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NICK MASON

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Nick Mason biography
Nicholas Berkeley Mason better known as Nick Mason was born on Januari 27, 1944. While studying architecture he got in touch with Roger Waters and Richard Wright. The three of them played together in Sigma 6, the Screaming Abdad's. Later on they joined forces with Syd Barret to form Pink Floyd. Mason is the only person to have remained with the band since then. Though being the drummer of Pink Floyd was his major concern, he did the production for prog albums of Robert Wyatt, Gong and Steve Hillage but he produced also other kind of music from Michael Mantler and punk band The Damned. Between the recording of The Wall & the Final Cut with Floyd, Fictitious Sports, his first solo album was released. The album was written by keyboardist Carla Bley. The line-up included also Bley's partner Michael Mantler, Chris Spedding. Most of the vocals were done by Robert Wyatt. Being a mixture of jazz & rock this album hasn't the Pink Floyd trademarks, except for some minor references. The complexity of the composition and the humorous elements in the lyrics makes it an interesting listen though. In 1985 Mason recorded an album with former 10cc guitarist Rick Fenn. This synthetic pop album is a typical product of its time and not very progressive. Maybe the single "lie for a lie" is interesting for the vocals of David Gilmour. Despite the fact that Mason would use many of the percussion techniques on the forthcoming Pink Floyd record, this album has little to offer to Floyd fans.



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
drummer of Pink Floyd



Discography:
Nick Mason's fictitious sports, studio album (1981)
Mason + Fenn : Profiles, studio album (1985)



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Fictitious SportsFictitious Sports
Col. Spec. Prod 1995
Audio CD$19.99
$22.99 (used)
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NICK MASON discography


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

3.18 | 37 ratings
Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports
1981
2.84 | 17 ratings
Mason + Fenn : Profiles
1985

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NICK MASON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.18 | 37 ratings

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Review by tdfloyd

3 stars In between "The Wall" and "The Final Cut", Pink Floyd's Nick Mason had plenty of time on his hands. He teams up with friends Mike Mantler and Carla Bley to record the Bley penned "Fictitious Sports". It's released under Mason's name to pull in a bigger fee from the record company. The Pink Floyd drummer calls in a favor and has ex-Soft Machine and soloist Robert Wyatt provide vocals. Mason had produced Wyatt's Rock Bottom album some seven years prior.

The album is eclectic. Anyone expecting a Pink Floyd knock-off album will be in for a big surprise. Bley brings in a kind of weird jazz rock with horns flavored music and combines them with a wicked sense of humor. For listeners without a prior introduction to Mr. Wyatt, his vocals are distinctive and for me, took a bit to get used to. A listener who found out about Fictitious Sports via Pink Floyd, will have one song that is closely related to their work. The track "Hot River" sports a dead on David Gilmour guitar solo from Chris Spedding with producer Nick Mason making his drums brighter and displaying them more prominiently in the mix then he had with his "day job" band.

In short, this is a good, enjoyable album. It will expand your musical palette if you are not familiar with the supporting cast. I later found out that It doesn't have the best of Carla Bley but it was my introduction to her work.

A solid 3 stars.

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 Mason + Fenn : Profiles by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.84 | 17 ratings

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Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

3 stars This album, unlike Nick Mason's previous release, "Fictitious Sports" should please Pink Floyd fands. Although Mason and Rick Fenn play most of the instruments on the album, there is a definite Floyd feeling throughout the first side of the record. And David Gilmour makes an appearance, too, singing lead on Lie For A Lie. Rick Fenn's guitar is so Gilmour-like so often that I wonder if he didn't get effects tips from Gilmour himself.

Israel the opener of side 2 of the record, has Danny Petronel singing. And he sure has his David Bowie on for that recording. Much of side 2 is in a more 1980's electronic vein, and for that, it seems much more dated than the first side. But it's still not a bad album.

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 Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.18 | 37 ratings

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Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

4 stars I imagine this album was a shock to Pink Floyd fans hoping for more Floydlike music from their drummer. But this is actually not a Nick Mason solo album. It's a Carla Bley album (whose band Mason occasionally recorded with. Fear not, Carla Bley writes some great, and often very funny rock music. And Mason does play drums on all of the tracks.

Can't Get My Motor To Start opens the album with a quirky upbeat song about a broken down car. It's fun and very funny. I Was Wrong follows, with Robert Wyatt singing as a skeptic who has an alien encounter.

The dirgelike Siam is next. With it's slow beat, you may think it's going to be the most Floyd- like track on the album. But on Hot River, Bley sounds like she was imitating Roger Waters' "The Wall" era style, complete with Great Gig In The Sky vocals.

Boo To You Too is an upbeat boogie, with more funny lyrics about how to deal with hecklers during a concert. Do Ya? is more typical of Bley's big band compositions, but with Wyatt singing odd lyrics about being misunderstood.

Wervin' is not bad. It's a repetitious song, with a good sax solo, with bizarre lyrics. I'm A Mineralist is the masterpiece on the album. It's a sendup of the minimalist music that was so popular in that decade. Brilliant.

If you are not expecting Pink Floyd, and open your ears, this is an extremely enjoyable album.

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 Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.18 | 37 ratings

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Review by philGab

5 stars One of the best Pink Floyd solo albums, but it's not really fair to characterize it as such as it's really a Carla Bley album that Mason agreed to put his name on in the hope of shifting more copies. (We can see how well that worked! Maybe if they had thrown a flying pig on...)

Anyway, it's a superb record, and considering Wyatt was in sort of semi-retirement at the time this was recorded (he did very, very little between the '75 Henry Cow gigs and the Rough Trade singles that formed the basis of "Nothing Can Stop Us") it's a great pleasure to hear his voice on the majority of the album. "I'm A Mineralist", a simultaneous parody of sexual perversion and Philip Glass, is often cited as the highlight and indeed it is a very good song, but there's honestly not anything bad on tap anywhere. Recommended to Wyatt and Bley fans. For anyone buying this hoping to hear some of the excitement and thrills of "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party"... WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?

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 Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.18 | 37 ratings

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Review by octopus-4
Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars I have to admit that I was quite disappointed when I listened to this album for the first time. I wasn't expecting a masterpiece but at least something closer to Pink Floyd. Well, if you don't consider "Hot River" there's nothing that sounds floydian here.

Of course this is mainly a Carla Bley work to which Mason has put his name. More or less the same thing that Mike Oldfield did with Pekka Pohjola's Mathematical Air Display.

The result is a avantgarde/jazzy album not so bad as it could appear if you are looking for things like Shine on you crazy diamond.

Robert Wyatt's voice gives it a touch of Canterbury. All the musicians are very skilled and also Mason seems able to play better than he was used in Pink Floyd, even if he's everything but a cat. Drums are what sound less jazzy in the whole album.

The songs vary fromn the crazyness of "Can't get my motor to start" and "Boo to you too" to the late psychedelia of "Hot River" passing by the very proggy "Siam" and "Do Ya" which sounds more like Soft Machine.

It's not a fundamental album but it's neither a bad one. I think it would have had a better success if Robert Wyatt's name appeared on the cover instead of Nick Mason's as the music inside is closer to the first.

I suggest this album to Soft Machine fans. If you are looking for Pink Floyd this is not your pot, as there's only "Hot River" which features a Gilmour-like guitar and Wright-like organ in the background (and is a great song IMO).

It can have 3 stars.

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 Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.18 | 37 ratings

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Review by FenderTramp

1 stars I'm not sure about it, but its the kind of thing that I never ever expected coming from Mason. Yet its someway jazzy due to the great influence Carla Bley printed on this, and to be honest it's not progressive at all. It has some funny moments but nothing really special comes from here. Robert Wyatt contribution ends up as not really helpful on the end result.

Let's face it, this doesn't have anything at all to do with Pink Floyd, it ends up being a work divided between Carla Bley and Rober Wyatt. And due to this the music changes from being tolerable to a certain point an annoying thing, not really surprising, maybe its a collection must for someone who wants a perfectly full Pink Floyd related collection, besides that I don't see the need for this.

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 Mason + Fenn : Profiles by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.84 | 17 ratings

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Review by octopus-4
Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars I've been surprised to see only 6 reviews and with a so low rating for this album. It's not a masterpiece, and the sound is strongly dated to the 80s, but it's not so bad. The first track is enjoyable, even if Pink Floyd are very far from here. Take into account that when the album was released, PF were still in the immediate post-Waters era, so this album might have given to Gilmour and Mason the opportunity to think to a reunion. Gilmour plays on Lie for a lie, that's also the leading track of the album. It features the vocals of Maggie Reilly, recognisable by her Rs, that was protagonist of the incredible success of Oldfield's Moolight Shadow one year before. All the other songs are nothng more than enjoiable 80s fashioned tracks, but what makes this album interesting for a PF fan is its longes track: Profiles part 1. The rhythm and the acoustic guitar remind to the middle part of Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast, and the only concession to the 80s sound is the "hard" passage that breaks the initial theme and brings on the second. It's a 3 stars only, but I find that the current average rate is really too low.

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 Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.18 | 37 ratings

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Review by Steven in Atlanta

5 stars One of my all-time favorites, this one.

Despite Mr. Mason's pedigree, absolutely no Pink Floyd vibes are to be heard here (save for one Gilmour-esque solo from Chris Spedding). But what you do get is a Carla Bley rock album (on Carla's terms, of course) with lead singer Robert Wyatt on practically every tune.

Lotsa melodic mischief abounds with Bley's band, the aformentioned Spedding, NRBQ's Terry Adams, some familiar upstate NY session horn men, and, oh yeah, Nick Mason all waving the flag. Lyrically, there's almost a benign Zappa tinge at work here - don't miss the hysterical Philip Glass satire that closes the album. And Wyatt, fronting such a large and loud band, is more full throated than on any project he's been involved with since, I'm guessing Soft Machine Vol. 2!

The Carla Bley fans I know find this a little too quaint for their tastes, but my fellow Robert Wyatt fans all feel this is indeed one of Wyatt's all time greatest - a real overlooked diamond in the rough.

Though his name is front and center, Nick Mason only produced and provides his trademark dependable timekeeping. But if it wasn't for Mason, I'm sure CBS wouldn't have given this album the time of day. So, thanks, Nick, for giving us one of the all time greats, even if few have gotten round to hear it.

Everyone here at PA, especially the Wyatt fans, really needs to check Fictitious Sports out at their earliest convenience. One helluva payoff!

5 stars, no problem!

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 Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.18 | 37 ratings

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Review by themootbooxle

4 stars I find Ficticious Sports, as essentially a Carla Bley project, thoroughly entertaining. After much searching, I finally got hold of this record (yes, searching for it was borne out of my Pink Floyd completist obsession). I'm certainly glad I got this record! It's an all-star cast, but it doesn't have the often uncohesive results that can occur when top-shelf musicians are thrust together on the merit of name alone. I think of some of those horrid CTI jazz albums of the 70s...every player was a giant in his or her field, but together they couldn't find musical magic if it bit them in the face. That is certainly not the case here. We get lovely arrangements and quirky lyrics courtesy of the always- interesting Carla Bley, the great bass playing of the inseparable Steve Swallow, the timeless voice of Robert Wyatt, some amazing guitar comping from Chris Spedding, and Nick Mason's solid, tasteful drumming. Sure, one can criticise Nick Mason for his lack of virtuoso chops, but then, when have you ever heard him play too many notes? I'd often rather hear real musicality and taste than chops-a-plenty.

All in all, this record has all the quirkiness that makes Canterbury bands fun and interesting to listen to, coupled with a (slightly skewed) pop sensibility that's never pretensious, great production, and FUN! Get it if you can find it!

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 Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.18 | 37 ratings

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Review by Megaphone of Destiny

2 stars When I first heard this record I didn't know Carla Bley or Robert Wyatt. To me it was just a record with Nick Mason on it. I was in the phase of gathering everything I could related to Pink Floyd. At that time, to me, it was just weird. I could relate, however to the floydesque Hot River. With nice bass solo by Steve Swallow that I learnt to love. The humour and irony, as I am portuguese, didn't catch my ear or made my day, but there were some strange arrangements on Can't Get My Motor to Start and I'm a Mineralist, that made me listen to the record more than once. Nowadays I find this a poor effort by Nick Mason. Even if I can appreciate Carla Bley's composition and audacity, and her will to do a record which is as far from her music as a fish is from a tree. Robert Wyatt sings with vitality and is really a pleasure to hear him. But the overall sensation is that this record was a comission. There's not a hint of a new voice, or a new approach to music by the drummer. His technical skills are scarce and limited and he doesn't evem try a bit harder. He's not even trying to try as Robert says on Do Ya? To me it is a bit strange that, when confronted with the tribute bands of Floyd music Mason seems the most irritated, saying that everyone should stick his or her compositions. What would Nick play if everyone agreed? Not even a song of his, so to speak, album. So, to me, even if i love Carla Bley's music, and I hear it on Do Ya?, to me this is a almost totally failed record. Carla Bley would gladly forget it and I think Robert Wyatt too. It doesn't add a bit to the music history or makes a point about anything. And, atfer all, it is what is meant: they are just Nick Mason's Fictious Sports. There you are. It is just plain and harmless fun.

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