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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2008 at 18:35
Originally posted by King By-Tor King By-Tor wrote:

Would the wall have sold better as a single album!? It's the number 3 selling album of all time! (last I checked) doesn't sell much better than that
Oops. Phrasing issue. Was more wondering whether the fact that it was a double album contributed to its sales success... Misphrasing on my part.

Anyways, very well written as always Rob. I heartily disagree with everything said and I think that Antoine might as well, but you put up a good argument. For me the album was more of 'an experience' than just an album, and for some people that 'experience' just doesn't click, I guess you're one of them . As for the concept of the album - I think a lot of people can draw parallels to the story dealing with isolation and self questioning, along with false idolization and oppression from various authorieties (mothers, school masters, law, ect) not to mention the heartbreak of having the person whom you trust the most (the ex-wife, in the case of this story) abandon you. While the story is terribly non-linear, I think a lot of people also appreciate how open it is, many high-schoolers I know have written essays on it, and all of them different, people can come up with their own meaning for it whether the band intended that or not.

Fair enough, seems reasonable.I guess, as someone who occasionally does his own scribblings, I'm a bit more interested in the poetic side and arrangement of the lyrics than I am in their basic meaning. For this album, I think that gives me a more negative view, while for something like Echoes it amplifies the enjoyment massively.

I don't really feel like putting up an argument, but that's how I see it . Anyways, what a friggen long-ass review Rob. You certainly poured some passion into an album you detest

Writing long reviews... it's a bad habit...WinkTongue
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2008 at 18:52
To each his own, eh Rob?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2008 at 02:36
The looong reviewing must have something to do with the song-by-song feature, which in The Wall's case, logically leads to looong reviewing. Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2008 at 04:33
Originally posted by Ricochet Ricochet wrote:

The looong reviewing must have something to do with the song-by-song feature, which in The Wall's case, logically leads to looong reviewing. Wink


Which is why I don't do song x song. I'm not quite so patient LOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2008 at 10:38
Ouch!!! Ouch!!! Rob,what happened???/ShockedLOL...................2 STARS ONLYShocked,
I am still trying to recover, i am out of breath and Broken%20HeartBroken%20Heart  LOL
 
Always a great review of yours.,well written, well documented as usual ....at least it shows you have obviously listened to the albumLOL....but 2 stars...OUCH!!!Ouch
 
I didn't know what to review next, now i knowLOL................my problem is i am not talented as you when it comes to writing, so we'll see!LOL
 
However, my breakfast is hard to swallow this morning after reading this one of yours , RobLOL.....will need a glass of wine soon or a beer to feel better!......Bad Rob, bad RobLOLWink
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2008 at 11:05
^ He's getting a little too cocky now that he's got the flashy PR titleTongue
 
...the first two star review I've seen in quite a while that made me immediately want to listen to the albumBig%20smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2008 at 12:16
Yeah, I've put an inhaler and a couple of aspirins on the side-table by the door, just in case we have any more events like this. Teach you to log in before breakfast Wink Looking forward to the response Thumbs%20Up.

Originally posted by Rico Rico wrote:

The looong reviewing must have something to do with the song-by-song feature, which in The Wall's case, logically leads to looong reviewing. Wink


Form reflecting content LOL, looong and complaining.

Anyway, something lower key next... p'raps Beat or Works Live or Hot Rats. I'm waiting for the storm to tide over before trying my hand at anything related to Magma.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 20 2008 at 09:55
OK... new stuff arriving now, so my reviewing's been understandably mauled, still I'll throw in a few thoughts

Album - (artist, if I don't think it's obvious) starsish, favourite track. Very provisional, since I haven't had a lot of time to listen to all of these yet

Peter Gabriel III - 5, No Self Control
Rock Bottom - Robert Wyatt, 4/5, Alife
Red Queen To Gryphon Three - Gryphon, 4, Opening Move
The Great Deceiver Live (vol. 1) - King Crimson, 4, Easy Money (Providence concert)
Free Hand - Gentle Giant, 4, Free Hand
Still Got The Blues - Gary Moore (non-prog), 4, Still Got The Blues
Pictures At An Exhibition - ELP, 3/4, Studio version (sue me :p)
Trilogy - ELP, 4/5, The Endless Enigma pt. 2
Death Walks Behind You - Atomic Rooster, 2/3, no idea
Are You Experienced? (non-prog/prog. Can't decide) - Hendrix, 3, Purple Haze
In Rock - Deep Purple, 4/5, not sure, liked Child In Time and Living Wreck especially
Genesis Live - 4, The Knife
Disraeli Gears (non-prog) - 3/4, not sure
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 27 2008 at 19:17
Review 73, Beat, King Crimson, 1982
StarStarStar

Beat is sometimes considered the worst of King Crimson's efforts, and looking at some of the negative reviews here, I have to admit there's some justification for that. The rhythm section is much more restrained than elsewhere, not providing the textural backdrop of Discipline. Belew's prominent lyrics and delivery might chagrin some, even if they do work for me. I suppose the question is whether you view these things as flaws, or merely as features. Sure, Bruford is the storm of percussion he was on SABB, but that gives a much greater chance for the guitar interplay to be heard. Yes, the lyrics and vocals are a key feature, but they are well-written shots of ambiguity, and they mark an attempt of Crimson to move themselves on rather than merely re-doing Discipline.

This is also quite odd as a Crimson album since it contains a genuine concept, but I don't know enough about the subject matter to say anything other than that it gives the album a coherent feel, and the music matches up neatly with the lyrical ideas. The other really significant feature of the album is the significant reliance on the twin lead guitars. Fripp and Belew provide a range of fiery textures and solos, extended and brief, and they, with the vocals, make the mood of just about every song. That might be a bit too lacking in diversity for some, but it does add interest for me.

Neil And Jack And Me opens the album with a series of guitar loops, Belew's shouted, whispered and sung, distorted and clean, often repeated vocals and a supportive rhythm section. Bruford saves up his cymbal crashes to make maximum impact, and Levin's gritty stabs on bass punctuate the piece. The guitars, however, are the real highlight, with a brief background soundscape, a unique solo from Fripp and maddened screeches from Belew. A classy opening, establishing the feel of the album.

Heartbeat follows this well, with two absolutely beautiful guitar tones, a restrained bass part evoking the heartbeat, tolerable lyrics and vocals from Belew. Bruford puts a relatively limited percussion range to extensive use, and the song as a whole is quite neatly arranged. It has a 'pop' feel, but I think this more derives from the limited instrumental choices and vocals than a lack of unusual and creative input.

The instrumental Sartori In Tangier provides a little more material to look at, from Fripp's organ work and soprano-sax-on-guitar-solo to a compulsive bass throb from Levin, which is taken up by Bruford later on. All sorts of weird textures feature fluidly, creating a sort of continuous musical image. Very accomplished, even if it is basically Mr. Fripp's three minute playground.

Waiting Man continues the very textural feel, with Belew's calling (needs a better word, but lacks one) vocal overlaying a static worldish rhythm under which Levin subtly shifts bass tones. A very intricate guitar-drums-guitar interplay section followed by a scraily (screechy+waily, but in a good way) Fripp solo features, allowing for a much fuller re-working of the opening texture.

The bizarre Neurotica is perhaps the highlight of the album, with the first true breakout of the rhythm section. Levin and Bruford are playing constantly, always providing something interesting in the background, while Belew's mostly-nonsensical vocals act don't really feel like a lead instrument, taking the back spot a bit more except in the weaker 'chorus'. Again, the guitars are on good form, providing all sorts of lunatic scrails for good measure.

Two Hands is the one piece from the album that simply doesn't do a lot for me. The boobam rhythm section and guitar touches all sound nice, and the sort of decadent romanticism is perfectly evoked. The guitar solo is sublime. The only problem is that I don't like the lyrics (they're not bad, just not my style at all), and the delivery doesn't do a lot for me either, and they make it harder for me to really enjoy the fleeting perfection encapsulated in the middle of the song.

The Howler is a faster-paced piece, with a generally wailing band accompanying a quite interesting sort of side-spoken vocal from Belew and some rather vicious lyrical touches. Levin especially provides a lot of grit for the song, as does Fripp's sirens-esque solo. Good stuff, though the guitar loops grate a little.

Requiem is a real opportunity for Fripp to illustrate his creativity on scraily guitar very prominently, with an extended, fast-paced and moving solo. Belew provides creaky touches towards the end, while the rhythm section works around the guitar textures with thunderous rolls. I swear one of the more cleverly-veiled guitar parts is reprising something, but I can't work out what. A neat, textural, showcase conclusion, and one that does work for the album.

So, all in all, the songs are not individually at all weak, the guitar-work is an especial highlight throughout. On the other hand, those who aren't already big fans of Belew and Fripp's menagerie of sounds will not really find that much to enjoy. Consequently, if you aren't a fan of King Crimson (Discipline and Red in particular), this isn't an enormous gap in your collection, but if you are, or simply love unusual guitar-work, this is a very worthwhile purchase. Three stars, good, but not entirely essential.

Rating: Three Stars.
Favourite Track: Requiem, I think, but it's a pretty even album, and could be Neal and Jack and Me or Neurotica on different days.
---

Well, reviewing again, and I've got to catch up with some other collab stuff at some point soon.

However, new stuff:

Things I've Been Listening To A Lot:

Peter Gabriel III (Crossover) 5ish. Justifies the existence of crossover. Incredible vocals, probably my second favourite album in terms of vocals ever (am I overenthusiastic? As always), just after Pawn Hearts.
Rock Bottom (Canterbury) - Robert Wyatt 5ish. Not so keen on A Last Straw, but Sea Song is simply incredible, as is Alifib/Alife. Really emotional experience, but not without a sense of humour.
World Record (Eclectic) Van Der Graaf Generator 5ish. Really, really stunning. Love the lyrics and some of the really interesting harmony ideas ('Easy targets, easy crosswords, easy life/These key margins leave you balanced on the knife'). Great vocals, wasn't expecting miracles, but got them.
Genesis Live (Symphonic, Live) 4ish. Admittedly Gabriel sometimes doesn't quite hit the vocal levels he can in the studio, but very dry and humorous, and improving on most of the studio versions in some ways, and the version of The Knife must be the single funniest piece of music I've heard other than 20 Tons of TNT.

Things I've listened to a time or two

U.K. - U.K. 3ish. The vocals didn't always work, and occasionally the band felt a bit clean and restrained for my liking. Rave about Holdsworth all you like, but he hasn't really caught onto me yet.
Are You Experienced? (Um... protopsychmaybe? dunno) - Hendrix. Made much more of an impression the second time round. Great writing, good lyrics, good on all musical fronts, love the soloing madness. 4ish.
Trilogy - ELP. 4/5ish. Great, I'd got all the tracks except Endless Enigma pt. 2, Fugue and the real version of Abaddon's Bolero, but the remastering job was really superb in bringing new character to the album compared to the worn out sound on the compilation. Trilogy all the way.
Pictures At An Exhibition - 3ish. Great in parts, but the synth tones don't always work. Actually (bite me), I prefer the studio version to this in many parts, since the live sound on the main album leaves Palmer feeling a tad stranded to my ears. Still, early days.
The Great Deceiver (vol. 1) - KC. Really good live collection. All great versions, especially the Providence, RI, version of Easy Money (laughed quite a bit when I heard the altered lyrics...). Highlights a lot of the strengths of individual pieces, and a lot of interesting changes, while keeping the basic outlines in place. 4 stars.
Fear Of A Blank Planet - PT. Liked the sound. Disliked the lyrics. Quite a good album, but really I am going to have to put on my 'pretend Pete Sinfield wrote the lyrics in 1969' ears. 3/4ish.
Hall Of The Mountain Grill - Hawkwind. Great stuff, even if I haven't had the time to really just sit down and listen to this one yet. 4/5ish.
Phoenix - Asia. Great opener, the rest left me a bit unmoved. Plenty of perfectly good stuff in there, but it seemed a little lacking in diversity. Only one listen, though, so...
Still Got The Blues - Gary Moore. Some classic stuff, no really weak tracks, great arrangements, incredible guitar tone.
Allman Brothers Band - Live At Fillmore East. A revelation. You need this album.
The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome. Good, but I don't think the vocal 'your so...' bit pays off much. Cat's Eye Yellow Fever, The Last Frame and The Wave are all pretty killer, though.
The Nice - THoughts of Emerlist Davjack. Good, made progressively more of an impression as I went through and got past a slightly sixties feel. Keith Emerson = Clap

Things I've heard, but can't really comment on
In Rock - Deep Purple. Really liked it on the first listen, which I wasn't fully expecting. Good stuff.
Disraeli Gears - Cream. Ditto.
Even in The Quietest Moments - Supertramp. Didn't really go in. Need to listen again.
Doomsday Afternoon - Phideaux. Was interrupted by family. Sounded good from what I'd heard.
Leg End - " "
Free Hand - Gentle Giant. Good. Felt the medieval pieces were a bit meandering, but first listen is never a good indication with GG.
Misplaced Childhood - Marillion. Heard too late at night to really listen, so cut it out about halfway through.
Ziggy Stardust - Only one listen. Needs more.

Things I have, but haven't heard
Quadrophenia
Time Out
Images And Words
Led Zeppelin II
Interview
Gnidrolog In spite/Lady Lake
A Saucerful of Secrets
Hunky Dory

probably more, but I'm lazy.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 17 2008 at 06:59
Review 74, Hot Rats, Frank Zappa, 1969

Hot Rats is, as I understand it, one of Zappa's sacred cows. I think I can understand why: the playing is flawless, the first couple of pieces are highly entertaining and its mixture of jazzy and avant garde isn't too heavy on either component. My 'good' rating (which will surely be seen as a travesty, but that's that...) is not because I dislike the music much in any particular place, nor because I don't think the playing's great, but just because the album has such a thin emotional tie to me.

The opener Peaches En Regalia, a sample here, opens straight into a cool, classy array of saxophone leaps and whimsical piano flourishes. Zappa's light-hearted rather banjo-like guitar fits perfectly in, and cheery organ swirls meet some hollow percussion whirls. Behind the interlinked leads, the rhythm section wanders about cheerily. All in all, an active, bouncy and highly entertaining piece.

Willie The Pimp is the album's obvious highlight for me. A compulsive, edgy violin riff underlines the piece, accompanied by a mobile bassline and superb drumming from John Guerin. Zappa's own skills particularly come to the fore in this piece, with an extensive, gritty guitar solo, sometimes picking up on the earlier violin part before launching into manic swirls. A few fun piano and percussion flourishes are thrown in. In addition to these worthy features, Beefheart provides a brief amusing vocal complete with general screeching and trite lyrics. Classy stuff.

Son Of Mr. Green Genes is where the album begins to take a bit of a nose dive in connection. While the previous pieces weren't really less jazzy and whimsical, they kept a constant connection and interest. Here, we have many of the same trademarks, neat piano from Ian Underwood, an array of sax and organ effects reeling off from Zappa's range of guitar sounds and wails. At about 3.00 in, the piece catches on quite effectively with a low sax bada-badada theme before wandering off to another guitar solo. Occasionally, the piece does hit just right with a brief jot of darker guitar or a particularly neat effect, especially with the funktacular jumping around 7.00 in, but overall, it fails to make a cohesive impression on me. I think it's that the whimsy gets a bit much at times, or that the guitar lead so key to holding it together is a little thinner than I like, but the reason's difficult to pin down.

Little Umbrellas is a slightly darker piece in feel, with an especial highlight in the piano and organ-work, which ranges from tense chords to light keys to Super Mario soundtrack material, but, to be fair, it works. A slightly ponderous set of clarinet effects fill the background. Not really light, not really menacing, and it's alright, but it never really moves beyond that.

The Gumbo Variations is comfortably the album's longest piece, with a fairly standard jazzy background held up by the rhythm section, and organ underlaying a great strangled saxophone. The saxophone is probably the biggest tie for a fair while, as a couple of neat guitar additions come in then disappear. A squeaky violin appears to replace the sax, and Zappa himself takes a bit more of a position. The rhythm section keeps a mobility throughout, and a couple of stylish effects interplays run nicely over the top. The brief drum solo is probably the piece's high point for me. So, again, nice, but not a lot more. Absolutely top notch playing and interplay, but it simply doesn't really make an impression too often.

It Must Be A Camel is another highlight. After a wandering piano opening with a  couple of cool slowed percussion ideas, and an almost obligatory irritating sax blare, it wobbles around for about a minute before Zappa comes in with entertaining guitar sounds all around and adds in a bit of dynamic before the piece comes to its conclusion. Nice, despite the moment of erk.

All in all, then, this album really has nothing bad on it. There are a couple of really great and fun moments in there as well. However, I feel it could have benefited a lot from a little more dynamic playing, and I really just won't listen to it for any other reason than wanting to hear the end of Willie The Pimp and feeling obliged to give the rest another go. I don't dislike it, but my mind just isn't connecting with the comic and musical genius that a lot of Zappa fans and even non-fans would ascribe to it.

Rating: Three Stars. Probably not essential, for me, but still a good buy.
Favourite Track: Willie The Pimp

---

Well, hopefully that's phrased in such a way that it won't annoy Zappa fans too much. Bought a few classical CDs yesterday: Rachmaninov piano trios, a selection of Hungarian music for piano and cello (including Bartok and Liszt), some Stravinsky piano stuff and a Takemitsu selection at  a whim.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2008 at 23:09

Hey this is a good idea

 

I should do this

 

i have lots of reviews but it would be good to have them all on one post

 

well done so far 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2008 at 00:47
Review X, Trilogy, ELP, 1972

Trilogy is one of those albums that I think you have to hear as a whole to really appreciate, and that's bizarre given how little connection there is between the pieces. The remastering job's great, I think, which only helps the album convey it's musical content well. More importantly, the original album represents a great, landmark work of one of the progressive giants, and an important step in the use of synthesisers. Emerson never had better keyboard tones, either on organ or synths, and his willingness to use frequently his whole arsenal pays off brilliantly. However, I can't see the keyboard w**kfest that some have described it as. The pieces are pretty balanced, Lake and Palmer are both supportive and active throughout, and the reason Emerson's playing a lot is simply because he's part of a trio. No filler here either, to my ears. Nonetheless... I think it's a vital album, and a masterpiece.

If there's one piece, in any genre, even in prog, which oozes epicness from every single pore of its being, The Endless Enigma is it. Demi-nonsense, speculative lyrics sung in the regal 'this-is-the-word-of-Greg-Lake' mode, grandiose organ and solid piano bass clef backing. Carl Palmer's drumming comes in bursts of energy and tension, while Lake provides a very likeable whirling bass tone. A dramatic piano leads us down into the piano Fugue (with just the tiniest slip on the transition), which is essentially a showcase for Emerson's piano range, nabbing a couple of more unusual tones in between the standard classicals. Lake provides a touch of interplay, and Palmer's entrance on chimes, percussion and finally tubular bells provides pure, unadulterated grandeur. An even more epic reprise of The Endless Enigma leads us on to the wailing synth and voice ending. Not my favourite piece ever, but the sense of scale created is nonetheless pretty sweeping.

From The Beginning sort of contrasts to the opening suite. From the utmost grandeur to a very low-key, heartfelt ballad. I've seen the criticism that this was the obvious opener, but somehow this is the order that feels natural to me... the universal context then the personal one. Besides, no way you can put the monster that is The Endless Enigma anywhere except at the start. Regardless, enough about that... the piece is a particular standout for Greg Lake, with his fantastic voice, a bubble-blowing (to nab a phrase used of a Sinclair solo somewhere) guitar solo, some fairly neat and very moving classical-edged acoustic guitar and most of all a very directional and well-aimed bass part. Palmer has restricted himself to a fairly simple hollow drum thing (sounds vaguely like a bongo), but it works perfectly for the piece, and I appreciate the effort of the drummer to contribute properly in a soft  acousticy piece. Lastly, at the end of the piece, an indescribable synth part from Emerson takes the lead. I'd certainly consider this song progressive, even if it is a ballad, and, regardless of progness, it's a very moving song.

The Sheriff is perhaps the most underrated piece ELP have ever done (except some of the Palmer bits on Works side 3, but...). It opens with a loosely disguised 20-second drum solo before the killer organ riff sets in confidently and Lake enters with a particularly Elvis-y vocal and a light-hearted set of lyrics. His bass grooves along quietly in the background, as Emerson adds in a bit of saloony piano. Despite the whimsical tap-dancing-with-piano ending, a great short piece, including one of my favourite bits of organ-playing ever. Not a serious piece, but that's half the charm.

Hoedown is one of the few ELP songs I can reasonably expect people to find anywhere... I have four or so versions, I think LOL, which basically vary in how obscenely rapid the keys are. A cover of something Copelandy, with a did-you-get-the-number-of-that-donkey-cart organ part, a load of entertaining, over-the-top synths and a solid backing rhythm section. Needs to be heard to be believed. Coincidentally, there's a live version of this as a bonus track on the remaster... good, and fairly individual, but neither that nor the studio version here are as classy as the Welcome Back My Friends rendition.

Trilogy

If I had to hold up one track as an example of what ELP did and could do, this, not KE-9, The Three Fates or Tarkus, would get my support. The mixture of beautifully-handled classical influence, rock innovation, group cohesion, moving lyrics and multiple moods are exactly what has made the progressive genre so enjoyable for me. A blissful piano introduction supports Lake's soft vocal and very touching lyrics (But though I smile/You know the smile is only there to hide/What I'm really feeling deep inside/Just a face where I can hang my pride). A suspended piano note hanging in the piece signals an impending transition, supported by a couple of Palmer swirls, before Emerson masterfully takes his piano in a juxtaposed descending cadence and defiant recalcitrant spiralling notes to a spaced-out synth solo, replete with a kicking Palmer beat, providing a sort of punctuation to the swirly web of notes, and gritty Lake bass. A bass-driven section quite reminiscent of parts of Larks' Tongues In Aspic pt. 1 leads us onto the catchy organ melody supplemented by a tongue-in-cheek synth, underlaying the positive and evocative vocals that will feature again towards the end of the piece. Lake's bass provides a couple of the directional changes, and this could possibly be my favourite bass on an ELP song... but maybe that's just me. A vital listen, if only for an example of how to do synth tones... defined and effective, not too clear to be edgy, and not too noise-clustered to be musical... not to mention, the mock-blues ending is quite amusing in its own way.

The following Living Sin is a neat contrast. A bizarre progressive pop melodies meet rock feel song driven by a range of infectious menacing organ melodies and Palmer's fantastic supportive drumming - emphatic directional bursts, mini-solos full of energy and a sort of unrestrained kick-within-the-beat thing all add lots to the piece. Over the top of these driving elements, Lake's moody, sullen vocal wails away in a Cat-Food-with--just-a-hint-of-misogyny style, while Emerson alternates between fantastic organ flourishes and synthy whhhhhowws. The best bit of the song is either the absolutely fantastic organ sound Emerson gets on the choruslike parts or the 'silence! never did warn you 'bout the one-night-lover!' (could be 'never did wanna buy a one-night-lover!'... sounds great either way, and ELP were never about the lyrics) bit, which features truly awesome organ soloing, Lake sort of holding the section at a slightly more emphatic level than the rest of the piece through his bass part and that rather poppish percussion sound that I'm embarrassingly fond of mixed with some balancing drum taps. A fairly whimsically inserted bit of grandiose synth flourish with a characteristic Palmer roll underneath it leads us up to the end. Initially, it's the sort of song which you hear the first time and think 'I probably shouldn't like that' but ...its prog credentials are certainly there inside the actually quite melodic mock aggression... and I maintain that it's a damn good tune.

To end this superb album, we have an interpretation of Ravel's Abaddon's Bolero, developing from virtually solo whispering organ with an assertive classical drum part from Palmer and some part of the original seemingly being taken up by Lake on bass to an overspilling, bluesed-out-wails-all-over-the-place, tentatively (well, on my part, not on the band's) headbanging monstrosity. The only ELP track, if I remember correctly, to feature a (tasteful and background... I'm not actually sure whether that's just a synth and the 'tron was for the tour) mellotron, played by Lake. What's so remarkable about the piece is that the synth tones are light, expansive and not particularly defined (especially compared to some of those on Trilogy or The Endless Enigma) and yet they really do manage to come together in such a way as to rock. I'm not sure if it's the blues-reminiscent phrasing or the relative strength of the synth parts, or the simple fact that Palmer's drumming is getting louder as the piece moves on, but tones that shouldn't rock do. Can't say fairer than that for successfully pulling off a piece in spite of listener pre-conceptions. Masterful work.

I'd call this album entirely essential to anyone interested in progressive rock, even those who aren't the biggest fans of ELP. The synth tones are fantastic and highly unusual for the time, the songwriting's great, and every track, even those which initially seem a bit less challenging, is a progressive gem. I prefer ELP to this one, but I'd still call this one a masterpiece by any standard.

Rating: Five Stars
Favourite Track: Trilogy, maybe. A lot of good stuff here.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2008 at 00:50
Nice one Rob, good to see you back in the reviewing game . I've been really into Trilogy lately, you did it justice
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2008 at 01:00
One of those albums where my lack of tech talk was a bit of a weakness in reviewing, I think. Often wanted to describe a particular percussion sound or piano feature in a musical way, but couldn't. Ah well. I still think I got Abaddon's Bolero done pretty well, and that was going to be the toughy.

The fairly near future holds:

Stratosfear - Tangerine Dream
Still Life - VDGG
Tommy - The Who
Benefit - Jethro Tull

Hopefully
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2008 at 01:12
Well, that's all good. Just decide on a rating already!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2008 at 07:30
Oh... I broke my mild 'not buying anything until Christmas promise' when I went into town yesterday.

Picked up a selection of Lizst, Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark, Blonde On Blonde, Electric Ladyland, Songs In The Key Of Life, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, an Opeth album and Ommadawn.

Loved all of the ones I've heard so far.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2008 at 12:53
A selection of purchases like that are what REALLY make Prog, prog.  All the time signatures in the world couldn't make the case better than this haul.Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2008 at 18:01
Originally posted by TGM: Orb TGM: Orb wrote:

Oh... I broke my mild 'not buying anything until Christmas promise' when I went into town yesterday.

Picked up a selection of Lizst, Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark, Blonde On Blonde, Electric Ladyland, Songs In The Key Of Life, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, an Opeth album and Ommadawn.

Loved all of the ones I've heard so far.
 
great collection I recently heard Blonde on Blonde - pretty good Dylan esp first tracks.  Electric Ladyland is quintessential Hendrix as is his debut album. Piper At The Gates Of Dawn is a classic for sure but I did not really like Ommadawn. Parts of it were OK I guess.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2008 at 08:17
Originally posted by TGM: Orb TGM: Orb wrote:

...Heat Of The Moment...

A couple of irritating pop moments?  Try the whole album!  What a waste of great prog talent.  They could have been a great prog collaboration band, but...
 
I highlight, "Heat of the Moment," because, on Steve Hackett's live album in Japan (recorded 1996, I think), John Wetton does an unplugged version - acoustic guitar and singing - of this song, and it really sounds good!  Besides the fact that I despise Asia's debut album, that's all I wanted to say...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2008 at 08:25
Originally posted by TGM: Orb TGM: Orb wrote:



The bizarre Neurotica is perhaps the highlight of the album...
 
Requiem is a real opportunity for Fripp to illustrate his creativity on scraily guitar very prominently, with an extended, fast-paced and moving solo...
 
Favourite Track: Requiem, I think, but it's a pretty even album, and could be Neal and Jack and Me or Neurotica on different days.
Thanks for reviewing my favorite KC album of the 80s.  And for exactly what you mention (above).  Buy the CD just for Neurotica and Requiem - those two tracks "make" the album.  I second your vote on Requiem being the "favorite track."  Fripp lets his Frippertronics guitar work really shine.  One thing you did not mention was Bruford's drumming.  His prowess in jazz and improvisational drumming really comes through on this concluding track of the album.  A great hidden jewel of early 80s prog...
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