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SPRING

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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Spring picture
Spring biography
Here's a legendary band from the Early British Progressive Rock Movement, the sixtet SPRING including Pat Moran (vocals, Mellotron), Ray Martinez (lead guitar, Mellotron, 12-string guitar), Adrian Maloney (bass guitar), Pique Withers (drums, Glockenspiel) and Kips Brown (piano, organ and Mellotron). Peter Decindis played bass on two tracks. This is a one-shot band that released the album "Spring" in 1971 and put on CD by Laser's Edge in '92. It contains 3 previously unreleased bonustracks. Producer Gus Dudgeon (known for his work with Eric Clapton, David Bowie and Elton John) died a few years ago and drummer Pique Withers became famous with Dire Straits.

The sound of SPRING is a 'Mellotron's heaven', no less than three members use this marvellous instrument! So it ain't no surprise that this album is loaded with Mellotron (flute - and violin-sound) but it doesn't harm the compositions, there's no overkill. All 8 songs from the original LP from '71 sound warm and melodic with strong vocals, many floods of organ and sensitive electric guitarwork and beautiful twanging 12-string guitarplay. To my surprise, the 3 bonus tracks doesn't contain Mellotron. The emphasis in these songs is on the organ in fluent rhythms with nice, slightly shifting moods. Certainly one of the gems, beloved by the 'connaiseurs'.

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

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SPRING discography


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

3.74 | 171 ratings
Spring
1971
3.30 | 26 ratings
Second Harvest
1973

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

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SPRING Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spring by SPRING album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.74 | 171 ratings

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Spring
Spring Eclectic Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars Warning: the music on this album contains mellotrons.

And with that proviso, we look at this fascinating one off album from the progressive English band Spring from 1971. One of few the early seventies bands that built it's musical foundations on the prog hallowed mellotron. Even the three bonus recordings present on this album, that were the initial songs recorded for their follow up album prior to the band splitting up, also feature the mellotron heavily, with more piano and organ brought in to build up the sound.

So, is the album Spring any good? That depends on how much one appreciates combining of the mellotron with mellow , but always simmering music. There are some dramatic moments on Spring with lyrics worthy of either Peter Sienfeld and Keith Reid, but the tone of the album is reflective and relatively quiet when compared to the more dynamic "From the Wicthwood Sounding" bonus tracks.

But the band, with four out of the five members playing the tron on different tracks, make this one off album seem almost essential to an early prog fan. Heavy 'Chas Cronk' style basslines and deceptively simple sounding drumming that has metronomic precision courtesy of future Dire Straits drummer Pick Withers. The band's rich soundscapes that feature everything from mellotron horns, flute, string, and even tympani, are marked out by a clangy electric guitar supported by the sweet tones of a beautifully strummed acoustic 12 string, which makes the music sound very much of it's time.

However, Spring has one endearing quality that almost all early seventies progressive rock band's lack. A modern, almost timeless, sounding vocalist that brings to mind echos of Peter Gabriel mixed with Cat Stevens.

For prog fans, 3.5 stars seems right. For prog fans who love mellotron, it's easily 4 stars. This review is for Doug, who inadvertently reminded me of why I got into prog in the first place.

 Spring by SPRING album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.74 | 171 ratings

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Spring
Spring Eclectic Prog

Review by ShipwreckedSoldier

5 stars If you the lover of Mellotrons read no further and go listen to this Album. This album is pure magic for me, It's feels like visiting the countryside with a Tesla Electric car, you have that rural feeling and yet you get that "modern"(well not so modern its super-analog sound) rock sound. For me, its one of my all time favorites since I got the Akarma reissue I was blown away. there's not much point talking about the music itself. You'll have to listen to this, its a wonderful journey. Any fan of "The Court of the Crimson King" will appreciate this diamond. Enjoy.
 Spring by SPRING album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.74 | 171 ratings

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Spring
Spring Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Spring released this interesting debut album on RCA, which I was slightly surprised to learn considering that the cover resembles a classic-period Vertigo release. Either way, the content here is not the most audaciously complex prog of this vintage, but is notable because of the band's extensive use of Mellotron - and unlike many groups, who stuck mainly to the iconic choir sound of the Mellotron, Spring bring a variety of tape sets to bear, making good use of the eerie flute and violin sets. Reminiscent of the later work of Morte Macabre and other Mellotron fetishists, Spring also bring a strong set of songs to the table, making this both an important and an enjoyable early prog release.
 Spring by SPRING album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.74 | 171 ratings

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Spring
Spring Eclectic Prog

Review by renaudbb

4 stars I'm a bit surprised by two things about this entry in PA = the Eclectic prog tag, as this record is far more pure progressive than a lot of other "progressive rock" tagged records, and the quite low rate of it. Of course it's a matter of taste, but listening to "Golden Fleece" or "Gazing" (for example) is for me pure gold, pure Mellotron and emotion based music.

Because of some lower quality songs, I can't rate Spring like the ***** England / A garden shed album for example (which is for me the typical lost progressive gem, although not that lost finally). Spring reminds me England because of the vocals with the same kind of real emotion in it. Love it.

4 stars definitely for me !

 Spring by SPRING album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.74 | 171 ratings

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Spring
Spring Eclectic Prog

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

3 stars Is it a bird - a plane? NO - It´s ............ well, kind of hard to tell.

Sometimes you just can´t find your place - no matter how hard you try, you´ll end up completely estranged and lost to the world. This sounds harsh, but in a way this perfectly sums up Springs self titled debut from the year 1971, where the hippie-dippy society drenched in peace and understanding was all but slain by the awful Altamont incident(what a brilliant idea to hire the Hells Angels as head of security, Mick Jagger), fighting in the streets and a drug consummation that was out of control.

Spring´s sound is like a hangover from the 60s - evoking thoughts of sitting around the bonfire smoking weed and playing songs you once wrote, while sitting on the can. This is a compliment btw, and one of this records biggest attributes: the songwriting is damn good. In fact, if it wasn´t for the ever present mellotrons and the small changes of pace, melody or structure, I´d think of this as a singer-song writer album...

There is however a big problem surrounding this release. At the time music was going a 1000 miles an hour in every which direction the different artists would take it. The progressive bands in particular were on the verge of climaxing in an esoteric explosive love affair, whereas the pop groups were trying to find there own sound, that preferably shouldn´t be a clear cut resurrection of what was so successful the decade before hand. Spring sounds like neither. They were too progressive for the pop audience and far too sweet and unadventurous for the prog community at the time. It is a real shame, and certainly when one thinks of the resurgence of this particular brand of music nowadays. Coheed and Cambria, Porcupine Tree, Pure Reason Revolution, The Dear Hunter and The Decemberists all dwell in between prog and pop, and as far as I can gather, they are doing pretty good -well at least compared with Spring.

If you love mellotron - and that seagull like, airy floating sound to boot, I urge you to find this long lost treasure. There are some killer guitar solos sprinkled along the album as well, with the one featured on Golden Fleece being my personal fave. The singer sounds a bit like The Verve front man Richard Ashcroft, with that sensuous vibrato effect attached to it, and together with the softness of the mellotron and the whole Moody Blues marinade these guys had been lurking in - things get interesting and quite different from the usual tenors in these kinds of bands, that usually sound like they live off mayonnaise and margarine.

Stand out tracks include the before mentioned Golden Fleece, Gazing and the wonderful Grail, that feature the most progressive shifts and turns this album has to offer, but it does so with grace and a thoughtfulness normally only associated with the more mellow pop artists of the time. I really love the mellotron on this track, which slightly sounds like a melodious whiff of fresh air blowing through a labyrinth - changing pitch and expression all according to the corridors.

A real bipolar treat, that never really finds its true self.

 Second Harvest by SPRING album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.30 | 26 ratings

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Second Harvest
Spring Eclectic Prog

Review by Woon Deadn

2 stars I am wondered what happened as I'm - a newbie - must be almost the first to write upon the fabulous item. Whether the mature ones from here found it too insignificant or they simply haven't heard (of) it.

Long time, long 30+ years this work was not meant to exist. The typical talk was of a one-album band and that it's a Universal grief there's no more. It makes this album a fabulous one, no doubt.

For my taste it represents a collection of well-sounding songs without any real charm. The charm haunts here and there in the fragments - sometimes it sounds much alike to the Cirkus' One, especially. Plus there's an overall minor kinda minor charm. But it's so minor comparing to the first release. And after all, finding THE SAME bonus tracks as on the previous album means to me both a commercial trick of stretching the length and a somewhat intelligent failure... It's a pretty mediocrity. I wish this album had never been recorded. As it's been RELEASED - I see the guys need money. How can anyone blame an artist for that? On the other hand it gives us an advice to not to expect the permanent greatness of the great musicians...

 Second Harvest by SPRING album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.30 | 26 ratings

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Second Harvest
Spring Eclectic Prog

Review by raleks

5 stars I had a big mistake with this album. I thought it is lack and uninteresting (including Spring's first harvest). I'd tried to "get into" it several times (5 as minimum). Only now I can say: this is masterpiece and even better than first album. This's masterpiece of early 70th progressive song-oriented music, like Cressida f. i. Not the best album of progressive or something like... All songs (all! ) are good. I like also both versions of "A Word Full of Wispers" and "Hendre Mews" (strangely enough for me :) ). If you think that I'm wrong, you're wrong :) Yu've warned! :) Seriously, don't miss this album and don't repeat my mistake.
 Second Harvest by SPRING album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.30 | 26 ratings

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Second Harvest
Spring Eclectic Prog

Review by imnotfashioned

2 stars I really have a great trouble to definate this music and this band. Music is very soft but it got its magic and charm! In the other hand I must admit, that Spring composed rather uncomplicated songs which were favoured only by using a lot of mellotron but this is unfortunatelly not enough. Second album. I will concentrate only on the tracks, which are worthy to do this. Hendre Mews - the main theme is viredly ornamented with some nice piano chords. A painted ship - track move on slowly but in the end (last minute) we've got quasi-epic Hammond's crescendo. High horse - connected with last number, syncopation sounds of percussion and Hammond, crashed in the middle by the wind (something like early Blood Sweat and Teras) with interesting piano plot. Good track. Fernley Avenue and Helping the helpless - both are typical pop songs, nothing to remember after listening. A word full of whispers - wow, it opens with the sound from the first album....but, after this we heard anotherpop song! Get my share - a'la trans ending, skimed guitar interlaced with Hammond. I give it 2,5, a little bit of sentiment.
 Spring by SPRING album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.74 | 171 ratings

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Spring
Spring Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

2 stars It's hard not to feel sceptical when presented with an early-1970's prog-rock album with the tag 'Lost Classic' attached; Is it a cunning marketing ploy, a trick to boost the band's profile or is it simply bare- faced lies designed to con paying music fans out of their hard-earned cash? Whatever the reason(and this writer would like to make clear that some albums have the 'lost classic' tag for VERY GOOD Reasons), the upturn in Progressive Riock's recent fortunes have meant a clutch of forgotton bands have re-appeared, decades after they first started-out, in an attempt to revive their lost art in this new and exciting digital age. SPRING - a group who were one of the very first proper prog acts alongside KING CIMSON - released their eponymously-titled debut in 1970, to mixed reviews, before falling into the darkness of relative obscurity. Their album was a mellotron-drenched affair, maudlin and melancholy in tone, and featured a rather disturbing album cover that reminds one of the grisly Nic Roeg arthouse-horror masterpiece 'Don't Look Now' in it's depiction of a red-coat clad person(girl or boy???) lying, presumably dead, in a muddy country ditch. It's this kind of murky imagery that gave early prog it's artistic bells, but despite the striking imagery, the actual music fails to live up to the rather grandiose pretentions of the artwork. 'Spring' is all build-up and no pay-off, a selection of occasionally pretty yet dull and insipid songs, none of which manages to stand-put amongst the mubdane gloom. Not dreadful, but instantly forgettable. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2008
 Spring by SPRING album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.74 | 171 ratings

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Spring
Spring Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This seems to be a concept album or at least have a theme to it. The mellotron is featured on all but 2 of the original album's tracks. Although you won't find it on the 3 bonus songs either. 3 of the 5 members of the band play the mellotron which of course doesn't mean they had 3 mellotrons in the studio or on stage, but that does mean you will hear a lot of it that's for sure.This is a fairly mellow and melodic record with really only one track that gets me excited(Golden Fleece). To quote Andy Thompson from Planet Mellotron he says "This is a so-so album, (but a) tron classic".

"The Prisoner(Eight by Ten)" has a great intro with lots of mellotron before light drums and vocals come in. Some fuzzed out organ after a minute and before 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 minutes. "Grail" is a drifting track with the focus on the reserved vocals except for the long instrumental section 3 minutes in. "Boats" is an engaging song that features strummed guitar with vocals. "Shipwrecked Soldier" reminds me of some of the sixties protest songs. Drums and vocals lead the way. Mellotron floods after 2 1/2 minutes and before 4 minutes.

"Golden Fleece" opens with mellotron as strummed guitar, bass and drums join in. Vocals come in as we get what sounds like horns coming and going. A tasteful guitar solo 3 minutes in with an organ solo to follow. Mellotron after 4 1/2 minutes with strummed guitar joining in to end it. "Inside Out" doesn't do anything for me. It sounds like xylophone before 2 minutes. "Song To Absent Friends(The Island)" is a ballad. "Gazing" opens with drums, mellotron and organ. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes and guitar 3 minutes in. I actually really like the first 2 bonus tracks. I like when the vocalist holds a note in "Fool's Gold" and there's some nice organ work 2 1/2 minutes in with some steller guitar before 4 minutes. This is my second favourite song.

So nothing much to get too excited about really other than the excellent mellotron floods. Still I like this album as it's relaxing, melodic and enjoyable. 3.5 stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to ClemofNazareth for the last updates

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