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Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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Home were formed in London UK in 1970. The band were centred around the fine guitar work of Laurie Wisefield, and the voice of Mick Stubbs, the band's principal songwriter. They released three albums between 1971 and 1973. The first two albums contained competent and reasonably original songs, some with progressive leanings.

It was however the third album, "The Alchemist" which was the band's masterpiece. This concept album is one of the forgotten gems of prog, telling a tale of supernatural events and the reaction of those placed in fear by them. Musically, the album sees the band taking an enormous leap forward. Sadly, the momentum was lost as quickly as it came, and "The Alchemist" proved to be Home's final album. Test pressings are said to exist for an unreleased fourth album, but if they do exist, they have yet to be released.

During their brief life, the band supported a number of top acts on tour, including LED ZEPPELIN and WISHBONE ASH. In 1974, AL STEWART invited the band members to become his backing band. Stubbs left at this point, but the others took up the offer.

Wisefield subsequently went on to join WISHBONE ASH replacing Ted Turner, while Cliff Williams briefly joined BANDIT then enjoyed a successful career with AC/DC.

Both Mick Stubbs and Drummer Mick Cook have now sadly passed away, but Wisefield continues to enjoy success with the "War of the Worlds Live" tour.






Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
A fine but sadly almost forgotten band from the early 1970's who are frequently described as progressive in references to them. Their music fits neatly into the Art Rock category, but they covered a wide range of styles on their three albums. Their third album is an excellent example of a prog concept album.





Discography:
- Pause for a hoarse horse, Studio album (1971)
- Home, Studio album (1972)
- The Alchemist, Studio album (1973)

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Buy HOME Music


The AlchemistThe Alchemist
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$10.89
$24.59 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
A Tear For The Ghetto by Group Home Cassette (Brand New, Factory Sealed) US $19.99 Buy It Now 29m 39s
Home by Blessid Union of Souls (CD, Mar-1995, Capitol/EMI Records) US $5.99 Buy It Now 30m 10s
K.T. OSLIN, CD "NEW WAY HOME" NEW SEALED US $6.99 Buy It Now 35m 17s
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ROCKING HORSE 45 Running Back Home TOPCAT Reggae #S51 US $21.00 Buy It Now 37m 51s
At Home With The Barry Sisters / Side By Side, Barry Sisters, New US $11.48 Buy It Now 39m 57s
Joshua Payne cd Your Love My Home US $6.00 Buy It Now 44m 28s
HALL & OATES - HOME FOR CHRISTMAS [HALL & OATES] [CD] [1 DISC] - NEW CD US $12.88 Buy It Now 46m 29s
REV. CLAY EVANS & TH - COMING HOME [REV. CLAY EVANS & THE AARC MASS - NEW CD US $13.04 Buy It Now 49m 26s
ROY ROGERS Home on Range CD DVD Classic 40s Country MY PAL TRIGGER ROLL ON TEXAS US $18.49 Buy It Now 50m 14s
WMAD 92 FM - Home Grown '82 (Private Vinyl LP) donna rawlins band US $19.99 Buy It Now 50m 25s
CLIFF RICHARD - DADDY'S HOME / SUMMER RAIN - EMI AMERICA A-8103 1984 45 RPM US $4.00 [0 bids]
51m 11s
JODY MILLER-HOME OF THE BRAVE/THIS IS THE LIFE 45 CAPITOL 5483 EX US $6.00 Buy It Now 51m 37s
The Isley Brothers-You Better Come Home & Twistin With Linda Wand Records 45 RPM US $2.99 Buy It Now 52m 3s
Escape [Single] by Kay Cee (CD, 1998, Home) US $16.19 Buy It Now 54m 29s
MAGIC THEATRE - THE LONG WAY HOME [DIGIPAK] [MAGIC THEATRE] - NEW CD US $19.65 Buy It Now 54m 43s
Dido, Safe Trip Home CD With Bonus Tracks US $1.49 [0 bids]
US $1.99 Buy It Now
54m 59s
Home [IMPORT] by Sheena Easton (Sep-2000, Universal/Mca) US $24.99 Buy It Now 57m 19s
John Denver Back Home Again Album US $1.99 [0 bids]
59m 50s
Sitting Home [Maxi Single] by Total (Vinyl, May-2005, Bad Boy Entertainment) US $1.99 [0 bids]
59m 50s
Home Town Hero by Home Town Hero (CD, May-2002, Warner Bros.) Promo US $1.99 [0 bids]
1h
CHARLIE RICH I Do My Swingin' At Home LP / Excellent vinyl US $6.50 Buy It Now 1h
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THE SHIRELLES Welcome Home Baby Mama Here Comes The Bride Scepter Records 1234 US $2.95 [0 bids]
1h 3m
JOHN DENVER-TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY JUKE BOX TITLE STRIP US $1.25 Buy It Now 1h 5m
RICHARD GROOVE HOLMES WELCOLM HOME LP WORD PACIFIC US $14.00 Buy It Now 1h 8m
45 Record Cheryls Going Home & Elusive Butterfly by Bob Lind US $3.75 Buy It Now 1h 8m
ZEPHERS - THE LOVE THAT WILL GUIDE YOU BACK HOME [EP] - NEW CD US $25.34 Buy It Now 1h 10m
Bringing It Back Home by Robben Ford (Vinyl, Feb-2013, Provogue) US $23.00 Buy It Now 1h 10m
The Road Home Original Soundtrack OST Zhang Ziyi San Bao Zhang Yimou Rare OOP US $9.99 [0 bids]
1h 11m
CD STAN ROGERS Home in Halifax CANADA US $5.00 [0 bids]
1h 11m
ALEX WELSH and his BAND - At Home - NEAR MINT 1968 Columbia EMI SCX 6213 (UK) US $12.99 Buy It Now 1h 11m
DIXIE CHICKS Home CD + DVD Australian Tour Edition US $14.06 Buy It Now 1h 11m
ROADSIDE GRAVES - MY SON'S HOME NEW CD US $20.18 Buy It Now 1h 12m
The Ventures UK WITH CENTER TOP RANK 417 Home and Walk, Don't Run US $4.50 Buy It Now 1h 12m
'TIL TUESDAY: WELCOME HOME / CD! US $0.99 [0 bids]
US $2.49 Buy It Now
1h 13m
KIM WALKER-SMITH/SKY - HOME [DIGIPAK] * [KIM WALKER-SMITH/SKYLER SMITH] - NEW CD US $8.34 Buy It Now 1h 14m
Twelve Stops and Home by The Feeling (CD, Feb-2007, Interscope (USA)) BRAND NEW US $1.00 Buy It Now 1h 16m
Home [EP] [Digipak] * by Jenny O. (CD, Jul-2011, Manimal Vinyl) BRAND NEW US $2.50 Buy It Now 1h 16m
THE BRIAN JONESTOWN - BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME AGAIN [DIGIPAK] - NEW CD US $6.26 Buy It Now 1h 18m
Happy Come Home by Victoria Williams (CD, Dec-1993, Geffen) US $1.00 Buy It Now 1h 19m
MERZ - NO COMPASS WILL FIND HOME * - NEW CD US $26.20 Buy It Now 1h 19m
The Association 45 DARLIN' BE HOME SOON / INDIAN WELLS WOMAN ~ M- rock US $10.95 Buy It Now 1h 21m
Mark Paul 45 I'M GONNA LOVE YOU / NEVER GO HOME ~ VG++ rock US $3.64 Buy It Now 1h 21m
Last Train Home, Bound Away Audio CD US $12.99 Buy It Now 1h 21m
Little River Band HARVEST 4667 Lady and Take Me Home US $4.50 Buy It Now 1h 21m
MARTHA WAINWRIGHT - COME HOME TO MAMA (IMPORT) NEW CD US $26.35 Buy It Now 1h 21m
Eagles - Please come home for Christmas US $4.69 Buy It Now 1h 22m
SHAWN COLVIN Sunny Came Home (U.S. 2 Track CD Single) US $50.01 Buy It Now 1h 23m
Leaving Home by Rebecca Luker (CD, Mar-2004, PS Classics) US $4.95 Buy It Now 1h 24m
I'm Home - Morgan, Oliver (Cassette 1998) US $12.49 Buy It Now 1h 25m
Home On Christmas Day CD US $10.78 Buy It Now 1h 25m
BOB WARD HAMMOND ORGAN At Home With RARE Jazz 1950's Piano VINYL Encores Pianist US $499.00 Buy It Now 1h 25m
Joshua Bell - At Home With Friends CD MASTERWORKS US $16.13 Buy It Now 1h 26m
John Denver - Back Home Again CD SBME SPECIAL PRODUCTS US $8.61 Buy It Now 1h 26m
KENNY LOGGINS Celebrate Me Home (U.S. 10 Track CD) US $50.01 Buy It Now 1h 27m
Imperial Brass, Vienna - Marching With The Band - Music For Home - MHM8018 (LP) US $25.48 Buy It Now 1h 27m
Petula Clark 45 YOU'D BETTER COME HOME / HEART ~ VG+ vinyl Canadian US $4.32 Buy It Now 1h 27m
Home by Deep Blue Something (CD, Jun-1995, Interscope (USA)) US $1.00 Buy It Now 1h 28m
Con Hunley 45 What's New With You/Cowboy's Going Home US $2.00 Buy It Now 1h 28m
PINK Can't Take Me Home (U.S. 13 Track CD) US $50.01 Buy It Now 1h 28m
The Shangri-Las Red Bird 043 I Can Never Go Home Anymore and Bull Dog US $7.20 Buy It Now 1h 29m
THE DELLS I Wanna Go Home VEE JAY Original 1956 RARE DOO WOP 45 Early Rock US $129.00 Buy It Now 1h 30m
Miles from Our Home [PA] by Cowboy Junkies (CD, Sep-1998, Geffen) US $3.99 Buy It Now 1h 33m
Wilko Johnson / Roger Daltrey - Going Back Home [EU CD 2014] Brand New US $4.68 [0 bids]
1h 33m
BLUE NOTE JAZZ LP Brother Jack McDuff DOWN HOME STYLE Original 1st NY BST 8432 US $39.00 Buy It Now 1h 35m
FLAMINGOS Need Your Love / I'll Be Home CHECKER 830 Doo Wop Soul 1956 NM 45 US $29.00 Buy It Now 1h 36m
THE CADILLACS Lucy/Hurry Home JOSIE 1957 1st PRESS w/"Original" Name DOO WOP 45 US $32.00 Buy It Now 1h 36m
JOE JACKSON Home Town (1986 U.S. Double Side A White Label Promo 12inch) US $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 36m
1975 Lonnie Brooks Sweet Home Chicago LP, French press US $11.99 [0 bids]
US $28.00 Buy It Now
1h 36m
Ian Matthews Stealin' Home 1978 Vinyl LP MRS-5012 NM US $6.99 Buy It Now 1h 37m
Seals And Crofts Down Home Original 1970 Vinyl LP Bell TA 5004 Excellent US $6.99 Buy It Now 1h 37m
Home for the Holidays by Ho'okena (CD, Jan-2006, Ho'omau) SEALED BRAND NEW US $15.99 Buy It Now 1h 39m
JOSEPH CORMIER - THE DANCES DOWN HOME - NEW CD US $2.60 Buy It Now 1h 39m
THE DREAMLOVERS Welcome Home/Let Them HERITAGE Original 1961 w/STAMP Doo Wop 45 US $24.00 Buy It Now 1h 40m
BRYAN BOWERS - THE VIEW FROM HOME - FLYING FISH RECORDS LP US $6.00 Buy It Now 1h 43m
Into the Fire, Bryan Adams CD 1987 Hearts On Fire, Heat Of The Night, Home Again US $1.99 [0 bids]
US $3.99 Buy It Now
1h 43m
CARL STORY Comin Home SEALED LP Rambling Mountaineers BLUEGRASS GOSPEL Vinyl LP US $19.00 Buy It Now 1h 43m
LEE ANDREWS & THE HEARTS Nobody's Home/Try Impossible UA Original 1958 w/STAMP US $19.00 Buy It Now 1h 43m
PATTI PAGE - GO ON HOME and TOO LATE TO CRY Mercury 71906 PICTURE SLEEVE 45 US $3.99 Buy It Now 1h 43m
For The Ride Home by Josh Kelley 2003 Hollywood Records pop rock country CD US $4.00 Buy It Now 1h 44m
JERRY LEE LEWIS Rockabilly SEALED Touching Home COUNTRY ROCK Original VINYL NM US $19.00 Buy It Now 1h 45m
LITTLE EVA Let's Turkey Trot/Down Home DIMENSION Doo Wop NEAR MINT NM Original US $17.00 Buy It Now 1h 45m
PETER SCHILLING MAJOR TOM(COMING HOME)/MAJOR TOM(VOLLIG LOSGELOST) 45 RECORD US $3.99 [0 bids]
1h 45m
60s BLIND GOSPEL SINGER Hugh Watson / Love At Home PRIVATE Small PRESS LP * US $4.99 [0 bids]
1h 46m
JOHN YATES - We're Home:DEAD KENNEDYS art:T-shirt NEW - SMALL ONLY US $28.21 Buy It Now 1h 46m
Sergio Mendes - Home Cooking - U.S. cd - RARE! US $15.73 Buy It Now 1h 49m
Ike Turner "The edge" Sealed Soul Funk Disco Tina Turner Home Grown Funk LP US $13.50 Buy It Now 1h 49m
CHRISTINE HITT - YOU'D BE NICE TO COME HOME TO - NEW CD US $13.59 Buy It Now 1h 50m
Robben Ford - Bringing It Back Home Vinyl Record LP US $23.27 Buy It Now 1h 50m
Off With Their Heads - Home Incl. Cd Vinyl Record LP US $24.90 Buy It Now 1h 51m
Les Trois Chaud - Vol. 1-Songs Of Home Vinyl Record LP US $16.40 Buy It Now 1h 52m
Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home 180G Vinyl Record LP US $31.69 Buy It Now 1h 52m
Don't It Make You Want to Go Home? Joe South US $2.99 [0 bids]
1h 52m
The Road Home "Peaceful Children" LP Sealed US $40.00 Buy It Now 1h 55m
ROZZ WILLIAMS - DREAM HOME HEARTACHE - NEW CD US $12.98 Buy It Now 1h 57m
PLAY-N-SKILLZ AKON COME HOME ME 12" SINGLE LP SEALED US $5.99 Buy It Now 1h 59m
Barry Manilow The Complete Collection and Then Some ... 4 Cd's & Home Video EUC US $15.49 Buy It Now 1h 59m
BUDDY LAMP "Have Mercy Baby / I'm Coming Home" PEANUT 1001, 1962, VG US $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 4m
DAN FOGELBERG home free Lp RECORD GATEFOLD COVER 1972 US $7.99 Buy It Now 2h 8m

More places to buy HOME music online Buy HOME & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for HOME DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

HOME shows & tickets


  • Dio Tribute on 8 Aug 2014

HOME discography


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

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

3.15 | 16 ratings
Pause for a Hoarse Horse
1971
3.36 | 11 ratings
Home
1972
3.56 | 32 ratings
The Alchemist
1973

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

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

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

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

HOME Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Alchemist by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.56 | 32 ratings

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The Alchemist
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars HOME "The Alchemist". Is an album that presents a kind of music ( for the most purist listeners ) which be in the half-way between the psychedelic movement "last steps" (in the late 60's) and the progressive rock "explosion" in the subsequent period ( early 70's) . They sound to me ( with a certain dose of exaggeration ) like Steve Howe or Jimmy Page came in studio with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young for a session. Great part of the disk gave me this exactly impression, the vocals are very beauty (with use of voices counterpoints and choirs) and the musical "atmosphere" is almost the same to CSNY! The main difference is in the work developed by Laurie Wisefield in the guitars...remembering at the same time the " crackling " Page's style and the "western" Howe's "touch". The best (and more progressive) tracks are : track 5 "The disaster" , track 9 "Rejoicing" and track 10 "The disaster returns (Devastation)".... but, in general way all of tracks are good . My rate is 4 stars !!!

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 Pause for a Hoarse Horse by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.15 | 16 ratings

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Pause for a Hoarse Horse
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by historian9
Special Collaborator Jazz Rock/Fusion Team

3 stars As the early debut of the band, I didn't expect much, and just seeing the cover one shouldn't expect much of prog rock going on. That said, this blues or british country rock like music is very charming and catchy. It does have some mellotron here and there as well as violins but don't expect anything too adventurous aside from guitar playing which does have some kind of original style to it, making it recognizable on all HOME recordings; this stuff might be interesting for WHISHBONE ASH fans. Not much of prog, but seeing as it is not that bad at all, this "feel good" record deserves a raise from collectors and fans only to three stars.

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 The Alchemist by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.56 | 32 ratings

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The Alchemist
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by progshachar

4 stars Great prog album. A fine addition to me collection Just heard it few times in a row and it keep grow pn me. The new remastered 2010 album sounds terrific. This is really a concept album. There is a plot and the music strongly supports it. The lyrics are nice, the singing is great and the music is brilliant. The albu, starts slowly and it progress literally from song to song. The finale - the death of the alchemist is oustanding. The bonuses are ok, not on the same level as the whole album. I am new to Home and I really enjot this brilliant album Really a great addition to any prog collection.

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 The Alchemist by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.56 | 32 ratings

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The Alchemist
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After two disappointing studio efforts, 1973 saw the talented British quartet Home take up a much more overtly-progressive mantle and produce this finely-crafted concept album known as 'The Alchemist'. It would prove to be the group's final release, but it would also prove to be a true underground cult classic and a much-sought after album that would enable the name of Home to live on through the ages. Thanks to the excellent reissue label Esoteric Recordings, Home's defining album is finally released in all it's remastered glory for fans old and new.

Featuring Mick Stubbs(guitar, vocals), Cliff Williams(bass), Mick Cook(drums) and future Wishbone Ash member Laurie Wisefield(guitar), Home's 'The Alchemist' was a critically-acclaimed yet commercially-ignored album, the kind of album that could only have been made in the heady days of the late sixties and early-seventies when experimentation and creativity were, unbelievably, the recording industry watchword's. Home's label, CBS Records, had given the foursome all the time and space they needed to create their magnus opus but yet somehow neglected to advertise the album properly, leading to poor sales despite the group's constant live performances up-and-down the country and the small-but-loyal following these shows cultivated.

However, while the group might not have made any money out of their finest album, the did make a name for themselves amongst prog fans, with 'The Alchemist' now regarded as a stand-out concept piece thirty-plus years down the line. Stylistically, the album does, at times, invoke the feel of 'Trespass'-era Genesis or 'The Yes Album'-era Yes, but with a rich palette of instrumentation that is all their own, including acoustic-and-electric guitars, mellotrons, viola's, flutes and horns as well as Mick Stubbs soul-flecked vocals. As the songs flit from slow-and-serene folk to raucous, symphonic prog workouts, the carefuly-constructed story - that of a small boy befriending an old wizard in a small Cornish village - starts to slowly unfold.

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 Home by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.36 | 11 ratings

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Home
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by Norman Kiddie

4 stars This being my very first review on Progarchives, I would just like to say that this website is simply brilliant. Home by Home, being the bands second release following their Pause For A Hoarse Horse was a superb album. Mostly written by the late Mick Stubbs, who was also the lead vocalist, keyboarder and support or rythum guitar for Laurie Wisefield. The album starts with the track Dreamer which opens the album up very cleverly as the listener does not really know what to expect next. Heavy rock, blues, a ballad. This album features almost all of these genres and even a bit of folk on the lovely Rise Up. It is an album of two sides the better of which can be put down to pure taste. Personally I prefer the second side, beginning with Baby Be Friend Of Mine and ending with Home´s greatest track Lady Of The Birds (also available as a live version on the BBC recordings). This track is what it is all about. Laurie Wisefield is absolutely stunning on not only this track but the whole album. I will never forget the sadness at hearing that Laurie had been hired to take over Ted Turner´s vacant position with Wishbone Ash. The beginnig of a new career for Laurie, but the end of a great band for all those HOME fans. This is a four star album. I got my cd copy via EBAY. It´s a Russian version.

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 The Alchemist by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.56 | 32 ratings

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The Alchemist
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by raleks

5 stars Undoubtedly (for me) (and after more than several tens listens) masterpiece of prog. This album have all I want from prog music - interesting melodies and arrangements (ye, there is big work for my brain and ears:) ), good vocal. But there is an unexpected thing - after some listens I've suddenly understood I want to listen and listen also most disharmonic tracks on the album - Disaster ans Devastation :) And also I can NOT remeber any prog album with such hypnotize riffs, simple and effective, hard- rockish, repeated and repeated and... mmm... very tasteful. Highlight! The Death... is very dramatic song and perfectly feet (in contrast) with final song. The last one is simple STRONG melodic song. I happy my collection is enriched with this stuff. Generally there are no weak tracks here. Undoubtedly :D

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 Pause for a Hoarse Horse by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.15 | 16 ratings

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Pause for a Hoarse Horse
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by prabbit

4 stars To these ears, this is a very underrated album, though I must confess to a certain bias on my part since I really do love this album... Anyway, this, the debut album by UK outfit Home is a quiet gem, one that reflects and refracts subtle shades and colors in the setting sun, rather than dazzling the listener with pyrotechnic displays. Laurie Wisefield's guitar is well suited to the material here and fans of early Wishbone Ash will probably find much to enjoy. Over the years, I've seen a lot of comments about this lp that describe it as country rock and very US influenced which is true to a degree, but I think that the real similarities lie with UK counterparts like Help Yourself, Man (it makes perfect sense that Clive John of Man is featured on this album), Family (John Weider also guests here), The Dog That Bit People, or even a folkier Andwella's Dream. These bands, to some degree, all looked to the U.S. West Coast groups for inspiration but they somehow still retained a very British air about them. People that dig Free's unfairly maligned Highway album should also like this lp. Standout moments are leadoff track Tramp which has a dreamy, wistful feel, the mournful title track (which contrary to what is written in the reviews above, is actually a touching ode to the group's battered equipment van, which apparently had to be put down after years of faithful service, using the metaphor of putting down an old horse to describe how they felt...lyrics include (approx, from memory) doors keep rattlin', roof lets in the rain...when they take you away, they're going to crush you to the ground...you know you served us well right to the end, we've got to find another friend...), and the wonderful Red E. Lewis and the Red Caps (a reference/ode to Jimmy page's first band). Most people prefer Home's 3rd album The Alchemist (which is certainly their most progressive effort) but for me, this is their best album. The second, self-titled lp has more elaborate production values but weaker material. The Alchemist is very progressive and has some cool tracks, but it sounds just a bit forced to me. Obviously, most others disagree... There is a tendency for hardcore music fans to portray their secret favorites as unheralded masterpieces that rival or even surpass landmark albums and I don't want to mislead readers: this is not a 5 star work of towering genius, but, it is a VERY underrated album that constantly rewards the listener by revealing its charms over time. It should also be pointed out that the CD reissue while offering decent sound quality, is mastered from a vinyl source, and being that the album's production was a bit muddy to begin with, a good remastering job from an original tape source would be most welcome.

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 The Alchemist by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.56 | 32 ratings

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The Alchemist
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Opinions seem to be split on the worth of this album. On the one hand, it seems to represent the best of Home's three studio releases. On the other, some pan it as lacking in focus, boring, even pompous.

I think it falls somewhere in between, with the pendulum swinging in either direction depending on what one is listening for. 'The Alchemist' is a well-defined concept album that tells the tale of a young lad who assumes the powers of a dying wizard and uses those powers to save his town from some sort of rather vague disaster, apparently suffering from the same fatal affliction as his mentor as a result. Because of his diminished powers he is reviled by those same citizens when he is unable to stave off the second wave of doom, and is murdered by an angry mob. The album closes with a kind of eulogy to the alchemist, although the lyrics don't quite match the album artwork so it's not completely clear to me which wizard is being eulogized. That's the concept part. As a tale the story line is a bit simplistic, so I can see where some would consider the musical accompaniment to be a bit pretentious in comparison.

Then again this was released in 1973, so some accommodation must be made for the time period, and the level of the story's complexity probably falls somewhere between Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust' and 'Thick as a Brick' (both of which were released around the same time), and well short of 'Dark Side of the Moon' or even say, Jeff Wayne's 'War of the Worlds'.

But musically this definitely represents a peak for Home, particularly the guitar work of Laurie Wisefield. His playing is much more pronounced and complex than on the previous two albums, and is very close to what he would do for Wishbone Ash on 'Where's the Rub' a year later. But his playing is a bit one-dimensional compared to his later Ash work, where he would add the banjo and quite a bit of 12-string to his arsenal. Guest musician Jimmy Anderson adds quite a bit of useful filler with his keyboards, particularly the mellotron sections that help Home to shed a bit of their folksy/country reputation. Some of the various synth sound effects do seem a bit cheesy today, particularly the 'disaster' and crowd noises, but overall the music is more expansive than their debut and more animated than their rather staid sophomore release.

I would tend to lump this album historically and musically with Ash's 'Argus', Allman Brother's 'Eat a Peach', Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Pronounced.' and even ZZ Top's 'Tres Hombres', all released around the same time as this one. Of those only 'Argus' can also make the claim of being a concept album, although musically it far outshines Alchemist.

So this is a decent album, although not as deserving of the 'lost classic' label that some would suggest. Key tracks include the title song for its emotive instrumental work; the brief but keyboard-intense "Disaster"; and "The Sun's Revenge" for its strong guitar riffs. So three stars are where this gets placed, along with a modest recommendation for those who enjoy guitar- dominated early seventies tunes, as well as those who get a kick out of the many concept albums that found their way onto vinyl in the early seventies. If either of these types of albums appeal to you then you'll probably enjoy this one, but otherwise it will probably end up at the bottom of your playlist.

peace

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 Pause for a Hoarse Horse by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.15 | 16 ratings

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Pause for a Hoarse Horse
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars While the ‘progressive’ label is dubious in the case of Home, the band managed to put out two decent and one very good album (‘The Alchemist‘) during their short existence of the early seventies. This is their first and one of the decent ones.

For a British band Home sounded surprisingly similar to any number of American blues-rocking groups of the same period: Cactus, Ramatam, Blues Image, Canned Heat, etc. The group’s lineup was distinguished by guitarists Laurie Wisefield and Mick Stubbs and their twin-guitar attack very comparable to contemporary Brits Wishbone Ash, a band Wisefield would join after Home’s demise. Bassist Cliff Williams would leave for a stint with Bandit before joining Aussie rockers AC/DC in the late seventies.

Like I said, Home’s sound is most comparable to that of Wishbone Ash, with an appealing twin-guitar rhythm, understated bass, and Mick Stubb’s fairly plain percussion. This debut album also features Man keyboardist Clive John and Family member Johnny Weider on violin on the closing track. This is an unexceptional album, full of blues-inspired riffs, early-seventies sentiment earthy lyrics, and occasional solo indulgences. As far as I know the album didn’t garner any hits, but was apparently good enough for CBS to bankroll two more releases before the group disbanded in 1974. Brit balladeer Al Stewart reportedly offered the group a job as his backing band after their final release, but only Mick Cook to him up on the offer as far as I know.

None of the tracks really stand out. “Family” is sort of a prodigal son tune, the title track tells the sad tale of a dying horse, and “Moses” is the closest thing to a Lynyrd Skynyrd ballad as I’ve ever heard out of a bunch of British musicians. “Welvyn Garden City Blues” sounds like a combination of honky-tonk blues and a little bluegrass, with the only thing missing being a nice bass fiddle and maybe a banjo.

This is an interesting history piece, but nothing to get excited about. Rewind reissued it on CD, but it is a bit difficult to find and probably not worth the effort unless you stumble on a copy in a dusty used record bin somewhere. Three stars for the well- formed guitar work of Wisefield and Stubbs, but not particularly recommended.

peace

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 The Alchemist by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.56 | 32 ratings

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The Alchemist
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by bristolstc

1 stars This is one of the worst records ever recorded and one of the most overrated. In fact, this is down there with England and Fireballet as THE WORST PROGRESSIVE RECORD EVER. I have excluded some others that I hate, but it is this kind of snooty, pompous, arrogant, directionless, mindless noodling that makes people cringe when they hear the word "prog" and gives my beloved music a bad name. What people see in this album is beyond me. The concept is totally unoriginal, fractured, pointless, and says nothing. The keyboard arrangements show why I for the most part hate synthesizers, and Laurie Wisefield's post Alvin Lee and Steve Howe syndrome cold and emotionless guitar wanking makes this impossible to listen to. I gave this album at least 5 or 6 tries over the years and I don't own it now and never will again. Just how much I hate The Alchemist I don't know if I can even say, but I will tell you one thing- there are few albums I hate more. You would think that Home could have pulled off a concept that was better, but knowing Home's music these guys went from being a great rock and roll/folk rock band with slight progressive leanings into a nightmare of the worst progressive pseudo fusion trash ever. If you have to own an album by these guys then get their self titled second which I love sometimes and really enjoy others. It wouldn't be hard, but it's a lot better than this! So is there anything positive here at all? Really, no, save for the late Mick Stubbs' pleasant voice which can't do a thing to make his hideous concept work and the vocal arrangements are apallingly bad. This is also one of the worst production jobs I've ever encountered on a record. Let me say this- there are two worst productions ever- Shy's (known by that point in the US as Shy England) Misspent Youth which tore the band apart and this, but this would top even that one. The lyrics are a major problem, but it sounds so sadistic that you'd think Home were hoping to drive people to total madness with this horrible album. Are any of Home's records essential? No. I love progressive rock, I love all kinds of music, but I DETEST THIS ALBUM WITH A PASSION. I know this has just been one long slamming put down without much direction to it, so I'll end with saying this is the most pompous, overindulgent, overrated, sickening, and worthless piece of you know what that I have ever had the displeasure of hearing. Enough said!

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