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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 | 878 ratings
LED ZEPPELIN IV
Led Zeppelin
4.34 | 624 ratings
QUEEN II
Queen
4.27 | 721 ratings
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
Queen
4.27 | 727 ratings
PARANOID
Black Sabbath
4.21 | 655 ratings
BLACK SABBATH
Black Sabbath
4.20 | 602 ratings
SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON
Iron Maiden
4.21 | 520 ratings
ARGUS
Wishbone Ash
4.17 | 422 ratings
THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS
Bowie, David
4.14 | 559 ratings
POWERSLAVE
Iron Maiden
4.16 | 390 ratings
RISING
Rainbow
4.18 | 301 ratings
HUNKY DORY
Bowie, David
4.09 | 574 ratings
SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH
Black Sabbath
4.09 | 540 ratings
MASTER OF PUPPETS
Metallica
4.04 | 660 ratings
PHYSICAL GRAFFITI
Led Zeppelin
4.17 | 181 ratings
SECRET TREATIES
Blue ÷yster Cult
4.05 | 426 ratings
RIDE THE LIGHTNING
Metallica
4.02 | 564 ratings
MASTER OF REALITY
Black Sabbath
4.00 | 714 ratings
LED ZEPPELIN
Led Zeppelin
4.18 | 147 ratings
REMAIN IN LIGHT
Talking Heads
4.01 | 430 ratings
HEAVEN AND HELL
Black Sabbath

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Latest Prog Related Music Reviews


 Axis XXX Live in San Francisco by ASIA album cover Live, 2015
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Axis XXX Live in San Francisco
Asia Prog Related

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

3 stars This is the review of the video and not the audio. I had to watch this to know that if you want to buy this other live album, you don't really need the video. Frontier Records has released many live albums of Asia in the past tours. A band that had a long career despite the inconsistency of their music. Some that don't like this music will say that this Pop, AOR kind of music has never been interesting. But i am sure at the time the band released their first album, the progressive rock community was intrigued to know what quality of music can play those great musicians. At the time, it was a deception, because Progressive Rocks fans were use to hear Progressive Rock music. After some line-up changes, it was worst, not only it was not more Progressive, but the songs were not as good as their first album. But, i think the band has made some better songs in the late 90's and enough good songs in their last albums to make a decent set list on this new live album.

I said that the video portion was not needed to appreciate this live recording, because of the lack of visuals. The picture and the sound are ok, and for those musicians that seemed operating on automatic pilot, you won't hear many mistakes. As you might expect, this is not a essential album for your collection.

 Drones by MUSE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.43 | 44 ratings

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Drones
Muse Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars I haven't been actively listening to Muse since 2009 due to complete disinterest in the material on The Resistance and The 2nd Law. Even though I've been a fan of their sound since Origin Of Symmetry, Muse made a turn for the simpler and commercially oriented sound on Black Holes And Revelations and expanded in the same direction with The Resistance and especially The 2nd Law. So why did I suddenly decided to return to Muse? Well, the answer is that I actually enjoyed Drones a lot more than their previous two releases and thus decided to write a few words about it.

First off, let's be clear on the fact that Drones is by no means a return to the band's old sound. What we get here is a mix between the old and the new, some tracks are completely omittable while others are among the best that Muse has ever recorded. If you've heard a couple of the singles from Drones and thought that they were weak, then you're definitely not alone; my reaction was completely the same. Dead Inside and Psycho are riff-driven anthems that completely leave me cold while Reapers is slightly more enjoyable even though the song drags a bit too long.

The first really great song here is Mercy, this track is a mix of Starlight and Bliss featuring a strong melodic chorus that transitions well between the verse-chorus sections. The Handler and Defector and Revolt are strong album tracks that manage to move the album along while adding layers to the concept of drones warfare. My favorite part of the album are the three final tracks that begin with the ballad Aftermath, progresses with the 10 minutes of bliss with The Globalist and finishes off with an a cappella outro on the title track. The Globalist is probably the biggest reason for my return to Muse since this is easily their best multi-part epic that manages to completely overshadow both Exogenesis and The 2nd Law.

I really hope that the band will continue in a more conceptual direction on their next releases while moving away from the dispensable singles that have filled their last couple of albums. Drones is a slight return to form thanks to the marvelous second part of the album that focuses on the beauty of the band's sound and reduces the filler. Recommended to fans of Absolution and Black Holes And Revelations!

***** star songs: The Globalist (10:07)

**** star songs: Mercy (3:52) The Handler (4:34) Defector (4:33) Revolt (4:06) Aftermath (5:48) Drones (2:50)

*** star songs: Dead Inside (4:23) Psycho (5:17) Reapers (6:00)

** star songs: [Drill Sergeant] (0:21) [JFK] (0:55)

 Jazz by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.42 | 361 ratings

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Jazz
Queen Prog Related

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is the last of the Queen 5 star albums. Some people would argue with this saying that it was the beginning of their commercial era while others would say that "The Game" was the last great album. Though "The Game" was good, it wasn't a masterpiece and not groundbreaking or risky, it was actually quite a safe album.

In "Jazz" (which is actually more focused on heavy rock than jazz), there are still plenty of excellent risks taken here. Opening the album with "Mustafa" definitely threw a lot of people off. But I thought it was genius and quite a showcase for Freddy's amazing voice. I love the track and I have no religious affiliation, so it has nothing to do with that, it's just an amazing song with quite a excellent guitar accompaniment. There is still quite a variety here with the rockers "Bicycle Race" and "Fat Bottom Girls", the heavy rockers "If You Can't Beat Them" and "Dead on Time", the showcase pieces "Let Me Entertain You" and "Only Seven Days", the lounge jazz influenced "Dreamers Ball", the infectious groove of "Fun It", the trademark harmonies of "Leaving Home Ain't Easy" and the progressive sounds of "More of That Jazz".

It's true there is not a lot of prog on here, and that is it's only shortcoming. The thing that makes this progressive and still a high rating album is the riskiness of the variety of the songs here, and that honestly was the reason I loved Queen so much back in the day. I was in it for not just the showmanship of the band, but the variety and how well they pulled every thing off the way they did. When Queen does a song sounding like it's from the 40s or a song that pays homage to the punk movement, they do it well and they do it right. And they always did it well back then, before disco took over and pushed it's way into Queen's music as they attempted to become the Bee Gees (Okay maybe that's a bit harsh).

Anyway, I still rate this as 5 stars even if the proginess was not so evident here, the prog in this album for me is in the effective use of dynamic, variety and the "glam-rock" side of prog.

 Blackfield IV by BLACKFIELD album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.64 | 89 ratings

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Blackfield IV
Blackfield Prog Related

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Blackfield exists because of a collaborative project between the great Steven Wilson and a mostly unheard of outside of Isreal singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen. It has been hinted through the years that this project was more Aviv's baby than it was Steven's, even though he was a major force in the frist 2 Blackfield albums and sang on most of the songs, produced and mixed the albums and played most of the instruments. Wilson said that he was going to be having less involvement with Blackfield when the 3rd album "Welcome to My DNA" was released and it was quite apparent that was the case. Now, with the forth album, SW has given the reins over to Geffen almost completely and has given very minimal help with this album because he was focusing on his solo projects and was holding up the progress of Blackfield.

The Blackfield albums were more on the light progressive side and were always programmed with relatively short songs, trying to reach a wide audience. SW's presence was definitely felt on the first 2 albums, and even though the sound is progressive lite, it was still decent material, well orchestrated and full of beautiful, heartfelt songs, similar in style to Porcupine Tree with less development and improvisation. Now with SW's involvement mostly gone, we are left with only a shell of a band. Aviv's songs are definitely more pop oriented. Even the alternative side of the music is missing here for the most part.

Steven Wilson still sings lead on "Pills" and on "Jupiter" which are the 2 best songs on here. He also sings backup on the terrible "Sense of Insanity", but other than production, you don't hear anything else from Wilson here and the record suffers big time for it. Three other guest singers also participate here, but they have a hard time saving these weak tracks. Vincent Cavanaugh from the great band Anathema sings lead vocals on "X-Ray", Brett Anderson, a popular British artist sings on "Firefly" and Jonathan Donahue from The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev, both excellent experimental bands, sings lead on "The Only Fool is Me". However, just like all of the other tracks on here, these songs are corny and weak and the guest vocalists, as great as they are, can't even save these songs. The rest of the tracks are helmed by Geffen, and they aren't any better. One positive about the album is that the instrumental passages are beautiful, lush and well orchestrated, but the lyrics and the melodies bring the songs down to a very amateur-ish style of songwriting. Over the years, you would think that SW's influence might have rubbed off on Geffen, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Geffen has said that he has convinced Wilson to keep his guitar solos down below 2 minutes, and Wilson was fine with that, Wilson wanted Geffen to take the band over. But now, there is hardly any guitar in any of the songs, just mostly the lush orchestration. The songs are also underdeveloped which is something I thought was usually a downfall of Blackfield, but now they are worse than ever, with all of the songs only lasting under 4 minutes on this album, and with 11 tracks and with the album only lasting barely over a half an hour (should have been an EP), the songs really have no room to breath, and when they do seem to be going somewhere and approaching something interesting, they are suddenly cut short. The sound of the album is very good, but the quality of the songs just isn't there. Geffen likes to compare Blackfield with Radiohead, King Crimson and Pink Floyd. He's got a long way to go. These songs are sometimes even too cheesy for pop songs. 2 stars and that is only because the production is so good on this.

 Dehumanizer by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.06 | 213 ratings

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Dehumanizer
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Let's just get one thing clear right away: robotic grim reapers shooting lightning bolts out of their fingertips to transform victims in cyborgs is 100% awesome. If I were running for president I would make this the foundation of my political platform. There is no extreme that Dio's lyrics can go to that would make me lose interest; I love camp, absurdity, and genre niches in my heavy metal - but with that being said, metal that consists of bland chugging, repetitive song structures, and overly similar vocal delivery does get old in a hurry, which is exactly what holds Dehumanizer back.

This is not a prog-related Black Sabbath album. It's a straightforward heavy metal release indicative of the early '90's (in that it's pretty bad; the 90's are to heavy metal what the 80's were to prog rock). The Black Sabbath sound peeks its head up every now again, thanks to Geezer's upfront and fuzzy bass, as well as Iommi's signature guitar, but by in large this album sounds overwhelmingly similar to a Dio release, and unfortunately not one of his better ones. Dio's vocals sound as if they're stuck in the same register, and actually come across as sloppy. I'm a huge Dio fan but this is definitely him singing in decline.

Note that the lyrical content of this album has nothing to do with fantasy tropes that is clichely used to describe Dio's writing. These songs are about that nature of evil, self destruction, and robotic grim reapers shooting lightning bolts out of their fingertips to transform victims into cybogs, which as we've established, is awesome.

Dehumanizer will appeal only to dedicated fans of the musicians involved, and even those who have rated it highly here at ProgArchives have admitted that its not as good as the Black Sabbath + Dio classics Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules. Dehumanizer has a few good songs hidden in the mostly bland ones, but only fans will want to slug through to find them.

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

 A Day At The Races by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.74 | 403 ratings

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A Day At The Races
Queen Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Pretty much everyone who likes rock music likes Queen, at least enough to sing along to this album's only hit "Somebody to Love." However, few of those casual fans know much of anything about the band's body of work that isn't played on the radio. A Day at the Races is one such album: it contains one or two songs that will show up on a classic rock FM station, and a collection of other tracks that slip into history. While this album isn't a buried treasure, there are a lot of fun and sometimes interesting tunes to discover.

Queen covers a ton of ground with this album. Songs evoke moods of playfulness, romance, lament, sentimentalism, aggressiveness, etc., all performed in the band's characteristic style. Unlike some Queen albums, and many prog albums, A Day at the Races feels like a collection of songs that stand by themselves, so I'll review it in the same way.

"Tie Your Mother Down" is a rip-roaring opener with an irresistible chorus and drive. It's also the only song on the album that resembles hard rock. It's a lot of fun but disposable rock-n-roll.

"Take My Breath Away" is a lush and tender ballad with layers and layers of Freddie Mercury vocals and only a piano and brief guitar as accompaniment. It's artistic and experimental, but not completely effective. "Long Away" sounds like a Beatles tune, so if you're into that you might like it - it's not for me.

"Millionaire Waltz" is the standout track for me. It's jaunty, playful, well arranged, and creative. In 5 minutes we transition through anachronistic melodies and dynamic vocals, growing to a fierce crescendo that is probably the most powerful moment of the entire album. A creative and enjoyable song that ends with a beautiful and sentiment.

"You and I" is another standout, which while conventional overall, has wonderful phrasing and dynamics. "Somebody to Love" is the incomparable hit of the album, and rightly so. This track is one of Mercury's shining moments, heck, it's a shining moment for the entire band. May has a great solo and the rhythm section creates a dynamic and sweeping feel. A great song - and karaoke nightmare.

"White Man" is a bottom-heavy riff machine, with angsty lyrics and aggressive playing, made more so when surrounded by the playful and sentimental songs that abound throughout the rest of the album. It's a unique entry for the group.

"Loverboy" takes a lot of flak, but it's probably my favorite song on the album. I love it's bouncy, barbershop feel, and lyrical content. It's the kind of song that puts one in a good mood, despite being silly. I sing it to my dog.

"Drowse" is a lamentful and atmospheric song with Taylor taking lead vocals. Unfortunately it locks in a bland tempo, feel, and dynamic, making it among the weakest and empty tracks on the album.

"Teo Torriatte" is the anthemic closer, and while endearing in its lyrical content, falls flat due to a sappy delivery that feels contrived to get as many waving lighters in the air as possible during an arena show.

So all in all a good, but not great album that fans seeking to explore more about Queen will enjoy. However, it won't turn anyone into a Freddie Mercury fanboy.

 Ambrosia by AMBROSIA album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.87 | 94 ratings

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Ambrosia
Ambrosia Prog Related

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars I got this album when it first came out cuz "Holdin' on to Yesterday" and "Nice, Nice, Very Nice" got a lot of airplay on our local progressive-minded AM radio station. The album has always intrigued me with its complex and diverse song compositions--some quite proggy, others quite poppy. I always thought its high points, its proggiest points, were a bit like quirky and condensed versions of YES. The songs throughout the album are all of excellent musicianship and compositional quality--in places they may be perhaps even a bit too tricky for their own good--and too YES-like, in others a bit too imitative of some of the pop masters of the late 60s and early 70s.

Five star songs: "Time Waits for No One," Holdin' on to Yesterday," the jazzy, GENTLE GIANT-like "Mama Frog," the medieval folk/THE ASSOCIATION-llike "Make Us All Aware," and the beautiful and emotional CARPENTERS/SIMON AND GARFUNKLE-like "Lover Arrive"

Song on the Breech: "Nice, Nice, Very Nice"

Songs that bring the album down a bit: The Beatles/pre-XTC-like "World Leave Me Alone"; the plodding STYX/PROCUL HARUM/URIAH HEEP-like "Drink of Water"

Still, a four star effort that, in my opinion, contributed something positive to the progressive rock world.

 Not a Bit - All Of It by VANGELIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1980
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Not a Bit - All Of It
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars In 1980 - when he also collaborated with Jon Anderson for the first JON & VANGELIS album - Vangelis took an unexpected sidestep into techno. And especially with the help of vocals and various kinds of spoken parts he seemingly wanted to prove that he's got sense of humour too. See You Later is generally considered to be one of the worst Vangelis albums, but it surely has its peculiar charm and finer, even beautiful moments.

'Not a Bit - All Of It' (3:00) is a parody of an advertisement. The main body of the music is like a naive rehearsal piece for a little group of strings repeating a simple melody, then (at 0:35 approximately) enters a female advertising voice: "Hysteria, insomnia, stress, neurosis - please give a better impression with clever use of cosmetics!" The strings are joined by light brass and percussion for waltz-like bridges, and later by a plain silly male backing voice too, to make it clear this is humour. In the later ad speech parts the person names are censored with a high beep. I don't like humour music, but this is quite an amusing and personal slice of such thing.

The B-side is 'Multi-track Suggestion' (5:36) which is among the better tracks on See You Later, a combination of a hollow programmed rhythm, classy and elegant synth sounds and various vocals. This kind of unusual approach, without completely losing the recognizable Vangelis touch, makes the album in question a very interesting case, and this single is a surprisingly functionable sample of it in its own right. I'll shock some of you and give it three sympathetic stars.

 Chariots Of Fire by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.99 | 108 ratings

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Chariots Of Fire
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I never have watched to the "Chariots of Fire" film. I remember that it was available to be watched to in several cinemas in my city in 1981-1982. But I don`t remember the reason I never went to a cinema to watch the film then. Maybe it was because I have never been a very dedicated "fan" of films. In fact, I prefer to listen to music on CDs or to watch to a full concert or music documentary on DVD for two hours than to spend two hours watching to a film not related to music. It seems that music is my favourite form of art.

But I remember that the "Titles" musical theme (broadcasted in the radio stations in my city titled as "Chariots of Fire") was played a lot. It really was a Hit Single here, as it also was in other parts of the world.

The music in this album in fact is not very complicated. it is very accessible. Maybe that was the reason this soundtrack album was very successful then. Or maybe VANGELIS`s talent made things easier to the general public. Maybe this album was also an introduction for the general public to the music of VANGELIS. In fact, at that time I only have listened to JON and VANGELIS`s "Short Stories" album in late 1981, and a year later to their "The Friends of Mr. Cairo" album. That was allI knew about VANGELIS`s music then.

"Titles" is the only thing related to the scenes of the film that I have watched to in video on TV and in youtube. It is a very melodic piece of music, very accessible, which still makes me remember some musical ideas that i have listened previously in his "Heaven and Hell" album. I don`t know if VANGELIS re-cycled some of those muscal ideas for this"Titles" musical piece. Anyway, it is very good.

"Five Circles" has some Clasical Music influences, but it still is in the New Age music style that VANGELIS helped to create.

"Abraham`s Theme" and "Eric`s Theme"`, as long as i know, are the musical themes for the main characters of the film. "Two runners with different motivations to participate in the 1924 Olympic Games". Both themes are very "atmospheric" musically.

"100 Metres" by VANGELIS is more like a brief musical link to the Traditional British Hymn "Jerusalem", which is sung by the Ambrosian Singers with a Church Organ. I like this Hymn a lot, and the arrangement in this case is very good.

Maybe the best part in this album is the long musical piece titled "Chariots of Fire", with a duration of 20 minutes. It really is a long piece of music on which VANGELIS does variations of some of the musical themes which were presented in the previous musical pieces (with the exception of "Jerusalem", of course). The main instrument in this long musical piece is the piano, with "Orchestrations" done with other keyboards. It is also a very "atmospheric" musical piece. VANGELIS really plays the piano very well in this long musical piece.

Maybe one day I`m going to watch to the film. But as a soundtrack album, I think that it is a very enjoyable album.

 Live in Gdańsk by GILMOUR, DAVID album cover Live, 2008
4.19 | 121 ratings

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Live in Gdańsk
David Gilmour Prog Related

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After being disappointed by recent live albums from Yes, Ian Anderson, and even King Crimson, I wasn't expecting much from this year 2008 release by yet another classic rocker lugging his dusty back catalogue around on tour. And yet the two-disc set, ostensibly supporting Gilmour's "On an Island" album but including a generous selection of older Pink Floyd songs, is more than just an obligatory stroll down memory lane. All the music, old and new, was presented with genuine affection, and performed with surprising, almost palpable energy.

The show opens with a brief "Dark Side of the Moon" medley: an appetizer for starving Eastern Block Floyd aficionados who never had the chance to see their heroes while the Wall was still up (Khrushchev's wall, not Roger Waters'). The song "Breathe" also sets the mood and tempo for the "On an Island" material, filling the rest of Disc One and revealing its obvious shared DNA when played in tandem with the classic Floyd chestnuts.

Anyone who considered Gilmour's '06 solo album too relaxed will embrace these far more galvanized live renditions, all of them spruced up by some of his most emotional guitarmanship on record. Not that he had much choice: the band, with occasional full orchestral accompaniment, was playing an outdoor gig to an estimated crowd of 50,000 enthusiastic fans. Subtlety and restraint don't count for much when trying to reach the back row of a kilometer-wide audience.

But it's the music on Disc Two that concertgoers were likely waiting for: an abbreviated Best of Pink Floyd omnibus, from "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" to beyond "The Wall". You've heard these songs performed countless times already, I know. But rarely with such passion and conviction, making them sound fresher than ever. It probably helped to have a second guitarist (Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera) almost equal in stature to the headliner, and a rhythm section able to play with more assertive punch than Nick Mason and Roger Waters.

Additional resonance (for Pink Floyd heads, at any rate) was supplied by the presence of Rick Wright, making what would sadly be one of his last recorded performances. The founding Floyd keyboardist would pass away two years later, just as this album was going to press.

By 2008 you might be excused for expecting carbon copies of familiar hits, all played by rote (see: "Pulse", 1995). Happily, it didn't happen here. The new version of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" is notable for its stripped-down arrangement of the opening verses: just Gilmour's voice and guitar, plus Wright's piano. The long instrumental break in the middle of "Echoes" becomes a dramatic call-and-response between the two ex-Floyd bandmates. And I don't recall the "Atom Heart Mother" filler song "Fat Old Sun" ever sounding quite this dynamic before.

In short (after a typically long-winded accolade), this one's a keeper, unlike the contemporary efforts of too many other Golden Age artifact-proggers. The first disc re-asserts Gilmour's position as a consummate bandleader; and the second one (sorry, Mr. Waters) further validates his role as the caretaker of the long musical legacy that made his reputation.

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ELOY FRITSCH Brazil
FUGATO ORCHESTRA Hungary
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