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ISLAND

Eclectic Prog • Switzerland


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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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THIS ISLAND EARTH See That Glow Zeus B Held 7" vinyl MAG266 1984 w. Instrumental USD $6.34 Buy It Now 1h 31m
WINTERVILLE Shotgun Smile #0350 LIMITED 1-SIDED 45RPM 7" vinyl Island Records USD $6.34 Buy It Now 1h 31m
CHERRY FALLS My Drug 3:50 Promises, Promises 2:56 7" Island Records IS881 USD $6.34 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Christians The Bottle 12" Single Island / 12 IS 549 UK / 93 USD $7.61 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Christians Forgotten Town (Remix) 12" Island 12ISX291 UK/1987 USD $7.61 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Christians Harvest For The World 12" Island 12IS395 UK/1988 USD $7.61 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Christians Harvest For The World 12" promo Island 12ISDJ395 UK/1988 USD $7.61 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Christians I Found Out 12" Island 12ISP453 UK/1990 poster sleeve USD $7.61 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Christians The Bottle 12" Island BOTTLE1 UK/1993 4 track promo USD $7.61 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Christians Forgotten Town 12" Island 12IS291 UK/1987 USD $7.61 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Orinoko (Timo Maas) ?- Island : Positiva WL : MOGUAI Mix TRANCE USD $1.26 [0 bids]
1h 36m
Charlie Peacock LP "Self-Titled" Island (90541-1), Near Mint USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1h 36m
CHRIS DE BURGH the getaway / living on the island A&M 45 USD $4.89 Buy It Now 1h 36m
TERRY OLDFIELD & TOM MCGUINNESS RETURN TO TREASURE ISLAND (1980s TV) 7" 45RPM USD $6.35 Buy It Now 1h 38m
ELTON JOHN ISLAND GIRL (1970s POP ROCK) VINYL 7" 45RPM USD $6.35 Buy It Now 1h 38m
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER lucky man 45 Portugal 7'' SP on Island PROG exclusive PS USD $23.99 Buy It Now 1h 38m
SCARAVILLI - RHODE ISLAND - 12" RECORD / VINYL - DROP DEAD DISCS - DDD 004 USD $3.49 Buy It Now 1h 39m
Sinsemilla by Black Uhuru (CD, Jul-2003, Island (Label)) USD $7.00 Buy It Now 1h 40m
Ike and Tina Turner SWEET RHODE ISLAND RED Vinyl LP UA Records UAS29681 USD $6.35 Buy It Now 1h 42m
Lost Highway by Bon Jovi (CD, Jun-2007, Island (Label)) USD $7.33 Buy It Now 1h 43m
Harry Belafonte ?- Island In The Sun (1950s POP) VINYL 7" 45RPM USD $8.89 Buy It Now 1h 44m
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Reggae Sound from Jamaica by Johnny Island Reggae Group (CD, Oct-1991,... USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1h 46m
The Joshua Tree by U2 (CD, Mar-1987, Island (Label)) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1h 46m
Skagarack s/t 1st Press On CD Long Island Records Not Bootleg Europe USD $21.99 [0 bids]
1h 47m
CAT STEVENS MONA BONE JAKON 1970 ISLAND ILPS 9118 A4U/B6U UK PALM TREE PRESS EX USD $6.34 Buy It Now 1h 51m
Private Island-Get To The Point CD NEW USD $17.82 Buy It Now 1h 52m
U2 - Desire (Gatefold Sleeve) (Island) (Rock) 7"Single USD $2.53 Buy It Now 1h 52m
John Cale Ayers ENO Nico June 1974 LP Vinyl Record Original NM/EX Island USD $18.50 Buy It Now 1h 53m
Addictions, Vol. 1 by Robert Palmer (CD, Oct-1989, Island (Label)) Free Shipping USD $9.95 Buy It Now 1h 54m
Hawaiian Reggae by Bruddah Waltah & Island Afternooon (CD, 1996, Olinda Road) USD $18.87 Buy It Now 1h 55m
Fire Island Classics 2, , Good USD $11.03 Buy It Now 1h 55m
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JETHRO TULL - AQUALUNG ORG 1971 UK ISLAND PRESS CHRYSALIS LP+ TEXTURED + INNER USD $29.48 [12 bids]
1h 59m
Traffic - Welcome To The Canteen LP UK early 80's reissue on Island ILPS 9166 USD $3.80 [2 bids]
1h 59m
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Zooropa by U2 CD 1993 Island Label USD $5.21 Buy It Now 2h 2m
BEENIE MAN Blessed LP Island 1996 IJLP 3005/524 138-1 A1/B1 VG RARE, no reserve! USD $7.61 [0 bids]
2h 2m
Sly & Robbie - Make Em Move / Taxi Style 2003 Island CD near MINT Condition USD $6.34 [0 bids]
2h 3m
CALIFORNIA DREAMING- ISLAND UNIVERSE- HAWKE- DAISY GLOW-CD USD $0.99 [0 bids]
2h 3m
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Isle of Manx:desert Island Collection - Harry Manx New & Sealed Compact Disc Fre USD $20.04 Buy It Now 2h 7m
Island Intervals [2/24] by Death Vessel (CD, Feb-2014, Sub Pop (USA) NEW SEALED USD $13.99 Buy It Now 2h 7m
THE B-52's - 6060-842 UK Island Demo 45'. Surf Punk 1979. USD $3.53 [3 bids]
2h 7m
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MARLENE & MAHELA Two-Gether Island Style 1999 Hawaiian CD USD $9.05 Buy It Now 2h 8m
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome to the Pleasuredome 2 LP set - Island Record USD $3.99 [1 bids]
2h 9m
ELTON JOHN MCA-40461 45 Record Island Girl & Sugar on the Floor USD $1.13 Buy It Now 2h 10m
The Merry Makers The Leeward Island Steel Band Vinyl EP 1960 VG+ /VG+ USD $5.07 Buy It Now 2h 12m
Durell Coleman on Island 90293 - Durell Coleman - 1985 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2h 13m
U2 Live Under A Blood Red Sky Island Label 90127-1-B 1983 LP Record Vinyl EX/VG USD $2.99 [0 bids]
2h 14m
Home for an Island The Exit MUSIC CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2h 14m
FREE- Completely Free CASSETTE TAPE Paper Label ICT 9719 Island 1982 Best of 1+1 USD $6.37 Buy It Now 2h 15m
ELTON JOHN Vintage Record Lot of 4 ~ Philadelphia Bennie Lucy Island Girl USD $9.99 [0 bids]
2h 16m
Stan Getz - Live 1952- Volume 2- Long Island Sound CD - Rare Italian Import USD $12.91 Buy It Now 2h 17m
CANDY ISLAND Happy×2 Days THE [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLS CD Japan COCC-17024 USD $35.00 Buy It Now 2h 18m
Bronco Country Home orig UK press lp on Pink Island Minty clean! Jess Roden USD $99.99 Buy It Now 2h 18m
INSPIRAL CARPETS ISLAND HEAD EP Indie Rock 1990s 7 " INCH 45RPM USD $3.81 [0 bids]
2h 19m
paul weller sonik kicks early 2011 vinyl factory records island vinyl lp sealed USD $44.47 Buy It Now 2h 20m
1989 SWING OUT SISTER WAITING GAME & CONEY ISLAND MAN FONTANA 45 & PIC SLEEVE NM USD $6.39 Buy It Now 2h 20m
No Need to Argue by The Cranberries (CD, 1994, Island) MADE IN USA USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2h 22m
Vic Reeves Born Free 7" Island SIGH710 EX/EX 1991 Born Free/Oh Mr Songwriter, pi USD $8.25 Buy It Now 2h 22m
Is This Desire? by PJ Harvey (CD, 1998, Island) USD $22.50 Buy It Now 2h 22m
RONNIE LANE AND SLIM CHANCE - OOH LA LA: AN ISLAND HARVEST - 2 CD SET USD $15.94 Buy It Now 2h 24m
Reds Do Anything You Wanna Do 7" Island WIP6401 EX 1977 there is writing on the USD $8.25 Buy It Now 2h 25m
Cat Stevens The Teaser and the firecat vinyl LP gatefold Island German import USD $38.99 Buy It Now 2h 26m
U2 - ZOOROPA CASSETTE TAPE / island USD $3.80 Buy It Now 2h 27m
U2-WIDE AWAKE IN AMERICA(CD,Island, 1984) USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2h 29m
Harry Watters - Island Of Dr. Trombone [CD New] USD $12.71 Buy It Now 2h 30m
Mott The Hoople - Best Of Island Years 69-72 [CD New] USD $6.38 Buy It Now 2h 30m
TRAFFIC JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE CASSETTE Island Life Collection 25 years USD $12.71 Buy It Now 2h 30m
Marianne Faithfull ?A Childs Adventure CASSETTE Island Records ?1+1 ZCI 9734 USD $12.71 Buy It Now 2h 30m
JETHRO TULL STORMWATCH CASSETTE ISLAND IAN ANDERSON USD $9.53 Buy It Now 2h 31m
ASWAD DISTANT THUNDER CASSETTE ALBUM Mango Island Records Reggae-Pop 1988 UK USD $11.43 Buy It Now 2h 31m
(ET676) Hans Island, You've Been Told - 2010 DJ CD USD $2.53 Buy It Now 2h 32m
Passengers ? Original Soundtracks 1 CASSETTE ALBUM BRIAN ENO BONO U2 ISLAND 14TR USD $15.88 Buy It Now 2h 33m
U2 THE FLY CASSETTE SINGLE Alternative Rock 1991 Island Rec Clockwork Orange ENO USD $8.89 Buy It Now 2h 33m
Cat Stevens ? Greatest Hits CASSETTE ALBUM Island Records ZCI 9310 Pop Rock 1975 USD $12.71 Buy It Now 2h 33m
Tight Fit- Fantasy Island 7" USD $1.27 Buy It Now 2h 33m
Rock Promo 45 Robert Palmer - Pride / Pride On Island USD $5.00 Buy It Now 2h 34m
SEASCAPE OCEAN WAVES WITH TROPICAL ISLAND BIRDS CASSETTE ALBUM FOR RELAXATION USD $12.71 Buy It Now 2h 34m
U2 BOY CASSETTE ALBUM ISLAND ICT9646 Black cassette-shell Pop Rock 1980 UK issue USD $13.34 Buy It Now 2h 34m
U2 ACHTUNG BABY CASSETTE ALBUM ALBUM ISLAND UC28 POP ROCK 1991 UK ISSUE USD $8.89 Buy It Now 2h 34m
BOB MARLEY IRON LION ZION CASSETTE SINGLE BLACK PLASTIC ISLAND TUFF RECORDS 7"mx USD $8.89 Buy It Now 2h 34m
ROBERT PALMER Riptide (LP 1985) Original Island EX USD $1.99 [1 bids]
2h 35m
The Island : The World Melodium Audio CD USD $25.52 Buy It Now 2h 37m
Achtung Baby U2 CD 1991 Island Records USD $5.21 Buy It Now 2h 38m
DESERT ISLAND DISCS CLASSICS IN PARADISE 2X CASSETTE USD $13.34 Buy It Now 2h 38m
Journey 2: Mysterious Island - O.S.T. - Andrew Lockington (CD Used Very Good) USD $10.52 Buy It Now 2h 39m
True [Deluxe Edition] by Avicii (CD, Sep-2013, Island) NEW USD $6.99 Buy It Now 2h 39m
Everything Will Be Alright in the End by Weezer (CD, Oct-2014, Island (Label)) USD $8.81 Buy It Now 2h 40m
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs - 1985 UK Promo Poster Island Records USD $12.69 [0 bids]
2h 41m
Island Feeling Audio CD USD $25.36 Buy It Now 2h 41m
Marty Robbins Columbia PROMO 2176 Island Woman EX VINYL USD $18.00 Buy It Now 2h 43m
U2 - Joshua Tree // 7905811 1987 Island Records Bono The Edge USD $19.97 Buy It Now 2h 44m

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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 | 121 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)

3.07 | 8 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 | 121 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
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, but quite intricate. The music is keyboard-heavy and structurally consists of mainly long, open-ended - but not spacey - solos with some woodwind and vocal (sung in English) accompaniment. Many reviewers are quick to note heavy influences from other eclectic and jazz 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, but with each listen you slowly begin to appreciate it more and more. Having said that, this is certainly an album that you put on for the experience, not necessarily for the music.

While there are truly riveting 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 more.

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 121 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 | 121 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars 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 music. This sole release is probably the strangest prog i've ever heard. Yes, the 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. It is eerie, spooky, complex, powerful and bizarre! The decision to leave out the guitar and add lots of percussion, crotales, saxes, flute and clarinet really add to its uniqueness

Warning! This eclectic stew takes a few listens to grow on you. I have grown to love this! I heard this several times on YouTube before I tracked down a copy and after several listens I only like this more each time. The production isn't as bad as i've read and I think it actually adds to the strangeness of it all. The bonus track on the CD is no throwaway. It fits in perfectly with the rest of the album and clocking in at over 23 minutes adds a huge chunk of time. 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

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 121 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 | 121 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 | 121 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 | 121 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 | 121 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
3.07 | 8 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 | 121 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.

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