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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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Cuba Gibson Brothers UK 7" vinyl single record WIP6561 ISLAND 1979 USD $13.49 Buy It Now
Dave Angel Funk Music 12" Island Records 1997 USD $11.08 Buy It Now
Infinity On High [2 LP] by Fall Out Boy [Island] [Vinyl] December 16, 2016. USD $54.89 Buy It Now
ISLAND# 2 ~ ORIGINAL COMPANY SLEEVE ~ 7" SINGLE 45 RPM USD $9.99 Buy It Now
USED (VG) Margarita island: Hawaiian Tribute to Jimmy Buffett (2005) (Audio CD) USD $18.08 Buy It Now
Springfields - On An Island Of Drea NEW CD USD $14.67 Buy It Now
Lip Gloss Pulp CD single (CD5 / 5") UK CID567 ISLAND 1993 USD $17.56 Buy It Now
Ooh La La: An Island Harvest * New CD USD $15.93 Buy It Now
BOB MARLEY-ZIMBABWE-ORIGINAL SPANISH ISLAND RECORDS-45-PICTURE SLEEVE-1980 USD $14.79 Buy It Now
The Secret Policeman's Ball Vinyl LP Island Label ILPS9601 USD $9.84 Buy It Now
Robert Palmer (Vinyl LP)Some People Can Do What They Like-Island-UK-VG+/Ex USD $10.46 Buy It Now
NATURE SOUNDS 4 Album Set by Robbins Island Music Group (Audio CD) CXX USD $28.35 Buy It Now
Ray Flacke CD Untitled Island RJM International Brand New RARE USD $20.00 Buy It Now
Paul Weller No Tears To Cry CD single (CD5 / 5") UK 2734971 ISLAND 2010 USD $11.69 Buy It Now
Gwen Guthrie Hopscotch 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) UK 12IS106 ISLAND 1983 USD $14.72 Buy It Now
Kevin McDermott Wheels Of Wonder 7" vinyl single record UK IS456 ISLAND 1989 USD $12.25 Buy It Now
Kevin McDermott Healing At The Harbour UK 7" vinyl single record IS437 ISLAND USD $12.25 Buy It Now
Kevin McDermott Wheels Of Wonder 7" vinyl single record UK IS404 ISLAND 1989 USD $12.25 Buy It Now
HARRY BELAFONTE Island In The Sun CD USD $7.51 Buy It Now
Robert Palmer - Riptide - 1985 - Island - ILPS 9801 - Vinyl LP USD $8.56 Buy It Now
Steve Winwood - Chronicles LP - 1987 UK - ISLAND - SSW 1 USD $14.72 Buy It Now
CAT STEVENS - Another Saturday Night - 1974 UK Island 7" Vinyl Single USD $5.53 Buy It Now
Bounce by Bon Jovi (CD, Oct-2002, Island (Label)) USD $4.29 Buy It Now
ISLAND # 1 ~ ORIGINAL COMPANY SLEEVE ~ 7" SINGLE 45 RPM USD $9.99 Buy It Now
MITJA/DANIEL MES/IRIE ISLAND CREW - Tag Am Meer EP 2 - Vinyl (12") USD $12.91 Buy It Now
ISLAND~N-1 ~ VINTAGE ORIGINAL ~ RECORD COMPANY SLEEVE ~ 7" SINGLE 45 RPM USD $9.99 Buy It Now
JIM CAPALDI from TRAFFIC solo 70s Island 7" LOVE HURTS USD $6.30 Buy It Now
Island Presents Reggae Discomixes - Various Artists (NEW 2CD) USD $8.61 Buy It Now
Christians The Bottle 12" Island Records 1993 USD $12.31 Buy It Now
Brian Ferry - Lets stick together - Vinyl LP Island Records . Roxy Music USD $7.38 [0 bids]
U2 Rattle And Hum 2 Vinyl LPs 1988 Island Records Original Press VG USD $29.99 Buy It Now
Disappointment Island - Ttng (2016, CD New) USD $16.49 Buy It Now
The Island Of Dr Moreau-1996-Orig Movie Soundtrack CD USD $15.06 Buy It Now
Steve Winwood - Talking Back To The Night Vinyl LP - Island ILPS 9777 - EX USD $4.95 Buy It Now
Grace Jones - Warm Leatherette - 1980 Germany - Island - 202 163 - Vinyl LP USD $11.03 Buy It Now
JIMMY CLIFF-WILD WORLD-ORIGINAL UK PINK ISLAND 45rpm 1970-WHITE COVER-REGGAE USD $9.99 Buy It Now
ROY "C" shotgun wedding*i am gonna make it 1966 UK ORIG ISLAND 45 USD $7.39 Buy It Now
Black Uhuru Picture Disc - What Is Life - Island Records Lp 1983 USD $29.99 Buy It Now
Ttng - Disappointment Island [CD New] USD $13.46 Buy It Now
Disappointment Island [7/8] by TTNG (CD, Jul-2016, Sargent House) USD $9.57 Buy It Now
2 Bit Pie - 2 Pie Island [CD New] USD $9.34 Buy It Now
EUROGLIDERS THIS ISLAND 1984 COLUMBIA NEW WAVE Rock 12" VINYL 33 RPM LP NM USD $2.00 [0 bids]
Ian Gillan Band (Deep Purple) 10 x 8 1977 Island Records Publicity Photo USD $18.48 Buy It Now
Grimms Rockin' Duck Pink Island Sealed UK Orig LP McGear McCartney Die Cut Cover USD $22.67 Buy It Now
The B-52's - Whammy! - 1983 - Island - ILPS 9759 - Vinyl LP USD $13.49 Buy It Now
JOHNNY CASH ROCK ISLAND LINE/NEXT IN LINE SUN S1-1111 45 VINYL RECORD 7 INCH USD $8.00 Buy It Now
M People-Fantasy island-1997 cd single USD $1.85 Buy It Now
Every Man for Himself by Hoobastank (CD, May-2006, Island (Label)) USD $8.00 Buy It Now
JOHN CALE Fear ISLAND LP RARE 1980 ORIGINAL UK PRESSING VELVET UNDERGROUND ENO USD $55.43 Buy It Now
MCDONALD AND GILES S/T LP RARE PINK ISLAND UK ORIGINAL 1ST PRESSING KING CRIMSON USD $123.20 Buy It Now
BANDERA - CRUISIN' DOWN COLLINS - 1989 ISLAND 7" - EXCELLENT/MINT! USD $4.92 [0 bids]
USED (GD) Purcell: The Tempest or The Enchanted Island (2000) (Audio CD) USD $7.51 Buy It Now
NEW Christmas Island (Audio CD) USD $6.00 Buy It Now
DENNY MARTIN EXOTICA MONO LP FORBIDDEN ISLAND USD $35.00 Buy It Now
The jags the sound of goodbye island uk 7" ex+ USD $12.31 Buy It Now
Pulp Mis-Shapes & Sorted For E's & Wizz CD Single UK Island 1995 Cut Out Inlay USD $3.74 [0 bids]
USD $7.51 Buy It Now
DEMIS ROUSSOS 7" VINYL C/S HAPPY TO BE ON AN ISLAND IN THE SUN 1975 * USD $3.63 Buy It Now
Agia Napa - Fantasy Island Mixed By DJ Spoony (2 x CD Album) Used very good USD $3.08 Buy It Now
The Island Story Various Vinyl Record USD $13.49 Buy It Now
JOHNNY CASH ROCK ISLAND LINE WHITE LABEL PROMO SUN 1111 45 VINYL RECORD 7 INCH USD $10.00 Buy It Now
U2 : " NEW YEAR'S DAY " / " TREASURE " . FRENCH PICTURE SLEEVE . ISLAND 7".1983. USD $19.99 [0 bids]
ian powrie and his band dark island EX USD $1.23 [0 bids]
Judicial Weight : Wire - Whale Island : 12'' Vinyl Single : Resolve : RSL - 00-1 USD $8.37 Buy It Now
DELROY WILSON & JENNIFER LARA ~ Island In The Stream ~ 12" Single USD $5.53 Buy It Now
KING CRIMSON IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING island 69 A2B4 pink label UK LP USD $197.14 Buy It Now
Richard Stout I'm Free Pitty The Fool Rare Island Funk Soul Wirl 7" USD $29.99 Buy It Now
STARFLYER 59 - My Island (CD 2006) USA Import EXC Indie/Alternative CCM SF59 USD $7.37 Buy It Now
2 Bit Pie - 2 Pie Island (2006, CD New) USD $9.63 Buy It Now
ROBERT PALMER - DOUBLE FUN LP 1978 ISLAND USD $3.68 [0 bids]
Unkle - Eye For An Eye 12" 2003 Island breakbeat USD $8.01 Buy It Now
JIM CAPALDI (Traffic) Whale Meat Again 1974 ISLAND CLASSIC ROCK LP USD $14.00 Buy It Now
Easter Island - Now and Then CD..great '79 US prog..VERY RARE OBI USD $39.99 Buy It Now
Kings Of Frog Island - Iv [Vinyl New] USD $20.91 Buy It Now
Natalie Imbruglia Wrong Impression Aust. CD Single Rare 2002 White Lilies Island USD $4.52 Buy It Now
Natalie Imbruglia Beauty On The Fire CD Single Rare 2002 White Lilies Island USD $6.79 Buy It Now
Stir the Blood * by Bravery (The) (CD, Dec-2009, Island (Label)) USD $7.99 Buy It Now
ANTHRAX-LIVE- THE ISLAND YEARS-JAPAN SHM-CD D50 USD $16.99 Buy It Now
Fantasy Island USD $1.54 Buy It Now
ANTHRAX - State of Euphoria (CD 1988) USA First Edition EXC-NM Island/Megaforce USD $9.83 Buy It Now
ELLIS ISLAND SOUND - Divisions - CD USD $12.41 Buy It Now
BOB MARLEY - THE COMPLETE ISLAND RECORDINGS [12 LP] VINYL BOX SET [BRAND NEW] USD $229.95 Buy It Now
GRACE JONES-ISLAND LIFE-YUGOSLAV CASSETTE TAPE 1985 USD $9.99 Buy It Now
ISLAND MEMORIES CASSETTE TAPE USD $0.99 Buy It Now
LETA KORRE-13 ISLAND SONGS ORIGINAL LEGEND CD NEW FREE SHIPPING !!! USD $11.50 Buy It Now
Yerba Buena - Island Life - Japan CD - NEW 16Tracks USD $14.95 Buy It Now
Lover's Island The Blue Jays Diamonds & Pearls Paradons Era Records Rock Vinyl USD $7.99 Buy It Now
U2 Mysterious Ways Remixes VINYL 12" + Obi-Strip RARE UK ISLAND 1991 Irish Rock USD $23.40 [0 bids]
KEITH JARRETT TREASURE ISLAND JAPAN USD $20.99 Buy It Now
Robert Palmer - Every Kinda People - Island Records - 1978 #747448 USD $4.92 Buy It Now
Hi-Tension - Hi Tension - Island Records - 1978 #747452 USD $2.45 Buy It Now
WILLY MOON YEAH YEAH PROMO ACETATE CD SINGLE ISLAND POP USD $2.45 Buy It Now
LOU REED - CONEY ISLAND BABY - CD - NEW SPECIAL EDITION USD $14.41 Buy It Now
Herb Alpert & the T.J.B. - Coney Island (1975 LP. AMLS 64521) Ex USD $9.84 Buy It Now
RARE HMV Exclusive PULP ?This Is Hardcore Vinyl LP Island Records 12" Limited USD $36.95 [1 bids]
More Intensified Vol 2 Original Ska 1963-67 Rare Album Island Record Label USD $14.79 [0 bids]
21s
TREASURE ISLAND ??????? TAIWAN SOUNDTRACK OBI CD USD $34.99 Buy It Now 2m 23s
Iv - Kings Of Frog Island (2016, Vinyl New) USD $23.93 Buy It Now 5m 4s
Ziggy "Sweet sappodilla - Mr sugar finger" Straker's Island Soul Calypso 12" USD $9.50 Buy It Now 8m 9s
Various: A night in Jost Van Dyke Rounder Records Island Soul Calypso LP Insert USD $8.50 Buy It Now 8m 10s
Perry Como - Caterina/ The Island Of Forgotten Lovers (7" Vinyl Single) USD $3.68 Buy It Now 8m 29s

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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 | 125 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 | 125 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, 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 | 125 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 | 125 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 | 125 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 | 125 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 | 125 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 | 125 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 | 125 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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Pyrrho
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 | 125 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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