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Wigwam - Lucky Golden Stripes And Starpose CD (album) cover

LUCKY GOLDEN STRIPES AND STARPOSE

Wigwam

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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hannu.vierula
2 stars First album after brilliant Nuclear Nightclub and fan´s waited for a new masterpiece. Is it? No, it isn´t, I´m afraid. Wigwam had diffeculties making this record and they couldn´t get it working as an album very well. Lucky Golden has fantastic songs like Colossus, Eddie and the boys and Never turn you in but there is some songs which don´t match the album, like International disaster and In a nutshell. Perhaps Wigwam made a mistake when they forget two great singles out of this album, Tramdriver and Wardance. Those two songs in this album would make Lucky golden much better but somehow songs are not within. Song were made after Nuclear Nightclub. Lucky Golden is a good album, but it´s dissapointment after wonderfull Nuclear Nightclub.
Report this review (#22818)
Posted Wednesday, January 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Jimbo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3,5 stars!

How does one follow up the success Wigwam had with Nuclear Nightclub? Of course, it was probably a slight disappointment for hard-core proggers, but for me and most of my fellow countrymen NN remains as one of the defining and best pop/rock records ever. They probably had a great deal of pressure on their hands, and unfortunately that does tend to show when listening to LGSAS. They pretty much continued on the same path, although the soundscapes were a bit more depressive than before. Pembroke continued on his satirical style, creating catchy but thoughtful and well-crafted pop songs. Nevertheless, while tracks like International Disaster and In a Nutshell (nice lyrics, though!) are quite catchy and harmless, as Pembroke compositions they were rather mediocre, to be honest. On the other hand, the dark and mystical Colossus (if this isn't prog then what is?), the incredible title track (what a riff!), and the ideal pop tune Eddie And The Boys are among Wigwam's best work. So, while the album does have its flaws, you shouldn't dismiss this as some "mediocrity". Even though my rating may sound a bit harsh, I love this album to bits, and TLGSAS is certainly worthy of your attention, but do not start here.

Report this review (#22819)
Posted Monday, January 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars (sixth in a series of seven)

The other persons reviewing this album are clearly Finnish and long-time fans of Wigwam. That they be disappointed with this album is understandable but to consider it inferior to the following album Dark Album is pushing it a little.

On this one , what strikes most is that the music is looking up to Steely Dan . The highlights Colssus and Eddie are brilliant but yes, the rest lacks inspiration, but not more so than Dark Album. To choose between these two albums, the proghead would be well advised to stay with this one - he will find more to chew on. This album celebrates the return of a KB player (there was one as an occasional guest on the previous album) and this proves to save the day. Overall , I would say that IMO this under-rated album is roughly equal to the over-rated Nuclear Nightclub. Another thing that links those two albums is the artwork of the sleeve by original bassist Hulden.

Hope this album comes out one day with the two tracks Mr. Hannu speaks about in his review (Tran Driver & Wardance). This might even make it better.

Report this review (#22820)
Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The follower of "Nuclear Nightclub" album begins promisingly with the dark and neurotic "Sane again", but except the song "Colossus", I found the rest of this album quite boring. I have never been very interested about the incarnations of this band without Jukka Gustavson. Though they did well produced and slightly artistic pop rock albums, I prefer their earlier adventurous albums. Also it's weird that a short excerpt of pointless jamming ended up to the final release ("Timedance"). Album cover drawing is quite pretty though.
Report this review (#22821)
Posted Thursday, March 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is much better than the reviews I've read. There are some excellent compositions and melodies, although some of them would've needed better arrangements, I guess.

Highlights are the pompous Colossus, biblical Never Turn You In and the title song with it's infectous groove, excellent.

Also June Maybe Too Late has a great chorusline, but the verses are somewhat too modest and the contrast doesn't work IMHO.

Some songs, like International Disaster, In A Nutshell and Eddie And The Boys for me feels like they haven't been arranged properly.

Rest of the songs fall in between these two cathegories and fail to impress me.

All in all, a great album as it is.

Report this review (#219376)
Posted Monday, June 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I must say I've never understood the lack of top ratings for this album. I also add that I believe I prefer this to Nuclear Night Club. From start to finish this is an excellent lp. The one thing I do find somewhat distressing is the mix of the new issue on Eclectic Compact Discs. Seems whoever did this one turned up the bass and drums in the mix and for me this spoils the effect. I tried several times and just can't get used to the thud this one has. I do like Jim Pembroke's liner notes and having met Jim in person (after all he lives in Kansas City) I do find talking to him really interesting to talk with. Wigwam is not my favorite band of all ( that honor would go to Free) but they are certainly close.
Report this review (#264439)
Posted Friday, February 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Matti
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Of the three "deep-pop" era studio albums that the Finnish prog legend Wigwam made in the mid/late seventies (the other ones being the celebrated Nuclear Nightclub, 1975, and the admittedly uneven but better-than-many-think Dark Album, 1977), this one has always been the least interesting for me. Now it's time to re-evaluate it, thanks to the recent 2-LP reissue by Svart Records. The additional vinyl contains the original mixes (by producer Ronnie Leahy and engineer John Eden) of the 5 songs that Wigwam chose to remix for the album, and four rehearsal tracks recorded in January 1976 in Virgin's Manor studio. This bonus material offers the listener an opportunity to spot the little differences between various versions, but I personally don't get very excited by them. Actually I would've rather had the separate single songs 'Wardance' and 'Tramdriver' which have appeared on the CD reissues. The best thing about this vinyl reissue is naturally the new interview-based liner notes. They are printed (in a font that imitates the slightly smudgy ink of an old typewriter) on the supplementary sheet, while the inner side of the pretty good-looking gatefold sleeve includes the lyrics and other album information.

After the success of Nuclear Nightclub, and with the British recording deal, the gate was seemingly open to the possibility of an international breakthrough. However, not only because of the band's own domestically oriented preferences, things started to go downhill. Even the recording sessions in the Manor weren't very comfortable for them. As bassist MĂĽns Groundsroem recalls: "It was interesting to work in England in a quality studio, but I feel we should've continued with our standard concept. The situation and Virgin brought us pressure." According to guitarist Rekku Rechardt "something in Manor killed our creativity. The album was done from a strictly professional standpoint, leaving our own relationship with the material lacking". Indeed the result lacks the fresh breath and the happy aura of Nuclear Nightclub, but still it's very far from being bad. First, the songwriting isn't nearly as uninspired as I thought from my old listenings ages ago, and the production surely has its merits too.

Especially for the lyrics of Jim Pembroke, the album has a dark, pessimistic feel, which however doesn't always concern the music. 'Sane Again' is a short but in a way powerful opener, followed by 'International Disaster' in which dystopic words are combined with light-hearted music. 'Timedance is just a tiny jam snippet to fill the space of the first side. The strongest and the proggiest song is definitely the dark-toned 'Colossus', one of Rechardt's compositions. Some of Pembroke's songs are musically rather mediocre, but sincerely of his own style. The title track has a great bass riff, but despite being the longest (6:34), it's not very progressive. This album isn't memorable, but nor does it have terribly weak songs either. In the end it's a fairly good, albeit short set of prog-flavoured anti-commercial pop. If you like the other two albums of this Wigwam era, perhaps you should have a try with this one too. The gorgeous mock-Medieval cover art of Mats Huldén is a reason in itself to favour the vinyl, whether or not you're having a deep interest in the alternative mixes/rehearsals on the bonus LP.

Report this review (#2200581)
Posted Monday, May 6, 2019 | Review Permalink

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