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PSYCHEDELIC/SPACE ROCK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Psychedelic/Space Rock definition

Psychedelic Progressive Rock

Progressive rock music has its roots in the mid 1960's psychedelic cultural phenomena. During that time the British Invasion and folk-rock bands began to expand the sonic possibilities of their music. These groups slowly started to abandon the concise verse-chorus-verse patterns of rock & roll, and moved towards fluid, free-form oriented song structures. Just as important was the incorporation of elements from Indian and Eastern music. Along them the principles of free-form jazz were included to the psychedelic sound, emphasising spontaneous emotions over calculated and estimated compositional constructions. Experimenting with new studio technology, electronically altering instruments and voices, was a part of this altered approach as well. Acid rock groups like THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE and CREAM stand as descriptive and popular examples of the path from psychedelic sunshine pop towards a more aggressive and distinct rock expression, in particular showcased in their improvised live performances.

The boundary dividing the "Experimental" and "Progressive" classification is a thin and at times contested one for this era. The pioneering psychedelic progressive rock bands to be found at www.progarchives.com will in most cases be found in the Proto-Prog section of the site. Amongst these pioneering outfits are acts like THE BEATLES, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE AND VANILLA FUDGE. Artists such as PINK FLOYD will not be found there though, as their career extended well beyond these first, formative years.

Psychedelic progressive rock music may contain the elements previously described in varying combinations, but the artistic perspective of progressive rock is another factor. Some psychedelic rock bands stuck to the mid 1960's beat rock style in purist form, not partaking in the experimental development of the impressionistic possibilities of psychedelic rock music others spearheaded. The evolution of the psychedelic depth within a progressive context could be seen for instance in the 1960's recordings of ARCADIUM and BABY GRANDMOTHERS. One good example of early 70's Continental European progressive psychedelic rock is the album by AHORA MAZDA, and from Britain JADE WARRIOR's early efforts fuse psychedelic rock and ethnic music. Current artists exploring the vintage 60's/70's style and sound are acts like THE SPACIOUS MINDS and ACID MOTHER'S TEMPLE.

The entire Western pop culture scene was influenced by the psychedelic culture to some extent, including other prog genres such as Prog Folk. In Germany, artists influenced by the British psychedelic movement formed their own genre called KRAUTROCK. The pioneering early 70's bands in this genre represent the progressive acid rock sound of Germany, experimenting with long instrumental improvisations, emphasizing the use of psychedelic effects and weird electronic sounds. Some examples are artists like AMON DÜÜL, ASH RA TEMPEL, CAN, GÄA, NECRONOMICON and YATHA SIDHRA. The PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC style emerged from Krautrock. Some of the most influential artists of this genre, such as TANGERINE DREAM and KLAUS SCHULZE, explored a distinct psychedelic musical style at first, which was influential for the development of the "space rock" sound:


Progressive Space Rock

The late 1960's psychedelic rock scene also spawned the birth of the space rock genre. The pioneering acts of this genre assimilated krautrock elements like repetitive hypnotic beats and electronic/ambient soundscapes as they moved away from the common musical and compositional approach. The synthesizer with its bubbling tones and spacey patterns, provoking a gliding flow, is a typical instrument of this genre. Guitars are by preference played with glissando technique and delay/echo effects are heavily used, and elements originating from reggae/dub are fairly common. Several bands combine their live performances with trippy lightshows using random fractals. Albums in this genre will often include at least one long meandering jam based on a main theme, where loops and wavelike fluctuations provides slight variations to this structural foundation.

Stories, images, song titles and album names referring to cosmic themes are fairly common features of the genre. HAWKWIND's live album "Space Ritual" is said to be the ultimate space rock album due to the collaboration with sci-fi author Michael Moorcock. His lyrics are performed by a narrator and underlaid with synth elements. PINK FLOYD can be regarded as pioneers of spacey music during the band's early phase, as exemplified by certain tracks from "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" or the stirring live performance of "Careful With That Axe Eugene" from "Ummagumma". GROBSCHNITT provides another fine example of classic space rock with their epic effort "Solar Music". Other bands explored the space rock sound for a limited time period only. GONG released groundbreaking albums in the genre at the start of their career, while British hard rock band UFO released the extraordinary album "Flying - One Hour Space Rock" as their sole contribution to the genre in 1971.

A space rock scene can be found in most countries sporting artists producing music with a western-oriented or influenced sound. Swedish bands are known for a brisk exchange of musicians among each other. The "Strange Daze" festivals from 1997-2000 showcased the American space rock scene. Japan is an inexhaustible reservoir of artists exploring both psychedelic progressivce rock and progressive space rock. Representative examples of the style are bands such as ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE with their focus on long grooving improvisations, QUARKSPACE and OZRIC TENTACLES with their stronger emphasis on electronic elements and VESPERO and HIDRIA SPACEFOLK with their inclusion of ethnic-originating musical components. Other groups like ESCAPADE and THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS represent an avantgarde approach to the genre, whereas SUBARACHNOID SPACE and KINSKI are examples of artists that provide transitions to the post rock genre.


The boundaries of Psychedelic Progressive Rock connected with Stoner Rock and Acid Folk

The 1960's and 70's were a time of liberation, a time of rebellion against rigid rules and strict moral boundaries. In those "freedom of expression" days, an artist would typically herald their liberal attitudes as a mind-expanding trip on stage together with the audience in two ways. One was to realize audio/visually the visual and auditory hallucination as it was, and another was to play their repertoire spiritually and improvisationally under the trip. As for the latter approach, they devoted themselves solely to slow-to-mid tempo playing with low-tuned guitars in a heavy and expansive manner for playing steadily under this twilight condition. In the same time period, this approach to the musical trip was also taken on by some artists especially in the hard rock and heavy metal scene. This new style, drenched in heavy and downer psychedelia, was called "Stoner Rock". The name originates from the expression "stoned", referring to people in altered states of mind while under the influence of psychedelic substances. The Stoner Rock genre was universalized "as a strict musical style only" by the Industrial Grunge Rock genre that gained worldwide popularity in the early 1990s. The common denominator of all the artists mentioned is the representation of their personal cultural and political backgrounds, whilst playing slow-paced depressive songs with heavy guitars and echoic rumbling drums as the dominating features. Most of current outfits claiming to be the so-called Psychedelic Heavy Progressive Rock ones should be much influenced by the traditional Stoner or Grunge Rock as well as the early Psychedelic Progressive Rock. They can be considered as a borderline case between Psychedelic Progressive, Heavy Progressive, and Progressive Metal.

"Acid Folk" can be mentioned as another musical style with hallucinogenic approach. Psych Folk or Psychedelic Folk are other names for this genre, and is vaguely defined as a rock subgenre due to the mixture of folk rock and psychedelic rock. This is a style lacking in strict definitions, and it is contested whether or not the term was actually used at what is deemed the dawn of the genre. It's an undeniable fact that the Acid Folk scene gained some popularity by the efforts of artists in "The Folk Revivalism", but it's important to remember that there were two distinctly different approaches taken by those who helped shape the genre in the mid 1960's. Some folk singers approached a psychedelic rock structure as was popular at that time, while some psychedelic rock outfits tried to absorb and incorporate techniques and elements from folk rock. Both have great importance in the development of Acid Folk, and this may be the reason that strict definitions of the genre cannot be given. In view of the history, it's no exaggeration to claim that TYRANNOSAURUS REX, SYD BARRETT or THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND in UK rock scene seasoned the "traditional" Acid Folk with a more progressive spice. They, as eccentric or heretical rock outfits, accepted and incorporated Middle-Eastern and Oriental elements or instruments, and the result was the foundation for the current progressive Acid Folk movement. And in the Eastern parts of the world, different acid streams was provided by artists such as TAJ MAHAL TRAVELLERS or MAGICAL POWER MAKO who exerted a great influence on younger progressive bands. Their amazing achievements resides in the twilight zone between the Prog Folk and Psychedelic Prog subgenres.


A path that never ends

In addition of the styles described, psychedelic elements can be found in many other genres of progressive rock. The psychedelic cultural explosion had an immense influence on the western popular culture, and traces of it can still be heard also outside of progressive rock circles. The collective techno rave parties carry on the legacy of the audiovisual attack from the PINK FLOYD concerts in 1968, to cite one example. As the psychedelic movement was a large cultural phenomenon, it is difficult (and maybe unnecessary) to fence it to a clear category. Psychedelic progressive rock has been developing towards several different directions over time, and the task of classifying them as distinct genres and sub-genres is an ever ongoing process, often loaded with strong opinions. The psychedelic rock artists which are not considered as progressive in style are not listed in the databse of www.Progarchives.com. This in order to maintain the site's scope to be a progressive rock reference.

The aim of this description is to be a tool of reference for potential and existing fans of the genre, and we hope that this will aid those who read it to a better understanding of the genre as well as to enjoy and discuss the subject at hand both in the forums of the Progarchives website as well as in other places online and offline both.


Psychedelic Rock / Space Rock team April 2010

Space rock definition by Rivertree
The boundaries of psychedelic progressive rock chapter by DamoXt7942
Other text by Eetu Pellonpää
with kind guidance and support by Windhawk


Current Psychedelic/Space Rock Team Members
as at December 2014

Uwe (Rivertree)

Psychedelic/Space Rock Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Psychedelic/Space Rock | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.62 | 2952 ratings
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Pink Floyd
4.59 | 3120 ratings
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Pink Floyd
4.52 | 2621 ratings
ANIMALS
Pink Floyd
4.31 | 2200 ratings
MEDDLE
Pink Floyd
4.23 | 727 ratings
OCEAN
Eloy
4.10 | 465 ratings
WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME
Hawkwind
4.11 | 318 ratings
JURASSIC SHIFT
Ozric Tentacles
4.14 | 201 ratings
TOGETHER WE'RE STRANGER
No-Man
4.05 | 2155 ratings
THE WALL
Pink Floyd
4.11 | 256 ratings
RITUAL
Nemrud
4.12 | 222 ratings
LEGACY
Hypnos 69
4.05 | 402 ratings
A TAB IN THE OCEAN
Nektar
4.15 | 119 ratings
BY THE WATERS OF TOMORROW
Vespero
4.04 | 453 ratings
DAWN
Eloy
4.20 | 86 ratings
UGISIUNSI
Quantum Fantay
4.17 | 95 ratings
THE FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND
Future Kings Of England, The
4.04 | 383 ratings
THE OCTOPUS
Amplifier
4.23 | 67 ratings
TAKO
Tako
4.03 | 355 ratings
PLANETS
Eloy
4.01 | 457 ratings
SILENT CRIES AND MIGHTY ECHOES
Eloy

Psychedelic/Space Rock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Psychedelic/Space Rock experts team

A GIFT FOR YOUR DREAMS
Will-O-The-Wisp
BEHOLD AND SEE
Ultimate Spinach
LORD SPACE DEVIL
Cosmic Trip Machine
PATAPHISICAL FREAK OUT MU!!
Acid Mothers Temple

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Latest Psychedelic/Space Rock Music Reviews


 The Endless River by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.58 | 275 ratings

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The Endless River
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat

4 stars When word about this album was leaked by David Gilmour's wife, the music buying public went wild. The band, however, was quick to explain what was intended for the album, that is would be mostly instrumental, that it would be outtakes and music that was being worked on during the recording of "The Division Bell", and that it was to pay homage to Richard Wright and his amazing contributions to the music of the band. It wasn't intended to be anything else. With that announcement, I knew exactly what to expect from this album. That it would be a collection of beautiful music that was not necessarily going to by developed into full fledged Pink Floyd "sounding" music.

Well, I was still excited to get the album, because I love Pink Floyd's music and I recognize Richard Wright's musicianship and that he is an amazing composer. After getting the album for Christmas, I am not at all disappointed with the album. Both David Gilmour and Nick Mason have stated that it is the ambient side of Pink Floyd and that is what it is. There are a few times when the music opens up to a faster rhythm and those times are welcome and fit right in with the entire album, but it is mostly ambient. It is beautiful music, they type of sound that will take you away if you allow it to. And that is one reason that I love Pink Floyd so much. I happen to love the sound of instrumental Pink Floyd and this album reminds me a lot of the long instrumental passages of the "Wish You Were Here" album which is a masterpiece by the way. If you find those passages too long and boring, then this is not the Pink Floyd album for you and you will not like it. That doesn't mean it's a bad album because it is not. You just have to know and understand what this album is about, and I think it is a success in what it was intended to be. There is no doubt that when you are listening to this album, that you are listening to Pink Floyd, the sound is unmistakable. So rest assured that you will be listening to excellent music.

I have to note that I loved side 3 and how it reflects back to "Atom Heart Mother" especially in the "Allons-y" and "Autumn '68" sections. It's almost heartbreaking to hear Richard Wright's beautiful organ solo when it comes in between the "Allons-y" sections. That is the kind of arrangement of music that you expect from the genius minds of these musicians.

Okay, so it's not the best Pink Floyd album because of some underdevelopment, but remember that these are unfinished works. The organization of the album however is excellent. It is intended to be 4 long pieces with multiple movements within each piece. Each side of the vinyl album is a separate suite of movements, and with this in mind, it helps give the album a better cohesiveness.

I will stand behind this album as an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. The album was created with a specific purpose and that purpose was achieved. It may not be to your liking, but it is still an excellent piece of art and I am thrilled to add it to my music collection. 4 stars.

 A Saucerful Of Secrets by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.65 | 1249 ratings

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A Saucerful Of Secrets
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Pink Floyd was probably my first real foray outside of heavy metal though I still looked for heavy guitars as heard in parts of 'The Wall' and 'Animals'. Having an interest in music of the late sixties, one of the earlier Floyd albums to enter my collection was 'A Saucerful of Secrets'. Released in 1968, this was the second Pink Floyd album and notable for being the first to feature David Gilmour and the last to include material penned by the madcap, Mr. Syd Barrett, as the album's recording actually began in 1967 while Barrett was still a contributing member. Barrett appears on the tracks 'Remember a Day', 'Jugband Blues' and 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun'.

The album sees the band moving ahead, focusing more on darker, seriously-themed music with the childlike quality in the lyrics and playful approach to the music relegated to only a song or two. There is also one long experimental piece in the title track.

Side one of the album is in my view the more enjoyable, all four songs being of interest. The first track, 'Let There Be More Light' is in two parts, beginning with a rather quick bass line and rapidly developing into a space rock instrumental with Richard Wright's keyboards providing eerie tones that at times seem a little improvised as though he was asked to record them while listening to the backing track for the first time. The music then slows down for the song part and the vocals are shared by Wright and Gilmour. The song winds down with a guitar solo by Gilmour. The article on Wikipedia delves into the lyrics, describing the many references.

'Remember a Day' and 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' are both slow songs, the former featuring some pretty piano work by Wright but also some eerie, spacey slide guitar work by Gilmour who creates some very high tones in a psychedelic approach to slide guitar playing. The drumming picks up pace throughout the verses of the song but the vocals by Wright are still soothing and soft. The song looks back on childhood. 'Set the Controls' develops the haunting space theme further, slowing down to a mysterious and almost unsettling journey through the unknown. Nick Mason's percussion here is based on a repeated rhythm of light drumming and cymbal crashes while Richard Wright provides eerie tones.

The mood lifts for the final track, 'Corporal Clegg', a Water's song that begins his war themed lyrics. The song is more guitar-oriented with very sharp and harsher sounds. It's about a retired war veteran whose career is actually not as esteemed as he makes it out to be, with his one medal being something he found in the zoo (metaphor?). The song becomes very cacophonic near the end as a slowed down polka theme is gradually layered with more and more sound effects and voices. The whole mess reaches an abrupt conclusion.

The title track opens side two and is in three parts. It is a long experimental piece with lots of Floydian psychedelia. Though it has its moments, I personally find this uninspiring and a bit of a chore to get through. As my musical tastes evolve I come back to this track from time to time to see if I can understand it better; however, to this day I still find little to appreciate. It does indicate, though, the direction the band would take for 'Ummagumma', so if that's your preference then you'll possibly enjoy 'A Saucerful of Secrets'.

Interestingly, I read that someone called the next track, 'See Saw' the most boring song in the history of rock. I have always liked it even back in my high school days. Richard Wright's soothing vocals and the pretty piano cascades appeal to me and I also like how the innocence of a song of non-innocence is maintained by the naivety of the lyrics and musical theme which only occasionally drops suddenly into a darker theme with a crash, only to return to the prettier sounds once again.

The final track is Syd Barrett's only contribution to the song writing and this is obvious because of the rather bizarre lyrics. 'It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here and I'm much obliged to you for making it clear that I'm not here.' Barrett was no doubt referring to how the band was keeping him as a member but beginning to make decisions about the band without him. 'And I'm grateful to you for throwing away my old shoes and brought me here instead dressed in red.'

The music is typical of Barrett's playful themes with a joyous phrase of la-la-las and some jaunty brass band music played by a Salvation Army band. The music, however, soon becomes an adventure in crossing sounds of repeated la-la-las to inserts of guitar effects, fade ins and outs of brass band music in a different key and other effects. The final segment of the song is a strummed acoustic guitar and Barrett's closing lines 'And the sea isn't green / And I love the queen / And what exactly does it mean / And what exactly is a joke'. This final part is reminiscent of music that would later appear on the album 'Opel'.

As I said above, for me the best of the music is on side one with 'See Saw' having its charms and 'Jug Band Blues' having its moments as well. The title track remains too far outside of my music appreciation capabilities though I respect that the band was eager to try this. I do prefer this album over most of Floyd's pre-'Meddle' days and I give it four stars for being mostly enjoyable while also creative.

 The Wall by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.05 | 2155 ratings

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The Wall
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by aglasshouse

2 stars You know, I used to think that The Wall by Pink Floyd was the best thing ever. This was partly due to me having very little music at the time, and just happening to pull this dusty double album CD out of a random shelf and sliding it into my computer. I thought everything from the music to it's concept were fantastic. The stars were aligned in this album's favor. After actually comprehensibly listening to all of Floyd's music, I have a much more different idea. This album wasn't as fantastic as I remembered.

My main problem with the entire thing is Waters' complain-y sort of way he tells his life story. Not in the way of the actual subject matter or what he's trying to get across, but he tries to make his music sort so artistic that it just seems snobbish. Not to mention, it's only him really doing anything, because he barely let his band members contribute to it. It was, in a way, Waters' child. And when something like that happens, things can usually go awry. In this case, the music is so focused on his point of view that his fellow band mates couldn't play as well as they had before. Quite a disappointing prospect that was not very enjoyable to listen to. From the pseudo-metal of 'In The Flesh', to the bad attempt at spacey psych rock 'Comfortably Numb', Waters' magnum opus was nothing but a double sided excuse for over-exaggerated self pity.

I mean ugh, I don't want to sit here and listen to Waters preach to us how he's just a fragile soul who's emotional barriers caused him to be such a rude dolt to everyone who cared about him. That brings us to his treatment of his staff and fellow band mates during the tour. Bob Erzin, the producer for Pink Floyd who in the end was able to grace them with a platinum record, was treated with less than how he should have been treated. But this isn't a biography on Roger, so let me explain WHY I don't like this album in more detail.

Most of the music is built on pillars of keyboard synthesizer and spoken word that gives the album the illusion that it's way smarter than it actually is. But even then, Wright was kicked out of the band after the release due to Waters' remarks of his ineptitude on the instrument. It is all a confusing mess. I must admit that some of the vocal effects they pull off on say 'Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 1', but that's one of the few things I did enjoy. Many of the songs are drawn out to their full extent in order to really blast you Waters' story and make you feel sorry for him. Not enjoyable at all. Some tracks are keepers, though. Most of them are on the second half, and are the only reason I'm not dumping this into the one star category. 'Run Like Hell' and 'Waiting For The Worms' are two pretty cool tracks, and 'The Trial' is a mighty fine piece of conceptual music, with spoken word actually being used expertly well. The album just ends on a terrible note with the child-chorus of 'Outside the Wall', totally ruining anything 'The Trial' had accomplished. At every turn where the band actually seems to have a grasp on Waters' personal nonsense music, they fail extraordinarily with more synth led acoustic or attempts at radio friendly rock songs like 'Young Lust' (which happens to literally be filler because the band needed more space).

So, in the end, this whole album is pretty much a tangled mess that got all of the juice squeezed out of it until it was nothing but pulp. The album had extremely successful singles that weren't even that good in the first place. In the instance of the lame disco-rock like 'Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2', very reminiscent of what Yes tried to do with 'Owner of a Lonely Heart' years later and succeeded at as well. This album is not good, and I appreciate it very little. The biggest growth it had on me was it introducing me to the band, but even now I've heard so much better than it in past years, so this is just in the back of my memory now. I have no desire to revisit this album any time soon.

I do not recommend this album.

 Works by PINK FLOYD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1983
2.15 | 114 ratings

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Works
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by aglasshouse

2 stars Released after the devastating sales of The Final Cut, this little compilation is pretty strange. It isn't like many other compilations I've seen, mostly because it has some songs that I wouldn't expect on an official gathering of songs. Probably one of the very few compilations that includes tracks (or in this case a single track) from Obscured by Clouds (1972). In fact, this includes content from 1967 to 1973. The main point of the album was to bring some more money subsequent to 1979's The Wall (or rather the movie that came out in 1982, a year before this was released). Even then, it's goals weren't exactly accomplished. The compilation got much deserved criticism for having not the great 'hit' tracks from Dark Side of the Moon and the other albums.

As for the tracks themselves, well, I honestly think they chose some pretty bad ones. I mean, some good songs like 'One of These Days', 'Brain Damage/Eclipse' are some of my top choices, but as for the others, it's just pretty bad. 'Fearless' is the second Meddle choice, which is not one of my favorites from the album itself, and plain bad to put such a failed single such as it on it as well. 'Arnold Layne' and 'See Emily Play' were early singles by the band, released prior on both Relics and The Early Singles, so you don't really need it for that. It includes the most excruciating symphony of animal noises from Ummagumma, 'Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave Grooving with a Pict', which is probably the last thing I'd pick from the album. Even the one song they chose from Obscured by Clouds, my favorite album, was terribly disappointing. 'Free Four' was in fact one of my least favorite songs from the entire album (I have stated so before.) 'Set the Controls For The Heart Of The Sun' is also not one of my favorites from A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)I suppose the only reason you'd need to purchase this would be to get the unreleased demo of the song 'Embryo', but even then the cons outweigh the pros by a ton.

So overall, don't get this. It will be a waste of your money, and you'd be much better off getting something along the lines of Shine On or Oh By The Way... I would recommend if you are searching for the entire released discography. In that case, good luck on your incredibly expensive journey!

 Dark Side Of The Moon by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.59 | 3119 ratings

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Dark Side Of The Moon
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by aglasshouse

5 stars I think it's really hard to say that this album is non essential. If someone has, then I have yet to see it. To add, there is not a single album that ages as well as this. Sure, Wish You Were Here is definitely something, but this album is a perfect mix of what everybody wants: road trip, hiking, sleep, rainy days inside, even sitting on a bench contemplating the clouds. All of these thinks can be narrated by Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. There are very few albums that can live up to this albums gravitational pull. It was popular back in '73, and it still is today.

I've had this album for awhile now. In fact, it was one of my earliest purchases to my collection. I had obviously heard of it prior, and I had even sampled the album before and heard songs on the radio dozens of times. Even though I wasn't one that listened to it constantly, I did find the album highly enjoyable. In fact, it was right next to Gentle Giant's In A Glass House (which happens to be my second favorite prog record of all time) in my list of wonderful masterpieces. (Coincidentally, these two albums were released in the exact same year.) This was also before I listened to Animals , and it had been a very long time since I had heard anything from Wish You Were Here. So this was one of my absolute favorite albums at the time. I am wholeheartedly ready to review it with full gusto.

The album has some great rocking tracks, especially the huge hit of 'Time'. In fact, for awhile, it was my favorite Pink Floyd song. It includes a reprise of the opening song 'Breathe (In The Air)', which is pretty neat because the original song was a little too short-lived. 'On the Run' is a cool, tech-based instrumental, but I would suggest that you listen to this while you're exercising or something along those lines, because you won't be prepared for airplane crashes while you're taking a snooze. 'Money' is a funky hard rock jam that opens up with what you'd expect: money. It's pretty commercial, but I suppose it's just the same amount as 'Time', maybe even less. 'Great Gig In The Sky' never got me. I always thought the whole soul edge put on the great Pink Floyd sounded terrible, like experimentation gone wrong. I know a lot of people love it, but I just don't. 'Us and Them' is perhaps Wrights greatest achievement of all time. It is just a simply wonderful, flowing epic. 'Any Colour You Like' is a pretty neat instrumental, although it never really got me very much. The outro song(s), 'Brain Damage' and 'Eclipse' both follow along the same sound, but are both really good. The former is a great outro, and 'Eclipse' sort of is just an extended ending of it.

It's a pretty great album, obviously essential. If you haven't heard it already and you're reading my review, you better hurry it up and listen to it tenfold, because this progressive rock masterpiece is something not to miss.

Go give it a listen.

 Volume III - 32 Mars by CATHARSIS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.77 | 22 ratings

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Volume III - 32 Mars
Catharsis Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars By 1973-74 the original years of Catharsis appear to have come to an end and the band had taken a break.Being under contract though, albums kept coming, based on earlier recordings of the band.''32 Mars'' was released in 1974 on the Festival and Galloway labels, the eponymous track had already appeared in the first ever single released by the band.

This has to be one of the shortest LP's ever recorded, clocking at 23 minutes and half of it is dedicated to a long version of ''32 Mars'', a tour-de-force of haunting, organ-drenched Psychedelic Prog with some Classical influences and a really dark atmosphere, dominated by chants and sinister moods.Somewhere between GOBLIN and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, this one is characterized by middle-placed sax scratches, neurotic organ waves and some soft piano lines with an ending section full of smashing percussion.Among the very good pieces recorded by the band.Second side contains no strangers to Catharsis fans.''Masq'' is a shortened version of the track already presented in their eponymous debut with Charlotte again behind the microphone.Kind of an Avant-Garde/Psychedelic Rock piece with focus on the Farfisa organ and Charlotte's operatic stylings with some more quirky organ drives added for good measure.''Les Chevrons'' is the same version as on Catharsis' self-titled sophomore release, where the band had taken a more symphonic direction, still displaying a love for dark soundscapes, but surfacing enough Classical elerments, that eventually refined their whole style.A short, 3-min. version of the opener will close the album, lacking the piano moves, the percussion grooves and most of the Avant-Garde touches for a rather organ-dominated version with slight symphonic overtones.

Extremely short album, which still deserves some praise for its haunting atmosphere and intense organ variations.Recommended, unless you feel that 23 minutes of music do not worth your money.CD reissue out on Spalax.

 Meddle by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.31 | 2200 ratings

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Meddle
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by aglasshouse

5 stars I've always found Pink Floyd's Meddle to be their first real masterpiece (and the site would say the same). After all, the album was released in 1971, years before Dark Side (1973), WYWH (1975), Animals (1977), and The Wall (1979) were recorded. I was actually, in my first inquisitions in the whole sound of Pink Floyd, sort of confused on what to do for the album. I mean, I had never heard of it prior, back when all I had was The Wall to introduce me to the band, so I didn't know what to think. Nonetheless, I purchased the album shorty after hearing the great respect many people had for it. I listened to it excitedly, since it was my second only purchase from them.

Afterwards, I was speechless. I was blown away by the pure skill the band showed on this release, especially with the instrumental of 'One Of These Days'. It astonished me how such an early release of a band could be so masterful, without these guys having tried as much as other bands. That was before I knew that the band had learned what they shouldn't do and should continue to do extremely quickly, and were able to easily produce a masterpiece such as this. This release also marked the turning point for Pink Floyd whole sound change from floaty space-rock to more solid, workable material. It definitely got Pink Floyd on the charts with something like the 24 minute long epic of 'Echoes', widely regarded as the song that changed the band forever. So what about my thoughts? I thought, overall, that this album was exactly how people described it; a colorful masterpiece.

The album, even though it is a lot more progressive, couldn't totally shake off the Barrett days quite yet. A song that reminded me heavily of it was 'Seamus', which, in my opinion, didn't really need to be put on the album due to it's nonsensical attitude and extreme brevity, was very reminiscent to the work of Barrett on The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. But aside from that, there are some neat psychedelic ditties on here like 'Fearless' and 'San Tropez', both of which are really cool songs that are great for casual listening. The latter I would say, is a unique gem for the Pink Floyd collector, with it's bouncy, lighthearted attitude, and dare I say it, indie like qualities? I shiver at the thought, but I suppose there's no other way to describe it. As stated before, the opener of 'One of These Days' marks the heaviest song since More's 'The Nile Song' and 'Ibiza Bar'. It is really cool track, centerpieced by a bass riff being set through a 'delay unit', causing it to have a double bass effect. Combine this with some really awesome drumming from Mason and great usage of synthesizer, and you've got a real great piece of Pink Floyd music.

While the rest of the album is pretty typical to Pink Floyd, they are all overshadowed by the behemoth epic of Echoes, which is the second longest song in PF history (next to Atom Heart Mother (23:42)). It finishes off the album with a huge firework that was heard all around the world. Starting in with a single and iconic staccato keyboard key being played for a time until it shifts into a more complete sound. Synth comes in to take over and after some time, the song changes into a more recognizable piece. Let me just say, this song did influence Pink Floyd in a variety of different ways, especially with the art-sy use of synthesizer and melodic space-rock guitar riffs that people know from Dark Side of the Moon. Not to mention that this album features beautiful lyrics and vocals that you could hear on their later concept albums. Towards the third quarter, the song shifts several times, from going back to floaty and then to a hard beat that was on 'One Of These Days'. It overall ends with the original sound and goes out with a bang. A real moving experience. Dare I say, you could listen to 'Echoes' as it's own album and still be quite satisfied.

Overall, this album is, in a way, an underrated masterpiece. Perhaps more known by Prog fans and critics, but it is less known to those PF newbies out there. I highly and warmly suggest that any progressive rock fan take a shot at this great work of art if you haven't already.

 More by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.15 | 927 ratings

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More
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by aglasshouse

3 stars The first of two soundtracks released by Pink Floyd, this film-score was made for a movie called, well, More. The film (which is highly unlikely that anyone has ever seen), tells a story of heroin addiction. The whole movie takes place on the island of Ibiza (which the name for the track 'Ibiza Bar' came from). Although I've never seen the movie, I have heard the soundtrack for it. This album is the most recent purchase to my PF discography.

The reason behind this being one of my last to add to my collection is due to my hesitation behind the reception of it overall. So I admit I saved it for last. I'm sure that many others have to, maybe even for very last, but I thought that getting this underrated gem before I got all the others would benefit me more in the long run. Therefore I picked up the album for eleven dollars and brought it home. I was quick to do a full listen-through, and I came out with an opinion equally as fast. Now here I am, presenting my thoughts to you.

I have stated before that Obscured by Clouds (1972) is my favorite Pink Floyd album, and I make it very clear in my review of it. But Obscured by Clouds was only a half of the puzzle. More, which came out three years before and predated OBC by two albums, is most definitely my least favorite of the two. But after listening, this album is probably the most evolved of the 60's Pink Floyd albums. Although maybe not as SUCCESSFULLY influential, like OBC (which influenced PF's Dark Side heyday), but More most definitely reinforced and solidified their sound after A Saucerful of Secrets (1968). I must say that both albums (OBC and More) have large similarities. This might be due to both films that they scored being directed by Barbet Schroeder, and them both being sort of art flicks. This would lead to high amounts of similar-ness due to the certain sounds these films have. But anyway, enough comparison, onto the album.

The album starts out with the dark and floaty 'Cirrus Minor', with sounds of birds and some light guitar. The riffs from this song sounds sort of like something you'd see from ASFOS, reminiscent to maybe 'Remember a Day'. This overall affect is actually quite nice, a high pick from the album and one of the best album openings by the band. But that quietness doesn't last for long until 'The Nile Song' comes in to blow all of that away. Crunching riffs and a yelling Gilmour, coming in with the heaviest Pink Floyd song in history. It is actually a cool and interesting listen, and features some awesome heavy metal guitar and excellent drumming on the part of Mason. 'Crying Song' slows the album back down with an ominous lullaby type song. It features some key changes that I'd hear on maybe Dark Side, and is actually a neat casual listen. 'Green is the Colour' and 'Cymbaline' are two slow acoustic songs that I really enjoy, especially the latter. 'Green is the Colour' actually has a more lighthearted feel that is taken almost straight from Atom Heart Mother, except this time the lyrics really make me feel warm on the inside. Also, I give great kudos to Wright for the keyboarding; mighty fine. 'Cymbaline' is the second of them, and this time has some good steady drumming from Mason and a much darker tone. If I were to compare the two, think of 'Green is the Colour' as a walk in the fields, and 'Cymbaline' as sitting in a rocker inside by the window during a rainy day. Both are quite exquisite, and are a mighty fine listen for both. 'Ibiza Bar' is sort of like a 'The Nile Song' reprise in a way, using very similar rhythm guitar riffs except it doesn't variate as much. Also, it is not nearly as heavy as the latter, but the recording sounds a lot better. A really cool listen, especially if you wanted to hear a clearer version of that iconic 'The Nile Song' riff. Unfortunately, that is the last of my real highlights. The rest of the album is songs that you'd probably only enjoy if you were actually watching the film, and aren't really that good upon listening to them plainly. So that has given it the rating from me at a 3.5/5. A nice little album full of really neat ditties, and are really nice to listen to. But if you were thinking of getting this as an early or maybe even introductory purchase, you could very well regret it. I would say listen to the rest of their albums first (especially the necessary ones), and you will come to greatly appreciate this.

Go give it a listen.

 Darkness To Light  by SWEET SMOKE album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.83 | 27 ratings

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Darkness To Light
Sweet Smoke Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After a totally groovylicious debut album that to my surprise I found to be a whole lotta fun, SWEET SMOKE officially disbanded not really taking their efforts too seriously despite there being a lot of interest in their stylistic approach. These guys were true flower children of the 60s and went as far as moving to Germany to form a commune near the city of Emmerich near the Dutch border. After disbanding the group decided to drive all the way to India to find a spiritual guru and also spent considerable time volunteering at a refugee camp helping casualties from Bangladesh's independence movement. It wasn't until they met some German tourists who told them of the success of "Just A Poke" that the band finally realized that they might have a chance in the crowded musical world of early 70s. They returned to Europe and recorded their second album DARKNESS TO LIGHT. The band took on extra two musicians adding violin, cello and piano to their previous bass, guitar, drums, sax and recorder sound.

Right away this album sounds different from the debut. The band clearly spent time practicing when they were out and about on their journeys. The musicianship is a whole lot tighter and more serious this time around. The Indian experience has clearly left its impression most obviously on "Kundalini" musically, which in a way sounds like a good mix of their old hippie style and a good old traditional Indian campfire song if such a thing exists! This album is a bit eclectic as the songs don't sound much alike for the most part. Many say that is the weakness, but for me a plus. Despite them feeling a little disjointed, individually I find the majority melodically pleasing and musically interesting. This is still very much feel good music but there is also some seriousness in the sarcasm as in "Show Me The Way To The War." The first couple of tracks are very folky in an American style but the music has eclectic moments where different moods and sounds burst in at unexpected moments. Perhaps not a perfect album but it is one that to my surprise I actually like quite a bit. Something about this band hits a note with me unlike any other. The title track is also a fine lengthy proggy jam that evolves the sound from the first album. This band just has a special energy about them and there is a lighthearted approach to the music of SWEET SMOKE that appeals to me with an underlying darker side.

FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT is available remastered with the debut album on a single CD. Groovy music that is highly recommended for lovers of progressively leaning jamming sessions that throw in interesting twists and turns.

 Silent Cries And Mighty Echoes by ELOY album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.01 | 457 ratings

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Silent Cries And Mighty Echoes
Eloy Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by aglasshouse

3 stars Succeeding the release of Ocean (1977), the band Eloy was reveling in the success of the creative work. Knowing this, they raced to release their follow-up album. Thus, another space-rock album was born: Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes was released in the year of 1979, two years after the release of Ocean. Fan response was true and hearty, but critical reception was much more dulled than on the release of the previous album. "The album is good," People would say. "but it borrows too many elements from Pink Floyd, especially the 1975 smash hit Wish You Were Here." Is this really true? I mean, I've already reviewed Ocean and told my thoughts on it. My main point that I made in the review was how they, even though taking elements from the Floyd, were able to develop their own sound and ideas, and make gold in the aftermath. I am regretful to say that isn't on this release. Sure, I can tell they tried hard to make a great release in the wake of both Dawn (1976) and Ocean, but it didn't live nearly up to those two album's standards. You may even call it a face-plant in the step to making this a good release. Although I wouldn't go as far as to say such a thing, this album is indeed not as good as it's successors.

Right off the bat, 'Astral Entrance / Master of Sensation' reminds me of a little ditty called 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond'. Though I'm not a fan of the song, doubtless you (the reader) have heard it. Even with the harmonious synth opening and all, this song uses a LOT of material from WYWH. The song's synth header fades into a funky-jazz beat which extremely reminds me of something you'd hear off of PF's Meddle (1971). Enough of comparing it to Floyd, what has Eloy done correctly to make it their own? Well I suppose that Bornemann's usual heavy accent gives the song it's personal flare, as well as having some very cool synthesizer effects throughout. I can give the song credit (and the album) to be a good casual listen. 'The Apocalypse' is actually a nice comeback from the opener, with some awesome choral effects and some nice drumming from Matziol. There is some very soul-like singing that sounds good in the overall affect, and I might go so far as to say that this song beats 'The Great Gig in the Sky' from Dark Side of the Moon. The song ends on a really cool wavering guitar flow. Pretty nice. 'Mighty Echoes' is probably my last real pick on the album with some nice crashing synthesizer and some jazzy bass lines. Very reminiscent of Animals. As you might have seen, I keep comparing these songs to Pink Floyd material. And that brings me to my big problem with this album. It borrows way too much from them, especially their mainstream hit albums. I wouldn't mind as much if I hadn't already listened to PF's entire discography. I don't really want to hear them all over again except not being them.

Therefore, my final judging for this album is a 3.5, because I cannot deny that this album has talented musicians playing greatly. But I don't think this album is really essential to Eloy fans in general, or even space-rock fans. if you're looking for some good space rock material by Eloy, check out Ocean or Dawn. This release is something you can probably miss.

Go give it a listen.

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