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NEKTAR

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Nektar biography
NEKTAR is probably the most German-like of the Seventies British bands, a fame that owes a lot to the town in which this band was founded (Hamburg) and to their stylistic approach (Assimilated to Krautrock). NEKTAR was formed in 1969 by Allan FREEMAN (keyboards & vocals), Roye ALBRIGHTON (guitars & vocals), Derek MOORE (bass, Mellotron & vocals) and Ron HOWDEN (drums).

Their earliest albums were hard rock that drew heavily from the space-rock and PINK FLOYD styles of the same period. The 70's gave them the occasion to issue some masterpieces, like for example "Remember the Future" (1973) and "Recycled" (1975). Each is a conceptual album that is a nice blend of melodic guitar and keyboards with a vocal story. "Journey To The Centre Of The Eye" is a mindblowing epic with lots of echoplex guitar and dual Mellotrons which is quite in tune with the Krautrock stuff going on around them, yet is definitely British. "Tab in the Ocean" and "Magic is a Child" had shorter songs and were less less satisfying. Fortunately there is a compilation album just called NEKTAR (1976) which has all the best bits of the albums and is highly recommended.

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RecycledRecycled
Purple Pyramid 2016
Audio CD$8.00
$11.03 (used)
Down To EarthDown To Earth
Cleopatra 2013
Audio CD$8.19
$9.99 (used)
Remember the FutureRemember the Future
Cleopatra 2014
Audio CD$9.99
$15.21 (used)
A Tab In The OceanA Tab In The Ocean
Cleopatra 2013
Audio CD$9.89
$11.95 (used)
Sounds Like ThisSounds Like This
Cleopatra 2013
Audio CD$10.47
$10.46 (used)
Journey To The Centre Of The EyeJourney To The Centre Of The Eye
Cleopatra 2013
Vinyl$14.73
$72.99 (used)
A Spoonful Of Time feat. Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Derek Sherinian, Rod Argent, et al.A Spoonful Of Time feat. Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Derek Sherinian, Rod Argent, et al.
Cleopatra 2012
Audio CD$8.99
$5.61 (used)
FortyfiedFortyfied
Treacle Music Production 2009
Audio CD$20.96
$160.00 (used)
Sunday Night at London RoundhouseSunday Night at London Roundhouse
Cleopatra 2011
Audio CD$11.91
$13.17 (used)
Door to the FutureDoor to the Future
Import
Eclectic Discs 2005
Audio CD$30.93
$22.69 (used)
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NEKTAR discography


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

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

3.68 | 270 ratings
Journey To The Centre Of The Eye
1971
4.06 | 466 ratings
A Tab In The Ocean
1972
3.34 | 145 ratings
Sounds Like This
1973
3.88 | 392 ratings
Remember The Future
1974
3.42 | 149 ratings
Down To Earth
1974
3.74 | 252 ratings
Recycled
1975
2.96 | 96 ratings
Magic is a Child
1977
3.22 | 74 ratings
Man in the Moon
1980
2.92 | 52 ratings
The Prodigal Son
2001
3.37 | 74 ratings
Evolution
2004
3.33 | 58 ratings
Book Of Days
2008
2.71 | 59 ratings
A Spoonful Of Time
2012
2.91 | 50 ratings
Time Machine
2013

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

2.70 | 22 ratings
Sunday Night at London Roundhouse
1974
3.17 | 22 ratings
Nektar - Live in New York
1977
2.46 | 15 ratings
More Live Nektar in New York
1978
3.12 | 14 ratings
Unidentified Flying Abstract - Live At Chipping Norton 1974
2002
2.67 | 3 ratings
Nearfest 2002 (Studio M Recording)
2002
2.85 | 13 ratings
Greatest Hits Live
2002
3.75 | 20 ratings
Sunday Night At The London Roundhouse (1974)
2002
2.28 | 12 ratings
Door To The Future
2005
3.67 | 3 ratings
2004 Tour Live
2005
3.00 | 17 ratings
Fortyfied
2009
3.50 | 6 ratings
Live At The Patriots Theater
2014

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

3.95 | 16 ratings
Live
2002
3.95 | 14 ratings
Pure: Live In Germany 2005 (DVD)
2005

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

3.38 | 15 ratings
Nektar
1976
4.00 | 2 ratings
Best of Nektar
1978
4.72 | 9 ratings
Thru The Ears
1978
3.60 | 5 ratings
Highlights - The Best Of Nektar
1994
2.36 | 5 ratings
The Dream Nebula: The Best Of 1971-1975
1998
5.00 | 1 ratings
Retrospektive
2011

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

2.00 | 1 ratings
Do You Believe In Magic
1972
3.00 | 1 ratings
Astral Man / Early Morning Clown
1974
3.00 | 4 ratings
Astral Man
1974
2.00 | 1 ratings
Fidgety Queen / Little Boy
1974
2.91 | 2 ratings
Flight to Reality / It's All Over
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Too Young To Die
1980
3.00 | 1 ratings
Always
2005

NEKTAR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Tab In The Ocean by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.06 | 466 ratings

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A Tab In The Ocean
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Nektar's Tab in the Ocean is a wonderful mix of subtly and bombast. In it's very tight running time we're given a handful of well-composed works that sweep us up in a journey that feels symphonic and psychedelic while also cranking out jams with a rock-your-socks off attitude. One moment you're drifting through Neptune's world with the jellyfish and sea turtles, taking in a palette of sensations through the band's thoughtful use of open space, the next you're building momentum to grand, dramatic crescendos that rise like a wave and crash on the shore to the irresistible guitar riffing tone of '70's hard rock perfection.

The album plays like two extended pieces, emphasizing the group's guitar players with a bottom-heavy intensity that grabs hold of you like a rip-tide. While a little rough around the edges and showing the production quality on the low end of what the era could produce, Tab in the Ocean is a great prog rock album. Nektar ups their game from their debut, the more abstract and spacey Journey to the Center of the Eye, showing us a strong sense of energy and performance. This album is simply a ton of fun, even though it's not as strongly written as some of their later works.

If you enjoy the early '70's sound of prog or fuzz-heavy guitar goodness, then I highly recommend Tab in the Ocean. It may not be the go-to Nektar album, but it's so much fun that it's easy to overlook the album's shortcomings. Don't miss out on this great release by one of prog-rock's under rated groups!

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

 A Tab In The Ocean by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.06 | 466 ratings

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A Tab In The Ocean
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by ALotOfBottle

4 stars Nektar occupies a strange teritory of progressive rock. Here classified as Psychedelic/Space Rock, it differs from most prog rock bands. Music from "A Tab In The Ocean" could be described as a fusion of Focus-esque pastoral sound at times, watery passages and jams à la Pink Floyd with Nektar's own type of very heavy rock quality.

The album starts out with a title track, "A Tab In The Ocean", which is based on an organ passage, very similar to what you can find on many Focus' releases and some by early Genesis. It descends into a smooth spacey jam. Next up, we have "Desolation Valley", my favorite piece from this album, based on a catchy riff. Roye Albrighton's crispy, curnchy guitar tone really comes alive here. His singing is equally enjoyable! "Waves" is a tune that sort of reminds me of The Moody Blues,. It links with the previous track. "Crying In The Dark" is a dry, up-beat tempo with a nice organ and guitar playing. "King Of Twilight" is another enjoyable song, but my least favorite piece on this album. Again, a pretty heavy, military-inspired rhythm, nice vocals and a spacey quality, only to be created by Nektar.

All things considered, this is a very important album in prog rock history and most experts will tell you - it is a must-have. An excellent work, a very rewarding journey into Nektar's great musical minds. Sometimes, I find it just a bit boring, lacking a variety from these heavy, spacey jams, which makes me give this album well deserved 4.5 stars! Very highly recommended!

 Remember The Future by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.88 | 392 ratings

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Remember The Future
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Remember the Future is a pleasing, melodic, and well executed album of space/symphonic prog by one of the era's more under rated groups. Nektar combines thoughtful compositions, enjoyable dynamics, ever shifting melodies and textures, and a unique instrumental sound that is put to enjoyable effect throughout this rather short concept album.

Telling the story of a cosmic traveler, known as the Bluebird, and his retelling of Earth's history through the eyes of a sensitive blind child, Remember the Future's concept is perfect for the band's style that combines spacey keyboard and guitar textures juxtaposed to rousing riffing and melodic bass lines. The band plays very well, and the ambitious songwriting is really the star of the show here. While Albrighton and Moore are impressive players, their performances are restrained and thoughtful. The same goes Howden's drumming and Freeman's understated keyboards, which feel very much part of the composition. Don't expect any big solo moments. The band works is very tight, creating an album that stands as a piece of art rather than a series of songs or exciting highlights. Interestingly, there really isn't very many psychedelic moments in this album; in fact, it's actually pretty upbeat and heavy.

Albrighton's vocals are passable, though the lyrics are thought-provoking and memorable. Another example of the "total package" that Remember the Future offers.

One of the few criticisms I have of this album is that it doesn't have the dramatic momentum or emotional hooks to make it resonate with me like, say, Yes' Relayer, released in the same year. Nektar has many strengths as a band, but creating music that really grabs you isn't one of them. I enjoy them because they sound different than some of the other more well known prog groups, and this is a great album to begin discovering them with.

While not a masterpiece, Remember the Future is an excellent release and should be explored by anyone interested in music from prog-rock's greatest era.

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

 Journey To The Centre Of The Eye by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.68 | 270 ratings

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Journey To The Centre Of The Eye
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Nekatar is without doubt one of the unfairly underrated prog bands from the '70s. To me Recycled remaining their absolut masterpiece and one of the few mid 70 prog albums that I'm listning constantly. I can't saying I'm really attached on their debut from 1971. While is far from bad I don't understand how can this album named Journey to the center of the eye considered as essential or even masterpiece of prog rock. Is quite dated in sound, even there are also some complex passages filled with nice guitars and good mellotron, but as a whole is not so intresting as later albums. Spacey parts melted with almsot krautrock elements make from this debut only a fairly good one but far from excellent as many pretend to be. 3 stars is best I can give, Tab in the ocean. Remeber the future and of course Recycled are far more intresting albums from their repertoire, at least for me.

 Magic is a Child by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.96 | 96 ratings

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Magic is a Child
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Progfan97402

2 stars Time has certainly been more kind to Down to Earth for me, than when I first bought this in 1995 (I still think the horns and female backup vocalists needed to go). Even Recycled, which I haven't owned as long. But Magic is a Child is really where I felt Nektar sunk, and just about everyone lays the blame on Roye Albrighton's departure. Roye departed Nektar because he was the one member a bit reluctant to move to the United States, and he wasn't liking the fact they weren't working on a new album for 1976 (Recycled was released in the States in '76, although released in Germany late in '75). So comes an American named Dave Nelson. I really can't tell if Roye's departure was to blame or not, prog was already on the decline around the time of Recycled (Recycled isn't a favorite of mine, although it's grown on me some, it gives me reminders of prog's decline in the second half of the '70s), and Magic is a Child just sounds like Nektar adjusting to the changes to more simplistic songs. "Away from Asgard" sound like they were trying to sound like Yes, and it's not bad, and even if the title track is a bit repetitive, I do enjoy it, but a lot of it was the band desperately trying to go commercial (I know they did the same for Down to Earth, but amidst all the horns and female backup vocalists, you can still recognize it as Nektar). Larry Fast does bring in some nice synths from time to time, but this album really didn't leave an impression on me. In fact last time I gave it a listen, I bailed out near the end of side one. At least I paid next to nothing for it.
 A Tab In The Ocean by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.06 | 466 ratings

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A Tab In The Ocean
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by danyboy

4 stars "A Tab In The Ocean" is an absolute Nektar's masterpiece. The songwriting here is more sophisticated that is has been in the past, and the musicianship still reigns supreme, and the compositions are still incredibly complex if not more so. This music is highly psychedelic and jam packed full of instruments from all eras of time. One thing that I've always loved about Nektar is keyboard sounds, usually they are using much more interesting keyboard variations than other bands. Most of the music is full of energy, but is always wildly creative and never boring in th least. Very highly recommended masterly crafted 70's Psychedelic Rock.
 Remember The Future by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.88 | 392 ratings

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Remember The Future
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Jeff Carney

3 stars The first half of Side 1 of this album is some of the most brilliant rock music I've ever heard. Beautifully constructed chord progressions transition between a heavy-edged approach and soft, dreamy atmospheres. I could listen to it on repeat and be quite content for a long period.

Unfortunately, the second half of Side 1 begins to decline upon the introduction of the "Remember The Future" vocal section. Something about this just screams "cheese," but I fight through it without much trouble and enjoy the sections that finish the album's first movement. After all, it's easy to sit back over forty years later and pass harsh judgment on ideas that may have still been hanging on to some of the psych-tinged aura of the late 60s.

There is an approach to the arranging on this album that feels like ideas are being bled to death, but some of the ideas are so good that one doesn't mind. And the conclusion of Side 1 is an exhilarating ride with mind-numbing guitar. I must also point out that some of the organ work on Side 1 is sublime. Very much musical and understated to work within the context of what is clearly a musical brand which is best dominated by Albrighton's guitar. Specifically, the "Falling down from heaven" chords are beautifully backed by organ work which is breathtaking in its ability to fall back and make an idea better. Truly remarkable work from Allan Freeman.

But Side 2 of this album is a flat out mess. Misguided, funky lounge music is served up which has not aged well at all, because it has no business on this record. A common problem with trying to do too much can be a loss of musical identity. It sounds like Nektar, but it sounds like Nektar trying to play club music and fit it into the context of a heavy progressive rock album. It doesn't really work because it brings the album's sound into a confusing area where the band sound uncertain of their direction. Add to this what is easily the most anti-climactic ending to a prog "epic" I have ever encountered in "Let It Grow" and you have an album which is one of the most confusing of 1973.

 A Spoonful Of Time by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.71 | 59 ratings

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A Spoonful Of Time
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This recent-ish release, masquerading as a NEKTAR album, can be taken as another Billy Sherwood 'Prog Collective' project. Indeed, the current line-up of Nektar, featuring only 2 of the 'classic' formation in Roye Albrighton (guitars/vocals) and Ron Howden (drums/vocals), are joined by keyboardist Klaus Henatsch and multi-intstrumentalist/vocalist Billy Sherwood to form the core of the band. Then we have help from all sorts of top-notch musicians from Marillion's Mark Kelly, to Brainticket's Joel Vandroogenbroeck, Billy Sheehan to Rick Wakeman. I gather the 'lion's share' of the recording layed on Roye's shoulders, and helped re-ignite the Nektar brand. The songs are all 'classic radio songs' from the 70's, and actually vary little from the originals. They are mostly better and interesting selections from those days of 'hits', but unless you already appreciate songs like Steve Miller's Fly Like An Eagle, The Doors' Riders On The Storm, and even Gary Wright's Dream Weaver, this will be 'just another' covers album. From the 14 songs here, I was only unaware of Neil Young's Old Man, which features guest David Cross (King Crimson) on violin. Recommended highlights here being a very pretty 6min version of Floyd's Wish You Were Here, with the featured guest being the late, great EDGAR FROESE on keyboards, Riders On The Storm featuring a superb performance on the Hammond from legendary Rod Argent. A suitable Roxy Music tune in Out Of The Blue features Hawkwind's Simon House on violin, replacing Eddie Jobson's stellar performance on the 1974 original. 10CC are represented by a sweet rendition of I'm Not In Love, beautifully ethereal, and having a super Moog solo from Wakeman. The soul hit For The Love Of Money, which is played to death throughout the media, features guest drummer Ian Paice (Deep Purple), and woodwinds eccentric Nik Turner on sax - this lengthy rendition adding some deliciously spacey grooves, background mellotron sounds and suitable jamming from all. Having been fortunate enough to have caught up with Klaus H at an NYC Nektar gig, from memory he said the idea was suggested by manager John Lappen, immediately jumped-on by Roye and Billy, and was a lot of fun to work on. Definitely a solidly good album, perhaps a little light on the 'Prog', but an enjoyable listen never-the-less. 3.5 stars.
 Down To Earth by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.42 | 149 ratings

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Down To Earth
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars When I was younger, I hated this album. I didn't like the commercial approach they were doing, with all those horns, female backup vocals (including Northern Soul singer P.P.. Arnold, a singer progheads know for The Nice backing her up before going their own way) and that stupid circus concept. Years later have been more kind to this album, as has Triumvirat's Spartacus and Acqua Fragile's Mass-Media Stars (albums I didn't initially care for but came to like them years later). I have to still admit "Show Me the Way" is rather lame, and that's probably why I had such a negative impression of the album. "Astral Man" is the opening piece, and I really enjoyed this, even back when I was much younger. It's rather catchy, and Robert Calvert provides some German-like narration on this album. "Nelly the Elephant" is another great piece, this one all instrumental, and the horns actually work fine here. "Early Morning Clown" is a more acoustic number, and it sounds like some low key synthesizers are being used. Also I noticed some rather low key Mellotron. "That's Life" was another one of those songs that gave be a bad impression of the album back in the day, I came to terms with it, what I didn't notice back then was this huge Mellotron strings and brass that ended this piece. I often wondered why Allan "Taff" Freeman didn't use more Mellotron (the most amount of Mellotron you'd find on a Nektar album is on Journey to the Centre of the Eye). "Fidgety Queen" and parts of "Little Boy" shows a more hard rock side of the band, while "Show Me Way" is really as bad as the song title suggests. "Finale" is simply a revisit of "Nelly the Elephant". It's obvious the band wanted to continue on the commercial success they had with Remember the Future (which had unexpected US success, despite the lack of hit singles, it probably had to do with pre-AOR FM rock, which was progressive FM rock, a format that was starting to decline, to be replaced by 1975 or '76 with AOR, the format that gave Boston, Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, and Kansas huge FM radio airplay and gigantic success in the late '70s despite their dislike from the rock critics). Down to Earth, despite the more commercial approach didn't quite meet up with sales expectation of its predecessor, one can guess the record buying public was put off by the more commercial approach, the horns, the strings, female backup vocals, and circus theme. Or the fact by 1975 (when this album was released in the States) FM rock radio was starting to become commercial and turning to the commercialized AOR format, which favored something like Foreigner's "Hot Blooded" and Kansas' "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind" (OK so Kansas is liked by many progheads, but they have their detractors even in the prog community) over side-length concepts from Nektar (and DJs could no longer play "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" in its full in order to have extra coffee breaks or to snooze).

I remembered hearing an online interview with Roye Albrighton, and he seemed to have glossed over Down to Earth like it didn't exist (he also glossed over ...Sounds Like This). Apparently the band had been rather dismissive of this album and look much more fondly to the next album Recycled.

So another one of those albums I used to think suck, but now I like (except "Show Me the Way). Certainly Remember the Future, A Tab in the Ocean and Journey to the Centre of the Eye are better albums, I won't deny that.

 Sounds Like This by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.34 | 145 ratings

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Sounds Like This
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars I sure run across a lot of underrated albums. The first Hawkwind album, Genesis' Trespass, Le Orme's Collage, Passport's Ataraxia (Sky Blue), Porcupine Tree's ...On the Sunday of Life, Yes' A Time & a Word and Drama, PFM's Chocolate Kings, and I'm sure I could name a few more, but these albums really don't get much respect. A few I can't understand why like Yes' A Time and a Word, for example (many complain about the orchestration, but that never bothered me, although while I enjoy Drama, many just dislike the fact Jon Anderson isn't present). Others might be because there's a few dodgy tracks (bands that have to throw in a '50s-style rock and roll boogie number or a reggae cut that's totally inappropriate to what they do) on them but there some real gems in them that really stand out, or they change musical directions, but made a valid album despite alienating many fans, and then there's some that might not like the production quality or approach (like Le Orme's Collage).

Nektar's ...Sounds Like This is another one of those underrated albums. They could have expanded on what they did on A Tab in the Ocean, instead they decided to do a live in the studio album, with minimal editing, so obviously giving it a feel of a live album, you expect to hear an audience cheer at the end of every song, that's not what you get. Many felt this was a serious backstep for the band. It's at times the band was going closer to heavy metal in the Deep Purple or Uriah Heep vein than the earlier stuff. It's probably this album the reason why they're included in Metal Music Archives. It obviously has a raw sound, and in fact has a rather intense feel, which I do like. I have to say the only song I can do without is "What Ya Gonna Do?" sounds like a generic boogie rocker of the kind Nektar usually stays away. I still hear a bit of that Tab in the Ocean sound surface. I noticed Allan "Taff" Freeman's role in the band was reduced here so you hear less of his organ playing. There are some great material like "Cast Your Fate", "Do You Believe in Magic", and "A Day in the Life of a Preacher". "New Day Dawning" also includes an excerpt of the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood". I can't believe this album was recorded and released the same year as the much more popular Remember the Future (released later that year). Remember the Future had a much more polished, professional approach, and a more proggy approach, that gave the band unexpected American success (once the album was released in the States in 1974 on Passport). I was skeptical about ...Sounds Like This, so I didn't buy a copy until now, when I found a used copy at a Eugene CD/video game store (that also sold vinyl), this was a UK LP copy on United Artists, and it was cheap, so I had nothing to lose. The album isn't perfect, some of the jams go on longer than they need to (this isn't the Grateful Dead, but then even a lot of the jams the Dead did seem to go on much longer than they need to), and it's might be less prog than what they did before (A Tab in the Ocean or Journey to the Centre of the Eye) or less polished and sophisticated than Remember the Future, but then Nektar didn't seem to repeat what they did anyways. Still I find this album quite enjoyable.

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

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