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Symphonic Prog • Switzerland

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Dragonfly biography
Founded in Zürich, Switzerland in 1974 - Disbanded in 1983

DRAGONFLY was formed around 1974 and was the brainchild of two Zurich musicians named Markus Husi and Marcel Ege, while Markus was a fan of Yes, Genesis and ELP. Marcel was a guitarist trying to develop his own style but strongly influenced by the late 60's usual guitar based suspects as Jimmy Hendrix, Deep Purple or Carlos Santana.

Both met in the school in the early 70's and soon Markus was able to change Marcel into a proghead, soon they decided to form a band but an unknown trio recruits young Husi to join them as a second keyboardist and it was not long until Marcel also joined the band.}

For 1975, the original keyboardist of this band Erich Isler had left, the bass player was replaced by Klaus Monnig and the final touch was Briggitta Fischer who not only added lyrics to the instrumentals the band was working on but baptized them as Dragonfly.

In 1978 the band finds the definitive formation with Marcel Ege in the guitars, Markus Husi added Hammond C3, Clavinet D6, ARP Synthesizer, Oberhiem Synthesizer plus the essential grand piano, Klaus Moennig playing bass, Taurus bass pedals plus backing vocals; Rene Buhler as lead vocalist and percussion plus Beay Bossiger in the drums.

With this lineup and Patrick Baumgartner playing bass in one track, they release their one and only self titled release that can be described as classic Symphonic Prog with a strong Hard Rock edge and a hint of Italian Symphonic school, specially in the second track "Shellycoat" is absolutely reminiscent of PFM, most precisely of E'Festa (Celebration), nice album from a good band should had stayed alive for a longer period of time.

After the release of "Dragonfly", the band split because Punk hit some members who believed there was no future in Prog and wanted to take a more commercial approach and of course the others remained faithful to good old Progressive Rock.

Worth to give them a try, not essential but good enough for the most demanding progheads.

Iván Melgar Morey - Perú

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DRAGONFLY discography

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2.92 | 50 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dragonfly by DRAGONFLY album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.92 | 50 ratings

Dragonfly Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

1 stars A gruesome slice of early-eighties symphonic prog that borrows from a host of superior acts - Genesis, Yes, Grobschnitt to name but a few - this thoroughly overcooked self-titled debut from Swiss outfit Dragonfly is a prime example of just how excessive and tedious progressive rock can get. The group's only release, the main problem here is that the 'rock' element is pretty non-existent, the majority of the album coated in a glutinous array of cheesy synths, rapid-fire keyboard passages and Rene Buhler's unfortunately overly-teutonic vocals. Opening track 'Beyond The Spider's Web', a wildly erratic synth-rock workout that comes across like a bad nursery rhyme, is a prime example. There is, simply put, no edge to Dragonfly's sound. This is soft, gooey music - almost the sonic equivalent of treacle - and the addition of classically-orientated ingredients as found on the album's risible closing epic('Dragonfly') only seems to accentuate the point. Sadly, and despite some obvious talent behind the instruments, this as bad a prog-rock album as this reviewer has heard. No wonder they never recorded again.


 Dragonfly by DRAGONFLY album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.92 | 50 ratings

Dragonfly Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars An intristing little album from Switzerland. These guys release only this album way back in 1982, and what a record, great. It's a blend between Yes on title piece Dragonfly the longest and some german bands from the late '70 like Minotaurus or Tibet. Anyway this is a great album with a lot of keys made by the main man from the band Markus Husi and stunning guitar harmonies by Marcel Ege. Best tracks are Behind the spider's web and the instrumental one Shellycoat. Fans of neo prog should give a try, worth it, and listners of Yes and even Cirkel , Saga or Pendragon might be impressed. 3 stars
 Dragonfly by DRAGONFLY album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.92 | 50 ratings

Dragonfly Symphonic Prog

Review by bhikkhu
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Here is an interesting little nugget form Switzerland. The fact that it was released in 1982 makes it even more fascinating. It owes almost nothing to the sounds of the time. I could say that this was recorded in the mid '70s, and no one would be the wiser. It is a unique blend of classic arena rock, British style keyboards, and a touch of euro-pop balladry. Imagine Rush meets Yes, gets a visit from Deep Purple, and melt cheese on the top.

When these guys are good, they are fantastic. The instrumentals are some of the best prog has to offer. The problems start with the vocals. Perhaps it would have been better in their native language. The accent is sometimes a bit thick. This also could explain problems with lyrical content. The content absolutely makes me cringe at times. Coupled with a very sugary melody on "You Know my Ways," I am in fear of going into a diabetic coma (or at least gagging). If you can stand it, it's actually good for a laugh. "Willing and Ready to Face It" is as cheesy as formula rockers come (this could be where Europe got its inspiration).

There are some good rockers. "Behind the Spider's Web" would make the Scorpions pack up and go home. "Shellycoat" is well-executed little medieval folk piece, and lets you know that there is some depth to this band. As you would expect, the real strength is in the epic tracks. "Dragonfly," and "The Riddle Princess," have all those elements that I love about '70s style symphonic prog. These guys deliver the goods too. They have what it takes to pull this kind of thing off, and don't sound like they are copying anyone else.

In the end I am of two minds about this album. The good tracks are great, but the lesser moments are really poor. Thankfully, There is much more to love than to throw away. It's too bad they just didn't release a shorter album. It could have been a classic. So, is it essential? The answer is no. There is no need to seek this one out. However, if you do happen to run across it, definitely pick it up. (3.35 stars).

H.T. Riekels

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