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DAY OF PHOENIX

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Denmark


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Day Of Phoenix biography
DAY OF PHOENIX hails from Denmark and was formed in 1968. The first line-up consisted of native english singer/guitarist Cy Nicklin, drummer Henrik Friis plus Ole Prehn, Karsten Lyng and Jess Stæhr - all three ex-members of a band called 'The Maniacs'. During the early days they released the single 'Tell me / I think it's gonna rain today' and wrote one soundtrack before Nicklin suddenly left to join the band 'Culpeper's Orchard'.

Tony Reeves - bassist of the early Colosseum band - was the producer of their first long player 'Wide Open N-Way'. It was recorded in Copenhagen and is pointed out as the jewel of the band's musical history. With new vocalist Hans Lauridsen and bassist Erik Stedt substituting Stæhr they worked out an ambitious psychedelic based album with references to the US West Coast style. Additionally provided with folk and jazz elements it has a reputation nowadays in the progressive rock scene and is receiving excellent reviews. 1971 the next single 'Deep Within The Storm / Chicken Skin' followed.

And then DAY OF PHOENIX fall apart because Erik Stedt died unexpectedly. The band had to be reorganized with the remaining Prehn and Lyng. After the split of Burnin' Red Ivanhoe Ole Fick, Jess Stæhr and Bo Thrige Andersen joined to record the new album 'The Neighbour's Son'. Compared to the foreunner it contains shorter and more plain rock songs and is frequently evaluated as a disappointment. Stæhr, Fick and Anderson went on to rebuild Burnin' Red Ivanhoe afterwards.

1979 the danish sublabel of swedish Sonet Grammofon reissued both DAY OF PHOENIX albums as a 2LP release followed by a Universal Music digitally remastered version in 2000.

Rivertree (Uwe Zickel)

Day Of Phoenix official website

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DAY OF PHOENIX discography


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DAY OF PHOENIX top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.34 | 14 ratings
Wide Open N-Way
1970
2.53 | 5 ratings
The Neighbour's Son
1972

DAY OF PHOENIX Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DAY OF PHOENIX Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Wide Open N-Way / The Neighbour's Son
1979

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
Tell Me / I Think It's Gonna Rain Today
1969
5.00 | 1 ratings
Deep Within The Storm / Chicken Skin
1971

DAY OF PHOENIX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Wide Open N-Way / The Neighbour's Son by DAY OF PHOENIX album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1979
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Wide Open N-Way / The Neighbour's Son
Day Of Phoenix Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars "Wide Open N-Way / The Neighbour's Son" is a compilation album by Danish heavy psychadelic rock act Day of Phoenix. The compilation features the material from their first and second full-length studio albums "Wide Open N-Way (1970)" and "The Neighbour's Son (1972)". The compilation was originally released in 1979 as a double LP on Sonet Records and it was re-released on CD in 2000 through Universal Music.

The "Wide Open N-Way (1970)" album is a great heavy psychadelic and at times semi-progressive rock album with long jam-like compositions featuring lots of guitar solos and inventive playing by the two guitarists in the band. the rhythm section is adventurous and tight playing and the vocals are pretty decent too. It´s widely regarded as a classic Danish heavy psychadelic/progressive rock album from the 70s. "The Neighbour's Son (1972)", which featured three members of the, at the time, recently disbanded Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe, is on the other hand widely regarded as a disappointment with it´s more regular vers/chorus structured radio friendly rock tracks.

The idea to release the compilation is great as the two original LP versions of the albums were out of print at the time and as there was still a demand for the albums the decision made sense. The same can be said about the decision to release the compilation on CD in 2000. Quality wise it´s the material from "Wide Open N-Way (1970)" that takes the prize while most of the material from "The Neighbour's Son (1972)" are decent but nothing special. But overall it´s a good quality product and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted.

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 The Neighbour's Son by DAY OF PHOENIX album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.53 | 5 ratings

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The Neighbour's Son
Day Of Phoenix Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "The Neighbour's Son" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Danish heavy psychadelic rock act Day of Phoenix. "The Neighbour's Son" was originally released on LP in 1972 through Sonet Records. The album was re-issued in 1979 as a double LP with the band´s first studio album "Wide Open N-Way (1970)". It´s been re-released both as a single CD and as a double CD set with "Wide Open N-Way (1970)" in recent years. After releasing "Wide Open N-Way (1970)" the band disbanded in 1971 as bassist/pianist Erik Stedt (also a member of Danish psychadelic rock act Beefeaters) sadly passed away. However the two guitarists Karsten Lyng and Ole Prehn opted to reform and reorganize the band. They recruited Ole Fick (guitars, vocals), Jess Stæhr (Bass) and Bo Thrige Andersen (Drums) to complete the lineup. All three were fresh out of work from the recently disbanded Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe. With a lineup like that expectations were naturally high to "The Neighbour's Son".

Unfortunately the band have changed their style a lot since "Wide Open N-Way (1970)". The tracks are (safe for a few exceptions) vers/chorus structured rock songs completely lacking the dark, heavy, psychadelic and semi-progressive nature of "Wide Open N-Way (1970)". The musicianship are obviously on a very high level and compared to the debut that part is actually more professionally executed. The music is still very guitar driven and it´s obvious that it´s two guitarists that are the main men behind the project. The issue here is the songwriting. The only track on the album that´s a bit adventurous is the 6:37 minutes long "Paradox". It´s also the longest track on the album and it´s the track that reminds me the most of the material from "Wide Open N-Way (1970)". The rest is not bad but it´s pretty unremarkable.

The sound production which is courtesy of Tony Reeves (Colosseum, Greenslade) is professional and well sounding. Pleasant and organic. So in many ways "The Neighbour's Son" is a quality release by Day of Phoenix. The compositions are just generally not memorable enough or intriguing enough to leave a lasting impression. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

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 Wide Open N-Way by DAY OF PHOENIX album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.34 | 14 ratings

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Wide Open N-Way
Day Of Phoenix Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Discographia

3 stars The Progressive psychélédique Rock is little present here it sagit here more than a progressive Rock beginning heavy and folk novice. Tres soft has the ear by the singing(song) and the guitars pure tres, the battery(drum kit) makes it tres heavy leaving part has the imagination of a simple rock and without ambiguité. Let us return to the guitars which they are tres pure and acid in a kind(genre) or it is not the majority of the cases, except doubtless towards the groups of progressive Folk song, doubtless, games(sets) of the guitar she(it) was worked with effects, mixs of folk and rock guitar. Beautiful or magnificent can be words which return has the listening of this album both by its sweetness and by his(her,its) fraicheur, I appreciated some tres psydéléliques and air sounds, ideal for a good siesta.

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 Wide Open N-Way by DAY OF PHOENIX album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.34 | 14 ratings

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Wide Open N-Way
Day Of Phoenix Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Wide Open N-Way is the debut albm by Danish psychadelic/ progressive rock act Day of Phoenix. Day of Phoenix was formed in 1968 and initially included one of the most prolific musicians on the experimental part of the Danish music scene in the late sixties and the early seventies Cy Nicklin in the lineup. Wide Open N- Way was originally released on LP in 1970 through Sonet Records. The album was re-issued in 1979 as a double LP with the band´s second album The Neighbour's Son (1972) ( this is the copy I own). It´s been re-released both as a single CD and as a double CD set with The Neighbour's Son in recent years.

First a little related background info from the Danish scene for those who have an interest in that.

Cy Nicklin who was British had started his music career in the Danish based folk duo Cy & Maia with Danish singer Maia Aarskov whom he had met at a dinner party in 1965. The duo later became a trio and was renamed Cy, Maia & Robert, when Danish based French musician Robert Jean Francis Lelièvre who had deserted the French army in 1962 and lived in political exile in Denmark, joined the two. Cy & Maia recorded the single Portland Town/ Chickens Are Coming in 1966 and it was the only recording they made as a duo before Robert Lelièvre joined them. Cy, Maia & Robert recorded their debut album On the Scene in 1966 and their second album Out of Our Times was released in 1967. They also released three singles in that period Green Rocky Road/ Harvest of Hate (1966), A Church Is Burning/ Take a Look Inside (1967) and Cheers Dears/ Natural Man (1967). The latter was recorded using the name Maia & Full Limit. Cy Nicklin and Robert Lelièvre also played guitar on Scottish folk singer Alex Campbell's 1967 album Alex Campbell At the Tivoli Gardens (1967). Cy, Maia & Robert split up in November of 1967.

Robert Lelièvre then went on and recorded an album called Alliance (1968) with Scottish folk singer Iain Campbell and then went to England where he recorded a solo album The Hare (1968 or 1969) and was signed by Polydor as a songwriter and studio musician. Robert Lelièvre came back to Denmark in June of 1969 where he teamed up with Cy Nicklin again ( who had just left Day of Phoenix with whom he had recorded the single Tell Me / I Think It's Gonna Rain Today (1969)) and formed the folk/ rock band High Crossfield. That band later evolved into the progressive rock act Pan whose sole self-titled album Pan (1970) is widely considered as one of the most important progressive rock ( proto-prog) albums in Denmark. Robert Lelièvre sadly suffered from depressions and took his own life in August of 1973 ( Pan disbanded in 1972). Cy Nicklin had left the band before the recording of Pan and formed Culpeper's Orchard who is also considered one of the most important bands on the Danish progressive rock scene.

Day of Phoenix initially started out as a blues rock band but after Cy Nicklin left their style took a more experimental and psychadelic turn. The music on Wide Open N-Way is a mix of west coast psychadelic rock and semi-progressive rock with a touch of jazz/ rock. The music is guitar driven and the two guitarists Karsten Lyng and Ole Prehn compliment each other brilliantly throughout the album. Hans Lauridsen´s vocals are pretty strong and as a plus the Danish accent is actually not that obvious ( which is something that can´t be said about many Danish bands singing English language lyrics in the sixties and seventies). The rythm section with drummer Henrik Friis and bassist/ pianist Erik Stedt ( also a member of Danish psychadelic rock act Beefeaters). Erik Stedt sadly died in 1971 and Day of Phoenix disbanded for a while) are also very capable musicians. The music is generally pretty dark and with three out of five songs on the album that has a playing time over 10 minutes each there´s lots of room for long jamming guitar solos. The music is well composed but sometimes suffer a bit because of the experiments. Sometimes those experiments are succeful but sometimes they just don´t work that well. My favorite song is Mind Funeral but the other two lengthy tracks Wide Open N-Way and Cellophane #1 & 2 also stand out as something special IMO.

The album is produced by Tony Reeves ( Colosseum, Greenslade) and got lots of attention because of that. This is not to say that the music isn´t of high quality because it certainly is but the choice of producer was wise. The production is very good but I hear more than one technical error in the playing which under normal circumstances would have been corrected but isn´t here. Maybe it was a money issue or limited studio time but it gives the album an unpolished quality that you don´t hear in music today. Quite charming really.

I´ve enjoyed Wide Open N-Way since the first time I was introduced to it by a friend in secondary school. Let´s just say we were influenced by some of the same things in those days that the hippies consumated in their heyday and this was one of the albums that we listened to in my friend´s room a lot along side albums by other Danish psychadelic/ progressive rock artists like The Young Flowers, The Savage Rose, Beefeaters, Alrune Rod, Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe and Steppeulvene. I return to those days every time I listen to the album but somehow the feeling of freedom and youth just don´t feel as strong anymore. I used to love the album but now I only hear a very good and interesting album. Very enjoyable with excellent moments but not fully worth the 4th star. 3.5 stars is my rating.

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 The Neighbour's Son by DAY OF PHOENIX album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.53 | 5 ratings

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The Neighbour's Son
Day Of Phoenix Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars DotP's second album benefited from a wider presentation than their debut album, because it was expected that the BRI reinforcement (following that group's break up) would actually boost this group. Coming with a gatefold sleeve, still produced by Colosseum's Tony Reeves, this album was released in 72, Neighbour's Son is a listless collection of songs that are closer to BRI's usual standards, rather than DotP's more improvised sound of their debut album. This is all the more surprising, because the vast majority of the songwriting is still handled by the two guitarists Prehn and Lyng.

Musically much less enthralling, DotP plays tracks between 1:55 and 6:36 sounding like a flute-less Jethro Tull or Free, but without the songwriting skill. Even the longer tracks don't allow much room for musical interplay and there is little to remind us of the patchy but enthralling debut album. It's even hard for me to give you a preferred song, because they ll sound a bit alike, but the closing track is always a good one, because it sounds so nice once the raucus stopped. .

Best avoided if you ask me, this straight rock album is probably as interesting as are the later Midnight Sun album, also released on Sonet.

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 Wide Open N-Way by DAY OF PHOENIX album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.34 | 14 ratings

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Wide Open N-Way
Day Of Phoenix Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars A Copenhagen group, whose first singer left after a single and a soundtrack to form Culpepper's Orchard, DOTP hired Hans Lauridsen as a new vocalist. Formed around the double guitar attack of Lyng (lead) and Prehn (2nd and vocals), their debut album, produced by Colosseum's bassists Tony Reeves saw the light of day on the Sonet label (Alrune Rod, Burnin'Red Ivanhoe etc.) in fall 70 and was relatively surprising for these days. With most of the music written by the two guitarists, you can guess that there are plenty of guitar fireworks all the way through.

The album starts with two lengthy numbers that are more improvs than epic, with their West Coast double guitar attack, with the enigmatic title track being a collage of a few clumsily assembled parts, the middle one sounding like a garage band days Byrds or Dead. Quite messy really, but the group sounds fresh enough that they can be forgiven easily. However I'm wondering how Tony reeves could let that by, knowing how Colosseum was way more self-demanding. The following Cellephane is split into two parts, but it doesn't seem to make them anymore tidier or tighter, but it's clearly the band's best moment on this album

The flipside is a bit more uneven (and much shorter despite having one more song) with the rockier If You Ask Me (fairly straight forward), the ultra short Tick Tack and yet another 12-minutes track promisingly titled Mind Funeral. Obviously the album's other highlight, Mind Funeral sees the appearance of future Secret Oyster's Knudsen on piano and Ulrik Jensen on oboe, both giving a demented jazzy

Days Of Phoenix will find itself invaded by ex-BRI members, following that group's first line-up break up, with another future Secret Oyster Jess Staehr playing on bass. But for now, their debut album had enough interesting moments to make this album definitely worth the hearing while not being essential.

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 Wide Open N-Way by DAY OF PHOENIX album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.34 | 14 ratings

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Wide Open N-Way
Day Of Phoenix Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars As you can expect from an album the title song should be a highlight. Not true in every case - but this time by all means. When listening to Wide Open N-Way you're first immediately forced to believe that this is an american westcoast psych band. Accent-free vocals and a very cool straightforward sound with acoustic guitar. But then they are showing another second sight right away with a weird piano and guitar echoes dominated krautrocked interlude. And that's nowhere near enough - we also have high speed guitar jamming (with some slight technical problems) - and then surprisingly coming back to the main theme in between. Very complex what can be stated for nearly the whole album by the way.

The two Cellophane parts are noticeably headed by Karsten Lyng and Ole Prehn delivering an excellent accentuated virtuoso twin guitar work. And then Mind Funeral has to be mentioned - they didn't take the song title literally by the way - as for the compositional aspect at least. The song consists of two different moods - first the solid westcoast psych touch. And then the band takes a deep breath in the second half and offers a wonderful jamming jazzy part which you may not have expected when listening for the first time.

'Wide Open N-Way' is not plain psych/space music - you should brace yourself for sophisticated psychedelic based rock with some jazz elements by contrast - sometimes even eclectic and ahead of the times in 1970. Highly recommended because absolutely enjoyable even nearly 40 years later!

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Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition.

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