Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Home – The Gathering [#589]

Gathering_homeDuring the Great Download Free For All of the mid-noughties when I was ripped from the comedy inflatable bosom of Nightwish and thrown grovelling at the awesome rock prowess of The Gathering, I was self-tasked with the necessity to obtain the band’s entire catalogue.

Fortunately, this was one of those times when such an action was worthwhile. Aside from the band’s first couple of albums, Always and Almost a Dance, which are both truly dreadful and were swiftly deleted from my collection, their other albums just kept on sending tingles.

The Gathering are another example of where the UKs coverage of quality Euro music is lacking. The downright snobbery of the UK music industry in regard to artists from beyond the North Sea frequently turns my stomach. There really are some excellent artists out there but because a minority have the monopoly on what is seen and heard in the UK, it is often the case that without the internet, nothing “non-British” would be available. Indeed, even with impending changes to the accessibility of internet this will only get worse and result in  further impedence of the spread of culture from east to west while the spread of culture from west to east will continue unhindered.

Home is The Gathering’s eighth album and the last to feature Anneke van Giersbergen who, in my opinion, made the band. It seems that 2006 was the time of departure for a few female led Eurometal bands (eg Nightwish and Tarja’s departure), but rather than disappear into obscurity, van Giersbergen went on to work with Ayreon and do her own stuff and quite successfully too. Like Mandylion, it has an almost progressive concept album feel to it but the concept album vibe might just be my overactive imagination.

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Hazards of Love – The Decemberists [#571]

I once accidentally found a folder filled with illicit music on a hot desk PC at work. I’ve found over the years, the music I have self-discovered on the various platforms available, that have been left or lost by other people has become incalculable. Disguarded cassette tapes at the side of the road, mysterious CDs left in cars, abandoned MP3s on computers. So many different forms over the years and, like porn in park bushes, a form of discovery denied to future youth because of the controlled way that music is proliferated and consumed.

I suppose that is why I started this music project. A way to explain, not only to myself, that my music tastes have developed over the years but to also preserve for future generations a catalogue of music to discover for themselves without commercial interference and duplicity.

The Decemberists were one of those bands that I self-discovered via an abandoned folder of illicit downloads; Hazards of Love was a legitimate purchase made on the back of that discovery. But as we all know, downloading music illegally killed music, and this is why today, The Decemberists have to tour and continue to produce sound to feed their starving faces.

I’d not listened to Hazards of Love for some years after its purchase. Mostly because it languished in my collection out of reluctance to listen to it. Eventually, sometime in 2016, I plucked up the courage. My disappointment in having not listened to it before then forced me to reevaluate the whole purpose of the Music Project; this, curiously, took me a whole year to do.

Hazards of Love is a prog masterpiece. A true concept album and much more enticing than Crane Wife, Hazards of Love tells the story of magical beings that live in an enchanted forest and how falling in love in such environments is never a good idea. Some really catchy tunes with intricate lyrics make up this acoustic soundscape which will lure you in like a forest enchantress. Ideal as a first tentative step into the back catalogue of The Decemberists especially for those looking to later paddle into the shallows of post-pre-neo-revival prog rock.

Yes, I make up my own genres.

 

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Guitar Legends – Various Artists [#563]

Guitar Legends The guitar. Some would say it is a crucial instrument in modern music. “Without guitar” they might say, “All you have is some bloke singing with drums and a keyboard.” Which is true, but as we have already heard with the likes of Morphine and Matt Howden, the guitar is merely a tool in the production of great music. However, one cannot ignore the guitar completely, especially when presented with a compilation such as today’s album.

This two disc 41 song Capital Gold compilation features some interesting choices. It starts off quite promising with songs by Queen, Derek & the Dominos (guess which song), Rainbow and even Motorhead. But by the mid-way point it drifts into a sort of smokey late eighties blues nightclub (the proper sort where you go to listen to live music and smoke not to get pissed and/or laid) where Skynrd, Frampton, Santana and Lee Hooker have been placed on the bill with later guest appearances by John Lodge & Justin Hayward, Nick Drake and the Shadows.

If, for some reason, you’ve been living in a guitar free world and you’re interested in finding out what can be done with the instrument, I suppose this is a good way to find out.

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Greenslade – Greenslade [#561]

Greenslade_coverDave Greenslade again, this time with his debut self titled album.

Greenslade is a progressive rock album and so there is quite a fair bit of twiddly keyboarding going on. In fact, Greenslade do for Moog and Hammond keyboards what Yes‘ Steve Howe does for guitars. However, this is a hard-core prog, a prog that only those that either experiment with certain illicit substances or those trained and lectured to Master of Prog Level 10 might fully appreciate. As I have not experimented with certain illicit substances and I am only a mere Level 6 self proclaimed Prog Master, Greenslade features in the music project purely for research purposes.

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Greatest Hits – Aphrodite’s Child [#551]

Aphrodites Child Greatest Hits

Three bearded Greeks and an Egyptian perform their “greatest hits” from their three albums of which, I have one, 666.

Having only heard 666 before, when I first heard this album back in 2004, I was surprised by the other songs on the album. Aside from the tracks from 666 I’d already heard Rain and Tears and It’s Five O’Clock but had no idea they were Aphrodite’s Child songs. I had always thought they were Demis Roussos songs.

Anyway, it’s surprising how many “hits” a hardly heard of band have had and it frequently amuses me when I play people their songs and they exclaim, like me, they didn’t know it was by Aphrodite’s Child.

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The Grand Design – Edenbridge [#545]

Edenbridge_-_The_Grand_DesignTowards the end of my exploration of the Scandinavian operatic goth metal movement of the late nineties and early noughties, and before branching out down the Ayreon/Gathering path, I uncovered an Austrian band called Edenbridge. Pretty much a Nightwish clone but with better pronunciation of English.

The Grand Design is their fifth studio album following the success of Shine. By this time, I was a little bored of the whole genre. There’s only so many Valkyries you can put up with and with middle age approaching, the constant chuggachugga guitar became a little puerile after a bit. As well, there was a kind of…I dunno…a Sandy Denny quality to the sound.

After some careful consideration, I had a purge of music in September and many Edenbridge albums didn’t make the cut. This one survived purely because it was the first of theirs I’d heard and because Evermore is not a bad song.

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Gong Est Mort, Vive Gong – Gong [#537]

Gong_Gong_Est_MortWhile, Pierre Moerlen’s Gong were churning out jazzy numbers and being all “normal” and long after teapots were flown about by pixies and Zero the Hero’s head floated up the vagina of a witch, Daevid Allen and chums had a bit of a break and entered a period of releasing “best of” compilations, live gig recordings and other such lazy productions.

Gong Est Mort, Vive Gong is one such live compilation from Allen’s Gong. Included are tracks from Flying Teapot and Angels Egg as well as a few tracks from You from the Radio Gnome cycle and some from Camembert Electrique.

Unfortunately, there is a wife imposed jazz embargo at Gnomepant’s cottage at present, so I am unable to report on the more jazzy tracks, however I did manage a good listen of the less jazzy tracks, and, do you know? I wish I had gone to see the band back in 1992.

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Going for the One – Yes [#532]

220px-Yes_Going_for_the_OnePossibly one of the first albums I had recorded on cassette. My middle brother had this on cassette and did a copy for me on his twin tape but as home taping killed music, there was nothing after this.

Nonsense of course, I eventually went and bought the album on vinyl, thus saving music for future generations.

Indeed, as a teenager, Going for the One was pivotal in my musical development to such an extent that I performed the track Turn of the Century during a school end of term concert and Wondrous Stories as an exam piece for my Music GCSE. While the majority of my peers enjoyed the likes of Wham, Culture Club and emerging techno, rap and house music, I was busy being ten years behind my contemporaries and enjoying what this album had to offer.

The album sees the return (albeit briefly) of keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman following the departure of Patrick Moraz who played keys for the previous album, Relayer. The return of Wakeman does do some favours to the band at this stage of their career and the track Awaken with its extended organ solo at the heart, really is like a “glad to be back” from Rick.

Sadly, as with all prog bands, the band would separate once more after their next album, Tormato but you can certainly hear the development of the Yes sound and how it is an acoustic ancestor of Tormato with this album.

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Gazeuse! – Gong [#512]

Gong_-_Gazeuse!In true prog fashion, flying teapot hippy group Gong, split and became two entities; Daevid Allen’s Gong (the one responsible for all the pot head pixies) and Pierre Moerlan’s Gong a jazz rock based band.

Gazeuse! is the band’s first album and is very clearly jazz orientated. Unfortunately, due to a “jazz embargo” imposed on Gnomepants Cottage by jazz loathing Mrs Gnomepants, I am unable to bring you much of a detailed  entry today. The only statement I can make is, if jazz is your thing or maybe you liked the theme tunes to late seventies chat shows like Wogan, Russell Harty or Parkinson, this will really float your boat. I’m not that much of a jazz fan, but I occasionally like to dip my toes into the murky cheese sauce that Pierre Moerlan’s Gong produced.

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From the Dark Side of the Moon – Mary Fahl [#501]

Darksideofmoon_albumNo, I’d never heard of Mary Fahl until I came across this album either. Mary Fahl is an American singer song writer and in 2007 I obtained an unofficial advance of today’s album which is a song-for-song reimagining of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

Mrs Gnomepants Mk1 used to say that cover versions are only valid cover versions if the artist doing the covering makes the cover their own. It’s only really recently that I’ve began to appreciate this statement fully.

I’ve always been fond of cover versions, my love of tribute artists like Iron Horse, Beatallica, Polka Floyd and Weird Al proof of this, so when it came to my first listen of  Mary Fahl I was already full of expectations. Imagine my joy when Mrs Gnomepants Mk 1 came into the room where I was listening to it and said that she really enjoyed this version of her favourite Pink Floyd album. That kind of sealed it for me.

If you’re a big fan of Floyd’s Dark Side, then you might enjoy this too. Fahl has certainly put a lot of effort into producing the album and it’s remarkable how a female voice can change the dynamic of the sound  originally made by Roger Waters. Fahl’s Dark Side has garnered a little bit of a cult following amongst some nerdy types which only adds to the enjoyment.

Then as a kind of postscript to this entry, while searching Youtube for examples of Fahl’s work, I came across her collaboration/guest appearance with Renaissance’s Annie Haslam. Again, highlighting how the music and artists I like are all connected somehow.

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Fragile – Yes [#495]

FragileI originally bought this album from Woolworths in Pwllheli while holidaying in my Uncles cottage. I remember being excited at the prospect of being able to listen to it on the record player we had there. And so, in 1986 progressive rock reverberated across the Welsh mountains for a brief moment Heart of the Sunrise leading the charge. That was until I was told to turn the music down.

At the time of the album’s release, Yes were coming to the end of an era with the imminent departure of drummer Bill Bruford (who left after the recording of the follow up album Close to the Edgeand the addition, in this album, of keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, who replaced Tony Kaye. This was to become what some fans call “The Classic Yes Line Up” which is interesting as it was only like this for a couple of albums and it seems that nobody wants to talk about the regroup non-cannon album Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe .

The album itself features a number of really good songs, Heart of the Sunrise, Southside of the Sky and Roundabout; all fan pleasing tracks that are played regularly at gigs. It also features a handful of tracks written solo by each band member: Anderson’s We Have Heaven sounding like something from Olias of Sunhillow Bruford’s Five Percent for Nothing sounding like an A Level Music submission and the beginnings of later Wakeman solo projects audibly clear in Can and Brahms .

A fun album with some nice classic Yes songs but sounding flat, disappointing and unpromising with today’s ears.

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Force of Gravity – Sylvan [#486]

Sylvan - Force of GravitySince we last met Sylvan with their release Artificial Paradise, I’ve actually grown to like them more. I’ll even go as far to say Artificial Paradise is quite a clever little concept album and deserves more ear time. Force of Gravity is another one of those albums that have not had anywhere near the amount of ear time as I would have liked. Getting old sucks kids, don’t do it.

Anyway, Force of Gravity, Sylvan’s seventh studio album, shows a great deal of maturity considering it was released seven years after Artificial Paradise (the band’s second album). Yet still we get the rich gravy of their sound pouring over our aural Sunday dinner complete with their lyrical roast potatoes and conceptualised roast meat (or nuts if you’re aurally vegan).  It’s as if the band have actually bettered themselves rather than tear themselves apart in an effort to maintain the successes of their earlier output.

The album has, as in the opening statement, had little ear time despite languishing in the collection since 2009, something I regret, but even on fifth listen I’m impressed with the sound the band have produced.

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Final Cut – Pink Floyd [#469]

FloydFC-Cover01The twelfth studio album by Pink Floyd.

It still amuses me to think about a former acquaintance of mine insisting that the only Pink Floyd album available on CD was Animals and that his copy was a rare limited edition. Yet several visits to HMV  and a brandishing of a fistful of CDs in a face later I was still to hear an apology or admission that he was an idiot.  Still, I like to also imagine that he spent some time in his later life, dropping the soap in the showers at the local penitentiary.

Final Cut often comes across as a Roger Waters solo album and, indeed, legend has it that at this point in the band’s career, the other members of the group couldn’t be arsed had fallen out and eventually Waters was to go his own way leaving Gilmour to ruin or enhance the band depending on your point of view. A concept album about the futility and effects of war on those that are sent out to do the dirty while the privileged stay at home and enjoy their riches.

I really like this album. It always sends me on a journey through bitterness via anger and culminating in a shiver down my spine. I’m also of the opinion that it should be compulsory listening for MPs before voting on whether to go to war. I dream that, come the revolution, my MP, Chris Heaton-Harris (who has me blocked on Twitter), will be forced to listen to this album whilst tied naked to a chair in Daventry Country Park on a cold wet Wednesday in February.

However, the album is divisive amongst fans of the band with four camps forming, those that see it as Waters’ final push to break the band apart and hating it, those that see it as a swan song for the band and love it, and those that don’t feel strong about it either way. I sit firmly in the fourth camp, those that really like it and don’t care. What do you think?

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Dust and Dreams – Camel [#402]

Camel_Dust_And_DreamsAndy Latimer and Pete Bardens with their band again, this time with their 11th studio album.

Camel are a mixed bag progressively speaking in that their stuff either works or it doesn’t. I love their earlier albums such as Mirage and of course Snow Goose, then my next favourite Camel album is  their tenth, Stationary Traveller along with their penultimate, Rajaz. But there is a lot of Camel that’s a bit…bobbins – Dust and Dreams being an example of bobbins.

Latimer and Bardens churn out another concept album, this time based on Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. Having never (shock horror) read the book, I guess I just don’t get the same enjoyment out of it as I would War of the Worlds, 1984 or Journey to the Centre of the Earth but saying that I’ve never read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda but I really like Yes‘ Tales from Topographic Oceans. 

I found Dust and Dreams dry, stodgy and forced. I got the impression that Latimer and Bardens went to their bookcase, pulled out a book and went “Let’s write a concept album based on that”. It’s as though Camel were trying their best to bring Progressive Rock out of it’s coma by beating it across the head with a heavy book.

I don’t get it.However, it is an interesting album because the sharp eared listener can hear early development of themes used later in Rajaz and further development of themes used in Stationary Traveller. 

 

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Days of Future Passed – Moody Blues [#344]

440px-TheMoodyBlues-album-daysoffuturepassedWhen I listened to this album in its entirety for the purpose of the Music Project, I couldn’t help  but imagine some sort of Raymond Briggs style animation to accompany it. Something like The Snowman or maybe When the Wind Blows. 

Justin and his chums released this, their second album back in 1967. It is a concept album about the passage of a day culminating in the famous Nights in White Satin. 

Because of this album, some say that the Moody Blues sparked off the whole Progressive Rock movement, a questionable statement that many still argue about. Still, it’s a good starting point for anyone wanting to embark on a historical prog filled journey.

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Continental Circus – Gong [#307]

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 14.59.40This album is the soundtrack to a film about a motorcycle racer. The greatest private rider in the world.

The film Continental Circus (1972) is a kind of documentary about motorcycle racing across Europe at a time before sponsorship money and safety took hold. It’s a bit like the motorcycling version of Rush with real life sports people rather than actors and motorbikes over F1 cars.  Jack Findlay talks about the sport, how it affects the mind and body.

The soundtrack is by French progsters and previous entrants in the music project, Gong, whose founder, Daevid Allen, died last month. This is possibly my most favourite of all Gong albums. It’s a proper driving album for driving long journey’s on wet late nights when there’s nothing good on Radio 4.

The film is difficult to get hold of though I have a copy if anyone wants one. Alternatively, there are versions on Youtube and via Amazon for those wanting a quicker access to it.

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Complete Mike Oldfield – Mike Oldfield [#298]

Mike_Oldfield_completeMore compilations. I’d like to say that you can tell the popularity of an artist by the number of compilation and “best ofs” they have. Sadly a great deal of musicians use “Best ofs”, Live concerts (as we will see soon with Bryan Ferry and others) and compilations (Box, Collection, Complete and otherwise) to fill the gaps in their “busy” schedules between drug taking, lying about in hotels with three or more women  and playing golf, usually to keep the fans interested or aware that they’re still out there….recording…being inspired….living the rock star life. You’d never see Geoff Love releasing a best of.

Today on Stegzy’s Music Project it’s Mike Oldfield and his 1985 compilation showcasing the wide range of musical talent he has. Featuring his memorable pop songs (Moonlight Shadow, Shadow on the Wall, etc), excerpts from his studio works (Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, etc) and his film and television work (Blue Peter, Killing Fields).

This album was the first album I ever had on CD and I must have listened to it a thousand times over the years considering its age. I bought it from Boots in Liverpool in 1986 using gift vouchers received at Christmas to play on my shiny new CD player (also a Christmas gift bought from Boots). On the same visit I bought the Best of Donna Summer and probably a couple of computer games for my Commodore 64 from Bits and Bytes in Central Station. Bits and Bytes no longer trade, the Donna Summer CD cracked, flaked and went the way of the old dust bin along with the CD player and the stereo it was attached to. Boots no longer sell CDs or Hi-Fis but Mike Oldfield’s Complete Mike Oldfield triple CD compilation still exists and it sits. In a box. In the attic.

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Coma Divine – Porcupine Tree [#290]

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 09.04.05A confession: middle age and life commitments give me little time to explore and enjoy new music these days. So in an effort to write this entry I actually had to listen to the album itself.

Back when I was a student for the second time, late noughties, my television production tutor Andy Fox, my audiences lecturer and I would frequently discuss the pros and cons of Prog. Foxy suggested that I try out Porcupine Tree, a neu-prog band that was rising in popularity through the advent of the intarwebz. So I did.

I did what I usually did in those situations, download as much as I could for later listening to. Of course, life then got in the way and aside from a number of songs from various albums, I never really spent much time with an entire album. Until this weekend.

The newer reader might be fooled into thinking that I write entries for the music project on a daily basis. I don’t. I try to get as many items written up over the weekend at a when most people are curled up on the couch with a bacon sandwich and a copy of the Guardian.

So on a cold, damp bacon smogged Saturday in March I sit in Gnomepants cottage listening to Coma Divine in its entirety for the first time ever. I even caught myself doing some air guitar and moshing. Coma Divine is a best of/live compilation recorded live in Rome in the late 1990s and, as if to prove a point, it showcases Porcupine Tree’s earlier music, a period often over looked by people coming new to a band. I found it highly enjoyable on a first listen. I haven’t found any songs I’ll add to my “Got to listen to this now” list but they are inoffensive and I’m sure over the next few months I’ll listen to them again.

 

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Close to the Edge – Yes [#281]

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 13.35.18Close to the Edge – Yes

The first time I heard this album I was blown away. I had it on cassette so I was able to play it wherever I wanted on my Walkman or on my portable hi-fi. One place I played it was on top of a windy rainy mountain in Wales, miles from anywhere significant. It is there where I am transported when I hear this album.

Stuck up a mountain. In the wind and rain. Rain pattering onto my hood. Snug and warm in my coat. Listening to this album overlooking fields of sheep watching the rain clouds drift in from the Irish Sea. Getting back to nature.

Years later I discovered that the album was recorded in a studio where the band had requested a more “rural” feel. Cue plastic cows, sheep pens and straw being strewn across the floor; Steve Howe stood on his carpet, Rick Wakeman with his cup of tea and Jon Anderson with his tambourine. Prog madness. Prog. No music like it.

Close to the Edge comes in with 3 tracks. Not many to the uninitiated, but with track one coming in at just under 20 minutes long and tracks two and three together the same, it’s easy to see why prog is such a good showcase for talent. Think of recent popular music. The likes of Gaga and her ilk with wishy-washy 3 minute jobbies. Trash. It’s like Twitter versus the blogosphere.

Close to the Edge is Yes’ fifth studio album and last with Bill Bruford (until Union at least). A rich tapestry of musical talent surpassed only by their next  studio album, Tales from Topographic Oceans.

 

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Classic Rock: Symphonic Rock – Various Artists [#276]

Classic Rock: Symphonic RockClassic Rock: Symphonic Rock – Various Artists

This is another compilation where the core idea works but the choices of tracks don’t.

Curiously, it appears that 70% of the artists featured on the album have previously featured on this project, so if you’ve missed those entries you’ll find that the links take you to those articles.

Anyway, Classic Rock: Symphonic Rock has a relatively good mix of tunes really but not ones I’d have chosen to highlight how rock can be symphonic. It’s a little too…. “twee”…for my liking. There are far better bands that could have featured on this compilation. There’s no Queensryche. No Meatloaf. The Yes option is pretty much mundane and the inclusion of Clannad, of all bands, confuses me no end. Clannad are not what I’d call rock for a start.

Tracklist

1-01 Vangelis Pulsar
1-02 Sky Toccata
1-03 Hawkwind Urban Guerilla
1-04 Focus P’s March
1-05 Electra Scheidungstag
1-06 Gentle Giant The Advent Of Panurge
1-07 Triumvirat A Day In The Life
1-08 Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe Brother Of Mine
1-09 Roger Waters The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range
1-10 Procol Harum A Salty Dog
1-11 Mike Batt Losing Your Way In The Rain
1-12 Clannad Sirius
1-13 Jon Lord Aria
1-14 Barclay James Harvest Child Of The Universe
1-15 Jon & Vangelis So Long Ago, So Clear
2-01 Mike Oldfield Sentinel
2-02 Moody Blues* The Story In Your Eyes
2-03 Rick Wakeman Catherine Howard
2-04 Electric Light Orchestra Standin’ In The Rain
2-05 Alan Parsons Project, The Damned If I Do
2-06 Herd From The Underworld
2-07 Jethro Tull Aqualung
2-08 Gong Ard Na Greine
2-09 Vanilla Fudge You Keep Me Hanging On
2-10 Ekseption 5th Of Beethoven
2-11 Aphrodite’s Child It’s Five O’Clock
2-12 Strawbs Autumn
2-13 Camel Tell Me
2-14 Genesis The Silent Sun
2-15 Yes Heart Of The Sunrise

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Chronicle of the black sword – Hawkwind (#270)

The_Chronicle_of_the_Black_Sword_-_HawkwindChronicle of the Black Sword – Hawkwind

Before vaginas became all floaty and Glastonbury became too commercial, men with long hair would gather, read Tolkien and Moorcock and listen to Hawkwind.

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Change We Must – Jon Anderson [#258]

CHANGES+IN+MINDChange We Must – Jon Anderson

Hello, me again!

Two bits of good news this time. I don’t have a lot of time to write about this album, and I’m not a great fan of it either. So you, the lucky reader, should have a lot less to read. I shall try and go for a more practical Stegzy type summary approach.

As background, I first heard Jon Anderson during my early 90s university years. Being a nerd I inevitably delved into prog rock, with a lot of musical introductions from my lovely university friend Richard. One of those groups was Yes, and if you didn’t know Jon Anderson is their lead singer. I also listened to a lot of Vangelis, and he has teamed up with Jon Anderson on several albums. I am probably a bigger fan of the Jon & Vangelis albums than I am Yes, although I don’t listen to either a great deal. I did listen to some of Anderson’s solo albums, including the very odd Olias of Sunhillow, but I haven’t gone back to any of it. Anderson’s solo stuff almost feels like Christian rock, although as far as I know he wasn’t into religion a great deal.

Those who’ve not heard Anderson before will be surprised by his voice, which is very high, and quite feminine. Apparently he’s a natural alto tenor, so both speaks and sings in a high range, and it’s not falsetto. This does give his music character and originality, of some form.

Change We Must is again that most accursed of albums, the best of (sort of). It’s doubly accursed because bizarrely these are rearrangements – of a mix of Yes, Jon & Vangelis, and solo tracks – which have an orchestral and choral backing. So they’ve been muzak’d, of a fashion. In all fairness to Mr. Anderson apparently some of the tracks on here are new, so it’s a right old dog’s dinner.

In all honesty I don’t recognise most of the tracks on here. The album opens with one of his most famous tracks, A State of Independence, which is a collaboration with Vangelis. The orchestral version jars though, versus the more spartan electronic sounds of the original. It’s a similar story throughout, to the final namesake of the album, Change We Must, which has both orchestra and choir, albeit the original was also fairly rich in tone.

Sorry Jon, your optimistic spiritual tunes mostly don’t do it for me. Doubly so when new versions of old tracks.

I hope Stegzy doesn’t mind me breaking with tradition slightly. Here’s an actual promo video for the album, featuring an interview with Jon.

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Can’t Look Away – Trevor Rabin (#243)

CantlookawayCan’t Look Away – Trevor Rabin 

This is former Yes guitarist, Trevor Rabin, and his third studio album.

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Camera Camera – Renaissance (#241)

Camera Camera - RenaissanceCamera Camera – Renaissance

Prog is a funny old thing. Lots of twiddly widdly. Lots of showing off. Long songs. Nice things like that. Punk came along and ruined it; turned music listeners into consumers of sweet saccarine junk with about as much artistic merit as a lump of tar.

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Bursting Out – Jethro Tull (#235)

Bursting Out - Jethro Tull (#233)Bursting Out – Jethro Tull

My first and last time with you yeah? We had some fun. Went scrolling through the blogs yeah and they told you stuff. Oh I want to read some soon, but I wonder how, it was a new day yesterday, but it’s an old day now.

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