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Coda Sounds of Passion album cover
3.41 | 51 ratings | 9 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sounds of Passion (29:06) :
- a) Prologue (2:16)
- b) 1st Movement (7:10)
- c) 2nd Movement (4:05)
- d) 3rd Movement (5:35)
- e) 4th Movement - Finale (10:00)
2. Crazy Fool and Dreamer (4:25)
3. Defended (6:43)

Total Time 40:14

Bonus tracks on 2007 remaster:
4. Sounds of Passion 4th - Single Version (4:34)
5. Sounds of Passion 3rd - Single Version (2:28)
6. Crazy Fool and Dreamer - Single Remix (4:24)
7. Central Station (2:06)
8. Reverberating Sounds (4:03)

Extra CD from 2007 remaster:
1. Sequoia: Sounds of Passion - Demo Version (31:25) :
- a) Prologue
- b) 1st Movement
- c) 2nd Movement
- d) 3rd Movement
- e) 4th Movement
2. Nevermore (The Proud Tower I) - Demo Version (4:25)
3. Dance in the Mirror (Defended) - Demo Version (6:53)
4. True Melody (The Proud Tower II) - Demo Version (3:19)
5. Crazy Fool and Dreamer - Demo Version (4:31)
6. What a Symphony (Part 1) - Demo Version (4:48)
7. What a Symphony (Part 2) - Demo Version (5:16)

Total Time 60:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Jack Witjes / vocals, electric & acoustic guitars
- Erik de Vroomen / grand piano, synths, Hammond, pipe organ, Novatron, clavinet, Emulator, Moog bass pedals, gong, percussion, Fx, backing vocals, composer & producer
- Jacky van Tongeren / fretless bass, backing vocals
- Mark Eshuis / drums, xylophone, timpani

- Auke de Haan / alto saxophone
- Pip van Steen / flute, piccolo, recorder

Releases information

Artwork: Fred Marcus

LP Boni Records ‎- BLP 2860481 (1986, Netherlands)

CD SI Music ‎- SIMPly NINE (1991, Netherlands)
2CD Pseudonym ‎- CDP-1086-DD (2007, Netherlands) Remastered by Peter Van 't Riet with 5 bonus tracks plus 2nd CD including demos

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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CODA Sounds of Passion ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (51%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

CODA Sounds of Passion reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
3 stars Orchestral symphonic prog from The Netherlands delivering a highly involved concept album of great beauty. In many ways "Sounds Of Passion" is a really a sonic meditation in itself and comes across as a daydream - like symphony. Lead conductor and arcetect Erik de Vroomen plays a wide range of instruments including Grand Piano, synths, Hammond Organ, Pipe Organ, Novatron, Clavinet , Moog Taurus Bass Pedals to name a few. Erik is joined by a few other session musicians who add solid bass, guitar and drums throughout. Epic title track runs for 29 mins and is the center piece of the album. Overall "Sounds Of Passion" is a highly involved and dramatic piece of symphonic progressive rock.
Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars I am overwhelmed by nostalgic memories while reading the infomation booklet of this special edition 2-CD set. Some of the persons who are mentioned I knew personally in those days like Peter Van Der Laan (narrator in Prologue and in the late Seventies the #1 Dutch symphomaniac, he introduced me to the Prog Andaluz by playing LP's from Triana ) and Ton Strik, author of the Coda story, I knew him from the Sym-Info magazine and he also traded in 'rare live records'. And in the Nineties I interviewed keyboardplayer Erik De Vroomen because of a 'vintage keyboard special', what an unique personality! Thanks to Wim Van Putten his "LP And CD Show" (broadcasted on the national Dutch radio, its was very popular among Dutch progheads), in which Ton Strik delivered demo-tapes of Sounds Of Passion, a Dutch record company invited Coda to record Sounds Of Passion and in 1986 the LP was released. The first two pressings were sold out very soon and in 1996 the LP was re-released as a CD in 1996 by SI Music, in the same year labels in Holland (Transmission), in Korea and Japan also released Sounds Of Passion as a CD reissue. And late 2007 the Dutch label Pseudonym (same owner as Transmission) has decided to present Sounds Of Passion as a luxurous 2-CD set, including a very informative booklet with lots of pictures and interesting facts.

This '21st Anniversary Edition' contains two CD's: Chapter 1 - Sounds Of Passion: The Album and Chapter 2 - Sounds Of Passion: The Demos.

I was pleasantly surprised while listening to the titletrack of Sounds Of Passion for the first time in 15 years, in my memory it sounded "no more or less than nice" but I have to say that the music is on a very decent level, no Kayak or Finch but Coda has succeeded to sound quite original and I am delighted about the lush vintage keyboard sound and the varied climates. The titletrack (five parts, recorded in 1983) starts with Prologue featuring a bit pathetic vocal contribution by Peter Van Der Laan. Every of the four following parts contains its unique musical climate: wonderful vintage keyboards (like Hammond, clavinet and Grand piano) and fiery guitar runs in 1st Movement, a mellow mix of percussion and keyboards (beautiful Mellotron sounds) and pleasant guitar with volume pedal (like Steve Hackett) in 2nd Movement, sparkling flute and Grand piano and lush symphonic prog elements like the Moog Taurus bass pedals and choir-Mellotron in 3rd Movement and a splendid grand finale in the 24-carat symphonic prog tradition in 4th Movement: first a choir and church-organ, then a slow rhythm with howling guitar , followed by wonderful interplay between vintage keyboards (from Mellotron to church-organ) and delicate guitarwork, a great final part and Coda at its best! Listening to Chapter 2 I got impressed by the early demo version of the titletrack, to me it even sounds more exciting and compelling than the studio version, an excellent extra on this 2-CD set! The other 7 bonustracks (strong guitar and keyboards in True Melody) are also recorded in 1983, including What A Symphony Part 1 (intense violin-Mellotron like early King Crimson) and Part 2 (I love those Mellotrons and Moog Taurus bass pedals), tracks that appeared on the CD What A Symphony in 1996, the eagerly awaited successor of Sounds Of Passion. I have to admit that while listening to this 2-CD set I have underrated the album Sounds Of Passion since its release in 1986, 21 years later my conclusion is that it fully deserves a part in Dutch progrock history, well done fellow Dutchmen!

During my 3 weeks break on Prog Archives I have decided to leave Prog Archives so this is my final review. The main reason is that I cannot motivate myself any longer on a site that turned from a genuine progressive rock site into a kind of Pandora's Box of prog music and prog-related bands. I would like to thank you for your kind words about my reviews and for your enthousiastic posts in my threads, good luck fellow symphomaniacs!

My rating: CD-1 3 stars, CD-2 3,5 stars.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This debut album from dutch band Coda has a reputation for being a classical piece of work, and the band sadly underrated.

Coming across this CD now in 2008 makes that a bit hard to understand though. The guy handling keyboards obviously knows his classical music, arrangements and use of instruments has a strong symphonic tinge to them; and the bass player here knows his jazz; and there's lots of interesting soundscapes and sonic textures woven in the main tune as well as the two shorter tracks following. The main problem I have when listening to this stuff now is that often the music isn't going somewhere, some good segments here, others there, but they are not placed within a context that leads to anywhere, instead of evolving or developing I feel that as a listener I'm picked up and dropped down to individual scenes rather than taken on a musical journey.

Coda is a talented band, and I can understand why this album had a major impact in 1986. But 20 years later the album's shortcomings are more easily defined - and the lack of cohesiveness in particular is a weakness for me. Still, fans of 80's neoprog in particular will find this release to be a very good addition to their collection; others should check this one out before buying.

Review by Moogtron III
4 stars Classic Dutch eighties album! Because it is not very well known, I thought I might just as well add a review. The original LP consisted of just one epic track, which is completely instrumental (okay, apart from some introductory spoken -word poetry at the start of the album, Gregorian chants somewhere in the middle, and some warning shouts elsewhere in the album). I haven't heard the extra cd with the demos, by the way, I just know the original cd, with the tracklist as mentioned above (the last two tracks are bonus tracks, added for the cd version of the album).

The band is being called Coda, but as the liner notes say: it was originally intended to be an Erik de Vroomen solo project, and you can hear that: the keyboards of Erik de Vroomen are central to the music. Erik de Vroomen is also the only composer, and was producing the band as well. In short: this is Erik de Vroomen's vision. The rest of the band can be heard as well, but they are not very upfront in the mix, with the possible exception of the (great sounding) lead guitar from time to time. Oh, to be clear: it is a real band that is playing, it is not like the Alan Parsons Project (without degrading the latter). And the band could play hard and fast also, as well as subtle like a well integrated seventies symphonic prog band.

The music is... I'd say neo progressive in form, but symphonic progressive in content. The sound is state of the art mid eighties, and keyboardist Erik uses modern equipment, but in retrospect the sound is somewhat artificial, and one would wish that more room would have been given for either acoustic instruments or vocals. Still, Erik de Vroomen is a master at the keyboards, not virtuoso sounding, but on the other hand quite skilled. And, on top of that: Erik de Vroomen is an excellent composer. Sounds of Passion is a very mature sounding, carefully designed multi movement suite! De Vroomen is s musical perfectionist, who was definitely aiming to make a masterpiece of progressive music.

In the cd version there are two vocal tracks added, which are like extended songs, but they have the same quality as the instrumental epic, and make the record a bit more personal. In fact, the two songs are very well composed, and well sung by vocalist Jack Witjes (style: somewhat like Greg Lake / John Wetton). Defended is especially memorable, because there is a majestic instrumental climax at the end, in the best symphonic progressive tradition.

The album is very good, but still not what it could have been. Erik de Vroomen has worked for years and years on it. But in those days, in the Netherlands, it was very difficult to find support for that kind of music. The drums especially are a bit weak, a fact underscored by Erik de Vroomen who really wanted to add a drummer like Pierre van der Linden (Focus) on the album, which in fact almost happened. Probably the second cd of the re - issue gives some more insight on what the music could have been.

Still, even when the weak points are being kept in mind, the album is still an almost - masterpiece, worth four stars. The compositions and playing are legendary for the biggest part. Also the music is being helped by the concept matter that Erik adds in the liner notes and in the spoken words on the cd: about a search for truth, and the tragedy of man often being inclined to choose the lie. Erik is inspired by the writings of Günter Schwab and that does add to the atmosphere of the music.

This album should be much more heard than it is now!

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well, seeing 4 collab reviews so far makes me wonder. Will I be different and will I give 4 stars (I don't think I'll give 2 stars), or will I rate in the same way as previous reviewers did ?

Starting weirdly with prologue that's not to be enjoyed, but just listened. It's introduction, nothing more. However, what continues is decent at least. 2nd Movement actually reminds me The Enid a lot with its Classical music influenced compositions. Some gothical (possibly) sounds in beginning ofFinale, it all sounds quite like a bunch of completely different songs mixed together in big symphonic cauldron. It's a mess, but these songs alone can stand. Return to synth heaven till the end.

The rest of songs are again, unbalanced impression. Crazy Fool and Dreamer is a great piece, while Defended is ballad with synths and some average soloing. Which means good, but not perfect.

Anyway, it makes this album to something like

4(-), and I can assure you, my emotions are mixed as well. I feel good about it, but there's something bad about this album.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Holland's Coda made an impact with their debut album of 1986 'Sounds of Passion'. It was a year when prog was struggling so Coda defied critics by releasing a purely ambient album that is mostly instrumental. The epic title track is a 4 movement piece that begins with a daft narrative voice but then it moves into the beautiful emotional music. I am not really into ambient instrumental prog like this but it has its place. It reminds me of The Enid at times.

There is an emphasis on flute and keyboards. In places a vocalisation is heard that could have been left out. Singing is better than vocalising sounds I believe. It feels a bit dated these days but the music still is entrancing. The alto sax is wonderful and often the guitars are spacey. Vangelis springs to mind or Mike Oldfield occasionally.

Towards the last movement, the finale there is a deep resonating pipe organ giving a cathedral atmosphere. The monks chanting augment the effect of some religious ceremony. The guitars to follow sound out a repetitive motif and it eventually launches in to a Gilmour like solo and a blistering keyboard solo, the best part of the whole album. At the end there are effects of glass breaking, screams and voices. The other tracks are more of the same, melodic instrumentals with a focus on ambience and lengthy keyboard passages with layers of guitar. 'Sounds of Passion' is a good debut for sure, worth a listen.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Far above the average should receive 3.5 stars

Last week I was checking the bands from the Symphonic list and found CODA, for what I read, they didn't seem to belong in Symphonic, so I managed to buy an expensive copy of the 25th Anniversary Edition of "Sounds of Passion" to have a better opinion.....Now I can say that in my opinion they don't belong in Symphonic Prog, at least totally.

The album is a blend of Symphonic (some good moments), Ambient music and a bit of New Age, that clearly proves us that we are before a Crossover band rather than a Symphonic one, but this is a decision we have to take as a team and the issue is under study. In this moment I will forget classifications and simply review the album.

1.- The album starts with the "Sounds of Passion Suite that is divided in 6 parts:

a) Prologue: What a waste of space, a 2:17 minutes of boring narration (some will say poetry, I wont) after some wind effects, I recommend to press the skip button.

b) First Movement: starts with an interesting intro (A it long in my opinion) that blends YES influences with a couple of breathtaking Mellotron sections, and then a dramatic change, the band releases all their artillery with a fluid instrumental section that by parts reminds me of "Six Wives of Henry the VIII" by RICK WAKEMAN, despite a few uneven moments, I believe it's a very good start if we omit the insipid "Prologue"

c) Second Movement: At this point. CODA enters more into New Age /Ambient territory, the music is repetitive and even boring. Doesn't matter how much Erik de Vroomen tries to create emotional moments with keyboard and piano, they never manage to capture the audience.

d) Third Movement: The bird chirping and soft spacey flute make me doubt a radical change from the less than average previous track, it's clear that de Vroomen and Pip van Steen are terrific pianist and flutist, but the composition is weak and no matter how hard they try the music never "takes off". Around the 3:10 minutes a strong drum explosion gives me some hopes, but it's a mirage, they fall again into the Ambient territory with a distant FOCUS resemblance that boosts the ending a bit with a Jack Witjes interesting guitar solo

e) Fourth Movement - Finale: Begins with a Gregorian Chant section which's majesty is diminished by some annoying keyboard sounds in the vein of Vangelis, after an explosion, a pompous and passionate Baroque organ makes it's appearance (for those Progheads like me that love excesses is a gift), and then develops into a soft but interesting instrumental section with a heavy distorted guitar in the background, now they remind me a bit of Gilmour.

The ret of the track is full of surprises, radical changes and phenomenal performances by all the band members, simply delightful, they left the best music for the last Movement of the "Sounds of Passion" suite, this sole section pays the whole album.

2.- Crazy Fool and Dreamer: After the instrumental "Suite" (Well, except for the chants), it's the tie to add the vocals by Jack Witjes, who in the style of JOHN WETTON does a very decent job, even when a bit soulless for the good music of the song. Again Erik de Vroomen adds excellent piano and organ, but I would be unfair if I didn't say the whole band is in a great level,....This is pure Symphonic with a frantic but at the same time breathtaking finale. The best song of the album by far.

3.- Defended: The last song of the album begins with a short operatic instant and without preambles then enter directly to the central section with decent vocals and better choirs, this time they leave the Symphonic real to cross into some sort of lighter PINK FLOYD Space Rock, again they hit the nail in the head......The final section made me jump of my seat, but won't reveal the secret to avoid ruining the experience

Still don't believe this album is pure Symphonic and I insist they should be moved to Crossover, but hey, this guys really know their business.

When the album started I was going to rate it with 2 stars, but now I believe that anything bellow 3.5 with be unfair, but our system doesn't allow this, so not without sadness, will have to go with 3 stars, even when I'm sure this very good (but slightly uneven) album deserves something more.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The start of the twenty-nine minutes long opus Sounds of Passion is not promising. The silly voice effects does not do anything for me. But the music then starts and slowly builds up. The orchestral music is meditation like in the beginning before it kicks off with some good keyboards and t ... (read more)

Report this review (#203978) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, February 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Why 5 stars ? First we must look to Progre history . The year is 1985, a time when who was producing progre music could be considered a hero. Let´s put CODA and other out of mainstream progre at their right honored place ! Yeah, if you lived the eighties loving progre, you know what I mean. Comm ... (read more)

Report this review (#181888) | Posted by Prog_Veteran | Saturday, September 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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