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Intergalactic Touring Band biography
INTERGALACTIC TOURING BAND (IGTB) in the reality of 1977, was a conceptual science fiction/rock opera project that assembled hundreds of musicians and singers, many well known in the progressive and rock scenes of that time. In the science fiction fantasy world of the 31st century they were a band assembled as goodwill ambassadors to all the earth colonies performing songs that depicted the early struggles of space travel and subsequent successes. To say that this was an overblown concept album would be to understate it yet its perhaps tongue in cheek approach to the space opera was oddly charming. Recommended for novelty seekers, science fiction afficionados or fans of any of the many contributors to the project.

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3.66 | 10 ratings
Intergalactic Touring Band

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 Intergalactic Touring Band by INTERGALACTIC TOURING BAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.66 | 10 ratings

Intergalactic Touring Band
Intergalactic Touring Band Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars One of those wildly ambitious concepts that could only have been conceived, let alone implemented, in the 1970s, the INTERGALACTIC TOURING BAND (IGTB) was a lavish production with a cast of hundreds. These included the masterminds Will Malone and Danny Beckerman, the London Symphony Orchestra and many cult, popular and soon to be mainstream artists from ARGENT to MEAT LOAF, from DAVE COUSINS to ANNIE HASLAM and from ARTHUR BROWN to STATUS QUO. You get the picture.

If the album can be compared to another such faux-band production, it might be MANDALABAND's "Eye of Wendor" which was released about a year later. But that brainchild of DAVY ROHL was rather stern Tolkienesque fantasy while IGTB is more like a musical about a band that tours the universe promoting goodwill and I must add sales among the all powerful Vibracon Corporation. I'm sure corporate encroachment on all manner of pure pursuits was common in 1977, but inasmuch as it is endemic in 2012 I have to tip my hat to these fellows as tongue in cheek and innocently as they may have presented the matter. Like most musicals rock opera or not, this is fluffy and enjoyable and well stocked with earworms. It is especially noteworthy that with only the music and a lavish booklet with the back story, IGTB is about as visual as it gets. This is a soundtrack that doesn't need a stage.

Virtually every track is at least interesting, with far above average vocals, effective orchestration and incisive lead guitars augmenting the arrangements and relatively simple but cosmic lyrical themes. In particular, ARTHUR BROWN nails the role of universal zookeeper as he plies his well honed skills as a character singer; PEPPE MARCELLO of the GOOD RATS tackles the "Starship Jingle" so well that one could imagine many unemployed folk signing on for space travel as a result of this three minute commercial; DAVE COUSINS recounts the sad plight of the first ship in "Heartbreaker", a track seemingly written for his narrative style rather than retrofitted; "First Landing" is an exuberant cross of YES and STYX; "Space Commando" is a first person account of the trials faced by the gruff descendants of highway cops; "A Planet Called Monday" is a bizarre tale of sacrifice in the vein of "Soylent Green" or "Logan's Run" but is musically and progressively perhaps the best track here; and a pre "Bat out of Hell" MEAT LOAF wrenches his viscera in the compelling closing anthem "Keeper Keep Us". Only BEN E KING's dreadful "Love Station" fails to bring its feeble concept to anything approaching fruition.

While the end of 1977 was a couple of years late for this type of uber indulgence, IGTB is entertaining on so many levels, many of them unintentional, that it is hard not to recommend at least a listen or two. For armchair space travelers.

Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition.

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