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PROG FOLK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Prog Folk definition

In the wake of the 60's, a Folk revival started on both sides of the Atlantic, and got quickly linked with a protest movement, not always, but often linked to more left-wing tendencies, which did not sit well with the authorities. BOB DYLAN, JOAN BAEZ, WOODY GUTHRIE, JOHN DENVER, BUFFY STE-MARIE, but also the FARINA couple Richard and Mimi for the US and SHIRLEY COLLINS and EWAN McCOLL (mentor of BERT JANSCH, JOHN RENBOURN ) for the UK and HUGUES AUFRAY in France. In Quebec, there was the "Chansoniers" phenomenon among which CLAUDE LEVEILLE and FELIX LECLERC were the most popular, waking up the sleepy "Belle Province" and stand up for itself from the English rule. The English part of Canada also brought up JONI MITCHELL, LEONARD COHEN (although he was from Montreal) and NEIL YOUNG.

As DYLAN turned electric with his Highway 61 Revisited album, much to the dislike of purists who yelled for treason, Folk Rock was born, opening the floodgates for younger artists to turn on the electricity. As DYLAN soon abandoned to style to create Country Rock with his next album, his British equivalent Scotsman DONOVAN stayed true to Folk Rock. In the US, THE BYRDS were the main promoters of the style by now, culminating with the superb "Eight Miles High" track with a lengthy (for the times) guitar solo of almost one minute. But countless other bands on the west coast, such as LOVE, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE (and later its spin-off HOT TUNA), GRATEFUL DEAD, QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE, PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, and TIM BUCKLEY all started in the folk rock realm. Even San Fran's SANTANA with its Latino traditional music and, on the east coast, NY's THE LOVING SPOONFUL had folk roots. Notwithstanding the immense popularity of SIMON & GARFUNKEL and their delicious harmonies, Folk Rock was appealing only to the rock public as the older generations turned their backs in folkies.

In the UK, following on their countrymen DONOVAN, many Scotsmen were very influent in exploring new grounds for folk rock: INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (led by Scots Palmer and Williamson) with their two highly influential albums "5000 Layers Or The Spirit Of The Onion" & "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" and THE PENTANGLE (led by other Scots Renbourn, Jansch and McShee and their superb bassist Danny Thompson) and its incredible fusion of folk, blues and jazz style were very instrumental in developing the style to the same extent as FAIRPORT CONVENTION and THE STRAWBS who by that time were still more conventional US "west-coast folk rock". The single artistes in folk rock became known as Folk Troubadours were also numerous and often presented a more progressive side of folk: AL STEWART, NICK DRAKE, ROY HARPER, TYRANOSAURUS REX (actually a duo of Steven Took and Marc Bolan) , JOHN MARTYN etc.

However, the real angular album that will lead to further change of Folk Rock is FAIRPORT CONVENTION's "Liege & Lief" album, that proved to be highly influential for another generation of groups: this album concentrated into electrifying seminal English traditional folk and retained that quaint Englishness taste. It is interesting to see that both leaders of FAIRPORT quit the band after this success to go their respective way: Sandy Denny to a solo folk songwriting career and Ashley Hutchings to a very traditional folk rock. By this time, most connoisseur were talking of Acid Folk, Psych Folk, and Progressive Folk, all having limited differences and no particularly drawn-out limits or boundaries, but all relying on experimental or groundbreaking adventures and good musicianship but not necessarily of an acoustic nature.

Groups like THE THIRD EAR BAND and QUINTESSENCE relied on eastern Indian music influences and, sometimes, medieval tones. Other groups like the weird COMUS, THE TREES, SPIROGYRA, FOREST, the superb JAN DUKES DE GREY (all listed in the ProgArchives) but also TRADER HORNE, TUDOR LODGE, FOTHERINGAY, MAGNA CARTA, TIR NA NOG (all of whom could also be in the ProgArchives) were out to break new ground but with less commercial success as their predecessor. By 1972, all of the glorious precursors bands were selling fewer records and had problems renewing themselves and a newer generation of groups was relying in a more Celtic jigs or really traditional sounds. Such as HORSLIPS, DANDO SHAFT, STEELEYE SPAN, AMAZING BLONDEL, ALBION DANCE BAND and SPRIGUNS OF TOLGUS. Although JETHRO TULL had some definitive folk roots right from the start, their only albums that can be regarded as Prog Folk are 77's Songs From The Woods and 78's Heavy Horses. Ian Anderson (another Scots) was very keen in acoustical traditional songs. Some Folk Troubadours such as TIM BUCKLEY and JOHN MARTYN started turning records more and more axed towards fusing jazz and folk (a bit in what THE PENTANGLE were doing) , others became more and more electric and they started to be referred to as Singer Songwriters especially those with country rock influences.

In Germany, HOELDERLIN (and their fantastic debut album), EMTIDI, OUGENWEIDE, CAROL OF HARVEST, WITTHEUSER & WESTRUPP were exploring German folk while KALACAKRA , SILOAH and EMBRYO were indulging with Indian music. In South America, most notably in Chile, LOS JAIVAS (very bent upon Andean Indian music) and EL CONGRESSO (more Spanish-Latino folklore) were using folk in their rock, so much that some press talked about them referring it with the hateful term Inca Rock. In Quebec, the progressive movement exploded with the cultural identity and the Chansoniers tradition and this was carried out with LES SEGUIN and HARMONIUM and so many more. In France, many groups were out for folk rock such as RIBEIRO ALPS, TANGERINE, and ASGARD. In Spain, Flamenco playing a dominant role as well as Basque folk, TRIANA, ITOIZ and HAIZEA were the head of the movement once the Franco regime fell apart after his death.


There is also a very important medieval music influences dimension in some groups as the term Medieval Folk was also mentioned for a while but apparently dropped by musicologists. Among the UK groups are obviously GRYPHON, GENTLE GIANT and THIRD EAR BAND, in France: MALICORNE and RIPAILLE and in Scandinavia: ALGARNAS TRADGARD and FOLQUE.


Hugues Chantraine

Current Team as of January 1, 2015

Bob Moore aka ClemofNazareth
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Prog Folk Top Albums


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

4.63 | 2725 ratings
THICK AS A BRICK
Jethro Tull
4.33 | 2110 ratings
AQUALUNG
Jethro Tull
4.16 | 1145 ratings
SONGS FROM THE WOOD
Jethro Tull
4.19 | 264 ratings
ALTURAS DE MACCHU PICCHU
Jaivas, Los
4.40 | 57 ratings
ERWARTUNG
Eden
4.14 | 447 ratings
FIRST UTTERANCE
Comus
4.20 | 162 ratings
ST. RADIGUNDS
Spirogyra
4.13 | 504 ratings
RED QUEEN TO GRYPHON THREE
Gryphon
4.15 | 268 ratings
GRAVE NEW WORLD
Strawbs
4.15 | 261 ratings
HERO AND HEROINE
Strawbs
4.16 | 180 ratings
MICE AND RATS IN THE LOFT
Jan Dukes De Grey
4.56 | 29 ratings
LUCAS
Araujo, Marco Antonio
4.04 | 996 ratings
STAND UP
Jethro Tull
4.07 | 257 ratings
THE HAZARDS OF LOVE
Decemberists, The
4.16 | 95 ratings
BASKET OF LIGHT
Pentangle, The
4.02 | 1186 ratings
A PASSION PLAY
Jethro Tull
4.14 | 107 ratings
BELLS, BOOTS AND SHAMBLES
Spirogyra
4.01 | 930 ratings
HEAVY HORSES
Jethro Tull
4.13 | 100 ratings
EZEKIEL
Itoiz
4.00 | 962 ratings
MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY
Jethro Tull

Prog Folk overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

GENTLE SOUL
Gentle Soul, The
TALES OF THE RIVERBANK
Dancer
A CANDLE FOR JUDITH
Way We Live, The
AMETSAREN BIDEA
Errobi

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Latest Prog Folk Music Reviews


 Raindance by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.25 | 150 ratings

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Raindance
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by ALotOfBottle

2 stars After their outstanding third album Red Queen To Gryphon Three, which presented a fresh, bright, and ambitious vision of progressive folk rock, Gryphon enjoyed a relative success. The band was offered to open for Yes during one of their tours. It is at this time that we can observe Gryphon's radical drift away from their folk roots. Philip Nestor and Peter Redding, the bassists left the group and were replaced by Malcolm Bennett, who was also a fluent flautist. In 1975, Gryphon recorded Radiance.

The band's sound on Radiance is dramatically different from their previous releases. Their original distinct sound shaped by English medieval and renaissance folk music is almost entirely absent. These elements are being replaced with a style that would not be out of place on works by Yes or Gentle Giant. However, the newer influences are executed in a rather clumsy and awkward manner, sounding unnatural and dull.

Gryphon's signature bassoon sound is all that is left from the old style. Most of the sound is dominated by keyboards and an electric guitar. The musicianship is very decent. The band shows a strong tendency of building melodic structures on rhythms set by repeating sequences on a diverse range of percussion instruments. Folk-inspired acoustic guitars do appear in places, but play a minor role in the band's new sound. The previously mentioned keyboards range from grand piano to a Minimoog synthesizer, which is definitely something new In Gryphon's music. There are also some ambient passages with various electronic sound effects.

The album consists of nine tracks. Some of the titles are in German in French. "(Ein Klein) Heldenleben" is Gryphon's own 15-minute "mini-epic" and highlights the most essential elements of Radiance. One of the pieces is a cover of The Beatles' "Mother's Nature Son". It's a good song and probably the best track on the album, but feels sort of unambitious for a progressive rock band to play arrangements of popular music. "Down The Dog" is also a very decent with an interesting clavinet sound.

Radiance is nothing short of a big disappointment. The band's original and unique sound presented on previous releases is sacrificed for mediocre, popular-sounding soft rock with just little strains of folk music. It's a real shame, because Gryphon could do much better than that. The album is not bad in its own right, but it is recommended to avoid it, unless you are a fan of Gryphon. 2.5 stars!

 St. Radigunds by SPIROGYRA album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.20 | 162 ratings

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St. Radigunds
Spirogyra Prog Folk

Review by ALotOfBottle

4 stars Canterbury Folk?

In the summer of 1967, Spirogyra was formed by a guitarist Martin Cockerham and Mark Francis in Bolton, Lancashire. The group functioned as a duo for two years, until Cockerham went to continue his further studies at the University Of Kent in Canterbury. There, he met a vocalist Barbara Gaskin (who later appeared on recordings by Egg, Hatfield And The North, and National Health, being one one of the founders of the female choir The Northettes), a bassist Dave Bornill, and a violinist Julian Cusack, who joined the band. The quartet regularly played local concerts and was soon offered a recording contract with B&C Records. In 1971, the band recorded their debut album St. Radigunds, which was the name of the street the members' student house was on. The album enjoyed relative success and made a name for Spirogyra in the English folk underground. The legend has it that Bill Bruford, one of progressive rock's most admired drummers, appeared as a guest on the album, although he is not credited and the story is not confirmed.

Spirogyra's style is largely shaped by contemporary folk acts such as Pentangle, Fairport Convention, The Incredible String Band, Lindisfarne or Steeleye Span. Similarly to many other "puristic" folk acts, the quartet does not feature a drummer in its full line-up. Some of the tracks include light percussion touches, but I have not found a simple snare beat throughout the work. The band's violinist, Julian Cusack does fantastic work at enriching plain acoustic passages with his typically English fiddle playing. He also adds interesting keyboards touches on some songs. An electric bass guitar played by Dave Bornill keeps the music lively and keeps it from sounding uninteresting and not lively. Martin Cockerham's acoustic guitar is the key element of Spirogyra's sound, it is bright, percussive, and dynamic ? in short features all of the elements that a folk guitar should have. Barbara Gaskin and Cockerham are the main singers on the album. Gaskin's gentle, feminine, attractive, angel-like voice puts the listener in heaven. Cockerham's singing is the polar opposite. His voice is wild, throaty, and perfectly suited for English outlaw-folk.

St. Radigunds consists of ten tracks, some of which are arrangements of traditional folk songs. The album has a great consistency, sometimes perhaps even too much of it, as the tracks do not have a great variety between them. They are not boring though. I never caught my thoughts up on drifting away from the music.

All things considered, Spirogyra's debut St. Radigunds is a really solid effort with many traditional melodies and arrangements. The thing is, the album doesn't have anything that sets apart good from great. However, this is a real treat for prog folk fans and might be very pleasing for progheads only getting into the folk territory. Four stars!

 First Utterance by COMUS album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.14 | 447 ratings

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First Utterance
Comus Prog Folk

Review by ALotOfBottle

5 stars Welcome to the woods!

In 1967, Roger Wootton and Glenn Goring, two 17-year-old students of Ravensbourne College of Art in Bromley, Kent, met. The two found mutual interest in the Velvet Underground and folk music of artists such as John Renbourn and Bert Jansch. They soon founded a folk duo and started playing in pubs and bars. Within two years, the band grew to a sextet, naming itself Comus, and made a name for themselves in the English underground. In 1970, they finally got a record contract with the Dawn label and, in early 1971, released their first album First Utterance.

Comus' music blends many different types of folk, including pagan folk, medieval and renaissance English folk, acid folk, ancient Greek, swamp blues, and Eastern European folk. All these are enriched with an avant-garde theatrical twist in the vein of what Henry Cow would present a few years later. Dark, melancholic, ominous, creepy, gloomy, worrying, infernal, sinister - these are just a handful of expressions that describe the moods on this album. Despite the relative lack of success when it first came out, First Utterance later found admiration among bands such as Opeth or Current 93 and the band became David Bowie's favorites, who let them use his Arts Lab rehearsal space in Beckenham, Kent. While Gryphon's music has a brighter, merrier, and more optimistic plainsong-oriented style, Comus lie on the exact opposite side with a somber, almost satanic flavor.

The sextet utilizes instruments such as basic 6- and 12-string acoustic guitar and hand drums as well as violin, cello, flutes, oboes, and bassoons. These give the band a very distinctive sound. Musicianship is excellent here and the artists make the most of their instruments. Some of the sounds, such as a high-pitched flute, introduce a very mystic element while melodies often invoke a dark medieval forest. The band's sound is characterized by quick, percussive rhythms with a demonic hand drum and tambourine. The swamp blues-style slide guitar is present and sits surprisingly well in the rather European-influenced music. The lyrics talk about mental illness, murder, and pagan rituals and are sung by beautifully harmonious vocals ranging from the female soprano of Bobbie Watson to the male bass, baritone, and tenor voices of Roger Wootton, Glen Goring, and Andy Hellaby.

First Utterance comprises seven tracks (plus three on the remastered CD reissue). Despite various moods or scales they do not give an impression of varying greatly between but fall far from being monotonous. "Drip Drip" and the "The Herald" are longer than ten minutes with some compositional diversity, while the others are kept fairly short, between two and six minutes. Comus' First Utterance has always been a pretty obscure gem. It is, however, held in high regard by music collectors and musicians. The band's musical vision gave birth to unique moods only to be found on First Utterance. This is not a very accessible album and may not be pleasing to newcomers but still remains a much-needed addition to every progressive rock collection. Five stars!

 The Pentangle by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.89 | 43 ratings

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The Pentangle
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Pentangle kicked off their career here with this early release which sits alongside early releases by Fairport Convention as a rough blueprint for the British folk-rock scene (as distinct from the folk rock style that would be derived from Dylan, the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and other such artists in the States). Pinches of jazz and blues stylings spice things up without allowing them to stray too far from the folk baseline, and the combination of innovative arrangements of traditional fare and group compositions retains the listener's interest all the way through. It isn't essential - I'd listen to Sweet Child as a first port of call for the band - but it's pretty good.
 First Utterance by COMUS album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.14 | 447 ratings

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First Utterance
Comus Prog Folk

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I heard about Comus' First Utterance from a friend of a friend... sort of. While watching an interview with Steven Wilson where he chatted about his Storm Corrosion project, he mentioned that it was his collaborator and contemporary prog-rock maestro Mikael Akerfeldt who introduced him to Comus - a darksome and artistic folk band from the early '70's. I figure that if it's good enough for Akerfeldt and Wilson, it's good enough for me.

I was blown away by what I found. First Utterance has quickly become one of the most unique, beautiful, haunting, menacing, and continually played albums in my library. It's an artistic masterstroke that combines tonally rich, lush, and diverse songs that shimmer and brood with emotion. I don't have enough nice things to say about my listening experience... but that's not going to stop me from trying.

"Diana," the opener and, as my understanding the only single released from this album, sets the dark and threatening tone right away. Behind the off-kilter bass riffing and guitar bends we're given a tapestry of vocals that tell the story of "Lust he follows virtue close." It's sort of a bouncing and hypnotic song that makes you want to enjoy it as a 'normal' song, until you actually start listening close, and realize the tension building in your guts from the combination of instrument sounds and lyrics. Unsettling, and while it left me begging for more, this is the kind of song that makes your friends and neighbors wonder just what the hell kind of music you're into. Score one for prog-rock!

"The Herald" follows elegantly and subtle, with wonderful guitar layers, flute tones, violin soling, oboe(!) and sense of space. Its extended running time gives the group plenty of space to fill with compelling composition that strikes the imagination. Simply wonderful and one of the best songs on the album. Speaking of highlights, "Drip Drip" comes next, which may be my favorite cut in the entire album. Filled with tension, time changes, outstanding playing, and striking vocals, it's at this point in the album that you're either all in, or will cringe away as Wootton's evocative lyrics paint dark images. I love the intensity and dynamism that the band puts in to this song; even using only acoustic instruments and hand drums it possess a powerful energy. Spectacular.

The signature song, "Song to Comus" follows, a theatrical and intricate piece that is probably the best bite-sized example of what Comus is all about; part playful, part menacing, all art. My friend described it as sounding like "a bunch of halflings summoning demons around a wicker fire." It should be heard to be appreciated as the rewarding musical experience it really is though, so click the sample MP3 above. A brilliant composition that really does have it all.

"Bite," and "Bitten" follow up wonderfully, "Bite" especially with its exceptional lyrics and acoustic intensity and momentum. "The Prisoner" closes literally with the chanting of "insane," that sort of sums it up! While I and other reviewers have made comments about how challenging this music is, remember that there are just as many beautiful moments, as well as exceptional compositions to be found. This album isn't an hour of droning or sound effects like the modern dark/black avant-garde movement; this is pure musicianship and skill, set against a sinister palette of images. I encourage any that are hesitant to investigate this excellent album to give it a try and be surprised by how artful and rich it sounds.

To close, First Utterance has suddenly jumped to among my most listened albums within a very short period. It's an amazing experience which does so many daring and exciting things with musical precision and soul. You might lose a bit of yours while listening, because this album drips madness beneath the veneer of acoustic guitars and fluting, but I'd rather revel in the dark with Comus than anywhere else. Get it; experience it; love it, First Utterance is among my highest recommendations.

Songwriting: 5 - Instrumental Performances: 5 - Lyrics/Vocals: 5 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

 From The Witchwood by STRAWBS album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.01 | 194 ratings

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From The Witchwood
Strawbs Prog Folk

Review by ALotOfBottle

4 stars After delicate, feminine and primarily acoustic Dragonfly, Strawbs pushed the boundaries of their style further. They recruited Rick Wakeman as a full-time keyboardist. Although he did appear on the band's previous release, he was listed as a guest musician and his parts rather served a purpose of a musical seasoning. In addition, two new members joined the band, namely Richard Hudson on drums and a sitar and John Ford on bass guitar.

Strawbs' musical extract on From The Witchwood consists of a suprsisingly wide plethora of influences. Building on Brtiain's folk music traditions, Strawbs incorporate elements of Irish folk music, Scottish plainsongs and even some ambitious Indian raga bits. Some of the pieces have a heavier folk rock feeling to them. The band makes fantatstic use of traditional English instruments such as a banjo, a dulcimer and a recorder. All of this is supported by Rick Wakeman's pastoral and liturgical organ sensibilities. However, it doesn't end there with his keyboards. Wakeman introduces (at that time still fairly unknown) a Moog synthesizer, a harpsichord and a celesta. All of this provides a great musical variety, which I often fail to find in folk rock. Lyrically, this work is also top-notch. The lyrics are very moody, many of which bring old shanties and traditional themes to mind. From The Witchwood consists of ten songs plus one bonus track, all fairly short, kept under five minutes. I find "Thirty Days", "The Hangman And The Papist" and "Sheep" to be three pieces, which are the most representative of the album, which express the album's eclecticism in a nutshell.

All in all, I consider this to be a very accomplished and revolutionary release, which marks the beggining of Strawbs' "progressive" folk era. A very unique and one-of-a-kind album and Strawbs' best work in my opinion. Highly recommended. Four stars!

 Medusa: En vivo en Buenos Aires by FLOR DE LOTO album cover Live, 2015
3.50 | 2 ratings

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Medusa: En vivo en Buenos Aires
Flor de Loto Prog Folk

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Peruvian band FLOR DE LOTO has been an active and vital part of the progressive rock scene in Peru for a good number of years, and since they started to release their music on CD just over ten years ago, a new production by the band has hit the shelves just about every other year. "Medusa", their first live production ever, was jointly released by Azafran Records and Musea Records in the fall of 2015.

The main charm of this live CD and DVD package is to see and hear a tight, seasoned live band in action, where what appears to have been a really good performance has been captured more or less exactly as it was. If it is a case of me as a listener getting used to the sound as this concert unfolds or whether it's an actual case of the sound and mix getting improved as the concert unfolds, I don't truly know, but the impression I'm left with is that the sound and balancing is a bit off at the start, and then improves in quality along the way, which may well be something of a detrimental feature for those not familiar with this band from previous occasions. Due to that I'd first and foremost recommend this production mainly to those already familiar with the band. Those with a fascination for live productions that strive to be as authentic as possible might also want to check this one out, as the impression I have is that this concert has been captured pretty much exactly how it was, without all that much tinkering done to the audio afterwards.

 Hayak Yolunda by AMAROK album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.08 | 6 ratings

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Hayak Yolunda
Amarok Prog Folk

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Spanish combo AMAROK is a veteran band on the Spanish progressive rock scene, and from their formation back in 1990, they released new material at a fairly steady pace for the first 15 or so years of their existence. The number of new albums has slowed down after that, and following their seventh studio album "Sol de Medianoche", the band disbanded. "Hayak Yolunda" is the eighth studio album by this seasoned, now resurrected band, and was jointly released by Azafran Media and Musea Records in the fall of 2015.

This production by Amarok comes across as something of a water-shift creation, where the main album presumably indicates the kind of material we can expect to hear from the band in the future: delicate and relatively unobtrusive compositions that blend elements from folk music into a dampened, sophisticated take on vintage-era symphonic art rock. The bonus CD comes across as something of farewell to the kind of material the band explored in the past, partially due to the marked difference in style on those compositions, partially due to the descriptions given this material in the booklet of this double-CD release. Both CDs are quality productions though, and, first and foremost with the main CD in mind, I'd recommend those, who tend to enjoy bands such as Camel, to give this outing a check.

 Thick As A Brick by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.63 | 2725 ratings

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Thick As A Brick
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

2 stars Thick As A Brick is one of those classic albums that I've just never really felt anything for, no matter how technically good it may be.

What this album knocks out of the park is the concept. But I don't listen to ambitious concepts. I listen to music, and the music that's offered here isn't very remarkable. For a 45 minute album, there really isn't much variety to be offered. There are only two real "moods" created on the album. The first is a pseudo-medieval acoustic ballad feel with Ian Anderson's monotonous vocals and flute musings, singing about "...and the sheep in the glade and the mountain by the river and the household of the master's name and...", or some such sort. The other is uptempo hard blues rock with plenty of guitar, hammond organ and saxophone interplay. These sections are certainly the more interesting ones, but there was so much rock being produced at the same time that sounds so similar that the rock on TAAB just isn't too remarkable.

So all in all, this is an album that has some good elements pushing for it, but the aesthetic just falls flat for these ears. One for the fans.

 Aqualung by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.33 | 2110 ratings

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Aqualung
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by ALotOfBottle

5 stars It is 1971. Jethro Tull have just recruited a keyboardist, John Evans (who appeared as a special guest on their previous work). With a boom of creativity from the group's contemporaries, it was time to leave dry blues-based hard rock cliches behind and push the boundaries of their musical horizons. And so they certainly did. First, "Aqualung" greets us with outsanding cover art somewhat preluding moods to come on the album. What comes inside is a bliss. This piece of pure solid work still remains one of our favorite prog works after all these years. Although, I might not share the full-blown enthusiasm of many other prog reviewers and believe this relase does have some minor flaws to some extent, "Aqualung" undeniably deserves five stars. Not only for the music itself, but for its creativity and importance. Moods on this album is strongly influenced by English medieval and renaissance folk based on strong rhythm rooted in blues. Charles Dickens-like Englishness is another characteristic. Those are best visible on "Cross Eyed Mary", my favorite track. Amazing acoustic (and electric) guitar playing, virtuosic flute and great singing. These are probably the main atributes. I feel like the phenomenal keyboard skills of John Evans (which were to be revealed in following years, still not here) are not utilized enough. However, that is enough of my criticism. With this record, the band created a name for themselves as "the bards of progressive rock". All in all, saying that every prog fan needs this album is probably a brutal understatement, most of you highly likely have this album already. Anyway, enjoy the listen, get carried away to mysterious lands of Jethro Tull's music! 9/10
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Prog Folk bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
0.720 ALEACION Mexico
3 DAFT MONKEYS United Kingdom
A PRESENÇA DAS FORMIGAS Portugal
AALTO Finland
RABIH ABOU-KHALIL Lebanon
ACCOLADE United Kingdom
ACCOLADE United States
ADARO Germany
AFFORESTED United Kingdom
AFION Croatia
AGAPE Canada
AGINCOURT United Kingdom
AIGUES VIVES Germany
AKTUALA Italy
NICU ALIFANTIS Romania
ALMÔNDEGAS Brazil
ALVA Multi-National
AMANITA Italy
AMAROK Spain
AMAZING BLONDEL United Kingdom
AMBER United Kingdom
AN DRO Germany
ANACRUSA Argentina
IAN ANDERSON United Kingdom
THE ANGELS OF LIGHT United States
ANNAMY Sweden
APARECIDOS Multi-National
AQUAPLAN Finland
AQUARIUM Russia
DAN AR BRAZ France
MARCO ANTONIO ARAUJO Brazil
DAN ARBORISE United Kingdom
THE ARBORISTS Canada
ARIA PALEA Italy
ARMY OF BRIARS United Kingdom
ARTSRUNI Armenia
ASGARD France
ASHADA Japan
ASHTAR Brazil
ASI SOMOS Puerto Rico
ATMAN Poland
AUCAN Argentina
AVALANCHE Netherlands
AVE SANGRIA Brazil
AZAHAR Spain
BABADAG Poland
BABY WHALE Multi-National
BAMBIR / THE BAMBIR Armenia
BANDA DO CASACO Portugal
A BARCA DO SOL Brazil
BARR Sweden
TOMAS BATISTA Argentina
BAYON Germany
BEAT CIRCUS United States
BEDEDEUM Italy
BERNARD BENOIT France
BLACKMORE'S NIGHT United Kingdom
BLOPS Chile
BLUEHORSES United Kingdom
BOULE DE SON Canada
BRAN (BRÂN) United Kingdom
BREAD LOVE AND DREAMS United Kingdom
BRECHE Canada
PAUL BRETT United Kingdom
BRÖSELMASCHINE Germany
BUCIUM Romania
TIM BUCKLEY United States
VASHTI BUNYAN United Kingdom
C.O.B. United Kingdom
CAEDMON United Kingdom
CALIBAN United States
CÁLIX Brazil
CAMELIAS GARDEN Italy
CAN AM DES PUIG Multi-National
CANDIDATE United Kingdom
CANO Canada
CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO Italy
MARCELLO CAPRA Italy
CARMEN United Kingdom
CARNASCIALIA Italy
CAROL OF HARVEST Germany
GIAN CASTELLO Italy
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