Various Artists - Maximum Prog (special)

SKU 23-PAPR 2117
"Virtuoso musicianship? Complex keyboards? Wild guitar? Shifting time signatures? Bizarre lyrics? All are present and correct on this scorching new collection of British prog rarities, culled from 16 of the most collectible albums in the genre, originally released between 1969 and 1973. The set comes complete with a detailed 12-page booklet offering seldom-seen pictures as well as histories and discographies of the acts involved. Artists include: Don Shinn, Aardvark, Rock Workshop, Second Hand, Sweet Slag, 9:30 Fly, Samurai, Quiet World, Big Sleep, Heaven, Brainchild, Abacus, Titus Groan, Quicksand, Czar, and Goliath."

There are sixteen tracks on this CD, taken from the golden years of prog. They range from Deep Purplish rock to the more complex sounds of horns, marimaba and steel drums.

1. Don Shinn-'A-Minor Explosion': Starts off with a nod to Grieg, then segues into a church organ-like groove with some incendiary soling. Will remind some of Egg or ELP.
2. Aardvark-'Copper Sunset: Yocals, bass, drums and keys. No guitar. Bluesy fuzz organ with soulful vocals.
3. Rock Workshop-'Wade In The Water': Kind of generic riff-rock with a horn section thrown in. Vocals are a little on the thin side, so this one doesn't really stand out.
4. Second Hand-'Hangin' On An Eyelid': Very fine song that starts off with strings, steel drum, bass and Mellotron. From there, it just gets better with vibes and exquisite harmonies. If you like Gracious or Cressida, this is for you.
5. Sweet Slag-'Specific': The liner notes say 'guerilla jazz-rock', but this is basically a blues-tinged song. Not really a stand-out.
6. 9:30 Fly-'Life & Times': Interesting double vocals (male & female) with acoustic guitar. Great harmonies and keys.
7. Samurai-'Saving It Up For So Long': Starts off with a great grooving bass. Adds heavily effected vocals and some vibe chords, along with sax.
8. Quiet World-'Body To The Mind': What stands out about this track is that playing guitar is none other than Steve Hackett (brother John is also in the band). You will expect outstanding guitar work, and this folk-tinged song packs interesting vocal harmonies, along with a powerful sax solo on the bridge.
9. Big Sleep-'Aunty James': Piano starts this one off. Sounds like it sould have been on eother the White Album or Abbey Road. The vocalist has a wonderful quality.
10.Heaven-'This Time Tomorrow': Jazz-rock with a Jethro Tull (or Focus) feeling. This track is an instrumental, and switches between guitar and flute solos.
11.Brainchild-'She's Learning': Song with a pounding groove and great Hammond organ. Throw in a brass section and a singer who sounds like Neil Diamond. How can you not like this track? Don't forget to listen to the bass solo in the middle.
12.Abacus-'Cappucino': One of the crazier tracks on this CD. Hammond organ abounds here, along with a monster rhythm section, and a blistering fuzz-guitar solo.
13.Titus Groan-'I Can't Change': There seem to be a lot of tracks showcasing flute on this CD. You won't hear me compaining, because that one of my favorite prog instruments. This song is a bit more laid-back and melancholy, more in a Camel type vein.
14.Quicksand-'Sunlight Brings Shadows': A Welsh band who were really amazing musically, rhythmically, and vocally. Upbeat song with driving bass and wonderful guitar noodling. Check out the ending!
15.Czar-'Follow Me': Melancholy song with good vocals, but nothing really interesting in the department of guitar, or keys. Mostly straight-ahead prog-riff rock.
16.Goliath-'Port & Lemon Lady' Yet ANOTHER flute song, but this time with female vocals and a great deal of instrumental dexterity. When she starts singing acapella, that's the part that will grab you! Not too keen on the singing while the flute is soloing, tho.
  • LabelPast & Present
  • UPC827010211727
Your Price $9.00
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