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STRANGE DAYS

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Strange Days biography
STRANGE DAYS was a short lived UK band in the styles of GENESIS, SUPERTRAMP, STRAWBS, FRUUPP and DECAMERON who forged their own identity and were briefly quite popular on the college circuit in the UK and Netherlands in the mid 1970s. Their music is vocal and keyboard oriented, clever, and melodic, much like the bands above.


A couple of the band members have been very active in the music scene in the decades since, keyboardist Eddie Spence as member of the GLITTER BAND and the GORDON GILTRAP BAND, and leader/singer/songwriter/guitarist Graham Ward as an in demand session drummer. Drummer Eddie McNeil, who played later with ILLUSION(the reformation of the original RENAISSANCE), and wrote a drumming handbook, has been out of touch with the rest of the band for a long time.


The band quite literally collided with the emergence of Punk Rock by having the Sex Pistols support them during the Pistol's notorious landmark gig at the 100 Club in London.


The legacy of STRANGE DAYS is a single accomplished album "Nine Parts to the wind" which is indeed available on expensive Japanese import CD reissue. It's worth seeking out if you enjoy engaging and intelligent UK rock of the 1970s.

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STRANGE DAYS discography


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

3.98 | 25 ratings
9 Parts To The Wind
1975

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STRANGE DAYS Reviews


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 9 Parts To The Wind by STRANGE DAYS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.98 | 25 ratings

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9 Parts To The Wind
Strange Days Prog Folk

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Sometimes they appear, like ghosts from a foggy past, the forgotten albums by even more forgotten groups. Often enough these faint echoes of yesteryear would be better off buried but then again there are gasps of life, beauty and brilliance in the music created. The lone album of Strange Days is one such example of that brilliance.

While 1975 and the following years of that decade treated progressive rock in a less amiable way than the previous, excellent music was created. England's "Garden shed" from 1977 is one and "9 parts to the wind" is equally a splendid showcase for prog from the latter half of the decade.

The music on "9 parts..." is as elaborate as anything from the classic days and bolster a musical landscape that does not sound dated. It sounds fresh and exciting, just like classic Yes (for instance).

The music is a mixture of Yes, England, Supertramp and other bands in that vein. That means that the music is intricate, melodious, challenging and blessed with an occasional pop feeling. Instrumentally it is flawless. The vocals may be different from what you are accustomed to but they are actually a perfect fit for the music.

The title track is absolutely brilliant in a Supertramp styled kind of way. It is a pop flavored piece of progressive music of the highest calibre and could well have been a hit back in the day. The longer tracks tend to be the best. Epic and built from multiple musical bits and pieces, blended together in the most delicious fashion.

Conclusion: This is a piece of prog history. Though buried for the overwhelming part of it's existence, the album sounds as fresh and exciting as ever. You really ought to pick it up.

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 9 Parts To The Wind by STRANGE DAYS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.98 | 25 ratings

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9 Parts To The Wind
Strange Days Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars If Fruupp melded with Nursery Cryme-era Genesis, and were then tasked with writing a pop-prog album to compete with the likes of Supertramp, the end result might be something like this sole album release by Strange Days. From the opening title track onwards, the band present progressive stuck with a highly theatrical style, a comparatively simple musical backing that keeps proceedings accessible, and whimsical and eccentric vocals. I suspect that, much like England after them, whether or not you dig Strange Days will hinge a lot on whether you find these vocals charmingly entertaining or irritatingly grating.

Another common feature that Strange Days have with England is emerging slightly too late for their sound to make an impact; just as England were throwbacks to where the prog scene stood in 1972-1973, Strange Days have a sound which might have been more groundbreaking back in the early prog days of 1970 but by 1975 had been rather left behind by the scene. This, and the fact that by 1975 it was already becoming difficult for new prog acts comprised of fresh, unproven talent to break their way into commercial success, undoubtedly accounts for the album being overlooked for so long - a fate it doesn't really deserve.

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 9 Parts To The Wind by STRANGE DAYS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.98 | 25 ratings

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9 Parts To The Wind
Strange Days Prog Folk

Review by alekra

5 stars Got this LP a few days ago. It is a pleasure to make a conclusion now - here is another progressive-rock masterpiece has been discovered here, wondering how come it so a little known. There is another tragically obscured group. I would rather call it sympho?prog with some touches of folk-prog. To get rough idea - it is wonderful mix of Genesis, Wallenstein, Strawbs and Octopus (Ger) with whimsically catchy melodies, featuring beautiful keyboards/guitar interplay and story-telling vocal. Some pop-rock elements are present as well, but they are in a form that won't disappoint prog listeners. Fans of mentioned above groups will be very pleased definitely. Five stars, no doubts! Progressively yours. Dreamfish

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 9 Parts To The Wind by STRANGE DAYS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.98 | 25 ratings

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9 Parts To The Wind
Strange Days Prog Folk

Review by presdoug

5 stars I do not agree that Strange Days are Progressive-Folk , but, i do agree that like Wallenstein's No More Love, and Jail's You Can Help Me, their album 9 Parts To The Wind just cries out to be more recognized, and deserves to have been huge. I discovered this rare gem quite by accident, really, as a stray used lp in 1988, years after it's initial release in '75.

I find that Strange Day's influences are a challenge to quickly isolate and pin down-they are a curious mixture of styles that unite in a unique way, and the group ends up quite an individual entity-if i had to put a label on them, though, i would say they are Symphonic Prog. They are progressive, but with a lighter rock element that should have made them more accessible to non progressive listeners-again a sound that could have appealed to a wider and bigger audience. But we are talking 1975 for a debut album, not 1969 or 1970-and thus easier to be lost in time. More a matter of bad timing than lack of quality music.

Especially noteworthy is the keyboard player Eddie Spence, who is a natural musician in his element just as much as a big name like Keith Emerson, and wrongly obscured by time.

The group's lyrics are as individual as their meshing of musical styles-everything from a kid having control-freak parents, pornography, the struggles of a union, finding work in a depressed economy, and (i think) homosexuality. The whole thing leaves you wishing that you could sort of go back to 1975, and fully reconnect with the time and the music-imagine having seen them live! This well remastered album is a precious thing-five stars.

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 9 Parts To The Wind by STRANGE DAYS album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.98 | 25 ratings

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9 Parts To The Wind
Strange Days Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Residing somewhere between Supertramp, Genesis, 10CC and Strawbs is this English one-shot from 1975. It's an album that grew on me after initial apathy, but on revisiting it I find it to be like the middling efforts of the above groups, in other words, there is plenty to like but a bit too much of it is not particularly noteworthy.

Tracks like the two openers "Nine Parts to the Wind"and "Be Nice to Joe Soap" are clever enough but also a bit too much in the province of the novelty song, while "Monday Morning" shows the rocking side of the group that might have best been left unexposed, not that it is bad, but it is clearly not a strength.

But the longer tracks show some brilliance in composition, songwriting, and development, and are truly progressive in a folk rock sort of way, even lyrically. The presence of good vocals, melodic acoustic and electric guitars, and organ dominated keyboards enhance "The Journey" and "The Unanimous Decision" in particular, while the closer "18 Tons" is also noteworthy, and not just for mentioning "hard core porn of the dirtiest form" in 1975.

The suites even include several forays into dancehall style (with my favourite segment in which is pronounced "In the business there aren't many of us left"), in a manner approached by contemporaries Decameron ("Jan" on "Mammoth Special") but considerably more wholeheartedly. I hear some of "The Battle of Epping Forest" in the lengthier vocal oriented sections in the level of verbosity and the backing, but that is one of my least favourite Genesis songs so forgive me if I think Strange Days handles the style better.

I see there is a Japanese CD release with 2 bonus tracks, but my comments pertain to the LP with its six original songs. It's not a strong 4 stars, but there is much to like here for the fans of Genesis-influenced symphonic with a heart of folk.

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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to kenethlevine (with help from presdoug) for the last updates

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