saxes and clarinets as well as some excellent drumming.What follows is a dark, haunting and complicated trilogy of three long epics, clocking between 12 and 17 minutes, where Island's sound reaches the top of its complexity but also where the VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR is trully apparent.What really shines in these compositions is the perfectly balanced sound of the band between the instrumental madness and the intense lyrical parts as well as the dreamy, almost fairytale atmospheres and obscure, dark soundscapes.The instrumentation seems also greatly measures.Lots of sax and clarinet interventions next to some lighter flute parts but also plenty of keyboard attacks, including Avant Garde-like piano textures and tons of organ orgasms.Pretty tight stuff and what makes ''Pictures'' even more charming is the absence of guitars and the use of bass pedals instead of a bass.Count in the numerous wordless chants and you get ''Pictures'' abnormal and schizophenic atmosphere.

The Laser's Edge CD reissue contains also a rare 23-min. jamming of the band, which is also attractive and very solid.A must have for all fans of complex and dark music of the VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR school of Prog and warmly recommended for all the rest...3.5 stars.

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 155 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A very, very, very strange slice of avant-garde-cum-canterbury-style progressive rock from the rather obscure Swiss four-piece Island, this 1977 release, right down to the techno-biological artwork of renowned Swiss artist H. R. Giger(him of 'Alien' fame) really is an 'acquired' taste. Practically impossible to get hold of(certainly at the time of writing) this is one of those exceptionally singular albums that both confounds and delights in equal measure, though after initial listens one does wish that the group had simply focused more on developing the album's various quirky melodies instead of just being deliberately weird. Featuring five tracks - the final three of which each break the ten-minute mark - 'Pictures' kicks off with strange moanings, hushed whispers and crashing gongs on the aptly-titled mini-prologue 'Introduction' before a cacophony of sonic squalls lead into the impressively jazz-flecked follow-up 'Zero'. It's on 'Zero' that the group's canny ear for delightfully intricate melodies really shines through, as brisk keyboard patterns and skittering drums dance an oddly-timed avant-jazz jig that brings to mind the more complex meanderings of both National Health and Hatfield & The North. However, 'Pictures' really starts to amp up the weirdness factor on the three epic closing compositions, each of which drags the listener bemused and kicking into the Swiss group's wholly eclectic musical world. Mainly instrumental - bar from some genuinely creepy vocals courtesy of percussionist and ex-Toad member Benjamin Jager - the title- track, 'Herold & King' and 'Here & Now' really need to be heard to truly be (dis)believed. At times, a slight medieval feel permeates the dizzy madness, and whilst frequent needless wanders into overly dissonant territory prove frustrating, it's almost worth the effort when Island do manage to concentrate on the actual music. If you can take over forty-minutes of whacked-out prog(sample chorus line: "Gastric Juices! Gastric Juices!") 'Pictures', an album almost perfectly summed up by its freakish cover art, may actually be worth exploring. However, you have been warned... STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 155 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by Bj-1
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Dark, sinister and closer to avantgarde progressive rock than any other variation of the genre, I've been aware of this gem for quite some time now but haven't got a chance to listen to the whole album until recently. This is an unique, complex and very adventurous album and while the music is constantly interesting (at least for a weirdo like myself) the best thing about it is the absolutely eerie, almost chilling atmosphere that just get tenser as the album progresses. The music is strangely melodic and elegant but simultaneously uneasy that usually relief itself into some really deranged or spooky sections. The best thing is that it's all very effective, at least if you can appreciate this kind of dark music cause it is not easy listening. Musicianship is absolutely stunning and right on time even in the most bizarre and demanding sections, these guys really know how to play and peform and I was mindblown by their unique approach to their instruments. As you probably figured out the songs are dangerously complex so it requires a good ear and slight insanity from the listener to fully grab it all. The lyrics are odd and the vocalist might be an acquired taste for some but the rest is brilliant all the way. I'll leave it to the excellent cover art explaining the rest for you..

If you like Gnidrolog, Gentle Giant, Van der Graaf Generator, King Crimson and have a taste for zeuhl and avantprog then check it out, but be open minded. You either get it or get run over by it, so take your time.

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 155 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Island's "Pictures" is a vicious jazz attack and quite unsettling at times but never less than creative. The band are an inventive jazz RIO and may be described as Gentle Giant meets Van der Graaf Generator. It is strange and compelling and slightly sinister. The instrumental 'Zero' is one of the most virtuoso in terms of musicianship and experimentation. Scherer is a wizard on keyboards and the drumming of Meier is phenomental competing with one another yet oddly amalgamating together. The time sig changes are wondrous, really making the music more dynamic than it already is. It is bold and daring and challenging.

Fisch is an incredible sax player and shines on the lengthy 'Pictures' with Jager's vocals and massive dollops of avant jazz hyper strangeness. It is almost Zappa meets Hatfield and the North, a weird combination of psychotic jazz and Canterbury. The sigs are all over the place and chaos reigns supreme. 'Herold And King' is a disturbing track with drones and jolts of sax and silence, and it does sound as though the musicians are just tuning up but they are actually playing dissonant jazz. The piano on this is spine tingling and really is not one I would play at night.

'Here and Now' is a dark piece with VDGG sax squeals and Tull like flute. It is rather scary but the vocals are warm and inviting. The music is incredible and off the scale as far as time sigs, the meter changes and the percussion is always maintaining an odd pattern. It ends the album on a highlight. But there is a bonus on the Cd and it is a huge jam session called 'Empty Bottles'. It is really a manic jazz feast, with dissonant sax, drums and other instruments basting up a storm.

A word about the cover. It is an HR Giger artwork 2 years before he became famous for "Alien" and yet it looks very much like the Alien in Ridley Scott's classic. It certainly drew me to the album. Giger of course provided the artwork for many albums such as ELP's "BSS" and Debbie Harry's solo album "Koo Koo", even being involved with the clip to her 'Backfired' and appearing in 'Now I Know You Know'.

Overall Islands' "Pictures" is a bold inventive album that is really going to challenge listeners and for those of us who want to hear odd time meters, jazz weirdness and Canterbury all in one package, look no further!

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 155 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Few bands deserve the "eclectic" descriptor more than Island. Pictures presents extended compositions that are generally based on symphonic conventions, but include heavy doses of fusion (often of a Canterbury nature), theatrical lyrics influenced by Peter Gabriel and Peter Hammill in equal portions, avant-garde Gentle Giant-like moments, and the occasional hypnotic rhythm reminiscent of Zeuhl. The highly complex and technical material is let a little by the fuzzy sound quality (at least on my copy), and whilst the band undeniably possess fearsome chops, the album does rather meander, with the epics dragging out some musical ideas well past the point where they stop being interesting. A good album, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it essential by any stretch of the imagination.
 Pyrrho by ISLAND album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2005
3.17 | 10 ratings

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Island Eclectic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Much to the pleasure of the fans of Island's sole studio album, they get to see an "official" release of the live material that had circulated as some form of boot or another for the last decades or so. This rather dark and sober green artwork (again HR Giger) fits the general tone of the group's soundscape. Both live recordings date from 76, well before the album's actual sessions (summer 77) and therefore don't expect unheard material. What is relatively interesting is to follow the progression of the group, both in its personnel and in its musical direction, compared to the finished product. It seems obvious that the contents of the first disc is more ancient than the stuff of the second one, but both are subdivided in a flurry of track sub-division, which may seem and be a little arbitrary.

The first disc is announced as home recording, so you're warned, but like the bonus track on the CD reissue of Pictures, it's actually quite acceptable, and if every home recording was of that quality, there wouldn't have been many studios left in the late 70's. The group was then a quintet, based on the "basic trio foundation" drummer Scherer, keyboardist Meier and singer Jager, but included a guitarist and a bassist. Musically the group didn't have that Zeuhl dimension it would have in Pictures, being much more Emersonian- symphonic in style, but still jazz-rock tinged. Interestingly enough, this "home session" last some 40 minutes, enough material for an album.

The second disc is unsurprisingly not quite as good in terms of sound quality, being a live concert recording, with not all the parameters fully under control. Unlike the first disc, this could be a bootleg origin, but it's nothing scandalous either. Line-up wise, the guitarist is nw gone, replaced with saxman René Fisch, while the bassist has changed. While it may appear trivial or anecdotic, this change might be one of the key to the group's relative change of musical scope, as this recording does see the appearance of Zeuhl influences, absent in the first disc, but not nearly as dominant as it would be in their Pictures album. There are hints of VdGG influences appearing now, but I didn't detect any GG yet. So if you're looking for some more Pictures, this second disc would be up your alley, despite seeing your enthusiasm slightly tempered about the sound quality.

I certainly wouldn't call this double-disc affair essential to any proghead (given that the sound quality is not exactly up-to-par), unless you're an absolute fan of Pictures and really want to deepen your knowledge of the second-best Swiss band ever, after Circus. Interesting enough to listen to it a few times, but I'm not sure that you'll get a good mileage of this double-shot.

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 155 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The only studio album of obscure Swiss prog band is very competent and complex work for your head.CD version contains of 6 compositions, four of them are longer than 12 minutes.

Musically band plays complex symphonic/contemporary classical music influenced prog with some symphonic fusion elements and dark, almost zeuhlish atmosphere. Compositions all are of complex structure, with rhythm breaks, some avant elements and really requires repeated listening. In moments similar to some Van Der Graaf Generator of Gentle Giant works, this album is great release in its quality, but has same result on me - this is music for head but hardly for the heart.

Fans of complex and technical symphonic prog should really enjoy this release. For others it could be interesting, but not too enjoyable one.

My rating is 3,5, rounded to 4.

Thanks to ? for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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