Tuesday, August 25, 2015

uneXpect - 1996-2015 (R.I.P.)

Montreal based Experimental/Exteme/Theatrical/Progressive metal band uneXpect are calling it a day, at least for the time being.

I guess I can't be totally surprised by this, per the length of time between their records and a lot less activity the last 3 years. Their last record, Fables of the Sleepless Empire came out in 2011, and I remember it took awhile and they had to do a lot to get it out.

However, I was actually anticipating a new album from them next year, just given how long it's been since their last work. But given their lack of activity on social media, it's not all that unexpected really, but still it is sad as they were quite a unique and original band. Blending genres well, often when you wouldn't think they would work. And they included a female singer who growled which is somewhat rare, especially when they did it.

I did get to see them live once at least, which was quite a memorable show at The Entry. I want to say in either 2008 or 2009. I remember they played in Minnesota at least 1 or maybe 2 other times, one was at the Flight of the Valkyrie's Female Metal festival at Station 4, that fell on the same night Fair to Midland was playing at The Rock and I had to pick which show to see.

I ended up seeing Fair to Midland, who are also sadly no more, but given how many times I saw them, maybe I should have gone to see uneXpect instead, I dunno. Then again, festival vs a headliner plus a couple of openers? The Rock vs Station 4? etc it's all in the past now.

Also a little ironic how they are now broken up, and yet SikTh are back together? It would have been cool for the 2 bands to do a bill together? who knows. I may have to check out some of the projects the members are doing now/in the future linked below.

Facebook post

----------French version lower in the text---------
Greetings everyone !
We realize it's been more than a while since we last gave some official news about our current endeavors. Like most of you probably noticed, in the last three years, we've been mostly inactive and gave rare news. To make a short story, we thought a lot about the band's future over those last three years and though we're still all good friends, we felt that it was time to put the key under the doormat of our laboratory and experiment different paths.
We now all have personal projects that needs attention and takes time and we feel that we need to focus on those for the time being.
We want to warmly thank everybody who followed us through our musical journey over the years and who helped us in any ways. Our music has always been done out of passion and a profound belief in musical integrity, and in all of our travels/tours were we got to meet our public, that's what we felt more than anything... a passionate crowd. You guys gave us an incredible and memorable ride!!
On another note, some of us have been keeping themselves busy musically:
You can follow Chaoth's project 'Vvon Dogma I' on Facebook :
...and see a video of some rehearsals and writing process for their first album coming up in 2016 !!
As for Landryx, he joined the band Decadawn :
...and is now part of a project named Endvade :
So thanks again for those epic years of musical adventures and keep on encouraging open-mindedness in all its forms !
Peace !
- Unexpect

Bonjour à tous !
Nous réalisons qu'il s'est maintenant passé bien des lunes depuis nos dernières nouvelles à propos de nos activités. Comme la plupart d'entre vous l'aurons probablement remarqué au courant des 3 dernières années, nous avons largement été assez inactif et n'avons donné que de rares nouvelles. Pour faire une histoire courte, nous avons pensé longuement au futur du groupe pendant cette période et bien que nous sommes tous de très bons amis, nous avons ressenti qu'il était temps de mettre la clé sous le tapis d'entrée de notre laboratoire et d'expérimenter d'autres avenues.
Nous avons tous des projets personnels qui demandent de l'attention et du temps et nous considérons que nous devons nous concentrer sur ceux-ci.
Nous tenons à remercier chaleureusement tout le monde qui nous a suivi au travers des années de notre périple musical et qui a pu nous aider d'une façon ou d'une autre. Notre musique a toujours été conçu passionnément avec une croyance profonde en l'intégrité musicale, et dans toutes ces tournées/voyages ou nous avons pu rencontrer notre public, c'est ce que nous avons ressenti de votre part...des individus passionnés. Vous nous avez offert un parcours incroyable et mémorable !!
Sur une autre note, certains d'entre nous sont restés occupés au niveau musical.
Vous pouvez suivre Chaoth et son projet 'Vvon Dogma I' sur Facebook :
...et voir un vidéo de pratiques/processus de création pour leur premier album dû pour 2016 !!
Pour ce qui est de Landryx, il s'est entre autre joint au groupe Decadawn :
...et fait aussi parti d'un projet nommé Endvade :
Encore merci pour ces épiques années d'aventures musicales et continuez d'encourager l'ouverture d'esprit sous toutes ses
formes !
Peace !
- Unexpect

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Winery Dogs - Hot Streak (2014-2015..+Tour: Congrats MILWAUKEE! *shrug*)

8/24/15 11:04PM

"Oblivion" streaming on b-mouth

8/13/15 2:05PM
Just mainly passing this along as I know some folks who may or do find this blog are fans of The Winery Dogs and Portnoy's of course.

I guess my take is, I will listen to this album, even though the 1st album I never really got attached to, which from memory, it was sort of long in that it had like 15 or more songs? I forget.

But the other thing I'll as tactfully add here about this is, the tour dates below of course continues Mike Portnoy's STREAK of  missing Minnesota, LOL.

Avenged Sevenfold in 2010? or possibly even Dream Theater in 2009? being the last time he played a concert of any kind in Minnesota. Purely coincidence? Routing? Promoters? $$$$$$$$$$$???

I dunno, even tho for what it's worth, I've seen The Winery Dogs vinyl at multiple Half Price Books in my hometown.

Congratulations to Milwaukee for getting 2 shows back-2-back, instead of 1 of them coming here, lol. (At a Casino no less?)

Ironic how Steven Wilson now comes here, yet Portnoy doesn't?

(I don't believe this, but the conspiracy theorist--in me wonders if the  promoters in Minnesota had to find another prog musician to boycot****and yes, I realize some Portnoy's bands who have toured are not doing prog***/not care to shell out the cash due to not having enough confidence in ticket sales for a show IN ADVANCE).

But I hope the Milwaukee fans get a cool treat, as I imagine they will mix up the setlist for both shows there.

From Mike Portnoy's Facebook (and I'm sure a number of others sites, including mp.com)


The HOT STREAK will continue this fall for THE WINERY DOGS (Richie Kotzen-lead vocals/guitar, Mike Portnoy-drums, Billy Sheehan-bass). Their second appropriately titled, self-produced studio album, HOT STREAK, is set for release October 2 on Loud and Proud Records via RED (a division of Sony Music Entertainment) and in the rest of the world via ear MUSIC. It will be preceded by the first single, “Oblivion,” set for release August 25 at radio. A double vinyl edition of the new album is also in the works and is due out in early November.

After playing over 100 shows in support of their self-titled debut album, THE WINERY DOGS are eager to head back out on the road to get behind HOT STREAK. Their first round of U.S. headlining tour dates will kick off October 3 in Ridgefield, CT at the Ridgefield Playhouse. Shows around the globe are already being planned for 2016.

HOT STREAK shows the powerfully pedigreed trio’s initial burst of collective chemistry was no accident, from the strum and headbang of “Captain Love” to the propulsive uplifting vibe of “The Bridge” to the introspective acoustic harmonic convergence of “Fire.” If these three Dogs thought they captured lightning in a supper dish the first time around, HOT STREAK barks ups the aural ante into exciting new territory.

“I feel we’ve taken the band to another level,” explains Richie Kotzen. “The compositions are stronger on this album. I feel more connected lyrically and musically to what I did on this record than on the last one. We’ve widened the musical scope of the band on this record and moved it forward."

Mike Portnoy continues, “Everything on this album was more of a collaboration than on the first album. There’s just a natural chemistry. The three of us really mesh very, very well, both musically and personally. The mission of this band is to write catchy songs, and not have the musicianship overpower that.”

“I’m glad we’re not playing it safe and just doing songs that automatically fit in the category of what we did on the first record,” Billy Sheehan concludes. “Some of them are a little different, and we definitely took chances. And you have to do that — otherwise, you don’t grow."

The trio first exploded onto the Rock scene with their self-titled, self-produced and critically acclaimed debut album that was released July 23, 2013 on Loud and Proud Records and a sold-out worldwide tour. THE WINERY DOGS debuted on Billboard’s “Top Alternative Albums” chart at #3, “Top Independent Albums” chart at #4, “Top Rock Albums” chart at #5, “Top Internet Albums” at #8 and “Top 200 Albums” chart at #27.

Here’s the complete track listing for HOT STREAK:

1. Oblivion
2. Captain Love
3. Hot Streak
4. How Long
5. Empire
6. Fire
7. Ghost Town
8. The Bridge
9. War Machine
10. Spiral
11. Devil You Know
12. Think It Over
13. The Lamb

Check out THE WINERY DOGS at any of the following tour stops:

Sat 10/3 - Ridgefield, CT -Ridgefield Playhouse
Sun 10/4 - Jim Thorpe, PA - Penn’s Peak
Mon 10/5 - Boston, MA - Wilbur Theater
Thu 10/8 - Glenside, PA - Keswick Theater
Fri 10/9 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom
Sat 10/10 - New York, NY - Best Buy Theater
Mon 10/12 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
Wed 10/14 - Jacksonville, FL - Ponte Verde Concert Hall
Thu 10/15 - Tampa, FL - State Theater
Fri 10/16 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Culture Room
Sat 10/17 - Orlando, FL - The Plaza Live
Tue 10/22 - Nashville, TN - Wildhorse Saloon
Thu 10/22 - Houston, TX - Pub Fountains
Fri 10/23 - Ardmore, OK - Heritage Hall
Sat 10/24 - Dallas, TX - The Gas Monkey
Tue 10/27 - Milwaukee, WI - Potowatami Casino
Wed 10/28 - Milwaukee, WI - Potowatami Casino
Thu 10/29 - St. Charles, IL - Arcada Theater
Sat 10/31 - Denver, CO - Marquis Theater
Mon 11/2 - San Jose, CA - Rock Bar
Tue 11/3 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues
Thu 11/5 - Agoura Hills, CA - Canyon Club
Fri 11/6 - Beverly Hills, CA - Saban Theater
Sat 11/7 - Las Vegas, NV - Vamp’d
Sun 11/8 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Retro Favorite Albums: 1973

1973, a year where progressive rock seemed to be flourishing and many bands made double albums and noteworthy live records.

Also many debut albums came out. Many in the jazz-rock style, which is closely related to progressive rock which is understandable.

1973 I suppose doesn't include a high number of all-time favorites for me, but it does have a lot of records I would rank high among the bands/artists respective catalogs.

Greetings from Asbury Park NJ.jpg
Bruce Springsteen - Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ
rel January 5, 1973
The Springsteen debut record, which I have a fondness for the 70's Springsteen, and while this was hardly his best record even from the 70's, I do recall enjoying a lot of this. It does include "Blinded By the Light" which of course Manfred Mann later covered and made famous.

Also "For You" "Spirit in the Night"and "Growin' Up" more notably.

SixWives Wakeman Album.jpg
Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives of Henry VIII
rel January 23,1973

Rick's solo debut album that honestly, I have meant to check out for awhile now, but have yet to. If I'm not mistaken, this is the 1st of the Yes-members solo records. And among Rick's solo albums, this is considered by many his best.  Bill Bruford, Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White among many others, all play on this.

I guess musically, it does go into more symphonic/classical/classically arranged instrumental music.

A prism refracting white light into a rainbow on a black background
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon
rel March 1, 1973

Maybe the most famous record in Rock and Roll history, sans for maybe Sgt Peppers. I have a love/overrated relationship with Dark Side. On 1 hand, it's constantly mentioned as Floyd's best record, and maybe the most influential album in Rock history, or at least of the 70's. On the other hand, I can't help but still love a ton of it, even though more or less all of it ended up on the radio. And overplayed.

I guess at face value, I can't deny I have teared up while listening to it, and have a huge amount of nostalgia for it. "Time" probably remains my favorite track. The vocal harmonies from Clare Tory on "The Great Gig in the Sky" are perfectly sang and composed. The emotion is through the roof.

And I'll not deny, as coincidental as it is, The Wizard of Oz sync thing is, it is cool and the fact Oz is my favorite movie doesn't hurt.

"Us and Them" "On the Run" "Brain Damage" "Breathe" "Any Colour You Like" all work in terms of the music and especially how they segue from 1 part to the next.

Larks tongues in aspic album cover.jpg
King Crimson - Larks' Tongue in Aspic
rel March 23, 1973

I waiver, but sometimes I regard this as my favorite Crimson record. It is the 1st album with both Bill Bruford and John Wetton (and David Cross I believe). The Title track/suite which bookends the album,is quite the multi-part piece, that Crimson maybe never composed better.

David Cross's violin and mellotron do add a lot.

"Easy Money" and "Talking Drum" are also highlights.

Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy.jpg
Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy
rel March 28, 1973

From memory, this was the very 1st Led Zeppelin album I bought, on cassette tape of course, sometime during the Fall/Winter or Spring of 1990-1991, as it was around that time I first heard Zeppelin.

And I do still to this day, love a lot of this album, and totally know why it was a gateway to Classic Rock and progressive rock for me.

Track wise, the entire A-side I love."Song Remains the Same" "The Rain Song" "Over the Hills and Far Away" (this one I've found to be an overlooked gem, and a lot better than many of the radio tracks on LZ IV. "I live for my dreams and a pocket full of gold") and even "The Crunge" which was originally a song I was annoyed by, but totally grew to love.

The 2nd-side I find is hit and miss. "No Quarter" is an awesome, epic, proggy track, that actually sounds more like Pink Floyd, than Zeppelin in a lot of ways, and totally features Jonesy.

"Dancing Days" I suppose is a bit like "The Crunge," in that I don't love it, but find it holds up enough to still like. "Dyer Maker" and "The Ocean" much to do with radio play, I'm not as crazy about. "The Ocean" I used to love, and still can listen to, but I grew a little tired of. And "Dyer Maker" is just an odd number for Zeppelin, slow, and the whole "oh oh oh oh oh oh ohhhhh, you don't have to go" etc.

In a rather deep year and approaching the peak of progressive rock's 1st wave, this record certainly compares and likely would find my top 10-15. And for nostalgia sake, it was the 1st album from the 1st band I ever loved, which adds some extra value for it.

Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds of Fire
rel March 29, 1973
The 2nd Mahavishnu record, at least under the classic lineup. I do enjoy this record, and find it to be close to as enjoyable as their previous LP., The Inner Mounting Flame. But I'll admit to not listening to it in many years (although I do have a copy on vinyl of course).

The highlights from memory are the title track and the 2nd number "Miles Beyond (Miles Davis)" which was dedicated to Miles Davis. Also the 2 tracks that open the 2nd side "One Word" and "Sanctuary."

Yessongs front cover.jpg
Yes - Yessongs
rel May 18, 1973

A triple live album from Yes, which captured much of what many regard as their peak, and their peak live.

Some fantastic live arrangements of many of The Yes Album-through-Close to the Edge material. "Heart of the Sunrise" "Siberian Khatru," "Perpetual Change," and "Yours is no Disgrace," among my favorites.

I remember when I 1st heard this album and questioning if I'd enjoy the live versions as much or more, and I concluded they are actually better and more adventurous.

And it does include Bill Bruford on "Perpetual Change" and "Long Distance Runaround"/"The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)."

This is definitely one of my favorite live albums ever, from a band who I revere the work they did in the studio.

Mike oldfield tubular bells album cover.jpg
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
rel May 25, 1973

A classic debut album, that most associate with the soundtrack to the film The Exorcist of course. I remember enjoying it a fair amount when I checked it out from the library. It does work as one (or two) flowing pieces of music. Rather trippy and dreamy, but also dark at times, per why it works so well with the film.

Hardly an album I ever got addicted to, but at the same time, its notoriety and influence is very understandable.

Gong Flying Teapot.jpg
Gong - Flying Teapot
rel May 25, 1973

Gong are a band I know of, and have heard music from here and there, namely per my friends John and Tom being huge fans. I found a copy of this a number of years ago at Cheapo in Minneapolis and knowing it was Gong and the way it looked, I couldn't pass it up. I'm not sure how rare it was then or still is now, but I ended up selling it to Tom from memory, given how much he loves them and desired to own this album.

But I did give it a few go's I recall and recall is was pretty cool and trippy. Sort of in the spacerock vein from memory.

Notably, Daevid Allen and Steve Hillage were on the Gong roster at this point (I know they've had an assortment of lineup changes throughout their history).

Jethro Tull - A Passion Play
rel July 6, 1973

Probably the 1st Tull album I ever loved. They went from just a classic rock band who I knew some of their hits, to a full-fledged awesome progressive rock band once I got to hear this album.

I adored it for awhile, and considered it their best, until hearing Thick as a Brick. Which now I would put APP just slight below TAAB, but still as a 5-star work.

I do see it like TAAB, as just one extended piece, but among my favorite parts, "The Silver Chord" and "Flight from Lucifer." Even "The Hare that Lost His Spectacles" has its charm and does not get tiring.

Great use of Saxophone again on this record among many of Tull's trademark dynamics and layers of sound.

Would it be my album of the year for 1973? I'm not sure, but as some other bands also put out some fantastic records, but I'm not sure there are too many other 5-stars.

Queen Queen.png
Queen - Queen
rel July 13, 1973

The Queen debut album, which is one of a handful of Queen records I've grown to love over the years. I guess I usually think of "Keep Yourself Alive" as the big hit from this album. But also songs like "Great King Rat" "Son and Daughter""Liar" "My Fairy King" and even the ending instrumental for "Seven Seas of Rhye" foreshadowing the full version that came on their follow-up LP.

The early Queen I love, and maybe 1 reason for that is they seemed to include elements of Led Zeppelin with a sort of theatrical approach. And of course not only Freddie Mercury's amazing voice, but the vocal lines and harmonies that were so distinct (despite a band like Sweet using them in a similar way, a tad before them).

Carlos Santana, Mahavishnu John McLaughlin - Love Devotion Surrender
rel July 20, 1973

I own this on Vinyl from memory, and by many accounts, it's a great instrumental record. Somewhat in the vein of what Mahavishnu were doing, per even Billy Cobham and Jan Hammer played on some of it.

But how it compares to the Mahavishnu stuff, or Santana's work from that period, I can't say per not having heard it yet.

Genesis - Live.jpg
Genesis - Genesis Live
rel July 20, 1973

The 1st live Genesis record that is kind of like The Who's Live at Leeds, in that it's really just a sample of their live shows.

The track list includes "The Musical Box" "Hogweed" from Nursery Cryme, and "Watcher" along with "Get em Out By Friday" from Foxtrot. And a live staple from that period in "The Knife" from Trespass.

I do prefer it in a lot of ways to Seconds Out or even Three Sides Live, in that it sounds more raw. But at the same time, having seen The Musical Box (the recreation band), I do feel like I could go for more after hearing it. Especially by comparison to Yessongs which came out just a few months before.

Styx - Styx II.jpg
Styx - Styx II
rel July 1973

Styx's 2nd record, which when I started to get into Styx in the mid-late 90's, was one of my favorites. This record of course features their earliest hit "Lady" which is always a song I've liked, even as much as Classic Rock has played it to death.

But the rest of the record has some others I think of, namely "Earl of Roseland" and "You Need Love" which is quite a catchy track.

Not my favorite Styx record, but certainly one I've always enjoyed and consider one of their better albums.

Steviewonder innervisions.jpg
Stevie Wonder - Innervisions
rel August 3, 1973

I think of this album for a couple of things. For 1, I recall it was one of the records that was in that Rolling Stone Top 100 Albums 67-87 issue (along with Talking Book I think). Also it was the 1st Stevie record I checked out from the library some a dozen or more years ago.

Its biggest hit being "Higher Ground" (which many have covered, namely the Red Hot Chili Peppers).

"Living for the City" and "Missta Know-It-All" are among the other highlights. From memory, this album includes a fair amount of jazz-jazz-fusion influence, which go figure with the likes of Miles Davis and the spin-offs like Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever doing that kind of stuff as well. Also Herbie Hancock's Headhunters record just a couple months later.

Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle
rel September 11, 1973

While I enjoy a fair amount of Asbury Park, this record I found to be a pretty decent step-up for Bruce. It includes the addictive and infectious hit "Rosalita (Come out Tonight)" which with its narrative lyrics, flow and melody, I still enjoy to this day. Clarence Clemons has a terrific sax solo on that track of course.

The rest of this record though, I totally grew to love, with some of its almost jazz-rock elements.
The highlights including "Kitty's Back," "Wild Billy's Circus Story" "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" "Incident on 57th Street" and "The E Street Shuffle."

Even the closing ballad "New York City Serenade" has a lot of charm to it.

I find this album underrated by many and overlooked. Even though it's not my favorite Bruce record, I sometimes lean towards it as a go-to. It includes jazz-rock virtuoso David Sancious and Danny Federici among many. The use of keys and piano on Bruce's 70's work has always been a big part of why I enjoyed his music.

And the Summer of 1995 I was totally falling for Springsteen and this album was certainly one of the records I had in regular rotation then.

Gentle Giant - In a Glass House
rel September 1973

Another Gentle Giant album I know as one of their better albums per reputation, that I've meant to check out, but have yet to.  A concept record of sorts about people living in a glass house.

Spectrum album cover.jpg
Billy Cobham - Spectrum
rel October 1, 1973

After 2 Mahavishnu albums and guesting on the Santana/McLaughlin record, Billy put out his 1st solo record, which I do own and enjoy quite a bit.

"Quadrant 4," "Stratus," and title track are my favorite parts.

Among the guests, Tommy Bolin, who had played with James Gang and went on to Deep Purple briefly before he died in 1976.

Jan Hammer (from Mahavishnu), Ron Carter and Joe Farrell, who I know for his work on the early Return to Forever albums.

One of the classic Jazz-Rock albums of the 70's.

Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.jpg
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
rel October 5, 1973

Probably Elton John's most well known and influential record. I remember nearly buying the deluxe edition on CD like 13 years ago, and putting it back on the shelf at Cheapo, and later regretting it as it includes a lot of extras and a documentary I think.

It does have a number of hits that I still enjoy. The title track and it's nahhhhh nahhhhh nahhh vocal lines and the "dogs of society howwwwwwwwwl. To stuff like "Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" which features the guitar work from Davey Johnstone. Elton's songs always are driven by piano and his vocals, but on the opening suite on this album, Johnstone kind of steals a lot of the thunder. It rocks rather hard, which was not typical for Elton, but also follows why both Dream Theater and Toy Matinee both covered it live.

This is a double album,so like many, it includes a lot of tracks I don't have much memory about. But among the ones, radio hits like "Bennie and the Jets" and "Saturday Nights Are Alright for Fighting," and "Candle in the Wind" which of course became more well-known when it was played for Princess Diana when she died in the mid 90's.

Genesis - Selling England By the Pound
rel October 12, 1973

Another classic progressive rock record from Genesis and the Peter Gabriel period. I do love this record (and actually am currently sporting the t-shirt right now as I type this). I find this album the most accessible Gabriel record i.e. a good starting point to get into the Gabriel-Genesis (like Fragile from Yes).

From the wonderful opening track "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" and its crescendo and Steve Hackett's signature tapping, to maybe the poppiest Gabriel-Genesis track ever in "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)"...it's 1 o'clock, time for lunch, dum-dee-dum......Getting better! in your wardrobe! stepping beyond your showwwwww"

I sometimes used to play that tune before lunch, lol.

"Firth of Fifth" might be the signature progressive rock composition for piano and even for guitar in some ways. Iconic piano lead, and soaring guitar solo.

And the lyrics are both narrative and poetic.
The path is clear
Though no eyes can see
The course laid down long before.
And so with gods and men
The sheep remain inside their pen,
Though many times theyve seen the way to leave.

The 2nd side includes 2 of the best tracks Genesis ever recorded. 1 being the odd "The Battle of Epping Forest" which initially I struggled with, but like many, I grew to appreciate. The whole story and narrative about the different people or members of 2 rival gangs I guess. There's a lot of character-driven vocals/voices from Peter Gabriel, which was really odd to hear at 1st, but somehow ends up working.

One passage:
With his kisser in a mess, Bob seems under stress,
but Jones the Jug hits Len right in the mug;
and Harold Demure, who's still not quite sure,
fires acorns from out of his sling.
(Here come the cavalry!)

Tony Banks has quite a cool, soothing keyboard lead right after that line about the cavalry.

The other is "The Cinema Show" which I can honestly say could have been the track that made me a Genesis fan (after initially not taking all that much to the Gabriel stuff, sans for "In the Cage" per starting with The Lamb).

I adore The Cinema Show. The way it glides along gracefully. Mid-tempo. Gabriel's vocals and less-is-more poetic words.

Take a little trip back with father Tiresias, 
Listen to the old one speak of all he has lived through. 
I have crossed between the poles,
for me there's no mystery. 
Once a man, like the sea I raged, 
Once a woman, like the earth I gave. 
There is in fact more earth than sea.

and then the leading to the keyboard/guitar doubling. The climax is godly. Tony Banks has never used harmonics better and the patches are some of my favorite keyboard tones in rock history.  In some ways, this is maybe my favorite song they ever recorded, and one of my favorite songs period. I would put it along side the likes of "Heart of the Sunrise" from Yes and "Natural Science" from Rush as being perfect progressive rock songs. Every second works and is in it for a reason (good reason).

Overall, Selling England is one of my favorites and I do rate it at 5-stars, although within '73, it's really tough to say if it would have beat out A Passion Play and some others. But it certainly adds to the strength and depth of 1973.

Head Hunters Album.jpg
Herbie Hancock - Headhunters
rel October 26, 1973

Very cool, funky jazz-rock record. This is really the only Herbie record I have ever spent much time with and enjoyed. I knew "Rockit" from the 80's of course. But this album is a trip and a jam. "Watermelon Man" is probably the song it's most known for. That ear-worm with the funky fat synth is infectious.

The opening 15+ minute piece "Chameleon" is excellent. "Sly" and "Vein Melter" also feature some wonderful moments.

Always been a favorite among my taste for jazz-rock and certainly 1 of the better albums of '73.

Quadrophenia (album).jpg
The Who - Quadrophenia
rel October 28, 1973

Quadrophenia is my favorite album from The Who. Their 2nd double LP if I'm not mistaken. It is 4-sides, each side supposedly representing 1 of the members of the band.

When I 1st checked it out, I think maybe the biggest thing that stood out were Pete Townshend's use of synthesizers. There's a fair amount of cool, melodic, symphonic synths used on many tracks on this album. It really seemed as 1 newly emphasized element to The Who's sound, which almost reminded me of progressive rock.

My favorites:
"The Real Me" and its great groove-led bassline along with the horn parts.
"The Punk and the Godfather"
The Townshend featured "I'm One"
"Sea and Sand"
"Bell Boy" even as odd as the Keith Moon voiced dialogue can get.
"Doctor Jimmy"
"Love Reign o'er Me" which as epic as The Who ever got. It's really an anthem and very spiritual. Daltrey and Townshend never complemented each other better.

Where Tommy seemed to take and emphasize the *Opera* part of "Rock-Opera," to seem almost like a play and rather melodramatic, Quadrophenia seemed to work better in that telling a story but not creating songs so narrative and dialogue-based.

The whole Mods vs the Rockers and Jimmy and the motorcycle-gang culture he gets mixed up in.

And I actually do like the film adaptation which came out many years later, which included among others, Sting..

John Lennon - Mind Games
rel October 29, 1973

Another John Lennon record, that I know almost entirely from the title track, which is one of his best.

Renaissance - Ashes Are Burning
rel October 1973

The 2nd Renaissance record with Annie Haslam, and certainly the 1st one where they seemed to truly dive into progressive rock. This is not my favorite Renaissance album, but it is certainly one of my favorites.

My favorite tracks being the opening 9+ minute "Can You Understand?" and the closing epic title track. Love the basslines on that one especially. "Carpet of the Sun" was a semi-successful pop number; "Let it Grow" and "On the Frontier" I enjoy the folk-rock elements especially.

And "At the Harbour" also adds more to this record.

Not likely an album of the year, but definitely a top 10 record for '73, a year that included a ton of favorites.

PFM-Photos of Ghosts.jpg
Premiata Forneria Marconi - Photos of Ghosts
rel October 1973

This may be the most well-known and successful PFM record, and Italian prog album of the 70's, likely due to the popularity of probably PFM's most well known tune, "Celebration."

The rest of this record I know somewhat from memory when I checked out PFM over 10 years ago. And I do own a copy on Vinyl in fact, but more revisiting would be good for me to do at some point.

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Michael Nesmith - Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash
rel October 1973

One of if not Nez's most unknown/undermentioned records, but for those who know it, many like it. It does include "Some of Shelly's Blues" which was written while in The Monkees.

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Billy Joel - Piano Man
rel November 9, 1973

Billy Joel's 2nd album, that of course features the title track, which I do like, although I liked it more when I 1st heard. It does come across kind of as a beer-guzzling tune, but it works on a melodic level still. That one and "Captain Jack" I know and enjoy.

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Mahavishnu Orchestra - From Nothingness to Eternity
rel November 16, 1973

A 40+ minute live album, that much of it includes material that was unreleased. I do enjoy this, as I find it is some of the best music Mahavishnu ever wrote, but I'll admit to favoring the studio version on both The Lost Trident Sessions which were released decades later, and of course "Sister Andrea" and at least 1 or 2 passages from "Dream" I think, were used on Like Children from Jerry Goodman and Jan Hammer.

But I'll admit, 1973 saw some pretty good live records with Yessongs, Genesis Live and this.

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Emerson Lake and Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery
rel November 19, 1973

This was the 1st ELP record I remember getting. The cover art was appealing and curious and I still feel is as appealing a part of this album, as the music.

The music though, I mainly think of it for the "Karn Evil 9" Suite.

Come inside, the show's about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart
Rest assured you'll get your money's worth
Greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth
You've got to see the show, it's a dynamo
You've got to see the show, it's rock and roll, oh

The whole thing works pretty well as a suite, even though I don't lean towards it as much as Tarkus, as far as ELP epics go. But overall, the dynamics and longer sections don't meander too much for my taste.

It also does include some of their better shorter tunes like "Toccata" and especially "Jerusalem."

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Nektar - Remember the Future
rel November 23, 1973

Like Tull and some others like Oldfield even, this is another 2-piece, 2-sides LP. A suite very much in the progressive rock tradition, or at the time, standard/almost trend.

I know among Nektar's catalog, this is 1 of the more favorable albums, and I've seen them live a few times, so it's certainly likely includes some stuff I've heard before. But like many of Nektar's records, more time is required for me.

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Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
rel December 1, 1973

The title track is 1 of my favorite Sabbath tracks, and quite progressive. This album does also include the services of Rick Wakeman, which maybe suggests why there may be an extra prog element to it.

"Spiral Architect" is among the other notables songs, of course I always think of the late 90's prog metal band of that name, who must have been pretty big fans.

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Paul McCartney and Wings - Band on the Run
rel December 5, 1973

Like Billy Joel and John Lennon, this album I guess I think of for the title track, which seems to be played on KOOL 108 about every 3rd hour, but be it as that may, it's still a terrific tune and progressive in a lot of ways.

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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans
rel December 14, 1973

4 songs, 20-minutes a piece, approximately. Soft Machine did more or less the same thing with Third a couple of years earlier. I'm not sure how much or if I prefer the Soft Machine record more or even enjoy it as much as Tales, but I will say, the best moments on this album, are some of the best Yes music ever created.

And this actually was the 1st Yes album I ever checked out, and for that reason, I was turned off and it took a few years before I fully got to enjoying Yes.

But as this album is, of the 4 20-minute epics, I enjoy 3 of them more or less start-to-finish. "Revealing Science of God," "The Remembering," and especially "Ritual."

"Ritual" has that amazing chorus with the hook "doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo-doo-doo-doo...doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo-doo-doo-doo...doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo-doo-doo-doo"

"Nous Somme Du Soleil..We love when we play"..also is memorable on it, along with the extended drums/percussion solo.

Revealing Science has those verses that go back and forth which I usually think of. Also for some reason a lot of Steve Howe's guitar work reminds me of some of the music on the original Star Trek series, namely when Kirk is trying to woo some alien woman.

"The Remembering" I guess I enjoy each time I hear it, and it does flow well, but doesn't have quite as many standout sections. But still, a piece I grew to really enjoy.

"The Ancient" though, I have tried and tried to like, and I do enjoy some of, but mainly because not only how odd tonally and the structure of so much of it, it just meanders and comes across as an unfocused mess. Almost like Free Jazz in some ways.

I do own a DJ vinyl copy of Tales with movement breaks, and I ought to try listening to "The Ancient" per that version and just edit out the extensive/long boring sections, and put it with the other 3 and Tales would probably rank among my top 3 Yes albums.

Chick Corea and Return to Forever - Light as a Feather
rel 1973 (recorded October 1972)

One of a couple of RTF records from '73, that I'm unable to find an actual release month for. This is still from the pre-Bill Connors period, so my guess was this was released sometime in the Winter or early Spring.

It does have some notable Chick Corea pieces though in "500 Miles High" "Captain Marvel" and wonderfully charming "Spain."

No guitar, but vocals in fact. from Flora Purim who was married to drummer Airto Moreira at 1 point.

Kind of an underrated record, but RTF without guitar is definitely different.

Return to Forever - Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy
rel 1973 (recorded in August)

As the artwork shows, this is the 1st and I guess only album with guitarist Bill Connors, who I do enjoy and appreciate, but I also can't say I prefer over the amazing Al Di Meola, who came in the next year..

This also is the 1st album with drummer Lenny White, which actually looking at Wikipedia, Steve Gadd was the original drummer RTF had for this stuff, but when Gadd told the guys he didn't want to tour with them, they decided to re-record the music with Lenny White.

"Captain Senor Mouse" is probably the signature track as it's become a staple for Chick Corea and RTF. Love the playful-ness on it among other things.

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Carmen - Fandangos in Space
rel 1973

Another jazz-rock album that the information online does not seem to include an actual release month or date. But this is a record that I enjoy and has a bit of a cult-following, at least among progressive rock and fusion fans.

It's really like latin jazz-rock I suppose. I recall when I 1st heard it and read some stuff about it being Flamenco, which I guess it could be described loosely that way.

Among the members of this band, one is bassist John Glasscock who would later go on to join Jethro Tull.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (short videos)

Here's some short little clips I shot during Joyce and my trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night in Cleveland as part of a private party with a boatload of desserts for the Archive Conference she is attending this week/weekend here in Cleveland.

We only had a couple of hours, so that is partly why they aren't longer I suppose, and I was trying to conserve battery and space in my camera.

I took a lot more pics which are on my personal Facebook page, and I imagine are not visible to those aren't friends with me on there.

But I'll try and share per uploading onto Photobucket I guess.

here's 1 (Janelle Monae's jacket and shoes).

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As far as the Rock Hall itself, maybe not now, but perhaps in the next week or less, I may give a bit of a review about it, having now finally seen it, etc.

1 other note of course that I took a photo that's on Facebook, 2 Kevin Glbert connections are there, 1 being a LYRIC sheet for the Sheryl Crow song "No One Said It Would Be East" (which the title makes me think of the Cloud Cult song, which has absolutely no connection I don't believe).

And the fact there was a Herb Ritts exhibit featured there last night/currently, since of course Kevin or Johnny Virgil  mentions Herb Ritts in the song "Certifiable #1 Smash" which I'll admit to never having heard his name before then. But the Madonna connection with Ritts and Kevin's work with Madonna on the Dick Tracy soundtrack along with the Toy Matinee song "Queen of Misery" kind of follows how Kevin could have known about Ritts directly (if not also knowing the videos he made with her among many others).

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Vinyl Videos (August 2015)

Some new vinyl to show. The 2nd Screencap jpeg was not the image I meant and have now since edited, but it still shows up for some reason, Very silly expression on my face.

I have some more videos coming soon hopefully, and I suppose part of making videos now is more people have subscribed to my channel (thank you again).

Like many, I have a couple of hundred or more vinyl records I haven't shown on camera, which I will try to in due time. Per, this isn't all the vinyl I've picked up this summer (music collecting, and vinyl the last few years is an addictive habit of course).

I also look to share videos for the Retro Favorites Series soon (and making 50 videos eventually, seems like a tall task, but somehow I will try and do that over the next X-number of months or year or 2 time/interest permitting).

Saturday, August 15, 2015

VIDEO REVIEW: Michael Nesmith and the Second National Band - Tantamount to Treason Vol. 1

Joyce gives her more detailed thoughts about Michael Nesmith's 4th solo band album after me telling her about it in the 1972 Albums list I just published.

Likely some more of these could be coming, and likely with better lighting and we filmed this a little bit ago and it was rather dark (both outside and in).

I love Wax Minute, and if you're into progressive rock, I would highly recommend it.

Also George Jones is the one who is best known for playing the last song "She Still Thinks I Care."

Friday, August 14, 2015

Retro Favorite Albums: 1972

1972, another big year for Classic Rock and Progressive Rock. A decent year for depth certainly, but I suppose the biggest thing that stands out is the TOP HEAVY-NESS of it. Genesis and Tull both put out my favorite record in their respective catalogs. Plus Floyd, Gentle Giant, ELP, Bowie, Deep Purple and Wishbone Ash stood out.

Neil Young - Harvest
rel February 14, 1972

One of Neil's most well-known records. "Heart of Gold" and "Old Man" are the two that ended up on the radio.

Nick Drake - Pink Moon
rel February 25, 1972

Nick Drake, I probably have almost subconsciously meant to check out for years, but never have. But this to many is considered his best record. I really need to check it out soon, as whenever I hear Nick Drake's music, I do enjoy every part of it.

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Michael Nesmith and the Second National Band - Tantamount to Treason Volume One
rel February 1972

Nez's 4th LP, and the 1st under the "Second National Band" which I imagine the lineup changes is the reason the name changed.

I forget, but I may have a copy of this record on vinyl. But if I don't, of course my fiancee has a couple different versions between Vinyl and CD I believe.

But from a track list standpoint, the standout track to me is definitely "Wax Minute" as I posted an entire entry about it HERE.

That track just plain rules. The pedal steel guitar solo that Red Rhodes plays is amazing, and a favorite of mine. Frankly, it makes that my favorite Nesmith track, even though it actually wasn't written by Mike but Richard Stekol, whose version I'm sad to say, I still have not checked out.

The rest of Tantamount I may get to revisit again and better evaluate, but if I was making a top 10 songs for 1972, "Wax Minute" would certainly be in there, despite all the prog competition.

for a more thorough (and in-depth review, check out this video just made with my fiancee about it .

Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick
rel March 10, 1972

This became my favorite Tull album not long after hearing it, some 12 or 13 years ago. Previously I was consumed by the brilliance of A Passion Play, but had read many claiming this to be even better. And frankly, I came to understand why.

It is 1 40+ minute song of course, divided up into 2 parts or sides on the Vinyl. And of course the Vinyl packaging/artwork is as big a part of this album as any of the music, with the whole newspaper design and extensively written fictional articles and advertisements, etc. A few years back, I even tracked down for an affordable price, a well-conditioned copy, which perhaps I will get around to showing on YouTube at some point.

But I guess musically, I enjoy the whole ride, but to pinpoint favorites sections, I would say definitely the 
flute-led section that goes to the part with:

So! Come on ye childhood heroes!
Won’t your rise up from the pages of your comic-books
your super-crooks and
show us all the way.
Well! Make your will and testament.
Won’t you? Join your local government.
We’ll have Superman for president
let Robin save the day.
So! Where the hell was Biggles when you needed him last Saturday?
And where were all the sportsmen who always pulled you through?

That and the trademark riff that is reprised at least a couple of times are probably my favorite sections.

Also the use of sax I recall stood out.

Foxtrot and this album likely would have been battling it out to win the crown, and it’s really a push, being my favorite record from each band. I guess I might lean towards this as I love a whole 1-piece listen when pulled off so well.

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Deep Purple - Machine Head
rel March 25, 1972

This by many, is considered their best or at least most popular and influential album. It of course includes their most well known song in “Smoke on the Water” which despite its frequent airplay, I find still holds up. Along with the song with the most well known power-chord intro in the history of Rock and Roll,

Machine Head also has some other greats like “Highway Star” which I love Jon Lord’s organ solo especially, and Ian Gillan’s screeching.  “Space Truckin’” is another corker..with the whole “cmon..cmon..cmon..cmon Space Truckin!” ..Ritchie Blackmore more or less made you bang your head on that part.

"Lazy" and "Pictures of Home" also are among the highlights of a classic and a breakthrough album for Purple.

Emerson Lake and Palmer - Pictures at an Exhibition
rel March 26, 1972

This is a well-regarded Double? Live album from ELP. And the truth about this is, I probably owe it to myself to revisit it. But when I 1st checked out ELP back in 1998 when Dream Theater and Deep Purple went on tour with them, I remember being bored to tears by either this and/or 1 of the Works records.

But, in glancing at the track list now, I suppose given it seems like an interpretive opera of some traditional pieces and some originals. But of course none of which were on their 2 studio records.

Okay, well for the sake of being an ELP fan and this from their early/good period, I give this historical value. And I should check it out again after some 17 years of a gap., But I imagine I can remember why it didn't grab me exactly right away.

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Wishbone Ash - Argus
rel April 28,1972

I’ve seen at least 2 incarnations of Wishbone Ash live, and both were fun shows. And while most of the stuff they played I dug, at this point, this remains the single record I’ve enjoyed and spent time with. I remember thinking how much they reminded me of Yes, namely on the infectiously energetic and upbeat tune “Sometime World.” Among the 1972, while this isn’t my favorite record, I would certainly think it would contend for the top 10.

The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street
rel may 12, 1972

A double LP from the Stones, which it seemed most bands ended up making at some point in the 70's. I know this is considered by some fans as one-of, if not their best record start-to-finish. Even though the track list doesn't offer any huge radio standards. But I suppose given that period for them, and the praise its received, it definitely would have been a record I would check out from '72. And still should hopefully soon.

"Tumbling Dice / Sweet Black Angel" and "Happy / All Down the Line" being the 2 singles from it.

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Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds
rel June 2, 1972

I still feel this is clearly, the most underrated/undermentioned and undeservedly, least talked about and appreciated Floyd album. Sure, it is for a soundtrack for the French film “La Valle” aka “The Valley” and the brief clips used in the film are honestly, too few and far between, although I do recall enjoying the film.

But man, I really love this album. Why? Less is more. It has some great, memorable, moody, 70’s hippie/feeling-good tunes. “Childhood’s End” certainly. I love Gilmour’s soaring riffs on that one. “Free Four” is quite catchy and would fit in with many of the Psych/Pop stuff of this period or the late 60’s. “The Gold That’s in the” and “Wuts..the deal” are 2 others I totally go for.  Even the closing piece "Absolutely Curtains" with the almost tribal type chanting I do think adds a nice cinematic ending to this record.

Is it as experimental as many of their others? I suppose not. But the blues-rock blend with the acoustic element really has a lot of charm for me. And frankly, I would not only place this very high among the records from 1972, but also in their catalog, as save for a couple of others like Animals and maybe Atom Heart, I can’t fathom preferring another one of their records, and I love Pink Floyd a ton.

David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
rel June 16,1972

One of the more recognized Concept Albums in Classic Rock. I have heard a lot about it, and seen it on many lists. And I do know some of the individual tracks like "Suffragette City" and "Starman."

I suppose it's a record I could spent a little more time with and fall for, as when done well, I'm a sucker for concept albums of course.

It also includes Rick Wakeman who was on a few other Bowie albums of course ("Hunky Dory" I recall at least).

A record I might love and could see at least as a Top 10 for '72.

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Emerson Lake and Palmer - Trilogy
rel July 6, 1972

Another solid record from ELP, which includes the playful "Hoedown" the mesmerizing "From the Beginning," "The Sheriff," and "The Endless Enigma" Bookends on the 1st LP.

I guess I enjoy this album, but would not regard it as high as a couple of the other ELP classics like Brain Salad Surgery and especially Tarkus.

The title track I honestly don't recall whether I enjoyed it much or not, but it's been probably a decade since I listened to the cd I bought.

Yes - Close to the Edge
rel September 13,1972

This along with Fragile, in my 2nd go at getting into Yes, really did convert me. And while I do still enjoy this album, and initially I liked it maybe as much as Fragile and The Yes Album, I grew to find it a little overrated. Sure its 3 tracks seem well composed. And it does include Bill Bruford. However, I think why I find it a bit overrated is largely due to the Church-organ tone Rick Wakeman used on much of it. It was much worse on something like “Awaken” but it still shows up enough on this album for me to not love it as much as some of the other Yes records.

I do really dig "Siberian Khatru" though as that tune has this infectious energy that I still love. And the title track and And You And I I still enjoy a lot of. I guess I will always remember falling asleep and having parts of this album in my dreams. The whole “I get uhhhhhhhhhhp. I get dowwwwwwwwwwn. I get uhhhhhhhhp I get dowwwwwww-owwwwn” before the Church-organ part comes in, I still am a sucker for and can never forget a few overnights back around 2001 with the my jukebox cd player playing it.

A good Yes album, but for 1972, I can’t even be sure it would make the top 10. Genesis and Tull have it beat by quite a lot that year

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Black Sabbath - Vol. 4
rel September 25, 1972

Another quality record from Sabbath which includes the likes of "Changes," 'Tomorrow's Dream," "Supernaut," 'Laguna Sunrise," and "Cornucopia." As much as I don't listen to them incredibly often, the more records I revisit, the more I realize how consistent a band they were, at least with Ozzy in the early days.

Styx - Styx
rel September 25, 1972

I honestly have never heard this album, but I do enjoy more or less all of Styx's 70's stuff. It just doesn't include any of their well-known songs.  Even songs they have brought back live. They really were a Psych/Prog band, more than a poppy AOR band with prog elements. The follow up records I'm more familiar with, even though, those albums

But from the fans who know the early Styx, the prog folks namely, this is right in there among their best. "Movement for the Common Man"  seems right up there in the progressive rock tradition being a 13-minute multi-part suite.

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Return to Forever / Chick Corea - Return to Forever
rel September 1972

The 1st Return to Forever album, or Chick's 1st album using the name. I think I have this on Vinyl but of course have yet to check it out. It is the lineup with guitarist Joe Farrell, Flora Purim on vocals/flute and Airto Moreira on drums. Stanley Clarke would remain though.

Genesis - Foxtrot
rel October 6, 1972

My favorite Genesis record, and an all-time favorite like Thick as a Brick. Supper's Ready and a handful of other great tunes.

Click Here to read an extensive explanation

But to reiterate briefly, the section of the "Eternal Sanctuary Man" section of Supper's Ready I always get goosebumps during, and it may be my favorite part of any Genesis song ever.

"Can Utiility and Coast Liners" is so bloody good. The mellotron is so vintage. "Get Em Out By Friday" is such a grower track. Love the hell out of it. And "Watcher of the Skies" is epic and classic Gabriel-Genesis.

"Time Table" and "Horizons" also totally fit.

Perfect record, and like I said, certainly a battle with TAAB for the top of the mountain in '72. I imagine had I been listening to TAAB since March, when this dropped in early October, it would have sounded fresh, but still been difficult to take down Tull. But I really could flip a coin between the 2, as both are THAT good and huge favorites of mine.

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Stevie Wonder - Talking Book
rel October 28, 1972

By some this is considered the 1st of a bunch of Stevie's classic records. It does include "Superstitious" and "You Are the Sunshine Of My Life" among the standards.

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PFM - Per Un Amico
rel November 1972

I don't have this album yet from PFM, but I know among their catalog, this is one of their more well liked. This album I guess was in Italian, and some of the music was re-recorded in English on the follow-up Photo of Ghosts. In that sense, they did what Fair to Midland or Mew did in the 2000's.,

But I've always liked what I've heard from PFM, and felt they were my favorite Italian prog band, and this album actually could be a favorite among their catalog. And among '72, certainly would be one to consider among many, even as late in the year it came out.

Gentle Giant - Octopus
rel December 1, 1972

The brief amount of time I have spent with Gentle Giant's music, I guess this is the record I enjoy the most. Being a Kevin Gilbert fanatic, I probably should know their stuff better, but alas, in due time. I guess my go-to track on this album would have to be "Knots" from memory.

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Deep Purple - Made in Japan
rel December 1972

A classic live album, that includes a lot of the Machine Head material live of course. Except some extensive arrangements. The 19+ minute "Space Truckin'" maybe being the biggest jam.

Renaissance - Prologue
rel Fall? 1972 (recorded June-July)

The release date isn't quite clear, but it was recorded in the Summer, so a Fall release seems likely. Anyway, this is the 1st album with Annie Haslam on vocals and thus the *classic* Renaissance lineup began.

I do own this on both Vinyl and I think CD, but haven't spent tons of time with it. But I do know the title track well, and always enjoy it. The clear classical-music influence/arrangement and the Operatic chanting. A nice way to introduce Annie to their listeners.

The rest of the track list sounds familiar, but honestly, I am spacing on. But like the other early Renaissance albums (among others, like Return to Forever), I know this album is well regarded and so almost by default it would have found some regular rotation among the '72 releases for me.

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Il Balletto Di Bronzo - Ys
rel 1972

I saw this band at Nearfest in 2000 and was oddly impressed, even as quirky and almost campy their frontman seemed at time. Italian Prog, like Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso and PFM among others (Le Orme, Area), they did a cool brand of prog, that was clearly influenced by Yes and Genesis, but with an italian twist.

And this is often regarded as their best record, so among '72, it certainly would be on my radar.