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Neo-Prog • Poland

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Formed in Poland in 1985 - Disbanded in 2003 - Reformed in 2013

This Neo Prog band from Poland was not only the most important band from this country in the 90's; It figures among the best Neo Prog bands in the world. Blending heavy keyboard background with extremelly melodical guitar and vocals, they were able to deliver an original and very interseting music. Intricate tempo changes differenciate this band from the competition amongst their style, with vocals in Polish and English depending on the album.

"Moonshine" is one of the greatest symphonic progressive rock CD's of the modern era. This CD features great production, wonderful melodies and singing with superb playing-both as accompaniment and tasty biting solos and fills. WONDERFUL!!!

See also:
- Satellite
- Strawberry Fields

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Chapter OneChapter One
Metropolitan Records 1994
$5.47 (used)
Collage - Greatest HitsCollage - Greatest Hits
Unidisc Music Inc. 1994
$12.21 (used)
The Best of Collage - I'll Be Loving You (Digitally Remastered)The Best of Collage - I'll Be Loving You (Digitally Remastered)
Essential Media Group 2010
$10.47 (used)
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COLLAGE discography

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

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

3.59 | 134 ratings
2.75 | 44 ratings
Nine Songs Of John Lennon
4.03 | 328 ratings
3.51 | 117 ratings

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

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

3.75 | 34 ratings
Living In The Moonlight

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

3.33 | 9 ratings
3.23 | 65 ratings

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Moonshine by COLLAGE album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.03 | 328 ratings

Collage Neo-Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album accompanied me in a difficult and lonely time of my life... And it well always have a place in my heart.

Nevertheless, it's far from being perfect. I think the production is a bit saturated. Sometimes it's hard to discern the instruments clearly because the dense mixture of guitars and keyboards and the detailed and the enlarged drums. It's part of the charm of this album, but objectively the production could have been better in my opinion. Technical and financial limitations, I guess.

The second fact that I find a bit annoying of this album are Robert Amirian's vocals. The guy sings in a very powerful and passionate way, but sometimes he is completely out of tone. He had potential and capability to make a great job in this album, but for some reason he sounds not really well here.

However, apart of these two problems Moonshine is a pure pleasure for the ears.

Heroes Cry starts the record in a very powerful and melodic way, with very dense echoed guitars from Gil and great keyboards from Krzysztof Palczewski. The drummer of the leader Szadkowski are also very competent, and a very important part of Collage's sound, because he is the main songwriter and many songs revolve around his drum kit. The Witkowski's bass is sometimes buried under the rest of the musicians, and Amirian... He just tries.

In Your Eyes is just a masterpiece of Neo-Prog music. A true classic and a song which is perfect if you want to introduce someone to this genre. Amirian sings in a very passionate and sentimental way the romantic lyrics and the songs evolves constantly offering an incessant stream of wonderful progressive melodies. Just wonderful!

Lovely Day is another lovely song based mainly in the keyboards, spoiled again by the weak vocals. And Living in the Moonlight is another Collage's classic with dreamy melodies and this time with competent vocals from Amirian, who luckily sings in a more restrained way this time. The Blues bring back the hard rock of influences of Heroes Cry, but with an even better instrumental section. After two slow tracks The Blues was a very good choice.

Wins in the Night is another long song with folk melodies, which give a very European feeling to this album. Not so good as In Your Eyes, but also marvelous. And the ending is an imaginative homage to Richard Strauss. Moonshine is a bit darker and it has the harder guitars of the album (don't worry, they are just a bit distorted) and also the best bass playing.

War is Over ends the album with a chorus which is a bit repetitive, but with another folk ending with a very beautiful accordion played by Witkowski.

Conclusion: Collage is a very passionate, dreamy and beautiful Neo-Prog album. The songwriting is really strong, the musicians are great and despite the weak vocals the music shines through the whole record. And despite the influence is there, Collage are one of the Neo-Prog bands which managed not to sound like a 80's Marillion rip-off.

With a better vocal interpretation, this would be a true prog rock masterpiece.

Best Tracks: all of them. But In Your Eyes is just outstanding and one of the best Neo-Prog songs in history.

My rating: ****

 Nine Songs Of John Lennon by COLLAGE album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.75 | 44 ratings

Nine Songs Of John Lennon
Collage Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I´ve avoided this CD for years. First I´m not really that big fan of John Lennon and to see a prog band doing an entirely album of his songs seems to be totally pointless. Even more so if the record was their second, after the promising but hardly essential Basnie. However, I had the opportunity to finally listening when a friend gave me a copy a few days ago. I was quite surprised of how good it actually was: the songs are mostly a total remake of the original, yet they preserve their essence in many ways and it is a respectful work. Looking back, it was also Collage´s first work with their classic line up of Robert Amirian on vocals, Mirek Gil (guitars), Piotr Mintay Witkowski (bass) and the genius Krzysztof Palczewski on keyboards, plus leader and drummer Wojtek Szadkowski.

Of course it is the classic case of hit and miss, but there is little double that they did a terrific job considering the iconic and legendary status of the author of the material. Imagine and Woman for instance don´t get even close to the beauty and power of the original versions. However, tracks like God (the longest and most progressive of them all), Tomorrow Never Knows, Give Peace A Chance and Cold Turkey are fine examples of how creative, bold and unique Collage was from the very start (and they understood Lennon´s message like so few actually did).

In the end, a nice homage to one of rock´s great songwriters. And they did it giving the songs the full Collage treatment that would emerge in all its power in the form of their next release, the classic Moonshine.

Rating: 3 stars. Good, but not essential.

 Moonshine by COLLAGE album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.03 | 328 ratings

Collage Neo-Prog

Review by jmeadow

3 stars A nice melodic and atmospheric neo-prog album; an album for late night wind-down listening, rather than early morning get-up-and-go motivation! Although there are some long, quite complex compositions here, the emphasis on accessible melodies means that this album is quite poppy.

For me the stand-out tracks are 'In Your Eyes' and 'Living in the Moonlight' - two accessible and soulful numbers.

At times the lyrics can be a little melodramatic and the music a little too bombastic; perhaps for this reason the album doesn't always grab one in the way that the very best prog does.

I feel compelled to also report that there are some very cheesy photos in the CD booklet and one of the band members is a dead-ringer for Nigel Tufnel (though I haven't held this against them).

Nevertheless, overall this is a good, but not essential, album.

 Moonshine by COLLAGE album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.03 | 328 ratings

Collage Neo-Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars This is the stuff I imagine accompanying Siegfried & Roy's act during their mid-90s Vegas glory; lots of mist, flashbangs, sampled orchestration, glitter suits, and over-groomed homoerotic showmanship. Liberace would've liked Collage.

That aside, it is what it is. Distended by melodrama and artifice, Moonshine is symphonic rock (okay "Neoprog" if you insist) at its worst and best. The material does sometimes remind of Genesis circa 1976 but not really, and frankly fourteen-minute 'In Your Eyes' is why pop music was invented. No one needs to sit through a quarter hour of unremarkable music. Cut it by two thirds and you might have something worthwhile. Just ask Peter Gabriel. 'Living in the Moonlight' is moany '80s romantic angst and 'The Blues' is merely an extension of said material. Complex 'Wings in the Night' isn't bad but at eleven minutes is sure to leave many listeners trailing off into what they're having for dinner, and the cinematic title track is probably the most progressive thing here with many rises and falls.

A matter of taste perhaps but either way, Collage lacks a certain humanity; a rock & roll spirit that thrives on less, not more; a blemished swagger raised to glory by the skill and inspiration of men, not machines. But then one can't blame an artist for what it is they do, only the quality of it.

 Moonshine by COLLAGE album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.03 | 328 ratings

Collage Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The 1990-1992 period was definitely the more intense in Collage's history.''Basnie'' was warmly accepted by the prog audience, leading to concerts even abroad for the band and to a reissue of the album in 1992 by Vinyl Magic.On the other hand Tomasz Rozycki left the band suddenly to be replaced by Zbyszek Bieniak.Bieniak was a great singer and songwriter but he also quit in early 92', leaving his place for a while to Jarek Wajk.1993 was even more shocking for the band.Only Gil and Szadkowski remained from the ''Basnie'' line-up.The bass was now handled by Piotr Witkowski, keyboards by Krzysztof Palczewski, while the new singer was Robert Amirian.To test his voice Collage released the album ''Nine Songs of John Lennon'' in 1993 with cover tracks of Lennon's discography, followed a year later by the first full-length album of the new line-up ''Moonshine'' on Metal Mind Records.

The new album presented two big differences compared to ''Basnie''.Amirian would sing exclusively in English, having a more sensitive and romantic voice, eventually reflecting on the atmosphere of the album.Additionally the darker compositions of ''Basnie'' left their place to less-raw and more elaborate arrangements with a more positive aura.Of course the style of Collage remained equally grandiose, bombastic at moments and quite adventurous, enriched by series of softer passages inbetween.Overall the extremely unique band's style had developed even more with an aim towards foreign markets but always delivering a pure Neo/Symphonic Rock with dramatic arrangements and a huge rich sound throughout.Dreamy keyboards alternate with bombastic orchestral passages, smooth vocal-based parts are followed by superb guitar solos, the trademark of Mirek Gil, and polished melodies are blended with a great number of breaks.More importantly Collage set the basis of what we would call ''Polish Prog'' in the future, apparently having influenced a great number of local bands.A style characterized by the lovely symphonic keyboards, the deep esoteric vocal lines, the dramatic solos and often the very personal atmosphere of Polish vocals, which are absent on this album.

A great comeback by one of the most original Polish bands.Despite the line-up changes Collage returned with an album full of excellent, dreamy and challenging musicianship, an almost classic of the Neo Prog scene and highly recommended to fans of prog in general.

 Moonshine by COLLAGE album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.03 | 328 ratings

Collage Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Collage's third album finds the album playing in a distinctive style which is more unique to them than the heavily Marillion-inspired approach of their debut, though occasionally aspects of early Marillion or 1990s Pendragon pop up here and there. The Collage sound as of Moonshine is sweeping, dramatic, and at times (as on the opening number Heroes Cry) thunderous, with keyboards, lead guitar and vocals all uniting to create a particularly emotive and passionate work. At points the production seems to stumble a little; there are parts where the synths sound a little cheap and dated and the drum sound is a bit thin, but just when my attention begins to drift the album turns around and enthralls me yet again. I think Basnie is a somewhat more well-executed work myself, but Moonshine is a little more original so the two complement each other nicely.
 Baśnie by COLLAGE album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.59 | 134 ratings

Collage Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There's a legion of neo-prog bands out there who take their lead from Marillion's sound during the Fish era, but for me Collage stand out as a particularly excellent one. Their debut, Basnie, is a case in point: whilst many other bands simply try to preserve Marillion's sound from whichever Fish-era album happens to be their favourite and don't really take the music forward, Collage learn lessons from all the phases of the Fish period - the angst of Script for a Jester's Tear, the anger of Fugazi, the delicacy of Misplaced Childhood and the wry wit of Clutching at Straws - and combine all of these moods (and the musical underpinnings thereof) to form the core of their sound and take it in an entirely different direction from the one Marillion seemed to be pursuing at the end of the Fish era: more raw, more energetic, and significantly more complex.

Their compositions are simply stuffed with energetic solos and performances from the band's instrumentalists, whilst frontman Tomas Rozycki's passionate and confident singing style is genuinely individual and could give most other singers from major neo-prog bands a run for their money. A brilliant debut to a career which after this was, unfortunately, rather patchy and inconsistent. Still, there was at least one more widely-embraced landmark to come.

 Moonshine by COLLAGE album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.03 | 328 ratings

Collage Neo-Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Some prog rock, it is true to say, is not altogether emotionally uplifting. Some of it can be downright depressing, and in the genre's first heyday of the 1970's, a lot of bands released exceptionally long suites and concepts that were musically, emotionally, and intellectually challenging. I say this not, of course, as a criticism, but as a matter of fact.

If we jump forward to the neo prog explosion, a lot of bands then seemed to have to issue albums that aped that style of music, if nothing else to prove their prog credentials. The better ones got over this tendency, and began to create wholly original music and styles.

The above is stated to introduce this blinder of an album by Collage, a short lived Polish band. Moonshine is an album which drips with relentless enthusiasm, is upbeat beyond belief, and very cleverly intersperses lengthy epics with some extraordinarily catchy prog pop shorter tracks. What they proved, above all else, is that neo prog did not simply have to be a copy of the classic bands to be effective, but basically took the best of what influenced them and turned it into something deliciously original. For that, this band deserve to be right up amongst great outfits such as Marillion and Pendragon as being amongst the best the sub genre has to offer. I say this, by the way, as a huge lover of neo prog.

There is, in this album, more than a smattering of Marillion influence, certainly in the manner that the instrumental passages are constructed, and more than a bit of the Hogarth era at that, as well. Elsewhere, there are also the obligatory nods to classic artists, none more so than the longest track on the album, In Your Eyes, whose end vocal passage bears more than a passing resemblance to Gabriel's track of the same name from So. In addition, the band have clearly listened to the full quota of Camel's albums. In doing this, however, they never once sound like a cheap tribute band.

Robert Amirian's vocals are incredible throughout, and much of it, by the way, does also put you in mind of more than one post indie outfit. The chorus, and accompanying guitar burst, on Wings In The Night transports the listener to another plain.

The musicianship throughout is excellent. Palczewski's keyboard work is nothing short of phenomenal, Gil on guitar backs up Amirian's lead effortlessly, whilst the rhythm section of Szadkowski on drums and Witkowski on are about as tight and urgent as it is possible to get. For no better example of how well they play and riff as a unit, listen to the closing section of The Blues.

This is an excellent work, and the standard would be carried forward into successor outfit Satellite. Very highly recommended for all those who wish to explore neo prog outside of the UK comfort zone, and for prog fans in general who appreciate grand, upbeat, music with more than a hint of wider pop/rock sensibilities.

Four stars, and a strong four stars at that.

 Moonshine by COLLAGE album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.03 | 328 ratings

Collage Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Collage is one of the most respected neo prog bands not only from Poland but from Europe too. They made this style to be more exposured to the public in the ,90,s and for that they got a well known fame. They released before disbanded some albums more or less great, this is Moonshine from 1994, one of their better works if not the most complet from their career and one of the better ex of smooth and greatness of this style. The album, musicaly speaking is ok, with some great and very elegand symphonic parts, even this attitude is often used here, the neo prog elements are not left aside, both style are melting each other very well, the prime ex is the openingtrack Heroes cry, I think the best piece from here. Now, as a neo prog album is very often in this scene, never breaks any rules or to be a groundbreaking release, at least for me, Moonshine suffers from same over production in this sub genre. When I first listen to the album, after finishing it I said that this is one of the another few hundred neo prog albums from this scene, repetative arrangements, specially on guitar, but aswell the vocal parts are a bit too the same on each piece, but combined with that symphonic parts make from this Moonshine to be more then an usual album after all, but nothing special either. I don,t like the mellowness of the album as a whole, the voice is too much the same, the keybords are not rounding the sound, is more like an instrument who enters when needed but rarely is very exciting in what it does, at least for me, the druming is linear and without many pretentions. With all this low points, the album as a whole can get from me 3 stars, but is the best I can give here, I know hundreds of better albums then Moonshine, and are far more less known productions. Another thing is that the album is too long, the second track of the album In your eys is almost 15 min of totaly boring and uninspired neo prog, this tune is totaly useless IMO. The Marillion influences are all over, specially the Rothery noodlings. After Collage was gone 3 memebers from here will form another known neo prog band from Poland and not only Satllite (IMO better then Collage). So, as I said, nothing really exciting here, nothing impressive or never heared before in this scene, only a fairly good release, who gets I think too much praise. 3 stars.
 Moonshine by COLLAGE album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.03 | 328 ratings

Collage Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars COLLAGE's Moonshine is full of very memorable music. There are many 'hooks' that haunt the listener hours and days after walking away from it. Containing some symphonic elements, this masterpiece of NeoProg has a few shortcomings, namely the vocals are, at times, weak, and some of the keyboards that were 'leading edge' technologically in 1994 are almost embarrassingly out-dated today. Still, the bombastic music, rare treat of frequent synthesizer-electric guitar interplay, and defining appearance of the screaming, infinite-sustain Mirek Gil guitar sound (which is, IMO, one step above that of the Master, Steve Hackett--whose "Spectral Mornings/Every Day" sound Gil was so obviously inspired by).

1. "Heroes Cry" (6:40). What a memorable, bombastic introduction! And it all begins with the album's major strength (Gil's screaming guitar) and weakness (vocals). At 1:10 the poppy bridge and chorus first appear. At 3:50 we get our first treat to the talented keyboard player as he echoes himself before engaging in the playful chase-and-duel pattern so often explored with Gil's guitar. (Could it be that Gil's soli are, in fact, improved and enhanced--his efforts augmented--by the challenge and presence of the keys?) Prog doesn't get much better that this, folks! A very memorable, haunting song. (9/10)

2. "In Your Eyes" (14:04) opens with the dated synths to about 1:00 when piano and acoustic guitar interplay take over to back the vocal. At 2:36 a very Hackett-esque guitar riff leads to a very "Wind & Wuthering" feeling section of chords and acoustic guitar. 4:30 sees the arrival of a very high, squeaky guitar solo; at 5:30 the song shifts dramatically, till, at 6:25 the song shifts back to the Hackett-esque, "Spectral Mornings" feel. At 7:10 we see a return to previous themes until at 8:35 the song takes another completely different shift with sequencer, synthesizer, and bass taking over until 9:10 when Gil's screaming guitar rejoins. A vocal highlight occurs at the 10:25 mark with an electric guitar supported "here tonight" peak, followed at the 11:30 mark with a low register key & synth solo over some very nice drum work. Tempo picks up again at 12:00 until a stop at 12:45. Whereupon the song plays out with the very enjoyable interplay of keyboard and electric guitar. (8/10)

3. "Lovely Day" (5:11) uses piano and synthesized strings to establish a slow, almost poppy mood for the first three minutes. The 3:05 mark sees the most interesting development of the song with piano arpeggios followed by some electric guitar-keyboard 'gunfire.' Otherwise, a not very memorable song. (7/10)

4. "Living in the Moonlight" (4:43) A favorite among proggers, undoubtedly for it's Hackett-like, "Please Don't Touch" feel as well as its lyrical content. Gil's guitar work is rather subdued and moved more into the background. The "when I feel silence" sees the song shift into a higher gear of intensity, and then higher again when Gil begins his Hackett-esque solo--which he makes his own beginning at the 3:10 mark. (9/10)

5. "The Blues" (7:17). The highpoint of the album. Gil's guitar screams out the defining melody from the first note and climbs, with the help of some wonderful band support, to an amazing beginning song solo before dropping away at the 0:54 mark in lieu of the vocal section--a great vocal dislay, with very powerful delivery of some powerful lyrics. Great full-band interplay and support throughout this amazing song. 4:35 begins the Mirek Gil display. This is the song where he leaves Hackett in the dust and establishes his own ascendancy. Great drum and key support. I do not think that this song could be improved upon. A song for the ages. (10/10)

6. "Wings in the Night" (11:12) takes the first 2:25 to establish itself (fairly weakly) before finally letting some energy show (briefly). The song rather lacks from consistency--bouncing from quiet to dynamic and back again over and over while the vocals go on trampling over all parts indiscriminately. At the 7:10 mark Mirek Gil is finally set free--and boy! does he soar! The final four minutes of the song nearly make up for the floundering first seven (even if there are several moments where one might think you were in Steve Hackett's "Spectral Mornings"). (8/10)

7. "Moonshine" (12:50) begins as if playing Phil Collins' "I Don't Care Anymore" until at 0:46 Gil steps in and lifts it into another world--his own. Still, it takes three and a half minutes until the song finally establishes a consistent self identity--which it does, at a very high level, too. (9/10)

8. "War Is Over" is vocalist Robert Amirian's rather pop-anthem contribution to the album. Very simple structure and repetitive lyric make for a somewhat disappointing song. The only real progginess comes in the song's end when Amirian's accordian ushers us out of (the) Moonshine. (6/10)

9. (Bonus Track in 2003 remaster) "Almost There." This is a GREAT song. Too bad it wasn't on the original release (instead of "War Is Over"), otherwise this may have helped earn the album the five star rating it feels like it deserves. I LOVE how the vocals, keyboards and bass pace this song. Powerful! For once Amirian's lyrics (repetitive as they are) and delivery work! They provide a great vehicle for an all-out band jam?which could easily (and even happily) have ended at the 3:05 mark. But it doesn't! Instead, we are treated to one more minute of bass and drums pounding beneath Mirek Gil's superlative, screaming guitar and Robert Amirian's (background) vocal screams. Wow! (10/10)

Without "Almost There" the album is a definite four star "classic"--and excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection. With it . . . ?

2015 edit: This album has now been a part of my life for several years. It has become one of those "go to" albums I can always depend on to uplift my spirits into those peak experience moments. Though the 1990s keyboards still sound a bit cheesy, the compositions and emotions coming our of this recorded material has become one of the benchmark experiences of both the 1990s in particular and Neo-prog in general. It is for these reasons that I am choosing to reconsider my original four star rating and elevate Moonshine into the "masterpiece" category. It deserves it. I can think of few albums from the 1990s more essential to the proof that Prog Is Alive and Well!

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

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