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ENGLAND

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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England biography
This British quartet featured Martin Henderson (bass, vocals), Franc Holland (guitar, vocals), Robert Webb (keyboards, vocals) and Jode Leigh (percussion, vocals, bass). Their debut LP "Garden Shed" is one of the finest, 24-carat progrock albums I've ever heard and it was also a sought after item. The LP was released on CD in Japan but you could hear the scratches because they put it directly from the record on CD without the usual mastering. Fortunately keyboard player Robert Webb re-released the original album tapes on a limited edition CD with the help of Gordon Haskell and The Forward Organisation. This in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of "Garden Shed" in 1997. Two years before there was a CD-release entitled "The Last Of The Jubblies", including material from '76 and '77.

The album "Garden Shed" has strong echoes from early GENESIS and YES. The often Mellotron drenched compositions sound melodic, warm and inventive with many captivating changes of climate and thrilling breaks. The guitarwork is sensitive, the keyboardplay is varied and the vocals are strong, no doubt that these are good musicians. The way ENGLAND combines the influence of YES with lots of original ideas reminds me of FRUUPP, another good British progrock band. Not to be missed in any serious progrock collection! "The Last Of The Jubblies" is a grouping of the recording made between 1976 and 1977. Their sophisticated music with elaborated instrumental developments could be situated in the same category as YES and GENESIS.

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

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ENGLAND discography


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

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

3.83 | 125 ratings
Garden Shed
1977
3.05 | 28 ratings
The Last Of The Jubblies
1997

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

4.05 | 10 ratings
Live In Japan 'Kikimimi'
2006

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

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

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

3.05 | 9 ratings
The Imperial Hotel
2006

ENGLAND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Last Of The Jubblies by ENGLAND album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.05 | 28 ratings

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The Last Of The Jubblies
England Symphonic Prog

Review by Novri Leonard

4 stars I found this album when I surfed the internet and my "mentor" Mr. Gatot W. enlightened me with his review in this site. Later on, I got a copy of this album from a friend of mine in Metalbleedingcorp, and it's wonderful to listen to their music as I can hear the influence from early 70s Genesis and Yes. When those great prog pioneers had started to "move away" from their original roots, England was born and brought back the essential elements of prog with them. If only they were born in late 60s or sometime in the first half of the 70s then England could had been as influential as Genesis, Yes or other essential prog bands we know. Unfortunately they came to see the light when the 70s was almost over, in time when progrock was seen as pre-historic monster in musical industry and new wave as well as punk was showing their teeth and claws.

I give it 4 stars...Essential...

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 Garden Shed by ENGLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.83 | 125 ratings

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Garden Shed
England Symphonic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I have spent my youth longing for this album, never really getting my hands on a copy. And then I did manage to do so. Then I spent my older youth trying to understand it's greatness, though always stumbling on something else and seemingly (or hearingly) more interesting. However, now the knot has been loosened by the mighty sword of time and I am looking at something very beautiful. A relic from the past, made way out of it's time. Like the famous and ancient batteries found in modern day Iraq (was it?). They were made there in a far away time, though they shouldn' have been. I am rambling, of course.

"Garden shed" by England. The anglophile soul of mine is shivering with delight. The visual piece of the puzzle could not have spoker more in my favor than that. I am sold. Now to the audio-side of it all. Is it any good, really? Yes, is the short answer. It is very good. The opener "Midnight madness" is quite brilliant in all it's quirky british symphonic glory. Actually, this piece is as good as the rest on the album, bar two tracks that are even greater pieces of music.

"Three-piece suite" is my favorite of the album. It encompasses everything great about prog, as far as I am concerned. The instrumentation is gloriuous, all the way through the instrumenta used to the rattling of the keys on the organ. (I love the organ, by the way.) The track paints a picture very british and pleases me immensely. I fear that this track has become an all time favorite of mine. This is prog in it's glory. Tender, symphonic stuff weaved in stabs of slightly more harder grooves. Though it need to be said, if you are looking for eruptions of cacophony you need to go else where. This is, as the rest of the album, gentle music though by no means withput edge and complexity. The last track, "Poisoned youth", is the other, truly brilliant composition. Ranging over 16 minutes it is a delight. Just as with "Three-piece suite" you get textures and levels that really makes it prog masterpieces.

The introduction to this review spoke of the album as been made at the wrong time. Yes, somewhat. In 1977 the sound could be seen as somewhat dated, belonging more to the early 70's. Echoes of Genesis are abound and though being very present it is only part of England's glory and unique talents. I'd say that this album in many ways represent the timelessness of prog. It is a piece of magic that has lost none of it's beauty. It did take me long time to crack the album. Why I cannot tell you, as it is quite easy to digest and get into. The complexity and musical insanity is there, balancing on the melodic borders making it a charming, quite brilliant album. I'd advise anyone, really, to give it a go. Please do.

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 Garden Shed by ENGLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.83 | 125 ratings

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Garden Shed
England Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars English Prog

Taking the best of what their home country had to offer, the appropriately named England produced an appealing slice of British progressive Rock with Garden Shed. The major influences seem to be Gentle Giant and Genesis but there is also a sprinkling of Yes, King Crimson and other bands. There are also some nice Queen-like harmony vocals. While England clearly lacks the distinct musical identity and ground breaking originality of these other bands, it would be unfair to thereby dismiss them as wannabes. They do not compete with the topmost names in our favourite genre, but frankly not much does. Garden Shed is clearly an entry in an already well-established genre, but it is a very good entry that will most certainly appeal to fans of that genre. England obviously has talent in all the relevant dimensions and this album does in my opinion deserve its title as a minor classic in the annals of Prog.

The keyboard sounds are vintage (with such usual suspects as organ, Mellotron, piano, etc.), but the production is that of the late 70's. The production is very good indeed; a clear and clean sound. The material is not among the most complex you'll find, but all of the six tracks are excellent. It is hard to pick out any particular favourites. I enjoy the album from start to finish.

An excellent addition

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 Garden Shed by ENGLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.83 | 125 ratings

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Garden Shed
England Symphonic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars One might expect a band called "England" to represent the worst of that country's music: The Dave Clark Five, Brotherhood of Man, Slade, Gary Glitter, and other crippling wonders of 20th century British Pop.

But one would be wrong. Garden Shed is hardly the worst of anything, but rather the best of the English Progrock sound concentrated into an hour-long celebration of fine stuff. And if you've got a ticket, you're welcome to join. No doubt derivative of just about every British prog institution but done with such reverence and inspiration it's as if the band didn't know it wasn't the first to do it. Consequently, the 1977 release has taken on an air of legend, an almost Holy Grail-like aspect to some. It doesn't disappoint. A fluid matrix of period synths negotiate 'Midnight Madness', full of early Genesis to be sure but also Becker & Fagen, the Swingles, and Yes. By the end of this first cut the quality of skill in Henderson, Holland, Leigh and Webb is crystal clear. Once past the shameless (and I mean shameless) Yes vocals, thirteen-minute 'Three Piece Suite' is an exquisite number that qualifies as one of the most representative of the genre in its classic, native form-- delicious organ parts, blistering and weeping guitar solos from Frank Holland, the 'trons of Robert Webb dancing with Martin Henderson's bass and the whole group doing a heroic job alternating on voice duties.

The record hits its stride with the utterly hilarious 'Paraffinalea', just over four minutes and not a wasted moment of dazzlingly concise midtempo prog. Sugary and stoned 'Yellow' kinda just sits there but yields to magnificent 'Poisoned Youth' where they just let it go. Two bonuses from '76 on the Piper reissue. Nothing less than definitive if not wholly original, and a great time regardless.

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 The Imperial Hotel by ENGLAND album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
3.05 | 9 ratings

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The Imperial Hotel
England Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars A twenty-one minutes long gem for the Genesis & Yes fans out there.

England was a band who successfully made Genesis sound their own at their brilliant classic album Garden Shed. An album no Genesis or symph prog should live without. The twenty one minutes epos The Imperial Hotel was written and probably recorded before Garden Shed though. The concept is very ambitious and the lyrics speaks about England anno the Victorian era. The lyrics is about this old hotel and they are good, although flimsy as in eccentric. The music is very Genesis with a lot of Yes influences and some Beatles influences. The latter one from their Sgt Pepper era. You can surely also add Procol Harum to that list too. The instruments is the usual fare with tangents, guitars, bass and drums. The vocals are very good. The sound is more than acceptable.

There are some great melody lines along the way. But some of this epos is a bit dull to be honest. I would say half of this epos is great. The rest is OK. In short, this is a good effort which set them up for Garden Shed. Call this a trial and error epos. This is a good disc if you can find it.

3 stars

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 Garden Shed by ENGLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.83 | 125 ratings

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Garden Shed
England Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Amazingly, this forthright slice of symphonic prog was written, recorded, produced and released in 1977, a full year after the horrifying punk tornado had come swirling through Britain. Not so amazingly, however, England's slightly twee debut failed to sell and the band wouldn't re-appear again until a belated 1997 follow-up. It's an odd tale, as one genuinely wonders whether England would have found more success if they had managed to get their act together five or six years earlier and release 'Garden Shed' during the early part of the 1970's when prog still ruled the roost. We can never know, but at least we know where this four-piece garnered their influences from. Their un-ashamedly symphonic sound has serious echoes of Yes, and England can be placed in that slightly unfortunate category of bands - along with fellow Brits Druid and yankee proggers Starcastle - that are often labelled 'Yes clones'. That tag may be taking it a bit too far but it's easy to see why the bands are so often compared. England sport a light, airy, keyboard-dominated sound that resonates with Yes- isms, whilst the band's lead-singer has an uncanny ability to hit those high notes a la Jon Anderson. Quality-wise England are miles behind Yes, but, happily, 'Garden Shed' is an enjoyable if sightly lightweight affair that is, like Druid's 'Toward The Sun' or Starcastle's eponymously-titled debut, a fine example of lush symphonic prog from people who care not about style but are all about substance. Fans of mid-seventies Yes and the previously-mentioned twosome will find much to admire on 'Garden Shed'. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

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 The Last Of The Jubblies by ENGLAND album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.05 | 28 ratings

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The Last Of The Jubblies
England Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This is not really Englandīs second album like so many of my friends thought at the time. it is really a collection of demos and out takes that did not made it to their debut Garden Shed and it was released some 20 years later. Of course there is no surprise to find this collection to be a patchy affair with ups and downs. There are some fine musical parts here and there, along with others that seem to be unfinished and/or underarranged.

Strange as it seems I liked several parts more than the bandīs debut. Maybe because they sound less Yes clones here than when they hired Martin Henderson as bassist and singer. Not that the vocals are much better: most vocal parts are weak, but at least they are not imitating Jon Anderson. And some instrumental parts are again less derivative. Still itīs hard to think about spending your hard earned money getting this CD when there are so many other fine stuff we have in the market nowadays, new or old (in this case, a friend lended me his copy).

If you liked Englandīs Garden Shed then you should check this out. But only if liked that album a lot. The last Of The Jubblies is not a bad CD. But certainly this collection of demos is only good enough for hardcore fans and collectors. Two stars.

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 The Last Of The Jubblies by ENGLAND album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.05 | 28 ratings

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The Last Of The Jubblies
England Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars I believe that, judging by the small number. of reviews related to this disk, that he is little known... and I find a waste. Although it is not so well recorded like "Garden Sheed", I consider it a disk (musically speaking)) at least close of that and that it deserved to be knowner than seems. As soon as it begins the audition, a resonant avalanche falls on the listener with a theme that in a lot reminded me GREENSLADE and little later it comes a slower passage than it sounds like GENTLE GIANT soon afterwards YES, that everything "crowned" with a brilliant percussion with tubular bells and everything returns to the initial theme to close the track. The next track (2), it begins in a way totally different, with a theme that seems to resist to "enter in scene." Finally it appears an outstanding bass that it drives a melody that has some FRUPP and to proceed (in the middle of the music) it presents a type of "intermezzo" that brings the memory the initial compasses of "The Gates of Delirium." The third track is probably the weakest moment of the albun. The fouth track can be divided in two very different moments, the first brings a percussion section in the best form of Bill Bruford's drums and a guitar in Steve Howe's style and the second a theme that mixes YES and GENESIS with a keyboard solo to the style Tony Banks. The fifth track is clearly inspired in GENESIS, however some sung passages me they reminded another great britanic band THE BEATLES!!! The last track causes me the sensation of being really a farewell theme, not only of the albún, but unhappily of the own band in itself. My raute is 4 stars !!!

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 Garden Shed by ENGLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.83 | 125 ratings

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Garden Shed
England Symphonic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Garden Shed is the debut full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act England. It was also the only studio album release by the band from when they were still active. The album was released in 1977 by Arista.

The music on Garden Shed is influenced mainly by Genesis and Yes. Camel and a band like Greenslade also come to mind a couple of times but the two first mentioned acts are the dominant influences. You get clever keyboard and guitar playing, a tight rythm section and some great harmony vocals. The lead vocalist is good but he lacks that original touch that could have made the album really great. The musicianship on the album is absolutely brilliant though and thatīs probably the bandīs greatest asset because the material have a hard time escaping the clone tag. Clone or not, most of the tracks are of a very high quality. The strong opener Midnight Madness, Three Piece Suite and the 16:17 minute long closer Poisoned Youth particularly stand out. Yellow is a good song too.

The production is professional and warm.

Garden Shed is overall a very good album fully deserving a 3.5 star rating and I canīt help thinking that England would have had great success with the album, had it been released 5 years before. If you can get over the clone factor I find this one highly recommendable.

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 Live In Japan 'Kikimimi' by ENGLAND album cover Live, 2006
4.05 | 10 ratings

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Live In Japan 'Kikimimi'
England Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars Another good live album from a rather unknown symphonic prog band.

England's only true studio album Garden Shed is a true gem. The second album was more a collection of unfinished songs. It is therefore a pleasure to find this live album which shows England from their best. Four songs from the Garden Shed and some other compositions is included here. They are delivered with flair and a high degree of skills. Their style on this live album is somewhere between Genesis, Yes, Fruupp..... and Supertramp. I did not discover the Supertramp vibes before I heard this live album. I guess that is what's happening in a gig situation in Japan. Strange.

Anyway, the Robert Webb's vocals is a bit of an acquired taste, I have to admit. The vintage keyboards on the other hand sends shivers down my spine in pure joy. The fourteen minutes long Three Piece Suite is full of those and they gives me a lot of pleasures. As a whole, this album is full of small wonderful details. Most of them, if not all of them, delivered by these vintage keyboards. This live album will please vintage keyboards lovers all the way to the sunset and beyond. The drums and the bass to is good.

The songs are superb and this is a good live album. It is a weak four stars for me. But it is still a four stars album.

4 stars

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