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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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Lou Reed Coney Island Baby RCA Sealed Lp USD $39.99 Buy It Now
SUPERNATURAL FAIRY TALES - RARE - 1967 ISLAND ILP-967 - LP MONO - PSYCH ROCK USD $375.00 Buy It Now
Love Songs [Remaster] by Elton John (CD, May-2001, Island (Label)) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1975 STOMU YAMASH'TA JAZZ ROCK PROG LP IMPORT UK ISLAND Raindog USD $19.99 Buy It Now
STOMU YAMASH'TA JAZZ ROCK PROG 2LP ISLAND Go Live From Paris W/ STEVE WINWOOD USD $19.99 Buy It Now
Robert Palmer 45 HYPERACTIVE / WOKE UP LAUGHING ~ Island VG++ rock USD $2.46 Buy It Now
Robert Palmer 45 I DIDN'T MEAN TO TURN YOU ON / GET IT... ~ Island VG+ rock USD $2.46 Buy It Now
PASCALI'S ISLAND OST Loek Dikker LP 1988 NM/EX w SC w Ben Kingsley, Helen Mirren USD $5.99 Buy It Now
Slow Time Digipak Remaster] by Go Jimmy Go HAWAIIAN ISLAND SKA REGGAE ROCKSTEADY USD $1.10 Buy It Now
SWAMP DOGG DID I COME BACK TOO SOON/I WOULDN`T LEAVE HERE 7" VINYL ISLAND USD $3.62 Buy It Now
Jay Ferguson Thunder Island 7" Asylum E45444 EX 1977 US pressing, Thunder Island USD $8.53 Buy It Now
Island Breeze - Jeff Peterson (CD Used Very Good) USD $14.32 Buy It Now
Melissa Etheridge - Brave and Crazy (CD, Sep-1989, Island (Label)) USD $5.42 Buy It Now
Melissa Etheridge by Melissa Etheridge (CD, May-1988, Island (Label)) USD $5.42 Buy It Now
JUDY BOUCHER CAN`T BE WITH YOU TONIGHT / DREAMING OF A LITTLE ISLAND VINYL 7" USD $3.25 Buy It Now
Paid in Full Platinum Ed. Eric B. & Rakim CD1998 2 Discs, Island BMG D226230 NEW USD $15.95 Buy It Now
FORBIDDEN ISLAND The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny CD NEW 2006 Rev Ola Digipak USD $15.90 Buy It Now
KID CREOLE & THE COCONUTS Fresh Fruit In Foreign Places +inner sleeve ISLAND 81 USD $11.82 Buy It Now
Enya - Dark Sky Island (Deluxe CD 2015) +3 bonus trks Brand New USD $4.99 [0 bids]
U2 Rattle and Hum dbl lp ISLAND R 200596 Canadian pressing mfg for BMG VG+ 1988 USD $9.99 [0 bids]
PETER HIMMELMAN 245 Days (Remix) 1-track PROMO CD SIngle 1989 Island [PR-2869-2] USD $2.30 Buy It Now
WHITE NOISE An Electric Storm UK Electronic ACID Psych 1969 ISLAND Palm Tree LP USD $149.99 Buy It Now
Self-Made [PA] by Rocko (CD, Mar-2008, Island (Label) BMG D173179 new sealed USD $8.95 Buy It Now
The Killers - Sam's Town CD (Island 1706722) USD $1.70 Buy It Now
Elbow Jane - 3 Side Island [CD New] USD $23.85 Buy It Now
War Ina Babylon/An Island Reggae Anthology [CD New] USD $27.59 Buy It Now
NEW - 20 Best of Island Jam by 20 Best of Island Jams USD $6.07 Buy It Now
JOHNNY CASH 45 Rock Island Line / Next In Line - NM USD $6.00 Buy It Now
SPOOKY TWO - RARE - 1969 ISLAND ILPS-9098 LP STEREO - GATEFOLD USD $375.00 Buy It Now
Catalina Island Collector 2 - Dotsero (CD Used Very Good) USD $14.32 Buy It Now
U2: The Unforgettable Fire CD 1984 Island Records Japan Import 90231-2 Original USD $7.95 Buy It Now
Christmas Island - Jimmy Buffett 008811148928 (CD Used Very Good) USD $5.98 Buy It Now
Plain Spoken by John Mellencamp (CD, Sep-2014, Island (Label)) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
Jay Ferguson Thunder Island wlp Asylum 7E-1115 PROMO 1977 Original Rock Folk USD $8.00 Buy It Now
The Mary Onettes-Island CD NEW USD $11.36 Buy It Now
Nice Original Verve Forecast LP THE PAUPERS "Ellis Island" FTS-3051 USD $8.27 Buy It Now
Bon Jovi - This Left Feels Right (CD, 2003, Island) Music Album USD $7.73 Buy It Now
THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND EARTHSPAN + INNER 1972 AUSTRALIAN ISLAND PRESS LP USD $15.24 Buy It Now
U2 The Unforgettable Fire UK Orig Vinyl LP Album - Island 1984 Nr Mint Import USD $9.99 [0 bids]
USD $16.00 Buy It Now
CD Lionel Richie "I Forgot" R&B on Island 2001 SINGLE USD $2.50 Buy It Now
STEPHEN CRANE VILLAGE: Hey Summer / (let's Find A) Tropical Island 45 (promo to USD $30.00 Buy It Now
2007 Governor"s Best Scenes of Rhode Island Calendar CD USD $4.00 [0 bids]
From Under the Cork Tree by Fall Out Boy (CD, May-2005, Island Label) FREE SHIP USD $5.28 Buy It Now
STEVE WINWOOD - Arc Of A Diver Vinyl LP 1980 Island Records VG USD $10.19 Buy It Now
Skin by Melissa Etheridge [Canada - Island Def Jam/Columbia - 2001] - NM/M USD $4.61 Buy It Now
Steve Winwood - Arc of a Diver - LP Record - USA - Island Records USD $5.62 Buy It Now
Under a Blood Red Sky by U2 (CD, Oct-1990, Island (Label)) USD $3.99 Buy It Now
Robert Palmer - Pressure Drop. Vinyl writing on front- Island Records USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Marianne Faithfull A Perfect Stranger Island Anthology 2-CD Folk Rock Hits Best USD $9.95 Buy It Now
Yes I Am by Melissa Etheridge (CD, Sep-1993, Island (Label)) USD $94.99 Buy It Now
(CY235) Fang Island, Major - 2012 DJ CD USD $6.56 Buy It Now
Propaganda [Bonus Tracks] by Sparks (CD, Oct-2006, Island (Label)) USD $0.99 [1 bids]
Greatest Hits: 1976-1986 by Elton John (CD, Nov-1992, Island/Mercury) USD $1.99 [0 bids]
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON Easter Island" 1978 Columbia NM/EX JZ 35310 Stereo Vinyl LP USD $11.95 Buy It Now
CHRISTINA MILIAN: So Amazin LP ISLAND DEF JAM RECORDS B000648101 US 2006 NM+ USD $10.39 Buy It Now
Troja - Island Sceneries [CD New] USD $24.94 Buy It Now
Christmas Island USD $5.48 Buy It Now
Icon [PA] * by Anthrax (CD, Jan-2012, Island (Label)) USD $6.99 Buy It Now
CD U2 - Achtung Baby (Island 1991) USD $3.87 Buy It Now
Essential Pogues by The Pogues (CD, Nov-1991, Island (Label)) USD $5.95 Buy It Now
Monster Movie Music Album CD Godzilla King Kong Hammer Mysterious Island USD $9.00 Buy It Now
U2 War CD Island 1983 PURPLE TARGET DISC - ORIGINAL PRESSING RARE! USD $10.50 [2 bids]
Heartsille Benjamin's Virgin Island Steel Band Reel To Tape World Music Philips USD $9.99 Buy It Now
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Steve Winwood - Back in the High Life (CD, Jul-1986, Island (Label)) USD $5.42 Buy It Now
Steve Winwood - Chronicles (CD, Nov-1987, Island (Label)) USD $5.42 Buy It Now
Robert Palmer "Pressure Drop" 1975 Island Records Casette Album ISL M5 9372 USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Smoke by Drivin' n' Cryin' (CD, Feb-1993, Island) USD $10.99 Buy It Now
RICHIE TAYLOR 45 RPM record IT'S TRUE / OUR FIRST NIGHT TO-GETHER Island Soul EX USD $12.99 Buy It Now
Arkansas Traveler by Michelle Shocked (CD, Jun-1994, Island/Mercury) USD $8.50 Buy It Now
FREE - Fire and Water LP (RARE German Import on "pink" ISLAND) USD $39.99 Buy It Now
TRAFFIC - S/T LP (80's US Pressing on ISLAND w/Gatefold Cover, STILL SEALED) USD $35.99 Buy It Now
AUTOMATIC MAN "First Album" Original SEALED LP (ISLAND ILPS 9397) PAT THRALL USD $25.00 [0 bids]
AUTOMATIC MAN "Visitors" Original SEALED LP 1977 (ISLAND ILPS 9429) PAT THRALL USD $25.00 [0 bids]
The Cranberries - No Need to Argue (CD, Oct-1994, Island (Label)) USD $5.42 Buy It Now
CD The Cranberries - Everybody else is doing it, so why can't we? (Island 1992) USD $3.87 Buy It Now
Pre-Millennium Tension by Tricky (CD, Nov-1996, Island) USD $7.90 Buy It Now
LEO ADDEO - CALYPSO AND OTHER ISLAND FAVORITES - LP VINYL EXCELLENT USD $3.99 Buy It Now
ROXY MUSIC Viva LP VINYL 8 Track Gatefold With A1/b2 Matrices And Island Inner USD $11.03 Buy It Now
Last Party by Various Artists (CD, Apr-1997, Island (Label)) USD $2.99 Buy It Now
Homegrown IV~1976 KGB Records~Various Artists~Don Auten~Bill Kaplan~Island USD $10.75 Buy It Now 5m 56s
U2 - Zooropa (CD, Jun-1993, Island (Label)) USD $5.42 Buy It Now 8m 53s
IAN GILLAN BAND - SCARABUS - OOP 1977 ISLAND ILPS 9511-B LP VG NM USD $15.00 Buy It Now 11m 36s
Eddie and The Hot Rods ?- At the Sound of Speed - Island 7" Vinyl EP - 1978 - NM USD $9.99 Buy It Now 17m 14s
Osamu Kitajima Self-Titled Vinyl LP Record Stereo Island 1977 Soul Funk R USD $14.62 Buy It Now 19m 4s
WALT DISNEY "THE STORY OF TREASURE ISLAND" STORY FROM SOUNDTRACK - RECORD - 1964 USD $5.95 Buy It Now 19m 57s
Grimms Rockin' Duck Pink Island Sealed UK Orig LP McGear McCartney Die Cut Cover USD $27.99 Buy It Now 20m 11s
BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS LIVE! LP ILPS 9376 Island records 1975In Shrink Wrap USD $8.99 [0 bids]
21m 34s
The Wailers - Catch A Fire Zippo Cover LP SW-9329 1973 Island UNHINGED cover USD $100.00 Buy It Now 24m 4s
Elton john-island girl-45-mca-461 USD $3.49 Buy It Now 26m 58s
Love Songs [1996] by Elton John (CD, Sep-1996, Island/Mercury) USD $7.75 Buy It Now 28m 21s
1985 U2 ?- Wide Awake In America 12" EP Island Records ?- 7 90279-1-A EX/VG+ USD $10.25 Buy It Now 31m 29s
Strong Island Freestyle: Keepin' It Real - Vol. 1-Strong Island Freesty [CD New] USD $13.68 Buy It Now 31m 42s
Bounce by Bon Jovi (CD, Oct-2002, Island (Label)) USD $6.00 Buy It Now 34m 21s
PINK FLOYD nassau 1975 day 2 3CD long island 1975 SUPER RARE OOP import USD $45.00 [1 bids]
34m 27s
BIEBER JUSTIN *VG+* "MY WORLDS ACOUSTIC" 2010 US ISLAND CD USD $4.71 Buy It Now 37m 11s
FAIRPORT CONVENTION In Real TIme ISLAND Orig NMint LIVE 87 Meet On The Ledge JAM USD $5.55 Buy It Now 37m 23s
Mark Jenkins-This Island Earth CD NEW USD $24.68 Buy It Now 39m 7s
Talking Back to the Night by Steve Winwood (CD, Feb-1987, Island (Label)) USD $9.99 [0 bids]
47m 7s
EXCELLENTS doowop 45 CONEY ISLAND BABY / YOU BABY YOU VG++ vinyl on BLAST cc1369 USD $25.00 Buy It Now 48m 44s

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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 | 118 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 | 7 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 | 118 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 | 118 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 | 118 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 | 118 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 | 118 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 | 118 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 | 118 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 | 118 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
3.08 | 7 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 | 118 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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