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Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 679 ratings

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Cylli Kat (0fficial)
5 stars Reaching for the light at the slightest noise from the floor Now your hands perspire, heart goes leaping at a knock from the door

In the Dead of Night...

U.K. 1978 Eponymous

This just may be my all-time favorite, & perhaps the most influential to my musicianship album ever.

My words are never going to do this album justice...

After being raised on a steady diet of The Beatles, Yes, Zep, King Crimson, Rush, KISS (etc.) and oddly enough, Amplitude Modulation radio (pop music), along comes this extremely streamlined, balanced progressive record that ever continues to amaze me.

From the first note, you get the impression that this is serious business: Holdsworth & Wetton opening with staccato, Jobson playing descending & ascending diads over that, Bruford mumbling in with kick, cymbals, and then THE SNARE and the Roto-Toms!!!

Oh wow, an adventure has begun... From the opening of the streamlined In the Dead of Night (Suite) to the closer Mental Medication with Mr. Holdsworth's overwhelming, landscape altering guitar solos and clever chord constructions and modulations, Bruford's absolute command of the kit drums (and accoutrements), the violin and keyboard virtuosity of Jobson (including his newly acquired Yamaha CS80 polyphonic synthesizer), and the underrated bass playing and impassioned vocals of Wetton, this was indeed a super-group. That this record even happened is amazing to me.

I thoroughly stink at giving song by song reviews. I'm forced to try to use words to describe sounds and their combinations in pitch, volume, structure, timbre, timing, etc.(although oddly, I apparently did it when teaching guitar. Hmmmm...), and that is very difficult for me. I can farble on about the music theory, the execution of the performances, production, etc., but that somehow only tells you how it's made, not what the ingredients added up to. The reference points that are relevant to me might not be the things you hear and/or are meaningful to you. For example; I adore the interplay of Jobson and Holdsworth in the song Nevermore, you might not get the same charge from it that I do...

Besides, so many other reviewers with incredible erudition have done some exceptionally well-detailed song by song reviews. I can only point you in the direction if you want a thumbnail sketch and/or if you're at all interested in why this record means something to me... And in that respect, this album was truly a life altering experience!

Without doubt, wholeheartedly, most highly recommended, an absolute masterpiece and a 5+ Star rating.

As always, your actual mileage may vary...

Grace and peace to you all, Cylli Kat (Jim Calistro)

Postscript: If you're at all interested in some of the reasons why this record means something to me read on. If not, there's another review directly below this one (which I guarantee will be far more edifying and interesting than this one) that you can move on to!

After countless hours (adding up to years) of hammering out Rush (Alex Lifeson), Al DiMeola, Edward Van Halen, Be Bop Deluxe (Bill Nelson), Jimi Hendrix, Yes (Steve Howe), Roxy Music/801 (Phil Manzanera) Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page) and countless other influential album guitar parts, along comes this monster from another world that re-defined (to me) the role of a guitarist in a quality band. And as a guitarist, period.

Years of learning to alternate and economy pick impossibly speedy licks ("If it ain't picked, it ain't been played properly") began immediately to give way to incorporating this lovely legato phrasing. And more than this, trying to imitate Allan Holdsworth's perfect use of the vibrato bar. (Yes folks, that wacky wiggle-stick on your guitar is a vibrato, NOT a tremelo. - Vibrato controls pitch, tremelo controls volume).

The Maestro schooled this snot-nosed punk, and then some... I will miss the genius of Allan Holdsworth, and truly count myself blessed to have even heard of him much less heard him. Without doubt, my greatest guitar influence. ...So says the has-been guitar hero...

Cylli Kat (0fficial) | 5/5 |


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