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Cherry Five - Cherry Five CD (album) cover


Cherry Five


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.91 | 185 ratings

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4 stars Another example of how prog had become, by the middle 1970s, more than simply a trend or even a "movement". It was by any fair estimation the preeminent direction and sound of modern rock music, which is to say not simply new versions of what the Beatles had already done, but rather a ridiculously, even dangerously ambitious quest to stretch the rock 'n roll format to the point of near collapse. Thank God for punk, some would say, for having saved true rock from these ill-suited and pompous players. But it was too late to deny the deep and almost overnight impact ELP and Yes and Genesis and anyone else with the balls to follow those guys had on almost everybody. By 1975, Prog had become more than widely attractive, it had taken on the inescapable gravity of a black hole.

Of course it was all over as fast as it had emerged and most 'prog artists' flew from the genre faster than a spooked monkey, looking ashamed at their embarrassing, indulgent past and running toward the clipped gleam of the New Rock. The Cherry Five project is an ideal example of the peak of that prog era ~ The Grand Age, if you will ~ with three members of this Italian unit going on to create the more modern and cinematic Goblin who in turn would influence everyone from John Carpenter to Zombi. But it is here that us shameless prog trainspotters get to have our taste of this group at a hungrier and less polished stage, as on eight-minute 'Country Graveyard', oozing with classic Anglophonic instrumentation and vocal arrangements, jazzy grooves, swing, and smoky Hammond leads. A bracing first cut. Familiar 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' shows the Yes influence and is quite good though 'The Swan is a Murderer' part 1 & 2 falters a bit as it thuds along. 'Oliver' on the other hand is a treat with an expansive bass ground, sweet keyboard breaks and an acrobatic performance packed with changes; a great moment for this quintet and worth the price alone, and we end on trippy 'My Little Cloud Land'.

Cherry Five is right up there with all the other guys that, for an all too short moment in popular music, let their hair down in a way never envisioned for the adolescent and untrained rock 'n roll style, and their original album is a must for any fans who love not just the chart-topping prog, but also Greenslade, Yezda Urfa, England, Cathedral, and all the other quiet masters who, luckily for us, left behind a small sample of how to make the impossible possible.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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