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DECAMERON

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Decameron biography
Decameron came to be in the late 1960s when Dave Bell met John Coppin through a mutual friend. Coppin and Al Fenn had a band that was emulating the best of 60s folk rock at the time - names such as the BAND, FAIRPORT CONVENTION and CROSBY STILLS NASH and YOUNG. But Coppin and Bell together became a formidable writing and singing duo and the group stuck mostly to originals from then on.

Going professional in 1971, Decameron released their debut "Say Hello to the Band" on Vertigo in 1973. A cross between contemporary LINDISFARNE and UK west coast folk rock with a sprinkling of FAIRPORT CONVENTION, it showcased both the serious and playful sides of the group and their fine vocal harmonies.

Label changes were de rigueur for Decameron, and, after adding bassist/guitarist Dik Cadbury, later of the STEVE HACKETT band, they released "Mammoth Special" on Mooncrest in 1974. It showed a turn towards more introspective and progressive material that was to define their sound for the remaining years of their all too brief existence. Here and there, a more sophisticated version of MAGNA CARTA might be an apt characterization.

Rumours of a missing 3rd album have circulated incessantly. It was called "Beyond the Light" or "Beyond the Days" depending on the source, and was even given a catalog number, but it was ultimately scrapped, although supposedly some of its material has surfaced on compilations since.

Now on Transatlantic, they released "Third Light" in 1975, and it was their most progressive outing to date, not surprisingly given the production by Tom Allom, who also engineered various STRAWBS recordings of that time, and in fact "Third Light" was not dissimilar to Strawbs of the early 70s.

The group added a full time drummer for the first time in the name of Bob Critchley, and issued a second album on Transatlantic, "Tomorrow's Pantomime". It was a logical progression from "Third Light", although perhaps not quite as consistent. With not nearly enough sales to sustain them through punk's unforgiving imposition, Decameron disbanded shortly thereafter.

The main members do re-unite occasionally, sometimes as a 60s doo-wop alterego known as the Magnificent Mercury Brothers, sometimes as themselves, while Cadbury has released a solo album and writes with Dave Bell. In the meantime, Johnny Coppin has a name for himself as an English folksinger and collaborator. This is not surprising given Decameron's own stamp on the ...
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Say Hello to the BandSay Hello to the Band
Remastered · Import
Esoteric 2012
Audio CD$10.57
$6.34 (used)
Third Light & Tomorrow's PantomimeThird Light & Tomorrow's Pantomime
Import
Castle Essential 1997
Audio CD$99.98
$24.14 (used)
Mammoth Special PlusMammoth Special Plus
Import
Edsel Records UK 2001
Audio CD$3.00
$3.50 (used)
Parabola Road: The AnthologyParabola Road: The Anthology
Remastered
Castle Us 2005
Audio CD$89.99 (used)
Third Light / Tomorrow's PantomimeThird Light / Tomorrow's Pantomime
Import
Castle Music America 2000
Audio CD$22.99
$14.98 (used)
Decameron - Third Light - Transatlantic Records - TRA 304Decameron - Third Light - Transatlantic Records - TRA 304
Transatlantic Records
Vinyl$29.69 (used)
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DECAMERON discography


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

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

3.29 | 9 ratings
Say Hello to the Band
1973
3.02 | 15 ratings
Mammoth Special
1974
3.42 | 9 ratings
Third Light
1975
3.06 | 8 ratings
Tomorrow's Pantomime
1976

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Afterwords
2001

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

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

4.00 | 2 ratings
Third Light/Tomorrow's Pantomime
1997
4.00 | 2 ratings
Say Hello to the Band andtheBestofWhatsLeft
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Parabola Road
2005

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

DECAMERON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Third Light by DECAMERON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.42 | 9 ratings

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Third Light
Decameron Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars 'Third Light' was Decameron's third of four studio releases and probably their most consistent effort, in that there are no real duds or filler here although there aren't really any standout tracks either. As with their prior two releases the lineup includes some guest appearances, in this case former If (and future Strawbs) keyboardist John Mealing, Patto percussionist John Halsey (the band never did have a full-time drummer as near as I can tell), and English horn player Mike Winfield on a few tracks, most notably "Saturday".

Like I said there are no real standout tracks here, although the building tempo and guitar/ strings interplay of "All the Best Wishes" and the winding and folksy "The Ungodly" serve to showcase that blend of rock and folk temperaments that most likely appealed to their modest fanbase at the time.

The opening "Rock and Roll Away" is more of a pub-rocker and akin to the sort of journeyman touring musician tale as the opening title track to their sophomore release.

Perhaps the oddest tune on the album is the heavily string-infused acoustic number "The Strawman" whose meaning I can't quite figure out but which sounds as if it was inspired more by stage music than either rock or folk. "Journey's End" is a bit like this as well with plenty of string swells and Winfield's laconic horn swirling around Mealing's electric piano and what I believe is Coppin's high tenor vocals. A nice piece that might have made a better closer than "The Ungodly", but who am I to say really.

"Wide as the Years" is the longest and arguably the most progressive track on the album, although with this band that really isn't saying much. The piano and strings again set the tone, with a winding vocal passage that deftly spins a musical yarn while managing to avoid and sort of chorus or traditional song structure. The ending of this song in particular is quite lovely without veering into sappy territory, and I can imagine would have made for a nice encore piece in concert.

Toward the end of the album "Road to the Sea" and "Trapeze" are geared a bit more toward a soft-rock sound that the band would pursue more fully on their final studio release 'Tomorrow's Pantomime' just a year later. Unfortunately that would also be the band's final album as they disbanded shortly after releasing it.

For me the first and last Decameron albums are their best, the first for its true folksy mood and influences, and the latter for the quality of musicianship as well as one of my favorite album covers ever. This one doesn't quite rise to that level, but given that all the tracks (except possibly "The Strawman") are solidly decent, I have to say the effort rates three of five stars and is mildly recommended but mostly to those who have heard any of the other albums and are still interested in the band. The album has never been released on CD as far as I know, but has been issued as part of CD packages, one combined with 'Tomorrow's Pantomime' on Castle Records and again along with 'Say Hello to the Band' and 'Tomorrow's Pantomime' as part of the 'Parabola Road' collection. Either one will do if you are interested, although 'Parabola Road' is probably the easier one to find. Worth enjoying if you come across it.

peace

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 Mammoth Special by DECAMERON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.02 | 15 ratings

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Mammoth Special
Decameron Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Decameron opened their supporting tour of this album with a concert backed by an orchestra, which is kind of hard to imagine if one only listens to the first side of the record. Their sophomore effort is clearly aimed at a more commercial sound; thankfully by the time they got around to the backside of the album the group seem to have settled back into a more grooving and comfortable folk-rock sound.

Other than the bland commercial rock opener and an awkward cover of Stephen Stills' "Rock and Roll Woman", the record's a-side includes a very Strawbs-sounding "Just Enough like Home"; the funky "A Glimpse of Me" that features Geoff March with some decent saxophone; balladry in the form of "Late on Lady Day", also including saxophone along with somber piano that seems somewhat inspired by the more languid Roger Hodgson-penned Supertramp tracks; and a catchy "Breakdown of the Song" that tells the tale of a journeyman singer-songwriter whose financial gains seem to get mostly divvied up between everyone except the artist himself. In all a modest side of music, with only "Late on Lady Day" approaching the folkish charm of the band's first record.

Fortunately things get better on the back half, starting with another funky tune (thanks to Dik Cadbury's tasty bass). "The Cheetah" offers the first real glimpse of the band's multi- instrumental talents with flute, that tight bass, a bit of mandolin and plenty of percussion. A bit of a departure from the band's early sound but a welcome bit of musical exploration at least.

"Jan" sounds a bit like old London music hall, jaunty and piano-driven with well-formed vocal harmonies and a couple of playful tempo shifts as if meant to be delivered like a penny theater production.

The band tries for something a bit more profound with the somber "Stone House", scored to choral backing vocals, strings and once again more prominent bass than was heard anywhere on their first record. "Parade" centers itself around strings as well, and manages to be even more languidly delivered than "Stone House". Love the cello on this one.

The album closes with an almost nostalgic "The Empty Space (This Side of Innocence)", once again with gentle strings and soft backing vocals which build to a sort of slow climax before winding down in a wash of poignant string flourishes. Meant to be a bit sad, it's a gentle and somewhat depressing way to end the album but certainly well in character for folk rock music of the period. This one veers well into Barclay James Harvest territory, and was I suppose sincerely meant to be emotive and serious at the time.

I didn't get past the opening side of this record the first several times I sat down to play it, and even though the band acquits themselves for the most part on the final five songs I still have to say this is not up to the par of their debut album, nor of the one that would follow. I'm going to say this is a three out of five start effort anyway, just because the songs that do deliver are certainly good enough for that, and the ones that don't rise just enough above filler to merit more than a 'collectors-only' stamp. If you're not familiar with the band I wouldn't start with this one though. Pick up their debut and then work your way backwards from their final release to this one. Hopefully their better work will soften your overall opinion of this one.

peace

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 Say Hello to the Band by DECAMERON album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.29 | 9 ratings

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Say Hello to the Band
Decameron Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Decameron's debut provides a solid archetype of the sort of folk rock that defined this band's largely unheralded music and career. And while they would veer a bit closer to a pop-rock sound by the time the group ceased full-time operations, this one does folk proud in both its lyrics and musical arrangements.

I don't know if the opening title track is autobiographical but it probably does describe a scene that's played out many times with fledgling bands trying to make it on endless touring and front-room couch accommodations. The band has shown up at the home of one of its former member's girlfriends looking a place to stay, and apparently aren't even dissuaded by the fact the lass has a new beau who just happens to be there at the time. The music itself is rather pedestrian with the possible exception of a soulful harmonica in the intro, but the lyrics foretell some entertaining stories over the next handful of tracks.

Generally speaking I wouldn't consider this music to be all that progressive, although hardcore fans of folk rock will recognize and appreciate that this melding of Anglo folk, traditional and electric instruments and rock arrangements may be pedestrian today but was still fairly novel at the time this album was recorded. 'Byard's Leap' provides a great example of this. The song recounts the legend that gave a small Lincolnshire town in England its name, that of a witch said to torture local farmers by spoiling their crops. An aging soldier offers to rid the town of the witch using a blind horse to lure her to a local watering hole where he sends her to her death at the point of his spear. The lumbering bass and drums provide a tasteful foundation to the gorgeous mandolin and cello work of Al Fenn and Geoff March, which serve to plant the song firmly in British folk territory.

I can't quite follow the storyline on 'Judith' but it seems to have something to do with a destitute gentleman and some gal named Judith. No matte really, it's a charming little ditty with a nice violin line that achieves its emotive intent. 'Innocent Sylvester Prime' is another sad little story accented with plenty of acoustic guitar harmonics that sounds like a cross between John Denver and James Taylor; in fact, there's even a reference to Boston, where Taylor was born. I doubt there's a connection but its an interesting bit of trivia nonetheless.

I'm not sure who's singing on 'Crows' (the band in general employs lots of multi-part harmonies and everyone sings so its hard to keep track). The distinction here is his accent, which I believe is what's referred to as Scouse from the Liverpool area and is most often associated in the U.S. with Ringo Starr and Yakko Warner of Animaniacs cartoon fame. Once again the cello plays a major role along with an uncharacteristically heavy drum rhythm and piano courtesy of guest musician Ian Whiteman who has also appeared with the likes of John Martyn, Shirley Collins and Sandy Denny.

The band lapses back into laconic acoustic folk with 'The Moon's In 'A'' (same lead singer) before laying down the more commercially-oriented 'Stoat's Grope' with a simple one-two beat and a persistent violin presence. This song sounds a lot more like what the band would gravitate toward on their final two studio releases, and in fact the song was the only one from this album released as a single that I know of.

There are a few less interesting moments on the album, mostly toward the end which may be an indication the band was either in a hurry to finish the album or didn't have quite enough strong material, neither of which would be all that unusual for a debut record. 'Ride a Lame Pony' seems to be another song about being a musician, and reminiscing about what could have been and lost love, etc. etc. ('those wonderful boys with the shiny guitars, they ride a lame pony out to the stars with a dream all but faded away'). A nice enough tune and a sentiment that many can identify with, but not quite up to par with the rest of the album. And I'm not a music theory expert but the rhythm and guitar arrangement on 'Shine Away' seems to be not much more than a variation on the title track with different lyrics.

As far as I know the original vinyl release was never reissued verbatim, but there is a CD edition that includes nine additional tracks. If you pick this up today that's the edition you're most likely to get. Most of these tracks appear to be either outtakes or early recordings, and are generally not of the same caliber as the original album tracks. 'Friday Night at the Regal' for example was the b-side to the 'Stoat's Grope' single; 'Call it Sleep' and 'Parade' have some nice vocal harmonies but are otherwise unexceptional; and 'Rock and Roll Away' appears to be a commercial effort most likely intended to be one of the concert pieces for the band's alter-ego 'the Magnificent Mercury Brothers' (I wonder if Jeff Lynne heard this prior to penning his 'Rock 'n' Roll is King' single in 1983). This would also be the opening track to the band's third album. Most of the rest of the bonus material is largely forgettable.

My first spin of this record was not very memorable, and it wasn't until I began to appreciate the rest of the band's discography that I revisited this one and found it was quite a bit better than originally thought. In the end I'll give this three out of five stars and a solid recommendation to folk rock fans, with the disclaimer that it issuant very progressive although despite that it is a pretty enjoyable listen.

peace

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 Tomorrow's Pantomime by DECAMERON album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.06 | 8 ratings

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Tomorrow's Pantomime
Decameron Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars I don't know much about Decameron's history but they do have the distinction of releasing one of my favorite album covers of all time with 'Tomorrow's Pantomime'. Not sure exactly sure what is so appealing about a sad mime wearing an absurdly large space helmet, but every time I see this cover it gives me a smile.

And while I get the impression this was a fairly unexceptional pub-rock band they are nonetheless very good musicians, and the fellows distinguished themselves with some particularly good poetic songwriting at a time when too many in mainstream rock circles were coasting behind vapid verse and a claim that only the instrumental music "mattered". Right, and inflection matters when one speaks but not the words that are actually spoken. The album opens strong with "The Deal", a straight-ahead rocker that stands apart thanks to clear, strong vocals and well-played rhythm guitar right from the onset. Midway through an electric violin is introduced and will reoccur throughout the album to provide a melancholy lilt to the frequently sobering lyrics. The violinist here reminds me quite a bit of Greg Bloch (String Cheese, PFM) on the 'It's a Beautiful Day... Today" album during David LaFlamme's temporary exile from that band.

The band reveals their road warrior roots with the obligatory young-lad-with-dream-turns- jaded-rock-star on "Fallen Over", delivered to a simple, toe-tapping beat and almost certainly designed for the concert stage but certainly not high art in most senses of the word.

One of a handful of relationship songs on the album, "Ask me Tomorrow" offers a solemn and somewhat cynical view of the world and the future from a young man to his lover, again with poignant violin delivery:

"you ask if I will love you till forever - come over to the window and tell me what you see; I see bowed heads and solemn faces, lies and hiding places... That's your forever, crawling on its hands and knees."

The album's range (so to speak) also extends to what sounds an awful lot like pre-disco and the appropriately-titled "Dancing" complete with fat bass, twangy guitar riffs and a driving beat framed with a chorus of male backing singers. Not quite the Bee Gees, but this one wouldn't be all that out-of-place on a cutout bin 70s disco collection.

The title track houses the best lyrical line on the album with the clever observation "Maid Marian is a lousy part when you'd rather be Ophelia". There's a lengthy tradition of pantomime in southern England that somewhat bridges theater, old-fashioned music halls and even modern pop/rock (check out the history of glam sometime). I won't pretend to understand all that historical implications here, but I'm sure Brits of that stripe will appreciate many sentiments in this narration of a mildly voyeuristic relationship.

Seems like most every album has something that is either overtly or at least suspected filler. "Single-Handed" fits that description here. It's a decent enough tune but given the strong lyrics, tasty guitar and emotive violin elsewhere on the album it just fails to stand out much. Reminds me a bit of several other seventies b-listers including Home, Bad Company, latter Wishbone Ash and Help Yourself.

Less common, but certainly not unheard of are world-weary prodigal son songs including Kansas' "Carry on Wayward Son", certainly the most famous of these but definitely not the only one. "Crazy Seed" seems to be a similar reflective tale of a hard-living world traveler reflecting back. Musically the band is quite tight here, with violin and piano both strong and dominant while the percussion takes a back seat and the chorus of almost angelic backing vocals provide a lush depth that transcends most of the rest of the album.

Someone in the band was either going through an ugly divorce at the time of this recording, or knew someone who was, or lived through one as a youth. The experience yielded "Shadows of the Stairs", the somber lament of a relationship gone sour and the resultant strife of child visitation arrangements, property division and bitter accusations. Musically I like the varied tempos and emotive instrumentation, but lyrically this is a song about pain and a part of life that's just never funny or ever even fun.

The grandest effort on the album is also one of the most confusing, or at least slightly cryptic. "So This is God's Country" is a ranging composition that's part folk tale, part flag- waving patriotic anthem and maybe just a bit of drunken dirge. What's confusing is the song starts off as some sort of English self-loathing exercise set to a catchy guitar riff and rocking percussion, but eventually morphs midway into an American (U.S.) jingoistic ramble about being a world power and conquering evil in two world wars and setting up shop as a stalwart capitalistic guardian to the world ("peace with honor, screams the dollar"). I can't tell if this is meant to be sincere or sarcastic, but given the time frame it seems likely the band meant no disrespect (this song sung today might come off quite differently I'm sad to say).

Decameron put out two or three additional studio albums before disappearing before the decade even ran out, largely without a trace. I wouldn't raise the band up as a lost treasure, but they were certainly better players than many other long-forgotten b-listers of the seventies, and their lyrics definitely show the group was willing to put some pride and effort into what they released even if the result is slightly uneven. A solid three stars though (out of five) and recommended to folk rock and progressive crossover fans, as well those enamored with modern English folk.

peace

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 Third Light by DECAMERON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.42 | 9 ratings

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Third Light
Decameron Prog Folk

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Rock 'N' Roll away... from Prog

I own this album as part of a three-on-one-release called Parabola Road that holds three out Decameron's four albums over two CDs. The present album is somewhat annoyingly split over the two discs and not halfway through as it would be if it was to correspond to the original vinyl sides, but between track seven and track eight. But, if you want to hear the whole album in one go you can just rip it to your computer like I did. The other two albums featured on Parabola Road are Mammoth Special and Tomorrow's Pantomime (and there are also some bonus tracks that I have not yet heard). I suppose that this double CD release is now the best way to get these three albums. But, while I don't mind buying these several-on-one releases, I always prefer to rate the individual albums as they were originally released.

Decameron was a rather obscure Folk Rock band from the 70's and Third Light is, not surprisingly, the third album of theirs to see the light of day. The music found here is a mix of Folk Rock, Beatles-esque Pop and straightforward Rock & Roll with only slight progressive touches. I would put them in the same category as Al Stewart or Lindisfarne rather than Strawbs or Jethro Tull, though a couple of songs like The Ungodly and All The Best Wishes approach the style of Strawbs a bit. Though hailing from the UK, Decameron had a more American sound than many of their British Folk Rock colleagues drawing inspiration from both the likes of Crosby Stills Nash & Young and Fairport Convention.

Third Light is a pleasant album with 10 songs ranging from three to six minutes in length. The sound is based on acoustic, electric and steel guitars, bass and vocals with drums, violin and some discrete keyboards. This is a rather conventional Folk Rock line up and Decameron offers no real surprises. The quality of the songs is rather evenly spread over the album and there are not many standouts in either direction. However, The Ungodly stands out as the best and most progressive song and Rock 'N' Roll Away as the worst and least progressive one.

The music of Decameron is not bad but by no means essential, not even from a Folk Rock perspective and even less so from a Prog Folk perspective. Still, this is a worthy addition to a collection of someone with a taste for the Folk Rock of both sides of the Atlantic.

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 Tomorrow's Pantomime by DECAMERON album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.06 | 8 ratings

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Tomorrow's Pantomime
Decameron Prog Folk

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars "Maid Marion is a lousy part when you'd rather be Ophelia"

Decameron is a rather obscure Folk Rock band from the 70's. Though hailing from the UK, Decameron had a more American sound than many of their British colleagues. Tomorrow's Pantomime was the band's fourth and last ever album and also the most mature and well- produced one. If this is in any sense progressive, their "progressiveness" lies in a certain eclecticism mixing influences from primarily British and American Folk Rock, Beatles-esque Pop and straightforward Rock & Roll with slight touches of Jazz and Funk. If I must name some similar bands I would say Barclay James Harvest in their least symphonic and most Folk rocking moments (remember Mill Boys?) and perhaps Strawbs (but not their most progressive material). One of the members of Decameron was Dik Cadbury who would later join Steve Hackett's band.

I own this album as part of a three-on-one-release called Parabola Road that holds three out of the band's four albums over two CDs. The other two albums featured are Third Light and Mammoth Special. Tomorrow's Pantomime is the one I have listened to the most. Though more mature than their earlier albums, the present album is somewhat uneven. Indeed, almost every second track is significantly less interesting compared to the rest; tracks one, three and five (The Deal, Ask Me Tomorrow and the title track) are, together with the album's last three tracks, the better songs, while tracks two, four and six (Fallen Over, Dancing and Single Handed) are rather out of place. The latter is a Rock 'N' Roll number that would have fitted perfectly on an Elton John album while Dancing is a rather dispensable Funk rocker.

The most progressive songs, and also among the best ones, are the last two: The Shadows On The Stairs and the two part So This Is God's Country/Peace With Honour. Here we get a little bit more substance and something more than conventional song structures.

Tomorrow's Pantomime is a rather good and partly enjoyable, but somewhat uneven, album. Not bad at all, but by no means essential. Recommended particularly to those with tastes in the Folk Rock direction without too strong criteria of "progressiveness".

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 Say Hello to the Band andtheBestofWhatsLeft by DECAMERON album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2004
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Say Hello to the Band andtheBestofWhatsLeft
Decameron Prog Folk

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Not losing anything, even this album is somehow redundant. However, this can't and shouldn't lower my rating. Songs presented here are early years Decameron (I didn't do The Research, so I can just guess). So my opinion on first nine ones is in proper album review, so the best ones (that left) are to be judged. And tormented until they reveal the truth (wait a minute, that's a different story, let's get back). My favourite one here (lullaby anyone ?) is Call It Sleep. Don't be confused, annoyed and frightened by Friday Night at the Regal please, it's typical (whatever you hate comes in your mind perhaps) ... song, rock'n'roll, country, folk, rock, something in between these four. And others are good too, I don't know about other Best Offs, but this one is good. Even I have to lower

4(-) - the ra(n)ting

P.S. Even I would kill just for Call It Sleep dear Readers.

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 Third Light by DECAMERON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.42 | 9 ratings

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Third Light
Decameron Prog Folk

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars I'll not provide you so thorough background, own experiences "back then", or as truth opinion as these two Misters, who posted their reviews prior to mine. After all, who wanna argue with folk experts in folk area, right ?

What I can give you is my point of view, worse, but equally honest (you know the saying: "I mean it")and, as far as I know more enthusiastic (when reviewing, I do it with keen obsession).

Folk-rock-country, that's their third album. Better than previous and again, not sure about prog elements (I didn't get prog folk definition so much yet, so don't blame me), but I know that it's a good one. Of course, there are little elements that differs it from mere singer- songwriter, like more-complex music structure, sound layers etc, but lie it would be if I say that I understand it. Great vocals. And the best track is probably The Ungodly

4(+), because of ... um what ? Note the lack of strongest catchy piece here.

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 Mammoth Special by DECAMERON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.02 | 15 ratings

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Mammoth Special
Decameron Prog Folk

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars Well, it's edge of folk, prog and perhaps even pop. There are songs that makes me push rating higher, but there are also ones that I hate and found quite useless. Just Enough Like Home would be one of disputable ones. There are strings, melody, nice guitar work (I like it here, but it's not much to be heard), but it sounds like Bee Gee's "How Deep Is Your Love", or at least is similar. Next one, A Glimpse of Me is also strange, I found vocal here quite irritating, but other elements suggests prog sound. Probably, very strange sound, I really don't know what to think about it.

And about songs in general, there are better and worser, but I lack country element from their debut, which is good for prog (I suppose), but I'm afraid that they replaced it with pop and that's bad thing. Mostly shorter ones, but they are full of promising ideas. Late on Lady Day, if they just made it longer, spanning few minutes, it could be great prog hit (watch bass line here, strong one). And others are again, perfect, or little bit worse, as Jan with its "ye olde" style with one. Same with next track, The Stonehouse (reminds me King Crimson's second release with its "peaceful" ending song). Only disappointment is a bonus track. And after giving it fair chance (more listens), it's little bit better. Still average track, nothing perfect, but not completely failure.

4(-) guys and girls, there's just too much good things for me to give lesser. Even I agree that some of things shouldn't be here. Pleasant successor to their debut, but by my opinion, can't beat

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 Say Hello to the Band by DECAMERON album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.29 | 9 ratings

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Say Hello to the Band
Decameron Prog Folk

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars Oh, the folk songs, old ones, drawing inspiration from history, medieval, or simply old- sounding instruments (even simply acoustic guitar is enough to basically every mood). But the songs are, well, it sounds like bunch of not related sounds. Judith, it is country song ? Not that I don't like this style, I like, I even like it a lot (guitar always makes me smile and dream), but for prog rock, it's strange. Good thing that this is prog folk, but later on, even more country appears. It's not bad one, just over-influenced by this genre. And also, it's first and it probably means they were still finding themselves.

OK, edited rating. They persuaded me (these songs) to give them one half better rating (these songs) 4(+), not bad album, but not prog so much. Very good folk album, different from all these endless British folklore inspired folks. But it's melodic, various instruments are used here (I was pleased how good it sounds) and if sheer admiration of this folk pearl is not enough for masterpiece, I'll give at least "almost masterpiece rating", 4 stars better.

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