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MICHAEL QUATRO

Crossover Prog • United States


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Michael Quatro biography
Recording artist, composer, pianist & singer songwriter Michael Quatro has sold in excess of 20 millions albums worlwide since 1972. Between 1970 and 1984 he released seven albums a few of which sat nicely within the crossover realm of prog and pop. In 1995 a further album of his titled Vision was a return to form.

Michael Quatro was born in Detroit , Michigan, USA and began a classical music career at the age of just seven as a pianist.He began also playing for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.In 1969 he also began a talent agancy which helped develop the careers of Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Funkadelic to name but a few.

He is renowned for unusually releasing albums created in single takes, not disimilar to another highly acclaimed artist called Van Morrison. A few albums of his recommended would be 1975's, In Collaboration With The Gods and 1995's Vision.

Michael Quatro official website

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In Collaboration With The GodsIn Collaboration With The Gods
Import
Flawed Gems
Audio CD$21.99
Greatest HitsGreatest Hits
Micro Werks 2009
Audio CD$27.98
$25.58 (used)
Into the mirror / Vinyl record [Vinyl-LP]Into the mirror / Vinyl record [Vinyl-LP]
Import
Vinyl$9.99
$10.54 (used)
VisionVision
Quatrophonic Music 1995
Audio CD$4.91
$2.04 (used)
Bottom LineBottom Line
Spector
Vinyl$19.99
bottom line / melody 45 rpm singlebottom line / melody 45 rpm single
SRI
Vinyl$6.00 (used)
dancers, romancers, dreamers & schemers LPdancers, romancers, dreamers & schemers LP
UA
Vinyl$21.94
$10.00 (used)
Gettin' ReadyGettin' Ready
Prodigal
Vinyl$9.95
HeavenwardHeavenward
2006
Audio CD$79.78
$14.99 (used)
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MICHAEL QUATRO discography


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

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

3.65 | 7 ratings
Paintings
1972
3.13 | 4 ratings
Look Deeply Into The Mirror
1973
3.32 | 9 ratings
In Collaboration With The Gods
1975
3.04 | 4 ratings
Dancers, Romancers, Dreamers & Schemers
1976
3.00 | 2 ratings
Gettin' Ready
1977
3.00 | 2 ratings
Michael Quatro Band
1980
3.00 | 2 ratings
Bottom Line
1980
3.00 | 1 ratings
Vision
1995

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MICHAEL QUATRO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Paintings by QUATRO, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.65 | 7 ratings

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Paintings
Michael Quatro Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Born in 1943, US composer, promoter, producer and songwriter Michael Quatro received Classical education on piano already at the age of seven and during the 60's he established a succesful promoting/management agency, developing talents such as Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, his sister Susie Quatro or Iggy Pop, highlighted by a great number of music festivals.In the 70's Quatro focused on his personal compositions and came up with a solo debut entitled ''Paintings'' in 1972 on Evolution Records as Mike Quatro Jam Band.He was responsible for the analog keyboard parts and collaborated with Ted Nugent on guitars, Terry Mullen on drums as well as vocalists John Finley, Pat and Nancy Quatro.

The album contains some excellent Symphonic Rock pieces next to some dull moments and it is quite uneven, however its value is to be desired.The first two compositions ''Paintings'' and ''Time Spent In Dreams'' are fantastic examples of Romantic-period Classical/Symphonic Rock with strong NOVALIS, OCEAN and ELP vibes, offering majestic Mellotron waves, superb piano interludes and melodic moog synth parts of the highest caliber.The short ''Circus (What I Am)'' features the Quatro's vocals but this one totally uninspired catchy American/Boogie/Blues Rock mixed with Soul, pretty awful regarding Michael's talent.Side A closes with the piano ballad ''Each Day I Want You More'', which is pretty nice and emotional with a good performance on piano.''Life'' opens the flipside, the keyboard/piano work of Quatro is still pretty good, but the style of Funky Rock chosen is just unsuccesful.''Rachmaninoff's Prelude'' is a long instrumental piece in the style of the opening tracks.Superb Mellotron, spacey moog synths and grandiose piano themes of the best symphonic quality, this man can really mix up Rock with Classical Music in an awesome way.''Detroit City Blues'' says it all.Uninspired piano-based grooves with a bluesy touch and horendous vocal arrangements, just skip this one.The closing re-edition of KING CRIMSON's ''The Court Of The Crimson King'' is absolutely personal and satisfying.Featuring Quatro's own voice and respecting the grandiose sound of Mellotron, the track is added the lovely moog synths and piano of the composer to make it less darker and more sensitive as a composition.

One of the best Symphonic Rock albums I have ever listened to.The couple of dull tracks in this release prevent this from being a masterpiece, but the symphonic arrangements of Quatro are of first class and easily compared to the best of KEITH EMERSON or RICK WAKEMAN.Absolutely recommended.

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 Dancers, Romancers, Dreamers & Schemers by QUATRO, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.04 | 4 ratings

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Dancers, Romancers, Dreamers & Schemers
Michael Quatro Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars Funky, remixed Bach ? Tripped Chopin with groovy bassy lines ? Oh well, why not - after all, we in Prog Rock ward are a tolerant bunch. Together with Rocky tunes, full of grandiose melodies (even not on a over-the-top scale as it was on "In Collaboration With Gods", even there the "epic" song was composed mostly of motif, repeating itself ad absurdum, but fortunately not losing its power). Michael Quatro seems to me more like successful trickster - great editing and mixing of various sound effects, rather than strong songs. Speaking of such, my favourite one would probably be Ancient Ones, it's a finely crazy one.

In total, this album works, somehow. Not without imperfections, not without some clogging up, but it's nice piece of work and honestly, it tries to be something. Doesn't quite succeeds at that, but the effort is there.

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 In Collaboration With The Gods by QUATRO, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.32 | 9 ratings

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In Collaboration With The Gods
Michael Quatro Crossover Prog

Review by ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3rd album of Michael Quatro called "In Collaboration With the Gods" is definitely his most symphonic effort. Almost no pop or glitter rock tracks her which often appeared in his previous album, mostly just pure prog-rock here. Overall this release is dominated by Michael's skillful keyboards classical-style playing so similarities to Rick Wakeman's work are obvious.

1. "In Collaboration With the Gods" - album starts with 19+ minutes long suite which is surely the most ambitious project of Mr. Quatro. This composition has plenty of keyboards (synthesizers, pianos & splendid mellotron) passages and quite large amount of electric guitar solos played by Rick Derringer. Everything seems to be in good place but somehow this epic sounds often disjointed, filled with too many different ideas which don't cooperate together easily. We have romantic Grand piano fragments, hard rock guitar riffs, cabaret- like moments, tear-jerking mellotron waves & even short quote of Jimi Morrison's "Petition the Lord with Prayer"(from "The Soft Parade"). Jumps from happy-sloppy ragtime music to heavenly classical influenced piano rides are a bit too much in copy-paste fashion. In general not bad at all, but after it's finished you won't remember too much from it.

2. "Get Away" - begins like typical classical tune with only Michael on his trusty Grand piano but after a while starts more up-tempo, almost hard rock style tune and we can also listen to vocals this time. I kinda like those cosmic solos in the middle of the song, still wondering whether it's guitar or synthesizer... Anyway this track sounds like Argent for me, but without organ.

3. "Rockmanninoff's Prelude In C / Blunt Funk" - my favorite track of the album is atmospheric instrumental full of guitar leads, great piano lines, omnipresent mellotron outbursts & some additional synthesizers. Classical music meets with rock and it's a very fruitful meeting.

4. "Ave Rock Maria" - relaxing symphonic piece played mainly on Moog synthesizer and mellotron with non-obstructive rhythm section. Interesting vision of this classic tune but may be boring for some.

5. "Prelude In Ab Crazy II" - fantastic tune in the vain of "Rockmanninoff's Prelude In C" but even more mellotron-drenched. Very energetic sparkling piano + few electric guitar licks and more melancholic ending.

6. "Sweet Lovin'" - short and completely out of place glam rock song. For the 2nd time we're able to hear vocals on this album and they're not good at all. The only good thing I can say about this tune is usage of Hammond organ for the first and last time on this record + some nice fat sounding Moog sounds from time to time.

Conclusion: "In Collaboration With the Gods" is surely the most progressive album of Michael Quatro and (albeit last song) the most consistent one. But somehow it's lacking real emotions & passionate power I'm looking for in music. So overall I can give it only 3,5 stars and recommend to Rick Wakeman fans & general neo-classical rock aficionados who like plenty of mellotron/Grand piano passages (but if you're looking for more rock- oriented, energetic staff I advise you to check previous album of this artist called "Look Deeply Into The Mirror"). Especially casual keyboards-oriented prog lovers may not appreciate this album because of rather slow tempo & almost complete lack of Hammond organ or flashy synth solos.

Best tracks: "Rockmanninoff's Prelude In C / Blunt Funk" & "Prelude In Ab Crazy II"

P.S. It's a pity that I wasn't able to find any later works of Quatro so I don't know whether he ever recorded fully satisfying album or not.

3,5 stars from ozzy_tom

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 Paintings by QUATRO, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.65 | 7 ratings

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Paintings
Michael Quatro Crossover Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars I believe that for the fact of counting (until this moment) with just one review, the work from this excellent American keyboard player's is little known, I had ear up to now the albun "In Colaboration With Gods", that I consider as an excellent work. And I was satisfied when hearing "Paitings", because I also found a great disk, however slightly different from "In Colaboration...; " that it presents a mixture of symphonic prog with hard rock (slightly similar to the style of STYX), This album already surprises soon of begin, the track 1 "Paitings" begins with a theme in the style of GREENSLADE and it presents a very beautiful vocal choir that although being of simple melody, it checks to the track a very solemn atmosphere. The track 2 "Time Spent in Dreams" begins with a ballad and it retakes a certain air of GREENSLADE again, until returning the ballad to conclude. The track 4 "Each Day I Want You Lives" has a more approximate style of the sound found in "In Colaboration... " and it is highly influenced by Rick Wakeman. The track 6 "Rachmaninoff's Prelude" leaves (at least in my opinion) the admiration that Michael sits down for this virtuoso master of the piano (because there is another allusion the work of Rachmaninoff in "In Colaboration...). Besides in Tracks 3 "Circus" and 5 "Life" show to us another interesting musical facet of this keyboard player, that is the taste for the rhythms close of the black music. My rate is 4 stars!!!

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 In Collaboration With The Gods by QUATRO, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.32 | 9 ratings

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In Collaboration With The Gods
Michael Quatro Crossover Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars I remember Michael Quatro's fifteen minutes of fame in the mid-seventies when his label leveraged his younger sister Suzi Quatro's name in promoting the rather weak 'Dancers, Romancers, Dreamers & Schemers'. 'In Collaboration with the Gods' is an earlier album, and is both more artistic and more interesting than that one.

Suzi Quatro of course was best known in the United States as the Joan Jett-like sneering rocker-chick Leather Tuscadero in the hit seventies sitcom Happy Days. She would go on to a lengthy music career and was successful pretty much everywhere except at home. Michael never achieved the same level of fame anywhere, but he continues to make music today although he doesn't tour as far as I know and rarely releases singles (there are only two in his entire discography).

I never quite know how to approach this sort of music, which is basically classically- inspired keyboard and synthesized rock with complex arrangements and sophisticated (for the period) studio techniques. There were quite a few American bands doing this sort of stuff at the time, including the Load, Quill, Covenant, Atlantis Philharmonic, Carnegie and others. In most of these cases I have this mental stereotype of big city, first generation immigrant kids raised in the discipline of classical music by stern fathers who worked by day and played violin and night, and by mothers who shared their repertoires of gorgeous vocal pieces with her children around the family piano on cold winter evenings. Despite the family's attempts to instill some culture the kids discover the Beatles anyway and leverage their musical knowledge to try and become the next Jeff Lynne.

I have no idea if this is an accurate description in Quatro's case, but it amuses me to think so.

The list of accompanying musicians is impressive in any case, including Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (aka "Flo & Eddie") of the Turtles and Zappa's Mothers of Invention; guitar whiz kid Rick Derringer (by then in his late twenties); and Dave Kiswiney who was a musical child prodigy of sorts in his own right but plays mostly bass on this record. Quatro plays all manner of keyboards and several other uncredited instruments as well as providing vocals, although much of the record consists of the nearly twenty-minute instrumental title track.

Speaking of the opening number, 'In Collaboration with the Gods' is a ranging keyboard heavy number that combines several well known classical pieces including "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" with a bit of ragtime piano and rock rhythms in a technically impressive delivery of what just about anyone would expect classically-inspired rock to sound like. "Get Away" carries on with a similar theme but with more emphasis on the 'rock' part of the equation as well as the first vocals on the album.

To continue on the theme, Quatro delivers the rousing Rachmaninoff-inspired number "Rockmanninoff's Prelude in C Blunt Funk" complete with scorching guitar licks, almost- metal percussion and plenty of piano and synth. "Ave Maria Rock" is again more of the same but a bit more subdued, while "Prelude in Ab Crazy II" extends the classical theme with more emphasis on guitar.

For reasons that are probably lost to time Quatro throws in a bluesy rocker to close the album. "Sweet Lovin'" sounds like a cover but if it is I can't quite place it. The sound is all organ, percussion and driving guitar power chords and is a radical departure from anything else on the album. It does portend to a certain extent some of the sort of music Quatro would create on subsequent albums though.

Musically this record is very firmly rooted in the seventies; a bit pompous, brash, and imbued with all kinds of musical ideas but at times somewhat self-indulgent. The musicianship and enthusiasm are real and solid though, so overall I'd say this is a pretty good album but not quite great. Three out of five stars and mildly recommended to nostalgia types.

peace

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 Look Deeply Into The Mirror by QUATRO, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.13 | 4 ratings

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Look Deeply Into The Mirror
Michael Quatro Crossover Prog

Review by ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Second album of keyboard player Michael Quatro is an improvement over his debut effort. We can still find here formula of mixing typical symphonic prog compositions with some non-prog songs, however this time these songs aren't so bad and rely more on hard rock patterns than pop/glam rock. First time we can also listen to some full-blown Hammond fragments in Mike's music which is always a good thing.

1. We'll Be Together" - unfortunately "Look Deeply Into The Mirror" starts with the weakest track. It's a very generic glitter rock song with annoying pop choruses. However I can admit that Michael plays some tasteful organ chops in this one so the whole song is more passable. Surprisingly lots of loud guitar (played by Patti Quatro) here too.

2. "Prelude In Ab Crazy (Classical Variations)" - definitely my favorite composition in this album and the best Quatro's piece of music I know at all! It's highly melodic and energetic instrumental which perfectly mix classical & rock elements. Lots of nostalgic mellotron eruptions and splendid Grand piano lines. Michael entertains also with some fantastic Hammond organ runs in the ELP/Trace vain. Truly recommended!

3. "Natural Way" - mainstream piano-led boogie rock'n'roll which is almost carbon copy of similar duds in his debut album. However strangely "Natural Way" isn't so offensive (maybe because we don't have to suffer through any soul-like female choruses...), and somehow it's fairly enjoyable. Really strange that I like it, but it's probably because of this horribly infectious, catchy refrain. Difficult to get it out of my mind :-).

4. "Tomorrows" - hard rock ballad which is also quite entertaining for me. Chris McKee's vocal sounds truly emotional in this track. "Tomorrows" is driven by sparkling harpsichord (clavinet?), deep bass & electric guitar lines and some mellotron waves with occasional Moog flights. Fairly good song but not too much prog here.

5. "Gipsy Caravan Part 1 (With Ending 'Ode To Blumpi')" - the longest composition on "Look Deeply Into The Mirror" begins with some violin playin', wind sounds and psychedelic shrieks of unknown origin. But soon after we can hear beautiful acoustic piano passages, weeping guitar and trusty mellotron waves. Surprisingly it's the only fully symphonic track of Mr. Quatro where we actually have some lyrics! Chris' voice is really suitable for such grandiose symphonic compositions. This almost perfect song is finished with another portion of strange Pink Floyd-influenced noises...and some completely out of place heavy guitar riffing.

6. "Won't You Come Away" - powerful hard rock (bordering heavy prog genre) with sinister tone driven by ultra deep-sounding, "booming" bass guitar, background organ layers & heavy lead guitar chords. A bit similar to British prog/hard rockers "Atomic Rooster".

7. "Gipsy Caravan Part 2" - continuation of "Gipsy Caravan" mini-suite with more pompous piano & chilling mellotron waves. Just like the first part it's very "wakemanish", but I like good old Rick so it's not a problem for me. But surely can be considered as derivative, unoriginal product by some other people.

8. "Lullaby (Sleep Well Sweet Children)" - as the title suggests it's a lullaby. Very mellow, over-sweet lullaby I can add. For sure the weakest song on this record but includes some not bad mellotron-created flute passages. However it's not a good idea to finish an album with such turkey.

Overall 2nd album recorded by Michael Quatro is my favorite effort of this artist. However it surely isn't flawless and repeats many sins of "Paintings". Anyway if you want to explore this keyboardist's work I recommend you to start from this album.

BTW It's also his only record where I can hear some slightly ELPish influenced organ/piano work (mainly in "Prelude In Ab Crazy (Classical Variations)").

"Look Deeply Into The Mirror" is very close to 4 stars rating...but it's still more like 3,5. Sorry Mike but still too many uninspiring pop-rock moments here.

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 Paintings by QUATRO, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.65 | 7 ratings

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Paintings
Michael Quatro Crossover Prog

Review by ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Debut album of Michael Quatro called "Paintings" is a truly diverse recording which consists of 4 long, mainly instrumental symphonic prog compositions and 4 shorter pop/rock'n'roll songs. The dichotomy between them is huge and makes this album rather uneven than truly diverse. Unfortunately Quatro seems to like such formula and he also used it on another album "Look Deeply Into the Mirror" (but with slightly better results this time).

"Paintings" includes lots of keyboards-laden classical influenced music which will please all prog maniacs...but they will also find many cheesy, glam rock/pop duds here.

Let's check this strange album's songs one by one:

1. "Paintings" - titled composition of this album is the longest track here. More than 8 minutes of symphonic prog mixed with truly neo-classical music. It's full of beautiful Grand piano passages, mellotron eruptions, "eternal" choruses and some Moog synthesizer flights. This mini-epic is a rather slow-paced, mellow composition full of charming melodies and relaxed atmosphere. Rick Wakeman's solo career was surely the biggest influence here.

2. "Time Spent in Dreams" - another very enjoyable symphonic, instrumental composition full of sparkling piano and magnificent mellotron waves. First half of "Time Spent in Dreams" is rather peaceful and very classical music oriented but later becomes more lively and we can listen to some interesting flute (synth-made?) passages. Very good one!

3. "Circus (What I Am)" - after two great tracks Mike presents us horrible woogie-boogie pop number full of western-saloon piano beat and - completely out of place on prog-rock recording - soul/gospel like screams and shrieks from beginning to an end. Really offensive song for my ears. The only good thing about this crap is that Michael first time uses Hammond organ here, but it's only supportive instrument here and you need to grab Mike's second album "Look Deeply Into the Mirror" to find some truly fantastic organ performances.

4. "Each Day I Want You More" - is another pop number but compared to other "commercial" songs of this album it's the least offensive one. Just uninventive ballad with leading electric piano and some calm Moog playing. Nothing special but passable.

5. "Life" - it seems that when Michael starts to play crappy mainstream music he just can't stop it. "Life" is a 3rd song in row which has no connection with prog-rock at all. It's just basic rock'n'roll/glam rock which could be easily recorded in the early 60'. Boogie piano and generic wah-wah guitar based piece of garbage.

6. "Rachmaninoff's Prelude" - definitely the best track on the album! Mike comes back to truly ambitious artistic rock with this classical sounding, Grand piano-led instrumental. I don't know if this is some Rachmaninoff's work cover but it surely sounds so. This mini-suite is perfect example why still so many people love 70s symphonic prog: memorable melodies, ear pleasing acoustic piano, Moog synth & mellotron passages, busy drumming, mixing classical with rock & jazz influences, pomposity etc. Everything of these and many more you will find in "Rachmaninoff's Prelude". Splendid!

7. "Detroit City Blues" - oh, man! Why again?!! It's another boogie/glitter rock abomination in the vain of "Circus (What I Am)" & "Life". One song of this type on prog-rock release can be an interesting thing, but 3 songs is just a painful experience. Skip it, especially that just behind the corner...

8. "Court of the Crimson" - perfect cover of Crimson King's most symphonic composition. Michael's version is rather trustful to the original however his extraordinary piano & synth skills bring new dimension to this splendid tune. And his mellotron playin' really rules here too! What a fantastic nostalgic mellotron waves! Can be easily compared to KG's original but unfortunately it's much shorter (less than 6 minutes long).

To sum up: Quatro's debut is a very unbalanced album which tries to mix "radical" symphonic tunes with "radical" pedestrian pop/boogie/glam rock duds, and it just doesn't work well. Lots of reviewers says that Michael Quatro is a derivative clone of ELP/Trace/Triumvirat, but I can assure you that I can't hear any such influences here. Quatro's music is much more influenced by Rick Wakeman's solo output (in prog tracks) and glam rock & rock'n'roll music (in non-prog tracks). If you like organ-driven ELPish music you'd better proceed to next Mike's record - "Look Deeply Into the Mirror", which included few (not too many to be honest...) fantastic Hammond moments. However 2nd album is also flawed by some pop/glitter rock songs (but surprisingly they are rather better than this crap on "Paintings"). 3rd album - "In Collaboration With the Gods" is the only fully symphonic album of Mr. Quatro, however it can't be compared to ELP work too 'cos it sounds almost like tribute to Rick Wakeman. Music is very rather mellow, non-bombastic and you won't find almost any organ there. Besides compositions from "In Collaboration..." aren't as good as prog-rock tracks on his first two LPs. In general all 3 albums of this artists can't fly out above 3,5 stars level to be honest.

But let's come back to current record's review! I don't know what kind of music Mike played after 1975 year, but "Paintings" seems to be his weakest effort from the albums I know.

So I'll rate it solid 3 stars, no more but also not less.

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 In Collaboration With The Gods by QUATRO, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.32 | 9 ratings

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In Collaboration With The Gods
Michael Quatro Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars John already said facts before me (I'm not that good with facts anyway), so let's move to my thoughts and impression. This is a strange record (but after all, Michael Quatro himself isn't exactly usual artist), combining Rock, some Prog and also Pop (well, not that much here) & some Classical elements (especially in title track & Rockmaninoff's).

This title piece, In Collaboration With the Gods is a big piece. Switching three sides, one melodic (romantic, tears jerking, sad, whatever you call it), then some rocking parts (basic Rock riffs) and collage of some other sound (I heard The Beatles & Stairway to Heaven), or silence. Repeating these and making quite nice composition. It's not bad song, it's first of all very long song and its repeating isn't so boring. This song in its entirety could be the reason to give better rating. But the problem (or good thing? it depends on your point of view) is what comes next.

The same thing, only divided into five songs. Well, that's this album in a nutshell. Of course there is more waiting for you to discover, if you're interested in this old gem.

4(-), not classic Prog album (rather Classical, or Rock-ssical), but I'm certain that it can please and it has its merits. Very weak 4 minus though.

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 In Collaboration With The Gods by QUATRO, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.32 | 9 ratings

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In Collaboration With The Gods
Michael Quatro Crossover Prog

Review by js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars In 1975 the great innovators and leaders in the world of progressive rock were starting to drift towards other things and the genre was headed for a downturn in general. Still, stubborn fans of the genre refused to give up and began looking for some new faces to keep their interest alive. This was also compounded in the states by the fact that yank bands were finally getting a handle on this particularly British brand of creative rock music and stateside progressive rock fans were finally becoming receptive to the idea of supporting some local talent. This was the setting that Detroit bred keyboardist Michael Quatro stepped into with his uniquely American brand of quasi-classical influenced prog-rock music mixed with Detroit glitter rock presentation.

This album, In Collaboration with the Gods, marked a peak in Quatro's very short lived reign as a possible leader in American progressive rock. There are a lot of obvious comparisons here because, despite his obvious talents, Michael is not a particularly original artist. Most of this album consists of multi-keyboard oriented instrumentals whose leanings towards somewhat cheezey pseudo-classical affectations recall some of the more lightweight mid-70s output of Rick Wakeman, Camel and Focus. Meanwhile, Michael's occasional vocals on the 'rockin' numbers recall the sound of American blue collar semi-prog rockers like Journey and Styxx, and his mix of glitter and pseudo classical tendencies can sound like early Queen at times as well.

It was fun hearing this album again, but I think its major importance is mostly musicological in terms of the development of progressive rock in the US. Still, I think fans of mid to late 70s Rick Wakeman and Camel might find some things to like here, Quatro has a Mellotron and he knows how to use it. Its also fun to hear 70s American guitar ace Rick Derringer playing prog- rock as a guest on a couple of numbers. By the way, to those who are curious, Michael is the brother of proto-punk and Happy Days star Suzi Quatro.

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Thanks to chris s for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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