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Old 11-13-2019, 06:16 PM   #171 (permalink)
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Album title: In the Wake of Poseidon
Artist: King Crimson
Nationality: English
Label: Island
Chronology: Third
Grade: A
Previous Experience of this Artist: Two albums to date
The Trollheart Factor: 4
Landmark value: King Crimson’s most successful album, and their second this year. Looks like they just barely avoided hiring one Elton John as their singer when Greg Lake left. How different might pop, and prog music have been if that had happened!
Tracklisting: Peace - A Beginning/ Pictures of a City (including 42nd at Treadmill)/ Cadence and Cascade/ In the Wake of Poseidon (including Libra’s theme)/Peace - A Theme/Cat Food/The Devil’s Triangle (i) Merday Morn (ii) Hand of Sceiron (iii) Garden of Worm/ Peace - An End
Comments: A very short (less than a minute) acapella intro, like a hymn or psalm, opens the album then “Pictures of a City” rocks out with a very jazzy feel in its striding, swaggering horns and the vocal melody sounds like something off the debut, perhaps the title track. Also kind of echoes Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”, released the same year. It’s quite frenetic later, but the quiet bass part in about the sixth minute is cool. Chaotic ending then “Cadence and Cascade” slows everything down nicely with a pastoral little ballad, before the title track comes in on a majestic overture and then runs for nearly eight and a half minutes with a sort of Celtic feel to it. Really nice. Actually, stunning. Superb. And other things beginning with s.

There’s a reprise of “Peace” from the opener, this time as an instrumental, then “Cat Food” was apparently a - successful - single for them from this album, very jazzy with some great piano and foreshadowing the kind of thing Spock’s Beard would be playing two decades later. the longest track, an actual suite, is “The Devil’s Triangle”, an eleven-and-a-half minute instrumental broken into three sections. The first cheekily gives the finger to the estate of Gustav Holst, which refused Fripp permission to use “Mars, the Bringer of War” in his music, so he just rearranged it quite cleverly here. They also use a snippet of the chorus from In the Court of the Crimson King. Totally epic. Ends then on one more reprise of “Peace”.

Favourite track(s): Cadence and Cascade/In the Wake of Poseidon/The Devil’s Triangle
Least favourite track(s): n/a
Overall impression: Superb album, not really any flaws. The shorter tracks are almost negligible slightly lower points, but there’s nothing really on this I don’t like.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:21 PM   #172 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elphenor View Post
even this is a "I know what I like" wtf is with bringing up Syd's fantastic solo album just to rep the mediocre (by Floyd standards) Shine on you Crazy Diamond
That's not it at all. Read the piece. What I said was that without Syd, that song would never have been written (likely) and quite possibly Floyd would have been a different band, if they had got together at all (don't forget Syd was a founder of the band). So I just referenced "Shine On" to illustrate that, and to justify - if it needed justification - the inclusion of an album which, while not in any real way proggy, is by one of the most important godfathers of prog, or at least of the band that could lay claim to that title.

Later on, Islands will not be included, though Radio KAOS et al will be, cos the former is not prog and the latter is. Are. Whatever.
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:19 PM   #173 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post

Later on, Islands will not be included, though Radio KAOS et al will be, cos the former is not prog and the latter is. Are. Whatever.
This confused the **** out of me since I thought you started talking about King Crimson again.
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:27 PM   #174 (permalink)
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Wait he's going to exclude Islands?
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:36 PM   #175 (permalink)
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Not that Islands, he's talking about some ****ty David Gilmour solo project. I think.
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:44 PM   #176 (permalink)
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*puts down gun, leaves bell tower*
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:06 PM   #177 (permalink)
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Not that Islands, he's talking about some ****ty David Gilmour solo project. I think.
Yeah sorry, it's called On an Island. Which, no doubt, he owns. And where that kind of sappy soft-rock/ambient drivel belongs.
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Old 11-14-2019, 02:57 PM   #178 (permalink)
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Album title: Barclay James Harvest
Artist: Barclay James Harvest
Nationality: English
Label: EMI
Chronology: Debut
Grade: B
Previous Experience of this Artist: I’ve heard about two songs, one of which used to close Radio Luxembourg’s broadcast for the night I think
The Trollheart Factor: 1
Landmark value: Not certain; I don’t believe they had any huge lasting effect on prog rock, though I could be wrong and I guess we’ll see. None of the names involved look like they went on to more famous bands either. Two of the founder members, in fact, appear to have died early in this century.
Tracklisting: Taking Some Time On/Mother Dear/The Sun Will Never Shine/When the World Was Woken/Good Love Child/The Iron Maiden/Dark Now My Sky
Comments: Sounds a bit folky or bluegrass when it starts with “Taking Some Time On” then it turns into a fairly uptempo rock song, I believe they once released a song called “Poor Man’s Moody Blues” and that’s definitely the sense I get from them. Very similar, and they also use an orchestra on this album as did the Moodies. You can hear the change from straight-ahead rock to a more orchestral proggy tune in “Mother Dear”, but again it’s Moody Blues V. 2.0 and while I really love the Beatles-infused “The Sun Will Never Shine” the comparison won’t go away. I guess this must have dogged them through their career.

I must admit, nice song though it is, the vocal on “When the World Was Woken” seems totally limp and boring. Great organ work on it though and it has a real cinematic feel, very sweeping and majestic. Total change then with “Good Love Child” which is a simple rock tune, and to be completely fair, not a great one. Very generic, could be any band. I guess at least it doesn’t make them sound like the azure ones, whereas “The Iron Maiden” very much does, a slower, kind of pastoral ballad. The album ends on an epic, the twelve-minute “Dark Now My Sky”, which given the title you’d expect either to be whiny or ominous and threatening, however it starts with slow hollow drumming and speech, kind of as if someone is acting out on stage.

It soon comes to life though on a big orchestral intro (in terms of music anyway) and apart from the pretty ridiculous-sounding start (though it may have some significance: I couldn’t make out the words used or the context in which they were spoken, but it seemed to be like someone in a play) this is easily the best track on the album, but that doesn’t mean the rest isn’t mostly high-quality too. A very impressive debut. If only the Moodies hadn’t got there first.

Favourite track(s): Everything bar Good Love Child
Least favourite track(s): Good Love Child
Overall impression: It’s really sad for BJH that the Moody Blues were around at the same time, recording the same sort of albums and also using orchestras, as these guys then look like they were copying them, which I’m sure they weren’t. But it’s the perception that lasts in the end, and as I said they seem to have accepted this some years later, even writing a song called “Poor Man’s Moody Blues”. Despite all this, they seem to have been quite successful.
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Old 11-15-2019, 01:14 PM   #179 (permalink)
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Somehow I left this very important album out when I wrote up the albums for 1969, so before I proceed let me just get slot it in here.

Album title: Monster Movie
Artist: Can
Nationality: German
Label: Music Factory
Chronology: Debut
Grade: A
Previous Experience of this Artist: Zero
The Trollheart Factor: 0
Landmark value: Can were seen as one of the creators of krautrock, so this being their debut album, I doubt the landmark value could be any higher. Is it true to say that without Can there would have been no krautrock movement?
Tracklisting: Father Cannot Yell/Mary, Mary, So Contrary/Outside My Door/Yoo Doo Right
Comments: Like Soft Machine, these guys apparently used the definite article in front of their band name originally, meaning that for this album they’re THE Can, not Can. Hmm. A pretty stripped-down, sparse sound as “Father Cannot Yell” opens the album with some fine guitar work, a more spoken than sung vocal, reminds me of Byrne’s work on “Once in a Lifetime”. Fast and uptempo, sort of a constant flow to it. Kind of a cross between Hawkwind and Amon Duul II (which isn’t surprising as the latter were also krautrock). Much slower is “Mary, Mary, So Contrary” which takes Waits’s idea of using nursery rhymes in his songs to a new level (yes, they’re doing it first I know) by basically seeming to use the entire rhyme of (anyone?) “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary”. Lovely violin work here, like the slow, clanging guitar, and - hmm. Doesn’t seem to mention violins or cellos anywhere, but this was well before you could make such sounds on a synthesiser so there must be one. Mustn’t there?

Choppy guitar and harmonica drive “Outside My Door”, more a typical rock song with little of the meandering we’ve seen in the opener; guess all of that has been reserved for “Yoo Doo Right”, the closing track, which runs for over twenty minutes. Pretty cool, almost tribal opening, kind of laid-back, melding in some eastern influences maybe, and also some blues. Halfway through it becomes all but acapella, with an almost rap against nothing but tapping drums before the bass comes in and then the guitar and more percussion. Bit of an extended jam for the last five minutes or so, puts me vaguely in mind of that Sleep album, but a lot better and more coherent.

Favourite track(s): Pretty much everything really
Least favourite track(s): n/a
Overall impression: Probably the best krautrock album I’ve listened to yet, though admittedly I haven’t heard much from that style. Look forward to hearing more. I can see how some bands, listening to this in 1969, sat up and took notice, and a whole new sub-genre would be born. Monster indeed.
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Old 11-15-2019, 01:40 PM   #180 (permalink)
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The violin sound on Mary, Mary comes from a guitar.
Glad you dug the album btw, it's one of my all time faves.
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