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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

4.38 | 873 ratings
LED ZEPPELIN IV
Led Zeppelin
4.34 | 617 ratings
QUEEN II
Queen
4.27 | 716 ratings
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
Queen
4.27 | 721 ratings
PARANOID
Black Sabbath
4.20 | 651 ratings
BLACK SABBATH
Black Sabbath
4.20 | 596 ratings
SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON
Iron Maiden
4.21 | 517 ratings
ARGUS
Wishbone Ash
4.17 | 418 ratings
THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS
Bowie, David
4.14 | 551 ratings
POWERSLAVE
Iron Maiden
4.16 | 386 ratings
RISING
Rainbow
4.18 | 298 ratings
HUNKY DORY
Bowie, David
4.09 | 571 ratings
SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH
Black Sabbath
4.09 | 533 ratings
MASTER OF PUPPETS
Metallica
4.04 | 655 ratings
PHYSICAL GRAFFITI
Led Zeppelin
4.05 | 420 ratings
RIDE THE LIGHTNING
Metallica
4.17 | 178 ratings
SECRET TREATIES
Blue Öyster Cult
4.02 | 561 ratings
MASTER OF REALITY
Black Sabbath
4.00 | 709 ratings
LED ZEPPELIN
Led Zeppelin
4.18 | 144 ratings
REMAIN IN LIGHT
Talking Heads
4.02 | 426 ratings
HEAVEN AND HELL
Black Sabbath

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Latest Prog Related Music Reviews


 Moog Droog by SUPER FURRY ANIMALS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1995
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Moog Droog
Super Furry Animals Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars MOOG DROOG is the second EP released by SUPER FURRY ANIMALS. As with the first "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyndrobwllantysiliogogogochynygofod (in space) E.P." it was released on the independent Ankst records which would be their last before signing on to Creation to debut their first full album "Fuzzy Logic." The title is a Welsh phrase that means "bad smoke" which is slang for marijuana. This is neo-psychedelia after all! As with their debut MOOG DROOG has also been released with two artistic album covers ironically the same as the first EP only with different coloration. This one has the prettier colors of the stick man sweeping dirt under a carpet with other beings rising from the dust. The oranges and purples and futuristic pixilations make for quite the trippy and eye-catching artistic statement. There is also a rare 7" Vinyl release that has a neon orange smiley face on a bright blue background with Mickey Mouse ears and SFA eyes. Not nearly as cool, but strange.

EP number two is another short but sweet release that has a running time of 15:11. These two first EP releases are very punk in that regard and reminds me of art punkers like the Minutemen in their stream of super short EPs. The music on MOOG DROOG is less grungy than the debut and enters more into psychedelic pop territory with moments reminding me of the late 60s Beatles ("PamV")and at times reminding me of the myriad indie pop and rock bands of the 90s including The Flaming Lips, Of Montreal or even Mercury Rev. The electronic embellishments have really entered the sound now and have usurped the harshness of the guitars. The lyrics are in both Welsh and starting with their first single "God! Show Me The Magic" in English as well.

MOOG DROOG shows SFA sallying forth into their ever expanding adventurous experimentation while keeping the songs and the hooks ever so accessible as to reel you in instantly. The first two EPs have become collector's items due to their scarcity but are very good supplementation to your SFA discography since the music on this is well worth hearing for any fans of neo- psychedelic pop and indie rock. Although the songs are more pop oriented and less adventurous as their next full album releases they still show quite a strong development towards their own unique sound. 3.5 rounded down

 In Space (EP) by SUPER FURRY ANIMALS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1995
3.00 | 1 ratings

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In Space (EP)
Super Furry Animals Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars Right from the beginning SUPER FURRY ANIMALS were displaying their mammalian cuteness and treating us to a strange little debut EP with an equally strange lengthy title which, believe it or not is LLANFAIRPWLLGWYNGYLLGOGERYCHWYNDROBWLLANTYSILIOGOGOGOCHYNYGO FOD (IN SPACE). The title is from a real town on the Isle of Anglesey in their native Wales which happens to be the longest official one-word place name in all of Europe and the second in the entire world. The funny thing about this monstrous title is that the entire running length of the EP is a mere 13:03 and as a non-Welsh speaker i would have to say that pronouncing the name of this release would take me longer than it would take for the 4 tracks to play. So we can just call it IN SPACE :)

This is a debut release and frankly it sounds like one. It is nowhere as interesting and creative as the first few full studio albums, but it is hardly a waste of time either. All tracks are sung in their native Welsh and the although the music isn't as varied as future releases, we get some hints of what's to come. Starting on "Organ Yn Dy Geg" we get an indie rock type of grungy sound with cool swirling electronic effects and a harmonica on board as well. All tracks are short and sweet. "Fix Idris" sounds very much like a 90s indie Britpop type of song with vocal harmonies and a bouncy Blur type of guitar edge with a slight Beatles kind of feel. "Crys Ti" is a very short track that reminds me a bit of Weezer pop punk with some electronics added. "Blerwytirhwng?" is the longest track one second shy of the five minute mark and is a slower indie rock type of track that has a nice hook and almost sounds orchestrated but in an SFA way. The backing of various sounds around a nice groovy guitar riff is the key to their song building and however here it's at the beginning stages.

This EP was released twice with two front covers. The original has some dude sweeping under a rug with other figures under there as well which ironically is also the cover of their second release the "Moog Doog EP" albeit with different coloration. The second is the one i have of a neon green smiley face with Mickey Mouse ears and two cute SFA eyes on a black background. A nice debut for a unique band that doesn't quite hit the mark as they would on their full album releases but nonetheless dishes out four nice tracks that managed to carve a distinct sound of sort despite the obvious influences. 3.5 rounded down

 Surrender by ANDERSON, JON album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1982
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Surrender
Jon Anderson Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Surrender" is a song taken from JON ANDERSON`s "Animation" solo album from 1982, and was released as the "A" Side of this single. It is a Pop Rock song with some World Music / Caribean / Latin Music influences, including some Latin percussion instruments (a marimba too, or maybe a steel drum, I think) and a bit of harp playing (maybe played by Anderson himself), plus very good keyboard arrangements (by David Sancious, I think) and very good drums (maybe played by Simon Phillips, one of the best session drummers I have listened to). It also has some very good bass guitar playing (and I think that it was played by Stefano Cerri, as the credits in this album gave main credits to all these musicians that I mention here, but also they gave additional credits to other musicians without giving specific details for who played in each song in the album). There are also some backing vocals which sound like being sung by some of Anderson`s children (like in his "Song of Seven" album). This song sounds to me a bit similar in style to his "Don`t Forget (Nostalgia)" song from the "Song of Seven" album, at least in the bass playing style.

"Spider", in the "B" Side of this single, is a non-album track which was released again as one of two bonus tracks in the most recent CD re-issue of the "Animation" album (re-issued some years ago by Anderson himself on his own record label, with another song called "The Spell", if I remember well now, because I don`t have that CD). It has an acoustic guitar plus very good drums by Simon Phillips (I think, again), some horns and very good keyboards (maybe played by David Sancious), some children`s vocals. This song has some New Age music influences, plus some Rhtyhm and Blues music inlfuences (which made me remember a bit some of PHIL COLLINS`s musical style as soloist from the early eighties), plus a very good lead guitar solo (maybe played by Dave "Clem" Clemson, former guitarist of HUMBLE PIE and COLOSSEUM, and who also appeared in Anderson`s "Song of Seven" album).

Two good songs released in this single. Maybe more influenced by the Pop Rock music style of the early eighties, but with Anderson`s very own musical style influenced by World Music / New Age music.

 Hoist by PHISH album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.04 | 28 ratings

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Hoist
Phish Prog Related

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Most of the band's fans agree that this is one of Phish's weakest releases and since I am a phan myself, I tend to agree with this. It is not very progressive and it followed 4 excellent albums, and it was a disappointing release. Phish had gained popularity and was working to expand their audience even more with this albums, but that backfired and fortunately Phish returned to phorm afterwards.

That is not to say this album doesn't have some 5 star songs, but the consistency is sporadic at best. It starts off with an excellent groove and sounds like it is the start of another great album. But halfway through "Julius" things get stuck in this groove and it wears out it's welcome when the entire production lays it on way to thick and the chorus repeats itself ad naseum. The next track "Down with Disease" again shows promise and even though it is a conventional rock song with a hard and somewhat tricky beat, it isn't too bad, at least it's passable. "If I Could" is more of a Alternative Folk style song and even guests Alison Krauss with her beautiful voice. This is one of my favorite Phish songs even though it has nothing to do with progressive music, it is beautiful and sensitive. The strings that make up the climax add to the beauty of this track.

Now the album slips with a short track of noise called "Riker's Mailbox" which has a story attached to it which Phish Phans are familiar with, but it adds nothing. "Axilla Pt. 2" has an annoying chorus but also has a powerful beat that drives the song anyway and a really good and powerful guitar solo, but the song is just weakened by the chorus and that cancels the track out. Next up is "Lifeboy" which is a mellow 7 minute folkish song. Here the singing is too prissy sounding, yet the instrumentals are decent. I have a love-hate relationship with this song.

Moving on, we return to more of the New Orleans style rock sound that dominates the album with "Sample in a Jar" which is a great rocker and another heavy guitar solo which actually works to get the heart beating again. "Wolfman's Brother" is similar but not quite as interesting. "Scent of a Mule" is a silly song that lampoons country music. Usually this works for the band quite well, especially in the album "Rift", but it doesn't work as well here. It's adds a little more variety to this album, but by this time, it is not really a surprise having done the same thing much better in "Rift". "Dog Faced Boy" is boring and the singing is annoyingly naive.

The album finishes up with the only progressive song on the album at over 10 minutes. This is mostly instrumental and features some very tricky rhythms and great improvised guitar, more of what we are expecting from the band. There's even a bit of humor at the end that involves an angelic choir. Unfortunately, this last track doesn't save the album and the few great tracks on the album just isn't enough when so much more is expected. The album is good enough because of the few great tracks, but should not be the introduction to the band. Stick with "Junta", "Rift," or "A Picture of Nectar" as a more representative introduction to the band and then you can move on to "Story of a Ghost" or "Billy Breathes" or "Lawn Boy" from there. Then if you want more, check out there very extensive live discography. This album should be one of the last ones you check out. Only good, but not essential is a great description for "Hoist" 3 stars.

 Race to the End by ANDERSON, JON album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
3.04 | 6 ratings

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Race to the End
Jon Anderson Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I remember that the video of this song was shared in JON ANDERSON`s Official Facebook Profile in 2012, at the time of London`s 2012 Summer Olympics. I forgot about this song and video since then until now when I realized that this single was included in the Prog Archives `s discography database and it was without a review. I listened to this song again, so I write a review about it.

"Race to the End" is really a re-make of VANGELIS`s main theme from his soundtrack album for the "Chariots of Fire" film from 1981. The original musical piece`s name in that album is "Titles", but it is widely known as "Chariots of Fire" when played in the radio. It was a very successful instrumental musical piece for VANGELIS when it was originally released as a single in March 1981.

Jon Anderson`s version of "Titles" has lyrics written by him and the song was re-titled as "Race to the End" to be released in this single as a tribute from Anderson to the Summer Olympic Games. It is a good version which is very similar in the musical arrangements and playing to Vangelis`version, with Anderson doing a very good job for it with keyboard player Christophe Lebled. It really sounds like Anderson could have simply added his vocals to Vangelis`s original 1981 instrumental recording. This 2012 version was recorded in France and California in July 2012.

The original video done for this single (which is available on youtube) shows scenes with several athletes who participated in different Summer Olympic Games during various decades (Usain Bolt, Nadia Comaneci, Mark Spitz, Yelena Isinbayeba, among the few I could remember by seeing them in the video). It is a good video.

 Hey Venus! by SUPER FURRY ANIMALS album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.71 | 8 ratings

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Hey Venus!
Super Furry Animals Prog Related

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the first SFA album on the label Rough Trade. The label wanted a pop sounding album like they used to make, so SFA put together a bunch of poppier songs which sound similar to Elvis Costello for the most part and only leaving a few really good songs like "Baby Ate My Eightball" and "Carbon Dating". The songs are short and so is the album at just over 36 minutes, it is the shortest album that the band made.

The songs on the album were quickly recorded without any samples or computerized recording techniques as the band was also trying to achieve the feeling that the songs were recorded by the band together in a room. They achieved that goal, but unfortunately the songs ended up feeling hollow and not very adventurous. Yes there are highlights to the album, but not enough to merit the high quality of playful songwriting and risky music that they had been experimenting with in their more recent past.

Not a recommended SFA album. It's just not deep or challenging enough as "Phantom Power" or the most recent gem of an album "Dark Days/Light Years". Start with those albums since they are much better. This one only gets 3 stars because even if it's poppier, at least they can make interesting sounding pop, but it's nothing close to their better albums.

 Animation by ANDERSON, JON album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.32 | 87 ratings

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Animation
Jon Anderson Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This album was also released in Mexico (on the Polydor label) in 1982 or in 1983. At that time, PolyGram Discos was releasing here very good albums from VANGELIS, JON AND VANGELIS, RUSH and others. I did not buy then this "Animation" album from JON ANDERSON, but one cousin bought it then. In fact, that cousin lent me some very good Prog Rock albums in the late seventies to mid eighties. He had then a very good collection of LPs, most of them being imported LPs not released in my country.

In 1982, YES as a band had split since early 1981, after their "Drama" album and tour with lead singer Trevor Horn , who replaced Jon Anderson in 1980. Despite the "Drama" album was somewhat successful, the "Drama" tour was problematic mainly for Horn who sometimes had problems singing the old songs from the band which were originally sung by Anderson. So, the band split, while Anderson released his "Song of Seven" album and also toured for that album in 1980. So, by 1982 YES was out of action for some time (but with some plans to reform the band, first as a band called CINEMA , with Chris Squire, Alan White, Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye, which later became YES again when Anderson rejoined the band for their "90125" album in 1983). Former YES`s guitarist Steve Howe was in ASIA and having a lot of success with that band. YES released in late 1981 a compilation album called "Classic Yes" . So, by 1982 there was not a new YES album, and some of their former members were trying to establish themselves as soloists or as part of new bands like ASIA in a changing musical enviroment which by the early eighties was more influenced by the Pop Rock music style than from Prog Rock music style of the seventies.

If Anderson`s "Song of Seven" album sounded more like a continuation of his work with YES in their aborted recording sessions in Paris in late 1979 (before Anderson and Rick Wakeman left the band), wiht more "light" Pop Rock songs with some inlfuences from New Age music and Prog Rock music, in this "Animation" album Anderson carried on with even more influences from Pop Rock with some New Age and World Music inlfuences, with even less Prog Rock influences, and even some influences from Gospel music (particularly in "All God`s Children"). So maybe he was trying to adapt his work as soloist to a more Pop Rock musical style. For this album he had David Sancious as keyboard player (a very good keyboard player who also has worked with ZUCCHERO and STING, among a lot other musicians), very good drummer SIMON PHILLIPS and other very good musicians like the recently late CHRIS RAINBOW who sings very good backing vocals. This album also has a song called "Boundaries" which Anderson recorded again as "Somehow, Someday" with YES for their "Open Your Eyes" album from 1997. I think that this song even has some Scottish Folk musical influences which made me remember a bit WINGS`s "Mull of Kintyre" hit single from 1977 (but without using bagpipes). "Olympia" is maybe the most Pop Rock influenced song. The New Age musical inlfuences are very clear in the "Animation" song.

Even if this "Animation" album is really a mixture of musical styles with the Pop Rock musical style of the early eighties being the main ingredient. I think that JON ANDERSON was then really establishing his own musical identity as a soloist, maybe a bit influenced by his work with VANGELIS. This "Animation" album is a good album, maybe a bit "light" for my taste, but very original in musical style. Unfortunately for Anderson, this album, like "Song of Seven" was not very successful in the record charts. So this maybe was the main reason that made him re-join YES in 1983 for their very successful "90125" album. He even toured a bit to promote "Animation" in 1982.

 Red Planet Boulevard by LANE, LANA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.59 | 11 ratings

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Red Planet Boulevard
Lana Lane Prog Related

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After the powerful Lady Macbeth (2005)and another covers album (Gemini), Lana Lane and her husband have decided to change their musical course: gone were the Rocket Scientists members and several partners of before and the only remaining musicians were Dutchmen Peer Verschuren (guitars) and Ernst Van Ee (drums). According to the liner notes, Erik Norlander explains that he (and Lane?) wanted a more direct approach, a kind of Led Zeppelin sound, with only guitar, bass and drums to back up the singer, with some keyboards provided by the bass player in the vein of Zep´s John Paul Jones. So, yes, Norlander took up bass duties on all the tracks on this CD leaving his majestic keyboards more on the background. On some tracks, in fact, there are no keyboards at all.

The results? Well, it all depends with what you expect. But let me start by saying there is nothing like Led Zeppelin here at all. Sure, there´s more hard rock on Red Planet Boulevard than on all Lane´s previous releases, sometimes bordering the metal edge but often falling into the the AOR trap (just listen to a track like Jessica). On the instrumental side there´s little no doubt both Verschuren and Van Ee are excellent musicians and capable of delivering everything needed. In the studio at least. Norlander is competent on the bass guitar, but he is surely much more accomplished on the keys and when he does a solo (like on Capture The Sun) you only wish he could have done more of the same on other tracks.

The tracks in general are good, specially the first three: Into The Fire, The Frozen Sea and Capture The Sun (although the opener, Into The fire, sounds like a sped up version of Into The Ether, from her debut album). The Sheltering Sorrow and Save The World are also very good, maybe because, like the aforementioned three, they are more into the old symphonic rock /classic rock mold that fits so well for her voice. The others are ok, but below par. As usual,. Norlander´s production and engineering is simply perfect.

Conclusion: an interesting experiment. You can´t blame them for not trying to avoid the easiest formulas and risking something different. Still, I really hope those beautiful layers of symphonic keys were used more. Kind of a transitional album, maybe. Good CD..Sometimes very good. But hardly essential. 3 stars.

 Allied Forces by TRIUMPH album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.44 | 51 ratings

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Allied Forces
Triumph Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Indefensibly mediocre AOR that fits right alongside the arena-rocker greats of the era (or steals from them wholesale, whichever). A lot of people compare Triumph to Rush for obvious reasons, but for me Triumph is much closer to Journey: sort of proggish in the '70's transitioning to mainstream rocking in the '80's. For some this isn't a bad thing; after all, I appreciate camp, so like this style just fine. But, in the same year that Journey put out their top selling album of all time, Escape (as does Rush, coincidentally with Moving Picture), Triumph's Allied Forces seems like that much more of a squeaky whimper that says "us too!"

So what do we get with Allied Forces? Well, if you can image a band finding unused songs by Journey, Rush, Bad Company, Styx, Foreigner, and REO Speedwagon you'll have an OK idea of what Triumph is doing here. Maybe that's a little harsh, because there's actually some excellent musicianship on this album and Rik Emmett's legacy is respectable, but Allied Forces simply sounds derivative, unambitious, and humorless. It doesn't connect with the listener, in part because of bland production that gives each song the same flat tone. Moreover, it sounds like each song was written in an attempt to satisfy a different market segment (this song is for people who like to sing along; this one is for people who like Led Zeppelin; etc.).

Standout songs like "Fight the Good Fight" and "Ordinary Man" have a few artistic crumbles to enjoy, but for each one of those one must endure the AOR pastiche heard throughout. Emmett's voice is thin and shrill which makes me wonder why he even bothers singing when his guitar work is clearly where his talent lies. Songs like "Magic Power" feel to me like they were written for an '80's movie montage, but when you hear Emmett's vocals you'll probably agree that not even Ralph Macchio or Sylvester Stallone could make them cool.

Songwriting: 1 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 1 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

 Heaven And Hell by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.02 | 426 ratings

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Heaven And Hell
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The band says that Ozzy was too much into drugs and they kicked him out, but Ozzy says that he was sick of the experimental direction the band was taking after "Technical Ecstasy" and "Never Say Die" and wanted out of the band. Whatever the reason, it was Sharon Arden that introduced guitarist Tommy Iommi to Ronnie James Dio (previously the lead singer for the bands Elf and Rainbow). Sharon Arden would later become Sharon Osbourne....interesting how things work out. The move to put in Dio turned out to be a wise decision for both Dio and Black Sabbath. This revitalized Black Sabbath's sound and introduced the band to new fans, the type of fans that love the 80s style metal that Black Sabbath started to emulate instead of following their old doom metal sounding formula which also had more prog elements than the new sound did. It is also interesting that with Ozzy leaving that the "experimental period" also ended with the band making more accessible heavy metal than before.

So, this album was a huge success. People liked Dio's vocals because he was right in line with what was happening in the hair metal scene that was evolving. Dio's method of singing was much different from Osbourne's. Iommi said that Dio opened up new possibilities because he sang against the guitar hooks where Osbourne insisted on singing along with them. What I find interesting yet disheartening is that the days of the multi-movement songs that was prominent in Sabbath's music was also gone. This lost a lot of the dynamics that were previously a huge characteristic of Black Sabbath music up through the "Sabatoge" album. To reflect this, the songs on "Heaven and Hell" are a lot more commercial than before.

This is not to say that "Heaven and Hell" is a bad album though. For Dio, this was probably his least commercial album that he was involved with, but it was also Black Sabbath's most commercial album to this point. While with Rainbow, Dio would dabble a little with prog elements, but for the most part, his overall sound was the same. So Dio brought commercialism to Black Sabbath, and the band brought popularity to Dio's name. For this album, the change in the vocals is welcome and it is a good mix of heaviness and commercialism that did rise above a lot of the hair band sound that was out or coming out at the time. "Neon Knights" and "Heaven and Hell" are staples of Black Sabbath and both excellent tracks, and some of the secondary songs are even great rockers, but they are not progressive at all, and unfortunately to me, become less interesting faster. Still, it's a worthy album and a great on for the Black Sabbath discography. Besides the obvious highlights, "Lady Evil", "Wishing Well", and "Die Young" are all better than most of the heavy metal being made at the time and "Lonely is the Word" is actually my favorite highlight of the album, so yes this is a Black Sabbath album that deserves to be in your collection.

The next album "Mob Rules" also featured Dio as vocalist, but also fell to being more commercial than ever, and suffered for it. In the meantime however, this album is not quite up to the standard of the best Ozzy era albums, but it is still great enough to get 4 stars. The part that bothers me is that it really isn't a prog album, so for the purposes of this site, it must get 3 stars.

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10CC United Kingdom
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ABSOLUUTTINEN NOLLAPISTE Finland
ACIDENTE Brazil
AERODROM Yugoslavia
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AGUA DE ANNIQUE Netherlands
DON AIREY United Kingdom
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ALWAYS ALMOST United States
THE AMBER LIGHT Germany
AMBROSIA United States
JON ANDERSON United Kingdom
ARIEL Australia
ASIA United Kingdom
ATLANTIS United States
PETER BARDENS United Kingdom
SYD BARRETT United Kingdom
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BIJELO DUGME Yugoslavia
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BLACKFIELD Multi-National
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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT United States
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BYZANTIUM United Kingdom
JOHN CALE United Kingdom
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