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FRIENDSHIP TIME

Eclectic Prog • Sweden


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Friendship Time biography
In a small town north of Stockholm, guitarist Stig JONSSON, bass player Martin CERHA, singer Enrico ADAMBROSI and drummer Thomas LOWGREN - all teens at the time - formed FRIENDSHIP TIME in the fall of 1970. With the departure of singer ADAMBROSI and the addition of second guitarist Dag MATTSSON, the band began to move away from their rhythm&blues background and, after hearing 'The Yes Album', turned to a more progressive path.

By 1975, after numerous personnel changes and with the help of producer C.G. Langensklold, FRIENDSHIP TIME eventually recorded an album that was slated for release in '76 on Virgin Records. Sadly, after recording the sessions and contracting artwork for the cover, band members were no longer working together and the project fell apart.

These recordings would have remained lost had TRETTIOARIGA KRIGET drummer Dag LUNDQVIST not discovered them at his home in or around 2005. With the help of Stefan Dimle of Paatos and Morte Macabre, the material was remastered and released on Mellotronen. FRIENDSHIP TIME reflected the best of the symphonic sounds of YES, FLASH and CATHEDRAL, and was a fine young band on the verge of breaking through the prog ceiling before its untimely demise.


- Atavachron (David) -

thanks to Blowin Free for additional information

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FRIENDSHIP TIME discography


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3.84 | 24 ratings
Friendship Time
1976

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FRIENDSHIP TIME Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Friendship Time by FRIENDSHIP TIME album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.84 | 24 ratings

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Friendship Time
Friendship Time Eclectic Prog

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

4 stars Whenever I put this CD on, I can't help but to think of Wishbone Ash. Or more like what that band would have sounded like still at the development stage prior to their first album. Unassuming and at the sane time very ambitious seemingly amateurs having a go.

Largely instrumental work and even the charmingly shy-ish vocals remind of WA. The mix suffers a bit from the excessively busy bass dominating throughout the whole work. Excessive in the sense of leaving the others behind, who seem to struggle to match his enthusiasm. The twin guitars that don't really sound like twins at all are lacking the skills, or perhaps just the experience to sound convincing enough. Desperately stretching out in a commendable effort, but not quite there yet in the skills department.

It's a pity that the friendship didn't last long enough to reach more maturity as this band held much promise. Altogether, it's still pretty good work, offering a pleasant listening experience. 3.5

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 Friendship Time by FRIENDSHIP TIME album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.84 | 24 ratings

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Friendship Time
Friendship Time Eclectic Prog

Review by BORA

4 stars Chris Squire on steroids?

My first and lasting impression of this release is about the dominant bass practically leading the entire album. Whilst I wouldn't excessively associate the band with YES, Martin Cehra (bass) does sound like Squire at his best - and beyond.

I am rather mesmerized by those heavy chops that remind me of the better bits on "Drama" by YES, an album that was released five years later(!).

I confess that after repeated spins, my attention remains firmly focused on the bass - at the expense of the other instruments. Nevertheless, the music as a whole comes across as very pleasing with reasonable vocals here and there.

Well, if you wanted to hear more of Squire's style when it goes beyond of just keeping the bottom, then I couldn't think of a better example than this album. On any account, this work is pretty good throughout and would represent an excellent addition - no doubt.

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 Friendship Time by FRIENDSHIP TIME album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.84 | 24 ratings

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Friendship Time
Friendship Time Eclectic Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars What ??? Only 13 ratings and 3 reviews. This are a pitiful number of reviews !!! This album deserves more attention !!! Because , besides being excellent album, the band formation are somewhat unusual in progressive rock ( 2 guitars and none keyboard ). I know which in P A line- up from the band make a mention " Martin Cehra/Electric Bass and Mellotron", however, the mellotron almost don't appears along the 7 tracks. Even so , the musical structure reach for the band is fantastic!!! One track is very different to other, a fact which already is a strong point in this album. The track 1 "Anonymiteten" presents a main theme where you can feel the "fugue" guitar melodies, the track 2 "Engine" is a "celebration" theme where the band showing their skilled style in any forms including a countless drums rhythmic changes, bass guitar solo and incridible guitar scales (like Howe's moods). I be able to enumerate various virtuosity moments , even so I think ... is better hear this fantastic album, because all tracks are great. My only restrictrion is, since you have 2 guitar players in the band I miss some acoustic guitars lines in counterpoint with the other electric guitar and only for this I not give the maximum quotation. My rate is 4 stars !!!

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 Friendship Time by FRIENDSHIP TIME album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.84 | 24 ratings

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Friendship Time
Friendship Time Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Here's another example of an originally jazz and blues-based band inspired by the early progressive masters who adopted a somewhat complex though derivative sound, labored long enough to secure a recording deal, then disintegrated when the release of that album fell through. The members all went on to other ventures and their music was largely forgotten until the original tapes were rediscovered and released years later. Their story is similar to that of other groups like Proto Kaw, Midwinter and Carol of Harvest, and like all of those except Proto Kaw their resurrection was also short-lived and limited only to serious prog-rock aficionados.

The band's sound shows clear evidence of their knowledge and appreciation for early Yes music, including lengthy guitar and keyboards progressions, irregular and sometimes complex tempo shifts, and bass licks that extend far beyond the range of simple rhythm enhancement. On the other hand the drum work is not up to the level of the better prog bands, and at times the keyboard and guitar arrangements tend toward rather perfunctory and unimaginative scale progressions with little to distinguish them.

Most of the album is instrumental, something that was not particularly unusual in the heyday of prog rock but a slightly dated sound by the time these tracks were recorded in 1975. The timing was a part of the band's problem of course, as the traditional progressive sound had largely fallen out of favor by then, replaced by a strong R&B scene and the early rumblings of disco. Surely record executives and promoters would have considered the band to be something of a dinosaur and they had little chance of much promotion or airplay.

The other odd thing about these songs is their brevity compared to typical prog-rock songs. Half of them exceed seven minutes but only "Engine" really fills its time with variety and depth. The lumbering "Ombadidilio" gets jazzy at times but mostly suffers from the same sort of dragged-out vocal passages that characterized early Journey albums while "Clouds" spends too much time chugging along to an unoriginal bass line, and the promising "Watersong" ends up descending into a jam session before reviving itself somewhat with a decent guitar soloing section before giving way again to the weak bass parts.

It's always fun to 'rediscover' lost and obscure prog music from years past, and for anyone who truly appreciates the creativity and ambition of traditional prog I wouldn't discourage them from seeking this one out. But just because something is uncovered and issued on CD doesn't mean it is a lost classic. This is a decent album but not exactly a gem. A three star effort perhaps, but only because this sort of music isn't made much anymore and serious fans need to do whatever we can to promote this sort of musical archeology if we hope to continue uncovering the occasional treasure.

peace

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 Friendship Time by FRIENDSHIP TIME album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.84 | 24 ratings

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Friendship Time
Friendship Time Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After reading Anteaterīs enthusiastic review, I was curious enough to seek for this album so I could hear this one shot, very unknown swedish prog act. It took me quite some time to find it but I finally got hold of a copy. And it was worth it! Although Iīm not as enthraled by it as my fellow reviewer, this is one hell of a good CD! The first thing I notice qhen I played was the excellent CD sound: Mellotronen has done a terrific job of remastering. The album sounds like something recorded nowadays and not over 30 years ago. Simply brilliant!

But what about the band itself? it is one of those typical cases you keep wondering how big those guys could be if they stayed together and had time and opportunity to develope their sound. They were a progressive quartet and, with only the occacional mellotron run played by the bassist, this is a totally keyboards-less record. The two guitars, bass & drums format may not be very common on the prog scene, but, boy does it it work! Itīs all very technical and the songs are all very good. Vocals are only ok, but the real highlights are the tremendous duets/duels with all three guitars (the bass is also a soloing instrument along with those six stringers). It is almost like a jazzed up version of Wishbone Ash (minus the vocal harmonies).

Although some Steve Howe influence can be heard here and there, it is clear that jazz guitar is their main source of inspiration, like Chet Atkins, but this is not a fusion record. This is a prog CD that has some of the most interesting and creative guitar lines Iīve heard in a long time. sometimes very technical (Engine) sometimes very lyrical (Ombadidilio). But always keeping a high standard of songwriting and performances.

As I stated before, it is a pity that those guys didnīt make it in the 70īs. They might have been one of the best prog bands to emerge from that decade if they kept developing such extraordinaire sound. But Iīm glad that there were people sensitive enough to reckon this CDīs qualities and release it with such superb remastering. It is a prog lost gem and anyone who considers himself a music lover should listen to it. Rating: 4 to 4,5 stars. Highly recommended it.

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 Friendship Time by FRIENDSHIP TIME album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.84 | 24 ratings

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Friendship Time
Friendship Time Eclectic Prog

Review by Anteater

5 stars If this had actually gotten released back in 1975 through Virgin Records like it was supposed to, Friendship Time's S/T here would be considered a seminal masterpiece today along with all the classic albums by Yes, Genesis, VDGG, King Crimson, etc., but unfortunately they ran out of money before anything could be sent out, and as a result the mastertapes were lost for over 30 years....until 2006! :D

Hence, in honor of the band, I will go ahead and set the record straight - this is a genuine, perfect album from progressive rock's golden age that deserves to be heard by ANYONE who calls themselves a fan of the genre.

For starters, the energy here is something so powerful and organic that groups like Transatlantic and The Flower Kings will seem but merely tame in comparison once it hits your ears; every track here is absolutely rife with the best instrumentation one could imagine, and that's as high a compliment as I can give considering how darn picky I am. It's powerful, driving beyond anything you'd expect, and has such fantastic OOMPH to even the acoustic pieces such as "Clouds". Just...wow!

It makes me wonder...where has this album been all our lives? There's nothing else like it today, bar the sort of crazy power Yes had up until Tomato, and even then there's something here that's special and unique to this particular outfit.

For people who have been craving something of true progressive quality, that ever elusive lost classic that lacks the contrivances that a lot of modern prog. possesses, an album that will pound the hell out of your speakers without you even touching the volume while making your ears feel as if they've died and gone to heaven.

This, my friends, is progressive rock at its most tight and energetic, at its most propulsive and imaginative. Precious gems like this are why I am a fan of progressive rock in the first place!

Infinite stars if possible, and may this poor little gem finally get the recognition it deserves here on ProgArchives.

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