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Old 11-25-2016, 12:59 PM   #101 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
Don't forget krautrock btw.
Already have Can in the, er, can... and Organisation ...
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Old 11-25-2016, 02:45 PM   #102 (permalink)
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LOOK what's next!Oh no!!!!
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Old 11-25-2016, 02:47 PM   #103 (permalink)
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If you've been saving some whiskey or wine for a special occasion, I recommend that you crack into it tonight.
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Old 11-25-2016, 02:52 PM   #104 (permalink)
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If you've been saving some whiskey or wine for a special occasion, I recommend that you crack into it tonight.
Unfortunately I don't drink. I do however have this

Wouldn't it just be so much easier??


(Important note: Trollheart is NOT making fun of suicide, which he thinks is a terrible curse and something to be treated with understanding and tact, so please do not get bent out of shape by this post. Thank you.)
(Now go kill yourself)
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Old 11-25-2016, 04:35 PM   #105 (permalink)
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Anybody who makes fun of suicide should kill themselves so they can see what it's like.
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There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:59 AM   #106 (permalink)
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Album title: Trout Mask Replica
Artiste: Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band
Nationality: American
Label: Straight/Reprise
Year: 1969
Grade: B
Landmark value: One of the most important albums in the field of experimental music and art rock (it says here) Trout Mask Replica failed to set the world alight when it was released, completely flopping (like a trout on the riverbank. Sorry) but as is often the case, history has apparently recognised its importance and the mad genius that was Don Van Vliet, and today it is revered as one of the founding albums of out-there music. I would probably have to agree, despite my own feelings about it.
Track Listing: Frownland/ The dust blows forward 'n the dust blows back/ Dachau blues/ Ella Guru/ Hair Pie: Bake 1/ Moonlight on Vermont/ Pachuco cadaver/ Bills corpse/ Sweet sweet bulbs/ Neon meate dream of a octafish/ China pig/ My human gets me blues/ Dali's car/ Hair Pie: Bake 2/ Pena/ Well/ When Big Joan sets up/ Fallin' ditch/ Sugar 'n' spikes/ Ant man bee/ Orange claw hammer/ Wild life/ She's too much for my mirror/ Hobo chang ba/ The blimp (mousetrapreplica)/ Steal softly thru snow/ Old fart at play/ Veterans Day poppy
Comments: Oh boy! I'll try to keep my own negative view of this out of it, but don't blame me if I begin ranting. Anyway, this is the second time I'll have to suffer through this so seconds out, round two! No hitting below the belt, let's have a good clean fight. Place yer bets! And so we're off with a kind of rock song with what sounds to me to be most of the instruments playing independently of each other, very confusing, with Beefheart's growl over the whole thing. Next up is what sounds like some sort of folk song sung acapella, while “Dachau blues” is I guess basically a Delta blues style song with sharp guitar. I can certainly see where Tom Waits would develop his sound listening to this. Track's not too bad to be fair. “Ella guru” has that hard sharp guitar again, and now it sounds like someone is slowly strangling a violin to death for five minutes. “Moonlight on Vermont” does at least bring some music back into the frame, and we're at the end of side one.

Death seems to haunt the first two tracks, with “Pachucho cadaver” kicking things off with a rather catchy rhythm, not a bad song to be fair. Could do without the squeaky horn, but that's just me. Continuing on the same theme them we get “Bills corpse” (it's spelled without the apostrophe, so, you know...) which is a short, manic track leading into “Sweet sweet bulbs” which is a nice boppy blues style tune. You know, it's odd, but listening to this I've realised just how much Waits ripped off Beefheart's style. I used to think he was unique, but from the time he started emulating the Captain (around the time of Heartattack and Vine, certainly in full flight by Swordfishtrombones, which even shows Beefheart's penchant for running words together) he really just became a copy of him. Sobering thought. Back to the album though.

I have absolutely no idea what “Neon meate dream of a octafish” is meant to be, but what else is new? At best I guess it's an exercise in expressionism or art gone mad. “China pig” has that Delta blues stripped-down feel, “My human gets me blues” is a rocky madcap tune, and one minute of hard banging guitar ends side two, bringing us into “Hair Pie: Bake 2” which is at least a whole lot more tuneful than “Hair Pie: Bake 1” on the first side. “Pena” is mostly speech, particularly manic speech near the end, sounds female, but may not be. “Well” is another short track, just over two minutes with an acapella rendering of what sounds like a folk song, then “When Big Joan sets up” is the longest song on the album at just over five minutes, another madcap rocker. I've nothing to say about “Fallin' ditch”, but “Sugar 'n spikes” hops along nicely, and “Ant man bee” takes us three-quarters of the way through the album.

Another acapella folk song-thing to open side four with “Orange claw hammer”, “Wild life” brings back the guitar (Jesus! Even Waits's guitar player sounds like this!) as does “She's too much for my mirror” and well, it ran into the next track without me noticing. Now he's shouting about “The blimp!” (which I find really annoying) before we get to “Steal softly though snow” which kind of continues the ideas explored in “Wild life” and “She's too much for my mirror” as we head towards the end of the album. “Old fart at play” is mostly spoken against a jangly guitar which is pretty good to be honest, and we end on another long track, four and a half minutes of a bluesy “Veterans Day poppy”. Well, kind of bluesy. In parts. Hey, it's Beefheart! Leave me alone!
Favourite track(s): Dachau blues, Moonlight on Vermont, Sweet sweet bulbs
Least favourite track(s): Pretty much everything else
Overall impression: Second time in, not as bad as I remembered, but still not an album I would listen to for pleasure, nor one I expect ever to listen to again. Not, to be fair, what I would consider in any way part of the progressive rock movement; certainly I can see his influence on art rock, experimental music and avant-garde, but prog? Don't see it. Might as well call Tom Waits a progressive rock icon. Nevertheless, given that so many musicians in all fields cite this album, and the place it occupies in rock history, it has to get the top Legacy rating, even if my own is a lot more modest and represents my personal view of the album.
Personal Rating:
Legacy Rating:
Final Rating:
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Old 11-27-2016, 12:10 PM   #107 (permalink)
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3/5? Holy ****! That's a 2 star jump on the second listen.

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Old 11-27-2016, 12:50 PM   #108 (permalink)
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3/5? Holy ****! That's a 2 star jump on the second listen.

That's the best you're going to get out of me. I got the house, the album got the kids. We're done.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:29 AM   #109 (permalink)
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Album title: Yes
Artiste: Yes
Nationality: British
Label: Atlantic
Year: 1969
Grade: A
Previous Experience of this Artiste: Big Generator, Union, 90125, The Ladder, Close to the Edge, Fly From Here, The Keys to Ascension Also the ABWH album, which was essentially Yes under another name.
The Trollheart Factor: 5
Landmark value: It's always a little bit of a gamble, looking at debuts. Many of the first, or in some cases even second, albums from bands who went on to be huge in the prog rock scene are not what you would necessarily think of either iconic or technically prog. Look at Genesis's first effort, or the debut from The Moody Blues. Look at Rush, or David Bowie. None of these bands produced what could in some cases even be marginally recognised as a prog debut, and yet many of them went on to become prog giants. Such I feel may be the case with Yes's debut, and yet, given the huge impact they had on the prog scene, I feel it only fair to look into this album, if merely to see how much their style had changed by the third album. So in terms of Landmark Value, I would say very little, but given that it was the first the world heard of Yes, perhaps more than they could have expected.
Tracklisting: Beyond and before/ I see you/ Yesterday and Today/ Looking around/ Harold land/ Every little thing/ Sweetness/ Survival
Comments: When bass player Chris Squire was introduced to a young barman near The Marquee club, musical history began to write itself. With drummer Bill Bruford and pianist Tony Kaye joining, the band Yes was formed and they released their debut, self-titled album. It opens on “Beyond and before”, which has already the sort of close-harmony vocals that would become one of the band's staple sounds as well as Jon Anderson's unmistakable high vocal. It's a lot more guitar-driven than the later Wakeman-controlled soundscapes that would characterise albums such as Tales from Topographic Oceans, Close to the Edge and Going for the One, but even here you can hear that this is more than just a simple rock record, and for the year it has some very deep lyrics and clever ideas.

Much jazzier is the cover of The Byrds' “I see you”, quite hippy and psych; reminds me of very early Supertramp, like the kind of thing that would surface on their own debut released the following year. Can't say I really like it, but then I'm no fan of the winged ones. It does however give Yes their first real shot at an extended instrumental jam, something that would become a mainstay of their own compositions and lead, in time, to the accusations of pointless noodling and technical wankery that would dog them, and by association, most of the bigger bands in prog rock as the seventies drew to a close. For now though, it was different and very acceptable, even exciting to hear such sounds.

“Yesterday and Today” is one of only two songs penned by Anderson solo, and is dripping with his spiritual sentimentality, a lovely little soft ballad that perfectly suits his high alto tenor vocal, backed mostly by just acoustic guitar and piano. “Looking around” gets things moving again, and this time Kaye has a chance to really make an impact on the keys, putting in quite the solo; in fact, in places he pretty much takes over the song. This influence carries on into “Harold Land”, where the song is introduced by a powerful keyboard solo, and it's quite a dark song, decrying the futility of war and the cheapness of human life, something fairly new in music at the time. The rhythm and pacing are almost incongruously light and breezy, with some really nice guitar touches from Peter Banks and another extended solo from Kaye.

Another cover is up next, this time it's The Beatles' “Every little thing”, which rocks along at speed, the guys even throwing in the guitar riff from “Day tripper” for good measure. Clever, but I'm not a Beatles fan either (yes, I know Abbey Road is up next!) and the song does little for me, nor I believe did it do anything for the credentials of the band who would grow up to be godfathers of the prog rock movement. “Sweetness”, on the other hand, is just beautiful, another gentle ballad and the first song written for the album between Squire and Anderson. While it kind of has hippy Beatles overtones it's something you could see being absorbed into what would become the core Yes sound. “Survival” then is the longest song on the album, and the closest I suppose you could come to a mini-suite, with its instrumental intro that fades away and leaves a soft acoustic guitar before Anderson's equally soft vocal joins the tune. This is the other song he composed solo, and it's certainly been worth waiting for, a very fitting closer.
Favourite track(s): Yesterday and today, Harold Land, Sweetness, Survival
Least favourite track(s): Every little thing
Overall impression: To be honest, though it's nowhere near a prog masterpiece or even a totally recognisable prog album, this has more pointers to the direction Yes would take than I had expected. Definite markers showing how they would blossom and grow, develop and evolve into one of the biggest and most popular bands in the prog rock scene.
Personal Rating:
Legacy Rating:
Final Rating:
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Old 12-04-2016, 03:03 PM   #110 (permalink)
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Okay, let's take a break from all this hard work to have a little fun.

Oh, go on with you! As I mentioned in the intro, although I'm charting the progress of artistes who contributed significantly to what became known as progressive rock, there were those albums out there on the fringes, albums or even artistes who are largely unknown, made little real impact on the scene and whose albums hardly became classics, but who, for one reason or another, resonate with and are linked with this period of time. In general, I guess you could describe them as fun albums. Or, to tie in with what I have now decided will be the title of this section: if you consider that the bigger prog bands were all busily working in the garden, planting, tending, and eventually harvesting crops of amazingly-coloured flowers, tasty vegetables and exotic plants which would all go to make up the landscape of prog rock, these guys were outside smoking cigarettes, sneering perhaps at the hard work going on in the garden while they worked just as hard as the other bands did, but in a vastly different way. They would have been more or less shut out of the main prog rock scene, and muttered and laughed and cursed as they carried on their own unique experiments in sound


I'm going to do these alphabetically, and so the first album up is this

Album title: Brainbox
Artiste: Brainbox
Nationality: Dutch
Label: Imperial
Year: 1969
Grade: n/a
Previous Experience of this Artiste: Zero
The Trollheart Factor: 0
Landmark value: n/a
Tracklisting: Dark rose/ Reasons to believe/ Baby, what you want me to do/ Scarborough Fair/ Summertime/ Sinner's prayer/ Sea of delight
Comments: Perhaps not quite as unanchored to the prog scene as I had at first thought, as Brainbox introduced us to both Jan Akkerman and Pierre van der Linden, who went on to form Focus, of whom much later. But I imagine if you mention the name to any one, even a diehard prog fan, they might have difficulty recalling this band and this album. Possibly. I have to admit, I'm not quite sure now where I got the quote about the warning of psychological damage – I've searched my usual sources and nothing has come up – but I know I read it somewhere. Be that as it may, it's a relatively short album with only seven tracks, though in fairness one of them is seventeen minutes long.

Kicks off with psychedelic flute and drums, man, kind of an eastern/Indian feel I guess then the guitar comes in and it morphs into a sort of blues/rockabilly tune picking up serious speed as it goes. Yeah, it's basically an extended jam, with added flute. And more flute. It's good, it's enjoyable but there's not really a whole lot more I can say about it. Some great guitar from Akkerman, but then, that goes without saying, does it not? Next one's basic blues with a little folk, whereas I've heard comparisons made to the late Rory Gallagher, which I hear in “Baby what you want me to do?” In fact, were I not sure what album I was listening to, I would have sworn that rather than listening to vocalist (and drummer) Kaz Lux I was listening to the lamented bluesman. Nothing faintly prog so far though, barring the flute in the opening track.

Next up is a rather nice rendition of the song made famous by Simon and Garfunkel, “Scarborough Fair”. Unsurprisingly there's a lot of flute in it, though perhaps surprisingly not as much as you might expect. The song goes on for way too long though. Then they take a stab at my number one favourite song of all time ever, the beautiful “Summertime”. Led on a dark organ line, it's actually quite a decent attempt. Blues boogie then as we again almost hear the ghost of Rory (who of course was alive and well in 1969, but you know what I mean) on “Sinner's prayer”, taking us into the closer, and surely the closest this album can be expected to get to prog, the seventeen-minute “Sea of delight”. Hmm. Yeah, basically it's a 17-minute instrumental jam, with the odd smattering of vocals. Oh, and a bloody long-ass drum solo. Not that impressed really. The only possible reason I can see that there may have been that warning about psychological damage if you listened to this was from pure boredom, at least on the last track.

Favourite track(s): Baby, what you want me to do, Summertime, Scarborough Fair, Sinner's prayer
Least favourite track(s): Dark rose, Sea of delight
Overall impression: I have to admit it was a little all over the place – blues, psych, folk, even the odd showtune in there, and jams too – but in general I found it a little boring. Nothing I could say would add to the growing prog rock movement, despite that closer. Fringe, definitely, for me. Also an early and unwanted example of technical wankery, the kind of thing ELP would go on to flog to death over the next ten years or so.
Personal Rating:
(No Legacy rating as these albums are not taken as being all that important to or involved in the whole evolution of prog rock, so it's just purely what I thought of them as standalone albums)
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