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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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Inspiral Carpets Island Head EP UK CD single (CD5 / 5") DUNG11CD MUTE 1990 USD $14.60 Buy It Now 32m 3s
(d) Blood Stained Love Story [PA] by Saliva (CD, Jan-2007, Island/Def Jam) USD $7.50 Buy It Now 33m 46s
Bourgeois Tagg - Yoyo 1987 Vinyl on Island ILPS 9890 Excellent Condition USD $6.94 Buy It Now 34m 7s
Bunny Wailer Blackheart Man Cassette Island ZCI-9415 1976 USD $19.95 Buy It Now 36m 28s
Traffic Gimme Some Lovin' - VG 7" vinyl single record French 6138004 ISLAND USD $18.93 Buy It Now 36m 42s
Free Free At Last - Pink Rim - EX UK vinyl LP album record ILPS9192 ISLAND USD $56.93 Buy It Now 36m 49s
Little Island Cree: Shadow of the Island tim30043 USD $15.99 Buy It Now 37m 48s
Queen CD Album Box Set The Game - Platinum SHM Japanese UICY-40083 ISLAND USD $62.33 Buy It Now 41m 35s
THE BUGGLES, THE PLASTIC AGE, VG/VG, 2 Track, 7" Single, Company Sleeve, ISLAND, USD $2.62 Buy It Now 47m 30s
Bob Marley and the wailers rebel music vinyl lp, island records,excel/condition USD $35.00 Buy It Now 47m 40s
THE BUNBURYS, FIGHT, VG/VG, 2 Track, 7" Single, Picture Sleeve, ISLAND, LBW2, USD $2.60 Buy It Now 48m 23s
THE CAGE, AND WHY NOT?, VG/VG, 2 Track, 7" Single, Picture Sleeve, ISLAND, IS 46 USD $2.62 Buy It Now 48m 42s
FREE Wishing Well / Woman 7" Vinyl Island 1985 USD $8.76 Buy It Now 48m 58s
Christians The Christians UK CD album (CDLP) CID9876 ISLAND 1987 USD $35.81 Buy It Now 49m 45s
Truly Hinda Hicks UK CD single (CD5 / 5") CID721 ISLAND 1998 USD $13.87 Buy It Now 49m 45s
Kimm Rogers - Two Sides - New 1992 Island Rock CD! USD $3.99 Buy It Now 50m 43s
Strange Honey Bloomsday UK CD single (CD5 / 5") CID478 ISLAND 1990 USD $32.87 Buy It Now 51m 48s
Mutya Buena Just A Little Bit 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) UK 1748790 ISLAND USD $15.99 Buy It Now 51m 51s
Christians Trinity CD single (CD5 / 5") Japanese P20D20069 ISLAND 1988 USD $27.04 Buy It Now 52m 52s
JIMMY BUFFETT - CHRISTMAS ISLAND - CD - 1996 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 54m 25s
THE CHRISTIANS, BORN AGAIN, VG/VG, 2 Track, 7" Single, Picture Sleeve, ISLAND, I USD $2.60 Buy It Now 54m 41s
THIRD WORLD - RAILROAD TRACK - 1975 ISLAND 7" DJ PROMO - MORE REGGAE IN MY SHOP USD $4.39 Buy It Now 54m 57s
BARBARA PENNINGTON - RUNNING IN ANOTHER DIRECTION - 1976 7" ISLAND DJ COPY USD $3.65 Buy It Now 55m 4s
Speedy Keen Someone To Love 7" vinyl single record UK WIP6230 ISLAND 1975 USD $13.81 Buy It Now 57m 27s
Pulp Do You Remember The First Time? UK cassette single CIS574 ISLAND 1994 USD $16.06 Buy It Now 57m 37s
Cord Winter UK CD single (CD5 / 5") CORDCD007 ISLAND 2006 USD $9.49 Buy It Now 57m 52s
Cord Sea Of Trouble CD single (CD5 / 5") UK CORDCD009 ISLAND 2006 USD $9.49 Buy It Now 57m 56s
Eddie And The Hot Rods Media Messiahs 7" vinyl single record UK WIP6464 ISLAND USD $14.53 Buy It Now 57m 58s
Nine Black Alps Burn Faster UK CD single (CD5 / 5") 1741825 ISLAND 2007 USD $10.95 Buy It Now 57m 59s
BLONDIE - ISLAND OF LOST SOULS - 1982 GERMAN 7" P/S - BUY 3 7"S USD $4.39 Buy It Now 1h
Let Me Go 3 Doors Down UK 2-CD single (Double CD single) MCSTD/SXD40423 ISLAND USD $18.48 Buy It Now 1h 2m
THE CHRISTIANS, THE BOTTLE, VG/VG, 2 Track, 7" Single, Picture Sleeve, ISLAND, I USD $2.60 Buy It Now 1h 2m
Rumble Strips 2-CD single (Double CD single) Alarm Clock UK 1723931/936 ISLAND USD $17.01 Buy It Now 1h 2m
Status Quo Living On An Island - P/S UK 7" vinyl single record 6059248 VERTIGO USD $18.91 Buy It Now 1h 2m
THE CHRISTIANS, WORDS, G/VG, 2 Track, 7" Single, Picture Sleeve, ISLAND, IS450, USD $2.60 Buy It Now 1h 3m
THE CHRISTIANS, WORDS, VG/VG, 2 Track, 7" Single, Picture Sleeve, ISLAND, IS 450 USD $2.62 Buy It Now 1h 3m
THIRD WORLD Journey To Addis LP USA 1978 Island ILPS9554 EXcond vinyl! USD $13.89 Buy It Now 1h 5m
SUGABABES Overloaded Singles Collection CD UK spec ed 15trks 2006 Island 1709334 USD $3.95 Buy It Now 1h 5m
CAT STEVENS - BANAPPLE GAS - 1976 7" ISLAND DJ ONLY COPY - 1000'S MORE 7"S LOOK USD $4.39 Buy It Now 1h 7m
ANTHRAX state of Euphoria US ISLAND RECORDS LP + Artwork/lyrics Inner 91004 1! USD $36.54 Buy It Now 1h 7m
NEW All Inclusive Paradise Party Mix CD Summer Beach Island Style Music Songs USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1h 9m
Dark Chocolate-Island Gypsy CD NEW USD $9.10 Buy It Now 1h 11m
Looking Through Patient Eyes P. M. Dawn 7" vinyl single record UK GEE47 ISLAND USD $14.53 Buy It Now 1h 11m
Staring at the Sun [#2] [Single] by U2, 3 tracks (CD, 1997, Island (Label)) VG USD $2.00 Buy It Now 1h 13m
Betty Curse 7" vinyl single record God This Hurts UK 1704643 ISLAND 2006 USD $14.53 Buy It Now 1h 16m
Marianne Faithfull Sweetheart 7" vinyl single record Swedish WIP-6746 ISLAND USD $33.55 Buy It Now 1h 16m
It's Like That Mariah Carey 3" CD single (CD3) European 9881145 ISLAND 2005 USD $19.37 Buy It Now 1h 16m
Marianne Faithfull Broken English UK 7" vinyl single record MF100 ISLAND 1982 USD $26.24 Buy It Now 1h 16m
THE HOT SEATS 'RETREAT TO CAMP CANDY TEMPTATION ISLAND' CD ALBUM 2008 USD $3.43 [0 bids]
1h 18m
Ken Ufton And His Harmony Hawaiians Maui MAgic And Other Island Favourites vin USD $17.47 Buy It Now 1h 20m
7" PHIL ABNER " SWEET CAROLINE " MEGA ISLAND AFRO FUNK, BREAKS " LISTEN USD $30.00 Buy It Now 1h 22m
The Prince Edward Island Fiddlers original lp STILL IN SHRINK Cape Breton Fiddle USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 22m
Every Kinda People Robert Palmer 7" vinyl single record Dutch 15736 ISLAND USD $14.53 Buy It Now 1h 23m
Joe MacLean Old Time Scottish Fiddle Music from Cape Breton Island STILL SEALED USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 25m
Aswad ?- Three Babylon / Ire Woman ORIG UK 7" ISLAND VG 1976 USD $11.69 Buy It Now 1h 26m
Burning Spear LP roots reggae man in the hills Island records Bob Marley USD $10.49 [2 bids]
1h 27m
Bodyrox What Planet You On? UK 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) 1754550 ISLAND USD $15.99 Buy It Now 1h 27m
Bravery Stir The Blood vinyl LP album record USA B001363101 ISLAND Sealed 2009 USD $45.22 Buy It Now 1h 27m
Julian Cope Head 7" vinyl single record UK IS497 ISLAND 1991 USD $16.01 Buy It Now 1h 37m
Florence + The Machine Lungs UK vinyl LP album record 2709106 ISLAND Sealed USD $49.61 Buy It Now 1h 39m
John Martyn Sapphire UK vinyl LP album record ILPS9779 ISLAND 1984 USD $20.39 Buy It Now 1h 40m
Mariah Carey Through The Rain CD single (CD5 / 5") French 063903-2 ISLAND 2002 USD $12.41 Buy It Now 1h 40m
Salad Granite Statue - C.D.1 UK CD single (CD5 / 5") CIRD108 ISLAND 1995 USD $13.14 Buy It Now 1h 40m
Deep Down & Dirty Stereo MC's CD single (CD5 / 5") UK CID777 ISLAND 2001 USD $9.49 Buy It Now 1h 40m
Angels with Dirty Faces by Tricky (CD, Jun-1998, Island (Label)) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1h 40m
Pre-Millennium Tension by Tricky (CD, Nov-1996, Island (Label)) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1h 41m
JOHN MARTYN THE ELECTRIC JOHN MARTYN CASSETTE TAPE 1982 PAPER LABEL ISLAND UK USD $29.22 Buy It Now 1h 43m
The B52's Bouncing Off The Satellites ILPS 9871 island Records LP Vinyl USD $21.91 Buy It Now 1h 43m
The B52's High Fidelity ILPS 9580 Island Records LP Vinyl USD $20.45 Buy It Now 1h 46m
VAIN No Respect 1989 ORIG USA ISLAND 7 91272-2 GLAM HAIR METAL Davy Vain DELANY USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 48m
SIDNEY BEAN TRIO: Island Gal Audrey 7" Record BERMUDA - CALYPSO USD $21.24 Buy It Now 1h 50m
THE FORCE M.D.'S, TENDER LOVE, VG/VG, 2 Track, 7" Single, Picture Sleeve, ISLAND USD $2.62 Buy It Now 1h 53m
TRAFFIC - HOLE IN MY SHOE - RARE ORIG 7" VINYL SINGLE - PINK ISLAND 1967 WINWOOD USD $2.91 [0 bids]
1h 54m
THE TROGGS - I'll Buy You An Island - Original 1976 UK 2-track 7" vinyl single USD $14.60 Buy It Now 1h 56m
JACKIE EDWARDS=L-O-V-E (WHITE ISLAND) VG USD $2.79 [5 bids]
1h 59m
Friday Island 12" Glory B - 1996 USD $14.15 Buy It Now 2h
Island Of Lost Souls / Dragonfly 7" Blondie - 1982 USD $12.00 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Fountain Island: A Sarah Records Compilation CD! 16 Songs! Indie Pop Twee USD $9.99 [1 bids]
2h 2m
Rattle And Hum U2 U27 1988 Island Records LP Vinyl 2X Vinyl USD $21.91 Buy It Now 2h 6m
KING CRIMSON: In The Wake of the Poseidon, Pink Island Records, UK, 1st, OOP LP! USD $26.00 [5 bids]
2h 9m
Tracy Bonham - The Burdens of Being Upright (CD, Jun-1996, Island (Label) USD $1.30 Buy It Now 2h 9m
ROBERT PALMER;RIPTIDE,1985,ISLAND ILPS 9801 USD $2.91 [0 bids]
2h 14m
Christmas Island by Jimmy Buffett (CD, Oct-1996, Universal Special Products) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 2h 15m
INNER CIRCLE everything is great ILPS 9558 A4U/B3U uk island 1979 LP PS EX/EX USD $13.13 Buy It Now 2h 16m
STEVE WINWOOD chronicles SSW1 A1/B1 1st press uk island 1987 LP PS EX/EX + inner USD $13.13 Buy It Now 2h 16m
The Island Story Double Vinyl Record LP ISL25 G/fold U2 Bob Marley Traffic Free USD $13.14 Buy It Now 2h 17m
BRYAN FERRY ISLAND SINGLES 1973-1976 6 X 7" BOXSET SEALED RECORD STORE DAY 2016 USD $73.07 Buy It Now 2h 17m
MARIANNE FAITHFULL A CHILDS ADVENTURE island 83 A-1UB-2U EX/VG+ USD $10.22 Buy It Now 2h 18m
IKE AND TINA TURNER - SWEET RHODE ISLAND RED 7" 74 VG USD $1.45 [0 bids]
2h 19m
THE WATERBOYS self titled 90147-1 usa island 1983 MINI LP PS EX/EX USD $13.13 Buy It Now 2h 19m
PETER COOK & DUDLEY MOORE - Good Evening - Rare 1974 USA Island 8-track vinyl LP USD $21.91 Buy It Now 2h 19m
BRYAN FERRY Another Time Another Place LP EX UK 1974 Island Gatefold vinyl recor USD $10.20 Buy It Now 2h 21m
ROSIE ANIA eyes of a woman 12 ISP 461 picture disc uk island 1990 12" WS EX/ USD $13.08 Buy It Now 2h 21m
U2-Even Better Than The Real Thing Cd Single.1992 Island Cid 525.Gatefold Sleeve USD $3.64 Buy It Now 2h 22m
1989 BANDERA CRUISIN DOWN COLLINS ISLAND LP #91276-1 SEALED USD $5.06 Buy It Now 2h 23m
GIBSON BROTHERS que sera mi vida 7" CS EX/EX island WIP 6525 USD $10.22 Buy It Now 2h 24m
JULIAN COPE trampoline 7" WS EX/ uk island IS 305 sol USD $10.22 Buy It Now 2h 24m
SPRINGFIELDS..ISLAND OF DREAMS..EXCELLENT 1962 PHILIPS 45RPM POP 7" 326557 BF USD $4.37 Buy It Now 2h 25m
EMIL NEWMAN Theme From Island In The Sky / Family Theme From... 45 Decca 9-28903 USD $6.47 Buy It Now 2h 28m
THE JAGS, PARTY GAMES, VG/EX, 2 Track, 7" Single, Picture Sleeve, ISLAND, WIP 65 USD $2.62 Buy It Now 2h 33m
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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)

4.15 | 112 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
4.15 | 112 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.

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.

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 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.15 | 112 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
4.15 | 112 ratings

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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
4.15 | 112 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
4.15 | 112 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
4.15 | 112 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
4.15 | 112 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
4.15 | 112 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 | 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.

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 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.15 | 112 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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