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Seventh Wave biography
British Psychedelic band SECOND HAND dissolved after a falling out between drummer Kieran O'Connor and keyboard player Ken Elliot, who on leaving the band forged a lucrative career as a sessions musician and composer in advertising jingles and incidental TV music. The pair were reunited in a south London pub owned by JETHRO TULL's original bass player Glen Cornick and, even though they had not reconciled their differences, they began talking about recording an album consisting of only keyboards and percussion. The result was "Things To Come", an album that consists of mainly synth-laden instrumental tracks with only four vocal songs, that was quickly snapped up by Gull Records in the UK and Janus in the USA. Rather than continuing with the SECOND HAND name, the Elliot and O'Connor chose to call the band SEVENTH WAVE and began putting together a touring band to promote the release in Europe. The album received a considerable degree of air play in the USA but the band chose not to tour there to support it, which ultimately resulted in poor sales. Not wishing to make the same mistake twice, they embarked upon a US tour in support of their more song-based second album, "Psi-Fi", (which features a guest appearance by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR's Hugh Banton on the track Manifestations), but unfortunately this time all the radio airplay for the album occurred in Europe while they were touring the USA. During the tour, O'Connor fell out with Elliot again and quit the band, so by the time they returned to England Elliot had decided to dissolve SEVENTH WAVE for good. Ken Elliot went back to the world of TV and advertising jingles while Kieran O'Connor, who after working with various Blues/Rock bands around London, sadly died of alcoholism in the mid 80s.

Why this artist must be listed in :
A great early example of Crossover prog

Things to Come (1974)
Psi-Fi (1975)
Things to Come/Psi-Fi (1999)

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SEVENTH WAVE discography

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

2.87 | 25 ratings
Things To Come
3.76 | 27 ratings

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

SEVENTH WAVE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

4.40 | 5 ratings
Things To Come / Psi-Fi

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Things To Come by SEVENTH WAVE album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.87 | 25 ratings

Things To Come
Seventh Wave Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Post-Fungus Enbglish keyboards/drums duo, led by Ken Elliot and Kieran O'Connor.Both have worked together in the Psychedelic Rock band Second Hand and its natural continuation Chillum, who had a more experimental sound.It was a while the two musicians hadn't worked together and Seventh Wave started actually as a project of experimenting with keyboards and drums.After a single under the Fungus moniker, Elliot and O'Connor renamed themselves to Seventh Wave and were signed by Decca's branch label Gull.O'Connor was also responsible for the production of their first album ''Things to come'', co-produced by Neil Richmond and released in 1974.

The sound of Seventh Wave flirts both with the GENESIS-style Symphonic Rock and the pompous synth-drenched Prog of acts like SYMPHONIC SLAM and STARDRIVE with strong Electronic agitations but also showers of romantic textures.Elliot performs on various keyboards including Mellotron, synthesizers, electric piano and clavinet, while O'Connor offers his strong work on percussion, drums, xylophones, cymbals and bells.While the album is split in fourteen short pieces, it often flows as a single solid piece with different variations under a strong orchetral/Electronic atmosphere.The vocals have a definite YES flavor, while musically the album is dominated by its evident symphonic and Classical tendencies through the cinematic keyboard waves, ranging from monumental TONY BANKS-like moog synth textures to BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST-like haunting, orchestral washes.The abscence of bass/guitars is overpassed through the use of dual and triple keyboard themes and the use of an orchestral bass drum by O'Connor.The musicianship is pretty consistent, although some commercial tastes is usually present, with emphatic symphonic moves, spacey Electronic soundscapes and a few lovely melodies in a GENESIS style.The impressive sound of xylophones and cymbals make Seventh Waves' approach very cinematic and thus even more charming.

Very nice, overlooked album of gransiose keyboard-based Progressive Rock with dominant symphonic inspirations.Balanced between melodious and more bombastic parts, it can please all fans of 70's-styled Prog music with a slight preference on well-worked keyboard lines.Recommended.

 Things To Come by SEVENTH WAVE album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.87 | 25 ratings

Things To Come
Seventh Wave Crossover Prog

Review by Brendan

5 stars "A WORD OF WARNING" The following review is complete and total utter rubbish flowing from the mouth of a stupid man who has no ability to be objective. Read on at your OWN PERIL.

Seventh Wave started out as the band 'Second Hand' who made psychedelic/prog albums with Ken Elliott on keyboards, Kieran O'Connor on drums and percussion, and an ever changing, unstable line-up of guitarists, bass guitarists and a complete lack of any commercial success. I guess 'Seventh Wave' and 'Second Hand (aka Chillum)' are one of the greatest 'rare' finds of progressive rock. They are highly original and their keyboardist/synthesiser player, Ken Elliott (wait, I told you that above) is extremely good, like Keith Emerson/Anthony Banks good (no one calls him Anthony do they?). Like GREAT man. His playing is so innovative and vivid and descriptive. You hear! Now you all go and cheer him on! That's it., big smile on your face, clapping, That's it! (by the way the little drummer boy, complete with sympathy inducing 'nerd-glasses' is also good)

Well anyway Ken and Kieran (who couldn't stand eachother) had alienated everyone else in the world and were left alone to work together. But maybe that's good because these two guys are ultra talented, or so their music seems to indicate. Can we base everything on the quality of music? I hope so because that's what I'm doing.

So this album, made up of fourteen tracks, has four vocal tracks and ten short instrumental tracks. It should be easy to understand the average track length, given fourteen songs run for only about 35 minutes.

Elliot's keyboard work is quaint and classical, but often delves into very original territory. Often his work tries to reflect the title of the song, for example, 'Intercity Water Rat' really sounds like a dirty little rat running through the sewers and the joyous 'festival' really has that festival atmosphere.

All the songs seague into one another, except maybe 'Fail to see' leading into 'premonition', because you have to flip over the vinyl (well you did 'til downloads came along!)

So side one begins with the keyboard-organ piece 'Sky scraper' and this leads into 'Metropolis' , a catchy song with an environmental meaning. Oh by the way Ken Elliott is the vocalist here. He's not a great vocalist, but he sings well on this album. This is followed by 'Intercity water rat' which is very imaginative indeed! This is followed by 'Escalator' which is a brief synth-organ piece and that leads into 'Old Dog Song'. This is a very catchy pop-rock song with some brilliant hooks and plenty of passionate singing. There's an eerie instrumental 'Smog, fog and sunset' that creates a tense atmosphere before leading into the Motownish 'Fail to see' which also has good vocals from Ken Elliott, and a great chorus.

Flip over and things get even better. 'Premonition' is a ghostly track with some eerie sounds, very hard to describe, a real tension builder. This leads into the joyous burst of 'Festival' with it's cheery atmosphere. It is actually a re-worked version of 'Celebration' from the 'Chillum' album. There is one more vocal tracks, 'Ever so lightly' which is extremely catchy and has a 'synth-medieval' feeling to it. I like the synth-bass on this one.

The remaining four tracks are the best part of the album, real fantasy epics with all sorts of original keyboard textures. My favourite track by this band is 'Communication Skyways' that begins this quartet of songs, and unbelievably, being an instrumental, it is one of their most catchy songs. also these last four actually have a dance beat to them, duh! that's why it's 'dance of the Eloi' not 'prog of the Eloi!'

Anyways a long, exhaustive review, this is a fine album. If there was anything else that sounded like it? I picked this up at a 2nd hand record store because it had a proggy cover. It's not really prog, more imaginative synth pieces and a few catchy pop-rock songs. But innovative nonetheless. 4.5 out of 5.0

 Things To Come by SEVENTH WAVE album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.87 | 25 ratings

Things To Come
Seventh Wave Crossover Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars "Things To Come" is the debut full-length studio album by UK psychadelic/progressive pop/rock act Seventh Wave. The album was released in 1974 through Gull Records in the UK and through Janus Records in the US.

Seventh Wave was formed by Ken Elliott and Kieran O'Connor who were former colleagues in the psychadelic/progressive rock act Second Hand. They decided to patch up their differences after a period of working on seperate projects (Ken Elliott made TV and commercial jingles). Differences that had initially led to the demise of Second Hand. They named their new project Seventh Wave. The idea was to make an album with only percussion/drums and keyboards/synth. No bass or guitars and only a few vocals.

The music on the album is rather original sounding as a result of that approach. The sound is keyboard/synth dominated and there are only a few, out of the 14 tracks on the album, that feature vocals. While Seventh Wave are often referred to as a progressive rock act, the music on "Things To Come" isnīt overtly complex and often itīs a bit superficial. Itīs pretty obvious that Ken Elliott had worked with writing jingles in the preceeding couple of years because some of these tracks sound like something that could have been used in a TV or radio commercial. The atmosphere on the album is at times strangely jolly and itīs hard to get a hold of what Seventh Wave are trying to convey to the listener. The tracks just arenīt that exciting to listen to as actual songs. Vintage keyboard and synth freaks might find this interesting though. If only for the sounds.

The musicianship are on a high level. Itīs obvious that Ken Elliott knows a lot about playing keyboards/synths and his inventive playing is what ultimately saves this album. The sound production is a bit odd to my ears. The keyboards/synths are way up high in the mix while the drums and especially the vocals almost drown at times. To my ears itīs not a very successful sound production.

"Death May Be Your Santa Claus (1971)" by Second Hand is a bit of a gem and therefore expectations to Seventh Wave and "Things To Come" were pretty high on my part. But this new incarnation of the band doesnīt come off to a good start if you ask me. "Things To Come" is a one of a kind album and thatīs of course always a positive, but ultimately that doesnīt mean itīs a great listen. For that the songwriting is too shallow and the weak sound production doesnīt make it easy to love either. A 2 - 2.5 star (45%) rating is warranted.

 Psi-fi by SEVENTH WAVE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.76 | 27 ratings

Seventh Wave Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I did not really know which album to choose for my 1,000th review. Thought of the great "Floyd" DVD "P.U.L.S.E" or Kansas's one "Device, Voice, Drum" or the wonderful triple DVD set from "The Who" which holds both live renditions of "Tommy" and "Quadrophenia" Or the latest live CD set from "The Doors" : "Live At Boston".

And while I was re-arranging my discography in accordance of the new genre distribution within the ex Art Rock, I saw that a band called "Seventh Wave" was integrated into Cross-Over genre. Since I couldn't really believe that it was the "Seventh Wave" I knew I did read their bio and I was confirmed in my surprise. Yes, it was the "Seventh Wave" from my (late) teenage days.

Since this album belongs to the ones that have influenced me a looooong time ago, I decided that this would be the one. Of course, I guess that no-one has ever heard of the band (except Micky who adds the band to PA and whom I thank very much for this). But I can't really tell how I came to buy this album somewhere in 76. Maybe a laudatory review in the fanzine "More" (which was the only one available in Belgium by then).

What I was going to discover was a totally new type of music. Of course, at times some "Floyd" or "ELP" influence can be noticed but most of the time this album sounds as a truely "Seventh Wave" one and nothing else. Be ready for a very special journey when you embark "Psy-FI" which could also be titled "Sci-Fi" for its intriguing cover featuring a kind a friendly extra-terrestrial creature. It has always attracted me. Can't really tell why !

This second album has no much things to do with their debut one. From a two-man band, the line-up will be joined by several musicians who will help to give more heart and sould to the work even if like for "Things To Come" Ken Elliott is doing all of the songwritting. Both Bob and Tony Elliott (probably his brothers but I am not sure of this).

The opening track shows the way "Seventh Wave" (or Ken Elliot who IS the band) has chosen to investigate. "Return to Foreverland" is an incredible mix of pop, and electronic music. Extremely catchy chorus. Strong beat and so unique vocals from Ken. Difficult to describe. I guess that the same applies than with David Surkamp ("Pavlov's Dog") : either you can stand and like them or you will just hate them. My choice (for both of them) is the former.

"Roads To Rome" has a very special mood. Almost decadent (like the ancient Rome maybe). Pompous as well (an aspect that the band already had shown in their debut album and which can relate them with ELP. But these elements will be too scarce to really say that it is a major influence). This decadent feeling is also probably due to Ken's vocals. He sounds as if he was coming out a Berlin cabaret before WWII which adds some apocalyptical or end of the world sound to this song. Bombastic keys are featured as well.

Hugh Banton (from Van Der Graaf Generator) holds the keys during "Manifestations". This song is similar in spirit to " Return to Foreverland" : crazy beat, gorgeous keys, great vocals (good backings as well). A very good pop and catchy song. A bit futuristic and harrowing. It sounds as a new-wave song and a band like "Magazine" must have listened to this song.

"Loved By You" is so funny, so parodic that I can not believe that the band was too serious about it. It is sung by Ken's brother (Rob) and is a mix of soul, soap opera as well as retro style (the fifties) music. Irresistable.

One of the best song from this album (but it is already the third one so far) is the long "Only the Beginning". Spacey intro, hypnotic and electronic beat, close to the funky moods. Again the high-pitched vocals work very efficiently. I guess that the band invented the electro-funk. Rich keyboards, lots of synth (there will two guests backing Ken with organ and piano). Backing vocals provides additional strenght as well. A great way to close the first side of the vinyl album.

After the short and pompous "Aether Anthem", we'll get back to the decadent mood again with "Astral Animal". Another efficient electronic funk tune. Weird vocals combined with ambient music provide such a great feeling!

One of my fave since the very first time I have been listening to this very good album is the intrumental "El Tooto". Spacey and dramatic atmosphere. Beautiful melody, fully keyboard oriented with nice but very much in the background percussion work. Another highlight.

"Camera Obscura" is also one of my fave. It is a piece of opera on its own. Orgy of synths of course, complex, mostly instrumental, psychedelic and spacey for the closing section. It leaves the casual listener probably lost or at least perplex. It needs several spins to be accepted.

After nine minutes, the song merges nicely into "Star Palace of the Sombre Warrior". This passage is the closest one to "Floyd". Fully space rock oriented. It is the most emotional one of all. Dark, bombastic and again this fabulous (to my ears) vocals from Ken. Another highlight (one more). I really like this song and the whole album is like an enchantment. Thanks to PA to have revived this band in my memory.

This is an highly creative album. Totally original and so different from anything you could think of. I had never heard such music before. And actually, I know of no other band that has produced anything close to this work later on. It is not easily approachable. But if ever you get hold of the CD version which holds both of their LP's do have a listen. Maybe you will be charmed as I have been over thirty years ago.

Thousand words for a thousandth review. Sorry about this. Four stars.

 Things To Come by SEVENTH WAVE album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.87 | 25 ratings

Things To Come
Seventh Wave Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer


Seventh wave is an obscure band form the mid-seventies Britisch scene. At times psychedelic / experimental ("Intercity Water Rat", "Premonition"), at times oldie ("Old Dog song") which is fully "Beatles" oriented, at times classical ("Smog, Fog and Sunset").

Some songs won't be any good like the Motown-ish "Fail To See" and "Festival" which could have been an excerpts of of West End musical.

This band is maybe too original to be categorized. Probably, and also therefore, they won't have the success they should have deserved. Not with this album which is not a great one, but with their excellent follow-up : "Psy-Fi".

At times, this album is too minimalist and hard to approach. There won't be any standout tracks. Too many very short songs : seven out of forteen will "peak" at much less or just above two minutes. Difficult to express your ideas within this run lenght IMO.

My fave is "Eversolightly". Somewhat melodic and featuring these typical and so special vocals from Ken Eliott who also wrote all the songs from this album. It will be mostly dominated with keys like in "Communication Skyways". This song forms sort of a quadrilogy with "Things to Come", "1991 1/2" and "Dance of the Eloi". The whole sounding as pompous as some ELP work.

Two stars and definitively waiting for better things to come.

Thanks to micky for the artist addition.

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