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View Poll Results: Which album do you think should be homework assignment for next week?
Dün - Eros (1981) 2 28.57%
It Bites - The Tall Ships (2008) 1 14.29%
Mike Oldfield - Amarok (1990) 1 14.29%
Passport - Cross Collateral (1975) 3 42.86%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-28-2011, 05:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
Juicious Maximus III
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Default This Week's PFAC Homework Poll

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 View Post
Dün - Eros

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 Anteater View Post
It Bites - The Tall Ships (2008)

I'll begin by saying this is undoubtedly the best progressive rock/pop-rock crossover album I've had the pleasure of getting my grubby paws on in recent years, driven by punchy arrangements, vocal harmonies up the wazoo and some good ol' fashioned guitar virtuosity to keep things from completely sinking into more commercial territory...all whilst remaining catchier and more enjoyable to listen to than anything that's been on radio for over a decade.

A bit of backround though - It Bites were originally one of those quirky anomalies of the mid 80's, blending 70's Genesis-like grandeur and instrumental virtuosity with pop trends from the era, yet ultimately synthesized these disparate elements far more effectively than most of their neo-prog. peers..including Marillion! They had their 15 minute of fame in 1984 with a little hit from their debut, 'Calling All The Heroes', but even that song was undoubtedly the proggiest thing to hit #1 airways since the mid 70's...a feat you don't see too often.

Anyway, this album came out two years ago after the band reformed in 2008 (after a 19 year hiatus!) with a new lead guitarist and vocalist (John Mitchell, who sang with experimental neo-proggers Frost* and played guitar with Arena).

The Tall Ships may surprise you at first with its deceptively mainstream leanings in places, but give it time -- there's a lot more to these songs than meets the ear.

Originally Posted by Anteater View Post
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 Lisnaholic View Post
Cross Collateral by Passport (1975)

Back in 1970, the accomplished German sax/keyboard player Klaus Doldinger wanted to combine his jazz playing with the rhythms of rock so he put together his jazz fusion band, Passport. Although there were line-up changes along the way, right through the `70s and into the early `80s, Passport were pumping out albums at a rate of one a year, so this album, Cross Collateral, comes in the middle of a sustained creative streak. It is one of their best-regarded albums, and although KD is credited as composer for the whole album, he is helped out here by synthesizer wizard Kristian Schultze. Together they play some dynamic, sparkling leads while the rest of the band occassionally contribute the kind of riffs that a prog-rock band would die for. On other, more subdued tracks they go for a sound slightly closer to pure jazz.
All in all, this is a very accessible, clean-sounding instrumental album, but just how well KD succeeded in fusing jazz and rock would be for us to decide.
Let the pollage begin!
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