Tag Archives: Progressive rock

The ALAN PARSONS PROJECT – The Turn Of A Friendly Card 4-disc box set

The classic 1980 album from The Alan Parson Project – Turn Of A Friendly Card is being reissued in a 4 disc (3 CD + DVD) box. The album was highlighted by 2 major hits – “Games People Play” – featuring the amazing vocals of Lenny Zakatek, and the ballad “Time”. It also included such favorites as “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”, “The Gold Bug” (a single) and “Turn Of A Friendly Card” (Parts One & Two). The original album is an awesome listen on it’s own, but the numerous demos, early takes, and rough mixes make this even more interesting. I am quite happy hearing a number of versions of “Games People Play”! To be released February 24, with a limited number of collector’s postcards available.

*For more info check out the press info & tracklisting below, as well as ordering link.

• A DELUXE LIMITED EDITION BOXED SET OF THE CLASSIC ALBUM BY THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT.

• THREE CDs AND ONE BLU-RAY DISC (REGION FREE), REMASTERED AND REMIXED FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES BY ALAN PARSONS.

• FEATURING AN ADDITIONAL 42 BONUS TRACKS DRAWN FROM ERIC WOOLFSON’S SONGWRITING DIARIES, STUDIO SESSION OUT-TAKES AND A STUNNING NEW 5.1 SURROUND SOUND FROM THE ORIGINAL MULTI-TRACK MASTER TAPES BY ALAN PARSONS AND FOUR PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS.

• INCLUDES A LAVISHLY ILLUSTRATED BOOK WITH NEW ESSAY AND A REPLICA POSTER.

First released in November 1980, ‘The Turn Of A Friendly Card’ was the fifth album by The Alan Parsons Project, the brainchild of composer, musician and manger Eric Woolfson and celebrated producer and engineer Alan Parsons.

Inspired by the period in which both Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons had resided in Monte Carlo, this legendary album was recorded in Paris. The album sessions featured the contribution of musicians such as Ian Bairnson (guitars), David Paton (bass), Stuart Elliott (drums) with Eric Woolfson playing keyboards and providing lead vocals, along with Elmer Gantry, Chris Rainbow and Lenny Zakatek.‘ The Turn Of A Friendly Card’ would become one of the biggest selling albums for The Alan Parsons Project, attaining gold status in many European countries and the USA. The album featured such classic compositions as ‘Games People Play, ‘Time’, ‘The Gold Bug’ and ‘The Turn Of A Friendly’ suite which dominated the album’s second side.

This new deluxe edition comprises 3CDs and a Blu-Ray disc (Region Free) with an additional 42 tracks drawn from Eric Woolfson’s song-writing diaries, studio session out-takes and a stunning new 5.1 surround sound mix by Alan Parsons and a high resolution remastered original stereo mix, along with the promotional videos of ‘Games People Play’, ‘The Gold Bug’ and ‘The Turn Of A Friendly Card’ plus a promotional television advertisement. This stunning set also features a lavish illustrated book with a new essay with photos, memorabilia and features recollections from Alan Parsons and Sally Woolfson. It also includes a reproduction poster.

DISC ONE
THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD’ REMASTERED
1 MAY BE A PRICE TO PAY
2 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
3 TIME
4 I DON’T WANNA GO HOME
5 THE GOLD BUG
6 THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD (PART ONE)
7 SNAKE EYES
8 THE ACE OF SWORDS
9 NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE
10 THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD (PART TWO)
BONUS TRACKS
11 MAY BE A PRICE TO PAY (INTRO DEMO)
12 NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE (BASIC BACKING TRACK)
13 NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE (CHRIS RAINBOW OVERDUB VOCAL COMPILATION)
14 TIME (EARLY STUDIO ATTEMPT)
15 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY (ROUGH MIX)
16 THE GOLD BUG (DEMO)

DISC TWO
ERIC WOOLFSON’S SONGWRITING DIARIES
1 MAY BE A PRICE TO PAY
2 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
3 TIME
4 I DON’T WANNA GO HOME
5 THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD
6 SNAKE EYES
7 NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE
8 TOFC / SNAKE EYES / I DON’T WANNA GO HOME
9 LA LA LA LAH
10 NEXT YEAR
11 SOMEONE ELSE
12 TAKING IT ALL AWAY
13 TO THOSE OF YOU OUT THERE

DISC THREE
RECORDING SESSIONS BONUS TRACKS
1 MAY BE A PRICE TO PAY (EARLY VERSION – ERIC GUIDE VOCAL AND UNUSED GUITAR SOLO)
2 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY (EARLY VERSION – ERIC GUIDE VOCAL)
3 TIME (ORCHESTRA AND CHRIS RAINBOW BACKING VOCALS)
4 THE GOLD BUG (EARLY REFERENCE VERSION)
5 THE GOLD BUG (CHRIS RAINBOW BACKING VOCALS)
6 THE GOLD BUG (CLAVINET WITH NO DELAY)
7 THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD – Part One (EARLY BACKING TRACK)
8 SNAKE EYES (EARLY VERSION – ERIC GUIDE VOCAL)
9 THE ACE OF SWORDS (EARLY VERSION WITH SYNTH ORCHESTRATION)
10 THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD – Part Two (ERIC GUIDE VOCAL AND EXTENDED GUITAR SOLO)
SINGLE EDITS
11 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY (SINGLE EDIT)
12 THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD (SINGLE EDIT)
13 SNAKE EYES (SINGLE EDIT)

DISC FOUR – BLU RAY
5.1 SURROUND SOUND MIX (2019) AND HIGH- RESOLUTION ORIGINAL STEREO MIX BY ALAN PARSONS
1 MAY BE A PRICE TO PAY
2 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
3 TIME
4 I DON’T WANNA GO HOME
5 THE GOLD BUG
6 THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD (PART ONE)
7 SNAKE EYES
8 THE ACE OF SWORDS
9 NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE
10 THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD (PART TWO)
VISUAL CONTENT
1 THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD (ALBUM AD)
2 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY (PROMOTIONAL VIDEO)
3 THE GOLD BUG (PROMOTIONAL VIDEO)
4 THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD (PROMOTIONAL VIDEO)

Links:

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/the-alan-parsons-project-the-turn-of-a-friendly-card-3cd-blu-ray-limited-edition-box-set/

https://alanparsons.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheAlanParsonsProject

GENESIS – BBC Broadcasts box set coming in March

Set for a March release, Genesis ‘BBC Broadcasts’ is an extensive collection of broadcast material from one of the biggest selling recording artists of all time and one of Britain’s most internationally renowned bands. Curated by founder member Tony Banks and the group’s long-time engineer and producer Nick Davis, it is available as a 53-track 5-CD set and 24-track triple LP.
These collections represent the cream of the group’s work recorded by the BBC between 1970 and 1998, and it includes contributions from all three of the group’s vocalists, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Ray Wilson. With notes by author Michael Hann, and packaged with a 40–page booklet, ‘BBC Broadcasts’ contains favorites such as ‘Home By The Sea’, ‘Mama’, ‘Duchess’, ‘Carpet Crawlers’, ‘No Son Of Mine’ ‘Turn It On Again’ and many more.
With only a handful of these tracks previously officially available, Genesis ‘BBC Broadcasts’ acts as both a collector’s cornucopia and an alternative “greatest hits”. Stretching from the very beginnings of the band’s career via appearances on ‘Night Ride’ and John Peel, the set encompasses both of the group’s Knebworth performances (78 and 92) as well as their much–loved 1980 show at London’s Lyceum, and triumphant sell–out run of shows at Wembley in 1987.
Rounded out by material from the NEC in 1998 and Paris Theatre and Nightride sessions from the early 70s, as well as the much sought–after encore version of ‘Watcher Of The Skies’ at Wembley Empire Pool in 1975, Genesis ‘BBC Broadcasts’ is a veritable treasure trove.

TRACKLISTS:

CD1 Early BBC

01 Shepherd (Live on Night Ride, BBC Radio Two, 1970)
02 Pacidy (Live on Night Ride, BBC Radio Two, 1970)
03 Let Us Now Make Love (Live on Night Ride, BBC Radio Two, 1970)
04 The Fountain of Salmacis (Live at Paris Studios, London, 1972)
05 The Musical Box (Live at Paris Studios, London, 1972)
06 Stagnation (Live on Sounds of the 70s, BBC Radio One, 1971)
07 Harlequin (Live on BBC Radio One John Peel Session, 1972)
08 Get ‘Em Out By Friday (Live on BBC Radio One John Peel Session, 1972)
09 Harold the Barrel (Live on BBC Radio One John Peel Session, 1972)
10 Twilight Alehouse (Live on BBC Radio One John Peel Session, 1972)
11 Watcher of the Skies (Live on BBC Radio One In Concert, 1975)

Disc 2 (Knebworth 78 / Lyceum 80)
01 Squonk (Knebworth 78)
02 Burning Rope (Knebworth 78)
03 Dance on a Volcano (Knebworth 78)
04 Drum Duet (Knebworth 78)
05 Los Endos (Knebworth 78)
06 Deep in the Motherlode (Lyceum 80)
07 Dancing with the Moonlit Knight (Lyceum 80)
08 The Carpet Crawlers (Lyceum 80)
09 One for the Vine (Lyceum 80)
10 Behind the Lines (Lyceum 80)
11 Duchess (Lyceum 80)
12 Guide Vocal (Lyceum 80)
13 Turn It On Again (Lyceum 80)
14 Duke’s Travels (Lyceum 80)
15 Duke’s End (Lyceum 80)

Disc 3
01 Say It’s Alright Joe (Lyceum 80)
02 The Lady Lies (Lyceum 80)
03 Ripples (Lyceum 80)
04 In the Cage (Lyceum 80)
05 The Raven (Lyceum 80)
06 Afterglow (Lyceum 80)
07 Follow You Follow Me (Lyceum 80)
08 I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) (Lyceum 80)
09 The Knife (Lyceum 80)
10 Mama (Wembley 87)
11 Domino (Wembley 87)

Disc 4 (Wembley 87)
01 That’s All (Wembley 87)
02 The Brazilian (Wembley 87)
03 Throwing It All Away (Wembley 87)
04 Home By the Sea (Wembley 87)
05 Second Home By the Sea (Wembley 87)
06 Invisible Touch (Wembley 87)
07 Drum Duet (Wembley 87)
08 Los Endos (Wembley 87)
09 Not About Us (Live at Birmingham N.E.C., 1998)
10 The Dividing Line (Live at Birmingham N.E.C., 1998)

Disc 5 (Knebworth 1992)

01 No Son of Mine (Knebworth 92)
02 Driving the Last Spike (Knebworth 92)
03 Old Medley (Knebworth 92)
04 Fading Lights (Knebworth 92)
05 Hold On My Heart (Knebworth 92)
06 I Can’t Dance (Knebworth 92)

VINYL LPS

Tracklist LP Set

Side 1

01 The Musical Box (Live at Paris Studios, London, 1972)
02 Stagnation (Live on Sounds of the 70s, BBC Radio One, 1971)
03 Harlequin (Live on BBC Radio One John Peel Session, 1972)
04 Harold the Barrel (Live on BBC Radio One John Peel Session, 1972)

Side 2

01 Get ‘Em Out By Friday (Live on BBC Radio One John Peel Session, 1972)
02 Watcher of the Skies (Live on BBC Radio One In Concert, 1975)
03 Dancing with the Moonlit Knight (Live at the Lyceum Theatre, London, 1980)
04 The Carpet Crawlers (Live at the Lyceum Theatre, London, 1980)

Side 3

01 Behind the Lines (Lyceum Theatre, London, 1980)
02 Duchess (Lyceum Theatre, London, 1980)
03 Guide Vocal (Lyceum Theatre, London, 1980)
04 Duke’s Travels (Lyceum Theatre, London, 1980)
05 Duke’s End (Lyceum Theatre, London, 1980)

Side 4

01 Say It’s Alright Joe (Live at the Lyceum Theatre, London, 1980)
02 The Lady Lies (Live at the Lyceum Theatre, London, 1980)
03 I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) [Live at the Lyceum Theatre, London, 1980]

Side 5

01 Mama (Live at Wembley Stadium, London, 1987)
02 That’s All (Live at Wembley Stadium, London, 1987)
03 Home By the Sea (Live at Wembley Stadium, London, 1987)
04 Second Home By the Sea (Live at Wembley Stadium, London, 1987)

Side 6

01 Throwing It All Away (Live at Wembley Stadium, London, 1987)
02 No Son of Mine (Live at Knebworth Festival, 1992)
03 Driving the Last Spike (Live at Knebworth Festival, 1992)

SPELL – Release Tragic Magic, new video

(Photo: David P. Ball)

Tragic Magic is the 4th release from Vancouver’s SPELL, who are described/labelled as ‘hypnotic heavy metal’. Hypnotic is one word, but there’s a number of words that spring to mind in describing the band’s latest album. First and foremost, they are Canadian, so I hear the likes of Rush in their sound, as well as Harlequin and Red Rider, maybe it’s the vocals, the melodies with the latter… And then there’s the cool hooks, riffs, and fantasy type songs that have elements of Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath, Wishbone Ash…. Tragic Magic has all the elements of a classic 70s early metal album, but with clever melodies, perfectly timed uses of 80s synths, and songs that will grow on the listener, and elements of prog and space-rock, Each track offers something unique that will demand repeated plays. “Ultraviolet” may be the standout track here, but this album keeps me interested with every tune, the latest single being “Fever Dream” instantly reminding me of early 80s Rush and Red Rider, like this could’ve been a big arena favorite 40 years ago! Favorites include “A Ruined Garden”, “Cruel Optimism” (with that heavy riff, lighter verses, and hard-edged chorus) , and “Watcher Of The Seas” (love the 80s Rush, and metal feel of this). Album ends with the short instrumental “The Watching”, a bit space/prog rock., a great ending. Ten tracks here, most of which come in under 4 minutes, but yet one feels there’s much more. +Tragic Magic available on vinyl LP (multiple colors), CD and digital

*for more info, check out the press release and links below. Highly recommended!

(Photo: David P. Ball)

Hypnotic Heavy Metal Band, SPELL, Streams New Video “Fever Dream”

Vancouver Progressive Duo to Drop New LP, ‘Tragic Magic’, October 28

“Music is magic, and Spell is a spell. Fundamentally, it is a forum to make our dreams come true”- Spell bassist/guitarist/vocalist Cam Mesmer

Fantastical heavy metal band Spell will release its new LP, ‘Tragic Magic’, on October 28 via Bad Omen Records. Featuring ten tracks of prime, progressive heavy music flooded with mesmerizing atmospheres, ‘Tragic Magic’ sees Spell take a decidedly grittier lyrical approach, leaning less into escapism, while confronting real life challenges of modern times. Striking cover art (Frenzy of Exultations by Władysław Podkowiński, 1863) featuring an angelic woman riding a frenetic horse, portends the palpable potency that the record promises. In its review of the new Spell song, “Ultraviolet”, Metal Injection says the band’s sound treads “the line between dreamy progressive rock in the vein of King Crimson and more straightforward old-school heavy metal like Blue Öyster Cult.” Pre-order ‘Tragic Magic’ at THIS location. 

In advance of the release of ‘Tragic Magic’, Spell streams a video for the new track, “Fever Dream”, (Directed by Scotti Gibson, with cinematography by Kyle Samuels & make up effects by Caitlin Rose Delaplace and edited by Vince Edwards) an enticing earworm that fuses darkwave and progressive psych in hypnotizing fashion while exploring the realms of “nightmares and sleep paralysis”.

“Fever Dream” comes directly from the most evil and frightening moments I’ve experienced in the depths of illness and sleep,”  offers Spell vocalist/guitarist Cam Mesmer. “These things may not make sense in the light of day, but once they take hold you have no choice but to follow their twisted path. Deep within nightmares and sleep paralysis, I have conflicting desires: first the urge to shake myself and escape, but also a second, deeper instinct – to give in to the feeling and allow it to conquer me completely to see where it will take me. This song represents your darkest subconscious, urging you to allow that evil inside of yourself and give it the agency to take you somewhere new, somewhere unholy. Now go back to sleep…”

‘Tragic Magic’ is the highly anticipated follow up to Spell’s critically acclaimed 2020 LP, ‘Opulent Decay’, a record hailed as “fantasy rock” by Blabbermouth, “enchanting” by Heavy Blog is Heavy, and “captivating” by Revolver. The record’s songcraft is steeped in the atmosphere of the arcane, yet the hooks are more razor-sharp than ever. While influences like the esoteric charge of the aforementioned Blue Öyster Cult and the elemental expansions of Camel drift through these crepuscular melodies, Spell are as likely to be influenced by the life-affirming energy of ‘60s Motown, the ethereal dimensions of Cocteau Twins, the strident woe of Candlemass, and the classic songwriting chops of Russ Ballard. 

Another taste of what ‘Tragic Magic’ holds in store can be ingested now on the previously unveiled video for the LP’s radiating first single “Ultraviolet”. Created by Sean Edwards for Ramble Films (Freeways), the eye-catching clip showcases Spell at the height of its powers.

“The themes on this album are more concrete, guided by personal experience,” offers Mesmer. “Tragic Magic’ has to do with mental illness, ageing, the death of a loved one, the decay of time… this is what ‘tragic magic’ means to us – loss and tragedy outside of our control, which fundamentally alters our perceived reality. This album is our response to the world as it currently is music for an ascetic age. The identity of Spell came into sharp focus as it was always intended to be.” 

Ultraviolet” explores the hidden terror of forces that rule us but cannot be perceived or understood,” says Spell vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Cam Mesmer. “Our world is shaped by powers that the limitations of our physical bodies prevent us from directly encountering. Will we fall victim to the lust for that which cannot be ours, or harness them to fulfil our wildest dreams?”

“If this band was a van, they would be the raddest, most pimped out airbrushed 70’s van with plush interior and a BOOMING system. SPELL is a perfect name for them, because their songs are jamming heavy metal magic.” – Cvlt Nation

“Psychedelic space rock exploration steeped in sludge and fuzz. Tipping their caps to a range of classic hard rock influences like Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Rush and even old-school Mercyful Fate, Spell captures a dreary, overcast and lo-fi vibe” – Exclaim!

SPELL is: Cam Mesmer: vocals, bass, rhythm guitar/ Al Lester: vocals, drums, lead guitar. (* Synthesizers by Gabriel B)

Links:

https://spellofficial.bandcamp.com/album/tragic-magic

https://www.facebook.com/spellspell

https://www.youtube.com/c/SPELLOFFICIAL

https://www.youtube.com/c/BadOmenRecords

SPELL to release new album Tragic Magic

Hypnotic Heavy Metal Band, SPELL, to Release New LP, ‘Tragic Magic’, October 28!
Vancouver Progressive Duo Drops Video for New Song “Ultraviolet”

Fantastical heavy metal band Spell will release it’s new LP, Tragic Magic, on October 28 via Bad Omen Records. Featuring ten tracks of prime, progressive heavy music flooded with mesmerizing atmospheres, Tragic Magic sees Spell take a decidedly grittier lyrical approach, leaning less into escapism, while confronting real life challenges of modern times. Striking use of art by Władysław Podkowiński for the cover.  Pre-order ‘Tragic Magic’ at THIS location. 

A first taste of what Tragic Magic holds in store can be ingested now as Spell unveils a video for the LP’s radiating first single “Ultraviolet”. Created by Sean Edwards for Ramble Films (Freeways), the eye-catching clip showcases Spell at the height of its powers. Stream Spell’s “Ultraviolet” video HERE

“Ultraviolet” explores the hidden terror of forces that rule us but cannot be perceived or understood, says Spell vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Cam Mesmer. “Our world is shaped by powers that the limitations of our physical bodies prevent us from directly encountering. Will we fall victim to the lust for that which cannot be ours, or harness them to fulfil our wildest dreams?”

Tragic Magic is the highly-anticipated follow up to Spell’s critically-acclaimed 2020 LP, Opulent Decay, a record hailed as “fantasy rock” by Blabbermouth, “enchanting” by Heavy Blog is Heavy, and “a captivating mix of Rush- and Blue Öyster Cult” by Revolver. 

Tragic Magic  was written and recorded entirely as a collaboration between brothers Cam and Al (Lester); the record’s songcraft is steeped in the atmosphere of the arcane, yet the hooks are more razor-sharp than ever. While influences like the esoteric charge of the aforementioned Blue Öyster Cult and the elemental expansions of Camel and King Crimson drift through these crepuscular melodies, Spell are as likely to be influenced by the life-affirming energy of ‘60s Motown, the ethereal dimensions of Cocteau Twins, the strident woe of Candlemass, and the classic songwriting chops of Russ Ballard. 

“The themes on this album are more concrete, guided by personal experience,” offers Mesmer. “Tragic Magic’ has to do with mental illness, ageing, the death of a loved one, the decay of time… this is what ‘tragic magic’ means to us – loss and tragedy outside of our control, which fundamentally alters our perceived reality. This album is our response to the world as it currently is: music for an ascetic age.” 

“And we couldn’t be happier about the result,” Mesmer continues. “The identity of Spell came into sharp focus as it was always intended to be. Music is magic, and Spell is a spell. Fundamentally, it is a forum to make our dreams come true”

   Track listing: 

   1.) Fatal Breath
   2.) Ultraviolet   
   3.) Hades Embrace  
   4.) Fever Dream  
   5.) Sarcophagus     
   6.) Cruel Optimism 
   7.) A Ruined Garden    
   8.) Souls in Chains  
   9.) Watcher of the Seas   
 10.) The Watching

LINKS:

Spirogyra: The Future Won’t Be Long – The Albums 1971-1973, 3CD Box Set

SPIROGYRA was another interesting British band from that golden period of the early ’70s. The band was folk, progressive, psychedelic…Lots of harmonies, soft vocals, acoustic guitars, pianos, synths, flutes, violins and various string instruments.., The band only released 2 singles back in the day, along with these 3 albums, and commercial success eluded them, but they have maintained many followers years later. Plenty of gems among these albums, such as “Cogwheels, Crutches And Cyanide”, “Time Will Tell”, “Dangerous Dave” (a single), “Don’t Let It Get You”, “The Sargent Says”, and “In The Western World”. Very easy going stuff, but lots of stories amongst the songs, and the sweet vocals of Barbara Gaskin, and the distinctive voice of (guitarist) Martin Cockerham. Disc 2 comes with 4 bonus tracks, all outtakes, the best being the upbeat “Melody Maker Man”. Disc 3 contains the bonus track “I Hear You’re Going Somewhere (Joe Really)” – the A side to the band’s 2nd single. The set comes with a 12 page colored booklet complete with photos, liner notes, and interviews telling the band’s story. Well worth picking up if you’re interested, especially considering how much the band’s original LPs go for on Discogs.

*For more info check out the press release, tracklisting, and links below…

• NEW 3CD CLAMSHELL BOXED SET OF THE THREE ALBUMS BY SPIROGYRA RELEASED BETWEEN 1971 AND 1973
• FEATURING THE ALBUMS ‘ST RADIGUNDS’, ‘OLD BOOT WINE’ AND ‘BELLS, BOOTS AND SHAMBLES’. WITH A FULLY
ILLUSTRATED BOOKLET

Spirogyra was formed by duo Martin Cockerham and Mark Francis in Bolton in 1968, but the band expanded when Cockerham was a student in Canterbury at the end of 1969. The expanded line-up featured Cockerham (guitar, vocals), Barbara Gaskin (lead vocals), Steve Borrill (bass) and Julian Cusack (violin, keyboards) and secured a contract with B&C Records in 1970. The band’s impressive debut album, ‘St Radigunds’ was issued in 1971 and featured guest drummer Dave Mattacks and Tony Cox on VCS3 Synthesizer.
In 1972 the band’s second album, ‘Old Boot Wine’, was released on the Pegasus label, a “progressive” imprint established by B&C. Prior to the
recording of the album Mark Francis re- joined the group, and the sessions also saw contributions from guest musicians Dave Mattacks (drums), Julian Cusack (violin, keyboards), Rick Biddulph (mandolin), Alan Laing (cello).
With the demise of the Pegasus label, Spirogyra recorded their third album for Polydor. By this time Spirogyra had become a core of Martin
Cockerham (guitar, vocals) and Barbara Gaskin (lead vocals) with Steve Borrill (bass) and guest musicians Dave Mattacks (drums), Julian Cusack
(violin, keyboards), Henry Lowther (trumpet), John Boyce (cello), Stan Sulzman (flute) and Steve Ashley (whistle).
Despite achieving critical praise, Spirogyra failed to enjoy commercial success which ultimately led to their demise. The trio of albums the band
recorded between 1971 and 1973 featured music of innovation and originality and are arguably beyond classification. They remain highly
regarded and are sought after by collectors and aficionados of the Progressive era.
This collection features four bonus tracks recorded during sessions for ‘Old Boot Wine’ and the 1973 single release I Hear You’re Going
Somewhere (Joe Really).

Disc One: St Radigunds

The Future Won’t Be Long
Island
Magical Mary
Captain’s Log
At Home In The World
Cogwheels, Crutches And Cyanide
Time Will Tell
We Were A Happy Crew
Love Is A Funny Thing
The Duke Of Beaufoot

Disc Two: Old Boot Wine

Dangerous Dave
Van Allen’s Belt
Runaway
Grandad
Wings Of Thunder
World’s Eyes
Don’t Let It Get You
Disraeli’s Problem
A Canterbury Tale
Bonus tracks
Counting The Cars
Window
Turn Again Lane
Melody Maker Man

Disc Three: Bells, Boots And Shambles

The Furthest Point
Old Boot Wine
Parallel Lines Never Separate
Spiggly
An Everyday Consumption Song
The Sergeant Says
In The Western World
1) In the Western World
2) Jungle Lore
3) Coming Back
4) Western World (reprise)
Bonus track
I Hear You’re Going Somewhere (Joe Really) (A- side of single)

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/SpirogyraFolk

http://www.alexgitlin.com/npp2/spirogyra.htm

08/’21

LONELY ROBOT – A Model Life (John Mitchell)

The fifth album under the Lonely Robot name is to be released August 26th… I have to admit I wasn’t overly familiar with John Mitchell until his performances on Phil Lanzon’s (Uriah Heep) 2 excellent solo albums (If You Think I’m Crazy, 2017, and 48 Seconds, 2019). His vocals on Lanzon’s albums made me curious about his other work – such as It Bites and Arena. A Model Life is full of fine melodies and well crafted songs & productions from the opener “Recalibrating”, the softer ballad “Species In Transition” (with a cool guitar solo), the excellent title song, and “Rain Kings” (somewhat of a ballad, John reminds me of Peter Gabriel on occasion). But really, this album of 10 tracks has a lot going on, progressive, very modern / fresh sounding, great vocals, and it gets better with each listen, as there is so much going on with differences from song to song.

*for more info check out the press bio and links below…

A lone soldier on the frontlines of creativity, John Mitchell has been at the forefront of forward thinking and progressive rock for decades now. As a member of such revered prog ensembles as It Bites, Arena, Frost* and his own projects Kino and The Urbane, he has become a uniquely vital contributor to the modern scene, while his credentials as a producer for countless contemporary rock acts are unquestionable. But since 2015, John has been operating under name Lonely Robot: a solo project in all but name, it has enabled him to fully express his own musical vision, via some of the most vivid and fascinating music of his career to date. 

Remarkably, Lonely Robot’s catalogue is already four albums deep. From 2015’s cosmic debut Please Come Home and its grandiose follow-up The Big Dream (2017), to the multifarious charms of 2019’s Under Stars and most recent full-length Feelings Are Good (2020), John has cemented his reputation as a prolific and inspirational songwriter. Two years on from his last release, the Lonely Robot is back in action again in 2022. The fifth album to bear the name, A Model Life is John Mitchell’s first communication to a post-pandemic world. 

“The truth is, I only ever intended to make three albums and then stop,” he laughs. “Then we got to the end of the three albums and I had a discussion with the label about maybe not releasing the next one under the name Lonely Robot, but with true Germanic business sense, they said, ‘We have established the brand now!’ So then everyone’s wondering where the guy in the spacesuit has gone! But I don’t really care what it’s called, as long as I get to keep making music. The thing I find most freeing about Lonely Robot is that I can just sit there on my own, get on with it at my own pace and not wait around for other people!” 

If the first four Lonely Robots offered wistful, sci-fi-tinged observations on the state of things, A Model Life is perhaps understandably infused with the anxieties and ominous omens of the real life, present day. As John explains, the new songs have a little more grit under their fingernails than any of their predecessors; even if the relentlessly inventive, melodic splurge of his songwriting remains soundly intact. 

“A lot of shit has happened, and one quite traumatizing thing was that I split up with my girlfriend of 16 years and it hit me very hard,” he says. “Then quite a few people I know died, and that hit me very hard. I thought, this isn’t how it’s supposed to go. What happened to the forever ever after, into the sunset? That’s where the title comes from, A Model Life. It’s about what people’s fantasies of what they would like their lives to be, rather than what they actually are. Endless positive affirmation on social media and everything looking pure and white and like an Enya video. So every song is about being pissed off about someone or other. There’s no robots or space or anything!” 

An album that brims with frustration at the state of things, while tugging remorselessly at the heart strings, A Model Life is plainly the most honest and vulnerable Lonely Robot record to date. From opener Recalibrating, which muses on the aftermath of a broken relationship, and Digital God Machine – a sardonic tribute to keyboard warriors everywhere, to the boys-don’t-cry pathos of Rain Kings and the absurdly moving, adoption-themed Duty Of Care, these new songs provide a scattershot but profoundly emotional soundtrack to a restless and uncertain world. 

“Recalibrating is about splitting up with somebody and the nail goes into your head and you realize that there is no second act for that relationship. Digital God Machine is about fucking morons in their bedrooms, typing hate at people like me for writing music and thinking they know better. Then there’s The Island Of Misfit Toys, which is about people that don’t have a sense of belonging. I like the analogy of knackered toys with eyes hanging out, for people who don’t fit in and are socially awkward… a bit like myself! I was thinking about an article I read about how Google go out of their way to employ people on the autistic spectrum, because they’re much better at figures and numbers. One day those people will take over the world!” 

In musical terms, A Model Life marks a notable departure from the synth-fueled futurism of 2020’s Feelings Are Good. Songs like the darkly euphoric Starlit Stardust and the tense sprawl of Species In Transitions are full of punchy riffs and blazing solos, not to mention all the ingenious instrumentation and studio trickery that John Mitchell has made such an essential part of his music. 

“I do think this record is different,” he notes. “There’s lots of weird sounds and soundscapes. I’m just trying to make odd sounds out of things. On Digital God Machine, that’s me beating the shit out of a cello through a distortion pedal. At the risk of sounding like Peter Gabriel, there’s a lot of ethnic elements like marimbas and things I haven’t used before. I was under a self-imposed solo ban for the last Frost* record, so I really went overboard and played too many guitar solos this time. The last album was all about synthesizers, but this one is all about getting back to what I think I probably do best, so it’s all about guitar playing again.” 

Yet another career peak from one of modern prog’s most prolific polymaths, A Model Life hits harder than any previous Lonely Robot record, but with a warmth and wit that few can match. Meanwhile, with long-awaited tour dates tentatively etched into the horizon, John Mitchell declares himself ready and cautiously optimistic for whatever the future holds. 

“There’s a tour in February and some dates in Europe. But if the various hoops we have to jump through haven’t been sorted by then, When we planned this tour it was three albums ago, so I don’t know what I’m doing anymore! [Laughs] I’m really proud of A Model Life, so I might focus on that. I’ve got no idea what I’m going to play because I’ve got far too many songs! I’m sure I’ll put my nose back to the grindstone soon and make another album too.”

Links:

https://lonelyrobot.lnk.to/AModelLifeID

https://www.facebook.com/johnchristianmitchell

johnmitchellhq.com

https://centurymedia.store/dept/lonely-robot?cp=102832_103046_111858

https://www.youtube.com/c/JohnMitchellMusic/about

08/’21

YES Legend Jon Anderson w/ The Paul Green Rock Academy To launch ‘Close to the Edge’ 50th Anniversary Summer Tour 2022!

Legendary YES vocalist/songwriter Jon Anderson will be playing select shows with The Paul Green Rock Academy in Summer 2022! Jon and the ensemble will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the release of YES’s classic album “Close to the Edge” by performing the album in its entirety, along with other classics and surprises!

This Jon Anderson with The Paul Green Rock Academy tour is a resumption of the tradition started in 2005 when Jon toured with Paul Green’s original School of Rock all stars.

These early shows, over 30 in total between 2006-2008, were nothing short of magical, and now Jon Anderson returns to continue that magic with a set of Yes Classics, deep cuts, mash ups, and solo works, all with lush arrangements featuring choral singing, horns, and all the other benefits of having a backing band with 25 young musicians.

Says Paul Green, “Having done a few of these songs in the past with Jon and my students, I couldn’t wait to add them to the current show. Once we did ‘Close to the Edge’ and ‘And You and I’ on our Florida run in April, I was reminded of the magic of hearing these songs recreated by young musicians…They really capture the frenetic energy of the original recordings. Then when I heard it was the 50th anniversary of the album I just knew we had to do the whole thing. Jon agreed.”  

There are so many wonderful moments in my musical life, and being on stage with these young teenagers performing Classic Yes songs, makes me so happy and proud …..

It’s a marvel and a tremendous pleasure for me..

They are a joy to be with and so much fun!!!

I am grateful, thankful and feel very blessed to be able to sing along with them.
Janee and I love them all
Love and light… Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson with The Paul Green Rock Academy tour dates:

7/7: Plymouth NH – The Flying Monkey Performing Arts Center
7/8: Beverly MA – The Cabot
7/13: Huntingdon NY – The Paramount
7/14: Montclair NJ – Wellmont Theater
7/16: Ridgefield CT – Ridgefield Playhouse
7/17: Sugar Loaf NY – Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center
7/20: Glenside PA – Keswick Theatre
7/22: Kent OH – The Kent Stage
7/23: Des Plaines IL – Des Plaines Theatre
7/27: Greensburg PA – The Palace Theatre
7/30: Milwaukee WI – Pabst Theater
8/3: State College PA – The State Theatre
8/6: Albany NY – The Egg

photo by Robin Gilbert

Jon Anderson is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable voices in music as the lead vocalist and creative force behind YES. Anderson was the author and a major creative influence behind the ground-breaking album “Fragile” as well as the series of epic, complex pieces such as “Awaken,” “Gates of Delirium” and especially “Close to the Edge” which were central to the band’s success. Additionally, Anderson co-authored the group’s biggest hits, including “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Roundabout” and “Owner Of A Lonely Heart.” After 50 years of success in the music business, Jon has worked with many variations of YES, as well as collaborations with Vangelis, Kitaro, Roine Stolt and Jean-Luc Ponty. He has released several critically acclaimed solo albums including “Olias of Sunhillow,” “Song of Seven,” “Animation,” “Three Ships,” “Toltec” and “Survival and Other Stories” to name just a few. In 2017 Jon reformed YES with former band members Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman. YES Featuring ARW toured the world to rave reviews and released “Live At The Apollo” CD/DVD in September 2018. Never to stand still musically, in 2019 Jon released an album he started 28 years ago, now called “1,000 Hands,” a reference to the fact that numerous guest musicians perform on the album, including Ian Anderson, Billy Cobham, Jean-Luc Ponty, Chick Corea, Zap Momma, Chris Squire, Alan White, Steve Howe and many more.

For more information:
Paul Green official website: www.PaulGreenRock.com
Jon Anderson’s official website: www.JonAnderson.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/TheJonAnderson

https://www.youtube.com/c/JonAndersonOfficial

JONESY : Waltz For Yesterday – The Recordings 1972-1974

Jonesy was a British prog outfit that released 3 albums in the ’70s. Lead by singer/guitarist John Evan-Jones, the band released their classic debut album No Alternative in 1972. The line-up here consisted of Jones, along with American born keyboardist James Kaleth, drummer Jim Payne, and bass player Dave Paull. Both Paull and Payne had previously been in National Head Band with Lee Kerslake (pre Uriah Heep), Paull would also play on Ken Hensley’s Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf album. Anyway, No Alternative is perhaps the band’s most sought after record, featuring the band’s best know track “Ricochet”. It also featured stand-out cuts like “Mind Of The Century”, the wild epic title track, and the ballad “Heaven”. Four of the cuts on the debut clock in at (near) 8 minutes or longer! No Alternative takes up disc one, and includes the short instrumental “Reprise” added on.

By the time the band recorded their 2nd album John Evan-Jones remained, along with Kaleth, and joining them were Jones’ brother – Trevor, on bass, Plug Thomas on drums (Thomas had brief spells with Screaming Lord Sutch and Supertramp), and Alan Bown on trumpet and percussion. Ray Russell was also brought in to do some orchestral arranging. 1973’s Keeping Up was much more laid back, with more emphasis on vocals, harmonies, keyboards, flutes, strings… gone are the heavy guitar pieces. But some fine songs in “Masquerade”, “Questions And Answers”, and the ballad “Song”, which should made a good single. Disc 2 adds the single version of “Ricochet” and it’s B-side “Every Day’s The Same”. Disc 3 comprises of the band’s last album released in late 1973 – Growing, as well as the band’s final album Sudden Prayers Make God Jump. The latter was never released until years later from a cassette, but here it is taken (as are all the albums) from the original master tapes. Growing featured most of the same line-up, and producer Rupert Hine was brought in as well. This album was more upbeat from the previous album, with tracks like “Can You Get That Together?”, “Know Who Your Friends Are”, and the title track. The band’s final album Sudden Prayers Make God Jump (who comes up with these titles?) featured a new line-up. Joining the Jones bothers were drummer David Potts, keyboard player Ken Elliott (ex of Second Hand, and later played with Arthur Brown), and Bernard Hagley on sax & flute (he had played on Growing, and previously Tranquility). This last album is probably the band’s most experimental, lots of different instrumentation, vocal harmonies, and unique songs, kinda rivalling some of the stuff Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come was doing in the early ’70s. Jonesy were a very overlooked gem of the British prog scene of the early ’70s; none of their albums would get released in North America and they contained no big hits, but are well worth checking out through this CD box set. *Comes with a 16 page colored booklet, with liner notes penned by Mark Powell.

KEITH EMERSON : His life and legacy illustrated and celebrated

The legendary keyboard giant remembered; stories, tributes, rare and unseen photographs

A lavish, fully illustrated book in which family, friends, colleagues, and fans talk to author Chris Welch about the life, work, and legacy of Keith Emerson from before The Nice and ELP through 3 to The Keith Emerson Band. Illustrated throughout with previously unseen photos from family, friends, and professional photographers, this official celebration will tell the remarkable tale of Keith’s musical evolution, his personal relationships, and the creation of his astounding musical legacy. Includes new interviews with Keith’s children, ex-wife, close personal friends, Mari Kawaguchi, Carl Palmer, Rick Wakeman, Lee Jackson, Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter, Alan White, Dave Kilminster, Marc Bonilla, Rachel Flowers, Darius Brubeck, Geoff Downes, and others.

The book draws on the private Emerson family archives for photographs of Keith at home, at work and play. Close family and friends share memories and stories from throughout his life, revealing the true man, while fellow musicians from the worlds of prog, rock and classical attest to Keith’s talent and dedication, while others who worked with him tell of his spirit, generosity and sense of humor.

Keith Emerson celebrates the life and legacy of the man who first played the Hammond organ like a lead guitarist, introduced the European classical music tradition to rock fans with The Nice and helped create the template for prog rock with the very first Moog synthesizers with ELP. He also wrote movie soundtracks, performed with world-renowned jazz musicians, and toured the world as a solo artist. All of that and more is explored in this deluxe book.

*Registering at http://www.keithemersonbook.com will ensure a special discount when pre-order begins, allow people to have a name printed in the book and be a part of this unique project.

http://www.keithemersonbook.com  Hardback : Classic £40/$45 Signature £250/$275  224 pages, 50,000 words 200 photographs 

03/’22

NEKTAR – The Other Side

NEKTAR began in Hamburg, Germany in 1969 and released a number of classic progressive rock albums in the ’70s, such as A Tab In The Ocean, Remember The Future, Down To Earth, and Recycled. Through many line up changes, a break up in 82, and reformations since 2000, plus the loss of founding member (singer/guitarist) Roye Albrighton in 2016. The band now based in the US, recently released a new CD/DVD package of their 2020 album. *See the press release below for more details.

THROUGHOUT THE 1970S NEKTAR RELEASED A SERIES OF ACCLAIMED ALBUMS, SCORING CHART SUCCESS IN GERMANY (WHERE THE BRITISH BAND WAS BASED) AND LATER IN THE USA (WHERE THE BAND RELOCATED).

FOLLOWING THE PASSING OF ORIGINAL GUITARIST / VOCALIST ROYE ALBRIGHTON IN 2016, FELLOW FOUNDER MEMBERS DEREK “MO” MOORE (BASS, VOCALS), RON HOWDEN (DRUMS, VOCALS) AND MICK BROCKETT (LYRICS, VISUAL CONCEPTS) REUNITED, ALONG WITH RANDY DEMBO (BASS, 12-STRING GUITAR), RYCHE CHLANDA (GUITAR, VOCALS) AND KENDALL SCOTT (KEYBOARDS) TO RECORD

CHLANDA ORIGINALLY RECORDED WITH NEKTAR IN 1978, AND FOR ‘THE OTHER SIDE’, THE BAND UPDATED SOME OF THOSE IDEAS WHICH EVOLVED IN THE BASEMENT OF MOORE’S HOUSE IN NEW JERSEY WITH RON HOWDEN. THE 1978

UNRECORDED SONG ‘SKYPILOT’ HAS EVOLVED INTO ‘SKYWRITER’ IN 2019. ‘I’M ON FIRE’ IS THE MUSICAL ADAPTATION OF A POEM WRITTEN BY MO FOR HIS SOON-TO-BE WIFE, NICKI, DURING THAT SAME TIME PERIOD.

THE CLOSING TRACK, ‘DEVIL’S DOOR’, WAS ORIGINALLY PERFORMED LIVE IN 1974, BUT NEVER FEATURED ON A NEKTAR ALBUM. UPDATED AND RECORDED FOR THIS ALBUM, THE SONG FEATURES THE PRESENCE OF THE LATE ROYE ALBRIGHTON ON THE INTRODUCTION TO THE TRACK, WHOSE WONDERFUL GUITAR PART WAS TAKEN FROM A LIVE SOUNDBOARD RECORDING MADE IN 1974.

KENDALL SCOTT’S DISTINCTIVE AND VERSATILE KEYBOARD PRESENCE HAS ENHANCED THIS CONSIDERABLY, WHILE RANDY DEMBO, WHO ORIGINALLY JOINED NEKTAR IN 2004, BRINGS THE SOUND TOGETHER WITH 12-STRING AND BASS GUITARS, ROUNDING OUT THE INSTRUMENTAL ARRANGEMENTS. RON HOWDEN HAS BEEN A CONTINUAL DRIVING FORCE OF THE BAND, WEATHERING ALL VERSIONS OF NEKTAR SINCE ITS CONCEPTION IN 1969. WITH MICK BROCKETT NOW BACK IN THE FOLD (WITH HIS VISUAL CONCEPTS AND IDEAS AS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE BAND MAKING THE MUSIC AND LIGHT THEATRE A REALITY). ‘THE OTHER SIDE’ IS A STUNNING ALBUM FROM A LEGENDARY BAND

Disc One:

1. I’m On Fire 2. Skywriter 3. Love Is / The Other Side 4. The Light Beyond 5. Look Thru Me 6. Y Can’t I B More Like U. 7. Drifting 8. Devil’s Door

Disc Two: DVD

The Making Of The Other Side : A Documentary About The Making Of The Album And The Reunion Of Nektar

*Also recently released was a live recording from 1973 titled Sounds Like Swiss – check out this link for the press release – https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/24446559/posts/11257

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VINvFKQ_z50