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Psychedelic Paul View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 12 2019 at 15:13
Prog Britannia! Britannia rules the airwaves! This thread is intended as a celebration of classic British Progressive & Psychedelic Rock from the golden era - the late 1960's and early 70's! I'll be searching for rare British album treasures on YouTube which have been lost in the mists of time and remained undiscovered for years until the advent of the Internet. I'll  post the full album videos here (if available) for the enjoyment of all of our devoted Prog fans and I'll also be writing a full ProgArchives review for each album posted. I hope other Prog Archives members will join in the fun with me too by finding their own lost British album treasures to post on this thread. Smile
 
To serve as an introduction to this thread, here's a  "Prog Rock at the BBC" video, featuring BBC studio performances by some of the classic Progressive Rock bands of the 1970s, including Yes, Genesis, ELP, Caravan, Family, Atomic Rooster and more...
 
 
 


Edited by Psychedelic Paul - October 25 2019 at 04:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 12 2019 at 15:18
Bachdenkel were a Birmingham band who released two albums, "Lemmings" (1970) and "Stalingrad" (1977). Their first album was a Prog-Rock masterpiece in my opinion.
 
 
Bachdenkel - "Lemmings" (1970)
 
Album Review #1:- Despite the Germanic-sounding name, Bachdenkel were formed in Birmingham, England in the late 1960's. Their first album "Lemmings" (1970) was far superior to their later album "Stalingrad" (1977). Although "Lemmings" was recorded in 1970, the album wouldn't see release until 1973. The album was recorded at a time when the Psychedelic Rock era was merging into the Progressive Rock era, and this is very much reflected in the music contained within the album. "Lemmings" is a real treasure of the era for Psychedelic and Progressive Rock lovers alike.
 
The album features a superb opening track, "Translation", with a deliciously slow build-up of laid-back, mellow vocals and electric guitar and then exploding into life towards the end with some really wild and intricate guitar virtuosity, very reminiscent of the psychedelic sixties era. Track 2, "Equals" is a
short continuation of the opening number with a return to a gentler guitar sound again, together with hazy-sounding vocals. The third track "An Appointment With The Master" is outstanding! The song has a triumphal,  marching rhythm to it, combined with uplifting, feel-good vocals and superb psychedelic guitar mastery which leaves one feeling euphoric. Track 4, "The Settlement Song", the last track on Side One and the longest track on the album at over 11 minutes long,  opens with a
deceptively quiet beginning with dreamy vocals before launching into a powerful rhythm and pounding electric guitar. The song sounds in places like it could be the Beatles on a crazy psychedelic acid trip. The epic song returns to a more laid-back pace during the middle section before the tremendous finale, featuring the heavy, pounding electric guitar and drum rhythm, a prevalent feature of the album as a whole.
 
Side Two of the album opens with a short duration 2-minute song  "Long Time Living" with a more laid-back pace and featuring the gentle sound of an organ playing in the background. The sixth song on the album "Strangerstill" has an impressive build-up with the familiar pounding guitar, bass and drum pattern heard on previous songs. It's another classic song combining wild psychedelic guitar riffs and grandiose major chords, which will sound familiar to Prog_Rock fans everywhere. The final track on the album "Come All Ye Faceless" is a 9-minute masterpiece and it makes a fitting highlight to a great album. The song starts off gently and gradually builds up into a tremendous crescendo of wonderfully wild, psychedelic guitar freak-outs and sonorous organ playing for the majestic grand finale, rounding off a first-rate album in magnificent style.
 
If you don't want to follow the crowd and be a "Lemming", then give this often overlooked and under-appreciated album a listen. You may like it and might even grow to love it. All of the superb tracks on the album blend perfectly together and make the album as a whole a rock masterpiece. This rare album treasure still sounds fresh and original 50 years on. Highly recommended for lovers of classic Psychedelic & Progressive Rock from the early 1970's era.


Edited by Psychedelic Paul - December 15 2019 at 12:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 12 2019 at 18:07
Thanks for this thread. I'm looking forward checking out what other people, and yourself, post.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2019 at 02:07
Not able to upload ('error inserting object') but this is meant to be the The Edgar Winter Band playing Frankenstein . nearly 10 minutes of joy!






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2019 at 02:50
Originally posted by Manuel Manuel wrote:

Thanks for this thread. I'm looking forward checking out what other people, and yourself, post.
 
There's a Prog-Rock Britannia documentary on YouTube that you might be interested in, Manuel. I would have shared it here but it's split into nine parts. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2019 at 02:57
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Not able to upload ('error inserting object') but this is meant to be the The Edgar Winter Band playing Frankenstein . nearly 10 minutes of joy!

 
That's a great clip from The Old Grey Whistle Test. I like Blue Oyster Cult's "Frankenstein" too, or to give the song its full title "The Siege and Investiture of Baron von Frankenstein's Castle at Weisseria" Smile
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Sean Trane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2019 at 03:01
It's fantastically funny that the BBC showed that particular and wonderfully crass song from CaravanLOL
I mean of all of the sex allusions Caravan has ever madePig, that one is the strongest. Cool

Surely the establishment was sleeping though the censorship sessionEvil Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2019 at 03:13
Originally posted by Sean Trane Sean Trane wrote:

It's fantastically funny that the BBC showed that particular and wonderfully crass song from CaravanLOL
I mean of all of the sex allusions Caravan has ever madePig, that one is the strongest. Cool

Surely the establishment was sleeping though the censorship sessionEvil Smile
 
Caravan had some great album titles which were laced with saucy innuendo, including If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You, For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night & Cunning Stunts Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote twosteves Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2019 at 08:48
of all the great things Great Britain contributed to history --music and  prog is one if its best gifts---
but Jon Anderson did once say back in the late 60's --early 70's if you didn't come from the right background you could work in a factory of create a great prog band.Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Progosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2019 at 18:30
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Not able to upload ('error inserting object') but this is meant to be the The Edgar Winter Band playing Frankenstein . nearly 10 minutes of joy!

A fantastic performance. Edgar Winter is a wizard. Not an English band, though.




The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2019 at 22:43
Originally posted by Progosopher Progosopher wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Not able to upload ('error inserting object') but this is meant to be the The Edgar Winter Band playing Frankenstein . nearly 10 minutes of joy!

A fantastic performance. Edgar Winter is a wizard. Not an English band, though.
 
Not to worry. I included a song by Blue Oyster Cult, who are from New York City. Smile

Edited by Psychedelic Paul - October 13 2019 at 22:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 15 2019 at 00:23
Originally posted by Progosopher Progosopher wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Not able to upload ('error inserting object') but this is meant to be the The Edgar Winter Band playing Frankenstein . nearly 10 minutes of joy!

A fantastic performance. Edgar Winter is a wizard. Not an English band, though.




 

I think I realised that after posting bit wondered if I might get away with it anyway LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 15 2019 at 00:29
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by Progosopher Progosopher wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Not able to upload ('error inserting object') but this is meant to be the The Edgar Winter Band playing Frankenstein . nearly 10 minutes of joy!

A fantastic performance. Edgar Winter is a wizard. Not an English band, though.




 

I think I realised that after posting bit wondered if I might get away with it anyway LOL
 
I didn't know Edgar Winter was American until Progosopher mentioned it. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 15 2019 at 06:16
I've just written my first ever ProgArchives album review for Bachdenkel's "Lemmings" album, featured at the beginning of this thread. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 17 2019 at 06:36
The album below by Arzachel is more Psychedelic Rock than Progressive Rock, but I've posted it here because I've just written a review for it. Smile
 
 
Album Review #2:- 4 stars The English band Arzachel (previously known as Uriel) had an excellent line-up. Their self-titled only album release featured legendary guitarist Steve Hillage and keyboard player Dave Stewart who later went on to achieve great success when he teamed up with Barbara Gaskin for "It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To). Mont Campbell performed on vocals (also a vocalist with Egg and National Health) and the Impressive drummer on the album was Clive Brooks. They all appeared on this album under assumed names. Arzachel will appeal equally to fans of Psychedelic Rock, Progressive Rock and Space Rock.
 
The first track "Garden of Earthly Delights" is a very promising and impressive opening to the album and nicely sets the scene for
the album as a whole. The track features a very pleasant rock organ playing in the background overlaid with electric guitar and 
fine vocals. The track ends with some appealingly far-out psychedelic guitar playing from Steve Hillage. Track 2 "Azathoth" has a
very religious feel to it, opening with a resonant church organ and charming ethereal vocals. The middle section of the song
features  some powerfully heavy and freaky guitar riffs, before returning to the more sedate sound of the church organ towards
the end. Track 3 "Queen St. Gang" is an instrumental and it's the stand-out track on the album for me. Again, it features the
magnificent sound of the organ under-laying the music as a whole, together with some gently laid-back drumming. Track 4 "Leg"
opens with an impressive organ solo before launching into  heavy electric guitar riffs, twinned with powerful bass and drumming
in the rhythm section. After the deceptively quiet beginning, this track turns into a real out-and-out rocking barnstormer of a song. Track
5 "Clean Innocent Fun", at over 10 minutes long, begins as a slow and heavy, full-on psychedelic jam which gathers in pace and
dramatic intensity as the song progresses and should appeal to fans of Jimi Hendrix. The final track on the
album "Metempsychosis" is the longest number at over 16 minutes in length. The track opens with some freaky sound effects
before launching into some powerful and throbbing Space Rock which is very reminiscent of Hawkwind's early albums. This is by
far the heaviest track on the album and features some wonderfully freaky psychedelic guitar licks. The song has a hauntingly
reflective middle section before returning to the heavy pounding rhythm for the grand finale to the album.
 
Overall, this album deserves four stars, but would have deserved five stars if it wasn't for the poor production quality of the
album.
 
 


Edited by Psychedelic Paul - October 22 2019 at 16:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2019 at 06:29
Circus - "Circus" (1969):- Unfortunately, the full album is no longer available on YouTube, so I'll post the eight songs from the album separately below.
 
1. Norwegian Wood
 
 
2. Pleasures of a Lifetime
 
 
3. St. Thomas
 
 
4. Goodnight John Morgan
 
 
5. Father of My Daughter
 
 
6. II B.S.
 
 
7. Monday Monday
 
 
8. Don't Make Promises
 
 
Album Review #3:- 5 starsThe self-titled one and only album release from the English band Circus (1969) is a rare treasure and one of the earliest and finest examples of a genre that would later come to be defined as Jazz-Rock. The album features two wonderful cover versions of well-known songs by The Beatles and The Mama & the Papas.
 
The album opens with a terrific cover version of The Beatles "Norwegian Wood" which, dare I say it, is even better than the original. It's a perfect 7-minute-long introduction to the album and represents the best song on the album as a whole. There's a marvellously long instrumental build-up with some skilful fuzzy guitar riffs twinned with pleasantly understated and laid-back drumming. The music is overlaid with the sound of a saxophone, which is where the Jazz-Rock element comes into it. The real highlight of the song comes in the instrumental break in the middle section with repeated heavy guitar riffs and a powerful rhythm section which gathers in intensity and speed towards the conclusion.  Track 2 "Pleasures of a Lifetime" is the longest song on the album at over 8 minutes in duration. It's a beautifully sweet-sounding song featuring warm and tender vocals and a gentle guitar, leaving one feeling in a pleasantly mellow mood. The mid-section features a  Jazz break with some versatile saxophone playing and up-tempo drumming before returning to a more sedate and low-key pace for the song's finale. Track 3 "St. Thomas" is an uplifting and fast-paced instrumental Jazz number featuring some excellent work from the flautist, very reminiscent of Ian Anderson in Jethro Tull. Track 4 "Goodnight John Morgan" is another Jazz instrumental which continues at a more relaxed pace and features a very pleasant piano twinned with saxophone and gentle drumming which is easy on the ears. Track 5 "Father of My Daughter"  is another soft and gentle song with pleasant-sounding vocals in similar vein to Track 2 and this very agreeable and laid-back number compliments the album nicely. The unusually titled "II B.S." is the next tune on the album, opening with strange sound effects, before launching into a fast-paced, 6-minute-long Jazz instrumental jam session, where the skilled musicians are giving free-rein to demonstrate their musical dexterity to the fullest extent.  Track 7 features the second cover version on the album, "Monday Monday" by The Mamas & the Papas. Again, this very talented group of musicians demonstrate their prowess with the long and Jazzy instrumental introduction. The vocals kick-in about halfway through the song and it stands as a very worthy cover version of a great song. The final song "Don't Make Promises" rounds off the album beautifully with another nice gentle song featuring a masterly instrumental Jazz break midway through the song.
 
A superb album overall and highly recommended for fans of early Jazz-Rock. It's a must-have addition to any Jazz-Rock lover's album collection.


Edited by Psychedelic Paul - October 22 2019 at 16:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2019 at 16:10

ANDROMEDA - "Andromeda" (1969) 

 
Album Review #4:- 5 stars This long-forgotten British album treasure from the late 1960's era has experienced something of a a revival with the advent of the Internet. The original vinyl album was released in 1969 and a new Definitive Collection 2-CD set was released in the year 2000, containing a wealth of bonus tracks. The album straddles the transitional period from Psychedelic Rock to Progressive Rock and this can be heard on the album with significant elements of both genres of music very much in evidence. The line-up features John Du Cann on vocals who later went on to success with Atomic Rooster. The highlights of the album are the three epic 3-part songs, running at roughly 8 minutes long. The three lengthy epics feature beautifully melodious renditions of well-known classical favourites, cleverly combined with heavy solid rock to make a truly unforgettable rock album as a whole. Andromeda should appeal equally to fans of Psychedelic Rock and Proto-Prog.

The album opener "Too Old" is a real rocker featuring powerful ascending guitar arpeggios in the opening chords which really grab the attention and serve as a perfect opening to a superb album. There's an interesting change of pace nearly two minutes into the song when John Du Cann's impressive vocals kick-in. The vocals, heavy guitar riffs, throbbing bass and pounding drums combine together to make a very memorable and impressive song. "The Sea of Change" is the second song on the album, featuring a steadier pace with some very pleasant guitar riffs and soaring vocals. There's a powerful guitar and drum break halfway through the song, before returning to a steadier tempo for the conclusion. Track 3 "Now the Sun Shines" is a beautifully melodic and laid-back song with richly-warm uplifting vocals from John Du Cann, which makes a very pleasant interlude and nicely compliments the previous two heavier songs. Next up is "Turns To Dust", a hard-rocking number and the first of the 3-part epic songs. The song features a very appealing change of pace to a gentler tempo in the second section, before launching into some really heavy guitar riffs and fast-paced drumming to round off a memorably epic number. Track 5 "Return To Sanity" opens with the very familiar and powerful sound of Gustav Holst's "Mars" from The Planets Suite. This awesome opening to the second epic 8-minute song is a real highlight of the album. The song feature some wonderfully freaky psychedelic guitar riffs, combined with a solid rhythm section. There are dramatic changes of pace throughout the song which adds to the appeal. Track 6 "The Reason" is a traditional rocker with skilful changes of tempo to maintain the listener's interest, followed by "I Can Stop the Song" which represents another change of pace with some gentle guitar playing and warm and pleasant vocal harmonies. Track 8 "When To Stop" is the third of the 3-part epic songs on the album. The song opens in traditional style with some hard-rocking guitar and drumming, before taking a surprising change of direction midway through the song with a beautifully-played rendition of Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto, a deeply emotional and uplifting piece of music which sends the spirits soaring. Track 9 on the album "Go Your Way" is an out-and-out rocker and Track 10 "Keep Out 'Cos I'm Dying" has a slower more bluesy feel to it with a dramatic change of tempo partway through the song. This is followed by the "The Garden of Happiness", a song which continues in similar style with some wild psychedelic guitar licks and impressive drumming. Another album highlight is the next song, "Return To Exodus", an uptempo and powerful guitar-driven version of the classic theme from Exodus. The final song "Journey's End" rounds off the album perfectly with a reprise of the stunningly beautiful version of "Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto" which affirms the fully-deserving five star status of this outstanding album.

A superb album which never fails to maintain the interest with the constant changes of pace and dramatic intensity, and combined with the memorable classical favourites, this is a very fine and memorable example of British Psychedelic Rock and Proto-Prog at its best!



Edited by Psychedelic Paul - October 25 2019 at 05:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2019 at 11:32
ARCADIUM - Breathe Awhile (1969)
 
Album Review #5:- 5 stars "Breathe Awhile" (1969) is another re-discovered rare album treasure from the archives. The British band Arcadium released this one amazing album before going their separate ways and disappearing without trace, in common with many other one- album bands of the late 1960's psychedelic era. The album is filled with the powerful resonating sound of the Hammond organ, twinned with some masterly way-out acid guitar leads for fans of Psychedelic Rock. The album features two epic, stand-out songs, running at over 10 minutes long, the first track "I'm on My Way" and the final track "Birth, Life & Death". There are no album-fillers on this album. Every song stands up well on its own merits and blends in perfectly with the album as a whole. The CD album also includes two bonus tracks featuring the two singles released the same year as the album.

The epic album opener "I'm on My Way" is the highlight of the album. It's a hauntingly atmospheric song with a deliciously slow build-up after a deceptively quiet beginning. The spacey song features a delicately-played Hammond organ, laid-back acid guitar riffs, steady drumming, haunting ethereal voices and some atmospheric sound effects. The memorable song explodes into a full bore psychedelic jam of dramatic intensity around about the 9-minute mark, which should delight fans of way-out Acid Rock. Track 2 "Poor Lady" is a pure out-and-out rocker which maintains the fast pace from the previous song. Track 3 "Walk on the Bad Side" starts quietly with a gentle melody before bursting into life with some heavy guitar riffing and fast and wild Hammond organ-playing. Track 4 "Woman of a Thousand Years" is another up-tempo number with the ever-present Hammond organ blending nicely with acid guitar riffs and powerful drumming. Track 5 "Change Me" is one of those powerful and dramatically memorable songs that could have gone on to become a classic if it had received some radio airplay. Track 6 "It Takes a Woman" is another fast-paced Hard Rock song with a change of pace at the end to keep things interesting. Finally, this brings us to the second epic song "Birth, Life & Death" to play out the album. Everything is thrown into the mix for this song, including frantic Hammond organ-playing, wild psychedelic guitar riffs and a pounding drum beat, and the song also features a dramatic change of pace midway through, before concluding with a tremendous crescendo of sound. It's a perfect ending to a classic album.

This memorable album grows on you with repeated listening and it should appeal to any fans of British Psychedelic Rock.



Edited by Psychedelic Paul - October 23 2019 at 11:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2019 at 11:08
ENGLAND - Garden Shed (1977)
 
1. Midnight Madness
 
 
2. All Alone
 
 
3. Three Piece Suite
 
 
4. Parraffinalea
 
 
5. Yellow
 
 
6. Poisoned Youth
 
Album Review #6:-5 stars England are an English band, not surprisingly, with a powerful Symphonic Prog-Rock sound, very reminiscent of YES, with elements of early 1970's Genesis too. The singer sounds remarkably similar to Jon Anderson of YES at times. The forerunner of this album was a 20-minute-long suite released as an EP, titled "The Imperial Hotel" (1975). This album "Garden Shed" (1977) is England's only full-length album release during the 1970's golden era of Progressive Rock, although they released two later studio albums "The Last of the Jubblies" in 1997 and "Box of Circles" in 2018, together with a Live album "Kikimimi" recorded in Japan in 2006. The album title and cover of "Garden Shed" is a humorous reference to the Golden Shred marmalade label. The album is known to have featured a sawn-in-half Mellotron.

The album opens promisingly in dramatic style with some delicate keyboard motifs before launching into a vibrant trumpet-like sound from the synthesiser. It's a tremendously uplifting and dynamic song which is very reminiscent of early 1970's YES. This is classic Symphonic Prog at its finest with powerful chords, dramatic changes of pace and triumphant and grandiose synth playing. The second song on the album "All Alone" is a beautifully gentle melody featuring some exquisite echoey piano playing and pleasantly laid-back vocals. The third song "Three Piece Suite" is a 13-minute-long majestic epic and fans of YES will immediately recognise similarities with the classic "Close to the Edge" and "Fragile" era of YES. This long track features beautifully melodic soundscapes, majestic synths and sudden and dramatic changes of tempo which should appeal to fans of Symphonic Prog everywhere. The humorously titled "Paraffinalea" is next up. It's a joyful sounding song with some sparklingly uplifting synth passages. The fifth song on the album "Yellow" is a gentle and melodic tune with similarities to early Genesis in some of their quieter moments. The album closes in dramatic and powerful fashion with a magnificent 16-minute-long epic, "Poisoned Youth", featuring constant changes of tempo and the ever-present sonorous sound of the imposing synth. This epic song concludes in commanding and grandiose style and makes a perfect ending to a superb album.

A classic example of Symphonic Prog at its finest. This rare album deserves far more recognition, as it's on a level par with some of the best albums that YES and Genesis have ever recorded. It's worthy of a place in every Symphonic Prog fan's music collection.



Edited by Psychedelic Paul - October 29 2019 at 01:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2019 at 07:28

FANTASY - Paint a Picture (1973)

Album Review #7:- 5 stars  The five-piece English band Fantasy released their fittingly-titled debut album "Paint a Picture" in 1973. The album displays beautiful symphonic soundscapes of dramatic complexity, featuring charming organ and elaborate Mellotron melodies to make a masterpiece album of the era. The album featured seven bonus tracks in the re-mastered CD version released in 2005. "Paint a Picture" passed by virtually unnoticed at the time of its release, which is a shame, considering  it's a beautifully-produced album which deserves far more recognition than it's received. The album is so uplifting and inspirational to listen to that it could almost belong in the religious section of a record store. Fantasy followed it up with an equally good album in 1974 titled "Beyond the Beyond" which wouldn't see general release for another 18 years. Their third and final album "Vivariatum" (1994) was up to a similarly high standard of musicianship and all three albums should appeal greatly to fans of early Genesis.

The album opens in dramatic style with the title track "Paint a Picture". The song features the magnificent  distant-sounding rock organ, together  with emotionally uplifting vocals and a gently rising crescendo of sound which puts the listener in an ebullient mood and makes a perfect introduction to what is a marvellous album. The second song on the album "Circus" continues in considerable style with some echoey-sounding vocals, intricate guitar playing and powerful drumming backed by the beautiful symphonic sound of the Mellotron. Track 3 "The Award" features plaintive-sounding vocals combined with a gentle melody which gathers in intensity as the song progresses. The song is another memorable addition to a fine album. Track 4 "Politely Insane" is an upbeat and uptempo number which chugs along joyfully at an impressive pace with some strident guitar chords. In a pleasant contrast of style, the next song  "Widow" is a brief, gently melodic lament, as the song title implies, and nicely fits into the album as a whole. Track 6 "Icy River" is another memorable number with plenty to keep the listener entertained, including heavenly vocals, the ever-present sound of the powerful rock organ and some skilful and melodic guitar leads. Track 7 "Thank Christ" continues in similar fashion with a feel-good, uplifting sound and featuring some stylish vocal harmonies. Track 8 "Young Man's Fortune" is a real powerhouse of a song, featuring  a throbbing rhythm section and sonorous organ playing. The album returns to a mellower mood in the first half of the  penultimate number "Goblin Song", coming to life in marvellously-uplifting style for the finale. The final song "Silent Mine" features a religious-sounding organ combined with ethereal vocals to produce a very memorable conclusion to a superb album as a whole.  

This melodic masterpiece of an album deserves pride of place in any Prog-Rock enthusiast's music collection. It's an album of contrasting  styles which never fail's to maintain the listener's interest. A classic example of early-1970's English Symphonic Prog at its best.



Edited by Psychedelic Paul - October 25 2019 at 10:10
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