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ECLECTIC PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Eclectic Prog definition

The term 'eclectic' in the context of progressive rock describes a summation of elements from various musical sources, and the influences and career paths of bands that take from a wide range of genres or styles. While progressive music can be, in a larger sense, eclectic, the 'Eclectic Prog' term is specially meant to reference bands that trespass the boundaries of established Progressive Rock genres or that blend many influences.

Eclectic Prog combines hybrids of style and diversity of theme, promoting many elements from different sources. The Eclectic category recognizes bands that evolved markedly over their career (in a progressive, evolutionary way), or have a plural style without a clear referential core.

The basic features lie within the music's variety, rich influences, art tendencies and classic prog rock elements. Among the representative bands are KING CRIMSON, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, and GENTLE GIANT.

- written by Ricochet (Victor)

Current Team as at 12/31/2013

Rob (Epignosis)
Logan (thellama73)
Sagi (Sagichim)

Eclectic Prog Top Albums


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

4.60 | 2931 ratings
IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
King Crimson
4.52 | 2254 ratings
RED
King Crimson
4.50 | 1343 ratings
GODBLUFF
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.42 | 1439 ratings
PAWN HEARTS
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.39 | 1892 ratings
LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC
King Crimson
4.35 | 1102 ratings
IN A GLASS HOUSE
Gentle Giant
4.37 | 528 ratings
THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE
Hammill, Peter
4.31 | 1087 ratings
H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.28 | 988 ratings
STILL LIFE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.26 | 1258 ratings
OCTOPUS
Gentle Giant
4.26 | 996 ratings
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
Gentle Giant
4.26 | 995 ratings
FREE HAND
Gentle Giant
4.24 | 981 ratings
ACQUIRING THE TASTE
Gentle Giant
4.21 | 904 ratings
VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
Hackett, Steve
4.27 | 296 ratings
MEMENTO Z BANALNYM TRYPTYKIEM
SBB
4.25 | 340 ratings
ANABELAS
Bubu
4.24 | 324 ratings
BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH
Birds And Buildings
4.19 | 513 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC: PART TWO
Beardfish
4.16 | 571 ratings
SPECTRAL MORNINGS
Hackett, Steve
4.24 | 256 ratings
BORIS
Yezda Urfa

Eclectic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Eclectic Prog experts team

CLOSE GRIP
Gourishankar, The
NOT OF SOUND MIND
Zapotec
L'ENFANT ASSASSIN DES MOUCHES
Vannier, Jean-Claude
I'M NORMAL, MY HEART STILL WORKS
Illŕchime Quartet

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Latest Eclectic Prog Music Reviews


 Other World by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.51 | 48 ratings

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Other World
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Impressive but...

Soon after that I had heard "The Silent corner and the empty stage" beacame I very curious about hearing the totally new record by htis romantic hero, Peter Hammill, the record "Other world" from 2014 which is done together with guitarist Gary Lucas.

On the cover we see and area of antoher planet and it feels like the theme of emptyness is present also here, but actually even more here. I was overwhelmed when I realized that Peter Hammill could still perform pure musical art just as that romantic stage poet he is. On "Other world", Hammill's thirty-eighth studio album it's just he and Gary Lucas, the guitarist who play. They do perform impressive things on these minutes. Lucas is a great guitarist who can capture every feeling and play both rough and sophisticated.

But, when I am impressed do I just rate this three? Well I think the record is too calmed down, too ambient and partially even too weird. I like experimental stuff and I know it's progressive but I want to hear more of the Hammill I am used to. I would like to recommend some beautiful songs though such as: " Of Kith & Kin" a quite acoustic song with the famous voice poet telling us the truth and "Cash"- rough and mighty , "This is Showbiz" - fast and furious, "Black Ice" an experimental beauty and "The Kid" which all deserve (8/10) from me. Some of the others are also good but I wouldn't recommend them.

This is definitely a record for fans of Peter Hammill but perhaps even more for fans of very experiemtal and/or calm ambient music. I look forward to hear all the other Hammill records!

 Three Friends  by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.11 | 836 ratings

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Three Friends
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by FragileKings

4 stars Gentle Giant was one of those classic bands with which I felt I had to become acquainted for my prog education. The problem was that every time I tried to listen to samples from their albums I was quickly put off. They just sounded too weird to me. Renaissance barbershop quartet with jazz and eclectica. Let's just be as obtuse and peculiar as we can, boys! Nope. I wasn't getting it.

As it so happened, I never gave up and eventually downloaded 'Alucard' from their debut from iTunes. That song captured me and soon I was looking at the reviews of their albums. 'Three Friends' was said to have some hard rock on it and that was the selling point. I ordered it and sunk my ears into this concoction of Gentle Giant's.

Surprisingly, I found the album to be quite listenable. It's actually not as weird as some of what I had heard (I now have 'Acquiring the Taste' as well and that's more bizarre at times). The prologue is a pretty decent rock song with a strong progressive vibe, featuring some of their unique vocal arrangements but in an easy to follow way. The three main story songs about the three friends are also very good, in my opinion. 'Working All Day' is lower in tone with some saxophone and vocals in the lower register. 'Mister Class and Quality?' is fairly typical of early seventies music with organ, a nice beat, some violin, and some good electric guitar playing.

'Peel the Paint' is where the album really hits it home though. The beginning is cautious and suspenseful as we see the artist painting. There are some lovely violins to add class. However, the second part of the song turns into a heavy rocker with Kerry Minear delivering a husky, gravel-voiced rock vocal as the lyrics turn to the darker side of the artist's life. There's a guitar and drum duet that is simply calls for wringing the air with an air guitar performance by the listener. It reminds me of the battle between the two wizards (guitar and drums) on Uriah Heep's 'The Magician's Birthday'. Wonderful stuff. Though the strained guitar notes get replaced by milder effects the song by no means lays low. It concludes with more of Kerry and a dramatic closure of guitar, sax, bass, drums, and organ.

The only real weird part on the album I feel is 'Schooldays' which includes some of GG's more adventurous vocal works and features a shaky performance by young Calvin Shulman, the son of one of the Shulman brothers. The boy was nervous claim the CD liner notes and it shows. But if I were recording an album and needed a boy's voice I am sure I would ask my son too.

The music here is bold and vigorous but not as experimental as on some of their other albums. As such, this is an easy album to enjoy and a safe stepping stone to access the band. It still has the band showing off their skill though. As I mentioned above, I also have 'Acquiring the Taste' which is a lot more off the beaten path. I'm tempted to buy 'Octopus' and maybe one or two albums more as there are a few here that are highly rated but I am not sure what to expect yet. Definitely a good album but compared to some of GG's other more progressive works, I am not sure that it is exactly essential. But I still feel it has enough highlights to make it better than just good.

 The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.37 | 528 ratings

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The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

5 stars Peter Hammill was born in London 1948 and has a huge discography of progressive rock. I know him particularly for his twelve Van der Graaf Generator record but he is also a solo artist which has done thirty-eight records. These records was in the beginning done with the same line-up such as Van der Graaf Generator so it's not strange that I like this record very much. "The silent corner and the empty stage" from 1974 is Peter Hammill's third studio album. It is amazing that this one celebrates its fourtieth birthday this year. The cover is discreet, showing something soft I don't figure out. The line up is Peter Hammill of course who plays guitar, piano, bass, harmonium, keyboards, mellotron and oscillator and sings, Randy California who plays guitar, Hugh Banton who plays organ, guitar and keyboards, Guy Evans who plays drums and percussion and David Jackson who plays flute and saxophone. So it's almost a common Van der Graaf Generator-record. But I would consider this record different from VDGG anyway. The compositions are more artistic and romantic and not as bombastic, even if they're bombastic enough.

I haven't heard this many times but I know that I love this record. If a musician wonder how to do rock music as pure art this is the answer. The music is brutal as punk and the vocal performance of Hammill is monumental. He extends the though of what you can do on an empty stage. When you listen to this record the stage is definitely not empty anymore. The record has also a longer playing time than other lp:s which is great. The record starts with the new thinking and heavy "Modern" which hits the romantic level this album happens to stand for(9/10). The "Wilhelmina" starts which is one of the most lovely songs I have found in a very long time. The lyrics, the melody and Hammill's vocals make my feelings swell over(10/10). "The Lie" is almost as fantastic, a track of a genius(10/10) and "Forsaken gardens" has a lot of drama and the famous Jackson saxophone and I love this too(10/10). The little acoustic piece "Rubicon" is the least fantastic part of this album(8/10) because the bottom is high. The final is of course "A louse is not a home", the longest track which is a fantastic symphonic tale for those ears which are not afraid of new thinking rock and cacophony. How I wish more musicians were blessed with a musical mind as Hammill(10/10). This record has a self-written place in every prog rock collection and I do not doubt a second to rate this high. A have hard to pick the best songs but "Wilhelmina" holds a special place in my heart, partially because I love the name, and the final "A Louse is not a Home" can you not hear to many times I pick them.

 Reunion - Live In Tokyo by UK album cover DVD/Video, 2013
5.00 | 3 ratings

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Reunion - Live In Tokyo
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

5 stars In 2009 John Wetton and Eddie Jobson joined to tour under the name U-Z Project (Ultimate Zero), with guests musicians including the likes of Tony Levin, Trey Gunn, Marco Minnemann or Greg Howe, playing music from U.K., King Crimson and other compositions by their members. The experience encouraged Wetton and Jobson to go for what could be called a proper U.K. Reunion and tour as from 2011.

U.K. are one of the few of the 'classic dinosaurs' which I could never see live, their video material is rather scarce, and unfortunately I also missed seeing them live in their recent reunion, so seeing them in this DVD was like an old pending item in my wishing list finally being ticked.

We don't have Bruford or Bozzio at the drum kit but the great Marco Minnemann does an outstanding job, and few guitarists could be a better choice for filling in for Allan Holdsworth than the Austrian Alex Machacek.

The filming and sound quality are clearly sub-par for such a recent release, but for me, the quality of the music and performance more than compensate for that. This is superb Prog played masterfully.

The set list could not be much better, the tandem "In The Dead Of Night ? By The Light Of Day ? Presto Vivace ? Reprise" opens the show leaving no doubt that these guys are in for serious business. Wetton's voice is in great shape and Machaceck replicates Holdsworth faithfully even if a bit too clinical, not daring to go further than what is supposed for a guest musician. "Danger Money" follows with a great performance by Jobson and Minnemann. "Thirty Years" is such a beautiful composition with those original progressions and harmonies. Eddie Jobson displays his Emersonian influences in "Alaska" followed by "Time To Kill" where he squeezes his electric violin full of effects. Then we have the beautiful King Crimson's "Starless" with a great crescendo where Jobson does another amazing display with his violin.

"Carrying No Cross", the epic in their Danger Money album, is another display for Jobson, making it clear that he should be more considered among the top Prog keyboardists and not just as a violin player. Alex Machacek stays absent for this one. Then we have a very good drum solo by Minnemann and a violin solo by Jobson, very effects-driven. "Nevermore" is another highly beautiful piece with great soloing by Jobson and Machacek, followed by King Crimson's "One More Red Nightmare" were Jobson delivers new violin solos.

"Caesar's Palace Blues" and "The Only Thing She Needs" continue the fantastic track choice.

As an encore, Wetton and Jobson stay in the stage and perform an intimate version of "Rendezvous 6:02" just on e-piano and voice.

Wetton does not look too enthusiastic but he sings very well, Jobson confirms how good a keyboardist he is besides his violin playing, Minnemann is a delight to watch and Machacek successfully does the difficult job of covering for Holdsworth. Overall a wonderful release for fans of this supergroup.

 Envol Triangles - Les Saisons Marines by MINIMUM VITAL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1992
2.44 | 13 ratings

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Envol Triangles - Les Saisons Marines
Minimum Vital Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The roots of this legendary French band go back in 1981, when brothers Thierry Payssan (keyboards) and Jean-Luc Payssan (guitars) formed the duo Concept, which eventually turned to a proper band with Eric Rebeyrol on bass and Francois Peron on drums.Peron would be soon replaced by Antonie Fillon and the band made afterwards its live debut.Female flutist Anne Colas jumps in around 1984 and Concept enter the Carat Studio in Bordeaux to record the cassette album ''Envol triangles''.By the time of its release in 1985 the band changes the name to Minimum Vital.

This was a very good Symphonic-Jazz Rock album with numerous keyboard workouts, some lovely guitar work and the constant presence of Colas' flute drives, the result is a complex music proposal, which crosses the lines of FOCUS, CAMEL and mid-70's KING CRIMSON at the same time, drawing influences from Classical Music, Folk and Jazz-Fusion.Nice organ parts, which was a strange thing to play in mid-80's, and endless interplays between keyboards and flutes, surrounded by an intricate rhythm section and the impressive guitar hooks of Jean-Luc Payssan.The music is all instrumental with tons of breaks and tempo changes, having often a pretty dark atmosphere, twisting from melodious textures to rich, demanding arrangements with an almost dissonant sound, sometimes close to neighbours EDHELS.

The same year Minimum Viyal faced the departure of Follin with Christophe Godet, formerly of Pseu, taking over the drum duties.Several concerts and intense songwriting would follow with Minimum Vital getting in touch with Francis Grosse of the Musea label in order to release a first vinyl album.This would become true in 1987 with the album ''Les saisons marines''.

The style of the band was now more refined, elaborate and definitely more professional with a cleaner and more convincing sound, while they started to add some light Medieval tunes into their music, a trademark of the band over the next years.The jazzy elements and the abstract rhythms remain the basic components of their music, flavored by symphonic keyboard themes and yet again some furious and inventive instrumental intercations.High level of technical accomplishment, tight and usually fast-paced compositions with changing climates and dense interplays characterized a sound, which was totally uncommercial and deeply progressive.They added a fair bunch of archaic-styled keyboard lines and even some sampled harsichord in the process along with the folky acoustic guitars, the result was a fascinating sound with a deeper Folk taste.Despite the strong presence of synths, the Classical-drenched organ interludes remain a solid value of their music, which was taken to another level with the demanding mix of rural, symphonic and Fusion elements.

As both the original cassette and vinyl issues are pretty rare, these early works of Minimun Vital were resissued by Musea in 1992 via a CD compilation.A new star was born in the 80's, creating haunting and highly progressive instrumental music.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Camera Chiara by CAMERA CHIARA album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.02 | 3 ratings

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Camera Chiara
Camera Chiara Eclectic Prog

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Camera Chiara were formed in Salerno in the second half of the first decade of this century. After a first demo in 2008, in 2013 they self-released an interesting eponymous début album with a line up featuring Francesco Lembo (keyboards), Danilo Lupi (bass), Vincenzo Manzi (guitar) and Antonio Pappacoda (drums). The name of the band was inspired by a book about photography by Roland Barthes, La chambre claire (translated in English as Camera Lucida) and the love of the band for the art of photography is also portrayed on the album cover that in some way gives you the right key to approach the musical content of this brilliant work.

Barthes considers photography as asymbolic, irreducible to the codes of language or culture, acting on the body as much as on the mind and he develops the twin concepts of studium and punctum: the first denoting the cultural, linguistic and political interpretation of a photograph, the latter denoting the wounding, personally touching detail which establishes a direct relationship with the object or person within it. Well, on their website the band invite the listener to focus on the punctum of the "musical photographs" contained in the album. This is a completely instrumental work, all you have to do is close your eyes and let the music drive...

The short opener "Tufa Domes, Pyramid Lake" sets a mysterious, dark atmosphere. Although there are no liner notes in the booklet, the title seems to refer to a famous picture shot in 1867 by Timothy H. O'Sullivan which portrays an almost lunar landscape on the Pyramid Lake, a place near Reno, Nevada while the music recalls Pink Floyd.

The following "Chiaroscuri" is a long, complex track marked by the constant contrast between dark and light atmospheres. It' another track that testifies the deep passion for photography of the band. In fact, chiaroscuro (Italian for light-dark) is a word that defines the artistic use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition or a picture. Here pulsing, tense bass lines contrast with light, soaring keyboards waves and electric guitar patterns while calm moments are followed by stormy passages. Every now and again Goblin or L'Ombra della Sera come to mind but the music does not sound derivative at all. A real treat!

Then comes "Maschere cadute" (Fallen masks), a nice short track full of positive energy that leads to the reflective "Nel tuo mondo" (In your world). Here the atmosphere is dreamy but never relaxed while shadows and lights seem to dance all around. A great track!

"Danzano le memorie" (Memories are dancing) is a short, romantic track with the piano in the forefront that almost melts into the following "In un gioco di specchi" (In a game of mirrors) where you can hear a haunting marching beat and experience some strange exotic flavours. Then the rhythm rises taking you to mysterious territories where your imagination can run free conjuring up psychedelic visions...

"Come il bianco col nero" (As white with black) is another complex track where influences from the past and modern sounds are mixed in an original way with brilliant results. Then "Il nuovo e il vecchio giorno" (The new and the old day) concludes the album with a good dose of electricity and powerful blows of optimism.

This work is completely instrumental but very rich in ideas and there is no weak point. According to the band's website, among their influences you can find bands and artists with a different background such as Air, Balletto di Bronzo, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Biglietto per l'Inferno, Genesis, Goblin, King Crimson, Le Orme, Philip Glass, Pink Floyd, Rush, Soft Machine, Tool and Vangelis but I think that Camera Chiara have succeeded in mixing all these influences with great personality and excellent composition skills. This album is really worth listening to...

 Camera Chiara by CAMERA CHIARA album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.02 | 3 ratings

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Camera Chiara
Camera Chiara Eclectic Prog

Review by Todd
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano!

4 stars Camera Chiara is a band from Salerno, Italy, who came together in the latter half of the 2000s, and who released their self- titled debut album late in 2013. The lineup for the album was Francesco Lembo (keyboards), Daniel Lupi (bass), Vincenzo Manzi (guitar), and Antonio Pappacoda (drums).

The music is instrumental, relying heavily on textures, melodies, and interweaving lines from keyboards and guitar, all with some excellent steady, always interesting contributions from the rhythm section. The bass lines in particular are very memorable, driving the songs forward and providing a solid anchor. At times the moods are spacey, other times tinged with a post-rock melancholy, still others driving and heavy. Each song moves down its own unique path, but they all definitely share common elements.

Stand out moments for me are Chiaroscuri, Nel Tuo Mondo, In Un Gioco Di Specchi, Il Nuovo E Il Vecchio Giorno, and especially Come Il Bianco Col Nero, which I'll try to describe to give a sense of what the album is like.

The song opens with a bass trill with some echoes applied. Spacey keys and guitar effects soon appear, as well as a quiet stuttering drum beat. These all interplay and gradually build, with the bass continuing its hypnotic trilling riff. There are two alternating chords that form the backbone of this section. About two minutes in, the guitar and bass double in a new riff that takes over and acts as a bridge to the next longer section. A descending bass line reminiscent of Pink Floyd's Interstellar Overdrive introduces the next section, a more uptempo beat with some punchy keyboards and building guitar riffs, some angular and some fluid. The keys vary from vibraphone to organ, shifting to background for some killer guitar solos.

This is a very strong album, never dull and frequently engrossing, and will certainly appeal to fans of instrumental prog, particularly those who enjoy their space themes spiced with some modern sensibilities. Please visit their bandcamp page and listen and download the album. Or purchase the CD from the band or from other distributors (such as Synphonic). Four stars. (Gnosis 12/15)

 Godbluff by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.50 | 1343 ratings

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Godbluff
Van Der Graaf Generator Eclectic Prog

Review by FragileKings

5 stars VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR are one of those classic prog bands that must be in any decent prog collection. I believe this now with affirmed feelings. Yet early on I had a difficult time finding something to appreciate in the music. Whenever I gave a listen, it was Peter Hamill's vocals that quickly put me off. The music may have had a genius quality but Hamill was more of a madman. How was that singing? He'd have done better by talking.

Well, one day I noticed that I was slowly acquiring and enjoying most of the albums on the PA top 20 of all time and so I figured I'd just order "Godbluff" and give it a good listen. And well that I did.

"The Undercover Man" begins slowly and the music is easy to get into because it is not weird and builds very nicely as the song progresses. Peter Hamill sounds like he's reading a book and singing the odd word here and there. If I had never been able before to imagine the concept of someone singing without a tune or melody then I sure can now. But soon I seem to get what Hamill is doing. He's singing poetry. And actually it's not that bad.

"Scorched Earth" begins without me even noticing the first time because it seems to just be another part of "The Undercover Man". But the music turns more energetic and aggressive and there's a new twist to the sung poetry. This is getting interesting now. The song has edge and the music is pleasantly powerful. This I can dig.

The album continues to impress on side two with a great drum and bass intro to "The Arrow". A saxophone comes in and I am trying to imagine what image this music can conjure in my mind's eye. I settle on ghost ships appearing through the fog. The song rolls with that keyboard sound and Hamill delivers the lines with a rough edge to his voice at times. All right. So two very good songs so far and one that's interesting enough to be worthy of repeat listens.

And then we reach the climax of the album and for me THE VDGG song to have me hooked: "The Sleepwalkers". The song begins just as good as anything I've heard so far. I am really surprised that I am enjoying music without electric guitar this much. There's this wonderful bit that sounds like living room dance music for my dear grandmother's generation, with images of barrel-bodied seniors in brown pants and knit one- piece sweater/skirts dancing joyously in the living in the 1970's. Love it! Then the first part wraps up and morphs into a spacey organ bit that goes on a bit longer than I'd like. But that's OK because presently a serious rock section begins and my ears are soaking in all in. This is really good music. The sax and organs along with an acerbic Peter Hamill screaming the lyrics as well as any punk rocker is just bliss. And again I notice that there's no electric guitar and I am loving the saxophone. Fantastic!

Based on the sheer joy of listening to the music on "Godbluff", I bought "Still Life" but was disappointed. Later I bought "Pawn Hearts" and though I like it now, it took some time to appreciate. But "Godbluff" is quite a package of music. It sure deserves it's place among the top albums of progressive rock. Certainly, VDGG is not for everybody and if the music isn't too hard to swallow then Peter Hamill's voice might be the clincher. More than a singer, I would call him a theatrical vocalist. But if you can "get" this then this album should really please. One thing I really appreciate is that I can listen to the whole thing through and keep my interest, and as well, I can pick two or three songs to put on mix playlists. These are two of the traits of a great album for me.

 The Good Earth by MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.50 | 112 ratings

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The Good Earth
Manfred Mann's Earth Band Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Manfred Mann's Earth Band's progressive phase continues in 1974 with the album ''The good Earth'', recorded again at The Workhouse in Old Kent, London.The album dealt with ecological concerns and the band promoted it i a unique way.Each one having bought the copy would own the rights of one square foot of the earth in the County of Brecon, Wales, after registering via a coupon enclosed in the album!The album was released in October 1974 on Bronze Records.

Stylistically speaking this was one of Manfred Mann's Earth Band's most uneven works in the 70's.The main reason was propably the selection of songs of the opening side, ''Give me the good Earth'' was a reworking on a track by Spooky Tooth's Gary Wright from his solo album ''Footprint'', while both ''Launching place'' and ''I'll be gone'' were originally written by Mike Rudd, the main man behind Aussie Psych Rocker's Spectrum.So, ''Give me the good Earth'' is actually a raw Psych Rock piece with bluesy guitars and vocals in evidence with a nice after-middle part, highlighted by Mann's Mellotron and the nice guitar tunes of Mick Rogers.''Launching place'' is along the stylings of the band around the time, fronted by the spacey Moog synthesizer of Mann and the some bluesy/melodic guitar moves by Rogers, followed by a very good solo, while ''I'll be gone'' is a simple rockin' piece with a slow tempo and a rather cliche sound.The band's original material is displayed on the flipside and comes on par with the sound of ''Solar fire''.Much more balanced, with Mann's delightful keyboard themes in a jazzy and symphonic vein, these pieces are pretty close to GREENSLADE, featuring lots of keyboard interludes and more quirky bass and guitar parts.Mellotron, Moog synthesizer and acoustic piano come in evidence in moments, containing cinematic textures, Fusion techniques and Classical flavors, the instrumental parts are pretty extended and the vocals are more convincing, the result is music full of grandieur and instrumental efficiency, scanning a variety of styles and setting up a trully progressive atmosphere.

Had this album followed the style of the second side, we would be dealing with a fantastic work of Prog music.Even so ''The good Earth'' is another mark left by Manfred Mann's Earth Band in the 70's prog list, characterized by great keyboard lines and instrumental majesty.Recommended.

 A Black Box by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.91 | 155 ratings

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A Black Box
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by madcap68

3 stars Even the biggest heroes can err...

As we all know, don't we, Peter Hammill isn't only one of prog's most prominent visionaries (and one of my all time favourites, see the hero above) but also invented punk rock. Sort of... With Jargon King and The Wipe he also invented the weird genre of Jungle Prog Step or whatever, which really doesn't work for me. I use to constantly sing Peter's praise to my friends and colleagues but I come back to these two tracks that even the most valiant heroes... er, yes, we had that one before..

On the other hand, we have the epic Flight, which combines "classic" Hammill with his Wave style offerings. At least in parts, Flight makes for a 5 star candidate. I also like the dark and moody Fogwalking but all in all, for me, this is one of his weaker albums.

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Eclectic Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
16 DEADLY IMPROVS United States
17F Switzerland
4/3 DE TRIO France
8 DAYS IN APRIL Germany
A.C.T Sweden
ABRETE GANDUL Chile
ABSOLUTE ELSEWHERE United Kingdom
ABSURDCUS Romania
ACADEMIE OF FARSIDE Indonesia
ACINTYA France
ADVENT United States
AFFINITY United Kingdom
AKO DOMA Slovakia
AKRITAS Greece
AKT Italy
JEAN-PIERRE ALARCEN France
ALBATROS Germany
ALEXL Brazil
ALGERNON United States
ALLOMERUS Australia
ALON United States
ALPHA RALPHA France
ALQUILBENCIL Spain
ALQUIN Netherlands
ALTABLANCA Argentina
ALTAIR Spain
ALTERNATIV QUARTET Romania
ALTERS Poland
COSTE APETREA Sweden
APPLE BELLS Poland
ARBATEL Mexico
ARDO DOMBEC Germany
AREKNAMÉS Italy
ART AND ILLUSION Italy
ARTCANE France
PETER ASHBY United Kingdom
THE ASHQELON QUILT Israel
ASTRID PROLL Puerto Rico
ATHELSTONE Malta
ATLANTIDE France
AUDIENCE United Kingdom
AUDIO VISIONS United States
AUNT MARY Norway
AVE ROCK Argentina
AVIATOR United Kingdom
ÁVORA DI CARLLA Brazil
BAD ALCHEMY United States
VLADIMIR BADIROV Uzbekistan
BAG France
DAVID BAGSBY United States
BAKU LLAMA United States
FRANCK BALESTRACCI France
BARBARO Hungary
AL BASIM Iraq
BATABEAT Canada
BEAR IS DRIVING United States
BEARDFISH Sweden
ADRIAN BELEW United States
SERGIO BENCHIMOL Brazil
IL BERLIONE Japan
MICHAEL BERNIER United States
BIRDS AND BUILDINGS United States
BLOQUE Spain
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SKY United Kingdom
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