Reviews of Progressive Rock, Jazz Rock, Hard Rock, and Stories from beyond.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Gracious - Gracious!
Gentle Giant - Octopus
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Genesis Live at the Rainbow 1973
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Time Machine A Vertigo Retrospective
Monday, October 20, 2008
Man - Live at the Padget Rooms Penarth
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Strange Pleasures Further Sounds of the Decca Underground
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The post aftermath of Hurricane Ike. Still Survivng and Never giving up!
I Just want to let you know that I'm alright. My family are okay also due to Hurricane Ike. The house is fine and it didn't get hit. We (the family and I) were very lucky not to get hit. We had no Power for 13 days in a gruesome hot 84 degree fahrenheit inside my house. But finally got power back yesterday afternoon.
We lost power on Fri Sept. 12 and had to use portable TVs and a small Sports Radio that my Dad had about 19 years ago. It still works to this day. And watched the debris and broken trees and traffic signals that lost power also. Not to forget the Curfew which was a sticky situation. Plus the destruction of Galveston, Texas. For me, I've been there a couple of times when I was a kid.
My parents, my sister, and I would go there to go to the beach, look at the sites, Moody Gardens and the Grand Opera House. Now, when I watched the destruction of Galveston, it almost looked like a Nuclear Holocaust. I don't want to scare anybody, but the destruction looks like a War Zone including Bonar Peninsula. My thoughts and prayers and concerns also are with the citizens of Galveston and hope to rise and start again including Kemah, Texas.
When the hurricane passed, it was almost like 'What the hell's going on?!' and 'When are we getting power back?!' it almost a tension situation, but like I said it will take a while to get this sorted out. We didn't get any damages from Hurricane Rita four years ago, but now with Hurricane Ike's destruction to Galveston, I just hope everyone will rebuild and start a new beginning.
My house in Houston is fine, just a couple of small shingles that came off the roof. No Water Damages to the house, it was REALLY hot inside the house, but now we have power back on Sept. 23. I'm still truckin'. Don't worry, I will get back on track to write reviews for Prog albums and hopefully get the writing machine going.
For now, take care of yourself and each other,
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Aphrodite's Child - 666
The key tracks on 666 are the Pete Townshend guitar sounds with Babylon as Vangelis bangs the bass drums while Demis Roussos sings about the fallen empire of Babylon the great, The 5-minute epic heavy metal track on The Four Horsemen as Silver takes on the guitar solo into obscurity while Irene Papas makes her erotic X-rated porn sounds in the avant-garde climax of Infinity. And the space sounds of Aegean Sea and The Waking Beast allows the listener to go deep into pure heavy moods. And the climax of all epics, the 19-minute experiemental strange twist of All the Seats Were Occupied as the battle between good and evil fight for the final showdown with Heaven & Hell to duel it out.
Sadly, Aphrodite's Child's 666 was their final album in 1972. They called it quits as Vangelis enjoyed a mainstream success with film scores such as Chariots of Fire, the Sci-Fi cult classic Blade Runner, and the dreaded Oliver Stone pretentious tale of Alexander while Demis Roussos went a little more pop sound with We Shall Dance and From Soveniurs to Soveniurs by cross-dressing and singing like a greek version of Pavarotti. Concept album based on the apocalypse of hell? Pure fucking insanity right here!
Ash Ra Tempel - Ash Ra Tempel
The opening 19-minute stoner rock track Amboss, starts off as a egyptian ambient guitar sound from Gottsching as it sets the mood for this explosive hard rockin' sound that is set towards the Monolith. The next 3-minutes featuring Klaus and Harmut, are following Manuel into a maximum space metal adventure into hell and beyond as you turn this motherfucker up LOUD on your iPod. Traummaschine (Dream Machine) a space rock beyond space music that is similar to TD's Journey through an Electric Brain, this reminds me of 2001: A Space Odyssey on this last number. They are on a sonic new age sound with Planet sounds on the Guitar and female vocalists setting the scenery by harmonizing the voices in an isolated scenery in a darken room. Klaus is doing an Indian tribe on the percussion instruments while they travel the Universe for the last 13-minutes in a raving light speed ride into Planet Tempel. Space Metal and Krautrock going together in the Milky Way? They never dissapoint!
Second Hand - Reality
Unlike their musical influences from The Creation, Small Faces, and The Who, Second Hand were a combination of The Action meets The Who meets Procol Harum with their first album. The opening track, A Fairy Tale starts off as a mellotronic homage to The Who's 1965 classic I Can't Explain and starts off into a childhood wonder about a mother telling her son a story before bedtime while Rhubarb! is a rumbling hard rock political statement into hell. The homage of the circus and '30s big band jazz music with the one and only Denis James the Clown. Steam Tugs is a bluesy mellotron number that shows that you can have a good time at a house party with the sexual soulness inside to be covered with the blanket of steam tugs and looking back the childhood-era of the 1950s with the Traffic/Dave Mason pop sound of Good Old '59 (We Are Slowly Getting Older).
The World Will End Yesterday is another proto-metal number set into a ballad that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in a fictitious planet; A tribute to Denis James again with him being a DJ in a ballad; An emotional garage classic psychedelia music to Mainliner is almost bizarre and tiwsted that would make the band almost take an acid trip. The 8-minute piece Reality becomes more symphonic prog in a Deep Purple way and the finale of The Bath Song is another rock opera that is mysterious of the killing of an innocent vicitim while taking a Bath. Second Hand would release two more albums before calling it a day in 1971. The two members from Second Hand Kieran O'Connor and Ken Elliot would later form the Sci-Fi band Seventh Wave in 1974. An X-ray cover of a skeletal hand at a London Hospital that is twisted and weird? Who would have thought about that!
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Rare Bird - As Your Mind Flies By
The opening track What You Want To Know, a sexual encounter with a love one that becomes an organic ballad with a 10 feet high man that tells the girl about he feels about her in a Otis Redding piece becoming more of a Genesis tune. Hammerhead is a sinister taste of the bibilcal gods duking it out in the battlefield. The classical music harpischord love-soung quintet of Down on the Floor becomes a baroque tradition in the 1600's in jolly old england. The wedding music of Prog in I'm Thinking is a special treat while it goes into a bluesy fast speeding tradition and then becomes a gospel rockin' sound about the good years flashing back before getting married and the 19-minute epic Flight, gets a real rollercoaster ride of Prog epics.Rare Bird would have various members including Nic Potter of VDGG fame. They released three more albums before calling it a day in 1975. Even though they wehre ahead of their time, They are the best Prog Rockers that would defintely get a real kick out of.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Amon Duul II - Tanz Der Lemminge
A science-fiction star trekish experimental album with the space music taking you to a different world of weird insanity. The first three tracks are 15 to 19-minute suites that takes the listener inside the monolith with bizarre titles such as Restlesss Skylight-Transistor Child, Syntelman's March of the Roaring Seventies, and the foundation club to Norma Jean among the cult with the Marilyn Monroe - Memorial Church.
While the suites are like something out of Stanley Kubrick's 1968 stoner classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, the last three shorter tracks take a steeping breath of psycedelia. Chewing Gun Telegram has a reminiscent of a hard rockin sound of the Grateful Dead while Stumbling over Melted Moonlight is a prequel to their kraut punk classic Between the Eyes with its fuzztone bass sound and the gritty technique. Toxicological Whispering becomes a jamb band session into the mind of Jefferson Airplance. Weird, bizarre, and something you would defintiely get stoned over, Amon Duul II doesn't pull any punches.
CAN - Delay 1968
The pounding rhythm introduction on Butterfly, is a combination of PiL and early Faust recordings with a mixture of Punk Blues that would make a screeching terror sound from any Velvet Underground album. Pnoom is a 20-second avant-garde jazzy number as it goes into the heavy nugget stax destruction soul number of 19th century man. Thief which would later be covered by Can fans Radiohead, is the killing track. Mixed with a dark guitar solo from the late Michael Karoli and Malcolm Mooney's gothic voice, the band go into an evil territory. Man named Joe an R&B/Punk tradition again, but this time an homage of the 50's rock scene in an experimentation style while Uphill is a tradition of Iggy & the Stooges meets the Jimi Hendrix experience into a metal funk jam session while Little Star of Bethlehem closes the album into a hip-hop '60s style from Malcolm and then becomes a soulful Krautrockin' Mothers of Invention madness.
A mixture of soul, '60s garage rock, early Pink Floyd, and a bit of Hendrix meets Lou Reed's Transformer? They know the score!
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
King Crimson - Red
John Wetton, Robert Fripp, and Bill Bruford were now the prog version of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. From the heavy introduction of Robert Fripp's guitar work on the opening self-titled track, is a torturing work of guitar solos, metalish sounds of the bass, and an explosive drum work, makes the album so damn good. The melodic dreamland beauty of Fallen Angel, is almost a prog love-song, that Crimson would have wished they were a jazz rock version of the fabulous mop tops, the Beatles while the heavy sound comes back in and in a high voltage sound of the thrashing piece of One More Red Nightmare.
The last two tracks shows them in their arranging and composition format. The 8-minute live performance at the Palace Theater on Providence, makes it spot-on with a grunge fusion sound of the Mahavishnu Orchestra while the closing 12-minute piece Starless, becomes more of an epic from the sounds of an early version of King Crimson of In the Wake of Poseidon and then into a heavy metal miles davis sound and then climaxes it similar to the finale of In the Court of the Crimson King.
Sadly, Robert Fripp broke Crimson up after the release of Red. He later worked with Brian Eno on No Pussyfooting and Eno's 1st solo album, Here Come the Warm Jets to the Berlin trilogy with David Bowie. In 1981, he reformed King Crimson in a new line-up including Bill Bruford. But this time with Frank Zappa's guitarist Adrian Belew and Peter Gabriel's bassist Tony Levin and released Discipline. It had been seven years since King Crimson released an album.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Nektar - Remember the Future
Monday, April 14, 2008
Carmen - Fandangos in Space
Tony Visconti, who produced Bowie, T. Rex, and progsters Gentle Giant, did an amazing job producing Carmen's first album because he nailed it so perfectly its almost that Genesis were becoming a salsa-rock fairy tale band. The two tracks that are explosively well to get the album started. Bulerias and Bullfight, are really high voltage that would set the footstomping by going into a faster tempo with the gypsy women's stories and the goriest bulls waiting to attack the humans on a hot and humid day and night.
Alongside the first two tracks, you have the 1-minute spanish classical pete townshend fingerpicking guitar sounds of Poor Tarantos while Stepping Stone becomes a funky flamenco guitar style in the morning sun. Sailor Song, a darker ballad that deals with the rise and fall of a Sailor who wants to be saved and refuses to die, and the self-titled track is almost solar system rockin' sound that is 6-minutes to perfection which later becomes an acapella clapping mexican funeral arrangment music for the Fandango herself to be buried.
Carmen never had the success after the 1980 floor sow. The group would later release three more albums before calling it a day in 1976 after the release of their final album of The Gypsies. Carmen are an excellent band I really dig and the hot day goes to play in the nightless sky.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Faust - So Far
This is more of the Velvet Underground meets Bowie meets John Coltrane in a twisted local environment that would make the doors screech open to. The opening of the banging drums, one piano chord, and a punk-rock chugging of a guitar chord with the humor taste of bubblegum music of It's a Rainy Day Sunshine Girl, is an ultimate killer. You have the quirky lyrics of 'It's a Rainy Day Sunshine Girl, It's a Rainy Day Sunshine Baby.' Really fun lyrics to really piss and sneer all of the other teenybopper music. On the Way to Abamae is a folky acoustic guitar instrumental composition while it goes into the 10-minute heavy guitar sounds that would blow the speakers up on No Harm, an homage to Iggy & the Stooges in a Krautrock way with lyrics like ' Daddy take a Banana, tomorrow is Saturday! ' This track is another killer that would make you turn the volume noise up a notch!
Mamie is Blue, an avant-garde extraordinare pice of music that has amps going into total destruction while the previous self-titled track, is more of a brass Parliament Funkadelic meets Edgard Varese arrangment. The last four tracks, show a little bit of comedy and vaudeville ragtime fun. I've Got My Car and My TV, an anti-car and TV commerical message for the viewers watching, the Zappa-style sounds on Picnic on a Frozen River and Me Lack Space while the last track closes it up into a swing paris jazz rock style of In the Spirit brings it to an end. So Far is one helluva album. Play this along with The Faust Tapes and turn it up. You are warned again!
Friday, April 4, 2008
Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come - Galactic Zoo Dossier
Tracks like the punk space rocker of Internal Messenger sounds almost a combine twist of the Pretty Things S.F. Sorrow meets Hawkwind's In Search of Space with screeching guitar sounds and pure lunatic voices of Arthur Brown that he would do during the late '60s. Galactic Zoo and Metal Monster are almost a lunacy of crazyness and a freak out experimentation of sinister avant-garde noises to keep you frightened for someone underneath the bed, The guitar delay, bass walking sound of Simple Man is a mellower dark composition with VCS3 synths creeping up the doorway. Night of the Pigs, an oinking political army marching Robert Calvert like story with guitars into metal territory while Sunrise is more of a mellower blues soul tradition into the milky way and goes into a sneering hard rock solo.
Galactic Zoo Dossier is one of the most insane albums that I've listened to from Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come. Man, those stoners surely were going nuts on their instruments in Space and the Solar System.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Traffic - Heaven Is In Your Mind
This is Traffic's earlier look on the psychedelic scene to come up with Beatle related songs and Folk meets Soul meets Jazz in a funky way in this US version of Mr. Fantasy. The opening of the psychedelic single of the sitar-harpischord indian related sound of Paper Sun, blows the door away with its 4/4 time signature, Dealer is a folk-rock tune about the drugs that the dealers gives to his victims and watches them suffer in a deathly quiet hush, Coloured Rain a mid-pop like song that makes you feel good in the morning and in the afternoon with a bit of LSD related rain coming down from the sky, Hole in my Shoe could almost be a prog epic from the mind of Dave Mason writing a children's fairy tale with mellotrons and the drums doing 4 beats per measure from walking to the music, No Face, No Name, Number is a beautiful haunting acoustic melody from Steve Winwood as he sings very emotional while the organ and the mellotron plus the acoustic guitar, follows him along into a beauty of love.
Heaven Is In Your Mind is a Jazz-R&B soul rock track that Winwood and Capaldi sing the vocals about packing your bags and headed up the escaltor to guide your visions in Heaven to believe in yourself; Berkshire Poppies and Giving to You are really strange tracks. Dave Mason is bringing his pop-related fairy tales in a twist of Alice in Wonderland meets Hansel and Gretel with music performed by the Beatles. Dave goes into a storybook mode in gumdrop lands while the next track is more a jam session of the 12-bar faster blues composition with weird scatting voices and dating, Smiling Phases a tradition of Otis Redding in a Bee Gees way, and Dear Mr. Fantasy, a heavy blues rock number that crosses between Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience guitar work that brings the house down.
Traffic had a little success until they hit it big in the United States at the Fillmore East and West after Dave Mason left to pursue a solo career in 1968. They hit the big time when they released their golden seed in 1970, John Barleycorn Must Die in the roots of Jazz, R&B, and Folk songs that Bob Dylan could have wrote in England. Even though the band spilt up in 1969 and came back in 1970 and then broke up in 1974 and lost two members Chris Wood in 1983 and Jim Capaldi in 2005, The legacy of Traffic's music keeps Feelin' Alright.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Family - Music in a Doll's House
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Van Der Graaf Generator - Pawn Hearts
Friday, March 28, 2008
The Mars Volta - Frances the Mute
The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium
Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans
This shows Yes in their prime within the spell of Avant-Garde electronic noises from Rick Wakeman. They wanted to take the boundaries of Progressive Rock a little furter and top it off with some strange Atmospheric sounds that would take you to different worlds. I was kind of suprise of hearing this album from start to finish becasue for me, 20-miunte epics on four tracks is a huge challenge because no one dared to release a 2-LP set with strange and bizarre epics and going on tour to play the whole album in its entireity. From the tales of the dawn of light ( The Revealing Science of God ), The Fruit of Life ( The Remembering [High The Memory] ), and bizarre languages with crazy effects of the Moog ( The Ancients [Giant Under the Sun], Ritual [Sous Sommes Du Soleil] ), They really show a level of madness.
For Rick Wakeman, he felt it was too spacey and felt it was like crap. During the Topographic Oceans tour, Rick would eat a lemon curry during the performance and after the tour, he left Yes to join up the Royal Festival Hall to make one of the most successful live albums of a Rock musical with a Symphony Orchestra of Journey To The Centre of the Earth. After he left, Yes turned to swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz who was part of a trio called Refugee that featured some of the members of The Nice and released Relayer. Tales is one of the highlights in Yes's career and reaching up to the heavens. 20-minute epics to make you go into the mystical caves? Why Not?!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The Top 5 Strangest Prog Albums
Pink Floyd - Ummagumma
Pink Floyd were in Avant-Garde/Live territory when they released Ummagumma in 1969. This was a big change for the Floyd because they weren't the pop single like band they had with Syd, they were going into different areas of instrumental experimentation. The four-part keyboard Zappa like role of Sysyphus shows Rick Wright in a Mellotronic greek figure that will have Caligula happy. Roger Waters bringing his Folk roots in the birds and the river with the mellower Grantchester Meadows and brings The Mothers of Invention into a small cave with chipmunks as he brings his Scottish tradition to tell a weird story with strange noises with Several Species of Small Furry Animals. Gilmour comes along with a 3-part mellower and atmospheric heavy sound on the guitar with The Narrow Way while Nick Mason closes it up with the Japanese like music of Avant-Garde with The Grand Vizer's Garden Party.
Pink Floyd - The Wall
This album was almost the beginning of the end of the Prog-Rock era in 1979 when the Floyd relased their landmark concept album The Wall. The story is about a burned out rock star (similar to Brian Jones and Syd Barrett) who has barracaded himself in his Hotel room as he flashes back through his childhood years in post-WWII, abused by the School teachers, and sexual intercourses with groupies and his wife. After he becomes isolated with everything he sess in his flashback, he builds the Wall brick by brick that the Floyd plays. The situation for him turns to evil as he has a nervous breakdown and then becomes a rock and roll version of Adolph Hitler and his companions the Marching Hammers to kill everyone to be on the Run and Run Like Hell. This album ain't your King Arthur and the Knights tradition for the heart. The Floyd's music on this, is amazing!
Henry Cow - Legend
Let's say that if the Mothers of Invetion and The Soft Machine form together to create a mixture of Jazz and Avant-Garde RIO insanity to the mix, they would combine and form Henry Cow and their debut album relased in 1973 Legend. Saxes going from Bebop and Fast Funky swing arrangements on Nirvana for Mice which is really a mad-like track. Nine Funerals for the Citizen King and Teenbeat Introduction are strangely strange but oddly normal filled with mellowingly sounds that would have Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band would have almost sounded similar to. Those tracks and the album cover of a sock goes perfectly well.
Magma - Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh
The music is almost very Rhiengold like Space Opera sound. You have the crossover between Edgard Varese, Richard Wagner, John Coltrange, and a crossover of Frank Zappa meets Ange. Even though it's a crazy idea to make a Outer Space opera version of Das Rheingold, It is a real kicking ass album that will send you into the darker side of the Milky Way. Not bad for a Zeuhl Band to take the concept into a Galaxy far, far away and to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Egg - The Polite Force
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Top 5 Italian Prog Rock Albums
This concept album is based on the life of sociologist and the thoughts of the origins of species, Charles Darwin. Banco doesn't pull any punches with their superior album. They would use ragtime music, haunting oboe sounds, baroque classical music, and harpischord's of the 19th century screeching out from the synths with an operatic rock sound that the original three tenors would get a kick out of.
Premiata Forneria Marconi - Storia Di Un Minuto
PFM were one of the Italian Progsters that Greg Lake of ELP and King Crimson fame enjoyed and he got them signed on their own Prog label Manticore. Their first album is a mixture of 18th century sounds. Their debut album Storia Di Un Minuto (History of a Minute or Story in a Minute) is a mixture of synthesized anthems of fairy tale dances (E' Festa), the stories for September Impressions with a Genesis mellotron style of Impressioni Di Settembre and the two-part epic like folk metal of Dove Quando would almost have an operatic feel that would have the three tenors get a kick out of.
Le Orme - Felona E Sorona Picture the scenery. An Italian version of ELP writing almost a rock opera in two sets in an opera house. More of a outer space rock musical to be more precisely. The story takes place on two diffrent planets. One planet is Felona, who is filled with Joy and Happiness and wants to be free with everybody. The second planet is Sorona, she is filled with sorrow and isolation and filled withdarkness across her home planet. The two planets are with a master who combines the planet in an ultimate climatic showdown as Le Orme fills it up with mellotron limits, moogs going up to the milky way, and Carl Palmer influential drum patterns mixing it up with folky acoustic guitar ballads and Jazz like fusion Bass patterns.
Museo Rosenbach - Zarathustra
A more sinister and darker approach for group doing a concept album based on the book that Frederich Nietzche wrote Thus Spoke Zarathustra, not to be confused with Strauss version of the classical music anthem for 2001. Museo Rosenbach's debut album is a perfect gem for Prog lovers. This shows an italian version that crosses over of King Crimson's first album meets Genesis Nursery Cryme in a dramatic way. You have the 20-minute epic that will send Edgar Allen Poe to write a musical version with Nietzche of House On Haunted Hill with mellotrons that turned evil, Black Sabbath influential guitar sounds mixed with a snarling drum introduction and a Hammond Organ from hell. You might want to play this along with any Horror film and scare the shit out of Trick-or-Treaters with.
Jacula - Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus
Kind of a strange band with a strange title ain't it? But for Keyboard and Guitar player Antonious Rex, he must have been a very strange musician or maybe to become a part of Satna's calling when he formed the group in the late '60s and would defintely scare the shit out of them with their second album. Mixed with heavy organs, female vocalists, a strange cover, flute solos coming from hell, and dark occults that would be perfect for Halloween. You have some monks chanting the lord's prayer and Rex speaking in a devilish voice as he goes into a Tony Iommi guitar like solo on Absolution. The darker but mellower acoustic guitar and violin narration of Long Cold Black Night which sets the scary stories into musical campfire turmoil, while U.F.D.E.M. sets the mood with church-like organs becoming massive with synths as Doris Norton's operatic rocking vocals turns up the devilish heatalong with the scariest organic music of skeletal callings for Praesentia Domini. They sure know how to scare other 20th century artist like Philip Glass, Bram Stoker, and the cult hero of the Candyman with bees coming out of his mouth to be immortal. Not bad for a dark band to scare you in your sleeps!
Monday, March 17, 2008
Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother
Pink Floyd were already hitting the London scene in the late '60s with their cult hero Syd Barrett after the release of singles Arnold Layne and their psychdelic debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. It wasn't until 1968 where Syd was taking the drug scene a little too far after the release of See Emily Play and the pop humor grocery store sing-along track single, Apples and Oranges. Childhood friend David Gilmour replaced Syd after the release of A Saucerful of Secrets when Syd said goodbye with the folk experimental track Jugband Blues.
They had a talk about what they were going to do after Syd left, they decided to move forward to a planet where no man has gone before. Their 1970 album, Atom Heart Mother is an explosive and almost bombastic concept for the Floyd with the Symphony Orchestra, wires in people's brains, the summer of 1968, Sun's rising above the english country houses, and a good old fashion psychedelic breakfast.
The opening track that clocks in at 23 minutes and 44 seconds of Atom Heart Mother, is the gem of a perfect symphonic sound. You have Rick Wright doing some odd sounds on the keyboard, David Gilmour's space guitar work, Roger Waters doing a little bass solo, and Nick Mason's drum sounds becoming more quiet and calm. The track would almost become more of an alternate soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick's 2001 which I will get to later on. It's almost atmospheric and strange, but absolutely well made.
If is almost a science-fiction folk ballad from Roger Waters becoming more of a fingerpicking type of guy on the acoustic guitar and David Gilmour doing his Outer Limits sound on his guitar also. Summer '68 is another ballad this time from Richard Wright. It's more of a Rick's taste of the culture of the song about 1968 with the hippies and the love-in's before leaving to serve his country in Vietnam.
Fat Old Sun is David Gilmour's number about the sun reaching over the sky as the song is more of a calming acoustic guitar introduction with Gilmour's taste of vocals. And then at the last 2-minutes of the number, he goes into a rockin' guitar solo. It is so good, you know it's absolutely excellent!
The last track Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast, is your mouth-watery 13-minute experimental piece of their roadie Alan Stiles (who cooked breakfast for the Floyd), orders some breakfast and then it becomes more of a flourish/acoustic/prog number while he munches away while the band plays along as he enjoys the composition.
Now about the Kubrick situation. According to legend, Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick heard the album and he loved it so much, he asked the Floyd to compose a film score for him to do his next film which is one of the most controversial films made of all time A Clockwork Orange. The floyd refused to do it because they didn't know how the film was going to set the scenery.
Atom Heart Mother is Pink Floyd's masterpiece along with Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall, Meddle, and Dark Side of the Moon. This was the beginning of the Floyd's career up into Space. Even though to this day they hated working on this album, they really kicked the temperature up to 200!
Egg - Egg
Their debut album released in 1970 simply called the self-titled album Egg, is a massive arranging and composition of pure weirdness. From the opening carousel jazz like number of 'While Growing My Hair', which is more of a tradition of the Soft Machine's early days in the late '60s more of 'Joy of a Toy' type of introduction. As I mentioned before, they have a classical music style and pay tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach of the Tocatta suite with the fusion and classic organ like sound of 'Fugue in D minor',
'I will be absorbed' is more of a jazzy feel, and the full length version of the next suite in its entirety because of some situations of the rights issue with one of the composers with 'Symphony no. 2 in 4 movements.' You have the Zappa feel and the Edvard Grieg fast tempo organ tradition of 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' into a canterbury version of The Nice that will have your head explode!
Egg had a small fanbase in Europe, but the group would later relase two more albums (The Polite Force and the Civil Surface) until they broke up in 1975 with their last third album. Today, there's an archival album called The Metronomical Society which features BBC Sessions, and rare live recordings in Egg's true style of insanity!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Rare Bird - Rare Bird
Sunday, March 2, 2008
The Soft Machine - The Soft Machine
I have enjoyed listnening to this album and the group also. They were the true pioneers in the Canterbury Progressive Rock-era. Apart from this, they don't back down to this because of the way they constructed the music from start to finish. Everything on their debut album is like a clean jewel that has been restored and waiting to buy it for the perfect person to enjoy.
Since this album has some amazing cuts on the Soft Machine debut album, there are some crazy tracks that they push it close to the edge. For example, the 7-minute instrumental experimentation 'So Boot If At All' which is is them doing some strange instruments that carry the Syd Barrett tradition of 'Matilda Mother', 'A Certain Kind' is the warmer taste on riding in your SUV on a beautiful sunday afternoon with Robert Wyatt's lush vocals and the story of the girl he loves to be and marry with while Mike's jazzy bebop sound on the organ.
The two rockers 'Save Yourself' and 'We Did It Again', pushes the Soft Machine into Proto-Prog-Punk territory that his beyond hell and chants of a revamp tradition of the Kinks 'You Really Got Me.' 'Lullabye Letter' is filled with anger and frustration song as Wyatt talks to his girlfriend in the song while having sex and making love as the band becomes a fuzztone sound of Pink Floyd.
Other tracks including the mellow heavier two part introduction of 'Hope for Happiness' is a class of proportions of Wyatt's skeleton's in the closet side, the low-key anthem of organs for the Trumpeter's narration of Kevin Ayers speaking tone of voice in 'Why Are We Sleeping?' and his prog fusion of techniques of space in 'Joy of a Toy.'
They were pre-Floyd and pre-fusion back in those days. They were showing their true side of the music scene of the late '60s than Jefferson Airplane and Cream were doing. The Soft Machine's debut album is a pro-choice and early punk prog to get you cookin'
Amon Duul II - Carnival in Babylon
The opening track 'C.I.D. in Uruk', is more of a psychedelic kraut hammond organ with evil light that is mixed with emotional acoustic guitar ballads with almost a Syd Barrett guitar sound, 'All the Years 'Round' is more of Amon Duul's emotional side with a softer taste of Surrealistic Pillow and female vocalist Renate Knaup-Krotenschwanz takes over the vocals as she takes the listener into the watery abyss mixed with fantasies and love including the lyric 'Are you ready for the take off/Are you waiting for the show?' this is more of germany's answer to 'White Rabbit' in a Krautrock version of Grace Slick.
The funky introuduction and shrieking guitar sounds of 'Kronwinkl', almost becomes a fairy tale for Amon Duul II to make it more dramatic and very sinister, The band becomes more of an Indian-Acoustic tribe with 'Tables are Turned' and so far, so good with the guitar becoming more of aghostly dead sound, 'Shimmering Sand' is more of a metal like tale of the ballad of a man who searches for a new land in a new generation of the sand that shimmers, and the 10-minute piece that has almost the word 'epic' written all over it. This is a taste of funk and more of a fusion take of Hendrix's own band from 1970 the Band of Gypsys that would take you into a different world of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
This is one of the best albums in Amon Duul II's career because they were the band that you couldn't escape from or hear. They had a sense of darker tales of the babyloniac morals of the Carnivals of Babylon. I have listened to this album twice and it's still powerful and I've enjoyed this big time. So if you want to get high along with other stoner albums including Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Black Sabbath's Paranoid, Amon Duul II's Carnival in Babylon is the next stoner album you defintely want to get into!