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Carmen - Dancing on a Cold Wind CD (album) cover

DANCING ON A COLD WIND

Carmen

 

Prog Folk

3.71 | 72 ratings

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Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I found this LP in a $1 bin at a local Eugene, Oregon record store, an original UK pressing on Regal Zonophone (unlike Fandangos in Space, this was never released in the States). Basically, much of the stuff in that bin being frequent thrift store staples: easy listening, '70s singer songwriters, and AOR acts. So it's a trip to see a Carmen LP sitting next to a bunch of James Taylor, America, Captain & Tennille, Dan Fogelberg and Linda Ronstadt LPs. I wondered why it was being sold for so cheap? The disc don't look warped. Side two did feature this unsightly fingernail scratch, so they thought they'd never sell it for going price. I brought it home and the darn LP plays at Near Mint, even that scratch you can barely notice it, if at all (I was expecting loud pops or even skips, given I only spent $1 and pleasantly surprised that didn't happen). The cover is inspired by a pack of Gitanes cigarettes. Funny how their labelmates Procol Harum had a cigarette pack spoofed on one of their albums, A Salty Dog spoofing Player's Navy Cut.

Being familiar with Fandangos in Space, it's really no surprise the music on Dancing on a Cold Wind is in a similar vein. Same unmistakable blend of flamenco and prog. The foot dancing from Roberto Aramal and Angela Allen really sounds great on this disc. I wasn't expecting John Glascock to crank up the bass to give it a full fuzz effect like he did on the opening cut, "Viva mi Sevilla". It's almost as if Jannick Top of Magma stepped in. Regardless, it's instantly recognizable as Carmen, even a revisit of "Bulerias" from Fandangos in Space is quoted. Angela Allen is one of the very few female Mellotron players out there (the other being Virginia Scott of Beggars Opera who put one to great use on Waters of Change, but not Keiko Kumagai of Ars Nova as she used early tron samples). Side two is taken up with a suite, which is clearly the most ambitious thing they ever did. There's even a brief flirtation with medieval music, but that's because Tony Visconti played recorder on that part (as he did with Gentle Giant and even David Bowie). Still a very good record, but it may be a notch below Fandangos only because it doesn't quite match that album's intensity, while there are some intense parts, there are more calm and relaxed parts. Finally glad to own the second Carmen album. So I'm with popular opinion: a notch below Fandangos but still worth it if you dig what this band does.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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