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Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 614 ratings

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2 stars A revered prog-rock supergroup whose sound is closer in spirit to the likes of 'Duke'-era Genesis, 1980's pop-proggers Asia and soft-rock leviathans Foreigner than it is to the classic, early-1970's albums such as 'Close To The Edge', 'Nursery Cryme' or 'In The Court Of The Crimson King', UK may feature a genuine treasure-trove of first rate talent but, in truth, they probably arrived too late in the day to make any real, lasting impact on the progressive music genre. Released in 1978, this self-titled debut album featured a line-up consisting of former Family and King Crimson bassist-and-vocalist John Wetton, ex-Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford, Roxy Music's synth-and-violin wizard Eddie Jobson, and former Soft Machine guitarist Allen Holdsworth. Wetton provided the vocals, in his usual excellent style, but it would be the youngest member, Jobson, who would dictate the group's musical machinations. Indeed, 'UK' is a very technologically-enhanced and effects-filled release, with Jobson utilising a plethora of hi-tech tricks to gain a slick, jazzy sound that truly belies it's 1978 release date. However, despite Jobson's box of tricks and the excellent line-up, 'UK' remains a rather flashy but rather empty spectacle that starts strongly - the polished, anthemic 'In The Dead Of Night' is the album's stand-out track - but quickly fades. It's reputation as the last prog hurrah before the vanguard of punk is well-intentioned but fails to, as some have claimed, give respectful closure to the 1970's progressive rock phenomenon. 'UK' has more in common with Asia than it does Yes, and, despite the quality musicianship, must be put down as an elegant failure. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 2/5 |


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