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BEN

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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The self titled album of quintet band BEN from United Kingdom was a bit of a rarity until the recent re-releases which can introduce this SOFT MACHINE and NUCLEUS influenced instrumental album to a wider audience.

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Hoop Dreams [Original Soundtrack] by Ben Sidran (CD, Oct-1994, MCA/GRP) US $5.99 Buy It Now 1h 41m
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Whatever and Ever Amen by Ben Folds Five (CD, Mar-1997, Sony Music) US $2.98 Buy It Now 1h 48m
Best of Ben Speer CD ( ** SIGNED**, 1998, Homeland Records) RARE / MINT US $20.00 Buy It Now 1h 49m
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Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster Germany CD Mint No Scratches READ Inf US $12.99 [0 bids]
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BEN BRANCH-THE LAST REQUEST-JAPAN CD B50 US $13.50 Buy It Now 2h 36m
Another Run Around the Sun by Ben Taylor (Singer/Songwriter) (CD, Sep-2005,... US $9.50 [0 bids]
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E.P. #1 [EP] [Digipak] by The Ben Taylor Band/Ben Taylor (Singer/Songwriter)... US $2.00 [0 bids]
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BEN ATKINS PATCHOULI RARE FIRST PRESSING ENTERPRISE ENS 1021 LP EX US $9.99 [0 bids]
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"ROCKIN' IN THE SUBURBS" (Ben Folds, Frally Hynes, John McCrea, Richard Fortus) US $3.49 [0 bids]
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BEN E. KING "The Very Best of Ben E. King" (CD, 2009 Rhino Flashback) US $4.99 Buy It Now 2h 57m
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BEN E. KING: WHAT IS SOUL? (UK ATL 584069) SOUL US $24.08 Buy It Now 3h 6m
BEN FOLDS FIVE UK 1997 PR0MO CD Single BRICK US $4.00 Buy It Now 3h 7m
BEN FOLDS UK 2001 PR0MO CD Single ROCKIN' THE SUBURBS US $4.41 Buy It Now 3h 10m
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Michael Jackson "Ben" Soul Funk LP Motown US $7.99 [1 bids]
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ASKING ALEXANDRIA BAND SIGNED 10X8 PP REPRO PHOTO PRINT Ben Bruce Danny Worsnop US $8.81 Buy It Now 3h 35m
MICHAEL JACKSON**BEN**CD US $11.95 Buy It Now 3h 43m
1990 BEN CHAPMAN Loop De Loop 45 SINGLE in SLEEVE UK US $9.99 Buy It Now 3h 43m
RENEE FLEMING/BEN HEPPNER**DVORAK: RUSALKA (HIGHLIGHTS)**CD US $16.95 Buy It Now 3h 43m
BEN E. KING Stand By Me LP NEW IMPORT PICTURE DISC VINYL DRIFTERS US $39.99 Buy It Now 3h 57m
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RESTORATION OF ISRAEL DR BEN DAVID LEW HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR LP RECORD ALBUM US $7.99 [0 bids]
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FROM HITLER'S HELL TO GOD'S PEACE TRUE STORY DR BEN DAVID LEW HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR US $7.99 [0 bids]
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Ben Liebrand - Vol. 9-Grand 12-Inches [CD New] US $54.55 Buy It Now 4h 3m
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Songs for Goldfish [Digipak] by Ben Folds (CD, Jan-2005, Epic (USA)) #X357 US $15.99 Buy It Now 4h 4m
JAVIER/SIMON ED/STREET BEN/BALLARD JEFF GIROTTO - NEW YORK SESSIONS [CD NEW] US $19.99 Buy It Now 4h 4m
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Ben Webster & Oscar Peterson - Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson [SACD New] US $38.08 Buy It Now 4h 4m
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Tatum Group Masterpieces - Art Tatum, Ben Webster 1975 Pablo 2310-737 VINYL LP US $15.99 [0 bids]
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Bill Coleman & Ben Webster - Swingin' In London - Black Lion Stereo BLP 30127 LP US $12.99 [0 bids]
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BEN WEBSTER Layin' Back with Ben (Vol. 1) Honeydew HD 6606 JAZZ LP US $9.99 [0 bids]
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BEN HARPER-Fight For Your Mind-GUITAR-Rhythm And Blues-MALE VOCAL-Cassette TAPE US $9.99 [0 bids]
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Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel Tavares Special 12" Remix By Ben Liebrand US $8.83 Buy It Now 4h 39m
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Fight for Your Mind by Ben Harper (CD, Jul-1995, Virgin) US $0.99 [0 bids]
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4h 58m

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BEN discography


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

3.24 | 13 ratings
Ben
1971

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BEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ben by BEN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.24 | 13 ratings

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Ben
Ben Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Oddly enough, or maybe not, this album has stuck with me over many a year. I bought it about 15 years (or so) ago simply because I found that Repertoire Records had released it. By then I was obsessed with a couple of catalogues displaying albums re-released på Repertoire. So, I bought it. I wouldn't say I regret it. Certainly not. On the other hand it proved to be less of an exciting listen than I had expected.

The music is all instrumental jazz-rock. The musicianship is nothing but excellent, yet the music tends to pass me by somewhat. I dig it when I listen but when it is all over there is actually not much sticking. The best track is the firts one, "The influence". This track has this absolutely amazing passage which I cannot describe in musically technical terms. Anyway, you have to listen to it to kniw what. I mean. The remaining tracks are enjoyable and very well played but, as already stated, fails to make a lasting impression. I cannot hum much of it.

Musically it bears resemblence to other bands in the genre. There are bits of everything here, actually. I fins that there are pieces of Graham Bond around 1970-71, Centipede (the melodious parts) and others. I would not say that I am able to find traces of the more popular bands of the genre like Chicago or Blood, Sweat & Tears. This is slightly less oriented towards that kind of jazz-rock. Though not overly complex (on the border of free-form territory that is) it still holds enough complexity to please anyone into this kind of music.

I like this album. It is enjoyable to listen to and holds somewhat of a mystical air to it. Being an obscure album i think that it has hold up well nevertheless. Some obscure albums tend to be less than potent but this is quite powerful music in it's own right. I would not however rate it higher than three stars. It is good but not great. It is simply for those already into the genre and in need for some of that obscure mystery an album like this provides. Good but non essential.

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 Ben by BEN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.24 | 13 ratings

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Ben
Ben Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by progbaby

3 stars 3.5 Really.

I toyed with a 4.0 ratiing but to be honest, I'd be arrogant if I actually believed others would buy this album because I gave it a 4.0 instead of a 3.5, etc... Ratings just a frame of reference.

Number rating aside, this is a very interesting and long time coming review (as I've been meaning to do this for years as I had this album for years) that I finally forced myself to do so I can have closure :-)

Before progarchives in the 1990's, there was a primary web-site of prog reviews by a person whom I respect. So much so that I would spent countless times reading and re-reading his reviews of many albums while I was in my prog-addiction (buying almost anything I could afford that was 70's prog). I agreed with about 90% of his reviews as he tended to rate the ambient prog (ie, Klaus Schulze, etc..) very high and those types of albums were not my cup of tea as I preferred more the symphonic and the jazz/canterbury.

One such album he reviewed had the comment he made which indicated it was perhaps the worst release on the Vertigo Swirl Label. The album he was referring to was this one by Ben. I don't know where they got the name but I have to wonder if it was after the movie Ben/Williard (ie, about the rats) that came out around/about the same time.

His review was not kind to this album and felt the band was "duping" the audience into believing they were hearing something that was well-crafted/meaninful with lots and lots of ideas when in-fact it was a hodge-podge of just a few incomplete ideas that fool you into thinking you're hearing something complex and meaningful. Hints that the music meanders and rambles aimlessly into several areas with no meaning.

Having said that, I bought this album years ago and found listening to it quite enjoyable. Pleasant and relaxing at times, challenging at other times. The music is all instrumental and belongs firmly in the Soft Machine/Canterbury school of Jazz/Prog. Nice saxophone solos, guitar solos, keyboards. The opening 20 seconds of the bass guitar riff on the first song catches my attention right away and I'm basically thinking "Soft machine - Seven". When the sax parts come in, I'm thinking Elton Dean ala "Soft Machine - Five", etc...

To me this music sounds timeless. It may have been 1971 but it sounds no different from a professional 4-5 piece jazz rock band that may be playing today at an opera/stage house in town.

This album hinges more on the instrument canterbury jazz side of things and not the symphonic rock side of things.

If you enjoy listening to the likes of Soft Machine 5 thru Rubber Riffs (including some of the guitar work you hear on those albums) and are hoping for a "good" album in that same vein rather than expecting a "monster classic", then I can't really see any reason why you would not like this album.

As per the original negative thumbs down review of this album at the other source, we all definitely are entitled to our own opinions and I totally respect and honor that. I can say the gentleman who writes those reviews is not a big of Soft Machine type-jazz ala their "Five" thru "Rubber Riffs" period and he is not a fan of jazz-fusion either. Although there's no fusion-elements on this album (nothing at all like Mahavishnu or Chick Corea, etc..), it's still in a particular genre that the reviewer does not like. So I can understand his bias against this album and I honor that .

But for anyone who likes jazz/prog and Soft Machine's "Five thru Rubber Riffs (or even Land of Cockayne(which I really like too) and has heard bad things about this album which scares you into checking it out, I can say with honesty that I paid $20 for this album several years ago and I have never regretted it. Each time I pop it in, I'm taken back to 1971 to some underground jazz/canterbury club listening to a band that was every bit as talented to what I hear on Soft Machine "Five" thru "Rubber Riffs". Most particular if I had to compare this to a specific album, I'd say "Soft Machine -Seven".

Nice album this Ben is. Wish they would have done more. A nice 3.5 stars.

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