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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 | 90 ratings
ODYSSEY - THE GREATEST TALE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.17 | 193 ratings
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.22 | 86 ratings
INFERNO - THE DIVINE COMEDY, PART 1
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.28 | 54 ratings
LA BIBLIA
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.13 | 81 ratings
DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS (PART 1)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.18 | 53 ratings
THE SPAGHETTI EPIC 3 - THE GREAT SILENCE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.75 | 13 ratings
LEADER OF THE STARRY SKIES: A TRIBUTE TO TIM SMITH, SONGBOOK 1
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.17 | 51 ratings
REWIRING GENESIS - A TRIBUTE TO THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.12 | 65 ratings
THE STORIES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT - A SYNPHONIC COLLECTION
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.05 | 85 ratings
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (THE ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUND TRACK ALBUM)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.11 | 53 ratings
PURGATORIO -THE DIVINE COMEDY, PART II
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.23 | 30 ratings
THE BLACK CODEX (EPISODES 1 - 13)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.26 | 23 ratings
THE BLACK CODEX (EPISODES 14 - 26)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.03 | 52 ratings
DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS (PART II)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.04 | 44 ratings
THE 7 SAMURAI
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.06 | 31 ratings
THE BLACK CODEX (EPISODES 27 - 39)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.12 | 24 ratings
RETURN TO THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.03 | 30 ratings
MARSCAPE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.03 | 29 ratings
THE BLACK CODEX (EPISODES 40 - 52)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.93 | 38 ratings
GIALLO ! (ONE SUITE FOR THE MURDERER)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.98 | 26 ratings
THE ZODIAC - COSMIC SOUNDS
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.39 | 9 ratings
VISIONS OF AN INNER MOUNTING APOCALYPSE (MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA)
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.84 | 51 ratings
DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS (PART III)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.43 | 7 ratings
HUR! HOMMAGE Ŕ LA MUSIQUE DE CHRISTIAN VANDER
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.22 | 9 ratings
MORE ANIMALS AT THE GATES OF REASON - A TRIBUTE TO PINK FLOYD
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.08 | 12 ratings
A FLOWER FULL OF STARS: A TRIBUTE TO THE FLOWER KINGS
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.78 | 43 ratings
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER: VARIATIONS
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.99 | 15 ratings
KEYBOARDS TRIANGLE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.00 | 14 ratings
CANI ARRABBIATI: OPENING THEMES... A TRIBUTE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.40 | 6 ratings
PAOLO CHIARANDINI PLAYS GENESIS
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.70 | 70 ratings
PETER AND THE WOLF
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.88 | 16 ratings
HONOR THY DRUMMER - A TRIBUTE TO MIKE PORTNOY
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.88 | 15 ratings
THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA PLAYS HITS OF PINK FLOYD
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.40 | 5 ratings
TALES FROM THE EDGE 2 - A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC OF YES
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.68 | 45 ratings
THE SPAGHETTI EPIC
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.65 | 65 ratings
KALEVALA - A FINNISH PROGRESSIVE ROCK EPIC
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.66 | 43 ratings
THE TALES OF EDGAR ALLAN POE - A SYNPHONIC COLLECTION
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.00 | 8 ratings
THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT PLAYED BY ANDREW POWELL
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.94 | 9 ratings
SEVEN DAYS OF A LIFE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
5.00 | 2 ratings
MOLECOLE
Various Artists (Label Samplers)
3.63 | 33 ratings
ENCORES, LEGENDS & PARADOX - A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC OF ELP
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.88 | 8 ratings
Давид Тухманов ‎- По волне моей памяти / DAVID TUKHMANOV - ON THE CREST OF MY MEMORY
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.80 | 10 ratings
AN ALL STAR TRIBUTE TO PINK FLOYD: THE EVERLASTING SONGS
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.71 | 14 ratings
RÖKSTENEN: A TRIBUTE TO SWEDISH PROGRESSIVE ROCK OF THE 70'S
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.04 | 5 ratings
SAVOLDELLI - CASARANO - BARDOSCIA: THE GREAT JAZZ GIG IN THE SKY (TRIBUTE TO PINK FLOYD)
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.58 | 42 ratings
THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.78 | 9 ratings
ILIAD, A GRAND PIANO EXTRAVAGANZA
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.87 | 6 ratings
MORNING OF THE EARTH ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.81 | 7 ratings
IN FROM THE STORM
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.52 | 64 ratings
LEONARDO - THE ABSOLUTE MAN
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.60 | 19 ratings
THE EMPIRE AND THE REBELLION
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.83 | 6 ratings
FAMILY SNAPSHOT - A TRIBUTE TO GENESIS SOLO CAREERS PETER GABRIEL
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.50 | 2 ratings
HARMONY FOR ELEPHANTS
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.50 | 2 ratings
EASY STAR ALL-STARS: EASY STAR'S LONELY HEARTS DUB BAND (THE BEATLES)
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.96 | 4 ratings
ORCHESTRE NATIONAL DE JAZZ: AROUND ROBERT WYATT
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.08 | 3 ratings
ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA AND GREAT EMPIRE PLAYS MONUMENTS: 12 HITS OF QUEEN
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.64 | 11 ratings
THE MANY FACES OF PINK FLOYD: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE INNER WORLD OF PINK FLOYD
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.53 | 26 ratings
TREASURE ISLAND
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.00 | 3 ratings
SARASWATHI-LOUNGE ... NO ONE FLIES AROUND THE SUN (PINK FLOYD)
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.00 | 3 ratings
GIANT FOR AN HOUR: MUSIC INSPIRED BY AND IN TRIBUTE TO GENTLE GIANT
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.00 | 3 ratings
SORROWS CHILDREN: THE SONGS OF S.F. SORROW
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.85 | 4 ratings
MAHAVISHNU RE-DEFINED; A TRIBUTE TO JOHN MCLAUGHLIN AND THE MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA
Various Artists (Tributes)
5.00 | 1 ratings
SHINE ON MAGIC HOTEL - PROCOL HARUM TRIBUTE
Various Artists (Tributes)
5.00 | 1 ratings
THE SLED
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.51 | 25 ratings
ZARATHUSTRA'S REVENGE
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.93 | 3 ratings
TRIPWAVE 2 - COLLECTION OF MODERN RUSSIAN PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.91 | 3 ratings
VIVA CARLOS! A SUPERNATURAL MARATHON CELEBRATION
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.67 | 6 ratings
THE HITS OF PINK FLOYD: DARKER SIDE OF THE MOON
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.48 | 32 ratings
THE SPAGHETTI EPIC 2 - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.75 | 4 ratings
SANDOKAN (O.S.T.)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.75 | 4 ratings
GUBEC-BEG (ROCK OPERA)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.47 | 23 ratings
EXCALIBUR II - THE CELTIC RING
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.00 | 2 ratings
P45: SEE EMILY PLAY
Various Artists (Label Samplers)
4.00 | 2 ratings
PROG P42: NO JACKET REQUIRED
Various Artists (Label Samplers)
4.00 | 2 ratings
LANZAS COLORADAS (OPERA ROCK)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.51 | 9 ratings
EXCALIBUR III: THE ORIGINS
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.53 | 5 ratings
MINIATURES (EDITED BY MORGAN FISHER)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.00 | 1 ratings
THE BEARDED'S PROJECT: HOPE | OMID
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.00 | 1 ratings
PROG P50: TALES OF THE FUTURE
Various Artists (Label Samplers)
4.00 | 1 ratings
PSYCHEDELIC UNDERGROUND 16
Various Artists (Label Samplers)
4.00 | 1 ratings
THE SKY GOES ALL THE WAY HOME
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.00 | 1 ratings
IN THE LAND OF GEESE, GHOSTS AND CONFUSION. TRIBUTE TO GENESIS SOLO CAREERS
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.00 | 1 ratings
ROQUETING THROUGH SPACE
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.58 | 3 ratings
IN SEARCH OF HAWKWIND
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.48 | 6 ratings
PLAYING THE HISTORY
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.43 | 11 ratings
THE READING ROOM
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.50 | 4 ratings
A RETURN TO FANTASY - A TRIBUTE TO URIAH HEEP
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.50 | 4 ratings
GIANT TRACKS: A TRIBUTE TO GENTLE GIANT
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.50 | 4 ratings
KINGS' BOARDS
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.38 | 26 ratings
THE FUSION SYNDICATE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
3.50 | 2 ratings
FAMILY SNAPSHOTS. A TRIBUTE TO GENESIS SOLO ALBUMS: STEVE HACKETT
Various Artists (Tributes)

Latest Various Genres Music Reviews


 Tales From Yesterday: A View From The South Side Of The Sky (Yes tribute) by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.13 | 39 ratings

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Tales From Yesterday: A View From The South Side Of The Sky (Yes tribute)
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by patrickq

2 stars There's too much reverence on Tales from Yesterday for my taste. Steve Morse duplicates "The Clap" and "Mood for a Day" perfectly - - but why? One-off supergroup Stanley Snail and the talented Cairo turn in note-perfect renditions of "Siberian Khatru" and "South Side of the Sky," although each includes a little Easter egg. "Changes" (Enchant) and "Release, Release" (Shadow Gallery) are offered with a slightly metallic tinge, but add little to the originals - - and those were songs which could stand some improvement!

Along those same lines, Billy Sherwood (as World Trade) does "Wonderous Stories" and Annie Haslam performs "Turn of the Century" (with Steve Howe), but neither makes the song their own. At least the solos during the "Würm" section of "Starship Trooper," by Adam Wakeman's band Jeronimo Road, differ from the original.

There are, however, four enjoyable tracks here. In my opinion, Magellan never really distinguished themselves as a band, but "Don't Kill the Whale" shows that they had promise. They ignore much of the original production and present the song as a medley of styles, from electronic to a cappella (á la "Leave It") to double-kick-drum prog metal. Given the obvious fakeness of the drums and the overall lack of fidelity to the original, I have the feeling that a few reviewers have greeted this track with scorn. But would a faithful duplication of the original really be a fitting tribute to Yes?

Patrick Moraz turns in a refreshing reimagining of "Soon," the last movement of "Gates of Delirium." Unlike the Magellan track, this one's just one instrument (piano) and one style all the way through.

The best two songs here are "Roundabout" and "Astral Traveller," both helmed by Robert Berry, with former Yes guitarist Peter Banks as the featured artist on the latter. "Astral Traveller" is presented as an instrumental, and Banks is on fire. Did he have something to prove? He sure plays like it. This song would've fit well on Banks's Self-Contained - - it wouldn't surprise me to learn that it was recorded during the sessions for that album. It's too bad that Moraz and Banks, each of whom has a claim to having been dumped unfairly by Yes, both perform songs from which they can't earn royalties. (Both "Soon" and "Astral Traveller" are credited solely to Jon Anderson.)

And then there's Berry's "Roundabout," on which Howe guests. It's probably the single best cover of a Yes song ever. Berry reinterprets this classic in his own 1980s/1990s style, programming and playing all of the instruments, except for the guitar solo from about 4:00 to 5:00, and providing all of the vocals. Given the esteem in which the original is held, Berry's "Roundabout" is almost as gutsy as Magellan's take on "Don't Kill the Whale." The main difference is Howe's implied imprimatur.

Since "Roundabout," "Soon," and "Astral Traveller" are available for 99˘ each on the US Amazon store, Tales from Yesterday: A View From the South Side of the Sky is far from essential. I'd suggest that any fan of symphonic rock with a few dollars to spare pick up these three .mp3s, as well as "Don't Kill the Whale." But I'd skip the rest.

 La Biblia by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.28 | 54 ratings

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La Biblia
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

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

4 stars While Argentina was slow to jump on the rock bandwagon, they more than made up for it once the 70s hit and developed a wide range of European styled progressive bands along the way. The very first band to craft a fully developed concept album was the Buenos Aires based Vox Dei who released a double album titled LA BIBLIA (The Bible) early in 1971. Not only was it the first Argentine concept album but also one of the first rock opera albums of the entire Latin American scene. While clearly inspired by the Andrew Lloyd Webber rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" of 1970, LA BIBLIA displayed an exponential leap in the rock simplicity of early Latin American rock and created a work on par with its Anglo counterparts. As expected the concept tackled the narrative of The Bible that began with Genesis and ended with a Revelations styled track called "Apocalypse."

While the Vox Dei album would become an undisputed classic of the Latin 70s rock scene, apparently not everyone was happy with its outcome. Three years later in 1974, Jorge Álverez, the producer teamed up with Billy Bond to re-record the entire album and craft it they way they thought it should've been made. While the original was a double album just shy of an hour's run, the new version would trim the fat and keep things at a single vinyl album's run of just shy of 45 minutes and create more ambitious renditions of the same exact run of tracks. This new version of LA BIBLIA was truly a work of passion with an ambition that was unparalleled at the time. Sparing no expenses, this new recording amassed over 400 hours in the studio and took nine months with the most modern equipment of the era that utilized eight channels.

The cast included an army of musicians and the most well known Argentine bands such as La Pesada, Sui Generis, Espiíritu and Pescado Rabioso. Some of the participants included Alejandro Medina, Carlos Cutaia, Carlos Goler, Charly García, Claudio Gabis, Claudio Martinez, Kubero Díaz, David Lebón, Fernando Bergé, Gustavo Beytelman, Gustavo Kein, Jorge Pinchevsky, Juan Rodriguez (el batero de Sui Generis), Miguel Cantilo, Moro, Nito Mestre, Osvaldo Favrot, Poli Martínez, Raúl Porchetto and Rinaldo Rafanelli. If that wasn't enough the musicians were backed by La Ensamble Musical Buenos Aires. Ironically none of the members of Vox Dei were invited to participate in this newer rendition despite the album serving as a faithful re-recording of that band's efforts.

LA BIBLIA is as magnanimous and monumental as its subject matter suggests which took the Spanish language narrative and dressed it up with epic compositional flair that fused highly developed Western classical music with the heavier edges of hard rock and symphonic prog. The music is so perfectly constructed that it practically narrates the emotional responses despite any language barriers experienced by non-Spanish speakers, a luxury of readapting a prior work instead of inventing one from scratch. Technically speaking, this sonic interpretation of the scriptures utilized a quadraphonic system that utilized live and studio settings as well as the early 70s love affair with the synthesizer in ways made popular by the likes of Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman.

Billy Bond has stated that the intent of remaking this classic is the fact that the original sounded so rushed and was recorded in a mere three to four weeks which was hardly enough to animate such a soundtrack of an epic topic such as the Bible. He also explained that while certain parts were right on target, the mid-section felt pompous and out of balance. The whole affair was tantamount to launching a three ring circus with so many musicians laying down countless tracks as to create a larger sum of the parts. While the album was lauded by critics, the commercial success was disappointing as the ambitiousness of the album coincided with the military dictatorship years of the 70s. While the initial fruits of their labor may have been brushed aside during its time, the album has retained a sense of timelessness and is a less haughty affair than many similarly natured concept musicals that tackle the seemingly inexpressible concepts like the entire works of such a massive historical tome.

This second recording of LA BIBLIA recorded by the plethora of artists and managed by Billy Bond and Gustavo Beytelman is quite the triumphant expression that captures the spirit of not only the Argentine rock scene of the early 70s but also successfully conveys the message of the theme. It's a grand expression of not only the exquisitely delivered classical compositional constructs but also exudes healthy doses of harder edged rock in the vein of contemporary bands like Led Zeppelin complete with heavy guitar riffs and stellar soloing. The production techniques are cleverly utilized to implement the perfect accompanying effects whether it be the backmasking, echo effects or other accoutrements. Like many an Argentine prog band of the 70s, this too has quite an air of the classic prog that was all the rage in Italy since Argentina was colonized by many Italians and even its dialect of Spanish has taken on Italian language characteristics. So too has the musical delivery of this style of symphonic prog and luckily the efforts that went into this one have been rewarded by a sense of longevity as the decades plod on. This is a great work and despite sounding like a major cheeseball is quite tastefully carried out.

 Revolution: Underground Sounds of 1968 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2019
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Revolution: Underground Sounds of 1968
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars The era of psychedelic rock in the late sixties has been compiled many times. This new Esoteric Recordings 3-CD box approaches that innovative era from quite a fresh (and definitely prog-minded) view, by concentrating on the year 1968 only, on British music.

The 2-page introduction by Mark Powell is in itself an excellent summarization of the most radical artistic development of rock that took place within a few years. The changes really started in the spring of 1967. The Beatles had a leading role, and all of a sudden bands that had been playing r&b changed their style, e.g. The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Cream, Procol Harum.. "The emphasis was now on 'serious' rock music. The single was not seen as an adequate medium to express one's artistic ideas, albums were ambitious and often conceptual in nature and tracks were up to twenty minutes long catering to the demands of an eager 'underground' audience." The terms underground and progressive "came to encompass many different musical styles that were all listened to and purchased by the same social group comprising mainly of hippies and students. Styles such as psychedelic rock, jazz-rock, space rock, folk rock and blues-rock all became classed as 'Progressive' or 'Underground'", Powell writes. The year 1968 is perhaps the most fruitful year ever in the development of rock. There were also various media supporting the new artists, and Powell gives a lot of credit to the legendary DJ John Peel.

The 48-page illustrated booklet introduces each artist in alphabetical order (not the running order) which is wise. I'd preferred the print to be slightly larger. The texts are well written and contain a lot of information in an economic space (roughly one page per artist). Many of the artists aren't that well known by even an advanced listener, so the set is very worthy also as a reference source. Well, especially in the case of GENESIS (represented by 'One Eyed Hound' and 'That's Me') the band's latest phases are a bit irrelevant in this context... About the selection of artitsts; anyone with a good knowledge on early prog can easily name several important bands that are missing: Pink Floyd, The Nice, Family, The Moody Blues, Soft Machine. The best known prog acts included here, besides Genesis, are JETHRO TULL ('My Sunday Feeling'), CARAVAN ('Place of My Own' and 'Magic Man'), VdGG ('People You Were Going to'), PROCOL HARUM ('Shine on Brightly') and BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST ('Early Morning' and 'Mr. Sunshine'). TRAFFIC's here too, and so is GILES, GILES & FRIPP ('Suite No. 1').

Of course this set isn't particularily about [proto] prog, nor about psychedelic rock even though a part of the contents naturally naturally can be pigeonholed into psychedelic rock: TOMORROW (featuring Steve Howe), PRETTY THINGS, SAM GOPAL... First and foremost the set showcases the diversity of styles. There are folk rock acts such as PENTANGLE and JOHN MARTYN, blues-rock such as FLEETWOOD MAC ('Black Magic Woman'), STATUS QUO ('Paradise Flat'), JOHN MAYALL ('Fly Tomorrow') and JEFF BECK ('Shape of Things'). DEEP PURPLE both starts and ends the whole set ('And the Address' and 'Mandrake Root'). BRIAN AUGER & JULIE DRISCOLL's 'This Wheel's on Fire' and ARTHUR BROWN's 'Fire!' were the ones I'd replace for being so often compiled. Examples of musicians that found fame in their later bands are Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood (of IDLE RACE and THE MOVE respectively) before they joined forces in ELO. Also the Shulman Brothers of Gentle Giant are here: Simon Dupree & the Big Sound released the psychedelic single 'We Are the Moles' as THE MOLES, which was rumoured to be The Beatles in disguise!

Well, my review turned out to be more like an overall introduction to this set, but understandably reviewing separate songs would be slightly unfocussed in this case. This is exactly the kind of a compilation of which one doesn't have to like each song, and it's extremely unlikely anyway. But despite having some tracks the average listener probably has already, this gives a wonderful and deeply educational slice of rock history.

 Best Prog Rock Album in the World... Ever  by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
2.88 | 19 ratings

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Best Prog Rock Album in the World... Ever
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by patrickq

3 stars Considering that it's 3 CDs, it's not terrible at all: Genesis, Yes, ELP, Jethro Tull, VDGG - - and that's just the first disc. I found this cheap, so I can't complain, but too many songs here are repeats from other compilations. I didn't need third copies of 'Lucky Man,' 'Sympathy,' or 'Hocus Pocus,' thank you. But to be fair, most of the third disc was new to me, so there's that.

Right now it's on Amazon for $13 plus shipping, which is probably too much for most people reading this, since you probably already have much of what's here. On the other hand, with some semi-familiar classic rock from Peter Gabriel, ELO, and Deep Purple, it might not be a bad buy for a friend whom you're trying to get to listen to proggier rock.

Good, but not essential by any definition that I can think of; three stars.

 Supernatural Fairy Tales - The Progressive Rock Era by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
3.01 | 18 ratings

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

Review by patrickq

3 stars It's unclear to me how a set like this could be rated higher than three stars. On one hand, this is as good as (and probably better than) any other of the handful of prog-rock compilations of which I'm aware. For me personally, this boxed set served its purpose of exposing me to a variety of artists and styles, and there are about five truly excellent songs here that I doubt I'd ever have heard otherwise. On the other hand, it seems self-evident that a progressive rock compilation album which leaves out Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, and King Crimson could not be "essential," and thus could not rate four stars. Of course, even if Rhino had been able to include Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, and King Crimson, I would complain that they'd licensed the wrong songs! Furthermore, where's the progressive jazz? Why limit the collection to the 60s and 70s? Or, where's the second collection of more recent music, including perhaps some new-prog or math rock or progressive metal?

Even if Rhino could address all of my concerns and exhaust all of my complaints, the compilation still wouldn't be essential because it would still contain only one song from each of many essential albums.

I'm sure Rhino's purpose in releasing this boxed set was to generate profit, but I also feel that the compilers did their best given the time and licensing restrictions. They managed to represent Zeuhl, Krautrock, RIO, and RPI along with the more obvious subgenres. They also included a fair balance of longer songs (by my count, eleven songs over eight minutes). As others have noted, the liner notes and artwork are nice too, and in this case, that counts for something.

So: on this website, the three-star aggregate rating of Supernatural Fairy Tales is exactly what it should be. However: if you're new to prog rock (as I was when I bought this) and you can find a copy, and it's affordable, buy it. If it does its job, you'll probably rate it four or five stars to begin with, but at some time in the future, I'll bet you'll agree that it will no longer be "essential."

 Jesus Christ Superstar by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.17 | 193 ratings

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

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars "Jesus Christ Superstar" was a multimedia project: double studio album, musical, film. It had a great success with the public and critics for three main reasons: 1) The idea of ​​staging the story of the last two weeks Jesus actualized in the present was brilliant 2) The writing of music and lyrics was excellent 3) Singers and musicians were talented, and very inspired.

"Jesus Christ Superstar" was written by Tim Rice (lyrics) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), two great composers of lyrics and musical music, as attested by this album and by their subsequent career at JCS ("Evita", "Cats" and many other successful musicals).

The album's story follows the Synoptic Gospels and Fulton J. Sheen's Life of Christ. The lyrics put emphasis on the interpersonal relationships between Jesus, Judas and Mary Magdalene, anticipating many studies and many works of art (literary and musical) on the figures of Judas and Magdalene, which in the last 50 years have been re-evaluated and re-interpreted in a new key according to the message of Christian salvation. In particular, Judas is seen today by many not as a traitor but as a man forced to fulfill his role so that the divine plan is accomplished.

The music alternates epic and pompous moments, such as the famous "Overture" melody, at more melodic, more modest moments, at more progressive moments, at moments with a beat and response typical of the musical, at almost psychedelic moments. Overall, the music is always very creative even when not remarkable. I am not a lover of the musical (which tends to get tired, usually), but I recognize in this work a great inspiration both in music and lyrics, and I recognize that these two planes are very well combined with each other. So, although my involvement is alternate in this work, in any case I recognize his excellent inspiration. In the most melodic and dialogue moments, there are some refrains that have made epochs, as catchy and contagious, like this:

"What's the buzz? Tell me What's happening!" Taken from these lyrics (very inspired): "Apostles): What's the buzz? Tell me what's a-happening. (Jesus): Why should you want to know? Don't you mind about the future. Don't you try to think ahead Save tomorrow for tomorrow Think about today instead I could give you facts and figures I could give you plans and forecasts Even tell you where I'm going. (Apostles): When do we Ride to Jerusalem? (Jesus): Why should you want to know Why are you obsessed with fighting Times and fates you can't defy? If you knew the path we're riding You'd understand it less than I. (Apostles): What's the buzz? Tell me what's happening. (Mary Magdalene): Let me try To cool down your face a bit. (Jesus) That feels nice, so nice Mary, oooh, that is good While you prattle through your supper Where and when and who and how She alone has tried to give me What I need right here and now. (Apostles): What's the buzz Tell me what's happening. (Judas): It's a strange thing Mystifying That a man like you Can waste his time With women of her kind I can understand that she amuses you But to let her stroke you Kiss your hair Is hardly in your line It's not that I object To her profession But it doesn't seem to square With what you do or say It doesn't help If you're inconsistant They only need a small excuse To put us all away. (Jesus): Who are you To criticize her? Who are you To despise her? Leave her, leave her Let her be now Leave her, leave her She's with me now If your slate is clean Then you can throw stones If your slate is not Then leave her alone! I'm amazed that men like you Can be so shallow, thick, and slow There is not a man among you Who knows or cares if I come or go (Apostles, except Judas) No you are wrong You're very wrong How can you say that! How can you say that! (Jesus) Not one, not one of you."

The caliber of the performers has allowed some pieces of excellent writing to have great performances, think (to say one) to the vocal and instrumental performance in "Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)". The singers were: Ian Gillan (Jesus), singer of Deep Purple, Murray Head (Judas Iscariot), Yvonne Elliman (Mary Magdalene), Victor Brox (Caiaphas, High Priest), Barry Dennen (Pontius Pilate). Many of the primary musicians, like guitarists Neil Hubbard and Henry McCullough, bassist Alan Spenner, and drummer Bruce Rowland, they came from Joe Cocker's backing group The Grease Band. John Gustafson (Simon Zealotes) was the singer of Quatermass, then bassist of Roxy Music. Peter Robinson, who plays piano, electric piano, organ, positive organ, was the ingenious mind of Quatermass. Tony Ashton (backing vocals), was a great pianist, present on "It's Only a Movie", album of Family (1973).

Vote album: 9. Rating: Five Stars.

 Rock Theatre Plays Genesis 1970-77 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover DVD/Video, 2019
3.90 | 2 ratings

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Rock Theatre Plays Genesis 1970-77
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Last autumn the news was spread among Finnish prog-oriented facebook groups that a brand new GENESIS tribute band called Rock Theatre would soon start performing classic Genesis stuff from the timeline 1970-1977. Having been a fan of exactly that Genesis era since my teens, I was immediately interested. Rock Theatre gave their first gig in September 29th in their hometown Vaasa, and subsequent gigs in other Western/Southern shoretowns -- all of them rather far from where I live, so I haven't yet experienced their set live. However, they wasted no time in filming the beginning of their career to which I wish a long life (comparable to one of Tampere-based P.U.L.S.E. that plays the music of Pink Floyd to growing audiences, varying their sets a lot). This nearly 2-hour DVD contains the very first concert of Rock Theatre. At first only a limited number of copies were made for promotional purposes, but due to warm response from potential buyers such as me, it is now being sold (via internet) for 20 euros plus the posting costs, 3e domestically and 6e abroad. It actually looks rather modest in a simple CD-size cardboard sleeve, but the contents, even without any extras besides the gig itself, absolutely fulfill the expectations.

The set list features 12 classics (plus a drum solo prefacing 'Los Endos' instrumental) and it's truly wonderful. The Gabriel-era songs naturally dominate, but happily the excellent quartet albums A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering are represented also. Starting with 'Watcher of the Skies', the concert contains a narrative continuity about the extra-terrestrial "Watcher" observing mankind and deciding to help it, ie. brief speeches in between tracks. I don't much like them, as they are just coming somewhere in a deep, theatrical voice. But theatrical and a bit detached approach concerning the whole performance seems to be a deliberate choice: the players on their white clothes are pretty stagnant on the stage and make no notable contact to the seated audience. Vocalist Bo-Anders Sandström -- who actually sounds a lot like Peter Gabriel -- uses various masks and costumes during the show, though nothing very spectacular apart from the encore. And with a good but moderate light show, the gig is a pleasure primarily for the music itself. The quintet plays the Genesis classics very faithfully to the originals, and they're really good at it. By the way, as far as I know, the founder of band is Charles Plogman, who has made a grade as an entertainment singer and now plays Steve Hackett's guitar parts with full confidence! On keyboards is his son Anton.

The first half of the show features e.g. 'Cinemashow', 'The Knife' and 'Firth of Fifth'. The latter half begins with the acoustic guitar solo 'Horizons', played very convincingly by Sandström, followed by 'Supper's Ready'. Wow, this is predictably the biggest highlight. Also 'Dancing With the Moonlit Knight' is excellent. Charles Plogman introduces the band before 'Afterglow', and the whole atmosphere between the band and the audience is by now notably warmer. After the loud applause they come back for an encore, 'The Musical Box', Sandström wearing a fox mask and a red dress. Had the whole gig been this intensive, I might have given even five stars.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this DVD for a fan of Genesis (1970-77), despite Steve Hackett having released quite a many Genesis oriented concert DVD's by now. And I'm pretty certain that I'm going to see Rock Theatre on stage, hopefully soon!

 Classic Rock Society - New Species - Volume V by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Classic Rock Society - New Species - Volume V
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
2 stars This sampler disc features 66 minutes worth of progressive rock from albums that were more or less new in 2012. I'll simply run through the ten tracks giving source album information if it's easily available -- for I don't have the magazine -- and my view on music.

BIG BIG TRAIN's 'The First Rebreather' (from English Electric Pt. One) is a good example of the band's symphonic style, featuring very nice keyboard parts. NEAL MORSE is represented by Momentum's title track, an energetic and fast-paced prog-rocker. THE FLOWER KINGS' album Banks of Eden starts with a 25-minute epic 'Numbers', of which this sampler offers a 5-minute medley, ie. a few cuts with quick fadeouts and changes into the next cut. Hmm, not a wise idea, the result is such a mess.

The fourth artist is a new acquaintance for me, and not in the ProgArchives database: ROB GOULD. 'The Broke Road' (3:48) is a mellow and moody composition featuring female vocals. Very nice, and the question of how 'prog' it is, seems irrelevant. FINAL CONFLICT: 'Babylon' (from Return of the Artisan) is also rather melancholic; the melody reminds me of 'Incomplete' by Fish. KAIPA: 'Our Silent Ballroom Band' (from Vittjar) also seems to be a 5-min. edit from an epic, but at least it's a singular excerpt. Kaipa makes modern symphonic prog that's often too bombastic for my taste, and this one's no exception. The male vocals are unpleasant.

The Norwegian RHYS MARSH AND THE AUTUMN GHOST is labeled as Crossover Prog. 'The Place Where You Lay' (from The Blue Hour) makes me think of him as a poor man's Steven Wilson. The arrangement has nice acoustic elements but the sad song itself is a bit boring. HAND is a British Alternative/Gothic Metal band with a female vocalist. 'Mimicry' (from Breathing, 2011) is an OK song of the genre I'm personally not fond of. The Swedish BEARDFISH and 'Note (Edit)' from The Void. I suppose it's the opening part of the near-16-min. piece, and it functions decently as a separate track. And finally, TINYFISH from England. 10-minute song 'Wide Awake at Midnight' comes from The Big Red Spark (2010). Well, seems every other modern prog band sounds like this, and the vocalist is mediocre. Furthermore the album wasn't fresh at the time anymore.

This sampler contains some usual good stuff from the contemporary big names, and tasters from acts less familiar to me, of which only Rob Gould enters my check-out-some-more -list. Not many delightful new names, nor is the diversity of modern prog very widely represented here, or maybe the year 2012 wasn't that great? I think two stars is enough.

 Leonardo - The Absolute Man by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.52 | 64 ratings

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Leonardo - The Absolute Man
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Leonardo - The Absolute Man" is a rock opera project which initially began as an idea of head of the Magna Carta label Pete Morticelli. Morticelli turned the project over to Trent Gardner (Magellan, Explorer's Club) who wrote, recorded, and produced the album with the aid of a cast of vocalists and musicians. The hope for the project was that it one day could work as an original cast recording for a stage performance. "Leonardo - The Absolute Man" is a concept piece telling the story of the life of famous renaissance painter/scientist Leonardo da Vinci. James Labrie (Dream Theater) sings/plays the part of Leonardo, while other roles are filled by artists such as Steve Walsh (Kansas), Michelle Young (Glass Hammer), and Lisa Bouchelle (Mastermind). It´s quite a massive project that took Trent Gardner several years to complete.

Stylistically the music is a combination of heavy/hard rock, classical, jazz, and progressive rock/metal with both male and female vocalists performing parts. The vocals arrangements (which include choirs) are quite exquisite, and the same can be said about the instrumental part of the music. The playing is also tight, and it´s just overall an incredibly professional sounding release.

The sound production is also professional, polished, and well sounding, suiting the music perfectly. So there´s almost only positive things to say about "Leonardo - The Absolute Man". A bit more gritt and a little less polish could probably have provided the album with some edge, which is the only thing I´m missing here. At times it all becomes slightly too polished and nice, but I´m sure that´s a matter of taste. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

 Jesus Christ Superstar by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.17 | 193 ratings

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

Review by rachs

1 stars Ok. This one has been part of the life of "most of us". It has been a musical big success. But this in not prog. It's not even rock. Absolutely not a "rock opera", but a Broadway musical with lots of nice pop songs. Ok, you got guitars (and you got Ian Gillan!!!), but this is closer to "Hair" than "Tommy" and maybe you can find lots of Musicals with rock elements, but it don´t make them rock (and absolutely don´t make them prog). I listed to "Jesus Christ Superstar" and look for epics, time changes, complex musical arrangements, instrumental virtuosity and I don´t find nothing of it here. There are just a succession of songs (verse-chorus-bridge-) some good some not so and that's all. A good musical? Yeah. A Progressive jewel? Nope.
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