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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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Buy NEKTAR Music


A Tab In The OceanA Tab In The Ocean
Cleopatra 2013
Audio CD$9.90
$12.28 (used)
Remember the FutureRemember the Future
Cleopatra 2014
Audio CD$9.92
$7.99 (used)
Sounds Like ThisSounds Like This
Cleopatra 2013
Audio CD$9.49
$12.59 (used)
Man In The Moon/EvolutionMan In The Moon/Evolution
Cleopatra 2012
Audio CD$8.99
$17.68 (used)
Down To EarthDown To Earth
Cleopatra 2013
Audio CD$8.19
$9.95 (used)
Journey to the Centre of the EyeJourney to the Centre of the Eye
Collector's Edition
Cleopatra 2013
Audio CD$14.99
$11.99 (used)
More Live in New YorkMore Live in New York
Import
Bellaphon Germany 1993
Audio CD$9.09
$9.61 (used)
NektarNektar
Import
Bellaphon Germany 1991
Audio CD$8.58
$8.60 (used)
RecycledRecycled
Import
Imports 2013
Audio CD$27.60
$43.34 (used)
Sunday Night at London RoundhouseSunday Night at London Roundhouse
Remastered
Dream Nebula 2005
Audio CD$29.39
$40.02 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Nektar - Journey To The Centre Of The Eye [CD New] USD $14.17 Buy It Now 1h 42m
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Remember The Future Nektar UK vinyl LP album record CLP0297 Sealed USD $60.18 Buy It Now 16h 21m
Nektar Magic Of A Child UK CD album (CDLP) 28909005 BELLAPHON 1990 USD $30.14 Buy It Now 16h 25m
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20h 28m
Nektar - Man In The Moon JAPAN MINI LP CD SEALED USD $9.99 [0 bids]
20h 41m
Remember the Future by Nektar JAPAN MINI LP CD SEALED USD $5.99 [1 bids]
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20h 43m
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20h 47m
Nektar - Recycled JAPAN MINI LP CD SEALED USD $3.99 [1 bids]
20h 55m
Journey to the Centre of the Eye by Nektar JAPAN MINI LP CD SEALED USD $9.99 [0 bids]
20h 57m
Nektar - Down To Earth JAPAN MINI LP CD SEALED USD $9.99 [0 bids]
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1 day
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1 day
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1 day
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Nektar Sounds Like This 1973 Bellaphon Records Germany 2LP Gatefold Psych-Prog USD $21.99 [0 bids]
2 days
Nektar "Magic is a Child" Original 1977 Vinyl Album Release USD $9.99 [0 bids]
2 days
NEKTAR Astral Man 7" B/w Nelly The Elephant UK United Artists 1974 USD $8.10 Buy It Now 2 days
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LP NEKTAR 14 Down To Earth VG USD $5.00 Buy It Now 2 days
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NEKTAR "A Tab In The Ocean" PSYCHEDELIC Desolation Valley NO SKIPS 1972 LP Vinyl USD $27.95 Buy It Now 3 days
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Nektar - Live In New York [Hybrid SACD] (2004) USD $46.35 [1 bids]
3 days
~ NEKTAR - A SPOONFUL OF TIME ~ MUSIC CD USD $6.99 Buy It Now 3 days
LP a tab in the ocean (+bonus lp)
NEKTAR
~ USD $30.73
LP journey to the centre of the eye ( +bonus lp)
NEKTAR
~ USD $30.73
LP remember the future ( + bonus lp)
NEKTAR
~ USD $30.73


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NEKTAR shows & tickets


  • Cruise To The Edge 2015 on 15 Nov 2015

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)

3.70 | 251 ratings
Journey To The Centre Of The Eye
1971
4.05 | 416 ratings
A Tab In The Ocean
1972
3.34 | 129 ratings
Sounds Like This
1973
3.89 | 361 ratings
Remember The Future
1974
3.43 | 134 ratings
Down To Earth
1974
3.75 | 240 ratings
Recycled
1975
3.01 | 85 ratings
Magic is a Child
1977
3.23 | 69 ratings
Man in the Moon
1980
2.93 | 45 ratings
The Prodigal Son
2001
3.39 | 68 ratings
Evolution
2004
3.32 | 55 ratings
Book Of Days
2008
2.73 | 52 ratings
A Spoonful Of Time
2012
2.92 | 41 ratings
Time Machine
2013

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

2.64 | 18 ratings
Sunday Night at London Roundhouse
1974
3.16 | 18 ratings
Nektar - Live in New York
1977
2.43 | 12 ratings
More Live Nektar in New York
1978
3.14 | 9 ratings
Unidentified Flying Abstract - Live At Chipping Norton 1974
2002
2.00 | 2 ratings
Nearfest 2002 (Studio M Recording)
2002
2.79 | 10 ratings
Greatest Hits Live
2002
3.67 | 22 ratings
Sunday Night At The London Roundhouse (1974)
2002
2.21 | 10 ratings
Door To The Future
2005
3.00 | 2 ratings
2004 Tour Live
2005
2.98 | 14 ratings
Fortyfied
2009
2.75 | 4 ratings
Live At The Patriots Theater
2014

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

3.98 | 15 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)

3.26 | 14 ratings
Nektar
1976
4.00 | 2 ratings
Best of Nektar
1978
4.43 | 12 ratings
Thru The Ears
1978
3.50 | 4 ratings
Highlights - The Best Of Nektar
1994
2.45 | 5 ratings
The Dream Nebula: The Best Of 1971-1975
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Retrospektive
2011

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Do You Believe In Magic
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Astral Man / Early Morning Clown
1974
3.00 | 3 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
0.00 | 0 ratings
Always
2005

NEKTAR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Spoonful Of Time by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.73 | 52 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.

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 Down To Earth by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.43 | 134 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.

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 Sounds Like This by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.34 | 129 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.

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 Remember The Future by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.89 | 361 ratings

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Remember The Future
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by MyDarling95

3 stars I've read most reviews her, and I have to agree with many things but to disagree with a lot. This album is really wierd, having some great moments but more boring moments in my opinion. I agree that this album is pretty good and, being two side suites, prog lovers are automatically attracted, sadly, many end up in a kind of disappointment (including me). Here I have to disagree in something, many people say Part II is better than Part I, but the truth is that I think Part I is great and Part II is a big step-down compared to the other, I don't know, it just lacks the spirit that Part I had all of its 16 minutes. This is my main problem with this album, I can gice 4 stars to Part I, but no more of 2 stars for Part II. Sorry, but I'll give 3 stars to this "masterpiece".

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 Journey To The Centre Of The Eye by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.70 | 251 ratings

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

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars A British band operating out of Hamburg, Germany in their early days, Nektar are one of the most popular and well known psychedelic and melodic spacerock bands from the Seventies in progressive rock related circles. Despite being released in 1971, `Journey To The Centre of the Eye' hangs on to definite late 60's acid rock and psychedelic sounds, very much along the lines of the early Pink Floyd albums, as well as sophisticated Moody Blues- like vocal harmonies backed by walls of Mellotron, and perhaps even just a touch of the Beatles psych-pop here and there as well. An early take on developing spacerock atmospheres, ambient hallucinogenic passages and even some slight droning repetitive Krautrock flavours are all wrapped up in gutsy symphonic prog ambitions, and with all the individual pieces running together, the album works up a seamless drifting flow.

Opening with splintering electric guitar bubbles over droning organ in the manner of `Piper/Saucerful' era Floyd, the band quickly move back and forth in tempo between dreamy and mellow passages with vocals wrapped in other-worldly eerie treated effects and chugging hard-rock guitar grunt, with blaring upfront delirious Hammond organ soloing. Mellotron and Hammond float and quickly rise in `Countenance', not unlike the final section of Floyd's `A Saucerful of Secrets', and while the urgent drumming gives it a more powerful and frantic quality, the sighing wordless harmonies are even more victorious and confident. Deep-space keyboards, feedback wailing guitars and punishing drumming swirl together in a tornado of mind-shattering noise, and random ear-splitting psychedelic shimmerings slice through the dark.

The second side fades in on the remainder of `The Dream Nebula' with chiming guitar ripples, leading into the Moody Blues-inspired `It's All In the Mind', pleasing vocals over scratchy regal Mellotron with muscular and rapid-fire electric guitar strains bringing a storming heaviness. `Burn Out My Eyes' is the classic part of the album, a warm rocking ballad section with echoing fragile vocals and wasted toasty harmonies that float around. There's humming droning Hammond organ and snarling delirious acid-rock guitar shreds in the lengthy instrumental break in the middle, bringing even a bit of plodding Hawkwind- style menace. The harpsichord driven `Void of Vision' moves through playful and almost comical psych-pop in the style of the Beatles, then a twisting piano and bluesy harder guitar passage before closing on a soaring reprise of the opening track to bring a sense of complete closure.

Nektar would go on to make more mature and sophisticated albums within the years after this one, but in some ways they never made a better record than this debut. There's no doubt that it's a little dated, very much a product of its time and a little rough around the edges with a somewhat uninspired production, but there's that youthful spark and creative hunger throughout the album that showcased a band searching in all sorts of directions. The next few albums would see them honing their song-writing skills and sharpening up their sound, but the fragile, lost-in-space quality throughout `Journey to the Centre of the Eye' makes it an exhilarating and thrilling debut that followers of vintage psych and spacerock will love.

Four stars.

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 Journey To The Centre Of The Eye by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.70 | 251 ratings

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

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is not an easy album to appreciate despite the great effort that went in to creating it. Nektar had already recorded some fairly standard rock songs, which became known as the Boston Tapes, in 1970. However, when it came time to record a debut, the band insisted straight out on a concept album, a story about an astronaut who is met by aliens who take him to their galaxy where he learns to see with his mind and gains the power of the All- seeing Eye.

The band had it all figured out with songs telling the chapters of the story, instrumental parts providing music for the story, and lots of in-studio effects created with their equipment alone. The CD liner notes say that Frank Zappa was very impressed with the band's studio innovation and was interested in signing them to his own label. That, however, didn't pan out. Finding a label to take a new band and release a debut album that was based on a science fiction story and didn't seem to feature any good singles was a problem. But at last "Journey to the Centre of the Eye" was released with all the band's space effects, loud guitar and organ, and some instrumental segments that bordered on classical music performed by a heavy psych band.

I've listened to this album a few times now spaced out over several months (the listening periods were spaced out, not me) and some individual tracks a couple of times more. It's not an album for pulling apart, though "Burn out My Eyes" is good enough to stand alone. This is an album better suited for playing all the way through and then while reading the story details provided in the CD booklet. For just listening without knowing what is going on can have you wondering if someone didn't spend a little too much money for a group of guys to make experimental noise in the studio.

There are moments when I could imagine that this is what the Moody Blues could have been if they had dropped all the classical instruments and just went for all out space rock. Or perhaps there are some wires crossed with Ziggy Stardust. Did some of Pink Floyd's more adventurous studio efforts on "Ummagumma" have any influence here?

What makes this so difficult to assign a star rating to is that this could be a really brilliant album that is suffering just a bit too much from a weak recording and/or mixing. The vocals often sound like they were recorded in a room down the hall with the door open while the louder instruments sound like the speakers were crowding the mics. Actually, the first three Nektar albums all sound quite similar, though "A Tab in the Ocean" has some better examples of progressive rock in so far as tight and complex compositions are concerned. Here it's more the effort at creating a space suspense story soundtrack that earns Nektar prog cred.

I'd really like to say Nektar started their recording career with a stunning piece of work, but honestly it is not as easy to enjoy as "A Tab in the Ocean" or the much better "Remember the Future". This is a little too far out on a low budget for me to call it an excellent addition to any prog collection. Good but not essential would also depend. I hate to say it's for collectors and fans only but I can't feel justified in giving this one too much praise. High points for creativity and effort, but I feel the end result is an acquired taste.

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 Magic is a Child by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.01 | 85 ratings

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Magic is a Child
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by grom63

5 stars This album isn't a conceptual, but I'm not dissapointed in it. Opposite it's detached record in a Nektar's discography!

"Magic Is a Child" opens with song, which in a small time interval accommodates many unusual twists with not poor instrumental parts without vocals(as in all of this album) and we understand that it's NEKTAR(By the way, in a title track "Magic Is a Child" when I listened, had a sence of influence Pink Floyd, as in the "Down to Earth", but in this reflected on planning conception using entry sounds). Though compositions isn't directly related, each of other passes smoothly as the mood and as the instrumental part.

Generally first part of the album is classical Nektar, though in a slightly different shape, not paying attention to change a main vocal. Gradually guitar comes to the fore(there are hardest guitar playing of all times before), taking a break in "Listen", but in the last two compositions catching up! In last composition we hear simply hard rock song(guitar riffs similar on same year album of Rush), but it's perfect ending: artlessly, but overcome all difficulties(figuratively, of course, because music kept in suspense my mind during some part...) . Spesial I want to focus in a bass sound on "On The Run (The Trucker)". It seems as if Steve Harris from IM took a sample of style playing.

Finally i want to say, that this album differently wonderful. It's just as well that this album is not like the previous, Yes, there is less sincere, less magic, but change sound was going to happen and it's almost not affected the end-product.

4.5 stars.

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 Remember The Future by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.89 | 361 ratings

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Remember The Future
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Third album by Nektar ''...Sounds like this'' was released in 1973 and was a somewhat jamming effort with countless psych soloing on guitar and organ, leading to controversial critics and mixed reviews.Apparently they were compared to Man at the time, a band with which they travelled in England and gained a contract with the United Artists label.''...Sounds like this'' was also the first work of Nektar to be published in the States, followed in 1974 by ''Remember the future'', the fourth overall work of the band, which saw Nektar visit UK and recording the album at the Chipping Norton Studio in Oxfordshire.It was a concept effort, dealing with a blind boy, who comes in a touch with an extraterrestrial.The album was released on Bellaphon in Germany, Passport Records in the USA and United Artists in the UK.

This was a much more melodic offering by the band, showing a return to the sound of ''A Tab in the ocean'', albeit in a less grandiose and powerful package.The album consists of two long epics, placed in each side of the original issue, the 17-min. ''Remember the future part I'' being propably the best of the two.It sounds like the past and present PINK FLOYD sound mixed with some GENESIS symphonic overtones in the opening organ themes and a few YES touches in the quirky guitar parts.But most of all this is very good Psychedelic/Prog Rock with a deep sense of melody, written with the unique style of NEKTAR, offered in mid-paced grooves, polyphonic harmonies and changing climates, where laid-back tunes meet groovier and more emphatic passages, built on guitar and keyboards, closing with a great psych jam on organ and guitars.Very tight and convincing stuff.''''Remember the future part II'' is a bit more diverse and progressive in sounds and sights, it goes from a melodic, almost Canterbury-styled Prog Rock in the vein of CARAVAN to a dynamic organ-based style in a Kraut Rock enviroment and every possible range of power inbetween, always revisiting some of the PINK FLOYD-ian moods and even flirting with the more spacey stylings of HAWKWIND.Again the music is led by the solid rhythm section, the personal guitar touches of Roye Albrighton and the omnipreesent organ of Allan Freeman , being mostly pretty melodic and rhythmic with soft textures and occasional harder moves.While the result is not always great, you can't do else than admire the cohesion of Nektar's music, the arrangements are very compact with impressive twists between more complex instrumentals and mellow tunes.

Pretty cool stuff, one of the albums, where the epics seem to last shorter than their actual length due to the impressive musical cohesion.Solid Psych/Prog in the vein of PINK FLOYD, CARAVAN and HAWKWIND.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Sounds Like This by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.34 | 129 ratings

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Sounds Like This
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Nektar had already released two distinctive albums, the space rock / psychedelic concept piece "Journey to the Centre of the Eye" and the heavy psych / proto-metal / prog near masterpiece "A Tab in the Ocean". Their success in their adopted country of Germany was growing and opportunity came for them to reach out to an audience in their native land of Great Britain. With material already in place for what was to become their breakthrough album in the U.S., "Remember the Future", Nektar went ahead to record this intermediate album in order to first launch themselves into the U.K.

The plan was simple: record live in the studio and release a double disc of material. And this is exactly what they did, playing in studio as they would live. However, in the course of their creative growth, this album comes across as a giant leap backwards. The songs barely give any hint of what the band was capable of with regards to carefully crafted longer compositions or short but tightly-connected conceptually related songs. This album was more like a hail to the good old days of fun guitar rock.

Perhaps Nektar saw this as their last chance to record some of their "old" favourites that had never been committed to vinyl. Songs like "New Day Dawning", "Do You Believe in Magic", and "Good Day" had already been recorded on what were called "The Boston Tapes" back in 1970 (later to be released on the bonus disc for "Remember the Future" on the Purple Pyramid reissue of that album). Back in those days, the band was pretty much just another guitar-based rock band with an organist in the line-up. The songs on this, their third album, are more or less in the same mould, despite three tracks being over 12 minutes and two of those coming in three parts.

With this in mind, you can expect exactly what you'll get: a double disc of rock songs with some good melodies and some parts showcasing the guitarist's abilities, some enjoyable heavy guitar workouts and some rather lengthy jam sessions. This album resembles "A Tab in the Ocean" only in sound (Nektar "Sounds Like This" is an appropriate title in so far as "sound" is concerned); the guitar and keyboard settings are more or less the same, though very different on "Remember the Future".

This is not to say that a fan of early 70's heavy guitar / organ rock will be disappointed. In particular, "A Day in the Life of a Preacher" and "Oddysee" exhibit some heavy rock jamming that fits in with contemporary Uriah Heep and Deep Purple. "Cast Your Fate" and "Do You Believe in Magic" also have their heavy moments. But for the most part you have to think of these longer tracks as four to five-minute songs filled with a live jam session. Notably, "1-2- 3-4" is just a short song, which can be heard as just that on the radio edit on the bonus disc, but gets an additional 10 minutes of jamming, featuring solos on guitar, organ, and bass. Yes, there's a drum solo coming, too; it's on "Oddysee".

The recording quality of the album suffers a little in my opinion because of the live-in-studio approach (that's "live" as in rhymes with "five"). The band wanted to capture that live feeling and I think they did and rather well at times, but I am not much of a fan of live recordings. This album is not mixed cleanly. There are no overdubs or efforts to make it sound like a studio recording. It's live with no audience except whoever was working in the studio at the time. The Purple Pyramid bonus disc includes a studio radio version of "Do You Believe in Magic" and for me, this version is much more enjoyable, even though the album version includes a heavy guitar solo section completely separate from the actual song. The sound of the radio version is polished and cleaner compared to the live-in-studio version.

This album is said to be Nektar's heaviest and I have to agree based on what I have heard ("Tab", "Remember" and "Recycled"). I think it's because of the energy they put into their live set and the extended guitar workouts that they sound heavier than usual on this particular album. What fails to impress me, however, is that these songs are often allowed to carry on as a live performance where, if you are present at the show, it might be enjoyable to listen to an extra few minutes of instrumental exercises. But as a studio band, Nektar are very capable of putting together cohesive, multi-part songs that don't feel unnecessarily extended and even short but concise numbers when it suits the continuity of the album. I personally would have appreciated more a single disc of well-recorded and mixed studio tracks, selecting the best of the lot represented here. But that's just me.

"Good" is really a matter of opinion. I think it's good enough but not worth the three-star interpretation of "Good". But it is better than two stars. I give it a weak 3.

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 Remember The Future by NEKTAR album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.89 | 361 ratings

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Remember The Future
Nektar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Every so often I find an album that I not only really enjoy listening to completely through from start to finish but also find myself with the music stuck in my head when I wake up, thus making me want to listen to the album yet again. Nektar's 'Remember the Future' has surprisingly become such an album.

After 'A Tab in the Ocean', this became my second purchase of Nektar's music. Initially, 'Tab' had left me with a decently good impression but had not inspired me to order more Nektar albums just yet. However, some months later I found myself enjoying the album more and I decided on buying 'Remember the Future' over 'Recycled' only because it was a little cheaper. As a concept album containing only one song divided into ten parts which are all segued together save for the break between sides one and two, this album already seemed fated to rare plays simply because of the time it demanded. I couldn't just pick a couple of favourites to play during my on-foot and in-transit commutes during the day; I had to commit to at least one whole side. As such, I first listened to each side only twice and then tended to a couple of dozen other albums I acquired within the same three months, searching for new favourite songs to add to prog and metal playlists.

I came back to the album earlier this year and gave it an attentive listen and found I really enjoyed side one, parts a) to d). There are some great vocal melodies and the singing sounds very much in the mid-70's rock style, which I say with a compliment here. The music leans more toward the guitar this time round with the organ spending less time at the forefront. Apparently they put the guitar through Lesley cabinet speakers for the Hammond organ so the sound of the guitar is different and very pleasing. Side one alternates between melodic slower passages and more heavy rock passages with one part resembling Uriah Heep slightly. The close of side one is a spacey guitar effects solo that is pretty wild. I have to add that the rhythm section is wonderful with both bass and drums working hard to keep the background solidly strong and worthy of attention.

At first I thought side two was less exciting than side one because I felt there was less transition in tempo but listening more made me aware of some wonderful guitar bits and once again more of what made side one so pleasing. The last song really grooves with an early disco-style rhythm but with rock guitar. It's boogie time!

The length of each side is actually very manageable with side one just under 17 minutes and side two a little over 19 minutes. Unlike some great double disc concept albums that are like the audio version of a feature length film, I can get through 'Remember the Future' well before my commute to work is over and still have time to enjoy reading or perhaps some other songs from playlists in my iPhone.

I bought the remastered double disc edition of this album and the second disc includes a 9- minute radio edit version of the album. The first couple of times I listened to it, I thought this was a great substitute for the whole album as it had most of my favourite parts with some of the longer sections edited down. But after really becoming acquainted with the album I noticed that a lot of good music was missing. There is also a collection of songs called 'The Boston Tapes' which were early recordings by Nektar back in around 1970. These reveal a more usual rock band and don't really hint anything about the great band that would give us 'A Tab in the Ocean', 'Remember the Future', and 'Recycled'.

A final note on the music, it's very tight and well-executed with some wonderful performances by all. But as far as progressive rock goes, it seems to be progressive in that the group were striving to create a full, stand-alone album with some excellent music that has some wicked abrupt changes in tempo and atmosphere. However, it doesn't have the more progressive attributes that one finds on albums by Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, ELP, or even Jethro Tull. Still, it's well above the standard rock fare of the same era. Since coming to appreciate this album, I have purchased 'Recycled' and 'Sounds Like This' but not even 'Recycled' comes as close as 'Remember' to winning my favour. A strong four stars from me for prog. But I'd give it a full five for a rock music album.

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