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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 20/06/2017

Rob (Epignosis)
Sagi (Sagichim)
Logan (thellama73)
Kevin (Magnum Vaeltajas)
Ian (Tapfret)

Eclectic Prog Top Albums


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

4.62 | 3789 ratings
IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
King Crimson
4.54 | 2992 ratings
RED
King Crimson
4.48 | 1820 ratings
GODBLUFF
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.42 | 2554 ratings
LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC
King Crimson
4.42 | 1932 ratings
PAWN HEARTS
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.35 | 1490 ratings
IN A GLASS HOUSE
Gentle Giant
4.31 | 1456 ratings
H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.30 | 1388 ratings
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
Gentle Giant
4.29 | 1712 ratings
OCTOPUS
Gentle Giant
4.29 | 1342 ratings
STILL LIFE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.31 | 753 ratings
THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE
Hammill, Peter
4.28 | 1332 ratings
FREE HAND
Gentle Giant
4.25 | 1341 ratings
ACQUIRING THE TASTE
Gentle Giant
4.23 | 1245 ratings
VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
Hackett, Steve
4.27 | 489 ratings
ANABELAS
Bubu
4.26 | 435 ratings
BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH
Birds And Buildings
4.26 | 375 ratings
MEMENTO Z BANALNYM TRYPTYKIEM
SBB
4.19 | 658 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC - PART TWO
Beardfish
4.12 | 1916 ratings
LIZARD
King Crimson
4.15 | 775 ratings
SPECTRAL MORNINGS
Hackett, Steve

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
NIEMEN VOL. 1 [AKA: MARIONETKI]
Niemen, CzesŁaw
LE JOUR OŮ LES VACHES...
Booz, Emmanuel
ZEALOTRY STERBLICHEN SCHIZOPHRENIA
Seamus

Latest Eclectic Prog Music Reviews


 Blackbox by MAJOR PARKINSON album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.15 | 83 ratings

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Blackbox
Major Parkinson Eclectic Prog

Review by DragonX32

5 stars My music listening has fallen off in recent years, but then I noticed Major Parkinson had an upcoming album. Twilight Cinema is, in my mind, one of the better albums I've had the pleasure to experience. Not only do I still listen to Twilight Cinema on a regular basis, many of my friends that have little interest in music (much less prog) love this album. In short, I hold TC in high regard and I was especially excited for the new material.

So how does Blackbox measure up? Very well! While it's a pretty low threshold to cross these days, I feel pretty good saying that Blackbox will be my 2017 album of the year. Blackbox is consistent all the way through and I don't feel there are any "duds" on the album. The album streams seamlessly from dark, to poppy, to melodic, to circusy. The sounds (instruments, mood, tempo, style, etc) change very rapidly throughout the album, not dwelling on any sound or instrument for too long, and keeping you engaged throughout the entire experience. For one example of catchy tunes and interesting instrumentation, near the end of the track "Isabel - A Report to an Academy" the climax includes a catchy melody that involves the rhythm of a type-writer. Every time I hear that part, my mind is blown how well it brings together the other layers in the track to bring the song to a close. The band has countless examples like this in their catalog that demonstrate how unique their sound is.

Blackbox has excellent tracks throughout including Isabel, Madeline Crumbles, and Baseball. Compared to previous works, it did take me a while to fall in love with this album, as there is more of a focus on building up to a climax throughout the major tracks and throughout the album. While Blackbox is perhaps not as immediately accessible as their previous works, Blackbox may be Major Parkinson's best work yet.

If you are wanting to listen to something that is unique, engaging, eclectic, circusy, dark, and yet catchy with a broad array of instrumentation, then by all means check this one out, you won't regret it!

 Land of the Blind by HALF PAST FOUR album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
4.52 | 10 ratings

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Land of the Blind
Half Past Four Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars This 2016 mini-album is my first experience of Canadian progressive band Half Past Four, and the only question I have is 'where have you been?'. My initial reaction to this was if ever a band was channelling the spirit of classic Zappa with Seventies Rundgren and then throwing in some King Crimson, Cardiacs, Poisoned Electrick Head and others then this has to be it! Also, if there are any Max Webster fans out there, then you need head straight to their cover of 'Toronto Tontos' which is more strident, with wider extremes, than the original which featured on the debut album. It even includes squeaky toys!!

The band is comprised of Kyree Vibrant (lead vocals), Dmitry Lesov (bass guitar, chapman stick, vocals), Igor Kurtzman (keyboards, vocals), Constantin Necrasov (guitars, vocals) and Marcello Ciurleo (drums). I had a look at their website, and I loved this statement 'Like the best of progressive rock music, the listener cannot predict where the band will take them next. It is this shifting flow of sound and feeling that distinguishes Half Past Four. They are an aural tapestry, weaving 50+ years of musical influences into mellifluous melodies and rhythmic resonances that take their listeners on a journey to states that are both fresh and familiar.' This is music that is truly progressive, refusing to sit within one particular style or another, moving and changing so that Kyree can be singing sweetly one minute or virtually shouting the next with a totally different timbre, while the band all of a sudden is based around the piano, whereas at others it is definitely the guitar, or is it the bass, but there again the drum patterns are all over the place'..

This is one of the most exciting and vibrant progressive bands I have come across in recent years, producing music that is complex, refusing to conform to what anyone feels should be produced, and is definitely progressing as opposed to regressing. This five-track mini-album is only 26 minutes long, and I can only hope that we will soon hear a full-length release. As for me, I'm going to have to go back and discover their first two albums, as music as good as this screams out to be heard.

 Acquiring The Taste by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.25 | 1341 ratings

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Acquiring The Taste
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Frenetic Zetetic

4 stars 4.5/5 stars. Essential progressive rock with perfect early 70's production.

Gentle Giant were never a "straight shot", conventional band. They were always ahead of the curve. Acquiring The Taste (1971) behaves almost like a sampler platter of what the band would offer moving through the decade.

The record opens with Kerry's bleeping-blooping synthesizer line, and calm, gentle vocal entry. The acoustic guitar and synthesizers follow and slowly build, until'DER NER NER NER'that infectious jazz guitar lick! Soon flutes and recorders join the fray for the next "verse". It should be noted that Gentle Giant were never really one for conventional arrangements. Their work is almost like a painting in music; the big picture best for viewing. Sabbath-like chords and riffs follow. I really, really enjoy how the song ends on the particular sustained note.

Edge of Twilight is a fantastic display of progressive rock instrumentation. Kerry's vocals and lyrics really set the mood here. It makes me think of a frosty village, mid-winter at night time. "Figures" moving in the dark'the dreamy synth and tones are picturesque. Derek and company join in for the backing vocals "whisper'". Kerry then comes in with a synth line that reminds me of Final Fantasy for the NES. That's the only way I can describe it! We're then treated to marching drums and xylophone exposition. Gentle Giant somehow manages to never make this seem pretentious. Fantastic, diverse, dynamic track.

The House, The Street, The Room was once a favorite track of mine, but I've seem to grow beyond it a bit. It's catchy to first time listeners compared to some of GG's more infamously-complex stuff. Derek's vocals are great, however! Gary's guitar solo is spot on. I love the baroque bass lines. Not much more to say here honestly.

Acquiring The Taste (title track) immediately reminds me of Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts on the Super Nintendo. The game developers clearly ripped off GG here! Anyone who's played this will know what I'm talking about! I love the moog display here. Killer prog piece.

Wreck is a fan favorite, and for good reason! The jaunty riff and vocals will be caught in your head forever. This one has to be heard to be understood. The guitar and builds and swells are perfect. This song alone brings this record up another half star!

The Moon is Down is another creepy little track with picturesque imagery. "The horse riding up through the red sky" instantly gives you set and setting. Harp-like chords ring in the first verse and sections. The organ/harpsichord sound of the keys really sets the tone. More classic GG choral vocals ensue.

Black Cat is arguably my favorite track from this record. Phil Shulman takes the vocal and lyrical lead here. He seems to have an affinity for animals, which is great because he does them serious justice in his art! The way he wraps his voice and harmonies around words - his vibrato is top notch. Even if he's singing a bit low in the mix, it fits very well with the atmosphere here. "River" from Octopus is another one where his vocal appearance is worth noting!

Plain Truth closes the album with its Hendrix-like riffing and anthem feel. Fantastic guitar work and vocal delivery. This is GG doing hard rock. They really can't go wrong, and you can't either once you Acquire the Taste!

I'm a massive GG fan, and I can give this an honest 4.5/5 stars. This is essential progressive rock. The production is perfect. It arrived on shelves a full year before Yes' Close to The Edge (THE apex of progressive rock music), and already displayed elements that other bands would explore into the late 1970's. Gentle Giant have always been ahead of the curve. This is a great sampler platter of latter offerings from this criminally underrated progressive rock group!

 Of Clans and Clones and Clowns by SOUL ENEMA album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.92 | 88 ratings

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Of Clans and Clones and Clowns
Soul Enema Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars SOUL ENEMA are a band out of Israel who play Prog- Metal with a lot of humour. Now I feel they've limited their audience as Prog- Metal seems to get trashed on this site although I do like it a lot. Humour in music? Well I never used to like it but have grown to appreciate it. I'm not into the kind of humour Zappa is known for but I like the more subtle brand like we get on a lot of Canterbury albums. CARDIACS are pretty funny too and I do like them although the helium vocals get old. The title of this album "Of Clans And Clones And Clowns" is awkward to say the least but probably that was intended.

I'm going to make this one short simply because there are some great reviews here that are very positive. Unlike mine. I have to say the music is very well played and at times really well thought out, some great ideas here. The female singer is amazing! She can sing in different styles and is the star of the show in my opinion. It's kind of cool that we get a Middle Eastern vibe here not surprisingly. Also some interesting guests help out like Yossi Sassi from ORPHANED LAND and Arjen Lucassen from his various projects. There's others too.

Lots of variety and some genuinely funny sections. The fact that this is very highly rated should be enough to at least sample this album. I think my favourite track is "Aral Sea I: Feeding Hand" and at almost 9 minutes it's also the longest. The whole three part section is very well done in fact. A very entertaining album overall and if your into Prog- Metal you really need to hear this band. Lots of fun.

 O Velho, A Carne E A Psicodélica Árvore Do Imaculado Ventre Da Terra by ÁVORA DI CARLLA album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.59 | 15 ratings

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O Velho, A Carne E A Psicodélica Árvore Do Imaculado Ventre Da Terra
Ávora Di Carlla Eclectic Prog

Review by poslednijat_colobar
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The overshadowed Latin masterpiece of the 2010s

This extremely rare album is an unexpected gem in the progressive rock crown of the decade. Brazilian symphonic prog band amazes with a sincere and accomplished masterwork. The composition are extremely balanced and unspoiled. The musicianship comes out with mystic eclectic parts implemented into the symphonic compositions. The Latin American school reveals yet another prog giant from this sphere. The sharp tunes and profound sound embraces the ideas completely. The album is very rare and hard to find and that is another reason for me to promote the release.

Highly recommended for Latin prog lovers

 Second Generation (Scenes from 1975-1977) by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1986
3.35 | 45 ratings

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Second Generation (Scenes from 1975-1977)
Van Der Graaf Generator Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nş 153

'Second Generation (Scenes From 1975-1977)' is a compilation of Van Der Graaf Generation and was released in 1986. This is a compilation that includes tracks from four studio albums of them, their fifth studio album 'Godbluff', released in 1975, their sixth studio album 'Still Life', released in 1976, their seventh studio album 'World Record', released also in 1976, and their eighth studio album 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome', released in 1977.

'Godbluff', 'Still Life', 'World Record' and 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome' belong to their second musical period. About these four albums there isn't a consensual opinion among all the progressive rock fans, or even with the band's fans. Relatively to 'Godbluff' and 'Still Life' is commonly accepted that they are two truly masterpieces, being 'Godbluff' also considered one of the best albums ever made. 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome' is in general considered one of their weakest albums from the 70's, with their debut studio album 'The Aerosol Grey Machine'. With 'World Record' the opinions are slightly divided, because some people considered it an excellent album too.

'First Generation (Scenes From 1975-1977)' has nine tracks. The first track 'The Undercover Man' was taken from 'Godbluff'. It begins with Hammill's voice in a low timbre, accompanied by Jackson's flute and Evans' drums. The track develops, with a slow crescendo of Hammill's voice and Banton's organ. This is one of the most beautiful songs created by the band. The second track 'Scorched Earth' was taken from 'Godbluff'. It's a traditional band's track. This is a darker, aggressive and complex track. It has a great work by Jackson on saxophones, well accompanied by Hammill's aggressive vocals. It represents the closest track to their previous album, 'Pawn Hearts'. The third track 'The Sleepwalkers' was taken from 'Godbluff'. It represents the highlight of 'Godbluff'. This is the lengthiest track on that album and is one of their best songs. The fourth track 'Pilgrims' was taken from 'Still Life'. This is a very good track to open 'Still Life'. It starts with a gloomy and melancholic note, along with your own mood and then slowly pulls out its melancholy, ending in a not of an optimistic message. There is a beautiful Banton's organ with soft vocals from Hammill, but Jackson's saxophones make the real mood here. The fifth track 'Still Life' was taken from 'Still Life'. This is a very dark song that speaks about the death and one's own resignation before the death. It's about the consequences of the immortality and the inevitable paradoxes of the eternal life, if there is such kind of thing. It starts with Hammill's singing and Banton's playing organ. The song grows with intensity all over it. The sixth track 'When She Comes' was taken from 'World Record'. This is a song related with Peter's personal love affair. It relates how unstable and unpredictable the relationships are, and how we can live with a person that we didn't know as well as we thought. This is a very sarcastic song with with an excellent saxophone and organ works by Jackson and Banton. The seventh track 'The Siren Song' was taken from 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome'. This is a very calm and beautiful song conducted by piano and violin. It's a very melancholic and acoustic song with deep vocals. This is a song that came directly from the past with the same dark atmosphere of their previous albums. It seems a reminiscent of 'Pilgrims'. The eighth track 'Cat's Eye/Yellow Fever (Running)' was taken from 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome'. This is my favourite song on that album. It has a fantastic violin work which demonstrates the technical virtuosity of Smith, which raises this song to the perfection of a masterpiece. This is a very frantic and heavy song with an excessive vocal approach by Hammill. The ninth track 'Wondering' was taken from 'World Record'. It's the song that ends beautifully 'World Record'. This is a hymn with a note of hope and desperate questions. It's an optimistic song with great lyrics supported by high quality Banton's keyboards. It brings to us the hope that we need after the breakup on a relationship. It tells us we can return, arise and survive in this world. This is also a nice and perfect way to close this compilation too.

Conclusion: This is another compilation of Van Der Graaf Generator with a great selection of tracks. Relatively to the selection from 'Godbluff', 'The Undercover Man', 'Scorched Earth' and 'The Sleepwalkers', are absolutely perfect. Still, if 'Arrow' had been selected, it would have been perfect too. Relatively to the selection from 'Still Life', 'Pilgrims' and 'Still Life', it's excellent. But, I would have preferred the inclusion of 'La Rossa' instead of 'Still Life'. Relatively to the selection from 'World Record', 'When She Comes' and 'Wondering', it's also perfect. Still, I'm very sad that 'Masks' couldn't be included on it. Finally, and relatively to the selection from 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome', 'The Siren Song' and 'Cat's Eye/Yellow Fever (Running)', it's once more excellent. In my opinion, 'Cat's Eye/Yellow Fever (Running)' is the best track on the album. 'Siren' is also one of the best tracks, but if it had been replaced by 'Last Frame' or 'The Wave', it would have been nice too. However, and as happens with so many other progressive compilations, it doesn't can substitute those albums by any mean. So, it's only good and not an essential purchase.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Resplandor by BUBU album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
4.00 | 24 ratings

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Resplandor
Bubu Eclectic Prog

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

4 stars As the 21st century elapses ever closer to its third decade and grows further away from the 70s when the progressive rock world was at its golden age, it has seen many of the older bands trying to make a comeback. While certain bands managed to survive the initial demise in popularity, certain bands like Argentina's BUBU released their sole album "Anabelas" as late as 1978 and although had little impact on the world at the time has become revered as one of the great classics of the Americas. While the trend of past masters picking it up where they left off decades later to revive these long forgotten projects has been more en vogue as of late, it's always a complete surprise when a band that dropped one musical bomb upon the world and has been attracting listeners to ride in its wake ever since suddenly emerges from the musical abyss and releases new material after so very, very long. More often than not such antics only remind you of why the golden era of prog was so wonderful and that the bands trying to relive those glory days should in fact have checked into a nursing home since all creative mojo had shriveled up like sagging granny boobs.

BUBU on the other hand have never been the "typical" prototype of a progressive rock band. The band was in fact created by someone who didn't even play in it. Daniel Andreoli began the band as a project in 1975 and acted solely as the composer as he rounded up talent to fulfill his eclectic mix of symphonic classical music mixed with progressive rock and kept BUBU active for only four years having disbanded in 1979 after the release of "Anabelas" the prior year. Fast forward 38 years into the future and Andreoli decides to dust off the BUBU moniker and give it another go with RESPLANDOR which emerges as a strictly digital EP that clocks in at a mere 15 and a half minutes, roughly a third the length of the 1978 classic. Andreoli is in fact the only connection between the two renditions of the band since the modern day version of BUBU doesn't have a single member of the past reprising their performances. Andreoli on the other hand DOES play on RESPLANDOR where he serves as the band's sole bassist.

While the differences between "Anabelas" and RESPLANDOR are great. For example the 70s classic had a huge lineup of eight official band members with an extra six vocalists and an extra pianist, RESPLANDOR is more of a stripped down affair with only five official musicians and two guests. However, what's more striking is how much RESPLANDOR sounds like it has traveled through time from that very era only to land in the years 2016. My hunch is that this was indeed leftover material from that era as everything about RESPLANDOR could easily have existed as a followup to the 1978 full length album. Once again the music is an eclectic mix of Western classical music that nurses a Tchaikovsky type of bombast and complexity interlaced with the guitar workouts of King Crimson, the pastoral drifting passages of early Genesis and the plethora of Italian prog bands from the 70s as well as some extra touches that were heard from bands such as Nektor, Focus (especially in the flute department) and others only with a unique flair that sounds like classic BUBU. Also included are some stellar jazz-fusion stellar sax workouts by newbie Juan Ignacio Varela.

I'm quite taken back by how great this short but sweet little EP is and i'm hoping that it is only a teaser that was designed to feel out the marketplace to see if there is any demand for a new BUBU release. Personally i find this little slice of heaven that only feels like it's getting started before it fizzles out leaving me wanting more to be one of the best comebacks of modern prog history. Andreoli has lost none of his magnificent musical mojo over the ensuing decades and effortlessly conducts a new cast of characters to fulfill the continuation of one of Argentina's greatest musical exports. If you have listened to many older prog bands release modern day albums and have been nothing but disappointed, i'm happy to say that this is one that should be very high on your list to check out if you were a fan of the 1978 album because this one, while not quite as dramatic and demanding still retains the spirit of that era with some excellent prog performances.

 The Black Hole by HAMADRYAD album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.06 | 15 ratings

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The Black Hole
Hamadryad Eclectic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Since the release of their first album, the band has lost his vocalist Jocelyn Beaulieu who has a special voice in the range of Jon Anderson of Yes. Since then the sound and the music of the band change for a more in your face kind of rock, heavier, less retro-prog and more modern. I was a bit disappointed with the next two releases, it felt to me that the band has lost his sense for good melodies. It's clear that the voice of Jean François DĂ©silets doesn't have the same strenght of Jocelyn, but his bass sound is still great, very upfront in the mix. However the band has done some interesting work on the vocals with 3 members of the band in some places, especially in the strongest track of the album "So- By Your Side" and in the song "Crash". In the first song we are treated with some long guitar solos and that pedal note that the band has always used in the past. The music reach the Prog Metal genre and the instrumental parts is use in many sections showing the excellent musicianship of each player including some tasty keyboards lines from Sébastien Cloutier. "Fall' Fly" is a fine example of this with some Geddy Lee bass style and some serious heavy guitar parts. The band made a wise choice to close the album by including a new version of the song "Amora Demoris" from the first album. I think that this one is the best album since their debut because I feel that I could grasp on the melody like I did with the first one.
 Airconditioning by CURVED AIR album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.28 | 152 ratings

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Airconditioning
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

3 stars A pioneer which couldn't keep up with its ideas: 7/10

CURVED AIR's debut indicates its belonging to the early progressive rock scene thanks to its crudeness. When I speak of crudeness, I do not refer to technical terms; instead, it's more of a conceptual one.

AIRCONDITIONING is undoubtfully progressive rock. It is mostly focused on hard rock with psychedelic leanings, confirming the "rock" part, but punctual moments of jazziness with the constant influence from classical music and its structures solidify the "progressive" amount. This is where the aforementioned "crudeness" comes in: these attributes aren't well mashed together. They're disparate, played separately in their own sections, with very brief moments of syncretism among these two lines of thought. CURVED AIR certainly wanted to bring something new on the table by bringing classical music in a hard-rockish environment and that is pretty ingenious - this is classical at its purest form, with Vivaldi-inspired violins and symphonic elements - but sadly they weren't able to adequately make them feel natural and complimetary to each other.

Does this mean, then, this album is incoherent or bad? Definitely not. It is quite a listen! Sonja's soprano vocals played along the reverbed guitar in songs like It Happened Today or Hide and Seek sounds great. In no moment, AIRCONDITIONING lack eclectism. The composition and styles are visibly different between songs, such as one being distinctively calm while the next is a powerful surf-rock-esque frenzy, etc. And besides, as I said, there are brief moments of well-done mixture among prog and rock; specifically, on It Happened Today's second half (where the violin plays under a jazz fusion ambiance), within Rob One's extreme serenity and sweetness brought by the violins and through Vivaldi with Cannons, an over-the-top distorted and loud violin performance of, well, Vivaldi. On... yeah. Violin.

In the end, AIRCONDITIONING might not be the to-go choice for anyone thirsty of progressiveness or technicality; instead, it is the optimal choice for those looking for lighter, less ambitious things. Assuming the nature of this site I can't go much further than saying yes, this is good; but no, not in any way essential.

 First Generation (Scenes from 1969-1971) by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1986
3.40 | 61 ratings

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First Generation (Scenes from 1969-1971)
Van Der Graaf Generator Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nş 152

"First Generation (Scenes From 1969-1971)" is a compilation of Van Der Graaf Generation and was released in 1986. This is a compilation that includes tracks from three studio albums of them, their second studio album "The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other", released in 1970, their third studio album "H To He, Who Am The Only One", released also in 1970, and their fourth studio album "Pawn Hearts", released in 1971. However and curiously, it doesn't include any track from their debut studio album "The Aerosol Grey Machine", released in 1969, an album of their first phase too.

So, "The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other", "H To He, Who Am The Only One" and "Pawn Hearts" belong, with their debut studio album "The Aerosol Grey Machine", to their first musical period. However, these three albums are, without any doubt, the better of their first four studio albums. "H To He, Who Am The Only One" and "Pawn Hearts" are also considered with "Godbluff" and "Still Life", from their second musical period, the four greatest masterpieces from the band. "Pawn Hearts" and "Godbluff" are even considered two of the best progressive rock albums ever made.

"First Generation (Scenes From 1969-1971)" has seven tracks. The first track "Darkness (11/11)" is a song taken from their second studio album "The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other". It's a great opener and is also one of its best songs. This is a song dominated by the continued presence of the keyboards of Banton and by a very good and strong bass line. It's the song where we can hear and feel for the first time the incredible and unique sound of the saxophones of Jackson. The second track "Killer" is a song taken from their third studio album "H To He, Who Am The Only One". It's a catchy and beautiful dark song. The saxophones of Jackson and the organ of Banton are present continuously and are very well supported by a brilliant rhythm section by Potter and Evans. It portrays the usual hunting musical atmosphere that this band is able to create with their music. The third track "Man-Erg" is a song taken from their fourth studio album "Pawn Hearts". It's a song with a beautiful piano introduction and is followed by Hammill's voice. On it we can hear Banton's organ accompanied by Evans' very expressive drumming, great Jackson's saxophones and some very pretty acoustic and electric guitar work made by Hammill and Fripp. Probably, this is the most beautiful song on "Pawn Hearts". The fourth track "Theme One" is a song taken from their fourth studio album "Pawn Hearts". The track didn't appear on the UK release, but did appear on the release of the album in the USA. It was also released as a single with "W" as the B side. This is a truly amazing instrumental piece dominated by Jackson's saxophones. It has a funy tune and retains the optimistic vibe of the band. It manages to relesse for a while the emotional tension that we can feel on the whole album. I'm sure it was used in many radio stations. The fifth track "Pioneers Over C." is a song taken from their third studio album "H To He, Who Am The Only One". It contains the usual hypnotizing sax and keyboard musical lines. "C" is the scientific name of the speed of light, and this song is a sort of a musical interpretation of faster than light travel and its consequences on the travellers on their voyages. Musically, it's one of the strongest songs on the album, which sounds great, and fits perfectly well on the album. The sixth track "A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers" is a song divided into ten parts, "Eyewitness", "Pictures/Lighthouse", "Eyewitness", "S.H.M.", "Presence Of The Night", "Kosmos Tour", "(Custard's) Last Stand", "The Clot Thickens", "Land's End" and "We Go On". It's a song taken from their fourth studio album "Pawn Hearts". This is a great track, one of the most innovative and creative pieces ever made by them. The twenty three minute of this conceptual piece is very epic and is finished by a great guitar solo by Fripp. This is a monumental track. The seventh and last track "Refugees" is a song taken from their second studio album "The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other". It's the most sentimental moment on the album. This is a very beautiful song, very melodic and peaceful with nice flute by Jackson. It's a song that reminds me very much "Running Back", the third track of their debut album "The Aerosol Grey Machine". This is one of the most beautiful songs written by Hammill.

Conclusion: This is a compilation of Van Der Graaf Generator with a great selection of tracks. Some of their best and most legendary tracks are here. The selection of "Darkness (11/11)" and "Refugees" from "The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other", couldn't be better. They're, for me, the two best songs on the album and they're also two of the best tracks ever made by them. About the selection of "Killer" and "Pioneers Over C." from "H To He, Who Am The Only One", I've nothing against. The album is so good that any of its songs could be part of the compilation. Relatively to the selection of "Man-Erg" and "A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers" from "Pawn Hearts", both suffer from the same problem of "H To He, Who Am The Only One". The tracks are also so good that if it was "Lemmings" to be selected, it would also have been absolutely perfect. Finally, "The Theme" is a very beautiful and different track, which fits very well on it, too. Still, this compilation doesn't can substitute those albums by any mean. So, it's good but not an essential purchase.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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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
ALCO FRISBASS France
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
MICHEL ALTMAYER France
AMPLEDEED United States
ANAKDOTA Israel
APERCO Israel
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 PRÖLL 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
AXON-NEURON United States
BAD ALCHEMY United States
VLADIMIR BADIROV Uzbekistan
BAG France
DAVID BAGSBY United States
BAKU LLAMA United States
FRANCK BALESTRACCI France
BARBARO Hungary
BARRACUDA TRIANGLE Sweden
AL BASIM Iraq
BASTA! Italy
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
THE BOB LAZAR STORY New Zealand
BOOTCUT Sweden
EMMANUEL BOOZ France
BORDERLINE SYNDROME Greece
EDUARDO BORT Spain
BRAINSTATIK United States
VYTAS BRENNER Venezuela
BRIGHTEYE BRISON Sweden
BUBBLEMATH United States
BUBU Argentina
JEAN-LOUIS BUCCHI France
BUDKA SUFLERA Poland
ARNAUD BUKWALD France
C & K VOCAL Czech Republic
CABEZAS DE CERA Mexico
CALLE DEBAUCHE United States
CAMERA CHIARA Italy
NEIL CAMPBELL COLLECTIVE United Kingdom
CANGACEIRO Chile
JOSE CARBALLIDO Spain
CARPE DIEM France
CARPET Germany
CARTOON Brazil
CASTLE FUSION Italy
CATAPILLA United Kingdom
CENTENAIRE France
CHAMELEON United States
CICCADA Greece
CIRCLES END Norway
EL CIRCULO DE WILLIS Spain
CIRCUS Switzerland
CIRKUS United Kingdom
BARRY CLEVELAND United States
CLOUDS ON STRINGS United States
CMU United Kingdom
COLONEL CLAYPOOL'S BUCKET OF BERNIE BRAINS United States
CONSIDER THE SOURCE United States
THE COWBOYS FROM HELL Switzerland
CRIME IN CHOIR United States
CRÓ! Spain
THE CRYSTAL SUN United Kingdom
CULPEPER'S ORCHARD Denmark
CURVED AIR United Kingdom
CZAR United Kingdom
DAAL Italy
THE DAEDALUS SPIRIT ORCHESTRA France
DAGMÄHR Canada
DALTONIA Chile
DARK AETHER PROJECT United States
DAYS BETWEEN STATIONS United States
GUILLAUME DE LA PILIERE France
DEBOCO France
DIAGONAL United Kingdom
DICE Sweden
DIONYSOS Canada
DISCORDIA Finland
DISEN GAGE Russia
DISTINGUISHED PANEL OF EXPERTS Multi-National
DJAM KARET United States
JULIUS DOBOS Hungary
WILLIAM D. DRAKE United Kingdom
DREADNAUGHT United States
DREADNOUGHT United States
DRIFT United States
EARTH SIZE DIAMONDS United States
EAST OF EDEN United Kingdom
ECHOES France
EDENSONG United States
EFECTO Chile
EKSEPTION Netherlands
ELEKTRYK BESTIA United States
EMMETT ELVIN United Kingdom
EMPATHI Thailand
EMPTY SPACE ORCHESTRA United States
EPIDERMIS Germany
ERE G Canada
ERIK BARON & D-ZAKORD France
ESPERANTO Multi-National
ESTHEMA United States
ET CETERA Canada
EVELINE'S DUST Italy
EXCLUSIVE RAJA France
EXPERIMENTAL Chile
EXPERIMENTAL QUINTET Romania
FAMILY United Kingdom
FANTASIA Finland
FETUS MAXIMUS Finland
OLIVIER FEUILLERAT France
FINNEUS GAUGE United States
FLASH United Kingdom
FLÄSKET BRINNER Sweden
FLIGHT United States
THE FLOCK United States
HUGO FLORES Portugal
FOND OF TIGERS Canada
FONDERIA Italy
FOXTROT Norway
FRAMUS 5 Czech Republic
FRATERNITY Australia
FRIENDSHIP TIME Sweden
ROBERT FRIPP United Kingdom
FROM.UZ Uzbekistan
FRUMPY Germany
FUN MACHINE United States
FUSIOON Spain
THE GAK OMEK United States
GALAAD Switzerland
GARDENIA Argentina
GARGAMEL Norway
GAYLORD United States
GECKO'S TEAR Italy
RON GEESIN United Kingdom
GENTLE GIANT United Kingdom
GESTALT Japan
JANE GETTER United States
GEVENDE Turkey
GEYSIR Germany
GLAZZ Spain
GLOBALYS Belgium
GNIDROLOG United Kingdom
GOAD Italy
GOMA Spain
GOOD NIGHTOWL United States
GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA Sweden
JEAN-PHILIPPE GOUDE France
THE GOURISHANKAR Russia
SÉBASTIEN GRAMOND France
THE GRAND ASTORIA Russia
GRATTO United States
THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH United Kingdom
MAREK GRECHUTA Poland
GREYLYNG United States
GRIOT Portugal
GROOVECTOR Finland
THE GUARDIAN'S OFFICE Norway
GUERNICA Japan
TREY GUNN United States
GUNS AND BUTTER United States
GURUH GIPSY Indonesia
GUZZLEMUG United States
GYPSY United States
H7G Costa Rica
STEVE HACKETT United Kingdom
HAIKARA Finland
BRENDAN HAINS Australia
HALF PAST FOUR Canada
HAMADRYAD Canada
PETER HAMMILL United Kingdom
HANAGARIA Israel
HAPPY THE MAN United States
GAVIN HARRISON & 05RIC United Kingdom
STEVE HART United Kingdom
HEADSHEAR United States
HERD OF INSTINCT United States
HOBO Yugoslavia
HOBSON'S CHOICE United States
HOKR Czech Republic
HOME United Kingdom
HOMÍNIDO Chile
HOUSE OF USHER United States
HUNE Canada
ICED INK United States
ICHTHYANDER DAD'S ONLY DOLPHIN Ukraine
IKARUS Germany
ILLŔCHIME QUARTET Italy
ILLUSION United Kingdom
IN ABSTRACKTO Mexico
INFINIEN United States
INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA Finland
INTERFACE Japan
INTERPOSE+ Japan
ISKANDER Germany
ISLAND Switzerland
IT United States
IT'S THE END Norway
IX Venezuela
IXT ADUX United States
JANOS VÁRGA PROJECT Hungary
JEAVESTONE Finland
JOY UNLIMITED Germany
JULIAN'S TREATMENT United Kingdom
JUNE CLEAVER AND THE STEAK KNIVES United States
KARMABLUE Italy
KATAYA Finland
KHARMINA BURANNA Peru
KIDS EAT CRAYONS Canada
KING CRIMSON United Kingdom
KLOTET Sweden
KOIAK Chile
KOLORS OF ZOUND Austria
KOMARA Multi-National
KORPUS 2 (Корпус 2) Russia
KRACQ Netherlands
KRAKEN IN THE MAELSTROM Italy
KROMLECH Mexico
KTU Multi-National
KTZAT ACHERET Israel
KULTIVATOR Sweden
KWADRAT Poland
KYTAJA Finland
LAPLACE Argentina
LALLE LARSSON Sweden
LASER PACE United States
THE LAZE United Kingdom
LAZULI France
LEMURYA France
LETHEAN Italy
BJORN J:SON LINDH Sweden
LIZARD Poland
LOBSTER NEWBERG United States
LOCOMOTIV GT Hungary
THE LONG HELLO United Kingdom
LOST KITE Sweden
LUARVIK LUARVIK Estonia
LUCIFER WAS Norway
MA BANLIEUE FLASQUE France
MACHIAVEL Belgium
MAD FELLAZ Italy
MAELSTROM Canada
MAGICAL PLANETS United States
MAHOGANY FROG Canada
MAJOR PARKINSON Norway
MAKAJODAMA Sweden
MAKKIWHIPDIES United States
MAMMUT Germany
MAN ON FIRE United States
MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND United Kingdom
MANNING United Kingdom
MAQAMA Israel
MARSUPILAMI United Kingdom
MASTERMIND United States
ME EL-MA Israel
THE MEDICINE CABINET United States
HAI MEIRZADH Israel
MEN OF LAKE Italy
METROGNOM Norway
MICHIRU Japan
JOHN MINER United States
MINI (TÖRÖK ÁDÁM & MINI) Hungary
MINIMUM VITAL France
MIRTHRANDIR United States
KIMIO MIZUTANI Japan
MOJO POJO Venezuela
MORAINE United States
EDUARDO MORENO Spain
MÖRGLBL France
STEVE MORSE BAND United States
MOSER WOODS United States
MOTORPSYCHO Norway
MOUTH Germany
MR. EUPHORIA United States
MR. HYDE Chile
DOMINIK MÜLLER Germany
MUSICA FICTA Israel
N.Y.X Italy
NAPRA Hungary
NARAJAMA Czech Republic
NARANJA MECANICA Cuba
NARR France
THE NATURAL MYSTIC Italy
NAU ALETHEIA Argentina
NECROMONKEY Sweden
NEMO France
NEMO France
NÉODYME Canada
NEOGRASS Norway
NEUTRONS United Kingdom
NEWCROSS United States
NICE BEAVER Netherlands
CZESŁAW NIEMEN Poland
NIL France
NOT A GOOD SIGN Italy
NOVA Finland
NURT Poland
OBLIVION SUN United States
OCTOHPERA Brazil
ODYSSEE Germany
RYO OKUMOTO Japan
THE OPEN WINDOW United States
OPERATION: MILKSNATCH United States
ORDER OF THE LIVING Finland
ORGIYA PRAVEDNIKOV Russia
ORIGINS United States
ORNE Finland
OS MUNDI Germany
THE OTHELLO SYNDROME United Kingdom
OUT OF THE BEARDSPACE United States
OZ URUGULU Switzerland
PALEY'S WATCH United Kingdom
PANDORA SNAIL Russia
HET PANDORRA ENSEMBLE Netherlands
PANGÉE Canada
PEANUT BRITTLE SATELLITE United States
THE PENGUIN CAFE ORCHESTRA United Kingdom
PENTWATER United States
THE PEROTIC THEATRE Germany
PHILHARMONIE France
PINGVINORKESTERN Sweden
BRUNO PITCH France
THE PITTS MINNEMANN PROJECT United States
PLAMP Switzerland
PLAT DU JOUR France
PLATURNO Chile
POETICA IN SILENTIO Netherlands
LAURI PORRA Finland
VYACHESLAV POTAPOV Kazakhstan
JEAN-PAUL PRAT France
PRAXIS Mexico
PRAZSKY VYBER Czech Republic
PROCOSMIAN FANNYFIDDLERS Norway
PROFIL Germany
PROFUSION Italy
PROGRES 2 Czech Republic
PROMETHEAN Finland
PSI VOJACI Czech Republic
PSICOTROPIA Spain
LA PURA REALIDAD Mexico
PURGE SOLENOID United States
QUAKER Argentina
QUARTETO 1111 Portugal
QUILT Canada
QUODIA United States
RACHEL'S BIRTHDAY Germany
SIMON RAILTON United Kingdom
RAW MATERIAL United Kingdom
REDD Argentina
THE REDZEN Italy
THE REFORMATION United States
EL RELOJ Argentina
REPLIKAS Turkey
RITRATTO DI UN MATTINO Italy
OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ Puerto Rico
ROOTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS United States
LA ROSSA France
ANDRES RUIZ Argentina
THE RUNNING MAN United Kingdom
SACCHARINE TRUST United States
SAHARA Germany
SANHEDRIN Israel
SBB Poland
LUCA SCHERANI Italy
SCHIZOFRANTIK Germany
SCYTHE Germany
SEAMUS France
THE SEASON STANDARD Germany
SENOGUL Spain
SEVEN IMPALE Norway
SFILTROM Slovenia
SFINX Romania
SHAMBLEMATHS Norway
SHESHET Israel
SHINSEKAI Japan
SINATLIS TSELITSADI (THE LIGHT YEAR) Georgia
RIKARD SJÖBLOM Sweden
SKALDOWIE Poland
SKE Italy
JÓZEF SKRZEK Poland
SKY United Kingdom
SLEEPY PEOPLE United Kingdom
JULIE SLICK United States
MALCOLM SMITH United States
SIGMUND SNOPEK III United States
SOLUS3 United Kingdom
SOM NOSSO DE CADA DIA Brazil
SOMA PLANET Spain
SOPHISTREE Germany
SOUL ENEMA Israel
SPECIMEN13 Canada
SPEKTAKEL Germany
SPIROSFERA Italy
SPRING United Kingdom
STA IMA? Croatia
STAR PERIOD STAR United States
STELLA LEE JONES Japan
STICK MEN United States
JEREMY STORCH United States
STORM CORROSION Multi-National
STRINGPURÉE BAND Finland
JAMES SUDAKOW United States
SUMO ELEVATOR Israel
SUPERLUMINAL PACHYDERM United States
SYLBAT France
SYLVIA BLISS United States
SYNKOPY Czech Republic
SYRIUS Hungary
TAAL France
TAGYERIT United States
THE TANGENT Multi-National
TÁNGER Argentina
TCP United States
TELIOF Israel
TELLAH Brazil
TERRENO BALDIO Brazil
THIEVES' KITCHEN United Kingdom
THORS HAMMER Denmark
TIME United Kingdom
TIN SCRIBBLE United States
TMN Switzerland
TOOTSCATS Russia
TOWNSCREAM Hungary
TRAFFIC United Kingdom
I TRENI ALL'ALBA Italy
TRIODE France
TRIPCYCLE Serbia
TROYA Germany
TU United States
TULLY Australia
UK United Kingdom
UMLÄUT Australia
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD United States
UTOPIA United States
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR United Kingdom
LAURENCE VANAY France
JEAN-CLAUDE VANNIER France
VELUDO Brazil
THE VIRIDIAN GROOVE Venezuela
VISITOR 2035 United Kingdom
VISITORS France
VISOKOSNOE LETO Russia
VITA NOVA Multi-National
VITAL DUO France
VITKASTE Finland
VOX NOSTRA France
VU METERS Italy
VULGAR UNICORN United Kingdom
VY Puerto Rico
WALPURGIS Germany
WEJAH Brazil
WHALEPHANT Russia
WLUD France
WOOLLY WOLSTENHOLME'S MAESTOSO United Kingdom
WOMEGA Belgium
THE WORM OUROBOROS Belarus
ALEX WROTEN United States
WRUPK UREI Estonia
XENOGRAFT Australia
XL Finland
YEAR ONE United States
YEZDA URFA United States
YGGDRASIL Faroe Islands
YOLE France
YONIN BAYASHI Japan
ZAPOTEC United States
ZECHS MARQUISE United States
ZEROESQUE United States
ZHONGYU United States
ZIP TANG United States
ZITA ENSEMBLE Italy
ZOMB France
ZWEITON Germany

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