I`ve decided to share some of the wacked out trippy vibes that provide my mind with the escape it needs from a world of panic, strife, decay and confusion. So, I extend this invitation and guide to spread the good word. Above all, disregard any notions of commercialism because you will not hear any of these far out sounds on your local commercial trash radio station!
I`ve presented samples, personal overviews and links to some of the freakiest grooves ever etched into vinyl here which transcend into the most loftiest of sonic regions. Some of it is on the endangered list, so strap yourself into the ejection seat and take a trip through the freakbelt!!!! And don't forget to check out my short guide to psyched out sounds for some of my special recomendations that were carefully selected for maximum freakout effect ( remember you asked for it!!) Some of these are not for the faint hearted so approach with caution and remember.....
DO NOT PANIC !!!!!!
I`ve also stuck in a link for progarchives.com so you can read some of my record reviews. Some worthy, some not so worthy.
I also have written a few reviews for Progshere !
I'm going to attempt the impossible here so bear with me :
Progressive Rock Defn'
1. Classical music played with rock instrumentation & volume
2. Rock music with complex harmonies & structure.
3. Overblown , self-indulgent, pretentious, elitist boring music
Progressive rock was a form of music originating in the UK that came into vogue starting in the late sixties lasting until roughly the mid-seventies. It featured ambitious instrumentation and extended compositions that often followed the pardigms of classical forms with serious lyrics inspired by science fiction & fantasy themes as well as literary sources. The Beatles, The Moody Blues and The Nice forshadowed the movement in the late sixties but it wasn't until 1969 with the release of King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King that other rock bands started to surface employing more complex musical structures that drew from classical, jazz and traditional styles. By the late 1970s Progrock had all but run out of steam both creatively and commercially being overrun by disco, punk and harder rocking arena bands.Many progrock bands were labelled as dinosaur bands in the press and were either forced to update their musical directions or fall victim to the times.
Nonetheless other bands have surfaced over the years, picking up where the earlier bands left off while some of the older bands soldiered on through adversity but the genre never regained it's glories of the early seventies.
Although some of the cool bands that appear on this page might fall into the "progrock" category some obviously do not. Some are well, just simply beyond category. I'll let you deal with it ! OK?
This restored live video of Genesis' Watcher Of The Skies from their 1972 album Foxtrot captures the phantasmagoric aura of early 1970s Progressive rock.
Here are two books that might be able to better solve the mystery of progrock. The first one, Rocking The Classics : English Progressive Rock and The Counterculture by Edward Macan ( 1996 ) is a more scholarly work of more interest to musicians while Mountains Come Out Of The Sky : The Illustrated History Of Progrock is a more coffee table type book by rock journalist Will Romano. Go nuts hippies and freaks
.....and for those who need more punishment :
Lucifer's Friend / Lucifer's Friend ( 1970, Germany )
Proto-metal from 1970. A one off from these guys who went in a more jazz-rock direction. Who said Sabbath invented metal ?
Necronomicon /Tips Zum Selbsmord (1973, Germany )
Translated means How To Commit Suicide. This mega-rare heavy psychedelic blowout isn't what it seems. Scary stuff here though. Hippies will even run away from this one.
Mahavishnu Orchestra / The Inner Mounting Flame ( 1972, International )
Segovia's nightmare. Speed of light fusion guitar inferno with impossible time signatures & tempos with everything turned way past eleven.Just watch this video with John McLaughlin in full on rock mode.
Brainticket / Cottonwood Hill ( 1971. Switzerland )
The liner notes say it all for this psychedelic blowout, '' Your friends won't even know you after listening to this.'' Paranoia, dementia and everything else that could possibly be experienced during a bad acid trip shows up on this mind meld. You have been warned.
Cluster / Cluster II ( 1972, Germany )
This frankenstien hovers and pulsates offering some sort of weird solace within it's nightmarish images. Overdriven distorted synths with just about every piece of weird electronic junk known to manking are thrown into this conflagrated collage. An excursion into dark sonic regions.
Amon Duul II / Carnival In Babylon ( 1972, Germany )
Amon Duul II confuses their fans and critics by releasing semi-structured acid freakouts.Includes two mindblowing kalaedescopic jams on the One Way Records re-master.Needless to say top forty radio stations won't go anywhere near this freak out.
Spaced Out / Unstable Matter ( 2004, Canada )
Unmitigated Jazz/rock fusion mayhem on this maelstrom of madness may cause phsychosis in jazz purists. Keep away from John Coltrane and Charlie Parker fans.
Vangelis / Beaubourg ( Greece/UK, 1977 )
This bent anti-social audio disturbance got Vangelis' contract with RCA Records torn up. What Eraserhead is to cinema Beaubourg is to music. Makes Stravisky's Rite Of Spring seem like quaint tea party music.
Mike Oldfield / Crises - ( 1982, UK )
Those of you who think that the theme from the Exorsist was the only thing that Mike wrote then listen to this masterpiece. An absolutely sublime opus of delectable pop songs with special guests followed by a mind blowing rock suite.
Reggie Lucas / Survival Themes ( 1978 , USA )
Electric guitar explorations and smooth jazz from Miles Davis alumni guitarist Reggie Lucas. After listening to this gem you probably not believe that he also produced Madonna's debut album.
John Abercrombie /Gateway ( 1975 , USA )
Firebreathing fusion from the glorious seventies. John Abercrombie turns his amp to eleven and lets her rip. Jack DeJonette on drums and Dave Holland on upright bass.
Badger / One Live Badger ( 1973, UK )
A classic one off art rock album from group formed by ex-Yes keyboard player Tony Kaye when everyone wanted Roger Dean artwork on their album cover.
Golem /Orion Awakes ( 1973, Germany )
Obscure free form fuzzed out bulldozing atmospheric freak n'roll. Only 25 copies pressed ! Don't worry hippies it's available on CD and the internet.
Hoelderlin / Clowns & Clouds ( 1976, Germany )
Trippy, cosmic, folky symphonic rock Duetschland masterpiece with touches of humour. One side about clowns and the other side about...you guessed it clouds.
Gentle Giant In A Glass House ( 1973, UK )
Don't throw stones if you live in a Glass House. Gentle Giant takes complex music to dizzying heights. Not released in North America because brain dead record executives could not comprehend it.
Jane / Jane III ( 1974, Germany )
Cosmic drugged out blues rock. Play early Sunday morning with speakers cranked to eleven. First track appropriately entitled Early In The Morning.
Jane / Jane Live At Home ( 1976, Germany )
Tripped out blues rockers from Hanover burn, melt and bleed with passion. One of the best German live rock albums of all time. Jane at the top of their game.
Amon Duul II / Live In London ( 1973, Germany )
Amon Duul II blasts away in 1973 with witchy vocals, scorching guitars, screaming violins and weird sonic contortions.
Omega / 200 Years After The Last War ( 1973, Hungary )
Rock around the bloc. Progressive rock from behind the iron curtain. Find out what the communists were really up to. Heavy, melodic, bluesy, symphonic. Best 70s rock album from Eastern Europe hands down.
King Crimson / Starless & Bible Black ( 1973, UK )
Dark, menacing, relentless & eclectic. Fuzzed out bass, screeching guitars, angry mellotrons & sullen laments. Exquisite early 70s progressive rock.
Gentle Giant / Octopus ( 1973, UK )
Medieval madness meets the 20th century. A Baroque & roll classic.
Klaus Schulze / Dig It ( 1980, Germany )
The king of electronic gets more electronic on this early digital sonic masterpiece of sonic dreamscapes and concepts.
Brainbox / Brainbox ( 1969, Netherlands )
Blistering rogressive blues from the late sixties Amsterdam pop scene. Psychedelia meets the Chicago blues.
Guru Guru / UFO ( 1970, Germany )
A sound engineer's nightmare. Quite possibly the loudest album ever made. Everything louder than everything else. Conflagration of primitive studio effects combined with guitar feedback, echo boxes and fuck knows what else.
Pink Floyd / Meddle ( 1971, UK )
I don`t really like including anything that is recognizable but I`ll make an exception just this one time. I don`t care what ANYONE says about that album with the prism on the cover, this is where Floyd peaked creatively with trippy soundscapes and dreamy lyrics.
Kin Ping Meh / Kin Ping Meh ( 1971, Germany )
Deep Purple on qualudes. Stuck in the sixties freakband with plenty of driving Hammond organ and groovy CSN&Y - like vocals.
Gnidrolog / In Spite Of Harry's Toenail ( 1971, UK )
Despite charming name morose lyrics make Black Sabbath`s Paranoid seem mirthful. Medieval themes with a blues-rock blowout at the end. Mind boggling shit.
John McLaughlin / Devotion ( 1969, UK )
John McLaughlin`s acid days. Crank it to the proverbial eleven!
Klaus Schulze / Audentity ( 1983, Germany )
Electronic music wizard Klaus Schulze searches for his musical "Audentity". Captivating. Compelling. One of Klaus`masterpieces.
Octopus / Boat Of Thoughts ( 1973, Germany )
More Heavy art rock this time from Deutschland. Quixotic female vocal power by Jennifer Hensel rock it out
Trace / Birds ( 1975, Netherlands )
Holland`s answer to ELP with scorching keyboards and the usual classical composer ripoffs. Genius baroque & roll. Ian Mosley, later of Marillion, on drums
Far more haunting and disturbing than Pink Floyd, Amon Duul were formed in 1968 by members of a Munich commune to put forth political viewpoints through deranged multi-media acid excursions.Named after the Egyptian sun-god, Amen Ra and the Turkish music god, Duul, at first the music was as senseless as their moniker and consisted of wacked out schizophrenic free-form jams interspersed with political commentary by member Helge Filanda which elicited comments from the German music press like : "a half an hour of musical nothing " .
By 1969 idealogical disagreements within the group resulted in the band dividing into two factions. The faction which concerned itself more with making music rather than political rhetoric called themselves Amon Duul II. Although the music was very simple the roots of their ideas were expanded to create some of the most inventive dark, mystical and spaced out sonic adventures which became the vanguard of the German Kosmische Musik scene and the group literally blasted it`s way through the late sixties and early seventies with side long acid sojourns gradually giving way to more tuneful and structured compositions which even included a brilliant concept album entitled " Made In Germany ", a sometimes humourous journey through German history which even includes an interview with Adolph Hitler who had been recruited as their immaginary drummer. Some of the more notable songs from the band such as Archangel`s Thunderbird, Surrounded By Stars, Metropolis and Green Bubble Raincoated Man featured the witchy vocals of Bavarian Earth Mother Renate Kanup.
Towards the end of the seventies the band was on the wane even recording psuedo disco tracks, finally disbanding in 1980. They reformed briefly in 1992 with their classic seventies line up. More recently they have performed with a lineup that includes old and new members including Earth Mother Renate on Vocals and multi-instrumentalist Chris Karrer on guitars and violin and are still trippin`as these words are being written in June 2009.
Ian`s Amon Duul II Picks :
Phallus Dei ( 1969 ) /Yeti ( 1970 ) / Tanz Der Lemminge ( 1971 ) / Carnival In Babylon ( 1972 ) / Wolf City ( 1973 ) / Hijack ( 1974 ) / Made In Germany ( 1975 ) / Nada Moonshine ( 1995 )/Live in Tokyo (1996)
This is music that emanates from the inner sanctum of a young musician from the Ukraine named Igor Sidorenko. It`s not for the faint hearted. If aliens visited Earth they would most definitely be charmed by his trance-inucing minimulistic moods with guitar, drums and computer effected imagery. Suggestive of absence, emptiness and tragedy which are elements of our new era, cleverly thought out passages do not always resolve themselves but are constructed over atmospheric canvasses which build, mesmerize and penetrate with intentionally subtle force.The listener also experiences excursions into the chaotic but reason and control constantly prevail with spectral reassurances from unseen forces. Despite meloncholic auras it seeks to sooth and offer solace for the sombre, sullen images it paints. Adventurous, but not dangerous, the after-experience of KROBAK`s World is like a pleasant hangover, returning refreshed from a peaceful region of the mind that exists only in deep subconciousness where reality is compressed into the abstract.
Remember. you have been warned.
Shadow Circus who's name was inspired by the macabre travelling carnival in Ray Bradbury's '' Something Wicked This Way Comes '' are a now firmly established band from New York City who draw influences from many bands from the glory years of the early seventies art rock movement from ELP to Pink Floyd as well as Marillion's early years. with a pristine forward looking sound that captures the spirit of this music. Their first album, Welcome To The Freakroom, recalls many musical concepts, ideas and nuances from that time frame including a tour de force,'' Journey Of Everyman '' , inspired by Stephen King and Peter Straub's novel " The Talisman " .
Another album was released on Nov.1st 2009 entitled Whispers And Screams with another epic track '' Project Blue '' based on Stephen King's post-apocalyptic horror /fantasy novel '' The Stand '' It featured compelling artwork by New York City photoshop artist Randy Pollak and incorporated heavier approaches as well as some ethno and ambient elements which offered more depth and built on original musical ideas presented on the debut. Check out the Twighlight Zone mish mash video on which one of their songs, Willoughby, from the album Whispers and Screams was based. It was put together by a fan. The spoken dialogue is not part of the band's recorded song & the video producer did some good editing here that captures the essence of the song.
In December 2011 the circus returned to the big top with a surealistic album named after the first line of Madeliene L'Engel's ( 1918-2007) award winning Science fiction/ fantasy novel ''A Wrinkle In Time" from 1960 that was finally published in 1962. ''On A Dark Storny Night '' nods even more to the 1970's art rock effusions with layers of heavy synths and guitars along with melodies with a softer touch and song writing that few bands can hold a candle to these days. And the album cover even has something to do with the artistic content!!! If you're living on the same dimensional plane as myself and miss the inventive, immaginative and audacious music from an exciting and controversial era in popular music , then I beckon you to venture out into a dark stormy night with Shadow Circus.
Shadow Circus Are :
John Fontana - guitars/keyboards
David Bobick - Vocals
David Silver - Keyboards
Matt Masek - Bass
Jason Brower - Drums
Guru Guru were one of the wildest, most immaginative, freaked out, drugged out & wacked out bands ever ! I`ve been listening to this band since the 1970`s and they still blow my mind! With a new album, Doublebind, just released in 2011 so there`s no telling when they will run out of fuel . Read their complete biography that I wrote for progarchives.com that also appears on the band's official website by clicking on the links . Check out their 1971 jam Electric Junk then listen to some unbelievable speed-of-light fire-breathing guitar freaking out by guitarist Houschang Nejadepour on the 1974 album Dance of The Flames.
These are just a few fusion bands/artists that are just getting better and better. I suggest you just watch the four videos first and if they don`t blow your mind and win you over then I suggest that you somehow pass 4 million volts through your body then watch them again! The first video is Berklee School of Music graduate Felix Martin playing his 14 string "double guitar". Second isThe Kostarev Group from Russia performing a composition entitled "Purgatory" in 2003 while the third is a music video from a futuristic band based in my hometown of Montréal called Spaced Out playing a free form piece entitled Jamosphere. Fourth is a band from the Russian Federation who go by the moniker of Disen Gage playing a bizarre number called Exyrinx that will transport you into the strange zone. Check all of these phenomenal bands out through the links. I urge you to support freaked out musik. You will never hear this amazing art on the top 40 airwaves. The talent displayed here is not of this world.
ABSOLUTELY MIND-BLOWING !!!!!!
Hawkwind are the original space rock band that blasted off in the early seventies becoming the farthest of far out bands in the early 70s this side of Alpha Centauri. With their heavy trippy music containing spaced out sci-fi ,fantasy and socio-political themes they are still blasting away on all boosters in the 21st century with their new album Spacehawks.
Although not as profound, Chronicle Of The Black Sword echoes Hawkwind`s 1975 tour de force Warrior On The Edge Of Time a decade later and brings scifi / fantasy master Michael Moorcock back into the fold. ( see Ian's Listening room )
Based largely on the exploits of anti-hero Elric of Melniboné on an alternate Earth who first appeared in the 1961 Moorcock novella " Dreaming City ", The Chronicle of the Black Sword is harder driving and really rocks it out for the most part but nonetheless nods back to Hawkwind formulas of the past. Don`t expect anything as compelling as Magnu or Assault & Battery / The Golden Void but it contains many Hawkwind hallmarks. There are spacey interludes ( The Pusling Caverns, Chaos Army, The Demise ), a cool ballad as only Hawkwind could conjure ( Zarozonia, who becomes Elric`s wife ), a short but compelling atmospheric ambient / electronic mind trip ( Shade Gate ) and some reminders of the Quark Strangeness And Charm era ( Elric The Enchanter ).
Sevral CD re-issues have appeared with live bonus tracks but I would recommend the most recent June 2009 Atomhenge release which includes the EP Earth Ritual Review as a bonus which was originally released in `83 and has been long since deleted and contains four tracks, Night Of The Hawks ( with Lemmy ) Green Finned Demon, Dream Dancers and the catchy Dragons And Fables, which were only available on anthologies such as Ambient Anarchists and others.
My biggest dissappointment when the album was released back in `85 was that, given the depth of the Elric character and the number of Elric adventures that Moorcock had penned up to that point I thought there was more potential and possibilities for a 3 album epic blowout. One track, Needle Gun doesn`t even really have anything to do with the Elric sagas. Needle gun refers to another Moorcock character, an anarchistic secret agent, Jerry Cornelius who has no respect for authority and gets into jams. Nonetheless a great harder edged Hawkwind track. In fact this whole quasi-concept album is arguably Hawkwind`s finest recording of the eighties despite not exploiting the full potential of the subject matter , although it was expanded on in the tour and subsequent live album, Live Chronicles.
With an unstable lineup in the early eighties and no studio album for almost 3 years it seemed that the Hawks were heading for a monumental catastrophe. But it seemed that the addition of bassist / vocalist Alan Davey ( who had sent a tape to Dave Brock and hired almost on the spot ) and the appearance of this remarkable album seemed to save the day turning back the clock to the classic years of albums such as the already metioned Warrior On The Edge Of Time and The Hall Of The Mountain Grill.
Highly recommended Hawkwind album with alternate cover art, the original having more to do with the subject matter than the one pictured here. Go Nuts freak out. This IS Hawkwind.
1. Song of the swords
2. Shade gate
3. Sea king
4. Pulsing cavern
6. Needle gun
8. The demise
9. Sleep of 1000 years
10. Chaos army
11. Horn of destiny
Bonus tracks on 1986 cd release.
13. Assault & battery
14. Sleep of 1000 years (live)
Formed in Hamburg, West Germany in late `69 from the remanants of an Irish folk band called The City Preachers, Frumpy played a harder edged psychedelic blues fronted by the female vocal power of Inga Rumpf which was drenched in passion and emotion.During their brief three year existence they released three 3 studio albums plus one live album but never seemed to make it outside their native Germany largely due to sleepy executives that failed to market them properly.
Some members formed another more mainstream band called Atlantis where Inga sounded remarkably like Rod Stewart! Frumpy re-united in 1990 and recorded a studio album entitled Now! in addition to a live album that featured old Frumpy songs from the 70s. Since 1975 Inga Rumpf has recorded over 20 solo albums moving through several chamelic changes which saw her as a guitar slingin`blues woman to a new wave babe of the 80s. More recently she has morphed into s suave smoky club blueslady. Whatever guise she has appeared in she is the most overlooked female voices in the universe.Check out Frumpy`s " Take Care Of Illusion " from `71.
Controversial wacked out sacreligious LSD induced lyrics got these guys into a bit of trouble back in 1971 even though they only released just 1 record ! I dunno check out the video, the myspace link and the biography that I wrote for progarchives and freak right out. Below is the cover of their 1971 album " First " . Another live reunion CD was released in 1992 entitled Make Ends Meet which featured several new tracks. Nevertheless the band fell apart again.
And then the acid wore off and they came down off the trip
And they went their separate ways. In 1975 one of the trippers formed another band. To do some more tripping. And they have been tripping ever since. This is their latest trip........
So.......... I thought I would write a nice little tribute. Ready?
OZRIC TENTACLES' music is a fusion of sounds, styles and genres that cannot be categorized nor plagiarized, such is its complexity. The essence of the OZRIC TENTACLES remains essentially a free-willed musical unit oblivious to fashion trends and intent on exploring instrumental experimental music with an obsessive zeal. Formed in the early eighties, the Ozrics began life as a free-form psychedelic vehicle for jamming, attracting a dedicated fan-base at grassroots level by playing at all the free festivals to fans of space-rock, dub, psychedelia, and later on when the festivals had developed into raves, to fans of house and techno. Having then developed their own cottage industry - studio, label, tour bus, dedicated following - the Ozrics eventually achieved top ten album status in the UK with their 1993 album "Jurassic Shift". It was, and still is, an astonishing accomplishment for a band with no celebrity status, and no major record label backing.
Ozric Tentacles 2014
"King Crimson has a life of it's own. I've even met it".- Robert Fripp
King Crimson's debut album, In The Court Of The Crimson King ( an observation by King Crimson ), with it's abstract free imagery, drew inspiration from classical, jazz and folk music and set the precedent for the early 70s art rock effusion. The accompanying photo depicts the original formation of the group, Robert Fripp , Michael Giles, Greg Lake and Ian Macdonald. Their use of a revolutionary new keyboard instrument called the mellotron, which pioneered the use of audio sampling enabled the band to achieve a symphonic immensity that eclipsed what most 4 piece rock bands were doing at the time. Guitarist Robert Fripp's angular fusion of Hendrix and Segovia created some of the most innovative guitar work that was to emerge from the 60s and early 70s also figured prominently in the Crimson sound.
Although they ( or anyone else really! ) were unable to match this masterpiece of rock music , they released several more adventurous albums with various lineup changes that explored other possibilities within the art rock context that culminated with an album entitled Islands that contained jazz-rock rave ups and ethereal ballads. In 1972 the most stable lineup was established with guitarist Bob Fripp being the only survivor of previous incarnations. This is when the band turned into a terrifying creature playing some of the most eclectic avant garde rock music ever heard in the history of the galaxy. The music had acquired such an overwrought extravagance that Robert Fripp decided that the band was over forever and ever in September 1974. Shortly thereafter one of the most influential rock albums ever recorded entitled Red was released that referred to the music's extreme nature.
Manic version of The Talking Drum / Lark's Tongues In Aspic Pt II
Omega is the biggest selling and longest lived Hungarian rock band of all time. Almost 50 years and counting! Rolling Stones eat your heart out!
Omega had their origins in 1962 when founding members met at Budapest Technical College and formed a "beat" group playing covers of Rolling Stones and Beatles`songs. They later began writing their own material with the help of a songwriter named Anna Adamis whose lyrics blended beuatifully with Omega`s distinctive psychedelic sound which was a fusion of gypsy, classical and western pop music. By 1969 they had recorded two Hungarian language albums as well as one English language album on the UK DECCA label in addition top completing a brief tour of England before being forced back to Hungary for political reasons. In 1971 a permanent lineup was established which endures to this day. with Janos Kobor on vocals, Gyrgy Molnar an guitars, laszlo Benko on keyboards, Tamas Mihaly on bass and Ferenc Debreceni on drums.
During the 1970`s they went in a more art rock direction, recording music that had mystical themes which were full of legend, magic and meloncholy as well as some shorter harder rocking songs. They also recorded in the English language on the German Bellaphon label and at times their melodic folk inspired music could be compared to that of The Strawbs, The Moody Blues and Yes albeit with a more moody and delicate approach. Towards the end of the decade they began to record more spacey music and were touring constantly with sold out shows from Debrecin to Amsterdam.
While the 1970`s were their high point both musically and commercially, they streamlined their music in the 1980`s into a more pop oriented sound incorporating techno elements but still sounding like a prog rock band. They took a brief sabbatical in the late 1980`s but came back in the early `90s with a much more mature sound which at times closely resembled their `70s sound wityh a mellower new age twist to it although they continued to produce hard rock songs. Although never achieving their full potential in North America due to bad promotion a few of their albums were released on the Canadian Passport label and enjoyed a limited success without even playing in that country.
Omega continies to perform to sold out audiences throughout Europe playing music which spans their entire career which include extravagant stage shows which include pyrotechnics and lasers. They have also performed with German metal band The Scorpions who used to open for them in the `70s.
Check out the video of their 1968 song 200 Years After The Last War performed live in 1999 as well as the link and listen to their whole catologue from 1967 to the present day directly from their official website.
Blasting off in 1971 with their spaced out album " Together" complete with an acid drenched cover these hippies from Hanover, Germany have often been compared to Pink Floyd. But they really have their own unique sonic identity with a trademark plodding beat with melodic stoned out vocals with Hammond organ barrages laced with screaming bluesy guitar solos. Their atmospheric music is straight and to the point ( no 1000 mph guitar wizards here ) although from time-to-time they have recorded more complex album length epics, the band continues to rock it out to this day with old and new members. Sadly founding member drummer Peter Panka passed away in June 2007 but they are still going with a new album released in 2009 entitled "Traces". Two other versions of Jane also tour which are led by former members under the names Mother Jane and Werner Nadolny's Jane.
"...It is our goal to expand the frontiers of contemporary popular music at the risk of being very unpopular. We have recorded each composition with the one thought - that it should be unique, adventurous and fascinating. It has taken every shred of our combined musical and technical knowledge to achieve this. From the outset we have abandoned all preconceived thoughts of blatant commercialism. Instead we hope to give you something far more substantial and fulfilling. All you need to do is sit back, and acquire the taste."
Gentle Giant were individually talented musicians and never a band for the masses, if that`s an understatement. Exploiting their musical virtuosity and employing a number of archaic musical instruments and styles, Gentle Giant were by far the most intricate, elaborate and esoteric of all the progressive rock bands to emerge from the early 1970`s,blending classical,rock and jazz, with touches of medievalism they used counterpoint, unresoved musical inversions,clashing intervals harmonious progressions played over rock rythmns to achieve an inconguous and discordant sound which was difficult, if not impossible to categorize.
Too esoteric for most, Gentle Giant never achieved commercial success in the real sense but during their short existence from 1970-1980 maintained a consistent cult following. Simplifying their musical approach inthe late seventies didn't work for them like it did with Yes & Genesis. Most of their albums are available at any given time through a variety of record labels including a vast amount of live recordings of varying sound quality.
Ian's Gentle Giant Picks
Octopus ( 1972 ) In a Glass House ( 1973 ) Freehand (1975 ) Playing The Fool ( 1978 ) Civilian (1980)
One of the coolest progrock covers. In A Glass House features plasic cellophane overlaps that represents each player as a multi-instrumentalist.
What would a progrog band be in the 1970s without at least one Roger Dean cover? Gentle Giant Octopus' European cover from 1972.
Well I guess this collage speaks for itself. Wacked out theatrics, cool spaced out groovin' music and basic insanity. Although they are still grooving with different members, their 70s output was simply phenomenal. Solar Music Live is perhaps the most stunning live progrock albums ever recorded ! Check out the ultimate remastered version whichwas originally recorded live in the spring of 1978
Here's Ian's Grobschnitt recommendations to take along with you on your next trip to the sun.
For a brief period during the early seventies Dutch neo-classical rockers Focus produced some imaginative music that fused classical and jazz stylings into peculiar hybrid rock formats. Nobody was safe from Bach to the Beatles. Some of it was as heavy as it got in 1971 with speed of light guitar mayhem to delicate variations of Bach and Brahms that demonstrated the group's stunning compositional and instrumental prowess.Focus was resurrected in the 21st century with new and old blood and continues to amaze.You will find your Focus starter kit below. Hope you dig the video of their 1969 classic "House Of The King" updated for the 21st century.
Focus finally gets a Roger Dean cover in 2013 for Focus X
One of the coolest space rock bands from this quadrant of the galaxy Check out their cool website.
( From a band biography that I wrote for Progarchives.com back in 2008 )"Aligning the laws of physics and not breaking the laws of nature" - Steve Smith
From the self-titled 1983 debut which featured a furious concoction of fusion jazz moulded after 1970s paradigms set by Return To Forever, Weather Report and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, the most recent edition of Vital Information continues on in cutting edge form led by one of the most prolific and seasoned band leaders of today, the redoubtable Steve Smith.
PPhenomenal industrial/ metal band from Capetown, South Africa. Steeped in darkness & taking cues from gothic themes from classic horror movies of the 20s & 30s. Lead singer Sonja Ruppersberg is the modern female incarnation of Lon Chaney. Marilyn Manson eat your heart out. Check out their awesome website and their cover of Animotion's "Obsession".