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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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TRAFFIC*HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH*COLOURED RAIN*1967*ISLAND 6025*VG+/EX USD $9.21 Buy It Now 35m 21s
Jazz Vocal 45 THE FOUR LADS Enchanted Island - Guess What The 41194 EB45J15 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 36m 22s
LP, GEORGIE FAME, Self-Titled, Island ILPS 9293, 1974, VG++ to NM USD $6.00 Buy It Now 37m 31s
Laura Oorais The Island Classic Jazz Hits San Francisco Lounge Female Vocal CD USD $11.95 Buy It Now 37m 54s
FT ISLAND SLOGAN TOWEL FOR CONCERT [ PICTURE TYPE ] USD $16.99 Buy It Now 41m 45s
Jesus Wept-by P.M.Dawn- (1995 Album CD, Gee Street/Island Records) USD $8.99 Buy It Now 43m 46s
RODNEY ARIAS AND THE PARADISE SERENADERS ISLAND BY THE SEA 33 RPM LP NICE USD $9.95 [0 bids]
43m 57s
Mostasteless by Twiztid (CD, Jun-1999, Island (Label)) USD $6.00 [1 bids]
46m 44s
Free ~ Heartbreaker 1973 Island original SW9324 Vinyl plays VG++ to Mint- USD $18.22 Buy It Now 46m 48s
Addictions, Vol. 1 by Robert Palmer (CD, Oct-1989, Island) USD $2.75 Buy It Now 47m 7s
+ Eurogliders / This Island CD USD $11.50 Buy It Now 49m 11s
2002 Island Records Bon Jovi Bounce CD New USD $1.99 [0 bids]
52m 23s
Phish Randall's Island New York NY 7/12/14 2 CDs USD $9.99 [0 bids]
54m 8s
Japan AMI SUZUKI ???? SA Taiwan CD alone in my room-love the island-white key USD $9.99 Buy It Now 57m 41s
The Burdens of Being Upright by Tracy Bonham (CD, Jun-1996, Island (Label)) USD $0.99 Buy It Now 1h
Long Island Shores by Mindy Smith (CD, Oct-2006, Vanguard) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1h
The New Release by Primer 55 (CD, Aug-2001, Island (Label) explicit content USD $1.99 Buy It Now 1h
DARRYL WAY "Concerto For Electric Violin" UK LP 1978 Island ILPS 9550 Curved Air USD $20.00 Buy It Now 1h 2m
Island Life by Grace Jones (CD, Jun-1990, Island (Label)) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1h 2m
Who You Are [Platinum Edition] by Jessie J (CD, Nov-2011, Island (Label)) USD $9.89 Buy It Now 1h 2m
JETHRO TULL (CD) "ROCK ISLAND" 1999 CHRYSALIS RECORDS USD $3.99 Buy It Now 1h 3m
MELISSA ETHERIDGE Breakdown [Audio CD] Island Near Mint Enhanced CD 1999 USD $4.95 Buy It Now 1h 5m
Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass 8 Track Tapes Coney Island, Greatest Hits USD $4.00 [0 bids]
1h 5m
TREASURE ISLAND vintage DISNEYLAND vinyl LP 1964 EXCELLENT USD $5.42 [0 bids]
1h 7m
THE BRONX Self Titled CD 2006 Island Records USD $0.99 [1 bids]
1h 8m
STEVE WINWOOD "Arc Of A Diver" Original SEALED LP from 1980 (Island ILPS-9576). USD $25.00 Buy It Now 1h 8m
STEVE WINWOOD "Talking Back To The Night" PROMO LP 1982 (ISLAND ILPS 9777) USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1h 9m
STEVE WINWOOD "Back In The High Life" PROMO LP 1986 (Island 25448) USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1h 9m
Toots & the Maytals- Funky Kingston- new/sealed 8 Track tape- Island label USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1h 10m
SKA AT THE JAMAICA PLAYBOY CLUB W/ Millie Small 1966 Island ILP 930 RARE LP USD $249.99 [0 bids]
1h 15m
Burn Piano Island, Burn USD $5.48 Buy It Now 1h 17m
EDDIE + HOT RODS get out of denver 45 usa promo Punk PoP oop Island rare L@@K USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1h 24m
The Wolf by Andrew W.K. (CD, Sep-2003, Island (Label)) USD $2.69 Buy It Now 1h 26m
Arthur Godfrey I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover78 rpm Thousand Island Song USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 27m
Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians - Perspex Island CD (1991, A&M) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1h 27m
The Joshua Tree by U2 (CD, 1987, Island (Label)) Irish Rock USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1h 27m
RICHARD PRYOR Are You Serious ??? (CD) (PA) Loose Cannon / Island Records USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1h 29m
Ooh La La: An Island Harvest [Digipak] by Ronnie Lane/Ronnie Lane USD $11.50 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Raise the Roof [CD #2] [Single] by Luke (CD, Jun-1998, Island Black Music) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1h 33m
Paul Weller - Heavy Soul LP 1997 UK ORIG ISLAND The Jam Style Council MOD OASIS USD $99.99 Buy It Now 1h 38m
FEEDING PEOPLE ISLAND UNIVERSE LP DIE -CUT SLEEVE INNOVATIVE LEISURE MINT VINYL USD $13.59 Buy It Now 1h 39m
Yes I Am by Melissa Etheridge (CD, Sep-1993, Island (Label)) USD $0.34 [0 bids]
1h 41m
Robert Palmer Secrets LP Album Vinyl Record 12" 33RPM Island (1979) Mint (M) USD $9.95 [0 bids]
1h 43m
SEALED LP: FLYING ISLAND: FLYING ISLAND USD $24.99 [0 bids]
1h 43m
GEILS MONKEY ISLAND ATLANTIC SD19103 Vinyl LP USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1h 48m
KALAPANA. MANA / ALISA LOVELY, 45. ABATTOIR 004.STEREO.1977.ISLAND SOUL. HEAR! USD $20.00 [0 bids]
1h 49m
ADRIAN BELEW "Twang Bar King" PROMO LP 1983 (ISLAND 90108) KING CRIMSON USD $12.00 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Tone Loc - LOC-ED AFTER DARK - cassette (1989, Island Records Canada) USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Yes I Am by Melissa Etheridge (CD, Sep-1993, Island (Label)) USD $0.99 Buy It Now 1h 59m
Pop by U2 (CD, Mar-1997, Island (Label)) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1h 59m
ISLAND FUNK 7" SUZIE POEDER "NELIS JOE LAT ADJING" UNICE RECORDS pic sleeve HEAR USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 59m
Yes I Am by Melissa Etheridge (CD, Sep-1993, Island (Label)) USD $3.98 Buy It Now 1h 59m
VG+ UK Richard Thompson Guitar Vocal Unreleased 67-76 Island ICD 8 VPI Clean USD $23.09 Buy It Now 1h 59m
CHILDREN'S PICTURE SLEEVE + 45--(TREASURE ISLAND)--PS--PIC--SLV USD $10.99 Buy It Now 2h 2m
The JACKSONS FIVE Live in Concert With Mike. Island 2 LP Set NM USD $14.89 Buy It Now 2h 2m
JEFF LORBER FUSION-4 LP'S-WIZARD ISLAND-SOFT SPACE-SEALED-IT'S A FACT-WATER SIGN USD $15.99 [0 bids]
2h 5m
45RPM Decca 29117 Louis Armstrong, To U Sweetheart Aloha/On Cocoanut Island E E- USD $12.95 Buy It Now 2h 6m
Grimms Rockin'Duck 1973 Island sealed 8 track tape cartridge USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2h 7m
Mindy Smith-Long Island Shores CD NEW USD $15.05 Buy It Now 2h 11m
U2 - LIVE Under A Blood Red Sky - cassette (1983, Island Canada) ISMC 127 USD $7.00 Buy It Now 2h 11m
Frankie Goes To Hollywood-Liverpool-(Cassette,1986,Island)Pop Rock/Synth-Pop-New USD $5.95 Buy It Now 2h 15m
NAKED ISLAND s/t LP NEW VINYL Peak Oil Ensemble Economique Je Suis Le Petit Chev USD $22.99 Buy It Now 2h 26m
CD by U2, Achtung Baby, Island Records 1991, Classic Rock USD $4.95 Buy It Now 2h 27m
ISLAND BOY Basic Instincts LP NEW VINYL Rita Human League OMD New Order USD $18.99 Buy It Now 2h 27m
The Blue Jays "Lover's Island" on Milestone #2008 record is Near Mint USD $12.99 Buy It Now 2h 27m
Catch a Fire [LP] by Bob Marley (Vinyl, Jul-2009, Island Records USA) USD $18.87 Buy It Now 2h 28m
Long Island Shores by Mindy Smith (CD, Oct-2006, Vanguard) fem vol NEW USD $6.99 Buy It Now 2h 28m
REEBOP KWAKU BAAH Silly Boy / Kye Kye Kule 7" 45 Afro Soul ISLAND USD $2.50 Buy It Now 2h 28m
Yes I Am by Melissa Etheridge (CD, Sep-1993, Island (Label)) USD $6.00 Buy It Now 2h 33m
KING OBSTINATE Believe Words Of Wisdom RARE PRIVATE ISLAND LP 1980 Greenbay 001 USD $12.00 Buy It Now 2h 34m
Paid in Full Eric B & Rakim Cassette 1996 Island 4th B'Way ZCBY 4005 RARE/OOP USD $20.99 Buy It Now 2h 45m
U2 All I Want is You Maxi Single CD RARE/OOP Island German Import 662 406 GEMA USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2h 51m
THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS ISLAND OF JEWELS RARE/OOP 1988 PIAS BELGIUM IMPORT CD USD $12.99 Buy It Now 2h 51m
AN ISLAND CARNIVAL Music of the West Indies-NM1983LP NONESUCH EXPLORER USD $12.50 [0 bids]
2h 52m
Steel Drum CD - Key West - island music - 21 tracks!! USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 53m
MELISSA ETHERIDGE Tape Cassette SELF TITLED ALBUM 1988 Island Records ISLC-1143 USD $6.42 Buy It Now 2h 54m
Stranger in This Town by Richie Sambora (Cassette, Jun-1994, Island/Mercury) USD $6.15 Buy It Now 2h 55m
PM DAWN Tape Cassette THE BLISS ALBUM...? 1993 Island Records Canada 14-14517 USD $5.65 Buy It Now 2h 56m
ATENSION ~ D.O.A: Def on Arrival ~ SEALED orig 1989 Island LP USD $3.77 Buy It Now 2h 57m
TRIPPING DAISY Tape Cassette I AM AN ELASTIC FIRECRACKER 1995 Island Records Can USD $4.69 Buy It Now 2h 58m
DINO Tape Cassette SWINGIN' 1990 Island Records of Canada USD $4.69 Buy It Now 2h 58m
MELISSA ETHERIDGE Tape Cassette BRAVE AND CRAZY 1989 Island Records ISLC-1252 USD $5.91 Buy It Now 2h 59m
MELISSA ETHERIDGE Original tape cassette NERVER ENOUGH 1992 island Records USD $4.69 Buy It Now 2h 59m
MELISSA ETHERIDGE Original tape cassette YES I AM 1993 Island Records USD $6.40 Buy It Now 3h
To the Faithful Departed by The Cranberries (Cassette, Apr-1996, Island Records) USD $6.41 Buy It Now 3h
U2 Tape Cassette THE JOSHUA TREE 1987 Island Records Canada ISXC-1127 USD $5.91 Buy It Now 3h 2m
Steve Winwood, Still in the Game ~ NM 1982 Island 45 USD $2.77 Buy It Now 3h 2m
John Martyn, Dancing ~ NM 1978 UK Island 45 USD $3.77 Buy It Now 3h 4m
The Gateway Trio, Coney Island ~ 1964 Capitol 45 USD $3.77 Buy It Now 3h 4m
Marianne Faithfull, Sweetheart ~ NM 1981 Island promo 45+sleeve USD $3.77 Buy It Now 3h 4m
THE LEGO MOVIE - ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK *NEW 2014 CD ALBUM* THE LONELY ISLAND USD $6.89 Buy It Now 3h 14m
October by U2 (Cassette, 1990, Island Records) NEW USD $14.99 Buy It Now 3h 14m
The Sheppards, Island of Love ~ Oldies 45 USD $2.77 Buy It Now 3h 15m
Chant Down Babylon by Bob Marley (Cassette, Nov-1999, Island (Label)) USD $20.00 Buy It Now 3h 16m
Steve Winwood, Freedom Overspill ~ 1986 Island 45 +PS USD $2.77 Buy It Now 3h 20m
Don't Give Up, Island Ispirational All Stars, Good Single USD $3.99 Buy It Now 3h 23m
Island Inspirational All Stars - Don't Give Up PROMO Cassette KIRK FRANKLIN USD $4.99 Buy It Now 3h 24m
Robert Palmer, Jealous ~ NM 1979 Island promo 45 +sleeve USD $2.77 Buy It Now 3h 25m
Bryan Ferry, Let's Stick Together ~ 1976 UK Island 45 USD $2.77 Buy It Now 3h 25m
JETHRO TULL Rock Island LP 1989 BRAZIL EDITION WITH INNER SLEEVE RARE 1st PRESS USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3h 30m


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ISLAND shows & tickets


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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)

4.16 | 100 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
4.16 | 100 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
4.16 | 100 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
4.16 | 100 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
4.16 | 100 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
4.16 | 100 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
4.16 | 100 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
4.16 | 100 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
4.16 | 100 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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 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.16 | 100 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by ShW1

4 stars No doubt that this album is a serious candidate to the "most complex prog-rock album ever" competition, and could successfully deal with any other complex album of the genre. I don't intend to say that I've heard every highly complex prog album; however this is my personal impression. Actually I struggle with this album for quite a long time, and things are still vague for me. You may relate to this review as an intermediate document, that won't be complete in the foreseen future.

In my opinion, there is couple of reasons for this "vagueness". Some of these may be: Free, unclear structures, a vague tonality, and sometimes a few real dissonant, atonal melodies. From a classical point of view it reminds me the end of the 19 century era, when music where very unclear, before Schoenberg came in and fixed things up with his atonal methods. By the way, according to this, I would classify this album in the RIO/Avant section, rather than any other sub genre.

Add to this, the quite low and whispery vocals from vocalist Benjamin Jäger, and uncompressed vocals in the mix, and you get something not easy to follow.

That isn't to say that the music is bad or unsatisfied. On the contrary, the music is emotional, atmospheric and haunting. This is not the 'complexity for its own sake' case, or 'too technical, unemotional music'. The opposite may be true.

The musicianship is very high: excellent drumming, Jazzy and punchy, from Güge Jürg Meier, soft, airy Saxes and woodwinds from René Fisch, and simultaneously exquisite and dramatic vocals from Benjamin Jäger. And above all is Peter Scherer, the main composer, keyboardist, and also responsible for the bass lines which provide by pedal-bass and maybe some other equipments, and done in a very peculiar, 'keyboardist' way. (Think of the Doors bass lines, but much more elaborate). As noted in other reviews, no guitars and bass here, which just add originality to this album, and characterize a unique, airy sound.

I'll try to do a brief pass on the album tracks, in order to clear things up (at least, for me):

1 - 'Introduction': an intro which presents unique sounds and vocals, in claustrophobic atmosphere, which soon comes to...

2 - An upbeat motif that opens 'Zero', an instrumental, jazzy track. The light motif soon converts with darker, long, very complex, and beautiful motif. It's hard to classify this section, maybe it relate to free jazz, but I'm far from being a jazz expert, so its just an assumption. Anyway, do not expect ordinary jazz here. After this section, the track goes back to a lighter mood, which ends with reprise to the first theme.

3 - 'Pictures', which contain the most songy, beautiful melody. It sounds medieval - renaissance, accompanied by harpsichord - like sounds, that emphasize the medieval atmosphere. But the 'comfortable' song structure is not remaining for too long: Soon this evolves into the first very vague environment in this album. As in the previous track, this is not exactly jazz improvisation on an attend theme. In fact, there is a relation to a theme, but it takes numerous listens to get it. After this section, come a sung part and a reprise to the first song.

This is probably the end of side one of the vinyl version, (I got the CD addition, not the original vinyl), so better take a break or a deep breath towards the next track.

4 - 'Herold and King (Dloreh)' is a highly complex track, featuring vocals that comes and goes, some atonal melodies, vague structure, and long and complicate passages. If you give up on catch some melodies and try to concentrate in the atmosphere - well there is a lot. Wonderful moods between quite and agitated, in overall darkness. The climax IMO is the place where the vocalists sing or yell dramatically, in reversed English (Which comes along with the 'real' English sentences). This is very unique.

5 - And then comes the last track - 'Here and now'. I must confess: after dealing with 'Dloreh' that comes after not-so-easy tracks I have not enough patience to deal with this one. I've tried to listen to it separately, but it didn't work much better for me. As in the previous tracks, this track features complicate jazzy elements, difficult melodies, and free and vague structures. The atmosphere is a little bit more light and optimistic than before.

In all, this album is recommended for those who are willing to check their own boundaries, in terms of complexity and elaboration. Again, the complexity does not come before the music, which is kept beautiful and emotional. A special record that will require your full attention.

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