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AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2010 at 01:33

Part 25: Prog Poll through the years 1991

Top 15 - Here is the prog poll for definitive albums of 1991. Bear in mind of course I can’t place every album but these are the ones that seem to find their way into best of lists and are discussed by progheads.

New bands rising and prog surviving but not a good selection with one or two standout albums and a real focus on prog metal.

 

Unquestionable Presence – Atheist

 

Parallells – Fates Warning

 

Human – Death

 

Streets A Rock Opera – Savatage

 

A Sense of Change - Sieges Even

 

Laughing Stock – Talk Talk

 

Angel Rat – Voivod

 

The World – Pendragon

 

Strangeitude – Ozric Tentacles

 

Metallica - Metallica

 

Dust and Dreams – Camel

Camel Dust And Dreams album cover

Roll The Bones – Rush

 

The Fall of the House of Usher – Peter Hammill

 

The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life – Frank Zappa

 

A Little Light Music – Jethro Tull

 

 

The results:

 

1 [1.27%]
3 [3.80%]
2 [2.53%]
3 [3.80%]
3 [3.80%]
5 [6.33%]
2 [2.53%]
11 [13.92%]
9 [11.39%]
6 [7.59%]
4 [5.06%]
12 [15.19%]
1 [1.27%]
4 [5.06%]
1 [1.27%]
12 [15.19%]

 

The Others:

 

Rings of Earthly Light - Eris Pluvia

 

Collector's Item - Twelfth Night

 

Blue Lines - Massive Attack

 

Liturgia Bezmia – Sepsis

 

 

We Can’t Dance – Genesis (voted twice by some interesting fans here)

 

 

It was rather a close poll so I left this open for quite a while; it was stuck at :

The World – Pendragon

10

[12.99%]

Strangeitude – Ozric Tentacles

9

[11.69%]

Metallica – Metallica

6

[7.79%]

Dust and Dreams – Camel

4

[5.19%]

Roll The Bones – Rush

12

[15.58%]

The Fall of the House of Usher – Peter Hammill

1

 

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

My Review:

 
** Don't rush out to buy this one!

A very routine album has Rush going by the numbers with poor production values and badly mixed sounds. The guitars are repetitive and commercial sounding. The drums sound like Peart is banging the pots and pans in his kitchen. Lee sounds bored and his bass is nothing special here. Apart from one or two shining lights "Roll the Bones" fades into obscurity and is perhaps as bad as "Presto", though this is perhaps their worst album. Unlike the disappointing "Presto", "Roll the Bones" does have a few excellent tracks.

Dreamline is a great rocker with some innovative guitar work and is well structured. Bravado sounds good overall, and has a nice litle riff driving it. Roll The Bones is perhaps the best song on the album with a cool memorable lyric; "why are we here, because we're here, roll the bones..." or better still, "why does it happen, because it happens, roll the bones..." It has a groovy hook and sounds great live. The film clip promo was rather fun and it showed that the band could still enjoy their music, even if they shed their prog traits during this era. Where's My Thing (Part IV of the "Gangster Of Boats Trilogy") is the first instrumental for years from the power trio, and it genuinely stands out as a highlight with the band letting loose and doing what they do best, rocking the roof off. After this we are inundated with mediocrity fillers such as the dismal The Big Wheel, Heresy and Ghost Of A Chance. Neurotica is better with a moderate tempo and some melodic hooks, and the album ends on the rather traditional You Bet Your Life, that is forgettable but sounds good while it plays.

The problem with the album is the lack of passion, the band sound tired and the songs for the most part are ruined by poor production, as though they were not using a sound engineer at all. It is so badly mixed that it would do well to re release this album as a remaster with remixes of the original masters. It certainly would not hurt because honestly this album is a slog to get through with only the aforementioned tracks to recommend it to anyone but the diehard Rush collector.



Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - October 20 2014 at 03:13
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2010 at 01:57

Part 26: Prog Poll through the years 1992

Top 15 - Here is the prog poll for definitive albums of 1992. 

This year saw some of the best albums for a decade and it was a new face of prog arising. Some of the albums represented are highly revered in the prog community.

 

 

Hybris – Anglagard

 

 

Images and Words – Dream Theater

Dream Theater Images And Words album cover  

Into the Everflow – Psychotic Waltz

 

Suffocating The Bloom – Echolyn

 Echolyn Suffocating The Bloom album cover

Amused To Death – Roger Waters

 

Megalαzottak ιs Megszomorνtottak – After Crying

 

Secret Story – Pat Metheny

 

More Than Meets The Eye – Jadis

 

Tubular Bells II – Mike Oldfield

 

US – Peter Gabriel

 

Lonely Land – Landberk

 

Io E Il Tempo – Nuova Era

 

Ring Of Roses – Shadowland

 

Casino - Casino

 

The Great Deceiver Live 1973-1974 – King Crimson

 

The results:

 

33 [37.08%]
28 [31.46%]
2 [2.25%]
0 [0.00%]
6 [6.74%]
2 [2.25%]
1 [1.12%]
0 [0.00%]
4 [4.49%]
7 [7.87%]
0 [0.00%]
0 [0.00%]
0 [0.00%]
1 [1.12%]
5 [5.62%]
0 [0.00%]
 

The Others:

There were none at all!

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

My Review:

 

**** The infamous legendary prog album "Hybris" from Swedish proggers Anglagard marked an indelible place in prog territory in an era that was deprived of the prog brillaince of the 70s. Anglagard sound like they are from the 70s and are comparable to early Genesis, ELP and King Crimson.

It begins with 'Jordrφk'; the opening is dark chilling piano and male choral voices. The time sig is strange and off beat. The music is tight and definitely prog, and there is an excellent catchy melody on guitars by Engdegεrd. This instrumental continues as an acoustic treatment is given with bells and ambient keyboard pads from Johnson. A sublime flute chimes in from Holmgren; a very gentle lulling sound that is dreamy and surreal. A huge pipe organ cathedral sound blasts forth. The time sig changes completely as keyboards and guitars crash in. The shimmering Hammond is wonderful and a real feature. The track changes pace again, the flourishes of keys and drums are fascinating from Olsson. The whimsical flute returns, followed by a dark heavy section. A silent passage with minimalist woodwind begins. Then melodious blasts of organ riffs with a scorching guitar take hold of the track. An absolutely essential piece of prog music.

'Ifrεn Klarhet Till Klarhet' begins with an off kilter quirky amusement park effect then it goes in to fill swing with a prog time sig and Engdegεrd's very cool guitar riffs that are incessant and relentless. It builds and locks into a strange time sig with irregular drum patterns. The Swedish vocals of Lindman are very clean and follow the strange rhythm, with nice organ chord changes, jazz fills on guitar and jazz drumming. The acoustic interlude is gentle and played with feeling. It finishes on a powerful instrumental focussing on shimmering Hammond organ and guitar sweeps.

'Kung Bore' is another highlight with Engdegεrd's guitar picking introduction, a heavy bass and drum patterns fade up and a strange time sig locks in. The music is complex and compelling. It is an uplifting sound, with light and dark shades utilising many instruments to create a delightful atmosphere. Lindman's vocals are gentle sung in Swedish language. The sound is often like Pink Floyd with huge mellotron keyboard chords from Johnson and space guitar passages. Holmgren's flute sections are divine throughout. Time sigs change towards the end gaining in pace. Then a wall of symphonic washes take the tune to its conclusion. A single flute is heard bookending the piece. A quintessential progressive album though I give it 4 stars as the vocals are below par and not as good as they could be.  

 
 
IN SECOND PLACE:
 
Dream Theater Images And Words album cover
 
 
*****The reinvention of Progressive rock
 
Did Images and Words begin prog metal? 1992 seems like an eternity away now but in its time this album was absolutely the pinnacle of what became prog metal. So many bands owe their existence to this album. It is little wonder why crowds get excited when LaBrie shouts “we are going to do one from Images and Words!” The real master tracks are obvious as they are the ones played live often and they are the ones that every DT fan loves. One of those tracks is the brilliant Pull Me Under. Infectious riffing and melodic cohesiveness makes this one of the all time greatest prog metal songs.
 
Another one of the classics is undoubtedly Metropolis - Pt. I "The Miracle And The Sleeper". This may be in the top 10 best DT songs, as it features an epic majesty made possible with layers of Moore’s keyboards over Myung’s relentless bass and Portnoy’s sporadic drumming. The time sigs are off kilter and deranged at times. Amidst the chaos LaBrie shines on vocals. If that does not grab you the lead guitar fret work is impeccable from Petrucci.
 
Under A Glass Moon is a definitive DT track appearing in many concerts. The guitar solos are phenomenal and there are quite a few. The riffing is incredible too making this a bonafide classic. The lead breaks are indispensable and ingrained in metal history.
 
Learning To Live is quintessential DT with virtuoso solos and musicianship. LaBrie is on fire and you have to love the time sig and bassline. LaBrie's voice is powerful throughout the album, higher than recent years of course because his voice was undamaged by age.
 
Of course there are other tracks and they are all very good, some may call them masterpieces. The point is, this album is a vital component in the resurgence of prog rock.  Prog was dying in the 80s, and barely surviving in the 90s, but Dream Theater created the music they wanted to hear despite the avalanche of rap and other so called musical styles trying to drown out the voice of prog for ever. Images and Words is all killer and no filler the way an album should be. It may not be as genius as Ocatavarium or in the same vein as Scenes From A Memory to come, but this is an important album that cemented prog metal as the new giants of the industry. After this album there was no looking back – the gods of prog metal had been awakened.


Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - October 20 2014 at 04:36
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2010 at 02:19

Part 27: Prog Poll through the years 1993

Top 15 - Here is the prog poll for definitive albums of 1993.

This year prog was taking a new stand in music with new sub genres and new bands being experimental and a wall of metal overtook prog.

 

Elements – Atheist

 

Jurassic Shift – Ozric Tentacles

 

Ever – IQ

 

Up the Downstair – Porcupine Tree

 

Vemod – Anekdoten

 

The Window Of Life – Pendragon

 

Individual Thought Patterns – Death

 

Kingston Wall 2 – Kingston Wall

 

Spheres – Pestilence

 

Edge Of Thorns – Savatage

 

Counterparts – Rush

 

The Outer Limits – Voivod

 

The Security Of Illusion – Saga

 

Never Let Go – Camel

 

The Yellow Shark – Frank Zappa

 

 

The results:

 

3 [3.70%]
11 [13.58%]
8 [9.88%]
8 [9.88%]
12 [14.81%]
7 [8.64%]
2 [2.47%]
4 [4.94%]
1 [1.23%]
1 [1.23%]
8 [9.88%]
2 [2.47%]
0 [0.00%]
4 [4.94%]
6 [7.41%]
4 [4.94%]

 

The Others:

 

Secret World - Peter Gabriel

 

Clockworked Earth - Teru's Symphonia

 

This one went down to the wire and I had to leave this poll open with a stalemate situation:

 

Jurassic Shift – Ozric Tentacles

11

[13.92%]

Ever – IQ

8

[10.13%]

Up the Downstair – Porcupine Tree

8

[10.13%]

Vemod – Anekdoten

11

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 
My Review:

 

***** Anekdoten provide thought provoking, mellotron-soaked music on an amazing debut

My first listen to Anekdoten has been a pleasurable experience. The melancholy and ambience the band emit with mellotron, cello and soft vocals is akin to the type of material heard from the legendary King Crimson. The guitar work is so refined and creative it takes music to new levels.

The debut album, 'Vemod' translated in Sweden as 'sadness' is a master work of mellotron-soaked heavy prog. The musicians play like a well-oiled machine, the rhythm section, consists of the bassline hammering of Jan Erik Liljestrφm who incidentally provides all vocals, and the drumming of Peter Nordins who keeps time with precision. The Fripp-inspired guitarist Nicklas Berg is also a mellotron muso and he is joined by Anna Sofi Dahlberg, on mellotron, keys and cello. At times she sings parts which add to the texture and nuances of the songs. On piano is Per Wiberg who provides some lovely scales and arpeggios preferring to play pianofortissimo, in fact the whole band like it loud. The subtle shades of dark and light tones are evident on every track, where sound provides an atmosphere of darkness with heavy deep basslines, and light when the piano is allowed to be joyful, and the mellotron cascades across the void.

There are so many highlights including the mesmirising 'Karelia' which is an instrumental focusing on bass and drum patterns, odd time signatures and full blown mellotron. The real interesting component of the track is the slicing Cello which feels menacing and creates tension in the soundscape.

Another great track is 'The Old Man and The Sea' that begins and ends with an industrial scraping bass effect, incredibly played by Liljestrφm. There are layers of sound including cello and grand piano that add a true sense of adventure to the music. It is like nothing else I have heard. The band are genuine virtuosos and they never hold back although you sense at times they pull out to release members of the band to shine. The sustained mellotron shimmers with increasing volume and feels chilling to the marrow when those deep resonances are unleashed creeping through your senses. The vocals are well sung on this and it adds a sense of dread the way the lyrics are written: 'The storm has raged here for hours, the water's plunging in on me, The remains of my creation is swallowed slowly down by the troubled sea into unconsecrated ground, gone eternally, gone eternally, Feeder of my visions, carrier of my soul, The last hope for the dreamers, now crashing to the shore, pinioned and torn In presumption and with my foolish pride, I challenged the storm, I challenged the storm.' It reminds me of the old adage of a man battling against the elements similar to the tale of Moby Dick in some respects. Perfect prog theme.

'Where Solitude Remains' begins with a blistering heavy bass riff that is chunked up to the max, and the mellotron sweeps across until finally it breaks to a quiet pad and Liljestrφm's vocals softly tell the strange tale: 'I watch the clouds through my window, sail across the sky and underneath the canopy, gulls, they wheel and glide, the shoreline stretches endlessly along these windswept plains, I wander through this barren land where solitude remains, I've made myself a universe in this far-off home, unseen from the outside world, here I live and roam and though I've tried assiduously to heal the wounds with time, you'll haunt me in my memories until I die.' I think the lyrics are some of the best I have come across expressing true alienation and loss, foreboding but thoughtful, and the music answers perfectly with appropriate precise emotional nuances. The instrumental at the end is so arresting, emotional and played with excellence, it seals the deal that this is another definitive highlight.

'Thoughts in Absence' is a type of break in transmission, a much softer approach with mellotron, clean guitar and clear vocals about life's ups and downs: 'ease and calm you give but life begins... my time has come now, this bird has flown, a glimpse of hope but still an everlasting moment' Certainly it is clichι driven dialogue but it works as a balladic piece, in sharp contrast to the relentless riffing on other songs. The song is sugarsweet, shimmering and short. It works nicely between two killer tracks.

'The Flow' is my favourite, it really grew on me and I cannot get over how incredible the music is. It begins with minimalist woodwind sounds and chimes, a monkey wails and jungle echo percussions give an ethereal atmosphere. The guitar fades in with relentless picking ala Fripp style. There is a blood curdling scream signifying that the band are ready to go into full flight. The chord changes are fastidious and fabulous, descending and doomy. The monstrous bassline is astonishing and an off kilter drum beat adds the perfect balance. The fluid, lulling mellotron pads are huge, creating a massive wall of sound. Then it phases out during the soft vocalised verses: 'Random lines fall in place, adulterines slowly fade away, I'm sucked in deep by the flow, taken in by the undertow.' An instrumental break is unleashed with Dahlberg's heavenly cello that is grinded and tortured before an angular guitar blazes away. It is simply awesome and I had the chills when that chord progression suddenly took a detour and the foreboding cello sliced to its conclusion.

Another highlight is 'Wheel' with an accentuated angular riff that is constant with some estranged vocal harmonies. The flugelhorn on this is divine, amidst a backdrop of booming bass and off beat drums. The main thing I am really impressed here is the ghostly, ethereal vocals of Anna Dahlberg who compliments Jan Erik Liljestrφm beautifully. The lengthy instrumental break is uplifting and multilayered with mellotron and guitar.

'Sad Rain' is the bonus track to the CD that heavily relies on soft mellotron, sounding at times like a flute, very pretty and melancholy. The lyrics are heartfelt bittersweet about walking on a path that never ends: 'and so our time has come, my friend, the child who cries and no-one seems to care, the echoes of the birds are gone, the sky is painted grey, but it's so warm, searching for a light in the darkness, trying to keep your eyes from the dirt, taste the bitter wine of tomorrow, I'm walking on a path that never ends.' Wonderful emotional music that is invigorating and thought provoking.

There seems to be strong recurrent theme on this album about being lost at sea and feeling a sense of isolation and alienation from society, a loss of great magnitude is all pervading, and a sense of hopelessness and reaching out in despair. Yet I could not call it a concept album, as it is more subtle than that but there is no denying the thematic content is linked.

As this is the debut for the band I had reservations about giving a masterpiece status but, hang it, the album is astounding and deserves recognition. It is not often you encounter music at the measure of this calibre, but when you do, it is mesmirising and you cannot get enough of it. I became hooked on the band from this debut and made an effort to systematically get every album. That in itself is a true sign as far as I am concerned to award 5 stars and so I shall, without reservation.

 
 
 
 
Followed by a single vote:
 

 

My Review coming:

 

 



Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - April 29 2011 at 21:14
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2010 at 04:27

Part 28: Prog Poll through the years 1994

Top 15 - Here is the prog poll for definitive albums of 1994.

Some great albums emerged from the fog of the difficult years of prog by the masters of prog and kept the genre very much alive.

 

Awake – Dream Theater

 

Focus – Cynic

 

Moonshine – Collage

 

Epilog – Anglagard

 

Brave – Marillion

 

Somewhere But Yesterday – Citizen Cain

 

The Flower King – Roine Stolt

 

Promised Land – Queensryche

 

Division Bell – Pink Floyd

 

Arborescence – Ozric Tentacles

 

Il Trono Dei Ricordi - Il Trono Dei Ricordi

 

Gothic Impressions – Par Lindh Project

 

The Songs Of Distant Earth – Mike Oldfield

 

Le Berceau de Cristal – Ash Ra Tempel

 

Maida Vale (The BBC Radio One Sessions) – Van Der Graaf Generator

 

 

The results:

 

23 [23.00%]
8 [8.00%]
3 [3.00%]
10 [10.00%]
13 [13.00%]
3 [3.00%]
3 [3.00%]
2 [2.00%]
24 [24.00%]
3 [3.00%]
1 [1.00%]
2 [2.00%]
0 [0.00%]
2 [2.00%]
3 [3.00%]
0 [0.00%]

 

The Others:

None!

The poll was very close between DT and PF the legends:

Awake – Dream Theater

21

[23.08%]

Focus – Cynic

8

[8.79%]

Moonshine – Collage

3

[3.30%]

Epilog – Anglagard

9

[9.89%]

Brave – Marillion

13

[14.29%]

Somewhere But Yesterday – Citizen Cain

3

[3.30%]

The Flower King – Roine Stolt

3

[3.30%]

Promised Land – Queensryche

1

[1.10%]

Division Bell – Pink Floyd

20

[21.98%]

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

PINK FLOYD - DIVISION BELL

My Review:

**** Gilmour, Mason and Wright remained of the Pink Floyd money making machine. The best thing about this album is Pink Floyd were able to take it on the road to produce some of the best of their tours since The Wall. The music sounds similar to that on Momentary Lapse of Reason, very accessible rather than progressive. The melodies are infectious and easy to sing to for the live performances. The songs focus on many themes as usual, but they are still harping on about old Syd with songs such as Keep Talking. The lapse or complete lack of communication is the key theme, seen primarily by the striking cover art of two mute souls conversing, an optical illusion from the dark ages that works well for an album cover.

The tracks are quite famous now as they appear on live DVDs such as Delicate Sound of Thunder and Pulse. My personal favourites are the cynical What do you want from me, A great day for freedom, Take it back, Coming back to life and Keep talking. The latter track features a convincing voice over by genius paraplegic scientist Stephen Hawking. The best song on the entire album is undoubtedly the atmospheric haunting High Hopes. This track is quintessential PF with a startling bell tolling effect and very emotive performance by Gilmour. The majestic closing section is an incredible performance by the band. The film clip promo was brilliant and seen in the live shows on the circular screens.

There are some strange tracks that never rang well with me such as the lengthy Poles apart, that is perhaps too long and drawn out. Marooned is also a strange one but sounds great as background music. Overall this was a huge album at the time and the last studio album for the band before they became a live act only. It is definitely one of the better PF albums of recent years and a fitting way to bow out of the studio recordings.    

followed by a single vote with:

 

AWAKE - DREAM THEATER

 

My Review:

**** My first introduction to this incredible band began right here. A friend said you have to hear this and I had no idea what to expect. When I heard that choppy off sync riff of 6:00 I was hooked immediately; “6:00 on a Christmas morning, 6:00 on a Christmas morning”. The amazing dexterity of the group, the skills of Petrucci, Portnoy and LaBrie are unsurpassed. I knew this was a super group and of course they are still churning out one excellent album after another. Back in 1994 Awake was flooring the critics, they were hailing Dream Theater as master musicians, and they have improved since then. Rudess replacing Moore was one way, although Moore is an accomplished keyboardist on this album. Myung is a fantastic bassist and shines on Awake.
 
Best songs are 6:00 which begins with Portnoy’s drums and a crunching memorable riff. I love the chorus with LaBrie powering out an amazing performance; "Melody walks through the door and Memory flies out the window, nobody knows what they want til they finally let it all go".
 
Caught in a Web is truly a masterful track that sounds awesome here. LaBrie is fantastic on vocals, his high register is faultless. Moore is a virtuoso on this too, and since I have heard Rudess on this and both sound amazing in the solo section.
 
Erotomania is an instrumental that is tight, taut and terrific. Lots of fast paced lead work makes this one of the great showpieces of the album.
 
Voices is one of the all time greatest DT tracks with a strange time sig and massive lead break. It became a fan favourite live for good reason. LaBrie is powerful and retains a complex melody blending perfectly with the instruments. 
 
The Mirror is another of the highlights with monster riffing guitars and keyboards to accompany. This one should have been played live more often, but it is great to return to on this album.
 
Lifting Shadows Off a Dream features very melodic verses and once again Moore is able to fly into a wonderful keyboard solo.
 
Scarred is awesome due to Myung’s contribution along with Portnoy. They are an indelible rhythm machine. It builds into a full blown metal passage, and detours into many time sig changes.
 
Space-Dye Vest is a classic DT song and the last time Moore would play on an album before being replaced. There is a melancholy feel as though saying farewell to a friend. The spacey atmospherics are wondrous and it is a perfect way to end an excellent prog metal album.
So overall I was blown away by Awake and of course ended up getting hold of everything the band would produce. I can comfortably award this 4 stars as it is one of the best DT albums and one of the best of 1994.


Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - September 16 2011 at 02:50
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2010 at 04:58

Part 29: Prog Poll through the years 1995

Top 15 - Here is the prog poll for definitive albums of 1995.

Experimental and metal prog still dominated but Space Rock and Symphonic prog was making a huge comeback in a good year for new bands.

 

The Final Experiment – Ayreon

 

The Bends – Radiohead

 

Symbolic – Death

 

Il Passo Del Soldato – Nuova Era

 

The Sky Moves Sideways – Porcupine Tree

Porcupine Tree The Sky Moves Sideways  album cover  

Nucleus – Anekdoten

 

Disco Volante – Mr Bungle

 

Written In Waters – Bed Buens Ende

 

In Your Multitude – Conception

 

Back In the World Of Adventures – The Flower Kings

The Flower Kings Back In The World Of Adventures album cover 

Dead Winter Dead – Savatage

 

As The World – Echolyn

Echolyn As The World album cover 

P-U-L-S-E – Pink Floyd

 

Songs From The Lions Cage – Arena

 

The Light – Spock’s Beard

 

 

The results:

1 [0.97%]
4 [3.88%]
8 [7.77%]
3 [2.91%]
30 [29.13%]
6 [5.83%]
4 [3.88%]
1 [0.97%]
2 [1.94%]
1 [0.97%]
0 [0.00%]
4 [3.88%]
18 [17.48%]
4 [3.88%]
9 [8.74%]
8 [7.77%]
 

 

The Others:

 
THRAK - King Crimson
 
King Crimson THRAK album cover 
 
Sophisticated - Sieges Even
 
 
Don Caballero 2 - Don Caballero
 
 
Journey into the Morn – Iona
 
 
Destroy Erase Improve - Meshuggah
 
 
Jongleries ιlastiques - Miriodor
 
 
 
Generation 13 - Saga
 
 
 
Carved in Stone - Shadow Gallery

 
 
A Change in Seasons – Dream Theater (2 votes)

Dream Theater A Change Of Seasons  album cover 
 

Orchid - Opeth

 

Interesting posts:

1995 has been a great year for music in general, and metal in particular:

Ved Buens Ende - Written In Water, Dissection - Storm Of The Light's BaneMy Dying Bride - The Angel And The Dark RiverParadise Lost - Draconian TimesAt The Gates - Slaughter Of The Soul, and so many more...

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 

The Sky Moves Sideways – Porcupine Tree

Porcupine Tree The Sky Moves Sideways  album cover  

 

 

 

Review:

***

"The Sky Moves Sideways" is the psychedelic era of Porcupine Tree glorified with lengthy jamming spacey explorations. The remastered digipack double CD features 2 extreme psychedelic bookends on CD 1 of the title track that will really test the patience of some listeners. They build gradually with spacey atmospheres, Tangerine Dream textures, and psych prog ambience. I had heard these before on the "Stars Die" compilation, but in context they take on a new life. This is some very dreamy music with Vangelis tones and soundscapes of classic Pink Floyd or Camel.

The album features a number of shorter length tracks that are more accessible, 'Dislocated Day', 'The Moon Touches Your Shoulder', and 'Prepare Yourself'. Really they are not the drawcard though as the more lengthier pieces are incredible by contrast. The dreamy Floydian soundscape of 'The Sky Moves Sideways Phase Two' is the masterpiece with extended soaring lead guitar work, gorgeous vox from Suzanne Barbieri, and gorgeous swathes of divine keyboards.

CD 2 has the epic monster length 'The Sky Moves Sideways - Alternative Version' which is an unedited version of the title with extra vox, and different structure, no waves, heavy percussion, and not as spacey, and the wonderful melodic 'Stars Die' follows that I have heard many times on other releases. 'Moonloop ? Improvisation' clocks 16 minutes of very dreamy music to sleep with, and is followed by 'Moonloop ? Coda' to close a very solid Porcupine Tree album.

I am still a bigger fan of the more recent PT but this is nevertheless a mesmirising album with a relaxing spacey atmosphere throughout.



Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - October 20 2014 at 03:23
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2010 at 05:49

Part 30: Prog Poll through the years 1996

Top 15 - Here is the prog poll for definitive albums of 1996.

An ordinary year for prog but these 15 albums shone among the lean 1990s. You have to hand it to these bands who just kept doing what they loved and somehow everyone just caught the fire.

 

Keys To Ascension – Yes

 

Actual Fantasy – Ayreon

 

Retropolis – The Flower Kings

 

Crimson – Edge of Sanity

 

Sol Niger Within - Thordendal's Special Defects

 

Sing To God – Cardiacs

 

Aenima – Tool

 

The Masquerade Overture – Pendragon

 

Mi Kubbesi – Nekropsi

 

Quidam - Quidam

 

Holy Land – Angra

 

Abraxas ... Cykl Obraca Się. Narodziny, Dzieciństwo Pełne Duszy, Uśmiechσw Niewinnych I Zdrady – Abraxas

 

Broken China – Richard Wright

 

Signify – Porcupine Tree

 

Painting On Glass – The 3rd and The Mortal

 

 

The results:

10 [9.90%]
2 [1.98%]
6 [5.94%]
7 [6.93%]
2 [1.98%]
2 [1.98%]
19 [18.81%]
10 [9.90%]
1 [0.99%]
2 [1.98%]
5 [4.95%]
1 [0.99%]
3 [2.97%]
25 [24.75%]
1 [0.99%]
5 [4.95%]
 
 
The Others:

 

 

Purpendicular - Deep Purple

 

Phish - Billy Breathes

 

After Crying - De Profundis

 After Crying De Profundis album cover

Some interesting posts were written:

Quidam's debut was lovely but No-Man (Wild Opera), Legend's Triple Aspect, Oldfield's Songs from a Distant Earth and Landberk (Indian Summer) are fine recordings.

And:

I also would say that this was a very fine year for Japan as several of my fave albums from that year came from Japan, which include Zypressen's self-titled, Tipographica's God Says I Can't Dance, Novo Tono's  Panorama Paradise, and Bondage Fruit II.  A very strong decade, in fact, for Japan. 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 
PORCUPINE TREE - AGAIN!!! 
 


My Review:

***

 'Signify' is a pleasant though uneven album from the early years of Porcupine Tree. This album is not the heavy sound of 'Deadwing', nor is it concentric on the psychedelic trance of 'The Sky Moves Sideways', but it sits somewhere in between. It does feel experimental and at times sounds like more modern Porcupine Tree on 'Fear of a Blank Planet' or 'The Incident'. Steve Wilson's vocals are always excellent especially when he launches into infectious melodic prog such as on the wonderful 'Sever'.

The album tends to bog down midway through some songs with lengthy instrumental passages that are okay but wear out their welcome on subsequent listens. There are some brilliant tracks here though such as the beautiful melodic 'Waiting Phase One', 'Phase Two' is an instrumental, building with tribal rhythmic drums, spacey atmospherics and some incredible lead guitar. 'Sever' certainly stands out as mentioned, and there are some powerful riffs.

One thing that I am not into is the focus on anti-religious themes that seems to pervade the concept such as on 'Idiot Prayer', 'Intermediate Jesus', just a spacey psych instrumental and brief narrative, and ''Light Mass Prayers'' more droning music that bores me after a while. I must admit I like the flute on 'Idiot Prayer', and the killer lead break at the end, but the narrations are just intrusive and it all feels like filler material. 'Every Home is Wired' is an acoustic dreamscape with really nice vocals before these instrumentals. The album closes with a popular song 'Dark Matter' that I had heard on a live DVD prior to this.

Overall, 'Signify' is the beginning of great things for Porcupine Tree but they were yet to peak and become recognised as giants of modern prog. This album is half psych and half alt rock, but is very inconsistent. 3 stars for the great music but the masterpieces were a few years away. 



Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - October 20 2014 at 03:30
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2010 at 06:37

Part 31: Prog Poll through the years 1997

Top 15 - Here is the prog poll for definitive albums of 1997.

The list here is more experimental and one of the better 1990s lists but still not up to the standard of the 70s.

 

Coma Divine Live – Porcupine Tree

 Porcupine Tree Coma Divine Live album cover

 

The Night Watch – King Crimson

King Crimson The Night Watch  album cover

 

Keys To Ascension 2 – Yes

 

 

Unfolded  Like Staircase – Discipline

 

 

Tossco – Happy Family

 

 

Entropia – Pain of Salvation

 

 

La Masquerade Infernale – Arcturus

 

 

Huono Parturi - Hφyry-Kone

 

 Hφyry-Kone Huono Parturi album cover

Ok Computer – Radiohead

 

 

The Divine Wings Of Tragedy – Symphony X

 

 

F# A# ∞ - Godspeed You! Black Emperor

 

 

A Pleasant Shade Of Grey – Fates Warning

 

 

Subterranea – IQ

 

 

Curious Corn – Ozric Tentacles

 

 

Falling Into Infinity – Dream Theater

 

 

The results:

 

12 [10.53%]
6 [5.26%]
9 [7.89%]
5 [4.39%]
2 [1.75%]
7 [6.14%]
5 [4.39%]
6 [5.26%]
23 [20.18%]
5 [4.39%]
6 [5.26%]
4 [3.51%]
9 [7.89%]
3 [2.63%]
8 [7.02%]
4 [3.51%]

 

The Others:

 

Calling All Stations – Genesis

 

 

Koenjihyakkei – Ni

 

 

A long list was offered:

Also of note for the Other category:
Anderson, Jon    Promise Ring, The
Arcana    Arc of the Testimony
Banks, Peter    Reduction
bass communion v muslimgauze    bass communion v muslimgauze ep
Belew, Adrian    Op Zop Too Wah
Big Big Train    English Boy Wonders
Bowie, David    EART HL I NG
Brand X    Manifest Destiny
Bruford, Bill with Ralph Towner and Eddie Gomez    If Summer Had It's Ghosts
Djam Karet    Devouring, The
Gorn, Levin, Marotta    From the Caves of the Iron Mountain
Hackett, Steve    A Midsummer Night's Dream
Jackson, Joe & Friends    heaven & hell
Jarre, Jean Michel    Oxygene 7-13
Marillion    This Strange Engine
Metheny, Pat Group    Imaginary Day
no-man    lost songs: volume one
Porcupine Tree    Metatonia
Primus    Brown Album
Radiohead    Ok Computer
Stereolab    Dots and Loops
Wyatt, Robert    Shleep

 

Interesting posts:

Hawkwind's Distant Horizons, The Moor's debut disc, Eclat 3, the first DFA and Clepsydra's Fears are tremendous listens.

 

And this:

Genesis "Calling All Stations" was from this year... that may be my favorite, but I don't like it very much....

bad, bad year

And:

Maybe you just haven't heard enough albums from 1997 (or your Prog tastes are not terrribly diverse).  I think there are many albums in the RIO/Avant camp that were very good -- plus Robert Wyatt released what is, I think one of his best albums that year.

 


Any year that could produce albums of the quality of Hoyry-Kone's Huono Parturi (I still prefer the debut but that is a fine album), Robert Wyatt's Shleep, and Art Zoyd's Haxan is a good year for me.

 

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

 
My Review:

**** This is what you get.... Open up your skull

"Ok Computer" caught my attention as one of the top ten albums on a best album's TV show, and I had not known really what to expect. I always viewed Radiohead as depressing laid back stoner alt rock. They were never truly progressive in style but there is enough on here to satiate any listener into experimental and alternative rock. The vocal style never settled well with me, but I was very surprised with this album. It is full of innovation and ambition. A sprawling project from beginning to end, every song screams of techno paranoia suburbia and drug fuelled insecurity.

Of course this album boasts two of the quintessential singles, namely the powerful 'Paranoid Android', a title derived from Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"'s metal depressed ton of bolts, a classic character that is unforgettable. The song here is equally unforgettable with a terrific ending with the very familiar "Rain down, rain down, Come on rain down on me, From a great height". Yorke sings about being haunted by the "unborn chicken noises" in his head and then explains cryptically "When I am king, you will be first against the wall, With your opinion which is of no consequence at all." Interestingly the line "first against the wall" refers to the line in Adams' novel that states the androids were a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came, rather than their ad campaign 'your plastic pal who is fun to be with'. It is interesting too that this song sounds upbeat, though lyrically is despairing.

The other treasure on this is of course 'Karma Police' and when Thom Yorke bemoans, "this is what you get when you mess with us", we believe him. He always sound appropriately downbeat on this album as always, and injects a real sense of hopelessness that resonates with many listeners no doubt. The imagery is downright hypnotically conveyed with Yorke's slow measured delivery, "he talks in maths, he buzzes like a fridge", and "her Hitler hairdo is making me feel ill". Eventually Yorke cries out "I lost myself" and there is a real atmosphere of isolation and alienation in a faceless violent society of control. The song has a lot to say about the fear of police control, and the rise of power in techno society.

The opening songs drip down the speakers like honey, very slow and crawling patiently and inexorably to the images of airbag's, homesick aliens, and exit music. The creepy feeling of what it is like to be trapped is conveyed in 'Let Down', with tantalising visions of utter frailty; "crushed like a bug in the ground, shell smashed, juices flowing, wings twitch legs are going". The song evokes the emptiness inside the protagonist and his coke fuelled excesses, bleak to be sure but so powerfully executed.

The lyrics are pervasive and unsettling throughout the album. The space rock of 'Subterranean Homesick Alien', a title mimicking Dylan's blues classic, screams out anxiety nausea, "Of all these weird creatures, Who lock up their spirits, Drill holes in themselves, And live for their secrets." The song is about the desire to escape the world and all it's hardships, to figuratively allow an alien to abduct him in to the ship to be taken away forever. Those great lyrics are an incredible stab at fractured society and the lack of belonging "I wish that they'd swoop down in a country lane, Late at night when I'm driving, Take me on board their beautiful ship, Show me the world as I'd love to see it." There is even a ray of hope in these lyrics, that there is a way out of the turmoil, even if it means alien abduction. This hard line of cynicism threads throughout the whole album.

Yorke attacks everything from bogus business deals, 'Electioneering', to the cupboard monster 'Climbing Up The Walls'. The monster within the cupboard is of course the childhood nightmare, that impacts adult life in the form of paranoia and fractured personalities. The verses are desperate and a cry from the very heart of a damaged life, "I am the key to the lock in your house, That keeps your toys in the basement. And if you get too far inside, You'll only see my reflection."

The music is dynamic and sprinkled with ambience and hard blasts of heavy atmospheres. Glockenspiel blocks on blocks are heard on 'No Surprises', Pink Floyd's spacy nuances are featured on the final two tracks, and throughout, an almost subliminal droning guitar sound that is at times unearthly and sonically ethereal is heard. White noise competes with beauty and delicate embellishments of keyboard. The music is never allowed to drown out the vocals which are perhaps the best that Yorke has performed.

The booklet is a real master touch, totally cryptic and compelling; it seems to convey the dark shadows of madness and the blurry undefined decay of social corruption, and is totally open to interpretation. The album rightfully is heralded as the pinnacle of Radiohead, it will be found at the top of all time album lists, and will forever be etched into 1997 as one of the albums of the year.



Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - October 20 2014 at 04:34
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2010 at 07:18

Part 32: Prog Poll through the years 1998

Top 15 - Here is the prog poll for definitive albums of 1998.

The ordinary 1990s were farewelled with some very good albums but still a lean list to choose from in this turbulent decade for prog. Once again the emphasis was on extreme metal.

 

Absent Lovers - Live in Montreal, 1984  - King Crimson

 

Different Stages - Rush

Rush Different Stages - Live album cover

The Visitor - Arena

 

Into The Electric castle - Ayreon

 

The Sound Of Perseverance – Death

 

Alternative 4 – Anathema

 

Tyranny – Shadow Gallery

 

In Extremis – Thinking Plague

Thinking Plague In Extremis album cover 

Chaosphere – Meshuggah

Meshuggah Chaosphere album cover 

My Arms, Your Hearse – Opeth

Opeth My Arms, Your Hearse album cover

Nightfall In Middle Earth – Blind Guardian

Blind Guardian Nightfall in Middle-Earth album cover 

Symphonic Holocaust – Morte Macabre

Morte Macabre Symphonic Holocaust  album cover

Oceanborn – Nightwish

 

Liquid Tension Experiment - Liquid Tension Experiment

 

Flower Power – The Flower Kings

 

The results:

 

10 [9.52%]
15 [14.29%]
8 [7.62%]
8 [7.62%]
7 [6.67%]
6 [5.71%]
3 [2.86%]
2 [1.90%]
3 [2.86%]
5 [4.76%]
8 [7.62%]
4 [3.81%]
3 [2.86%]
10 [9.52%]
10 [9.52%]
3 [2.86%]

The Others:

 

 

Dots and Loops – Stereolab

 
 
 
Interesting posts:

Lots of great stuff : Colorstar (Heavenanicetrip) CAP (Robin delle Stelle), Mary Newsletter (Distratto del Sole), Malibran's Citta sul Lago, Lynne's The Void, Lands End- Natural Selection, Like Wendy - The Storm Inside and Eloy's Ocean II. All brilliant.

And:
 
Oddly enough I don't see a lot of titles in my collection from that year that I actually got that year:
Amos, Tori    from the choirgirl hotel
Genesis    Fox Lies Down A Tribute to Genesis (Various Artists), The
Marillion    Radiation
Pere Ubu    Pennsylvania

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 
 
Rush Different Stages - Live album cover
 
My Review:
 
***** This is the way to listen to Rush!
  

The best Rush live album is a 3 CD feast of all that is great about the power trio. The CDs are all over an hour of pure proto metal and feature a wide variety of tracks from most of the classic albums. It works as a kind of live greatest Rush tracks as this features the legendary songs that have made them so popular.

There have been other live albums of course, namely 1976 All the World's a Stage, 1981 Exit... Stage Left, and 1989 A Show of Hands but those albums are more or less promotional tools when the band were touring respective albums. Nine years later they have released this penultimate live experience and unlike previous live albums this one features a much greater range of tracks spannign all their albums. The live tracks featured are taken from classic Rush as well as the more recent at the time 1994 Counterparts and 1997 Test for Echo tours. CD 3 is a terrific nostalgic romp through the classic material performed during 1978 A Farewell to Kings tour.

There are no complaints if you are into high quality proto metal or prog. Highlights include: on CD 1 - Nobody's Hero (5:00); Closer To The Heart (5:13); 2112: (21:29) the full vesion! On Cd 2 Test For Echo (6:15); Freewill (5:36); Leave that thing alone (4:46); Natural science (8:06) - the first time I had heard this leading me to buy the actual album. On CD 3 Bastille Day (5:00); By-Tor and the snow dog (5:05); Xanadu (12:17); Farewell to kings (6:07); Cygnus X-1 (10:23); Anthem (4:39).

With all those highlights and more this is an irresistible album for the Rush addict. I rate it as high as possible as it the absolute best live record for the band thus far.

 

 


Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - October 20 2014 at 04:45
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2010 at 08:48

Part 33: Prog Poll through the years 1999

Top 15 - Here is the prog poll for definitive albums of 1999.

This list saw the end of the 1990s and ushered in the new phase of prog. The new millennium would see the rise of prog ascending to an outstanding quality and quantity unprecedented since the 1970s Golden Era.

 

Metropolis Part II: Scenes From A Memory – Dream Theater

 

Still Life – Opeth

 

Typical (Solo Performances) – Peter Hammill

 

Live In America - Pδr Lindh Project

 

BBC 1974 - Londres – Magma

 

Αgζtis Byrjun – Sigur Ros

 

Liquid Tension Experiment 2 - Liquid Tension Experiment

 

Judgement – Anathema

 

Rajaz – Camel

 

From Within - Anekdoten

 

One Hour By The Concrete Lake – Pain Of Salvation

Pain Of Salvation One Hour By The Concrete Lake album cover 

Stupid Dream - Porcupine Tree

 

The Spirit of Autumn Past – Mostly Autumn

 

Waterfall Cities – Ozric Tentacles

Ozric Tentacles Waterfall Cities  album cover 

The Ladder – Yes

 

The results:

36 [31.30%]
15 [13.04%]
2 [1.74%]
0 [0.00%]
1 [0.87%]
4 [3.48%]
4 [3.48%]
3 [2.61%]
5 [4.35%]
7 [6.09%]
1 [0.87%]
23 [20.00%]
3 [2.61%]
4 [3.48%]
3 [2.61%]
4 [3.48%]
 

The Others:

 

Bill Rieflin/Robert Fripp/Trey Gunn - The Repercussions of Angelic Behavior

 

 

Nostradamus Book Of Prophecies - Solaris 

 
 
Interesting posts:

 

Waterfall Cities by the Ozrics is pretty cool but DFA 's second , the debut  Sunscape, Tempus Fugit's Dawn After the Storm  and Solaris' Nostradamus are all mesmerizing. Plus a few others by Finisterre, Shine Dion, Colin Bass, Anima Dominum and the savvy Anekdoten 

And this:

Other:  The Fall Of The House Of Usher (Hammill)
(I know this was in the 1991 poll, but the new version is just that much better.)

A Clear Winner here:

 

AND THE WINNER IS...

 
 
 
 
My Review:
 
***** Scenes From a Memory is the Magnum Opus of Prog metal legends Dream Theater and I must admit I first heard this on the brilliant live Scenes from New York 3 CD epic. I had become quite used to the way it was played live so it was quite a surprise to hear the variations on this studio recording. The first thing I noticed was the incredible production and how clear the audio is in comparison to the live version. The transitions between songs works exceptionally well and the concept is stronger with the spoken narrative. The way the CD ends with the 'wake up' call is chilling and is an excellent denouement to the overall story.

Highlights are the wonderful Beyond This Life and the last tracks that blend together in a masterful symphonic multisuite movement.

It is definitely one of the best the band has to offer along with Images and Words, Octavarium and the amazing classic 6 Degrees of inner Turbulence. One of the best prog metal CDs you will ever hear. Deep lyrics, complex time signatures and an encapsulating concept - this is pure bliss and a must if you love progressive metal.



Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - October 20 2014 at 04:51
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 20 2010 at 07:21
I can't believe that Rajaz obtained only 5 votes Cry
Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.
My poor home recorded stuff at https://yellingxoanon.bandcamp.com
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2010 at 06:00
Anyone wants to vote on the 2000-2009 polls, do so soon as I will be closing the polls in a month or so.
 
 
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Learning to Live isn't on Scenes from a Memory...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2010 at 18:51
Originally posted by AtomicCrimsonRush AtomicCrimsonRush wrote:

Part 12: Prog Poll through the years 1978

 

Top 15 - Here is the prog poll for definitive albums of 1978.

Prog was in trouble after punk reared its ugly head and then the dreaded disco.... but still there were excellent albums and a lot of solo artists made an impact.

 

A Song For All Seasons – Renaissance

 

U.K. – U.K.

 

Heavy Horses – Jethro Tull

 

Vital - Van Der Graaf

 

Breathless – Camel

 

Tormato – Yes

 

Hemispheres – Rush

 

Wise After The Event – Anthony Phillips

 

Green - Steve Hillage

 

Please Don't Touch – Steve Hackett

 

Solar Music Live - Grobschnitt

 

Anabelas – Bubu

 

Zappa In New York – Frank Zappa

 

The Man Machine – Kraftwerk

 

The War of the Worlds – Jeff Wayne

 

 

The Results:

3 [2.78%]
13 [12.04%]
17 [15.74%]
1 [0.93%]
2 [1.85%]
4 [3.70%]
39 [36.11%]
0 [0.00%]
2 [1.85%]
3 [2.78%]
6 [5.56%]
5 [4.63%]
4 [3.70%]
1 [0.93%]
5 [4.63%]
3 [2.78%]
 

 

There were others chosen in this year for prog:

Escenes – Gotic

Weirdorje - Weirdorje
 
 

Casino - Al Di Meola

 

Of Queues and Cures - National Health

 

Manna/Mirage - The Muffins

 

Xitintoday - Nik Turner

 

 

And there was a long list posted too, among those not already listed were:

Akkerman, Jan    Live - Montreux Jazz Festival
Brand X    Masques
De Grassi, Alex    Turning: Turning Back
Dixie Dregs    What If
Eno / Moebius / Roedelius    After The Heat
Eno, Brian    Ambient 1 Music For Airports
Eno, Brian    Music for Films
Gabriel, Peter    II
Genesis    ...and then there were three...
Gong    Expresso II
Hampton, Col. Bruce    One Ruined Life Of A Bronze Tourist
Happy the Man    Crafty Hands
Joachim Kuhn Band    Sunshower
Johnson, David Earle    Time Is Free
Kansas    Two For The Show
Lloyd Webber, Andrew    Variations
Mangione, Chuck    Live at the Hollywood Bowl
Manzanara, Phil    K-Scope
Metheny, Pat    New Chataqua
Metheny, Pat Group    Pat Metheny Group
Oldfield, Mike    Incantations
Oldfield, Sally    Water Bearer
Oregon    Out of the Woods
Phillips, Anthony    Sides
Phillips, Anthony    Wise After the Event
Ponty, Jean-Luc    Cosmic Messenger
Synergy    Cords
Talking Heads    More Songs About Buildings and Food (Remaster)
Wilding/Bonus    Pleasure Signals
XTC    Go 2
Zappa, Frank    Studio Tan

 

 

Well, this was a killing as Rush simply destroyed any competition:

 

 RUSH

 
My review:
 
 ***** THE prog masterpiece of 1978; Rush present the most stunning music on the planet

"Hemispheres" is a classic album from Rush that featured one huge epic track on side 1 of the vinyl and 3 fantastic shorter tracks on side 2. The album is primarily celebrated for the awesome instrumental 'La Villa Strangiato', which may be the best instrumental ever. Both this track and 'The Trees' were featured on "Rush: Gold" a compilation I purchased to taste what this band everyone is talking about actually sounds like. Of course, I ended up getting the entire Rush catalogue, but these two tracks intrigued me enough on first listen to warrant grabbing this album eventually, one of the last Rush purchases in fact for me. I was unaware of how extraordinary the other 2 tracks were so this sealed the deal for me; this album is an astonishing masterpiece.

It starts with the 18 minute multi movement suite 'Cygnus X-1 Book II' the sequel to the track on "A Farewell to Kings". I enjoyed the first part to this, with it's spacey resonance and conceptual framework so I hoped this second part would justify its existence. I was not disappointed. It begins with the crunching chords and odd time sig of Lifeson and Peart. Lee's vocals soon enter the fray and the song sets sail for one of the best epics I have heard. Rush know how to structure an epic, '2112' is a prime example, but this epic has an incredible melody, crystalline vocals and very tight musicianship throughout. The lyrics of 'Prelude' are fantastic; "when our weary world was young, the struggle of the Ancients first began, The gods of love and reason, Sought alone to rule the fate of man."

There is a break at 4:30 to herald the next section 'Apollo: Bringer of Wisdom'. Lee's voice is strong as he belts out the new melody, "I bring truth and understanding, I bring wit and wisdom fair, Precious gifts beyond compare, We can build a world of wonder, I can make you all aware, I will find you food and shelter, Show you fire to keep you warm, Through the endless winter storm, You can live in grace and comfort, In the world that you transform." The track has a strong melody that always gives me the chills. When the chorus builds up to a crescendo another melody begins that is perhaps the best section on the entire epic. Lee has an amazing voice and his high vocals are incomparable as he sings with passion and conviction, "The people were delighted, Coming forth to claim their prize, They ran to build their cities, And converse among the wise, But one day the streets fell silent, Yet they knew not what was wrong, The urge to build these fine things, Seemed not to be so strong, The wise men were consulted, And the Bridge of Death was crossed." The thematic content is all based of course on the Greek god mythology and each god addresses what they can bring to the protagonist who searches for meaning. At 6:50 'Dionysus Bringer of Love' begins, the same melody as previous though more subdued with some beautiful guitar picking. It builds to the riff and Lee returns to the chorus section; "the cities were abandoned, and the forests echoed song, They danced and lived as brothers, They knew love could not be wrong, Food and wine they had aplenty, And they slept beneath the stars...".

'Armageddon The Battle of Heart and Mind' section 4 begins at 9:08; a new time sig change entirely, though the same chords are heard. The awesome lead break is a real feature that is phased out and spacey. On this new ascending and descending riff Lee's vocals are more aggressive with a delay effect, "The universe divided, As the heart and mind collided, With the people left unguided, For so many troubled years, In a cloud of doubts and fears, Their world was torn asunder into hollow Hemispheres." The poetic pentameter works perfectly and there is a powerful effect on the sense as we are treated to one riff after another.

At 12:08 the music settles and there is an ethereal ambience when the keyboard pads begin, and the next section is titled 'Cygnus, Bringer of Balance'. It is reminiscent of the spaceyness of the prequel to this track. The atmosphere is definitely one of melancholy tranquillity but the lyrics are unsettling in this section speaking of "a disembodied spirit, I am dead and yet unborn..." It builds and Lee's voice becomes higher and more forceful on; "Then all at once the chaos ceased, A stillness fell, a sudden peace, The warriors felt my silent cry, And stayed their struggle, mystified." This is followed by some divine passages of guitar and then a very soft, gentle calmness is created with minimalist guitar, effectively massaging the senses after the onslaught of power riffing.

At 16:54 the new section begins, a much more moderate Lee with acoustic guitar and sustained keyboard pads. The lyrics are reflective on the chaos that has gone on before on 'The Sphere: A Kind Of Dream'; "We can walk our road together, If our goals are all the same, We can run alone and free, If we pursue a different aim, Let the truth of love be lighted, Let the love of truth shine clear, Sensibility, armed with sense and liberty, With the heart and mind united in a single Perfect Sphere." The ending is abrupt and tends to leave the track up in the air, though there was no sequel to this. I think this track is a bonafide masterpiece.

'Circumstances' has a great chorus with a strong melody and very high vocals; "all the same we take our chances, Laughed at by time, tricked by circumstances, Plus ca change, Plus c'est la meme chose, The more that things change, The more they stay the same..." The chord progression is heavy and the time sig is unusual at times. This track really kicks hard and the live performances I have heard or seen lift the crowd every time. It is genuinely uplifting music with a simplified straight forward power riff. The lead break seems to blend in rather than become a showcase for Lifeson. Another excellent track due to the memorable melody and killer riffs.

I was never a fan of 'The Trees' on the compilation that was sandwiched between two classic tracks, but it tends to work better on this album as it allows breathing space between the hard rocking content of the other tracks. The trees could be an anthem for Greenpeace or other conservationist groups as it really hammers the message about saving the trees from their point of view, if you don't mind. The lyrics are very strange; "So the maples formed a union, And demanded equal rights, 'The oaks are just too greedy, We will make them give us light', Now there's no more oak oppression, For they passed a noble law, And the trees are all kept equal, By hatchet, axe and saw." It may be an allegory for civil war but more likely this is a message from rush to look after the planet, a similar stance to the music of Yes in this regard. The track begins slowly with a sad atmosphere and it eventually builds to a dynamic instrumental break, with innovative riffing and time sigs. The melody is once again endearing and grows on you on each listen. This is the weakest track on the album but is not enough to detract it as it still has some great moments on it. The film clip on the latest Rush DVD is very good too by the way featuring a humorous look at trees versus man; ironic and wonderful.

The last track is the incredible instrumental 'La Villa Strangiato' that begins with Spanish flavoured acoustic and then a synthesizer booms in and soon it locks into the fabulous 5 chord synth riff that every Rush fan knows. I saw this on the "Live in Rio" and every one in the crowd was roaring the tune out as the band played in perfect sync. The instrumental is a definitive masterpiece with so much to recommend it. The bassline is wonderful that keeps up with the loud guitar of Lifeson. His lead motifs on this are well executed and stay in the memory long after the music is over. Rather than a filler, this instrumental becomes the highlight of the album and this is unusual. The violining that is heard is dreamy and haunting, and then an absolutely soaring lead solo follows, one of Lifeson's best. He rips it out with fret melting elegance, and then an enchanting riff locks in while a two chord synth progression is layered underneath. The time sig then changes with a passage of lead and then bass solos. There are fantastic drum fills in this too with a lot of jazzy cymbal work. The time sig returns to the original though it is fractured as Lifeson blasts out another brilliant lead solo. Then a back breaking chord structure is crunched out, the bassline is divine here, and it settles into a slow paced bluesy metrical pattern. The main lead motif returns and then the intro section is reprised with the same finesses as heard earlier. After 9 and a half minutes it draws to a close. What an amazing piece of music; stunning virtuoso excellence.

How does one conclude after hearing 4 incredible tracks. This is a masterpiece of prog. Perhaps the best prog album of 1978. In a year when punk had already reared its ugly head and dance-oriented disco was soon to take over and systematically kill all things progressive for a season, Rush produced this music, despite what everybody else was doing. They refused to sell out to mainstream commercialism in the late 70s, and in fact their music was more progressive than ever on this release. You have to give them credit for that and you have to identify a masterpiece when you hear it, and this is it.

"Xitintoday" by Nik Turner is much more original than "Hemispheres", which does not really offer anything new. unfortunately it has the disadvantage that hardly anyone knows it because it was not available for over 25 years. however, here it is in all its glory; listen to it for yourselves:












A shot of me as High Priestess of Gaia during our fall festival. Ceterum censeo principiis obsta
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 24 2010 at 07:27
Originally posted by Nathaniel607 Nathaniel607 wrote:

Learning to Live isn't on Scenes from a Memory...
Wow, nobody else noticed that! Thanks it was meant to be:
 
 

Highlights are the wonderful Beyond This Life and the last tracks that blend together in a masterful symphonic multisuite movement.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2010 at 20:28
Hi,
 
Here is my own review of this and I took the liberty of using the original review as a spring board. Thx Atomic. I just posted this and I might add some others ... while also adding a copy of this to my website ... hope you guys like it ... I might take a couple of other albums in these lists ... just noticed that some line breaks were missing ... I'll check the review as well.

"In the Court of the Crimson King" was the first album by the group "King Crimson". When it first appeared it was quite a shock to many listeners, similar to The Beatles White Album, which defied description and challenged your perception of music and where you stood, or thought you understood these things. Somehow, at the time, not many people thought as much about "pop music", or gave it some credit for literacy, which is usually not associated with popular top ten songs in Billboard or Top of the Pops.

As the years have passed, and it is now 2010, this album gets a lot more reviews and comments than The Beatles' White Album and I think this is well deserved. That is not to say that The Beatles had lost their touch, they had not, and their last album was the next one voted in this particular list of albums. Abbey Road, however, was not the "anti- topofthepops" that "The White Album" had been and indeed, it appears that the fracture in the band had already caused issues and prevented the music from being better, or at least from just being a bunch of songs, and every member on their own trip, which is very clear in both of those albums, and the album "Let It Be".

Like many of the more outlandish rock bands in those days, this King Crimson album featured a lot of things ... and the small list added above is a very good example of some of the things found in the album ... however, one should appreciate the fact that many of these had been happening for some time in many other artist's repertoire ... with one exception ... you did not see them all in the same album!

So, in this album you will find a lot of weird things, jagged guitar licks, weird drum time signatures, massive keyboard sounds, and specially with a mellotron. As for influences, this would be a bit harder to define ... one could say that this piece appears to be towards jazz, this one towards rock, but how do you define this other piece and that other piece?

But there are some things that tell you that this whole album is done by people that have a conscience and an attitude. It may not be quite as visible or as important today (2010) since we have nothing to fight for anymore, but let's start with the very first piece on the album.

21st Century Schizoid Man

The harsh guitar attack right at the front of it all, leads the way ... and singer Greg Lake lets you have it ... ...
 
At paranoia's poison door
Twenty first century schizoid man.
 ...
Blood rack barbed wire
Politicians' funeral pyre
Innocents raped with napalm fire
Twenty first century schizoid man.
...
Death seed blind man's greed
Poets' starving children bleed
Nothing he's got he really needs
Twenty first century schizoid man.

It doesn't take any smarts to realize the socio-political commentary of this whole thing. From VietNam (Napalm fire reference) to Oil to politician's funeral pyre (IRA conflict) ... and the guitar attack right out front.

I've always thought that the guitar licks were almost the same thing as the images that you saw on the TV, and the brutal violence of it all, and the point, TO ME, was ... what are you going to do about it? It was not about it being "progressive" or anything else. It was about your own conscience and your ability and desire to take action and help change the insanity in this world ... the 21st Century Schizoid Man was the maniac that you saw with guns in their hand ... because he wanted the oil and the money it could bring ... ohh, by the way, have things changed much? ... and you can see the importance of something like this is likely to last out a lot more than ... a lot of other music out there.

Greg Lake's voice, is as important here as the album itself ... why? There is a screaming/shouting/and cynical/satirical edge that helps make the point, where a regular singer would not sound as important or create such a strong impact. It's hard to think of this song as just guitar, saxophone and breaks and time changes ... without the lyrics spoken in the right spot, the ability to accentuate a meaning dries up ... and that is not something that happens in this whole album. More on this later.

I Talk to the Wind

More of a folk song than anything else, with soft vocals by Greg Lake, and the woodwinds by Ian McDonald ... and it is one of those pieces that stands out, more because of the contrast to the opening piece than anything else, but unlike most rock bands or conventional and popular music bands, these lyrics are a continuation of the 1st piece. Check this out:

... I'm on the outside looking inside

What do I see Much confusion,
disillusion All around me.
...
I talk to the wind
My words are all carried away
I talk to the wind
The wind does not hear
The wind cannot hear.

It's actually a very sad song, because it KNOWS that it has a voice and an opinion and wants to help create change ... but no one listens or cares? ... actually one could say that the wind is at fault since it carries your words and does not bring the meaning in to you ... or you would hear it! And, know it! I'm particular to that thought and feeling ... because too much that is said is often ignored and not appreciated or (as is the case here in the board) understood, and quite often you get a group of people that are ... quite simply ... not interested at all.

Epitath

 The next song, if not one of the most important of the album, is without a doubt one of the prettiest things ever done in rock music anywhere. And it is a massive eulogy to the many innocent vitims of corruption and wars that mean absolutely so little to most people, except those that wish to take advantage of whatever natural resourses in some form. With a stunning opening scene that is better than almost any movie ever made, and the best imagery that any literature can offer ... or the prettiest painting you ever saw ... that gave you ugliness, such a perfect image to illustrate so much of the 20th century and its wars ...

The wall on which the prophets wrote

 Is cracking at the seams.
Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams.
When every man is torn apart
With nightmares and with dreams,
Will no one lay the laurel wreath
As silence drowns the screams.
 
... (and then it closes with)

... Confusion will be my epitaph.

As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back and laugh.
But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying,
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying. ...

There is no such emotion, and amazing imagery, in most lyrics and music anywhere.

Most of the rock lyrics hope to tell you a story with insipid lyrics and ideas that are trying to make any band come off as relevant, and in the end, it is vacuous and not important ... it's just trying to make sense and sound important ... but it rarely can reach the heights and level that these lyrics and poetry can.

The larger special point to be made here is how it is sung. Greg Lake is NOT an average singer, and in fact, I like to joke that he can't sing at all. But when it comes to "acting" and "accentuating" words and moments, there are not many in the music business that are any better than what his work examples have done. In a business where we worry about tenor, baritone and rock singer and whatever else description we can give it, in the end, we can see why so many people that love rock music do not enjoy a lot of classical materials, like Opera ... can you imagine a Greg Lake singing in Turandot? ... oh my gawd ... she would die after the first set of words. Can you imagine Greg Lake as Siegfried challenging the Gods? ... yeah ... it's very different from a song about some bitch or some girl that left you behind!

With one of the prettiest sounding mixes of keyboards, mellotron this song stands out as an anthem for the ages, and the kind that will be remembered for a long time to come. It is the ultimate conscientious objector Anthem, and stands out like Jimi's American Anthem at Woodstock or Toni McPhee's endearing version of Amazing Grace prior to that. If there is a God, or a theme, or a heart ... you won't find many out there that even come close.

Lyrics, regardless of where they come from can make or break something. Poems can kill, or lead people to war. But pure heart and soul, is hard to ignore. And it has been with us for hundreds of years in many forms and idioms, and this is one of the finest examples of what poetry and music can do ... it's not just the lyrics ... it's everything else wrapped up in one.

Moonchild

... She's a moonchild
Gathering the flowers in a garden.
Lovely moonchild
Drifting on the echoes of the hours. ...

Like the soft piece before it (I Talk To The Wind), this one comes and goes, and you don't know what to make of it. Sometimes, when I hear this, I think of the "hippie" thing and ideal that led to many communes and pictures of women dressed up as angels and other rather insulting images for the male ego. But the image sticks. The song lingers. The loveliness of the woman lingers. Your experience lingers. But sadly what could be considered one of the inspirations for those days got lost in the abuse of drugs, sex, and many other indulgences. We lost sight of the vision and everything that it meant ...

 
There is an interesting story and corolary here. Aleister Crowley wrote a novel called "Moonchild" ... and like his other novel, "Diary of a Drug Fiend" these are both outstanding works ... and Moonchild was the story of a girl that was ... and you have to read it for yourself.
 
A lot can be said about the improvisations and the images that helped create some of that work, that appear to be just some meanderings in music with little attention to anything else. Things like Moonchild come off like they were what is called in theater "guided explorations" which are often done in very advanced acting classes and these usually end up defining the difference between the "boys and the men" and the "women from the girls", the words taken with lots of salt and sugar of course. The point is that you see something on a screen, let's say, and the visual shows a girl picking up flowers and you would play what comes to mind to fit the mood of the film ... very much as if it were a soundtrack for the visual. This is something that some people can stand, when you close your eyes and allow the images to flow with the music or the lyrics. The problem is that there are many folks that are not capable of doing that and they "have to be told" by the lyrics what it is all about ... and when that happens the Shelley'esque poetry goes right out the door and is not understood or appreciated.

Not all improvisations are just meanderings into nothing and back. Theater and film actoing schools (the advanced ones not the rest) use a lot more exercises that help you develop that "inner" character in order for the performance to get stronger. All the major groups across the world live by similar processes and that is the main reason why they are so well known. There is no reason to believe that musicians are not intelligent enough to not want to experiment and learn something else about what they do ... with the exception of the rock music ego, that thinks that the world can not experiment or try different things that are not "music". Actually the same thing happens in academic circles.

The results in these things vary. In general, for most acting exercises, it is the directors' calls and changes and little things thrown here and there that cause the process to change and each character (in this case instrument) have to update itself and adjust to the feeling at hand, and this is something that most "prog" drummers can not do when all they are concerned with is "time" ... and in the picture that you are "coloring" the time changes ... and you are not changing it? ... or adjusting?

The Court of the Crimson King

This is the last song in the album and it is a long one with massive layers of keyboards and mellotron like the song before (Epitath). And while I, personally, do not think that this is a massive anthem like 2 other songs in this album, it still stands out ... but for another reason. The lyrics.

It's hard not to appreciate the cynic here and the view from the "Fool's" eyes. In essence the whole thing is like saying that in the end we're nothing but puppets on a string in a much bigger court ... it's a wonderful analogy for the state of affairs politically and philosophically and what the 20th century had become ... ideas don't matter any more and no one cares any more and business interests run a muck and do what they want and convince you along the way they are funny and witty ... and you cry and scream fighting for these ideals and die for them sometimes.

Someone had a thread on one board on how evil this was. It is not evil. It is just like any other story about the King and the Fool and everything else around them ... and how one manipulates the others, and in the end, all that is left is a song, a few words, a poem ... and even them it doesn't mean much ... specially when today, we're talking 2010, this album is discussed as a major work in "progressive rock" and the rest of the artistic concept and design is totally left behind.

This is much more than a "progressive rock" album and that concept is nothing compared to the importance of the album itself, not only to the time and day when it came out, but today, in September 2010 and any time after today ... it's still important. And it stands up because both the mucis and the lyrics are so direct and such a strong screen shot of a day and age and time that we want to remember the music, but not what it created, including the hurt, the anger, the wars, the bombings, nameless acts ... that were all shown on your television in that day and age.

Few albums have that much importance! And this album deserves the credit for one of the most intelligent and defining moment of my generation, people that I am proud to stand up for because they meant a lot more than some other ideas and concepts that were simply defined by advertising and social belief!

But you must choose ... if you like to have your strings pulled, or if you want to be the player. I side with the artist and the player.

... The yellow jester does not play

But gently pulls the strings
And smiles as the puppets dance
In the court of the crimson king.

Lastly, is the discussion into what became known as "progressive music" many years later.

I, personally, do not think that when you have your center in the right place and you know what you believe in and what you want to try and what you want to accomplish with your art ... that a whole new world reaches out to you. That world is one that is unknown to many folks and even scary for 95% of all the musicians out there. Why? ... how do you keep track of everything and stay together ... the answer my friend, lies in the wind ... and not the drum beat ... and what that tells you is that the musician and person that is asking the question is not listening to that wind! ... and that is what "I talk in the Wind" and "Moonchild" are so important to this album ... trying to help you see ... but sadly all we can think of is some kind of improvisational this or that which makes it some kind of fusion that we can't define, and it takes away from the music itself, the moment and ... most importantly its very soul.

Music, is about "expression" ... and very few musicians are talented enough to know the difference between notes and scales and art. One you can listen and call "progressive" or "prog". The other you live and die with and love every minute of it.

The opening song itself is about "megalomania" if you will with a political edge ... but in other ways it was also an attack on a lot of music at the time that was noisy, loud and did not have a whole lot of strength behind it. To me, that is also an important edge in this album ... that "noise" and "loud" can also be good and important, not just a Rolling Stones concert, which was usually too loud ... and often out of tune too! And it's hard to separate that megalomania and "star" think in the history of rock music ... even if the progressive contingent wants to separate itself from the over blown "stars" of rock music ... and in the end create another group of stars .... progressive is a lot less about the individual than it is about the music, and this is one thing that we tend to forget, and must understand first of all.

It is important for us to realize that a lot of "progressive" music came out of a lot of experimentation and improvisation and that a lot of the music was cleaned up and then lyrics added. It might be said that sometimes the lyrics were there and then the music was added and that is definitly a possibility when you are looking at lyrics in this album by Pete Sinfield. Although not a major poet at the time, what he did write was solid enough to give him some credit for his work, and all it took was one group of musicians that had enough respect for some wonderful words ... to be able to find some music that fit the whole thing beautifully ... and you can't say that about The Beatles or anyone else! At least you will have a hard time listing these in one finger.

This album is not, for me, the best of them all, in terms of the top of the progressive list, but it certainly is one of the top ten albums and a definite must listen. However, this is not a good listen, in general, for today's (2010) audience of metal and prog and some other genre's that are quite meaningless when placed next to something like this. You either appreciate a time and a place and its music ... or you simply are not someone that enjoys music ... for music, in the end, is not about jagged pills or mellotrons or synthesizers ... it's about the very heart that created what it did ... and this album is by far one of the very best ever in that area. Few albums can stand up to that kind of strength, unity, design and above all .. BEAUTY!

... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2010 at 07:26
Great review here moshkito - very well thought out, collated and reflected upon.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2010 at 15:50
Originally posted by AtomicCrimsonRush AtomicCrimsonRush wrote:

Great review here moshkito - very well thought out, collated and reflected upon.
 
Thx so kindly for the nice words.
 
I'll try to add more as time allows, and the German and French scene is the one I want to go after more than anything else ... but, it really scares me to write some of these things, since I came with "all the arts" and was in theater and film along with music. And being in a literature house (45k books of portuguese, spanish and brazilian literature) ... should give you a pretty big idea of where I come from when I am writing these things.  And some of the comments I get in this board ... is scary at times ... like history is not important and that we're old codgers that don't know music!
 
I am passionate about the "quotidian" studies of these things. Most music doesn't make sense on its own out in the middle of the universe right by Pluto in the 24 1/2 century! But when you place the White Album next to London at the time, or KC, or Pink Floyd and Soft Machine ... and check out that one movie that has so little and yet has so much in it ... all the names ... and the artists ... all the writers ... and ... the music ... and Robert Wyatt standing up and doing an ABC in the middle of all that "cavalry" ... could almost be considered "insolence" ... but the open'ess of the time and the arts involved made other points about the music that we dismiss ... like we take "jazz" too seriously?
 
A million bands would love to have the guts ... to be relevant and make a name for themselves in art history ... but only those that stand up to be counted will ever be remembered ... and this is the legacy of "progressive" music ...  and the larger part that we miss and need to add to make this music more important and visible.


Edited by moshkito - September 09 2010 at 15:52
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2010 at 16:31
Originally posted by AtomicCrimsonRush AtomicCrimsonRush wrote:

 

 The results:
13 [12.87%]
7 [6.93%]
8 [7.92%]
21 [20.79%]
2 [1.98%]
1 [0.99%]
2 [1.98%]
2 [1.98%]
6 [5.94%]
3 [2.97%]
5 [4.95%]
2 [1.98%]
3 [2.97%]
17 [16.83%]
7 [6.93%]
2 [1.98%]

1967 for me ... was a very rough year.
 
What helped me make through it was ... you guessed it ... music!
 
Madison, Wisconsin! Small city with big university with 50k students ... that take over for 9 months out of the year. The city jumps and dances and is active like crazy and has so many arts and music coming and going ... never stops! And the albums at the time I had were, Beatles (of course), Rolling Stones (stopped after Exile), Moody Blues (I guess this was the poetic version of music then for me!), Jimi Hendrix and Arthur Brown and Jefferson Airplane and Doors. And of course ... Creedence!  So let's play Foreign Son and Epitath back to back shall we? ... ohhh add Jimi and the anthem right after it and then Toni's Amazing Grace! ... and if we're bored, Willie Nelson's right behind it!
 
Of all these albums, I would agree that The Beatles was the best known and certainly the most ... outrageous thing out there ... that really got people's motors running ... because it was so different ... and since it sold gigantic, radio had to play it. And as soon as it did, you immediately heard about the White Rabbit, and the one about the Lighting the Fire, and the one on Purple Haze ... which btw was not the original hit ... Foxy Lady was because too many people thought that a drug reference was bad!!!!! .... and the odd one was the God of Hell Fire! I also had heard Jethro Tull but it was not on the radio ... it was at a party where everyone was very ripped and it was there that I also heard Fairport Convention and Pentangle.
 
It was a time when ... it was cool and far out to listen to new things and no one sat there tripping on "prog" or "jazz" or "rock'n'roll" ... people appreciated the music and a lot of the words that were used for the lyrics.
 
Looking back in time, I agree that The Beatles are the biggest of the albums and most important ... it blew out the tires in popular radio and opened the waves to new music ... that otherwise would have had a very hard time being heard. Not to mention that one big song out there was out right about tripping ... Purple Haze!
 
To me, when things like Vanilla Fudge and Deep Purple got there, it was already a come down from the quality of the music. It was more unabashed rock music and less "art" in my book, and I have never thought that these bands were important and one would be hard pressed to match any DP lyric next to Epitath ... and try to find any relevancy in between ... it simply was not that important and was more loud instrument bashing (at the time Deep Purple were known to be one of the loudest out there) ... which turned me off completely since when you listened to almost any of these albums above, with the exception of one of them, the fidelity and quality of the work did not require "loudness" ... but ... it made your ears ring when you were ripped and that had the effect fo rmaking you think that the trip was even better!
 
(more later - I'm at work)
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 17 2010 at 23:15
AtomicCrimsonRush.....you are my hero!! I have read this blog probably 4-5x but this is my first post here. It is eye opening to see how the voting has gone, you certainly get a pretty good feel of who the main prog artists are. Not only from a popularity stand point, but as you have pointed out in your reviews from a musical, lyrical and stylistic point of view.
I'm 46 and certainly can relate to all the "changes" in prog since the mid 70's. Some of the years you can feel the prog mood just disappearing in general...but then there are a few bands that did an amazing job of keeping the prog flame burning.....and still today are putting out some amazing material.
I have tried to keep an open mind in the blog, and because of that I really have no critique of your work.....Its well done, well thought out and complete...in my mind.
Look forward to more........fantastic job!!!!
 
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Joined: January 04 2007
Location: Grok City
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2010 at 18:37

Hi,

There is only one problem with all that stuff that Atomic posted ... the SOB has now fatten'd my list from 110 albums to 435 albums ... and I have no idea how the fudges I can afford all that or when I'll be able to listen to half of that!
 
And I'm not a "song" listener ... I have to hear the whole album! .... so things like youtube is crap for me!
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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