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The Greatest Show On Earth - Horizons CD (album) cover

HORIZONS

The Greatest Show On Earth

 

Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 86 ratings

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ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Might this be The Greatest Show On Earth?

I'm always in for records from around 1970, which was a milestone for rock music and one of the first years of true progressive rock. So, I was naturally quite inquisitive to hear what was the deal with The Greatest Show On Earth - a group of which I had heard many times before, but had never heard any music of. I set my expectations high (no, not because of the band's name) after reading many positive reviews by other members. So, I had to have a listen.

The sound of "Horizons", Greatest Show's debut release brings many bands to mind. Brass rock influences, very much in vein of Blood, Sweat & Tears or If strike immediately. Colosseum-esque jazz rock parts are also present. Elements of so-called proto-prog appear from time to time. Most notably on a track "Horizons", where a theme from Bach's "Fugue in D Minor" resolves into song's main progression. Despite all that, this album is kept in a rather psychedelic fashion. Numerous folk hints, somewhat reminiscent of The Incredible String Band as well as screaming fuzzed-out guitar - these are all a legacy of a psychedelic generation.

Mick Deacon, Greatest Show's keyboardist gives the group a very interesting feel. Clearly inspired by soul and jazz organ methods as well as many of his contemporaries - Ken Hensley, Jon Lord or Dave Greenslade. Norman Watt-Roy, the bass player lays down some superb grooves, while his brother Garth and Colin Horton-Jennings (both being guitarists) provide very pleasing harmony vocals.

The pieces on this work are quite diverse. One might be a folk ballad, while the next will be an up-beat tempo, organ-driven jazz-rocker. The diversity of the album is its real atribute. Songs can go from gentle folk ballads to organ-driven jazz-rockers one after another. Regardless of the style, they are all equally entartaining, seldom exposing band's weaknesses. The best track on the album I consider to be "Horizons", the title track. A 14-minute piece goes through most enjoyable elements of the album the album - a stellar flute solo, wild fuzzed-out guitar, great organ playing and an equally entartaining bass-line. It even features a brief drum solo! This is generally the most "progressive" track of this release.

Overall, The Greatest Show On Earth presents an original style with great musicianship and a wide plethora of influences. "Horizons" will make a great addition to a collection of every prog rock fan, especially a proto prog or even a heavy prog enthusiast. Perhaps not The Greatest Show On Earth, but definitely a very good one and well worth your listen.

ALotOfBottle | 4/5 |

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