Archive for January, 2010

Top 10 Prog Albums

January 28, 2010

Menurut http://www.progarchives.com/ daftar album prog paling top (10 besar) adalah berikut ini:

  1. Close To The Edge – Yes
  2. Yes Close To The Edge album cover

  3. Selling England By The Pound – Genesis
  4. Genesis Selling England By The Pound album cover

  5. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
  6. Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here album cover

  7. Thick As A Brick – Jethro Tull
  8. Jethro Tull Thick As A Brick album cover

  9. Foxtrot – Genesis
  10. Genesis Foxtrot album cover

  11. Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd
  12. Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon album cover

  13. In The Court Of The Crimson King – King Crimson
  14. King Crimson In The Court Of The Crimson King album cover

  15. Animals – Pink Floyd
  16. Pink Floyd Animals album cover

  17. Per Un Amico – Premiata Forneria Marconi
  18. Premiata Forneria Marconi Per Un Amico album cover

  19. Red – King Crimson
  20. King Crimson Red album cover

Gimana? Apa Anda setuju? Kalau tidak, bagaiman dengan Anda? Versi Anda Top 10 Prog Albums of All Time itu apa saja? Kalau saya mah gak rela liat ‘Relayer’ nya Yes gak masuk list, juga ‘Free Hand’ nya Gentle Giant… dan juga .. dan juga … udah lah ..pokoknya banyak ‘…dan juga …’ lainnya …

Salam,

G

“Man of Miracles” by Styx

January 21, 2010

JRENG!

Kembali ke pitungpuluhan dengan album legendaris yang merupakan perkenalan pertama kali bagi saya dengan kelompok Amrik yang namanya STYX (bacanya: Stiks! bukan sok tahu dibaca es-ti-wai-eks yang jelas ngawur itu karena ini nama bukan singkatan, tauk!). Pertama kali kenal band ini ya dari kaset Maxell UD C60 rekaman dari plat milik radio Geronimo Yogya yang direkam oleh kakak saya, Henky, yang pernah jadi penyiar di radio paling beken di Ngayogyokarto itu. Pada saat bersamaan saya juga punya kaset kompilasi Prambors Hits II dimana ada lagu “Christopher Mr Christopher” nan legendaris dan ngetop di kota Madiun di saat itu. Maka lengkaplah, saya menyukai album ini.

Sebetulnya gak semua lagunya enak tapi ada yang asik banget yaitu “A Song for Suzanne”, “Evil Eyes” dan tentunya “Christopher Mr Christopher”. Namun bila dinikmati satu album secara penuh, rasanya jadi “ngemplang” sukma dan nunjek ulu ati. Apalagi ini album memorable nostalgik nuansamatik …wis jan ngguweblak tenan!!!!

Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks ListingStyx Man of Miracles album cover

1. Rock & Roll Feeling (3:02)
2. Havin’ A Ball (3:53)
3. Golden Lark (3:23)
4. A Song For Suzanne (5:15)
5. A Man Like Me (2:57)
6. Lies (2:45)
7. Evil Eyes (4:02)
8. Southern Woman (3:10)
9. Christopher, Mr. Christopher (4:02)
10. Man Of Miracles (4:55)

Total Time: 37:24

Lyrics

Search STYX Man of Miracles lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search STYX Man of Miracles tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- John Curulewski / guitar, arp, vocals
– Dennis DeYoung / keyboards, arp, vocals
– Chuck Panozzo / bass
– John Panozzo / drums, percussion, vocals
– James “JY” Young / guitar, vocals

* Additional musicians on this album:
– Barry Alan Fasman / string arrangement -“Golden Lark” & horn arrangement – “A Man Like Me”

Releases information

RCA 3115-2-R

4 stars Updated on 23 Feb 08

“Man of Miracles” was my first introduction to Styx. It was my big brother, Henky, who was a rock broadcaster in a radio station (Geronimo) based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. When he returned back home to my small town where I lived with my mother he always brought me a tape from rock groups. One of them was STYX “Man of Miracles” whom the name I had never heard before and it sounded weird to me. But when I played the cassette tape, I was amazed with the music which to me sounded simple but it rocked especially when I heard “A Song for Suzanne” for the first time. In fact this was my first in love with STYX! Later I realized that another track “Christopher Mr Christopher” became a major hit in Indonesia.

This is definitely NOT a prog album as the music is a straight rock music. However, this is an excellent rock album. “Christopher, Mr. Christopher” was then a hit in my country in mid of 70s. It’s a very nice pop rock song with good keyboard and guitar works. This song is very “nostalgic”, I would say. It’s a kind of music you’d like to enjoy while sipping a cup of starbuck’s coffee lathe. Uugghh … what a nice break! I am sure that it was Prambors radio who made the song so popular in Indonesia. In fact, the song was then used by local youngsters in my small town Madiun to name their gang with “Christopher” name. The uniqueness of this youngsters gang was that all members’ motorcycles were all painted white with red stripe. What a memorable thing for me! But again, the song itself is very melodic especially the song ambience at intro part where the guitar and drums work together beautifully. The first lyrical verse was very famous in my small town Madiun where youngsters at that time always sing together: “I remember Christopher / such a man / so brave and tall. He took the baby Jesus / in his arms / across the waterfall .” WOW man! What a memorable moment (I used to term it as “nuansamatik”).

The other tracks of my favorites are: “A Song for Suzanne” (nice intro part), “Lies”, “Evil Eyes” (this is really great track! Especially on the melody and vocal line, combined with music ambience which supports the song), “Man of Miracle” (great organ work) and “Southern Woman” (energetic rock), “Golden Lark” (mellow track with an excellent piano). Styx strong point is in its vocal. Recommended, even for a new starter (those who have not listened to STYX music). To me, the first two tracks are not enjoyable. However, this album is best enjoyed in its entirety. If you enjoy song by song you may find difficulties to absorb the two first track. Rating 4/5. Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

“Live at Last and More” by Pendragon (DVD)

January 20, 2010

Kenal band ini pertama kali ya dari kaset Yess di tahun 1985. memang di bilangan musik neo prog, Pendragon termasuk yang telat karena baru merilis debut di tahun 1985 bertajuk “The Jewel”. Album debut ini tidak begitu menggigit dari segi komposisi musiknya meskipun kelompok ini digawangi oleh gitaris dan vokalis penuh talenta Nick Barrett diperkuat pemain kibor andal Clive Nolan di album2 selanjutnya. Pada debut album yang main kibor adalah Rick Carter.

DVD “Live at Last and More” merupakan tontonan yang menarik bila dilihat dari permainan gitar Nick Barrett. Sayang vokal Nick sebetulnya kurang bagus, namun tertutup dengan permainan gitarnya. Pendragon sebenernya musiknya agak “nanggung” karena memang tak ada komposisi yang benar-benar dahsyat. Bagusnya, band ini selalu membaik dari satu album ke album berikutnya. Album terakhir mereka “Pure” bisa dikatakan bagus.

DVD/Video, released in 2002Pendragon Live At Last ... And More album cover

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. March Of The Torreadores (Intro) (0:43)
2. Nostradamus (3:03)
3. As Good As Gold (7:30)
4. Paintbox (7:34)
5. Breaking The Spell (8:19)
6. Guardian Of My Soul (12:58)
7. Back In The Spotlight (6:17)
8. The Last Man On Earth (14:35)
9. The Shadow (9:57)
10. Leviathan (6:43)
11. Masters Of Illusion (13:01)
12. The Last Waltz (Queen Of Hearts Part Three) (5:12)

Total Time: 95:53

Lyrics

Search PENDRAGON Live At Last … And More lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search PENDRAGON Live At Last … And More tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Nick Barrett / guitar, vocals
– Peter Gee / bass
– Clive Nolan / keyboards
– Fudge Smith / drums

3 stars I’ve got this DVD early last year and just found out that it has not been reviewed here. It’s probably people don’t pay attention to Pendragon as many consider that if we talk about neo prog it must be about Marillion, IQ, Pallas, etc and rarely mention about Pendragon. It’s actually worth observing because this four-piece band has been consistent with their music style since its inception. This live set was filmed during the band’s The Masquarade Overture Tour. Specific to this DVD it was filmed at Krakow, Poland on 24th November 1996. As you may guess, this was a performance to promote their latest album at the time: The Masquarade Overture.

The show started with a shot of a nice stage design with back drops containing materials from album cover designs. The welcoming music sounds awful to my ears called “March Of The Torreodores” – what’s this? This is not suitable to welcome a prog show. How can someone compares this to, say, uplifting Firebird Suite of Yes or Rosini’s William Tel Overture? I almost drop my listening at first spind of the DVD. But, I already paid US$ 18 (quite cheap, actually), so I forced myself to enjoy it. Nick Barrett, Clive Nolan, Peter Gee and Fudge Smith then enter the stage. Barrett dressed in a yellow and blue checkered coat, again, for it does not prog at all. Ugghhh . Nolan dressed like Rick Wakeman? Sort of. Peter Gee dressed with a vest and did not really prog, appearance wise – especially looking at the way he played his bass guitar. Awful. Sorry.

The show started with Nostradamus in an upbeat tempo that stimulated audience participation. Barrett seemed like more than a singer, more than a songwriter and I think he was the center of the show. He is also a fantastic guitar player with Floydian style. One of my favorite was when the band played Guardian Of My Soul (12:58). It’s a great song that starts energetically followed with a silent break and then continued with slow guitar fills. The song moves from slow to a rocking style with great guitar and keyboard works. There is short drum solo in the middle followed with stunning guitar solo. There are many tempo changes with combination of low to high register notes on vocal. Back In The Spotlight (6:17) starts off in upbeat tempo with guitar solo and keyboard as rhythm. The vibe is heating up and the vocal is becoming aggressive. The crowd is excited. Under The Last Man On Earth (14:35) the crowd sing along with the band. Yes, the band has successfully made the audience getting hot with the show. Just before The Last Waltz (Queen Of Hearts Part Three) (5:12) the crowd sing in a capella with Fudge Smith plays his bass drum as beat keeper. It’s a good live vibe, really.

On stage, it seems really clear that Nick Barrett is the center of attention as he delivers his roles excellently. Second is Clive Nolan with his long hair and head banging acts at some rocking segments. Unfortunately, his keyboard sound is mixed at relatively low level so that the keyboard sound is not truly obvious – even on solo part. It’s probably he plays his keyboard very carefully. Fudge Smith delivers better drumming here compared to his performance with Steve Hackett in Time Lapse live video.

There is a huge selection of bonus material for fans. It includes the commercial video for “Saved By You. Also a short biography on the band and its members; complete with a discography with scans from all the albums. Also some website information and a Pendragon logo also there’s an interview. The interview was not clear to my ears as the recording technology used was really bad so I can’t hear half the questions asked. This DVD gives an overview of Pendragon and the kind of music they play.

Overall, this DVD will favor most of neo progressive fans. It’s enjoyable live performance especially on guitar work. On the stage performance I observe that there is a little mismatch between audio and visual takes that are obvious especially during Nick’s vocal part or Fudge Smith drumming. It’s a production issue, I think. Keep on proggin’ ..!

Progressively yours,

GW

“The Wedge” by Pallas

January 11, 2010

JRENG!

Bener juga kata mas Kristanto bahwa saya jarang bikin tret baru di blog gemblunk ini. Kemudian beliau mengusulkan saya mengulas Pendragon. Good idea juga. Tapi sebelum kita bahas Pendragon, kita bahas juga ‘nak ndulur’ (saudara dekat) Pendragon selain Marillion dan IQ. memang empat band inilah dulu yang berjibaku mempertahankan musik prog yang sedang sekarat di awal 80an gara2 digempur punk dan new wave. Diantara mereka berempat memang Marillion (ehem!) yang benderanya berkibar kuat karena kiprah ‘Market Quare Heroes’ EP (1981) dibarengi dengan album penuh ‘Script for a Jester’s Tear’ (1983) lantaran didukung oleh label kuat: EMI.

Berbicara tentang Pallas, saya gak bisa lari dari kenyataan bahwa kelompok ini saya kenal juga dari kaset Yess yang memproduksinya juga saat itu. Pada jaman 80an yang saya kenal ya album ‘The Sentinel’ (1984) disusul dengan ‘The Wedge’ (1986). The Sentinel bagi saya kurang nunjek karena musiknya masih ‘raw’ dan ada bau SAGA nya sehingga kurang orisinil, menurut saya lho … Baru pas kaset Yess selanjutnya menyajikan ‘The Wedge’ dengan orientasi musik yang berbeda, yaitu lebih mendayu-ndayu atau istilah prog nya adalah neo-prog. Wah pertama kali denger ‘The Sanctuary’ saya langsung jatuh cinta dengan band ini. Musiknya mengalun asik banget dari sepi menjadi agak gaduh.

I got no money–I got no faith. I got no interest in the human race,– But I don’t mind

…adalah cuplikan lirik indah dari lagu  ‘Nguncalno Watu Nang Awang-Awang’ yang arti boso Jowone adalah ‘Throwing Stones At The Wind’. Whoooaaa…lagu ini juga nunjek ulu ati tenan … Wis pokoke huenak kepuenak pol menikmati album ini. Selain lagune enak2, rekaman kaset Yess nya juga dramatically great! (opo maneh kuwi?). Lha wong treblenya kemrichink, bass-nya ‘ulem’ dan midrange vokal Alan Reed juga huenak tenan jal!

Pokoke ojo ngaku PROG yen ora nate krungu album iki jal!

JRENG!

Pallas The Wedge album cover

Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dance Through The Fire (4:46)
2. Throwing Stones At The Wind (5:15)
3. Win Or Lose (4:32)
4. The Executioner (5:36)
5. Imagination (4:35)
6. Rat Racing (8:09)
7. Just A Memory (5:29)
8. Stranger (3:50)
9. Sanctuary (9:34)
10. Nightmare (4:24)

Total Time: 56:10

Lyrics

Search PALLAS The Wedge lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search PALLAS The Wedge tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan Reed / vocals
– Graeme Murray / bass, vocals
– Niall Mathewson / guitars
– Derek Forman / drums
– Ronnie Brown / keyboards

Releases information

Inside Out IOMCD059

Review hamba di Progarchives:

4 stars “I got no money–I got no faith. I got no interest in the human race,– But I don’t mind” – PALLAS “Throwing Stones at The Wind”

When it was first released in 1986, this album received little attention to my ears as I was at the time fully loaded with Marillion early albums and EP from “Market Square Heroes” until “Misplaced Childhood”. I only played the cassette version of “The Wedge” occasionally because I considered Marillion was the only excellent prog band in the mid eighties. Of course, I also knew IQ “The Wake” but again, Marillion was my main menu of daily music life. Whenever I played this cassette usually I took mostly track 9 “Sanctuary” that pleased my neo prog ears at the time. Alan Reed was the new lead singer replacing Euan Lowson.

“Dance Through The Fire” (4:46) opens the album through percussive work combined with keyboard punch in fast tempo music. It’s a rocking track that is suitable to open the show, actually. It has also tempo change into slower one when guitar solo enters in the middle. The music reminds me to the work of Steve Hackett solo album. ” Throwing Stones At The Wind” (5:15) still continues with rock music spirit with excellent guitar riffs combined with drumming. The music is energetic and simple to follow. “Pull the string, make him sing, He’ll do anything that you want him to, They tell him he’s free, Between you and me, He’s throwing stones at the wind” is lyrical part that is very usual to emulate. Beautifully composed song. “Win Or Lose” (4:32) is a slow track with keyboard-based structure that reminds me to the music of Saga. It’s a nice music.

“The Executioner” (5:36) caught into my specific attention after I watched the live version through “The Blinding Darkness” DVD set. It’s another rocking track with neat arrangement especially the combination between keyboard, bass guitar and vocal during opening part. The song has a very strong symphonic nuance. “Imagination” (4:35) might confuse you with Saga because the music is in the same style. You must try it; especially for those of you who are familiar with Canadian Saga. “Rat Racing” (8:09) is an interesting track with symphonic style, many tempo changes, great keyboard work. When guitar solo enters the music it really represents the neo progressiveness of this album. Excellent song. “Just A Memory” (5:29) is an enjoyable track using music loop / programming reminiscent of Genesis “Tonight, Tonight”. I really enjoy this track as the melody and the composition are really good.

“Stranger” (3:50) is for me a mediocre track and still reminds me to Saga. But “Sanctuary” (9:34) is really an excellent composition. It starts with beautiful combination of keyboard, guitar, Taurus bass pedal and vocal. The acoustic guitar work is in Eastern tuning and characterizes the melody in the same style. The howling guitar at the back reminds me to Steve Hackett. When percussive enters the music it even makes the song sounds better. The music increases into faster tempo with percussive as driver of musical nuance. Really great! The best track of this album! “Nightmare” (4:24) is another excellent track that combines great guitar solo, keyboard and bass to make this track a cohesive one. It concludes the album.

Overall, this album is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin’ ..!

Progressively yours, GW



Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 144 other followers