Juicious Maximus III
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Scabb Island
PFAC Homework Album Poll for Next Week!
Every week in the Prog & Fusion Album Club
, we have a homework assignment which is listening to that week's prog or fusion album. So, which one is it gonna be next week?
Here are the contestants!
Originally Posted by James
Eros is a Zeuhl album (Zeuhl is a subgenre of Avant-prog originating from France that describes a blend of Modern Classical, Prog Rock and Jazz), but it's so much more than that. This album had a huge influence on Math-Rock and the best description i've saw of it is, "A blend between Zappa and Mahavishnu Orchestra with Mathy overtones". The Zappa influence is rather obvious, especially in the time signatures which are just crazy. After the powerful opening track the music takes a more atmospheric turn. The titletrack is a personal highlight with the slow build-up of the flute until the breathtaking climax. This album also has some outstanding Xylophone playing, which for me is a very underrated instrument.This album truly leaves me on the edge of my seat, completely and utterly thrilling. This is the best Prog album of the 80's in my mind, nothing can beat it. A lot of Zeuhl you hear(I haven't heard much though) is just boring and does exactly what it says on the tin, but this takes it to a new level. It takes Zeuhl and turns it into something outstanding. So please vote for this album, it's a masterpiece and i'd love some other opinions on it. Plus if you haven't already heard it(Although this club is usually dominated by major Progheads so you probably have) you must, leaves me in awe every time I play it.
Originally Posted by tore
Gong - Gazeuse! (1976)
The core of Gong is, roughly speaking, a Canterbury band that plays psychedelic rock/prog about some guy's search for eastern type enlightment and which also include space travelling tea pots, clever metaphors for taking drugs and a certain kind of english humour .. or something along those lines. However, some side projects have budded off Gong that may not be described by those same things. Some time in the 70s, guitarist Daevid Allen said a wall of force prevented him to go on stage and left the band. Other core members left as well and the drummer Pierre Moerlen gained control of the band. What he did was turn Gong into a jazz fusion band and the debut of this line-up is Gazeuse!, also known as Expresso in America.
Although that might not sound like the best premise for a new album, the result is actually pretty sweet. Besides Moerlen, the album includes famous Canterbury guitarist Allan Holdsworth and early Magma bassist Francis Moze, among others. Something interesting about the album is the amount of percussion instruments dominating the sound, like vibraphone, marimba and glockenspiel. Together, they make for a very melodic album with a distinct sound not quite like anything else I've heard.
After a while, this line-up budded off the Gong band under the name "Pierre Moerlen's Gong", becoming an independent band project alongside the old Gong as Daevid Allen and his cronies were re-united. Thus this album could be regarded as Pierre Moerlen's Gong's debut rather than a Gong album. But anyways, those who are interested in fusion or have heard some of Gong's earlier material, but not this, should definetly check it out. Recommended!
Originally Posted by boo boo
Lizard - King Crimson (1970)
This is the third KC album and the third of the Peter Sinfield era, though I often like to refer to it as the medieval era, for obvious reasons. Like the other records from this era it features a totally unique lineup that doesnt appear on any other record. Here the lineup is Robert Fripp on guitar and mellotron, Gordon Haskell on bass and vocals, Mel Collins on sax and flute, Andy McCulloch on drums and Peter Sinfield providing lyrics and synthesizer effects. It also features some guest musicians including piano virtuoso Keith Tippett, trombonist Nick Evans, cornetist Mark Charig and on the title track Yes vocalist Jon Anderson.
This is without a doubt the weirdest album in the KC discography and I realise that's saying a lot. It has the medieval feel of the first two KC records but it's much jazzier. In fact "medieval jazz rock" is the best way I can describe the entire record.
The medieval imagery on this record though is pure Sinfield era Crimson. Circuses, brothels, troubadours, maidens and epic battles. The music itself is too out there to accurately describe, it is the most unique KC album is all I can say, and certainly one of the most underrated. It's one of the more polarizing albums in their discography as in people either love it or hate it. But I love it and rank it among ITCOTCK, Red and Discipline as their finest work.
Originally Posted by Anteater
Hmn, I've got an interesting suggestion for this week as well, though some might find it a challenge.
Mike Oldfield - Amarok (1990)
Far better than the ever-lauded Tubular Bells
IMO, this 60 minute, 1 track effort from the master of ambient-prog is Oldfield's finest moment. Like previous works, Oldfield is responsible for most of the eclectic instrumentation. Worldbeat atmospherics, stabs at synthwork which wouldn't be too far out of place in a Legend of Zelda game, insanely good guitar and bass and loads of percussion are but a few of the things you'll hear in Amarok
, but such is but a modest overview of how grand this suite is and I couldn't do it justice in 10 paragraphs, much less this one.
But basically, this is top class world-prog. fusion, and one of the 90's Holy Grails of prog. for those interested, so hope a few of you give it a whirl. xD
Originally Posted by tore
Return to Forever - Romantic Warrior (1976)
This is a fusion album and arguably the most popular in the Return to Forever discography, the band led by keyboardist Chick Corea who previously played with Miles Davis. The line-up here is incredible, Chick Corea on keyboards, Al Di Meola on guitar, Stanley Clarke on bass and Lenny White on drums. Unlike a lot of the improv-flavoured fusion out there, this album is incredibly composed with complex arrangements played with amazing skill. The production is also damn near-perfect!
Supposedly, after recording it, they figured this was as good as they could get and so this was the last RTF album with that line-up, similar to why Bill Bruford left Yes after Close to the Edge.
I obviously know this one, but I'd like to get to know it even better. You should as well!
Originally Posted by Anteater
Soft Machine - Fourth (1971)
One of the original Canterbury bands and quite influential in the realm of jazz music in general, the Softs were a prodigious outfit that changed members quite often throughout the 70's, but were most well known in the earliest part of the decade for the talents of bassist Hugh Hopper, organist Mike Ratledge and drummer Robert Wyatt (who occasionally sang, but not often). Fourth was the last of the Softs' albums where this lineup was still intact, as well as being the final album featuring Wyatt. Not going to mince words, but there's a hell of a lot to like here, and it's as great a place as any to start for those who A. Don't know much about these guys or B. If you have even the most rudimentary interest in top class proggy jazz. Recommended!
Let the pollage begin!