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WIGWAM

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Finland


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Wigwam biography
Finland's WIGWAM were truly one of the pioneers of early progressive rock. The history of WIGWAM can be subdivided into two separate eras: the original or "old" WIGWAM of 1969-1974 and the "new" WIGWAM of 1974-1977. The two were dramatically different, in terms of personnel and overall sound. The music of this unique band is dominated by the piano and organ sounds, all of those wrapped up in a sometimes dark music filled with typical Scandinavian influences. There is some great interplay between all the musicians. It gives you the feeling they were doing this to stay warm!

Though not a classic album, "Tombstone Valentine" was the first WIGWAM album that seems to show the band members getting to grips with each ones individual musical desires. In many ways, "Fairyport" was a continuation of "Tombstone Valentine", but I would say it is a bit more experimental and progressive. Nowadays, this album is considered a classic within progressive rock circles and it has a number of features that make it stand out as one of the great progressive albums of the seventies. "Being" (1974) was the last album by the legendary Pembroke/Gustavson/Pohjola/Österberg lineup. This album is a concept album, with most of the music and lyrics written by Jukka GUSTAVSON. This is an essential album for any fan of progressive rock. In early 1975, the new lineup was up and released the album that became an instant classic, "Nuclear Nightclub". When the new titled "Dark Album" was released in late 1977, WIGWAM had ceased to exist.

In the nineties PEMBROKE, RECHARDT and GROUNDSTRÖM suprised many by coming back with a third edition of WIGWAM, but that's a whole new story, to be continued...

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BeingBeing
Import
ESOTERIC 2010
Audio CD$8.55
$8.54 (used)
Hard N HornyHard N Horny
Import
Imports 2007
Audio CD$13.32
$14.99 (used)
Live From theLive From the
Import
Imports 2002
Audio CD$14.29
$19.99 (used)
FairyportFairyport
Import
ESOTERIC 2010
Audio CD$9.96
$14.99 (used)
Being by Wigwam (2002-03-13)Being by Wigwam (2002-03-13)
Love Records Finland
Audio CD$51.53
Tombstone ValentineTombstone Valentine
Import
Esoteric 2013
Audio CD$17.59
$20.55 (used)
Nuclear NightclubNuclear Nightclub
Import · Remastered
ESOTERIC 2010
Audio CD$14.99
$30.75 (used)
Dark AlbumDark Album
Import
Imports 2007
Audio CD$8.36
$8.34 (used)
Fresh Garbage Rarities 1969-77Fresh Garbage Rarities 1969-77
Import
Imports 2007
Audio CD$10.60
$10.59 (used)
Live Music From the Twilight ZoneLive Music From the Twilight Zone
Import
ESOTERIC 2010
Audio CD$21.99
$24.62 (used)
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WIGWAM discography


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

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

3.40 | 59 ratings
Hard And Horny
1969
3.04 | 58 ratings
Tombstone Valentine
1970
4.15 | 183 ratings
Fairyport
1971
3.83 | 128 ratings
Being
1974
3.30 | 89 ratings
Nuclear Nightclub
1975
3.19 | 55 ratings
The Lucky Golden Stripes And Starpose
1976
3.35 | 41 ratings
Dark Album
1977
2.81 | 25 ratings
Light Ages
1993
2.07 | 28 ratings
Titans Wheel
2002
2.88 | 22 ratings
Some Several Moons
2005

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

4.35 | 34 ratings
Live Music From the Twilight Zone
1975
3.62 | 13 ratings
Wigwam Plays Wigwam Live
2001
4.05 | 3 ratings
Pop-Liisa 3
2016

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

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

2.05 | 2 ratings
Wigwam
1972
4.00 | 6 ratings
Rumours on the Rebound
1979
2.05 | 2 ratings
Classics - The Rarest
1990
3.52 | 6 ratings
Hard N' Horny/Tombstone Valentine
1990
3.09 | 6 ratings
Highlights
1996
3.79 | 20 ratings
Fresh Garbage - Rarities 1969-1977
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
28 Songs from the Twilight Zone
2014

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

2.69 | 4 ratings
Must Be The Devil / Greasy Kids' Stuff
1969
3.59 | 8 ratings
Luulosairas / Henry's Highway Code
1969
2.00 | 1 ratings
True Confession / Helsinki
1969
2.33 | 5 ratings
Pedagogi / Häätö
1970
3.75 | 4 ratings
Wishful Thinker / Call Me On Your Telephone
1971
4.07 | 6 ratings
Freddie are You Ready / Kite
1975
1.35 | 4 ratings
Tramdriver / Wardance
1975
3.00 | 2 ratings
Borders to Be Crossed / Planetstar
1993
2.00 | 1 ratings
Heaven In A Modern World
2002
2.00 | 1 ratings
Drive On Driver
2002

WIGWAM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hard And Horny by WIGWAM album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.40 | 59 ratings

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Hard And Horny
Wigwam Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars The Finnish band WIGWAM was formed in 1968 by drummer Ronnie Österberg after his split from the band Blues Section. Immediately he recruited another member Jim Pembroke (a Brit) from the same band and formed a new musical entity that took their name from the famous Native American domed dwelling. The two would be the only constant members for the band's entire first formation from 1968 to 1980. WIGWAM has become famous in jazz-fusion circles for their albums with the adroit bassist Pekka Pohjola on board for his short stint of three albums ("Tombstone Valentine", "Fairyport", "Being") but don't expect any of that on their debut release HARD N' HORNY which sounds more like an album title that would grace an 80s glam metal band. This is a unique beast in the band's discography which displays an album's worth of well-crafted psychedelic and art rock tracks sung in both English and their native Finnish. The album was released in 1969 both with a bland yellowed piece of paper sleeve with the band name and album title sloppily scribbled with an giant exclamation point as well as with the much more appropriate and beautiful crimson based cover with a beautiful maiden depicted in an undefiled pose.

HARD N' HORNY is a testament to just how brilliant the band was before Pekka Pohjola joined the group and quite the surprise for the listener as one track after another is top notch late 60s psychedelic pop rock that delivers strong hooks, heavy doses of groovy freakiness and stellar musical and vocal performances. In fact, at this point WIGWAM was certainly Finland's answer to The Beatles' "Sgt Pepper" days excellently heard on the second side of the album that incorporates a stream of tracks that connect musically and lyrically beginning with "Henry's? Mountain Range Or Thereabouts." The album is a bit strange and not exactly uniform in theme although quite consistent in quality. It begins with the Finnish lyric tracks in a clearly psychedelic and jam band mode with a lazy and chilled bass and drum groove with some swinging 60s organ runs and becomes trapper on the next couple of tracks reminding me a bit of Procol Harum only with a different vocal delivery which in my favorite Finno-Ugric language makes it sound even trippier as the Finnish language has a strange rhythmic flow i'm not accustomed to.

The fourth track " Neron Muistolle; Hyvää Yötä" is the peak of the trippiness on the album as it contains a spoken dialogue of some sort between Marjoritta Gustavson and Jukka Gustavson in Finnish while strange piano rolls create a highly surreal background along with accompanying guitar squeals and slides. As strange as this track is, it does display the strong piano playing skills of Jukka Gustavson as the backbone of the song structures on board. The next few tracks are well-crafted psychedelic pop rock tunes that offer strong melodies, pseudo-classical keyboard parts and mid tempo 60s feeling songwriting with slight touches of progressive behavior meaning a few time sig changes here and there and some slight syncopation and jazzy type of structures. Beginning with "Henry's? Mountain Range Or Thereabouts" it begins to feel like a totally different album which takes on a Beatelesque "Sgt Pepper's" flair although more rooted in a psychedelic Pink Floydian type of space rock. The lyrics are surprisingly very good and one could hardly detect that these guys were Finnish although that may have something to do with Jim Pembroke being an English speaker from the UK. The remainder of the album goes through a few short movements that allow the band to exercise their psychedelic and pop hook chops with slight jazz and prog influences.

I was quite taken back by this debut as it is completely different from what came after and more often than not debut releases by 70s prog bands that debuted in the 60s are steeped in amateurism and banality but WIGWAM hits the ground running having developed a highly satisfying musical interactive experience that shows off their brilliant Finnish take on the British psychedelic and pop rock of the latter half of the 60s. The mix of the Finnish and British influences from the band members blends quite well together and it's no surprise that with the magical ingredient of Pekka Pohjola jumping on board that the band would go on to become one of Finland's greatest prog exports. I find this an excellent listen from beginning to end which more than holds up on repeated listens although it does feel like it is two different EPs strewn together as each half of the album is distinct from the other. Despite the album being slightly disjointed in theme and structure along with a rather misfitting title, i find HARD N' HORNY to be a brilliantly constructed album that with a little help from a musical director in a more connected country could have propelled these guys into the international pop rock scene. That was not to be but on this one we have one of those glimpses of what could have been.

 Luulosairas / Henry's Highway Code by WIGWAM album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1969
3.59 | 8 ratings

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Luulosairas / Henry's Highway Code
Wigwam Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars WIGWAM had released one Jim Pembroke penned, psych-pop single before the keyboardist, vocalist and composer Jukka Gustavson joined the band. This single came out around the same time as the album Hard N'Horny, which is divided into the sides entirely composed by Gustavson and Pembroke respectively.

The latter wrote a side-long suite 'Henry's...' which was probably to some degree influenced by the second side of The Beatles' Abbey Road, released just few months earlier. 'Henry's...' is a wonderful, musically eclectic proto-prog suite that maintains its focus and coherence pretty well. 'Henry's Highway Code', the third movement of the suite, is a very good choice for a single, one of the many fine examples of Jim Pembroke's gift for melodies.

Jukka Gustavson's 'Luulosairas' (= Hypochondriac) is a non-album song, and an important classic of early Finnish-language rock music. One of his idols was Traffic's Steve Winwood, and I think in this song the influence can be easily heard. There's also a powerful electric guitar solo from Vladimir "Nikke" Nikamo, whose contribution on the album was fairly thin. Gustavson's lyrics and vocals are rather preachy here, and actually that feature makes the song more fitting into a single than into an album. Strong four stars for this vintage classic.

PS. Last spring I was on a gig of Wigwam Revisited featuring Jukka Gustavson. 'Luulosairas' was requested from the audience but the maestro declined.

 Light Ages by WIGWAM album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.81 | 25 ratings

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Light Ages
Wigwam Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After making three studio albums in 1975-77 (the first one, Nuclear Nightclub, being highly succesful) WIGWAM had to call it a day in sad feelings. The next decade wasn't happy for the old Finnish prog legends in general. There was a group called Filthy Rich featuring Jim Pembroke and other seasoned prog musicians, but they collapsed before managing to record an album.

The first step towards the comeback of Wigwam was taken in a gig of Filthy Rich in the late 80's: guitarist Rekku Rechardt was invited to climb on the stage during 'Grass for Blades' in the encore. In 1991 Provinssirock, one of the biggest Finnish rock festivals, succeeded in getting the legendary band on the stage. The reception was encouraging and they continued touring. But it all was only about the old nostalgia; everyone understood that something new had to be done, too. The first member to leave was keyboardist Heikki "Pedro" Hietanen who was replaced by Mikko Rintanen. He in particular thought that it's the old classic stuff that the audience wants. while Pembroke and Rechardt preferred to move on.

There are several renditions of old tracks (from Wigwam or Jim Pembroke's solo material) on this album. In a way, Light Ages was more like a document of things that had to be preserved than a brand new studio album, the drummer Jan Noponen has said (the original Wigwam drummer Ronnie Österberg had committed suicide in 1980). According to Noponen, some excellent new compositions were left out, as the album was made with safety. Another criticized thing was the rather 80's-sounding production of T. T. Oksala. For the contents, Light Ages is quite uncoherent and uneven, and not very progressive.

'Borders to Be Crossed' and 'Pleasure Street' are throwaway American-style rock polished with saxophones, and Rechardt's old composition is given a rock'n'roll treatment on 'Skyscraper' . Of the recycled songs, 'No New Games' originating from Pembroke's second album and 'Friend from the Fields' (a.k.a. 'Marverly Skimmer' from Being) are more worthy that the other two.

Some new tracks dated from the Filthy Rich times, such as 'Talking Brought Me Here' to which Mats Huldén wrote lyrics based on a zulu folktale. The best new songs are written by Rechardt: 'Absalom' and 'The Next Breakfast'' both resemble the mid-seventies stuff to a suitable degree. Atmospheric 'Crystal Ball' features a nice, hazy synth riff, and 'Planetstar' has a strong, relaxed feeling.

Considering the complete Wigwam discography, this album is clearly among the least essential ones, but I feel more sympathy for it than for the last two studio albums. 2½ stars rounded up.

(I wrote this with my book script in front of me, which explains the large amount of background information.)

 Pop-Liisa 3 by WIGWAM album cover Live, 2016
4.05 | 3 ratings

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Pop-Liisa 3
Wigwam Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars During the years 1972 - 1977, the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE had a radio series in which Finnish groups performed a live set in the Liisankatu studio (Helsinki), in front of the audience. In 2016 Svart Records releases these gigs that haven't ever been broadcasted since the original airing. And what a hidden treasure there was in the YLE vaults! The groups in the "Pop Liisa" series include e.g. Tasavallan Presidentti, Jukka Tolonen Band, Kalevala, Nimbus, Finnforest, and even a couple of short-lived line-ups (of acclaimed musicians) that never released an album. Also the groups in the parallel "Jazz Liisa" series are mostly representing the legacy of the legendary Love Records. These releases have a high historical value, and also their sonic quality is much better than what average gig recordings of the time would have.

In Novembr 1973 it was WIGWAM's turn. The classic quartet of Jukka Gustavson (organ, vocals), Jim Pembroke (vocals, electric piano), Pekka Pohjola (bass) and Ronnie Österberg (drums) had just recorded their challenging masterpiece Being that was to be released three months later. The next summer both Gustavson and Pohjola would leave the group. Gustavson claims in the liner notes that despite the tormenting experience -- for example the bass drum broke down during the show and Ronnie was in a bad mood -- this was one of the best performances in that line-up. I believe that.

The opening track 'Imagine' (the John Lennon cover that Wigwam often permormed in their gigs) wasn't part of the original radio show: they had spare time before the appointed hour. The official opening number 'Nipistys' was from Pekka Pohjola's solo debut Pihkasilmä Kaarnakorva (1972). Nearly 9 minutes of instrumental and very original fusion/jazz-rock with the virtuotic organ playing in the centre. After the line-up introduction by the show host Erkki Lehtola comes the charming little finale from Being, 'Marverly Skimmer' (aka 'Friend from the Fields') by Jim Pembroke. These first two performances aren't radically different from the album versions, except that the latter is a minute longer (3:40).

The album version of 'Fairyport' (Fairyport, 1971) has wonderful details with reeds, so Gustavson had to make a quartet arrangement for this superb prog classic. IMHO this version naturally pales in comparison, but as a live performance it is excellent nevertheless. The closing number 'Grass for Blades' originated from Jim Pembroke's debut solo album Wicked Ivory (1972); the gorgeous anti-war song became a Wigwam live classic for a good reason. Here it is 9 and ½ minutes of powerful, dark emotions, extended from the rather modest original with the instrumental section. All in all, this live set is more or less the best one there is to be listened to from this quartet.

PS. Each full-length CD release of "Pop / Jazz Liisa" features two separate sets. This Wigwam set is paired with a five-track set of TAIVAANVUOHI, which was a jazz-rock quintet led by guitarist-composer Sami Hurmerinta. It's one of those groups that never released albums.

 Titans Wheel  by WIGWAM album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.07 | 28 ratings

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Titans Wheel
Wigwam Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Until this week I hadn't ever listened to this latter-day WIGWAM studio album (with very unfavourable reception generally), while I have given a merciless one-star rating to the last album Some Several Moons (2005), which to my surprise has a slightly better reception. Perhaps I should re-evaluate it too, but it's pretty clear that the 68-minute Titans Wheel is much more rewarding to me. (I might give even three stars, if this wasn't a Prog site.)

Sure, it more or less lacks what made Nuclear Nightclub (1975) a classic. [Please note that IMHO any comparisons to the proper Prog-era Wigwam featuring Pekka Pohjola and Jukka Gustavson would be completely unfair.] There are no timelessly strong melodies or exciting hooks, no adventurous arrangements, no highly memorable songs that really move you. Titans Wheel is a fairly professionally done (very thinly prog-flavoured) rock album by seasoned musicians. The sound itself is really not that bad. Only the drummer Jari Kettunen belongs to the younger generation; songwriters Jim Pembroke and Rekku Rechardt (g) are accompanied also by Måns Groundstroem (b) and Esa Kotilainen (keyb), all central figures of the 70's Finn-Prog scene. Actually I'd say sonically the weakest link here is the frontman Pembroke as a vocalist. As if he attempts to sound like Bob Dylan.

To some listeners the length itself is Titans Wheel's biggest fault. Well, one can always pick up the best and ignore the rest. Of the 13 songs I can pick up the ones that please me the most, whereas Some Several Moons only bored me from start to end, and I never actually listened to it twice... shame on me! Let's concentrate on the -- admittedly modest -- highlights:

The opener 'Remains To Be Seen' has good dynamic variety and some Beatles-like details; unfortunately Jimbo's vocals get slightly ugly at times, like on the whole album. Slow-tempo 'Titans Wheel' has a deep atmosphere, and the speech parts can be compared to some FISH moments. The electric guitar solo is short but great. Yeah, perhaps even the best song. 'Bitesize' has a great bass sound which gives it a place in top five. 'Greatfield' would be a prog-pop song that improves upon repeated listenings, but sadly it features a chorus with the ugly Dylan mockery. 'Win Your Love': a love ballad, decent enough. The vocally slightly speech-oriented 'The Lost Lizard King' feels like a sequel to the title track. 'To the Other Side' is quite good. I'd say this isn't as bad an album as its common reception suggests. In fact also Lucky Golden Stripes and Starpose, 1976, does very little to me. This is clearly the same band offering not-so-radically-different stuff.

 Fresh Garbage - Rarities 1969-1977 by WIGWAM album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
3.79 | 20 ratings

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Fresh Garbage - Rarities 1969-1977
Wigwam Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This week I've been diving deep into the early WIGWAM (because of my book project on Finnish prog). I'm not transforming here any sections from my script, but I thought to give a little more detailed collaborator review on this 2-CD rarity compilation. It was compiled in 2000 by two Wigwam specialists; the other of them released six years later a comprehensive, 500-page book on Wigwam (in Finnish naturally). Here the liner notes are in English.

DISC ONE (1969-1973). Pembroke-penned 'Must Be the Devil' / 'Greasy Kid's Stuff' was the debut single preceding the arrival of Jukka Gustavson. The style is still close to BLUES SECTION [the legendary proto-prog band that gave birth to both Wigwam and Tasavallan Presidentti], and the B-sider is irritatingly merry psych-pop rally about blowing bubbles. 'Luulosairas' was the A-side of the second single, an early classic of Finnish-language rock, written by and dominated by the organ and vocals of Jukka Gustavson. His admiration for Steve Winwood (of Spencer Davis Group and Traffic fame) has never been as strongly present as on this song.

'Pedagogi' (1970) is a more developed Gustavson tune that later found its way in a completely different form into the marvelous Being album (1974). The B-sider 'Häätö' composed by bassist Mats Huldén is the proggiest individual song by Wigwam up to that point, combining Kalevala-like poetry reading of the Love Records leader Otto Donner and two different song parts sung - in two languages - by Gustavson and Pembroke respectively. These songs were the last ones in Finnish that Wigwam ever recorded.

Then follows some previously unreleased and sonically rather gritty live material, mostly covers (from e.g. The Band) but also from Wigwam's own output. 'Nipistys' originated from PEKKA POHJOLA's solo debut.

DISC TWO (1974-1977) covers the "deep pop" period led by Jim Pembroke, with the new guitarist Rekku Rechardt also composing. Clearly less interesting than the first disc, the big majority is live cuts; more boring compositions but at least a better sound quality. I agree with Eetu that the highlight is the 18-minute 'No New Games/Grass for Blades'. The only studio tracks are 'Tramdriver' and 'Wardance' from a single released in 1975. They are not on the level of the hit album Nuclear Nightclub that had preceded the single.

This is strongly recommended for the most dedicated fans, but for the others I advice to concentrate on the studio albums (with or without the so called deep pop era).

 Fairyport by WIGWAM album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.15 | 183 ratings

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Fairyport
Wigwam Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The following album Being (1973) is considered Wigwam's ultimate masterpiece, but the group found their strength (which mostly was on the shoulders of Jukka Gustavson) on this one. Fairyport was released as a double vinyl - albeit a short one, approximately 66 minutes - and now we really can say that by leaving the worst parts aside and using further thinking in the running order this would have been so much better and more coherent.

The second vinyl side ends with a lousy - frankly, very irritating - Jim Pembroke song 'How to Make It Big in a Hospital'. What a striking contrast to the wonderful suite by Jukka Gustavson that starts with the title track on the first side. I'm not fond of the cacthy and rollicking 'Rockin' Ol' Galway' with its harmonica playing either, but Pempbroke wrote also two beautiful songs, the acoustic and moody 'Lost Without a Trace' (backed up by piano and Jukka Tolonen's guitar) and emotionally powerful 'Every Fold', which is an uplifting finale to the main album. Pembroke also wrote and sung nice lyrics for Pekka Pohjola's composition 'One More Try'.

Wigwam didn't too often succeed in team writing. The finest fruit of team work comes as the album opener 'Losing Hold'. WOW! One of the best tracks in the entire Finnish prog history. 'Fairyport' is another masterpiece. Notice those wonderful reed arrangements and the harmony vocals in the soft sections. Jukka's own vocal parts are very much in the style of his two Stevie heroes, Winwood and Wonder.Thankfully he was not the only vocalist in the group because it could easily became a tiresome factor. The three Gutsi songs in the second side are good vocal jazz-rock but less memorable. By the way, Jukka's original words in Finnish were translated by Mats Huldén. The wordplay (ie. intended "misspelling" of words) sometimes went a bit too cryptic, especially on Being album.

The master bassist Pekka Pohjola offers two instrumentals in his own unique style. 'Hot Mice' is naturally a nod to Zappa's album Hot Rats which he admired like crazy. 'PK's Supermarket' features a wide use of instruments played by Pekka, the brief composition being a bit silly fusion of jazz, rock and Baroque.

Some listeners like the forth vinyl side's 17-minute edition of live jamming titled 'Rave-Up for the Roadies' (starring Tolonen's electric guitar and Gutsi's organ) but I don't. I wonder how would I have felt in the concert, listening to the endless showing off of the technical skill, probably I'd be bored to death after half an hour, sorry. Those who despise prog as endless soloing are for once absolutely right.

Fairyport comes very close being a masterpiece but the faults are too serious to be totally forgiven. The great cover art was drawn after Gustavson's concept. On Being he took the leading role further; that album would ALMOST pass as his solo work, but thankfully he ordered compositions from Pembroke and Pohjola too. Both albums represent the very best of the Finnish classic prog.

 Being by WIGWAM album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.83 | 128 ratings

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Being
Wigwam Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by THE PROGDOLYTE

5 stars absolutely essential prog masterpiece !!! jim pembroke- pop/prog songwriting genius. jukka gustavson-superb keyboard player and vocalist. pekka pohjola-bass maestro ronnie osterberg-drummer extraodinaire.

how could this album possibly be anything less than brilliant with this line-up? i'm not going to give a track by track review of this album as many people have already done a much better job than i could possibly do, the only fault i could find with this album is that i would have liked it to be 20 minutes longer (pure prog heaven ). here's something interesting to ponder if jim pembroke had not gone to finland and stayed in london, would he have disappeared ( lost without a trace ) like so many others or would we be now mentioning him in the same breath as other great london songwriters of that era i.e. ray davies and pete townshend ? think about it !

 Must Be The Devil / Greasy Kids' Stuff by WIGWAM album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1969
2.69 | 4 ratings

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Must Be The Devil / Greasy Kids' Stuff
Wigwam Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by THE PROGDOLYTE

4 stars let's get one thing straight, wigwam were the best prog band outside the uk ever and far better than most of the ones inside it, this single however precedes their prog era, it is though a classic piece of late 60's psychedelic whimsy and is an early indication of jim pembrokes genius. the b-side has a chorus that could be sung with gusto at every west ham united home game, those of you who have heard this song and know your football will know what i mean. i love this single, but it's true to say that wigwams amazing music really took off shortly afterwards when the 17 year old keyboard maestro jukka gustavson joined the band. both sides are available on the fresh garbage cd, don't miss out !
 Being by WIGWAM album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.83 | 128 ratings

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Being
Wigwam Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by The Mystical

3 stars Wigwam - Being

Being is a very strange little album. After many listens I no longer agree that this is jazz fusion, rather an eclectic blend of genres that has a dark musical effect somewhat similar to that of Van Der Graaf Generator. I have listened to this album on and off for a while now, and I am not as excited about it as I was at the time I discovered it. The music is dark and matches the cynicism of the lyrics, but it is rather bland in some parts. The musicianship is obviously and undeniably excellent, particularly Pekka Pohjola's bass playing, which is superb. Jukka Gustavson has a great voice, and I can't help but think that it is somewhat similar to Stevie Wonder at times throughout the album. He has a very amusing range of voices that make me laugh out loud.

The songwriting is rather a mixed bunch of similar sounding songs. Some points of the album are rather weak, such as Pride Of The Biosphere, but there are some really great tracks as well. The stand out on the album is Pedagogue, a 9 minute song that is driven by woodwinds and a great electric piano solo. Ooooh...that chord progression. From what I gather this is a song about a lessons in politics and similar such things. This track is probably one of the more memorable tracks in my music collection. Petty-Bourgeois is another great moment, which has some great instrumental work and some very funny voices. Pride Of The Biosphere is one of the more memorable moments of the album, more out of shock than out of wonder. Here we hear an old man reminiscing about the "glory" of the war, which is a rather tasteless account of rape and racism. While the lyrics are biting and cynical and capture one's attention, I can't help but dislike the track's blatant lyrics.

Highly political lyrics do not really interest me, and so I think I am a little biased. The lyrics are well written however, and there are some very genuinely amusing moments. Musically the songwriting is good, though it does lack substance in some places. Musicianship is this albums greatest merit, particularly the bass playing, which is a credit to bass playing in any genre.

A good addition to your prog collection.

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

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