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ARC

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Arc picture
Arc biography
After singer GRAHAM BELL joined BRIAN DAVISON'S EVERY WHICH WAY, English foursome ARC emerged from SKIP BIFFERTY [aka HEAVY JELLY] in 1970. They were a lesser but very talented blues-based heavy prog outfit comprised of Michael GALLAGHER's keys, Tom DUFFY's bass, the drums of David MONTGOMERY and guitarist John TURNBULL. Evidently they recorded two studio albums though only one is currently documented, 'At This' from 1971 on Decca.

Occasionally compared to PATTO though they also remind of SUPERTRAMP if that group had been young and hungry, ARC sound not unlike many bands of the era who took from what the Beatles had established but adding a harder, rawer feel mixed with the semi-classical sparks of early YES, making 'At This' a respectable collector's item.

ARC were songwriters at heart and composed surprisingly good material easily overshadowed by the other more well-versed, attention-getting acts. Clearly progressive however, and a fine example of early melodic Prog before things got so involved.


-- Atavachron (David) --



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Typical but distinguished heavy prog band from the early era, and a fine addition to the Archives.



Discography:
At This, studio album (1971)

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Arc at ThisArc at This
Import
Esoteric 2009
Audio CD$64.98
$65.69 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
J.S. Bach Choral Preludes No.1-23 Archive ARC 3025 Mono NM USD $6.95 Buy It Now
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GERARD MCMAHON & KID LIGHTNING blue rue LP ARC 1981 ROCK VG+ USD $11.00 Buy It Now
Global Women Ethnic songs from 14 Countries 2004 Arc Music compilation CD USD $5.71 Buy It Now
Joan Of Arc - Joan Of Arc Presents: Don't Mind Control (CD New) USD $7.04 Buy It Now
S.M.Q. - Ivana D'Arc (2010, CD New) USD $18.86 Buy It Now
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Afro-Cuban Yoruba Dream by Vocal Baobab (CD, Nov-2005, Arc Music) USD $4.99 [0 bids]
Geri O'Brien . Out Behind the Barn . Canadian Artist . promo . Arc LP USD $10.69 Buy It Now
Terry Roberts . Got the Urge for Going . Common People . Canadian artist. Arc LP USD $13.75 Buy It Now
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Sounds of Mongolia by Egschiglen (CD, May-2006, Arc Music) USD $0.99 Buy It Now
The Best of Today's Black African Folk Music (CD, Sep-1993, Arc Music) RARE USD $4.16 Buy It Now
Russia's Beautiful Religious Songs (CD, Feb-2002, Arc Music) USD $0.99 Buy It Now
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Arc Angels - Arc Angels (CD 1992) NEW AND SEALED USD $8.58 Buy It Now
The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol 1 vinyl LP ~ HALF SPEED MASTERED ~ ARC 1978 USD $14.99 [1 bids]
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USD $1.99 Buy It Now
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USD $4.99 Buy It Now
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Love Songs of the World by Various Artists (CD, 2002 Arc Music) Sealed! USD $3.99 Buy It Now
Steve Winwood, "Arc Of A Diver"~ NM Album LP ~ 1980 Island Records ~ ILPS 9576 USD $4.49 [0 bids]
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Chuck Berry, Albert King, Them, Jimi Hendrix & Others - Arc Essential Classics USD $14.95 Buy It Now 39s
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7m 16s
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you - LIFE the first movement Japan CD+DVD - NEW Janne Da Arc USD $24.99 Buy It Now 33m 48s
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Songs from the Arc of Life New CD USD $13.69 Buy It Now 1h 30m
Franck Symphony in D minor Pierre Brochstain Vinyl LP ARC Label FDY2047 USD $8.63 Buy It Now 1h 40m
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK - JOAN OF ARC 7" DINDISC 1981 EX USD $6.11 Buy It Now 3h 18m
ARC1-4353 - R STRAUSS - Death & Transfiguration MATA Dallas SO - Ex LP Record USD $11.10 Buy It Now 3h 28m
Deniece Williams - Waiting By The Hotline 45 rpm Vinyl ARC Records NM 1982 USD $4.50 Buy It Now 3h 41m
Old 45 RPM Record - ARC 1-11093 - Earth, Wind & Fire - In the Stone / You and I USD $2.50 Buy It Now 3h 44m
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Tetsu69(L'Arc-en-Ciel, tetsuya)WHITE OUT 1st Press LTE Japan CD+OBI+Pendant USD $10.79 Buy It Now 4h 8m
OMD Joan Of Arc UK 7" vinyl single record DIN36 DINDISC 1981 USD $12.27 Buy It Now 4h 9m
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GREG GUIDRY/OVER THE LINE US ARC37735 USD $23.00 Buy It Now 4h 32m
Digits McPhee Honky Tonkin' UK 7" vinyl single record ARC34 ARC 1963 USD $14.44 Buy It Now 4h 54m
Rise Into A Circle 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) German ARC001 ARCADIA/RCA USD $14.75 Buy It Now 5h 15m
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7h 35m
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8h 20m
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11h 29m
Arc - Scott Buck (2012, CD New) USD $16.75 Buy It Now 11h 36m
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Claude Bradimore ?- "I Remember Hank Williams" - 12" Vinyl LP ?- ARC-538 USD $12.00 Buy It Now 12h 37m
JOAN OF ARC, LIVE IN CHICAGO 1999 - DBL BLUE LP JT1042 USD $30.00 Buy It Now 12h 50m
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ARC discography


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

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

3.48 | 28 ratings
At This
1971
3.03 | 10 ratings
Bell + Arc
1971

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

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

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ARC Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 At This by ARC album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.48 | 28 ratings

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At This
Arc Heavy Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A one-off affair from 1971, 'At This' has been re-released after a 20-year plus hiatus in the rock wilderness by those fantastic purveyor's of lost prog, Esoteric Recordings, the label who have also given us 'Space Shanties' by Khan, 'Glass-Top Coffin' By Ramases and Soft Machine's superb 'Bundles' album, to name just a few. An energetic and accomplished slice of early pop-tinged prog, Arc's debut sounds a bit like Yes, Flash and Queen have all been press-ganged into making an album together, which would probably be no bad thing(!). The music is brisk and inventive without ever being brilliant, but in a couple of tracks, most notably the album-opener 'Let Your Love Run Through', the group show off some seriously-catchy riffs imbued with impressive vocal harmonies. Lyrics wise, let's just say the group won't win any Bob Dylan-size plaudits, but the music is good enough to forgive the occasional literal abberation. All in all, enjoyable, briskly-played prog-rock - with the emphasis on rock - which should please fans of Yes, Supertramp, Babe Ruth and Rush. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010.
 Bell + Arc by ARC album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.03 | 10 ratings

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Bell + Arc
Arc Heavy Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Missing identity

Following their critically acclaimed debut Arc at this, Arc joined forces with Graham Bell, formerly of Heavy Jelly and Skip Bifferty to form the curiously named Bell + Arc (not Bell and Arc). They release just this self titled album together before the band folded completely a year later, with John Turnbull and Michael Gallagher going on to join Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

The album Bell + Arc did not fare nearly as well as had been hoped in terms of chart success, and copious quantities of the album quickly found their way into the bargain bins of British record shops. Nowadays though, the album has gained belated recognition, and is highly sought after in LP format.

Bell's white soul style vocals are somewhere between Joe Cocker and Paul Rodgers, the opening High priest of Memphis giving him an early chance to stamp his authority on the band's sound. The slightly echoed voice, female backing vocals, and rhythmic piano all contribute to the gospel tinged sound.

During the recording of the album, drummer Rob Tait, who had already replaced the band's founding drummer, was himself replaced by Alan White (later of Yes). White's first appearance here is on the second track Let your love run free, a blues/funk number with a rock and roll rhythm. The track features a Chicago like brass section who drive the repetitive beat forward. Keep a wise mind ventures towards country rock, the simplistic structure and catchy chorus offering little in the way of a challenge.

Side one of the album closes with covers of songs by Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. For both tracks, Ken Craddock moves to organ for the first time on the album, immediately changing the whole atmosphere. Cohen's So long Marianne becomes a soulful ballad emphasising again Bell's proximity style wise to Joe Cocker. Dylan's She belongs to me (from Self portrait) was covered somewhat more radically by the Nice, the version here being a mid-paced blues.

Yat rock is the longest track on the album at a shade over 6 minutes. The title is somewhat misleading, the first part of the song being a melancholy blues of little consequence. Things transform midway as the band ups the pace and bursts into a piano driven jam.

Bell softens things right down for his solo spot Dawn, where his delicate vocal is accompanied only by acoustic guitar. Children of the north prison continues the downbeat mood, acoustic guitar giving way to another orthodox piano based blues. The album closes with Everyday (no relation to other similarly titled songs, this is a Bell + Arc composition), which reverts to the lighter country tinged pop rock style.

Those who were there will recall that 1971 was a wonderful time for music, and especially for prog. If you were going to make it then you not only had to be good, you had to have your own identity. That is where Bell + Arc falls short. While Graeme Bell undoubtedly has a fine voice, the overall sound of the band is undistinguished. The songs and their arrangements simply lack that special ingredient which might have set them apart from their peers. Not a bad album though.

Note that the cover shown here is the original LP cover. The CD re-release uses photos from inside the LP's gatefold sleeve instead.

 At This by ARC album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.48 | 28 ratings

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At This
Arc Heavy Prog

Review by raleks

5 stars A can only recommend to listen to this album. Very energetic and melodic stuff. This kind of early prog I like very much. It's pity, that Arc's second album Bell and Arc not so good and even poor, I've looked it for a long time... :(
 At This by ARC album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.48 | 28 ratings

BUY
At This
Arc Heavy Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Arc was a typical but very good quartet that made a go of it during the English post-underground era. They were often hard riff-based but showed Beatles musicality, Stones attitude, and the raised standards pioneered on the early Yes records. Think Supertramp meets Atomic Rooster on a drunken evening in the studio. 'Let Your Love Run Through' is lanky hard blues, relaxed but assertive with a sweet balance between the fuzz twang of John Turnbull's guitar and Michael Gallagher's saloon-style piano. 'Four Times Eight' is almost pure silliness saved by some impressive instrumentation and White Album fun and 'Great Lager Street' is simply great young prog rock, with warm vocal harmonies and delicate keyboard/guitar duets, still with that earthy spirit before things got so convoluted. Just as good and at over seven minutes is 'Hello, Hello Monday', filled with this group's particular style of semi-Baroque hard rock and accomplished playing, a remarkable piece considering the band's almost unknown status. 'Sophie's Cat' is sweet and 'You're in the Garden' is tinctured with acid and CS&N vocal triads.

A real good record that simply didn't stand out in its time, or any time for that matter, and deserves some serious reconsideration from those who like their oldies with a little class.

Thanks to Atavachron for the artist addition.

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