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PROG RELATED

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Prog Related definition



No musical genre exists in a vacuum. Not all of the bands that have been a part of the history and development of progressive rock are necessarily progressive rock bands themselves. This is why progarchives has included a genre called prog-related, so we could include all the bands that complete the history of progressive rock, whether or not they were considered full-fledged progressive rock bands themselves.

There are many criteria that the prog-related evaluation team considers when deciding which bands are considered prog-related. Very few bands will meet all of this criteria, but this list will give an idea as to some of the things that help evaluate whether an artists is prog-related or not.

1) Influence on progressive rock - The groundbreaking work of artists like Led Zepplin and David Bowie affected many genres of rock, including at times progressive rock. Although both of these artists created rock music in a dizzying array of genres, both contributed to the ongoing history of progressive rock several times within the span of their careers.

2) Location - Progressive rock did not develop at the same time all over the world. It may surprise some people that as late as the mid-70s the US had very few original progressive rock bands that did not sound like exact copies of British bands. Journey was one of the first US bands to present a uniquely American brand of prog-rock before they eventually became a mainstream rock band. We have collaborators from all over the world who tell us which bands helped the progressive rock scene develop in their corner of the globe, even if those bands were like Journey and were known more for being mainstream rock bands.

3) Members of important progressive rock bands - Although most of the recorded solo output of artists like Greg Lake and David Gilmour falls more in a mainstream rock style, their contributions to progressive rock in their respective bands insures them a place in our prog-related genre.

4) Timeliness - Like many genres, prog-rock has had its ups and downs. In the late 70s and early 80s prog-rock was barely a blip on the radar. During this time artists such as David Bowie and Metallica released albums that captured key elements of the spirit of prog rock and did so while contributing their own original modern elements to the mix.

5) Integral part of the prog-rock scene - Sometimes you just had to be a part of the scene during a certain time period to understand how some bands fit with the prog rock scene of their time. Although Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Wishbone Ash may seem like mere hard rock bands, in their time they stood apart from other hard rockers with their more serious lyrical content and more developed compositions. Put simply, in the early 70s every prog-rock record collector usually had full collections of all three of these artists. These three bands were very much part of the prog-rock scene without being total prog-rock bands them selves.

6) Influenced by progressive rock - From the late 60s till about 1976 the progressive tendency was in full effect in almost all genres of music. Once again, as we enter the second decade of the 21st century a melting pot of prog-metal, math-rock, progressive electronics and post-rock influences have once again made a progressive tendency in rock music almost more a norm than a difference. Yet in other periods of musical history receiving influence from progressive rock could really set a band apart and make them worthy of our prog-related category.
Being influenced by progressive rock is hardly the only factor we look at, and in some periods of musical history it is almost meaningless, but still, it is almost a given that most of the artists listed in prog-related were influenced by the development of progressive rock.

7) Common sense - Nitpicking over the above listed criteria is not necessarily the correct way to evaluate a band for prog-related. Sometimes you just have to use some common sense and look at the big picture.
A very good way to describe prog-related would be to imagine an exhaustive book that covered the history of progressive rock. Would such a book include references to led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven', David Bowie's 'The Man Who Sold the World' or Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody'? Probably so.
- Easy Money

Prog Related Top Albums


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

4.39 | 1146 ratings
LED ZEPPELIN IV
Led Zeppelin
4.47 | 347 ratings
BLACKSTAR
Bowie, David
4.35 | 818 ratings
QUEEN II
Queen
4.30 | 971 ratings
PARANOID
Black Sabbath
4.29 | 948 ratings
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
Queen
4.23 | 877 ratings
BLACK SABBATH
Black Sabbath
4.23 | 662 ratings
THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS
Bowie, David
4.22 | 674 ratings
ARGUS
Wishbone Ash
4.19 | 780 ratings
SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON
Iron Maiden
4.19 | 511 ratings
RISING
Rainbow
4.13 | 737 ratings
POWERSLAVE
Iron Maiden
4.15 | 497 ratings
HUNKY DORY
Bowie, David
4.12 | 741 ratings
MASTER OF PUPPETS
Metallica
4.10 | 754 ratings
SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH
Black Sabbath
4.15 | 347 ratings
SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS)
Bowie, David
4.09 | 614 ratings
RIDE THE LIGHTNING
Metallica
4.06 | 865 ratings
PHYSICAL GRAFFITI
Led Zeppelin
4.07 | 765 ratings
MASTER OF REALITY
Black Sabbath
4.04 | 942 ratings
LED ZEPPELIN
Led Zeppelin
4.16 | 268 ratings
SECRET TREATIES
Blue Öyster Cult

Latest Prog Related Music Reviews


 Beware the Shadow by HELP YOURSELF album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.00 | 15 ratings

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Beware the Shadow
Help Yourself Prog Related

Review by Psychedelic Paul

4 stars HELP YOURSELF (known as The Helps by their fans) were a London-based band with a unique sound that can best be described as Psychedelic Country. They recorded four albums during the early 1970's:- "Help Yourself" (1971); "Strange Affair" (1972); "Beware the Shadow" (1972); and "The Return of Ken Whaley" (1973). It seemed like Help Yourself may have been consigned to the annals of rock history after poor sales from their fourth album, but due to popular demand by their fans, they made a brief belated comeback with "Help Yourself 5" in 2004, which consisted mainly of 1973 recordings from an unreleased fifth album. It's time now to give Help Yourself's third helping a listen.

Upon hearing the "Beware the Shadow" album for the first time, you'd be convinced they were an American Southern Rock band. In fact, their first song "Alabama Lady", sounds like a typical song that the U.S. bands Alabama or the Allman Brothers Band might have recorded in their heyday. Help Yourself have encapsulated the American Southern Rock sound perfectly with "Alabama Lady". It sounds as American as a Stetson-wearing cowboy in a rodeo riding a bucking bronco. Next up is the real highlight of the album, the 12-minute-long song "Reaffirmation". The floating sound of a Mellotron in the opening gives the song a somewhat mystical air, but this is only a prelude to a long Psychedelic Country jam session that sounds very reminiscent of some of the Grateful Dead's extended jams, only Help Yourself are much more Alive and Kicking in this exhilarating number than the Grateful Dead ever were in their seemingly endless jams. Side One draws to a close now (already?) with the brief "Calypso", which turns out to be a hippyish campfire sing-along song.

The Side Two opener "She's My Girl" has the same happy and carefree sound of the summer as "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles. "She's My Girl" has Hit Song written all over it. It's a song that's positively aglow with passionate romantic love and optimistic hope for the future. Up next is "Molly Bake Bean", a song with childish innocence which sounds just as silly and frivolous as the song title implies. It's a perfect Country sing-along song to listen to and join in with whilst eating baked beans around a campfire with the kids. And now it's time for the BIG bluesy piano ballad "American Mother", another song that sounds as quintessentially Born To Be Wild American as riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle over the Golden Gate Bridge. "American Mother" sounds like a song that Big Brother & the Holding Company might have recorded and it brings to mind another great song, "American Woman", by the Canadian band The Guess Who. Both songs represent good old-fashioned Blues-Rock numbers with the same raw and earthy appeal. We're just "Passing Through" now for the final song, a gently laid-back slice of Folk-Rock Americana.

"Beware the Shadow" is unlikely to appeal to Prog-Rock fans generally, but if you're in the mood to listen to some good old country boys from the Deep South of London in England, then Help Yourself to this rather unique Psychedelic Country album.

 Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow by MAGNUM album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.52 | 46 ratings

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Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow
Magnum Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was the third Magnum album after their reunion, and it's another high-quality slab of material from the band - certainly suggesting they still had some fresh ideas to offer. It's not a revolutionary release - still largely in that strange middle ground between neo-prog, the poppier flavours of NWOBHM and melodic rock rock that their classic albums occupy, this time around with substantially less in the way of NWOBHM and more of those other two ingredients. It's a bit more introspective than, say On a Storyteller's Night, as the wistful album opener When We Were Younger strongly emphasises, but it's a delightful development of Magnum's music into a mature style.
 Sabotage by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.02 | 569 ratings

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Sabotage
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by Just Because

5 stars This is the most mature album by BS. It is one of their two the most elaborated ( along with «Sabbath Bloody Sabbath» ) and easily the best work.

«Hole in the Sky» is a non-prog, rather simple, yet effective heavy song, full of energy. Bill plays as if he wants to destroy the drum kit. Ozzy is in top form. One of the best BS`s openers. 9/10

«Don't Start (Too Late)». It is rather a draft than a finished track. However it is a sweet quasi-flamenco number that shows Tony`s talents to play on an acoustic guitar and serves as a break between two heavy songs. 7/10

While the band by itself in 1970`s was ahead of its time , on «Symptom of the Universe» they outdid themselves to make speed/thrash metal ( in 1975 ! ). Another example of foresight: at 3:39 comes a guitar solo as if «Iron Maiden» is here with their debut album. Not only that, after intensive hammering at 4:14 there happens a sudden twist and towards the end we hear a pleasant acoustic jazzy part. Still nowadays jazz-metal is not a mass genre and «Symptom ?» can be considered as an exotic song being an example how to sew seamlessly two such different pieces. 10/10

First part of «Megalomania» is creepy and depressing. Ozzy sings with increasing despair, he almost groans here, but a nice brief transition with piano touch is just around the corner. Then at 3:25 comes a riff one way or another replicated by many metal bands. Ozzy`s singing is getting more ferocious and his vocal performance would suit «Judas Priest». All band members seem to compete with each other in creation of dark drive. Tony adds an aggressive solo to already electrified atmosphere, then in the end begins an insane carnival or a real coven (yes, sabbath !). What also comes to mind is that ending of «In the Hall of the Mountain King ». 10/10

«The Thrill of it All» A song which structure reminds me of the previous track, yet it is more upbeat and not as heavy as «Megalomania». The first half has interesting riffing and an infectious melody, then an elegant shift (once again on this album) leads us to something that would be on Ozzy`s solo albums: a heavy-pop marching accompanied with synthesizers. 9/10

Inspired by «Karmina Burana» «Supertzar» is a well-crafted instrumental with a choir. IMHO the most symphonic effort of BS. 9/10

«Am I Going Insane (Radio)» sounds as another one Ozzy`s statement about coming solo career. Besides «Don't Start (Too Late)» it is the weakest and most commercial number on the album, but a pretty good song with tasty playing on synth. 8/10

«The Writ» is a stone thrown at the band`s former management. Funny that the same year «Queen» did the similar thing: they released «Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to?)» . But that`s another story. Laughter fades out and there enters prominent bass playing, it has intriguing and sinister feel. Cool. Bravo, Geezer ! The song moves to softer and back to heavier parts and some moments are out of this world. 10/10

The album is the brightest example of proto-progressive metal genre. 72/80 = 4,5 out of 5 which I have rounded to 5 stars.

 Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf by HENSLEY, KEN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.52 | 39 ratings

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Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf
Ken Hensley Prog Related

Review by Psychedelic Paul

5 stars KEN HENSLEY (born 1945) is the thundering keyboard powerhouse that drives the High and Mighty sound of URIAH HEEP. He's been involved with a number of "very 'eavy, very 'umble" bands during his early years, including two albums with The Gods: "Genesis" (1968) and "To Samuel a Son" (1969), one album with Head Machine: "Orgasm" (1969), a self-titled album with "Toe Fat" (1970), and another self-titled album with "Weed" (1971). Ken Hensley appeared on thirteen Uriah Heep albums in a row, from their first album, "Very 'eavy, Very 'umble" in 1970, right through to their "Conquest" album in 1980, when he left the band he'd founded shortly afterwards due to the age-old band problem of "artistic differences". In the mid-1980's, Ken Hensley appeared on two albums with the American Southern Rock band Blackfoot: "Siogo" (1983) and "Vertical Smiles" (1984). He's also recorded two Live albums each in 2001 and 2002 with his two former Uriah Heep bandmates, John Lawton and John Wetton. More recently, he's recorded two studio albums under the name Ken Hensley & Live Fire: "Faster" (2011) and "Trouble" (2013). Ken Hensley launched his solo career in 1973 with "Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf", when he was still very much the driving force behind Uriah Heep. Two of Ken's Uriah Heep bandmates featured on the album: Gary Thain on bass and Lee Kerslake on drums. He's since recorded eight more studio albums with his most recent solo album "Love & Other Mysteries" arriving in the record stores in 2012. It's time now to take Ken Hensley's loud and proud first solo album off the shelf and blow off the dust and wipe away the cobwebs and give it a listen.

The album opens in magnificent style with a tremendous power ballad: "When Evening Comes". Ken Hensley is in fine voice here and he's a very accomplished guitarist too, as he demonstrates here with some phenomenal soaring power chords and glittering glissandos. This dramatic refrain is just as strong and powerful as anything Uriah Heep have ever done, representing a dazzling entrance onto the solo stage for Ken Hensley which he can feel justly proud. Stunning debut albums like this one only come along "From Time To Time" and that's the title of our next song. It begins as a gentle strumming acoustic guitar number and blossoms out into a high and mighty passion play of stupendous sonic splendour, in true Uriah Heep style. Think of the magnificent majesty of "July Morning", and that's the kind of epic song you have here, only without David Byron's extravagant high-pitched vocals. When the dynamic keyboards appear at the midway point, that's when the song really reaches up into the stratosphere. It's back down to earth for "A King Without a Throne", a fairly routine and plodding Blues- Rock number without any great Demons and Wizards keyboard histrionics. It's time to put the umbrella up now for "Rain", which features Ken in full romantic balladeer mode. It's a gorgeous piano ballad featuring these moving heartfelt lyrics:- "It's raining outside but that's not unusual, But the way that I'm feeling is becoming usual, I guess you could say, The clouds are moving away, Away from your days, And into mine." ..... The moment when the gorgeous choir joins in is truly inspirational. This mellifluous romantic melody is guaranteed to brighten up the dullest of rainy days. We've reached the halfway point now with "Proud Words", a rousing and rollicking rock & roll song with a boisterous attitude. Ken Hensley's clearly not in the mood to stand for any nonsense here as he loudly and proudly urges us all to:- "Stand up and fight, Or you'll lose your right, Do you want to stand in a line, Fightin' hard to hold on to your mind." ..... It's a rockin' good song to close Side One, which sounds like a rousing call to arms.

We've struck lucky and hit musical gold with "Fortune", a resonant reverberant refrain with High and Mighty Ken Hensley at his exhilarating and exuberant best. It's a true Return To Fantasy in a glorious Wonderworld of classic Uriah Heep pomp and passion. It's a song with all of the storming power of a tank rolling across Salisbury Plain. This is where we get to hear the booming and bombastic sound of Ken Hensley having the Sweet Freedom to do what he does best of all - delivering dynamic and dramatic Hard Rock with all of the explosive power of a stick of TNT. It's very 'eavy, but not so very 'umble. There's a nice change of pace for "Black Hearted Lady", an uplifting romantic ballad with Ken Hensley wearing his heart on his sleeve with these bittersweet lyrics:- "Reading between the lines I find, You don't mean what you say, You cheated and you lied, And how you made me hurt inside, You turned my days into darkest nights, And re-arranged my dreams, You're just not what you seem, Black-hearted lady." ..... It sounds like Ken was writing from bitter personal experience with those emotionally-wrought lyrics. It's time to "Go Down" now for a lovely acoustic guitar ballad. It's a charming heart-warming song carried along on a harmonious wave of rich golden guitar chords and with Ken Hensley in fine impassioned voice. In an album that's choc-a-bloc full of great songs, the penultimate song "Cold Autumn Sunday" represents the highlight of the album. It's a passionate power ballad that pulls out all the stops, featuring a glittering display of stratospheric guitar riffing and a rousing honey-voiced choir that's guaranteed to lift the spirits up into the heavens. This is THE BIG anthemic number on the album with all of the grandiose splendour and magnificent majesty of a great royal occasion. And finally, here comes the real shocker..... Ken Hensley goes Country! Yes, really! "The Last Time" is the last song on the album and it's a twangy Country song, adding a countrified string to Mr Hensley's versatile musical bow - although it's hard to picture Ken Hensley wearing a Stetson hat and cowboy boots.

"Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf" is a magnificent debut for Ken Hensley and it's an album that any discerning connoisseur of classic Prog-Rock can feel proud to have on their dusty shelf. You don't HAVE to be a Uriah Heep fan to love this stunning album, but it might help. It's not as hard and heavy as Uriah Heep, but it's an album bursting at the seams with pride and power and romantic passion.

 The Answer [Aka: Vintage '69] by BARDENS, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.23 | 52 ratings

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The Answer [Aka: Vintage '69]
Peter Bardens Prog Related

Review by Psychedelic Paul

5 stars Keyboardist PETER BARDENS (1944-2002) is best-known as one of the founder members of Camel, alongside guitarist Andy Latimer. In fact, they look so much alike, you could almost believe Peter Bardens and Andrew Latimer were brothers. Peter Bardens appeared on the first six Camel albums:- "Camel" (1973); "Mirage" (1974); "The Snow Goose" (1975); "Moonmadness" (1976); "Raindances" (1977); & "Breathless" (1978), as well as making a guest appearance on "The Single Factor" album in 1982. Peter Bardens launched his solo career with "The Answer" album in 1970, back when Camel was still a twinkle in Andy Latimer's eye. The album is known to have featured guitar legend Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac in an uncredited appearance under an assumed name. Pete Bardens released two more solo albums at the beginning and end of the 1970's:- "Peter Bardens" (1971); and "Heart to Heart" (1979). He also formed a supergroup in the mid-1990's called Mirage, consisting of ex-Camel and ex- Caravan members, although they only recorded one live album together and never quite got around to recording a studio album. Altogether, Peter Bardens' has recorded nine albums throughout his long solo career, with his most recent album "The Art of Levitation" (2002) released the same year as his tragic death from lung cancer at the age of 57. The 2010 CD re-master of "The Answer" added two bonus tracks to the original six songs on the album. So, what can we expect from Pete Bardens first solo outing. Will it be a Camelesque kaleidoscope of keyboard colours? "The Answer" lies within.

The album opens with the title track, and if you like laid-back Psychedelic Soul, then this song will be "The Answer" to your prayers. The cheerful and vibrant opening keyboard chords conjure up a tantalasing image of an English country garden on a warm summer's day, which seems fitting, as Peter Bardens is pictured on the cover sitting on a throne in a veritable Garden of Eden, surrounded by a bevy of beauties. This is a song to savour as you drink in the drops of sunlight, bathed in the golden glow emanating from the scintillating psychedelic guitar. It's mellow and groovy slice of sweetly seductive psychedelia coated in a honey-rich texture of sound, that's guaranteed to permeate the very Soul. If you're in the mood to embark on a wild and soulful psychedelic trip without the aid of any psychedelic substances, then this song is "The Answer". The intriguingly- titled "Don't Goof with the Spook" is up next. This song is no Mellow Yellow. This is a Purple Haze of acid-drenched guitar reverb. This psychedelic freak-out is very reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix with Peter Bardens vocals sounding so laid-back here that he's almost horizontal. This heavy dose of psychedelia is sure to delight fans of the late-1960's American west coast acid guitar sound. Even The Doors in their wildest moments never sounded quite as psychedelic as this. The musicians somehow manage to replicate the genuine sound of American Psychedelic Rock perfectly whilst still remaining firmly rooted in England. I can't remember the last time I heard an album of British psychedelia as good as this and "I Can't Remember" is the title of the next song. We're moving to the blue end of the psychedelic spectrum for this Blues Rock number, although it's positively aglow with some ultra-violet sparkling rays of sunshine, in the form of an extended psychedelic jam from the dynamic duo of Peter Bardens and Peter Green, battling it out in unison to see who's the greatest caped crusader of them all in the hallowed halls of Rock & Roll.

Side Two opens with "I Don't Want To Go Home", a light and airy song featuring a flirtatious flute and with some gorgeous soulful backing vocals from Linda Lewis (best-known for the song "Rock-a-Doodle-Doo). It's a playful and pleasurable melody carried along on a sea of flower-power love and peace that's best-listened to on a warm sunshiny day when all of the brightly-coloured flowers in the psychedelic garden are in full bloom. It's back to basics for "Let's Get It On", a straightforward Blues-Rock number with Linda Lewis providing some mellifluous and soulful harmonising on backing vocals. And now we come to the BIG number to close out the album, the 13- minute-long "Homage to the God of Light". This is an out-and-out rocker going full speed ahead and it's easily the proggiest of all the songs on the album, giving a hint of the dynamic keyboard virtuosity to come from Peter Bardens when he made his presence loudly felt with Camel's debut album in 1973. This storming, pounding and percussive powerhouse of a song is the thunderous highlight of the album, containing all of the sparkling power and dynamic energy of an electricity generating sub-station. This rousing and rollicking, keyboard-driven number pounds along at a relentless pace in a sonic high-decibel assault on the eardrums with all the unstoppable power of a runaway express train thundering down the tracks.

This outstanding album of British Psychedelic Rock has a liberal sprinkling of Soul in the form of soulful backing vocals from Linda Lewis and Steve Ellis (of Love Affair). It might not be very proggy - apart from the last track - but if you like your music "painted" in wild psychedelic rainbow colours, then this superb album might just be "The Answer" to your psychedelic flower-power dreams. This is an album that's as bright and vibrant as an aurora borealis (or an aurora australis if you come from a land down under).

 The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper's Feast by GLOVER, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.90 | 11 ratings

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The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper's Feast
Roger Glover Prog Related

Review by Psychedelic Paul

4 stars ROGER GLOVER (born 1945) is of course best-known as the longstanding bass player with Deep Purple and Rainbow. In the second Deep Purple line-up during the early 1970's he appeared on four Deep Purple albums:- "In Rock" (1970), "Fireball" (1971), "Machine Head" (1972), & "Who De We Think We Are" (1973). He joined Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow in the late 1970's, appearing on four albums:- "Down to Earth" (1979), "Difficult to Cure" (1981), "Straight Between the Eyes" (1982), & "Bent Out of Shape" (1983). He rejoined his Deep Purple bandmates in the mid-1980's, returning for the 1984 album, "Perfect Strangers", and he's remained with the band ever since through the recording of ten albums, up to and including the most recent Deep Purple album, "Infinite" (2017). Roger Glover has also made numerous guest appearances on other musician's albums, as well as having a whole bucketload of production credits to his name. The album we have here, "The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast" (1974) is Glover's first solo album. He followed it up with "Elements" (1978) and "Mask" (1984). He teamed up with his Deep Purple bandmate Ian Gillan in 1988 to record the album "Accidentally on Purpose" and he's also recorded a couple of more recent albums, "Snapshot" (2002) and "If Life Was Easy" (2011) under the name Roger Glover & the Guilty Party. This album, "The Butterfly Ball" is a rock opera with all of the nineteen songs on the album written and produced by Roger Glover. It's a real ensemble effort though - with Glover acting as ringmaster - featuring a whole host of notable guest singers from the world of rock, including Tony Ashton, David Coverdale, Ronnie James Dio, Glenn Hughes & John Lawton amongst others. The music on this album is a real departure from the Hard Rock sound of Deep Purple that we've become so accustomed to hearing over the years from Roger Glover and his bandmates, so we could be in for a real surprise here. Let's have a listen now to "The Butterfly Ball" and see if it floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.

"The Butterfly Ball" is really one long suite of music with all of the nineteen songs segueing into each other. As "Dawn" breaks on the album, we hear the sound of birdsong and the melodious sound of a synth, conjuring up images of a peaceful Sunday morning spent lazing in bed. This leads us nicely into the bright and lively "Get Ready", with the quirky sound of the synth giving the song a New Wave feel to it, before the term "New Wave" had even been invented. Remember, this is 1974 we're talking about here. The song is a real rocker at heart though, with Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple given a chance to really stretch his vocal chords. Next up is "Saffron Dormous and Lizzy Bee", a very silly song title with silly lyrics to match, but with a childishly charming appeal. Barry St. John & Helen Chappelle share vocal duties on this cheap and cheerful little number with its happy-go-lucky vibe. It's only a mere 90 seconds long and it sounds a little offbeat and off-the-wall, but being "Off The Wall" never did Michael Jackson's career any harm. The next song "Harlequin Hare" barrels along at a rapid hare's pace with the relatively unknown singer Neil Lancaster doing his best impression of David Essex. Burrowing onwards now with "Old Blind Mole", featuring John Goodison (who?) on vocals. It's a playful lyric sung in the nursery rhyme style of "Old King Cole". It's short and sweet at 70 seconds long, featuring the sound of a tabla drum, which somehow reminds one of Indian curries and poppadoms. Fluttering into view comes "Magician Moth", a mournful synthesiser piece, featuring the man himself, Roger Glover on keyboards, proving there are many more strings to his musical bow than "just" being a bass player in a Hard Rock band. Next up is "No Solution", a brassy and rollicking Jazz-Rock number which you could be forgiven for thinking it's titled "Don't Drink the Water", as that's the main recurring lyric of this romping stomping song. It features Micky Lee Soule on vocals, who, just in case you may not have heard of him before, was a member of Ronnie James Dio's band Elf, as well as being a founder member of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. You'll have no problem recognising the rich velvety tones of the singer on "Behind the Smile" though, because it's no less than David Coverdale, the acclaimed frontman with Deep Purple and Whitesnake. It's a quirky little song with an offbeat time signature, which is quite a departure from the Hard Rock songs we're more accustomed to hearing from Mr. Coverdale. We're in Countrified mode now for the bright and twangy Pop song "Fly Away". The virtually unknown singer on this song Lisa Strike sounds remarkably like Kiki Dee , which has to be a good thing. Next up is "Aranea", an imitation white Reggae number featuring Judy Kuhl on vocals. It's a happy-sounding song with the same kind of cheerful vibe to it as the cod Reggae song "Tropical Loveland" by ABBA. We reach the end of Side One now with Song No. 11: "Sitting in a Dream", featuring the barely-recognisable voice of Ronnie James Dio, no less. This beautiful ballad represents the high point of the album so far, with it's gorgeously-rich orchestration and with hard rocker Ronnie James Dio in romantic balladeer mode. Yes, really! This is an album FULL of surprises.

You may recognise the singer on the opening song on Side Two: "Waiting", because it's the sweet and soulful voice of Jimmy Helms. "Waiting" is a lovely Pop-Rock song with a heart full of soul which sounds as happy and carefree as a bright ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds. The lyrics are uplifting too:- "I'm waiting here for something good to come my way, And I've been waiting patiently all day, The sunshine begins to stretch upon the sky, I'm just waiting, Oh I'm waiting." ..... This bright sunshiney song is enough to brighten up anyone's day. Creeping along now comes "Sir Maximus Mouse", a song which is the complete antithesis of a timid mouse, because this is a powerful, hard rockin' mouse (and song) with attitude, featuring Eddie Hardin (of Hardin & York fame) on vocals. Next comes "Dreams of Bedivere", an instrumental number combining synthesiser and lush orchestration. Roger Glover does his best impersonation of Rick Wakeman on the keyboards before the orchestra takes over, concluding with a classical piece in the style of J.S. Bach. It's back for some more synthesiser virtuosity from Mr. Glover in the opening to "Together Again", before taking a completely different turn with the sound of a honky-tonk pub piano and with the Chas & Dave-style singer, Tony Ashton (of Ashton, Gardner & Lake), sounding like he's had a bit too much to drink. There's a complete change of pace again for the next song "Watch Out for the Bat", a warning that Ozzy Osbourne would have done well to take heed of. It's a good old-fashioned lively rock & roll number (complete with orchestra) with John Gustafson giving it his all on vocals. It's time to feast your ears on the next piece of music because this is a beautiful solo piano piece titled "The Feast", which leads us into "Love is All". This is a real humdinger of a song, featuring Ronnie James Dio on vocals. It's a very commercially appealing and happy-sounding Pop song, so you won't be surprised to hear this uplifting Beatle-esque number was released as a single. It didn't make much of an impression in the U.K. charts, but it reached number one in The Netherlands, so I guess the Dutch know a good song when they hear one. The song also received a lot of airplay in America, often being featured in children's TV shows. It's "Homeward" now as we reach the end of our entertaining musical journey. Ronnie James Dio returns again for this beautifully-orchestrated romantic ballad. It also features a charming, sweet-voiced children's choir. This emotionally-rich and enchanting ballad closes out this marvellous album in fine style with an unrestrainedly joyous song of love.

"The Butterfly Ball" is a very musically diverse rock opera album where you never quite know what to expect next. The album is a veritable smorgasbord of music, featuring primarily Pop-Rock songs, but also including Hard-Rock songs and gentle ballads, with a sprinkling of Reggae and Classical music thrown into the mix too. If there's one thing this album definitely isn't though, it's not in the slightest bit proggy. If you're in the mood for some bright and cheerful Pop/Rock though, then look no further, because this is the album for you. You'll really have "A Butterfly Ball" with this sensational album. It's "Poptastic!"

 David Gilmour by GILMOUR, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.53 | 329 ratings

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David Gilmour
David Gilmour Prog Related

Review by Psychedelic Paul

5 stars Legendary Pink Floyd guitarist and singer DAVID GILMOUR (born 1946) has played on all of Pink Floyd's albums apart from the first one, "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" (1967). David Gilmour was brought in for the second Pink Floyd album "A Saucerful of Secrets" (1968), when the drug-induced, unreliable behaviour of Syd Barrett was becoming increasingly erratic. Gilmour replaced Barrett during the making of the album and he went on to record fourteen albums with Pink Floyd in total from "A Saucerful of Secrets" in 1968, right through to "The Endless River" album in 2014, which also included a posthumous appearance by keyboard player Richard Wright. With a long career spanning over 50 years, David Gilmour has won numerous awards both as a singer and guitarist, including being inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 as part of Pink Floyd, and in 2011, he was voted one of the greatest guitarists of all time in Rolling Stone magazine. He's also made guest appearances on a multitude of albums over the years. This self-titled album "David Gilmour" (1978) is the first of four acclaimed studio albums. He followed it up with "About Face" (1984), "On an Island" (2006), and his most recent album "Rattle That Lock" (2015). David Gilmour's four solo albums might be few and far between, but that makes them all the more special amongst his devoted fanbase. He's also released a couple of very well-received Live albums on CD & DVD, "Live in Gdansk" (2008) and "Live at Pompeii" (2017). The "David Gilmour" album we have here was produced and written by Gilmour and featured the guest musicians Rick Willis on bass and Willie Wilson on drums with three female backing singers providing vocal harmonies. Okay, that's enough waffle for now, so let's plunge in and have a listen to the album.

David Gilmour is in stonking good form with the instrumental opening number "Mihalis" (the Greek name for Michael). It features the kind of long-drawn-out soaring Floydian guitar riffs we've come to know and love from Pink Floyd. Although there are no lyrics, the music has a joyous and jubilant feel-good vibe to it, which makes it a perfect album opener. "There's No Way Out of Here" for Song No. 2, and it's a good thing too, because we're not going anywhere. We're sticking around to listen to this uplifting song and album in its entirety. "There's No Way Out of Here" might be a moody bluesy number, but it definitely won't leave you feeling moody or blue. The sound of David Gilmour's captivating guitar riffs is enough to brighten up the dullest of days and there's some lovely vocal harmonising too from the three female backing singers. We're getting all down and dirty now for some hard drivin' blues now in Song No. 3: "Cry from the Street". It begins as a slow bluesy number, but don't let that put you off, because the song quickly gathers in pace and concludes with some magnificent guitar flourishes from Mr Gilmour to leave you on an emotional and spiritual high. We're not "So Far Away" from being halfway through the album now. This song probably most resembles classic Pink Floyd than any of the songs on the album so far. It's similar in style to "Us and Them" and wouldn't seem out of place at all on the "Dark Side of the Moon" album. Even the vocal harmonising from the three female singers is very reminiscent of the Pink Floyd sound, which has to be a good thing.

Side Two opens with "Short and Sweet", which is not particularly short, but it's a little bit bittersweet. It's five and a half minutes of inspirational and uplifting music, given the masterly Gilmour touch of magic with some euphoric-sounding vocals and magnificent guitar work, in true Floyd-esque fashion. It's one of the highlights of the album in an album that's packed solid with great songs. Song No. 6 is "Raise My Rent", an instrumental number, featuring those oh-so-beautiful, trademark Gilmour glissandos. If you weren't on Cloud 9 already from listening to this superb album, then you may be after hearing this stunning virtuoso performance. You may not reach seventh heaven, but this uplifting piece of music will show you the way there. Song No. 7 is another song rooted in the blues, but there's "No Way" you'll be feeling blue after listening to the sound of David Gilmour's intoxicating guitar solo midway through the song. Onto Song No. 8 now and "Deafinitely" (no, that's not a spelling mistake or typo error). It's another instrumental piece giving David Gilmour a chance to really shine and do what he does best with some sublime soloing. Somewhat unusually, this uptempo and exuberant piece of music also features the sonorous sound of a synth with some weird electronic effects thrown in for good measure. We now reach the concluding song on the album with "I Can't Breathe Anymore", which could have been a Pink Floyd classic for sure, if it wasn't included on this solo album. It's classy and sophisticated Progressive Rock in true "Floyd-esquian" tradition.

This invigorating and uplifting album is absolutely essential for fans of Pink Floyd, although I expect most Floyd fans will already have this album nestling in their treasured LP record and CD collections. It has all the hallmarks of the classic Pink Floyd sound we've come to know and love over the years from guitar maestro David Gilmour. I "Wish You Were Here" with me to hear this album because it's sensational!

 Visual Sound Theories by VAI, STEVE album cover DVD/Video, 2007
4.85 | 14 ratings

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Visual Sound Theories
Steve Vai Prog Related

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars I just watched this concert DVD. I am shocked. I never knew. I'd HEARD of Steve Vai, maybe even seen a snippet or two on YouTube (with other bands or collaborators) but I had no idea. I'd grown pretty comfortable with my assignations of "greatest guitar player ever" to the likes of Jeff Beck, Prince, Wes Montgomery, John Mclaughlin, Roy Buchanan, Jan Akkerman, and even Jimi Hendrix, but now, after this concert experience, I'm humbled, beaten, drained, and exhausted into submission: Steve Vai is the greatest guitarist I've ever seen. I love the orchestrated renditions of these songs here. There are times when he uses the orchestra to bounce his guitar ideas off of, or to replicate and carry them forward, but there are also times when Steve sits to watch as the orchestra operates without him. These are some of the moments that are so moving for he seems genuinely humbled by the orchestral performances, looking at times as if he is in genuine disbelief that this orchestra is playing such beautiful music--music that he wrote! "For the Love of God" has got to be one of the most amazing songs ever created--and to think that he can replicate the guitar parts, in concert, time after time (with an orchestra!) Amazing! I love how animated he is with his soloing--every note seems to come from emotions deep within him--which is amazing in and of itself for the fact that his speed and nuances are so laser sharp and mercurial. Having just said that, I must also add that he can do more with a single note than anyone I've ever seen--more than B.B. King, Prince, Roy Buchanan, or even Jeff Beck. I am in awe and disbelief.

You'all might not be seeing me for a while: I have a lot of Steve Vai videos and music to catch up on.

If you haven't seen Steve Vai or this video, do so--RUN to do so. You will not be disappointed!

 Olias Of Sunhillow by ANDERSON, JON album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.95 | 407 ratings

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Olias Of Sunhillow
Jon Anderson Prog Related

Review by Psychedelic Paul

5 stars JON ANDERSON needs no introduction, but the longstanding frontman of YES deserves an introduction anyway, so here goes..... He was born in Accrington, Lancashire in 1944. Anderson was a member of his brother's band, The Warriors, during the mid-1960's and he joined YES bassist Chris Squire's band, Mabel Greer's Toyshop in 1968. They changed the name of the band to YES later that same year. He was the lead vocalist on all but one of the YES albums from the first self-titled album in 1969, through to the "Magnification" album in 2001. The only exception was the 1980 "Drama" album which featured Trevor Horn on vocal duties. Jon Anderson was also the frontman on the "Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe" album, a YES album in all but name. He had a long-lasting musical partnership with Vangelis, recording four sophisticated albums of Electronica together as Jon & Vangelis:- "Short Stories" (1980); "The Friends of Mr Cairo" (1981); "Private Collection" (1983); & "Page of Life" (1991). He joined with fellow YES member Rick Wakeman in 2010 to record "The Living Tree" album. Jon Anderson's most recent collaboration was the "Better Late Than Never" (2015) album with Roine Stolt of The Flower Kings. This album, "Olias of Sunhillow" (1976), is the first of Jon's fifteen solo albums, with his latest album "1000 Hands: Chapter One", released as recently as 2019. His second album "Song of Seven" (1980) is also in the progressive mould, before he branched out into other avenues of music, such as regular Pop/Rock and New Age albums. "Olias of Sunhillow" is a concept album, recorded at a time when the concept album was King in the weird and wonderful world of Progressive Rock. The album tells the story of an alien race looking for a new world to colonise, following the destruction of their home planet in a volcanic catastrophe. Jon Anderson wrote all of the music and lyrics, and played all of the musical instruments featured on the album, so this really IS a solo album, in the true sense of the word. Let's don the flares, Afghan coat and platform shoes now as we travel back in time to those halcyon Prog-Rock days of the mid 1970's.

The album opens in dramatic style with the the sound of rumbling waves in the instrumental "Ocean Song". We then hear the exotic sound of a synth, which somehow conjures up images of the mystical East with its oriental vibe. This acts as a prelude to "Meeting (Garden Of Geda)", a buoyant and uplifting song that sounds like a more melodic and harmonic version of YES. The lyrics tell a story of a spacecraft embarking on a journey to escape a doomed planet:- "There stands Olias to outward to build a ship, Holding within all hope we retain, The frame will be so built to challenge the universe." ..... This is "YES lite" without the constant changes of tempo, sudden key changes and crashing chords that we've become so accustomed to over the years from classic YESSONGS. The "Olias of Sunhillow" album is still very much in Progressive Rock territory, but it's gentle and melodic Prog-Rock with a New Age oriental feel to it. Our journey across the universe continues now with "Dance Of Raynart, a beautiful instrumental number, featuring the gentle sound of a harp combined with mesmerizing keyboards. This leads us into "Olias (To Build the Moonglade), a passionately uplifting song full of optimism, as the alien colonists begin building their spaceship. Onwards now to the mysteriously titled 7-minute-long, three-piece suite,"Qoquaq �n Transic"/"Naon"/"Transic Tö". It's a gorgeous-sounding oriental instumental, opening to the sound of gently melodic swirling synths. This transposes into "Naon", a bright and breezy happy-clappy New Age chant, before returning to the redolent sound of the oriental synth in "Transic To". Our space colonists now embark on their journey across the universe with "Flight of the Moorglade", to close out Side One. This is an ebullient and uplifting song which is positively aglow with optimistic exuberance. Just take a look at these inspiring lyrics:- "The first to venture, First to gain, Exploring daylight, Clearer than the Talloplanic view." ..... No idea what the "Talloplanic view" is, but it sounds good and the joyfully intoxicating music is guaranteed to put you in jubilant mood and high spirits, without the aid of any alcoholic beverages.

We enter "Solid Space" now with the opening of Side Two. We're in full Symphonic Prog mode here with this rousing and restorative piece of music. It's a surging, tympanic and superlative song, bursting with glorious optimism. Okay, that's enough adjectives for now, so onwards we travel through space to "Moon Ra"/"Chords"/"Song of Search". Yes, it's another three-piece suite (no, not two armchairs & a sofa). "Moon Ra" is another New Age chant. If we weren't travelling through space, then this is the kind of jolly and vibrant song you might hear New Age revellers chanting as they dance around a tree (possibly naked) by the light of a silvery moon. This leads us onto "Chords", which, not surprisingly, is a song full of bright and uplifting, reverberating major chords to elevate the spirits up into the stratosphere and beyond. The three-piece suite concludes with "Song of Search", a hauntingly atmospheric piece of instrumental music to transport you to a higher plane of musical existence. This is soothing and sophisticated melodic prog that reaches the places that other prog-rock albums can only aspire to. We drift gently back to Earth now with the closing song on the album, "To the Runner", a joyous and jubilant hymnal melody. The music is all aglow with some positively inspirational and spiritual vibes. If only they played music in church as good as this, it might be enough to turn an atheist into a religious devotee!

You don't HAVE to be a YES fan to enjoy this album, because "Olias of Sunhillow" is a gently melodic and harmonic departure from the sound of YES, but if you ARE a fan of YES, then the familiar sound of Jon Anderson's voice may be enough to inspire you to go out and buy the album. It's still Progressive Rock, but it's Prog-Rock given a New Age oriental twist, in true Jon Anderson style. If I could choose just one word to describe the beautiful music contained within this marvellous album, it's Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

 Unhalfbricking by FAIRPORT CONVENTION album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.61 | 93 ratings

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Unhalfbricking
Fairport Convention Prog Related

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was the very first Fairport Convention album I ever owned. My parents were mentioning me about them in the early '90s as they apparently owned Liege & Lief at one time, likely in the early '70s. I noticed how much the rock critics were praising this band, at least when Sandy Denny was with them (they weren't so keen on the stuff after she left). In 1993 I bought Unhalfbricking on cassette. Ian Matthews had already left, with Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol, Ashley Hutchings, Martin Lamble, with Dave Swarbrick as guest. When I listened to it, I thought it wasn't bad but I failed to understand the hype. "Genesis Hall" and "Autopsy" were nice songs, and they obviously weren't taking themselves too seriously singing a Dylan tune in French, "Si Tu Tois Partir". Then there's "A Sailor's Life", a traditional song that clearly points at the direction they would be heading on their next album. The band really gets serious on jamming at the end, never going into one of those lethargic Grateful Dead type jams. "Cajun Woman" is obviously rather Cajun sounding, complete with accordion. "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" wasn't originally recorded by Fairport, as Judy Collins did a version of it in '68 from the album of the same name, so it looks like Sandy Denny, like Joni Mitchell, were known by singer/songwriters before they started recording albums and becoming known to the public. I really have a difficult time with "Percy's Song", a Dylan song. It's just way too repetitive and goes on for far too long, with a rather annoying chorus. This, in itself, makes me feel Unhalfbricking was overrated. Then you have another Dylan song, "Million Dollar Bash" which is much more fun to listen to. I have to say, for the prog inclined, "Genesis Hall", "Autopsy" and "A Sailor's Life" are worth hearing from a prog-folk point of view. Most of the rest is still good other than "Percy's Song". Mainly good album, but little did I know what's in store with their next album.
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