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The Collectors - The Collectors CD (album) cover


The Collectors



4.17 | 50 ratings

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5 stars One of the many vinyl records in my collection I bought in a second hand record store for a few guilders, back in the early eighties. Somehow I knew that it was a very special one - I can't tell if it was because I read a few lines about it or by intuition. Anyway, I was far from disappointed when I gave it a spin. The verso side of the well-designed cover promised "New vibrations from Canada!" and these are good vibrations indeed! The vocal arrangements can contest those of Brian Wilson in his heyday.

The first track, "What Is Love", a sneak preview of the epic track on side 2, gives a good impression of this album in a nutshell. "She (Will o' the Wind)" is my favourite of the short tracks. It reminds me somehow of "Paperback Writer", but the vocals make this track sound more psychedelic and it has a Jethro Tull-ish flute. "Howard Christman's Older" is the only track on side 1 that passes the 5-minute mark. The vocal melody is rather folky, but the song turns soon into a psychedelic piece. "Lydia Purple" is the only song here that is written by others. It has a more conventional song structure than the other songs on this album and it fits well in the period in which the album was recorded. Side one ends with the Moody Blues-like "One Act Play". Like in "Howard Christman's Older", the vocals are performed by lead singer Howie Vickers alone.

However good the shorter tracks may be, it is the 19 minute-epic "What Love (Suite)" that make this album deserve a prominent place into prog history. This is, as far as I know, the first side-long epic track in prog, dating from late 1967 or early 1968, and it is well worth the listen: not a follow-up of different melodic themes, but a coherent piece of music with both loud and quiet moments. The emotive vocals are great throughout the song. The supreme moment, however, is the saxophone solo at 13-15 minutes. "What Love (Suite)" is essential proto-prog and should be part of the canon of progressive rock. This album should finally find its proper place in the history of progressive rock, and no longer be an overlooked gem or a collector's item. I recommend it to anyone who likes truly progressive music from the 60's. It is worth at least 4.5 stars; I give five.

Does someone hear?

someone_else | 5/5 |


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