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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

on 18 April 2011
In now painfully familiar fashion, the music industry abandoned the SACD format almost before anyone could get around to purchasing a player. Worse still, the secondary market for SACDs has all but killed off interest in the format by way of a pricing strategy, so over-inflated as to turn a mere disc into a luxury item. You'd have to have a darn good reason to want to pay over one hundred pounds for a disc ...

Which is not to say this SACD issue of Nektar's 'Journey to the Centre of the Eye' is not worth getting hold of. Undoubtedly it is, but you might want to adopt a patient attitude and shop around for a few months ... in the end I managed to pick up a very good, near new copy for just under thirty quid, and although even that seemed like quite a bit of cash to hand over, I'm really glad I got hold of this. I don't plan on letting it go any time soon.

In a nutshell, JTTCOTE is a concept album - the concept being, appropriately enough for its era, fear of nuclear war coupled with alien enlightenment ... boy, this could've been one lame album. Actually the opposite turns out to be the case. I have to confess I always have a moment of dread when I think of concept albums. They are innately self-conscious and if that self-consciousness is evident in the performance, it all gets a bit Spinal Tap. So I guess if you're gonna commit to making a psych/prog concept album you've got to embrace willing abandonment and just go for it. But that approach can also make for a fairly grim outcome, where the performance becomes totally over the top, far too dense and thematically incoherent (I won't bother to name names cos you all know who I mean) ...

But Nektar, on this album, achieve that rare combination of prog/psych plausibility alongside musical restraint. As for the actual disc, you get three versions: a CD layer with two bonus tracks, the same as a stereo SACD, and finally the SACD surround mix of the original album - now 'restored' in as much as it has been remixed/remastered to achieve the band's original intentions - this is an audio revelation. It's extraordinary to think the original recording was completed on an eight track, given the space, spread and separation on offer here.

As for the band, Nektar had a few false starts and never really made it in GB. They built up a following in Germany and a few tiny pockets of the USA (hence the later live album), but personally I don't think they ever matched this masterpiece.
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on 12 December 2014
Nektar are a German based (all original members are British born) psychedelic rock band that play heavy keyboard/guitar music that sounds like Deep Purple and Uriah Heep on an acid trip. This spaced out classic begins with Prelude, before launching into space with the great Astronauts Nightmare. The track that follows it ( countenance) is even better; starting off quietly as it takes you on a trip further into outer space. It then builds up nicely into something quite dramatic, and the guitars and vocal harmonies are outstanding to say the least.
After being dragged immediately into the next track ( the 9 lifeless daughters of the sun) with some hard prog, it's an excursion into more quiter moments of cosmic ambience for a few of the tracks (except for Burn My Eyes). And it's back down to Earth with a bump with Death of the Mind, and after around 2 minutes, the chorus of Astronauts Nightmare is repeated. This song shows up as running for 1;57 mins on my copy of the CD, but is actually4:07!
It's such a shame that rock bands don't make albums like this anymore.
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on 18 January 2018
I purchased the original German import vinyl in the early 1970's which i still have cost around £7.00 a lot of money for me back then.In my ears is should have been a world wide classic.Give it a listen if you like Pink Floyd etc.
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on 9 March 2017
A1 excellent.
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on 20 December 2014
I have been after this for ages. Well worth the wait!
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on 12 July 2013
I spent years searching for this album on vinyl (before ebay) now I get to listen to it in its remastered glory!
Nektar at their best1
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on 6 November 2012
I recently downloaded this album from Amazon and it's absolutely excellent. Almost as good as Tab in The Ocean. Nektar are a sadly under rated band that you should try to hear.
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on 12 July 2004
Although Nektar enjoyed a steady if underrated career through the 1970s (and enjoyed a recent mini-revival with the Greatest Hits Live album plus studio work) it was their first two albums, Journey To The Centre of the Eye and Tab In The Ocean, which established them as one of the leading progressive rock exponents. Thereafter, pop creeped in too pervasively, though Sounds Like This had some great tracks and a laudible commitment to spontaneity and energy. If A Tab In The ocean is a little more polished, Journey scores for its pure energy and willingness to abandon form in favour of some outrageous experimentation. It looks to the continent for its avant garde-ness; it looks to the UK for its blending of themes and rhythms, but like all great albums it is a unique stand-alone monument, and a 'must-have' for progressive rock enthusiasts.
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VINE VOICEon 5 March 2008
Nektar's 1971 introduction is a far cry from their meticulous, tightly-crafted later albums, though it is rather obviously a concept effort. The opening 'Prelude' sounds like an out-take from Pink Floyd's psych classic, 'Interstellar Overdrive,' with its improvised guitar and a dated organ sound that prevails across much of the album. Indeed, the harsh production suggests the late 1960s rather than the early 1970s. Lyrical content is sparse, but the music burns with vitality and enthusiasm, sounding occasionally like early Deep Purple or Uriah Heep, but usually probing more experimental territory. The first half is uniformly ingenious and dramatic, the second half less so, as 'Burn Out My Eyes' does become a little monotonous. On the whole, though, this is a fiery album. It's a shame there was no sequel; 'Return to the Hole in your Ear' anyone?
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on 5 April 2001
Lost by not being as popular as it`s prog-rock peers but this is an extraordinary tribute to one's senses,i`ve had it for over a year and I`ve listened to it who knows how many times.Still has as much mystery and exitment as id did when I first got it!People with a sense of musical adventure should feel free to endulge themselves in this masterpiece no time period for those kind of things it`sart with a bit of science pushed intothe envelope.
Melodic,dramatic,mysterious,this is a prog-rock group that should be considered seriously if you like bands like King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator.I think Roye Allbrighton may have been an influence on verve guitarist Nick Mccabe.I can say that I find this album is worth sharing my thoughts,more than my Captain Beefheart review.It has some themes of sensory overload this is always a treat.It's a good cerebral album,perfect to understand true power in music! WARNING NOT FOR THE FAINT AT HEART!
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