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CATAPILLA

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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Catapilla biography
CATAPILLA were an English band from the early 70's who released two interesting albums of experimental jazz rock, without symphonic traces as in other bands of the moment such as AFFINITY, CRESSIDA, or SPRING. The band had a line-up of six to seven people performing on saxophones, keyboards, bass, guitar, vocals, bass, and drums.

In "Catapilla" perhaps the production is not so strong as it was necessary. The album consists of four tracks with extended, instrumental passages where guitar, saxophone, and keyboards get lots of solo space. Far superior to their first album, "Changes" is a very atmospheric piece of music. Their sound is more ethereal and spacey, but still a terrific blend of jazz rock/brass rock with an occasional psychedelic edge. This is another essential album you must hunt down and add to your collection.

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Buy CATAPILLA Music


Catapilla/ChangesCatapilla/Changes
Double CD · Import
Click Record Productions
Audio CD$29.99
CatapillaCatapilla
Import
Green Tree Records
Audio CD$22.99
$16.50 (used)
ChangesChanges
Import
Akarma 2001
Audio CD$21.97
$20.90 (used)
ChangesChanges
Import
Imports 2014
Vinyl$20.15
$49.18 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
CATAPILLA - CHANGES NEW LP SEALED USD $32.40 Buy It Now 2 days
CATAPILLA - SELF TITLED NEW LP SEALED USD $32.40 Buy It Now 2 days
Catapilla Catapilla German 1971 vinyl LP in gatefold sleeve Vertigo 6360029 USD $535.88 Buy It Now 3 days
CATAPILLA Changes LP VINYL 4 Track Repress In Special Ltd Shaped Cut Gatefold USD $31.80 Buy It Now 5 days
CATAPILLA - CATAPILLA - NEW USD $25.96 Buy It Now 5 days
CATAPILLA - Changes - LP - KING CRIMSON, GENTLE GIANT, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR! USD $24.66 Buy It Now 8 days
CATAPILLA - Same s/t LP - KING CRIMSON, GENTLE GIANT, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR ! USD $24.66 Buy It Now 8 days
TUDOR LODGE Vertigo Swirl SEALED LP prog cressida affinity patto catapilla dr z USD $77.91 Buy It Now 11 days
CATAPILLA Changes PROG AKARMA 180 G LP LIM 500 VINYL USD $44.99 Buy It Now 11 days
CATAPILLA Changes LP / REISSUE USD $25.96 Buy It Now 11 days
CATAPILLA - S/T - LP VERTIGO German 1st Press USD $399.99 Buy It Now 12 days
CATAPILLA - S/T - LP VERTIGO German 1st Press USD $399.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Catapilla Invoice Marquee Electronics Ltd dtd 31/1/72 USD $7.78 Buy It Now 14 days
Magna Carta Ian Carr with Nucleus Catapilla LP advert Time Out cutting 1971 USD $11.67 Buy It Now 15 days
CATAPILLA - CHANGES - DIE-CUT SLEEVE - NEW USD $25.96 Buy It Now 16 days
Catapilla - Catapilla CD (1993) Prog Rock Jazz 1971 USD $14.78 Buy It Now 16 days
CATAPILLA S/T LP / Reissue USD $25.96 Buy It Now 17 days
GRACIOUS - Gracious! - LP 1970 - GENTLE GIANT, CRESSIDA, CATAPILLA, WARM DUST !! USD $25.96 Buy It Now 17 days
CRESSIDA - Same s/t - LP 1970 - GRACIOUS, GENTLE GIANT, CATAPILLA, COLOSSEUM !!! USD $24.66 Buy It Now 18 days
CRESSIDA - Asylum - LP 1971 - GRACIOUS, GENTLE GIANT, CATAPILLA, COLOSSEUM !!! USD $24.66 Buy It Now 18 days
GRAVY TRAIN - Same s/t LP 1970 - GENTLE GIANT, CRESSIDA, CATAPILLA, WARM DUST !! USD $23.36 Buy It Now 18 days
GRAVY TRAIN - (A Ballad of) A Peaceful Man - LP 1970 - GENTLE GIANT, CATAPILLA USD $23.36 Buy It Now 18 days
Catapilla - Catapilla 1971 CD! FREE SHIPPING! USD $15.00 Buy It Now 19 days
CD-Catapilla-Catapilla May-1993, Green Tree UK prog psych USD $14.99 Buy It Now 20 days
Flashback Magazine Issue #8 The Koobas, Catapilla, Human Beast, Parlour Band USD $23.99 Buy It Now 21 days
Catapilla - Changes - Catapilla CD OBVG USD $21.41 Buy It Now 22 days
Catapilla 12" Catapilla 1971 Vertigo Swirl Progressive Orig LP USD $87.52 Buy It Now 22 days

More places to buy CATAPILLA music online Buy CATAPILLA & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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CATAPILLA discography


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

3.41 | 94 ratings
Catapilla
1971
3.53 | 99 ratings
Changes
1972

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

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

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CATAPILLA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Catapilla by CATAPILLA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.41 | 94 ratings

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Catapilla
Catapilla Eclectic Prog

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

4 stars An eclectic group from the early Seventies, Catapilla released two contrasting albums that boasted a tough but playful female singer and were full of furious and hair-tearing heavy jazz rock. A seven- piece group that wielded two saxophone players and another member on additional wind instruments, their self-titled debut in 1971 delivered two extended epics of endless improvised jamming passages with additional shorter compact pieces, aided by a welcome dirty production and a ferocious lively energy.

Arriving with droning sax before a filthy blast of heavy snarling guitar, the almost sixteen minute opener `Naked Death' slugs the listener in the face right from the start. A heady brew of thick and purring upfront bass, a battery of rumbling drumming with sax sultry and sweaty one minute, maddening and unhinged the next. The bookended voice of Anna Meek is anything but, instead she's a gutsy tornado of Janis Joplin-esque howling that resembles a witch and a banshee violently making love! She's really there to introduce and close a lengthy jam of funky breaks, jazz-fusion embers and fuzzy acid-rock blaring electric guitars, making for an epic full of great foot-tapping, head-nodding power throughout. The groovy `Tumblewood' is almost poppier in comparison with a sweet reflective lyric and Anna's voice taking on a cooing, motherly warmth in between constant little bluesy soloing from the fellas, and `Promises' slinks with funky danger and plenty of If-like call- and-response honking sax blasts.

But best of all might be the twenty-four minute second side `Embryonic Fusion', a whirling and unrelenting storm of dual-sax demolition, drifting ruminative clarinet, pumping distorted bass, brooding organ, a battery of rambunctious drumming and scuzzy acid-rock guitar-slinging. Anna's deranged voice drifts ethereally then erupts with foaming acid back and forth, the epic seamlessly transitioning in and out of sprightly up-tempo pounding jazzy runs, sombre and noisy Soft Machine- flavoured breaks and break-neck dying assaults. Constantly reprising musical themes worked in reign all the constant jamming commotion in cohesively without sacrificing intensity and vigor, and it delivers a fiery and dynamic conclusion.

Singer Meek's mostly roaring vocal may be a divisive issue for some listeners, but there is just so much great playing squeezed onto this lengthy 49 minute album, and while the follow-up album may offer a bit more subtlety and variety, this debut makes for an addictive and raucous blast of power all its own.

Four stars, but add an extra half star if you can handle the vocals!

 Changes by CATAPILLA album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.53 | 99 ratings

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Changes
Catapilla Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Imagine Chicago, Soft Machine and Nucleus involved in a crazed, LSD-fuelled jamming session and what you have is the blistering jazz-rock sound of British outfit Catapilla. Issued in 1971, Catapilla's self-titled debut remains one of the great lost British prog relics of the early-seventies, an album positively dripping with the kind of thick hazy atmosphere that could only have been cooked up in the heady days of the late- sixties. Featuring just four songs and capped off by the extraordinary twenty-four minute long epic 'Embryonic Fusion', Catapilla made Miles Davis seem tame in comparison, with lead vocalist Anna Meek squawking, howling and hollering her way through the group's hundrerd-mile-an-hour mixture of hard-hitting rock, fiery jazz breaks and genial lysergic madness without ever pausing for breath. As debut's go 'Catapilla' really was something, yet predictably the group failed to make any kind of commercial headway, instead releasing just one more album before calling it a day. That album would be 1972's 'Changes', a less intense follow-up housed in an intricate novelty sleeve that also failed to chart. Now, of course, both albums are worth a small fortune on the collector's circuit - this writer has seen a copy of 'Catapilla' on sale for 500 - and both have developed a deserved cult following over the years. Although it lacks the frenzied pace and burning jazz aesthetic of it's predecessor, 'Changes' does, however, still find time to both rock out and chill out, ambling loosely along the jazz-rock divide without ever igniting in the same incredible way as the group's debut. Like that debut, 'Changes' features just four tracks, with the laconic late-night pulse of opener of 'Reflections' backed by the skilfully-played 'Charing Cross', the dark and menacing fusion fuzz of 'Thank Christ For Geoge', and last of all, the jazz-drenched tones of 'It Could Happen To Me'. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2014
 Changes by CATAPILLA album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.53 | 99 ratings

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Changes
Catapilla Eclectic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Their second offer from 1972 is almost the same with the first long improvised sax sections with plenty of psychedelic jazz atmosphere, the guitar , sax has an important role here. With Changes, Catapilla wanted to break the market from that period, they never siucceded, mainly because they've lost 3 memebers who appear on previous album, but the sound is almost the same as on first. The brass section is omni present on all 4 pieces, lots of sax solos and improvisation, maybe to much , at least for me. Not bad overall, but the sound is even date it then on first and the voice of Anna Meek is less intresting. Thank Christ For George is the best piece for me. 3 stars for Changes, good album but something is missing overall.

 Catapilla by CATAPILLA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.41 | 94 ratings

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Catapilla
Catapilla Eclectic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Catapilla is one of those bands that never manage to survive in early '70's in prog rock realm. They've done two albums, the first one selftitle from 1971 is maybe their best one and most intresting but is not very diffrent then the second one Changes from next year. What we have here is eclectic brass prog with some jazzy psychedelic touches giving overall a very intresting atmosphere. The sax has an important role and having lots of space in solos combined with keybords and very unique and powerfull voice of Anna Meek. If I'm not very attached by the vocals here, the instrumental parts are quite ok, even great in places, Tumbleweed and Promises are the best from here, only 4 pieces, the last one Embryonic fusion has almost 25 min. A very intresting band for that period, very much in sound and manner of composing with lets say Flock among other with avant prog moments very well performed but I think the longer pieces has to much improvisation elements that at some point is little boring and aimless. Anyway a good album, good band they didn't gone with the flow in that period performing symphonic prog they optain for more avant jazzy prog quite original in places but in same time date it. The voice of Anna Meekis an acquired taste for sure. For me 3 stars, nothing more nothing less.
 Catapilla by CATAPILLA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.41 | 94 ratings

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Catapilla
Catapilla Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

5 stars One of those early progressive albums that positively drips with a hazy, late-sixties vibe, the debut album from little-known jazz-influenced outfit Catapilla is an underrated little gem blending elements of jazz, avant-garde folk, heavy prog and psychedelia to strange yet highly satisfying effect. Seven-strong, Catapilla's line-up featured Robert Calvert(no, not that one; Sax), Hugh Eaglestone(sax), Malcolme Frith(drums), Anna Meek(vocals), Thierry Reinhart(wind instruments), Graham Wilson(guitar) and David Taylor(bass), most of whom would re-appear on the groups second, and final, album 'Changes' a year later. With only four songs, this self-titled effort features a dense, multi-layered sonic tapestry of sounds, falling almost halfway between the jazz-flecked epics of Frank Zappa's more adventurous pieces and the fuzzy jazz-fusion of Nucleus and Soft Machine. The difference, however, are the deliberately manic vocals of Anna Meek, who squawks, sings, screams, howls and hollers her way right through the album in a show of pure, unbridled passion that needs to be heard to be (dis)believed. Of the four tracks - all are great - it is the final, firey epic 'Embryonic Fusion'(what a name) that finds the group at their most adventurous, the bleating saxophones, edgy guitars and skittering drums creating a swirling, almost mystical jazz journey that brings to mind the more eclectic works of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock et al, though with a hard-rock edge that soaks everything with a late-night effect often found in the best of cool jazz. Highly recommended to all fusion fans as well as lovers of classic progressive rock, this debut album is a wonderfully obscure relic from bygone days. Enjoy.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

 Changes by CATAPILLA album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.53 | 99 ratings

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Changes
Catapilla Eclectic Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The first time I heard the music of this album I had an impression that the intro part of opening track delivers a kind of music that King Crimson plays - especially in Islands album. Bit that happens only at the intro part and the rest, the music flows in ambient style featuring nice vocal line of Anna Meek. The music is challenging in a way as most segments indicate the dark nuances especially with the kind of singing style combined with the accompanying music at opening track Reflection (12:06). It's actually an interesting track that reminds us to the glory days of 70s when classic and prog rock were born.

The second track Charing Cross (6:45) has jazzy style with, again, beautiful vocal of Anna Meek. The music was statretd with an ambient segment with saxophone at background. But then the music moves in faster pace with improvised saxophone work and powerful voice of Anita. There is a Foydian (stunning!) guitar work at the later part of the song. It's really a good composition. Thank Christ For George (12:07) sarts something classic in its intro part with sax provides its fills at first. There is a progressive jazzy style when Anna starts to sing. But still the nuances are still dark. The concluding track It Could Only Happen To Me (6:45) is mellow in style with sax still providing its solo.

Overall it's a good album that features traditional symphonic prog combined with the dominant work of saxophone. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 Changes by CATAPILLA album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.53 | 99 ratings

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Changes
Catapilla Eclectic Prog

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 6/10

"Changes" is a warm, sensual, intriguing, effort that closes Catapilla's brief career.

Catapilla give themselves a last chance before giving up on releasing albums, with their sophomore and last work, "Changes", a noticeably more mature album, that ends up keeping the same quality as the first LP.

The band on this one adds keyboards, makes the mood much mellower, makes all the instruments flow fluently. As a matter of fact, the flow of the instruments almost sounds like the streaming of a river, it's so effortless sounding and continuous. This sort of smoothness gives a strange sensuality to the whole, especially thanks to Anna Meek's at times soothing but ironically at times harsh and rough vocals. Much more atmospheric and Progressive, (replacing the heavy Psych roots the debut was attached to) the musicianship also is a bit toned down, despite there being good and very frequent solos along the whole LP: the sax, the keyboards, the guitars, are all together layered in this thick yet relaxing wall of sound, that almost gives the chills because of it's mysterious sensuality richened with Anna's dragging voice.

Changes is an extremely brave piece of work in a way, because of it's so original sound. However, maybe some songs were just not memorable and impacting enough, unfortunately. The shorter song "Charing Cross" doesn't do anything for me melodically, while the longer tracks like the opener "Reflections" and "Thank Christ For George" are very enjoyable for the most part, even though exceptions are made when the band goes through too much cold complexity, definitely contrasting the fact that "Changes" is sonically a warm album. The closer instrumental "If Could Only Happen To Me" has also great moments alternated with more boring ones, where the band almost feels lost in their own sound.

"Changes" is a nice experience overall, despite the few flaws it has. It's sonic characteristics makes Catapilla a unique and underrated band that truly had talent, and deserved another chance; I'm sure a masterpiece would have come next.

 Catapilla by CATAPILLA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.41 | 94 ratings

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Catapilla
Catapilla Eclectic Prog

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 6/10

Catapilla's self titled is a brave album full of desperate atmosphere and tons of character.

Catapilla are an obscure London act that back in the day released two little albums, this one being their self titled debut. The music they brought to this world is creative and somewhat innovative, with interesting moments and ideas.

The music itself is, very roughly, a mix between a very original sounding Blues Rock and Jazz Rock. The resultant piece is a radical and kind of heavy, at least for 1971, Progressive Rock album, with evident Hard Rock and Psychedelia influences as well. One of those vintage, classic albums, extremely visceral and fierce in some moments, due to the instrumentation also: we have guitars, bass, and sax that are accompanying the vocals, without any keyboards anywhere. This gives, like I said, a more fierce touch to the overall sound, which can truly be beastly.

The visceral feel in these four tracks have a somewhat dark, desperate tone in many parts, while in others it turns out to be a more fun and light listen, especially the shorter songs. But singer Anna Meek has such a strong and powerful voice, she almost sounds like a prophet of death in many pieces, evoking almost nightmarish tones, especially in the fifteen minute 'Naked Death'. Two thirds of this intro of the album basically are composed of soloing, which starts after the two minute mark and ending at almost the end of the song. This is why I found myself in a bit of difficulty in enjoying it as a whole, but the sung part is absolutely priceless. The next two songs are more forgettable and happen also to be more cheerful: 'Tumbleweed' and 'Promises' both could have been written more enthusiastically in my opinion, although even here Anna Meek shows her undeniable talent. The monster track is 'Embryonic Fusion', almost twenty five minutes of madness, featuring a lot of variation and it doesn't feel at all like 'Naked Death', it's multi parted nature makes it the most interesting and worthwhile song of the entire album.

Overall Catapilla's debut is enjoyable, however not the most essential album of this kind of music. The following album 'Changes' is considered even more Progressive because of the adding of the keyboard, but this debut has no question character, and quite a large one too.

 Changes by CATAPILLA album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.53 | 99 ratings

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Changes
Catapilla Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Showing an incredible amount of development over the debut, with Anna Meek's vocals moving away from the sub-Janis Joplin yelling of the debut to a sound that's like a more dramatic and theatrical version of Gilli Smyth's Gong-era space whispers. Musically speaking, the album is dreamier and much more spacey than the debut, leading to a curious blend of jazz fusion and mellow, ambient, dreamy space rock. Without the abrasive edge of space rock or the hot fury of fusion, what remains is a breathtaking, haunting, and truly original sound which commands the listener's attention. Particularly good is the saxophone playing Robert Calvert (not the Hawkwind member), who dominates the musical landscape along with Anna Meek's ethereal vocals. A true original.
 Catapilla by CATAPILLA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.41 | 94 ratings

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Catapilla
Catapilla Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Part of the extensive Vertigo stable of jazz-prog bands travelling in the wake of the mighty Colosseum, Catapilla's debut album is notable mainly for the vocals of Anna Meek, who this time around tends towards adopting a powerful Janis Joplin/Grace Slick roar as opposed to the Gilli Smyth-style space wails that would dominate the band's second album. The group as a whole is tight, but this time around show a certain lack of polish - there isn't much distinguishing them from any other group working this particular angle at this stage of their development, beyond Meek's vocals and the admittedly diverting sax playing from Hugh Eaglestone and Robert Calvert (no, not the Hawkwind Calvert, a different one).

The group would undergo some lineup changes and tighten up their style for the next album, which is generally superior; I'd only recommend this one to people who are absolutely in love with Changes, or to people who simply can't get enough of the Vertigo jazz-prog sound.

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