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VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS)

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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) picture
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) biography
This section contains the following types of albums:
- Concept albums by various artists. This includes Rock operas, Rock Musicals, Stories set to music, etc. See below for a few examples of such albums.
- Themed albums. This includes albums which gather together tracks by different artists which are linked by a single theme. Examples might be "The best of progressive rock", "Space rock from the 1970's" etc. (These titles are ficticious!)
- Concert and Festival recording containing music by a range of artists.

Note that only albums with a relationship to progressive rock should be added.

Bob McBeath, October 2006

Examples of concept albums
Peter and The Wolf - Prog Fairytale - 1975
A "Rock" version of PROPKOFIEV's "Peter and the Wolf". This cd also features many occasional members of the UK fusion band BRAND X.

Leonardo - The Absolute Man - 2001
A Rock opera written by Trent GARDNER (MAGELLAN) about the life of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Kalevala - A Finnish Progressive Rock Epic
COLOSSUS proudly presents its new project - now with MUSEA: a concept album based on the Finnish National Epic KALEVALA. The idea of the project is to divide the poems of KALEVALA into 30 parts. Each band participating has chosen one part and will make their music inspired by it.

Zarathustra's Revevenge - 4 Cds for a dream.
A Tribute to Italian progressive rock of the seventies. A fantastic packaging gives justice to this masterpiece.

The Colossus Of Rhodes - 2005
Following on from their Spaghetti Epic project, the Finnish Progressive Music Association prove what a winning formula they have hit on with their latest offering "The Colossus Of Rhodes". Again featuring six bands (4 Italian, 1 Swedish, 1 Finnish), each providing a suite of music approximately 25 minutes in length, the brief being to tell the story of Sergio Leoneˇ¦s movie of the same title (2 chapters each) utilising only vintage instruments and capturing the symphonic style of 70ˇ¦s progressive music as typified by YES and GENESIS.
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VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.97 | 25 ratings
The Zodiac : Cosmic Sounds
1967
2.93 | 64 ratings
Zabriskie Point - Original Soundtrack
1970
4.21 | 183 ratings
Jesus Christ Superstar
1970
2.76 | 17 ratings
Tommy - As Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Choir
1972
3.00 | 3 ratings
Tarzan
1972
3.86 | 5 ratings
Morning Of The Earth original soundtrack
1972
3.13 | 4 ratings
Music from Free Creek
1973
4.05 | 84 ratings
Jesus Christ Superstar (The Original Motion Picture Sound Track Album)
1973
4.31 | 51 ratings
La Biblia
1974
3.71 | 68 ratings
Peter and The Wolf
1975
3.67 | 3 ratings
Gubec-Beg (rock opera)
1975
4.00 | 28 ratings
Marscape
1976
3.67 | 6 ratings
Давид Тухманов ‎- По волне моей памяти / David Tukhmanov - On The Crest Of My Memory
1976
3.67 | 3 ratings
Sandokan (O.S.T.)
1976
3.78 | 41 ratings
Andrew Lloyd Webber - Variations
1978
2.00 | 3 ratings
Gricka Vjestica (Rock Opera)
1979
3.53 | 5 ratings
Miniatures (edited by Morgan Fisher)
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Zold Haju Lany-Zelenokosa (Rock Opera)
1982
4.00 | 2 ratings
Lanzas Coloradas (Opera Rock)
1982
2.53 | 25 ratings
When The Wind Blows
1986
3.05 | 3 ratings
Dali: The Endless Enigma
1990
3.08 | 7 ratings
Enchantement
1990
3.50 | 4 ratings
Kings' Boards
1990
3.00 | 1 ratings
Bohemian Symphony
1992
3.94 | 9 ratings
Seven Days of a Life
1993
3.06 | 14 ratings
Passengers: Original Soundtracks 1 (with U2)
1995
3.07 | 21 ratings
The Bounty (OST)
1995
2.00 | 1 ratings
From the Lyon's Vault
1998
3.00 | 1 ratings
L'odore Della Notte (O.S.T., music by Pivio e Aldo De Scalzi)
1998
2.62 | 7 ratings
Excalibur: La Legende Des Celtes
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Sky Goes All The Way Home
1999
3.99 | 15 ratings
Keyboards Triangle
1999
3.43 | 11 ratings
The Reading Room
2000
1.25 | 10 ratings
Out Of Phase - The Wall 2000
2000
3.14 | 3 ratings
Los Jovenes Flamencos - Volumen I/II/II/IV/V/VI/VII (Prog Folk)
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Voices
2000
2.57 | 7 ratings
La Chiesa (O.S.T.)
2001
3.00 | 3 ratings
2001, A Prog Odyssey?
2001
3.57 | 60 ratings
Leonardo - The Absolute Man
2001
3.04 | 5 ratings
Journey Into Amazing Caves OST
2001
1.00 | 2 ratings
Sonic Residue From Vapourspace
2002
3.05 | 3 ratings
Progressive Rock For You: Volume One
2003
3.65 | 65 ratings
Kalevala - A Finnish Progressive Rock Epic
2003
3.68 | 45 ratings
The Spaghetti Epic
2004
3.58 | 42 ratings
The Colossus Of Rhodes
2005
4.25 | 89 ratings
Odyssey - The Greatest Tale
2005
3.42 | 17 ratings
Dracula Opera Rock Original Cast Recording
2006
4.04 | 43 ratings
(The) 7 Samurai
2006
3.53 | 26 ratings
Treasure Island
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Bearded's Project: Hope | Omid
2007
3.47 | 23 ratings
Excalibur II: The Celtic Ring
2007
3.48 | 32 ratings
The Spaghetti Epic 2: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
2007
3.93 | 37 ratings
Giallo! One Suite for the Murderer
2008
4.18 | 51 ratings
The Spaghetti Epic 3
2008
3.60 | 19 ratings
The Empire And The Rebellion
2008
4.23 | 85 ratings
Inferno The Divine Comedy - part 1
2008
4.10 | 52 ratings
Purgatorio The Divine Comedy - part 2
2009
2.32 | 6 ratings
Anne de Bretagne: Le Rock Opera d'Alan Simon
2009
4.00 | 14 ratings
Cani Arrabbiati: Opening Themes... A Tribute
2010
3.34 | 12 ratings
Wondrous Stories
2010
3.66 | 43 ratings
The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe - A syNphonic Collection
2010
3.78 | 9 ratings
Iliad, a Grand Piano Extravaganza
2010
4.15 | 79 ratings
Decameron: Ten Days in 100 Novellas (Part 1)
2011
3.00 | 2 ratings
Take The Long Way Home
2012
3.51 | 9 ratings
Excalibur III: The Origins
2012
4.12 | 65 ratings
The Stories of H.P. Lovecraft: A SyNphonic Collection
2012
3.33 | 24 ratings
The Fusion Syndicate
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Age of Twilight
2013
3.48 | 6 ratings
Playing the History
2013
3.05 | 3 ratings
Ponder The Mystery (William Shatner featuring Billy Sherwood)
2013
4.23 | 30 ratings
The Black Codex (Episodes 1 - 13)
2014
4.26 | 23 ratings
The Black Codex (Episodes 14 - 26)
2014
4.04 | 51 ratings
Decameron. Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part II
2014
4.03 | 30 ratings
The Black Codex (Episodes 27 - 39)
2015
4.07 | 28 ratings
The Black Codex (Episodes 40 - 52)
2015
3.85 | 50 ratings
Decameron - Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part III
2016
3.93 | 3 ratings
Tripwave 2 - Collection Of Modern Russian Psychedelic Music
2016
3.00 | 1 ratings
Excalibur IV - The Dark Age of the Dragon
2017

VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Festen pĺ Gärdet
1971
3.50 | 4 ratings
Greasy Truckers Party
1972
3.50 | 2 ratings
Pop Festival Ljubljana '72 - Boom
1972
2.75 | 4 ratings
Mar Y Sol
1972
3.05 | 3 ratings
Boom Pop Fest '73
1973
3.75 | 4 ratings
Greasy Truckers Live At Dingwells Dance Hall
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Boom Pop Festival Ljubljana '74
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Gitarijada Vojvodine Kisac '75
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kongres Rock Majstora
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Boom Festival '76
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pop Parada 1
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Boom '77
1978
3.21 | 5 ratings
Kisstadion '80
1980
3.00 | 5 ratings
Progressive's Battle
1988
3.67 | 15 ratings
Progfest '94
1995
4.00 | 14 ratings
Progfest '95
1996
3.06 | 11 ratings
Progfest '97
1997
3.50 | 4 ratings
Proglive 97 Corbigny
1997
4.00 | 2 ratings
Baja Prog '98
1999
3.10 | 2 ratings
Excalibur: Le Concert Mythique
2000
4.00 | 4 ratings
Progfest 2000
2001
4.50 | 6 ratings
Progday Encore?
2001
4.00 | 6 ratings
Progday '98
2002
4.05 | 3 ratings
Progday 2001
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Calprog 2004 Offical Bootleg
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Calprog 2005 Offical Bootleg
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Calprog 2006 Offical Bootleg
2006
1.10 | 2 ratings
Anne de Bretagne: Live Au Chateau Des Ducs De Bretagne
2010
4.41 | 13 ratings
Prog Exhibition - 40 anni di musica immaginifica (RPI) (7CD + 4DVD)
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
FINNFOREST / ELONKORJUU: Pop-Liisa 6
2016

VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Progfest '94 Day One
1995
4.00 | 3 ratings
Progfest '94 Day Two
1995
4.09 | 3 ratings
Progfest '95 Day One
1996
5.00 | 2 ratings
Progfest '95 Day Two
1996
2.87 | 4 ratings
Stamping Ground
1998
5.00 | 4 ratings
Progfest 2000
2001
3.58 | 8 ratings
Progressive Rock Anthology
2003
2.95 | 3 ratings
Keyboard Wizards - The Ultimate Anthology
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Gouveia Art Rock 2003
2003
1.00 | 1 ratings
Psychedelia: The Anthology
2004
1.96 | 4 ratings
Pinkpop - The Vintage Years 1975-1979, Vol. 2
2004
4.00 | 3 ratings
Rock Legends: Progressive Rock
2005
3.53 | 5 ratings
Krautrock Meeting
2005
4.50 | 2 ratings
Gouveia Art Rock 2004
2005
1.00 | 1 ratings
Psychomania - The Best of Psychedelic Rock
2005
3.95 | 3 ratings
Traditional Hippie Convention 2005 : Burg Herzberg Festival 2005
2006
4.69 | 11 ratings
Best Of Krautrock Vol. 1
2006
4.33 | 9 ratings
Neo- Broadcast
2007
4.05 | 2 ratings
Nearfest 2005 Rising To The Surface
2007
3.00 | 2 ratings
Progressive Rock
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
American Indian Rock Opera - 2006 Holiday Tour Brulé And AIRO
2007
4.33 | 3 ratings
3RP Fest Live 2008
2008
3.90 | 16 ratings
Romantic Warriors: A Progressive Music Saga
2010
4.00 | 4 ratings
Romantic Warriors II: About Rock In Opposition
2012

VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Sounds '71
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Deutsch Rock
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Vece Rock Muzike JRT - Opatija '78
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dani Jugoslavenske Zabavne Muzike JRT - Opatija '79 - Rock Grupe
1979
3.08 | 5 ratings
Quadrophenia: Songs from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Music in Sweden 7 - Alternative Instrumental Music
1980
2.29 | 37 ratings
Risky Business (OST)
1983
4.00 | 1 ratings
The British Psychedelic Trip 1966-1969
1986
3.00 | 1 ratings
The British Psychedelic Trip Vol. 2
1986
4.00 | 1 ratings
The British Psychedelic Trip Vol. 3
1987
3.00 | 1 ratings
The British Psychedelic Trip Vol. 4
1987
1.57 | 3 ratings
Rock Aid Armenia - The Earthquake Album
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rubble Volume Nine - Plastic Wilderness
1991
3.20 | 5 ratings
SI 10th Anniversary Compilation Disc
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Famous Charisma Box
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Der Klang der frühen Jahre - Das Beste von Kuckuck Schallplatten 1970-1973
1993
2.97 | 6 ratings
Rime Of The Ancient Sampler - The Mellotron Album
1993
2.95 | 2 ratings
Tales Of Brazilian Rock Chapter 1
1993
5.00 | 2 ratings
Rockandalus
1994
4.50 | 6 ratings
Golden Miles: Australian Progressive Rock 1969-1974
1994
4.00 | 1 ratings
Plima - Progresivna Muzika
1994
3.00 | 5 ratings
Yes, Solo Family Album
1994
3.00 | 2 ratings
70 Minutes de Rock Progressif Français Pour 30 Balles
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
Le Meilleur du Rock Progressif Instrumental
1995
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Age Of Enlightenment - Prog Rock Volume One
1995
3.33 | 3 ratings
Le Meilleur du Rock Progressif Européen
1996
2.18 | 3 ratings
Supernatural Fairy Tales: The Progressive Rock Era Sampler
1996
2.48 | 5 ratings
Steinway To Heaven
1996
3.86 | 3 ratings
Unprogged
1996
3.01 | 16 ratings
Supernatural Fairy Tales - The Progressive Rock Era
1996
4.00 | 2 ratings
Duende Electrico
1997
1.95 | 17 ratings
Yes, Friends and Relatives
1998
3.88 | 10 ratings
Nuggets From Nuggets
1998
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Show That Never Ends: The Best of Progressive Rock - Live from the King Biscuit Vaults
1998
4.00 | 3 ratings
Le Meilleur du Rock Progressif Japonais
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Electric Lemonade Acid Test
1999
2.00 | 2 ratings
Canterburied Sounds, Vol. 1
1999
2.00 | 2 ratings
Canterburied Sounds, Vol. 2
1999
2.00 | 2 ratings
Canterburied Sounds, Vol. 3
1999
2.00 | 2 ratings
Canterburied Sounds, Vol. 4
1999
2.90 | 2 ratings
Anthology of Cosmic Music
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Electric Lemonade Acid Test - Volume 2
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
Vous avez aimé les 70's
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
2001: A Space Rock Odyssey
2001
3.88 | 5 ratings
Nuggets 2
2001
2.91 | 9 ratings
Yes, Friends And Relatives - Volume Two
2001
2.89 | 17 ratings
Best Prog Rock Album in the World... Ever
2003
3.73 | 3 ratings
Essential Progressive Rock
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Paths Less Traveled
2003
2.49 | 3 ratings
The Yes Story
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Psychedelic Sixties Music French EP Collection
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Electric Lemonade Acid Test - Volume 3
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Acid Daze
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
A History of Progressive Folk
2004
3.95 | 2 ratings
Progressivamente 1973 - 2003
2004
2.78 | 4 ratings
Journey To The Edge
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Prog Rock Collection
2004
2.55 | 5 ratings
Ars Longa Vita Brevis
2004
3.91 | 5 ratings
The Best Symfo Rock
2005
4.00 | 4 ratings
Yes And Friends: "Owner Of A Lonely Heart"
2005
4.22 | 7 ratings
Krautrock - Music For Your Brain
2005
3.03 | 5 ratings
Prog Is Not A Four Letter Word
2005
4.00 | 10 ratings
I Grandi Successi Del Rock Progressivo Italiano
2005
2.29 | 4 ratings
100% Prog Rock
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
Hijos Del Agobio Y Del Dolor
2006
3.50 | 2 ratings
Prog Rock
2006
3.98 | 15 ratings
Canossa "Rock Opera"
2006
3.98 | 4 ratings
Rock Progressivo Italiano
2006
5.00 | 1 ratings
Deep Purple & Friends (greatest Hits)
2006
4.00 | 2 ratings
After The Storm
2006
3.05 | 2 ratings
Shine On (Classic Rock Cover Disc)
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Trip In Time Vol. 1 - Delighted By Psychedelic Rock
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Trip In Time Vol. 2 - Psychedelic Rock Reflections
2007
4.00 | 4 ratings
Yes And Friends: Hits & More From The Yes Family
2007
3.00 | 3 ratings
Fill Your Head With Prog
2007
2.35 | 6 ratings
In Search Of Syd
2007
4.05 | 6 ratings
Pregnant Rainbow For Colourblind People, The Essence Of Swedish Progressive Music 1967 - 79
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
Yes And Friends (Double Legend)
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
Psychedelic Schlemiels - Lost Sounds From The Britpsych Scene 1966-1969
2007
3.00 | 1 ratings
Psychedelic Jumble Volume 1 - What's The Rush Time Machine Man?
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Real life permanent dreams- A Cornucopia of British Psychedelia 1965-1970
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cries From The Midnight Circus, Ladbroke Grove 1968 - 1973
2007
4.07 | 8 ratings
Krautrock - Music For Your Brain Vol. 2
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
Prog V1.0: Presented by CHOM 97.7
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychedelic Portugal - Hard Psych and Progressive Sounds from Portugal Underground Scene 1968-1974
2008
3.80 | 5 ratings
Krautrock - Music For Your Brain Vol. 3
2008
3.00 | 1 ratings
Le Canzoni Dei Figli Dei Fiori: L'Ora Dell'Anmore
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
Well Hung
2008
3.87 | 6 ratings
Prog Spawn
2008
2.83 | 8 ratings
Classic Rock Presents prog: Prognosis
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Electric Asylum Volume 1 - Rare British Acid FreakRock
2009
4.05 | 2 ratings
MLWZ.PL - Maty lLeksykon Weilkich Zespotow, 15th Anniversary 3CD compilation album
2009
3.92 | 7 ratings
Classic Rock presents: Prognosis 2
2009
3.15 | 7 ratings
Classic Rock presents: Prognosis 3
2009
3.08 | 6 ratings
Classic rock presents: Prognosis 4
2009
3.12 | 7 ratings
Classic Rock presents: Prognosis 5
2009
3.09 | 3 ratings
A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble
2009
3.00 | 1 ratings
Slowly... From the South - A Compendium of South African Progressive Music
2009
3.80 | 5 ratings
Krautrock - Music For Your Brain Vol. 4
2009
4.05 | 2 ratings
ProgSphere's Progstravaganza Compilation of Awesomeness - Part 1
2010
4.05 | 2 ratings
ProgSphere's Progstravaganza Compilation of Awesomeness - Part 2
2010
2.50 | 4 ratings
Progressive Rock Trilogy
2010
3.17 | 5 ratings
Wondrous Stories - A Complete Introduction To Progressive Rock
2010
4.04 | 14 ratings
Paradiso The divine comedy - Part 3
2010
5.00 | 2 ratings
Deutsche Elektronische Musik: Experimental German Rock And Electronic Musik 1972-83
2010
3.00 | 1 ratings
Chansons Jamais Entendues a la Radio
2010
2.76 | 6 ratings
Classic rock presents: Prognosis 6
2010
3.04 | 4 ratings
Classic Rock Presents: Prognosis 7
2010
3.88 | 11 ratings
Classic rock presents: Prognosis 8
2010
4.07 | 14 ratings
Classic Rock presents: Prognosis 9
2010
2.33 | 8 ratings
Classic rock presents: Prognosis 10
2010
4.00 | 4 ratings
Classic Rock Presents: Prognosis 11
2010
3.33 | 6 ratings
Classic rock presents: Prognosis 12
2010
3.17 | 5 ratings
Classic Rock presents: Prognosis 13
2010
3.10 | 2 ratings
ProgSphere's Progstravaganza Compilation of Awesomeness - Part 3
2011
4.05 | 2 ratings
ProgSphere's Progstravaganza Compilation of Awesomeness - Part 4
2011
3.10 | 2 ratings
ProgSphere's Progstravaganza Compilation of Awesomeness - Part 5
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProgSphere's Progstravaganza Compilation of Awesomeness - Part 6
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProgSphere's Progstravaganza Compilation of Awesomeness - Part 7
2011
3.95 | 2 ratings
A Progstravaganza Special: The New Generation of Prog
2011
3.56 | 5 ratings
Tripwave - A Retrospective Collection Of Russian Psychedelic Progressive Music
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Believers Roast Presents: The Central Element
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
More Hope For Japan
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProgSphere's Progstravaganza Compilation of Awesomeness - Part 8
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Veterans of the French Underground Meet La Jeune-Garde
2011
3.04 | 6 ratings
Classic Rock presents: Prognosis 14
2011
3.02 | 7 ratings
Classic Rock presents: Prognosis 15
2011
2.11 | 7 ratings
Classic Rock presents: Prognosis 16
2011
3.53 | 9 ratings
Classic Rock presents: Prognosis 17
2011
3.16 | 12 ratings
Classic Rock presents: Prognosis 18
2011
3.11 | 9 ratings
Prognosis 19
2011
2.37 | 8 ratings
Prognosis 2.1
2011
4.02 | 3 ratings
Psychedelic World Music: Discovery
2012
3.33 | 3 ratings
Progfest: The Best in Australian Progressive Music (Progfest Compilation 2012)
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
Head Music
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProgSphere's Progstravaganza Compilation of Awesomeness - Part 9
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProgSphere's Progstravaganza Compilation of Awesomeness - Part 10
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProgSphere's Progstravaganza Compilation of Awesomeness - Part 11
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProgSphere's Progstravaganza Compilation of Awesomeness - Part 12
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Progstravaganza I-IX
2013
5.00 | 3 ratings
Strange Fish One
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Progstravaganza XV: Ascension
2013
4.05 | 3 ratings
Strange Fish Two
2013
4.00 | 2 ratings
Strange Fish Three
2013
4.05 | 3 ratings
Strange Fish Four
2013
4.00 | 3 ratings
Strange Fish Five
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Progstravaganza XVII: Progression
2014
3.00 | 2 ratings
Progstravaganza XVI: The Moon's Sphere
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Progressivamente Story 1970-2014
2014
3.92 | 3 ratings
Space Rock - An Interstelar Traveler's Guide
2016

VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Dithyrambe
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mind Expansion - Volume 1
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mind Expansion - Volume 2
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mind Expansion - Volume 3
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nordic Progressive Sampler
1999
3.00 | 2 ratings
Kinski / Acid Mothers Temple
2003
3.00 | 2 ratings
The musical history tour (passengers in time) Ft. The Gathering
2005
3.08 | 6 ratings
ProgAID - All Around The World
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Champions Of Sound 2008
2008

VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Zodiac : Cosmic Sounds by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.97 | 25 ratings

BUY
The Zodiac : Cosmic Sounds
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The 60s, of course, was a time of extreme experimentation. A time in music, when after decades of fairly streamlined music pumping out of studios worldwide, was suddenly let off its leash and became quite en vogue to create imaginative and even compellingly complex concept albums. Inventive developments such as progressive rock were led by the likes of The Mothers Of Invention, Procol Harum, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd and The Beatle's famous "Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Heart Club" album which catapulted experimental rock into the mainstream, however even within these rich and fertile times, a few albums emerged that remained enigmatic and utterly unique even within the creative outbursts that began around 1967 and has been churning on ever since.

Of these musical anomalies that emerged was the collaborative effort called THE ZODIAC : COSMIC SOUNDS which was a collectively constructed concept album about the, you guessed it, 12 astrological signs that represent the ecliptic paths of the planets, sun and moon. It was a clear sign that record companies were becoming more adventurous in their marketing strategies as this musical eccentricity was released on the Elektra label which formerly was known primarily as a catalog for folk recordings and folk rock hybrids such as Love, Judy Colins, Tom Rush and Tim Buckley amongst many others. However, Elektra owner Jac Holzman struck it big by taking a chance on a fledgling new band called The Doors which showed him that risk could indeed be a very profitable endeavor.

THE ZODIAC : COSMIC SOUNDS was unlike anything else of the time period. This was not an album initiated by any particular artist but rather commissioned by Elektra owner Jac Holzman himself who clearly had his fingers on the pulse of the burgeoning flower power hippie movement that gained significant popularity in the Summer of Love and whether you call it psychsploitation or just brilliant marketing, it's pretty much agreed upon that this one fell outside the parameters of pretty much everything else that came out of the era. At first glance, the album art connoted more of a hippie jam sort of album with its gaudy paisley cover art and the back sleeve that advertised in capital purple letters that this album "MUST BE PLAYED IN THE DARK." Add to that the colorful font and overall cosmic vibe, THE ZODIAC : COSMIC SOUNDS really couldn't have come out in any other time than when it did.

Predictably the album is divided into 12 tracks that cover each astrological sign at the beginning stages of the psychedelic rock years where such occult subject matter was becoming quite mainstream in the tune out / drop out counterculture. Musically this was quite unlike anything of the era as well. A queer mix of psychedelic rock and Moog rich keyboard electronica were tenderly teased out into symphonic semi-classical constructs that only The Moody Blues would also engage in on their landmark "Days Of Future Passed" which emerged a mere month later (some claim this album influenced some of the material on that one.) This was truly a collaborative effort with disparate talents finding themselves working together for the first time.

The album was produced by Alex Hassilev who worked with Mort Garson and Jacque Wilson who constructed the 12 tracks. Garson would create all the music while Wilson would create the poetic lyrics that were not sung but rather narrated by Modern Folk Quartet vocalist Cyrus Faryar. While Garson would be the sole writer of the musical aspects, the instruments were performed by some of the 60s top session musicians who were quite prolific on the Los Angeles scene. This included bassist Carol Kaye, drummer Hal Blaine, bass flautist Bud Shank, keyboardist Mike Melvoin, electronic wizard and Moog player Paul Beaver alongside Emil Richards handling the exotic percussion and Cyrus Faryar's often flowery poetic prose. The album floats by on gentle mode with slow tempos and instrumentation that weaves their magic into a greater sum of the parts.

While THE ZODIAC : COSMIC SOUNDS may be completely unlike anything of its era, in a way it's the absolutely perfect representation of where the Western culture especially in the US was at in 1967. Don't bother using Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix or The Mamas and the Papas as your reference to the counterculture hippie movement that emerged at the time. This uncanny collaboration captures the zeitgeist of the peace and love era more than any other album i've heard as it marries the musical ingenuity of what came before and contorts the traditional into a contemporary relevancy that captures society's interest in all things cosmic in a rather naive yet charming manner. While some albums that emerged at the time resonate as timeless classics that don't carry the baggage of their time period, THE ZODIAC : COSMIC SOUNDS is the exact opposite and could not be mistaken for having been released in any other era except the late 60s which it represents perfectly.

While some may find this cheesy and tacky, i find that the naive charm of the goofy lyrics along with the innovative symphonically driven psychedelic rock and electronica takes me like a time portal to the very year it was released. So period dependent is this one that i can easily imagination this as a secondary soundtrack to all those wild days in an Austin Powers movie. The music is as Austin would say, "Groovy, baby!" Yeah, the whole thing sounds a little farfetched and full of itself but that's kinda what the era was all about now, wasn't it? While the album didn't exactly match the success of Elektra's superstars The Doors in terms of sales, it did generate enough interest that would allow Garson and Wilson to expand the idea so that a series of 12 albums would be dedicated to each astrological sign. While that might be overkill for all those except the most hardcore lovers of everything 60s, this one compilation that introduces the idea is refreshingly unique and charmingly delivered.

 Rockandalus by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
5.00 | 2 ratings

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Rockandalus
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

5 stars 'Record company Sony : official sponsor of Rock Andaluz'.

Andalusia is the southern region in Spain where the flamenco was born and still florishes. You can divide the musicians and fans in two parts. One considers flamenco as a kind of religion, with strict rules. The other experiences flamenco as a challenging art to broaden their musical horizon. In the second half of the Sixties and in the Seventies that group consisted of many young musicians, but also known experienced guitarists (like Sabicas, Paco De Lucia and Juan Martin), they started to blend flamenco with other styles, from blues and rock to jazz and progressive. This new Spanish music movement was categorized as Rock Andaluz (or Rock Andalus). It became popular in the second half of the Seventies by Triana their pivotal sound on El Patio (1975) and Hijos Del Agobio (1977). Their music has a strong link with the Spanish people their wish for freedom under the brutal dictatorship by Franco,. This is wonderfully expressed in Triana their emotional lyrics, like 'La guitarra a la manana le hablo de libertad ' from the song Rumor.

This CD compilation from Sony Music Spain (released in 1994) is a very comprehensive introduction to the varied and captivating world of the Rock Andaluz, it contains 16 tracks from 5 known bands: Alameda (6), Medina Azahara (3), Iman (3), Cai (2) and Guadalquivir (2).

1. Aire Calido De Abril (4:05) - Alameda: The Morish occupated the southern region of Spain between 711 and 1492, this had a huge impact on everything, also on the development of the music, obviously traced in the Rock Andaluz. In this sultry track the Morish influence is blended in the sound of the keyboards (piano and strings) and the vocals by José Roca, what a passion and expression, perhaps one of the best singers in the Rock Andaluz movement!

2. Tarantos (3:55) - Iman: This is a swinging and powerful fusion of jazzrock and flamenco (tarantos is a typical flamenco rhythm), the dynamic music features an outstanding rhythm-section, mellow keyboards and a guitar player who sounds like the Andalusian answer to Carlos Santana.

3. La Esquina Del Viento (3:17) - Medina Azahara: This is one of the bands that epitomizes Rock Andaluz, along with Triana. But their sound is harder-edged with a tight beat, tasteful keyboards (from lush organ to pleasant synthesizer flights), topped by sensitive electric guitar runs and excellent, very powerful vocals, with obvious hints from the flamenco tradition.

4. El Manglis (7:05) - Gualdalquivir: More swinging jazzrock with a strong rhythm-section and splendid solion saxophone and guitar.

5. Noche Andaluza (5:04) - Alameda: A romantic ballad with wonderful work on piano and strings, the music is carried by Jos' Roca his highly acclaimed voice.

6. Noche Abierta (4:02) - Cai: One of the known Rock Andaluz bands, on this track they present wonderful vocals, strong interplay between electric guitar and keyboards and exciting flamenco guitar play (with rasgueado and picados).

7. Al Caer (4:07) - Alameda: Another strongly Morish inspired atmosphere, especially in the vocals and the subtle colouring of the keyboards and the sound of the electric guitar.

8. Paseando Por La Mezquita (2:40) - Medina Azahara: This is the Rock Andaluz anthem, one of the most popular and known compositions in the genre's history. The music alternates between a catchy beat with powerful guitar riffs and quick synthesizer flights and dreamy with sensitive electric guitar runs, topped by the excellent vocals from Manuel Martinez.

9. Cancion De La Oruga (5:32) - Iman: This is one of the most elaborate tracks with many strong musical ideas, like the Morish sounding keyboards (reminding me of Mezquita) and the propulsive percussion, very captivating.

10. Amanecer En El Puerto (3:57) - Alameda: A varied composition, from a spacey intro with fat synthesizers to a swinging rhythm with spectacular Minimoog runs and in the end first twanging Spanish guitar and senstive electric guitar and finally bombastic with synthesizer flights and sparkling piano.

11. Guadalquivir (5:16) - Guadalquivir: Again swinging jazzrock with soli on saxophone and electric guitar, a top notch band for the jazzrock aficionados.

12. Ninos (3:05) - Iman: A beautiful romantic ballad featuring warm vocals and delicate work on the Spanish guitar and synthesizer.

13. Dos Amores (3:50) - Alameda: A Morish climate with sparkling piano, handclapping and a bit wailing, typical flamenco vocals, then a mid-tempo with a cheerful atmosphere and a wonderful blend of vocals, piano and keyboards.

14. Sone Contigo (3:45) - Cai: First an intro with fat synthesizers and a swinging bass, then a compelling blend of jazzrock, classical, symphonic rock and flamenco with sparkling piano and expressive vocals (this song is from their highly acclaimed album Noche Abierta).

15. Andalucia (4:04) - Medina Azahara: The third appearance of Medina Azahara on this CD, again exciting harder- edged Rock Andaluz with propulsive electric guitar riffs, synthesizer flights and the powerful and emotional vocals by Manuel Martinez, an extra dimension!

16. Desnudos (4:11) - Alameda: The final track delivers a dreamy ballad with Spanish guitar and clarinet, layered with a fine strings sound and the distinctive Jos' Roca vocals, simply wonderful.

Keyboards and electric guitars with strong Morish undertones, the art of the flamenco guitar, Spanish vocals with distinctive passion, rock, blues, symphonic rock, jazzrock, welcome to the exciting and unique world of the Rock Andaluz!

Also recommended:

Juan Martin : Picaso Portraits (featuring ex-members of Trace, Marillion, Roxy Music and Jeff Beck).

Paco De Lucia Sextet : Live One Summer Night (outstanding and unique prog folk)

Sabicas - with Joe Beck : Rock Encounter (with a very young Tony Levin on bass).

 American Indian Rock Opera - 2006 Holiday Tour Brulé And AIRO by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover DVD/Video, 2007
4.00 | 1 ratings

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American Indian Rock Opera - 2006 Holiday Tour Brulé And AIRO
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

— First review of this album —
4 stars 'The native Americans go Prog!'

In 2010 my passion for the culture of the native American Lakota tribe (aka Sioux) got an extra dimension. I had visited the Pine Ridge reservation (including Wounded Knee), where I witnessed the Third World in the USA: entire families in small shabby houses, most without running water and electricity and the highest ratings with physical - and mental diseases, unemployment, alcohol - and drugs abuse and adolescent suicides in the USA, really heart breaking! But I had also seen hope and pride in the education centre, fuelled by the inhabitants their strong determination to maintain their Lakota culture (almost destroyed by the white men). Back in the nearby Rapid City I stumbled upon that Lakota hope and pride, in the shape of a live DVD entitled American Indian Rock Opera - 2006 Holiday Tour. I couldn't believe my eyes: native American music, blended with acoustic ' and electric guitars and keyboards, wow!

A first session turned out to be an emotional rollercoaster, due to the flood of extreme contrasting emotions the images and the music generated. On one hand I had to think about all those extreme cruelties to the native Americans, done by the white men (even worse than the South-African Apartheid). But on the other hand I was very touched by their mental strength and flexibility to keep on thinking positive, by showing the crowd the wonderful Lakota culture.

On this DVD you can watch a genuine 'pow wow' choreography on stage: on the left and right a huge tipi and in between a musician with traditional drum kits, and in front of the stage the other musicians and the dancers (with their wonderful traditional clothes and feathered headdresses), you will be carried away to the visually breathtaking world of the pow wow, unique!

The way these visuals are blended into the music is very compelling and emotional, especially in Maka Canté (four dancers symbolizing the different directions of the wind), Canon Of Life (duel between a female ballet dancer and a male eagle dancer) and the final track Star People (awesome 'hoop' dancers).

The music sounds accessible and is simply structured, but also a very harmonic progressive blend of folk, New Age and melodic rock: the one moment the music reminds me of Clannad (folky with mellow keyboards), the other moment Kitaro (atmospheric with orchestral keyboards) or Camel (dreamy parts featuring acoustic guitar, flute and piano).

The musical and visual eyecatcher is the very passionate female flute player, what a jawdropping blend of skills and emotion. This ranges from tender to swirling, for me she is the native American version of Dutch prog folk band Flairck their flute play. She shines with moving play in the two Christmas renditions Silent Star Night and O Holy Night, accompanied by a varied keyboards sound, from warm piano runs to bombastic orchestrations.

My highlights.

Shelter From The Storm : From sensitive acoustic guitar runs and passionate flute traverse play in a catchy beat to a bombastic eruption with powerful electric guitar riffs.

Maka Canté : An up-tempo rhythm featuring moving electric guitar play and intense work on the flute, wonderfully blended with the dynamic dancers and their colourful traditional clothes, impressive.

Thunder Across The Plains : A catchy beat with compelling blend of acoustic guitar, flute and piano, this is mighty close to early Eighties mellow side of Camel.

Canon Of Life : First a dreamy atmosphere with piano, acoustic guitar, flute and soaring keyboards. Then a more lush climate delivering electric guitar with howling runs (between Rothery and Latimer), the music in combination with the dancing 'eagle' is magical.

Buffalo Jump : An intro with emotional spoken words about the dangerous bison hunt while chasing a part of the herd to the edge of a cliff, with screen projections about this subject. Then another catchy beat with swirling flute play, powerful native drum beats and moving electric guitar play, the music and images perfectly match.

Star People : A mindblowing final track, starting with spoken words from a grateful band. Then a cheerful and dynamic atmosphere featuring propulsive native drum beats, swirling flute play and howling electric guitar runs, blended with jaw dropping art of the 'hoop' dancing, wet eyes, this is such a compelling musical and emotional experience!

So welcome to the fascinating and emotional world of the native American Lakota tribe with their progressive blend of ethnic music and melodic rock on this unique live DVD, to be discovered for the fans of prog folk.

 Duende Electrico by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Duende Electrico
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars In fact this comprehensive 2-CD (including an informative 16-page booklet) is a captivating journey to the often overlooked but very interesting world of Spanish progressive rock, with the focus on Rock Andaluz, the unique blend of progressive rock and ethnic Andalusian flamenco. The variety is incredible, from Sixties rock inspired Smash and legendary flamenco-symphonic rock band Triana to Nuevo Flamenco bands like Ketama and Manteca. But also a few highly adventurous musical projects, like Lole Y Manuel, so creative and emotional Rock Andaluz!

CD1:

1. El garrotin / Smash : Late Sixties UK rock meets Spanish flamenco featuring powerful Spanish vocals, flamenco rhythm guitar and raw, distorted electric guitar.

2. La flamenca electrica / Iceberg : Outstanding swinging jazzrock with lush vintage keyboards (clavinet, Moog, Fender piano, string synthesizer) and awesome interplay, top notch Rock Andaluz.

3. Quiero contarte / Triana : A mid-tempo with flamenco rhythm guitar, wonderful flamenco inspired vocals and moving electric guitar, blended with delicate Fender electric piano.

4. Castrelos / Secta Sonica : Impressive swinging jazzrock with electric piano and conga percussion.

5. San Jose' de Arimatea / Veneno : Three flamenco guitars sounding as a fusion between jazz and flamenco, topped with excellent vocals.

6. Tarantos / Iman : Awesome blend of a flamenco rhythm and jazzrock with lush vintage keyboards, flamenco rhythm guitar and Santana-like sensitive guitar, one of the highlights on this compilation!

7. Tarantos (para Jimi Hendrix) / Gualberto : An exciting musical encounter between classical (beautiful violin play), rock (raw and fiery electric guitar) and flamenco (rhythm and palmas).

8. Al Andalus / Miguel Rios : A compelling example how Arabian music influenced flamenco featuring Morish sounding violins, propulsive ethnic percussion and expressive vocals (the climate reminds me of Kashmir by Led Zeppelin).

9. Baila gitana / Guadalquivir : Swinging jazzrock with a flamenco atmosphere and soli on saxophone and electric guitar.

10. Todo es de color / Lole y Manuel : One of the Rock Andaluz gems on this compilation with wonderful passionate female vocals and flamenco guitar (by Manuel Molina from legendary Smash), topped with majestic Mellotron drops, goose bumps!

11. Aqu' y ahora / Goma : A dynamic rhythm-section with fiery electric guitar and saxophone, the King Crimson avant-garde hints are obvious.

12. Aires de la Alameda / Alameda : A great example of the unique Rock Andaluz with flamenco guitar, sparkling piano, soaring strings and wonderful, a bit melancholical vocals, for me the Spanish answer to Italian progrock legend Francesco Di Giacomo.

13. Hablo de una tierra / Granada con Manolo Sanlucar : The first part delivers majestic Mellotron violins, first blended with flute and then with flamenco guitar, flamenco meets The Moody Blues and Camel! The final part sounds like a tribute to Paco De Lucia, the guitar work is in the vein of his worldwide known composition Entre Dos Aguas, very exciting Rock Andaluz!

Disc 2:

1. Paseando por la mezquita / Medina Azahara : A live version from the 'Rock Andaluz anthem' featuring a propulsive rock guitar riff, a tight beat and cheerful synthesizer flights, topped by strong, flamenco inspired vocals and varied guitar play (from moving to metal), wow!

2. Rock del cayetano / Pata Negra : Two acoustic guitarists who blend flamenco and rock, topped with strong vocals, what an exciting blend of skills and emotion.

3. Tu mirada / Cai : A swinging rhythm with beautiful vocals, sparkling synthesizer runs and a sensitive electric guitar solo.

4. Sole' del tio raimundo / Arrajatabla : Nuevo Flamenco with the Rock Andaluz guitar veterans Raimundo Amador and Luis Cobo Manglis delivering a pleasant blend of rock and flamenco, topped with emotional flamenco inspired vocals.

5. 'Ay, morena! / La Barbera del Sur : Nuevo Flamenco with a modern sounding blend of flamenco and rock, the colouring is very tasteful featuring violin, percussion and saxophone.

6. Me estoy quitando / Tabletom : Eighties Spanish prog band returns to the scene in the Nineties with a swinging blend of jazz, rock and funk, expressive vocals and powerful saxophone.

7. La pipa de Kif / Ketama : Nuevo Flamenco with a fresh blend of flamenco, rock, funk and fusion, topped with strong vocals and an exciting break with propulsive Afro-Caribbean percussion.

8. Quitate la bata / Kiko Veneno : A slow rhythm with a tight beat, supported by powerful vocals and rock guitar (including subtle fiery runs).

9. Ay que gustito pa mis orejas / Raimundo Amador : Another presence of this prolific and creative veteran, now with a surprising reggae climate and lots of brass.

10. Tarifa / Manteca : Nuevo Flamenco with a swinging rhythm and varied instrumentation (piano, saxophone, trumpet) and strong vocals.

11. Echale, echale /Martires del Compas : Another swinging rhythm on this compilation, with a strong flamenco atmophere featuring sparkling flamenco guitar, along cajon and palmas, the percussion is exciting.

12. Despertar (rondea) / Diego de Moron : The longest track on this compilation (almost 8 minutes), we can enjoy an unique blend of flamenco guitar and the sound of vintage keyboards, especially the string synthesizer, what a captivating musical encounter between flamenco and symphonic rock!

Highly recommended to those who want to explore the captivating world of the Spanish prog and Rock Andaluz. Another good 2-CD compilation is Hijos Del Agobio Y Del Dolor (including a docu DVD).

 Bohemian Symphony by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Bohemian Symphony
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

— First review of this album —
3 stars Queen was a highly acclaimed band in Japan, with even The Beatles-like scenes on airports and around hotels. So it ain't no surprise that after Freddy Mercury his tragical death (on November 24th, 1991) the two known Japanese progrock musicians Terutsugu Hirayama (Novela, Scheherazade, Teru's Symphonia) and Toshio Egawa (Earthshaker, Novela, Gerard, Scheherazade) founded a band in order to pay tribute to the legendary Queen singer. They named the band the Bohemian Symphony Project and the album Bohemian Symphony.

As a huge fan of the Japanese progrock since the early Nineties and a huge fan of Queen since the early Seventies I had expected an album that was loaded with sumptuous music. Simply because many known Japanese progrock bands (like Gerard, Vienna, Social Tension, Deja Vu, Novela and Ars Nova) deliver bombastic progrock and Queen is (in)famous for its bombastic and theatrical outbursts in many compositions. But no, in contrary, most of the renditions of the Queens songs on Bohemian Symphony contain a subdued classical sound, I could hardly recognize songs like Radio Gaga, Bicycle Race and We AreThe Champions (it lacks power). In general the songs on this CD sound very beautiful and pure but I miss the fiery Brian May guitar work and the expressive, often theatrical Freddie Mercury vocals.

The best tracks are the more powerful or expressive renditions like Love Of My Life (wonderful, very moving electric guitar play), You Take My Breath Away (lush strings and piano work) and You're My Best Friend (great interplay between classical guitar and violins).

My highlights are Somebody To Love (the violin replaces the vocals very impressive and we can enjoy a strong guitar solo), the legendary Bohemian Rhapsody (great classical orchestrations) and Save Me (exciting bombastic atmosphere).

So on one hand I am a bit disappointed because in many songs I miss the typcial Queen elements. On the other hand, Japanese progrock feature many bands with classical undertones (Mugen, Outer Limits, Bellaphon, Ieraishan, Fromage, Midas), because many Japanese progrock musicians are classically trained. From that point of view this is a wonderful and honest tribute to Freddy Mercury.

My rating: 3,5 star

 Decameron - Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part III by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 50 ratings

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Decameron - Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part III
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars The Colossus Projects began their ambitious projects in 2001 to promote the outstanding accomplishments of Finnish progressive rock (which there have been many) and then the whole thing kinda took on a life of its own as the collaboration with Musea Records created a synergistic effect that guaranteed an exposure to a worldwide network of tuned in prog aficionados salivating for something both creative, traditional and, of course, entertaining! After a diverse eclectic palette paving the way for even more sophisticated projects, in 2011 Musea Records released "Decameron - Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part I" which isn't remotely Finnish but rather a collection of Italian tales excavated from the 14th century. The word DECAMERON is a neologism of the Greek words deca (ten) and mera (days) and THE DECAMERON which is subtitled Prince Galehaut is a collection of novellas written by the author Giovanni Baccaccio (1313-1375) and is structured as a frame story that contains 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men who were sheltered in a secluded villa outside of Firenze (Florence), Italy in order to escape the black death plague that was rampant at the time. Well, three years after the first installment of this series came DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART II which continued the themes in musical form with some artists making a reprise and yet others entering the Musea equation for the very first time. Two years later, the label once again released a third installment in the series and in 2016 the various artist release DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART III was born.

Once again PART III is a monster of a release with 4 CDs stuffed full of lengthy symphonic leaning progressive rock tracks in thematic unison. Once again as well the packaging is exquisitely beautiful with period artwork gracing the cover and discs alike accompanied by a generous booklet with liner notes continuing the artistic flair as well as band photos and lyrics to those tracks that have them. While the Musea Colossus Projects tend to have the same artists on every most of their releases, PART III contains many new cast members but a few such as Nexus, Jinetes Negros and Rebel Wheel are back for another round. While these compilations are fairly global in nature, this one seems to have an extraordinarily heavy emphasis on Italian bands (12), USAmerican (7) with Argentina coming in at a distant third with only (3). While the music on these behemoths are always thematically connected, on PART III there is also a lot of continuity musically speaking which is one of the reasons i'm finding it less compelling than the other two installments of the DECAMERON series and unfortunately one of my least favorites of the entire Colossus Project that i've encountered.

Right from the first track, PART III sounds very different than its counterparts. It begins with an almost showtune sort of track titled "HeeBeeGeeBee" by UK artist Robert Webb. For the first listen, i had to actually check my CD to make sure that someone didn't slip a Broadway musical release into the jewel case by mistake. Nope, this was the right one alright. It just so happens that the entire 4.5 hours of playing time consists of such gleeful merry musical meanderings that could easily fit in the world of theatric drama and such. What's also noticeably different about PART III is that there seems to be a deliberate attempt to simplify the progressive elements with a lot more crossover potential than previously heard. There are more direct and bombastic ear wormy hooks reminiscent of classic Supertramp keyboard runs as well as more simplified guitar parts that often result in simply staccato chords. Garage prog anyone? Yeah, the material is considerably weaker on this one and i have to admit that not one single track jumps out and blows me away as these compilations usually do. I've been wondering if perhaps the different lineup of artists may be to blame but even the artist i'm familiar with don't crank out their usual quality material bursting with passionate delivery.

This one was fairly disappointing i have to say with the first two discs leaving me fairly cold. It does pick up a bit on Disc 3. The Rebel Wheel kick off with a strong track followed by some creativity of Taproban, S.A.L.U.E.N.A and Blank Manuscript which offer some of my favorite tracks of the comp but there are also silly tracks by Castle Canyon and Ozone Player that trade off spoken narrative with operatic vocals. There also seems to be a general lack of vivaciousness most of the tracks are fairly prog-by-the-numbers with lots of nods to 70s Pink Floyd not to mention that the vocals are mostly flat and unsuitable for the music. Not all is a waste of time. There are plenty of moments on this one that are indeed satisfying but nothing that exceeds the satisfaction of the first two DECAMERON editions. The whole affair seems rather sleepy and lazy and only fueling on half octane potential. Several listens later and not only has this not grown on me but actually has become quite irritating for the most part. It's not that the good parts are bad, it's just that most of the album cruises along on automatic pilot and nothing really jumps out and surprises. This may be an omen that the DECAMERON idea has been milked of all its possibilities and time to move on to other ideas. Three editions with bloated quadruple discs is quite the momental task. They succeeded quite well on the first two but the staleness has set in, at least for me. Worth the listen but probably not one i will revisit until several years pass by and i forgot what it sounds like.

In case you're wondering here is the whole list of Colossus Projects released so far:

Tuonen Tytar: A Tribute To Finnish Progressive (2000)

Kalevala - Finnish Progressive Rock Epic (2003)

The Spaghetti Epic - Six Modern Prog Bands For Six Seventies Prog Suites (2004)

Odyssey - The Greatest Tale (2005)

The Colossus of Rhodes (2006)

The 7 Samurai - The Ultimate Epic (2006)

The Spaghetti Epic 2 - The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (2007)

Treasure Island (2007)

Giallo! One Suite for the Murderer (2008)

The Empire and The Rebellion (2008)

Dante's Divine Comedy Part I - Dante's Inferno (2009)

Dante's Divine Comedy Part II ? Purgatorio (2009)

Rökstenen - a Tribute to Swedish Progressive Rock of the 70's (2009)

The Spaghetti Epic 3 - The Great Silence (2009)

Tuonen Tytar-A Tribute To Finnish Progressive Rock Of The Seventies - Volume Two (2009)

Iliad: A Grand Piano Extravaganza (2010)

The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe: A SyNphonic Collection (2010)

Decameron - Ten days in 100 novellas - Part I (2011)

The Stories Of H.P. Lovecraft: A SyNphonic Collection (2012)

Decameron - Ten Days In 100 Novellas - Part II (2014)

DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART III (2016)

 Excalibur IV - The Dark Age of the Dragon by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Excalibur IV - The Dark Age of the Dragon
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars I have rated the middle part of the Excalibur trilogy with three stars. I think this one's notably better, but since it's still not exactly pure progressive rock or "excellent addition to any prog rock music collection" , I'll round my 3˝ stars downwards. We're dealing with a new chapter in the ambitious Celtic saga, or "rock opera" as some call it, that the Breton-Celtic musician Alan Simon has created over the years. His manager had suggested a new tour in 2015 and Simon felt it would feel right only with new material. He worked more than a year on this project and feels very pleased at the results. The preceding parts were released in 1999, 2007 and 2012 respectively. If you're unfamiliar with them, that's no problem at all in getting to know this album, which one can simply take as an individual, loosely conceptual collection of songs with various vocalists and various moods. The partly orchestrated music could be labeled as Crossover Prog or Celtic rock.

If you look at the song list on the CD's back cover, especially the words "from JETHRO TULL" and "from SUPERTRAMP" appear ridiculously often, just because Martin Barre, Jesse Siebenberg or John Halliwell happen to play on most tracks. There could have been a wiser way to mark the performers, but that's not a big deal. Otherwise the well-known guests on this album are vocalists - or singing players such as Alan Stivell and the mentioned Siebenberg. Michael Sadler (SAGA) and Moya Brennan (CLANNAD) sing two songs each, Bernie Shaw (URIAH HEEP) and Sonja Kristina (CURVED AIR) one song each. Roberto Tiranti is another heavy- style vocalist (on two tracks), while Siobhan Owen (on 'The Last Lament of a Fairy' and achingly delicate 'There Is someone') brings more of the ethereal Celtic romanticism with her beautiful voice and Celtic harp.

The only purely instrumental track is the energetic 'The Fifth Season' starring Martin Barre's electric guitar, and, to a smaller degree, John Halliwell's saxophone. The final 19th track 'Dun Angus II' is among the most pompous ones, featuring the operatic soprano of Maite Itoiz (from Elfenthal, which neither I nor ProgArchives know). It is indeed the exhausting grandiosity, or the fearful possibility of the music to feel exactly like a rock opera, that is the biggest thread to concept albums like this. But in the end this really is primarily a well produced and executed set of songs, some of them rather average and some very enjoyable. Hardly this will approach my list of prog favourites from 2017, but a pretty positive surprise this was anyway.

 The Empire And The Rebellion by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.60 | 19 ratings

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The Empire And The Rebellion
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Colossus Project was an Italian musical project featuring four members and a wide range of guest musicians, including known names Keiko Kumagai (Ars Nova) and Fred Schendel (Glass Hammer) and fellow Italians Cristiano Roversi (Moongarden, Submarine Silence and The Watch) and Joe La Viola (Malaavia). The concept-story is based upon Georg Lucas popular Star Wars Episode IV as a tribute, you can read about that in the huge booklet also including words about the foundation of this project, the musicians, the instruments (mainly 'vintage') and the lyrics, embellished with tasteful pictures of all members.

The music sounds very varied, along pure progrock we can also enjoy a pleasant blend of several styles with lush vintage keyboards (especially the Mellotron, Hammond organ and Minimoog synthesizer): bluesy with tasteful work on organ, guitar, saxophone along Minimoog runs and a swinging Hammond solo in The Millennium Falcon - folky with soaring female vocals, flute and Celtic harp in the mellow My Tears For Alderaan - classical in the beautiful instrumental May The Force Be With You - jazzy with powerful saxophone in the short and funny The Millenium Quartet - melodic rock in the propulsive Meeting The Force (strong break with swirling Hammond solo by Fred Schendel) - dreamy with steel-guitar and Fender Rhodes electric piano, flute, acoustic rhythm-guitar and warm vocals in Two Suns - and a kind of 'symphonic rock ballad' in When I Was A Jedi (featuring the distinctive harpsichord sound, Hammond, Moog and dramamtic vocals).

My progrock highlights are the instrumental first composition Astral Prelude (wonderful vintage keyboards and a groovy bass solo, including the 'slap' technique), the alternating The Dark Lord Of The Sith (from intro with fado guitar and a final part with acoustic guitar to bombastic keyboard and Fripperian guitarwork) and especially the epic The Rebellion Suite (3 parts, around the 20 minutes), from beautiful flute ? and violin-Mellotron and howling guitar like Steve Hackett (glissando and 'hammering down') to a swinging bass solo and a compelling grand finale with excellent interplay between Grand piano, Mellotron and emotional vocals, goose bumps!

If you are up to tasteful and varied music that is layered with Moogs, Hammonds and Mellotrons, contains a wide range of instruments and has an important role for the vocals (only 3 songs are instrumental), you will be pleased with Colossus Project.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 Giallo! One Suite for the Murderer by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.93 | 37 ratings

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Giallo! One Suite for the Murderer
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars This was another interesting release by Colossus and Musea, the socalled Finnish-French Connection. It's entitled Giallo! and based upon the famous movie Deep Red (1975) by Dario Argento. This CD contains five compositions by Italians artists/bands: the short intro and outro are performed by Alfio Costa on keyboards, he also joined the first epic composition from the musial project Dark Session, the other two epics (all more than 20 minutes) are played by the known formation Leviathan, and Floating State.

1. Alfio Costa - Frammento Rosso (Intro) (0.58) : The CD begins with a warm Grand piano sound, then pleasantly blended with the Minimoog synthesizer. A kind of musical warm bath of 60 seconds, very pleasant.

2. Dark Session - Visions of Helga (26.11) : The musical project Dark Session is an offshoot of the ELP-inspired band Tilion and features multi-instrumentalist Flavio Costa who has invited guest musicians Alfio Costa (vintage keyboards) and Hamadi Trabels ('dark speaking voices'). The name of the band points at the often dark atmospheres with a remarkable frequent use of the unsurpassed Mellotron from the very first moment: a majestic violin-section sound, followed by flute-Mellotron and blended with the distinctive harpsichord sound and sensitive electric guitar runs in a spacey, a bit ominous climate. Then Dark Session creates a great tension between the mellow parts (with soaring and melancholical Mellotron, fragile guitar and twanging acoustic guitar) and the more powerful and bombastic interludes (with propulsive guitar riffs, howling and fiery guitar, a powerful and dynamic rhythm-section and fiery wah-wah guitar), often King Crimson's dark and violent album Red comes to my mind but with the fat sound of the Minimoog flights! Dark Session their music also reminds me of Japanese King Crimson- clone Bi Kyo Ran because of the biting Fripperian guitar sound and the powerful rhythm-section. Anyway, despite these obvious references, I was carried away to Progheaven during this Mellotron drenched composition!

3. Leviathan - Vecchi Giochi (21.03 - four parts) : Nowadays Leviathan is a trio that has invited a male and female singer on this song. Again we can enjoy 24-carat symphonic rock and vintage keyboards like the Minimoog, Hammond and Mellotron. It starts with beautiful Grand piano, classical orchestrations and inspired Italian vocals, the the music alternates between dreamy, compelling, mid-tempo rhythms and bombastic featuring sparkling piano and fluent Hammond runs. Due to the heavy Moog Taurus bass pedal sound and the Hackett-like guitar, Leviathan evokes Wind & Wuthering-era Genesis, what a wonderful music! The final part is great delivering a slow rhythm with bass pedals, synthesizer flights and choir-Mellotron, topped with passionate Italian vocals, goose bumps!

4. Floating State - Suite Dall'inconscia dell'Assassino (25.06) : Without any doubt this six-piece formation makes the most adventurous and varied progrock on Giallo!, less traditional and more experimental with avant-garde and jazz elements. The basic in this composition is a swinging rhythm with a lush instrumentation (from classical guitar, flute and saxophones to vibraphone, a wide range of vintage keyboards and even the distinctive Theremin) and lots of intersting changing climates, at some moments pretty experimental like a part with Hammond and piano. The interplay is strong and I was pleased with parts featuring choir-Mellotron, vibraphone and warm vocals.

5. Alfio Costa - Mirrors (outro) (1.34) : The final track begins with ominous sounding Grand piano, then gradually turns into dreamy, simply wonderful!

 The Spaghetti Epic 3 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.18 | 51 ratings

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The Spaghetti Epic 3
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars The Musea/Colossus collaboration presents on this progrock project (from 2008) three progrock bands, each with an epic composition.

First Little Tragedies from Russia with a track entitled The Voice Of Silence (19.30). The music deliver lots of spectacular bombastic parts with dazzling synthesizer runs and ELP inspired Hammond work. We can also enjoy exciting interplay between flowing guitar/keyboards and powerful saxophone/organ, fuelled by a propulsive rhythm-section. Very subtle is the blend of flamenco rhythm guitar in some parts, it gives a special flavor to the music.

Then Yesterdays from Hungary with the song Suite Pauline (20.00), in comparison with their contribution to the 4-CD CD box Dante's Inferno, the emphasis is less on folk and more on Seventies keyboard oriented symphonic rock. It contains many changing climates and interesting musical ideas with wonderful work on vintage keyboards, often in duel with other instruments: choir-Mellotron and electric guitar, reed organ and Glockenspiel, trumpet/violin- Mellotron and classical guitar with flute. I also enjoyed a part with the impressive church-organ sound and an interlude featuring an exciting duel between drums and choir- and violin-Mellotron, joined by Fripperian guitarwork, goose bumps!

Finally the Italian formation N.O.T. with the song Epilogo (23.28): it sounds very alternating and dynamic with many bombastic climates featuring powerful Hammond work, flashy synthesizer runs, howling electric guitar, pleasant Mellotron waves, often very compelling. The music reminds me of early King Crimson and Outer Limits, especially in the final part with sumptuous violin-Mellotron waves, propulsive electric guitar play and powerful drums.

Another interesting album from Musea and Colossus, especially the vintage keyboard aficionados will be delighted!

My rating: 3,5 star.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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