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NIGHTWINDS

Crossover Prog • Canada


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Nightwinds biography

NIGHTWINDS were one of those unlucky bands that split up before seeing the release of their first album. In the late 70's, the five musicians were touring the Southern Ontario clubs alongwith SAGA, RHINEGOLD and FM when they came to the attention of KLAATU members. The latter took them into a studio to record a first album but conflicts erupted amongst the NIGHTWINDS clan who split up. Bassist Mike Gingrich went on to tour with KLAATU and MAX WEBSTER; also touring with KLAATU, keyboard player Gerald O'Brien eventually went on to form his own band; and guitarist Terry O'Brien as well as drummer Mike Phelan both managed to carve out a lucrative career for themselves in the music business. In 1991, the band's original recordings were rescued by Laser's Edge who finally released their one and only album.

To get an idea of what NIGHTWINDS sound like, try to imagine mid-period GENESIS (circa "A Trick of the Tail") and then add some busy bass work à la Chris Squire and a vocalist resembling a cross between Geddy Lee and Jon Anderson. GENESIS fans won't fail to recognize many Banks and Hackett references throughout (track 7 is indeed said to be a tribute to GENESIS) but it is all done very tastefully. Highly atmospheric, the album is keyboard dominated but also features some incredible drum/bass interplay as well as strong songwriting and solid musicianship. A style that may sound way too familiar but still a classy and highly polished album, thanks in part to a fine production by Dee Long and Terry Draper of KLAATU and excellent digital mastering by Laser's Edge.

Recommended to fans of mid-period GENESIS, STARCASTLE, ARAGON and NORTH STAR. STYX and SAGA fans will also like the high energy and crisp production.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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NIGHTWINDS discography


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3.35 | 20 ratings
Nightwinds
1979

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NIGHTWINDS Reviews


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 Nightwinds by NIGHTWINDS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.35 | 20 ratings

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Nightwinds
Nightwinds Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars NIGHTWINDS were a Canadian band who recorded only one album which wasn't released until long after the band had broken up. GENESIS seems to be their main inspiration and i'm most impressed with the bass player who is very prominant throughout. Actually he would go onto play for the female fronted Hard Rock band called TORONTO in the eighties. Lots of mellotron here but overall i'm not impressed with this band. They do seem to be a cross between Symphonic and Neo-Prog.

"We Were The Young" opens with intricate guitar before it kicks in quickly. Vocals a minute in. This is catchy but i'm not a fan of this one. "Crude Exports" is uptempo with chunky bass to open. Lots of synths as the vocals join in. Mellotron a minute in. It settles with bass and piano standing out before kicking back in as the contrasts continue. "Ivy" features reserved vocals, acoustic guitar and flute. "The Pirates Of Rebecca's Choice" is uptempo with some nice fat bass lines. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. Drums come to the fore before 3 minutes.

"Out 'N' About" puts the focus on the vocals and bass until the chorus comes in. I like the guitar before 2 1/2 minutes. "Sad But True" opens with drums, bass, piano then vocals. The guitar before 3 1/2 minutes is good. "As The Crow Flies" sounds better. I like the synths. Vocals before 2 1/2 minutes. A fuller sound after 3 minutes. Contrasts continue. The tempo picks up 6 1/2 minutes in. It settles 8 1/2 minutes in with mellotron. "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Buttons" kicks in quickly. This is very Neo-Prog sounding. Nice bass too. Hackett-like guitar after 2 minutes. It kicks back in after 3 1/2 minutes.

Barely 3 stars for me.

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 Nightwinds by NIGHTWINDS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.35 | 20 ratings

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Nightwinds
Nightwinds Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Excellent addition to my prog music collection

Nightwinds is an obscure band from Canada who released one album in 1979 selftitled and is a forgotten gem in my opinion. First impression was really good, symphonic prog played very good and with a lot of catchy tunes. The music is inspired from Genesis ( Trick of the tail period) on instrumental parts and the voice reminds me Peter Hammill, not Anderson from Yes as is write in the description of the band. Forte tracks are the opening one We Where The Young with solid bass lines in style of Squire from Yes and great voice from Sandy Singers, The Pirates Of Rebecca's Choice ( i think the best piece from here, very catchy tune very symphonic) and the longest one As The Crow Flies ( this track sounds so Genesis, but so strong), the rest is also very good. All in all a great album, almost forgotten by many, even those who think they know Canada's prog music by heart. 4 stars without hesitation

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 Nightwinds by NIGHTWINDS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.35 | 20 ratings

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Nightwinds
Nightwinds Crossover Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars 2.5 stars really!!!

As late as 79, the English-speaking part of Canada was still producing some prog that could be viewed as symphonic and this group's sole album was produced by the Klaatu connection od Draper and Long, even if Nightwish sounded more like a cross between Genesis and Marillion. The quintet seemed to have a whole array of equipment and instrument to have lasted longer than this sole album, but somehow the album is uninspired enough to have killed any hopes of doing a second.

As it was clear that with the Klaatu's duo at the production, the album's sound was to match their impressive list of instruments, they seemed to have everything set up their way, but sadly right from the leading track, the group develops a derivative an unimaginative symphonic prog filled with Hackettian arpeggios, Banksian layers, Collinsian drum rolls and even the odd Gabriellian flute (recorder actually) etc. Not least helped by some dreadful lyrics, none of the album's track manages to stand out (even the 11-min As The Crow Flies is not enthralling), but the album ends on a particularly puzzling Curious Case where the good alternates with the awfully cheesy and the downright bad (the good being the middle section) while the bad being the riff, verse and chorus.

This album's first Cd reissue was also one of Laser's Edge's first (seventh in fact) and the label was obviously investigating the rest of Canada's then forgotten lost gems. Not that Nightwinds was really that bad at all, but they were to Genesis what Starcastle's debut was to Yes: just a bunch of clones and not even that good at it, but not that bad either. Best avoided, if you ask me. But did you ask me?

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 Nightwinds by NIGHTWINDS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.35 | 20 ratings

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Nightwinds
Nightwinds Crossover Prog

Review by heathaze

4 stars Althought there are some questions regarding the mix recording that was used to create the CD, the unquestionable live brilliance of a band that toured southern Ontario in the late 70's is captured fairly accurately. If you attended their live shows at Yonge Street Bars, High Schools or the Arthur Pop Festival this cd will bring back progressive rock memories. If you have never seen them live then this cd will provide a good idea of what you had missed. All of these songs were performed live along with Genesis, Gabriel, Kayak, Ambrosia and I think there was a Gentle Giant song too. It's too bad they weren't able to stick together and release more material! ... what could've been.

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 Nightwinds by NIGHTWINDS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.35 | 20 ratings

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Nightwinds
Nightwinds Crossover Prog

Review by BronDune

4 stars Nightwinds were a Canadian Prog Rock band who lived a very short life and to my knowledge unfortunately only released this one debut album. In 1991 The Laser's Edge (LE 1007) released this effort in AAD format cd. Nightwinds were a fantastic progressive band blending many different musical elements with sophistication and beautiful song writing and some allusive Mid Genesis/ Mid Rush influences. Vocalists carry a very personal style... a kind of Cure-sound on my opinion. Nightwinds play an original, energetic and positive music with a bit of "theatricallity". Mellotron, synths, analog keyboards... This album was produced by Dee Long and Terry Draper of KLAATU respectively vocalist/guitarist and vocalist/drummer. Good luck to find this album. If you can get it, enjoy it !

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 Nightwinds by NIGHTWINDS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.35 | 20 ratings

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Nightwinds
Nightwinds Crossover Prog

Review by orme

4 stars This is another pearl in the past. This Canadian band debut with help of Klaatu but it doesn't sound like them much. Songs have smell of Styx and Camel but they are more sorrowful. "When the crow files" and "Ivy" are my favorites.

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