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VARIOUS GENRES

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Various Genres definition

Albums or CD's where more than one artist is featured either as a SAMPLER or a TRIBUTE to a particular band. Examples: - Peter and The Wolf - Prog Fairytale - 1975 / The Reading Room - 2000 / Leonardo - The Absolute Man - 2001 / Best Prog Rock Album in the World... Ever - 2003 / Un Voyage En Progressif Volume 1 to 8 / Kalevala - A Finnish Progressive Rock Epic.

Various Genres Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Various Genres | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.18 | 207 ratings
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.23 | 97 ratings
ODYSSEY - THE GREATEST TALE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.28 | 57 ratings
LA BIBLIA
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.21 | 92 ratings
INFERNO - THE DIVINE COMEDY, PART 1
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.15 | 84 ratings
DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS (PART 1)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.18 | 58 ratings
THE SPAGHETTI EPIC 3 - THE GREAT SILENCE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.16 | 57 ratings
REWIRING GENESIS - A TRIBUTE TO THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.13 | 67 ratings
THE STORIES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT - A SYNPHONIC COLLECTION
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.03 | 91 ratings
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (THE ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUND TRACK ALBUM)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.10 | 56 ratings
PURGATORIO -THE DIVINE COMEDY, PART II
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.54 | 14 ratings
LEADER OF THE STARRY SKIES: A TRIBUTE TO TIM SMITH, SONGBOOK 1
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.02 | 56 ratings
DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS (PART II)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.02 | 47 ratings
THE 7 SAMURAI
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.02 | 35 ratings
MARSCAPE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.04 | 30 ratings
RETURN TO THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.92 | 40 ratings
GIALLO ! (ONE SUITE FOR THE MURDERER)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.95 | 30 ratings
THE ZODIAC - COSMIC SOUNDS
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.83 | 55 ratings
DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS (PART III)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.39 | 9 ratings
VISIONS OF AN INNER MOUNTING APOCALYPSE (MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA)
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.30 | 10 ratings
MORE ANIMALS AT THE GATES OF REASON - A TRIBUTE TO PINK FLOYD
Various Artists (Tributes)

Latest Various Genres Music Reviews


 Rockandalus by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
4.75 | 3 ratings

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Rockandalus
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by HarmonyDissonan

4 stars SOME VERY FINE MUSIC! Although it took me a few listens to see the excellence in this cd, I've come to realize that it does contain some very fine music in deed! Although there might be some other compilation cd's out there sampling Spanish and/or Andalusian progressive rock, I am not familiar with them. And with that in mind, I can't but recommend this cd highly for a taste of her progressive music. I have grown to admire this disc and the music within. Spain is somewhat neglected in some prog rock sites and circles, along with South America and Eastern Europe. So if you would like a quality starting point to sample some Spanish/Andalusian progressive rock this would be a good place to start. I know that even though I have and know of some of prog rock acts from the neighborhood, this cd gives me 4 or 5 other compelling bands to check into a little further!

Take care and enjoy God's gift of music!

 Leader of the Starry Skies: A Tribute to Tim Smith, Songbook 1 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.54 | 14 ratings

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Leader of the Starry Skies: A Tribute to Tim Smith, Songbook 1
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars TIM SMITH ( 3 July 1961 - 21 July 2020 ) was without doubt one of the most respected musicians of the art rock world to emerge in the last 50 years with his unique mix of psychedelic pop, progressive rock and post-punk with the Cardiacs as well as the lesser known acts The Sea Nymphs, Spratley Japs and Panixphere. Add to that a short stint in Mr & Mrs Smith & Mr Drake as well as a solo album titled "Tim Smith's Extra Special OceanLandWorld." The man is considered a true genius in the world of pronk (prog x punk) for the innovative songwriting techniques employed on the Cardiacs albums that began under the moniker Cardiac Arrest. Albums like "A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window" and "On Land and in the Sea" are considered by many including myself to be absolute masterpieces of indie DIY art rock that please punk rockers and hardened proggers alike. No easy feat there.

In response to TIM SMITH's combo heart attack and stroke that took place in 2008 and landed him in a London hospital, the compilation LEADER OF THE STARRY SKIES: A TRIBUTE TO TIM SMITH, SONGBOOK 1 was created by a long list of artists who either stated a strong Cardiacs influence or an above average admiration in SMITH's musical heritage including a few musicians who worked with the Cardiacs directly. This album of 17 tracks was released to raise funds for his ongoing care and recovery which also signified how a given artist can be extremely loved in the underground world of music but still reaped very few financial rewards from his / her contributions to the said underground. While the album was released in 2010 and is still available, the original preorder edition offered a 14-track bonus disc titled "A Loyal Companion." Unfortunately there are few samples of this bonus disc so i can only review the one album that clocks in at 73:47 and features popular artists such as Steven Wilson, Oceansize, North Sea Orchestra and Knifeworld covering their favorite TIM SMITH tunes.

This album is the ultimate tribute to a most respected musician in need and not only consists of Cardiacs covers but songs sampled from all of SMITH's projects. "Savour" by former Cardiacs member William D. Drake starts the compilation off and was lifted from SMITH's solo album. Other artists involved in this project include The Magic Numbers covering "A Little Man And A House," Robert White of The Milk And Honey Band with Andy Partridge of XTC covering "Lillywhite's Party" and the Britpop band Ultrasound covering "Big Ship" which reunited specifically to record this one track. Despite the unique idiosyncrasies that TIM SMITH employed to make his music sound like no other, the artists involved in this project, while staying true to the original intent of the music, manage to add their own stamp on these tracks which makes this an unexpected pleasure as i rarely find tribute albums to be worthy of exploration however TIM SMITH evoked something beyond the average musician and clearly garnered nothing but pure respect from the various alternative oriented musicians who followed in his footsteps.

While none of the tracks on LEADER OF THE STARRY SKIES: A TRIBUTE TO TIM SMITH, SONGBOOK 1 eclipse the original recordings, this compilation of TIM SMITH songs is the ultimate tribute to one of the world's greatest songwriters and will be most revered by punk rockers and proggers alike. Despite the album emerging ten years ago in response to SMITH's medical needs, it is more than fitting to finally check out this fine compilation of underground indie artists to celebrate the life of one of the most unique singer / songwriter / guitarists of all time. TIM SMITH was lucky enough to survive another decade but finally left this crazy world at the age of 59 on the 21st of July, 2020 following another heart attack. All i can say is?. THANK YOU, TIM SMITH FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD OF UNDERGROUND MUSIC! You are truly a hero in my book and deserve a respite from this tumultuous and messed up planet we call home. Your music will live on forever and your legend will only grow. R.I.P, dude!

 Return To The Dark Side Of The Moon by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.04 | 30 ratings

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Return To The Dark Side Of The Moon
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by Zoltanxvamos

4 stars 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗗𝗮𝗿𝗸 𝗦𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗮 𝗧𝗿𝗶𝗯𝘂𝘁𝗲

A huge tribute to The Dark Side Of The Moon, a large collaboration between band members in different groups. I find that everything is very well played, the vocals are great, the production is good, everything is very well done. The songs are very well composed, but it's a Pink Floyd tribute so I think that it's going to be good from the get go, just because it's Pink Floyd. That's also one of the reasons I can't give this album a 5 star review, it's all covers.

Even though everything is well done, I just can't give this a 5 star rating.

 Давид Тухманов ‎- По волне моей памяти / David Tukhmanov - On The Crest Of My Memory by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.41 | 13 ratings

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Давид Тухманов ‎- По волне моей памяти / David Tukhmanov - On The Crest Of My Memory
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars The Soviet Union existed from 1922 to 1991 and in that time created some of the most distorted art forms in all of the 20th century with the communist party dictating exactly what was permissible for its citizens to experience on every possible level and no more was this true than in the field of music. While Russian folk music dominated the behemoth nation's imposed musical palette, a strange genre of pop music dubbed Soviet estrada emerged in the 1930s which showcased government approved songwriters who crafted catchy pop tunes that would be backed up by professional musicians often in the form of orchestras. This music was fronted by strong vocalists with the music being secondary to the stilted themes that focused on romance, comradely and patriotism. Therefore while most of the world went from blues to jazz to rock and beyond, the USSR was pretty much limited to a few styles of music that rarely escaped the censors' strong scrutiny.

One of the major players in the large pool of estrada composers was DAVID TUKHMANOV ( Дави́д Тухма́нов ) who came from a musical family and wrote his first piece of music at the tender age of four. He was scouted out early and became one of the USSR's most famous popular music composers racking up a number of hits but by the time the 70s hit, TUKHMANOV found that even the USSR was faced with the dilemma of worldwide popular music seeping into the hands of the populous and like putting a genie back into the bottle was impossible to contain. Faced with this unique situation, the censors began to loosen their iron grip a bit and allow greater license for more artistic expressions provided of course it didn't go too far in promoting anti-government dissatisfaction or other treasonous ideologies. TUKHMANOV had a huge knowledge of classical music and while some of the most progressive forms of rock and pop were being unleashed on the other side of the Iron Curtain by 1975, the Soviet gestapo was only beginning to allow such forms of music to exist on an official level.

TUKHMANOV envisioned a form of classical music that incorporated the rhythmic forms of pop music accompanied by electronic sounds and progressive rock arrangements. Along with lyrics based on classical poetry from different cultures narrated in the original languages, TUKHMANOV set forth to craft one of the Soviet Union's most famous releases and the end result was "По волне моей памяти" or translated into English "On A Wave Of My Memory." This concept album featured a large number of artists and performers making it a huge endeavor as well as perhaps the Soviet Union's very first art rock album that was released officially. Given the novelty and hunger for something so bold and daring, the album became instantly popular and sold out within the first few days of release and inspired a whole new genre of the Soviet rock opera with many more to follow from 1975 on but this one raised the bar high with few even coming close to the efforts and popularity of "On A Wave Of My Memory."

Coming off as some sort of Soviet estrada version of Aphrodite's Child's "666," "On A Wave Of My Memory" runs the gamut of styles ranging from the expected Russian folk and Soviet estrada influences to Western classic rock, prog, funk and art pop. The rich vocal section included Mechrdad Badi, Natalia Kapustina, Igor Ivanov, Alexander Byrykin, Vladislav Andrianov, Sergey Belikov, Alexander Lerman, Ljudmila Barykina as well as the vocal group Sovremennik Orchestra gave the album a richly varied texture of singing styles and somewhat of a circus effect in the process. Seasoned Soviet musicians such as Boris Pivovarov (guitar), Arkady Feldbarg (bass, violin), Vladimir Plotkin (drums) and TUKHMANOV himself (piano, organ, synthesizers, electric piano provided the tight rhythm section while the lush classical orchestration was provided by the Melodiya Ensemble on brass as well as the USSR RTV Large Symphony Orchestra on strings.

"On A Wave Of My Memory" is quite the wild ride for a Soviet rock album from this era as it's all over the place with classic estrada type sappiness to fully fueled prog workouts but as an album to my Western ears it sounds a bit dated and a whole lot of stilted as it just doesn't flow like a prog album should. It simply sounds like too much is being crammed into too little time and gives the impression that this was supposed to be some sort of double album that got trimmed down for the sake of editing. Given that the music is set to the emotional impact of the lyrics which is primarily in the Russian language, i presume that the album would have a greater significance if the references were understood. This is by no means a bad album but seems like something is missing to make it great. Given the unique situation of the time and place, a miracle of existence for sure but as i listen to this for the first time in the year 2020 it just doesn't seem to stand the tests of time as a musical specimen but is highly recommended as a piece to experience for historical relevance. Very good but not great.

3.5 rounded down

 Electric Garden Progressive Rock Festival 2011 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover DVD/Video, 2011
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Electric Garden Progressive Rock Festival 2011
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars For the first time I'm writing a review with a mobile phone, and frankly it's a bit more uncomfortable than using a PC, but here goes... The title of this DVD tells what it's about. At least my purchase doesn't have a supplementary leaflet/booklet, which would be very useful in giving more information on both the 3-day event (held somewhere in North West UK) and the artists involved. All in all the whole product is done in a rather off-hand way. And why the set list is in wrong order in the disc's starting page? Nor is the camera work very professional. But nevertheless, the viewer gets nearly three hours of live prog performances from 12 artists. Some of them I knew in advance as an album listener, while several were totally new acquaintances for me.

The first in line is solo guitarist MATT STEVENS, who uses loops to deepen his playing. It's not as boring as you might think! British neo prog act ALSO EDEN performs two songs, followed by CREDO and a 12-min. 'Round & Round'.

DROPSHARD and NERVE TOY TRIO (both never-heard names) aren't bad at all either. The latter is an instrumental g-b-dr trio. The festival's second day is finished by the Italian THE WATCH, known for their Peter Gabriel sounding frobtman and Mellotron-loaded vintage sound.

EATHRLING SOCIETY has a female vocalist... no, she just dances while the guitarist sings badly. Disappointing band. SEYES perform the Yes epic 'Close to the Edge'. Of course it's nowhere near the real thing but they do a decent job. Aafter two more neverheard-bands it's nice to see ABEL GANZ (14-min. 'Rain Again') and THE TANGENT (21-min. 'Where Are They Now?').

Despite being a bit amateurish DVD, this was worth purchasing as it offers plenty of rare-ish but fairly good prog as if you were there in the audience.

 Marscape by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.02 | 35 ratings

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Marscape
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Both Jack Lancaster and Robin Lumley are two classic musicians who straddled the line between the jazz and the progressive rock worlds of the 1970s after making names for themselves in other roundabout ways. Lancaster played with Jethro Tull's ex-guitarist Mick Abraham in Blodwyn Pig and both Lancaster and Lumley played together in a band called The Soul Searchers which included the stellar lineup of John Goodsall (guitar), Gary Moore (guitar), Percy Jones (bass) and Bill Bruford (drums).

Lancaster and Lumley would collaborate to release two albums with a wealth of guest musicians that remain unique in the prog history books even within the vast canon's of all the musicians that participated. The first would be the rock version of "Peter The Wolf" based on the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev's works in which the duo collaborated to create an eclectic modern version that was released in five different languages with different narrators for each one. The music was created to exist within the jazz-fusion and progressive rock worlds and sounded like nothing else within either. It was released in 1976.

Lancaster and Lumley crafted a second surprise released the same year only this time based on a completely different theme. MARSCAPE was a mostly instrumental album (voices were used as effects only) that is most famous for featuring the musicians who would become Brand X the very same year. Lumley himself has been with Brand X from the beginning and even in 2019 is still officially a member but MARSCAPE also features the guitar antics of John Goodsall, the fretless bass bantering of Percy Jones and of course, Genesis drummer Phil Collins who displays his most technical chops. Lumley himself handled all keyboards, pianos, harmoniums, autoharps and organs. Lancaster provided the wind instruments including sax (alto, tenor and soprano), flutes (alto, bamboo, glass), violin, panpipes, watergong and all the brass arrangements.

This bizarre soundtrack to a movie that never existed emerged before the first Brand X album "Unorthodox Behavior" was released also in 1976 and is indeed the very first album where that band played together. While this album could be thought of as a Lancaster / Lumley meets Brand X album, it was Lancaster and Lumley who composed the entire score therefore despite the musicians playing together, this does not resemble any of the Brand X albums that followed as the focus is more on creating musical textures and ambient atmospheric accompaniments to the themes presented in the track titles. MARSCAPE is an incredible varied type of album ranging from trippy free jazz to bouncy space disco.

Despite this album being more famous for Brand X playing on it than the music itself, the album actually contains many more musicians adding to the richness of the stylistic shifts including Morris Pert on percussion, Bernie Frost on voice and Simon Jeffres on the koto as well as string quartet arrangements. The album also employed the help of Geoff Leach on synth programming and if all this talent on board sounds like quite the elaborate project underway, then you would be correct to assume as much. It's apparent upon a single listen that this album was seriously fussed over. Every single detail was polished out to create a cohesive flow where every track cedes into the next and great attention was paid to keeping the tracks unique with each exhibiting a different flavor.

Thematically, MARSCAPE takes on exactly what it insinuates, namely a trip to the red planet where life has purportedly existed in one shape or another for eons. Each track is like a tribute to different aspects of the red planet and are reflected by a diverse roster of rhythms, tones, timbres, tempos and time signature dynamics. Part progressive rock and part jazz-fusion, MARSCAPE expands its horizons well beyond those limiting labels and also displays its fair share of ethnic world music sounds and even a cheesy ballad in the form of "Realization" which sounds like a cheap muzak version of "Hair." The rest of the album however shines like the sun in the sky with an intriguing mix of technical chops tamed into emotional gemstones that perfectly evoke the subject matter at hand.

The beauty of this unique confluence of talent is that it runs the gamut of the most avant-garde on tracks like the opening "Take Off" which builds the mood through the ratcheting up effect of sounds and the surreality of space flight experienced in "Sail On Solar Winds" to the seemingly danceable disco grooves of "Hopper (Machine for Negotiating the Rough Martian Terrian)." Both rock and jazz elements are used to paint strokes on the canvas rather than exist for the sake of connecting them to their respective genres. All sounds are crafted to represent the themes at hand and are surprisingly effective. From the minimalistic sparseness of "Phobos And Deimos" to the bombastic fusion workouts of "Olympus Mons," MARSCAPE is an album of mastery.

While a mere blip on the 70s music scene, MARSCAPE exudes a timelessness to it unlike many albums of the era. It's more akin to a classical work such as Gustav's "The Planets" than to related Brand X and prog rock bands, however the one track "Homelight (Reflecting on Distant Earth)" very much points to the future sounds that Brand X would fully bring to life which in a way proves that they really played on this album. While the album is brilliant it doesn't always convey the Mars mission at hand and therefore falls short of perfection by a couple tracks that don't really gel well with the rest of the pack. The silly "Hopper" would make a great new wave novelty track but seems out of place here and "Realization" is a little too sappy for its own good but otherwise this is unique and well worth the listen especially for anyone interested in everything Phil Collins related and the origins of Brand X.

 Song of the Silent Land by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2004
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Song of the Silent Land
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars 'Song of the Silent Land' is a compilation featuring mostly unreleased (at least as of 2004) tracks from artists signed by the label Constellation Records. The aritists on this label are made up of post rock/math rock and experimental artists and the label is based out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Some of the bands featured on this compilation are 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor', 'A Silver Mt. Zion', 'Fly Pan Am', 'Do Make Say Think' and 'Black Ox Orkestar'. Thirteen out of the 14 tracks were previously unreleased. The release was originally released to commemorate the Spring 2004 Constellation Roadshow Tour in Europe.

The first track is 'The Sky Lay Still' (6:21) by Elizabeth Anka Vajagic, who is a singer and guitarist from Montreal. Her style is dark, sparse and ethereal. This is quite apparent in this track, which originally came from her album 'Stand with the Stillness of this Day', however, this is a very stripped-down version of that song. The song is a slow moving, quiet track made up of her pensive electric guitar and her vocals. 'Winter Hymn Winter Hymn Winter Hymn' by 'Do Make Say Think' (4:54) is a heavy track with a lot of noisy static effects surrounding the distorted guitar chords. The track is a remix of the album 'Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn' to a 5 minute track. The track goes through a variety of harsh sounds, styles and rhythm, but overall it is quite dark and noisy, and has a crazy ending. 'Wool Fever Dub' (3:05) by 'Exhaust' is a rare track that comes from their self-released cassette and was recorded to a 4-track reel-to-reel machine in 1996. Starting off with a screeching guitar drone, drums come in establishing a rhythm while the feedback heavy guitar plays a harsh melody that emerges from the feedback. Yes, the track is noisy, yet it is quite an interesting study in melodic noise and distortion, not really annoying, somewhat avant-garde and metallic.

'(Re)view from the Ground (Remix)' (4:30) by HangedUp is a remix of a track originally released on their album 'Kicker in Tow'. The band is an experimental duo that uses heavy percussion and often self-made instruments. The music again is quite noisy and harsh, with layers of noisy percussion with a moderately fast beat and screaming drones to give a very industrial post rock sound. The duo has worked with the band 'Sackville' and 'Silver Mt. Zion'. 'Toyte Goyes in Shinein' (3:44) by Black Ox Orkestar' plays a style of post rock Jewish traditional sounding music. The lyrics are in Yiddish and is a moderately slow, acoustic piece, that has a nice lush sound later when wind instruments are added. The track comes from their album 'Ver Tanzt?' released in 2003. 'This Machine' (4:56) by 'Sackville' follows this. Sackville is now a mostly defunct band as the members have gone on to work with other bands, mostly from the same label. The music was said to be a mix of country and rock, but it is more of a folk style than country. This track was previously unreleased in any form. The music is acoustic, the vocals are quite bassy, a lot like the vocals of 'The Magnetic Fields' lead singer Stephin Merritt.

'Iron Bridge to Thunder Bay' (8:12) by 'A Silver Mt. Zion' is a previously unreleased track taken from the sessions from the 'Thee Rusted Satellites' album. The track builds as a layered drone increases in volume and strength, and then a percussive beat underlies the drone and various instruments screech and squeal from the drone. Violin and guitar emerge from the din of the drone, but create a dissonant texture with the repeating percussion and bass line. It's all very noisy, as this was their style during these sessions. It is easy to see why this track was left off of those sessions however, as it never really develops past that thick wall of noise. This is definitely their loudest track I've heard from them. 'String of Lights' (5:33) by 'Sofa' is a rare track from the band's self-released cassette called 'Record' which was recorded direct to 2-track in 1996. The music is a dark, yet somewhat acoustic affair with light percussion, guitar and vocals. The band is known as the first band to record on the Constellation label and was a critically acclaimed band, though they have now disbanded.

'Dreaming ('.Again)' (4:49) by 'Polmo Polpo' is a track built up of recordings from the sessions that produced their album 'Like Hearts Swelling'. The Polmo Polpo project is actually a one person project from Sandro Perri who has a very intriguing style of post-rock instrumentalism that utilizes electronics and folk instrumentation. This track is a nice, moderate track that is quite melodic, and it utilizes some interesting electronic effects to create a smooth sounding track which even has some whistling thrown in there. 'Slippage' (3:25) is by the band 'Re:' and is an unreleased track from their 'Mnant' sessions. The project is made up of duo Aden Evens and Ian Ilavsky who also worked together as 'Sackville'. This music has a very organic sound with a lot of percussion, effects and an interesting sounding instrument playing sustained notes that ring out quite nicely. Even though they use electronics quite a lot, they sound very organic. 'Tres Tres Avant' (5:10) from 'Fly Pan Am' is from an improvisation done in 2003. It consists of a repeating synth and percussion loop with layers of airy noise and guitar with added vocal effects thrown in. It's not their best track as it is quite repetitive, but then it is mostly just improvised effects over a loop sequence.

'Fair Warning' (5:03) by '1-Speed Bike' is actually a remix of a track called 'New Blue Monday' from 'HangedUp'. The project is the moniker for the solo work of artist Aidan Girt, who is a drummer that has worked with GY!BE and Exhaust. The track is a combination of a noise, rave-style music with spoken word vocals. The track is repetitive and way too long. 'See My Film' (3:57) by Frankie Sparo is from a previously unreleased song from the 'Welcome Crummy Mystics' sessions. Frankie Sparo was the moniker for Chad Jones, a singer/songwriter from British Columbia. This one is a bit avant-garde sounding with gruff vocals and an off-beat loop. The melody is interesting enough, and so is some of the string instrumentation, but it doesn't necessarily match the loop very well. It's okay, but a little strange in sections. The last track is 'Outro' (7:33) from 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor'. This track is a previously unreleased live performance of a concert finale in France recorded on May 14, 2003. It starts out with simple chimes playing a melody softly. A violin and cello soon join in shadowing the melody. The track continues to work off of the post rock formula of development through a long crescendo, adding other instruments and building intensity as it goes on. The sound is a bit low-fi in quality, but the music itself is quite good, and the quality seems to improve as it goes on, so it is part of the music itself. As is typical with GY!BE, the music is emotional and beautiful.

This is really a decent compilation, and the tracks on it are mostly now unavailable anywhere else. It is a good sample of some of the very innovative and talented artists on the label, many of whom are not around anymore. There are a few weak spots on the album however. The biggest disappointment is the contribution of A Silver Mt. Zion as they are one of my favorite post rock bands, but the track here is way too noisy and far from their best efforts. There are a few others that are too repetitive, such as the Fly Pan Am track and the 1-Speed Bike track. However, overall, it is a great compilation with a lot of variety that ranges from the minimal to the extremely noisy, yet quality runs through the musicianship here. Though the tracks are not always the best of some of the bands and not always representative, the entire collection makes quite a cohesive statement in the end. This is definitely a good find if you can locate it, or still order it, as I did several years ago when I started first discovering some of the bands on the collection.

 Rock Legends: Progressive Rock by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover DVD/Video, 2005
2.26 | 4 ratings

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Rock Legends: Progressive Rock
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I'm giving this seedy compilation DVD its first review, having ordered it recently at a very cheap price. I'm sure many of you are aware of Classic Rock company who have released loads of these low-price live DVD's. Two tracks here I've seen before on another of their prog compilations: 'Vivaldi' by CURVED AIR and 'The Weaver's Answer' by FAMILY, while some other tracks are probably taken from the same gigs as different songs on other compilations (and of course there are Classic Rock's DVD's of the represented artists separately, at least for most of them). RICK WAKEMAN's number here is 'Catherine Parr', ELP appear with vintage instrumental 'Barbarian', and FOCUS perform their excellent sidelong epic 'Eruption', albeit not the classic line-up featuring guitarist Jan Akkerman; nevertheless, this is among the highlights.

JOHN WETTON starts the 88-minute DVD in style with a faithful version of the King Crimson classic 'Starless'. After all the artists mentioned above comes BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST (a post-Wolstenholme line-up) and John Lees's 'Nights in White Satin' -imitating 'Poor Man's Moody Blues'. I do like it. STEVE HACKETT and his band perform instrumental 'Clocks' from Spectral Mornings (1979). Judged by Steve's looks I guess it's from the early 90's. The biggest minus of this DVD is the lack of more precise information on the performances. No years, no line-ups, not even song credits... What a pity, because a proghead like me would love to know especially the source years that vary from early 70's to - who knows, the 90's?

In my DVD collections there's the final part of VDGG's 'Plague of the Lighthouse Keepers' on the "Psychedelia" compilation (and it wasn't indicated on the cover as the finale only!); here is the George Martin instrumental 'Theme One'. No Peter Hammill in sight, but it's amusing to watch drummer Guy Evans and saxophonist David Jackson too. And premiering altogether in my DVD collections are SOFT MACHINE ('Tale of Taliesyn') and URIAH HEEP ('Paradise / The Spell'). I really would have wanted to know the exact line-ups for both! Anyway I'm glad of the latter's song choice: Demons and Wizards (1972) is my fave Heep album.

So, just another cheapie DVD with a varying quality of contents, but there surely are enough interesting numbers of prog classics to keep this on my shelves. 2½ stars rounded down for the lack of information.

 Jesus Christ Superstar: An Australian Cast Recording, Live at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney, 1973 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Live, 2018
4.09 | 2 ratings

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Jesus Christ Superstar: An Australian Cast Recording, Live at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney, 1973
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by sl75

4 stars Since the original release of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1970, there have been many re-recordings - various cast recordings, cheap rip-offs, reinterpretations, etc. In Australia, there were two releases in the early 70s - one of the aforementioned cheap rip-offs, and the official (studio recorded) cast album from the production presented here (featuring only selections, not the full show), and we've since had the (in my view awful) David Hirschfelder re- arrangement from the 1990s (the one with John Farnham in the title role, later presented as an arena concert).

Unlike the official cast album released at the time, this new release contains the entire score, recorded as a live performance. As far as I know, it's the only recording of Marcia Hines in the role of Mary (she took on the role after the original cast album had been recorded), alongside Jon English's famed performance as Judas. For added interest to prog-leaning collectors, the bandleader was Michael Carlos, formerly of Tully - Ken Firth from Tully is also in the band.

The original album is of course a classic, but I think the biggest criticism that can be made of it is that in many places it sounds rather stilted, as though everyone was sight-reading the material for the first time as they were recorded (that may even have been the case?). This is certainly true of most of the singers on that record - although there are are some memorable vocal moments, no one sounds like they are connecting to the material as a character. The instrumentalists fared better (particularly in those pieces that gave them the most scope for improvisation), but in general the original album still sounds like the music has not really been played in yet. Yet modern day productions are still largely expected to reproduce the sound of that album - I say this having played in the pit for several productions myself - the older orchestration had a lot of chord charts and remaining scope for improvisation but transcribed much of the original recording, while there is a newer orchestration from the 1990s which fully notates all parts to sound pretty much exactly like the record. That made me particularly interested to hear what Carlos and co did with the score - remembering that Tully had notoriously been the house band for the earlier production of Hair, where they were infamous for their digressions from the score - and especially to hear what they sounded like after a full year of playing together.

They do not disappoint. The band is tight at all times, and creative, rarely directly aping the sound of the original album. The star is pianist Jamie McKinley, who enlivens every single track with his contributions. Carlos takes more of a back seat than you would expect, but his Hammond and Moog contributions are always welcome. I also enjoy the work of the Firth/Henson rhythm section. They have completely their own take on Judas' death, making no attempt to replicate the improvisation from the original record but substituting one of their own (similar basic idea but completely different notes) - similarly with the opening guitar solo to Damned For All Time, or the Crucifixion. Parts of the score are fleshed out with extra material where needed. In general, a much more confident, fully realised performance than the original record.

Vocally? For me, the 1973 film cast (Ted Neely/Carl Anderson etc) are the gold standard, but there are some notable performances here - Jon English killing it as Judas, Marcia Hines as Mary, and Reg Livermore stealing the show with his brief spot as Herod. Stevie Wright (ex-Easybeats) makes a notable cameo as Simon, as does the future pop star John Paul Young as Annas (though he isn't one of the standouts). Elsewhere, Wayne Matthews (Peter) repeats his problematic performance from Hair, singing in a too-classical tone that doesn't suit the material; and Peter North as Caiaphas trys for menace but only delivers gravel and questionable diction. The chorus performance is uneven compared to studio recordings, but that is to be expected - they are actor-singers attempting to be a choir, probably while simultaneously dancing, unlike the professional choristers in the studio. Importantly though, every single singer here is fully inhabiting their character.

Worth noting that Michael Carlos assembled largely the same band for albums he produced at this time, including English's debut Wine Dark Sea and, potentially of more interest to readers here, the first three albums of Jeannie Lewis, including her masterpiece Free Fall Through Featherless Flight. Jeannie may never make it onto this site, since her discography taken as a whole would be a hard sell for the teams here, but those three mid 1970s albums are arguably the high point of Australian art rock - mostly because of her unique singing voice and grand concepts, but also in large part because of Carlos's arrangements and the quality of this band.

 Romantic Warriors IV: Krautrock, Part I by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover DVD/Video, 2019
4.00 | 4 ratings

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Romantic Warriors IV: Krautrock, Part I
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Even among adventurous Progheads (a majority, one hopes), the subversive variations of Krautrock can be an acquired taste. The word describes an attitude more than a set of stylistic conventions, and the range of music is simply too broad to fit our usual pigeonholes, crossing the boundaries of post-rock, space-rock, jazz, ambient electronica, ethnographic raga, industrial noise, and other territories too remote or frightening to identify by name.

And there's a vital historical context to consider also, deeply rooted in the anger of a restless post-war generation of kids unable to abide the crimes of their parents, or the cultural hegemony of their Anglo-American occupiers after 1945. In short: it's a genre of music that requires an explanation rather than a simple definition, and to their credit the co-directors of the ongoing "Romantic Warriors" film cycle avoid doing either.

Don't expect a traditional documentary, with a disembodied third-person narrator reciting all the pertinent facts and dates ("the truth of accountants", as Werner Herzog would say). The film instead is structured as an oral history, related in simple talking-head interviews with the musicians who were at the front of the Krautrock barricades a half-century ago, and with younger artists carrying that torch forward into the new millennium.

Archival footage from the 1970s is included, but only in illustrative snippets: an early Floh de Cologne performance; a rare Klaus Dinger interview from his halcyon La Düsseldorf years; a television gig by the pre-robot Kraftwerk, with new hire Wolfgang Flür sporting an incongruous mustache ("I was a hippy at that time", he ruefully admits). You can probably find most of these clips on YouTube: the ramshackle necropolis for all our cultural daydreams. But they work better when seen in a narrative setting, as fascinating keyhole glimpses into Krautrock's unruly adolescence.

But it's the memories of the participants that make the film such an invaluable document. And the directors enjoyed impressive access to some major players: Irmin Schmidt; Jaki Liebezeit; Malcolm Mooney (who claims he left Can because he couldn't find Louisiana Hot Sauce in Germany!); Michael Rother; Jean-Hervé Peron and Werner 'Zappi' Diermeier of Faust...among many others.

Some of them might be unfairly regarded today as minor sidekicks: Eberhard Kranemann for example, who figured in the embryonic, overlapping biographies of both Kraftwerk and Neu! But as an articulate firsthand witness to changing times he shares some of the film's best anecdotes, and his impersonation of John Coltrane (blink and you'll miss it) is priceless.

The filmmakers remain invisible throughout, never once inserting themselves into their interviews, instead letting the musicians (the "sound-carriers", in Damo Suzuki's memorable phrase) tell their stories without interference. But they nevertheless draw some implicit, important connections between then and now: classic Can and the nomadic career of Damo Suzuki today; the spiritual link between the earlier improvisational Kraftwerk and the new Kranemann/Harald Großkopf collaboration Krautwerk; the evolution of La Düsseldorf into the sadly abbreviated Japandorf; the Faust/FaUSt dichotomy.

Electric Orange is briefly featured, and Stephan Plank (son of the legendary Conny, and the spitting image of his dad) is here too. The implications are never overtly stated, but should be obvious: Krautrock was a product and a portrait of its time, but fifty years later has yet to show its age.

The film is over two-hours long, and still only manages to barely penetrate the surface of a very deep ocean, skipping like a flat stone over still water: from Cologne to Düsseldorf to Hamburg. The ace Zeitgeist Media team of Adele Schmidt and José Zegarra Holder have released other entries in their "Romantic Warriors" film cycle, profiling the Canterbury sound and the Post-Rock scene, each on a single disc. But fear not: their examination of Krautrock needed a wider net, and this is only the first chapter of a proposed three-part saga, with future installments continuing the journey of remembrance through Munich, Wiesbaden, Berlin and beyond.

Fans of the many featured bands will eat it up, of course. But even newcomers lacking a palate for Krautrock's enduring power and deep musical legacy should appreciate the aim behind the project: to preserve, before it's too late, the personal testimony of influential artists who never received the historical recognition they deserved.

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