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Various Artists (Label Samplers) Time Machine: Vertigo Retrospective album cover
3.72 | 10 ratings | 6 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

DISC ONE (77:34)
1. COLOSSEUM - The Kettle (4:28)
2. JUICY LUCY - Who Do You Love? (3:01)
3. CLEAR BLUE SKY - My Heaven (4:58)
4. MANFRED MANN'S CHAPTER THREE - Traveling Lady (5:51)
5. BLACK SABBATH - Behind the Wall of Sleep (3:37)
6. CRESSIDA - To Play Your Little Games (3:17)
7. GRACIOUS! - Introduction (5:54)
8. AFFINITY - Three Sisters (4:57)
9. BOB DOWNES - Walking On (4:56)
10. MAY BLITZ - I Don't Know (4:47)
11. NUCLEUS - Torrid Zone (8:40)
12. ROD STEWART - Handbags and Gladrags (3:55)
13. GENTLE GIANT - Nothing at All (9:08)
14. BEN - The Influence (10:05)

DISC TWO (76:30)
1. Dr. Z - Evil Woman's Manly Child (4:46)
2. JADE WARRIOR - Borne on the Solar Wind (3:01)
3. PATTO - The Man (6:14)
4. JUICY LUCY - Thinking of My Life (4:25)
5. JIMMY CAMPBELL - Half Baked (4:40)
6. MAY BLITZ - For Madmen Only (4:11)
7. TUDOR LODGE - The Lady's Changing Home (4:36)
8. BEGGARS OPERA - Time Machine (8:05)
9. COLOSSEUM - Bring Out Your Dead (4:19)
10. WARHORSE - Mouthpiece (8:43)
11. URIAH HEEP - Lady in Black (4:41)
12. FREEDOM - Through the Years (4:25)
13. SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND - Midnight Moses (4:22)
14. MAGNA CARTA - Lord of the Ages (10:02)

DISC THREE (78:54)
1. ATLANTIS - Living at the End of Time (9:05)
2. RAMASES - Life Child (6:37)
3. BEGGARS OPERA - McArthur Park (8:20)
4. NUCLEUS - Song for the Bearded Lady (7:22)
5. GENTLE GIANT - Pantagruel's Nativity (6:51)
6. GRAVY TRAIN - Ballad of a Peaceful Man (7:09)
7. RONNO - Powers of Darkness (3:31)
8. STATUS QUO - Paper Plane (2:52)
9. IAN MATTHEWS - Little Known (2:55)
10. VANGELIS O. PAPATHANASSIOU - Let it Happen (4:12)
11. JADE WARRIOR - Mwenga Sketch (8:33)
12. APHRODITE'S CHILD - The Four Horsemen (5:55)
13. BLACK SABBATH - Spiral Architect (5:32)

Total Time: 232:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Various artists / all

Releases information

3CDS Vertigo Records 9827982 (2005)

Thanks to frenchie for the addition
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VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Time Machine: Vertigo Retrospective ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Time Machine: Vertigo Retrospective reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dick Heath
4 stars 'Time Machine' is the fourth 3 CD compilation to be issued by a UK based record label in the last 3 years, providing an excellent cross section of British rock appearing in its formative years, from approximately 1967 to 1975. And one of several things common to all 4 sets, is the low price (typical less than 15 pounds sterling per box set). Anybody interested in the history of rock music, especially progressive rock, should take time to listen all three set of CDs and the total of 15 hours music held there: Legend Of A Mind (Decca Records) All Good Clean Fun (Liberty & UA/EMI) Ars Longa Vita Brevis (Castle Communications Records). (And some good news. As far as I can make out, only one track appears on two of these box sets - see if you can spot it? As such these 4 CD sets including Time Machine, are probably the best compilations of British progressive rock (and other rock) listed so far in Progarchives.

One lesson you can learn from listening to the mix of the familar and the downright obscure here, is that in those early days progressive rock rarely appeared fully fashioned. Some bands evolved, other disappeared having not got passed a naive level of song writing and arrangement: you can only go so far about witches wizards and fairyland. A second lesson is that from 1967 onwards, rock went into a melting pot with many other forms of musics, plus other ideas of musical arrangement and instrumentation handled with various levels of musical education and versatility. The distillate was the full range of prog rock, blues or heavy rock, and AO rock, of which all were casting around for new ideas, and a few lucky ones produced music that attracted listeners in goodly numbers, and management that would be prepared to trample on heads to get it sold by the truckload. You'll also discover that the first prog bands were able to tap into a variety of musical cross-references, never used previously and more often as not, creating a brand new sound. Alas with time and growing numbers of bands coming onto the scene, the chance to hydribise different musics to make something new became increasingly difficult. So by 1972 it would not be unusual to hear a dozen or so Hammond organ lead bands, that musically sat between Nice and Deep Purple - several of which you'll hear on Time Machine, and many didn't make it passed 1975.

Time Machine reflects well music first issued by Vertigo Records (originally Phonogram's straight and prog rock label), and clearly demonstrates the favoured house musics of the label from the proto metal through to the prog. I'm pleased to see the jazz/ jazzrock side represented too, with Nucleus, although I have to comment Keith Tippett's 'Dedicated To You But Your Weren't Listening' been omitted - especially as it had one of the first Roger Dean Covers - clearly after 35 years record licenses have ceased.

I am not tempted to award the full 5 stars, because folks will question whether all the tunes offered are progressive rock - remember the more liberal term progressive music was used in the 60's, and many tracks here would fit that category. And some of the selection made is debatable or obvious. I From the 4 CD sets named above, I rank this as fourth but still worth buying. I await an Island/WEA offerings, and of course an extended version of CBS's 'Rock Machine Turns You On'

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars In the late Nineties I bought a 2-LP with several bands on the Vertigo label, this 3-CD set is the extended CD version of it. If you take a look on the bands you will be amazed by the variety, from Gentle Giant, Colosseum and Warhorse (featuring Patrick Moraz) to Rod Stewart, Black Sabbath and even Status Quo! Although this purchase is not a very cheap one, it's a perfect opportunity to meet many interesting bands, from Colosseum, Jade Warrior and Uriah Heep to Gravy Train, Beggar's Opera, Gracious and Cressida (all wonderful, keyboard driven early prog). So I would like to recommend this 3-CD set because IT IS A VERY PLEASANT DIVE INTO THE EARLY SEVENTIES!!
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars If Harvest had been celebrated in the four disc retrospective in a Vinyl box format , three years later came out the much more compact (disc ;-)) Deram retrospective , when came the time to celebrate the famous Vertigo label , clearly , the choice was made to choose the same firm to package it than for the Deram set. I cannot wait for Virgin to do the same for Charisma , and other labels such as Neon , Chysalis & Dawn to happen also.

Of course , these objects are of interest for collectioners , but can serve of an introduction to many unknown artist , many of whom are still hard to find , some having never been released in Cd format or even re-released as a vinyl after the first few hundred copies were dispatched. The advantage of this box is that you will not have to dish out $$$ for vinyls you have never heard before. This was the casde for me for freedom , Ronno , Clear Blue Sky and Tudor Lodge. As opposed to the Deram set , I was much more familiar with the majority of the artist on this label, (although I never actively sought collector vinyls , most of those records were released in the early 90's on the Repertoire labels and I had heard most. But this allows me to tell you that the tracks selections of the artist on the given album is fairly representative of the music on it.

Even if for an older proghead such as me, this box-set was less of a surprise , this compilation is a must for younger generation fans as the Deram or the Harvest set. I will now follow Mr. Heath's advice and look out for Ars Longa Vita Brevis box-set.

Review by Matti
3 stars This is a 3-CD box containing material from the legendary British Vertigo label. Vertigo was a sub-label of Philips Records, designed to distribute progressive / fusion rock. The original "Vertigo Swirl" era lasted only few years from the late sixties to the early seventies, and also very many of its groups were short-lived ones - and therefor many Vertigo Swirl LP's are highly rare collector's items. That fact in mind, one might expect much more adveturous dive into obscure depths of rare vintage prog. But after all the heritage of Vertigo has been re-released on CD's so thoroughly that for a connoisseur this box is mostly repetition of already familiar stuff.

CD 1 was the least favourite of mine: as I already knew, bands like COLOSSEUM, JUICY LUCY, CLEAR BLUE SKY and MAY BLITZ are not really up to my taste, while the couple of brand new rarer names didn't impress me, and the best tracks were already in my music collections (by CRESSIDA, GRACIOUS, NUCLEUS and GENTLE GIANT - all pretty good choices). The disc includes also Rod Stewart's version of 'Handbags and Gladrags', one of the clearest non-prog tracks.

CD 2 offered me more delights than the first disc. BEGGARS OPERA's 'Time Machine' and MAGNA CARTA's 'Lord of The Ages' were long, great tracks I hadn't heard before. Jazzy rock of PATTO had a nice instrumentation but uninteresting vocals. WARHORSE: nearly 9 minutes of boring heavy rock. The hit 'Lady in Black' from URIAH HEEP, what else... TUDOR LODGE's folk rock was a nice introduction to me. COLOSSEUM's second track on this box is better (as well as BLACK SABBATH's 'Spiral Architect' on CD 3), but I think too many of the groups are given two tracks on this box set.

CD 3 is my favourite. New names I enjoyed were GRAVY TRAIN, RAMASES and IAN MATTHEWS. APHRODITE's CHILD's apocalyptic opus 666 is represented, but also a surprisingly ordinary vocal track 'Let It Happen' from VANGELIS's early album Earth! BEGGARS OPERA's second offering is their powerful version of the lovely 'McArthur Park' originally sung by Richard Harris. (Also both tracks by JADE WARRIOR were welcome to me.) The disc, as all of them, of course contains also few of the rarer assignments of Vertigo.

The package is very user-friendly: no huge, clumsy box but a normal-size box just enough space for three discs in simple containers and a booklet with clear track informations and well written, brief band infos. There are enough pictures (all album covers?); they all may be small but the design is fine. All in all this compilation is recommendable at least if you don't already have the classics mentioned above. How well it works in introducing new names is completely dependant on your taste and your music collections.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Can't recommend this enough. The beauty of it is its depth of coverage, with many different bands bringing out great examples of how "prog" back in the early mists of time (let's say 1972 or so) could mean many different definitions, certainly more than it does these days. I particularly enjoy ... (read more)

Report this review (#245343) | Posted by Area70 | Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of my main regrets in life is that I was born too late to attend the great UK rock festivals of the 70s. Oh the pain of missing out on Isle of White 1970, Glastonbury 1971, Knebworth 1976. Quite frankly, sod it! In the absence of a time machine and to try and compensate, I have been buying ... (read more)

Report this review (#175842) | Posted by Drachen Theaker | Tuesday, July 1, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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