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Wigwam Dark Album album cover
3.31 | 48 ratings | 5 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Oh, Marlene! (4:50)
2. Cheap Evening Return (5:30)
3. The Item Is The Totem (4:50)
4. The Silver Jubilee (3:05)
5. Horace's Aborted Rip-off Scheme (4:06)
6. The Big Farewell (6:24)
7. The Vegetable Rumble (4:58)
8. Helsinki Nights (3:57)

Total time 37:40

Bonus tracks on 1991 & 2008 reissues:
9. Grass For Blades (9:13)
10. Daemon Duncetan's Request (5:01)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jim Pembroke / vocals, piano
- Pekka Rechardt / guitar
- Måns Groundstroem / bass
- Ronnie Österberg / drums

- Jukka Gustavson / organ (1,4)
- Pedro Hietanen / keyboards (2,5-7,9,10), accordion (10)
- Timo Kojo / backing vocals (1)
- Paavo Maijanen / backing vocals (1,2,4,8)

Releases information

Artwork: Timo Kelaranta

LP Love Records - LRLP 227 (1977, Finland)

CD Love Records - LRCD 227 (1991, Finland) Remaster by Pauli Saastamoinen w/ 2 bonus tracks
CD Love Records - LRCD 1227 (2008, Finland) As above

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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WIGWAM Dark Album ratings distribution

(48 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

WIGWAM Dark Album reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Jimbo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ah, The Dark Album. First of all, it should be said that hardcore proggers are wasting their time here. Wigwam's prog days were over by now (NN and TLGSAS were still prog-pop, though). But, as I've said before, to me good music is good music, so I'm not going to dismiss an album just because someone might think it's not prog enough. This is almost solely on the pop ("deep pop") side of things, but there's no denying Wigwam's gifts in creating extremely well-written pop music. Clearly a more balanced record than TLGSAS, Dark Album actually has very little flaws. Helsinki Nights goes into the same territory as International Disaster from their previous effort, a harmless, but still quite catchy tune. Slightly changing their direction here, the mood of the album is surprisingly dark (hence the name, probably), especially on tracks like The Item Is The Totem (one of the highlights here). I do not agree with Hugues about the description of the music, I do not hear any country influences here. Of course, Pembroke's writing style was always somewhat folk and country oriented (just listen to his solo album Flat Broke), but on here it's just one of the ingredients in a well-mixed soup. All in all, Dark Album is one of my dearest Wigwam albums, and they truly proved that they don't necessarily need Pohjola and Gustavson to make things work. Unfortunately, the band disbanded after making this album, and we would have to wait 16 years to hear something new from them.
Review by Sean Trane
2 stars (last of a series of seven)

With this 77 last album , Wigwam shows that they are a spent force and that their better days are over. Pembroke's leadership had lead them through two much different album than when Wigwam was a triumvirate, but those NN and LGSASP were very correct but less interesting for the proghead.

Even with Gustavsson returning , this album is too close to a country album for comfort and still evokes too many other artist to have its own mind. Most of the tracks are between Gratefull Dead-country and Dire Strait's debut and the vocals are clearly delivered in the Springsteen mode. Totem is a highlight , but the spotlight is on the long bonus track Grass for Blades.

Reserved for confirmed fans. Drummer Osterberg will die in the 80's. Jim Pembroke although a fine vocalist always had problems finding his own real style : thoughout the Wigwam discography he sounded succesively - the singing was shared with Gustavson in their first four albums so it might be difficult to know exactly who sang what - like Stevie Winwood , Dylan , Gabriel , Winwood again , Steely Dan/Eagles , Springsteen and a bit Knofler. Wigwam had an enjoyable carreer but this album is best avoided for Progheads.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Some nice, little depressed pop rock of the late seventies starts to flow from your stereos if you feed this one to it. Catchy melodies and professional arrangements have risen to the main features of this lineup of Wigwam, and I must admit that I liked their earlier raw and innovative material much more. This record was also the swansong of their classic lineup, as their recording contract with Virgin was canceled, and their original drummer died soon after. The true highlight for me here was the bonus track "Grass for Blades", though the earlier version on their "Live Music from The Twilight zone" is much better still. As a bonus, one may spot the silly plastic bag joke from the album cover, which was present already on the jacket of their "Live Music from The Twilight Zone" recording.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Not for every prog fan. More on the pop side of things than anything. But they know how to write interesting pop? they sure do. For fans who think Beatles, Peter Gabriel or Genesis in 'Duke" are great prog ...or just plain and simple great musical works. ... (read more)

Report this review (#36821) | Posted by | Friday, June 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Wigwam has difficulties making this album. Virgin said no thank´s and wanted changes. First version was too "dark" and they made changes, some new songs and this version is much better. I got first version, too, but second, official dark album is better. Album works much better than Lucky Gold ... (read more)

Report this review (#22824) | Posted by | Wednesday, January 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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