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David g. (England)

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Close to the Edge
Close to the Edge
Price: 4.09

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars prog classic remastered - unrivaled, 30 July 2005
This review is from: Close to the Edge (Audio CD)
The difference between Yes as an instrumental band and most other bands was that they in their classic line ups (including both Bill Bruford and/or Alan White on drums), had chemistry. They were the prog equivalent of deep purple's HM classic line up; you can hear the musicians feeding off one another throwing out licks and riffs - creating more than the sum of the parts.
But the biggest difference between Yes and any other artist is Jon Anderson's songwriting; he does not write conventional lyrics at all - he transports you to another world, really takes you out of yourself into a world of pure emotion with only a few physical objects to focus on,and he's obsessed with music, but there are love lyrics, spiritual messages and blues themes (for want of a better term). As Rick Wakeman always said prog rock has got to be the Blues - if it's not then it's rubbish.
"Close" is a rich powerful symphony of a rock album, and everyone's got to get a listen to it or lose a valuable experience.
Recommended parallels: Hendrix Electric Ladyland, Moody Blues In Search of a Lost Chord, the Who's Tommy and Sell Out, Yes' Tales from Topographic Oceans and Relayer.

Price: 11.03

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars moontan - Earing's finest, 26 July 2005
This review is from: Moontan (Audio CD)
Golden Earing are one of the greatest rock bands ever and they are not British or American, or even Irish or Australian; they come from a land where English is a second language. Moontan has got to be the Dutch "Who's Next"; the band has a pedigree as long as the Who and were well matched on their tour dates with the London band.
On Moontan the playing is distinctive, the songs are great and the sound is powerful. This is relentless rock n roll and I'm very happy that I have it in my collection.
If you like this get "Who's Next", "Argent In Deep" Free's "Heartbreaker" and Deep Purple's "Machine Head" - if you've got these albums you'll know what I mean.

Pictures At An Exhibition
Pictures At An Exhibition
Offered by classicmusic
Price: 15.89

5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ELP vs Mussorgsky 10 all - Pictures at an Exhibition, 26 July 2005
This sounds mainly an album of conflict between the established classical music and the, then, new "rock". This was only around 16 years after the first Elvis Presley album and Mussorgsky and the band are largely antagonists - they take his beautiful, haunting melodies and harmonies and tear them up with manic enthusiasm, subjecting them to up tempo blues interpretations and spurts of aggressive jazz rock. This represents the incredibly major ideological conflicts in Russia, and indeed throughout the world, that have ensued since Russian Mussorgsky wrote his pieces - class and religious struggles have been, and still are, forged in fire and blood.
Greg Lake's (written with Pete Sinfield) songs, however, are often much more "Pictures" friendly, than the instrumental passages, providing a sympathetic interptretation, with even some tender moments. This is a period piece and worth a listen but those of a sensitive disposition beware!
If you like this try Deep Purple's concerto with the London Philarmonic for another encounter with classical media. There are lots of other examples, sometimes with more of a blend like Yes' Magnification or Classic Rock performed by the London Symphony Orchestra or Andrew Lloyd Weber's classical tunes played on more "Pop" instruments. I haven't enough space to list even half of them.

Fireball - 25th Anniversary Edition
Fireball - 25th Anniversary Edition
Price: 4.99

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fireball - Best of Mark 2 Purple?, 20 July 2005
Most people cite "Machine Head" as the best Deep Purple album but "Fireball" is my favourite. Jon Glover's bass is minimalistic on "Machine" whereas here it is inventive - one of his best performances. The songs are as good as any; "Fireball" the archetype of all heavy metal rock singles and the others songs of Gillan-penned substance - even "Farmer's Daughter", though humorously witty, is a great song. Gillan sings, unfailingly, as well as ever, with that great rock voice. Blackmore explores his fretboard imaginatively, sometimes funky, sometimes bone crunchingly heavy and sometimes jazzy and flowing. Pacey's drumming is characteristically tight and powerful. Jon Lord's musical imput with his classical and rhythm and blues leanings, is, as ever, matchless.
Accused of formula playing, the band tell a differant story on this album and the extra tracks on this new edition are a real bonus - well worth buying it for.
Related or recommended records? Well get "In Rock" and "Machine Head" by Purple. Also other Heavy Metal albums comparable in quality such as "Led Zeppelin 4" and "Prescence" also by Zep.. Also any Hendrix live album. If you want Purple's prog. rock equivalent - Yes' "Close to the Edge" presents a good parallel as in the way a band can play together when they have the right chemistry.

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lamb Lies Down - Rock Theatre Masterpiece, 20 July 2005
This is a very odd album. It is the last of the early Peter Gabriel's Genesis recordings and has the air of a coming down to earth experience following albums with Greek myth, fairy story and dream songs on them - even "The Battle of Epping Forest" was mainly humerous. This isn't a funny album at all as Gabriel explores the experiences of a New York street punk, an obviously hallucenogenic drug abuser, called Rael. The loud bits are the best, "Back in NYC" especially, making this more like Who's "Quadrophenia" - as is the story; switch from London and pills and gin to New York and mescal or acid and you've got the same search for the real self - here the all pervading "IT" of Indian mysticism instead of Townshend's God of Love. I'm sorry if I seem to undermine the originality of the record, no one else has mentioned the parralel to my knowledge before - but I mean to praise "Lamb".
Gabriel's vocal performance is one of his finest ever, the music is distinctively Genesis - as differant from any other band as you can get.
But above all "Lamb" is an exercise in Rock Theatre. At a time when David Bowie and Alice Cooper, among others, were doing largely theatrical shows this came with weird costume changes, props and a back-of-stage movie presentation.
When they played it in the States the audience were so spellbound that they often fell silent - misinterpreted as a dislike by some music critics and this was a time when, slowly but surely, Genesis were just beginning to become popular in the States - they have since become one of the biggest bands in the world and "Lamb" is regarded universally as a prog. rock masterpiece.
If you like this get the, later, "Duke" album and the "Foxtrot" album with the extended "Supper's Ready" number - but it doesn't really compare musically with any other rock groups' works
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Price: 8.60

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Quadrophenia" theWho's Masterwork Remastered, 19 July 2005
This review is from: Quadrophenia (Audio CD)
"Quadrophenia" was meant to replace "Tommy" in the middle tier of the Who's live shows. Basically a live band, the Who never managed to capture their live sound in the studio, but, as this album attests, they often took great care over recording and their are brilliant studio performances available.
This is "conceptual" work, an album with a story, which tells of a 60's London mod Jimmy and his struggle with mental illness along with his search for the real self - identified by Townshend as the God of Love. The usual rock instruments are supplemented by synthesiser music and sound effects - mostly of the sea (representing the ocean of Love ie God, as well as setting the scene for Jimmy's adventures in Brighton).
The classical themes with the powerfull rock music make this into a major progressive rock work and the range and intensity of emotions expressed by Daltrey's great singing performance of Townshend's lyrics are matchless in pop history. Rush and buy it.
So did it replace Tommy? No. the fans didn't like it live as much as the rock opera although this studio album is just as good if not better than studio Tommy.
Related records? Try the Who's first album "My Generation" as well as waves of albums with stories by other artists since "Quad" eg "The Lamb Lies Down" by Genesis, Thin Lizzies "Johnny the Fox" and "Too Old to Rock'n'Roll"by Jethro Tull.

Jethro Tull - Nothing Is Easy - Live At The Isle Of Wight [1970] [DVD] [2002]
Jethro Tull - Nothing Is Easy - Live At The Isle Of Wight [1970] [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Jethro Tull
Price: 14.90

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Tull "were" rock'n'roll - @Isle of Wight, 19 July 2005
From about late 69 through 71 Jethro Tull were the most representative-of-the-time band in the world. They were rawer than Who more inventive than Hendrix and heavier than Led Zep. Get the CD of the complete Isle of Wight set as well as this DVD - it is not so called prog. or folk-rock that the band were to veer towards later, it is in your face, visceral, largely off the wall, performing. I was gob-smacked. The only parallel I know of is on my DVD of the Sex Pistols performing at the Longhorn club in the late 70's. Even Anderson's flute rocks and the only semblance of anything laid back is a few minutes of John Evan's piano, but that is just fun. The 70's "Bursting Out" live set is good but this is much more vital - so I gave it 5 stars.
If you like this get the albums "Living in the Past" and "Aqualung". Also try live albums by other bands recommended: the Who, Hendrix, the Sex Pistols, Suzie and the Banshees, the Cream and Deep Purple.

Tales from Topographic Oceans
Tales from Topographic Oceans
Price: 7.25

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes' "Tales" - a misunderstood masterpiece, 10 Jun 2005
"Tales from Topographic Oceans" shot to UK number one in the charts, the weirdest number one ever - a four track double album based on the Shastric scriptures and the autobiography of a Yogi - this must be the most ambitious album ever, so bravo to Yes!
The strange thing is, various members of Yes didn't like it, Wakeman left the band for a couple of years even, but, to this day, these extended works are staple parts of any Yes gig.
I love this record. It is filled with ambient jazz rock playing - tough and fluid, chants, and acoustic and electric rock, all built around terrific song-poems by Jon Anderson. It is even stuctured symphonically, an ambition many rock artists have tried and failed before - but not Yes, they succeeded. I don't care - I loved the punks - Pistols, Clash and the rest, but I love this too and the world would be a poorer place without this and many other great performances by the band.
Related records? Other Yes, of course, but try some of Beatles mystical songs from "Sergeant Peppers" onwards, and the Moody Blues "In Search of a Lost Chord" album - also try Carlos Santana's "Devadip" recordings, and Captain Beefheart's 70's albums.

The Broadsword and the Beast (ccd 1380)
The Broadsword and the Beast (ccd 1380)
Price: 5.76

16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broadsword and the Beast - Hugeness of Jethro Tull, 10 Jun 2005
I remember when "Broadsword and the Beast" was first released it contained the direction and confidence of the bands' early years whilst being diverse musically as more recent Tull music.
The difference between this and the previous couple of years of music was that it gelled as a whole; the songs and music tell the story of good triumphing over evil - art and creativity vs the oppressive establishment with its constricting rigid social traditions - and the role that the rock band plays in the triumph. Martin Barre's guitar is particularly highlighted here - loud and colourful - and Anderson is well on form.
A bonus is Dave Pegg's performance on bass, which has to be one of the huge-est in pop history, continueing from his work on the "A" album, using a variety of styles with consistantly tough and melodic playing. Vietesse and Conway provide tremendously distinctive keyboards and drums, respectively.
Getting a listen to this remastered version has surprised in that that the album sounds just as good as when it was first released; Tull are a real lasting band and often the most underrated of the truly great rock groups. Anyone who claims that they don't like "Broadsword" is either lying or has simply never heard it. Quick, buy it.
The great new bonus tracks add to the story, and it must have been a toss of a coin as to which songs got onto the vinyl!
Connected albums? - instead of perusing through recommended prog., electric folk or World Music contemporaries, if you want more "Broadsword", try previous rock eras - Bob Dylan's 60s songs on his "Blonde on Blonde" album for example - also ELPs "Brain Salad Surgery" album and The Clash's "London Calling album.

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