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Joy Unlimited

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Joy Unlimited Reflections album cover
2.97 | 16 ratings | 1 reviews | 44% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Reincarnation 4:38
2. Ocean of Ruins 5:06
3. King Richard's Court Jester 2:34
4. Colossos of Steel and Iron 2:29
5. Chrystal Palace 4:09
6. Motion Is Movement / Hate Nine and Ten 5:46
7. The Search for Father Time 6:47
8. Silently Sung 4:03
9. Question 4:30

Line-up / Musicians

Ken Taylor / vocals
Hans W. Herkenne / drums, percussion
Albin Metz / trumpet, bass
Roland Heck / organ, piano, vibes, marimba, percussion, vocals
Dieter Kindl / bass, guitar, percussion
Gerd Köthe / saxophone, flute
Klaus Nagel / guitar, woodwind, percussion, flute
Hans Lingenfelder / guitar

Releases information

LP BASF 20 21686-1 (Germany 1973)

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
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JOY UNLIMITED Reflections ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JOY UNLIMITED Reflections reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars Wow, here's an album that could have been titled 'Spinal Tap: the Lost Years". These guys don't seem to be able to decide what kind of band they want to be when they grow up, so rather than take the time to decide they simply threw in a little bit of everything onto one record and hoped for the best. The result is mixed, pretty good when they clicked but bordering on rock caricatures when they didn't.

On the upside there's something for just about everyone here, including a bracing Krautrock number with heavy organ ("Ocean of Ruins"); a sort of pseudo-medieval folk-rock piece appropriately titled "King Richard's Court Jester"; the requisite rock-opera / pompously-introspective ballad ("Chrystal Palace"); and an all-out freeform jazz jam assault featuring some pretty wicked saxophone and even a little flute ("Motion Is Movement / Hate Nine and Ten"). And of course no 1973 progressive rock album would be complete without a 'back to the roots' folksy and heavily acoustic tune (also pretty pompous) which the band delivers here with "The Search for Father Time". I kept having eighties flashbacks to a 12 inch Stonehenge and life-sized alien space-egg bubbles the whole time this thing was playing. Too bad I got rid of those stereo volume stick-on labels that went to eleven!

By the time this album, the band's third came out their best gimmick (vocalist Joy Fleming) was gone, replaced by some unknown American named Ken Taylor. The band must have known something about their fans' preferences though as Taylor doesn't do much actual singing here, with several songs being completely instrumental and other having long stretches of solos and guitar/organ forays. When he does pipe up the lyrics don't seem to make much sense (on "Silently Sung" for example, which was sung but obviously not silently). The lyrics seem to have been written mostly in that mid-seventies style with pretentiously-poetic and vaguely allegorical words meant to appeal to red-eyed, lighter- waving teens with lithe blonde chicks on their shoulders at open-air summer concerts. Which I'm sure is a scene that played out many times for these guys.

The best may have been saved for last with the closing "Question" which features quite appealing organ passages, extensive flute and acoustic guitar, and once again burningly searching lyrics quite appropriate to the day (namely, the question "Why?" earnestly repeated over and over in varying tempos and volumes).

I've heard the band's first and last albums, both of which are borderline progressive folk offerings. This one isn't, although the flute, acoustic guitar and varied hand percussion instruments including marimba and vibes might lead one to conclude otherwise. In reality these guys were journeyman musicians, good enough artists to make a living at what they did but lacking the sort of vision and talent to ever break into the A league. If you're interested in the band I'd recommend their first and last albums, in that order. This one is okay, but pretty much of interest only to fans. Two stars.


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