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CMU Space Cabaret album cover
3.15 | 21 ratings | 1 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Space Cabaret (1:56)
2. Archway 272 (6:18)
3. Song From the 4th Era (2:21)
4. A Distant Thought, a Point of Light ( 6:49)
5. Doctor, Am I Normal? (4:56)
6. Dream (9:42)
7. Lightshine (10:26)

Total time: 42:28

Bonus tracks on 2008 remaster:
8. Heart Of The Sun (3:11)
9. Doctor, Am I Normal? (single version) (5:00)

Line-up / Musicians

- Larraine Odell / vocals
- Richard Joseph / vocals, acoustic guitar
- Ian Hamlett / acoustic (7) & electric guitars
- Leary Hasson / keyboards
- Steve Cook / bass
- Roger Odell / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Chris Moore

LP Transatlantic - TRA 259 (UK, 1973)

CD Strange Days - POCE-1086 (Japan, 2006)
CD Esoteric - ECLEC 2094 (UK, 2008) Remastered by Ben Wiseman with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CMU Space Cabaret ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (48%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

CMU Space Cabaret reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Two year after their debut album CMU comes back with a very different line-up, where Loraine's main vocal partner has changed - Rick Joseph instead of James Gordon - and has become the main songwriter. Among the changes is Leary Hasson who will bring an impressive array of keyboards. An absolutely ugly cosmonaut artwork disgraces the album, reminiscent of Roger Dean's not always successful early artworks.

Opening on the atrocious (but thankfully short) title track, CMU offers the much better Archway 272, with mellotrons and a Sinclair-like fuzzed-out organ as well as a Rhodes, all courtesy of newcomer Leary Hasson. This track ends with a pulled saturated mike jack, but immediately goes into Song From The 4th Era that could be from Peter Hammill's Fool's Mate album. The meditative 7-mins Distant Thought retains the slight Hammill vocal influence, but the music is more in the Yes realm (all things considered). Closing up the first side is Doctor, another Joseph tune where only the bass seems alive with his acoustic guitar, until the 2/3 of the song, where Rhodes intervene as well, turning it nicely around for us progheads.

As a contrast to the five Joseph-penned tracks of the first side, there is only two longer ones on the flipside: the almost 10-mins Hamlett-penned Dreams and the 10-mins+ Hasson-written Lightshine. The former starts as a smooth gliding track, punctuated with Neil Young-like guitar interventions (Thinking of his Nowhere album), before the guitar goes funky and the Rhodes arrive for a verse, then the track plunges into a psyched dreamland for the following verse, the guitar sounding Hendrix-ey, this morphing into a slow ascending riff under the patronage of a fuzzed-out organ of Hasson and more changes coming up. Lightshine is a piano-written track, but after the intro comes a Moog interlude ala Emerson's Lucky Man. The track later grows into a raga where both singers trade verses than spreads its wings over vast Caravan-like soundscapes; Hasson's fuzzed out organ helping so.

As you could read in my reviews of CMU, there isn't much original or innovative and their influences are a bit too clear, but on the whole despite its ugly sleeve, Space Cabaret is an enjoyable but unessential piece of early prog rock. I'd say that this album is slightly better than Open Spaces, but this is marginal enough to say that it would a difficult choice to choose only one?. But ultimately this one gets the edge.

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