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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 14/02/2018

Kevin (Magnum Vaeltaja)
Ian (Tapfret)
Simon (Mascodagama)

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 | 3802 ratings
IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
King Crimson
4.54 | 2998 ratings
RED
King Crimson
4.48 | 1828 ratings
GODBLUFF
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.42 | 2561 ratings
LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC
King Crimson
4.42 | 1938 ratings
PAWN HEARTS
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.35 | 1495 ratings
IN A GLASS HOUSE
Gentle Giant
4.31 | 1463 ratings
H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.30 | 1392 ratings
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
Gentle Giant
4.29 | 1720 ratings
OCTOPUS
Gentle Giant
4.29 | 1347 ratings
STILL LIFE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.31 | 756 ratings
THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE
Hammill, Peter
4.28 | 1336 ratings
FREE HAND
Gentle Giant
4.25 | 1343 ratings
ACQUIRING THE TASTE
Gentle Giant
4.23 | 1253 ratings
VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
Hackett, Steve
4.27 | 491 ratings
ANABELAS
Bubu
4.26 | 440 ratings
BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH
Birds And Buildings
4.26 | 375 ratings
MEMENTO Z BANALNYM TRYPTYKIEM
SBB
4.20 | 661 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC - PART TWO
Beardfish
4.12 | 1923 ratings
LIZARD
King Crimson
4.15 | 783 ratings
SPECTRAL MORNINGS
Hackett, Steve
4.11 | 1717 ratings
DISCIPLINE
King Crimson
4.17 | 428 ratings
MOTORPSYCHO & STĹLE STORLŘKKEN: THE DEATH DEFYING UNICORN
Motorpsycho
4.11 | 1102 ratings
THREE FRIENDS
Gentle Giant
4.18 | 325 ratings
MULTIPURPOSE TRAP
Birds And Buildings
4.21 | 252 ratings
PAMIęć
SBB
4.20 | 266 ratings
COMA
Nemo
4.23 | 217 ratings
1000 AUTUNNI
Ske
4.23 | 217 ratings
SI, PARTIE 1
Nemo
4.17 | 320 ratings
BORIS
Yezda Urfa
4.25 | 194 ratings
SBB [AKA: WOłANIE O BRZęK SZKłA AND SLOVENIAN GIRLS]
SBB
4.10 | 550 ratings
UK
UK
4.14 | 341 ratings
IN CAMERA
Hammill, Peter
4.24 | 158 ratings
DETTA HAR HÄNT
Gösta Berlings Saga
4.05 | 930 ratings
THE LEAST WE CAN DO IS WAVE TO EACH OTHER
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.18 | 207 ratings
ZE SłOWEM BIEGNę DO CIEBIE
SBB
4.37 | 90 ratings
NIL NOVO SUB SOLE
Nil
4.14 | 228 ratings
TODD RUNDGREN'S UTOPIA
Utopia
4.24 | 131 ratings
AEROLIT
Niemen, CzesŁaw
4.05 | 459 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC - PART ONE
Beardfish
4.10 | 267 ratings
BARBARES
Nemo
4.14 | 197 ratings
DIAGONAL
Diagonal
4.10 | 259 ratings
CITY OF THE SUN
Seven Impale
4.06 | 329 ratings
LADY LAKE
Gnidrolog
4.20 | 126 ratings
HAIKARA
Haikara
4.07 | 269 ratings
LAST EPIC
A.C.T
4.16 | 153 ratings
SNAFU
East Of Eden
4.06 | 270 ratings
NIGHTINGALES & BOMBERS
Mann's Earth Band, Manfred
4.25 | 101 ratings
ECHOES OF FALLING STARS
Daal
4.04 | 319 ratings
CHAMELEON IN THE SHADOW OF THE NIGHT
Hammill, Peter
4.06 | 244 ratings
IN EXTREMIS
Days Between Stations
4.06 | 234 ratings
DODECAHEDRON
Daal
4.04 | 276 ratings
THE LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS
Traffic
4.13 | 150 ratings
PICTURES
Island
3.98 | 570 ratings
MAMMOTH
Beardfish
3.95 | 1079 ratings
THE POWER TO BELIEVE
King Crimson
4.01 | 320 ratings
THE MUSIC THAT DIED ALONE
Tangent, The
4.01 | 303 ratings
SOLAR FIRE
Mann's Earth Band, Manfred
4.18 | 107 ratings
ET CETERA
Et Cetera
4.42 | 56 ratings
ONDE, QUANDO, COMO, PORQUĘ, CANTAMOS PESSOAS VIVAS
Quarteto 1111
3.92 | 1631 ratings
STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK
King Crimson
3.99 | 330 ratings
LE SACRE DU TRAVAIL
Tangent, The
3.97 | 418 ratings
DESTINED SOLITAIRE
Beardfish
4.04 | 192 ratings
THE SLOW RUST OF FORGOTTEN MACHINERY
Tangent, The
4.35 | 61 ratings
SHESHET
Sheshet
3.96 | 430 ratings
+4626 - COMFORTZONE
Beardfish
4.14 | 109 ratings
MOVIN' ON
Circus
3.99 | 282 ratings
LE VER DANS LE FRUIT
Nemo
4.04 | 178 ratings
DANCES OF THE DRASTIC NAVELS
Daal
3.91 | 1083 ratings
GENTLE GIANT
Gentle Giant
4.03 | 193 ratings
NOT A GOOD SIGN
Not A Good Sign
4.07 | 145 ratings
IMAGINARY FRIENDS
A.C.T
3.99 | 247 ratings
THE SANE DAY
Beardfish
4.19 | 86 ratings
NIEMEN VOL. 1 [AKA: MARIONETKI]
Niemen, CzesŁaw
4.18 | 91 ratings
THE APOCALYPSE INSIDE OF AN ORANGE
Rodriguez-Lopez, Omar
4.09 | 127 ratings
SKYMIND
Taal
3.96 | 305 ratings
OVER
Hammill, Peter
4.14 | 99 ratings
PHANEROTHYME
Motorpsycho
3.97 | 292 ratings
BEHIND THE SUN
Motorpsycho
4.53 | 40 ratings
PLAT DU JOUR
Plat Du Jour
4.25 | 66 ratings
SEN BALıK DEğILSIN KI
Gevende
4.03 | 153 ratings
SI, PARTIE II - L'HOMME IDÉAL
Nemo
4.23 | 69 ratings
MAREK GRECHUTA & ANAWA: KOROWÓD
Grechuta, Marek
4.14 | 92 ratings
OF THINGS THAT NEVER WERE
Worm Ouroboros, The
4.13 | 96 ratings
STRANGE IS THIS WORLD
Niemen, CzesŁaw
4.06 | 129 ratings
MERCATOR PROJECTED
East Of Eden
3.95 | 243 ratings
THE FINEST OF MIRACLES
Ciccada
4.05 | 114 ratings
SODOM AND GOMORRAH
From.uz
3.96 | 198 ratings
REWOTOWER
Profusion
4.00 | 148 ratings
IN CASE OF LOSS ...
Areknamés
4.08 | 98 ratings
BLACKBOX
Major Parkinson
4.09 | 93 ratings
SENNA
Mahogany Frog
3.98 | 162 ratings
2ND HANDS
Gourishankar, The
3.97 | 172 ratings
IN SPITE OF HARRY'S TOENAIL
Gnidrolog
4.00 | 135 ratings
ENIGMATIC
Niemen, CzesŁaw
4.17 | 69 ratings
DIALOG S VESMÍREM
Progres 2
4.16 | 70 ratings
MOTORPSYCHO & JAGA JAZZIST HORNS: IN THE FISHTANK
Motorpsycho
4.14 | 74 ratings
CULPEPER'S ORCHARD
Culpeper's Orchard
3.99 | 137 ratings
EVER AFTER
Sanhedrin
3.90 | 306 ratings
JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE
Traffic
3.93 | 218 ratings
A BLACK BOX
Hammill, Peter

Eclectic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

OJCIEC CHRZESTNY DOMNIKA
Skrzek, Józef
AEROLIT
Niemen, CzesŁaw
INTERPOSE+
Interpose+
SENNI ESKELINEN & STRINGPURÉE BAND
Stringpurée Band

Latest Eclectic Prog Music Reviews


 Volume Four by LONG HELLO, THE album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.68 | 12 ratings

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Volume Four
The Long Hello Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

1 stars Haben sie melodien dabei?

The fourth The Long Hello album is the final one, and is yet again very different in nature from the previous ones in being more of a Jazz album than a Rock album. The album is credited to Guy Evans with Life of Riley & David Jackson. I do not know who (or what) Life of Riley is, but Volume Four is basically a Guy Evans solo project. Given that a drummer is the leader, the music is naturally very percussive. A lot of rhythms, but not much melody. This makes the music forgettable for me, and Volume Four is indeed the least good of the four Long Hello albums. It is even hard to sit through this album.

Not recommended

 III by SENOGUL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.77 | 61 ratings

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III
Senogul Eclectic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars Spain is a very interesting country to explore for progheads, to compare with Italy but on a smaller scale. Both countries have an impressive history of classical music, a huge variety with ethnic/folk music and a strong tradition in growing up with music. From the late Sixties until now the Spanish progressive music has delivered many unique bands, blending classical ? and ethnic/folk music with jazz, psychedelia, rock and blues, from Seventies Bloque, Canarios, Iceberg, Triana and Itoiz to more recent Albatros, Taifa, Calle Silvio and ... Senogul, in my opinion one of the most genuine progressive rock bands in the last two decades. Unfortunately they have disbanded after their third and final effort simply named III, from 2011.

Senogul featured very talented and creative musicians, with a very varied taste. Their eponymous CD from 2007 (first official release after the demo CD Transitos from 2005) is an exciting blend of symphonic rock, jazz, avant- garde, Rock Andaluz and other ethnic elements. In 2009 Senogul released the successor entitled Aural Impressions, not really their 'usual sound': a musical stew of ambient and folk with instruments from India, Africa and Latin- America along avant-garde and some progrock.

On this third album Senogul partly returns to their formula on Senogul but now with a fair amount of jazz and avant-garde, pretty experimental like King Crimson and Frank Zappa. Despite those references Senogul have developed an own sound because every composition is a musical adventure in which atmosphere, tempo, style and instruments frequently change.

For example, Pijamas starts with experimental sounds, then a swinging rhythm with strong interplay (with hints from Gentle Giant) and synthesizer flights. Next a part on Grand piano, followed by a Hammond organ solo, the climate turns into a fluent rhythm with a powerful fagot. After a piano solo, jazzy guitar, again fagot and a wide range of experimental sounds, the track culminates in a King Crimson atmosphere with fiery guitar runs. The next track is La Serpiente De Jade begins dreamy with saxophone, piano and violin, then twanging acoustic guitar, very beautiful. This is followed by a fluent rhythm, now coloured by accordion and violin and later propulsive guitar riffs, how captivating. After a Keith Emerson inspired Grand piano solo, the composition concludes with a swinging rhythm, I enjoy the pleasant harmony of saxophone, accordion and violin. Then the only non-instrumental track entitled Parana, delivering vocal harmonies and great work on guitar and keyboards (like an exciting duel in a jazzrock climate). Next three pretty experimental compositions: The Black Cat (strong duo guitar play), Tales From Buanga (blend of avant-garde and jazzrock with Fender electric piano) and Gameland, tastefully coloured by marimba, jazzrock guitar and a final part with Minimoog synthesizer. The final track (close to 14 minutes) is the epic Sopa Colora, the first part is a wonderful tribute to Rock Andaluz bands like Alameda and Guadalquivir. We can enjoy a huge variety of instruments, including palmas (hand clapping) and howling electric guitar, this is top notch Rock Andaluz, and Senogul at their best! The Spanish guitar legend Luis Cobo "Manglis", (Gong, Guadalquivir, Triana and Manteca) delivers a very strong contribution. Halfway there's a long and impressive Grand piano solo and in the end Senogul plays in the Seventies symphonic rock tradition with Rick Wakeman inspired fat Minimoog flights.

My conclusion about this final Senogul album: captivating, surprising and adventurous but also complex, quirky and contrasting. Those progheads who are into styles like jazz, avant-garde, RIO and bands like Gentle Giant, King Crimson and Frank Zappa will be pleasantly surprised. This is progressive rock in the true meaning of the word, so I award this unique prog music adventure with four stars. Because if you like this kind of prog it's an excellent addition to your collection.

 Islands by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.81 | 1678 ratings

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Islands
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Kornod

5 stars For me this album is one of the most interesting King Crimson effort, because it's at the same time something completely new for the band, and a delicate bridge between "Lizard" and "Lark's Tongues In Aspic".

Experimental nature of "Islands" is pretty much obvious in cause of contrast that was made by far more aggressive sound of previous album. There we have very calm and almost meditative soundscapes which are being represented to us starting with the first section of the disc.

I think now it's time to say something about album's structure. For me it can be simply divided into three major parts, where the first consists of tracks 1 and 2 which make a so-called "Sailor's Tale Suite" I like to think about it as an almost twenty-minute piece because the transition between the tracks is insanely smooth and they are very similar to each other if we speaking about atmosphere. For me this part is probably the best in the entire album, cause it gives many different and entertaining moves, which combine variety of greatly enjoyable moods.

The second part takes it place at tracks 3-5 and is the most experimental part of the album. Although it's still enjoyable I personally think that it's a bit of a letdown of an album.

Finally the last part is the title track only. And that's where things get very complicated, because it's one of a few songs which I find deeply personal but I can't say definitely why it's so. Still it won't stop me from getting shivers every time I listen to it.

I already said a lot about my all-time favorite, though I can speak about how gorgeous it is about an hour or even more, but there is still one thing that I want to mention - if you really listen to it carefully, then you can see pieces and moods that'll directly make their way to next King Crimson work. It provides very nice transition of styles within band's discography.

So, in the nutshell "Islands" is very calm but at the same time a very personal experience, something that you need to listen at least once. For me it's true masterpiece, and I won't hesitate even a bit from rating this 5/5.

 The Noise by HAMMILL, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.77 | 76 ratings

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The Noise
Peter Hammill Eclectic Prog

Review by zampino

4 stars I must be one of the few who really likes this record. After the heavy hand of Usher, and the sometimes cloying aspects of Fireships, I found this refreshing. Some of the comments here regard the lyrics, but songs like "Like a shot, the Entertainer" are both insightful, skeptical, and open to interpretation, and the grooves and playing are compelling. Similarly "A Kick to kill the kiss" is great word play in a great setting. Personally I'd remove "The Great European Department Store", but that's the only song that hasn't resonated with me over many listens.

I believe the problem is how "pop" these songs are compared to previous work, but for me it's the start of the modern Peter Hammill, writing songs and not trying to prove how intellectually sophisticated and different his music is. I find it refreshing, and suggest the listener take on his solo catalog in sequence to see how this pushes Hammill forward in the direction that represent the bulk of his coming work. Put it also into perspective with Foreign Town or Out of Water, which use more obvious/electronic beats that date the music; I find "The Noise" to hold up better over the year as a more organic rock record. It's not perfect, but it's a good and unique record with lyrics that fit into a prog listener's aesthetic.

 Volume Three by LONG HELLO, THE album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.69 | 14 ratings

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Volume Three
The Long Hello Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Range change

Only one year after the second Long Hello album came this third instalment in the series. Once again it is totally different from the previous one with David Jackson now taking up a leadership role. This is basically a Jackson solo album, which is hard to miss given photo of him on the sleeve with some of his favourite instruments and his name being written out in large letters while "The Long Hello Volume Three" is in smaller letters. Even though Guy Evans is still involved it is not clear why they continued the Long Hello moniker for this album at all.

While the first two Long Hello albums were entirely instrumental, several tracks on this one features vocals. Most of the vocals are done by Jakko Jakszyk, later of 21st Century Schizoid Band and King Crimson. Tracks with Jakszyk on vocals like Sogni d'Oro and The Honing of Homer work very well. Jakszyk also contributes some nice Allan Holdsworth- like guitar. I do not know who sings on Dr. Mop (is it Jackson himself perhaps?), but it works considerably less well. Peter Hammill is credited for playing keyboards, but he does not sing. Hugh Banton is not involved.

Awful drum machines ruin tracks like May Day, May Day and Range Change which sound like leftovers from Volume Two. Volume Three is definitely a better album, but it lacks cohesion, and despite some good moments it is not a strong album overall.

 Volume Two by LONG HELLO, THE album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.02 | 14 ratings

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Volume Two
The Long Hello Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

1 stars Hello 1980's

While the first Long Hello album was a collaboration between David Jackson, Hugh Banton, and Guy Evans, with Jackson penning the majority of the material, this second release under the moniker is instead driven by Evans and Nic Potter with Jackson relegated to a guest musician and Banton being absent altogether. Potter did appear on The Long Hello Volume 1, playing bass, but he did not have a prominent role there. Here, on the other hand, he seems to be the leader and most of the tracks are credited to him. Musically, there is not much connecting the two albums, and one may wonder why it was decided to use the Long Hello name.

Released in 1981, some seven years after the The Long Hello Volume 1, the sound is of its time, including some insipid drum machines and cheesy synths. The album features ten shorter tracks (plus three live bonus tracks on the CD reissue), some of which are meandering, ambient sound experiments.

Not entirely without value, but not recommended either.

 The Long Hello by LONG HELLO, THE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.28 | 28 ratings

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The Long Hello
The Long Hello Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars You say goodbye, I say hello

I'm not a big fan on Van Der Graaf Generator, where some of these guys have played together. But I was very impressed by David Jackson's contributions on flute and sax to the albums of The Rome Pro(g)ject recently, so I became curious about what else he had done and came across The Long Hello.

As the title gives away, this is the group's first album, originally released in 1974. The album exists in two different versions with different covers. The one shown here is plain white with a band logo, and is quite dull. The other version features a fantasy landscape with hills and mountains and on the sleeve the album is credited to David Jackson, Guy Evans, Hugh Banton & friends, rather than to The Long Hello (which is just the title of the album). The running order of the tracks is different as well on the two different versions.

I found this a charming instrumental, folky, jazzy album with some light symphonic elements. At places, it actually reminds me a bit of Focus in their lighter moments. The album went rather unnoticed at the time, probably due to the overwhelming amount of great music to come out of the mid-70's. But it is rather pleasant, enjoyable stuff that might appeal to people beyond the followers of Van Der Graaf Generator.

 Queen of Saba  by WALPURGIS album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.87 | 25 ratings

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Queen of Saba
Walpurgis Eclectic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars One-and-done German rock band Walpurgis had plenty going for them, but it just didn't really happen for the group in their heyday of the early Seventies. They boasted Wallenstein's keyboard player and main composer Jurgen Dollase, they fused Jane-like plodding heavy rock with West Coast bluesy psychedelic flavours to their light `krautrock' textures which should have made them quite accessible, they were signed to the legendary Ohr record label, and just look at that attractive and eye-catching front cover on their debut album! But there's several niggling factors that hold their sole LP `Queen of Saba' from 1972 back from being placed alongside the stronger German rock releases of the era, even if it's still a perfectly enjoyable listen once in a while.

Opener `Disappointment' is a mellow and subdued melodic ballad, all shimmering Hammond organ and gentle acoustic guitars chiming around warm piano with brief acid-rock electric guitar soloing popping in and out as well. The singer (unsure who it is exactly, as both guitarist Jerzy Sokolowski and drummer Manfred Stadelmann are credited to vocals) is a little flat throughout and overreaches vocally here and there, but there's a heartfelt sincerity to his (heavily accented) English reading of the romantic (but oh so awkward!) words.

There's a nice snarl to `Hey You Over There' that mixes both jangling psych-pop guitars and twirling flute with heavier dustier bluesy struts. The title-track `Queen Of Saba's chugging charging riffing, molten slow-burn guitar soloing and relentless drumming almost reminds of the earlier Eloy albums in brief moments, and the uplifting `Daily' is mellow and embracing with a reflective quality, where its flights of humming Hammond organ, dreamy extended guitar soloing passages and the agreeable piano outro makes it one of the highlights of the LP.

Once the histrionic painful vocals on the second side's `What Can I Do (To Find Myself?)' take a step back, the piece lifts into chilled skies with ringing guitars, exotic percussion and the littlest teases of dustier eastern vibes. But the centrepiece of the album is the eleven-minute closer `My Last Illusion', full of everything from sudden up-tempo fiery bursts, foot-tapping smouldering grooves and slow-building contemplative ruminations. Frequently vocal-free and highlighted by lengthy jamming soloing from all the players, twisting electric guitars vibrantly spring to life and take on a mantra-like intensity as they wind seductively with murmuring bass, the piece reminding in parts of both Jane and early Eloy once again, and the low-key mellow come-down outro ends the disc beautifully. Had the whole album been more like this, with the vocals taking a back-seat, chances are `Queen of Saba' would have ended up a much more special album than it was.

Perhaps some will feel the album is a little too straightforward, and many will likely find the weezy vocals a total breaking point, but if you can overlook those inconsistencies and pay a bit closer attention, there's plenty of cool playing and lovely qualities scattered throughout all the tracks. It will never be able to be considered among the essential German rock releases of the Seventies, but if you have all the best, Walpurgis' `Queen of Saba' helps make up the rest to enhance a collection of cool adventurous rock titles from that country.

Three stars.

 Happy The Man by HAPPY THE MAN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.85 | 188 ratings

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Happy The Man
Happy The Man Eclectic Prog

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars I only knew Happy the Man by name, because Kit Watkins played in Camel and the biography mentioned Happy the Man.

I always thought it would be really poppy music, because Caravan was pop at the time, and Camel was pop at the time, and Keats was also pop.

I couldn't have been more wrong. This album is a perfect crossover of jazzrock fusion ala Return to Forever/Wheather Report and progrock ala Camel, Caravan, Rick Wakeman (solo), but then even more instrumental.

1977 is an odd year to release such music, maybe the United States didn't have the punkwave we did in Europe. Anyway, this is a treat for my ears, and wow, Kit Watkins is an extremely talented keyboardist and has some really nice sounds in his synths.

Thanks to this album I rate him as high as Rick Wakeman and Joe Zawinul and Chick Corea. This is strongly recommended to any prog/jazzrock enthousiast.

 Defector by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.64 | 431 ratings

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Defector
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

5 stars Remarkable, after Steve Hackett left Genesis in 1977 and went solo, the first ten years he hardly played Genesis songs on stage. But this decade his setlist is loaded with Genesis compositions, and he even did a Wind & Wuthering tour!

But back to those unsurpassed early years of Steve Hackett solo, here is a 3-disc version of his Defector album that was originally released in 1980. It is the successor of Spectral Mornings (1979), perhaps his most praised solo effort.

Disc 1: To me Defector sounds as a very well balanced record (even 50% instrumental/50% vocals) featuring ten varied compositions: slow and compelling in The Steppes, speedy and sumptuous in Slogans, romantic classical guitar in Two Vamps As Guests, awesome Grand piano in Hammer In The Sand, a kind of disco prog in The Show and use of the illusive Optigan in the 1940s inspired Sentimental Institution. You can enjoy Steve Hackett his very distinctive guitar sound, he is such a versatile and creative guitarist. The one moment slow and moving electric guitar runs or tender classical play, the other moment distorted sounds, the tremolo technique or use of a volume pedal. He is at his best during the instrumental tracks The Steppes, Slogans and Jacuzzi, this is the Hackett trademark guitar sound! On this 3-disc box disc one featuring the original Defector album, you can find two bonus tracks: the exciting Hercules Unchained (a kind of punk prog) and a pleasant live version (1979) of Sentimental Institution.

Disc 2 : This is a live recording of Hackett at the Reading Festival in 1981 during the Cured tour. Although he supported this very disappointing new album Cured, Hackett presented an outstanding setlist featuring his best work from his five solo records. He was also supported by an awesome new band: Nick Magnus with an array of vintage keyboards, Chas Cronk on bass (ex-The Strawbs), drummer Ian Mosley (Marillion and Rick Van Der Linden solo) and brother John Hackett on flute, wow! Playing this excellent live CD I realize why Hackett had left Genesis, because here you can listen to a guitarist who showcases all those many ideas he couldn't put into Genesis. And all his compositions are topped with the very distinctive, varied and exciting Steve Hackett solo guitar sound!

Disc 3 : This is an audio DVD, a socalled "New Pseudo 5.1 Surround Up-Mix' from the original stereo master tapes, I still have to play it and compare it with disc 1 ....

Anyway, I am very, very delighted about this box set, in my opinion an obvious example of a five star rating on PA (I only needed 1 second to consider this)!

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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
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INTERPOSE+ Japan
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LAURI PORRA Finland
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RAW MATERIAL United Kingdom
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SEVEN IMPALE Norway
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SKALDOWIE Poland
SKE Italy
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SKY United Kingdom
SLEEPY PEOPLE United Kingdom
JULIE SLICK United States
MALCOLM SMITH United States
SIGMUND SNOPEK III United States
SOLUS3 United Kingdom
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SPECIMEN13 Canada
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TAGYERIT United States
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TCP United States
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TERRENO BALDIO Brazil
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TIME United Kingdom
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TMN Switzerland
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TRAFFIC United Kingdom
I TRENI ALL'ALBA Italy
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TU United States
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UMLÄUT Australia
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD United States
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THE VIRIDIAN GROOVE Venezuela
VISITOR 2035 United Kingdom
VISITORS France
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WOOLLY WOLSTENHOLME'S MAESTOSO United Kingdom
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XL Finland
YEAR ONE United States
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