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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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MARC HUNTER, ISLAND NIGHTS / EAST TO THE WINTER, 1979 OZ 7"x45rpm SINGLE RECORD USD $5.67 Buy It Now 1h 32m
(820K) Island, Creeper - DJ CD USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1h 35m
Vic Reeves - Dizzy 1991 7" Ex Island SIGH7-12 USD $5.78 Buy It Now 1h 41m
BON JOVI - TOKYO ROAD (BEST OF)(CD,2002, Island) + bonus mini-CD JAPAN OBI USD $10.99 [3 bids]
1h 46m
Happy Island: Reichenau - Reichenau/Con (CD Used Very Good) Morent/Ordo Virtutum USD $15.10 Buy It Now 1h 58m
CONEY ISLAND BABY - USED - LIKE NEW CD USD $5.16 Buy It Now 1h 58m
Glamorous Hooligan - Stoned Island Estate #163760 USD $4.33 Buy It Now 1h 59m
Vol. 3-Island Love Shack - Island Love Shack (CD Used Very Good) USD $12.70 Buy It Now 2h
Current 93 / HOH - Island '93 Rare DURTRO 006 CD Neofolk experimental, dark wave USD $50.00 Buy It Now 2h 5m
Quintessence - Dive Deep LP Original 1971 Island records ILPS 9143 Psychedelia USD $45.00 Buy It Now 2h 5m
CHARLIE DORE WHERE TO NOW 1979 ISLAND PILOT OF THE AIRWAVESFALLING EX VINYL LP USD $10.12 Buy It Now 2h 9m
MICA PARIS I WANNA HOLD ON TO YOU 1993 ISLAND 4 TRACK 12" EP A1 B1 NR MT VINYL USD $4.35 Buy It Now 2h 11m
U2 The Unforgettable Fire, Island Records 90231-1 LP USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2h 12m
Barbara Dickson : January February - Island In The Snow : Epic : S EPC 8115 USD $4.04 Buy It Now 2h 17m
Sparks : Get In The Swing - Profile : Island Records : WIP.6236 USD $2.59 Buy It Now 2h 17m
Dollar : Mirror Mirror ( Mon Amour ) - Radio : Island : Buck 2 USD $4.04 Buy It Now 2h 17m
Primer 55 Introduction to Mayhem Album (Island 2000) Cassette Tape USD $9.00 Buy It Now 2h 23m
Quintessence - self-titled 2nd Island ILPS 9128 UK 1970 vinyl 12" LP USD $50.68 Buy It Now 2h 38m
GEORGIE FAME 1974 ISLAND USD $12.46 Buy It Now 2h 45m
VARIOUS - 90 Degrees Of Shade: Hot Jump Up Island Sounds From The Caribbean USD $20.91 Buy It Now 2h 50m
U2 - Under a Blood Red Sky (Live) CD 1983 (Island Records) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 2h 52m
Rattle and Hum by U2 (CD, Oct-1988, Island (Label)) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2h 52m
BRYAN FERRY / ROXY MUSIC THESE FOOLISH THINGS 1973 ISLAND UK VINYL LP*NEAR MINT USD $14.41 Buy It Now 2h 53m
JULIAN COPE World Shut Your Mouth 2 X 12" LOT Teardrop Explodes / Island '86 USD $10.14 Buy It Now 3h 3m
JULIAN COPE Trampolene / Eves Volcano 2 X 12" LOT Teardrop Explodes / Island '87 USD $8.69 Buy It Now 3h 3m
Vinyl Record Harry Belafonte - Island in the sun. RCA.1007. USD $7.23 [0 bids]
3h 4m
FANTASY ISLAND Rave Flyer Flyers 31/12/94 A4 The Urban Bass Club New Cross SE8 USD $5.79 Buy It Now 3h 5m
F.T Island (FTIsland) Flower Rock Taiwan CD+DVD (Ver.A) USD $25.68 Buy It Now 3h 6m
F.T Island FTIsland Flower Rock Taiwan CD+Calender VerB USD $24.68 Buy It Now 3h 8m
JOHNNY HORTON -(LP)-THE UNFORGETABLE FEATURING "ROCK ISLAND LINE" -HARMONY-1970 USD $10.99 Buy It Now 3h 10m
The CRANBERRIES ~'To The Faithful Departed'~RARE Island 'PROMO CD Sampler'~1996 USD $14.47 Buy It Now 3h 13m
The Paupers "Ellis Island" PSYCH ROCK LP USD $29.99 Buy It Now 3h 14m
THE WAIKIKI BEACH BOYS: South Sea Island Magic MFP1080 MONO ?1966. NEAR MINT!!! USD $6.88 Buy It Now 3h 15m
Gotta Get Thru This by Daniel Bedingfield (CD, Aug-2002, Island) USD $1.15 Buy It Now 3h 22m
Rattle and Hum by U2 (CD, Oct-1988, Island (Label)) USD $1.20 Buy It Now 3h 22m
The Joshua Tree by U2 (CD, Mar-1987, Island (Label)) USD $1.12 Buy It Now 3h 22m
Perspex Island by Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians (CD, Aug-1991, A&M (USA)) USD $1.20 Buy It Now 3h 22m
Renaissance by Lionel Richie (CD, Mar-2001, Island (Label)) USD $1.10 Buy It Now 3h 31m
White Lilies Island by Natalie Imbruglia (CD, Mar-2002, RCA) USD $1.15 Buy It Now 3h 31m
Love Songs [1996] by Elton John (CD, Sep-1996, Island/Mercury) USD $1.20 Buy It Now 3h 33m
3 Man Island - Jack The Lad - Urban - 1988 #248342 USD $2.88 Buy It Now 3h 35m
The Oddsquad - Strumpet/Sober Island - 1998 #33858 USD $2.88 Buy It Now 3h 35m
FANTASY ISLAND Rave Flyer Flyers 31/12/95 A4 Ingoldmells Skegness Lincolnshire USD $5.79 Buy It Now 3h 36m
AMAZULU - Excitable - 1985 UK Island 2-track 7" Juke Box vinyl single USD $14.47 Buy It Now 3h 37m
JIMMY CLIFF-SUFFERIN' IN THE LAND-ORIGINAL DUTCH ISLAND RECORDS-45-P/S USD $8.69 Buy It Now 3h 41m
NO MAN IS AN ISLAND-DENNIS BROWN.VINYL 7" 45 rpm.STUDIO 1.JA.VG+ USD $36.20 Buy It Now 3h 43m
U2 - War. 1983 UK Island LP (ILPS 9733) EXC+ USD $20.26 Buy It Now 3h 44m
WESTERN STANDARD TIME-ROY RICHARDS.VINYL7"45rpm.ISLAND.EXC USD $36.20 Buy It Now 3h 47m
NATALIE IMBRUGLIA_White Lillies Island_used CD_ships from AUSTRALIA_A10 USD $7.09 Buy It Now 3h 47m
MARC HUNTER_Island Nights_used 45 VINYL_7"_ships from AUS!_M2d USD $8.50 Buy It Now 3h 49m
MICHAEL NESMITH ( EX-MONKEES) RIO ( DUTCH 7"PS/ ISLAND 17828 AT USD $4.99 Buy It Now 3h 50m
Richard & Linda Thompson-I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight(Island CD 1993) USD $6.52 Buy It Now 3h 55m
BANKIE BANX. Island Boy. CD. 1991 (NM) USD $15.00 Buy It Now 3h 58m
U2 WAR STUNNING USA PROMO STAMPED VINTAGE VINYL LP ISLAND 7 90067-1 GATE-FOLD USD $29.95 Buy It Now 3h 59m
Traffic [Bonus Tracks] [Remaster] by Traffic (CD, Feb-2001, Island (Label)) USD $3.50 [0 bids]
3h 59m
GRACEJONES CASSETTE TAPE ISLAND LIFE FREE POSTAGE WITHIN AUSTRALIA USD $5.31 Buy It Now 4h
ROBERT STARLING - Welcome To The Island USD $14.00 Buy It Now 4h
Demis Roussos - Happy To Be On An Island In The Sun 7" Single UK 1975 ebay uk USD $4.33 Buy It Now 4h 2m
THE TRADEWINDS ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS - The Hidden Island (Stereo) (David Janssen) USD $29.00 Buy It Now 4h 2m
Amazulu - Too Good To Be Forgotten 1986 7" Ex/Vg Island IS284 USD $3.61 Buy It Now 4h 3m
Arkology [Box] by Lee "Scratch" Perry (CD, Jul-1997, 3 Discs, Island Jamaica) USD $12.00 [0 bids]
USD $16.00 Buy It Now
4h 3m
Visionaires/Al Gibson~Living w Jesus` Rare Island Gospel (71) JA USD $4.99 [0 bids]
4h 6m
New Jersey by Bon Jovi (CD, Sep-1988, Island/Mercury) USD $1.99 [0 bids]
4h 10m
Have a Nice Day by Bon Jovi (CD, Sep-2005, Island (Label)) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
4h 10m
Bob Marley The Complete Island Recordings [12 LP] Box Set USD $229.97 Buy It Now 4h 16m
Bob Marley The Complete Island Recordings: Collector's Edition [12 LP Box Set] USD $497.77 Buy It Now 4h 16m
DR.STRANGELY STRANGE KIP OF THE SERENES ISLAND 1ST ISSUE RARE OOP CD USD $19.99 Buy It Now 4h 18m
The Christians - The Perfect Moment - CD Single - CID 570 Island USD $7.17 Buy It Now 4h 18m
LOU REED CONEY ISLAND BABY BOX FOR JAPAN MINI LP CD USD $33.99 Buy It Now 4h 18m
The Rascals - Island of Real (1998) CD Jazz Rock R&B Funk 1972 USD $12.44 Buy It Now 4h 20m
The Christians - S/T UK Island LP G/F w/sticker. Ex! USD $7.23 Buy It Now 4h 21m
The Christians - 'Colour' UK Island LP w/inner. Ex! USD $7.23 Buy It Now 4h 23m
cd - u2/boy - island - 1980 / oop USD $3.30 [0 bids]
4h 25m
STEVE WINWOOD,ISLAND RECORDS,ILPS-9494 STILL FACTORY SEALED CUT OUT 1977 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
USD $6.99 Buy It Now
4h 27m
JO GABRIEL - ISLAND JO GABRIEL - ISLAND USD $4.17 Buy It Now 4h 31m
cd - u2 / even better than the real thing - island - EP/1991 USD $2.30 [0 bids]
4h 34m
cd - u2/the unforgettable fire/where the streets have no name - island - 1990 USD $3.30 [0 bids]
4h 36m
BRYAN FERRY ANOTHER TIME ANOTHER PLACE island UK orig LP MINT/EX USD $13.02 Buy It Now 4h 40m
cd - u2/all thatyou can't leave behind - island - 2000 USD $3.30 [0 bids]
4h 43m
Andrew Cash: Boomtown Cassette VG++ Canada Island ISLC-1237 USD $3.99 Buy It Now 4h 48m
You Are an Island Dustin Bentall & The Smokes Audio CD USD $30.00 Buy It Now 4h 49m
Traffic John Barleycorn Must Die 1970 NM CD Steve Winwood Island 90058-2 BMG USD $13.80 Buy It Now 4h 49m
I Am an Elastic Firecracker by Tripping Daisy (CD, Jun-1995, Island (Label) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 4h 51m
The Speks-Sing-Along Songs from Glasses Island - Volume 1 CD NEW USD $19.04 Buy It Now 4h 53m
Rick Santers - 1st Shot CD Long Island Rec. Numbered 1995 USD $69.00 Buy It Now 4h 57m
7" EP P/S 45 - HARRY BELAFONTE - Island In The Sun + 3 - BRAZIL USD $12.99 Buy It Now 5h
Rick Santers - 2nd Shot CD Long Island Rec. Numbered 1995 USD $69.00 Buy It Now 5h
BLUEBIRD ISLAND Hank Snow Anita Carter RAINBOW RANCH BOYS 78 rpm JUKEBOX RECORD USD $25.00 Buy It Now 5h 2m
Sparks - Something For The Girl With Everything / Marry Me, Island WIP-6221 Ex- USD $3.98 Buy It Now 5h 6m
Sacred Island by Taj Mahal/Taj Mahal & The Hula Blues Band (CD, Apr-1998,... USD $0.99 [0 bids]
USD $4.99 Buy It Now
5h 7m
Belafonte Island In The Sun The Royal Orchestra LP Rare USD $29.99 Buy It Now 5h 8m
U2 WITH OR WITHOUT YOU Island 87 P/S UK 45 EX USD $5.78 Buy It Now 5h 8m
Sparks - Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth / Alabamy Right, Island WIP-6211 USD $3.39 Buy It Now 5h 11m
U2 WITH OR WITHOUT YOU Island 87 P/S UK 45 EX USD $4.33 Buy It Now 5h 11m
Freight Trains, Last Trains & And Rock Island Lines - The History Of S (NEW 2CD) USD $14.47 Buy It Now 5h 11m
Drum Island - Phizzz - Apollo - 1997 #725519 USD $2.88 Buy It Now 5h 12m
Robyn Hitchcock And The Egyptians - Perspex Island CD 1991 USA 11trk USD $8.99 Buy It Now 5h 12m
Sparks - Get In The Swing / Profile, Island WIP-6236 Ex Condition USD $4.71 Buy It Now 5h 15m
Steve Winwood, Mint Seald Album, Rock (Island 9494, 1977) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 5h 15m
Paul McCartney Tropic Island Hum / We All Stand Together - EMI #R6649 - UK 2004 USD $14.48 [0 bids]
5h 19m


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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)

4.14 | 109 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)

3.08 | 6 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
4.14 | 109 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

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

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.

While there are truly riveting moments on the album (especially the first 10 minutes or so), I find it wears out its welcome a little, going on for longer than it needs too. 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.

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 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.14 | 109 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.

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 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.14 | 109 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

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 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.14 | 109 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.

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 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.14 | 109 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

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 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.14 | 109 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.

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 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.14 | 109 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!

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 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.14 | 109 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.

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 Pyrrho by ISLAND album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2005
3.08 | 6 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.

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 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.14 | 109 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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