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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

4.25 | 126 ratings
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.22 | 70 ratings
INFERNO THE DIVINE COMEDY - PART 1
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.21 | 73 ratings
ODYSSEY - THE GREATEST TALE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.32 | 36 ratings
LA BIBLIA
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.30 | 35 ratings
THE SPAGHETTI EPIC 3
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.18 | 46 ratings
REWIRING GENESIS: A TRIBUTE TO THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.75 | 8 ratings
LEADER OF THE STARRY SKIES: A TRIBUTE TO TIM SMITH, SONGBOOK 1
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.01 | 54 ratings
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (THE ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUND TRACK ALBUM)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.00 | 50 ratings
THE STORIES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT: A SYNPHONIC COLLECTION
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.98 | 56 ratings
DECAMERON: TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS (PART 1)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.96 | 38 ratings
(THE) 7 SAMURAI
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.73 | 6 ratings
PAOLO CHIARANDINI PLAYS GENESIS
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.14 | 16 ratings
MARSCAPE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.92 | 47 ratings
PURGATORIO THE DIVINE COMEDY - PART 2
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.53 | 6 ratings
VISIONS OF AN INNER MOUNTING APOCALYPSE (MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA)
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.86 | 35 ratings
THE TALES OF EDGAR ALLAN POE - A SYNPHONIC COLLECTION
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.60 | 5 ratings
HUR! HOMMAGE À LA MUSIQUE DE CHRISTIAN VANDER
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.93 | 20 ratings
THE ROME PRO(G)JECT
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.10 | 11 ratings
RETURN TO THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON - A TRIBUTE TO PINK FLOYD
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.94 | 15 ratings
KEYBOARDS TRIANGLE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

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Latest Various Genres Music Reviews


 Miniatures (edited by Morgan Fisher) by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.71 | 3 ratings

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Miniatures (edited by Morgan Fisher)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars Each track on 'Miniatures' lasts exactly one minute. This is actually a really good, sharp and straight to the point experimental album with a huge number of participants, each of whom add a certain individuality to proceedings,

If I tried to review this album track by track I'd be here all night. There are 40 tracks after all and that would bore most folk senseless. Most tracks are with vocals and outside the realm of normality. Of particular note is the hilarious rendition of 'Cum on Feel The Noiz' by Slade. It's rendered by the son of Neil Innes of Monty Python "Brave Sir Robin Ran Away" fame. Just a wee boy and a set of kid drums singing said song.

Each contributor has a painstakingly short entry where you can almost feel the frustration at the effort of fitting everything in within one minute. Intentionally, there's literally no drums or conventional instruments present in order to maintain continuity between tracks.

Interestingly the Residents also had an album of forty 'one minute tracks' released in the same year - one of which appears on this compilation.

'Miniatures' has a scatter gun approach with bullets flying at all angles replete with memorable quotations and rapid fire non sequiturs which will leave you none the wiser after listening. A truly bizarre and one off recording that says and means nothing.

 Jesus Christ Superstar by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.25 | 126 ratings

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Jesus Christ Superstar
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Musicals. Now there's a genre. Pompous and overblown. Doesn't that sound alot like progressive rock? In the case of ye olde Jesus Christ Superstar it couldn't be a more fitting description than that. I would not say, however, that it is a musical. For me, musicals are stories told through the musical medium, just like any concept album in the world of prog. I am not stating that prog and musicals are equals, simply that there are similarities. Jesus Christ is not, I say, a musical. Rather it is a supreme rock opera of huge proportions.

The birth of rock operas is debatable but this one, being released in the year of 1970, do belong to the first ones. Maybe Kinks was first. Or The Who. That is not the point. The point being that this opera is a seminal and awesome piece of progressive rock, bound together by the most cohesive pieces of music ever written. The theme, the last days of Christ, is also fantastic. No matter your religious beliefs it is a great story ande makes for a wide range of variety in moods, structures and psychological evaluations of all the concerned parties.

Each song is impressive in itself but the great thing is the way themes and songs are revisited and used again to great effect. For instance, "I don't know how to love him" is great sung by Mary Magdalene but dramatic and heart wrenching when Judas sings the same song. The angst portrayed vocally are moving, really.

The cast makes for great performances. Gillan makes a perfect Jesus, torn by his fate and destiny on the cross. Murray Head is fantastic as Judas and his vocals are really extraordinary acting through singing. The way he portrays Judas as torn between his destiny and beliefs, doubts and fears is truly wonderful to hear. I feel moved everytime he sings.

This edition, the first recording of many, is by far the best in my opinion. It is vibrant, alive and really raw, rough and hard rocking. A true masterpiece of early progressive concept rock. Easily five shining stars.

 Enneade by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1987
3.02 | 4 ratings

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Enneade
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is a sampler from the Musea Records label featuring mainly Zeuhl styled music. It was originally released back in 1987. At the time of the release these were all new tracks. A fairly up and down listen I must say with some excellent tracks mixed in with some poor to average songs.

Up first and appropriately so is MAGMA but why they chose the song "You" is beyond me. This is a commercial sounding track all the way and at least the live version i've heard is an improvement on this one. Next is a band called TROLL and a song called "Break Up Dance". Kind of bombastic really with some prominant synths part way through. Violin takes over for the synths then the synths return. It's an okay instrumental. XALPH follows with "Gya-Tei" and I was drawn to this right from the first listen. A laid back instrumental with melancholic synths. This just sounds so good. Bernard Paganotti follows with "Urantia" a song that features plenty of tempo changes and moods which surprised me. An interesting track. The great Yochk'o Seffer follows with "Freya" and the horns certainly stand out throughout. Violin 2 minutes in on this one. ESKATON follows with "La Lutte" and it's a dark and deep sounding piece as female vocal expressions will come and go. An electronic vibe to this as well.

Francois Cahen is next and he worked with Yochk'o Seffer for so many years in ZAO and before that MAGMA. I really enjoy this tasteful piece with Cahen's beautiful electric piano work standing out. SHUB NIGGURATH sounds exactly like they should(haha) with that dark and eerie mood being front and center. EIDER STELLAIRE treats us with "Millenaires" and they do not disappoint. As usual I enjoy the guitar in their music as we get that typical Zeuhl rhythm that drives the song. Sax before 2 minutes. Great track! MUSIQUE NOISE is new to me. Not a fan of the male vocals or the overall sound of this one. FARBEN is also new to me and it opens with piano before a full sound arrives. It's an okay instrumental. ALTAIS is next and the sound of wind blowing greets us before haunting female vocal melodies join the wind. Things get a little too intense vocally when the male vocals arrive. Not a fan of this really. UNIVERS ZERO ends this with "Toujours Plus A L'est" a fantastic sounding tune. By the way this song would lead off their "Crawling WInd" EP.

So not a bad way to be introduced to Zeuhl I suppose, a mixed bag for sure.

 Deutsche Elektronische Musik: Experimental German Rock And Electronic Musik 1972-83 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Deutsche Elektronische Musik: Experimental German Rock And Electronic Musik 1972-83
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by Fido73

— First review of this album —
5 stars Wow! talk about a incredible best of Krautrock, this compilation has it all & it's well balance, it really sound like all the songs in there are related and came from the same year, but no, you cover 11 years of great Krautrock. Some song in there are edited version of the original, but the edit are well made and fit the flow of this compilation. If you are new to the german world of Krautrock, that compilation should be a good place to start. For the expert, there is nothing you haven't heard but is a really good mix of the best Krautrock, it might be a good addition to your Krautrock collection. A double compilation of this quality is rare and all of the track are 1st rate music so it deserve a 5 star rating.
 Recommended Records Sampler (1982) by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1982
4.95 | 3 ratings

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Recommended Records Sampler (1982)
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars As far a label samplers go this might have been the most significant in that it opened a lot of people's eyes to a whole new style of music. This was originally released back in 1982 by Recommended Records and i'll let Chris Cutler the man behind the label explain the reason for releasing this recording. "In 1982 Recommended was 4 years old, the catalogue had expanded and the label was firmly established; a sampler seemed an obvious and necessary next step. Compiling extracts from existing releases would have been boring, so I asked the most interesting groups under our umbrella to record something new. Most of them did. All the Rio groups appear, except for ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN who had broken up, and the sharp edge of the new generation of British bands is also well represented(THIS HEAT, THE WORK, THE HOMOSEXUALS, AMOS AND SARAH). But Europeans and Americans still predominate; the Japanese had not arrived yet. Ths record would have sounded very different 3 years later". "Intended on it's release to be a practical compendium, 25 years on this collection reappears as an indispensible document of the range and musical brilliance of a handful of left-field groups struggling to give shape to new musical vocabularies. The breadth of their imaginations is exemplary. And Inspiring." Chris Cutler, May 2008.

I'd also like to say that it was about a year ago that I read a thread on this sampler where heavyweights like Udi Koomran(sound engineer extraordinaire) and Steve F.(Cuneiform Records) revealed that they both played this double album to death back in the day and even for them it was a major eye-opener and a revelation. That is when I decided I needed to get this. I'll touch briefly on most if not all of the songs. I have the 2008 25th anniversary edition which also reveals what all the bands were "up to" that participated 25 years previous.

Up first is VOGEL and the song "Bottle Train" and it's mostly keyboards, percussion and vocals. Kind of a relentless yet melancholic driving rhythm to it with vocals that are processed in some manner. I like it! FAUST follows and they play "The Voice Of The Pumpkin" which is "Extract V" from "Faust Party 3". You can tell right away that this is FAUST and expecially when the vocals arrive singing and shouting. This is experimental as you might imagine. ART BEARS are next with "All Hail!" and they are a trio of Cutler, Frith and Krause. This is one of their more accessible tracks and I would even call the chorus catchy. Of course with Dagmar singing it has an avant-garde feel to it. STORMY SIX offers up a really cool tune in "Reparto Novita". The vocals are great and the song is even better. A mid-paced melancholic beauty. THE HOMOSEXUALS play "Walk Before Imitate" and the band they also remind me of is CARDIACS with the high energy and vocal style. JOSEPH RACAILLE and PATRICK PORTELLA's song is a relaxed short tune with clarinets, piano and vocals. FELIU GASUL ends side one of the original vinyl. He went on to make a lot of albums and in the process became one of Spain's leading guitarists and composers. A beautiful track really with acoustic guitar, flute and piano leading the way.

Deranged vocals and loud percussion standout on the next song "Strangelove" by THE BLACK SHEEP. UNIVERS ZERO hits a homerun with "Influences" written by Kirk. Man this is a top five on here for me for sure. Just a classic UZ song that any fan would drool over. Love when it gets more intense around 1 1/2 minutes in. ASAK MABOUL/HONEYMOON KILLERS are up next with a song with some killer bass clarinet in it along with male and female vocals. "Houdini" is a song played by THE WORK. Tim Hodgkinson plays hawaiin guitar. There are male vocals and it's a cool tune to say the least. HENRY COW offers up a couple of songs in "Slice" and "Viva Pa Ubu" written by Coper and Hodgkinson respectively. The first is an instrumental and I like it but the second is a little more difficult with Krause singing and shouting along with the rest of the band. The first album ends with an extract from a radio broadcast from DECIBEL who are from Mexico. An excellent track with some left of center clarinet while the percussion and keys form a steady rhythm.

Album number two begins with ART ZOYD's "Simulacres" with horns blasting then some sinister sounding piano and bass groove joins in. Eerie sounding strings resound with short but fast precision. It becomes mesmerizing after 3 minutes then changes with a variety of sounds before becoming intense again. I love how themes are repeated throughout. Next we get two tracks from THE MUFFINS, both of which are part of "Chronometers". Great stuff! Check out the heaviness of "Berlin" by HEINER GOEBBELS. The sound of glass can be heard breaking as female spoken words in German join in. Soundscapes of many different happinenings involving people come and go. This is experimental but oh so interesting the way they mix the music with the soundclips. Love the scream that comes and goes(haha). A top five track. Next is AMOS AND SARAH which is catchy with odd sounding female vocals and backing vocals to match. I like this one, it's a little over the top but I admire it. CONVENTUM from Quebec are next with "Commerce Nostalgique" which is a gorgeous composition with intricate sounds of beauty. HECTOR ZAZOU performs "Vera C" an emotional piece of music that has to be in my top five.

Side four of the double album begins with THIS HEAT's "Pool" with it's intense rhythm and experimental sounds leading the way. Such a cool track. Another top five song is by THE RESIDENTS called "Walter Westinghouse". It is really funny when the guys pretty much speak the words, especially the one who sounds like a hillbilly. It gets really intense late. What a song! R. STEVE MOORE is new to me but I love his vocals and the music. He reminds me of Kevin Ayers when he sings and we are blessed with two tracks here. Both are catchy and I can't stop playing them! Inventive as well if you get a chance to hear either "Pedestrian Hop" or "Follow Me". What a talent. PICHIO DAL POZZO's "Uccelini Del Bosco" is a top five. Each instrument stands out and the vocals are so expressive. It all ends with ROBERT WYATT's "The Internationale". Vocals and marching styled drums lead the way.

This sampler introduced a lot of people to some of the most adventerous and innovative music on the planet, and so I guess i'm a little in awe of it and feel the 5 stars is warranted in more ways than one.

 Psychedelic Phinland - Finnish Hippie & Underground Music 1967-1974 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Psychedelic Phinland - Finnish Hippie & Underground Music 1967-1974
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars Hopefully no-one strongly disagrees that this compilation deals closely enough with the Finnish prog history and is of some interest to the readers of PA, even if it isn't a PROG compilation per se. The 2-CD set gives you a wide picture of what several kinds of psychedelic / avant-garde popular music was made in Finland between 1967 and 1974. There's a two-page essay and all the needed information on each track, in English. Apart from e.g. BLUES SECTION and WIGWAM (the rare 'Must Be the Devil', 1969, is chosen from the latter) the songs are mostly sung in Finnish, and some tracks (most of the second disc) are instrumentals.

Only a few of the artists are known from the PA database. Heavy prog band APOLLO's 'Ajatuksia' is from their only album, 1970; PEKKA STRENG is represented with the deeply psychedelic and slow 'Olen erilainen' from his debut of that same year. PEKKA AIRAKSINEN's avant-garde tape experiment 'Fos 2' dates from 1968, and from his group THE SPERM is selected a 16-minute experimental piece for electric guitar.

TOPMOST was a sixties rock group who pioneered in including psychedelia in their shows (three of the members were later in APOLLO too). 'The End' is "an improvised collage of song bits, tape manipulation (...), all inspired by the fade-out section of the Beatles' All You Need Is Love". Singer- songwriter HECTOR, who had debuted with his own translation of 'Universal Soldier' in 1965, sings here (with a less-known chap OSCAR) about the particular smoke. "The story of a young kid hooked on grass was meant to serve as a warning, but at the time, a mere reference to drugs caused the song to be banned from airwaves". So it goes! The popular singer JUKKA KUOPPAMÄKI also deals with drugs in his 1967 song.

BABY GRANDMOTHERS were a Swedish psychedelic group, but their only recording was this Finnish 7" single. EERO KOIVISTOINEN's fantastic album Valtakunta (1968) is represented with an urban, cool song sung by Eero Raittinen (later a vocalist of TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI). CHARLIES were a pioneering heavy blues rock group. The hilarious collective SUOMEN TALVISOTA 1939-40 were probably the most important of our underground groups, featuring M. A. NUMMINEN, "a central figure in Finnish avant-pop", and the late RAULI "Badding" SOMERJOKI. Even JUICE LESKINEN is here, with his humorous sexual allegory 'Zeppeliini'.

CD 1 is relatively accessible psychedelic pop music while CD 2 consists of more experimental recordings, most of them frankly pretty hard to digest. The compilation is very well edited in every way, making it at least an informative curiosity for foreign listeners too.

 Supernatural Fairy Tales: The Progressive Rock Era Sampler by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
2.33 | 3 ratings

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Supernatural Fairy Tales: The Progressive Rock Era Sampler
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by siLLy puPPy

2 stars I defended the boxed set SUPERNATURAL FAIRY TALES: THE PROGRESSIVE ROCK ERA because despite being far from perfect it included various different artists that I had never heard of. This on the other hand is a sampler of a sampler that makes me wonder why in the world would someone have thought to release this? First of all how can you some up an entire monster genre like prog rock with ten songs. The full 5-cd set barely scratches the surface and imperfectly at that. On this release not only are 3 of the tracks proto-prog but they include a song by ELP, one by Yes and "Hocus Pocus" by Focus. EVERYONE knows these group's music even if they don't know a thing about prog! I just find the existence of this ridiculous and had to share it with the world. I'm rating this as a compilation not as a bunch of songs because I actually like most of this stuff, just not in this jumbled uninspired order.
 Reunion by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1970
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Reunion
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars Love Records was the leading Finnish prog-friendly record company in the (early) seventies, having the most legendary prog bands in their catalogue. This compilation (re-released as CD in 2012) put together chosen tracks from TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI, WIGWAM and BLUES SECTION, which was the pioneering proto-prog group that gave birth to those two bands. Since BS is not in the Archives, it's perhaps worthwhile to give some further information. The group featured Wigwam's founding members Jim Pemroke (vocals) and Ronnie Östeberg (drums), plus Eero Koivistoinen (alto sax), Hasse Walli (guitar) and bassist Måns Grounstroem, who founded Tasavallan Presidentti with e.g. Frank Robson, who also had sung with Blues Section. The three BS tracks here give a good picture of the band's psychedelic-flavoured, self-written repertoire, which is sometimes edgy, sometimes poppy in a Beatles style. The jazzy instrumental 'Lucy Jane' is a rarity, not featured on the two CD's of Blues Section.

The fourth group in this compilation is less known SOULSET, which featured Harri Saksala on tenor saxophone (soon he was a singer in APOLLO) and the legendary drummer Edward Vesala, also having Apollo in his impressing CV. 'The Dish' is an instrumental jazz-rock piece with an emphasis on wind instruments.

Tasavallan Presidentti is represented by 'Solitary' and 'Deep Thinker', both slightly TRAFFIC- reminding bluesy jazz-rock songs, originally released on a single and featured on the CD release of TP's debut. The latter has great flute work by the late Pekka Pöyry.

The best tracks are by Wigwam, no doubt. 'Pedagogi' is Jukka Gustavson's fantastic, groovy song sung in Finnish. It later appeared in a different, English-language form on the classic album Being. 'Luulosairas' is rather similar, rare early Gustavson composition. 'Häätö' ('Haato' with dots, if the letters are not shown properly) is written by Mats Huldén, Wigwam's first bassist, later collaborating with e.g. Tasavallan Presidentti and Pekka Pohjola as a lyricist/ cover artist/ bassist. This is a fantastic, quite peculiar and highly progressive song! It appears also on the recent CD re- release of Wigwam's Tombstone Valentine.

A good compilation of early Love Records prog/ jazz-rock output, but with rather poor design, and also lacking of artist introductions.

 Inferno The Divine Comedy - part 1 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.22 | 70 ratings

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Inferno The Divine Comedy - part 1
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by MJAben

3 stars Ambition will only get you so far. This is an incredibly ambitious, well produced and intricate record that gives more than four hours of solid progressive rock. Despite this however the music isn't of a consistent quality and, after a while it all begins to blend together leading to a frustrating experience when trying to dissect and really follow the album which is frustrating because when this is what's needed when trying to follow the story itself.

On the whole I am impressed with the bands portrayal of Inferno and am happy that in many cases they sing the Canto's as depicted within the books. I am also pleased with the overall style and atmosphere of the album as it seems that there is a genuine attempt to fit it into the mood of the books (the music becoming darker as they descend further into hell for example).

I'm not going to pay any mind to individual songs because it is the general story that is meant to be experienced here and what section of the book the band is given or what role in the album a certain band is meant to play has just as much to do with an artists performance and may not adequately reflect the actual ability of the band themselves, just do know that there are some very evident high points on this album and some, that don't quite reach as high.

Nevertheless, for the production, the ambition and the genuine high points that this album gives it deserves still a good rating. I just wish I could rate it higher but on the whole it is inconsistent and far far far too difficult to take in given the similar style throughout.

3.5 / 5 stars.

 The Prog Collective- Epilogue by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2013
1.87 | 19 ratings

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The Prog Collective- Epilogue
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

1 stars It was hard to resist the high expectations, after seeing the all-star cast involved with this project: John Wetton, Larry Fast, Steve Hillage, Allan Holdsworth, Nik Turner, Gary Green, Sonja Kristina, a half-dozen members of various YES incarnations, plus a host of other familiar names, including (possibly a joke) The Tubes' Fee Waybill, and (definitely a joke) TV's William Shatner. I ask you: how is it possible to put Captain Kirk together with the guy who wrote "White Punks on Dope" and not have an immediate masterpiece?

The unfortunate answer to that rhetorical question can be found in the album's only common denominator: ex-Yes party crasher Billy Sherwood, who wrote nearly every note of music, performed multiple instrumental duties on all nine tracks, and produced / arranged / engineered / mixed the results at his own home studio. In effect he's riding the sequined coattails of his celebrity guests to help sell a crummy solo album, and the end product is a staggering waste of superstar talent, showing no understanding of what makes Progressive Rock work. Worse than that, it undermines the memory of classic Prog with almost willful obtuseness, inadvertently putting a clumsy foot to the nuts of Prog Rock's already emasculated reputation.

How bad is this album? Enough to suggest it would have been a laughable failure even in the 1970s, when Prog was king. Everything you need to know about the music is illustrated in the tacky cover art, with its DayGlo planets and nebulae, bubbling fluorescent cauldrons, and a fantasy demon too cheesy for even the crassest headbanger. The players were all divided into discrete working sub-units, although even within each song I doubt any two musicians actually shared studio time together. So it's hardly surprising that the music shows little passion or synergy, historically two of Prog's driving forces.

With more structure and development (and fewer clichés) the material they were given might not have been so feeble. Bright spots are few but they exist, hidden inside a fleeting Peter Banks solo, or in the firefly beauty of Gary Green's acoustic guitar: Memories of Old Days, indeed. Otherwise it's a long haul to the title song, closing the album on nothing more than William Shatner's auto-tuned recitation of the other track titles.

Only twice in over five hundred reviews here at ProgArchives have I used the phrase "coyote awful", signifying a piece of music so bad I'd rather chew my own leg off before hearing it again. But this effort goes beyond coyote awful, to a point where repeated exposure might lead you to chew someone else's leg off instead. If you consider Billy Sherwood a villain for his role in the calamitous Yes album "Open Your Eyes", be forewarned. But if your tolerance for color-by-numbers Prog Rock is high enough, bon appétit.

Postscript: For whatever perverse reason the same album currently appears twice in these Archives, filed under Various Artists/Albums and also /Compilations. I've added my own jeremiad to the entry with twelve ratings already (and one other written review). Not because misery loves company, but because this is one injury deserving the added insult.

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