Friday, November 27, 2009


Music for November 2009

Lots of music coming your way...

Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe - Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe (1989)
Straddling prog and pop, the bulk of the most famous version of Yes put together an interesting group of songs. The closest they come to their classic days is the cover of the CD. And maybe that is why they didn't call themselves Yes. Still a very interesting CD to listen to.
Illumination - Jamie Craig (2008)
Continuing where he left off with his last release, Jamie Craig continues to walk a beautiful path between prog and new age music. Always an enjoyable ride.
Emerson Lake & Palmer - Works Live (1977)
Technically ELP was one of the best groups of musicians to ever play prog rock. Throw in an orchestra and there are moments on this CD, were the power overshadows the egos.
Camel, The Snow Goose, Rain Dances, Breathless - Camel (1973,1975,1977,1978)
I have no idea how these never made it into my CD collection. I went looking for one of them awhile back and realized I only had them on vinyl. A quick look online took care of that problem. Watching Andy Latimer play guitar at the Roxy in Los Angeles back in the mid 70's continues to be one of my favorite guitar moments as he closed his eyes, twitched his lips, and... and... played. The late Peter Bardens looked like a teenager up there. What an amazing show. "Camel" showed them in there still 60's psychedelic mode. "The Snow Goose", was a beautiful trip with lots of Andy's flute. There are still songs on "Rain Dances" that move me. "Breathless"... I don't remember if I ignored it or never saw it come out, but it sure felt like a first listen for me. I love Richard Sinclair's vocals and although this CD seemed to move Camel in a more pop direction, well... Did I mention I love Richard Sinclair's vocals?
The Answer - Peter Bardens (1970)
Speaking of Peter Bardens, this rare CD (I saw a copy on Amazon for $70) is very 60's psychedelic. But there are moments when you see a bit of Camel. It was definitely a long way from his days with Van Morrison.
King Crimson - Live at Asbury Park NJ (1974)
It was a great time to be a prog rock fan. What else is there to say!
Port Mahadia - Echoes in Time (2007)
Ahhh... Songs about the sea. A story. A theme. Soaring guitar solos. Like Porcupine Tree, Port Mahadia can move from crunching guitars to beautiful melodies. Almost as good as taking a 45 minute vacation.
The Incident - Porcupine Tree (2009)
2 discs in this release. Disc 1 is one song (or a suite of songs actually), "The Incident". As always, there is a mix of blistering and potent guitars and then brilliant melodies. Deadwing is still my favorite PT CD, but songs like "Time Flies" will keep me coming back to this CD. Disc 2 is 4 additional songs that feel a bit like leftovers; especially after being completely enthralled by "The Incident".
Renaissance - Live at Carnegie Hall (1975)
This is the band at their peak, playing like no other band before or since. It is beautiful and gripping, with amazing stories and, of course, Annie Haslam's exquisite voice. If you only buy one Renaissance CD, this probably is the one to have.
So, Security, Secret World Live - Peter Gabriel (1984,1982,1993)
Do I really need to talk about any of these? Some of the best music (prog or not) the '80s had to offer. His early digital productions proved that music could be mind blowing. His live productions were second to none.
801 Live Collectors Edition - 801 (2009)
I have mixed feelings about this double CD. The original 801 Live was... perfect. Maybe the greatest live album ever. It wasn't just the songs, but the post production and the pacing of the album. They took "Golden Hours" and "The Fat Lady of Limbourg" out for a reason: They messed up the pace of the album. With these two songs back in, we get a better feel for the entire concert, but I'm not sure I like it any better. Still, it is great to have two more 801 songs to enjoy. Disc 2 is from rehearsals and all of the songs except "Golden Hours" are on it. This disc doesn't have the energy or the post production for that matter, that first disc has, but it is really interesting to hear slightly different versions to these songs. But you tell me what you think. We'll get that entire 2nd disc into the play list for you to listen to. Enjoy.

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