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Neutrons biography
This short-lived formation from the 70's were an offshoot of Welsh psychedelic band MAN. Two of its members, namely keyboard player Phil Ryan and guitarist/bassist Will Youatt, left in 1973 to form the NEUTRONS with drummer John Weathers (GENTLE GIANT), violinist Stuart Gordon (INCREDIBLE STRING BAND) and a slew of other musicians. They took their name from IORWERTH PRITCHARD AND THE NEUTRONS, a band Ryan and Youatt had created prior to forming the NEUTRONS.

Whereas the music of MAN was predominantly guitar based, the NEUTRONS concentrate on the keyboards; their heavy use of synthesizers, a strong GENTLE GIANT edge as well as slight Brit-folk overtones characterize their sound. Of interest to prog lovers is their first album titled "Black Hole Stars", which features interesting keyboard-driven psych prog with good guitar leads. The more commercial second album "From the Blue Cocoons", which features several female vocals, is not as adventurous but is still worth checking out. Fortunately, both albums are available on a single CD released in 2003 by BGO Records.

Not essential but a nice piece of memorabilia for those into vintage keyboard-driven psychedelia.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Black Hole Star/Tales From The Blue Cocoons/NeutronsBlack Hole Star/Tales From The Blue Cocoons/Neutrons
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The Neutrons- Tales From The Blue Cocoons- LP 1975 United Artists UAG 29726 UK USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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NEUTRONS discography

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NEUTRONS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.43 | 17 ratings
Black Hole Stars
3.22 | 8 ratings
Tales From The Blue Cocoons

NEUTRONS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NEUTRONS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NEUTRONS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.08 | 6 ratings
Black Hole Star / Tales From the Blue Cocoons

NEUTRONS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Dance Of The Psychedelic Lounge Lizards


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Black Hole Stars by NEUTRONS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.43 | 17 ratings

Black Hole Stars
Neutrons Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A short-lived British supergroup, formed by ex-Man Phil Ryan (keyboards, vocals) and Will Youatt (bass, guitar, vocals) along with Gentle Giant's drummer John Weathers at the end of 1973, all of them played together in Pete Brown & Piblokto! in early-70's.The three of them actually recorded Neutron's first couple of tracks (''Living in the World Today'' and ''Snow Covered Eyes'') at Rockfield Studios near Monmouth, before being joined by Martin Wallace (guitar, vocals), Taff Williams (guitar, bass), ex-The Incredible String Band Stuart Gordon on violin and female singer Caromay Dixon.The rest of Neutrons' debut ''Black Hole Star'' was recorded in mid-1974 at Chipping Norton Recording Studios and the album was released in September 1974 on United Artists.

The debut of Neutrons was a mixed bag of MAN-like artistic Classic Rock and Classic 70's Progressive Rock, apparently sounding quite charming but a bit incosistent.There are some very good tracks like the opening bluesy Progressive Rock of ''Living in the World Today'' or the instrumental ''Dangerous Decisions'', which is beautiful, high class Progressive Rock with dominant piano and synth deliveries, short but great guitar moves and impressive keyboard solos in the vein of GENESIS.''Dance of the Psychedelic Lounge Lizards'' is another piece reminiscent of GENESIS' offerings with GABRIEL-esque vocals, highlighted though by Gordon's extraordinary violin drives.''Going to India'', ''Mermaid and Chips'' or ''Feel'' are soft but not equally impressive pieces with somesort of RENAISSANCE/YES/ILLUSION feel, but while they create a very deep atmosphere, they do not seem to have something new to add to an already saturated prog scene.''Snow Covered Eyes'' and ''Doom City'' is another pair of decent pieces, good organ work strong bluesy guitar parts, drawing heavy Psych/Prog influences in the vein of MAN.

Neutron's music is well-played and executed, while some moments on this album flirt with the grandiosity of the biggest prog acts of the time.On the other hand the lack of a strong personality and the shadow of MAN's music that covers the release prevent ''Black Hole Star'' from being a trully shiny star.Still recommended if you like all kind of 70's Prog.

 Black Hole Stars by NEUTRONS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.43 | 17 ratings

Black Hole Stars
Neutrons Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I had no big expectations for this band, since it's almost completely forgotten and ignored. But what a charming album! First some obligatory band info: the founding members, keyboardist Phil Ryan and bassist 'Will' Youatt had a vision of a band of their own when the latter had joined Pete Brown's Biplokto! for gigs, which group broke soon after. But before NEUTRONS started life, they both joined MAN for a couple of years/albums (and Ryan returned to MAN in 1975 when NEUTRONS broke). But this is quite a different band than the guitar-oriented MAN! More emphasis on keyboards, either organ or MMEB-style playful synths. Singer-songwriter Martin Wallace was thought to be a frontman but the album includes only one of his songs because Ryan's and Youatt's ambitions got bigger. Wallace's Eastern-flavoured 'Feel' is a folkier song than the rest, but a fairly good one, like all tracks actually. GENTLE GIANT drummer John Weathers and INCREDIBLE STRING BAND violinist Stuart Gordon were added to the line-up and they brought just the right ingredients to the whole. Gordon brought also his girlfriend, 17-year old Caromay Dixon, as an additional vocalist.

'Living in the World Today' rocks deliciously, reminding distantly PINK FLOYD's 'Run Like Hell' for the guitar riff and two male vocals singing in turns from different speakers. It and the last track were recorded before the line-up was complete and they are the most rocking ones. Elswhere you hear some psychedelia. Some tracks sound a bit like NEKTAR. Quirky 'Mermaid and Chips' is fantastic, sort of a cross between Gentle Giant and 10CC, showing in full bloom the lovely sound and style of the band. 'Dance Of The Psychadelc Lounge Lizards' is as interesting as the title! Very charming 'Going To India' sounds a bit like early (Prologue-era) RENAISSANCE, but with more tongue-in-cheek hippie feel. 'Doom City' is a bluesy song, maybe the least interesting but nice nevertheless.

So, to say that NEUTRONS were just a spin-off of MAN is a bad understatement. Their second album (still good if not as great as this) was made under worse circumstances and it sadly doesn't share the same cheerfulness, the joy of playing, as this one. They both are released as a single CD in 2003, which is very recommended.

 Black Hole Star / Tales From the Blue Cocoons by NEUTRONS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
4.08 | 6 ratings

Black Hole Star / Tales From the Blue Cocoons
Neutrons Eclectic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A very great measure of gratitude goes out formally to my PA colleague "synthphony" , who has urged me to get this absolute unknown album from the glory days of the 70's and offer up some critical review of the music within. Former members of welsh rock legend Man have combined their talents with Gentle Giant drummer John Weathers and violinist Stuart Gordon (of Incredible String Band fame) among others , to dish out a debut pot-pourri of original music , lush with various moods and structures, veering into space-prog a la Steve Hillage, folk and good straight ahead rock. "Living in the World Today" is a flighty groove that has a rifling theme, jangling guitars that will eventually sear the horizon, very funky (like Chicago's "I'm a Man", ain't that a coincidence?), a superb whistling synth solo to plunge this deep into prog expanses, the bass thundering down below and the marshalling drums doing the rest. A Brian Auger inspired organ run seals the deal. Exhausting! But an outstanding track nevertheless. "Feel" relies instead on a gentler premise, a slight Welsh country/folk consideration, a loopy electric solo very close to what Hillage could weave. "Mermaid & Chips" is odd, piano dancing in dissonance with the breathy vocals , the strings sliding in and the Northettes-like female vocals. The repeated chorus is hypnotizing ("Every time I get a bit closer, I seem to get a little bit near" ) and provides a great deal of enjoyment , a definite for Canterbury fans as well as Gentle Giant (there are so many of you, hugs and kisses!). On "Dangerous Decisions", the band decide perilously to delve into even proggier attempts , a complex tapestry of insistent rhythms, slippery synths and expert soloing by Phil Ryan. Simply fantastic from first second to last. "Doom City" is another screamer, a funky urban groove, close to Manfred Mann's celebrated covers of Bruce Springsteen or perhaps even near 10CC territory but Taff Williams really lets a mean guitar rip in glowing blaze, a jewel electric guitar solo that will stick your ass to your chair. Need I say brilliant! As for "Dante of the Psychedelic Lounge Lizards" (Now THAT'S a prog title! No typo by the way, its really "Dante"!) , the violin thrashes wildly, swirling in tandem with the spacy vocals, very fun and cheery, yet completely creative and memorable. "Going to India" is amusing, a clever little ditty ("no more doctors giving us pills") hahahaha , sweetly pastoral and hippie-ish , a bluesy guitar rant and more visceral violin. Some obligatory sitar and tablas ushers this one out. Finally, we finalize the disc on another organ fueled romp, the sinuously insistent "Snow Covered Eyes", a luscious outburst where all the players excel at doing it just right.

The second album is also on this compilation, that I found by pure chance and "Tales from the Blue Cocoons" is no downgrade by any measure, the playing just as intense and groove laden, even though Weathers is now replaced by unknowns Stuart Halliday and Dave Charles on drums. "No More Straights" is exemplary of the creative juices that were pressed into this ill-fated group, playfulness combined with intelligent playing (a common context back then in the UK, with bands like Wishbone Ash, Argent, Traffic, Man, 10CC and many more). "Northern Midnight" is a masterful 6 minute piece that flies close to Hillage territory again, both vocally and instrumentally, a delicate piano musing leading into more developed circumstances, nothing overtly complex but definitely showing its 70's sheen, highlighted by two guitar solos, first by Will Youatt and then Taff Williams bleeding one in for good measure. "Come into my Cave" is a romping piece that evokes simple pleasures, again featuring dual guitar blasts from the two afore mentioned protagonists, a breezy/bluesy escapade that finds appeal immediately. The somewhat unexpected synth solo really slings this into proggy territory, showing clearly why this was not better received by the poppier crowd. "Live your Lie" has female vocalist Caromay Dixon warbling nicely between two acoustic guitar panels for a brief journey into folkier expanses. "L'Hippie Nationale" as the name implies has a hippy-trippy feel that gusts gently, hints of Caravan and Donovan in the air, pleasing in a simple sense. Back to a funkier groove (they do that very well) with the glorious e-piano leading the way on the Traffic/10CC inspired "Take you Further", 12 string guitars welding with wah-wah electric phrasings, shuffling bass and drums adding to the insistence and spotlighted by a masterful electric piano solo that will evoke smile from ivory ticklers everywhere. Another tune that needs to be appreciated by all fans. With a typical English wacky title like "Welsh R Blunt or the Dexedrine Dormouse ", you know this will a quirky slab of instrumental insanity and it is! Phil Ryan's arsenal of keyboards include synths, organ and piano to brilliant effect, recalling Dave Stewart's glory days with playful conviction ,while Taff handles the bass, rhythm and lead guitars with deserved aplomb. Very near Hatfield/National Health terrain, this is certainly inspired stuff. "The Jam Eaters" is lightweight prog-pop, organ and synths blaring brightly with Dixon swooning to the mike, the flow measured and vaporous. Nothing special for this lad. The bonus track is "Suzy and the Wonder Boy", a clear rock and roller (a hint of Cat Scratch Fever riff from "the Nuge"), bar room hilarity, raise your tepid pints boys and girls , sing along to the trippy guitar solo and honky-tonk piano. All in all, a perfect example of a "must have, no one else has", type of album that will provide tons of fun to those wishing to relive the more obscure titles from the incredible "Golden Era". I was surprised, entertained and gratified. Thank you Keith....Easily 4 egocentric molecules .

 Tales From The Blue Cocoons by NEUTRONS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.22 | 8 ratings

Tales From The Blue Cocoons
Neutrons Eclectic Prog

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Second and sorry to say last album by the NEUTRONS, "Tales From The Blue Cocoons" took the progressive tendencies of the first album and rolled in a slightly more pop 70's feel to it. In many ways these guys remind me of art rock bands likes of PLANET P, 10CC and CITY BOY. The NEUTRONS were the genius of Phil Ryan (Organs, synths) and Will Youatt (bass, guitars) who were both part at times of the Welsh progressive giants MAN. In contrast to their debut album, "Tales.." takes on a slightly more accessible sound and a different feel with the insertion of female vocals of Caromay Dixon on several tracks. Even with Stuart Gordon and John Weathers gone in the line-up this album still carries some pretty cool GENTLE GIANT mannerisms. The album boasts some fantastic keyboard and guitar work all surrounded by some pretty clever song writing and vocalizations.
 Black Hole Stars by NEUTRONS album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.43 | 17 ratings

Black Hole Stars
Neutrons Eclectic Prog

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Formed with members of the Welsh Progressive Rock band "MAN", a drummer from "GENTLE GIANT" and a string player from "The INCREDIBLE STRING BAND" , The NEUTRONS were a brief stint but left behind 2 fine albums with "Black Hole Star" as the debut in review. The NEUTRONS were the genius of Phil Ryan (Organs, synths) and Will Youatt (bass, guitars) and featured GENTLE GIANT's John Weathers (drums) and "The INCREDIBLE STRING BAND's" Stuart Gordon (Strings). The end result is a mix of music which sounds a lot like a fusion of GENTLE GIANT with RENAISSANCE with 10CC tossed in. This brilliantly recorded album shines thru with a high degree of progressive emotions and prowess never getting too over the top. The fine folks at BGO Records have remastered and combined their only 2 albums on 1 long play CD which I would highly recommend you invest in.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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