Thursday, February 18, 2010

Strange Days

2-18-10 Strange Days

So, the cover of Strange Days that I posted yesterday is basically a bunch of Progressive Rock band logos. The big article in this issue (along with the Time Machine feature that I have been using to write up) is “The Top 100 Progressive Records”.

I did a quick mental inventory, and I find that I have 74 of the “Top 100” according to Strange Days magazine. Rather than tell you what I have – I’ll tell you where I fall short in this magazine’s list!

‘No go’ on:

Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

Yes – Tales from Topographic Oceans; Relayer

4 x Camel albums

3 x Gentle Giant albums (I only have 1st, Octopus and Glass House)

4 x Renaissance albums (I only have first two original albums)

3 x Strawbs albums (of their picks, I only have “Bursting At The Seams”)

2 x Barclay James Harvest albums

Gryphon – Treason

England – Garden Shed

Area – Arbeit Mach Frei (Il Lavoro Rende Liberi)

2 x Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso albums (I only have their instrumental albums)

Mandalaband – s/t

I Pooh – Parsifal

Never did go for that Genesis album. I am hit-and-miss on Yes, my two favorites are “The Yes Album” and “90125”. Never did Camel. Never got all the Gentle Giant albums. Never did Renaissance after their Island label albums. Am working on Strawbs, being patient, waiting on A&M UK vinyl copies. Never did B.J.H. Never went for this Gryphon because it had vocals on it. Never did the England album, but I know it’s super popular and well-respected in Japan. Never did Area. The only non-instrumental Banco album I have is “Darwin!”. Would love to find both Mandalaband albums, as they are basically Sad CafĂ©, who I like. I remember trying I Pooh in the 70’s and not being able to receive their message – maybe it was because some of their records have all of their first names on the cover?

And from Strange Days’ list of “The Top 100 Progressive Records”, I have all the titles they picked for King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd, P.F.M., Mike Oldfield, Genesis, The Moody Blues, Curved Air, Caravan, Focus, Anthony Phillips, Hatfield & The North, U.K., Van Der Graaf Generator, Jethro Tull, Steve Hackett, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman, Khan, Alan Parsons Project, Hawkwind, Gong, The Enid, Matching Mole, Darryl Way’s Wolf, Sebastian Hardie, Esperanto and Clearlight Symphony.

Seems like rather a lot of bands missing from their “Best” list!

#1 album in their list is pictured...


Anonymous said...

Alan Parsons Project... prog??!! maybe only the first one!!! The only good album they did, in my opinion. I'd draw the line at "great." "I Robot" is a mediocre mainstream rock album. "Pyramid" is a bad mainstream rock album. "Eve" is a wretched album by any standard. What come after that I can't say.

Anonymous said...

Alan Parsons gained fame for engineering "Dark Side Of The Moon," right? The next thing you know he's writing and producing albums with talent for hire. That's sort of like Joe Johnston. He was a production designer on Star Wars who parlayed that gig into directing films like "Honey I Shrunk The Kids" and "Jurassic Park III."

Brian Ware said...

I have fonder memories of the early Alan Parsons albums, but lost interest by the early 80s. No way would I consider them prog - not even prog-lite.

Ron Kane said...

I believe it was only the first album in the Strange Days list. I bought that just because of the sole Arthur Brown vocal part. Never went beyon that very much. I could 'stand" "I, Robot", but...nothing after that. Even now.

Anonymous said...


Re: Prog

Thanks again for insisting I give "In the Wake of Poseidon" another chance. Only the title cut reeks of The Moody Blues, as I've earlier opined. My distaste for the Moodies had clouded my perception of the album and I'm glad you suggested I give it another chance. I especially love "Catfood" which points to the heavier jazz leanings on the "Lizard" album which was to follow. I also prefer Gordon Haskell on lead vocals and his turn on the delicate "Cadence And Cascade" was a lovely taster for "Lizard" as well.

Ron Kane said...

Yes, the first few K.C. albums are all worth investigating. None of it sounds like The Moody Blues to me.

Biggest stumbling block I encountered at the time was Boz Burrell on "Islands". "Earthbound" was 'hard to love', too.

The beast transmogrified, but I was ultimately taken with "Larks' Tongues In Aspic". Took some work. Seeing that band live helped.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It's the mellotron, backing vocals and chord sequences that are pure MB to me on "In The Wake Of Poseidon." The drumming is waaaaay better, though!

Brian Ware said...

Re: "Lark's Tongue"

Oh yeah, that was one of those perfect moments of the right album at the right moment in your life (18 years old). Experiencing it live (and "Starless" just a year later) were transcendent experiences for young Mr. Ware.

Also saw the "Islands" tour the year before. Rather tedious made more surreal by opening acts Black Oak Arkansas and Sweathog.

Dang, King Crimson must have loved coming to Florida. Plenty of time to work on their tans...

Ron Kane said...

Opening act when I saw K.C. in '73 was B.W. ("My Maria") Stevenson!

I am not certain the "Islands" tour came through L.A. - or would I have been too young to know? I did 'em all at real time from "Poseidon" onwards. "Larks' Tongues" tour was first I noticed.

I did write to them when the address appeared in "Lizard" and got a big poster and bio back from them. Still have both!

Anonymous said...


I bought a copy of "Starless" around 1980-1 when I was 16-17. A hell of an album at any age. Still one of my all time fave KC albums. The Bruford/Wetton lineup is my fave. As staggeringly brilliant as as I consider "Discipline," "Beat" and "Three Of A Perfect Pair" are far less in comparison. "Lark's Tongues/Starless/Red" makes an unbeatable KC trilogy to my ears. I consider them all top of form albums with a slight nod from me to "Starless" just for "Great Deceiver."

Oh, and "Fracture!"

But I have to admit that the 2000 recording of "FraKctured" on "The Construction of Light" smokes the original for breakfast!

The only artist I ever wrote to was Black (Colin Vearncombe). I just HAD to give some positive feedback after his positively brilliant 4th album (released independently to an audience of probably 1000 people) and I got a nice letter and press kit back.

Anonymous said...

Cripes! I almost forgot I wrote to John Foxx's management some time in 1983. Very posh thermographic stationary from them. But nothing from the artiste himself, unlike Vearncombe.

Brian Ware said...

Way back in the day I was highly amused by The Pursuit Of Happiness and their original video for "I'm An Adult Now", which I got from a Muchmusic aircheck that Ron did. I got the original 12" and wrote to them. Not only did I get a nice handwritten letter from Moe Berg, but I also got an autographed poster from the original line-up. They came to Orlando a year or two later and I got to meet them and I brought the letter.

I also wrote to Iva Davies regarding the re-issues of their back catalog. I wanted to make sure all the b-sides didn't fall through the cracks. I got a personal letter from the man himself, assuring me they were doing everything possible to make that happen.

Also sent a email to M&M's management years ago asking about the status of their re-issues, and Mark Gane personally replied that everything would be done eventually . Still waiting on "The World Is A Ball"...

Brian Ware said...

So, are we going to set a new world's record for follow-up comments to a single post?