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Alquin - Fool in the Mirror CD (album) cover

FOOL IN THE MIRROR

Alquin

 

Eclectic Prog

3.00 | 1 ratings

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patrickq
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Alquin is a rock group from the Netherlands that seems to have started off as a prog-rock group focused more on instrumental album cuts than on singles. In 1975, though, perhaps signaling that they couldn't wait forever for pop-music success, they released a radio- friendly single in Europe ("Wheelchair Groupie") and different one in the US ("Stranger"). Both were taken from their album Nobody Can Wait Forever. The following year they released this single, but apparently only in the Netherlands.

Both sides of this single are excerpts of tracks from their 1976 album Best Kept Secret. The a-side is the "Sham Fight" section of "Fool in the Mirror," while the b-side is the "Bootlegs Ballet" section of "One More Night." In each case, the single edit is less than half as long as the album version.

While Nobody Can Wait Forever was Alquin's third album, it was the first to be released in the US. Unfortunately, it was also their last. It seems that outside of the Netherlands and Belgium, Best Kept Secret was available only as an import. Perhaps not coincidentally, "Fool in the Mirror" isn't as conspicuously commercial as "Wheelchair Groupie." While it still barely resembles Alquin's early work, "Fool in the Mirror" is a return to a more sophisticated sound, with R&B-influenced vocals and brass. The instrumental "Bootlegs Ballet" reminds me a bit of an Allman Brothers jam, with some touches of mid-1970s Kool and the Gang and Doobie Brothers. While the arrangements of these songs would've been a fit for US pop radio in 1976, the songs themselves aren't especially accessible.

In all, "Fool in the Mirror (Sham Fight)" / "Bootlegs Ballet" is a nice enough single, but I'd recommend the album versions. And for those looking for prog music, I'd suggest this group's first two albums: Marks (1972) and Mountain Queen (1973).

patrickq | 3/5 |

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