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Prog_Traveller View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Happy the Man
    Posted: September 12 2014 at 12:15
I can't say I've ever seen a thread about this band on here. Happy the Man are considered to be one of the all time greatest US prog bands. I've heard some say they are the best. They were sort of a cross between fusion and traditional symph prog with probably a leaning towards the fusion end. Some of their stuff even predated the new age sound(mainly the softer tunes).

I've seen them live about three times and they always put on a great performance. Not sure if they are still around or not. They put out an album in 2004 which while good was maybe a bit too similar to their vintage material. My only complaint about this band is that usually the vocals which aren't that great seem a bit out of place. However, they usually didn't have more than two or three vocal tracks on their classic albums(same and Crafty Hands). Any fans on here?

Edited by Prog_Traveller - September 12 2014 at 12:16
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2014 at 12:53
I guess they moved on as Oblivion Sun. I'm currently awaiting arrival of their CD, which I have recently ordered
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2014 at 13:10
Never heard about them before, but im You-tubing the debut right now, first impression is fine.

Sort of proto-neo-prog

Edited by tamijo - September 12 2014 at 13:12
Prog is whatevey you want it to be. So dont diss other peoples prog, and they wont diss yours
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2014 at 02:23
Stan Whitaker's vocals on the OS albums are quite a bit better than the original HtM albums.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2014 at 02:36
Love them, my personal favorite is the long-lost Death's Crown finally released by Cuneiform in 1999.   The Muse Awakens also very good.   BTW they took their name from the Genesis single.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2014 at 04:25
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

BTW they took their name from the Genesis single.
That's lovely, although Happy The Man website states something different on the band's history tab. The small print there reads as follows: "It was now early 1973, and Whitaker’s elder brother, Ken, having elected to become the band’s sound engineer, suggested the name Happy The Man, a reference to Goethe’s "Faust", and the Bible, rather than the obscure Genesis single which, at the time, nobody in the band even knew existed"
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2014 at 04:34
^ Ah, well I suppose that sounds right.  I'll bite.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2014 at 04:54
Between admiring my Christensen/Akro/Peltier marble collection (which I have found quite therapeutical when up against my weekly work demands.....) I have spun my Oblivion Sun LP - The High Places. This album is superb, especially the first side (tracks 1-4). I did acquire HTM's debut LP years ago, and love it immensely. Especially the blissfully serene and mellow track 'Hidden Moods'. Great band, Whitaker and his fellow travellers. I really should seek out more of their recorded magic.

Edited by Tom Ozric - September 13 2014 at 17:16
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2014 at 07:31
I`ve only gotten there first two album, lost off the radar after that...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2014 at 11:42
Well I can understand why someone might think they got their name from the early Genesis single but ultimately that's just wishful thinking. Tongue However, it is worth mentioning that when Peter Gabriel struck out on his own after he left Genesis Happy the Man were initially chosen to be his backup band. In the end though Gabriel chose not to have a proper back up band instead going for various studio musicians. What came out of that for Happy the Man was some exposure(no pun intended)and a record deal. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2014 at 16:48
wow that shouldn't have happened but its all well and it didn't as we wouldn't have two amazing musicians to enjoy....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2014 at 17:15
Second album is great stuff. First album is a bit hit and miss. Third album isn't bad
All I like is prog related bands beginning late 60's/early 70's. Their music from 1968 - 83 has the composition and sound which will never be beaten. Perfect blend of jazz, classical, folk and rock.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2014 at 18:35
They did put out Beginnings which was released officially in 1991 or so which actually predates the first album. I think it's ok but mainly for completists. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2014 at 11:26
One of those great bands that not a lot of people know about.
Released date are often when it it impacted you but recorded dates are when it really happened...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2014 at 12:43
Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:

One of those great bands that not a lot of people know about.


Tell that to the 1,000 people who saw them headline Nearfest back in 2000. You could probably say that a lot of people don't know about most prog bands though. They are actually pretty well known in prog circles(even though it doesn't necessarily seem that way on here). Because they aren't a recent band they haven't been promoted in the current wave of prog but that doesn't mean they aren't legendary in their own right.


Edited by Prog_Traveller - September 14 2014 at 14:10
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2014 at 14:01
Fantastic band, loved them since Crafty Hands.  Oblivion Sun is awesome too.  It's funny, lots has been said about Stan's singing, I personally love it.  Particularly special to me is his vocals on "Wind Up Doll" from CH.  Their early use of minimoog turned a lot of heads, Kits Watkins was master on that instrument.

Yep, they're were ( and are ) great!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2014 at 06:13
I still maintain that amongst, prog fans they are relatively unknown.  The essential studio albums are the original Happy The Man (1977), Crafty Hands (1978), and The Muse Awakens (2004).  If you get noting else, go for the 1978 live album.  It may be out of print now.

Released date are often when it it impacted you but recorded dates are when it really happened...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2014 at 06:16
^ I've got that '78 live one, it is very good, probably a good starter too





Edited by Atavachron - September 15 2014 at 06:17
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."   -- John F. Kennedy
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2014 at 06:19
I have the vinyl.  Might be worth a pretty penny no?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2014 at 12:48
Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:

I still maintain that amongst, prog fans they are relatively unknown.  The essential studio albums are the original Happy The Man (1977), Crafty Hands (1978), and The Muse Awakens (2004).  If you get noting else, go for the 1978 live album.  It may be out of print now.



I still maintain they aren't(although relative is a relative term;) )! Smile For me that's like saying Gentle Giant or Nektar are relatively unknown among prog fans. I think most of the real prog collectors are very familiar with them especially the older ones. I think because this site has a lot of younger fans it seems like they aren't as well known as they really are. I have read that they are the "greatest American prog band." I would say they are one of the most well known US bands(top ten if not top five)imo. I suppose it depends on the prog circles you are in though(I've spent over 15 years studying prog online and off and except on here their name has popped up a lot especially when mentioning US bands). However, you don't get to headline two prog festivals in the US by being an obscure prog band that only a few people know about. But I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. Wink

I do agree with essential albums you listed although I only heard TMA once. Better late third is not bad either but I wouldn't start there. I haven't heard the live album.


Edited by Prog_Traveller - September 15 2014 at 13:03
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