Saturday, June 8, 2013

#682: MORE obscure Prog Rock classics

Well, the last list went over so well (best viewership numbers I've had in months) that here's another one. & there'll probably be more (& even MORE-obscure stuff), as soon as I remember more. Sometimes it sucks to be geographically separated from my Collection. But check out any of the below for hours of solid prog listening....

Jade Warrior -- A Winter's Tale.
Rare Bird -- Epic Forest, Birdman.
Wigwam -- NUCLEAR NIGHTCLUB: Bless Your Lucky Stars, Do or Die, Simple Human Kindness; Losing Hold.
Yes -- No Opportunity Necessary No Experience Needed, Every Little Thing, Sweet Dreams, Time and a Word, America (long version), Looking Around, White Car, Into the Lens (I am a Camera), Machine Messiah.
Al Stewart -- Roads to Moscow, Terminal Eyes, Nostradamus; MODERN TIMES: Carol, Apple Cider Reconstitution, The Dark and Rolling Sea, Modern Times; YEAR OF THE CAT: Lord Grenville, Flying Sorcery, One Stage Before, Broadway Hotel; Almost Lucy, Valentina Way, Life in Dark Water; 24 CARROTS: Running Man, Rocks in the Ocean, Paint by Numbers, Optical Illusions, Mondo Sinistro; Red Toupee, The World Comes to Riyadh (live), You Should Have Listened to Al, Electric Los Angeles Sunset, The Elf.
National Health -- Tenemos Roads, Binoculars.
Procol Harum -- Wreck of the Hesperus, Shine On Brightly, A Salty Dog, Long Gone Geek, Homburg, In the Autumn of My Madness/Look to Your Soul/Grand Finale (live).
Rick Wakeman -- WHITE ROCK: White Rock, Ice Run, Lax'x, Montezuma's Revenge, After the Ball.
Gong -- Wingful of Eyes, Chandra, Bamboojii, Shamal, A Sprinkling of Clouds, Master Builder.
David Sancious and Tone -- Transformation (The Speed of Love), The Play and Display of the Heart.
Manfred Mann's Earth Band -- Stranded, Heart on the Street, Don't Kill it Carol, Hollywood Town, Belle of the Earth, Waiter There's a Yawn in My Ear, Singing the Dolphin Through, Living Without You.
Saga -- Wind Him Up, Framed, Amnesia, Time's Up.
Styx -- Suite Madame Blue, Mother Dear.
Moody Blues -- Simple Game, Gypsy, Eyes of a Child Part 2, It's Up to You, Our Guessing Game, You Can Never Go Home, For My Lady, You and Me, Meanwhile, Nervous, Veteran Cosmic Rocker, In My World; THE PRESENT: Blue World, Sorry.
ELO -- 10538 Overture (live); TIME: Twilight, The Way Life's Meant to Be.
Alan Parsons Project -- The Gold Bug, Some Other Time, Winding Me Up.
Supertramp -- Babajii, From Now On, Just Another Nervous Wreck, Child of Vision.
Led Zeppelin -- Carouselambra.
Roxy Music -- The Thrill of it All, Over You, Same Old Scene.
Jefferson Starship -- FREEDOM AT POINT ZERO: Lightning Rose, Things to Come, Awakening, Just the Same, Fading Lady Light, Freedom at Point Zero; Save Your Love, Winds of Change.
Clannad -- MACALLA: Caislean Oir, The Wild Cry, Closer to Your Heart, In a Lifetime, Almost Seems Too Late to Turn, Indoor, Blackstairs, Journey's End; Second Nature, In Fortune's Hand.
Enya -- Storms in Africa.
The Move -- Message from the Country, Tonight, Do Ya?
Grace Slick -- DREAMS: Full Moon Man, Garden of Man, Let it Grow, Dreams, El Diablo, Face to the Wind, Angel of Night.
Steve Tibbetts -- YR: Ur, The Alien Lounge, You and It, Ten Yr Dance, One Day, Three Primates.
Nektar -- Do You Believe in Magic?, Fidgety Queen, King of Twilight, It's All Over, Astral Man, The Dream Nebula, It's All in Your Head.

NOW AND THEN: Played some middle-period Genesis at work last night, some stuff from their PLATINUM COLLECTION that I hadn't heard in years -- "Undertow," "Afterglow," "Your Own Special Way," "Ripples" -- my favorite Genesis period, though it wasn't as popular as the Gabriel years & was WAY less successful than their later Phil Collins hit stuff.
& it occurred to me that it's easy to see now why those songs weren't hits: Though I think they're all gorgeous & still well worth hearing, these dreamy, romantic, storybook-style songs lack punchiness & directness. "Ripples" takes over 9 minutes; "Your Own Special Way" takes over 6, which is kinda long for a fairly direct lovesong. "Undertow" has enough drama for anyone, & "Afterglow" adds some at the end, but overall these songs are pretty soft & gauzy, mushy -- sweet & attractive in their gentleness, but not much for immediacy. "Ripples" was even released as a single, & made no known chart.
Still gorgeous, don't get me wrong. Great singing from Phil, nice keyboards & vocal harmonies from Tony Banks, nice ghostly guitar from Steve Hackett & Mike Rutherford. But it's clear to me now why Phil & Co. had to punch up the drama & directness to get some airplay. I always thought these middle-period songs were WAY underrated, & I still think so. But they sound ... well, kinda young & naive now.
More soon....

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