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Old 01-08-2021, 06:52 PM   #191 (permalink)
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Album title: Burnt Weeny Sandwich
Artist: The Mothers of Invention
Nationality: American
Label: Bizarre/Reprise
Chronology: Sixth Mothers album
Grade: C
Landmark value:
Tracklisting: WPLJ/ Igor’s Boogie, Phase One/Overture to a Holiday in Berlin/Theme from Burnt Weeny Sandwich/Igor’s Boogie, Phase Two/Holiday in Berlin, Full Blown/Aybe Sea/Little House I Used to Live in/Valarie
Comments: Kind of a mix of country and doo-wop here, which takes me by surprise, sense of gospel in it too and quite palatable surprisingly, though it is a cover so that might explain it, then “Igor’s Boogie, Phase One” is a mere forty seconds of, well, nothing, nonsense really, knd of a carnival organ then “Overture to a Holiday in Berlin” is another short one, an instrumental on it sounds like harpsichord, not bad really, and on to the theme which is a good vehicle for the guitar talents of Zappa, something that tends to get hidden under all the messing about and sound effects as far as I can see. Nice piano too. Another instrumental. Then another thirty seconds of sillness for “Igor’s Boogie, Phase Two” and then into “Holiday in Berlin, Full Blown”, which is like something out of a Neil Simon movie. Nice piano and some cool sax.

“Aybe Sea” (geddit?) closes out the first side of the album with a nice piano and again what sounds very like a harpsichord tune, and side two has just the two tracks, the first also being by far the longest. “Little House I Used to Live in” runs for over eighteen minutes and by gum it’s good! Another instrumental - says it’s live but I don’t hear it - displaying some amazing talent on the piano, guitar, horns, organ and other instruments from the band. Ending then on another cover (began on one, end on one: nice) which is “Valarie”, a nice little soul ballad.

Favourite track(s): WPLJ, Theme from Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Holiday in Berlin, Full Blown, Aybe Sea, Little House I Used to Live in
Least favourite track(s): Oddly enough, nothing really.
Overall impression: A whole hell of a lot better than I had expected. Can I use the N-word here? I can? Well then, here goes (deep breath): it was…. Normal! Very impressed I must say.
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Old 01-13-2021, 03:25 PM   #192 (permalink)
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Album title: If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You
Artist: Caravan
Nationality: English
Label: Decca
Chronology: Second
Grade: A
Previous Experience of this Artist: Zero
The Trollheart Factor: 0
Landmark value: Unsure
Tracklisting: If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You/ And I Wish I Were Stoned/Don’t Worry/ As I Feel I Die/With an Ear to the Ground (You Can Make It/Martinian/Only Cox/Reprise)/Hello Hello/Asforteri 25/Can’t Be Long Now (Francoise/For Richard/Warlock)/Limits
Comments: Another stalwart of the Canterbury Scene, Caravan kick off their interestingly-titled second album with the interesting title track, although it’s far from interesting, quite boring indeed, a sort of blues boogie which seems to ask the question “Who do you think you are?” mostly. “And I Wish I Were Stoned” is better, nice gentle sort of song that reminds me of the Supertramp album reviewed earlier, and “As I Feel I Die” is another soft little thing, driven on gentle organ with a restrained vocal but then it kicks up and gets a bit of life injected into it. Think I preferred it as it was to be honest. Good organ solo though. One of two multi-part suites, “With an Ear to the Ground” is nice, but the problem I’m seeing with Caravan is that it’s all a little, what, bland? There’s nothing that really stands out to me here. Also the sound dips so that it’s sometimes hard to hear what’s being sung or played.

“Hello Hello” has a little more life, but I’m finding it hard to keep my interest in this album; honestly, if, as I read, this was the single, it surely can’t have inspired many to buy the album. It’s just so drab. “Asforteri 25” is a short little instrumental, then the other suite is a proper one, over fourteen minutes and broken into three parts. “Can’t Be Long Now” opens with a soft (yeah again) gentle reflective passage, again barely-audible vocals, then in I what I assume is the second part of the suite it blasts up on warbly organ and gets going, and is decent up to the end, then the final track is a short flute-driven instrumental.

Favourite track(s): And I Wish I Were Stoned
Least favourite track(s): everything else really
Overall impression: Meh. I just don’t get it. I found this quite boring, bland and uninteresting, and have already forgotten any of the melodies. Most of the time it was cut too low for me to hear much. I believe their next album is considered their best, so I’ll hope for a major improvement, but at the moment I sure don’t think much of Caravan.
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Old 01-13-2021, 06:31 PM   #193 (permalink)
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Album title: Atom Heart Mother
Artist: Pink Floyd
Nationality: English
Label: EMI
Chronology: Fifth
Grade: A
Landmark value: Pretty huge. The first “proper” album to feature what would be the classic lineup, indeed, the only lineup of the band after Barrett, the third album being a soundtrack and the fourth that mixed solo/live thing they called Ummagumma, this was probably the first time Floyd could show people what they were made of, how different their music without Syd could be, and indeed it took them to their first number one, at least in the UK. It was also, as mentioned in the album list earlier, their first collaboration with Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis, a relationship that would continue through almost all of their albums.
Tracklisting: Atom Heart Mother (Father Shout/Breast Milky/Mother Fore/Funky Dung/Mind Your Throats Please/Remergence)/If/Summer ‘68/Fat Old Sun/Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast (Rise and Shine/Sunny Side Up/Morning Glory)
Comments: Opening with a 23-minute suite might be ambitious, but this is Pink Floyd we’re talking about, and despite the success and acclaim they later achieved, they never seemed to be a band who went in search of hit singles, so they would have been playing to their growing fanbase here. Still, an interesting choice to use an orchestra, especially as somewhat rival band Yes had done so the same year. But who got their album out first? Okay, Jon and the boys did. Not saying this was copied by any means, but an interesting coincidence. Nice organ and keyboard work from Rick Wright - is all this going to be instrumental? No, I have never heard this album before. Sue me. The average settlement is ten thousand dollars...

Gilmour showing off his chops now, glad no doubt to be firmly established with the band, being basically the “new guy” for the last few years I would guess. Winning plenty of fans with those solos surely. I like the choir here - maybe foreshadowing Clare Torrey’s turn on “The Great Gig in the Sky” some three years later. It also presages “Echoes” on Meddle the year after this. It’s an interesting piece, but I question whether it would have sufficiently held a newcomer’s attention through so long a period. Still, given this was the birth of prog, and with that the super-epic track, maybe.

After that incredibly long piece - surely Floyd’s longest ever? I’d have to check but I would think so - “If” is a mere four minutes and change, nice little acoustic ballad which features Roger Waters singing. Okay not acoustic, there is organ and electric guitar in it, but certainly starts that way and maintains the feel of an acoustic song. “Summer ‘68” is Wright’s contribution, and features, not surprisingly, a piano melody, though at least while it starts out as another ballad it breaks out halfway and has some life, including a nice slice of brass. Gilmour’s song is in fact the one which lasted the test of time, and most Floyd fans will know “Fat Old Sun”, one of the first solo songs he wrote for the band. Another folky kind of basically acoustic number before it later takes flight on Gilmour’s electric guitar, it does stand head and shoulders above the rest, though even at that it’s still not what you’d call something to get really excited about.

And one more epic to close. The weird “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast” runs this time only (!) for thirteen minutes, effects-laden with muttering I guess narration - couldn’t call it singing as there is no music and no tune - then the music starts and it’s piano-driven, kind of classical sound till the guitar joins in. There’s a lot of stopping the music, bringing in sotto voce talking, some effects, and to be perfectly honest, for me, it would have worked better without them, as the music is pretty fine on its own. I guess in some ways we’re hearing a very nascent version of the kind of speech/dialogue that would surface on Dark Side of the Moon, but whereas on that album it works perfectly, here it just doesn’t.

Favourite track(s): Summer ‘68, Fat Old Sun, Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast (sans the effects and speech)
Least favourite track(s):
Overall impression: I’m not sure whether you could say the ghost of Syd Barrett had yet to be exorcised, or whether it’s fairer to say the band were still finding their feet, with or without him, but the suite aside, this sounds something like a small step, if at all, from the first two albums, not a huge shift in musical direction. In many ways, it could almost be considered a folk rock album, certainly the second side anyway. Meddle would push the envelope a little more, but really we’re looking at 1973 before what would become known as the signature Floyd sound would be born. Right now, seems to me the Atom Heart Mother is still in labour. A while to go yet before she gives birth to a rock legend.
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Old 01-13-2021, 06:39 PM   #194 (permalink)
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Right, so next we move on to… hey! Where are you all going? Come back! Sigh. Well allright, I guess we’ve earned a break. Wait for me! Hold up there! You don’t know what you might encounter out there when you jump

And in fact what we find is the very first prog rock band from South America, Argentina in fact. Oddly enough, given that they seem to have been regarded as “the Argentinian Beatles” (but what influential band has not been guilty of that comparison, often without merit?) they don’t show up at all on Prog Archives, and what little information I can get on them I have to take from Wiki. Basically they seem to have followed somewhat the pattern of Genesis in the beginning: taken under the wing of a patron, in this case Ricardo Kleiman, an impresario who had his own radio show, and who, like Jonathan King with Genesis, insisted on orchestral arrangements on their first works.

Signed to RCa - surely a big deal for a new band - they released two albums before splitting, the second being a double. For whatever reason Wiki only has them down for the second, so perhaps the debut wasn’t considered prog, I don’t know, but this anyway is the one we have to deal with. Sources say Almendra changed the course of Argentinian rock, but not being at all versed in that I couldn’t say. How progressive were they? Let’s see what we can find out about that.

Album title: Almendra II
Artist: Almendra
Nationality: Argentinian
Label: RCA
Chronology: Second
Previous Experience of this Artist: None
The Trollheart Factor: 0
Tracklisting: Toma El Tren Hacia El Sur/Jingle/No Tengo Idea/Camino Dificil/Rutas Argentinas/Vete de Mi, Cuervo Negro/Air de Amor/Mestizo/Agnus Dei/Para Ir/Parvas/Cometa Azul/Florecen Los Nardos/Carmen/Obertura/Amor de Aire/Verde Lano/Leves Instruccuiones/Los Elefantes/Un Pajaro de Sosteine/En Las Cupalas
Comments: You can detect the Latin influence right away, though it sounds like fairly basic rock to me at the moment, especially “No Tengo Idea” but “Camino Dificil” is nice, an acoustic ballad which showcases not only the singer’s powerful voice but also the vocal harmonies of the rest of the band. Who are, as it happens, Luis Alberto Spineta on vocals, guitar and piano, Edelmino Molinari on vocals, guitar and organ, Emilio del Geurcio on bass and Rodolfo Garcia on drums. “Rutas Argentinas” takes us back to a three-chord boogie blues style, and I guess the first real prog-possible song would then be “Agnus Dei” which runs for just over fourteen minutes.

It’s kind of coming across more as psychedelic to me though, some good instrumentation in it certainly - is it all instrumental? I think so. Certainly the last ten minutes or so is. Nice bit of slide guitar and acoustic then on the ballad “Para Ir”, slows things down and “Parvas” keeps it fairly reflective, though with some nice guitar work from Spineta then “Cometa Azul” is a faster rocker but I couldn’t call it prog by any stretch. Yeah, as this goes on I can’t deny they’re a very accomplished band, but there’s nary a shred of prog in here that I can see. Not sure why they were included, but that’s what happens when you scale the wall and go out into the street looking for trouble. Sometimes you find it.

Favourite track(s): Camino Dificil, Para Ir
Least favourite track(s):
Overall impression: Decent rock album, but the Argentinian Beatles? Don’t see it. I suppose though in fairness you’d need to be familiar with the state of Argentinian rock to know whether or not this upended everything, Wiki says it did, so I have to take their word or I’ll be sacrificed to the God of Citing References. Still, not prog in any way, shape or form, not that I can see. Good album though.
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Old 02-06-2021, 10:10 AM   #195 (permalink)
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Album title: Earwax
Artist: Association
Nationality: Dutch
Label: Munich Records
Chronology: Debut
Previous Experience of this Artist: None
Tracklisting: Spider/Hit the P. Tit/Elsen/Earwax/Round A’bout Nine/Jazzper
Comments: Okay so this is the band I mentioned who were touted as being “about 80% electronics” which is quite impressive in 1970, when electronic music could be said to be in its infancy really. I also see my two other least-favoured words, jazz and preceded by free, so this may be a bad step for me, but let’s see. Terrible name for an album, but there you go: those crazy Dutchmen eh? Well right off it sounds a lot more prog that the Argentinian lads did, for a start. Nice rhythm to it and Toto Blanke on the guitar certainly knows what he’s about. Some pretty fine drumming here too from Pierre Courbois, a good start to the album and now we’re onto the longest track. At eleven minutes and change the oddly named “Hit the P. Tit” has a much more freeform, avant-garde feel and immediately I like it less, but that’s just me. Can really hear the jazz now, plus there are a lot of effects, which, given they have no synthesiser or anything, are made with the likes of the drums and the guitar, and quite impressive if not my thing.

“Elsen” is a short little thing, just over a minute, quite nice, then the title track is another jazz jam; I mean it’s nice but about as far removed from prog as maybe Coltrane is. Sweet drum solo. “Round A’bout Nine” has some interesting work on the guitar strings going, a lot of plucking and so forth, nice bass line, interesting effects. “Jazper” is a nice sort of relaxing mostly piano-driven piece with those brushed drums(?). All quite palatable and all not in the same building, never mind room, as prog. Definitely outside the garden, over the wall, across the street, down at the corner and turn right and then just keep going.


Favourite track(s): Spider, Elsen, Jazzper
Least favourite track(s):
Overall impression: If you’re a jazz fan I reckon you’ll love this. If you’re a prog head, but not into jazz, there’s little or nothing here for you. I don’t quite get the “80% electronics” quote: there are some very clever effects, but I’d say it’s 90% jazz more than anything else.
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Old 02-06-2021, 10:39 AM   #196 (permalink)
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Album title: Cressida
Artist: Cressida
Nationality: English
Label: Vertigo
Chronology: Debut
Previous Experience of this Artist: None
Tracklisting: To Play Your Little Games/Winter is Coming Again/Time for Bed/Cressida/Home and Where I Long to Be/Depression/One of a Group/Lights in My Mind/The Only Earthman in Town/Spring ‘69/Down Down/Tomorrow is a Whole New Day
Comments: A band who flourished - well, existed - on the very fringes of the birth of prog, Cressida were both formed and disbanded by the time the bands we think of as leading the prog rock revolution were beginning to make it. Just the two albums, their second released in 1971, just as the world began to get used to the idea of prog. Sad really.

Now this is what you call prog! Plenty of wibbly, warbly keyboards from Peter Jennings, catchy tunes and a great vocal from Angus Cullen, good use of organ. “To Play Your Little Games” kicks things off nicely, fine vocal harmonies here. “Winter is Coming Again” is more restrained, with liberal Hammond, definitely get a feeling of the Moody Blues here. “Time for Bed” is a rockier, almost jazzy number with a Latin-ish slant, while both the title track and “Home and Where I Long to be” have more than a hint of funk in the guitar. It’s a fugue that opens “Depression”, which, despite its title, is not a ballad or even a slow, morose song, but rather an uptempo rocker with more of that Latin flavour. Really nice piano on “One of a Group”, and while the songs are all pretty good there’s nothing standing out here that shows me these guys were destined to last. Which of course they didn’t.

“Spring ‘69" sounds no more like a song about spring - acoustic, dark, reflective; I mean really nice, but the title might be a bit confusing perhaps. I think the main problem with this band is that while the album started off strongly, it quickly became mostly quite bland and I got bored fairly soon into it, losing all interest. It’s possible further listens would be rewarded, but we have over thirty years to go and I just don’t have the time, so first impressions have to last, and on first impression, here, for me, not good enough. Sorry.



Favourite track(s): To Play Your Little Games, Winter is Coming Again, Spring ‘69
Least favourite track(s):
Overall impression: I guess it was a brutal world out there in the, if you will, world creation period of prog rock, and like many metal bands in the NWOBHM, some just got swept aside. Some may have deserved to be, some may not, and I’m not entirely certain where Cressida belong. They sure had talent, but without question there’s something missing from their music. If they’d figured out what that was, maybe they’d be up there with the greats. Or not.
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Old 02-06-2021, 10:43 AM   #197 (permalink)
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Let’s take one more before we head back into the garden and get back to work. This one will be interesting.

Album title: Output
Artist: Wolfgang Dauner
Nationality: German
Label: ECM Records
Chronology: Second solo, fourth overall
Tracklisting: Mudations/Output/Bruch/Nothing to Declare/Abraxas/Brazing the High Sky Full
Comments: I feel this will be a waste of time, prog-wise. It’s shown as experimental/free jazz, and what that has to do with prog is beyond me, but it’s on Wiki’s history so we’ll give it a go. I assumed the opening track was called “Mutations”, but no, it’s a “d” all right. I do like it though. Very minimalist, very ambient with some nice piano and perhaps guitar? Hard to say but I already like this more than the entire Cressida album. The title track, though, is more what you might expect - sort of abrasive, a little freeform, and, well, just all over the place really. All I hate about free jazz and avant-garde. Sadly this is nearly eight minutes long.

“Bruch” takes its time to get going but when it does it provides more of the same, making this album pretty tough for me to get through if the truth be known. “Nothing to Declare” may finish me as it’s over fourteen minutes long. Still, at least there’s much more of a coherent melody to this; still very jazzy and the horns are annoyingly blaring and aggressive, but better than the last two for sure. “Abraxas” has somehow a kind of Indian feel - sort of the way the sax is played I guess - and does at least slow down the rather manic pace for a few minutes, then it’s back to the kind of stuttering nonsense - sound effects, buzzing, drum hits, no real music - for the closer, with the strange title of “Brazing the High Sky Full”. Er, yeah.

Favourite track(s): Mudations, Abraxas
Least favourite track(s): Everything else
Overall impression: I have no idea what this album is supposed to have done to have been included in a list of records that are said to have contributed to prog rock. It makes no sense to me. It’s nothing like prog, not even space rock or psych. Pure free jazz and experimental, like the man said. But I guess that’s the problem when you head out of the garden: you never know what strange alleyways you may wander down, how many abandoned, boarded-up buildings you might be tempted to enter, how dangerous it can be. Here: take my hand. No, it’s not gay! Oh have it your way then. Just follow me and I’ll lead you back to safety, back to where true prog lives. Watch your feet now. Just a little further...
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Old 03-10-2021, 09:45 AM   #198 (permalink)
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Album title: Trespass
Artist: Genesis
Nationality: English
Label: Charisma
Chronology: 2
Grade: A
Previous Experience of this Artist: 100%; my all-time favourite band
The Trollheart Factor: 10
Landmark value: As the first album (proper) from the band who would become the godfathers of prog, its landmark value cannot be overstated.
Tracklisting: Looking for Someone/White Mountain/Visions of Angels/Stagnation/Dusk/The Knife
Comments: An album I could review without even listening to it. And so I will. I’ve said before that it’s interesting - perhaps coincidental, perhaps intentional - that the first sound we hear is the voice of the man who would become, up until his departure in 1975, the one most associated with the band, as Peter Gabriel’s dulcet tones ring out. But “Looking for Someone” is no ballad and it rocks pretty hard, Tony Banks making his presence felt with heavy Hammond organ and other keys, then “White Mountain” would be, to an extent, built on and developed by Rush a few years later. Possibly (though I couldn’t say for sure) the first prog song written from a non-human perspective, it takes as its subject a power struggle between wolves, and features a dark, doomy section in the middle which sort of has Grieg overtones in a way. “Visions of Angels” is the ballad, but here Gabriel does what few other singers had done before - probably learned from, copied from or given the idea by the vocal stylings of Peter Hammill - and makes what should be almost a love song bitter and full of recrimination. I’ve remarked in a fuller review of the album that Gabriel takes something of a chance here too, claiming God has abandoned his people. Nothing now, of course, but surely controversial in the button-down 1970s.

“Stagnation” follows the rather weird tale of a man living alone underground, and features some very frenetic keyboard and hard guitar, leading to something of a crescendo where everything stops and Gabriel speaks, rather than sings, the word “Wait” before taking the next part of the song gently along. It also allows him to display his considerable vocal range, at one point his vocal almost warping in a precursor perhaps to his performance on the later “Colony of Slippermen”. It ends on a pretty powerful fanfare-like chant, and then “Dusk” is sung almost sotto voce, another ballad with some lovely classical guitar and leading into the perhaps unexpectedly rocky and anarchic “The Knife”, where a revolutionary plots to overthrow the government, heedless to how many lives it may cost. From opening gently and quietly the album comes to a roaring, rousing finish, stating in no uncertain terms that Genesis have arrived.

Favourite track(s): Everything
Least favourite track(s): Nothing
Overall impression: Quickly became one of my favourite Genesis albums, and always will be. Amazing to see how in one short year the band have developed and grown out of the almost folky, gentle tones of their debut to stamp their identity on the burgeoning progressive rock movement, and ensure that they would not be just along for the ride, but would help direct its course.
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Old 03-10-2021, 09:49 AM   #199 (permalink)
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Album title: Chunga’s Revenge
Artist: Frank Zappa
Nationality: American
Label: Bizarre/Reprise
Chronology: Third
Grade: C
Landmark value:
Tracklisting: Transylvania Boogie/Road Ladies/Twenty Small Cigars/The Nancy and Mary Music/Tell Me You Love Me/Would You Go All the Way/Chunga’s Revenge/ The Clap/Rudy Wants to Buy Yez a Drink/Sharleena
Comments: And from the sublime to the…? Well, perhaps, but the last Zappa album was not half as bad as I had expected, so who knows? Maybe this one won’t rip out my guts and wear them for a headband. Here’s hoping. We have an instrumental to kick us off, and while it’s not great it’s not terrible. Actually I take that back. It’s pretty decent, a very enjoyable boogie, then “Road Ladies” is the first vocal track (hold on to your headbands!) with some really crazy organ, the usual sound effects going on, then it seems to develop into (gasp!) a straight forward slow blues tune. Nice.

The second instrumental, “Twenty Small Cigars” has a nice breezy, lazy feeling to it, sort of soft jazzy piano driving it, while the longest track at nine minutes plus, “The Nancy & Mary Music” is pretty free jazz all right, even including a drum solo. Yeah. Turns fairly bluesy after the second minute though. Oh, my mistake: two drum solos! Is this live? It sounds like either it is, or they’re trying to make it sound like it is. Okay yeah, it says it is, from one of the Road Tapes apparently. It’s a jam basically. I like jam on my bread but not necessarily in my music. Much of the rest seems to be your basic blues, with “Would You Go All the Way” retaining a kind of gospel/soul feel with some very warbly organ and ensemble vocals.

Two more instrumentals then, the title track a kind of psych workout with jazz overtones in the horns used, while the much shorter “The Clap” seems to focus mostly on drums and silly sounds, then it’s back to the thirties for “Rudy Wants To Buy Yez a Drink”, which again is pretty silly, and the album ends on “Sharleena”, a sort of soul/doo-wop ballad.

Favourite track(s): Transylvania Boogie/Twenty Small Cigars
Least favourite track(s):
Overall impression: ‘s all right but I don’t see what it has to do with prog rock. Very much a blues/psych thing with some jazz thrown in. At least it didn’t make my ears bleed, always something to be grateful for.
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Old 03-10-2021, 09:55 AM   #200 (permalink)
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Album title: Air Conditioning
Artist: Curved Air
Nationality: English
Label: Warner Bros
Chronology: Debut
Grade: A
Previous Experience of this Artist: Zero
The Trollheart Factor: 0
Landmark value: Seem to be one of the first prog bands to combine prog, classical, folk and electronic music. Also the first band anywhere to ever issue a picture disc, not that that’s particularly relevant of course.
Tracklisting: It Happened Today/Stretch/Screw/Blind Man/Vivaldi/Hide and Seek/Propositions/Rob One/Situations/Vivaldi (With Cannons)
Comments: I’m certainly intrigued right away by the title of the closing track! I once went to a classical concert where the finale was Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” and they used a real cannon (well obviously not a real cannon, but it sounded and smoked like one - I don’t think anyone caught a cannonball in the head or anything) and I understood that. But Vivaldi? With cannons? I’ll be interested to see how that works out. Before that though we have a whole album to get through, so let’s kick things off, shall we?

Oddly enough - maybe because at the time of writing I had just watched a concert by them - the first thing I think of is Fleetwood Mac. That could be down too to the wailing guitar and the vocals of Sonja Kristina. The opener is a good uptempo song, though at this point I wouldn’t be ready to call it prog of any shape. Breaks into a really nice strings section about halfway, which changes the whole structure of the song. I must admit I don’t particularly like Kristina’s voice; it’s very warbly and sort of shivery, kind of gypsy-like? Hard to convey how it sounds to me, but at this moment it’s not for me. “Stretch” has a great violin intro from Darryl Way then hops into a three-chord boogie Status Quo would be proud of. “Screw” is a slow, lazy number which reminds me of summer and is the first time I really hear the keys of Francis Monkman; it’s also now the closest thing to a song that could be called prog on this album.

There’s a nice kind of staggered approach to “Blind Man”, and I much prefer Kristina’s more restrained vocal here. Well hell that’s interesting. “Vivaldi” is the same piece that Monkman (presumably) would bring to SKY ten years and more later, which would feature on their second album SKY 2. Despite being written by Darryl Way (and quite rightly credited to him on the SKY album) it would be Monkman who would suggest it and it would appear in a much shortened version near the end of the album. It’s pretty epic and really shows Way’s expertise on the violin. “Hide and Seek” is a bit of a grungy rocker, Kristina back to that wailing vocal, not really all that fond of it. “Propositions” is basically a jam, and then “Rob One” rides on a nice sedate piano line from Monkman with attendant violin from Way, and “Situations” is a very low-key folky tune, while that “Vivaldi (With Cannons)” is, well, the track already featured but with what sounds like slide-whistles? Damn weird and I don’t see why they had to do this. Ends the album very oddly. Kind of takes away from the original track too. Boo.

Favourite track(s): It Happened Today (instrumental section only), Stretch, Blind Man, Vivaldi, Rob One
Least favourite track(s): Vivaldi (With Cannons)
Overall impression: Not at all bad, though still pretty much in the folk side of things I would think.
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