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Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Original CD Reissue Wish List

Final Update for this post: October 20, 2015

Current CDRWL News can be found here
CDRWL Priority 1 can be found here
* - A very good album. Worth a CD reissue
** - A classic. One of the greatest albums not on CD.
*** - Amongst the greatest albums ever made. Almost criminal that it is not available on CD.

# - Not featured separately on the blog. Generally these are albums of less interest or they are out of scope for the primary focus of this blog/list.

@@ - Plan to listen again before adding new description. Most of these are LPs or old cassette dubs in my collection that I just haven't listened to in many years.

xxx - Reissued since first published.

%%% - Legitimate LP reissue exists, but no CD.


* 3 PM – Better Late Than Never (USA) 1981 Ostinato. So perhaps it's not overly surprising that 3PM and The Fents have a similar sound. 3PM also starts out with some slap bass, and slick funky fusion. But it doesn't take long for the guitars to distort, and the rhythms to get jagged. There are some pretty wicked progressive rock compositions embedded throughout. Just when you think this is going to be a monster, they revert back to some cruise ship styled loungers. It was 1981 after all. Overall a very fine record that fusion fans won't want to miss. 3PM were based in Raleigh, North Carolina. After breaking up, the rhythm section formed the basis of the Steve Morse Band. However, drummer Doug Morgan left prior to their first recording.

A Paradise is Born - s/t (Germany) 1978 private. German folky with dual male/female vocals, that sounds more English in execution (and language of course). Parallels to Carol Of Harvest can be found, but without the progressive elements. Some nice electric leads. File next to Stone Angel.

*** A.F.T. - Automatic Fine Tuning (England) 1976 Charisma. A personal favorite, though some folks have told me they think it's too jammy. 4 long instrumental tracks with twin guitar.

** A.R. & Machines (Achim Reichel) - Echo (Germany) 1972 Polydor double LP.
** A.R. & Machines (Achim Reichel) - 3 (Germany) 1973 Zebra (Reichel's label for Polydor) xxx Turns out there is a reissue on the Spectrum label from 1995. Obviously very rare and needs a new reissue!
** A.R. & Machines (Achim Reichel) - IV (Germany) 1974 Zebra
* A.R. & Machines (Achim Reichel) - Autovision (Germany) 1974 Zebra. xxx As above with "3", there is a reissue on the Spectrum label from 1995. Obviously very rare and needs a new reissue!
** A.R. & Machines (Achim Reichel) - Erholung (Germany) 1975 Brain. I don't think there's any question that Achim Reichel has the largest body of important work still not on CD. He began to use sound on sound guitar techniques with "Die Grune Reise" and continued that strain, with different formats, through to the "Erholung" album. From there he went back to a pop singer songwriter style. Reichel is a big star in Germany and he's maintained that he doesn't want these reissued for now. That's a pity. "Die Grune Reise" actually was reissued by Polydor at the dawn of the CD age in the mid 1980s and quickly fell out of print (and was finally reissued again on his own Tangram label in 2007 with the short film of the same name). Otherwise, the only hope of hearing these albums on CD is through a 2 disc compilation. Hardly satisfying. Many of these have been booted - more than once. With "Die Grune Reise" finally getting reissued at the end of 2007, we can only hope the others will get reissued soon as well! Also see the Frankie Dymon Jr entry for a related side project.

* Andreas Aarflot – Det Rivna Pianot (Sweden) 1978 Manifest. Obscure keyboardist Aarflot put out this one very fine fusion album with many differentiators to the norm. These include a strong classical component (pipe organ, strings), sweet female vocals sung in Swedish, wonderful flute solos, and a strong dash of the Canterbury (melody, structure). Excellent album.

* Abacus - s/t (Germany) 1971 Polydor.
Abacus - Just A Day's Journey Away (Germany) 1972 Polydor.
Abacus - Midway (Germany) 1973 Zebra. On Abacus' debut you can hear a lot of parallels to another quirky German band: Nine Days Wonder. Like NDW's debut, this album is radically progressive, covering anywhere from Frank Zappa's more complex works to any number of UK outfits. The vocalist is from England, and he writes much of the material, so this album doesn't sound Krautrock at all. This album has been booted at least once unfortunately. Would be nice to see a legit CD! Until now, I'd only heard the band's last 1970s work "Midway" (1973) and it was pretty horrendous. Recently I heard their 2nd effort "Everything You Need", which is quite a drop off from the great first album. All of Side 1 is rural/country rock and is downright terrible. But all is not lost, as the second side is one long suite. Though based again on a rural rock theme, there are plenty of quirky progressive rock moves, that recall the first album. The dramatic difference between the first and second albums reminded me, again, of Nine Days Wonder. "Everything You Need" has been reissued legit, the others not.

xxx# Abbhama - Alam Raya (Indonesia) 1978 cassette only release. I know very little about Indonesian prog rock pre-Discus, other than the outstanding Guruh Gipsy (see entry below), but Abbhama seems to me the prototype of what to expect. At its core, Abbhama are a pop group with female vocals, darn near close to a lounge act. Then suddenly, when you least expect it, an obvious progressive rock segment will follow, perhaps something you might hear on a classic Yes or Genesis album. And while Abbhama wear their influences on their collective sleeves, it's all good fun. Well worth a listen or two. *** Reissued by Strawberry Rain in 2014 xxx

** Ablution - s/t (Sweden) 1974 CBS. Swedish based large scale jazz rock ensemble, with hot playing from all. Organ, guitar, multiple percussion, piano and, best of all, Bjorn J:Son Lindh freaking out on flute all over this! Has a “Lotus” era Santana vibe going.

* Abraxis - s/t (Belgium) 1976 International Bestseller Company / IBC. Formed by members from the band Cos, this album is a cross between flute jazz, Canterbury inspired fusion and 70s funk. Somewhere between Chris Hinze, Cos, Cortex and Herbie Hancock is where you'll find the sound of Abraxis. Flute drives the melody and solo lines, but there's plenty of introspective piano sections as well. Which play nicely against some of the ferocious electric guitar. A nice discovery on the always surprising IBC label.

Abrial Stratageme Group - Mannderly (France) 1977 Sonopresse. Imagine Ange as a hard rock group, or a French Blue Oyster Cult, and you have a pretty good idea of what we're dealing with here. Also reminds me of the Rictus album that's also in this list, though this one is much more professionally done. Vocals are in French and have that psychotic touch that I find highly fascinating. Very heavy guitar sound for the early date. A couple of ballads, and one 8 minute progger round out the contents. Interesting album!

# Abus Dangereux - Bis (France) 1982 Elanore. Light and breezy fusion with xylophone and bass in the lead. If it weren't for the intensity of the bass, then this would be entirely too lightweight for my tastes. Somewhere between Pierre Moerlin's Gong and "smooth jazz" ala Spyro Gyra or The Yellowjackets. As my friend Michael states: "It's tepid as heck, in fact". YUP! They have two later albums as well that I've heard are even more watered down.

Acción Rock Band - s/t (Spain) 1981 Universitas Editorial. One of the great benefits to collecting progressive rock albums is the album covers themselves. Italy, Germany, England, The Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries all excelled at creating imaginative cover art in the 1970s. For my money, Spain is the best of them all. My favorite covers are by an artist called Puebla, who painted the Gotic "Escenes" album and the first two Vega albums. But the list goes on for wonderful Spanish covers: Medina Azahara, Mezquita, Bloque, Iceberg, Tabletom, Ibio, Granada, Iman Califato Indipendiente, etc... Each of the prior bands have at least one amazing cover, if not more than one. Acción Rock Band is clearly in the Hall of Fame amongst those. Oh sorry, what was that? You were asking about the music? Ah yes, the music... of course! The music... Did I mention the album cover? The Acción Rock Band is a fairly typical early 80s album that ranges from pop rock with synthesizers to a mundane hard rock sound. There's some nice riffing which also points to a proto-metal background. Overall the album reminds me of the non-classic, latter day albums by Medina Azahara, Ñu, Mezquita or any of the albums by Baron Rojo. So definitely not typical CDRWL fare, but worthy of inclusion due to heritage and album art. The AC offers these accurate insights "Musically, nothing too special. Melodic, mostly laid-back song oriented stuff with a few minor prog moves and a bunch of period synthesizer sounds to help give it some charm. But, get a load of that cover! In my opinion, this thing's right up there Metamorfosis, Jara, etc. The other somewhat interesting thing about this band is that they hailed from the province of Extremadura, which I believe is a somewhat obscure area of interior Spain, near the Portuguese border. Pretty far removed from all of the major scene activity in Spain. Also, it is a fairly rare LP. I think only around 100 or 200 were pressed."

# Acid - s/t (Austria) 1974 CBS.
Acid - More Acid (Austria) 1975 CBS. Austria’s Acid are a pedestrian rock group band who somehow managed to get two albums out (on CBS no less). I’ve only heard the first and that’s enough for me. Other than a couple of promising horn rock moves, recalling Birth Control on “Rebirth”, what we have here is plain Jane boogie rock ‘n roll. Many cover tunes and not an ounce of creativity. An awful album really.

* Ada le Fol - Les Années d'Errance. 1980 Elia Disques. Ada le Fol is another example of the French underground of bands that played in that unique French theatrical progressive rock style made so popular by Ange and Mona Lisa. This is more under produced and amateurish, just as Trefle and Grime are, but that's where the appeal lies. It's creativity at its most raw. Vocalist does a fine job at the Decamps style, whilst the keys and guitar keep the progressive quotient alive. There's one throwaway good times rock and roller on Side 1 to endure, but otherwise this is a strong example of the style.

Adam - Eura (Sweden) 1994 Xotic Mind.
Adam - Welcome Back (Sweden) 1995 Xotic Mind. Both solo albums are typical of the Xotic Mind psychedelic aesthetic (S.T. Mikael, The Word of Life). Flute, hand percussion and fuzz guitar is the order of the day. Good stuff, and it would be nice to see the rest of the Xotic Mind catalog reissued by the inheritors - Subliminal Sounds.

* The Advancement - s/t (USA) 1969 Philips. No question that The Advancement are a bunch of jazzers trying their hand at the hip psychedelic sounds of the day. But in the end, they come across as a bunch of clueless squares. Because if they could have let loose on the foundation laid, this would have been an album for the ages. As it stands, The Advancement remains a fine album of instrumental jazz/rock without one notable standout track, including the usual call-outs like 'Stone Folk' and 'Fall Out' which of course feature the only fuzz on the album. Potential unrealized - though worth hearing and owning for certain.

* Aera - Akataki (Germany) 1982 Spiegelei.
Aera - Too Much (Germany) 1981 Spiegelei.
xxx (Aera) Muck Groh - Muckefuck (Germany) 1979 Erlkonig. Aera's last album is also one of their best and compares favorably with other excellent early 80s German fusion albums like Embryo's "Zack Gluck" and Kontrast's sole work. Band has contacted me to explain that they've reissued all the Aera albums from their house label (Erlkonig - first 4), but that the last two albums (including "Too Much") are owned by a corporation. Speaking of "Too Much" - this would have to be considered Aera's weakest and most commercial effort. The funky chicken component is pretty high here. Still, the album has its merits, including some nice atmospheric bits that belie its popstar ambition. Muck Groh is the leader of Aera and his first solo album treads a similar path to some of the later Aera albums such as "Live". "Muckefuck" has been rumored to be up for a reissue for the last couple of years now (since it's on Erlkonig, I'm not sure what the hold up is). His second album "Grotesk" has been reissued along with what appears to be an archival recording called "Grotesk 2". *** Muck Groh to be reissued by Long Hair, Spring 2011

After Life - Cauchemar (France) 1975 Discophon. Reissued on LP by Wah Wah, but no CD as of yet. After Life are one of those insane rarities, so obscure that it’s just now surfacing to the collector market. They were a French group whose only album gained a release in Spain. Turns out someone was digging through an old farmhouse in Aragon and found a stash under the hay, behind the pitchforks....or something… As for the music, it’s one of the most baffling releases I’ve heard in years. On the plus half, there’s a haunting progressive laced sound, with that doomy vibe only the French seem to conjure up. Recalls first album East of Eden or The Visitors, and the vocalist has that gruff voice which is very similar to the guy from Alusa Fallax. Most of these are sung, whispered, or narrated in French. The Visitors influence is not that surprising when one learns that the master of all things obscure is involved: J.P. Massiera. On the downside, and I mean really down, there’s these godawful rock-n-roll tracks, like Bad Company playing the most insipid Bachman Turner Overdrive tunes. Complete with honky-tonk piano, harmonica and badly accented English vocals. It’s not a good A-side, bad B-side situation, but rather they are intertwined for an entirely frustrating listen. Obtain a cheap copy, but don’t spend too much time digging for it – at a record show or in the barns of the Spanish landscape….

Agamemnon - Part I & II (Switzerland) 1981 private. Similar to other slow moving German symphonic groups of the day like Waniyetula (known by most folks as Galaxy on LP), Albatros, early Faithful Breath and Indigo. Garden of Delights has been pretty successful in getting these types of albums out. According to the LP, there was supposed to be a Part 3 & 4, but guess they lost interest in ol' Agamemnon.

# Age - Landscapes (Belgium) 1980 Gamm.
Age - Dimensions (Belgium) 1982 Gamm. In 2002, not long after I purchased "Dimensions", I wrote for Gnosis: "Relatively harmless three-piece band (two on synthesizers and one on drums) from Belgium who released two albums in the early 1980's. Dimensions is their second effort and contains nothing more than ten throwaway electronic instrumentals. I would be overly generous to compare this to early 1980's Tangerine Dream but stylistically that's what Age are shooting for. Sweet and saccharine (more like what T.D would become later in the decade). However it must be said that the addition of real drums saves this from a complete waste of time. Good for sampling and little else. It does, however, sport a nice fantasy cover." Midwest Mike was kind enough to send me the debut, and I agree it is better. More Berlin School electronic, and less patchy new age soundscapes. I did like the real drummer on the sophomore effort, but this one is clearly the better record.

* The Aggregation - Mind Odyssey. 1968 LHI. It's pure fantasy of course: Industry veteran Lee Hazelwood signs up Disneyland's resident psychedelic group The Aggregation. A band that makes their daily bread by playing to the kiddos wired on ICEE's and Cotton Candy. This is tripped out music for the family from Topeka who experience a literal trip to Oz. Since Hollywood already made an insufferably cute square movie about Mary Poppins - how about "Saving Mr. Mind Odyssey", with Tom Hanks taking a tab and costarring Kate Upton in a Laugh-In era outfit with white thigh high go-go boots. No plot necessary. I'm first in line.

Agharta - s/t (Canada) 1981 Jam. Light and breezy instrumental fusion with piano and various woodwinds (sax, clarinet, flute). Lead by keyboardist Jacques Mignault (and released on his own label) with the help of other local Quebec jazz musicians, most notably Michael Seguin. Very much a product of its day, with strong overtones of same era Weather Report and Spyro Gyra. The flute, piano, and odd electronic piece give it a warmth perhaps missing in similar type efforts. Well done for the style.

Air - Teilweise Kacke... ...aber Stereo (Germany). 1973 private. See my review here: Air

** Airlord - Clockwork Revenge (New Zealand) 1977 Infiniti. Only released in Australia. Airlord are one of the more original late 70s progressive bands. From the unlikely country of New Zealand, Airlord emerged with a pretty crazy bent on classic era Genesis. The vocals are most reminiscent of Gabriel, whereas the guitars play in a more hard rock style, with an occasional blazing solo. The keys (organ, synthesizer, Mellotron) and compositions aren't as elaborate or as complex as classic Genesis, but Clockwork Revenge is a refreshing take on a classic idea. Features a nice gatefold cover with lyrics and graphics in the inner. Hopefully Aztec will consider reissuing this one.

* Akacis - s/t (Latvia-USA) 1979 Plate. Latvian expatriates living in Philadelphia play a mix of all out progressive and AOR styled music. Good stuff, though recordings could use a new master.

** Akropolis - Half A Million Hours Symphony (Denmark) 1979 Circle. What says PROG like that cover, eh? The dude in the white overalls gives me nightmares. Was he auditioning for The Village People before the photo shoot? While listening to this, I began to question if Denmark had cities named Toledo, Detroit, Kansas City, Columbus and Ft.Wayne. Blindfold me, tell me nothing else, and I say 1978 Midwest progressive rock. You know, it's just got that sound. The one where St. Louis college aged students, who've been drinking a case of Falstaff and listening to KSHE past midnight - decide to start a band. One of those albums that makes no sense, but it's really good for fans of American progressive rock. Seriously, file next to Albatross, Ethos and Surprise. If someone does the reissue, one would hope for a redesigned album cover. I'm sure there is a story behind it. At least I HOPE there is a story behind it. Otherwise...

# Aktuala - s/t (Italy) 1972 Bla-Bla. Artis CD OOP
Aktuala - La Terra (Italy) 1974 Bla-Bla. Artis CD OOP
Aktuala - Tappeto Volante (Italy) 1976 Bla-Bla. Artis CD OOP. All of these were issued by the Italian Artis label in the mid 1990s, but have fallen out of print and are highly collectable. Musically very similar to the Third Ear Band or other ethnic acoustic outfits from the early 1970s.

xxx Aku Aku - Humanquake (Czech Republic) 1991 Pro Art. Like the Saisei Koubou, Bohemia's Aku Aku seem to have digested King Crimson's darkest period, that of Larks Tongues.. through to Red. The heavy guitar, bass and violin are obvious earmarks of the Wetton years. Of course the Czech vocals give it a local flair. There's also a distinct punkish feel in a couple of places. In this way, they remind me of another sentimental favorite Czech 90s group - Dunaj. *** Reissued by Guerilla Records xxx

Akuma No Bansankai - Dinner in Honor of Demon (Japan) 1976 Demon Record. Look at that cover. And that title. Oh my, we're a long way from the Japanese progressive rock I grew up with (Fable on the Seven Pillows anyone?). I think digging something like this out of the ground must come with some sort of curse or somethin'. And thus said the Elder "He who shall uncover Dinner in Honor of Demon shall spend eternity with album cover on thy mind" It is for certain a bizarre album, that moves seamlessly amongst many styles. Each side's opening with variations of [standard 1940s Asian theme] is a bit silly, but some of the lounge bits offset by fuzz guitar were very interesting. At times the album is brilliant, with crazy effects and crazier ideas all coming at you randomly and seemingly out of place. While at others, the fast-forward button begins to look appealing (especially on Side 2). One can even hear a proto Pizzicato Five here. Honestly, the album seems more influenced by 1967-68 era Beatles than anything else. So yes, as the AC notes, one could see this going down a storm with the well heeled collector set who already have everything else, but for the rest of us, it remains merely an interesting curio. Perhaps it would serve well as a featured item in a small town museum. BTW - you will not see the name Akuma No Bansankai anywhere on the internet (or here on RYM), but since the AC speaks fluent Japanese, he was able to translate this one for us.

** Albatross - s/t (USA) 1975 Anvil. Rockford, Illinois based symphonic progressive group. Like many bands from the great Midwest, Albatross were highly infatuated with Wakeman era Yes, with dashes of Gentle Giant and Genesis thrown in. And like Surprise (St. Louis), Ethos (Ft. Wayne), Pentwater (Chicago), Starcastle (Champaign) and countless others, they also had an eye on the FM radio charts. This AOR sensibility guaranteed them more club spots, and hopefully in their delusional minds, more girls to choose from. In the end, they fit somewhere between the insane progressive sounds of Yezda Urfa (south Chicago suburbs of Indiana) to the more overtly commercial Styx (south Chicago). If you love the sounds of the region, as I do, then this one is a must own. Lots of organ and mellotron for you gearheads out there as well. boots exist.

The Albert - s/t (USA) 1970 Perception (plp 4)
The Albert - s/t (USA) 1971 Perception (plp 9). And the award for most confusing discography goes to.... The Albert! Two albums, both self-titled, the same year, and on the same label. Yea, that makes it easy to research. The Albert definitely fall on the soul-jazz/pop side of the horn rock equation. But there's some really fine horn charts, hard guitar and organ that separate this one from the pack. Also check out the well done sax and trumpet solos. Both albums are very similar in scope.

Alcatraz - Energie Programm in Rock (Germany) 1978 private
* Alcatraz - Live: Trockeneis zum Frumstruck (Germany) 1980 private
* Alcatraz - No. 4 (Germany) 1982 private. Absolutely one of the strangest bands to ever come from the original Krautrock era. Their debut "Vampire State Building" is an excellent jazz tinged Kraut fusion album - very much a product of its day and certainly a classic of the genre. It was originally issued on Philips and reissued by Long Hair a few years ago. Had they stopped there, they would've been like countless German one-offs from the early 1970s. But they resurfaced in the late 1970s, not as a pop band like most of their former brethren, but a totally off the wall band, who changed style from album to album. "Energie Programm in Rock" mixed complex progressive rock with polit-rock vocal sections. Because of the difficult music presented, it recalls the band Oktober or perhaps PP Zahl. But on their next album "Live: Trockeneis zum Frumstruck" they had switched gears entirely and tried their hand had instrumental jazz fusion. Then "No. 4" demonstrates an excellent guitar fronted hard rock album similar to perhaps Mahogany Rush. They continued into the CD era with at least 4 more albums - the only one I'm familiar with is "Holm" (1998) - a German language progressive rock album with some metal and some truly progressive segments. Their last album, that I'm aware of anyway, is from 2002. It's hard to imagine a group that's been more "progressive" than Alcatraz over the years, other than maybe Embryo, and even the latter has been more predictable. Not all of it works, but there's no question the non-commercial stance the band has chosen. Completely defies categorization. Bizarre really.

# Alex - s/t (Germany) 1973 Pan.
Alex - That's the Deal (Germany) 1975 Pan. Alex, later known as the Alex Oriental Experience, is one Alex Wiska, master of many Turkish stringed instruments. On the debut he successfully blends Turkish music with a certain Krautrock bent, making for a fascinating fusion. On the downside, Alex's vocal style is a bit of an acquired taste, and can distract a bit. "That's The Deal" is more of a straight ahead rock album with a Middle East edge, but not enough to distinguish it, as on the debut. "That's the Deal" is available as a free download on Alex Wiska's website. Both albums have been booted on CD. I would expect that Wiska himself will eventually release these properly. Alex has released many more albums than these two, but I've been told they stray even further away from the scope that we're covering.

Ruben Alexander - Odyssey (USA) 1980 Ribbon Rail. Ruben Alexander's sole work is a fine instrumental jazzy keyboard piece with a classical music backdrop. Piano, in particular, is highlighted. And since I happen to be a big fan of the old-fashioned acoustic piano, it is a true joy to hear the very talented Mr. Alexander tickle the ivories. The album has a pleasant demeanor throughout, perfect for a sunny afternoon in the park. If I could be allowed to critique, the melodies seem to call upon all too often, especially on the first side, 'Linus and Lucy' (Peanuts theme) and after awhile you kind of want Robb Flynn to jump in and start yelling obscenities over massive slabs of thrash to release the niceness. As The AC says, it's all so charming and well ...  nice. I suspect that since Mr. Alexander grew up in Gary, Indiana, then this would be his personal antithetical response of his own upbringing - as Gary is the pure definition of urban blight, and is now one third the size of its peak 50+ years ago, with many abandoned homes... Anyway, Side 2 does cross over into more classically composed rock territory with some fine synthesizer runs. The latter representing the progressive rock genre almost by itself, perhaps reluctantly so.

Alice - Arrêtez le Monde (France) 1971 Polydor. I had totally forgotten about this release. I had it on LP for a few years and finally decided to move it out. It was a difficult decision, mainly because the gatefold cover is so cool - and the feel of it reminds me of Sandrose's sole album. That was well over 10 years ago. So hearing this again was fun. And also reminded me why I did ultimately not hold onto it. It's by no means a bad album, but Alice were a French pop band exploring with orchestrations and other trendy "progressive" ideas. In that way, they remind me of the Italian groups doing similar like Delirium's "Dolce Acqua" or The New Trolls "Concerto Grosso No. 1". When Alice are strictly instrumental, they can be highly fascinating, and utilize a multitude of instruments (even mellotron). But they are pop singer songwriters at heart, and those moments are pretty hard to stomach, unless you're a fan of said style. Would be a great choice for a Japanese mini-LP. Their 1970 pop psych debut album has been reissued prior. Bootlegs exist.

# ** Alkana - Welcome to My Paradise (USA) 1978 Baby Bird. Really strong hard rock from California with great riffs influenced no doubt by prime 70's era Judas Priest. Throw in one cool 11+ minute epic and you have one great album. Easily 2 to 3 years ahead of its time in both sound and composition. In the big leagues with other sophisticated private US hard rock bands like early Manilla Road, Legend "From the Fjords", Winterhawk, IOU, and Granmax "Kiss Heaven Goodbye". A no-brainer consideration for Rockadrome.

* Alpha du Centaure - Contact (France) 1979 Spirals. Imagine if Jimi Hendrix played in front of a jazz rhythm duo. Wild fuzzy wah wah guitar screaming over stand-up bass and scattered jazz drumming. If only the guitarist played that way for the entire duration - that would be some album! There's also some typical jazz guitar and on those cuts, you'll be wishing you had your Grant Green albums handy instead.

Alpha Omega - s/t (Australia) 1976 Clear Light of Jupiter. Steven Maxwell, most known for his group Cybotron, also lead this interesting fusion group. Perhaps Cybotron's "Colossus" is a good reference, mixing in saxophone lead rock with electronic sequences. Alpha Omega is more rooted in jazz, however, which includes some free blow sax and shredding guitar solos. It's an odd combination. Passport's "Infiniti Machine" is also similar to this, though for certain more tame. Well worth hearing for the uniqueness factor.

** Alpha Ralpha - s/t (France) 1977 Wea. Alpha Ralpha's sole album is a wonderful, and perhaps pure, example of instrumental symphonic progressive rock. Given the name and cover, there's also an underlying space rock tone. The music has a warmth that was typical of the late 70s French scene, and a sound I find very appealing as I get older. In fact, it's that same type of familiarity we recently called out with the new Herba d'Hameli album.

# Alquitran - s/t (Spain) 1977 Auvi. Despite being in Hans Pokora's book as one of the rarest Spanish items, the album itself has little to offer musically. Primarily a song based rock album, not typical at all of the flamenco progressive rock movement of the day. Some Santana moves is all that saves this album from a total yawner. Too bad, as the album sports a wonderful cover.

AMA – Not Blobs. 1988 Poultry Productions PP6
AMA – Liveloudandlumpy. 1988 Poultry Productions PP8
AMA - Genuflex. 1989 Poultry Productions ??. These were all pressed on cassette originally. The date of Not Blobs is based on the catalog number. Genuflex is listed 3rd as that's how the Freeman's from Ultima Thule have it ordered. Given that Liveloudandlumpy is from November 1988, I'll surmise this one is from 1989. But it's only a guess. AMA can quite simply be described as long and improvised, primitive sounding guitar-bass-drums psychedelic instrumental music with a muddy production. The kind of group that makes Tangle Edge sound like Conservatory students with an academic pedigree. A little of this kind of music goes a long way. Probably the "Improvised Drop Outs" sessions from Tangle Edge are the best reference here. It has a hypnotic effect as background music, but close inspection reveals all sorts of cracks, lines and warts. Like going to a dark restaurant and appearing on the surface to look beautiful, only later to be exposed in the bright lights to demonstrate the ugly truth. Personally I like the raw intensity of the recordings, though probably not enough to lobby for a reissue. Perhaps the cassette format is perfect for these kind of recordings in that, like the medium itself, it's old and creaky. Start with "Not Blobs" if you're curios, as that one has an inkling of compositional acumen at least.

xxx Amanaz - Africa (Zambia) 1975 private. Was reissued by Shadoks on LP, so expect the CD to eventually follow. *** Reissued in 2010 on Shadoks related QDK-Media label ***

* Amish - s/t (Canada) 1972 Sussex (US press). Ontario based group who recorded in Detroit, Amish were primarily a hard rock band with organ and guitar providing the solo leads. Heavily influenced by Uriah Heep and Deep Purple. Truthfully, albums like this were a dime a dozen back in those days, but Amish stands out due to the superb progressive oriented organ work, and I like the way they wah wah riff the rhythm guitar parts. Even some strange psych era interludes that recall bands like Stone Circus or even Strawberry Alarm Clock. They even cover Traffic's 'Dear Mr. Fantasy'. Bassist Mike Gingrich was later a member of the progressive rock group Nightwinds. boots exist.

* Amos Key - First Key (Germany) 1973 Aamok / Spiegelei. High energy classically based organ prog trio like Trace, ELP and a host of Italian bands who were similarly influenced. Would expect Long Hair to ultimately reissue this, especially considering they've now issued an archival album by them from the same time frame: "Keynotes: The Lost Tapes SWF Session 1973" (I have yet to hear it, but plan on buying it soon).

xxx Amphyrite – s/t (France) 1973 private. Guitar blues rock trio. One guy solos on guitar while the others keep time (sort of). No vocals to get in the way. Or melody either. Sounds more American in its approach. Amber Soundroom did manage to reissue this on LP before going belly up. *** Reissued by Thors Hammer, August 2010 xxx

Amuthon - Wirklichkeit (Germany) 1982 private. Not only is the album half German and half English, but some of it is recorded live and some in the studio. Talk about "cobbling something together" for a release. There was quite a few of these private semi-progressive "Deutschrock" albums from the early 80s, and Amuthon fit squarely in the middle. A little Anyone's Daughter, 1980s era Grobschnitt and Novalis, Wintauge, Profil, Grim Reaper, and, oh, about 100 more obscurities few have heard and even fewer care about. It's certainly good, and non offensive German rock musik.

Anamorphose - Palimpseste (France) 1986 private. An active jazz rock album. Reminds me some of Abus Dangereux's first album as well as some of Yoch'ko Seffer's 1970s works. Smoking rhythms! I prefer the flute lead material over the much more heavily used soprano sax. Some great use of violin as well. Good album for the date considering the wasteland that was 1986.

Ananga Ranga - Regresso As Origens (Portugal) 1976 Metro-Som.
Ananga Ranga - Privado (Portugal) 1977 Metro-Som. Jazz rock ensemble that reminds me some of Tantra, but perhaps more influenced by the bigger names of the day like Passport and Weather Report. First album has violin which definitely adds points. "Privado" begins to introduce funk, which probably wasn't the best idea. Could see the excellent Spanish label Guersson putting these out. Boots exist.

Angipatch - Vie (France) 1981 private.
Angipatch - Delirium (France) 1982 private. Angipatch's debut "Vie" is a fine example of the dramatic French progressive style ala Ange and Mona Lisa. Of course, this is a more amateurish production, typical of the early 1980s, but the effort is sincere and certainly worth seeking out. Perhaps Elohim's "Le Mana Perdu" would be a good reference. On "Delirium", Angipatch mixes neo prog with new wave synth pop and French vocals, and is quite a step down from the debut. On this title, I was reminded of Elixir's "Sabbat" album.

xx Änglabarn - s/t (Sweden) 1973 Plump. Lightweight electric folk duo. Was scheduled to be reissued by Transubstans, but looks to be tabled for now. Probably for the best, as there's more important albums from Sweden needing attention (Flasket Brinner, Berits Halsband, Panta Rei, Anna Sjalve Tredje etc..) **Reissued by Transubstans 9/09

# Anima - Kilgore (Denmark) 1980 Sonet. Somewhat typical fusion of the day, primarily defined by the synth tones rather than the actual music content. The drummer definitely puts in a top performance. Occasionally the keyboardist will play a guitar like solo on one of his older analog synthesizers. Also features a brilliant production. Sparse vocals on Side 2 demonstrate a song craft in league with the New Wave / synth pop movement. Overall, a bit too slick for me to lock horns with, but definitely recommended to fusion fans.

xxx ** Anna Sjalve Tredje - Tussilago Fanfara (Sweden) 1977 Silence. Anna Själv Tredje are in the Tangerine Dream / Klaus Schulze electronic genre, but with a distinct Swedish twist and some wonderful offbeat space jams with lead electric guitar. To date, Silence hasn't licensed any of their work out (there's now hope as Handjort was recently licensed). In time, they put this on CD, but it's been a long time since they've tackled their back catalog. Maybe Mellotronen can talk them into a license or two? Features one of my all time favorite album covers! *** - To be reissued by Subliminal Sounds late 2014 xxx

** Another Roadside Attraction - s/t (Canada) 1979 ARA. Another Roadside Attraction are yet another late 1970's band that has that "Midwest progressive rock" sound that I'm quite fond of, and is littered throughout these pages. They feature the unusual lineup of two keyboardists, a drummer and a vocalist. The songs themselves have that slight FM radio slant that makes me a bit nostalgic. But the instrumental sections are right out of the classic ELP playbook. In fact, this album reminds me most of Morgan's "The Sleeper Awakes" and The Trip's "Time of Change". Like those albums, hyper active acoustic piano drives the compositions forward. Synthesizers tend to be the solo instrument of choice. If ProgQuebec ever becomes ProgOntario, then perhaps they'll take on this one! The LP itself has the look and feel of your typical US private press and features neat cover art.

# The Antiques (Antique) - Sorcery (USA) 1974 Funny. In the past year (2010), via the Laser's Edge, I learned about this Latin rock band and their album "Sincerely Antique". It's quite excellent, and I've featured it on UMR. I didn't realize they had a second album until yesterday (end of 2010). It's definitely more pop focused, but there are at least 4 tracks that remind me of the debut. Probably out of scope, but worth mentioning for fans of "Sincerely Antique".

Apartment One - Open House (Netherlands) 1970 Pink Elephant. Apartment 1 (or Apartment One as noted on the label itself) is a straightforward late psych / early hard rock record. Sounds more like what was happening with their fellow countrymen in the 1960s Dutch scene with albums from Cosmic Dealer, The Outsiders, and Q65. Plenty of excellent fuzz guitar and soloing to enjoy here. All on top of some splendid older organ sounds. The opening tracks on each side are instrumental, and represent the best material on the album. The vocals are in machismo English - with a gospel tinge. As such, it reminds me of the vast bone yard of US post psych albums from 1970 on labels like Paramount, ABC, Verve, Rare Earth, and Mercury.

# Coste Apetrea – Nyspolat (Sweden) 1977 MNW. Ex-Samla Mammas Manna guitarist performing an instrumental, and primarily Latin fusion album. Predictable, but well played.

# Coste Apetrea / Stefan Nilsson / Jukka Tolonen – Vanspel (Sweden-Finland) 1979 Love (Svenska Love). Nordic all-star fusion lineup, with all the expected sounds of the era.

Apprentice - Rough Draft (USA) 1982 Mainstream Records (not the Mainstream Records presumably) Apprentice could be classified as a straight ahead fusion album, but it has just enough of an edge, especially in the 70's inspired guitar work, to add it here as a featured item. There's no mistaking its 1980s heritage though, especially noticeable in the thin sounding synthesizers, warm bass tones and slick production qualities.

*** Ariel - Perspectives (USA) 1985 Little Misters. From the far south Chicago suburbs, comes the super obscure Ariel, an album that is just now making its sound heard worldwide. Early 80s Rush is the most obvious first influence, but there's more here than meets the ear as it were. All instrumental guitar, keys, and drums are the core components, and the compositions are complex and tight - with a strong fusion influence. No escaping the King Crimson sound from the era either, but also (surprisingly) Doldinger's Passport, minus the sax (imagine the sequencer heavy Moog lines for example). If we were to really deep dive here, I would compare Ariel to fellow Chicagoan's Proteus, mixed with the UK group Red (on Jigsaw). While Side 1 is impressive enough, the final three tracks do nothing short of wow the listener. And they close with their peak composition, always a hallmark of a great album. Ariel does not belie its mid 80s sound (despite the somewhat psych influenced guitar tone), and yet compared with the normal dreck from the era, the band proves the middle 80s were not a total wasteland (heavy metal genre exempted of course). This one deserves the buzz its currently receiving in the underground. 

Apres La Pluie - La Celebre Ascension Abysale De Joseph Celsius (France) 1978 Editions de Plein Vent. Apparently this album is a full story represented in song. As such, it can be unbearably vocal heavy. Lead and sung by Roger Lombardot, the album on the surface at least, has some resemblance to Ange or Mona Lisa or perhaps even La Saga de Ragnar Lodbrock. In fact he wrote the lyrics for at least one Ange track, so the comparison is more than cursory. But the lack of instrumental breaks takes away any chance that non-French speakers will come out with anything but a Parisian Sunday-Morning-Comic-Book reading. Strangely enough, there is some mellotron interspersed that might endure the odd specialist to the album.

# Aquarell - s/t (Germany) 1979 Nature. Aquarell, lead by two female vocalists, is pretty much a German language folk album with a straightforward rock approach. Some of this reminds me of late 70's Ougenweide, and there's plenty of dancing around the campfire festival singing going here too. In a couple of spots, the fluttering flute gave off a whiff of Jethro Tull, but not enough of that for the readers of this site I suspect. They have a second album, and judging by the cover, looks dreadful. And yes, you can judge a book by its cover! ;-)

xxx* Aquarelle - s/t (Canada) 1978 Atlantic.
Aquarelle - Live a Montreux (Canada) 1979 Atlantic. My reviews here: Aquarelle This will probably get covered by ProgQuebec, as they've done a great job of documenting the Quebec scene. xxxx Both reissued by Belle Antique August, 2010 xxxx

* Aquila - s/t (England) 1970 RCA. Sax and flute lead early English progressive rock. Echoes of Diabolus (especially) and the debut albums of both Gravy Train and Raw Material come to mind. Fine organ solos with nice contrast provided by acoustic guitar. Multiple boots exist.

Arakontis – Live at the Quasimodo (Germany) 1981. Arakontis play a fine Latin fusion with some nice guitar driven melody lines, and a fair amount of electric piano. Not atypical for the time and place, and another good example of the style. Not as fusion oriented as Rozz and less Latin than To Be, but both albums provide guideposts of what you can expect from Arakontis.

# Arbete & Fritid - Arbete och Fritid (Sweden) 1970 Sonet.
Arbete & Fritid - Andra lp (Sweden) 1971 Sonet.
Arbete & Fritid - Ur Spår (Sweden) 1974 MNW.
Arbete & Fritid - Håll Andan (Sweden) 1979 MNW. The albums listed here are the ones not on CD. Three of their titles (not listed) have been reissued by MNW prior. Arbete & Fritid are a difficult band to describe and each album is unique enough, that an overview is probably not appropriate. Swedish folk is the backbone, and from there they mix in jazz, world music, folk and a little bit of rock. Mostly out of scope, but fans of the fringe elements of avant progressive will certainly enjoy these.

Arc - Maquette (France) 1980 Game. Earnest attempt to recreate the Ange / Mona Lisa style of dramatic French language prog. Similar to other such efforts like Elohim's "Le Mana Perdu" (1983), Trefle (1979) or Elixir's "Sabbat" (1987). It's a distinctly French form of rock, and for what it is, it's pretty good. Don't expect Ange though.

** Archimedes Badkar - Badrock För Barn I Alla Åldrar (Sweden) 1974 MNW.
* Archimedes Badkar - II (Sweden) 1975 MNW. For their first album, Archimedes Badkar could be considered an alternative to Kebnekaise. Whereas the latter mixed Swedish folk with blues and psych rock, Archimedes Badkar took the folk music through the jazz rock blender. It's a fascinating fusion, and the ethnic components are out front, so they're quite serious about it. The cover of Big Boy in space reminds me of the first Austin Powers movie. I doubt they had Big Boy's in Sweden in 1974, so a bizarre sight indeed. Comes with a cool multi-page newspaper of lyrics and a postcard! There is a bootleg CD of this title. On the double LP second album, Archimedes Badkar moves from Swedish folk to that of India and Tibet (though the homeland still is featured). Here the jazz and rock components are toned down a bit. But with two albums to stretch over, the band has plenty of time to explore the various different creative avenues they set out for themselves. Archimedes Badkar were four years ahead of Embryo's landmark double LP "Embryo's Reise" for this kind of European jazz fusion east-west sound. The second LP of the set goes for broke and the listener will experience a more experimental sound with hit and miss results. Archimedes Badkar's third album, the overtly titled "Tre", was reissued a few years back. For me, it's the weakest of the three albums (but still good), though I know many folks disagree with my assessment.

xxx Maurizio Arcieri - Trasparenze (Italy) 1973 Polydor. Well known Italian pop star who got his start in the beat scene with I New Dada, and later formed Krisma with his wife Christina Moser. Like most Italian pop stars in the early 1970s, they had to take their one crack at progressive rock, and here it is. Similar to Lucio Battisti's more adventurous works, which is say, it's pretty conservative singer songwriter rock oriented material. *** Reissued by Universal on 6/10 (Vol. 5) ***

*** Arco Iris - Agitor Lucens V (Argentina) 1974 Music Hall. This is a new entry into the CD Reissue Wishlist, and comes as quite a surprise for me. I always thought of Arco Iris as a new age / Andes Mountain hybrid from the 1980s. Then I was told their 1970's albums were different, so I got ahold of "Los Elementales" (which is on CD), a highly rated fusion album from 1977. But while I thought it was good, it wasn't anything really that different or special. But "Agitor Lucens V" IS quite a bit different. "Agitor Lucens V" appears to be unique in their canon. This is one of the best things I've heard in the last couple of years. It's a mite inconsistent, which is part of its charm I think. In some ways, this is Argentina's version of the Lula Cortes and Ze Remalho "Paeribu" album. And when you find out that their spiritual guide was a gorgeous babe / former fashion model, then you know these guys were tuned into something special.

# Arena - s/t (Australia) 1974 private. Garden variety fusion with sax in the lead. Some fine fuzz soloing, but overall a bit of a snoozer.

* Arpaderba - L'Aleph (Italy) 1981 Incontro. Instrumental medieval folk rock lead by the former guitarist from Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno and Samadhi. Reminds me of some of the bands coming out of Brittany during this time like Avel Nevez or an instrumental Malicorne. Very nicely played (especially the violin), with just a bit too much gloss in the production to have any impact. Minimum Vital would later take a similar approach (though with Baroque as a blueprint) and apply much more firepower. Still a very worthy piece and a surprising sound to come from Italy.

# The Art of Lovin' - s/t (USA) 1968 Mainstream. Fine Boston based pop psych, though not indistinguishable from their peers. A legit CD exists on P-Vine (Japan) licensed from Sony who bought the rights to the Mainstream catalog. Not sufficient to meet the demand though.

*** Artcane - Odyssee (France) 1977 Philips. Wonderful major label Crimson styled prog - also some Shylock, Carpe Diem and Memoriance can be heard. Musea has tried to reissue this in the past, but Phonogram appears not interested. No one is going to get rich on this album, so might as well let the hobbyists have their fun!

Artport - s/t (USA) 1982 private. Artport is the kind of album I find very pleasant to listen to. Perhaps not something I'll froth about, but is easy to appreciate their technical ability, melodies and composition style. The main differentiator with Artport is the guitar is entirely acoustic. This is a very welcome sound in an all too predictable environment. You still get the 80s slap bass and sterilized shopping mall slickness - but the guitar is extraordinary. I can easily recommend this to private fusion collectors. Artport are from Minnesota, and the album is obscure, though not necessarily expensive.

# Asahi - The Rising Sun (Netherlands) 1978 Waterland Productions. Apparently this was sponsored by the Asahi Optical Company for a multi-vision show presented throughout The Netherlands. It's in effect a proto New Age music with flutes, piano, percussion, organ, etc... Like most 70s albums in this field it's much rawer than the slick gloss that followed throughout the 1980s and beyond. As would be expected, the flow is very much like a soundtrack album.

xxx Asgaerd (Asgard) - In the Realm of Asgaerd (England) 1972 Threshold. I had this on LP many years ago, and recently received a request to add here. I don't recall much about it but ProgArchives says "A sound very reminiscent of the Wooden Nickel era Styx, Asgærd combine Dennis deYoung-like vocals with Uriah Heepish guitars and the overall pastiche of bands like Rhapsody, only at the height of the progressive (aka art) rock era. In other words, they were dead-on for their time. The sound doesn’t wear all that well with time, but some accommodation must be made since this album was released in the very early seventies." ***reissued 7/10 by Esoteric ***

* Ashby Ostermann Alliance - s/t (USA) 1981 Divide. Chicago based Ashby Ostermann Alliance is a good example of early 80s fusion mixed with a strong rock aesthetic. This latter element is often missing in the progressive rock & jazz rock genres. In fact the AOA album doesn't give that indication early. It seems to be pointed in the direction of Latin Jazz, but about midway through Side 1, the guitarist begins to take over. Then the compositions take on more complex forms, and before you know it, you have a mighty fine progressive fusion album on your hands. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that these guys knew or played with fellow Chicagoan group Proteus.

# Association Earwax - Earwax (Germany) 1970 MPS.
# Association P.C. - Sun Rotation (Germany) 1972 MPS.
# Association P.C. - Rock Around the Cock (Germany) 1973 MPS.
# Association P.C. - Erna Morena (Germany) 1973 MPS. Guitarist Toto Blanke's experimental jazz rock group (well really it would be drummer Pierre Courbois' band, since he's the P.C.). All of their albums are more towards "out jazz", with some rock elements interspersed throughout. The debut album was originally released under the band name Association Earwax, and is a bit more diverse. Some Soft Machine fuzz organ moments are offset by free rock and free jazz, as well as some more mellow late 60s jazz sounds. "Sun Rotation": I do enjoy some of Association P.C.'s works... especially "Mama Kuku" and, to a bit lesser extent, "Erna Morena". But "Sun Rotation" goes beyond my personal realm of enjoyment at various times. When APC stays within the rails, then indeed the Soft Machine "Third" references attributed are pretty accurate. But there are long stretches of free jazz here. It's not psychedelic, nor cosmic, nor spacey - but rather chaotic noise. Long drum solos, atonal shrieking, random tinkering of out of tune notes - whatever they feel like playing - whenever they feel like playing it. It's not controlled chaos either, but absolute free improvisation. There's an audience for this style, I just don't happen to be one of them - so I think it's only fair to mention it - as I'm rather certain I'm not the only one who doesn't like pure cacophony. It's a pity that element is present here, as when they do catch a groove, it's quite exhilarating.

# * Astral Dance – Mindgate (Sweden) 1986.

* Astre - Foresight (USA) 1981 private. Horrendously under produced music from Tulsa, OK, but a superbly complex progressive rock album lays behind the mess. A clean recording may take the grime off of this gem.

*** Atila - Reviure (Spain) 1978 EMI Odeon. Fantastic symphonic space rock.

# The Atlantic Ocean - Tranquillity Bay (Sweden) 1969 Love. A mixture of UK styled pop psych and one long progressive instrumental journey that makes up Side 2. Not a bad album at all, and ahead of its time. The side long track has been included in a Love compilation, which probably nullifies the need for "Tranquillity Bay" to be reissued separately - presuming that's what drives the interest in this album (as it does for me).

# * Atman - Duchy Przodkow Mieszkaja w Drzewach (Poland) 1999 Hey Joe. LP only release that's as good as their other recordings. Pioneers of the free folk movement.

Atrium - Color Seed (Germany) 1979 BVB Records. Just when you thought you'd heard every German funky fusion band from the late 70s and early 80s, in flies yet another one - this time its Heidelberg's Atrium. Color Seed starts off in caricature fashion, with funky bass, 4/4 rhythms, flat vocals in English, and...... hand claps (oh, really, this is ghastly stuff). Yea, get down baby. Track two 'Southern Breeze' then sends us on our expected island vacation, and here we have an upscale sophisticated soft tropical number with wordless voice. Excuse me sir?... sir! Can I get another Mai Tai please? What? Oh sure, with the umbrella is fine.... Right. Track three gets us back into the darkened lounge for more funky business. I do like that they use trombone, an instrument not represented near enough in jazz fusion. Next song reintroduces vocals, but this time in German. Hmm... some nice psychedelic guitar tones, synthesizers, and organ here. Over a disco beat mind you, but maybe we're getting somewhere now. What will Side 2 bring? OK, this is more like it. Psych guitar, electric piano, and more complex meters. And then the next one adds in a bit of progressive rock (you can see where this is going can't you?). Time for the longest track 'Quasimodo Man', coming in at a full 7 and a half minutes. This one is a bit more typical hard edged fusion, with some trading licks of psychedelic guitar and synthesizer. 'Snail Bait' closes the album and brings us back to the island to ensure the party doesn't stop... or get too weird. Sort of a night and day album like Eik's "Speglun", but I'm afraid in this case, the highs aren't quite enough to justify a CD (for me anyway)

# Attack Wave Pestrepeller - s/t (England) 1998 Acme Prescription Drug. Most of the Prescription Drug series is an homage to the more psychedelic elements of the Krautrock scene. Attack Wave Pestrepeller sets their sites towards the experimental electronic sounds of Kluster and their ilk. An interesting modern take on a pioneering music.

# Audio Visions - Images (USA) 1984 Audovid. Memphis, Tennessee based Audio Visions certainly seemed inspired by the original NWOBPR movement, and oh yea, Genesis is an influence here. With a name like Audio Visions and a little violin, one has to presume Kansas played a big role in their initial setup. But it's still very much a product of the glossy 80s. Simmons drums and tinny synthesizers are the order of the day. It's more Twelfth Night "Art and Illusion" and less IQ "Tales From the Lush Attic" if that makes sense. Another way to say it's art pop rather than full-on progressive rock. So for my tastes, this one isn't worth the effort. But I'm sure some folks are on the other side of this same fence. Wonderful complex cover art belies the contents.

Audite - s/t (Germany) 1983 private. Audite is a vocal heavy German language album, with a clear affinity for the classic 70s progressive rock sound. Sophisticated arrangements are apparent, and the electric guitar work in particular is exemplary. Synthesizers and even a little flute propel Audite to interesting status. No getting away from the canned early 80s production though. I was most reminded of Anabis' "Wer Will?" album though Anyone's Daughter "Piktors Verwandlungen" also sprang to mind. A good one for aficionados of the 80s German symphonic sound, though a bit of a slog for those looking for more dynamic instrumental input.

Aum - Belorizonte (Brazil) 1983 Bemol. At first hearing, Aum seems like a typical late 70s/early 80s fusion group that were a dime a dozen in those days. Then come the guitar solos, which are full of energy, complete with the compressed fuzz tone one would expect to come out of France at this time. Definitely a cut above he ordinary instrumental fusion album.

# Aunt Mary - s/t (Norway). 1970 Polydor.
Aunt Mary - Loaded! (Norway). 1971 Polydor. I'm pretty certain "Loaded!" came out on Polygram in the early 1990s as I had a copy (but it's long OOP). Not sure the first album has ever been put out legit. "Janus" on Polygram can still be found. Pretty much typical hard blues rock with a few jazzy moves, similar to many a band from the UK during these times.

** Aura - s/t (USA) 1971 Mercury. Definitely one of the better horn rock albums. The movement was quite large after Chicago and BS&T became chart toppers (not to mention that Aura were also from Chicago). However most of these horn groups tried too hard for pop stardom, and failed miserably. Or they were blues rock groups that added horns in a feeble attempt to be trendy. But Aura just kicks butt from beginning to end. They never lost focus of the horn charts and they're constantly a feature, rather than a side show for some lame songwriting. In fact, Aura are BRASSY, more than any other album I've ever heard. Also some nice sax, organ and guitars solos to check out. Aura aren't progressive in the sense of Brainchild or McLuhan - more like BS&T if they'd amped it up a bit and not been so schmaltzy. Not sure if there's a market for this long forgotten style, but if there is, Aura along with Rodan and Gas Mask would have to be amongst the first few to get noticed for a CD reissue.

** Aurora Borealis with Mitch DeMatoff - s/t. 1982 Red Hot. The AC described it to me as: "Obscure fusion platter from this (presumably) Los Angeles based group led by keyboardist DeMatoff. Largely excellent high-flying instrumental fusion in the classic RTF mold. The last couple of tracks in particular are absolutely blazing, one of which features a guest spot by Bunny Brunel. Strongly recommended to fans of stuff like Proteus, Spaces, Apprentice, etc.". And really that's all there is to say. I could throw in perhaps Child's Play as another reference, an album we featured recently here. As well as Momentum, Genre, and others of its ilk. It's on the border of fusion and progressive rock. It starts more in a typical early 80s jazz rock mode, but as The AC notes, it really picks up from there. There's some smokin' guitar leads here!

** Autumn Breeze - Hostbris (Sweden) 1979 private. I probably shouldn't like this album as much as I do. It's very amateurish, but there's a magnetic charm about it. Comparable to the female vocal lead symphonic bands coming out of Germany during this time like Werwolf, Rebekka, Eden and Credemus. The Swedish language adds points too (Personally, I love the language in song). The band themselves have reissued this in both a CD-R and download format. As stated in the FAQ, we won't consider it reissued unless it's been done as a pressed CD. But a CD-R is better than nothing!

# Autumn People - s/t (USA) 1976 Soundtech. Arizona based group who play a blend of AOR and prog. Barely qualifies for this list, but holds some interest. Boots exist.

xxx *** Avalanche - Perseverance Kills Our Game (Netherlands) 1979 Starlet. Perhaps the best album to mix folk with intense krautrock jamming. *** Reissued by Guerssen Jan, 2015 xxx

Avel Nevez - La Belle De Josselin (France) 1978 Arfolk.
** Avel Nevez - Service Compris (France) 1980 Arfolk. There's a fine line between electric folk rock and folk influenced progressive rock. With Brittany, the majority of the bands are the former. Avel Nevez, on "Service Compris" at least, is probably the most clear example of the latter at least from this French region. There's no mistaking the patriotism and indigenous melodies that define the Breton area (the regional map in the trashcan says all you need to know politically). However, the guitar and in particular, the synthesizer work points to a deep 1970's knowledge of French and UK progressive rock. If you're familiar with the mid 90's band Kadwaladyr, then Avel Nevez is probably closest in sound to that high spirited bunch. I haven't heard the first album, though it's my understanding that it's much more folk inspired.

** Axis - s/t (Greece) 1973 Riviera (released in France). Axis is as eclectic an album as you'll find from the early 70s. In some ways, it mirrors Aphrodite's Child's classic "666" album, with its mix of song oriented pop psych and long complex instrumental journeys. Axis begins as a straight up hard rock album and moves over to Canterbury jazz rock and then onto free jazz. Side 2 is similar, though they add a symphonic rock angle as well. The keyboards on Axis are splendid featuring anything from fuzz overloaded organ to jazzy electric piano to layers upon layers of mellotron. The album features two bona fide monster tracks: "Materializing the Unlimited" and "The Planet Vavoura". If the whole album were like these two songs, it would probably be in my Top 10 ever. Features an awesome psyched out gatefold cover.

* Azabu Ongaku Shudan - s/t (Japan) 1971 private. Here's a very rare album from the Azabu section of Tokyo that appears to have been just discovered. The first track is heavily influenced by 1968 era Chicago Transit Authority, which is a really good thing in my book. Then there's some random messing about in the studio, with some chamber/classical bits, and in comes a guitar freakout - and once again Terry Kath leaped straight to mind. What is this anyway? Off to the AC's notes I went... "Things get underway with a blast of driving brass rock-esque jazzy psych, before some spacey classical flute leads into a weird piano and percussion motif that repeats over and over, starting again just as you think it's finally done. You can tell that they're just trying to mess with your mind at this point. Soft acoustic folk-psych follows, but is disrupted by a noisy outburst and radio speech that is swallowed up in ominous avant-garde piano dissonance. A brief flute interlude precedes a headlong dive into wild garage psych, morphing into a full-on psychedelic jam with organ and absolutely insane fuzz guitar soloing. Quietly, a rising chorus of birdsongs emerges, backing a return to the gentle acoustic folk guitar and flute heard previously. But then, a strange surge of fluttering electronics heralds a chaotic collage of Japanese phone conversation, backed by a sinister electronic dirge. Clattering percussion rises from this seething mass, heralding an onslaught of pounding rhythms, droning horns and destructive psych guitar, with wisps of strange noise and moaning in the raging storm. Abruptly, the haunting acoustic folk psych and flute cut in, ending the chaos in a moment of zen. This is a truly harrowing piece of music, encapsulating the bad acid freakout visions you're glad you never had. Unfortunately, side two can't keep up this kind of all-out delirium, and the group's roots as a large-scale amateur music collective come to the fore, with some strange and inept jazz and folk songs, rambling detuned jazz bass and piano, and even a lengthy late night jazz club jam session. However, a few moments of interest are still lurking within. A couple of somewhat experimental classical piano and flute pieces, and a very Third Ear Band-esque number with percussion, flute and droning strings are the highlights, and the album closes with one final brass rock/orchestral blast with bleeping electronics to come full circle. Privately pressed in micro quantities and still only known to a few hardcore Japanese collectors, this album, while by no means a consistent masterpiece, is still an essential snapshot of authentic psychedelic freakout on the outer fringes of the era's underground scene." This is one of those albums that really strikes a chord because of the time and place. Truly a group stretching the boundaries of what was known - very much a product of 1971, an era when this mentality was the norm rather than the exception. The highs go really high here, and so the corresponding down time is more tolerable. Because there's some serious payoff action to witness. Always a hallmark of an album worth repeated listens.

# Azalia Snail - The Cooling System Sessions (USA) 1998 Prescription Drug. Psyched out, low budget, space folk from the fairer sex. Plenty of the resident house mellotron + moog, female vocals of course & other sounds, whooshes, phasing. It's a cool album really, though not necessarily inspirational like Quad and Ohr Musik.

xxx Yoshitaka Azuma - Moonlight of Asia (Japan) 1981 Nippon Columbia. "Moonlight of Asia" is an early all-instrumental work by future video game composer Azuma. Somewhat similar to same period Kitaro, and a precursor to what Motoi Sakuraba would accomplish later in the decade. He has other albums from this period ("Asian Wind", "Far From Asia"), which I'll guess to be in a similar vein. I was later advised that his other (3) albums are much more laid back and that "Moonlight of Asia" is the more progressive rock influenced of the bunch. Not to be overlooked is the fine analog synthesizer work - especially some of the fat Moog sequencer runs. A good one for fans of late 70s electronic music. Details for this artist in English are scarce. *** Reissued by Nippon Columbia April 2013 xxx

# Azurite - s/t (USA) 1979 private. Bad ass hard rock is the order of the day, with clear ambitions towards AOR pop sensibilities. Anyone into the late 70s harder rock scene will appreciate - everyone else needs to run for cover. Me? I'm partial to the sound - so lots of fun around here.

** Baba Yaga - s/t (Germany) 1974 Phonola.
*** Baba Yaga - Collage (Germany) 1974 Phonola. Reviews on the site.

# Babel - s/t (France) 1976 Philips.  Mike M says: "World-ish psychy stuff a la Atman, Clivage".

# * Bad Axe - s/t (USA) 1976 private. This was a test press reissued on LP by Hexamon in 2004. But never on CD. Good progressive hard rock album from the Los Angeles underground.

Bägel o' Fun - In the Underground Wonderland (USA) 1981 Sparrow Sound Design. Chicago based, Berklee Schooled, Bagel O'Fun opens In the Underground Wonderland with one of those "head raisers" that features fiery guitar and organ, as well as a memorable melody. But it appears that their formal training in all aspects of jazz ended up coloring this work in a negative way. For fans of early 70s rock-jazz, late 70's smooth jazz, as well as experimental free jazz, then I suspect this one will resonate. I suppose they were trying to create an underground wonderland, but it's too Art School for general acceptance though. Two excellent tracks and a lot of - albeit interesting - filler.

Bahamas – Le Voyageur Immobile (France) 1976 Motors. Song based progressive pop music sung in French. Relatively harmless, but does feature a few truly inspired progressions hidden within the commercial attempts. Not dissimilar to how the US groups operated in the mid to late 70s. Features a beautiful gatefold cover. I had the LP in the early 90s, but sold. No regrets.

Bakery - Momento (Australia) 1972 Astor. One side is an excellent laid back jazzy progressive with some fine soloing. The other side is a mix of hard rock, boogie and rock and roll, all very typical of the Australian rock scene from this time. Some fine organ and guitar work can be heard throughout. Boots exist, though there appears to be a legit LP reissue available.

# Bakmak – Out of the Blue (Germany) 1977 Nova. One of literally hundreds of German bands playing a fusion style in the late 1970s. The opening track, with layers of Hammond organ in the Larry Young style, held our some hope that this could be something more special, but then the funky soprano saxophone enters in, and the keys switch primarily to Rhodes, and - OH NO - it's yet another funky fusion album. A very good one for the style, but once again a bit too much slickness for me to get my teeth into. Worth a listen anyway. They have a second album that I haven't heard, though indications are it's of even less interest.

# Baltik - s/t (Sweden) 1973 CBS. A mixture of hot instrumentals featuring Janne Schaffer on guitar, and more ordinary time passers.

Banchee – s/t (USA) 1969 Atlantic.
* Banchee - Thinkin' (USA) 1971 Polydor. On the debut album, Banchee play a typical jangly “West Coast” psych that’s as much Quicksilver as it is The Byrds. Not to say the album doesn’t have its moments, or forward thinking ideas (jazz, heavy rock, trippy). Definitely worth seeking out for a listen. Banchee re-emerged on "Thinkin'" as an aggressive hard rock group with plenty of great wah wah guitar. There’s even a little of that feel-good Rare Earth or Grand Funk Railroad jam quality. A good mix of ripping Latin styled hard rock and more typical blues rock. Considered a must own by hard rock heads. Boots exist for both.

# Band Aide - Uchuu Junkan (Japan) 1978

# Bandolero - s/t (Puerto Rico) 1970 Eclipse. Primarily a hard blues rock album. The occasional fuzz psych and organ jams add some zest to an otherwise normal 1970 era album. boots exist.

* Louis Banks' Sangam - City Life (India) 1982 CBS (UK). Also released in Germany as Jazz Yatra Sextett - Sangam on Eigelstein Musikproduktion. Back in the 1980s, one of my favorite discoveries was Embryo's Reise (1980 Germany). Embryo was only a name I'd seen in passing to that point, and so I took a chance on this sprawling double album that documented their musical and literal journey through Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Even to this day, I think it's one of the most successful East meets West blending of styles. A true fusion of cultures. Back then, I had presumed perhaps there may be similar bands from the regions they had ventured to. 25 years on, without much evidence to support that theory, I had pretty much given up hope. Until The Alaskan Connection sent in this gem from Louis Banks' Sangam. Certainly I'm familiar with L. Subramanian, Vasant Rai and others, but its clear right from the get-go that Banks' album is different - much more of the underground rock fusion that Embryo had provided my ears years earlier - and as you will read below, that is not coincidental. Not all of the ideas on the Sangam album work or flow perfectly, but it's exciting to know that an indigenous artist from India was exploring the vast reaches of the 70s jazz and rock underground.

Baracca e Burattini - Hinterland (Italy) 1981 Mama Barley. One of many Italian fusion albums from this period, influenced by the Cramps label groups such as Bella Band and late era Canzoniere Del Lazio. Also Perigeo should get a nod here. I also detect a slight Zeuhl underpinning, as noted by the chanted, wordless vocals. On the soft side of said genre, but definitely distinguishes this album from the pack. Worth a few spins.

# Barock - Bare en Blåveis (Norway) 1976 Mercury. Soft pastoral folk rock with acoustic guitar, violin and nice el. guitar leads. Mix of English and Norwegian vocals. Somewhat like a proto Kerrs Pink or a less progressive Curved Air. Pleasant.

# Jean Baptiste Barriere - Pandemonium: Ville Ouvert (Belgium) 1975 Atem.
Jean Baptiste Barriere - Pandemonium: Non, Jamais l'Esperance (Belgium) 1976 Atem. Bleak, and frankly scary, electronic soundscapes. These albums are about as depressing as any you can find from the 1970s. Makes Univers Zero sound like The Supremes!

# Claude Barthelemy - Jaune et Encore (France) 1980 Cobalt. Apparently known back in the day as one of the fastest guitarists on the planet, Barthelemy certainly demonstrates some of that dexterity here, on his debut album. A mix of avant jazz and shredder rock - somewhat like an Al Di Meola album but with an eye towards the experimental, and without the Spanish flavor. Barthelemy released many more albums afterwards, but I'll leave this as the sole entry for now, as it's a bit out of scope for our list.

John Bassman Group - Filthy Sky (Netherlands) 1970 A.S.P.  Released in Germany only. "Filthy Sky" is mostly run of the mill blues rock – some tracks are closer to the country barn than to the cities' dark brick alleyways. There are a couple of great tracks – especially 'His Name Was Tom', which has some of the coolest wah wah effects this side of Amon Duul II’s “Tanz Der Lemming”. The slow burn of 'Two Rings' is also not to be missed. There's some real junk on here too, namely the country/blues/gospel duo of 'Teddy Boy's Blues' and 'Sing a Song at my Grave'. And I've never been a fan of the selfish look-at-us hippy dippy rock of 'Woodstock Generation'. 'Can You Dig It' oddly reminds me of a jangly Black Sabbath 'Paranoid'. The John Bassman Group features a mix of XX and XY vocals. Might appeal to fans of Affinity and Goliath, but there's not near enough meat on the bones here to satisfy the hungry psych collector. %%% LP reissue by Missing Vinyl (2010)

* The Bob Bath Band - Traces of Illusion (USA) 1984 RPC. The Bob Bath Band is basically an instrumental guitar based trio with occasional synthesizer accompaniment. Most of the material is subdued, but not sleepy. The songwriting is above average, as actual thought was given to melody. Generally the music continues to drive forward at a steady pace. So there aren't any neck breaking shifts in meters, but rather a more methodical approach is applied. And every once in awhile, ole "Bobby" kicks the pedals into gear and rips off a mean solo. Had he done that throughout the album, it most certainly would have added one to two points to the overall grade. Definitely doesn't sound like an album from 1984, as the tones are still psychedelic edged, and there's none of that mid 80s gloss. Blindfolded I would have gone with the late 1970s for this album.

** Gerardo Batiz - Arlequin (Mexico) 1982 private. Very nice, mellow, electric progressive rock album. The wordless female vocals, approaching Zeuhl at times, defines this mature work. Piano and bass drive the music forward, and the contents are highly melodic. At times I'm reminded of some of the "lite Zeuhl" bands coming out of France in the 1980s like Foehn or Musique Noise. I even hear some Joe Jackson, and that's meant as a compliment. For me, it's better than all the aforementioned bands, and comes recommended. Very obscure release.

# * Franco Battiato - Clic. 1974 Island. UK Island version is quite a bit different from the Bla Bla Italian original that has been reissued in the past. Battiato in his Klaus Schulze phase.

* Baxter - s/t (USA) 1973 Paramount. Paramount was one of America's unsung labels. They signed some interesting acts, and I don't think any of them did very well from a revenue perspective. Baxter, hailing from Long Island, were one of their more original bands. Mellotron, Moog synthesizers, Hammond organ, wah wah guitar solos, and some wonderful nutty/unpredictable progressions. And of course, rural singer songwriter pieces in the CSN&Y mold ('Gentle Arms', 'Can't Find the Time'), boogie rock n' roll ('Give it All'), hard rock ('51'), Yes-like progressive ('By the Gates', 'Renaissance Woman'), Polyphony-like progressive (yea, exactly... who knew right?) ('Moonfire II'), and the amalgamation of every style featured here ('Doctor, Doctor', '197 Three'). Wildly inconsistent, but there are some truly inspiring progressions to be found here. Unfortunately no continuity, just like the label itself. But there's just enough good here to recommend as an album worth buying, and releasing on CD.

# Bayon - s/t (Germany) 1977 Amiga.
# Bayon - Suite (Germany) 1980 Amiga. Years ago I owned "Suite" on LP. This fine band from the former East Germany reminded me a bit of Popol Vuh. I sold it years ago, and I probably underrated it. Gnosis Mike mentioned these to me recently (2014), and suggested I add the first one as well.I'll need to revisit before commenting further.

@@Bead Game - Welcome (USA) 1970 Avco Embassy. 

# Beast - s/t (aka Higher and Higher) (USA) 1970 Evolution. Second album from faceless psych band from Denver, who recorded in Clovis, New Mexico. First half of the disc is better as they primarily address their jazz school background. But, like many bands of the era, they put in all sorts of other styles to see if something would stick. You get Dixie, ragtime, hard rock and, the worst, country AND western music – which I suspect is what the bar patrons wanted to hear. Their first album was reissued by Wounded Bird in 2010.

** The Beat of the Earth - s/t (USA) 1967 Radish.
** The Beat of the Earth - Our Standard Three Minute Tune (USA) 1994 Radish (1967 acrhival recordings). One of the most extraordinary early recordings you'll ever hear. Maybe the best aural document we have of the free wheeling Southern Californian culture of 1966 and 1967. This is one continuous track, broken up by the sides of the record. Non stop percussion, acoustic and electric guitar (a fuzzy surf sound), sitars, an ancient organ, and droning vocals. One of the most drugged out albums I've ever heard, except the bandleader (Phil Pearlman) was anti-drugs! Maybe if the Velvet Underground had more of that Californian sunshine, they'd sound like this. A bootleg exists. "Our Standard Three Minute Tune" is very similar in sound and only was released in vinyl from in the 90s. And, of course, it is very rare now too.

* D. Beaver & Combinations - Combinations (USA) 1973 TMI. Memphis based progressive rock band lead by keyboardist David Beaver, formed from the ashes of another obscure group called Edgewood. Combinations is supposedly a more progressive effort (based on what I've read). Beaver's group sounds like so many of the albums coming from England at this time, especially acts found on the Dawn or Neon labels. This isn't hyper complex progressive rock, definitely more song oriented, but with plenty of variety in the instrumentals (violin, harpsichord) and song structures (there are 16 tracks including intervals). I also hear distinct references to bands such as Flash and Morgan. Thanks to reader Dave G for the tip! The only other album I've heard (and own) on TMI is Washrag, a fun little bit of instrumental soul/funk (out of scope for this list).

* Bedjabetch – Subrepticement (France) 1979 AWA. Subrepticement is a fine instrumental fusion album from France with excellent sax charts and kinetic electric guitar leads. File next to your Spheroe albums. It's definitely representative of the time and place, but one could do worse than French progressive rock fusion from 1979!

* Bellvista - The Painter (USA) 1982 En Route Records. No doubt The Painter is "of the era", with its sunny disposition, and proto smooth jazz sounds. The opener 'Once Upon a Fantasy' displays there might be more to this than a tropical vacation, as guitarist Peter Calo turns up the fuzz a bit. From there it's a bit of cruise ship lounging, and perhaps even a little acoustic light world music via the Steve Tibbetts channel. All of that is well and good, but do we get that payoff track? Oh yes, we DO! And it's the finale title track that delivers it - a blistering 9 minute psychedelic guitar fronted fusion number that is guaranteed to have you digging through collection looking for your Love Devotion Surrender album. Well, no Larry Young on organ of course, and cheesy period synthesizers are in full force instead. But for 1982, that ain't bad right?

# Dario Baldan Bembo - Migrazione (Italy) 1977 CIV. David Baldan Bembo's "Migration" is a keyboard oriented pop album with orchestration, a sound that was popular in the disco era. Some progressive rock segments show up here and there - and at times sounds like a cross between Metamorfosi and early Elton John. "Inferno" meets 'Island Girl' - and sung in Italian! I have to admit there's a certain charm and naivete to this era of Italian pop, so it's aged well for me. Still... not something I'm willing to fall on my sword for.

xxx *** Berits Halsband - s/t (Sweden). 1975 private. At the crossroads of Miles Davis circa "Dark Magus" and Kebnekaise with a good dose of Flasket Brinner. Breathtaking. *** Reissued by MusicBazz Sept 2015 xxx

# Peter Berkow & Friends - Live at Cabo's (USA) 1977. A nice curio private press from 1977 that one might still find on a good day of crate digging. PB&F were formed and survived off the 1970s university culture, in this case the University of Illinois. They were a full 6 piece jazz band who, like many in the day, fused elements of funk, rock and Latin styles into their distinct brew. Two guitarists, bass, drums, a dedicated conga player and the primary soloist doubles on both tenor sax and flute. A long album (close to 50 minutes), with 4 of the 6 tracks being entirely instrumental. It’s these compositions that make the album a success, with melodies that recall Ian Carr’s Nucleus and other melodic Brit-jazz combos, with plenty of room left for solos, which never bog down in tuneless noise. Band leader Peter Berkow must have fancied himself a bit of a fun storyteller, and these two tracks (that open and close the album) are a bit silly, especially the funky ‘Burger Love’. Still, both cuts feature fine reed work and some tasty wah wah guitar solos. A true relic of the times, and worth exploring. They have two earlier albums that I haven't heard.

# Patrick Bernard - Exil (France) 1981 Gopal. Melodic progressive that features sitar and mellotron amongst the usual instrumentation.

* Beyond - Music and... Beyond (USA) 1979 private. Generally you'll read the group is from Texas (mainly due to an error in the Acid Archives book). But actually they're from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the management of the group is from Coffeyville, Kansas (on the border with Oklahoma). Jeff met the drummer years ago and confirmed the data. So I suspect various members are from the NE OK, SE KS area. The music is a mixture of classic hard edged arena rock and all-out complex progressive rock. A little heavier than the usual Midwest progressive rock sound that we've featured extensively with a small to non-existent keyboard presence, but in reality Beyond were under the same influence as other groups from the region. Converse to tradition, Side 2 is the more commercial oriented part of the album, and it leaves one with a slightly bitter taste at the end (which is why I think the album never resonated with me prior). The complex songs do recall Astre, another Tulsa based group. Some fantastic acid guitar throughout, with some fuzz bass, and even some jazzy tuned percussion. A very cool relic from America's heartland.

# Bi Kyo Ran - Otogi Sekai (Fairy Tales) - Live vol 1 (Japan) 1987 Belle Antique. Fine live album from 1979 and the earliest official recording of Bi Kyo Ran.

* Bib Set - It Wasn't Meant to Happen (Sweden) 1969 Ton I Ton. Moody and heavy progressive rock set, with loads of fat Hammond organ. Slight blues influence, especially in the affected vocals and quite a bit of jazzy sequences including a couple of lifted parts from famous jazz sessions. A nice surprise this one. Thanks to reader Alberto for the heads up!

* The Bigroup - Big Hammer (England) 1971 private. In today's culture, one might presume the Bigroup to be some sort of avant garde transsexual troupe. But most likely in 1971, it stood for nothing more than "The Big Group". Then again, they do have a composition entitled 'Blow-Suck Blues', so perhaps they were ahead of their time after all? Musically, however, they sound more like a late 60s group than a pioneering cutting edge post-Swinging London progressive band from 1971. "Big Hammer" is, in effect - if not actually the case - an all instrumental film library psychedelic album with copious flute, sitar, surf guitar, and roller rink organ. There's not much in the way of compositional development, which would be typical of the incidental film music genre. Somewhat similar to the Italian groups like Blue Phantom, Psycheground Group, or Fourth Sensation. Fun stuff.

** Bizarre Ko.Ko.Ko. - 00 Time (Austria) 1984 Synoptik. Regular readers of the CDRWL know that I'm quite fond of the Berlin School of sequencer based electronic music. And that's where Bizarre Ko.Ko.Ko. fits in perfectly. In fact, this is version 2.0 of Cultural Noise, an LP from my collection that we fawned over way back when. This isn't that dissimilar from Cultural Noise, though it's clearly moving away from the Tangerine Dream influence, and adding an overall darker mood. Mellotron, guitar and sequencers are all present, especially early on. It begins to deconstruct towards the end, making it sound more like an early Klaus Schulze effort (think Cyborg). Really a fine effort and a must hear for EM fans. The surreal front and back cover accurately depicts the contents within.

# Black Orchids – AWOL (USA) 1972 private. One long bluesy psych jam, recorded live, somewhat typical of the era. A good representation of what you were likely to find at any music club across America in 1971/2 (Black Orchids were from Charleston, WV). However, the recording is so-so and the performance is uninspired. A full explanation of the origins of the album can be found from the excellent description provided by Tymeshifter on RYM. There does exist a bootleg CD.

# * Black Sun Ensemble - s/t (USA) 1988 Reckless. Fine album that features new material as well as re-recorded compositions from their 1985 (also self-titled - and reissued) album.

** Toto Blanke - Spider's Dance (Germany) 1975 Vertigo. Blanke's version of the classic Mahavishnu Orchestra style. Great compositions and amazing guitar. For me, his best work, including the Electric Circus albums. I believe this is the only Blanke album that didn't get reissued on CD.

xxx ** Blim - Zero (England) 1992 cassette.
xxx ** Blim - No Frills (England) 1993 cassette. Outstanding festival psychedelic space rock band. Blim were an offshoot of Omnia Opera and was intended to be a more progressive variation of the already excellent parent band. And they achieved just that. If you ever wanted to hear Ozric Tentacles take things to a more complex level, Blim is your chance to hear it! Also reminds me some of Mandragora's earlier works, when they were experimenting with various styles and structures. Two of the best albums I've heard from the entire festival scene. Brilliant guitar work throughout. These would make outstanding CDs. Both have better productions than many of the cassette release of the day. *** Reissued by the band July 2013 xxx

Blister Chap - Goin' In (Germany) 1977 Help (Brutkasten).
*Blister Chap - Sweet Lilian (Germany) 1980 Brutkasten. With a moniker of Blister Chap, and a cover that features the male-fantasy-overload of a nice pair of gams in fishnets holding a half-lit cigarette, one shouldn't expect much more than a good time rock-n-roller right? Well, no, not exactly. Blister Chap surprises everyone here with a sophisticated blend of American styled hard rock, AOR and 70s progressive rock. Lots of clavinet as well for gear heads. Even more complex than a similar band - say Canada's Saga - which is bizarre on first sight. Released on the do-it-yourselfer Brutkasten label - and about par for the course for the imprint. You never know what you're going to get, and this one is quite good honestly. Not Krautrock mind you, defying their heritage, but if this were from the UK, then collectors would have more to crow about I think. File next to the Desiree "Make it With a Smile" album.

xxx BLO (Berkeley Laolu Odumosu) - Chapter One (Nigeria) 1973 EMI. One of the more famous underground psych albums from Sub-Saharan Africa. Does contain a US psych funk vibe and isn't too far from the works of Fela Kuti, minus the deeper grooves. Shadoks has already done the LP reissue, so expect a CD sometime in the next couple of years. Reissued by RPM xxx

Blow Out - s/t (Norway) 1977 Compendium. An excellent example of the late 70's all-things fusion era. Typical with no surprises, but superbly executed and is worth seeking out. Highlights include some fuzz bass and exquisite electric lead guitar.

# Blue Morning - s/t (Italy) 1973 Tomorrow. While I've seen Blue Morning advertised as an Italian progressive rock band, in reality they are a jazz outfit with a few rock moments (noted mostly in the fuzz guitar outbursts on Side 1). Closer in style to the more experimental jazz groups working on the German MPS label as an example. 'Farfalle nella Pancia' has a nice melody and is carried by a sweet flute line, and easily represents the best composition of the set. Some of the jazz is way too improvisational, especially on the 10 minute 'Belmont Plaza'  - for my tastes at least.

# Boastein - Urgata Hurgata (Norway) 1980 Vilde Vinge. Really strange mix of complex progressive rock, 80s new wave synth pop, electronic music, eerie psychedelic. This is a band with absolutely no direction, but there are snippets here and there that are great - especially the keyboard work. Really cool album cover, that reminded me of Nuova Era's "Mr E Jones" filtered through the El Reloj "II" universe. They have another album from 1977 that I haven't heard.

** Wolfgang Bock - Cycles (Germany) 1980 Telefunken. Electronic music with real drums. If you love Klaus Schulze's "Moondawn", you will love this. One of the best in the electronic style.

* Bodkin - s/t (Scotland) 1972 West. Well known heavy organ rock album reissued legit by Witch and Warlock in 1989, but long OOP. Needs a fresh and more quality legit reissue. See blog for more details.

* M. L. Bongers Project - Pacific Prison (Germany) 1978 private. Funny that I'd recently run across the Sirius "Running to Paradise" album prior to hearing the M.L. Bongers Project album for the first time. My revisit of the Sirius album had demonstrated to me that the proliferation of classic early Genesis moves just hasn't aged as well as I'd prefer. M. L. Bongers Project is cut from the same cloth, but I'd found this album more welcoming. One reason for this is the decidely earlier era instrumentation. Not so much a distinction from 1982 to 1978, but rather more like 1973, as the M. L. Bongers Projects definitely sounds like a band from a different period. Such characteristics such as fuzz tone guitar, heavy doses of organ and predominant use of flute add to this perception. Perhaps even more enticing is that "Pacific Prison" gives off the impression that they're just as comfortable operating as a space rock band than as a "Foxtrot" wannabee. I'm not sure I've heard this combination of Hawkwind meets Genesis in the past, which justifies for me at least, consideration that this a tier 1 album. If there's an issue I have with "Pacific Prison", it would be the heavily accented English vocals, a common problem for German bands in those days.

Didier Bonin - L'Arbre Verre (France) 1979 private.
Didier Bonin - L'Air Lumiere (France) 1983 private. A very obscure artist from France who released these two introspective, tranquil instrumental albums. "L'Air Lumiere" has wordless voice and a bit more fire in the electric guitar work, making it the more desirable of the two. Both featuring quite a bit of acoustic guitar and electronics, and are overall very pleasant outings.

Booth, Davis and Lowe - Prototype (USA) 1978 Titicaca. Another one from my tape collection from long, long ago (before CD-Rs). Band is from Arizona, but sounds like they're from the great Midwest (Albatross,Ethos, Surprise, etc...). Classic Yes is the obvious starting point, but like many bands of their era, BD&L made a concentrated effort for radio airplay, mixing in some tame but charming AOR songs. A mixed bag, but very much a product of the American underground.

# Borne - Exprime la Naranja (Spain) 1978 Chapo Discos. Typical late 70s Spanish fusion, with fine playing and a lot of gloss.

Michael Borner's Sun - s/t (Germany) 1981 MBS Music. Michael Borner is a lead guitarist and his band Sun is somewhat dominated by his playing. There's quite a bit of sax too, anything from Coltane-ish squeals to smooth jazz. You can also expect some punchy horns and orchestration too. The fusion on display here is fairly typical for the era - one that possesses a light, sunny, Caribbean influenced tropical sound. Jazz, funk, and yea, fuzak styles are all peppered in as it goes - along with a clear dose of fusion era Santana (and the guitar tones here carry a much needed psychedelic edge). I was reminded of the To Be album on the Brain label, as well as the Surgery album (that was recently reissued by Garden of Delights). A nice record, but nothing extraordinary. This is a different band from the Sun that released one album in 1980 and was recently reissued by Garden of Delights.

** Bounty - s/t (USA) 1977 H-Arts. Strong instrumental progressive rock album from southern California, with grand piano and mid 70s synthesizers as the primary leads. Some accent guitar along with a crack rhythm section round out the instrumentation. Reminds me most of the Another Roadside Attraction album from Canada, with a touch of Graced Lightning and Italy's Festa Mobile. And naturally ELP should be called out as well. According to the backside of the LP, Side one's sole track is from 1977 is only 11 minutes whereas Side 2 is a more traditional 20 minutes and the two compositions date back to 1975 (but recorded in '77).

# Don Bradshaw-Leather - Distance Between Us (England) 1972 Distance. 2 LP set. According to the United Durtro website, as of August 2008, they were still planning on reissuing this album. A delight for mellotron lovers, though its primarily experimental avant weirdness.

Victor Brady - Brown Rain (USA) 1970 Polydor. In doing research for this site, I sure do run across some weirdo albums, and this has to rank amongst the top tier for that. At its core, New York City based Brady, an African-American, has created a seriously heavy psych album, with non stop fuzz and plenty of ranting ala Frankie Dymon or Gil Scott-Heron. Some of the material is more pop oriented, but still maintains the heavy fuzz throughout. But we haven't got to the weird part yet. The lead instrument? Caribbean steel drums! Unfortunately after awhile, it all starts to sound more like a gimmick rather than as accompaniment. Perhaps it's the association of the instrument with island vacations, but it doesn't give off the right feeling when compared with the rest of the instrumentation and atmosphere. I mean, I wouldn't want to hear someone wailing on harmonica through a similar set of tunes either. In any case, quite a find and definitely recommended. Take it in small doses though. Victor Brady apparently was associated with the "Sound of Central Park" and, according to their website: "Victor Brady went on to cut a record deal with Polydor Records and released the album “Brown Rain”. Victor subsequently released a classical album called “Classical Soul” and later appeared in Las Vegas with Charo, on PBS’s Sesame Street, wrote a book about the steel drum, and performed and lectured at the Smithsonian Institute". Sounds like a true Renaissance man! boots exist.

xxx ** Braen's Machine - Underground (Italy). 1971 Liuto. *** Reissued by Schema, June 2014 xxx
Braen's Machine - Temi Ritmici e Dinamici (Italy). 1973 Liuto. "Underground" is simply an amazing find. Take one part instrumental film/library/expoito ala Blue Phantom, The Bigroup and Ugly Custard and complete that with atmospheres that rival the earliest Krautrock scene ala early Guru Guru. Absolutely phenomenal fuzz guitar throughout, with loads of studio effects. The sound on "Temi Ritmici e Dinamici" is a lot more hokey, with goofy electronics and ancient organ. There's also some nice flute passages, but the fuzz is gone here. Would make a good 2 fer 1 CD, as "Underground" is a must. These impossibly rare albums will set you back close to $1K, so a legit CD issue is definitely due.

*** Brainchild - Healing of the Lunatic Owl (England) 1970 A&M. Japanese CD reissue on A&M is ridiculously out of print. I decided to re-enter this title since it's one of my favorite albums ever, and the CD is long OOP. Great mix of progressive rock and horn rock. Every track is a winner, and is maybe the single best album in the early Chicago style (even better than CTA themselves).

*** Brave New World - Impressions on Reading Aldous Huxley (Germany) 1972 Vertigo. Highly creative Krautrock outing unlike any other album.

* Breche - Carapace et Chair Tendre (Canada) 1979 La Tamanoir. Uplifting progressive folk rock with a multitude of acoustic instruments like guitar, flute, violin. Recalls other similarly minded Quebec groups like Connivence, Les Karrik and label mates L'Engoulevant. Maybe Malicorne as well from the mother country.

Bridges - Fakkeltog (Norway) 1980 Våkenatt. I remember about 15 years ago or so, while leafing through an LP rarities catalog, first coming across this Bridges title. The description basically stated that it was pre A-Ha, but you would never know it by the contents of the music. I didn't believe the catalog. I figured it was hype to get top dollar for an obvious rarity. Probably just another pop rock album that didn't sell well. Well the catalog writer was right and I was wrong. This really is something to pay attention to! And it's also filled with irony. A-ha, to many Americans at least, represents the epitome of mid 80s MTV video driven synth pop (I understand now that their albums are deeper than that, but the perception remains). So how can it be that the very embodiment of 1980s slick pop, could put out an album in 1980 that sounds like it was from 1968? See, this Bridges album is heavily influenced by the classic Doors sound, right down to the Morrison baritone vocals. As well, most of the instrumentation is vintage including the Hammond. Talk about a change in direction! To me, the Doors are a quintessential American band, where the culture is a big part of the sound. So I do think it's hard to appreciate a band from Norway copying the style, even though it's extremely well done. I suppose it's similar to a band from Los Angeles singing in Italian and trying to replicate classic PFM. Anyway, a fascinating album that would easily find an audience for a CD reissue.

# Brigg - s/t (USA) 1973 Susquehanna. Brigg are an interesting band from Pennsylvania, who mix hard rock with folk and psych. Their sound is straight out of the 1970 American playbook, and their brand of music had long past its sell-by date in 1973. Some decent music here though, especially the lengthy 'Linda' which adds a pretty flute to the overall loveable folk song. Some decent fuzz here and there as well. Definitely one worth seeking out for fans of 1970s American private presses. Falls a bit out of my personal range though. Brigg were from Danville, and the album was recorded in Northumberland. These are towns in Central Pennsylvania, near Williamsport, and not too far from Harrisburg, the capital.

xxx Serge Bringolf - Strave (France) 1980 Omega Studio. *** reissued by Soleil Zeuhl in the Fall of 2010 ***
xxx Serge Bringolf - Vision (France) 1981 Omega Studio. *** to be reissued by Soleil Zeuhl in 2012 ***
Serge Bringolf - Strave Live (France) 1982 Omega Studio. Bringolf is a jazz drummer heavily influenced by Christian Vander. In the Zeuhl context, his band Strave is more jazz oriented than Magma, though not as creative as Zao. These LPs had pretty good distribution amongst the mail order channels about 15 years ago. Now they seem totally forgotten, which is a shame, as I'm certain there's a new audience waiting to hear these. First album is a 2 LP set. "Vision" is a particularly strong outing - like a big band version of Magma.

* Tommy Broman - Efter Midnatt (Sweden) 1976 private. "Efter Midnatt" contains nine strong instrumental compositions with Broman providing electric leads (wonderfully affected with wah, fuzz, phasing, etc..), Bjorn J:Son Lindh on flute, and others on electric piano, congas, and whatever else was gathering dust at the studio. At times, the 70s Swedish ensemble Lotus came to mind.

Bronin Hogman Band - s/t (USA) 1975 Gamut. From Manchester, New Hampshire comes Bronin Hogman Band, yet another American group who mix AOR rock with plenty of progressive rock moves. The guitar and organ/Moog work is particularly well done. I detect a slight southern rock influence which belies the group's origins. With the right breaks, Bronin-Hogman could've been a household name. File alongside Hot Flash and Fairchild. Not too many albums have a football helmet on the cover. I've also seen 1974 and 1976 as dates for this album, but 1975 seems to be the consensus. At least 3 former members have a web presence - can anyone confirm?

# The Brotherhood - Stavia (USA) 1972 private. If you own the French reissue, then two of the tracks (Meditation Part 1 and Meditation Part 3) are not from the "Stavia" album, but rather the Psychedelic Salvage Company Vol. 2 compilation. http://rateyourmusic.com/r...mpany_volume_2/ Thanks to Isabel for bringing this to my attention. She knew I had a copy of Ptolomy Psycon, and asked me to investigate. Sure enough, Meditation Part 1 is Azrael from "Loose Capacitor". I believe the last track is from Sam Gopal, but it's been a long time since I heard that album. It's important to note because those tracks definitely stand out on this reissue - and are not representative at all. The actual Brotherhood album - at least the 8 tracks I've heard, is a fine US hippie rock album with flute. I can't find an original copy to verify the titles. Maybe someone else can clear this up?

# Brut - s/t (England) 1970 Philips. Blues based horn rock, with a few good guitar leads. Has a gospel tinge to it. For those that like Chelsea Beige or Sod. Nothing to get too excited about here I'm afraid.

Jean-Louis Bucchi - Sunflower (France) 1978 Trema. Former Speed Limit member released this diverse, electronically-tinged, instrumental album - which was somewhat typical of the era and place. Reminds me a lot of Roland Bocquet's (Catharsis) "Paradia" album from the year before. Not as good as former Speed Limit mate George Jinda's "Wheel of Love", but in the same ballpark.

Buchenfeld - s/t (USA) 1982 private. As soon as the needle drops, it's clear we have landed in Basementopolis. This is some real primitive stuff right here. Primarily instrumental, with a slightly amplified guitar leading the charge. There are a few off-key vocals, and even some woodwinds, and there's a jazzy undertone throughout. As stated, we are talking raw material here, and I don't mean the UK band either. You can expect the sounds of Kaputter Hamster (whose guitarist is named Peter Buchfeld, hmmm) and Dorian Gray as played by Crystalaugur. However, Buchenfeld have a genuine positive disposition, which separates this from the typical dour German mood - at least for this type of music. Not a bad record all things considered, and worth finding a copy for a listen. I suspect this was a demo not ready for prime time, so it's probably not a good prospect for a reissue, unless they have a stash of studio quality material sitting around.

# Tim Buckley - Blue Afternoon (USA) 1969 Elektra.
# ** Tim Buckley - Starsailor (USA) 1970 Elektra. CD's for both define the term "long out of print". Legendary jazz folk albums that many more people than us want reissued. No doubt a legal mess is behind it.

* Buki-Yamaz - s/t. 1975 Hookfarm.
* Buki-Yamaz - Segundo. 1976 Stuk. Generally I don't go for Danish fusion bands with Spanish album titles, but on both of these titles, the band has the perfect blend of instrumental dexterity and melodic consciousness. Lots of flute, guitar and Latin rhythms. Some of it is pretty mellow, and there's a certain cruise ship lounge vibe throughout, that I find somehow appealing in a warped Love Boat sort of way. Debut is on the same label as Fred Israel and Drops (also featured here). There does exist a compilation CD of their 4 albums, though I know nothing of these latter two releases.

* Bulbous Creation – You Won’t Remember Dying (USA) 1994 Rockadelic (1969/70 archival). Bulbous Creation were from the Kansas City area circa 1969/1970, and whose music can best be described as a powerful blues psych rock, with heavily effected acid guitar, organ, and impassioned vocals (listen to 'Fever Machine Man' to see what I mean here regarding the latter). Excellent rhythm section as well, far beyond the usual 4/4 time keepers of the era. A wonderful find from Rockadelic!

* Bull Angus - s/t (USA) 1971 Mercury.
Bull Angus - Free For All (USA) 1972 Mercury. Upstate New York group who are quintessentially American in their approach. A mix of hard rock, bar rock and proto prog. One of the best at the style, far more advanced than most groups in this bag. boots exist for both.

# Burnin' Red Ivanhoe - s/t (Denmark) 1971 Sonet.
Burnin' Red Ivanhoe - Miley Smile / Stage Recall. 1974 Sonet.
Burnin' Red Ivanhoe - Tight On. 1974 Sonet. The self-titled is the second album from well known prolific Danish blues based jazz rock ensemble. Lots of harmonica and sax in the lead roles. This album (and the other 2 listed here) are mysteriously missing a legit CD reissue, as most of their others have been done properly. I would expect Karma will eventually reissue these.

Burning Candle - s/t (Germany) 1981 private. Keyboard trio with tinny period synthesizers. Some meaty organ too. Pretty good record. Sort of nutty unpredictable like El Shalom and Saffran, but not quite that good. Wouldn't be surprised if Garden of Delights tackled this one.

Alain Buro - Fume, C'est du Belge (Belgium) 1975 Omega. Multi-instrumentalist Buro leads this interesting Brussels based rock group. Primarily in the singer-songwriter tradition (vocal heavy), all in French, but with breaks that recall the progressive rock masters. Hard to avoid comparisons to groups like Ange and Mona Lisa, though Buro's work is more straightforward than that might imply. Hints of folk and even AOR can be heard. Overall a nice record, that will appeal to fans of French language rock.

C. B. Busser - Movies (Switzerland) 1978 private. Busser was the keyboardist for the blues rock group Whipping Post, a band who took the unusual step of mixing Allman Brothers southern rock with mellotron. "Movies" is his debut solo album, and like so many solo albums, it's a disparate mix of styles that lack cohesion. About half the tracks are bombastic choir mellotron driven numbers, that will have fans of the instrument drooling at the mouth. The others are CSN styled folk numbers and miscellaneous styles. Like many artists in the 1970s, I'm sure Busser wanted to prove, probably to himself, he had more range in his repertoire. A decent album, but only about 20 minutes of truly interesting material (for me anyway).

** Bwana - s/t (Colombia) 1970. One of the great Latin American psych prog albums, recalling early Santana. Just adding now as I forgot that it's only out as a bootleg and never reissued legit.

Francesco Cabiati - Mirage (Italy) 1979 Mu. Rock / synth-based electronic hybrid that recalls artists such as Francesco Buccheri and Baffo Banfi's 70's works. The synthesizers of choice were modern for the day, but pretty thin sounding to modern ears, with the exception of the odd Moog solo. A very rare album that is much sought after by electronic collectors especially.

# ** Cai - Mas Alla de Nuestras Mentes Diminutas (Spain) 1978 Sovisco. There is a legit, but poorly done reissue on the market. We're requesting a new one!

# Philippe Caillat – French Connection, Dirty Rats (France) 1980. Yawner fusion album that attempts to be Terje Rypdal, but falls way short. Caillat was brilliant with the German group Frob, but his talent is wasted here. He had two further albums, that I'll not likely investigate.

* Cal - s/t (Spain) 1980 Cardisc. Different group than Cai. Another second generation Triana like band, though with a jazzy edge – which puts it in more Tabletom or even Guadalquiver territory. Can be a little ‘Copacabana-ish’ at times, if you know what I mean. Typical dramatic vocals definitely a plus. They display some nice chops here and there as well.

* Caldera - Time and Chance (USA) 1978 Capitol.
xxx Caldera - Dreamer (USA) 1979 Capitol. *** Reissued by EMI Japan in 2015 xxx First album was reissued in Europe on EMI (2004). Second album Sky Islands reissued in 2012 from EMI Japan. Time and Chance is the only one remaining without a CD.

Juri Camisasca - La Finestra Dentro (Italy) 1974 Bla Bla. Was reissued in 1991 on the Artis label, but like most on the label, it's long ago OOP. The album itself is very much in the avant folk/rock genre ala Franco Battiato (who plays on this), Alan Sorrenti and Claudio Rocchi. Vocal heavy, but mesmerizing all the same. One that should be repressed.

xx Canamii - Concept (South Africa) 1980 Wea. The Roger Dean cover alone should clue one in. South Africa's most overt symphonic prog album, similar to Yes and other known entities. A bootleg exists. ** reissued by Fresh Music October 2009 **

# * Cane and Able - s/t (USA - France) 1972 Epic.
Cane and Able - Relating a Message to You (USA - France) 1973 Epic. I'm always on the lookout for some good Afro-psych, and this is one of the better ones I've heard. Compares favorably to early Mandrill and Funkadelic, and the horns recall James Brown's band at their funkiest. Some great fuzz and wah-wah to be heard here. Combines two of my favorite styles: Horn rock and heavy psych funk (though it could be argued that the latter almost always has the former). The second album strays a bit too much towards soul balladry, but it still has plenty of good psych funk morsels buried in there. Overall I'd say this is at the border of our scope, but just a little on the outside. So it won't get a separate feature, but well worth your time if your interest lies with any of the above. I believe these were only issued in France, where the band resided at the time (similar to the Lafayette Afro Rock Band) but not sure.

Canelle - s/t (France) 1978 Editions Pluriel. When listening to this album, I had every intention of listing it as a group from Canada. It has that particular sound that reminds me of a 1970s Quebecois release, as found on the Disques Le Tamanoir label for example. Groups such as L'Engoulevent and Breche come to mind here. As well, I hear traces of Harmonium's debut and even some Connivence. Overall I'd categorize it mainly as French folk music with a pop rock edge. So not exactly the usual CDRWL fare, but the primary reason for inclusion is the keyboard work - plenty of Moog solos that are a wonderful contrast to the otherwise serene pop music. I suppose you could also call out Yes here, when they're in their most simplistic happy sappy mood. Also, I quite liked the melodies. While not a priority release (there are a couple of trips to the barn you'll have to endure), I still think many of you would probably like to track this one down for a few listens.

Canzoniere Del Lazio - Spirito Bono (Italy) 1975 Intingo.
Canzoniere Del Lazio - Miradas (Italy) 1977 Cramps.
* Canzoniere Del Lazio - Morra 1978 (Italy) 1978 Intingo. Ethnic folk group Canzoniere Del Lazio produced this one radically different album when compared to their other work. Very percussive, with an African flair, Canzoniere Del Lazio let loose with this mighty fine fusion album, not too far from what Area was doing at the time or perhaps the Bella Band, both acts on the Cramps label as well. "Miradas" was reissued on CD by Mercury in 1994, but is long OOP and could use a repress. I pretty much presumed "Miradas" was Canzoniere Del Lazio's contribution to progressive rock, and was under the impression all of their other albums were pure Italian folk. But that wasn't correct at all (their early albums are indeed just Italian folk), and "Morra 1978" is a very fine fusion effort, taking the reins of "Miradas" and running it into another dimension. Violin and saxophone are the main solo instruments, with percussion and female vocals continuing to play a large role in their sound. Well worth pursuing, and would like to see this one come out on a label like BTF. I also have been told that "Spirito Bono" is worth seeking out as well.

xxx # Capability Brown - From Scratch (England) 1972 Charisma.
Capability Brown - Voice (England) 1973 Charisma. *** Reissued by Arcangelo June 2011 xxx

xxx Captain Marryat - s/t (Scotland) 1974 Thor. Probably the most celebrated album of the last few years, at least from a rare collectors viewpoint. Out of the blue, Captain Marryat's sole album found its way onto ebay, and was fetching sums over $3,000. And then another one showed up and went for a similar price. The rumor mill went wild. Some said it was a ponzi scheme, hyped up nonsense. Others said they were fakes, made in Eastern Europe by a newer group who pressed only a handful of albums, to meet demand. There's precedent for such skepticism, such as when the ridiculous "Psi-Fi" albums surfaced (Pyramid, Galactic Explorers, etc...). But legitimate collectors were convinced it was real. It just seemed unreal an album like this could remain so unknown, as late as 2009. But from all accounts, as more information found its way to the fore, that it is indeed a legitimate album. The mad scramble began for musicologists and music researchers (like me) on where can we hear a copy. I wasn't going to blow 3 grand on it, but certainly someone could find a CD-R of it? Well the problem was solved in a different way. We now have a legit LP reissue from Shadoks for all to hear. And they usually follow up with a CD reissue a couple of years later (pressed in the US even), so we should be set eventually. But since it's still not on CD, it goes in this list. So is it worthy of the hype and price? Of course not. Is it good? Absolutely. In fact, I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality of the album. I really thought it would be average at best. But not so. It screams the era in which it was released. It's naive, it's honest, it's well played, and it's memorable. Nice melodies, and surprisingly strong vocals. Long sections are set aside for guitar (nice fuzz tone) and organ jams. And they are also very well executed. It's somewhat comforting to know there might still be an unknown treasure out there to unearth. *** Reissued late 2009 by Shadoks ***

xxx Carnascalia - s/t (Italy) 1979 Mirto. OOP CD released under name "Pascal Mineri / Giorgio Vivaldi" ***Now also available as part of a 6 CD Box set ***

*** Carpineta - s/t (Italy) 1978 Mu & Co. For quick reference, I'd say Carpineta tracks closest to Canzoniere del Lazio at the end of their storied career (Morra 1978, Miradas). That is - at their most progressive! Mid 70s Area also deserves a shout out, as well as artists as disparate as Gramigna, Franco Battiato, and even Aktuala. For my tastes, Carpineta surpasses all of them. Yea, it's THAT good.

*** Catastrophe - High Dynamic (France) 1981 private. Catastrophe's sole album reminds me a lot of Missus Beastly circa their brilliant 1974 album. Take away the flute and piano and add a hot guitarist plus a MONSTER Jannick Top like bassist! Frenzied and energetic. A corker.

xxx ** Catch Up - Catch Up 2: Birth of the Second Life. 1976 Calig. A few years ago, Crippled Dick Hot Wax reissued the debut by Catch Up under their "rare groove" series. It's a superb album, one that grows on repeated listens, with a mix of dirty electric keyboards, woodwinds and a slight funky undertone. I didn't realize Catch Up had a second album until very recently, and was surprised to learn it is of a similar quality to the first album - and it's not on CD. Not sure why CDHW didn't see this one just as worthy as the debut, though maybe it just didn't sell well. The quality of Catch Up's second album isn't quite as apparent as the debut, and it takes awhile to assimilate the various styles present here. "Birth of the Second Life" starts off with a funky, disco-ish instrumental that recalls perhaps bands such as MFSB. This leads to a Hammond organ and piano driven track with an Andalusian theme. Followed by a moody horn and keyboard jazz track. And so it goes. Until the last 3 tracks, where Catch Up really take it up a notch. There are great Moog and organ solos, deep bass grooves, timeless melodies, and the closer that features tripped out female narrative bits against atmospheric keyboards and tuned percussion that instantly recall the early 70s Krautrock masters. A really fine album. *** reissued by Production Dessinee (Japan) June 2012. xxx

# Catharsis (Bernard Verley) - Rimbaud, C'est Toi Vol 1 - Le Bateau Ivre. 1972 EMI Pathe.
# Catharsis (Bernard Verley) - Rimbaud, C'est Toi Vol 2 - Delires. 1972 EMI Pathe. Impassioned poetry readings from French actor Verley, bordering on the psychotic, almost like a male Catherine Ribeiro. Atmospheric space rock background music provided by the established underground group Catharsis. The neurosis is pretty much non-stop, so it depends on your tolerance of spoken word on whether or not you'll like this album. I'm somewhat neutral, but not something I'm likely to get excited about. It would probably help if I understood what he was ranting about.

*** Cathedral - Epilogue. 1979 (USA) Archival. One type of album I haven't featured on the CDRWL in the past are archival works (studio / professional live recordings) that have yet to be issued on CD. I don't have too many of these, but the few I do have are mostly excellent. And perhaps other than Tortilla Flat's "1973 SWF Session", Cathedral's follow up to "Stained Glass Stories" is the best of the lot. The sad tale here is that the album was set for release, and then the band backed out. Both Rockadelic and Syn-Phonic had designs for a LP/CD release as far back as 1990. And this was when I was fed an advance copy on cassette (no track titles or album cover). To be clear, what I do have is definitely demo quality (including some rough live material from "Stained Glass Stories"), and maybe that was the issue from the band's perspective. Or perhaps there were higher quality tapes that I wasn't privy too. In either case, the album's release fell though, and I'm forever grateful to have received the crumbs, if that is indeed what this copy is. Musically, one can hear the band tighten the ship a bit from their debut, though it's still what one would call all-out progressive. Sort of like taking Yes' "Close to the Edge" and handing it to Gentle Giant for further arrangement. When the band reformed in 2007, I pointedly asked about this release on a public chat forum. Their response? None. They purposely ignored me. I tried again, but they had no intention of engaging on the topic, so I gave up my quest. I've heard varying accounts as to why the album never saw the light of day, but as you might suspect, it's all of a personal nature. The tragedy in all this is that the music is absolutely brilliant. One does wish they'd all have a few beers, and reconcile. It appears that won't happen though. Tragic, I think, is the appropriate word to apply here.

# * Philip Catherine - Stream (Belgium) 1971 Warner Brothers.
Philip Catherine - September Man (Belgium) 1974 Atlantic.
Philip Catherine - Guitars (Belgium) 1975 Atlantic.
* Philip Catherine - Babel (Belgium) 1980 Elektra. Well known Belgian guitarist, who is featured as a guest on plenty of fusion and progressive rock albums. His solo albums aren't to be missed, especially the debut which is borderline in the proto-progressive style. Well known guest such as Jannick Top and Andre Ceccarelli are featured on Babel.

xxx # Ceccarelli / Chantereau / Padovan / Pezin - C.C.P.P. (France) 1975 Flamophone. Typical funky fusion, though the guitar solos have more bite to them than usual, thus adding more to the score. *** Reissued by Vadim, January 2012 xxx

* Ceddo - s/t (Germany) 1979 Saguitarius.
Ceddo - Aufhören (Germany) 1980 Saguitarius.
Ceddo - Step by Step (Germany) 1983 Saguitarius. Ceddo, on their debut, is very much from the jazz school, but in the same way as Association PC and Electric Circus. Long tracks, the guitar playing gets pretty wiggy, so a real plus there. The bass plays fretless and has that warm 80's jazz sound. The drumming is scattered which is nice. Closest comparison would be Dzyan's "Time Machine" (more jazzy though) or maybe Alpha du Centaure's album (rhythm section not so strictly straight jazz). "Aufhören" is very similar and continues with a mixture of jazz and rock styles. Band features guitarist Jochen Schrumpf (and in fact the band is later known as Jochen Schrumpf's Ceddo), who later went onto the reformed Kollektiv. "Step By Step" begins the journey towards fuzak, with smooth jazz sax, Caribbean steel drums, cocktail-hour Spanish themes and an overall feel of a cruise ship lounge act. Despite all of that, there's still some fine guitar work. In this way, I'm reminded of Santana's 1980s output. They also have, incredibly, two more albums. So much output from such an obscure band.

Celluloid - Mercury (USA) 1982 private.
Celluloid - Neptune (USA) 1983 private. Celluloid is the non de plume of Chuck Minuto. "Neptune" is entirely performed on mellotron and thus sounds like a mellotron sampler album, especially considering the number of tapes used. "Mercury" is slightly more diverse, but still heavily focused on the mellotron. Unless you can't get enough of the instrument, these albums are hard to recommend. Even more strange is these were released in the early 80s, when everyone was ditching the heavy analog equipment.

Cellutron & the Invisible - Reflecting on the First Watch, We Uncover Treasure Buried for the Blind (USA) 1978 Green Mountain. I remember stumbling upon this record in an obscure Little Rock, Arkansas record store back in 1992. I thought I'd found the American Heldon, or worse case, Ilitch. It had that right look! But alas it was not to be the case. It's a rather dull and static electronic album, but with a few guitar touches that saved it from being a complete yawner. I totally forgot about this album until I published the Celluloid entry, and it reminded me. I'll probably not feature this one however.

xxx Certain Lions & Tigers - (El) Soul Condor (Germany) 1970 Polydor / 1974 BASF. Another one of those confusing discography bands. I would say most folks know the group as "Soul Condor" because of the misleading 1974 BASF second press. But the original has the band name as Certain Lions & Tigers. Pretty cool funky horn rock album done by some old Kraut jazzers trying to cash in and "get hip". Some exploito covers, but mainly this kicks major booty. And the playing and production are impeccable, as expected. **re-issued by MPS as a part (CD1) of 4cd box set: Peter Herbolzheimer - "Big Band Man - The MPS & Polydor Studio Recordings. Thx Alex! xxx

* Chakra - s/t (USA) 1979 Brother Studio. Commercially oriented progressive rock album, very typical of the late 1970s American scene. The sound is more commonly found in the Midwest, but there were traces found on the left coast with bands such as Jester, Bounty and Harlequin Mass. Plenty of complexity to satisfy most progressive rock fans, but there's a distinct AOR song craft at play here. "Going For the One" / "Tormato" era Yes was a major influence on these bands. A bootleg exists.

# Chalibaude - Les Noces du Papillon (France) 1976 Cezame. Folk rock from Brittany, similar to Malicorne, Gwendal and Avaric. Features a pretty foldout cover.

# Chameleon - s/t (Germany) 1979 Blubber Lips. Standard issue Euro fusion, with soprano sax leads and a warm, sunny texture. Opening track has some fuzz bass and a lead flute line, whereas the opener on side two is a smoker - as we witness the drummer going off on the drum kit in a proto death metal way. These two tracks save this from being a totally mundane affair. On the same Heidelberg based label as the more known symphonic group Pancake.

** Champignons - Premiere Capsule (Canada) 1972 GG. Starts off in a trite go-go 1960s way, with an energetic keyboard driven instrumental number. This is followed by a very slow, depressing and excruciatingly boring 7 minute blues song with French vocals. From track three on Side 1 to the conclusion of the record, it's all aces. The music becomes primarily instrumental while taking on a darker stance. The guitar has that ominous fuzz tone, and there's an underlying jazzy structure lead by the fine flute and sax work. For these excellent tracks I'm reminded of the Eden Rose / Sandrose family out of France, and the relative progression from one to the other. If Champignons were lead by a female vocalist, that would solidify the Sandrose comparison. Boots exist.

Geoffrey Chandler - Starscapes (USA) 1980 Unity. Chandler's sole LP is one of those albums that would have played well in a "Planetarium" back in the day. Definitely a fine album in the spacy, cosmic electronic field. Tranquil and calming. On the Unity label, which also released the fine Ojas album from Oklahoma City.
# * Changes - Images to Remember (Switzerland) 1990 private. Changes is a good example of the late 80's neo-progressive movement. Actually recalls early Pendragon. Nice album. One of the last LP-only albums before the onslaught of the CD age.

* Charlee - s/t (Canada) 1972 RCA. It's been often said that Frank Marino, at the dawn of his career, heavily copied Jimi Hendrix. More than likely, though, he was also influenced by fellow Montreal resident Walter Rossi and his band Charlee. Listen to the first 3 Mahogany Rush albums and compare to Charlee, which was recorded only a year earlier. Many parallels can be found. Frank eventually forged his own style and became one of the all-time great hard rock guitarists. No telling what Rossi could have achieved had he not chosen a career as a session musician. Good hard rock / psych album. Watch for pirate editions.

# Charles & Morgan – Homework (Germany) 1972 private. The first part of the album is horrendous rural country blues and is unbearably bad. However, it switches gears into a freaky avant garde acoustic psych folk about about 2/3's of the way through. Worth one listen, but stick with it. Very rare album, though it doesn't sound German at all. Honestly, it sounds like a couple of pot heads from Kentucky.

** Charlies - Buttocks (Finland) 1970 Love. Had you told me this was from 1970 England or 1971 Germany, I would have believed you. Fantastic loud acid guitar, amplified sax, soft acoustic guitar and flute, tribal percussion and deep vocals. It's the blues-rock-jazz sound that was so popular during this era, and one of my personal favorite styles. If you like groups from Germany such as Nosferatu, Ardo Dombec and Alcatraz or the UK bands like Diabolus and Raw Material, then this one is for you. Very energetic release. boots exist. %%% Reissued on LP by Shadoks November 2013

# Les Chats Renaissance - Hermaphrodites (France) 1973 Vogue. Yet another JP Massiera project, this one not quite so "wink wink" as some of his other works. Pretty much a straight ahead rock album, with some flute and heavy guitar, and a lot of vocals. Quite a bit of old fashioned 50s rock-n-roll to wade through. Would seem to be a companion piece to the much more progressive oriented Visitors album from the same year. I've had this on CD-R for a number of years (thx Czar), but forgot to add to the wishlist!

# * Chemical - s/t (England) 1996 Acme. For the most part this is a darkwave album hiding in Acme's stable of psych bands. Even the cover looks like an album on the Ventrical label. However there are a couple of Eastern influenced acid folk numbers on Side 1 that are quite excellent. Then the first half of Side 2 goes by pretty much unnoticed, but there is a huge payoff for those who wait around: One colossal psychedelic jam with organ and electric guitar, followed by a haunting outro. Comes in a tall flimsy folder cover, that's easily bent. This one is a bit out of scope for what we're doing here, but it's still recommended especially if you like your darkwave with a dose of psychedelia.

# Chene Noir - Chant Pour Le Delta La Lune Et Le Soleil (France) 1976 private.
Chene Noir - Orphee 2000 (France) 1976 private. Chene Noir were a theater group who mixed in original rock and jazz music along with female poetry recitation. Similar to some of the Japanese groups like J.A. Caesar and Geino Yasharagumi, though not near as dramatic or abrasive as those troupes. Nice, but requires tolerance of spoken word. Chene Noir's 1971 debut "Aurora" was reissued by Mellow a few years back as part of their Futura label series.

Cherokee Mist - Gathering of the Tribes. 1994 Avalon.
* Cherokee Mist - Anthem of the Moon (England) 1997 Euphoria. There were a couple of schools of psychedelic music coming out of England in the 1980s. One was the "Festival" scene, with Ozric Tentacles at its core, featuring music that blended psychedelia, space rock, electronic, techno and reggae. A mix of Gong and modern dance sensibilities. The other school was more rooted in the UK and US garage, a primitive but song oriented music, with plenty of acid guitar leads. This sound is best represented by Bevis Frond and Outskirts of Infinity. Cherokee Mist, lead by Mo and Niall Hone, are of this latter movement. "Gathering of the Tribes" is the more Bevis Frond influenced of the two, with a similar vocal style, and a familiar garage rock compositional style. Much room though is given for the guitar solos, and it's a fine, if unoriginal work. Much better is "Anthem of the Moon". Here the band drops the compositional pretense and just gets down to business with a non-stop guitar oriented attack. Like most English bands in the style, Cherokee Mist have a clear idea of style and dynamics, so it's not a blistering overload of the senses that makes one nauseous in 10 minutes. It's easy to listen to, and yet there are many fiery jams to behold. A good one. Features a nice gatefold sleeve as well.

* Chetarca - s/t (Australia) 1977 Atlantic. Like many bands from Australasia, Chetarca seemed to have a fondness for boogie rock. And if you can get through the first few minutes of the opening couple of tracks, then you'll be rewarded with some truly progressive music, featuring dual keyboards and a host of exciting ideas. Similar in some ways to the New Zealand group Airlord. A perfect candidate for Aztec.

*** Chico Magnetic Band - s/t (France) 1970 Vogue. There are a couple of items here that make this album special. One is the heavy handed use of studio trickery (phasing, radical dynamic shifts, backwards tape, etc…), a common trait found amongst early 70s French and German albums. Cynics say it’s to mask the incompetence of the players, but I prefer to believe that a high amount of creativity was applied, and maybe even expected, for the era. Even more important, though, is Chico himself. Chico is the vocalist, and it’s his ranting, raving, screeching, drooling, mumbling that makes this album so REAL. The listener witnesses a man on the edge – a true freakout captured on tape for all time. There are other albums where this can be found, and they’re all favorites of mine: Dawn on Brainticket’s “Cottonwood Hill”, John L. on Ash Ra Tempel’s “Schwingungen’, and Catherine Ribeiro on “No. 2” (really any of her early 70s works). The psychedelics that are applied both externally (music) and internally (individual) allow the artist to apply his or her most creative mind gymnastics. Sure, it’s pure madness, but it sends a chill down my spine especially when paired with raging wah wah guitar solos and a cacophony of tribal percussion. It’s funny today to watch bands try to recreate this same sound. When it’s just the music, they do a good, sometimes great job, but when they try the “I’m crazy, here me rant” - they’re faking it. It was a one time “of the era” event. Everything else is just a simulation, a make-believe-let’s-pretend-we’re-freaked-out-and-nuts. And it sounds artificial. Get the real deal and check out Chico Magnetic Band. Only boots exist unfortunately. So there's an interesting reissue of this that came out in 2008 on the Nosmoke label from Portugal. Imagine my surprise when I saw the back liner notes... which were written by.... ME! (what did they use for the liner notes you ask? what you see in the caption above). Guess we can safely assume this is a bootleg as well, since I certainly wasn't contacted prior! It's a pretty decent boot actually, with extra tracks taken from 45s and Ep's, also from the bootleggers collection no doubt. There's also a full history of the band, up through 2003, probably pulled from the net as well. The sound quality is pretty good, a vinyl copy no-noised to death. So we'll keep waiting for a legit press. Since I don't have the original, this will have to suffice for me until then unfortunately. Too great an album not to own at all.

** Child's Play - s/t (USA) 1979 Moonlight Records. Child's Play are an all instrumental progressive fusion band from Richmond, Virginia who successfully mix melodic and atmospheric composition with kinetic jazz school chops. Piano and electric guitar get the lion's share of attention, and the tracks move at a fast clip, keeping the listener's attention focused at all times. Plenty of excellent guitar solos, with some wah-wah applied to great effect. I really appreciate the psychedelic tones he achieves. The ivory tickling here is very impressive as well. The rhythm section does a great job of holding it all together with some crisp fills and meter shifting. Actual attention is paid to composition as well, so the album is not just a flimsy excuse for non-stop boring solos. For 70s fusion fans, this is a guaranteed hit. File alongside Genre (New Mexico), 3PM (North Carolina), and Momentum (California).

** Children of One - s/t (USA) 1969 Real. Children of One is not really a rock album, but as psychedelic as any album I’ve come across. Meditative, Eastern influenced acoustic jazz with flute, female voice, sitar, hand percussion, cello, piano and other instruments. Otherworldly and deeply peaceful. Has THAT vibe that reeks of the real underground, a certain something that is found more frequently in the Krautrock genre (the atmosphere of Dom’s “Edge of Time” comes to mind in parts, though musically quite different). Also hear some of Algarnas Tradgard's classic 1972 album minus the psychedelic rock jams. Children of One were from one of the many hippie communes that existed in upstate New York during that time. A wonderful album. Worth noting that in the dead wax, a date is listed as 1-2-70, which would seem to refute the more popular assertion of 1969. Also, the original vinyl is not a good pressing as my copy is visibly mint, but still very noisy (we'll try to give it one more clean just in case...). There is a CD on Akarma, but like many of their obscure USA based releases, it looks of dubious origin, with no details surrounding the original LP.

# Chimera - Des Duivels Oorkussen (Netherlands) 1979 Stoof.
# Chimera – Obstakel (Netherlands) 1981 Stoof. Good folk rock albums. But as with many in this genre, it falls a bit outside my interest area. The debut album features a beautiful cover. File next to Irolt and Opo.

# Chorale - s/t (England) 1978 Arista. Alan Parsons Project styled big production pop and progressive mix with, no surprise, a chorus and strings. Has its moments, but lacks the quality songwriting and production of APP. Looks like Arista tried to repeat their success, and failed miserably. Album is very rare nowadays, since no one bought it the first time.

** Chou Pahrot - Live (Scotland) 1979 Klub. With an instrumental focus on violin and electric guitar, sometimes played in a complex fashion, Chou Pahrot are about as close to the early High Tide albums as you'll find. Live recording could use a little polishing, but overall one of the best UK albums of the late 1970s (and one the very few that weren't either punk or metal influenced).

xxx # Chronicle - Live at the Whiskey A-Go-Go (Japan) 1975. Another one of those Japanese albums that's hard to find info on, given different Anglicized spellings to the original Japanese. Very similar to their "Like a Message From the Stars" album (1977) that was originally released on the US based All Ears label. Basically it's Japanese balladry mixed with lightly sprinkled Pink Floyd space rock. Similar to later era Far East Family Band or Flower Travelling Band. I believe the All Ears album was pressed on CD in Japan. *** reissued by EMI Japan Dec. 2011 xxx

# Chute Libre - s/t. 1977 EMI.
Chute Libre - Ali Baba. 1978 EMI. Generic, but well done, late 70s fusion.

** Circles - s/t (Germany) 1983 Einhorn.
* Circles - More Circles (Germany) 1984 Einhorn.
?? Circles - Third Cycle (Germany) 1987 Einhorn. What drew me to the debut by Circles is this isn't some ordinary electronik album. There are few sequencers and no Moog solos. No - rather Circles seems to have channeled their inner Can, especially their instrumental years around 1974 and 1975 - that happened to be documented many years after these recordings via The Peel Sessions (and my personal favorite era of the band). Lots of psychedelic guitars, psychotic echoed vocals, flute, sax, trumpet, and even some steady metronomic drums (perhaps almost too rock oriented compared to the ultra disciplined Can). Some of the spacier moments recall Cluster's "II" album. It's amazing to me how well Circles' debut album captures the early 1970s Krautrock spirit. There's absolutely nothing Eighties about it. "More Circles" not only moves Circles much further ahead in time, but also about one country to the West. There is no doubt the duo was heavily influenced by one Richard Pinhas for "More Circles". Some of this could have been outtakes from Heldon's "Interface". While I was amazed at how the debut captured the zeitgeist of the original Krautrock scene, here they seem to have completely embedded themselves into 1979 France. If you're like me, and your idea of a good time is listening to loud fuzz guitar up front with synthesizers providing the backdrop, well then... grab you a copy of "More Circles". That would explain Side 1 anyway. Side 2 is far more experimental, and while there's some of the excellence of Heldon here too, there also some pretty far out avant garde ideas as well. An uncompromising piece of music. Have yet to hear "Third Cycle".

# Circuit Rider - s/t (USA) 1980 private. Connecticut based group recorded this supposedly as a demo in 1971. Basement biker psych. Singer goes for the messed up Jim Morrison sound, and comes up out of tune most of the time. Can be annoying in places. Some good freaky studio and guitar effects makes it interesting but generally Circuit Rider will appeal more to the "real people" crowd. File next to your Marcus "From the House of Trax" album.

*** Circus - s/t (Switzerland) 1976 Zyt.
*** Circus - Movin' On (Switzerland) 1977 Zyt. (CD on Decoder long OOP)
Circus - All-Stars Live (Switzerland) 1978 Zyt.
* Circus - Tearless Fearless and Evenless (Switzerland) 1980 Illuminatus. Reviews of the first 2 can be found here: Circus I reluctantly added "All Stars Live". It's been a long time since I heard it, but seemed it was more of a jam session than anything else. Last album was a nice comeback. Only "Movin' On" has been issued legit, and that was a loooong time ago and is forever OOP it seems. Looks like Sireena of Germany will do these (on hold for now).

Circus Underwater - s/t (USA) 1984 Glass Wing. So let's start off with the bad news: Drum machines. I hate them - passionately. This is followed by the dreaded 80's glossy production - making everything sound like it was recorded in a butter dish. So why bother at all with it? Well, the primarily instrumental compositions are well thought-out for one thing. Beautiful keyboards throughout, and had Circus Underwater considered being an electronic group in the Tangerine Dream genre, they may have found success. But best of all are the Frippian guitar leads, which are really quite splendid. The album is under 28 minutes, so technically could be considered an EP. The Glass Wing label is from Maryland, while the packaging and pressing are from Phoenix. Which explains why I found it in Arizona most likely. Not sure where the band is from though.

Clarox - s/t (Venezuela) 1982 Mucer.  Clarox fit squarely in the Latin fusion camp, with electric guitar, electric piano, native percussion, tropical melodies and themes. The guitarist adds a psychedelic edge to his solos, giving the album a much needed lift in places. It's mostly instrumental, though there are a couple of vocal cuts that are to its detriment I'm afraid. Without this element, and perhaps if a bit more edge had been applied throughout, I think this one would have gone a half-point up. All the same, Clarox's debut is a fine album for fans of the Spanish fusion scene like Borne, Guadalquiver, Pegasus, and Iceberg. 

# Clearlight - As Above, So Below (USA) 1982 Unicornucopia.
Clearlight - Circuits Maximus (USA) 1984 Unicornucopia. The debut is a very interesting double LP of avant / classical / space rock band from Dallas. Group was made up of various members of the then current Dallas Symphony Orchestra. I got to know the percussionist a few years later in the late 1980's. Very nice guy who sold me a pile of sealed albums, that I later traded with many other collectors. One of a kind, that's for sure. "Circuits Maximus" is similar though a slightly lesser effort.

Clicker - s/t (USA) 1973 Hemisphere. Private press rock LP on the Hemisphere label out of Madison, Wisconsin. First couple of tracks are straight forward early 70's rock all the way, though they feature mellotron on the 2nd track. One of the rare places where I really think they used the instrument as a strings sampler rather than as moody accompaniment. This is followed by an atmospheric acoustic guitar driven instrumental. Then a Yes-like proggy piece, having that uniquely Midwestern approach (e.g. Starcastle or Albatross). Another rocker and a short quirky instrumental close out Side 1. Side 2 starts with an amalgamation of their prog and rock tendencies. This leads to the 16 minute closer. After a silly 2 minute introductory narrative, we are treated to a surprisingly great jazz rock instrumental, though there's an overlong and somewhat uninteresting guitar noodle solo section (with no other accompanying instruments).

*** Climax - Gusano Mecanico (Bolivia) 1974 private. An extraordinary recent discovery. Mostly instrumental over 6 long tracks with blazing guitar - played avant style ala Pinhas or Fripp at times. Best album I've heard from Bolivia outlasting the also excellent debut by Wara. LP reissue is out on World in Sound, so I suspect they will also cover the CD soon. Great Escher cover would be an excellent candidate for a Japanese mini-LP too!

* Clivage - Regina Astris (France) 1977 Gratte-Ciel
** Clivage - Mixtus Orbis (France) 1978 Gratte-Ciel. "Regina Astris" is a fine Indo Jazz album from Andre Fertier's group Clivage. Long spells of both Indian ragas (hand percussion and stringed instruments) and pure jazz with extended saxophone soloing, along with stand up bass. The copious violin use recalls L. Subramanian's works in a similar jazz setting. The intimate nature of Fertier's Indo Jazz album "Regina Astris" is expounded upon further on "Mixtus Orbis" with no less than a full orchestra. The jazz elements are downplayed somewhat, and flute takes center stage, along with the Indian instrumental accompaniment. Some of this album gets very trippy, with echoed vocals and orchestras coming at you from speaker to speaker. There really is no other album like it, which makes it almost impossible to classify. In general, I typically find albums like this satisfying on an academic level, but not emotional. "Mixtus Orbis" is exceptional in that it resonates at core instincts. Really excellent material here.

# Cloud Nine – Jodo 80 (Luxembourg) 1980. Dull funk rock from German language Luxembourg based group.

# Coalition - Mindsweepers (USA) 1975 private. North Central New York State based jazz group. Mix of mid 70's fusion, chamber jazz, experimental noise and heavy jazz rock with flute and electric piano. Peaks on final track, but mostly a difficult listen, mainly for more avant minded jazzers. Out of scope for this list, but interesting all the same.

** Code III - Planet of Man (Germany) 1974 Delta Acustic. Great space rock /folk / electronic effort with Klaus Schulze behind the controls. Album was designed for accentuate special effects and sonics. They are promoting a then new technique called the Artificial Head system, which can best be appreciated by only using Sennheiser headphones. On this latter point, that would still be the case as we entr 2010! If there ever was an album that would benefit from a high quality engineered remaster, this would be it! When Sand's "Golem" was reissued by United Durtro, I held out hope this too would get covered. A couple of bootlegs do exist.

xxx Coincidence - s/t (France) 1977 Disques Tromblas.
Coincidence - Clef de Ciel (France) 1978 Jodisc. A mix of typical late 70s fusion and instrumental progressive rock. Some fine guitar work featuring the patented compressed effects. xxx Both completely reissued (save one track) on the "Then and Now" 2 CD set including modern recordings by leader Jean-Pierre Llabador from 2007 xxx

** Coley - Goodbye Brains (England) 1972 private. A very crazy, and creative, horn rock band with a strong jazzy progressive feel. Some great wah wah fuzz guitar and fuzz bass which plays well against the trumpet/flugelhorn and saxophone. Some weird narration and flute passages. Much more complex than your average horn rock band - in the McLuhan and Probe 10 higher echelon of the genre. There's a couple of missteps like the country rock song and the final narrative piece, but overall this one is a winner and would love to see on CD.

The Collective Star - Music of the Mantric Wave, Part II (USA) 1974 Unaminous Anonymous.
The Collective Star - Garuda (USA) 1975 Unaminous Anonymous. The Collective Star is keyboardist Paul Ramana Das Silbey's first foray into recorded music, while still a resident of New York City. Today he is known as a "romantic classical concert pianist". The Collective Star is what I'd call proto New Age music. Plenty of what is known today as "world music" presents itself, via eastern instrumentation and scales (hand percussion, sitar). Lots of period lyrics full of love and peace. Honestly music like this can be very interesting, and I think in the formative stages as is the case here, it was. It's more authentic than the sanitized gloss we've been subjected to since the early 1980s. A little edgy in the jam sessions (acoustic guitar, flute, piano, organ). Maybe even a little anger that hasn't quite been purged yet. Not exactly Popol Vuh for the "higher key" sweepstakes, but not a bad benchmark either. Also the NYC group Arica may have played an influence here. I haven't heard "Garuda" or the multitude of his later releases.

Colonna - s/t (Italy) 1980 Harmony. Colonna is one Maurizio Colonna, who is today recognized as one of Italy's finest Spanish guitar players. This is his debut album, which naturally enough prominently features Colonna on the acoustic Spanish guitar. His exemplary playing is augmented by vocals, Moog synths, and rock/disco beats. He has many more albums which I've not heard to date. This one sports a pretty cool cover (a flying bull and a spaceship), and I could see this falling prey to the Italian progressive rock collector, though it has no stylistic similarities whatsoever. Well done for what it is. I'll include it here for those Italian prog treasure hunters, so they know what they're getting into. Also worth noting the exceptional supporting cast: Roberto Colombo, Tullio De Piscopo, Mark Harris (Napoli Centrale), Bernardo Lanzetti (PFM, Acqua Fragile) and bassist Ares Tavolazzi (Area).

* Columbus Circle - On Saint John's Eve. 1976 Pharoah (PHA-105) Columbus Circle are a very interesting group from Connecticut. Side 1 is a bombastic serious symphony with rock elements thrown in. Almost like a proto-Art Zoyd if you can imagine that. Side 2, on the other hand, is almost the complete opposite and features a more simplistic horn rock sound with female vocals, organ and guitar. The second side of the album is about half a dozen years too late on the pop scene, but I found it the more enjoyable portion. Really strange, almost anachronistic album. Worth seeking out!

* Coma - Financial Tycoon (Denmark) 1977 Genlyd Grammofon.
Coma - Amoc (Denmark) 1980 Genlyd Grammofon. "Financial Tycoon" is like a direct cross between two of Denmark's finest bands: Dr. Dopo Jam and Secret Oyster. From Dr. Dopo Jam they inherit the obvious Zappa influence, including humorous bits and complex composition style. From Secret Oyster they get the fusion tendencies and instrumental dexterity. Some splendid sax and ripping guitar solos really add spice to the album. I've heard some folks say "Financial Tycoon" is Canterbury influenced, but I can't say I do. Overall, a good one. Not surprisingly, "Amoc" from three years later is much more in the fuzak area, with plenty of soft sax and early digital synth action. All is not a total loss, as there's plenty of rough edged guitar moments and a couple of moodier electric piano driven pieces, with the highlight being the final title track. Easily 2 points lower than the debut.

Combo 8 - Vibrationer (Sweden) 1976 Levande Improviserad Musik. Inventive mix of fusion and horn rock. 1976 was a little late in the game for horns to be used in this context, which may explain the typical fusion moves that drag this down a bit. Worth tracking down for a listen or two.

# Compass - s/t (USA) 1970 AJP. Blues based rock album, with added horns veering the contents towards brass rock. Side 2 moves into more experimental jazz rock territory before settling back into its blues groove to close the album. Somewhat typical of a 1970 USA release, with little cohesion or purpose. Recommended for those who like their brass rock on the bluesy side.

Compass - Compass Rises (USA) 1973 Schoolhouse. This one is definitely out of range for the CDRWL, but I still found it a very pleasant jazz record. As the AC notes, it's almost rare to hear a US jazz band use this much restraint during the early 70s. "Brit-jazz" is an apt comparison. This is the kind of record my wife really likes. Not squeaky and squonky experimental jazz nor the new age slop gloss that was to come around later in the decade. Just well played jazz, with a rock edge. Nice. Compass were from upstate New York and recorded the album in Marblehead, MA (NE of Boston). According to data I found on the Net, it appears the band is looking into reissuing this title themselves in the near future. You will often see this band listed as Compass Rises, but it's definite the band is known as Compass. This group is not related to the American blues rock band Compass, who released one album in 1970.

* Les Confrerie des Fous -s/t (France) 1978 Ballon Noir. Nice electric progressive folk, typical of the high quality Ballon Noir label (Ripaille, Malicorne, Emmanuelle Parrenin). Just when you think it's going to be a typical folk rock album, they'll throw in a complicated break, and all hell breaks loose with some fine guitar soloing.

# Connexion - s/t (Canada) 1975 RCA. Connexion were a one-off band from Quebec. Overall, you can expect the usual 1970s styled straightforward blues based hard rock, though sung in French, which makes it slightly more interesting for me. Some decent songwriting here, though nothing exceptional or worth calling out by track name.

* Connivence - s/t (Canada) 1977 Kebec.
* Connivence - II (Canada) 1979 Kebec.
Connivence - III (Canada) 1984 Amplitude. Connivence were a large collective from rural Quebec, who practically define the folk rock influenced progressive rock scene from this rich cultural region. The concept of Connivence is more akin to the original Amon Duul, in terms of structure - not music, in that various musicians participate on the recordings. So there isn't a lot of cohesion between the first two releases, but they still have that unique Quebecois folk rock quality like you would find on albums by L'Engoulevent, Breche, Etoifilan, and of course the forefathers of the movement: Harmonium. The female vocals occasionally call to mind the excellent Contraction. The large ensemble approach, and general uplifting tone, also remind me of Belgium's Nuit Caline A La Villa Mon Reve and France's Synthesis. By the third album, Connivence appears to have given up their amateur status and gone pro. The album is clearly a product of the early 80s, with a slick production and more synthesized sounds now penetrate. Gone is the folky flavor of the first 2 albums. Still, the album is better than all of this may imply, and the songs are well crafted, and they haven't lost their progressive rock edge. Maybe a point down from the first two, but only slightly, and certainly a more consistent effort. It has a poor reputation, but I think that has more to do with it being so different than the first two - and the 80's gloss doesn't help.

** Robert Connolly - Plateau (Canada) 1978 Tube. I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: Ontario in the 1970's was an extension of the US Midwest - at least from an economic perspective. And so it comes as no surprise that the music shares similarities. We've waxed on a number of times about this most unique of American made rock music. And I'll be honest, I never viewed Connolly with this lens, until this revisit of the LP (one I've owned since 1992 according my database). Wham bam, bullseye! Get your Ethos, Dillinger, Starcastle and October albums out and compare. Even though Connolly is standing next to a double neck guitar on the back cover, I believe his true passion is keyboards (and he's loaded with all the fun analog stuff like Mellotron, Mini Moog and Hammond). The concept is pure 1970's space alien fantasy and comes complete with a goofy comic book (and any righteous CD label MUST reproduce this bad boy). For the album, Connolly put together two entirely different groups, each side represented. Side 1 mixes narration, female vocals, acoustic balladry and all out progressive rock that recalls Eloy's "Power and the Passion", but truthfully better. Side 2 is where Connolly hands over the guitar duties as well as brings on a male lead singer - while he focuses entirely on the keys. No question this side is the more traditional progressive rock, though the vocals tend towards the AOR side, typical of the region. Given this new outlook, I'm appreciating Robert Connolly's album more now than ever. It's the time and place. There is no date anywhere on the LP. However, the comic book is dated 1978, so that's generally the accepted release date for the LP.

Cool Feet - Burning Desire (Luxembourg) 1976 Pallas. This is one of the most expensive of the many underground albums out there. Regularly fetching 4 figures, it's not too hard to understand why Cool Feet has such a reputation. Blindfolded, you could swear you were listening to some newly unearthed private hard rock album from the US midwest, say Toledo, situated perfectly on the road from Ohio to Michigan. It has that small dive bar vibe, as patroned by Local Number union members. A 4 piece, with dual guitars and a gruff vocalist, Cool Feet pretty much delivers kickass hard rock from start to finish. There are a couple of stinkers to endure, as they gave at least a little lip service to their commercial aspirations. Though for me the big surprise was the early Scorpions influence, primarily from "Fly to the Rainbow" through the "Virgin Killer" albums. Truth be told, there aren't that many continental European hard rock bands in this style (Belgium's Kleptomania and Vacation also came to mind), and certainly less that remind me of primo era Scorps (though without the Uli Roth psychedelic influence unfortunately). Word down at the soup kitchen says that the album was apparently slated for a CD release on Garden of Delights and LP reissue on Amber Soundroom, but one of the members put the kabash on it. There's a built-in audience for this album, and you know who you are.

** Continuum - End of Line (USA) 1984 Schmizz. Continuum is a heavy fusion band from Chicago featuring John Redfield on keyboards, Robert Baglione on guitar, and Robert Allen on bass with various drummers/percussionists, most prominently Randy Harrah. The albums starts off a bit disconcerting on the title track with slap bass, disco beats, and cheesy synthesizers. But Baglione gets the psychedelic tinged guitar going thus adding a much needed edge to the proceedings. The jazz sequences featuring piano also light it up. Has some of the most insane guitar runs I've ever heard - imagine somewhere between late 70s Al Di Meola (technique) and early 70s John McLaughlin (tone/style). You're going to want to get your air guitar out for this one! There's way more meat on its bones than most 1980s era fusion albums. Not quite as angular as the Inserts' Out of the Box for example, but we're talking that kind of aggressiveness. A very welcome development and a window to what the 1980s could have been.lbum was released on the private Schmizz Records of Forest Park, Illinois. For the record, the CD mentioned in another review is actually a homemade CD-R taken from vinyl and burned from a computer. I confirmed this with Robert Baglione myself (and who I bought this sealed LP from). So we still await a proper CD reissue as I write this.

# Coronarias Dans – Breathe (Denmark) 1970 Parlophone.
Coronarias Dans – Visitor (Denmark) 1973 Steeplechase. Coronarias Dans are one of Denmark’s most famous embryonic jazz rock groups. “Breathe” is pretty much straight up jazz, but in a European free style kind of way. The standup bass gets a good workout and, combined with some superb drumming, makes for an interesting work from a purely jazz perspective. By the time of “Visitor” the band is still focused squarely on the jazz aesthetic, but now they’ve added rock guitarist Claus Bohling (from Hurdy Gurdy), and his psychedelic shredding is a much needed boost, and distinguishes “Visitor” from other albums of its ilk. Claus would go on to help form Secret Oyster, and add the same style of guitar to all of their albums as well. Was recently reminded that "Visitor" came out in the mid 90s on CD, but is long OOP.

# Corpus - Creation a Child (USA) 1971 Acorn. Fine blues rock album from Corpus Christi, Texas. Only pirates editions exist on CD.

xxx Cos - Babel (Belgium) 1978 IBC.
Cos - Swiss Chalet (Belgium) 1979 IBC. While Musea has tackled Cos' first two classic Canterbury inspired albums, as well as their final 1982 "Pasiones" release, they have so far neglected Cos' "disco era". For some folks, "Babel" is the pinnacle of their musical achievement. It is a one of a kind album, a mixture of complex Canterbury and Zeuhlish compositions, filtered through the disco mirror ball - fat danceable beats, sweeping strings and Studio 54 debauchery. Closest comparison might be the French group Cortex, though Cos on "Babel" are far more disturbing (in the Univers Zero sense of the term), as well as more disco-ish. And while that doesn't make any sense, I think that's its intrinsic value. I plan on revisiting "Swiss Chalet" soon as well. Not sure if Musea plans on reissuing these. IIRC, you can pay for downloads of these from the band direct. *** Babel will be reissued by Belle Antique in June, 2010 ***

xxx ** Cosmic Circus Music - Wiesbaden 1972 (Germany) private cassette. One of our more popular posts last year was a discussion around the Garden of Delights release schedule. One of the albums they have listed is "COSMIC CIRCUS: Wiesbaden 1972" (and that's where I pulled this title from). I immediately presumed it was an archival release. One of our more knowledgeable readers, The Lolly Pope, quickly corrected me and stated: "Cosmic Circus were Ulrich Masshöfer dr, Bernd Diesner g, Karl-Heinz Keffer b,(formerly known as Catharsis, unrecorded) and at that evening in 1972, when these recordings were made in Wartburg-Wiesbaden, Xhol-man Tim Belbe on sax & flute. They never released an LP, but you could order a cassette tape when you reacted to a tiny ad in Sounds magazine. (Which only very few people did)There's only one track, the 45 minutes of "Sternenmaskerade", and it's a wild, weird and wonderful jam, highly recommended to those who love their Kraut pure. Starts like Between, ends like Xhol, but all a bit rougher, fuzzier and hardly any song structure or vocals. In fact it was considered as unsaleable by record companies. I got it, and I would say that it's THE last un(re)released pearl of kraut history." The music is fantastic - a blend of cosmic Krautrock that recalls Agitation Free, The Cosmic Jokers, Dom and Yatha Sidhra. The recording is a bit rough, so it will be interesting to see if GoD has access to the original source or not. In either case, I'll be a first-day buyer of the CD if and when it comes out.  *** Reissued by Garden of  Delights July 2013 xxx

** Cosmic Debris - s/t (USA) 1980 Non Compos Mentis
Cosmic Debris - While You're Asleep. 1983 Non Compos Mentis. Cosmic Debris were a band from Oklahoma City that married electronic sequencer based music with rock instrumentation such as guitar and drums. Very much like a mixture of Klaus Schulze's Moondawn with Edgar Froese jamming on top. Or Wolfgang Bock's Cycles album. Side 1 is made up mostly of 'Spectrum' with only a brief introduction of Aaron Coplan's generally overused 'Fanfare'. This is the only side that guitarist Phillips appears on. And he wails wonderfully in a psychedelic manner throughout. The flip is more atmospheric, though the driving drum set is still in place, with sequencer based Moog, atmospheric sounds, and percussion, recalling perhaps late 70s Jade Warrior in places. Mixed with Heldon. Cool.
Cosmic Eye - Dream Sequence (England) 1972 Regal Zonophone. Fascinating hybrid of Indo-jazz and instrumental rock. Lots of sitar, flute, hand percussion, electric guitar, etc... Probably reads like an exploito album, or even a film library soundtrack, but the album works surprisingly well as a continuous whole. There's a CD out there, but the band's webpage clearly states it's a bootleg. So we'll list it here until it comes out legit!

* Cosmology - s/t (USA) 1977 Vanguard. Looking at the cover, you'd think this was an album from 1970. Those sideburns alone point to another era. Maybe they were friends with the English band First Aid, another anachronistic wonder from 1977. And musically it also points to a 1970 heritage. Produced by Collin Walcott (and he guests on sitar for one track), Cosmology is primarily an old fashioned horn rock album, though rooted in jazz fusion rather than pop rock. The lovely female vocals somewhat reminded me of both Quebec's Contraction and France's Cortex. But this isn't going to be on any hipsters A-list anytime soon. These guys are squares. But I found the myriad of styles at play here entirely refreshing - and completely unique. You'll see folks trying hard to get this one lumped in with the late 70s funk crowd, but good luck with that. I don't hear it myself. If any of this sounds good to you, pick this one up. The LP still goes for relatively cheap. And I for one would love to see a CD of it.

Counterpoint - s/t (USA) 1982 private. And this is the final album to report on from my last visit with Jeff. For the purposes of this site, Counterpoint would have to be considered a lesser album, but that's due to its more overt commercial nature. I suspect Counterpoint, like many bands coming of age in the late 70s and early 80s, were progressive rock enthusiasts who understood that the only way to any kind of success would require a pointed attempt at FM radio rock hits. All the usual suspects can be heard in Counterpoint's music such as Kansas, Styx, Saga (Canada), Journey, early 80's Santana, etc... There is some mighty fine organ, synth, and guitar work here, so not one to entirely overlook.

# Creative Rock - Gorilla (Germany) 1972 Brain.
Creative Rock - Lady Pig (Germany) 1974 Brain. Even though I like the horn rock genre, Creative Rock leaves a lot to be desired.

Credemus - s/t (aka Auf Dem Weg) (Germany) 1984 private. Had this on LP years ago. Christian symphonic rock with female vocals like Eden or maybe Sweden's Autumn Breeze - though not quite that good.

# Crystalaugur - Terranaut (USA) 1972 Warped (Singapore). Not much is known about this obscurity. The campfire version is these were burned out US GI's who recorded a psych album in Singapore in the early 70s. Who really knows, and there's no legit reissue to refer to, so we'll go with that fairytale. As for an album, it would be difficult to get any more simple than this. A basic rhythmic backbone, almost surf rock in texture (especially the guitar leads), sometimes with vocals, sometimes not. It sounds like it was half finished, then possessed by a tax dodge label (in the days when unlimited losses were allowed by the IRS) and released in a small quantity years after it was recorded. Probably the band name and title were made up - which might explain the lack of info. Only for fans of obscure garage / basement recordings.

xxx Curt Cress Clan - s/t (Germany) 1975 Atlantic. Hot funky fusion from Cress' mid 70s band. Typical jazz fusion of the era, something we've heard 100s of times before, but perfectly executed. A safe bet if you're a fan of said style. xxx Reissued by Sireena May, 2010. xxx

# Cromwell - At the Gallop (Ireland) 1975 Well Records. Like the Luxembourg band Cool Feet mentioned above, Cromwell's sole album is one of the most sought after, and expensive, European albums out there. And also like Cool Feet, the album isn't really that special. A guitar based trio, who play a combination of hard rock and boogie rock. Save for some good leads, most of this can be easily forgotten. Comparable to many rare albums here in America. Indispensable for fans of the rare private press genre, but only to them.

# Cross Winds - Murder at Midnight (USA) 1977 ERC. A private press album from Seattle that is marketed to progressive rock fans, given the scarcity and era of the product. However, this is nothing more than a funky fusion - pop driven album, not that far removed from bands like Pablo Cruise. A terrible album, that I'll leave here only as a reference.

# Crossbreeze - s/t (Norway) 1974 Experience. A mix of hard rock and West Coast styled psych, with some interesting Moog sequences. Very rare as an original LP, though not anything I would call musically amazing. According to the band's MySpace page, you can purchase the CD direct from them. The CD is taken from vinyl supposedly. I seriously doubt this is a pressed CD, but rather a CD-R. We'll leave this here for now until I hear differently.

* Crossfire - s/t (Australia) 1975 Harvest. With the soprano sax, and occasional hard guitar lead, Crossfire brings to mind the German group Aera, or maybe a slightly less rocking Secret Oyster. Fellow Australians Mackenzie Theory could almost be sited as a reference, though trading the violin for soprano sax. All instrumental save the last track (and the vocals proved to not be a good idea). Crossfire went on too release at least 3 further albums starting in 1978, presumably even more fusion oriented than their debut.

# Crossfire - Colourful Music (Germany) 1979 private. When reviewing from an instrumental perspective, Crossfire is a pretty good example of the late 70s private press era of Germany. Well done keyboards (including some older organ sounds) and fine fuzz guitar lead the somewhat simplistic, but nicely done melodic compositions. In this manner, Crossfire could be considered peers of groups like Zomby Woof, Anabis, Gloria's Children and Credemus. But on about half the tracks, they unfortunately made an attempt to sing, and the results are dreadful. The heavily accented English songs are rough sounding even by the somewhat low standards already established by German singers during this period (they were to improve greatly during the metal and modern era).

? Crow - Live at the Oyster Stores. 1992 private cassette.
*** Crow - Medicine Wheel. 1992 private cassette.
*** Crow - The Tides of Apsaroke. 1993 private cassette. Holy moly! This is the good stuff right here. No pussyfooting around with electronica or reggae. Just hardcore space rock, in high flight mode most of the time, with loads of effects applied to the guitar. The guitarist plays not only fast solos, but a multitude of rhythm wah-wah that drives the music forward in an exciting way, with plenty of meter and thematic shifts to keep you guessing all the way through. There are sparse vocals, generally applied to add a trance-like effect and do not deter or become the centerpiece at any time. There are no keyboards to speak of, so the guitar and bass have the responsibility for all the tones and atmosphere - and they do a fantastic job at just that. "Medicine Wheel" is the more psychedelic of the two albums, with plenty of tribal drumming and freaky guitar sequences with intense build-ups and actual climax releases. Both albums add didgeridoo to great effect. "The Tides of Apsaroke" ups the ante to a whole new level of intensity. Dare I say the guitar is almost heavy metal? Not a 1992 post-Metallica palm mute method, but rather a 1979 NWOBHM sound, similar to maybe early Saxon or Iron Maiden - but with the sound on sound fuzzy technique like Ed Wynne of Ozric Tentacles. I've never heard anything like it! And what an exciting path for other bands to pursue! There are a few more vocals on this album, and the material is definitely angrier, but no less satisfying for space rock heads. I haven't heard the live album, though the two live "bonus" tracks on "Medicine Wheel" are pretty rough in the recording department - so hopefully it's better than that would imply. Of the two albums, I prefer the purest "Medicine Wheel", but Tides is the more adventurous and also just plain awesome. So filtering the above, what do we have: Take the heavier Ozric Tentacles tracks like 'Eternal Wheel' and 'Dissolution', mix with the punk angst of Omnia Opera, toss a little pyrotechnic Mandragora jamming, throw in the progressive tendencies of 'White Rhino Tea' Ozric or the obscure band Blim, and add a dash of metal to the guitar sound. Almost sounds like the perfect formula - not sure I could have drawn that one out any better in the playbook. Crow was awesome, and definitely the best band from the UK psych scene no one's heard of (even besting Blim). They reformed briefly, and I hope that's not it from them. Reissue labels? This is a no brainer pick up. For certain they would have sold back in the day - if only anyone had heard them!

* Cruciferius - A Nice Way of Life (France) 1970 Barclay. Like a lot of people, I was drawn to this title due to the Magma connection, in particular one Bernard Paganotti. I had a chance to hear this album in the late 1980s, and it didn't sound anything like Magma. Therefore it isn't any good! What? Ah, the impetuousness of youth! Recently I had an opportunity to hear it again for the first time objectively. And what you find is a band with similar influences to Magma at this time. A mix of jazz, pop, and psych, exploring the boundaries of rock during this era. It's not a common sound for France, though one can find similarities in groups such as Alice, Eden Rose, Frantz, Iris,and yes, even Magma's sprawling 2LP double set. And the side group Univeria Zekt. So while not a jaw dropper, it's a fine historical piece well worth investigating.

* Cry Freedom - Volcano (Germany) 1976 Fuerth. One of the earlier entries in Germany's huge fascination with everything jazz fusion. By the 1980s it seems there were hundreds of such releases. Primarily instrumental sax/guitar/organ/synthesizer driven numbers, with a stronger than usual emphasis on melody. Not quite at the level of Embryo or Missus Beastly, but more thought out than Kraan, Headband, Morpheus, etc... File next to Katamaran. They have two later albums, but I've been told they aren't quite up to standard.

* Crypto - s/t (Netherlands) 1974 Pandora/Negram. Known as the Dutch Placebo, though I found this more funky and less "cool" than Marc Moulin's outfit. Fairly typical of the era, especially the synth work. The guitar and Rhodes playing is a bit more exceptional, however. Overall a good example of the European instrumental funky fusion sound. File next to Saluki.

* Crystal Circus - untitled (USA) 1968 All-American. Ah, I can hear you already clamoring to get to your keyboard and write me a note. "No, Tom, you're wrong about this one. I've seen it and it has a title!" And indeed you have, I would respond. Which is why I hadn't even thought about the album much until last month. The working title of the album is "In Relation to Our Times", and it was released/named by Akarma.... for the first time ever in 2001. Dare I need say more? There is a demo copy that they got their hands on - and released it, without anything else other than a noisy tape and a nice cover. As far as I know this wasn't even pressed on wax initially. And if it was, no more than a handful were pressed. There's never been one for sale that I've ever seen in 25 years of pouring over rare catalogs. Of course if the music wasn't very interesting, none of this would matter to me. But it is! Crystal Circus is one of the very rare bands from the 60's that really does remind one of Strawberry Alarm Clock (and both bands are from the Los Angeles area). As we've noted before, many dealers try in vain to make comparisons to the great SAC, only to have one scratching their head later and asking "Have you actually listened in full to"Incense and Peppermints" or "Wake Up... It's Tomorrow" before?". Crystal Circus has that same type of vibe, with wonderful harmonies, 60s sunshine naivete, and some great psych rock moments sprinkled throughout. Of course, it's not even close to the peaks of SAC, but anything within range of that great band is worthy of a proper issue.

# Crystalaugur - Terranaut (USA) 1972 private. Not much is known about this obscurity. The campfire version is these were burned out US GI’s who recorded a psych album in Singapore in the early 70s. Who really knows, and there’s no legit reissue to refer to, so we’ll go with that. As for an album, it would be difficult to get any more simple than this. A basic rhythmic backbone, almost surf rock in texture (especially the guitar leads), sometimes with vocals, sometimes not. It sounds like it was half finished, then possessed by a tax dodge label (in the days when unlimited losses were allowed by the IRS) and released in a small quantity years after it was recorded. Probably the band name and title were made up – which might explain the lack of info. Only for fans of obscure basement recordings.

# Cuero – Tiempo Despues (Argentina) 1973 Music Hall.
Cuero – Crecimento (Argentina) 1974 Music Hall. First album is typical guitar trio fronted blues rock, a style that was immensely popular in Argentina at the time. Second album is a bit better in my estimation, as it adds Latin jazz touches, and a larger palette of ideas. I had figured these may have been put on CD by either Music Hall or EMI of Argentina, but I haven't found evidence of that.

# * Cuixa - Montgo... ...O Els Cavallers de la Cuixa Rodona (Spain) 1978 Nevada. CD on Culture and Youth House of Manises, but is long OOP. Flute/guitar driven political rock / progressive. The vocals aside, there's a strong element of Jethro Tull. Pretty unusual sound for Spain.

*** Cultural Noise - Aphorisms Insane (Austria) 1980 CBS. Let's see, three guys who play a raft full of analog keyboards and one doubles on guitar. I bet they sound like Tangerine Dream! And indeed they do. The really good years of T Dream too, between 1974 and 1977. Lots of fat analog sequencers, fuzz tone guitar and quite a bit of twists and turns. Mellotron M400, Micro Moog, EMS Sequencer, Roland Sequencer, ARP Sequencer, ARP 2600, VCS 3, Roland Studiosystem 700. And two 20 minute trcks with names like 'After the Selfdisintegration in Time' and 'Pursuing the In Time Disintegrating Reality'. Who knows why a major label would sign someone up like this, but we're glad they did. Come to think of it, the modern UK group Redshift sounds more like Cultural Noise than Tangerine Dream. Anyway, for fans of Berlin Electronic styled music, this is as good as it gets.

xxx * Cybotron - s/t (Australia) 1976 Clear Light of Jupiter.
xxx * (Cybotron) Steven Maxwell Von Braund - Monster Planet (Australia). 1975 Clear Light of Jupiter. Aztec has already done "Implosion" (and Inak did "Colossus" years ago), so I suspect these will come along eventually. Both albums have a strong penchant for the mid 70's Tangerine Dream style. The Von Braund album (he's the leader of Cybotron) even uses the same day-glo blue and yellow colors of the Cosmic Courier clan. All good stuff. Aztec had announced the reissue of the Von Braund, but unfortunately closed down before the product was released. *** Monster Planet reissued late 2013 by Aztec. First album to be reissued by Dual Planet late 2014 xxx

* Cyklus - Planet of Two Suns (Germany) 1979 Erlkoenig. Interesting mix of styles: Typical late 70s funky fusion against a backdrop of the early 70s Krautrock freaky underground. Wired closest to same period Aera, who they share a band member and label with, especially at the time when Roman Bunka was their guitarist. Also hear a bit of the Real Ax Band. Some nice shredding guitar work here as well, which recalls Syncrisis at their most fiery.

Cynara - s/t (USA) 1970 Capitol. One of the more interesting American groups from the late 1960's was a Boston based band called Listening, who released one superb album on the Vanguard label. Cynara is the band that formed from the ashes of Listening. Their sole album is an eclectic mix, just as Listening was, but not near as groundbreaking, rocking, or exciting. The first side is pretty much straight up organ rock, while the flip is filled by two long compositions with a jazz piano/organ lounge feel throughout. Yet another USA major label album from the confused year of 1970 that stops short of meeting expectations. As is often the case with major label albums that have never been reissued, bootlegs abound.

# Dada - Jyo (Japan) 1978 Vanity. Contains four long, sparse, electronic oriented tracks with voice, percussion, guitar and synthesizers. A much sought after artifact from the Japanese underground. Their second, self titled, album has been reissued by parent label King - and is closer to the Berlin school of electronic music.

** Dakila - s/t (Philippines) 1972 Epic. Surprised this didn't get a "gray area" reissue from Akarma (like Chango). Similar type effort - heavily influenced by first 3 albums Santana. I love stuff like this, and the more I can hear, the better.

Danger - s/t (Netherlands) 1973 Cow. Avant Garde/Systems jazz music made with organ, homemade synthesizers and tenor sax. Great atmosphere created by the organ is ruined by annoying saxophone honks and bleeps. Takes the patience of Job to get through. For fans of extreme music, this is much sought after. For the rest of us, it's a mere curiosity.

# Mychael Danna – Elements (Canada) 1979. A pretty static and dull electronic album.

* Datura - Mr Untel (France) 1982 private. Datura's debut reminds me a lot of early Mona Lisa, especially at the time of L'Escapade. That is to say the music is somewhat straightforward, under produced, and amateurish. But it is undeniably French and very much like Ange (whose album Caricatures is another guidepost here). There are small hints of its early 80s heritage, but the music is rooted in the 70s. There's even quite a bit of mellotron on it (one of the rare such albums not mentioned in Planet Mellotron (yet)). It's not a super album by any means, but it's a good one for fans of the French theatrical style. Not the place to start for those looking to hear this most unique genre. This one is for the deep divers. Of which I'm one, so I'm more predisposed to liking it than perhaps others.

Wolfgang Dauner - Output (Germany) 1970 ECM.
Rischka's Light Faces - Iris, Inri, Pencil And Psalm. 1971 CTR.
* Wolfgang Dauner / Et Cetera - Live. 1973 MPS.
xxx ** Wolfgang Dauner - Rischkas Soul. 1972 Brain. *** Reissued by Long Hair May 201
xxx * Wolfgang Dauner + Et Cetera - Knirsch. 1972 MPS. *** Reissued by HGBS in 2010 xxx

I was first introduced to Wolfgang Dauner in the 1980s, via the "Output" release, which was too experimental for me then - and still is. The albums pictured are from Dauner's period of experimenting with out-jazz and even further out-rock. Highly successful too. Since MPS has picked up their reissue program again, I would suspect the Live album to come out soon. I'm hoping Long Hair takes on Rischkas' Soul (and, as it turns out, they did!). "Rischka's Light Faces": Well, didn't this turn out to be interesting? 'Taxi to Musberg' and 'Rischka for Rogue's Gallery' are 18 minutes of "screwing around in the studio" and are an utter waste of time. On the flip side, 'Om Mani Padme Hum' sounds like an outtake from Embryo's Father, Son and Holy Ghosts album, with Siggi Schwab laying down a freaky psychedelic solo, and Dauner doing his best fuzz "whatever keyboard is in the studio" jam. And the title track could have just as easily been on Rischka's Soul album. So a real mish-mash of styles here, and honestly the good tracks should be appended to another album as bonuses, while leaving the others to historical review.

Rino de Filippi (Awake) - First Born (Italy) 1972 Smash. Definitely one of the many instrumental Italian film library albums out there, and some of them contain different pseudonyms, as this might. Cool 60's jet-set jazz funk tracks for the martini drinking James Bond crowd.

# Alessandro de Lucchi - s/t (Italy) 1978 private. Systems style cosmic electronic music similar to maybe Roberto Cacciapaglia's "Sonanze" or Franco Leprino. Stefano Pantaleoni would release a similar album nearly 10 years later. Not much in the way of rhythms or tonal changes. Seems like de Lucchi did what he could with the one synthesizer he was provided. At times it comes across as a sound test record. Will have a limited audience.

Tullio de Piscopo Revolt Group - Sotto e 'ncoppa (Italy) 1975 Carosello.
Tullio de Piscopo - Vol. 2 (Italy) 1977 Carosello. De Piscopo is a well known jazz percussionist (to this day), who ventured into progressive fusion in the mid 1970s. First he played with The New Trolls, then he released these two fusion albums with some excellent Fender Rhodes, sax and guitar action. De Piscopo reminds me most of Toni Esposito's albums from the same era. "Sotto e 'ncoppa" features Sante Palumbo who was also on the Sway album. "Vol. 2" is more diverse, mixing in period disco, acoustic folk, tight fusion, and rock versions of traditional Italian sing-a-longs. I felt this was the stronger of the two releases. Neither of these have been reissued on CD, and aren't even mentioned on Tullio de Piscopo's own website.

# Deaf - Alpha (Switzerland) 1972 / 1994 Black Rills. Archived recordings from the post After Shave unit. Pretty experimental stuff that fans of Can or even Faust may enjoy. Was never meant to be issued as a proper album, so it's definitely for historic interest only. Came out as an LP, but never on CD. Label is still around, though they haven't reissued anything in years and are pretty much a mail order house now.

xxx ** Dear Mr. Time - Grandfather (England) 1970 Square. A really nice big budget sounding album on a relatively small label. Somewhere between Moody Blues and the Dawn/Neon stable of bands - Czar comes to mind as well. Boots exist. *** Reissued by Wooden Hill, Jan 2010 ***

xxx Deep Feeling - s/t (England) 1971 DJM (Dick James Music). Not sure what to make of this UK group's sole album on the Dick James Music label. Musically all over the lot. Their version of 'Classical Gas' sounds like a progressive take on easy listening music. Harmony driven folk piece 'Old People's Home' could have been lifted off of a CSN album. 'Guillotine' sounds like Procol Harum meets Beggar's Opera, and is certainly the highlight of the album. Some rural blues folk ('Country Heir') which also recalls CSN,  and a straight up rock-n-roll track ('Lucille') round things out. Too diverse for its own good. *** Reissued in Japan by Nippon Phonogram in 1996 (under original DJM label). There's also a reissue by Media Arte in Korea from 2009. Debatable if the latter is entirely legit. xxx

Deja Vu - Cosmic Zack (Germany) 1977 private. A very obscure release from Germany circa 1977. Typical of many private releases from late 70's Deutschland, Déjà Vu attempt the Novalis style of progressive rock. The primary instrument is electric guitar and is accompanied by electric piano, sax, flute, bass and drums. There are also vocals with a traditional heavy Teutonic accent (some in English, some in German). I often wonder why these bands bothered with the vocals as it only detracts from the compositions. Fortunately, side two eschews the vocals for a more energetic instrumental approach. Musically, the band plays a safe, straightforward and somewhat jazzy (especially side 2) progressive music with some well done guitar/sax work amongst the otherwise mediocre compositions. File along with Credemus, Poseidon, Eden and a host of other well-meaning, but ultimately lacking, German bands from the late 70's/early 80's.

Eric Delaunay - Antagonisme! (France) 1980 Vogue. In effect, this is the first Tiemko album, as drummer Delauney was the leader of that fine band. Musically similar to his next venture, though a little more immature and less focused. Still a worthwhile listen.

# Andre Demay - Generic (France) 1980 WEA.

* Demon & Wizard - Evil Possessor (France) 1982 private. Demon & Wizard fall in line with many of the obscure acts of the French underground of the late 70s and early 80s. I would have expected this to be released on the D.I.Y. FLVM label, as it has that vibe. Or perhaps Disjuncta. The sparseness created by the acoustic guitars and synthesizers had me thinking at once of Images, Kennlisch, Lourival Silvestre, Flamen Dialis and even early Richard Pinhas circa "Rhizosphere".

** Den Za Den - s/t (Macedonia) 1980 RTV Ljubljana. Funny, as the data I had on this was it was released in 1977 and from Montenegro. I have no idea where I got that notion, as I cannot find any reference for either. In studying my LP (that I bought in the mid 90s) there is no mention of the date, and the album was released by the Slovenian branch of the state labels. But plenty of internet references clearly point Den Za Den as being from Macedonia, and many of them also call out a similar sound to that country's most known group: Leb I Sol. Personally I don't hear it so much, as Den Za Den are way more fiery, with a stronger melodic sense. Still there's no denying the late 70's fusion sound. What separates Den Za Den from the pack is the exceptional guitarist, the distinct melodies, and perhaps best of all, the insane drumming along the lines of Arti + Mestieri. I'm a sucker for active drummers, so I naturally rate this one higher than other fusion albums of the era. Maybe Slovakia's Fermata is the closest comparison amongst the usual suspects like Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report. Like most East Euro LP's, the sound quality is extremely muddy. Experience has shown the master tapes are well preserved, so a CD reissue is likely to raise the rating another point. This one desperately needs a reissue.

** Dennis - Hyperthalamus (Germany) 1975 Nova. A supergroup of sorts featuring members from Frumpy, Kravetz, A.R. & Machines, Xhol Caravan, Kickbit Information, Thirsty Moon, Tomorrow's Gift and Release Music Orchestra. With a lineup like that, one would expect a fusion album with Krautrock psychedelic ambitions. And that's exactly what Dennis is. 4 long tracks, that are built upon a psych premise, but with more traditional fusion instrumentation (Rhodes, sax, flute) amongst the usual guitar, bass and drums. A unique album in many ways. Unfortunately the recording isn't too great, at least as found on the original Nova LP release, of which I'm reviewing right now. I wouldn't be too surprised if the masters were in much better condition and a proper reissue could do wonders. We'll see if that's the case. A perfect fit for the Garden of Delights label.

Claudio Dentes - Pantarei (Italy) 1978 Mirto. Generally solo artists from Italy during this era were singer-songwriter focused, but Dentes is a primarily multi-instrumentalist, and he's puts his talent towards creating a strong instrumental work (though there are some sparse vocals). At times, "Pantarei" reaches the space rock heights of Franco Falsini's "Cold Nose". I'm most reminded of this when I hear the electric guitar, which is super compressed and fuzzed out. While certainly not an Italian prog rock classic, Dentes' album is not one to overlook and is worth seeking out for a few listens.

xxx ** Franck Dervieux - Dimension M (Canada) 1972 Columbia. The root system for later bands such as Contraction and Ville Emard Blues Band. Keyboard heavy progressive rock, with a looser structure, making it highly appealing on repeated listens. A very important album, and one of Quebec's finest. I suspect that ProgQuebec will get to this one, since they've already done the Contraction and VEBB albums, it's just a matter of time. *** Reissued by ProgQuebec in 2012 xxx

* Jean-Michel Desbouis - Prince (France) 1982 FLVM. The female vocals from Stella Vander add an otherworldly vibe to the very professional electronic soundscapes and sequences. Definitely recommended to fans of French and German electronic music.

Desiree - Make it With a Smile (Germany) 1976 Lava. A very American sounding hard rock album with inventive song structures, tricky meters and high pitched underground vocals. Could have easily been from Michigan, Ohio or Indiana and you'd never know. For mainstream references, early Rush or "Give Us a Wink" era Sweet wouldn't take you too far astray. Exceptional guitar work here. Good record, though the vocals are pretty annoying after awhile.

# * Deus Ex Machina - Non Est Ars Quae Ad Effectum Casus Venit. 1995 Kaliphonia. Vinyl only live release. Wonderful gatefold with booklet filled with photos.

* Dhope - Musical Exhibitions (Germany) 1980 private. Musically, this one takes a bit to get going. The opening track, while a finely crafted piece, is somewhat straightforward, but with some fine Moog, and features that unique lower register German voice singing English. Perhaps not quite as dour as Paternoster (what is?), but that's too far off. Later on he sings in a higher register, which I found a bit more appealing. Now I'll be honest here, this album didn't floor me on the whole. Or maybe I should say it didn't really match the reviews I've read. There's no mellotron (as confirmed by a band member), and the time changes are more like theme shifts rather than metric gymnastics embedded within each measure. The compositions sort of bounce along harmlessly, with plenty of fat bass and 4/4 drumming, sometimes in a pseudo disco beat (like I said... 1980). There's some fine, though not exceptional, guitar soloing, and most of the keyboards are organ and Moog. And all of the above is fine for me honestly, as the music definitely fits the time and place. But... you will not be thinking this is the German album from 1973 Italy as perhaps the Tonic album does in places. However, if you like the late 70s German symphonic sound, and get a bit tired of all the Kraut Fusion from this era, then I think Dhope will certainly satisfy, and will be most welcomed on CD - especially as it's certain to sound better after GoD has cleaned it up.

** Diabolus - s/t (England) 1971 Bellaphon. An outstanding album. Though only released in Germany originally, ironically it represents the UK progressive sound of the early 70s better than almost any other album I can think of. When I say progressive, I mean the Dawn, Transatlantic, Neon variety ala Raw Material, Indian Summer, Aquila, Jonesy, Hannibal, CMU and dozens of others. Great flute, sax and guitar lead raw progressive rock. A highlight reel of the scene. This album has been poorly served by the reissue market with boots and/or gray area issues dominating. I really hope Esoteric gets to it one day!

# ** Dialect - s/t (Brazil) 1991 Faunus. Band wrote me to say they are rerecording this album in 2008 under the band name Dialeto (album is titled "Will Exist Forever"). Looks like the original album / mix will remain unreissued. Which is too bad, as the original is superb. Like a heavy psych version of King Crimson's "Discipline". I also hear the absolute best moments from the Brazilian neo psych band Violeta de Outono. Highly original album, especially considering the date.

# Diana Express - s/t (Bulgaria) 1974 Balkanton. The opening and closing pieces definitely point to a love for the organ dominated hard rock sound similar to Deep Purple and perhaps even more pointedly: Inside-era Eloy. Unfortunately, within the middle of the album, there's plenty of pure silly pop that no doubt pleased the ever-present authorities, and probably only them. Not all is lost, as there's still some decent organ rock numbers mixed in as well.

Dickens - Royal Incarnation (France) 1969 President. One of the rare examples of French psychedelic music. The best songs were sung in French, a language that was still unusual for rock music during that period. The atmospheric parts, with the wordless voices, recalls similar era Pink Floyd, and is a highly unusual sound for Continental Europe at this time. About the half the album is English sung punk psych, which was more akin to what was going on in America (Lollipop Shoppe comes to mind here). Judging by the cover, one would presume a psych exploitation album, but it's nothing of the sort. A very rare album, and a good one for archivists to search for.

** Didier - Cptn. Coffee (Germany) 1981 private. Incredibly obscure jazz rock album. Like the Moira "Reise Nacht Ixtlan", Didier's sole album sounds like something from another era - primarily 1973-74. Psychedelic fuzz guitar, driving bass, echoed German narration, atmospheric piano, tricky meters with sax breaks ala Soft Machine. Other than a couple of ebay auctions, I can find no information about this album on the internet, which I received via CD-R through a friend of this site.

# Dimmornas Bro - s/t (Sweden) 1977 Silence.
Dimmornas Bro - Mål (Sweden) 1979 Silence. Relatively straightforward rock album with a few symphonic moves ala Camel. They had one more album which I haven't heard.

Dionysos - Le Grande Jeu (Canada) 1971 Jupiter.
** Dionysos - Le Prince Croule (Canada) 1972 Zodiaque. Along with Franck Dervieux, Dionysos' first two albums have to be considered Quebec's most pioneering progressive rock works. They mixed psych, electric blues rock and long track progressive compositions to create some wholly original music. In some cases they seem like a French Uriah Heep, but considerably more experimental. They were one of the first pop groups to sing in French. Their 3rd album, a self-titled release from 1976, is more straight ahead blues rock - and has been reissued on CD. One would suspect that ProgQuebec will do both of these fine albums.

# Disciplina Kičme - Ja Imam šarene Oči (EP) (Serbia) 1985 Dokumentarna. This one was recommended by reader Tom of Oz. Not quite sure what to make of this one. Highly original mix of free jazz, punk and industrial. The fuzz bass is ferocious, and in that regard reminds me of some of the 1990's albums coming out of Japan - like Ruins maybe. They have quite a few albums. Not sure this fits our focus, but I'm intrigued anyway. It was an excellent recommendation. Leaving here for reference (for now) pending further exploration.

Dizzy Bats - The Light and the Dark (Switzerland) 1974 Swiss Records. One of many records to be compared to an "x Placebo" where x = country of execution. In this case we supposedly have the Swiss Placebo (though I thought Lost Peace was closer in style). Still a pleasant bit of instrumental jazz funk with funky bass, sax, flute, etc... - speaking of which, there are a couple of flute driven numbers that do indeed recall Marc Moulin's bunch.

* Docmec - Objet Non Identifie (Switzerland) 1976 Javeline. First side is live, and demonstrates the band's clear Genesis influence. Recalls the similarly minded Kyrie Eleison. Side 2 is in the studio, and is more original, with plenty of introspective quieter moments. There's more of a French influence here, and I hear elements of Pentacle and Orion on these tracks. Overall a nice period piece, though by no means exceptional.

* Dr. Dopo Jam - Fat Dogs and Danishmen (Denmark) 1974 Zebra.
* Dr. Dopo Jam - Crusin' at Midnite (Denmark) 1981 private. Heavily influenced by Frank Zappa, with both the pluses and minuses that go with the name. For "Fat Dogs and Danishmen", the first half is fairly groan worthy, and it just seems a uniquely American way of doing things, so these Danes are missing the background to make it successful. The second half adds in the Euro Fusion element (itself heavily influenced by Zappa) and is just jaw dropping great. "Crusin' at Midnite" is a surprisingly great album for such a late date. Some really strong guitar, flute, synth and violin soloing + electric piano drives most of the songs. Plus plenty of nice horn charts. And the goofball quotient is mercifully down, though not completely out. There's also a funky edge present (think some of the late 70's Krautrock groups like Aera or To Be maybe). Their debut "Entree" was reissued by Karma, so hopefully they'll finish the discography.

# Doctor Downtrip - s/t (Belgium) 1973 CBS. Post Burning Plague hard rock outfit, and pretty similar in execution. A mix of gritty hard rockers and pedestrian blues numbers define this album. Rare, but non-consequential. Not one of the highlights of the early 70s Belgian scene. bootlegs exist.

xxx Dr. Tree - s/t (New Zealand) 1976 EMI. Energetic fusion. *** Reissued by EMI in 2007. Not easy to find though xxx

xxx The Dog That Bit People - s/t (England) 1971 Parlophone. Standard underground UK rock album, not that dissimilar from what you would find on the Dawn, Neon or Transatlantic labels during this era. Features a slightly down home folk feel combined with some nice organ/mellotron and a few good leads. Not overly progressive, but a well produced rock album all the same. Originals are very expensive. Reissued originally by the Shoestring label in 1994. Esoteric is also reissuing in October, 2010. xxx

Roberto Donnini - Tunedless (Italy) 1980 Lynx.
Roberto Donnini - Tunedless 2 (Italy) 1984 Lynx. Pure electronic minimalism from Italian artist that also recalls Robert Cacciapaglia at the time of "Sei Note in Logica". Features Jacqueline Darby on Side 2, most known for her vocals with Pierrot Lunaire on "Gudrun". Overall, seems it would make a cool soundtrack to a silent urban decay film or something similar. Not eventful, but intriguing background music. One can ascertain while listening that much effort was applied to the final product, but you really have to be a fan of the musical style to truly enjoy. Of which I'm not. I've only heard the debut.

# Philippe Doray & Associaux Associés - Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaire (France) 1976 private.
Philippe Doray & Associaux Associés - Nouveaux Modes Industriels (France) 1982. Strange and deranged French folky underground. Spoken/mumbled words, some guitars, electronics. Interesting. I haven't heard the 1982 album.

xxx * Dragon - Universal Radio (New Zealand) 1974 Vertigo. ** reissued by Aztec in July, 2009 **

** Dragon - Scented Gardens for the Blind (New Zealand) 1976 Vertigo. Dragon are one of the premier, if not the premier, New Zealand symphonic rock acts. Very similar to other Australasian bands like Sebastian Hardie or Ragnarok. Also Ireland's Fruupp comes to mind here as well. Personally I think this is Dragon's best album by a long shot. Would expect Aztec to reissue this soon.

* Drops - s/t (Denmark) 1976 Hookfarm. Of the multitude of obscure fusion albums released in the mid 1970s, Drops is definitely in the top tier of that bunch. Foregoing the temptation to add US styled funk seems to be the separator, while the band focuses more on melody and composition rather than pointless solos. 5 piece group with all the requisite instrumentation (sax, flute, el. piano, synthesizer, guitar, bass and drums). While certainly not at the level of the best German fusion groups like Embryo or Missus Beastly, Drops is well worth considering especially if your tastes run more towards jazz than rock. Features two members from Thors Hammer. Drops is on the same label as Fred Israel and Buki-Yamaz (already featured here).

Dschinn Fizz - There is a Playne Difference (Germany) 1981 Aircraft. For the most part this is a fluffy AOR / progressive rock hybrid. The highlight here is some fine guitar work, both in the melody and solo sections. A heavier, almost proto-metal component gives off more than a whiff to classic late 70's era Scorpions. Because I'm a sucker for the commercial sounds of this time frame, I'll probably rate this higher than I should, as I find this both fun and nostalgic. If what I'm saying resonates, then you should check it out for a listen or two yourself.

Pascal Duffard - Dieu est Fou (France) 1976 CBS. Two words that go well together are French and wacky. So much so that I actually think Albert Marcouer would say "Pascal Duffard? Yea, now THAT guy is different!". One can hear a distinct flavor of French Pop music of the male vocal variety ala Serge Gainesbourg or Julien Clerc. Combine this with an avant garde mindset (opera, laughing, cries, electronics, etc..) and you have a French Chanson meets Pierrot Lunaire type vibe. Crazy album, that probably if I heard it enough, would grow on me and I'd place at least one star on it.

# Jan Duindam – Thoughts (Netherlands) 1978.

# Hans Dulfer & Ritmo Naturel - The Morning After the Third (Netherlands) 1970 Catfish. Barely in scope for this list, Dulfer's album is a sax laden underground jazz album with Latin percussion. The sole area of interest for rock fans is the appearance of Jan Akkerman (Focus) on the first track (of five total). Here Akkerman adds psychedelic style guitar solos that is at complete odds with the rest of the material, but is strangely satisfying. The Catfish label was also home to Ahora Mazda and the early albums by Solution.

* Wolfgang Düren - Eyeless Dreams. 1980 WPL. Back in the 1980s, there used to be a really cool store here in Dallas called The Record Gallery that stocked all sorts of European imports, with a strong slant towards the avant garde. Electronic music was one of the specialties of the owner (who now lives in Portland and still sells on ebay). It was here that I discovered bands like Ashra, Heldon and many others. Oh, and he sold original art paintings as well - thus the name of the store. I remember seeing Wolfgang Düren's sole album back then, but there was just too much for me to still discover, and this one looked a bit synth-poppy to be honest. But it's nothing of the sort. Mike sent this along as he thought I'd enjoy it, and as usual he was right. Eyeless Dreams is a solid entry for those into 1970s Berlin School sounds. Sequencers and synthesizer solos are the order of the day. Lots of Klaus Schulze, some Adelbert von Deyen and even a little Kraftwerk. Since I'm fond of the genre, this is an easy one for me to recommend.

# Duty Cycle - Nero (Netherlands) 1976 Mirasound. Duty Cycle plays a standard vocal pop rock with a light jazzy sound. The melodies are lacking and the vocalist isn't up to par. The flute work, however, stands out - especially on the opening instrumental track. Not really a good album. Duty Cycle were friends of te much better Marakesh, and their sole album shares the same label.

Frankie Dymon Jr. (Frankie Dymon Jnr) - Let It Out (Germany) 1971 BASF. This is sort of a side project to Achim Reichel's A.R. & Machines circa their "Die Grune Reise" debut. Reichel wrote most of the music and it features the AR&M group. Dymon provides the "poems in words and music". Basically a proto-rap album, and heavily influenced by early 1970's anti-everything street politics. One has to wonder if Gil Scott-Heron didn't get ahold of a copy prior to launching his "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" epic. Naturally, with Reichel at the controls, "Let It Out" is far more freaky. Cool.

* Eardance - Seek Opposites (USA) 1982 Touch. Of all the US underground progressive bands from the early 1980s, Chicago's Eardance are the most overtly 1980's King Crimson influenced. Right down to the Chapman Stick while the vocalist sounds exactly like Belew. The primary difference between Eardance and KC is that our featured band today is definitely more jazz influenced, which adds a neat twist to a recognizable sound.

** Earthrise - s/t (USA) 1977 Arceden. As indicated on the Agharta post, I have a couple of CD-R's to report on, similar to the New Age album. Earthrise is one of those, and I'm re-entering it back into the CDRWL after a 15 year absence. In fact, this may be the first time I've heard this album since I obtained the CD-R back then. Earthrise are an interesting band from New Jersey, who mix progressive rock and fusion seamlessly. In that way, they remind me of This Oneness (from Minnesota). So the vocal sections do have this kind of "Midwest styled AOR progressive" sound that I've documented here, and I find highly appealing. Earthrise doesn't qualify for that list only due to geography. Instrumentally, they can be quite interesting, and many of their ideas are kinetic and creative (organ and Moog progressions on top of complex rhythms specifically). The big BUT here is... ... the sound quality. I used to own the LP (twice actually in the 1990s), but I used it as trade bait for LPs I was more interested in at the time. So I can't tell you the quality of the original LP. A local friend owns one, so I'll be sure to check his copy out in the future for comparison. In the meantime, I bought their self-released "CD" when it first came out in 2000. Well doggone it, but it's a crappy CD-R. A poorly done LP transfer at that (not even a nice copy they could find?). And with a computer print-out for a cover. C'monnnnn, they can do better than that!

** Earthstar - Salterbarty Tales. 1978 Moontower.
** Earthstar - French Skyline. 1979 Sky (CD on Sky (1995) and long deleted)
Earthstar - Atomkraft? Nein Danke. 1981 Sky.
Earthstar - Humans Only. 1982 Sky. Earthstar is more or less the working band name for one Craig Wuest. Many (I mean many) years ago I found an LP copy of "French Skyline" at a local record store and I still consider it one of the best electronic albums from the US (though recorded in Germany and France). Of course, having Klaus Schulze produce the album probably helped immensely. It's a powerful album in the Berlin School style. That album was reissued on CD by Sky about 15 years ago. Sky never embraced CDs and it's pretty much a shoddy afterthought. So it would be nice to see a label take this on more seriously. Years later I heard "Atomkraft? Nein Danke". Without Schulze's involvement, this one moves more towards the new age style than their previous work. Features piano, synthesizers and even some odd mellotron (technically a Birotron - thanks Planet Mellotron!). Not much sequencing here. I thought it was pretty decent, but nothing to write home about. I never did hear "Humans Only", if for no other reason than no one ever said it was worth listening to. LOL. Hey, time is a precious commodity.... So that leaves us with the extremely rare and privately released debut "Salterbarty Tales", an album that I've been searching for a looong, looong time. Now, thanks to one of the benefactors of the CDRWL, I've finally heard the debut via CD-R. I didn't know what to expect to be honest. Based on the few snippets of info I could find, I gathered it wouldn't be the tour de force of "French Skyline". I suspected it may be more quiet and new agey, similar to "Atomkraft?...". And so was I right? Kind of. The opening track had me drooling, with processed fuzz guitar mixed in with the electronics. A definite French vibe pervades similar to what Phillippe Besombes was doing with the Pole label. The next two tracks highlight piano and harpsichord respectively, and are definite proto new age songs. Following this, we are taken back to the otherwordly sounds of the first song, though this time there's oboe buried in the mix. Perhaps the best use of the instrument I've heard in an electronic setting. Side 2 opens with a lengthy near side-long composition that at times is sublime and combines the best elements of the 1st and 4th songs on Side 1, and also adds a bit of sequencing. The album closes on a quieter note, but still fits squarely in the cosmic music realm. I was more than pleasantly surprised by the quality of this album. It would be great to see this title reissued.

Earwacks - Distances (USA) 1981 private. We frequently speak of the late 1970s Midwest progressive rock sound on the CDRWL, and the St. Louis based Earwacks would seem an obvious candidate. But it's really not. There's no bid for AOR airplay here. This is truly private press land - an oddball album that is more 1960s in spirit and early-1970s in sound. The shelf date for this kind of music had expired a full ten years before its release. I could see this as a pointed retro album from the late 90s or 2000's, but have absolutely no idea where the inspiration came from in 1981? A scattered mixture of pop, rock (and both styles decidedly non-1980s sounding) and epic progressive rock (with mellotron, flute, sax and fuzz guitar).

* The Alain Eckert Quartet - s/t (France) 1981 private. When I think of the Cuneiform label and terms like avant progressive, the music of the Alain Eckert Quartet is exactly what I expect. Like an earlier version of Forgas Band Phenomena, or a more playful and less serious Univers Zero. Compositionally strong, with a penchant for jazz, though a bit academic, without a strong sense for the groove. A good one for the brain, but lacking a bit in excitement.

# Eclipse - s/t (Canada) 1976 CBS. A typical hodge podge of 1970s stew. Pink Floyd seems to be the main influence, but there are also plenty of AOR and even funk bits to wade through. Has its moments, but not one of Canada's finest. They also have a second album that I understand to be considerably weaker.

* Eden - s/t (Canada) 1978 Total. Eden are a keyboard lead quartet from Quebec who play a standard symphonic progressive rock with French vocals on about half the album. While there is a guitarist, his role is primarily subordinate, and the leads are generally created via synthesizer - mostly a String Ensemble, but I hear some Moog as well. I didn't discern any organ, Mellotron or Rhodes. There's nothing extraordinary about this album, other than perhaps the early 70s styled artwork, but it's still a pleasant listen and one where most progressive rock fans will appreciate. A natural choice for ProgQuebec, and hopefully there would be more dynamic bonus tracks to share.

* Egba - s/t (Sweden) 1974 Sonet.
* Egba - Jungle Jam (Sweden) 1976 Sonet. Both albums are jazzrock with some fiery guitar and electric piano solos. Some African influences ala Archimedes Badkar's "Tre" can also be found. Similar to Kornet but better IMHO. Somewhere between Return to Forever and an instrumental Mandrill. I haven't heard their later albums. Albums are available for free on the band's website, but never pressed on CD.

# * Edgewood - Ship of Labor (USA) 1972 TMI. Very good progressive rock from Memphis, Tennessee. More to follow.

xxx *** Eider Stellaire - s/t (France) 1981 K001. A masterpiece in the Zeuhl style. *** Reissued by Soleil Zeuhl Sept 2011 xxx
* Eider Stellaire - s/t (France) 1986 K002. The second album is quite a departure and is far more atmospheric. It does have some stellar moments, but also some typical mid 80s thin fuzak that takes it down. Both albums fit comfortably on one CD and that's how it should be reissued I think.(Obviously, SZ didn't agree. We'll see what they end up doing with the second album - if anything).

Eight Day Clock - Clockwork (Australia) 1976 RCA. When evaluating horn rock bands, there are two types to consider: Vocal and Instrumental. This one definitely falls in the Vocal category. From there, is it soul based, or more pop sounding? Mainly the former. So that leaves the actual quality of the songwriting. Here I'd give them a C+. There are no monster tracks to call out like on The Gas Mask album for example. But it avoids the downer blues aspect of bands like Sod, Brut, Little John, or Chelsea Beige. Eight Day Clock are no Rodan or Brainchild that's for sure. The cover of The Doobie Brothers 'Listen to the Music' is most certainly a low point here. And the album as a whole peters out on the second side.

** Eik - Speglun (Iceland) 1975 private. This has to be the darndest album I've ever heard. Side one is.... abominable. I mean, it's worse than you can imagine. It's patterned after the USA's mid 70s funk and disco movements. One can only imagine a bunch of pasty uptight white guys from Iceland trying to pull this off. A complete embarrassment for all involved. Side 2 is frickin' brilliant. Not just good - but seriously great! Some of the best symphonic progressive rock from Scandinavia, and better than most of their second, and recommended, album "Hrislan og Straumurinn" (which was reissued on CD years ago). I'm not sure I can think of another album that is this much Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Einstein in Eden - s/t (Germany) 1981 Polydor. Interesting album that is truly symphonic rock - as in a symphonic band plays rock music. Side 1 is the more interesting piece that mixes epic classical soundtrack with electronic music. I could see fans of Art Zoyd appreciating this aspect of the group. Side 2 has more of a rock feel, with big fat beats approaching disco, that gets awfully close to Walter Murphy and The Big Apple Band - and genuine hokum ensues. Eventually they get back to their senses and close the album similar to how it started. But the stains are already on the carpet. Hard to get out.

Elastic Rock Band - Faruk's Traum (Germany) 1980 Schneeball II. Light and breezy Kraut fusion, with some good guitar leads. Not one to completely overlook, but hardly essential. As far as I know this is the only album on the Schneeball "II" label. To me, it sounds like many of the artists on the main label, so not sure why there was another designation.

# * Electric Mud - s/t (Germany) 1971 Förderturm. Heavy Teutonic psych prog, with German vocals, similar to Necronomicon, Prof Wolfff and Eulenspygel. 4 long tracks, with a distinctly doomy vibe. Album gets better with each listen. Lost Pipedreams reissued this on CD in the early 90s, but it's way OOP. Garden of Delights has picked up most of their back catalog, and probably Electric Mud will get a similar treatment at some point.

Elluffant - s/t (aka "Release Concert") (Netherlands) 1972 private. I think this was some sort of science project where the protagonist built his own pipe organ, and came up with this fuzzy sounding monstrosity that I'm sure Mike Ratledge would've enjoyed playing. With an added drummer, they just jam for two side long sessions. Not bad at all. Bootlegs exist.

# Elmira - Lady of the Mountain (Denmark) 2001 Orpheus. 1973-1976 recordings. Similar to the Polyfeen on the same label, a bootleg audio quality album, but musically interesting. Long tracks with plenty of space given to organ and guitar solos. Downer vocals. This one is less progressive and more hard rock oriented than Polyfeen. Worth hearing for archivists.

* Elohim - A L'Aube de Verseau (France) 1975 Philips. Screwball rock / folk / progressive album that is part theatrical, part glee club, part hippy dippy mysticism. Dual male/female vocals dominate the proceedings, but this isn't a traditional folk album by any stretch of the imagination. The instrumental sections definitely come off the bench in relief, but are creative enough to warrant a few listens. If you're looking for something entirely unique, this may fit the bill. Different Elohim from the 1983 neo prog group.

xxx ** Eloiteron - Lost Paradise (Switzerland) 1981 private. Much better than average early 80s symphonic album. There were many of these type of private releases in Germany and Switzerland during this period and Eloiteron are one of the best. Trumpet adds a nice touch. Plenty of excellent organ, mellotron and flute as well. Boots exist. *** Reissued by Belle Antique Dec 2013 xxx

xxx * Elonkorjuu - Harvest Time (Finland) 1972 Parlophone. (June, 2010 note) Reissued by EMI in 2004. And license deal signed for Shadoks to reissue in 2010/2011 time frame. xxx

xxx * Embryo - Live (Germany) 1976 April / Schneeball. Hard to imagine that this album wasn't reissued, since all the others have been. Not a stellar performance, but certainly good enough and representative of this era of Embryo. On Garden of Delights coming soon list, so I'll probably not feature separately. *** And finally reissued, June 2015 xxx

* Emerald Web - Dragon Wings And Wizard Tales (USA) 1979 Stargate. Nice mix of sequencer based electronic music, fluttering flute, airy female voice and acoustic/electric guitar. Excellent atmospheres and even a few heavy rocked out moments towards the end that are well placed to add some much needed spice. A quite varied album, that needs a few listens to appreciate. The Florida duo went on to record a few more albums, though supposedly in the new age genre, and out of scope for our list. *** Reissued on LP by Sebastian Speaks in 2012

# Emergency - s/t (Germany) 1971 CBS. (CD on Green Tree - apparently flawed)
Emergency - Entrance (Germany) 1972 CBS. (CD on Green Tree)
Emergency - Get Out to the Country (Germany) 1973 Brain. (reissued legit on Repertoire)
** Emergency - No Compromise (Germany) 1974 Brain. I first bought "No Compromise" in 1985, and that was quickly followed by a purchase of "Entrance" in 1986. So it might seem strange that I'm finally warming up to this band 25 years later. The band closed their career with the highlight "No Compromise" - as strong a horn rock entry as you can find. Great horn charts, flute, fuzz guitar, and a David Clayton-Thomas styled singer.

** Emergency Exit - Sortie de Secours (France) 1976 Pole. Starting off with an acoustic vocal number almost identical to what is found on the Lourival Silvestre album we just spoke of, Emergency Exit then veers off into an aggressive progressive rock fusion hybrid, with compressed fuzzy guitars and wobbly bass. Like a cross between Plat du Jour and Coincidence. Overall more like the former. No doubt Mio would've done this had one they stayed around long enough. Hopefully Musea or even Soleil Zeuhl will give this one a look.

* Energy - s/t (Sweden) 1974 Harvest. Another post-November group playing in a heavy fusion bag. Heavily influenced by "Inner Mounting Flame" and "Between Nothingness and Eternity" era Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Claude Engel - s/t (France) 1972 CBS. Engel is most known to fans of underground rock as the first guitarist for Magma. He also played in Troc, Univeria Zekt, Lubat / Louiss / Engel Group, and many other notable groups in the early 1970s. This album starts as a relatively generic singer-songwriter piece (as the LP cover suggests), but gradually evolves into an innovative guitar fronted rock album. Plenty of guitar soloing and, on one track, has some intriguing wordless voice. A little bit of funky business too. He has a few other solo albums, that I have not heard.

* Entheogens - Gnostic Mass (Sweden) 1995 Xotic Mind. Prototypical effort from Xotic Mind, forefathers of Subliminal Sounds, now famous for discovering psych indie hero Dungen. "Gnostic Mass" contains three long instrumental tracks with acoustic/electric guitar, flute, hand percussion and sitar. Overtly psychedelic, almost too much so. Similar to the Adam albums listed above. Other than The Word of Life and a couple of S.T. Mikael albums, most of the Xotic Mind catalog of the 1990s remain unissued on CD.

# Entrance - s/t (Denmark) 1977 Columbia. Dime a dozen late 70s fusion. If you've heard one before, then this isn't likely to do much for you. For those that can't get enough, here's another album to overdose on. They have at least 2 other albums I haven't heard.

# Entrance - The Pond (Germany) 1983 Transform. Primarily a new age styled acoustic guitar album with accompanying synthesizers. A couple of places utilize drum machine and slightly amplified guitar, to mix it up just a little. A fairly placid album.

# Gerard Entremont & Co - s/t. 1975 Pathe. In effect, a typical singer-songwriter album sung entirely in French - and ALL THE TIME singing. But an album, despite this annoyance, that is oddly arresting and captivating for non-French speakers. Plenty of good psychedelic rock background music with fuzz guitar and bass.

* Epizootic - Daybreak (Sweden) 1976 private. Highly ambitious, but amateurish, progressive hard rock. Lots of nice touches including electric piano and flute. Features a high level of complexity for the style. Unfortunately the vocals bring it down somewhat. Definitely worth a few listens though. The guitar really rips here! Boots exist.

ES - In Concert - Live at Aladin (Germany) 1979 Fran. Now here's a strange bird. ES is made up of former members of Tomorrow's Gift and the Release Music Orchestra. On the surface, "Wham Bang" is a straight ahead pop rock / disco album. And after each track's cringe worthy vocal section finishes, one might expect a short instrumental followed by some more tawdry vocals. Except the instrumentals don't stop and ES begins to introduce a complex fusion sound, as one might find on an earlier RMO release. Everytime I was about to write "Wham Bang" off as a cheap European knockoff, then wham! bang! I'd hear an impressive instrumental bit. Yes, I think the album may have been a conscious satire on the current music trends of the day. I'm still looking for a copy of "Aladin", though not sure it exists. It's mentioned on the "Wham Bang" album, but it may never have been actually released (and at this point, that's what it looks like - never released).

# Michel Estellet-Brun & Gerard Berlioz - Pop Organ & Percussion. 1972 Atlantic. The title of the album is clearly tongue-in-cheek, as this is a serious avant-garde work with organ, voice, drums and tuned percussion. Hard going if not into the academic side of music. Wouldn't be out of place on the more experimental Futura labels (i.e. not the RED series). Out of scope for this list, but leaving here as the album does get sold in underground rock circles.

# Etc - s/t (France) 1979 Bigoude. An interesting mix of funk, fusion and Talking Heads - all sung in French. Mostly out of scope for this list, but leaving here for reference.

Eternité - Les Chants de L'Eternite (Canada) 1977 Polydor. Brooding symphonic progressive like Pulsar and maybe Claude Leveillee. Michel Le Francoise is a featured instrumentalist. Some folky commercial oriented music as well. I suspect ProgQuebec will eventually do this one as it's right in their wheelhouse.

** Euphoria - Lost in Trance (USA) 1973 Rainbow Records. I'm pretty certain the band put this out on CD (or at least authorized a private press). In 2006, when I was doing my initial research for the CDRWL on the title, it seemed to be available. Now I can't even find a trace that it exists - except for one review on Amazon where he goes on to say the issue is horrible, and that the bootleg is way better. Ugh. So I think, if nothing else, we're calling for a much better reissue! Euphoria's sole work is an excellent sophisticated hard rock album from Milwaukee (a few years ago, they resurfaced and had relocated to the state of Washington - but that seems to have fizzled). Great songwriting with solid lead guitar. A slight progressive rock undertone can be heard in their arrangements. In some ways, this album predates some of the hard, heavy, and mean private press albums of the late 70s. Has that Midwest attitude and vibe. Wonderful album for fans of the genre (like me).

* Everfriend - Tropicsphere (USA) 1980 private.
Everfriend - Sphere of Influence (USA) 1981 private.
Everfriend - Shoot to Kill (USA) 1983 Jazzical. Tropicsphere starts off precisely in the place that the title suggests: The Love Boat basically. Breezy lounge styled jazz rock with trumpet, lightly amplified electric guitar, Rhodes piano, and lush dreamy female vocals. And then suddenly... ...suddenly it goes all Hatfield and the North. The drummer, who was going bonkers even on the slow commercial numbers, decided enough was enough, and it was time to start jamming! Here come the synthesizer solos and Northette styled vocals, and now we have something worth talking about! Now that the band has been "outed" as it were, all pretense of anything but keyboard driven Big 3 progressive rock are brought forth. Flip the record over and we start off with a flute driven jazz rock number. This is followed by a classically oriented harpsichord medley. And so it goes getting more and more progressive... a very good album overall. Everfriend were from New Jersey and, perhaps predictably given their music "sphere", later relocated to Florida..... Everfriend's 3rd album, even more obscure than the other two, sees band leader Bill Rhodes moving into more trendy areas of sound for the era. Primarily synth pop rock coupled with long track electronic music, played on cheap sounding synthesizers. All quite typical for 1983. Not a whole lot to recommend here, and a long way from the intriguing Tropicsphere. But still worth seeking out for a listen, as a period piece.

# Evil Edna's Horror Toilet - Too Much Gristle in the Blancmange (England) 1986 private. Cassette only release. I remember seeing this in an old Audion sometime in the late 1980s. I mean this is not band name one is likely to ever forget! Some 20 years later, I finally obtained a copy to hear. Horribly under produced, but interesting mix of primitive 80s synthesizer, festival era spacerock, reggae, and even some good old fashioned new wave pop. Lot of cheap digital drums to endure that are awful, though not nearly as awful as that cassette cover. Yeeoww. The album definitely improves midway through, though not enough to change an opinion.

* Ex Ovo Pro - European Spassvogel (Germany) 1976 Amayana.
* Ex Ovo Pro - Dance Lunatic (Germany) 1978 Amayana. Both albums are a typical Eurofusion with melodic wind lines (generally supplied by sax with some flute), some good deep grooves and acid-y guitar solos and some standard late 70's CTI fusion. I could see this being the 5th or 6th Secret Oyster album if that makes sense. At its best, similar to groups like Missus Beastly or the Canterbury scene. Never gets worse than mid period Aera, without the funky bits.

* Ex Vitae - Mandarine (France) 1978 private. At times, Ex Vitae are at the peak of the French jazzy progressive rock genre, recalling such luminaries as Moving Gelatine Plates and Ma Banlieue Flasque. The complex counterpoint rhythms, fuzz guitar, flute, violin, the "je ne sais quoi" attitude. But alas, it's not all so consistent, as there's some aimless free jazz and a couple of pointless experimental bits that show the band tried too hard to be artsy. Still, about 75% of the album is splendid, and worth a reissue for that. One can only hope for more great tracks hidden in the vaults.

** Exil - Fusionen (Germany) 1975 FHZ. If you can imagine the 1975 era Embryo releasing "Embryo's Reise" from 1979, then I think you'd have a good idea of Exil's "Fusionen" release. Amongst the usual rock instrumentation there's lots of violin, cello, electric piano and sax playing Eastern European and Asian influenced jazz rock. Aera's "Hand und Fuss" is another good reference as is Emma Myldenberger circa "MS". A fine work.

xxx # Exit - s/t (Switzerland). 1975 Boing. Reissued on LP by Black Rills in 1993. Straight ahead rock album with few redeeming qualities, but worth an entry in the main list. *** Reissued on CD by Black Rills as well xxx

# The Eyes of Blue - Crossroads of Time (Wales) 1968 Mercury.
# The Eyes of Blue - In Fields of Ardath (Wales) 1969 Mercury. "Crossroads of Time" is a non-descript, but well done, Welsh psych/rock/pop with some decent Hammond leads. "In Fields of Ardath" adds quite a bit more to the creativity meter. The compositions are slightly more complex, additional instrumentation can be found (mellotron, harpsichord, tuned percussion, backwards fuzz guitar), use of harmony vocals, etc... Though honestly neither of the two albums are that inspiring. Pirate editions exist for both albums.

* Ezra Winston - Myth of the Chrysavides (Italy) 1987 private. A bit of a surprise that this modern classic has yet to find its way on CD. Ezra Winston's debut was created at the dawn of the digital age, when LPs still outsold CDs. The LP itself features a nice cover and an accompanying booklet. As for the music, Ezra Winston also pioneered the Italian progressive rock renaissance that we still enjoy today. It's not a typical Italian album though, with lyrics in English and the music possesses a distinct UK and Dutch neo prog sound. Still, for us fans at the time, it gave us hope that our favorite style of music wasn't dead just yet. It wouldn't be long before other Italian progressive rock bands joined the parade. "Myth of the Chrysavides" deserves its place in history.

F.G. Experimental Laboratory - Hope (Switzerland) 1980 Studio Scafe. F.G. Experimental Laboratory is a one man electronic show from a gentleman named Frédy Guye. Good haunting electronics with some wordless voice is what you can expect to find here. Somewhat akin to Jean-Baptiste Barriere, though not quite as dire as those his two albums can be. Guye should have added more variety to his keyboard selection, to add color and tone to what ultimately sums up to be a fairly monolithic release.

xxx Maurizio Fabrizio – Movimenti mel Cielo (Italy) 1978 Polydor (released in Germany on the Musiza label). Basically rock music for orchestra. A strong nod to early Alan Parsons Project with some more introspective pieces found throughout. All instrumental so no pop tunes to wade through. Despite the heritage, the album has no connection in sound or spirit to the Italian progressive rock movement. He apparently has two other albums that I haven't heard. *** Reissued by Universal on 6/10 (Vol. 6) ***

** The Facedancers - s/t (USA) 1972 Paramount. There really is no album like The Facedancers. Typical of the Paramount aesthetic, Washington DC based The Facedancers were an eclectic bunch, that had no real identity, though to be sure it was probably the label's most purely progressive rock act (besting the also varied Baxter album). They use harmony vocals and have a slight folky and bluesy touch to their songwriting. But most of the songs feature long and complex instrumental breaks, that sounds right out of early 70s northern Europe, with flute, electric guitar and organ. The guitarist plays in a decidedly psychedelic manner. Excellent album. Muddy recording would benefit greatly from a remastered CD. I could see Gear! Fab! taking this one on, as it fits their profile best.

# Fair, Yates & Betschart - Spirits (USA) 1979 Broken. Local Boston area based group that made good - Inky Fair, Tom Yates, and Doug Betschart's sole album (on Broken Records) is like a spin through the 1970s FM radio dial. You have rock, folk, AOR, progressive - oh heck, you name it - it's here. Supertramp seems to be the main influence but name that 70s rock band, and somewhere FY&B have probably visited it on "Spirits". Perhaps even Steely Dan mixed with James Taylor with a Yes slant. Sure, why not? Album closes strong, though not enough to save it from normality. Worth a listen.

Fairchild - s/t (USA) 1978 Flight. Minneapolis based AOR progressive rock band. Strong overtones to the top acts of the era like Kansas, Boston, Journey and Styx - especially the latter. Though the album is private, it looks and sounds like a major label effort. For those that love the classic 70's arena rock sound, this one is an all-timer.

** Franco Falsini - Cold Nose (Italy) see Sensations Fix entry.

Falstaff - Prononcez (France) 1981 private. Light, easy going, instrumental symphonic rock. A little funk, and a little jazz to spruce things up. Recalls Camel, or more to the point, Rousseau's first two albums.

Famous Actors From Out of Town – F.A.F.O.O.T. FA3574 (USA) 1986 private. cassette only. I'm not sure if this was on LP or not. Richmond, Virginia based avant progressive group, that is a self-described "improvo-instrumental" group. Exactly the kind of album you'd expect to find on the nearby Cuneiform label. As with any such venture, there are bits that should have been edited out, but there are also plenty of inspired moments as well. Some fine guitar work with tricky and complicated rhythms. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this album.

xxx** Fantasia - s/t (Finland) 1975 Hi-Hat. Fantasia are one of the better unknown symphonic progressive rock acts still without a CD. They possess the instrumental dexterity of Finnforest combined with the songwriting talents of the Swedish band Atlas. 9 short tracks, each packed with many ideas. Not an album that lends itself to easy comparisons, yet it's all vaguely familiar. Definitely Scandinavian from a compositional and melodic perspective. The production is an unfortunate bass heavy, muddy affair. Nothing that a good reissue can't fix! No one is actively reissuing albums in Finland at the moment, so it remains to be seen if this album will ever see the light of day in CD form. *** Reissued by Rocket Records June, 2010 ****

xxx * The Feed-Back - s/t (released as "The Group". Official band is known as Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza) (Italy) 1970 RCA Italiana. Famous filmscorer Ennio Morricone's jazz / rock / avant garde band. This 1970 album is pretty wiggy for the time and place, and certainly only obtained a major release due to the power of the Morricone brand. And we're all the better for it! In that way, it reminds me of those establishment French personas such as William Sheller (Popera Cosmic), Alain Gorageur and Jean-Claude Vannier. You'd be hard pressed to find a more creative rock outing than The Feed-Back, even if you've heard it all on the Futura and Ohr labels. Barely cracks the 27 minute mark, but otherwise an essential album that is likely to appeal to the remains of your addled left brain. GdINC have 6 albums total, though my understanding is the others would be out of the scope of this list (classical soundtrack, free jazz, etc...). I've only heard this one to date. *** Reissued by Schema, June 2014 xxx

* Felt - s/t (USA) 1971 Nasco.  Felt, from Northern Alabama, reminds me quite a bit of another band from the same region: After All (Tallahassee, Florida). Since Felt is two years on, the music has moved to a harder, bluesier rock sound. And so it's not quite as psychedelic and jazzy as After All, perhaps to its detriment. But tracks like 'Now She's Gone' and 'Destination' could have easily fit on the aforementioned album. Hammond organ and guitar are the main lead instruments here, along with the soulful bluesy vocals. Solid album from America's southeast region - an area not as well known for progressive music, and yet many bands did give it a whirl back in the day (and a few of those were on the same Nashville based Nasco Records). And most of those albums are well under the radar.

* The Fents - s/t (USA) 1979 private (EP).
* The Fents - First Offense (USA) 1982 VIP (later on the Not Yachting label). There's no question that "First Offense" is of 1982 vintage, especially after taking in the opening track. Funky slap bass, synthesizers and slick production qualities are laid out early and offer a somewhat dubious beginning. Perhaps a First Offense indeed. But The Fents were far more interesting than that, and as the album unfolds, a sophisticated blend of instrumental jazz and rock emerges, which complicated rhythms, smoking solos, and grittier sounds. The band themselves were influenced by some of the leading fusion artists of the day like Bruford, Holdsworth and the Dixie Dregs, and those artists' fingerprints are all over this. Perhaps even more surprising on this visit with Jeff was his rediscovery of the very rare first EP. This album contains 4 songs, and a decidedly rougher edge - more akin to the progressive rock meets fusion bands of the late 70s. A CD that contains both of these albums would be ideal. The Fents finished their career with the 1987 album "The Other Side", which I understand was pressed on CD at the time of release.

Fields - s/t (USA) 1969 Uni. Decent power trio psych from Los Angeles. There's a gray area reissue, but nothing solid.

* Finchley Boys - Everlasting Tributes (USA) 1972 Golden Throat (recordings from 1968-69). Finchley Boys were from the great college town of Champaign, Illinois, and were yet another great representative of the Midwest rust-belt sound of the late 60s and early 70s. This is definitely not progressive rock, and falls on the margins of typical CDRWL fare, but for those who enjoy that rough and tumble heavy fuzz blues / hard rock sound with raw vocals, Finchley Boys delivers the goods in fine fashion. *** Expect a CD in 2015 ***

* Fire - Could You Understand Me (Yugoslavia) 1973 private. Yugoslav group living in The Netherlands. This is one of the most guitar fuzz overload albums you'll ever hear. High energy hard blues rock, with great drumming/bass work and constant fuzz leads. Compares closest to Icecross, but this is more blues based and a bit heavier. Only misstep is a trad blues style number. Final 9 minute instrumental `Flames' has to be heard to be believed. I feel comfortable going on record as saying this track has the most EVIL and MEAN sounding fuzz in the history of recorded music. Forget Archaia, this is the peak of that sound. God knows where they got those effects, but I wish more bands would use them! If you don't know what evil and mean fuzz is, get a hold of this album. Boots exist unfortunately.

xxx ** Fireballet - Night on Bald Mountain (USA) 1975 Passport.
xxx * Fireballet - Two, Too (USA) 1976 Passport. File along with Ethos as a band many folks want to see a reissue of, beyond the usual collector community. And there's been talk of it for years, even various band members have popped up in chat boards to discuss it. But it's tied up legally somewhere along the chain. One of the best US prog bands to appear on a somewhat major label. *** Reissued by Belle Antique (Japan) and Inner Knot (USA) Aug 2014 xxx

# Firma 33 - Se Först (Germany) 1978 Triangel. Interesting jazz rock album that sounds like a merger between Missus Beastly's "Dr. Aftershave and the Mixed Pickles" mashed up with Grobschnitt's "Jumbo" Mit Deutschen Texten. As such, there's an interesting cross-section of fine jazz fusion mixed with an incurable goofiness component, that ultimately is lost on everyone but German speakers... and probably them too. That said, there are some nice fusion moments interspersed throughout, with flute, sax, synthesizer, and guitars leading the solo parade. Overall, it's the Saturday Night Live house band circa 1978... played at Circus Circus in Las Vegas. Someone find me a blow dryer will ya?

** First Aid (aka First + Aid) - Nostradamus (England) 1977 Decca. OK, I've looked all over my LP for evidence. The label says 1976 and the gatefold cover says 1977. It just can't be. It has to be 1971 right? Even the old style Decca label seems ancient. Everything about it about looks and sounds from another era. Did Decca have this one sitting in the vaults - perhaps mislabeled, and decide to release it 6 years later? Nostradamus, as you can imagine, is a high minded concept album about the supposed fortune teller. Complete with orchestrations, narration - and long guitar / organ jams. Intertwined with melodic pop songs of course. Right on Brother! If this sounds like something out of the Moody Blues or Salamander playbook, well then, you win first prize in the name-that-band sweepstakes. Of course, given this kind of anachronistic behavior, I think it's great. This one has Esoteric's name all over it.

First International Sex Opera - Anita (Netherlands) 1969 Sexclusief (date uncertain). Despite the band name, and the location of said group, this is decidely NOT erotic in the least bit. The female vocals (more like nagging shrieks, heavy sighs, rollercoaster screams and other irritants) are completely annoying. On this front, the closest comparison would be to Japan's JA Caesar, but without any of the purpose and tension they bring. Musically, FISO is fairly interesting, as the band pretty much play in a loose free rock style with decent guitar and organ leads. My guess is this album was influenced by the Vampyros Lesbos movie/album from Germany, that enjoyed a cult following even back then.

* First Light - s/t (Australia) 1978 MFS (Music Farm Studios). According to a good friend of this site, we have it on authority (someone who knew the band) that 1978 is the correct release year. First Light is a mighty fine instrumental jazz rock effort. Sunny in its approach, with some fine guitar leads, at times reaching a Santana like intensity, but falls just short (sadly). Some nice ensemble unison runs with sax, flute, electric piano, and the female voice on side 2 gives it a Northettes feel, that adds points. Back cover says: "Mellotron and special effects kindly supplied by Aleph". Solid effort - a borderline Priority 3. File next to Crossfire and Mackenzie Theory. A natural choice for Aztec I think.

* Firyuza - s/t (Turkmenistan) 1980 Melodia. I once joked that if it was from Turkmenistan, it had to be good. Of course I was talking about the Gunesh Ensemble, and didn't realize there was a second progressive group from the same place and time. Three long tracks adorn this one of a kind album. Seven piece group with guitar, sax, flute, keys, violin, bass, drums and percussion. While not as hot or as entirely unique as the almighty Gunesh, this is still a fascinating fusion, one that reflects the unique culture of the Turkmen. I'm constantly amazed at some of the subversive sounds coming from the old Soviet Union. I'm surprised Boheme Music of Russia didn't reissue this with all the other great ex-Soviet albums formerly on Melodia. Cool cover featuring the band, with instruments in hand, proudly wearing their traditional telpeks (tall fur hats). *** To be reissued by Melodia 2013 or later.

# The Fisherman's Walkband - Suerte (Germany) 1981 Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik. Fine mixture of jazz rock, blues and Latin fusion. The opening track recalled Missus Beastly, though the album doesn't maintain any kind of consistency. German group makes awkward attempts at sounding Latin/Mexican. Vocals should have been left on the cutting room floor. Nice guitar and organ solos. Group went on to release at least 2 more albums.

** Flame Dream - Calatea (Switzerland) 1978 Philips.
** Flame Dream - Elements (Switzerland) 1980 Vertigo.
* Flame Dream - Out In the Dark (Switzerland) 1981 Vertigo. One of the more known groups on this list, Switzerland's Flame Dream managed to get their albums distributed pretty well around the world. One of the last of the major label progressive bands, debut "Calatea" and "Elements" are both very strong symphonic efforts, both with complex melodies and arrangements. "Out In the Dark" begins to creep slowly into the AOR world, but is still nice enough to consider for reissue. After this, they headed pretty fast into pop irrelevance. Though I'm sure those albums have their fans too.

*** Flasket Brinner - s/t (Sweden) 1971 Silence. We can hope that Silence will finally get around to this. In the meantime, be sure to get Mellotronen's 4 CD box set which is sublime.

xxx Flaviola e o Bando Do Sol - s/t (Brazil) 1976 Solar. Flaviola (Flavio Lira) e o Bando do Sol is a Recife based group that came from the same batch of freaks who later created the Lula Cortes and Ze Remalho masterpiece (and on the same label). At this point I feel compelled to say this album isn't nowhere near as creative as that whacked and wonderful masterwork. Even though Flaviola e o Bando do Sol is mostly all acoustic, they have some of the same psychotic tendencies as we find on Paebiru - paradoxically combined with a hippy-dippy...Woodsy-The-Owl...sitting around the campfire style of feel-good folk. Fun stuff all around. *** Reissued by Mr. Bongo in 2011 xxx

* Flight - s/t (USA) 1975 Capitol.
xxx Flight - Incredible Journey (USA) 1976 Capitol. Progressive rock/fusion with mellotron, Moog, guitar, trumpet and quite the kinetic energy. Reminds me a little of Mingo Lewis' "Flight Never Ending". Vocals and melodies clearly have an eye on the radio charts. Too sophisticated for chart topping; too mainstream to be an underground cult classic. Can't imagine what Capitol were thinking here. Forever sub $10 records I guess. So pick your LP's up on ebay, since I doubt they'll ever get released on CD. First album is a bit better executed than the second. Anybody even know where these guys are from? California? New York? *** Incredible Journey reissued by Eastworld April 2013 xxx

Flight - Take a Long Look (USA) 1974 Airborne / QCA. QCA (Queen City Albums), from Cincinnati (naturally enough, since Cincy is known as the "Queen City"), is like Rite Records or RPC in that they were a custom pressing plant. Their main raison d'etre was to press demo albums to shop around for a label deal. Which explains why many of these type of albums are extremely scarce and usually have poor sound. Due to the label being from Cincinnati, everyone just presumed the band was from there as well. However there has been at least one former ebay auction where the dealer stated they were most assuredly from Fort Wayne, Indiana - the same town that Ethos were from! Even though it's Midwestern by locale, musically it reminds me of the more song-oriented UK underground circa 1971. Bands like Still Life or Noir came to mind, though certainly not as compelling as those. It's slow moving, with organ as the dominant instrument. The songs are well crafted though, and the band most certainly had talent. It would have been interesting to hear what they could have come up with had they the proper financial support and appropriate studio time. As stated earlier, the album is definitely a demo, and possesses a muddy sound. "Take a Long Look" is not a good choice for a reissue - unless the band wants to reform and expound upon these ideas further. Or there's a studio tape hiding in the closet. Definitely worth hearing, though, if you get the chance.

* Floyd Hunchback Group - s/t (Switzerland) 1978 Sunrise. This is a tough one to describe. You can tell they're jazzers, and the typical late 70's fusion elements are all out in force (Rhodes, sax, funky bass). But they have this mean streak too, and some of the gymnastic rhythms, coupled with Moog and guitar solos, point to a love for progressive rock. Strangely I'm hearing more of an Eastern European sound here, as found in bands like Fermata or SBB.

* Fluence - s/t (France) 1976 Pole. Long, minimalistic, organ and synthesizer journey with occasional, but massive, fuzz guitar from Pinhas. It's this latter element that makes the album worth seeking out, though overall it can be a bit of a snoozer at times. Like most albums on Pole, it suffers from a poor pressing, so perhaps a masters CD reissue would do wonders for this interesting piece of cyclical electronic music. Would be a nice companion piece to the Besombes' albums.

Fly - Die Fahrt mit dem Gläsernen Ballon (Germany) 1979 Ballong. Primarily instrumental melodic progressive rock similar to many from the time and place like Novalis, Surgery, Indigo, Morpheus etc... There's a light fusion sound that prevails, lead by soprano sax, electric piano, soft electric guitar and some choice synth leads. Goes at its own pace, with seemingly nowhere to go. Pleasant and soothing.

** Flying Island - s/t (USA) 1975 Vanguard.
** Flying Island - Another Kind of Space (USA) 1976 Vanguard. When I think of Flying Island, I tend to categorize them as a fusion band. But this listen to both albums proved to me that's not really the case. Even though there's a little funky business (especially on the debut), I would say that Flying Island are more of an instrumental progressive rock band. The lead instruments are violin, guitar and organ, and this is definitely no chops fest. Compositions are first and foremost, while instrumental dexterity backs up the highly melodic, but complex music charts. The violin in particular will remind the listener of Curved Air and Darryl Way's Wolf. Instantly recognizable cover art, another fine trademark of the Vanguard label. I miss the days when a label could be identified in this way.

# Flying Tea Cup - s/t (Japan) 1981 private. Typical of the thin sounding, Casio driven progressive rock from the embryonic stages of the Japanese progressive rock renaissance. An hilariously amateurish, and frankly, bad album. Their heart is definitely in the right place, and they have a couple of inspired progressions, not to mention a pretty good guitarist on board. Well meaning, but ulimately empty. File along with Picaresque of Bremen and Orpheus, though not even at that level.

Foehn - Faeria (France) 1985 private. About 15 years ago, I decided to sell this LP from my collection and put in my first Creativity and Chaos record sale list. I used a description that compared Foehn to a mix of Zeuhl and late era new wave pop bands like Swing Out Sister. The customer who bought it, wrote back to tell me that he agreed completely with that comparison and it's why he bought it. Now in 2010, after hearing it again for the first time since, my opinion has changed little. Though I did forget how much fine guitar is present on here, an instrument that can sometimes be underutilized in the Zeuhl world. A good album, that I appreciate more now that ever.

* Fondation - Sans Etiquette (France) 1978 Eurock.
** Fondation - Metamorphoses (France) 1980 private.
* Fondation - La Vaisseau Blanc (France) 1983 Tago Mago. All are cassette only releases. Fondation are a duo made of Ivan Coaquette (Spacecraft, Musica Elettronica Viva) on guitar and electronics and Annanka Raghel on organ and voices. For "Sans Etiquette" the first side contains one long, dark electronic soundscape (primarily droning organ), with haunting female voice. The other side is more rhythmic with some fine guitar. "Metamorphoses" is the best of the 3, features a more varied palette, and tracks closest to the Heldon/Spacecraft model (though more dynamic and interesting than Spacecraft). No less worthy, the final album features female French narration from Annanka (she has a beautiful speaking voice), with plenty of excellent guitar and electronic floating on top. All three of these are worthy of a reissue and would make for a wonderful set.

* Formas - Largos Suenos (Spain) 1981 Surcosur. One of the many Rock Andaluz albums from Spain during the late 70s and early 80s, which Triana had popularized to great success starting in 1975. It can be argued that Formas isn't progressive rock at all, but rather straight up Flamenco rock, with short, compact tunes. The irregular rhythms, hand claps, synthesizers and Arabian voices add an exotic flair, and I personally find this style of music highly appealing. This is a second tier work for the style, but a good one all the same, and it's too bad the album missed the first wave of CD reissues coming out of Spain in the 1990s. As with most Spanish albums, it features fetching art work.

* The Forum Quorum - s/t (USA) 1968 Decca. Way cool psych album from New York City area teenagers. They exclusively used Vox Continental organs, and were in fact sponsored by the company. They also made a couple of appearances on the Mike Douglas Show. And, on top of that, they also appeared in a movie. In a lot of ways, they were the East Coast equivalent to the Strawberry Alarm Clock, especially when you consider the amount of flute they employed. They didn't quite have the songwriting skills, or the master of harmony, but otherwise a much better than average pop psych album, with plenty of progressive touches.

# Forth - Audio Massage (USA) 1985 High Water. Memphis based lightweight fusion group with plenty of slap bass, 80s synthesizers and jazz tone guitar. Some tight rhythms and tuned percussion help differentiate a bit.

# 4th Cekcion - s/t (USA) 1970 Solar. Houston based horn rock album that has become quite collectable with the psych prog crowd. Unfortunately, like most brass rockers, this one falls short and tried too hard for radio hits.

Fourth Sensation - s/t (Italy) 1970 Ricordi. Typical instrumental psych/blues/jazz rock music, with roller rink organ and half Les Paul era electric leads/half psychedelic fuzz. The kind of music that would be used in the "party sequence" of an old Streets of San Francisco episode. All good fun, though nothing extraordinary like the Braen's Machine "Underground" album. Similar to the Psycheground album that was reissued by AMS recently.

Fragile - Lonely Preacher / Our Song (Germany) 1974 Rittberk. Technically this is a 7" single, but it's 33 RPM, and the length of an EP. The AC tells us: "Extremely obscure EP (just over 15 minutes) of what I would feel comfortable labeling as "heavy prog", a genre description that I usually find to be overly vague. However, in this case it really fits. Swirling wall-of-sound organ collides with heavy, crashing guitars over a fat, thumping rhythm section. It's from that netherworld where progressive rock, psychedelia and hard-rock/proto-metal had a meeting of the minds before heading off in their own directions. The vocals are fitting and more than decent, but most of the space is given over to heavy riffing and instrumental jamming. The vast majority of new discoveries that come out of Germany are from the seemingly bottomless (some would say tiresomely so, at this point) well of the late 70s/early 80s private press boom, so it's refreshing to occasionally be reminded that the deeper waters of the original prog/krautrock scene have not yet completely run dry. This is excellent stuff that I believe would have a wide appeal, so hopefully one of the German reissue/archival labels will track these guys down and find some additional tapes of similar quality sitting quietly in one of their attics, just waiting to be dusted off." I also found the music highly appealing. Very much the sound of Germany during 1974, but with an added complexity moving it more towards progressive rock and less the traditional hard Krautrock sound. Probably tracks closest to the obscure band Metropolis or even a bit like the archival Spektakel I suppose. This is just the type of band that Garden of Delights has been so successful in mining, and perhaps they will find a canister of great music for a full archival CD. Or at the very least, this will find its way onto one of their famous compilations. Great stuff. 

Fragua - s/t (Spain) 1979 Hispavox. There was an exciting movement from the mid to late 70s in Spain that mixed both rock and flamenco music. Especially popular in the southern reaches of the country, the style became known as Rock Andalucia. Some of the bands mixed in more progressive elements such as Mezquita and the early works of Triana and Medina Azahara. Fragua were more typical of the pop style of the movement. So flamenco mixed with Spanish pop music is what you'll find here, with a couple of more challenging cuts dispersed throughout.

* Francisco – Cosmic Beam Experience (USA) 1976 Cosmic Beam. True organic cosmic rock from California. Group prides themselves on not using electronic instruments. Haunting sound, and typically one of a kind album that could only come from the American underground. Shades of Cosmic Debris and Children of One are present, as is some of the earlier Popol Vuh work - ironically in their electronic phase. Generally tagged with the New Age label, though if this is what New Age music really was, then I'd be a huge fan!

# Walter Franco - Revolver (Brazil) 1975 Continental. Brazilian pop rocker who released this relatively weird early career album. Starts off precisely within the rails, but starts to veer off as it progresses. Has a Sgt. Peppers sort of obsession, with plenty of studio effects and Eastern instruments. Still a pretty square album compared to most on this list, but I'm certain this will appeal to fans who like their pop rock a bit off center. Presumably listed as a Top 100 album of all time from Brazil by Rolling Stone. Damning praise if I ever saw it.

* The Franklin Street Arterial - s/t (USA) 1980 Dad Hat. The Franklin Street Arterial were from Portland, Maine and are the type of band I've come to appreciate since I started this blog. Mainly due to the enthusiasm of both Midwest Mike and The AC - and reinforced by many others. It's that late 70s and early 80s light fusion sound (but not smooth jazz!). Definitely more on the jazz side rather than rock, but with well crafted melodies and solid professional playing from all. There is some absolutely sublime synthesizer work here, with fine guitar (including one nice ripper), and fantastic sax. This latter comment is not something you will usually hear from the CDRWL, but this is how I personally like to hear the instrument played. All these dudes who squonk like cats-in-heat drive me batty.

Frantz - Peut Etre Aux Yeux Silence (France) 1970 CAT. Interesting French pop psych album, with female vocals/narration, organ, guitar. Not a lot of albums like this coming out of France from this era. If France Gall went underground, I could see this being the result. Fans of Popera Cosmic should check it out. Pretty cool album.

The Freedom Unity, Sammy, Singers Three - Dynamic Rock (Japan) 1971 Toshiba. Yet another album of psychedelic-infused cover tunes, that was all the rage in Japan in the early 70s. I found the Chicago covers '25 or 6 to 4' and 'Free' to be the highlights here, with tight horn charts and Kimio Mizutani (on what appears to be his 2,000th recording in 1971) doing his best rendition of Terry Kath. On the other hand, the opening track is Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Proud Mary'. Oh you haven't lived until you've heard 'Lor-rin.... Lor-rin.... Lorrin on a Liver'. Overall the album is fun - perhaps fun-ny at times - and worth at least one listen.

# French Lick - Glider (USA) 1976 Fric Frac. It's been over 15 years since I sold my copy. I need to hear again, but I doubt I will experience an epiphany here. And so it came to pass. "Glider" is a lightweight rock, semi-progressive album. References to Steely Dan and the poppy side of Yes resonate throughout. Plenty of nice guitar and synthesizers. Some female narration in French. California based group, and the LP comes with a paste on cover.

# * Fresh Start - What America Needs (USA) 1974 Dunhill. Dated, but fun, love-one-another street funk rock ala Rare Earth and War. There's enough good time guitar jamming here to please most readers of this site.

# Frey / Tiepold / Thierfelder - Ziyada (Germany) 1979 Verebra.
Frey / Tiepold / Thierfelder / Lang - Colibry (Germany) 1981 Verebra. Acoustic jazz fusion with classical chamber elements. "Colibry" adds some electronic keyboards that enhances the overall sound. These are nice, though a little of our scope for this list.

xxx * Friend Sound - Joyride. 1969 RCA. Great experimental psych weirdness from band that evolved out of Paul Revere and The Raiders. Truly cutting edge stuff. The kind of album I'm sure record executives hold out as an example of "huge mistakes from the past". That is to say - OUR kind of stuff! File alongside other late 1960s pioneers like David Stoughton and Fifty Foot Hose. *** Reissued by Real Gone Jan, 2014 xxx

*** Friends - s/t (USA) 1973 Oblivion. Great underground freaky fusion that sounds like a cross between Xhol Caravan and Mahavishnu Orchestra. Features John Abercrombie on guitar.

# From - 0611 Cat Quarter (Germany) 1971 CBS.
From - Power On! (Germany) 1972 CBS. Solid early 1970s jazz effort with rock overtones. Similar to many of the albums on the MPS label during this era, though a bit more towards traditional jazz than the Wolfgang Dauner's and Association PC's of this world. From is lead by an organist, but saxophone is the primary instrument. Pretty loose in the structure department, which allows room for many individual solos, including the drums. I haven't heard "0611 Cat Quarter" yet, but will leave here for convenience.

xxx * Jun Fukamachi 21st Century Band - Rokuyu (Japan) 1975 Toshiba. Keyboardist Fukamachi made many fusion albums throughout the late 1970s. Supposedly this is his best and most progressive oriented album. Parts are great heavy fusion with smoking electric guitar, and one could see a band like Kenso getting wind of this prior to launching their career. One track is a pretty mundane, standard 70s jazz, that would later be known as "smooth jazz". Side 2 is more varied and includes some experimental bits, electronic rock (mellotron, el. piano, synths, rock drums) and blistering heavy fusion. Pretty cool record. I haven't seen on CD so I'll leave in the list. **Reissued by Sony of Japan, September 2009**

# Jun Fukamachi - Introducing Jun Fukamachi (Japan) 1975 Toshiba. Debut album, similar to the above but more towards typical funky fusion, especially on Side 1. Side 2 is more spirited, and features some smoking playing from all.

# Full Moon Ensemble - Crowded with Loneliness (France) 1971 CBS. On the same label as my treasured Moving Gelatine Plates albums. Side 1 is... imagine Catherine Ribeiro fronting a free jazz band. While Side 2 ditches the female anguished narration and leaves the free jazz components exposed. For fans of extreme music, especially in the jazz idiom, this has to be considered a highlight. But for me, it was difficult to endure, though parts - especially the ones with female narration - were fascinating, if not irritating all the same. If all this sounds great, you'll love Full Moon Ensemble. For me it has too much chaos and noise to appreciate.

# Fumanzoku - s/t (Japan) 1974 private. Typical, but well done, early 70s folk psych. Rare as they get.

# Fun of It - Meditation (Netherlands) 1973 Blossom. I had this on a curiosity list going back to when I first started compiling lists in 1992 or so. After reading a few reviews, I dropped them from the list not long after, figuring they were out of my interest area. And now, finally in 2010, I've heard the album. Looks like dropping them was the right thing to do, but it's certainly not a bad album. A mixture blues rock, pop psych and an occasional psych jam is what you'll find here.

* Fungus – Premonitions (England) 1973 private. Fungus issued this one demo album, released in a plain white sleeve. It's about 38 minutes long and the music is a mix of progressive rock and electronic oriented music. Fungus is post Second Hand / Chillum and pre-Seventh Wave - and the music seems to be the transition from one style to the other. It's an orchestral oriented progressive rock, with long instrumental electronic journeys. A ridiculously rare artifact that is near impossible to find.

Furekaaben - Prinsessevarerelset (Denmark) 1970 Spectator.
Furekaaben - Rode Roser (aka RR1) (Denmark) 1971 RR. As the great mail order catalog writer Paul Major once wrote, listening to Furekaaben is like "peeking through the bushes at an ancient mystic religious ceremony." That encapsulates the sound of both of these Christiana albums better than I could hope to achieve. I suppose the original Berlin commune group Amon Duul (sans II) is a guidepost, but Furekaaben are far more exotic, and rather than pound mercilessly on whatever percussive instruments are lying around, they choose a far more melodic route - though not in any kind of traditional sense. I also can hear the New York utopian group Children of One as a possible comparison. The first album managed a release on the Danish cult label Spectator. The second is an extremely rare private pressing, that I somehow managed to own for a number of years. If the psych scene existed in the year 723, this is probably how it would've sounded. Ancient roots stuff here folks.

# Fynn McCool - s/t (England) 1970 RCA. Very strange album this one is. The first side is made up of rural and country rockers, and can be downright painful to listen to. But the closer of Side 1 and most of Side 2 gets progressively better, including some long organ jams. Probably had the band focused on this side of their music, they'd have ended up on RCA's Neon imprint. Despite the strong finish, the album is overall pretty mediocre.

xxx Galaxy-Lin - s/t (Netherlands) 1974 Polydor. Primarily instrumental progressive rock, with mandolin as a lead instrument. Vocal tracks are more commercial in nature and tend to drag it down a bit. But the instrumentals are particularly well-written. They were to improve on their 1975 followup "G", which did manage a reissue on the Rotation label about a decade ago. *** As it turns out, the bonus tracks from this CD contain the full first album. xxx

Galie - 1986 (Mexico) 1986 private. Heavily influenced by "Snowgoose" era Camel, with flute and acoustic guitar in the center of the instrumental parade. Gotic's "Escenes" is another obvious reference. A bit slicker than their 1981 debut (lovingly reissued in a beautiful black clapboard case). A fine, if non-essential, release.

Galorn - s/t (aka Jezaig). 1978 Velia.
Galorn - s/t (aka Sands et Derobee). 1980 Velia. Galorn are one of many participants in the 1970s/80 Breton folk scene. I haven't really focused too much on the genre for the CDRWL (though I own my share of Malicorne albums), but I do have some peppered throughout the main list and a few more featured on the blog. And while the music is no doubt folk first and foremost, there are underground progressive elements in all of these albums to crossover to our interest area. I'll probably pull a few more out to feature over time. I've only heard the first album to date, but it's on the darker side of the genre. This isn't gather by the campfire and put-your-hands-together music. Rather these are musical representations of the mystical Dark Ages. The kind of sound that might keep you up all night if you're easily spooked. Violin, flute, acoustic guitar, hand percussion and bass make up the instrument palette, and the atmosphere is misty and haunting. The album cover itself (top one) gives a pretty good idea of the contents within.

Games - Stargazer (USA) 1977 Cascade Court. I was recently reminded of this Florida group who pretty much stick to the progressive oriented AOR album formula, like their Midwest brethren to the north. It also reminds me quite a bit of the all female UK group Mother Superior, which was reissued on the Audio Archives label a few years back. Overall, a mix of complex progressive and more pop oriented material. This was considered one of the big rarities in the 1990s, so I obtained a cassette from a friend back then. I don't think the quality of the album has been able to maintain its mystique, and nowadays is actually quite reasonable if you're in the market for an original.

Gamma - s/t (aka Alpha) (Netherlands) 1973 private.
* Gamma - Darts (Netherlands) 1974 Pandora. On the debut, Gamma play an eclectic style. A mixture of jazz fusion, blues rock, and classically inspired introspective pieces. The vocalist sings in a heavily affected style, and sounds like a mutant drunk. Reminds me a little of the guy from Pat Cool - a Tom Jones clone that slipped from the laboratory before they were finished. The instrumentals are definitely the highlight. Hard to escape the Focus influence as well, not that many Dutch bands could. "Darts" is a mix of sensual soft fusion with occasional loud guitar and organ leads. I like the mood of this one, and is quite pleasant. "Darts" is on the ever surprising Pandora label (Crypto) whereas the debut is considered one of The Netherlands' rarest private presses.

# Gandalf - s/t (Sweden) 1977 private. Decent but amateurish symphonic rock.

Leticia Garcia - Magamaquiaverica em Canturbano (Brazil) 1984 private. Very interesting release that is a smorgasbord of styles. Samba, Canterbury, Zeuhl, Chamber, Jazz, RIO, etc... Female vocals (anguished, narrated, softly sung), woodwinds, horns, piano, bass and drums. References include Julverne, Cos, Henry Cow, Noa, Gerardo Batiz, Bandhada, Noetra and others. One of a kind, that's for sure.

* Garuda - s/t (Indonesia) 1976 EMI. Released in the UK. Welcome to the Disco! Mid 70s style, that is. That explains Side 1 anyway. But Side 2, while never quite losing those fat beats, takes on a whole new dimension. There's truly a depth found here that is uncommon in both funk and even in pure jazz. If you want to begin your dig for this album, you better like tight horn charts. With long fuzz guitar solos. And echoed Fender and vibes. I just happen to embrace said concept, hence I rate this one favorably.

** Gas Mask - Their First Album (USA) 1970 Tonsil. The producer should get everyone's attention: Teo Macero (Miles Davis). As will the trumpet player for some: Enrico Rava. Big names for a completely unknown album. There are some monster tracks on here like 'The I Ching Thing' (a flute driven instrumental masterpiece) and 'Immigration Song' (another incredible instrumental with organ, trumpet, guitar, sax). A must for those who like horn rock, not quite up to the level or as progressive as Brainchild or the first Chicago, but better than most in the genre.

** Gash - A Young Man's Gash (Germany) 1972 Brain. One of the last good Brain albums not on CD. Side 1 is decent to good hard rock, while Side 2 is a long progressive suite, similar to Nektar maybe.

* Gass - s/t (England) 1970 Polydor. Strange album, this one is. Hard to describe, but I'd say that Gass is to UK blues rock what East of Eden "Mercator Projected" was to world fusion. It's a grab bag of styles, including much of what we track here (psych, prog, underground). Blues rock is the root system, with plenty of instrumental sections featuring organ, flute, fuzz guitar, percussion - and of course, downer vocals. Peter Green joined them for awhile after leaving Fleetwood Mac. Would make for a good CD from someone like Esoteric.

Jean-Claude Gaupin - Anatheme (France) 1984 private. Fairly typical early 1980s era light, sunny and breezy funk fusion. The great exception being the edgy guitar work from Xavier Piton, his one and only venture into recorded music (that I could find anyway). Other than that, it's the usual sax, Caribbean drums and warm / funky bass that push these harmless cruise ship style instrumental tunes along.

xxx ** Gebarvaterli - Im Tal der Emmen (Germany) 1978 Brutkasten. Despite the artist and title sounding like some sort of alpine cheese, Gebarvaterli is anything but cheesy. Technically would fit in the large Kraut fusion school of the late 1970s, but this album won't remind you of Kraan, Embryo, Missus Beastly, etc... In fact, there are parts here that recall the great Tortilla Flat (especially in the rhythms and flute solo sections). And when the trombone gets featured, I'm reminded of Nanu Urwerk, another square-peg-in-a-round hole German fusion band. While it's not perfect throughout (sometimes it's pure jazz - fine - but not ideal for me anyway), this is one of the best new-for-me obscurities I've heard in 2009. Well worth the time to hear. Would love to see Garden of Delights or Long Hair put this platter out on CD. *** Reissued by band Nov. 2014 xxx

* Gemini - Counterbalance (England) 1981 Airship. A strong album for melody and composition but they get dinged though for period instrumentation. Sounds like their lead synth choice was a Moog Opus 3, or some other early polyphonic synthesizer. And the lack of other lead instrument vehicles like sax, flute, organ, etc… makes this one a bit tougher to sit through, given that it's an instrumental album and all. Rhythm section is quite good however, not crisp but precise all the same. And the final long track features quite a bit of electric guitar soloing, adding exactly what they need. Good album and on par with the other Airship label album by Protos.

* Genre - Commercial Success (USA) 1978 Black Gold. Lead by the guitarist - a slightly chunky black dude with a cool fro - named L.A. Jenkins, Genre play a fairly typical late 70's fusion with toned down guitar leads and Rhodes piano as the lead instruments. While Side 1 isn't particularly noteworthy, Side 2 opens with the excellent 'All Mixed Up' where Jenkins lets loose with a more psychedelic tone to the guitar. And this continues throughout the side, though the standard fusion motif is never strayed from too far. Features a cool textured cover. Not the greatest fusion album ever, but I have fond memories of it. And I think many of you would enjoy - especially the fusion heads out there.

** Getriebe - Syncron (Germany) 1975 Pauer (EP). Here we have about a 17 minute EP, long enough for a one sided LP. Getriebe was lead by Detlev Schmidtchen, future keyboardist for none other than Eloy starting on the Dawn album and ending with Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes (and then left to form the rather lackluster Ego on the Rocks). Ironically, Getriebe will remind listeners of Inside or Floating era Eloy (and the CDRWL's favorite period for Eloy) more so than the streamlined and sophisticated Dawn and beyond albums. In fact, Getriebe sound like many of the organ lead German bands from 1971. The same off-key blues vocals in English, heavy guitars, fat bass and thudding drums. And that one critical component: Hammond organ. The AC informs us: "Detlev Schmidtchen formed this group in 1971 in Hanover, and in 1975 they won some local band competition called "Pop '75". The prize was time in a local recording studio, where they recorded "Syncron" (so it is from '75, and not '72 as I've seen listed elsewhere). Apparently, they also won the chance to have dinner (?!) with Eloy, who were the guest headliners at this competition/festival. This led to Eloy poaching Schmidtchen for themselves, which caused Getriebe to break up on the spot." NICE - we both liked that one! Perhaps those great archivist's Garden of Delights or Long Hair can dig out more for us. An instant buy if a full CDs worth of tape could be found.

# Giger, Lenz, Marron - Beyond (Germany) 1977 Nagara. In effect, the 4th Dzyan album, though Lenz is the new player here on stand-up bass. Not rock or fusion oriented like Dzyan, but more towards acoustic jazz. Atmospheric, with some fine non-amplified electric guitar from Eddy Marron. Also features one lengthy Indian oriented piece. Out of the scope of this list for certain, but worth mentioning given the ancestry. The trio released one further album.

Ginbae - s/t (Japan) 1976 Seaside. A very heavy album given the 1976 date. Basically a proto metal album with guitar riffs that wouldn't be out of place on a 70's era Judas Priest album. 5 long tracks with long amplified/phased guitar solos. Some typical Japanese balladry can be found in the vocal sections. Songs are dull, and are merely excuses to launch the next jam session. Worth a couple of spins.

*** Ginga Rale Band - Wir Bedauern... (Austria) 1980 Reibo. As any reader of the CDRWL knows, there were dozens of Kraut fusion albums from the late 70s and early 80s. Some are slick and tedious, others had a raw edge that is highly appealing. But Ginga Rale Band took it a step further concerning the latter point. Not only is it raw and complex - the music is incredibly unpredictable and exciting - but there's also this dark haunting cosmic angst that conjures up images of Tangerine Dream's "Electronic Meditation" and Ash Ra Tempel's "Schwingungen" when there are screaming voices present. "Wir Bedauern..." gets wilder and freakier as it goes, almost always a hallmark of a great album. Ginga Rale Band is a bulls eye for those that love the German Kraut fusion style, with the added bonus of successfully re-creating the atmosphere of the edgy cosmic Berlin-styled Krautrock of 1971.

# Gloria's Children - Schatten (Germany) 1978 private. I've had this on LP a couple of times. Middle of the road Christian melodic rock with German language vocals and some nice guitar leads. In the same genre as Eden and Credemus.

Gold - Night Ride (USA) 1979 Sun Songs Out of Florida. It's hard to imagine this is the same band that released the excellent No Class What So Ever album. Especially the first half of the disc which is really no more than boogie shuffle rock, and is quite hideous in fact. By Track 5, the band started to turn to more intriguing instrumental guitar fronted fusion, and foreshadows the much better sophomore album to come.
** Gold - No Class What So Ever (USA) 1980 Alpha. Gold are a southern Florida band and I found this album to be a very appealing piece of instrumental music. I love the guitar work, both in the psychedelic tone, and with his melodic style. No shredding here - this is the emotional style that Santana or even Frank Marino (think 'Poppy') can get when they focus on their instrumental side. The compositions are tight, and they pack a lot of ideas within relatively short time frames. It's sophisticated but not complicated. And while it ostensibly comes from a jazz fusion angle, I'd say it's more in the instrumental progressive rock camp.

*** Goliath - s/t (England) 1970 CBS. The more I hear this album, the better it gets. In the jazzy proto-prog area, with plenty of great flute, and sassy female vocals. Affinity and Linda Hoyle is probably the most obvious comparison. One band that rarely gets mentioned anywhere, but really comes to mind here is Fusion Orchestra. More gritty and less progressive perhaps, but does paint a pretty accurate picture. I also hear some melody/composition lines that recalled the great Diabolus album. Along with the Time (on Buk) album, this would be my top request for a reissue from a classic UK band.

Good God - s/t (USA) 1972 Atlantic. Philadelphia based jazz rock band, that sounds more European than American. Heavily indebted to instrumental Zappa, Good God's album sounds like many groups from Germany, Denmark and France. Maybe a little too much unhinged sax work for my liking, but still plenty to enjoy here. They cover Zappa's 'King Kong' and John McLaughlin's 'Dragon Song', both of which perfectly fit their style. It had been years since I sold my LP copy, but this listen demonstrated that the album is better than I remembered. Nice album that a high profile reissue label would benefit from.

xxx Goodthunder - s/t (USA) 1972 Elektra. At its core, Los Angeles (?) based Goodthunder are a good time rock and roll band, with folk and pop trimmings. If that's all they were about, then they certainly wouldn't be in this list! No, Goodthunder weren't content to settle for lowest common denominator music. With a prominent keyboardist in the band, and a wide range of dynamics, timeshifts and colors, Goodthunder somehow managed to create a sophisticated hard rock album. And the guitar is pretty heavy for the era, including some nice riffing, in a proto metal style. Not solid all the way through (there are plenty of straightforward moments here), but the progressive breaks are, especially given the setting, quite surprising - and it's this sort of contrast that makes this album work. In some ways, you could almost compare Goodthunder to what Culpeper's Orchard were doing in Denmark. They never reach those highs, but still a worthy investment of your time. *** Reissued by Wounded Bird in April, 2009 ***

* The Michael Gordon Philharmonic - s/t (USA) 1987 Neutral. Michael Gordon is a founding member of Bang on a Can, and also has a few albums under his name. This is the only LP, that I'm aware of, under the Michael Gordon Philharmonic moniker. It's also his first LP. This is the pure definition of what we now call Avant Progressive or what we used to call RIO influenced chamber rock. Gordon is the keyboardist, and you can tell his fondness / training for minimalism. The Philharmonic part is the classically oriented music, but there's a rock backbone, thus pushing the album into our scope. Recommended for fans of The Alain Eckert Quartet, Wittox O'Hara and Chris Lemon. Neat WPA era artwork.

* Jean-Philippe Goude & Olivier Cole - Jeunes Années (France) 1976 Saravah. Keyboardist Goude is a recognizable name to many progressive rock fans for his participation with that most bombastic of Zeuhl groups - Weidorje. Prior to that project, he had teamed with percussionist Olivier Cole and released this one highly inventive keyboard / drums duo album. Rather than a series of organ/drum overload tracks, Goude focuses on moodier Rhodes and acoustic piano pieces, and utilizes his one synthesizer sound for his aggressive solos. There's a slight electronic music aesthetic applied throughout. A nice record, that has slipped under the radar. After Weidorje, Goude released the more overt Zeuhlish "Drones" album which Musea fortunately reissued many years ago. From there, Goude began to focus more squarely on incidental music geared for TV and films. I once had "Meli-Melodies" on LP, though it wasn't a cohesive album, like most library albums.

# Grace - Blind (Sweden) 1981 Manifest. I thought this was already out on CD, but not so! Bland Swedish rock.

** Graced Lightning - The Graced Lightning Side (USA) 1975 private. An exceptionally well done instrumental progressive rock album by this obscure group from Chicago. Recorded only to one side of the LP, there are 3 tracks totalling 18 minutes. And not a moment wasted. Excellent keybaords/piano, coupled with inventive guitar solos. At times the music is very complex. Doesn't sound like anyone really, except maybe Virginia's Polyphony from a few years prior. Would make an excellent reissue with another group who had a short album - like Bounty maybe?

Gramigna - Gran Disordine Sotto il Cielo (Italy) 1977 Ultima Spiaggia. Not an easy one to describe. Quirky, like all on the label (including the namesake band). Some chamber rock, some pop, some fusion. Not easy to digest, yet not one to ignore either.

Le Grande Nebuleux - Les Pirates du Cortex (France) 1978 Hocco Mitu. Interesting and complex jazz rock album with some freer structures. It tends to get a bit shreiky in the sax department and the compositions stray towards the unhinged. But that's not to say their aren't some stellar moments as well. Rhythm section is super tight, and the guitar playing sometimes has an acidic tone, which is more than welcome. Best track, and at complete odds with the rest of the material, is a mellow hand-percussion / flute piece with quirky French voices. Had the album been more composed and less improvised, it would've been a monster. As it stands, it's still quite good.

** Granicus - s/t (USA) 1973 RCA. Granicus are a Cleveland, OH based hard rock group. Probably the single best example from the US to attempt a Led Zeppelin like raucous electric blues sound. Has a Midwest America sensibility and directness as found in other bands from the region (Poobah for example), but otherwise Page and company is definitely the influence here. Mellotron and acoustic guitar touches combined with Robert Plant styled high pitched vocals puts this album somewhere between Zeppelin's "IV" and "Houses of the Holy". This is essential for hard rock fans, especially those who like a little adventurous progressive compositions mixed in. Like Polyphony, this album has been bootlegged so much on CD, it's completely understandable why most folks think this one is already out legit on CD. According to multiple sources, it was due for reissue in 2001, with bonus tracks, but the label (Rewind) went out of business before release. And it still remains in that state. Ugh.

# Granmax - Kiss Heaven Goodbye (USA) 1978 Panama. I don't have a lot of straight ahead hard rock albums in this list, but this one struck me as better than most (unlike their debut "Ninth Alive", which I'm not including). For 1978 this rocks hard and has some riffing that you may have only found on a Judas Priest album ("Stained Class") at this date. Pretty much non stop heavy rock, and no pub and boogie rockers to drag it down as is typical for albums such as this. Would be an obvious candidate for Rockadrome Records to reissue. There is a bootleg.

xxx Grannie - s/t (England) 1971 private. One of those super rare albums with a low budget hard rock sound. Not too bad really and fun for archivists. There is a CD boot + a legit LP on Shadoks. So I suspect a legit CD will follow soon. *** Reissued on Wooden Hill 11/2010 xxx

Grasland - Echt Null! 1981 Torpedo. I was a bit surprised at the heaviness of the first track, almost a proto metal sound permeates. There are other times further in where the guitar is grungier than you would expect. Overall, I'd say it's like a harder edged Rousseau, around the time of "Retreat" (but minus the flute), mixed with some straightforward rock with German vocals. This latter element made me think of late 70s Novalis. Overall a pretty decent album, and worth seeking for a couple of listens.

# Grattons-Labeurs - Le Bal Des Sorciers (France) 1977 Aba. Breton inspired Celtic folk music. Entirely acoustic, with a haunting vibe throughout. Some dancing around the campfire-to-ward-off-evil-stuff too. Nice female vocals, penny whistle, violin, etc... Out of scope for our list, but this one is highly sought after by fans of underground folk music. Will leave here for reference.

Jean-Pierre Graziani - A Dumane (France) 1979 Disques Vendémiaire. Graziani sole work offers an interesting electronic oriented album with New Wave / Synth-Pop structure, piano, guitar, and male/female narration and semi-singing. Probably telling a story of some sort, but spoken all in French, it's mostly lost on me. References include Christian Boule, Hydravion, Kennlisch, La Saga de Ragnar Lodbrock, and the second album by Images. Great album cover art. Label is owned by Graziani, who managed to sign a few other artists that I'm completely unfamiliar with.

* The Great Imperial Yoyo - Blink (England) 1992 private. Cassette only release of really cool festival era space rock. The usual Gong, Ozric, Hillage influences abound, but done with a peculiar raw energy that I find highly enlightening. When the guitar rips, he really lights it up, adding to the intensity. Their third album "Chicken Island" debuted on CD, but this one has never been introduced to the digital format. However, you can download this album (and the second album, called "Toe", for free from the band's website at http://www.vertexrecordings.com). In any case, "Blink" would be worth pressing, as it's that good. I haven't heard "Toe" yet.

# ** Green Lyte Sunday - s/t (USA) 1970 RCA. From Dayton, Ohio, Green Lyte Sunday possessed that jazzy pop psych persona that was somewhat popular at the time. References to groups like The Free Design abound. A sound that would later evolve into something more slick and professional - perhaps Steely Dan is what became the future state as it were (for better or worse). Also a nod to the Brill Building sounds of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Flute and la-la female vocals point to a more innocuous era. The seductive breathy female vocals from Susan Darby gives me goose bumps. Just visualize the gorgeous babe under the soft lens. Sweet.

Grim Reaper - We Were All Fools (Germany) 1979 Brutkasten. Brutkasten is sort of Germany's DIY label, similar to France's FLVM, England's multitude of 99 only releases, and America's 1970s tax dodge loophole labels (Guiness, Dellwood). There was no consistency to what was on Brutkasten, and one can find anything from acid folk rock (Carol of Harvest), Genesis inspired symphonic (Sirius), basement hard rock (Black Spirit, P205) and onto German pop and schlager music. Grim Reaper fits the mold perfectly. The music is sort of an American inspired hard rock, but with some old sounding organs recalling other German bands like Air or Erlkoenig. The production is pure amateur basement. Not a whole lot to latch onto here, except there are some nice melodic guitar leads that seem to imply that Grim Reaper did at least possess some talent, if not a lot of imagination. There's some nice Moog work here and there as well.

** The Grodeck Whipperjenny - s/t (USA) 1970 People. On James Brown label, and recorded by some of his backup musicians, this is some killer fuzz funk mixed with a proto European prog take on the Jefferson Airplane! Somewhere between Stark Reality and Sandrose. Excellent album! boots exist. There's also a second album that I haven't heard.

** Group 1850 - Live (Netherlands) 1973 Orange (1969 concert).
*** Group 1850 - Polyandri (Netherlands) 1974 Rubber.
** Group 1850 - Live on Tour (Netherlands) 1976 Rubber (1973 concert). "Polyandri" is primarily an instrumental album and features an array of sounds from complex prog rock compositions to simple bluesy workouts onto trippy psych organ based excursions similar to their first 2 LP's. Sounds more like a 1970 album rather than 1974. The 2 live albums are very much in the spirit of their studio releases, and feature a lot of original interpretations, making them essential. All of these have been booted.

* Le Groupe X - Frrrrrigidaire (Italy) 1973 CPT.
* Le Groupe X - Out Off (Italy) 1978 private. Thanks to a good friend of this site, I've finally heard "Out, Off" and it's in a similar genre of instrumental music... almost like incidental music for TV and film (I've been since told that's what this is in fact).

* The Growing Concern - s/t (USA) 1968 Mainstream. Now this title does possess one legit CD and that would be the Japanese P-Vine version from 2008. As it turns out, Sony bought the rights to the Mainstream catalog for reissue in the early 90s. But it doesn't appear they did much with it. At some point, P-Vine licensed this title from local countrymen Sony. Perhaps someone over here knew it came out, but I certainly missed it. But I wasn't really looking for The Growing Concern at the time either. Because of its scarcity, and high import cost, the CD hardly met the demand, and barely put a dent in the pirate ships that continue to dominate this recording. It's clear there's a need for a larger press from a quality reissue label. So here we are listing it in the CDRWL for the first time. As for the music, if you ever wondered what it would be like if the Mamas and the Papas were a more hard edged psychedelic band like Jefferson Airplane, then Chicago based The Growing Concern will provide you that answer. They have both the fantastic dual male/female harmony vocals, as well as the sandpaper acid guitar sounds. It's more based in pop than Airplane, but it still qualifies as blue ribbon psychedelic. A well done record, and one that would benefit nicely from a quality reissue. 

* Georges Grunblatt - K-Priss (France) 1980 Polydor Ramses. Grunblatt was an early runnin' buddy of one Richard Pinhas, and basically represented one half of Heldon on the first 3 albums. On K-Priss, he gathers all of Heldon's alumni, for what would appear to be Heldon VIII. It's not Heldon, but definitely a hybrid of late 70s French synthesized slickness and rip-roaring guitar rave-ups from Richard Pinhas and pounding drums from Auger. Like a more energetic Ose, if that makes sense.

* George Gruntz / Piano Conclave - Palais Anthology (Germany) 1975 MPS/BASF.  Hard hitting fusion from an all-star cast of Europe's finest ivory ticklers. Hard hitting fusion from an all-star cast of Europe's finest ivory ticklers of the mid 70s. A mix of funky fusion, Canterbury rock, and straight-up piano jazz. A nice surprise, and not an album one would likely buy if they saw the cover - except noting the marquee names, which is more than impressive: Gordon Beck, Wolfgang Dauner, George Gruntz, Jasper Van't Hof, Joachim Kuhn, Martial Solal, John Lee, Alphonse Mouzon. Yep, pretty ridiculous lineup right there.

# Gryphon - s/t (USA) 1975 Gary Allen Productions. No, not THAT Gryphon. This is a privately pressed album from Michigan featuring a trio of guitar, bass and drums. Opening with the all time classic name of a song 'Motel Mama', I think it's safe to assume we're not talking Red Queen to Gryphon Three here. It's actually a really cool ass hard rock tune. Unfortunately most of the album is AOR twee. Incredible stenciled black and white cover. The shirtless guy in the vest with hair down to his waist is the poster child of mid 70's Midwest rock. Anyway, it's a terrible album, but if I owned it I'd keep it anyway. It should be in a museum - it's that representative of an era of rock music. Way out of scope for our list, but what the heck.

xxx # Gudibrallan - Uti Vår Hage (Sweden) 1970 Silence.
Gudibrallan - II (Sweden) 1971 Silence. Not my cup of tea, but I know they were popular in Sweden during the day. Plus they were one of the earliest bands on the groundbreaking Silence label. *** Reissued by Silence in 1995 on a 2 for 1. I didn't realize that until reader Piero pointed it out. Thanks! xxx

*** Guns & Butter - s/t (USA) 1972 Cotillion. Boston based Guns & Butter may be the best example, from the early 70s United States scene that is, of the UK progressive rock movement as headed by the Dawn, Neon and Transatlantic labels. Even the vocals have a certain English affected smoothness to them. The lead instruments are primarily guitar, violin and saxophone (with some additional flute), and the compositions are very complex yet compact. There's a distinct psychedelic aura around this, and it sounds more like a 1969/70 release than anything from 1972. I'm most reminded of the first two East of Eden albums, though I also hear bands like Diabolus and Raw Material creeping in. Side 1 is magnificent, while Side 2 is merely great (though it features the best song on the album 'Lady Grey').

** Guruh Gipsy - s/t (Indonesia) 1975 private. Incredible 1975 album with strong Yes overtones combined with the local Gamelan musical tradition. Formed by one of the sons of the royal family! This just came out on LP by Shadoks (first time released on LP - I think this was a cassette only release initially). Would expect a CD to also be issued by them in the next couple of years.

* Gutura - Des Etres Au Cerveau Apparent (France) 1980 Sterne. Anguished fast paced instrumental post-punk music with distorted lead guitar and a chanting manic female voice who blurts out nonsensical wordless sounds. Very French. What I mean by that is France is the only possible country an album like this could've come out in 1980 (today, Japan would have to be considered a candidate). Closest band I can think of that sounds similar is Noa, another French band of course, though Gutura are definitely more harsh - in terms of rock music anyway. In reality, Gutura are one of a kind.

# Gwalarn - s/t (France) 1976 private. RYM describes Breton Folk Music as: "Breton Celtic Folk Music encompasses vocal music (with or without accompaniment) like gwerzioù and sonioù (A cappella solo works sung in Breton), kan ha diskan (call and response singing), and kantikoù (religious hymns with traditional Breton accompaniment of harp, pipes and organs); instrumental music (with or without vocals) like Bagad (music played by ensemble of bagpipes, bombards and drums), or the Celtic harp revival developed by Alan Stivell; and tunes and dances like an dro, dañs fisel, dañs plin, gavotte, hanter dro, kost ar c'hoat, laridé, ridée, rond de Loudeac, and rond de Saint-Vincent." Yep, that's Gwalarn's debut for certain. My Dad, an avid Celtic folk collector, would have adored this record. I wish he was alive to hear it.

* Hades - s/t (Norway). 1974 / 1992 Colours. This live album (soundboard quality) reminds me a lot of Osanna's "L'Uomo", which in itself was a strong play on the early Jethro Tull sound. That is to say blues based heavy rock with aggressive, stuttered flute as the lead instrument. Many time changes also point to the Osanna way of doing things. The Norwegian vocals recall the unique Scandinavian flair found in bands like Host or Trettioariga Kriget. Great fuzz guitar leads as well. Short album (under 25 minutes), but great all the way through. Would be nice to pair this with the archival St. Helena album, that was also under 25 minutes.

xxx ** Norman Haines Band - Den of Iniquity (England) 1971 EMI Parlophone. Post Locomotive British rock, from this accomplished keys player. Stylistically very diverse, and it takes awhile to get its sea legs. Enter the 10 minute jam, that truly catches a groove and allows for some splendid guitar soloing over the tranced organ-led rhythms. From here, the band seems more at ease, and the songwriting improves greatly, even if more towards an overt commercial direction. I was reminded of Dave Lawson's work with Web ("I Spider") and Samurai in particular. Not lost is the longish electronic oriented piece with fuzz organ and electric piano. This takes a couple of spins to comprehend, but is post British psych at its best. File next to your Nicholas Greenwood "Cold Cuts" album. Seems an obvious candidate for Esoteric, who has already reissued Locomotive, Web and Samurai. Multiple boots exist. (Been confirmed that Esoteric does plan on reissuing this eventually.) *** Reissued by Esoteric October 2011 xxx

# Christodoulos Halaris - The Tropic of Virgin (Greece) 1973 EMI. CD on Minos/EMI long OOP. Greek folk prog with some unusual music. Instruments include clarinet, bouzouki, violin, bodhran, topped off with some soprano vocals. This is the Greek equivalent of some of the UK folky prog stuff from the same era.

Hammer - s/t (USA) 1970 San Francisco / Atlantic. Like almost all major label US albums from 1970, San Francisco based Hammer is a completely hit and miss affair - mainly miss in this case. It's mostly blues and soul based good time rock n roll, with some heavy organ and guitar sprinkled throughout to keep it somewhat interesting. However, there are two gems here that must be heard. One is the fantastic 'Tuane', an obvious nod to fellow Bay Area stars Santana. The wordless vocals adding a unique flavor to the ripping guitar work and jazzy rhythms. But the real eye-opener has to be the closer 'Death to a King'. This composition's main melody and piano runs are almost exactly like Banco del Mutuo Succorso's 'Metamorfosi' from their 1972 debut! Could have Banco del Mutuo Succorso known of this obscure band known as Hammer? Naw, couldn't be... Right? Nooo.... ????????

* Hammerhead - Ingenius Crimes (USA) 1974 private.  Hammerhead were created out of a California commune and is an album I found highly appealing (though we'll overlook that they misspelled the title - I'm guessing there weren't a lot of 5 time Jeopardy Champions in their midst). I think the low-budget nature of the recording, along with the flute and sax, give it an otherworldly cosmic edge. The fluttering flute, in particular, adds quite a bit of exoticism here when cross-pollinated with the low budget recording technique - almost like a Zambian or Nigerian fuzz rock band mixed with early 70's Ohr/Cosmic Couriers era Mythos. The strummed electric guitar reminded me of Rush's "Caress of Steel" - so there's an out of the blue reference. Perhaps too much sax for an underground recording such as this - sort of defies the mood. Definitely a unique album.

Jack Hammond - Open the Doors. 1980 private.
* The Jack Hammond Group - A Fatal Beauty. 1982 Fatal Beauty Records. Chicago based guitarist Jack Hammond debuted with "Open the Doors", an eclectic album with an anachronistic 1960s blues/psychedelic feel on some tracks, which is highly unusual for 1980. As well he seems to have adopted, or been a disciple of, John Fahey's American Primitive style of country blues finger picking. His second album expounded upon his rock aesthetic for a more enjoyable (double) album. Slightly renaming the band to The Jack Hammond Group, he continues with a more inventive fusion effort than prior. On the double LP "A Fatal Beauty", the album opens with a fantastic sequence of tracks, lead by Hammond's impressive guitar work, and which is ultimately based in progressive rock, including a side long epic as found on Side 2 (of 4). Side 3 finds the group experimenting with many disparate styles (for example - classical, blues and funk). Then they close strong on the final cut with the additional of horns. A solid album throughout, and a great find for US private press seekers. The cover is also quite suitably creepy.

* Jean Luc Hamonet & Algue - Melodie, Melodie - Rock (France) 1982 private. Hamonet's sole album (the only one I know of anyway) is a pleasant instrumental romp focusing on our protagonist's guitar and flute work. Some of it is light tropical and breezy as is typical of the era. However, there are some fiery moments to behold, in particular the closer 'Masques' is right out of the Heldon playbook. I sure hope there's more like this sitting in a drawer somewhere. A pretty murky recording, so a CD reissue could easily raise this a point or so. Same label as the rare debut album by Rictus.

xxx Handgjort - s/t (Sweden) 1970 Silence. Almost all instrumental acoustic Eastern world music, similar to the Third Ear Band or Aktuala. More underground and primitive though, reminding me of Furekaaben. Years later, Embryo would produce a more professional variation of this sound on "Reise" (the non rock pieces that is). Reissued on Silence 9/2010 xxx

Mio Hani / Osamu Kitajima - Mio to Juuippiki no Neko (Japan) 1972 Warner Pioneer. Now here's an odd bird! Mio Hani is a 7 year old girl who pretty much recites non-stop throughout the whole album about her 11 cats - in Japanese of course. So it's basically a children's record... BUT... with the psychedelic band Far Out providing the background music. I won't lie to you, this one's a tough listen. However I think plenty of folks out there will be interested in this one, especially some of the darker fuzz laden moments towards the end of the album.

* Hannibal – s/t (England) 1970 B&C. In that UK blues rock school of sax lead proto prog, similar to Diabolus, Aquila and Raw Material. Some nice guitar work too. Despite the lengthy tracks, there isn’t much in the way of song development. A good album, but not one of the stronger ones in the style. boots exist.

# Hansson & Karlsson - Monument (Sweden) 1967 Polydor.
Hansson & Karlsson - Rex (Sweden) 1968 Polydor.
Hansson & Karlsson - Gold (Sweden) 1969 Polydor.
Hansson & Karlsson - Man At The Moon (Sweden) 1969 Polydor. Instrumental organ and drums duo. There's a very nice compilation available from Polydor, but the actual full albums have never been reissued.

# The Happy Dragon Band - s/t (USA) 1978 Fiddlers. Really bizarre album from the mastermind behind the Phantom's Divine Comedy album. I couldn't hope to describe this album, so I'll let the good folks at Aquarius Records do so. " Oooh, we've got a weird one here. Seriously. But very cool we think. Didn't know what to expect from the whimsical band name and front cover artwork, but it wouldn't have been *this* anyway! The first track, "3-D, Free" starts things off pretty freaky with spacey vocal effects and a lethargic reggae beat, with heartfelt lyrics, singing lines like "I saw police shooting rats". It's reprised later at the end of the album in an even more wigged out "electronic" version. This is definitely psychedelic rock music, but also very futuristic for its time (circa 1977-1978), hinting at new wave/punk. With track two, "Positive People", things get even more Devo. And it doesn't get any more normal as it goes. Capt. Beefheart also seems to be at this party... weird weird weird. But these folks have a knack for melody amist the madness." Bootlegs exist.

# Hasard - Embarque si ca t'Tente (Canada) 197? private. 

** Jukka Hauru - Information (Finland) 1972 Finnlevy.
* Jukka Hauru - Episode (Finland) 1975 Love. On his debut album "Information", there's no doubt the major influence for Jukka Hauru - one of Frank Zappa, especially of the Hot Rats era. The same motif is applied: Silly bits of humor, an almost academic approach to chamber jazz, and shredding early 70s bluesy wah-wah guitar like the master himself. Hauru proves to be an exceptional student, and this album is a no-brainer for fans of the style. "Episode" is quite a bit different, and moves towards the center of the Euro fusion movement. But it's a really good example of the style, with tight playing and Hauru proves to be once again quite adept with the electric six stringer. As an aside, Jukka Linkola plays keyboards on this album, and he apparently has a fine fusion album as well which I haven't heard. Looks like the cool folks over at ProgNotFrog have a copy to check out.

Hausmusik - Ear Mail (Germany) 1980 Transmitter. Cassette only release. Fascinating album that is a fusion of Eastern music, jazz and rock. Though not the best recording and there are plenty of improvisations that could have used a nice editing, it's still a good listen. Features an all-star lineup of Ingo Bischof (Karthago, Guru Guru, Kraan), Butze Fischer (Embryo, Missus Beastly, Moira, Guru Guru), Roland Schaeffer (Fashion Pink, Brainstrom, Guru Guru), Gerald Luciano (Guru Guru, Embryo), and Jan Fride (Kraan, Guru Guru). So it appears Guru Guru is the glue on this one. Musically ties closest to the Embryo offshoot group Sadja, though this one has more rock elements. Today, this would probably be released on CD-R, so the 1980 equivalent was the cassette, considered a more inferior medium from back then (and I think that still holds true).

xxx Havenstreet - End of the Line (England) 1977 private. More of a straightforward rock album, though the vocalist reminds me some of Caravan's Richard Sinclair, which may explain the sometimes comparison of Havenstreet to Canterbury. Not quite... *** Reissued by Sommor Oct 2014 xxx

# Häxmjölk – Eskimo Heat (Sweden) 1976 Metronome. One of exactly one million funky fusion albums coming out of Europe around this time, seemingly influenced heavily by "Headhunters" era Herbie Hancock. Clavinet, sax, guitar and piano lead the solos, while the funky bass drives the rhythms. Only exception is the emotional jazz/rock piece 'The Despirator' - clearly the album's highlight.

Yves Hayat - A Conversation Between East & West (France) 1976 Music DeWolfe. French music library album that mixes sitar, tabla, electric/acoustic guitar, drums and Moog/clavinet based electronics. Excellent and a nice companion piece to the Yves et Alain Lorentz "Espaces 2" album. Hayat apparently released a "must own" album, as considered by rare groove DJs, under the guise of Droids (1978).

# Head – Red Dwarf (Scotland) 1975 private. Obscure fusion band, with funk moves. Plenty of trumpet and sax leads. Have seen compared to early 70s Miles Davis, though I get more of a mid 70s Ian Carr's Nucleus feel. I don't hear the deep funk grooving that Miles brought forth. To me, a pretty standard sounding album for the era, but many rate this higher than myself. They have at least one other album - "Blackpool Cool" (1977).

# Head Over Heels - s/t (USA) 1971 Capitol. Head Over Heels is pretty much straight up blues rock and old fashioned rock 'n roll. The opening and closing tracks demonstrate a pretty solid hard rock band underneath, but it's too few and far between to matter much. Boots exist.

# Headband - Straight Ahead! (Germany) 1979 Plane.
Headband - Suntalk (Germany) 1980 Verabra.
Headband - Fette Bruhe (Germany) 1982 Telesonic. Standard issue fusion with guitar and soprano sax leads. Certainly less interesting than similar groups like Sun and Surgery for example. I haven't heard "Suntalk" but guessing it's similar given its position in the discography.

Heaven - s/t (USA) 1969 W.W. Records. Underground horn rock / psych album with delicious fuzz leads and cool roller rink organ sounds. Nice trumpet and trombone horn charts. Also some standard blues psych tunes as well. Interesting cacophonous freak out ending. This Nebraska band is not to be confused with the brass rock group from England.

* Heavy Joker - s/t (Denmark) 1976 Polydor.
Heavy Joker - Caesar's Palace (Denmark) 1978 Mercury. Earlier this year, I'd heard "Caesar's Palace" for the first time. I quickly dismissed it as an all too typical fusion album of the era, describing it as thus: "Warm and slick, this smooth jazz album is similar to the American group Spyro Gyra. Presumably the first album is considerably better, but I haven't heard it." One of my regular readers pointed out to me that the first album was indeed much better, and so he sent me a CD-R to see I agreed with him. Wow - what a difference! Opening with a Canterbury like sequence, I knew instantly he was to be right. The next couple of tracks would foreshadow the direction they would follow on "Caesar's Palace", with some slick playing and somewhat trite melodic interplay. But they close side 1 similar to how it began in superb fashion. This leads to the excellent side long track broken up into 4 movements, that recalls some of the finest Kraut fusion bands (Missus Beastly, Frob, Kraan, etc..) while still maintaining the Soft Machine/Nucleus approach of quirky sophistication. Overall, a very pleasant surprise.

# Judy Henske & Jerry Yester - Farewell Aldebaran (USA) 1969 Straight. Eclectic pop / folk /psych album on Zappa's then new label. Boots exist.

xxx # Heratius - Gwendolyne (France) 1978 FLVM. Spiritual successor to Fille Qui Mousse. Same kind of reckless anarchy in the studio. Spoken word, clarinet solos, piano, sustain fuzz guitar solos. Extremely deep underground music and VERY French. Have to possess an understanding of this style to truly appreciate. The AYAA label is another reference. Most albums on the do-it-yourself FLVM label aren't this experimental. Too out for me, but not unlistenable like some in the genre. *** Reissued by Fractal April 2014 xxx

* Herrgottsax! - Siebold Seiergesicht's Sündige Saxofone (Germany) 1981 Eigelstein. Judging by the cover, the title name, and some of the cartoonish voices, one gets the impression this album was made for children. Maybe John Coltrane's kids, I dunno? Other than the aforementioned voices, this is mainly a superbly crafted Kraut fusion album in the Missus Beastly, Munju and Mosaik style. Large ensemble featuring multiple saxophones, flutes, horns, guitar, bass and drums. The compositions and playing are very tight, and some the section will have you raising your head repeatedly. There's some standard jazz noodling as well - but overall a very pleasant surprise and well worth seeking out. Would make for a nice reissue on GoD.

Heta Linjen - Feta Heta Linjens Supershow (Sweden) 1971 Odeon.
* Heta Linjen - Won't You Step Inside? (Sweden) 1971 Odeon. Mixed album, but generally with strong results. In the horn rock genre, but with a distinct Zappa vibe on top (early jazz rock, silly humor), along with some Canterbury references. Solid record, that fits the Scandinavian tradition along with Dr. Dopo Jam, Solar Plexus and Made in Sweden. Band name translates to Hot Line. Have not heard their debut album, but understand that "Won't You Step Inside?" is the stronger of the two.

# Himmel Expressen - Latinamerikansk Olie (Denmark) 1976 Hookfarm. Until a couple of years ago, I never even heard of the Hookfarm label. Now it seems to pop up on my radar every few months. Here's the latest. By the title you can probably tell this is a Latin jazz rock album. That pretty much sums it up, though there is some really fiery electric guitar solos throughout - way more than is the norm. Also unusual is the steady use of harmonica, which doesn't fit, but it's surprisingly not as annoying as it may seem. Nice flute here and there too.

* Chris Hinze Combination - Stoned Flute (Netherlands) 1970 Columbia.
* Chris Hinze Combination - Live at Montreux (Netherlands) 1971 Columbia.
* Chris Hinze Combination - Who Can See the Shadow of the Sun (Netherlands) 1972 Columbia.
*** Chris Hinze Combination - Mission Suite (Netherlands) 1973 MPS/BASF.
** Chris Hinze Combination - Sister Slick (Netherlands) 1974 Columbia. Dutch flautist Chris Hinze was far more than just your usual jazz flute player. Especially on "Mission Suite" where he combines jazz and progressive rock very effectively. "Stoned Flute" and "Live at Montreux" are more steeped in the jazz tradition, but aren't standard by any means. "Who Can See the Shadow of the Sun" is a bit looser than the others during this period, and will appeal most to those into "out" jazz. "Sister Slick" is probably Hinze's heaviest album, with Philip Catherine on guitar, and is a good representation of the harder edged fusion style. Interesting to note that his other work from this period, 1972's "Virgin Sacrifice", has been reissued on CD. I'm sure it earned a CD imprint (on his own label if I remember right, I have it here somewhere) since it foreshadowed his future work as a new age artist. It's very different from his other albums during the early 70s.

# Hippopotamus - Schnatterzapfen (Germany) 1982. Typically lumped in with the very large Kraut fusion movement of the time, I found Hippopotamus to be far more typical jazz, with few rock elements. So a bit out of scope for the list, but will leave for reference.

** George Hirota - Sahasurara (Japan) 1976 King. Fascinating fusion / progressive / avant rock hybrid with indigenous tribal Japanese elements. Lots of flute, chanting / manic vocals, acoustic and fuzz guitar, piano, vibes, and a variety of percussion. Strays a bit towards the avant-garde, ala JA Caesar, during the middle of Side 2. Very unique album. Definitely in need of a CD reissue. Hirota isn't exactly an unknown (note Joji Hirota entry below), and King Records is still a very active label. Not sure why this one is still sitting in the vaults? And it's a total unknown. Took me nearly 12 years to finally hear it!

# Joji Hirota - Wheel of Fortune (Japan) 1981 King. All the inventiveness that was "Sahasurara" (under the name George Hirota) is completely lost here. Hirota fell hard for the fusion bug and recorded a very typical album of the day, with tinny synthesizers, and run of the mill solos. Plenty of boring percussion work to sit through as well. Whereas the percussion was a major force behind the ethnically tinged "Sahasurara", here it's used in typical showoff form (with one notable exception). A major disappointment for anyone but diehard Weather Report fans who still felt 1981 was a relevant year for that band.

* Hobo - s/t (Croatia) 1975 Jugoton. Hobo's sole work is a commercially oriented rock album that includes some fine violin, Moog, and piano giving it a progressive feel. The almost seven minute 'Srebro' is the highlight, and predates what their neighboring Igra Staklenih Perli were about to embark on, with their own take on the early Pink Floyd psychedelic/cosmic sound. Though sadly, this is the only track of this nature found on the album. The strong presence of violin, and the way the compositions are structured, recalls Kansas at the same juncture. Clearly these bands were operating on a parallel mindset as Hobo could not possibly have known of Kansas at this point in time. Good album all around, with some quality songwriting and progressions found within. We have to suspect (or hope anyway) that Hobo has some unreleased material that is far more progressive than what is found on this LP. They are far too talented to have been satisfied with the overall commercial approach. One can only hope a CD surfaces with copious bonus material reflecting such.

* Randy Holden – Population II (USA) 1970 Hobbit. For fans of loud, bluesy guitar and screaming gruff vocals with pounding 4/4 rhythms, then here you go. Boots exist. %%% Reissued on LP by Holden himself in 2007.

* Roland Hollinger - Bardo Thodol (France) 1978 Scorpios. The term Bardo Thodol is more commonly recognized as The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Wikipedia summarizes as thus: "The Tibetan text describes, and is intended to guide one through, the experiences that the consciousness has after death, during the interval between death and the next rebirth. This interval is known in Tibetan as the bardo. The text also includes chapters on the signs of death, and rituals to undertake when death is closing in, or has taken place." So it's safe to assume the album shouldn't be played for laughs... As such, Roland Hollinger's debut album is primarily a haunting and dark electronic music that befits the solemn subject. Some accent instruments pop up here and there like guitar, piano, saxophone, and percussion - but primarily "Bardo Thodol" is a pretty bleak work as you might expect. I would say this is a logical companion to the two Jean-Baptiste Barriere albums from the same era. It's an album worthy of discovery, thus a CD reissue would be nice, especially for an album with these kind of dynamics.

# Holy Angels - Metaphysics Meditation (Japan) 1994 Prescription Drug (released in 1998). It seems that the English based Prescription Drug label's goal was to be this generation's Kosmische Kouriers. If that's the case, then not only have they met that goal but exceeded. Another good one from the label from these (I suspect) Japanese females. Related to Angels in Heavy Syrup? Floating Flower? And AMT mastermind Makoto Kawabata of course...

Horizont - s/t (Sweden) 1977 CBS. Interesting album that gives a head fake early, before revealing what they are truly about. For most of Side 1, Horizont play a mix of straight ahead rock (with Swedish vocals) - but with a directness that wouldn't be out of place in 1981 - and more thoughtful progressive rock instrumentals. Side 2 turns on their progressive influences, especially the Hammond and guitar work, and is quite good. It would seem that the band needed to compromise a bit to get released on CBS. This is a borderline Priority 3 release. They have a second album that I haven't heard, though presumably it's even more commercially oriented.

* Horizonte - s/t (Argentina) 1977 Music Hall
* Horizonte - Señales sin Edad (Argentina) 1979 Music Hall. Horizonte are cut from the same cloth as Los Jaivas. So time to break out the pan pipes with your progressive rock! There are plenty of segments that are much more indigenous folk influenced, while others are clearly rooted in 1970s progressive rock. In this way, they also recall fellow countrymen Anacrusa. Of the two albums, Señales sin Edad maintains more highlights, but is more inconsistent than the debut, so they both grade out roughly the same. Horizonte are definitely worth another look... and deserve a proper reissue. Bottlegs exist.

xxx * Horrific Child - L'Etrange Mr. Whinster (France) 1976 Europa. Where would the music world be without Jean-Pierre Massiera? It certainly would be a more dull place without him. Everything he was involved with can only be described as obscure. And now he's the undisputed king of the 1970's Euro oddball chase. And of all the albums he did, Horrific Child remains his most sought after, and arguably most eccentric release ever. The musical realization of a psychotronic B-Movie classic. If this were a movie, it would be on at 3:00 in the morning, on your cities' last standing UHF local station. "L'Etrange Mr. Whinster" defines Massiera's niche in life. Insanely great cover is begging for a Japanese mini-LP release. *** Reissued by Finders Keepers Feb 2010 ***

xxx Horse - s/t (England) 1970 RCA. Straight ahead hard rock, with some good guitar leads and one or two decent ideas. The drummer is Rick Parnell - same drummer as Ibis (Italy)? Boots exist. *** To be reissued by Rise Above Relics in 2013 xxx

Hot Flash - First Attack! They'll Never Take Us Alive (USA) 1977 Rockwell. Boston area prog AORish blend. Not that dissimilar from the Fairchild album, though this one has a bit more complexity to it. Better than other locally produced Beantown prog bands like Blind Owl and Marianus. There's been some buzz on this album of late, but it's strictly third tier stuff. Good, but certainly not astounding.

Houston Fearless - s/t (USA) 1969 Imperial. Houston Fearless were a standard issue late 1960s styled heavy blues psych band, with gospel, folk, and pop trimmings. There is some exceptional fuzz soloing, coupled alongside wicked Hammond licks, that makes it an overall worthwhile listen. Guideposts are the usual suspects like Cream and Iron Butterfly. The first 6 tracks are quite good, excepting the lame 'His Eye is on the Sparrow'. Then it completely implodes from there, as the band tries different musical styles, hoping something will stick. Of course, none of it does. A decent genre piece, though nothing more. To date, only a bootleg exists.

# Human - Un Certain Pays (France) 1985 Cryonic. Modern symphonic music. There's no rock element here, but it's also not composed in a classical way. The sound is big and sweeping, almost like a soundtrack to an epic film. Art Zoyd were also on Cryonic at this time, and one can hear some similarities (if nothing else, both do not feature percussion), though Human is not near as dark or experimental as AZ.

** Humus - Whispering Galleries (Mexico) 1999 W-Dabliu (Italy) One primary characteristic of Humus that I picked up is that each successive album was more sophisticated than the last. Given the album covers, it almost seemed the band was evolving in a Darwinian state. And as TS so eloquently states in his blog piece, the cover here is astounding. While I wouldn't necessarily say "Whispering Galleries" has taken this to a new level of complexity (not even sure how they would do that honestly), I would say this is a nice sideways move for the band. The guitar trio arrangements are still dizzying complex, and Humus continues to possess that unique primo-era Sensations' Fix space rock vibe. Amongst the more standard Humus fare, there is an atmospheric/experimental keyboard piece, a female vocals number with some splendid electric blues guitar soloing, a modern interpretation of what seems like a Group 1850 improvisation, and an all-in 22 minute space rock number. Must listen TV here.

Hungry Wolf - s/t (England) 1970 Philips. Hungry Wolf's sole album is primarily instrumental pop-influenced soul jazz, with some splendid heavy Hammond organ courtesy of the Mohawks' Alan Hawkshaw. Loosely played electric guitar, simple rhythms, brass charts, and even some vocals which is fairly rare for an album like this. File alongside The Bigroup. The band is related to Rumpelstiltskin and Ugly Custard, the latter of which it is similar to musically. Boots exist.

Hunk Ai - s/t (Denmark) 1986 Olufsen. Hunk Ai is a textbook avant progressive album. Heavily influenced by Henry Cow, Slapp Happy, Kew Rhone and Von Zamla, the music of Hunk Ai is wildly unpredictable, angular and dissonant. At once harsh and then followed by surprising melodic sounds. Like most albums in the field, there are some great moments to behold, including the driving bass work, fantastic production and the rare (for the genre) psychedelic guitar soloing. On the other hand, there are plenty of free noise sections, tuneless percussion and the ever present shrieking and shrill pseudo-operatic female voice that honestly becomes annoying after awhile. I used to have much more tolerance for this kind of stuff, but it hasn't aged well for me. Still, it's a borderline Priority 3, but I think I'll drop one grade below. But if you're a fan of said genre, this album is an absolute must. They have at least one later album that I know next to nothing about (not even sure if it was originally on LP or CD or both).

# Hvide Sande – Sperenzchen. 1979 private. Sounds more like a 1960's garage album, especially on the vocal tracks which have a punk-like aesthetic. Instrumentally the guitar features a surf-like sound. Overall there's no thematic, climactic or compositional development within the songs. They just sort of meander through each as non dynamically as possible. A dull album. Named after a resort town in western Denmark.

** Hydravion - s/t (France) 1977 Cobra.
** Hydravion - Stratos Airlines (France) 1979 Carrere. After a handful of dark, complex and remarkable electronic rock albums on the Pole label, Phillippe Besombes created a more accessible vehicle for his talents. Thus was born Hydravion. Each album starts with a slightly bouncy, disco tinged, electronic track - a style that was quite popular in Paris in the late 1970s. But this being Besombes, it doesn't take long for Hydravion to sound more Heldon than Chic. Each album features anguished fuzz guitar leads, bizarre interludes, alien voices and a whole lot of invention. Many folks tend to overlook Hydravion (and who can blame them, especially after glancing at the ridiculous "Stratos Airlines" space suit cover), but give each album about 5 minutes to settle in, and you'll see these are top tier French progressive electronic albums.

Hydrus - Midnight in Space (Italy) 1978 PDU. One of the 3 indigenous electronic albums (Eletriktus and Robert Cacciapaglia's "Sonanze" being the others) on the PDU label (most known for their Italian pressings of the German Cosmic Courier clan). Hydrus could have been named Hybrid, as they mix spacey, non seqeuncer based electronic music with tiny hints of disco. Lovely wordless female vocals adds an exotic atmosphere. Not a bad record at all, though they should've let loose a bit more as the electronics get a bit static after while.

I.D. Company - s/t (Germany) 1970 HorZu. Split album between two soon-to-be well known female vocalists. Side 1 features Frump's Inga Rumpf and her masculine vocal style. The music is a combination of blues, jazz and Indian music - and sounds like some of the better moments of Krokodil's "An Invisible World Revealed". Dagmar Krause's side is considerably more experimental, foreshadowing her later work with Slapp Happy, Art Bears and Henry Cow amongst others. The music follows in a similar manner, and is clearly going for a free jazz sound. It's all a bit much to be honest, but fans of unhinged music + vocals will love it. A bootleg exists.

# I.O.U. - s/t (USA) 1977 K&R. Well done Michigan hard rock that perfectly fits the time and place. The song craft is typical and uninspiring, but what makes I.O.U. interesting is the superb guitar soloing, played at a faster rate than usual for the time. It's the latter element that brought to mind the first Elonkorjuu album from Finland - an album I've rarely made comparisons to. Not essential, but a good one for hard rock fans. A natural choice for a label like Rockadrome.

** Ibis - s/t (Sweden) 1974 Grammofonverket - Europa Film. Loads of ring modulator electric piano similar to The Fourth Way or Love Cry Want and fantastic guitar leads with the occasional Swedish melody. Berits Halsband is another reference though they don't go for the deep trance like BH does. A couple of trips to the weeds is the only thing keeping this from a total monster. Highly recommended.

# Icare – Aquarelle (France) 1980 SRC. French commercial oriented rock with progressive styling. The occasional thoughtful break points to a more sophisticated past, that had all but eroded by the time of their LP release. On the same label as Synopsis debut.

** Id - Where Are We Going? (USA) 1976 Aura. Id is the album that Terry Brooks and Strange *should have* released. For those of you that have endured "Raw Power", then you know what an exhausting fuzz guitar overload that album is. Id is no different really on that point, but the primary separator is the keyboard work which is all in technicolor mellotron! There's even some decent melodies, especially on the first side. Lyrically it's 70s cornball hippy dipster the-world-is-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket kind of album. There's some narration and phased semi-singing that's so bad it's bad, thus we love it anyway. Honestly, I like this album quite a bit. If you can handle non stop guitar soloing, then you might like it too! And truthfully there wasn't a lot of this kind of stuff on the market in the 1970s.

** Igra Staklenih Perli - Soft Explosion Live (Serbia) 1978 / 1993 Kalemegdan.
** Igra Staklenih Perli - Inner Flow (Serbia) 1978 / 1993 Kalemegdan.
** Igra Staklenih Perli - Drives (Serbia) 1977 / 1994 Kalemegdan. "Soft Explosion Live" is basically a live version of the debut. "Inner Flow" contains various recordings (live and studio) taken from 1976 to 1978. "Drives" is their most freaked out album, and is culled from roughly 5 hours of recorded private tapes called "Triple Live Numbers 1-3". All are from prior to their first actual studio album, and thus more similar to their early Pink Floyd improvisational style. Apparently some of the "Triple Live" tapes are still missing, and there was talk (back in 1994 that is) of releasing more material from these sessions. Obviously that was put on hold, as I write this 14 years later. All of these archival releases were reissued on LP with excellent sound and covers. In particular, the "Drives" cover is simply amazing, and could be rated amongst the best album covers of the 1970s. Since the Brazilian label Rock Symphony licensed the Tako's from Kalemegdan, I would presume it's only a matter of time before these albums are licensed by some enterprising CD label. Unfortunately Kalemegdan never did reissue the actual RTB albums back in the day, though the parent label RTB PGP of Serbia did finally reissue them on CD in 2008.

# Ikarus - Solaris (Germany) 1982 Pool. One side is German sung commercial rock, the other a lightweight all instrumental fusion. They have two earlier albums that are presumably better, but I'm not in a hurry to investigte.

* Iliad - Distances (USA) 1976 Northern Lights.
Iliad - Sapphire House (USA) 1978 Northern Lights. Lead by keyboardist Sandy Owen, Los Angeles based Iliad present a fairly mellow and relaxed symphonic progressive album. At times the tranquil piano and flute give off a proto New Age feel. Features a couple of rockin' rave-ups, as well as an extended jazzy improvisation on the familiar Beatles chestnut Norwegian Wood. The mixed classical-progressive-jazz-new age style recalls Minnesota's Sailor (1974) in many places. Two groups from completely different regions drawing a somewhat similar musical conclusion. According to Owen's website, the album release is clearly set to 1976 (there's absolutely no date to be found anywhere on the LP proper). I haven't heard Sapphire House to date, but it appears to be of a similar mindset to Distances. Owen states: "This was the second album released by Iliad on our own label, Northern Lights Records. As in our first album, Distances, this album displays a wide variety of styles and moods: from jazz to rock to New Age. As with Distances, this LP was distributed only in Los Angeles."

# Ilmo Smokehouse - s/t (USA) 1970 Roulette. Standard issue early 70s blues rock with a couple of very good tracks in 'Movement 1 and 13' as well as 'Watch Jimmy Crash'. On the other hand, 'Have You Ever Had the Blues' is dreadful. Gray area reissues exist.

** Images - s/t (France) 1977 Voxigrave. The first side is pleasant folk, with acoustic guitars and flute, and sparse vocals sung in a soft French tone. Side 2 rocks out with the addition of electric guitar, bass, keys and drums. Plenty of progressive meter changes, and comparisons to bands like Memoriance or Pentacle wouldn't be out of place. A splendid little album that very few know about, but is not to be missed! They also participate on a second album that is avant garde, and a bit out of scope for this list.

# * Impeccable - Live on the Rox (USA) 1979 IBC. Great hard rock from Lubbock, Texas. A bit outside of scope here, but would be great for Rockadrome.

* Yasuo Inada & Bemi Family – Kankaku Shikou (Japan) 1974. aka Morio Inada. Information about this release is difficult to find as there are different spellings/translations of the album. Musically a highly fascinating album, with a classical piano base. Organ, mellotron, electric / echoed piano, analog synths, percussion, drums, rhythm guitar and male/female voice. Can't say I've heard another album quite like it!

xxx * Jirou Inagaki & Soul Media - Dousojin (Yabunirami Minyoukou) (Japan) 1972 Columbia. So let's get back into the Alaskan Connections very rare Japanese selection. This one is definitely worth pursuing - a collection of traditional folk songs, but in many cases distorted beyond recognition, and at times, very psychedelic. I quite liked this one. *** Reissued by Columbia Japan May, 2015 xxx

# Incroyable Jungle Beat – Edelweiss (France) 1984. Somewhat typical sax laden funky fusion from France. Howerever there are a couple of unique aspects to this album: 1) Features some Wavish vocals and songwriting and 2) The organ is from the 1960s, which provides a nice contrast to the otherwise 1984 sound. They have a second album as well, which I've heard is similar.

Indigo - Meer der Zeit (Germany) 1977 private.
Indigo - Die Angel Im Gras (Germany) 1979 private.
Indigo - Herbstwind (Germany) 1980 private. Indigo are a melodic progressive rock band that seem to be clearly influenced by Novalis, maintaining a slower pace, with plenty of organ, spacey vocals in German, early polyphonic synths and nice electric lead guitar. "Meer der Zeit" features only one long track which is broken up into many movements. Other references include Pink Floyd, Faithful Breath's "Fading Beauty", Fly, and Minotaurus. "Die Angel Im Gras" is the best of the lot IMO. All 3 albums are pretty rare. Not to be confused with the post-Kyrie Eleison Austrian pop group.

Indiscreet - Difficult to Contribute Silence (Germany) 1985 Nabel. Indiscreet are a German band who are clearly a product of the middle 80s, when no one, and I mean absolutely no one, was going 1970s retro. Everyone had to have a modern, cold, and clinical sound. Belew-era King Crimson is of course the blueprint here. But I was reminded perhaps even more of Michigan's Inserts, especially in the sense of open space the band operates in. This has more of a jazz angle rather than rock, and is on the margins of the scope of the list. Some of the alto and soprano sax playing here is as annoying as it can possibly get. A lot of the free improvisational stuff on here does not work, and is truly dull, if not downright teeth gnashing. Indiscreet are at their best in full ensemble mode, especially when the violin is present.

Innervisions - Beginnings End (USA) 1977 Visions Ltd. Innervisions were an 8 piece horn rock band from New Jersey and perhaps the most surprising aspect of this release is the recording date. This kind of record was waaaaaaaaaaaay past its shelf life in 1977. It sounds more like 1972 era Chicago than anything coming around this late. Ultimately, this is AM radio Billboard styled pop. But it's still mixed with that wonderful and aggressive Terry Kath like raw guitar and a few complex horn charts. The pop is really a bit too saccharine to highly recommend to progressive and underground rock fans, though it is a pleasant listen if in the right frame of mind. Overall a strange anachronistic album with a very cool private looking cover.

* Inserts - Out of the Box (USA) 1983 Nozzle. A very interesting instrumental album from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Inserts are an improvisational guitar based trio, with a clear understanding of the value of a good production. The guitar is distinctly from the Fripp school, including the angry atonal fuzz tone. The bass work has an almost Zeuhl quality about it, though it doesn't rumble along the rhythm like Paganotti or Top would do. These kind of albums didn't exist in 1983, but other than the occassional "Starless and Bible Black" reference, I would say that the Inserts were AHEAD of their time. You could convince me a band such as Djam Karet may have stumbled onto this in a used bin somewhere. Album was pressed in Japan and released on their own label here in America. It's a first class job all the way. Apparently the band is still around, and they plan on reissuing this album soon!

Inside Out - Projection (USA) 1981 Corbett. "Projection" is a solid jazz album from Maryland with a fusion undertone. Typical of the time and place. A bit of classic 60s Miles / Coltrane mixed with some mid-late 70s Weather Report and even a little breezy tropical island styled fusion similar to Spyro Gyra. A very easy listen, and while maybe not a high priority reissue, something well worth hearing. Especially for deep divers of the genre.

* Iris - Litanies (France) 1972 Sonopresse Connection. Major label French pop/psych/le progressif. With cool organs, blistering fuzz, and Carnaby Street harmony vocals, Iris fools absolutely no one in trying to make the Hit Parade. But, this being French and all, it still sounds delicious, and references to other like minded crossover acts such as Alice's "Arretez Le Monde" and Atoll's "Musiciens-Magiciens" would not be entirely out of line. Beautiful lilac cover art.

# Iris - s/t (Germany) 1981 Peak. Iris are a Deutschrock band very similar to another band I recently wrote about: Lacrima, also from 1981 interestingly enough. Other benchmarks would be early 80's era Novalis or Grobschnitt. Mostly straightforward guitar rock with German lyrics. Some genre hopping, but nothing too startling. Very weak album. Same label as the excellent Tonic "This Way" LP.

Irolt - De Gudrun Sege. 1975 Philips.
Irolt - Kattekwea. 1977 Philips.
Irolt - De Smid Van Earnewald. 1979 Philips. (Netherlands) To my ears, Irolt straddle the line between progressive and contemporary folk. This is primarily acoustic folk with inventive arrangements. In this way, they are to folk what fellow countrymen Flairck are to classical music. I love hearing the Dutch language (Oops - correction. Thanks to reader Bas - the language is West Frisian. More info here.) , something that is sadly missing in almost all of the region's progressive rock recordings. If pressed for comparisons, I was most reminded of the German band Ougenweide or perhaps even the first Emma Myldenberger album. These are the Germanic equivalents of Fairport Convention and Pentangle. Though there's not really much of a rock element present here at all. Very professional and worth seeking out for fans. And the album covers are pretty cool too!

xxx * Isaiah - s/t (Austria). 1975 CBS. *** Reissued by Digatone October 2014 xxx

# Iscir Transit Express - Missa Est (France). 1978 Le Kiosque D'Orphee. This is an album that probably had no reason being released in the first place. But true to the Le Kiosque D'Orphee business model, if you had the cash, they'd press whatever you brought in. So with that principle, Inscir Transit Express showed up with their tapes, and purportedly 200 copies were pressed for posterity. Today, the original is worth a small fortune, guessing that only a handful survived the trash bin. So what do you get for your money? A poorly recorded psychedelic jam album with some decent guitar leads, primitive synthesizers, and boring drum solos. Inscir Transit Express possessed a few good ideas, and were about one to two years away from putting out a thoughtful, well produced album, if these tapes are any indication. If you're a 60s/70s underground rock collector who loves these kind of "basement" tapes, then Inscir Transit Express will certainly satisfy - and there is an LP reissue available out there for the curious. Otherwise, I think you can figure out what's in store here. Believe me, Inscir Transit Express will not win any composition awards.

** Akira Ishikawa & His Count Buffalos - African Rock (Japan) 1971 Dan. This is not my first run in with Akira Ishikawa & His Count Buffalos, as Shadoks reissued their (next?) album Uganda (1972) on LP and Tiliqua followed up with a CD reissue a couple of years after that. I found the album a disappointment, as it was primarily African percussion with a few cool Mizutani freakouts, but honestly it sounded as a late addition, and didn't fit the album as a whole. After hearing this title, I have to say they reissued the wrong album. The AC has provided a brief history (on my CDRWL blog) of Ishikawa's travels to Africa and his subsequent fascination with the music there. The AC's excellent music review states: "Eight all-original instrumentals (aside from a little "tribal chanting") are featured, and the style can perhaps best be described as a fusion of the better parts of the following year's "Uganda" (think of "Pigmy") with some hints of "Primitive Community", filtered through the psychedelic/progressive jazz-rock stylings that Suzuki would develop over the next two years on his "Rock Joint" albums. The highlight of the album for me is the one-two punch that leads off the second side, "The Earth" featuring some of Mizutani's wildest fuzz soloing ever, followed up by "Love", a darkly mysterious flute and tribal percussion led piece that really nails that "lost in the deep jungle" vibe. An excellent album overall." If the phrase "Mizutani's wildest fuzz ever" doesn't get your heart started, you may want to consult your doctor. Or your coroner. This album is everything you want in a funk psych jazz rock album - except you almost never do get what you want. It's the perfect blend of sweet grooves, wild psych, and deep funk. Horn charts, flute, tribal drums, and Mizutani psych guitar. What more can you ask for? A really splendid album, that the always deep diving Japanese record companies seem to come through on.

# Iskra (Sweden) Avant jazzy group with 5 albums. A bit out of the scope for this list, but will include band name here per request.

* Fred Israel - Fashions of Moon (USA-Denmark). 1977 Hookfarm. Oddball album, with strong smokey jazz sax tendencies, off-kilter vocals, sound collages, sitars, classical piano, mellotron, etc... Zappa once again is an obvious influence here, minus the crisp ensemble work. I even hear some early Cluster at work here, though seriously doubt Isreal was influenced, or even familiar with them. Heady album, though hard to imagine who the intended audience was. Bootlegs exist.

# It - Viaje (Musica Electronica Libre) (Spain). 1976 Movieplay. Experimental electronic music with sparse use of electric guitar. Pretty static and dull, but will appeal to fans of the genre.

It's My Head - s/t (Sweden-Wales) 1987 Urania. Odd one here. It's My Head was a duo based in Stockholm, but prominently featured Welsh percussionist Steve Hubback (who's still active in the music scene today). Album received a glorious review in Audion at the time, which propelled me to pick up a copy. Otherwise had I seen it in my local record store's import bin, I would've skipped right over it, as it looks like every other industrial album of the era. Musically it's a fascinating hybrid of fusion, cosmic, electronic and industrial styles. Like a stripped down version of David Torn's "Cloud About Mercury". The kind of album that would've given the 1980s a good name, but there are scant examples such as this. According to the Steve Hubback website, album was schedule to be reissued on CD in 2003, but it doesn't appear that actually happened.

* Iviron - s/t (Germany) 1981 Silent Sun. Unusual fusion album with many disparate ideas. Iviron constructed their album more in an early 1970s exploratory style, though the sound was more relevant to the late 70s / early 80s time frame. There's a real sense of adventure here (a lot of East-West references), and even a touch of the psychedelic. Also has some mellotron, not a common sound for the date. A very interesting find. Album was released as a full length 45 RPM, which had some popularity back then (Klaus Schulze's Innovative Communications did this quite a bit in the early 80s).

Ivory - s/t (USA) 1973 Playboy. Here we go again, another album that is about half excellent, half dreadful. Starts out promising enough with a heavy organ rocker that wouldn't be out of place on a Uriah Heep album. This then leads into three full plain old woman-done-me-wrong rock songs that are... well... they're terrible. No redeeming value whatsoever, no matter how you try to rationalize it. So of course, from there on out it's prog rock heaven. Get out the organ, Moog and piano and let's play us some complicated ELP style music shall we? Heck, some of the riffs even recall the Italian interpretation of the English famous trio (think Alphataurus, L'Uovo Colombo here). And so it goes throughout Side 2, complete with an Indian bit with sitar, tablas and the works. Sigh. Any chance there's a full archive of this style sitting in a vault somewhere? Like the Yaqui album, this album was released on Hefner's Playboy label.

* Ixt Adux - Brainstorm (USA) 1982 Madame X. Los Angeles based Ixt Adux were yet another late 70s / early 80s US band that had absolutely no chance of commercial success. Their brand of aggressive and complex King Crimson influenced rock will remind the listener of St. Elmo's Fire (Cleveland), October (Detroit) and The Inserts (also in Michigan) - other hopelessly obscure albums. There's even a little Canterbury undercurrent (but brash and entirely American) like you would find on a Cartoon album (Phoenix area band). The vocalist definitely enjoyed listening to Van der Graaf Generator, and he employs many Hammill-like declarations. Really a fine album for progressive rock collectors, and one a reissue label could probably sell - as this style is far more in vogue now than in 1982.

* Izvir - s/t (Slovenia) 1977 RTV. Of all the obscure former Yugoslavian progressive rock albums, I think Izvir remains the most elusive. Starts out in spacey psychedelic territory ala Igra Staklenih Perli, but oddly enough abandons that sound altogether after about 4 minutes and opts for a funky fusion direction. Somewhere between mid 70s Santana (notable in the song craft, guitar and organ sounds) and “Dunajska Legenda” era Fermata, you’ll find the music of Izvir. This one is a grower, as the disco era melodies hold a certain nostalgia pull. Lots of clavinet, almost defining the funky sounds within.

** J & F Quintet - Contrast (Switzerland) 1976 private. Now this is a pure jazz album with a rock subtext. Flute with rock styled rhythms lay the foundation for sax and keyboard (mainly piano) solos. These rock foundations recall no less a luminary than Soft Machine, so they definitely make your head rise when listening. But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this album is the use of language. I could swear I heard French and German, and maybe Italian. Heck, maybe even Romansh, therefore covering all the official Swiss languages. Some of the atmospheric flute passages recall the great Lloyd McNeill Quartet. And as we do immerse ourselves further into Side 2, the album does change its tone from jazz to rock. And goes from very good to extraordinary. 

# Jankees - Atlantis (Japan) 1987 Four Seasons. Standard sounding bouncy Japanese symphonic with tinny digital synthesizers. See Flying Tea Cup for basic description.

# Jargon - s/t (Finland) 1980 Dig It. Pretty standard progressive jazz rock fusion like same era Pekka Pohjola or the later Ruphus albums from Norway.

Järngustav - Tiden Läker Inga Sår (Sweden) 1978 Nackspaar (NS1). Järngustav is blues rock, plain and simple - all sung in Swedish. Side 1 contains five short, depressing tracks. Side 2 is a 17 minute blues rock jam, though not very inspired, or particularly rocking. It does kick in gear - finally - at about the 15 minute mark. I love Swedish blues rock, but you won't be confusing Järngustav with November or Saga anytime soon. About the only other band I can think of that reminds me of Järngustav is Kontinuerlig Drift. It's easy to understand why this one has stayed so obscure.

* JAS (James Arthur Schneider) - Awakening (USA) 1977 private. (1975-1977 recordings). Poorly recorded but excellent Mahavishnu-styled early 70s jazz rock.

# ** Jasper Wrath - s/t (USA) 1971 Sunflower/MGM. Fine psychedelic meets progressive rock album from Connecticut. Not featuring separately on the blog as some of this material has been reissued on authorized compilations of both Jasper Wrath and Zoldar & Clark. But I don't believe the album as a whole has been reissued in its entirety, though pirate editions exist. I own the LP and I can't find evidence of some of the tracks on any CD issue.

Jayar - Foreign Soil (USA) 1980 Windlord. The AC informs us: "Jayar was the stage name of guitarist/vocalist Jesse Boleyn, who recorded this album (with a full backing band) in Santa Barbara, California. What we have here is a mixture of singer-songwriter, folk-psych and progressive rock, with an atmosphere somewhat reflective of the late hippie/early new age subculture that permeated California from the mid 70s through the very early 80s. Frankly, it can be hard to keep a straight face through all of the plaintive guitar strumming and quavering, overwrought vocals spinning tales of magical wizards and alien abduction/invasion (a major concern of Mr. Boleyn at the time, it would seem), but there are a few moments of interest, especially in the handful more overtly progressive tracks. "R.E.M." in particular is effective, with its synths, psych-tinged guitar soloing and female vocals. A bit silly overall, but worth a spin for US underground completists." I listened to this 3 times before actually reading his own synopsis, and I had hoped he would have a review similar to the above. There's a clear Yes like sound to the synthesizers and acoustic guitar chord structures, played over a strange vocal tone, almost like Johnny Cash in its earnestness - as sung by David Gates (Bread). But with varying high and low pitches. There's a bit of a Broadway Play feel to it all. It's a very odd album, though interesting for certain. For a US underground completest is a great way to summarize here. Of which I'm afraid both of us tend to be. No need for a reissue, but a mild curiosity piece for those similar amongst us.

Jenghiz Khan - Well Cut (Belgium) 1971 Barclay. Jenghiz Khan are a fairly typical early 70s hard rock / blues rock band with organ and guitar leads, and half-way decent English vocals. Very ordinary songwriting. Somewhat like the UK blues rock scene ala Ashkan and Elias Hulk, but far more inconsistent. Last track, clocking in at 10 minutes, is the clear winner of the bunch.

* Jessica - s/t (Germany) 1975 private. Piano driven symphonic rock. One of the few German bands to have an almost Italian sound in places, like Festa Mobile for example. Has a jazzy lounge feel to it with plenty of piano and toned down electric guitar. Also features quite a bit of acoustic guitar. Generally derided for its classical bent, though I would say that sound is represented in small doses here.

Jester - s/t (USA) 1978 private. The name alone will no doubt draw snickers from long time critics of progressive rock. And while today a jester is certainly one of the more trite cliches of the movement, in 1978 it hadn't necessarily played itself out yet, so it would be a natural choice for a young band to pursue a moniker such as that. Musically, this Long Beach, California based band were very much a product of their time and place. Like a lot of bands in the late 70s, they decided to hedge their bet by putting one foot into complex progressive rock compositions, and the other into the safer waters of commercial album oriented rock. Unfortunately the latter puts off the former, and the targeted radio audience never materialized. Thus an album such as this finds itself on an obscure list on the internet, only read by deep divers and obsessionists like your humble author. When in progressive rock mode, they remind me most of the 80's California band Drama, but with less fusion elements. Also, the locally produced Bounty EP would be a good reference. But be prepared for some cringe inducing moments when they reach for the charts. I've seen two covers for this - one blue and one red. Not sure which is the original, or if they were both released at the same time.

# Jigsaw - Puzzle (Germany) 1981 private. Looks like the album was pressed in Switzerland, but not sure of origin of band. Regardless, this is a fine sprightly Latin styled jazz album, with Les Paul styled leads, piano, and plenty of percussion. Mostly out of scope for this list, but will leave here for reference. I think fans of the style would really enjoy this one. Very obscure album.

xxx * Jimmy, Yoko & Shin – Sei Shonagon (Japan) 1978 Three Blind Mice. Same label as Yuji Imamura & Air. Three long tracks of keyboard, bass and drums. Closest comparison would be possibly Mahoujin's "Babylonia Suite". Good album. *** Reissued by Think! Records Dec 2013 xxx

** George Jinda - Wheel Of Love (France) 1976 Motors. George Jinda is actually Hungarian, born and raised in Budapest, and (the curtain closes) by the 1980's he's in the US according to all the bio's I could find. En route, he found himself in France. And "Wheel of Love" certainly sounds French! Especially in the bass playing (courtesy of Didier Batard). Some Heldon sequencer/guitar moves, some flute and sax jazz rock, even some funk. All instrumental and a great album – lots of ideas and sounds. Features all the members of Speed Limit, who he was also a member of.

# Joker's Memory - A Joker's Memory (Canada) 1976 private. A 20 minute, one sided LP, featuring an amateurish attempt at a prog rock style. Plenty of AOR moves to sit through, and while the effort is sincere, the material needed far more polishing before going into the studio. The abominable production (reminding me of the Astre album) doesn't help. One for collectors of the private press spirit, but musically speaking, little value can be found.

** Jon & John - s/t (USA) 1974 Trilogy. Jon & John, from Rochester NY, is yet another amazing find from the AC, and it's one of those albums - it's got a special vibe that transcends the normal expectations of a particular genre. In this case, that genre would be "psych folk". As you have read from me countless times over the years, I feel that most albums in this space are pure folk with very mild rock or psychedelic characteristics. But that's not the situation with Jon & John. Some highlights from The AC's observations: "...there are two tracks in particular that are full-on progressive rock in the Yes vein, with synths, tricky rhythms, etc. The rest of the material is also of surprisingly high quality, which might be explained by the somewhat unusual history of this duo that I've been able to dig up. It seems that Jon & John were actually Jon Elias and John Petersen, who must have recorded this when they were mere teenagers at a music school they were attending in Rochester, New York. A few years later they actually collaborated again to pen the iconic original MTV theme (the guitar riff with the astronaut standing on the moon), and both went on to have very successful careers in the film/television and commercial music industry...." I'm going to take this one step further than The AC, in a rare display of slight dissension. I would say it is indeed a lost classic. I loved the mystical vibe and the high quality songwriting from the off. And the two progressive rock tracks he calls out are truly sublime. There's some wonderful flute playing throughout as well. Three minutes into this album and I was reminded of one of my favorite albums of all-time in the progressive folk space: Madden & Harris of Australia. The compositions have a similar high quality about them. If Jon & John had employed a mellotron, then the comparison I think would be more obvious. A wonderful album.

# Jonathan - s/t (Germany) 1978 AAR. Symphonic keyboard / drum duo similar to French acts like Space Art and Eden.

*** Del Jones' Positive Vibes - s/t (psych mix) (USA) 1972 Hikeka. I just realized that I hadn't added one of my all time favorite albums. The single most intense Black America album ever. Basically Del Jones is the Philadelphia ghetto version of the Berlin based Cosmic Couriers clan. Intense does not even begin to describe this album. The anger that comes through will melt your mind. And all the freaked out vocals, wah wah guitar, flute and heavy rhythms will make you grab for your Ash Ra Tempel albums and hold on tight. Given the economic conditions of the housing projects of the early 1970s, it's surprising more albums didn't seep through like this. Like Velvert Turner, Del Jones released two versions of the same album: A "soul" mix and a "psych" mix. The soul mix is available on CD and appears legit. The psych mix has only been reissued on LP so far, and did involve Del Jones, so we'll consider that legit. But no one has issued it on CD to date. The soul mix is not that much different really - there's an additional horn section and some of the guitar work has been moved into the background. It's still a monster and highly recommended. On both albums, there are a couple of throw away soul numbers that are fortunately short - but most of the album will fry your brain! 'Cold Turkey' has some of the most anguished freaked out madness since John L. on 'Flowers Must Die' from Ash Ra Tempel's "Schwingungen".

** The Leo Jones Workshop - Fire Engine and Crossover (USA) 1974 Mirrorsonic (CS 7237). And as promised from yesterday, here's a great discovery for all of you who love the early 70s dirty deep funk jazz psych rock of Miles Davis. Here we have an accomplished trumpet player laying down the deep groove with a bunch of 7th and 8th graders! When you hear this, you will not have any idea most of this is performed by kids in their young teens. It would seem task master Mr. Jones ran a tight ship. What an amazing artifact!

* Jox - Joxifications (France) 1982 FLVM. A nice find from the always surprising FLVM label. Starts off heavily in the French folky bag recalling Troisieme Rive's "Banlieues" or Manu Lannhuel, but after a few minutes, the mood changes and the music moves into a primarily instrumental direction. In the end, you come away feeling like you've just heard a French Gryphon circa "Red Queen to Gryphon Three" (sans drums). Just replace the bassoon with an oboe. Other than the last, and short, 3 minute instrumental, the album does not use drums (a primitive drum machine was applied on the last track, for no purpose it seems). The music is driven by piano, acoustic guitar, Moog and bass guitar, the latter doing its part to keep the music driving forward. Memorable melodies, based on traditional themes, also define this album. Musea should dip back into the reissue market with this gem.

# Jessy Joyce - Love Me (France) 1976 Barclay. Well, guess who's behind the controls on this one? Of course, J.P. Massiera. So no surprise the collectable value of this one is through the roof. And add to that a cover with two very fine looking naked ladies, and you have an instant major rarity. Of course, many collectors don't want the music to get in the way apparently - and on this front it's pretty boring Janis Joplin like blues rock. Does features some nice lead guitar though.

Juma - Aqua Cosmos (Japan) 1981 D. D. Records. cassette. Juma marries two hopelessly obscure objects for rare music collectors: 1980s do-it-yourself electronic music and the Japanese cassette underground. The AC describes the album as thus "They apparently released many tapes, and had some of their stuff distributed through Eurock at the time. I've heard a couple of other ones, but I thought they were kind of amateurish and meandering. This one struck me as pretty good, though. I thought you might like it since you expressed your fondness for Berlin school stuff, and this is definitely in that vein. Actually, partly due to the type of synths he was probably using (Japanese stuff like Korg MS-20s and Roland System 100s, which were cheap back then compared to the classic American gear) what it really sounds like is that Pneuma "Psychabuse" CD of archival material from the same period. Also maybe a little similar to Osiris." To the AC's latter point, the best track for me utilized quite a bit of electric guitar soloing (it rambles on, but it's still cool) which did indeed remind me of Osiris' "In the Mist of Time", an album I once owned years ago - but ultimately sold and we featured awhile back. Anyway, I definitely did appreciate this album. Anyone who really likes the first Pythagoras album from The Netherlands would do well to seek this out as well.

Jumbo - Bigger and Better! (USA) 1970 Leonard Productions. Pretty cool mix of Blood Sweat and Tears inspired horn rock and a traditional college level stage band. Not a lot of this kind of stuff available on the open market, and worth a few spins. No date on the album anywhere, but hair styles and clothes point to 1970 or so. Can't find any info on the web about them either.

Jupu Group - Ahmoo! (Finland) 1975 Hi-Hat. Heavy instrumental progressive fusion with guitar/violin/electric piano/Moog interplay. There is one boring drum solo to sit through. Typical mid 70s fusion, that was all the rage at the time. Similar to other European acts like Pumpkin, Pop Workshop, Energy, Ex Ovo Pro - and of course the forebearers of the movement: Return To Forever and Weather Report.

xxx Kaamos - Deeds and Talks (Finland) 1977. *** Reissue Jan. 2010 on Rocket Records xxx

* La Kabala - s/t (Peru) 1970 RCA. La Kabala is a mix of late 1960s swinging soul jazz, cruise ship styled loungers sung in Spanish, and an occasional Santana electric guitar outburst to keep everyone on their toes. Flute and roller rink organ fill the other lead roles. Opening and closing tracks are best, with the latter featuring some cool seductive female vocals. Much debate continues to ensue on the origin of the band. Most folks point to Peru, given that the majority of the pressings have emerged from there. However Mexico stubbornly remains in the discussion, and even Americans apparently hanging down south. Perhaps it really is only an exploitation album - without the proper distribution to really call it that (economically speaking). Whatever the case, a fine album, that doesn't require much thought to get into. Very much the perfect tropical vacation album - circa 1970.

Kaleidoskop - s/t (Germany) 1974 Lava. At the crossways of jazz and rock, with emphasis on the latter. Sax, flute and organ lead the solo parade (there are no less than 3 full time winds players). Some inventive compositions, and the progressive rock element comes out in the unison playing, which at times is complex. Occasionally I hear same period Missus Beastly, though Kaleidoskop are definitely more jazz oriented. Side 2 features a lengthy suite, utilizing Eastern scales, that is quite interesting, if not overly inspired. Overall a good jazz rock album, that I'm sure would do well as a CD reissue, especially amongst the more adventurous jazzers out there.

xxx Kandahar - Long Live The Sliced Ham (Belgium) 1974.
xxx Kandahar - In The Court Of Catherina Squeezer (Belgium) 1975. ** First two albums reissued by Sony of Belgium July 2009 **
Kandahar - Pictures From The Past (Belgium) 1976.

xxx Kanguru - s/t (Germany) 1981 Marifon. (RYM states the original is on Pingo, and the Marifon release is a reissue?). Light Kraut funky fusion, with a late 70s Santana vibe, not completely unlike the Brain group To Be. Some good guitar leads offsets an otherwise mundane effort. Kanguru have a couple of other albums as well. *** OK, it looks like this was reissued by Spalax years ago xxx

Kashmir - Alarme! (aka Je Suis...). 1979 Kiswell. (Je Suis... was the original private issue)
* Kashmir - Histoire Cruelle. 1982 Kobold.
? Kashmir - Les Reflets du Lac. 19??. Here's a group that I had forgotten about in my original CDRWL. Years ago I had the LP version of "Alarme!". It was fairly decent, but not enough to keep and I moved it in an ebay auction. Based on a comment from StrawbsFan, I checked the album out again, and I found it to be slightly better than I remembered, but still not something I'd be willing to stump for to a CD reissue label. Basically it's similar to other electronic duos like Eden (France), Jonathan (Germany) and maybe even Space Art. Shortly thereafter, StrawbsFan also shared with me the very rare second album 'Histoire Cruelle". I had remembered seeing this in rare LP catalogs, with a prohibitive price tag and I'd left it on a curiosity list forever. Until it dropped off. That was a mistake, as I hear this second album better than the debut. It is, however, not an easy album to describe. 4 listens in, and I'm not sure what I can tell you here. It's a mix of Tangerine Dream styled electronic, new wave synth pop, keyboard heavy progressive rock with fat fuzzy guitar leads and early Klaus Schulze styled dirges. There's a lot here to discover, and I think it could be a grower. Reason enough to warrant a CD. Very little data can be found on this third album. I recommend you check out Mutant Sounds for their "Alarme!" entry, and read the comments section from Raphael who states he is the son of the founder of Kashmir - and has some fantastic information. Still I have to wonder if this third album was actually released? Anyone know for sure?

* Katamaran - s/t (Germany) 1977 Plane Jazz.
* Katamaran - Cafe Florian (Germany) 1978 Plane Jazz.
* Katamaran - Footprints (Germany) 1980 Plane Jazz. The endless German jazz fusion era of the late 70s and early 80s strikes once again with Katamaran. The debut is more in line with the then current scene (Moira, Kraan, etc..) with hot playing, memorable melodies and tight unison runs. Their 3rd and final album branched into more hardcore jazz (acoustic piano, sax solos, loose structures), while still maintaining a preferable fusion edge. Final track is a sombre flute, acoustic bass, piano and drums piece. "Cafe Florian", the middle album, is the one I heard last. It's more introspective than the RTF flavored debut and the heavy jazz of "Footprints". Stronger flute work here than on the others, and the atmospheres are heavy. All three are different, but worth seeking out.

Kebnekaise - Ljus Från Afrika (Sweden) 1976 Silence.
** Kebnekaise - Elefanten (Sweden) 1977 Silence.
Kebnekaise - Vi Drar Vidare (Sweden) 1978 Mercury. Lead by guitarist Kenny Håkansson, Kebnekaise are an interesting group in that all of their 6 albums (not including the 2009 release) are very different from each other, and yet they are one of the often named bands when looking to identify a "typical progressive rock Swedish group". I know I'm guilty on that point. Their 1971 debut is an acid blues rock affair, not too far removed from bands like Midsommar and early November. The 1973 debut mixes Swedish folk music with instrumental psychedelic rock, and for me represents their best album. It's also the one I think of, in regards to my opening thoughts, when reaching for a name that represents early 70s Swedish progressive rock. 1975's "III: Innehåll" follows and is somewhat similar to the one prior, but is definitely more folk oriented. All of the above were reissued on CD by Silence back in 2001 (or prior with "II"). "Songs From Africa" sees Kebnekaise moving from the comforts of home and trying their hand at a completely other style. This is a pioneering world music effort, pre-dating even Embryo's attempts. I'm not too keen on it myself, but one has to admire their spirit of exploration. "Elefanten" is a wonderful return to form, and is as close to jazz fusion as Kebnekaise would ever get. It's a particularly strong outing for Håkansson, who lights it up everywhere he can. Also worth noting the strong violin work adding the folk touch we have come to expect from Kebnekaise. "Vi Drar Vidare" was a disappointing end to their 70's career, adding in the all-too typical elements of funk and light fusion, and it mostly fell flat IMO. These last 3 albums have not been reissued. I personally would love to see "Elefanten" at least.

# Keitetty Hauki - Sille, Joka Ymmärtää… (Finland) 1978 Kompass. Heavy vocal laden (in Finnish) rock, with a punk like aesthetic. Some good time rock and rollers mixed with pretty sophisticated but compact hard rock tunes. A very interesting record. Out of scope for this list, but too interesting to ignore. On the same label as Scapa Flow.

xxx Kennedy - Twinkling NASA (Japan) 1986 Nexus. A heavy symphonic (in the 1980s dramatic keyboard overload sense) fusion record. The highlights are provided from the rather pyrotechnic guitar work, which works well when juxtaposed against the digital onslaught that defines most of the album. 'Flying Ship Part 1' is a killer piece of Kenso-esque fusion. Good record, though not among the top tier of the 1980s Japanese progressive rock acts. Strange this isn't on CD - one of the rare major label albums from Japan in the 1980s that didn't get reissued. Their second album "Kennedy!" did manage a Musea reissue a few years back. *** Reissued by King, October 2013 xxx

Kënnlisch - s/t (France) 1976 private. Terms like "haunting folk" and "folk psych" are two of the most overused in the music collecting business. There was a time in the early 90s that I was truly excited to hear the albums that these collectors described ("enchanting", "mystical", "from the mists of time","shrouded in mystery"). Until I did. Most of the albums in this field are purely folk, with maybe a few minutes of electric instrumentation. And much of it is drinking around the campfire music, hardly the dark / mystical imagery that they would have you believe. With that in mind... Kënnlisch is haunting folk personified. The group is made up of two members, the Macherey brothers, and it's Philippe who makes this album very interesting. He plays electric guitar, harmonium and Moog. The latter element in particular makes this one far more interesting to me. And the harmonium recalls Windy Corner at their best. Though the location of the recordings is in Paris, I would suspect the band is Alsatian. I say that because there is a distinct German quality at play here. There are sparse vocals in French, but they're sung more forcefully. As well, the brief narration sounded Germanic to me (though still in French). The downside of the album is a few tracks are simply Jean-Francois strumming his acoustic guitar. I could see doing that for one song tops, but with about 30-35% of the album like this, it begins to drag a bit. If there's a hot commodity in the collector world right now, it's psychedelic folk. This one is actually close to living up to its name.

# Key - s/t (Germany) 1977 Calig. Key are yet another fusion band from Germany from the late 1970s scene. Though I'd say Key definitely are on the jazz side of the equation. Featuring long sections for trumpet and sax solos, not to mention the piano and standup bass providing the backdrop and atmosphere. Drummer Kurt Bilker went on to play on Katamaran's "Footprints".

Kha-Ym - 10' GMT (France) 1979 FLVM. Another one of those quirky DIY late 70s French albums. This one is based on primitive tinny digital keyboards, with real drums and a lot of imagination. Not really like any other album, closest might be to those Frenchies who veered towards the New Wave like Lievaux - Transfo or an instrumental SuperFreego maybe. Was scheduled for a reissue on the excellent Mio label, which is now boarded up.

** Jackie King - Skylight. 1978 The Texas Re-Cord Company. Now what says PROG like that cover, eh? One could pass hundreds of similar looking albums at your local Goodwill store - and all of them barely worth the 50 cents they are charging for them. Had this album come from a band named Le Savage Diabolique, and sported a HipGnosis styled cover, I guarantee you'd be paying upwards to $500 for it. Instead you get a cover of what look like Goober Pyle performing for the Mount Pilot Ladies Auxiliary Fundraising event. Of course, this is another amazing AC find. I'm not sure how he does it. I wouldn't even give this one a second look, much less forking over some dough to check out. Well - we're all glad he did! After hearing it, I bought one immediately. Probably paid more than I had to, but I wasn't chancing it, since absolutely no one knows what this is. There may still be a few copies out in the wilds. If you know where one is, I'd suggest you nail it quickly. Otherwise, this album is going to Landress-Hart territory in short order. You may recall that Landress-Hart was a $5 album - and not long after publishing it here - it started to fetch $400 or more. Still not quite sure how that happened... but I wasn't smart enough to secure one for myself. But this time I did just that. And the dealer I bought it from (photo above is that copy) called it Texas Bossa Nova. That's a pretty apt description actually. If you don't feel like reading more, then let me give you the Cliff Notes version: Keywords: Cortex, Placebo. Wet your appetite did it?

** Osamu Kitajima - Benzaiten (Japan) 1975 Antilles. Recently we featured extremely rare albums by Toshiaki Yokota (Primitive Community) and Rock Joint Biwa (Fulukotofumi). Kitajima's debut album fits squarely in the same mold. This is truly a world fusion - a melting pot of Western rock and Japanese indigenous music. Very few have pulled it off so well as Kitajima does here. Either they fall prey to new age sappiness, or worse, move towards amateurish exploitation. This is a serious work, and the type of rock influenced world music that still hasn't been explored much at all. I for one would like to hear more.

xxx * Klockwerk Orange - Abakadabra (Austria) 1975 CBS. Extremely rare progressive album with 3 long tracks. Very Teutonic sounding, reminding me of similar era German groups such as Pancake, Madison Dyke and Minotaurus. The unique element at play here is the use of trumpet. So you get a little Tijuana Brass meets ELP. Gotta hear 'Tijuana Taxi' collide with 'Manticore'! *** reissued by Digatone May 2013 xxx

# Eero Koivistoinen – The Original Sin (Finland) 1971 Scandia. By this point in his career, saxophonist Koivistoinen is very similar to Klaus Doldinger and Passport. Ian Carr's Nucleus is another good reference. Basically jazzers dabbling in rock, with a high melodic content. The other side of the Soft Machine image. He has far more albums than this, but it's the only one I've heard, and will leave here as a representative.

# Kolibri - Tsamadou (Germany) 1981 Eulenspiegel.
Kolibri - Winterserenade (Germany) 1985 private. Sprightly all instrumental folk music with violin, flute and acoustic guitar. Very similar to classic Flairck. Nice rendition of Take Five as well.

# * Kolinda - 1514 (Hungary) 1979 Hexagone (France). Ethnic folk rock group from Hungary that reminds me of Flairck. They have more albums than this and some have been reissued. A bit out of scope for the list, but for sure this one needs a CD reissue.

Komintern - Le Bal du Rat Mort (France) 1971 Harvest. An all over the map type release, with just about every conceivable style being represented somewhere. Avant-rock-cabaret-jazz is about the closest I can come to making any sense of it. Fellow countrymen Red Noise (who Komintern were formed from) and Mahjun are a couple of other references one could point to. A real mystery this is still not on CD, since this was reissued on vinyl in the 1980s (Cryonic). Even though the group was a radical left-wing political collective, there's (fortunately) little evidence of that here. They just let the music do the talking, as it should be. Had they still been around during the original RIO formation, they most certainly would've been a charter member.

xxx Anneke Konings – Feelings (Netherlands) 1972 Munich. Beautiful folk rock that recalls in some ways the Mellow Candle album. Konings voice also brings to mind bands from the golden era like Julian's Treatment and Sandrose. There's enough of a rock element here to separate this from the many pure folk albums of the early 70s. Beautiful album cover as well. *** In 2010, a compilation CD will be released on the Excalibur Music Group label entitled "Feelings and Fairytales". I don't believe it contains the full album "Feelings", but I don't have all the details yet. ***

# Kontinuerlig Drift - I (Sweden) 1977 Trixie Brothers. Very undergound sounding, with drunken Swedish vocals. Lots of loud guitar solos. Somewhere between Gudibrallan, the Velvet Underground and the raw beginnings of the punk movement.

Anders Koppel - Aftenlandet & Regnbuefuglen (Denmark) 1977 Demos. Anders Koppel was the keys player for Savage Rose and this is most known solo album. Parts of it were used for a soundtrack to a film called "Aftenlandet", and the album definitely has a soundtrack flow to it. There's very little cohesion between the tracks, though if each composition is evaluated individually, there's much to admire. An all instrumental album, Koppel was successful in putting together a quintet, giving it more a rock band feel, rather than just a bunch of studio musicians getting together to lay down some incidental music.

* Kornet - s/t (Sweden) 1975 Manifest.
Kornet - Fritt Fall (Sweden) 1977 Manifest.
Kornet - Kornet 3 (Sweden) 1979 Svenska Love. Typical mid to late 70s fusion albums heading towards fuzak by the end of the decade. Heavily influenced by Weather Report, Billy Cobham, Return to Forever, etc... First album has quite a bit of flute, and is a bit more enjoyable to my ears.

* Zeljko Kovacevic / Toranj 77 - Miting (Croatia) 1980 RTB "Saxophonist Kovacevic leads his group through a mixture of spacey, funky and more aggressive tracks in this fusion outing that typifies the style of the era. Unfortunately, the sound quality and pressing are not exactly state of the art here, somewhat dampening the experience. Still, it's an enjoyable album for genre fans, heavily influenced by the usual suspects (Weather Report and Return to Forever in particular) and possessing that certain eastern European jazz-rock flair." As always, The AC nails it. There's an infectious groove the band catches on occasion, and it's just at the point they seem ready to leap into an amazing sequence, they hop backwards into a pedestrian jazz styled motif. It's a bit frustrating, and it definitely keeps this one from the high echelons. Still, it would seem a quality reissue may scrub off the grime on this one. As we've learned, many of the Eastern European albums were meticulously recorded, only to be released on cheap vinyl, that ultimately sounds muddy. Would be interesting to know if this one follows a similar pattern. One I'd buy for sure, if a legit version surfaced.

** (Kraftwerk) Organisation - Tone Float (Germany) 1970 RCA.
** Kraftwerk - s/t (Germany) 1971 Philips.
Kraftwerk - II (Germany) 1972 Philips.
Kraftwerk - Ralf and Florian (Germany) 1973 Philips. Other than maybe Tim Buckley, this has to be the most recognized name on this list. The first Kraftwerk and the Organisation album are practically the invention of the term Krautrock as we know it. "II" and "Ralf & Florian" begin down the metronomic man-machine path that made Kraftwerk so famous. These are the experimental albums before they hit the big time. These guys are too powerful to let record execs bully them, so it appears it is they alone who do not want anyone to get their paws on them. Which is why all of these have thrived in the bootleg market. That's a shame.

** Kravetz - s/t (Germany) 1972 Vertigo. A second release appeared as "8 Days in April: The Hamburg Scene" 1975 Fontana. For some reason, I had it in my head that this one was reissued legit in the past. Not that I owned a CD of course, and now while doing some research, it looks like all that was reissued is a bootleg. So it makes it's long delayed appearance in the CDRWL. Kravetz is of course Jean-Jacques Kravetz, keyboardist extraordinaire for Frumpy. At its core, this is a blues rock album, not that dissimilar to Frumpy themselves. But there's long sections given for instrumental work, and almost all of it is astounding. Kravetz puts in a fine performance, especially on organ - some of it moves towards the experimental recalling Xhol on Motherf*ckers & Co. Perhaps a distant cousin to the Brian Auger albums of the same time period. Essential Krautrock.

# * Volker Kriegel - Mild Maniac, Lift (Germany) Very good fusion works from German guitarist. More info to come!

* Joachim Kuhn - Cinemascope (Germany) 1974 MPS. Talented jazz and fusion keyboardist who had many albums through the 60s and 70s (and beyond). "Cinemascope" is probably the rarest from this time frame, and the one that is most aligned with this website's focus. A very strong fusion effort, with Toto Blanke lighting it up on guitar. Features a brilliant gatefold cover that would make for a gorgeous Japanese mini-LP! Followup album "Hip Elegy" has been reissued by parent label MPS, so perhaps "Cinemascope" isn't far behind.

# Rolf & Joachim Kuhn – The Mad Rockers (Germany) 1968 Goody. Organ and woodwind jazz with early rock elements. But the reason it's here, is the use of the electric contact-mic saxophone, pre-dating even its presence on Xhol Caravan's "Electrip". The Kuhn brothers clearly had a vision of the future, even though they weren't truly rockers at heart (Rolf was near 40 by the time of this recording and was already an established name in jazz). The Goody label, of France, was related to the BYG and Actuel labels, which were tied into the hip jazz scene of the day.

** Kvartetten Som Sprängde - Kattvalls (Sweden) 1973 Gump. Sustain fuzz guitar, thick/wedgy Hammond B3 and Latin percussion. You are correct, Kvartetten Som Sprangde caught the Santana bug, and we're all the better for it. Best of all, they weren't content to just play the style of music of Carlos and co, but also ported the same instrumentation and added in more traditional Scandinavian folk scales. One of Anglagard's favorite groups. Another great candidate for Mellotronen. Bootlegs exist. %%% There is a legit LP on Subliminal Sounds (2013)

# Kyaldan - Breiz (France) 1978 Arfolk. Breton folk meets electric rock. Some of this album, especially early on in, reminds me of Rush oddly enough. Interesting album, though a bit too Celtic folk oriented for my personal taste. If what I said above excites your imagination, then you're a good candidate for checking this one out!

*** L.S. Bearforce - s/t (Germany) 1983 Up Art. As anachronistic as they come. 1983 was the last year anyone would expect an early 1970s style free form jam session, like early Guru Guru and, perhaps more pointedly, the 1974 Uli Trepte & Guru Guru album. But Lotus Schmidt (the L.S. reference) apparently was a huge fan of albums like "UFO" and "Hinten" and convinced the Guru Guru guys (Mani and Uli) to go in with him on the album. Perhaps released 20 years ahead of its time, as it would now be hailed as a retro classic today. Features both Mani Neumeier on drums and Edgar Hoffman (Embryo) on woodwinds and violin. It was even recorded by the original Ohr producer Julius Schittenhelm. Pressed on white vinyl. If there was ever a 1980s album that still needs a reissue, this is it!

# Jean-Yves Labat - Transition #1 (France) 1978 CBS. The atmospheric electronic soundscapes are great. The disco-ish cheese-o-rama sections.... ehhhh, not so much. I've also heard his first solo album which is similar. He's much better on the 1969 archival Baba Scholae release (as well as the early Utopia albums).

Lacewing - s/t (USA) 1970 Mainstream. Lacewing is one of the rarest and most collectable albums on Mainstream. Based in Kent, Ohio, this album was released near the time of the Kent State shooting, which is reflected in the atmosphere of the compositions. Like many US albums from 1970, the material is psych influenced, but still unsure of where it wanted to go next. There's roots rock, folk, progressive and the usual kitchen sink mentality. The guitar work is exemplary and the female vocals are better than average for the era. Worth a few listens, and would make a good CD, especially given the collectability of this rarity.

Lacrima - s/t (Germany) 1981 Tonstudio Bieber. Tonstudio Bieber is the same label that released Ocean's "Melody" and the Nanu Urwerk album (we're pretty sure Justin isn't involved). In my mind, Lacrima is a really good example of Deutschrock, which I separate from Krautrock, German progressive rock and polit-rock. I define Deutschrock as nondescript commercially oriented rock with German lyrics. Basically the German local version of our Journey and Boston (completely different sound, but same idea). The Aquarell album we have in the main list is another recent example. Lacrima is a very eclectic release, so there are some very fine moments here, in particular one sequence that recalled the haunting style of Emma Myldenberger. But the album closes with a horrid blues rock track as an example. As the AC says: Lacrima is kind of all over the map. Some folky stuff, symphonic prog, terrible straight blues, etc. A real mixed bag. Worth hearing, but not a top priority, that's for certain.

* Lalena - s/t (Japan) 1982 Better Days / Nippon Columbia. Lalena starts promisingly enough in the Bi Kyo Ran / King Crimson "Red" genre, before tapping into more predictable light and slick fusion with soprano sax, cheap synthesizers, and thudding percussion. But the story doesn't end there fortunately and there are many killer guitar solos, as if David Torn stepped into the studio and laid it to waste. In other places, the choppy electronic piano drives the music forward in an exciting way. Brand X seems to be a major influence throughout as well. However, the album never strays too far from Cheeseville, ensuring its place in the hallowed halls of obscurity.

Landress / Hart Group - Dancing Moments (USA) 1981 Shadow Light. According to whatever data I could find, Landress / Hart were a Los Angeles based jazz fusion duo (though a full 4 piece group), one on guitar and the other on keyboards. The latter is the usual smattering of period synthesizers and Rhodes piano. It's all rather pleasant, and played to perfection. Mrs. CDRWL joined me for this listening session and thought it to be a very nice instrumental album as well. These guys were definitely pros who deserved more recognition. Recommended for fusion fans.

** Pascal Languirand - Minos (Canada) 1978 Kebec.
** Pascal Languirand - De Harmonia Universalia (Canada) 1980 Minos.
** Pascal Languirand - Vivre Ici Maintenant (Canada) 1981 Minos. Pascal Languirand is sort of the Richard Pinhas of Quebec. A one man show of dark electronics (primarily Moog) and searing electric guitar. He's a bit more cosmic than Heldon, which calls to mind Klaus Schulze. And he often uses wordless voice that reminds me of Franco Falsini. On "Minos" there's also a trippy folk number with French vocals that I find highly appealing in this setting. "De Harmonia Universalia" is quite similar, a bit less foreboding and more cosmic than its predecessor, with no dropoff in overall quality. The trio is completed by "Vivre Ici Maintenant", and again, perhaps surprisingly, there is no noticeable dropoff in the quality. Here, Languirand takes us a bit further East while adding some acoustic percussive elements. Album could be considered an anachronism considering the late date. There is a compilation disc that features some of the music above, but would be nice to see the albums come out in full.

# Manu Lannhuel – s/t (France) 1977 Iris. Yet another Breton folk inspired album with a sprinkling of rock instrumentation. About 95% of this album has sort of singing/voice on it. Without any kind of instrumental breaks, it becomes a bit tiresome after awhile. I'd say overall this one falls of out scope for our list, even though there are a couple of tracks on Side 2 (especially the closer) that are relevant.

Late Nite Music Band - s/t (USA) 1982 private EP. Late Nite Music Band were from The Bronx, and this EP is their sole release. Musically they fit the late 70s and early 80s American style of instrumental funky fusion. I was reminded of Maine's Franklin Street Arterial from a compositional perspective, though Late Nite Music Band put more focus on guitar, slap bass, and electric piano rather than synthesizer and sax. The last track 'First Meeting' features some fiery psychedelic guitar, giving the album the rough edge it needs. Fortunately, this is one of the songs you can hear the band play live on YouTube.

xxx *** Leong Lau - Dragon Man (Australia) 1976 Sunscape.
Leong Lau - That Rongeng Sound (Australia) 1977 Sunscape. Cover of Dragon Man is a bit misleading, showing head honcho Lau holding up a saxophone, which would indicate a honk fest. In contrast, this is a deep psychedelic funk album, with lots of wah wah guitar, phased/echoed sax, flute, heavy bass & drums with plenty of ranting from Lau, channeling his best Frankie Dymon imitation. Picking up a strong Hendrix influence as well. Considered by many to be the rarest album from Australia, and it's easy to see why. A year later, Lau returned with the equally obscure "That Rongeng Sound". The 24 minute EP length sophomore album can only be described as a disappointment. Gone are the edgy guitars and general mayhem of "Dragon Man". In its place a far more slick sound is introduced, though Lau continues to rant and rave about God knows what. Perhaps we could call it proto rap. Stick with "Dragon Man" and don't look back. *** Dragon Man reissued by Strawberry Rain in 2014 xxx

** Laura - s/t (France) 1980 Laura Records.
Laura - Colis Postal (France) 1981 Laura Records. The debut is a high energy, very expressive album, with lots of dual female/male vocals excitedly sung over complex progressive rock music. While the keyboards clearly represent their era, they're still played with verve. And the guitar tone is the typical compressed fuzz tone that the French are so wonderful at producing. "Colis Postal" sees the band trying their hand at more commercially oriented material with mixed results. The debut, though, is a must hear and would make for an excellent reissue from someone like Musea or Soleil Zeuhl - the latter perhaps reflecting some slight references to the style.

* Laurelie - s/t (Belgium) 1970 Triangle. A surprisingly nice discovery for the time and place, and one of the big time Belgian rarities up there with Irish Coffee and Waterloo. Laurelie seem like the next level for a group like the Wallace Connection, for example. English vocals are a bit suspect, but the sophistication and exploration of ideas is considerably more than what is normally found in Continental Europe at such an early date. Wonderful fuzz, old keys and especially flute drive the melodic and tonal contents. 22 minute, multi-part closer has many great ideas. Holds up better than most. Bass player went on to Jenghiz Khan.

# Jean Le Fennec - Phantastic (France) 1969 Barclay. Le fun Go-Go psych pop, no? Oui! (mademoiselle giggle, giggle). Le Fennec's sole album is a bit more hokey and exploito than others of his ilk, most notably William Sheller's Popera Cosmic. It is also very vocal heavy and since it's all in French (fortunately), perhaps some of the work is lost in translation, though somehow I doubt it. Other than some wonderfully placed fuzz guitar, in that phantastic French tradition of super compression, there's not much to hold onto here. Musicologists and the Incredibly Strange crowd may disagree.

** Lear - Swiss Rock History Vol. 1 (Switzerland) recorded: 1969-1979 released: 1996 Blue Moon. Later archival release, but so far on LP only. Swiss based female vocal lead hard psych / progressive rock album. Lots of great fuzz guitar and organ leads. The classic European progressive take on Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin. File next to Circus 2000, Sandrose and Goliath. A really good album, though some of the recordings are a bit rough, especially the live material towards the end.

# John Lee / Gerry Brown - Infinite Jones (USA) 1973 Keytone. Inventive fusion with Chris Hinze and Gary Bartz. Typical Kozmigroov sounds, with Hinze providing the flute... and label. Subsequent albums are presumably similar. More for deep groove jazz fans than what I typically feature here, but a nice one all the same.

# Gilles Legault - Chanson Secretes (Canada) 1981 Kebec Disc. Nice introspective singer-songwriter album from Quebecois musician Legault, who did a turn with the communal Connivence. French vocals, acoustic guitar, oboe, cello, and flute are the colo(u)rs for the musical painting on display. Occasional rock touches add flair. Easy on the ears.

** Legend - From the Fjords (USA) 1979 Empire. Connecticut based group whose sole album is truly a "legend" amongst early heavy rock collectors. You'll find scant evidence of music like this on the open market, especially from this era. What is today known as epic heavy metal, Legend were pioneers of a style that didn't find its audience until 20 years later. If you're a fan of early Manilla Road ("Invasion", "Crystal Logic" or the archival "Mark of the Beast"), then by all means seek this one out. Long, involved, semi-complex tracks with fantasy imagery is what you'll find here. And very heavy for 1979. Rockadrome (formerly Monster) have announced their intention to reissue on CD - though it's been a few years now. Originals are a small fortune in the 4 digit range.

# Leitkegel - s/t (England) 1998 Acme Prescription Drug. Certainly the noisiest and least focused of the 99-only released Drug Series albums. Neu! seems to be one of the primary influences, as would be the 1980s industrial scene. An interesting record, and quite good, but probably my least favorite of the series.

Leland (Yoshitsu) - s/t (aka This is My World) (USA) 1976 private (1978 Contempt). The second press is the most known, but apparently the 1976 issue has a unique track. Though sold as a psych record, and that may be true when listening to some of the splendid solos, this is pretty much a hard rock album in terms of structure, content and vocal style. Leland's voice reminds me of a known mid 70s hard rock band, but I cannot seem to place it. Sort of high pitched, with a tint of anger. Decent enough album that was pretty easy to find 15 years ago, but has become quite collectable in recent times.

xxx # Lemon- Vanha Vakaa... (Finland) 1973 UFO. Happy pop music sung in Finnish with occasional fuzz and flute to break up the monotony. Rarity aside, this is pretty much along the lines of the Partridge Family here to be honest. Same label as Woodoo. *** Reissued by Rocket Records Sept, 2011 xxx

*** Lethe - s/t (Netherlands) 1981 M.M.P. Lethe is the second incarnation of the group Mirror, whose album "Daybreak" is another classic obscure progressive rock album. Starts off rather inconspicuously with a classically oriented oboe, acoustic guitar and piano piece. But, just as Mirror before them, the band launches into a sophisticated, but highly melodic progressive rock form. While Side 1 is good, side 2 is an absolute clinic on how to combine complexity and yet still maintain a strong melodic backbone. This is the album that Camel never made after "Moonmadness". Astounding album really.

Leucozyt – Rockjazz (Germany) 1981. Starts off with a big fat disco beat, and had me wondering if I'd fallen into YET ANOTHER funky fusion album from Germany. Not this time - it was a red herring, as Leucozyt play a more melodic instrumental jazz rock with sax, flute, and guitar leads. Very nice album, that downplays the era's requisite funky business (though that component remains present).

* Claude Leveillee - Black Sun (Canada) 1978 Polydor. Organic is the best word I can use to describe this. Hard to believe this rather famous songwriter/composer really never ventured into the prog world before or after this (to my knowledge that is to say). At its best, has a nice space rock vibe like Sensations Fix. The low points are more electronic oriented with cheesy Moog (Opus 3?) without sequencing or strong melodic content. Some nice guitar work can be found here ala Heldon but not near as fierce (Michel Le Francoise is the main instrumentalist here). Pretty laid back overall.

** Mingo Lewis - Flight Never Ending (USA) 1976 Columbia. A fine fusion album from well-known fusion percussionist featuring the band Light Year. Lots of hot keys and guitar dictate this album. boots exist. Save your money, never waste on a boot.

# Make Lievonen - s/t (Finland) 1977 Love. Another fine fusion album from Finland that at first recalls Pekka Pohjohla and Jukka Tolonen, but also more obscure references such as the Jupu Group. A mixture of sunny jazz rock, and more edgy, almost Mahavishnu like pieces. Sax, electric piano and guitar are the feature instruments. Worth seeking out for fusion fans.

Life - Life After Death (England). 1974 Polydor. Side 1 is pretty much all good times rock n' roll with honky tonk piano and party-time themes. But even on these tracks, Life throws in some sophisticated organ breaks and even a little flute. Side 2 dumps the easy life, and focuses more on their serious side. Here, Life demonstrates a strong early Uriah Heep influence. Organ dominates the sound, and there's quite a bit more thought injected into these compositions. Tough album to evaluate. I could go Priority 3 based on Side 2, but probably will keep at None, as the first side is pretty weak IMO. Watch for pirate editions on this one.

** Light - The Story of Moses (Netherlands) 1972 Barclay. Originally released in France as a single sleeve. Shortly thereafter it was licensed to Brain / Metronome in Germany and issued as a gatefold. Printed on the label itself (my copy is on Barclay), and in the liner notes which contains the band's history, the group is actually known as Light Formation. Musically this is a grand scale attempt at interpreting the Biblical story of Moses. The vocal / narration segments recall the similarly minded Salamander of "Ten Commandments" fame. Fortunately most of the album is instrumental, with most of the musical sections handed over to the organist who does a splendid job of melodic soloing. Concerning the instrumental sections, same era Earth & Fire comes to mind. Plenty of flute, guitar, bells, etc... to augment the keyboards. A fine album, and the gatefold Brain cover would make for a wonderful Japanese mini-LP.

# Lightdreams - Islands in Space (Canada) 1981 private. Interesting folk rock album with large doses of space rock thrown in. Group is from from Victoria, BC. Pretty tripped stuff with backwards leads and other effects. Similar to the Machines "Have Landed" album. The album is available on their website as a download for a fee. I'll leave here, though, until a pressed CD is released.

# Bjorn J:Son Lindh - Från Storstad Till Grodspad (Sweden) 1971 RELP.
* Bjorn J:Son Lindh - Ramadan (Sweden) 1971 Metronome.
* Bjorn J:Son Lindh - Sissel (Sweden) 1973 Metronome.
Bjorn J:Son Lindh - Raggie (Sweden 1976 Metronome. Jazz flute / prog fusion crossover artist, similar to Jeremy Steig and Chris Hinze. This list represents his key 1970s albums still not on CD. Both "Cous Cous" and "Boogie Woogie" have been reissued prior, but are hard to find.

* Lindwurm - Im Windschatten (Germany) 1981 private. High energy fusion album, with active percussion and some nice guitar. A light and breezy tropical flair can be found in the melodies and rhythms throughout. This one would be a big hit with the "rare groove" crowd, if a reissue ever surfaced. The album is pretty one-dimensional, with all the tracks possessing the same qualities. Even the synthesizer they use has only one sound. Like a monophonic Moog with one switch and knob. File next to the French group Spheroe and the To Be album on Brain. Not related to the other Lindwurm who released the 1976 album "Fruhjahr 76: Erinnerungen an Klaus" that is scheduled for reissue by Garden of Delights. I haven't heard this other Lindwurm, which is why it's not listed here.

* Jukka Linkola - Banana (Finland) 1976 Hi-Hat. Linkola, today a renowned classical pianist, was once a prominent fixture on the Finnish jazz fusion scene - most notably on Jukka Hauru's "Episode" album. Here he presents a typical-of-the-time light, tropical and sunny fusion work with electric piano, sax, warm bass, guitar and island percussion. Some moody interludes foreshadow his later work. A well done period piece.

xxx Steve Linnegar's Snakeshed - Classic Epics (South Africa) 1982 AD Records. Sounds like a late 70s UK rock album, with a few progressive moves, especially on the 13 minute extended piece. Could see fans of England (on Arista) enjoying this one. *** To be reissued by Guerssen in 2014 xxx

# Lionhart - s/t (USA) 1977 Hutch. Houston based Texan hard rock, but with some more intelligent sections thrown in, to make it worthwhile for entry here. A thinking man's hard rock album as it were, somewhat like Stud who were also from this part of Texas. Some processed guitar leads, ala Funkadelic, add to the positive sentiment. A good choice for Rockadrome.

* Living Force - s/t (New Zealand) 1977 Atlantic. Primarily influenced by Santana, right down to the Sri Chinmoy references. But some of the song style tracks are more in line with other bands from Australasia during the 70s. I hear bits of Pantha in particular, and smaller doses of Dragon, Ragnarok, and Sebastian Hardie.

# Bernard Lloret - Avec du Bleu (France) 1978 La Parasolerie. Former Chico Magnetic Band guitarist Lloret's sole foray into the vast funky fusion world. About half this album sounds like the soundtrack to Sanford and Son, and the remainder is a more moody, introspective ambient sound. Out of scope, but given its scarcity and heritage, will leave here for reference.

** Loch Ness - s/t (Mexico) 1988 Sacbe. Loch Ness was the root group for the 1990s psychedelic explosion that suddenly appeared in Mexico - and then vanished without a trace by the end of the decade. Humus, Frolic Froth, Smoking the Century Away, Euphoric Darkness and a few others all can point to Loch Ness for paving the way. All of those groups, and the remainder of the Loch Ness catalog are on CD - only this debut remains without a CD issue. On the debut Loch Ness lays out what the Mexican space rock scene was going to look like for the next few years. Picking up where Sensations Fix' left off on "Portable Madness", and integrating in some early Krautrock like Guru Guru and Gila, Loch Ness mix high octane guitar licks with a slight jazzy undertone in the rhythms. It's a great recipe, and one which the sister band Humus took to an even higher level about a decade later. This Loch Ness is not to be confused with the late 80s Brazilian neo progressive rock band.

Lodestar - s/t (USA) 1979 private. Pressed by Rite Records of Cincinnati. Lodestar, of Springfield OH, were typical of the era and location. Bad ass hard rock is the order of the day, with the usual loud guitar and AOR melodic anthem mentality that was prominently played on the region's FM stations. I'm pretty sure I heard cowbell. Music to play at the local blue collar auto shop. All 5 guys on the cover look like they should be wearing Gulf Blue uniforms, oval name patches, and holding a wrench. And after recording this album, they probably did. A perfect candidate for Rockadrome Records.

# Lodestone – Time Flies (Germany) 1971 Philips. Despite the perfect location, label, time and date, this is not a classic Krautrock album. More of a pop psych release, doing their best Beatles imitation. Not bad, and features some nice organ work.

xxx Lollipop Shoppe - Just Colour (USA) 1968 Uni. Similar to psych era Rolling Stones, including Jaggerisms. Mainly fuzz punk or psych punk. Pretty good. *** Reissued by Rev-Ola in 2008. xxx

** Yves et Alain Lorentz - Espaces 2 (France) 1978 Arc en Ciel. Typical of a French band, "Espaces 2" has that signature compressed and phased out electric guitar sound, mixed with String Ensemble synthesizers (or some facsimile). Somewhat like Sensations' Fix "Portable Madness" minus the rhythm section. Ah, you say, wouldn't that be Falsini's "Cold Nose" then? Well, to some extent yes, but this one has more of a rock feel - so somewhere in between. Other French albums like Ose, Renaud, Archaia and Flamen Dialis provide other guideposts for what you can expect here. Excellent stuff, and even though I think this may have been scored for the film and TV market, it really works as a cohesive LP. Nice embossed gold cover.

# Lorq Damon - Journey to the Land of Forgotten Dreams (USA) 1974 private. There's quite a bit of information on this album already on the internet, so I'll just summarize briefly. From Milwaukee, this is an early example of electronic music, and recalls somewhat the early works by Klaus Schulze and pre-acoustic era Popol Vuh, though there's only one synthesizer at play here. Worth hearing from an historical perspective.

* Lost Nation - Paradise Lost (USA) 1970 Rare Earth. Late psych album (especially prominent in the chorus lines), crossing over to progressive rock with some of the organ/guitar jams. Recalls another Michigan group - the more known SRC, especially on their "Traveler's Tale" album. The best album on the Rare Earth label.

** Lost Peace - s/t (Switzerland) 1977 Zytglogge. On the same label as the great Swiss progressive rock band Circus, Lost Peace delivers a stunning set of funky jazz rock instrumentals. Many times the name Placebo is thrown around, no doubt an attempt by record dealers to hype a rather mundane fusion album to higher $$$, but here it is pretty much appropriate. In the same league as the Dutch band Crypto, at the very least. Placebo was more about composition, atmosphere and attitude, rather than chops. Or worse: The dance floor. Lost Peace is similar to Placebo with tight horn rock instrumentals, a laid back attitude - and a lot of style. They almost derail the entire thing on the final track which features about 3 minutes of atmospheric percussion followed by an incredibly dull 3 minute drum solo - completely at odds with what they accomplished prior. But given the incredible 6 tracks prior, it's hard not to score at this high level.

* Lougarou - s/t (Canada) 1976 London.
* Garolou - s/t (Canada) 1978 London. Quebec based progressive folk (sung in French) similar to L’Engouvelent or Connivence. A bit more rocking than either of those groups, especially on Garolou. Both are fine albums, and aren't that far from related Gallic efforts by Malicorne, Ys, Avaric and many others. Garolou is a clever name change and is in reality the group's second album. While this is generally straight ahead folk rock, there are snippets of complex progressive rock sections that make it more than just a casual curiosity. They went on to record two other albums under the Garolou moniker that are of lesser interest. I would expect ProgQuebec to eventually get to these, as I imagine there's some local, if maybe not international, demand.

* Love Live Life - Satsujin Jissho [Ten Chapters of Murder] (Japan) 1974 CBS. I've known about Love Live Life + 1 for roughly 20 years, but wasn't aware the group had a second album until recently. It's a concept album about various incidents of nefarious killings (anything from the St. Valentine's Massacre to the Holocaust). Musically the mood doesn't really fit the concept, as it's a real hodge podge of sounds. Anything from instrumental funky wah wah cop show themes, to avant garde indigenous music, to ragtime jazz is featured here. Whatever it is, it's definitely underground 1970's Japan - where anything goes! To me, it reminds me little of the other LLL+1 album, and should be strictly considered on its own. Plenty of psychedelic guitar to keep an underground rock fan interested - but be prepared for many changes in style. It's a borderline Priority 3 piece, but there's enough here to satisfy most listeners I think.

* Lubat / Louiss / Engel Group - Live at Montreux (France) 1972 Les Disques Pierre Cardin. Jazz and rock veterans join up for an underground freak session at Montreux, that was all the rage in 1972. Shame that the jazz purists put this kind of radical invention into an early grave, but from about 1969-1974 or so, Pandora's Box was opened for all to see, warts and all. LLE can be classified along with bands such as Association P.C., Wolfgang Dauner's Et Cetera, Fourth Way and Exmagma - highly inventive fusion, but not flashy or chops heavy. Not all of it works, but they're going for broke, and sometimes it's fun to hear creativeness being made up as they go along. And who knew that Pierre Cardin was so hip? Sure beats his line of lime green raincoats...

Luna Sea - s/t (USA) 1976 Luna Tunes. Well, this really is lunacy. About as dramatic a difference in A-side, B-side as the Eik - Speglun album. This is a newly discovered rarity out of Nebraska, that's just starting to make the rounds. Interesting to note that Queen used the exact painting on their 1991 "Innuendo" album, except in color (thanks Waxidermy for that info!). This is another rarity sent in from The Alaskan Connection. I thought he did a magnificent job at describing the album, so take it away AC: "It's the lone private press LP by an almost totally unknown US band named Luna Sea. They were from Blair, Nebraska of all places, but the album was recorded in Iowa. The first side is going to really test your willpower, as it's just straight radio-rock a la the Eagles, so you'll just have to "man-up" and slog through it. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, though, because side 2 is totally different. Suddenly the synths appear, and things start getting a lot more interesting. It starts out in a still fairly accessible style, but things get proggier literally by the minute, until the last track "Rousing The Ghost", which is a fantastic piece of instrumental symphonic prog with great guitar, keys, and even a little flute. Oh, and be sure to stay tuned for the unlisted (and totally stupid) outro! A completely schizophrenic album, but even the band seemed to know this as they named the first side the "Light Side" and the second side the "Dark Side"! Hard to tell what they were really trying to accomplish here. But, such is the nature of the US underground. One part confusion and one part inspiration. I guess that's kind of the charm! In any case, this thing is seriously rare. It only first emerged onto the collector scene within the last year or two, and since it was first discovered only like two or three copies have popped up." Thanks AC! So true on the question "what are they trying to do here?". It was very typical for bands in the 1970's to try for a radio hit while mixing in their progressive rock ambitions. That strategy never did work. One of those bands you just hope has more on tape somewhere, to make for a truly great album. The last track is brilliant but Side 1 is indeed dreadful...

M.O.T.U.S. - Machine of the Universal Space (France) 1972 Connection. An album that is heavily influenced by the early 70s UK rock / progressive scene, similar to great extent to other like-minded French acts such as Iris, Total Issue and Alice.

** Ma Banlieue Flasque - s/t (France) 1979 Celluloid. Excellent album that pulls from a variety of sources such as Moving Gelatine Plates, Komintern (minus the politics) and Frank Zappa. Complex and melodic. Perhaps more jazz influenced than the three references above, but this one should have wide appeal in the reissue market.

*** Maajun - Vivre La Mort Du Vieux Monde (France) 1971 Vogue. Outstanding early French underground masterpiece. Later incarnation is known as Mahjun. Full review posted.

MacArthur - s/t (aka The Black Forest) (USA) 1973 private.
* MacArthur - II (USA) 1982 private. Not too many bands out there with a 9 year interval between albums, at least if we're talking 70s and 80s (today, as progressive rock has moved more into the realm of a hobby business, this has become a more common occurrence). But New Jersey's MacArthur kept plugging along looking for their big break. They certainly didn't have a chance with "II", an album way too progressive for the time and place. In fact, it's considerably more adventurous than their first album - and once again MacArthur confounds everyone. I'm not sure I can find another quick example where a band's 1980's album is more progressive than their 70's output - especially in the prog rock heyday of 1973. MacArthur is lead by Ben MacArthur, an excellent guitarist, with imagination to burn. When I started collecting in earnest in the mid to late 1980s, MacArthur "II" was still an album you could buy new at list price. The debut was extremely rare even back then. Despite what you may see on the internet, "The Black Forest" is a bootleg LP reissue of the debut, not a separate album. At one time, Syn-Phonic was going to reissue these, but that's doubtful now.

Machine - s/t (Netherlands) 1970 Dwarf. Boots exist. Machine were a 1970 Dutch group who played a mix of what was popular at the time: Psych, progressive, hard rock and horn rock. Nederbeat was one of the more healthy psych/garage scenes coming out of continental Europe and Machine were like the latter stages of those groups such as Q65 and Cosmic Dealer. The strong Hammond organ presence adds a proto-prog sound similar to Deep Purple and Mainhorse. Horns were frequently inserted in those days to increase the odds of a chart appearance, given the wild success of Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears. And, as expected, there’s also a strong blues influence throughout. The album has a strong start but really crawls to the finish, as predictable 3-chord blues rock takes over the lion’s share of the proceedings. Recommended to fans for bands as diverse as Affinity, Ahora Mazda, Warhorse and Irish Coffee.

The Machines Have Landed - Part One (Canada) 1981 North Shore Records. The Machines Have Landed (aka Machines) is an interesting mix of spoken word, space rock via the mid 70's Pink Floyd lens, and early 80s synth-pop. Somewhat like the Body Album from England, mixed with the Human Adventist Concept and FM. I had this album years ago, and sold it. Not something I'm actively looking for someone to press on CD, but an interesting artifact all the same. Special thanks to Midwest Mike who gave me a chance to hear this album for the first time in 16 years!

xxx ** Duncan Mackay - Chimera (South Africa) 1973 Vertigo. **reissued by Fresh Music July, 2009**

* Mackenzie Theory - Bon Voyage (Australia) 1974 Mushroom. Mackenzie Theory are an excellent fusion band lead by electric viola and guitar, similar to a slightly stripped down Mahavishnu Orchestra. "Bon Voyage" is a bit more jammy than the debut. Four long tracks. Aztec had announced plans to reissue this along with a reprint of "Out of the Blue" in 2009, but unfortunately "Bon Voyage" still remains unissued.

*** Mad Curry - s/t (Belgium) 1971 Pirate. A superb album with female vocals that is distinctly European and of that period. Earth and Fire, Sandrose, Julian's Treatment, Fusion Orchestra and Circus 2000 are all good reference points. Fellow Belgians Shampoo as well. Amazing multi fold-out cover is screaming for a Japanese mini-LP reissue. %%% LP reissue released by Wah Wah (Spain)  in December 2013.

** Michel Madore - Le Komuso a Cordes (Canada) 1976 Barclay.
Michel Madore - La Chambre Nuptial (Canada) 1979 Egg. The debut is a rather intense affair, with an instrumental wall of sound keyboard approach (and Madore has quite an impressive layout of analog keys), strumming acoustic guitars and an active drummer. Sometimes an accompaning instrument will solo, such as a violin. Strong release that recalls at once Klaus Schulze's more rock oriented works such as "Moondawn", along with Mike Oldfield and early Duncan Mackay ("Chimera"). One that hopefully ProgQuebec will release in the future. I'm not as keen on the second album as it's a mite slow going with a pile of cheesy polyphonic keys to sit through. All the energy of the debut is lost here.

** Magdalena - Lanean Sartzen (Spain-Basque) 1981 Iz. From my perspective, this is the Basque region's most progressive album. As many of us came to find out in the late 1980s and early 90s, the region had dozens of rock albums, most sung in the native Basque tongue. The majority of the Basque albums are folk based, and many of them fell out of my scope. A few were exactly what I was looking for, like Haizea's second album, Lisker and Sakre. But the best of them all is this little obscurity I picked up in the 1990s. While the melodies have a traditional folklore feel to them, the compositions are clearly rooted in complex progressive rock. Wonderful fuzz guitar and flute take the lead instrument chores, whereas the the rhythm section keeps the whole thing hopping from one place to anther. A very fine album. Watch out for bootlegs of this title.

* Magic Spell - Is There Anywhere a Gasstation? (Switzerland). 1980 private. Just when you think you've heard all the private press progressive albums from Switzerland, on comes another one. I first heard of Magic Spell through a German catalog a few years ago, but given the title of the album, I just presumed it was another hyped piece of trash, which this catalog was prone to do. But in this case, they were right! This is fastball-down-the-middle progressive rock, with clear nods to early Genesis, late 70s Eloy, mid 70s Grobschnitt and a host of other Swiss bands like Agamemnon, Elysium and Eloiteron. One of the better ones I've heard from this peculiar Swiss scene. Side 1 is particularly strong, whereas Side 2 takes on a bit more of a commercial stance.

# * Magik Dayze - s/t (USA) 1978 private. This is one of those albums where I think some of it has been reissued, but only on CD-R. Need to revisit the original album and go from there. In May of 2015, I revisited again, and still cannot find evidence that this album is on a factory pressed CD. I'm going to leave the title in the main list, until further conclusive data comes forth.

# Michel Magne - La Terre (France) 1978 Egg.
# Michel Magne - L'Eau. 1980 King. Magne had a ton of albums, but these two are the most known for progressive underground fans. I've had "La Terre" since the 1980s. A nice, but simple, electronic album with real drums. I haven't heard "L'Eau".

# Pepe Maina - Scerizza (Italy) 1980 Imbroglio. Thanks to a friend of this site, I've received clarification of what is available. All of the Pepe Maina albums (I list only "Scerizza") are available direct from the artist as a CD-R. So we'll list here until properly reissued as a pressed CD. His first album "Canto dell'arpa e del Flauto" was reissued in Japan many years ago, which is the version I own.

xxx * Major Surgery - First Cut (England) 1977 Next. From my point of view, there is a big difference between fusion and jazz rock. Fusion, as typified by bands like Return to Forever or Weather Report, is instrumental rock music played by jazz guys. It would almost seem the perfect marriage of the two genres: Virtuoso players tackling the meatier rock angst and sounds. But like any genre, there are some albums with depth and others that are pretty transparent. Jazz rock, on the other hand, is usually a jazz album with rock instrumentation sprinkled throughout. Fusion was more of a mid to late 1970s thing. Jazz rock was more typical at the turn of the 1970 decade, when the creativity of rock was capturing the imagination of jazzers tiring of the same ole, same ole. Major Surgery is a great example of jazz rock, and very much a sound out of vogue for 1977. The AC sums up: "Jazz-rock rarity from this largely unknown unit, led by saxophonist Don Weller. He and drummer Tony Marsh would go on to become fairly well-known figures in the UK jazz scene, but of perhaps greater interest to prog fans is that the guitar here is handled by Jimmy Roche, who once played with the great East of Eden. His playing here is in a sort of jumpy, Larry Coryell-esque style that I find highly appealing. This stuff is definitely coming from the jazzier end of the jazz-rock spectrum, and being sax-fronted and lacking any sort of keyboard presence..." *** reissued by Prosper Music July 2013 xxx

* Malachi - s/t (England) 1971 EMI/Columbia. Combines the feel-good groovy instrumental organ rock of Eden Rose with the more measured introspective UK scene like Cressida or Still Life. Sounds a bit dated for 1971, more like 1969 – probably due to the "carnival" sound of the organ, which is the dominant instrument. boots exist.

Malón (Juan Carlos Caceres) - "El Camino" "Dale Negro" (Argentina) 1972 Philips (French press) / London-Fontana (US press). Title is presented just as on the cover. Essentially at its core, Malon is a Latin pop album in the grand Tropicalia tradition as would be more commonly found in Brazil during this period. Like Os Mutantes, Malon will on occasion conjure up the freaky undergound with flipped guitar, echoed flute, droning organ and frenzied vocals. Elements of Los Jaivas, Bwana, Modulo 1000 and Santana all pop up here and there, for no other reason than to disturb your Corona advertised beach bliss. For this, we are grateful.

xxx Maloo - All About the Things (Germany) 1977 Lava. All instrumental light jazzy rock. Rhythms are pure jazz while the guitarist noodles away with a slight amplified tone. At times, I was strangely reminded of Harmonia's "Deluxe", though Maloo are entirely different genre wise. It's just the way the guitarist meanders about, similar to how Rother would do. Not a great album by any means, but one worth a listen or two if you appreciate jazz guitar with a rock edge. *** Reissued by Made in Germany, April 2015 xxx

Man Made - s/t (Canada) 1971 Good Noise. Man Made were a somewhat middling band from Canada, who have the auspicious elements of a side long track and a most intriguing album cover. The side long namesake track is definitely the highlight though. The first half is slow blues coupled with atmospheric space rock. The Hammond organ in particular is quite good. About halfway, there's a really cool jazz rock break, and this is followed by some fine flute work. Odd in that no flute is credited anywhere (see back of LP). There are "horns", but I've never heard anyone call a flute - a horn. If the whole album were like this, no doubt its reputation would be stellar. Side 2 is very disappointing, and is typical 1970 era North American styled straight rock with blues, gospel, country, and boogie undertones. 'Keep on Moving' is energetic at least, with a semi interesting compositional model, but otherwise the remainder is a complete snoozer. Despite the music, kudos goes to the artwork - most certainly as representative of the traditional male mindset as one will ever find. There is a pirate CD floating about.

Mánar - s/t (Iceland) 1971 SG Records. Song oriented organ/guitar based rock, typical of the early 70s Scandinavian style. Sometimes recalls bands such as Junipher Greene and Thors Hammer, though Manar are a bit duller than that. Nice flute work. Decent period piece and ranks ahead of other similar Icelandic bands such as Trubrot and Odmenn. Boots exist.

Mandragora - Somethink Missing. 1985 private (cassette).
* Mandragora - Over the Moon. 1989 private. On "Over the Moon", Mandragora display their more song-oriented roots, with vocal-laden tracks and clear nods to hard rock, progressive rock and space rock. Plenty of good riffs (yea, metal heads, riffs) encased in synthesizer waves. What any self-respecting Hawkwind fan would want to hear. Mandragora would become far more diverse after this release, focusing more on their Ozric Tentacles inspired space rock sound. As of this writing, I have yet to hear the debut cassette.

** Mandrill - Mandrilland. 1974 Polydor. 2LP set
** Mandrill - Solid. 1975 United Artists
* Mandrill - Beast from the East. 1976 United Artists. It has been said that Brooklyn's Mandrill were too progressive rock to be funk and too funk to be progressive rock. And that's just about exactly right. In fact the 2LP sprawling set of Mandrillland may be their peak at the progressive rock style. And on the flip side, Beast From the East is giving off major clues the band is clearly heading for more commercial territory, though there's still some great funk/prog to be heard.

xxx The Mannheim Rock Ensemble - Rock Of Joy. 1971 Columbia. As we stated last year at this time, I feel no other country is harboring more hidden treasure than Japan. Rock Joint Biwa and Toshiaki Yokota's Primitive Community were the highlights from Heavyrock's stash last year. Who knows what this batch will bring, but the first one I heard (this entry) was a lot of fun anyway, though not something we're dying for a CD reissue or anything. The instrumental psych rock sections are excellent though, and the album as a whole is better than you might think at first glance. The AC's hysterical notes below explains the album far better than I ever could. *** Reissued by Columbia December 2012 xxx

Manzanita - Pirate Lady (USA) 1979 private. Manzanita is a jazz fusion group from San Diego. On their sole album, Pirate Lady, they play a high quality, smooth instrumental jazz rock, with sax and electric piano as the main protagonists. I'll admit this one is too jazz-light-fusion for me. Certainly easy to listen to, even though it's not pushing any of my buttons. Hard to deny the quality of the compositions and the musical acumen on display, however.
* Marakesh - s/t (Netherlands) 1976 Mirasound. A pleasant, inoffensive primarily instrumental mid 70s progressive rock album. Reminds me a lot of the German bands of the era like Indigo and Fly. Especially the latter, given the saxophone presence. Keyboards are a string synth of some kind. What gives Marakesh a slight edge over their German brethren (in this genre anyway) is some inspired (and amplified) electric guitar work, and an occasional horn rock move with trumpet as a lead. The Dutch duo of related bands Mirror and Lethe are also benchmarks, though Marakesh weren't quite the masters of melody as those groups. One can see the transition from the early groups like Pantheon, Cargo and Earth & Fire to Marakesh and then onto the proto neo-progressive groups like Saga, a style that seemed to be an enormous influence on all modern era Dutch groups.

** Alain Markusfeld - Le Monde en Etages (France) 1970 EMI.
** Alain Markusfeld - Le Son Tombe Du Ciel (France) 1971 EMI.
* Alain Markusfeld - Le Desert Noir (France) 1976 Egg.
* Alain Markusfeld - Platock (France) 1977 Egg. "Le Monde en Etages" is a great psych, proto prog type album. Has some of those unique French touches that penetrate most albums from there (vocal styles, weird changes, experimental bits). Not to mention some sublime Hendrix styled guitar. Excellent. "Le Son Tombee Du Ciel" continues in this vein, but even more exploratory and has to be considered an improvement on the first. After 5 years of silence, Markusfeld reinvented his career as primarily a fusion guitarist, but with far more melodicism than that might imply, which I consider a plus. His last couple of albums (not listed) were a bit more fuzak oriented.

* Mars Everywhere - Industrial Sabotage (USA) 1980 Random Radar. Random Radar is the ancestor to the popular Cuneiform Records label. They had some interesting acts, but none were more intriguing than Mars Everywhere. The music here is a cross between, Canterbury (due to The Muffins influence), space rock, avant prog and free rock. Gets a little loose and annoying in places, but when they catch a groove, the fireworks are undeniable. Some brilliant guitar work, and it's just this space rock element that becomes the album's ace in the hole. Worth tracking down.

* Masala Dosa – 77 (Denmark) 1977 Kong Pære. Like just about every 1970s Danish band, Masala Dosa maintain a rural rock foundation. The songs on Side 1 are pretty weak, but are saved by some very fine guitar solos. Side 2 is primarily instrumental and considerably the better half. Again, the guitar sections here are nothing short of phenomenal. In this way, Masala Dosa are more a throwback to the early 70s works by Culpeper's Orchard, Midnight Sun, and Day of Phoenix. Despite the Indian name, there's sparse reference to Indian culture save a little sitar. Recommended.

Jean-Pierre Massiera & Bernard Torelli - Turn Radio On (France) 1976 Marcy Music. Well here he is again. Mr. Massiera, the king of arcane underground music. You never know what you'll get with a JP Massiera album, but rest assured it will contain music no one else was doing at the time. He seemed to be the original artist with a keen eye for the ironic. In fact, I think the entire post 1990 Japanese pop scene could be described as similar, whether one was actually clued in on the joke or not. Jean-Pierre Massiera is the original post modernist hipster! Here he joins Mr. Torelli (not sure what his role is, since I've never actually seen an original LP, and it may not tell anyway) in a completely nutty, primarily instrumental (with odd voices and narration) album, that is as much indebted to the late 60s grooving horns jetset scene as it is to Studio 54 era disco. Thanks to my friend Mystery Poster for this one (and this was before he had a blog).

* Master Cylinder - Elsewhere (USA) 1980 Inner City. Not much is known about this Ft. Worth based jazz rock group (even though they're from my neck of the woods, their album wasn't exactly a staple of local jazz or rock radio). On the usually soulless Inner City label, Master Cylinder was anything but that. Their album has a strong melodic sense, and it seems the group must've been informed by the Canterbury groups like early Soft Machine or National Health, as well as the DC based Happy the Man. While ostensibly a jazz album, it's these rock elements that bring Master Cylinder to the next level. A very good album that time has forgot.

* Matao (with Atilla Engin) - Turkish Delight (Denmark) 1980 Ra Records RALP-6046. Another insane obscurity from The Alaskan Connection. As noted by the AC, Atilla Engin is a Turkish percussionist who landed in Denmark and formed a fusion group. My first thought was this is Engin's response to Oriental Wind (who were based in Sweden)! But Matao are a more fiery bunch with a strong rock component (especially in the guitar work), verse the more decidedly jazz direction of Okay Temiz's group. As if a Turkish drummer suddenly took over Secret Oyster. Not surprisingly, there's a strong slant towards Middle Eastern melodies and scales. The AC's observation about the Rock Andaluz scene in Spain is very astute as well. Another excellent discovery and well worth a CD.

* Le Match - Légendes (Canada) 1975 SonoGram. Later pressed by Trans-Canada. As soon as I heard Le Match, I instantly knew the type of music. And it's a style I'm very fond of, and have spoken about it at length here before. That unique genre of music that mixes a commercial AOR sound, but with a distinct Gentle Giant complexity. It's short form progressive rock. The sound that represents the progressive rock landscape of the 1970s American Midwest (and Ontario by extension). The only difference here is Le Match sing in French, which makes sense since they're from Quebec. In that way, I'm reminded of that most excellent band Et Cetera, though Le Match are definitely more geared towards the commercial aspect of the sound, rather than the overtly progressive Et Cetera. So Le Match are a bit of an anomaly for the Quebec scene, and "Légendes" is miles away from the Harmonium / Connivence / Contraction / Maneige sounds that we know and love from the region. "Légendes" is vocal heavy, but features some wonderful violin, synthesizers, flute and guitar, and the compositions are thought out with plenty of complexity to keep most progressive rock fans happy. There's a folksy undercurrent here, but I wouldn't label this folk rock myself (another way of saying, I wouldn't put them in the Barde camp either).

** McLuhan - Anomaly (USA) 1971 Brunswick (also released on German Bellaphon). A very British sounding, quirky progressive horn rock album by this unknown US group. Fuzz guitar, organ, menacing bass, wailing sax, some narration with twisted lyrics, flute, horn charts ala early Chicago. The soft vocal style and composition structure calls to mind Uriah Heep's "Salisbury" side long piece. Brainchild and Heaven are other good references, without the pop aspirations. Only missteps are a short ragtime bit and a funk soul sequence that is off track. One of the band members has contacted me and is looking to hook up with other former members for a possible reissue. So if you were in McLuhan, let me know!

xxx ** Lloyd McNeill Quartet - Asha (USA) 1969 Asha Record Company.
xxx Lloyd McNeill Quartet - Asha 2: Tanner Suite (USA) 1970 Asha Record Company.
xxx ** Lloyd McNeill Quartet - Asha 3: Washington Suite (USA) 1970 Asha Record Company. "Asha" is a super jazz flute album, that is very spiritual and psychedelic. I can feel the 1969 Howard University vibe coming through. "Washington Suite", McNeill's third, continues in this path. His albums have a subdued intensity, an understated anger that never quite climax, and is mitigated by frequent displays of beautiful melodicism. I suspect that the McNeill albums will be big growers for me over time. "Tanner Suite" is a bit more minimalist, since it's just McNeill on flute and Marshall Hawkins on bass. No mistaking the passionate McNeill sound though. Deep. I should also mention that McNeill has 3 fine albums from 1976 to 1980 that are not on CD as well: Treasures (1976), Tori (1978) and Elegia (1980). *** "Asha" has been reissued by Soul Jazz May, 2010; "Asha 3"reissued by Soul Jazz in 2012; Asha 2 reissued in 2015 from the same label. xxx

* Me - Out for the First Time (USA) 1974 Mine. Certainly one of the most odd albums coming from 1970s Weird America. Not so much musically, but more the premise of a loner woodsman from New Jersey (New Jersey?) with a self-deprecating disposition. Marolda now resides in Lost Wages, which seems to be an apt destination for this man with a creative and restless mind. The progressive tracks most certainly do recall Gentle Giant and Yes - and sure, there are a couple of places you might think he was emulating The Rockford Files theme song. Yea.... it's Weird America. And worthy of a real CD (not CD-R) with perhaps some more progressive oriented bonus tracks that are no doubt stored in the woodshed somewhere in Mad Men land.

# Rodolfo Mederos - Todo Hoy (Argentina) 1978 Auris. Apparently Mederos is a marquee name in Argentina and has won Latin Grammy awards for Tango albums. This 1970s work combines jazz, rock and Argentine music quite effectively. It's quite complex, and will appeal to most fans of progressive rock, given the edgy rock instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums, piano, synthesizers). Mederos himself plays a bandoneón, which on the surface looks to be part of the accordion family but is actually closer to a concertina. Still, the sound is somewhat similar and gives you an idea of what to expect. I wouldn't be surprised to learn this was on CD, but I can find no evidence of it. Mederos has dozens more albums than "Todo Hoy", but this is the only one I'm familiar with.

xxx Mediterranea - Ecce Rock (Italy) 1981 Amiamoci. Relatively simple, but fun, instrumental guitar trio with quite a bit of mandolin as well. As is expected by the title and the cover of the Italian version (frankly the Japanese cover that was issued simultaneously is nicer), it has a Turkish/Greek/Arabian vibe. Given the wide exposure this album had in 1981, it's surprising it never managed a CD reissue in the latter part of the decade, especially considering it was on Seven Seas in Japan. *** Reissued by BTF/AMS in May, 2010 ***

Mediterráneo - Estrechas Calles De Santa Cruz (Spain) 1978 Aphrodita. It's been years since I had heard this album. I had the LP in the early 90s, but didn't enjoy it much then, and promptly sold it (and it's always been a rare piece). Then totally forgot about it until recently. I thought it may have been reissued by now, but it doesn't appear to have been. Musically, it's a bit of a disappointment if you're looking for Spanish regional influences. In fact, some of this reminds me of the slow moving German symphonic music of the day (Shaa Khan, Albatros, Indigo, etc...). There's also an impossibly long drum solo that ruins the flow. There are some nice guitar leads in the Camel vein, though, that makes it worth a listen or two. Starting with their second album "Tabarca", the band moved into a more specific pop direction, and released 5 more albums. The group appears to still be together.

* The Medium - s/t (Canada) 1969 Gamma. Pretty adventurous album for the time and date. Band is from Montreal, though their sound is more similar to the Toronto area. Nice fuzz and 1960s era non-Hammond organ. Mellodramatic vocals can get to be a bit much. Last track has similarities to Soft Machine "II". Closest band I could compare them to is the US band Listening on Vanguard.

xx Melodiya Jazz Ensemble – Labyrinth (Russia) 1974 Melodia. Sort of the house band for the Soviet state label Melodia. For most of the album, it’s a pretty groovin’ jazz album, with some funky and rockier bits. But the opening track is an eye opener. I haven’t heard this much solo fuzz bass since the debut from SBB (which was also from 1974). I’m wondering if they felt emboldened to display such subversive sounds after hearing it come from one of the satellite states? Like many Russian albums, the Cyrillic can be translated a number of ways and you’ll see this album listed as the Melodia Ensemble, Melodiya Ensemble, and many other combinations. As far as I know, this one didn’t get a reissue like most of the 1980s Melodia albums did (Gorizont, In Spe, Gunesh Ensemble, Kaseke, etc..). Nice to see the Soviets were able to groove in the 70s like everyone else - at least a little bit anyway. **reissued by Melodia (Russia) as a beginning part of the compilation: George Garanian - "All that Jazz". Thanks Alex for the info!**

* Melody - Come Fly With Me (France) 1976 Pole.
* Melody - Yesterlife (France) 1977 Vogue. In short, Melody are a symphonic rock band with female vocals. The sound of "Come Fly With Me" seems more from the early 1970s, and wouldn't be out of place with albums by Mad Curry or Earth & Fire for example. There's also a psychedelic space rock undertone present throughout, that perhaps explains why one gets the feeling the album was recorded from 5 years earlier. Unfortunately the recording sounds like an unprofessional demo, and is fairly sludgy overall. Hopefully the masters still exist, and the sound can be brought out to its fullest! Musically the album is very interesting, especially if someone can possibly scrub away the grime. It's also worth pointing out that most, if not all, of the Tapioca presses (the inheritors of the Pole label) of "Come Fly With Me" feature one half of the Melody album combined with one half of Mahogany Brain's "Smooth Sick Lights", which is an avant-garde noise fest and is a completely different style to Melody. This version was my introduction to the band which left me confused about Melody for years. Fortunately I now own the Pole version on LP. "Yesterlife" is a far more professional album than "Come Fly With Me", in both composition and production. But given the 1977 date, and the rather atrocious looking Earth & Fire styled disco album cover, Melody were clearly viewing the hit parade. And perhaps wanting to stay relevant, they began to write more commercial music. There's still a high level of sophistication beneath the gloss (in fact some of the songs are re-recordings of tracks from "Come Fly With Me") - but it's mitigated somewhat by the ambition of its producers. Unbelievably, for those that know that the Tapioca mispress of "Come Fly With Me" contains half of the avant garde Mahogany Brain album (as mentioned above), would you believe that Vogue switched the first two tracks on this album? Yea, 'Welcome to Wonderland' is the opening track. Jeez, these guys got the same breaks as those trying to leave Gilligan's Island....

Melofin - Ivan Tale (USA) 1984 Sky Spy Studio. Melofin's sole album from 1984 is a slow moving, slice-of-life, psychedelic folk album that sounds about 15 years past its expiration date. Mostly vocal driven acoustic music, with occasional electric guitar leads, winds, and synthesizer. Melofin hail from Morgantown, West Virginia and makes one wonder if perhaps the 60s psych movement had just found its way into the Allegheny mountains. Somewhere between old-timey mountain music, Celtic jigs, and CSN&Y singalongs. Recalls some of the low budget English 99-album-count folk albums from 1969/70. About as anachronistic as they come. All the same, worth a few listens for certain. And it features an awesome album cover, which unfortunately does not represent the contents within.

** Memoriance - Et Apres (France) 1976 Europa.
* Memoriance - L'Ecume Des Jours (France) 1979 Philips. Relatively well known French progressive rock band, who are similar to other groups of the era like Atoll, Pentacle, Carpe Diem, Pulsar and even Shylock. There's a slight psychedelic air on the debut, whereas the second is a full blown concept album. For years, this was on Musea's "coming soon" list, but it never materialized. Perhaps Belle Antique of Japan will pick this out of their archives, similar to what they did with the Speed Limit albums. Or maybe Musea will start the reissue engine themselves. We can hope?

Mendoza - s/t (Sweden) 1972 CBS. Despite sporting a cover of a very mean looking mustachioed dude with a dangling cigarette and sunglasses - and who would presumeably be the band's namesake - Mendoza are in reality a 6 piece band made up of names like Arne Gustafsson, Lennart Palmefors, and Björn Larsson. The evidence is before the court, and methinks these Swedish lads were cashing in on the Santana concept. Ya think? I guess if they went by LARSSON or OLSON it wouldn't have the same impact now would it? No matter, because if this was the second coming of "Abraxas", I could use any rationalization I felt like to justify my praise. But, alas, it's not. Though the opening instrumental is a smoker that held quite a bit of promise. For the most part, Mendoza sound like a typical American band, playing typical early 1970s American roots rock. Naturally enough, the guitar work is the highlight, not surprising given the genre. For latin rock from Sweden, I would suggest making a beeline for Kvartetten Som Sprängde.

# Frederic Mercier – Music From France. 1979 Polydor. Happy bouncy electronic music with drum machines. Some classical themes. Proto-Nintendo. Not my style of electronic music I'm afraid.

# Mercury Magic - s/t (USA) 1980 Hughestone Productions. Sometimes the best part of an album is its album cover. The kind of album that if you were rummaging around the record store, your heart would start racing upon initial sighting. With the ornate stenciled black and white drawing no way this could be anything but an undiscovered progressive rock gem. No such luck. This is commercial arena rock very much a product of the day. Los Angeles based Mercury Magic is nothing to get excited about except the odd nice guitar solo. Will leave here for reference, but out of scope for this list.

# The Mesmerizing Eye - Psychedelia: A Musical Light Show (USA) 1967 Smash. Short album made up of 23 minutes of psychedelic incidental music. As if the entire album were made up of the "weird" parts from Friendsound, Fifty Foot Hose, Silver Apples, etc... Pretty much an exploitation album sold at the cash register of K-Mart's back in the 1960s. Good album for the middle-class, bored white couple set, about to embark on their first neighborhood swinger party.

* Message - It'll Be Awhile (USA) 1981 Black Gold. New Mexico based Message were an excellent example of the progressive hard rock style that had a small niche audience in the late 70s and early 80s. It's mainly hard rock at the core, but is slightly complex and has a few more ideas than the usual run of the mill bonehead albums of the era. The tracks are compact, so no elaborate themes or delusion of grandeur here. Think Side 2 of Rush's "2112". The Texas band False Prophet is another good reference (an archival CD that Shroom put out a few years ago). It kind of wheezes out on Side 2 for a couple of tracks, but otherwise a solid album. A perfect choice for Rockadrome.

# Message (Germany)
---Synapse. 1976 Nova.
---Using the Head. 1977 Brain.
---Astral Journeys. 1978 Brain.
---Miles of Smiles. 1980 Spiegelei.
Lesser albums by Irish German combo that released 3 good to great albums from 1972-1975 (and all on CD).

# Messengers - First Message (Germany) 1975 Red Point.
Messengers - Children of Tomorrow (Germany) 1977 Warner Brothers. Large ensemble with brass and woodwind instruments. A very heavy Christian "message" album, thus the name I suspect. Music is a mix of light jazz, complex horn rock, pop rock with female/male vocals and even some early disco with wordless female voice. Reminds me a little of late 70s Earth & Fire mixed with the Guntram Pauli + Christian Kabitz + Klaus Haimerl - Rock Requiem: Concert For Orchestra Choir And Band. I've only heard "Children of Tomorrow" to date.

* Metabolist - Hansten Klork (England) 1982 Dromm. Hansten Klork has a certain Krautrock feel to it. I always felt the UK underground favorite This Heat had a similar German vibe and there are parallels between the two groups' sound. Metabolist does possess a certain metronomic Can like undercurrent, along with chanted vocals - more Magma than Damo. Strangely enough the vocals remind me even more of a very obscure Mexican Zeuhl group called Vector Escoplo (from 1991), and one has to wonder if they were more influenced by Metabolist than Magma. As well, Metabolist seems to have a punk and industrial background. These latter two fields I'm much less familiar with, though I'm sure experts in those styles will recognize other patterns. A very intriguing album, and one that falls a bit out of my interest area. However, it's one that I feel compelled to keep and also one to recommend for a CD.

# Metamorfosis - Papallones i Elefants (Spain) 1982 AVE. Similar to Gotic, but a slicker, lighter sound. Almost smooth jazz. Still has the nice melodies one would expect. Stunning cover. boots exist.

*** Metaphysical Animation (USA) 1973 private. See blog for more detail.

* Metronic Underground - Illusion (Electronic aus Bonn) (Germany) 1981 private. Produced by Conny Plank, this is an excellent entry into the large scale German electronic scene. Not really a Berlin School album, though some rhythmic sequencing is present, but still very much informed by late 70's Berlin based artists like Edgar Froese (especially "Ages"), Ash Ra around the time of "New Age of Earth" and Klaus Schulze circa "X". Haunting synthesizers with THAT vibe combined with lightly sprinkled fuzzed and acoustic guitars makes for an album the CDRWL recommends. Side 2 of the album shifts gears a bit and features some vocal numbers that are quite a bit different than the other contents but are strangely engaging all the same. My friend and Gnosis colleague Lev Gankine, who knows far more about obscure German albums than I do, also states on RYM that Metronic Underground reminds him of some of the modern electronic groups on the German indie scene.

** Metropolis - s/t (Germany) 1974 Pan. Musically, Metropolis is difficult to pigeonhole. It's a panoptic view of the Krautrock genre. I hear elements of other German groups as diverse as Joy Unlimited, Nine Days Wonder, Pell Mell, Lily, Os Mundi, Eiliff and Ardo Dombec. Plenty of superb electric / acoustic guitar, organ, mellotron, horns, flute, female & male vocals. Final 9 minute piece 'Ecliptic' is a monster. Suffice to say, if you're a fan of the early 70s German underground rock scene, then Metropolis is a no-brainer purchase. Watch for bootlegs of this title.

Patrice Meyer - Racines Croisees (France) 1983 Music'Al.
Patrice Meyer - Dromadaire Viennois (France) 1986 FMR. Two solid instrumental albums from guitarist Patrice Meyer, who recruited some famous Canterbury names like Pip Pyle, Hugh Hopper and Didier Malherbe (from Gong) to participate on the latter solo effort. "Dromadaire Viennois" has some Zeuhl bass and is the more interesting of the two albums. When Meyer plugs in, he can be quite kinetic. Both albums are rooted in jazz, and possess a tranquil side to offset the more energetic pieces. Not essential, but very good for the era, especially the latter album.

xxx ** Micah - I'm Only One Man (USA) 1971 Sterling Award. Head and shoulders above most of these hard rock / psych US private pressings from 1971. Long runs of guitar and organ solos, with a great vibe throughout. I love the way the Hammond is played in a choppy manner, as well as the wah wah guitar solos. Just nonstop kickass music, the way you want all of these type of albums to sound, but rarely do. I haven't even seen a bootleg of this album, it's really a rare one. Supposedly from New York, but who knows really? Anyone in the band still alive and care to contact me? I want to know more! Only bummer is that Side 2 is only 11 minutes long. *** To be reissued by Shadoks, June 2012 xxx

# Midnight Sun - Walking Circles (Denmark) 1972 Polydor.
Midnight Sun - Midnight Dream (Denmark) 1973 Polydor. Both of these albums, their 2nd and 3rd releases, are progressive rural rock that remind me of the second Culpepper's Orchard album. Both feature a couple of nice jazzy sequences, but for the most part they are quite a departure from their Zeppelin-esque debut. The first album was reissued by Long Hair along with the predecessor group, Rainbow Band, a few years ago.

# Midsommar - Belsebub Är Lös… (Sweden) 1971 Gazell.
Midsommar - s/t (Sweden) 1972 Moondisc. I've only heard the 1971 album. Interesting bluesy rock, with psych interludes. Swedish vocals always work well in this context, and Belsebub Är Lös… is no exception. Excellent grungy guitar work, organ, and nice sax /flute as well. I prefer November to this, but the musical approach is similar. Also one can hear some of the same era Krautrock bands that had a blues focus.

Might of Coincidence - Announcing the Birth Of (Switzerland) 1971 Entropia. MoC play a typical acid folk prog in the trippy German tradition similar to Emtidi’s “Saat” or especially Amon Duul’s “Paradieswarts Duul”. Tranced female/male vocals over tablas, wood flute and electric/acoustic guitar. Most of the tracks sound similar, except the last one which is considerably more cosmic and experimental. A whole album of that I think would’ve resulted in a better experience. Still, a good record worth checking out.

# Kei Miho & Jazz Eleven - Kokezaru Kumikyoku (Japan) 1971 MCA / Nippon Victor. No surprise here given the name of the group, but this is primarily a jazz album. Some of it is free jazz, other tracks are more traditional. The only reason I'm including here is the really cool, but sparsely used, super compressed acid fuzz guitar, and the use of Japanese indigenous instruments, giving off a world fusion feel. But definitely out of scope for the list.

* Miklagard - s/t (Sweden) 1979 private. Pretty much bread and butter keyboard trio prog rock, with nice leads (some fat analog, some thin cheesy), and the always pleasant sound of Swedish vocals. Really surprised this has yet to be reissued. Could see Transsubstans doing it or even Mellotronen.

# Ben Mink – Foreign Exchange (Canada) 1980 Passport. FM's violinist put out this one fine instrumental fusion album, that mixes extraordinary workouts with haunting atmospheric pieces. A fine effort, that had a cult following even back in 1983 when I first arrived at college.

** Mirror - Daybreak (Netherlands) 1976 private. One of the true European rarities that I was fortunate to hear as early as 1992 or so, and then eventually traded my way into an LP copy a few years later. Sometimes it's hard to be objective about big ticket items such as this. On one hand there's a tendency to say it's great, just because it's rare as hens teeth (though the internet has mitigated this effect somewhat). Then, on the other hand, there's the temptation to state all of these rarities are just amateurish wannabees, and the only reason it's a rare private release is because they weren't good enough to sign to a major. Of course, as with most things, the truth is found on a case by case basis, and the generalities rarely apply. With Mirror, knowing full well my sympathies weigh heavily in favor of a positive outcome, and trying to be as objective as possible, I still feel it's a strong album based on merits alone. It certainly isn't a flashy release, and the compositions aren't going to win any Conservatory awards. But what they lack in academic pedigree, they make up for in naive sincerity. Mirror bring that intangible known as atmosphere, that certain something that special recordings possess. Make no mistake, "Daybreak" is seriously flawed, but that's part of its charm. Even in my most cynical musical moments, I find albums like this refreshing. A tier 1 album. Band evolved into Lethe, and even managed to improve on a similar methodology.

xxx ** Missus Beastly - Dr. Aftershave and the Mixed Pickles (Germany) 1976 April. *** Reissued by Garden of Delights, May 2011 xxx
** Missus Beastly - Spaceguerilla (Germany) 1978 Schneeball. Garden of Delights has already reissued their first two albums, plus an archival live release called "Bremen 1974". The debut, from 1969, is a raw blues influenced rock album - a decent example of the style, but certainly not a highlight. Their 1974 album, also self-titled, is what I consider the benchmark for all things Kraut fusion, and is one my Top 25 albums of all time. "Dr. Aftershave..." sees Missus Beastly moving onto the more-in-fashion funky sounds of the era, while still building on the jazz rock of the 1974 album. Anyone who is familiar with Embryo's "Bad Heads and Bad Cats" will immediately recognize the sounds here (and they share many members between the groups). Worth noting this is the first album on the April label, later renamed Schneeball for legal reasons. Comes in a folder cover, without borders. "Spaceguerilla" is more a return to the style of the self-titled 1974 album, with long instrumental passages of flute, sax and especially piano. The album is high spirited and melodic - and they've toned down some of the funky chicken parts that were all the rage in Europe at that time. According to the liner notes of the 1974 Misses Beastly album, Garden of Delights states that the label Funfundvierzig were to reissue both of these albums imminently. However, it appears that label has since gone inactive, and so these two remain sadly unissued. Hopefully GoD picks up this title, and many more from the great Schneeball label. Note that Spaceguerilla should be reissued by the end of 2011.

# Missus Beastly - Volksmusik (Germany) 1972 Free Electric Bird.
Missus Beastly / Weramean - Super Rock Made in Germany (aka Im Garten des Schweigens) (Germany) 1973 Free Electric Bird. These two albums are from the "unauthorized" Missus Beastly. Both are rough live recordings, and the music is similar to the bluesy psych debut and have little to do with the jazz fusion group that produced the 1974 album on Nova, or the two albums I have in the entry above. Not sure if Weramean is a pseudonym for Side 1 of the 1973 album or a separate group. It's a confusing situation to begin with, made only worse with the dual group designation. Since these were in reality "bootlegs" to begin with, it's hard to imagine legit reissues ever being reissued. Both albums, while pretty good, pale in comparison to the legal Missus Beastly.

# Mixture - s/t (Sweden) 1980 COOP. Starts off with a shredding progressive fusion piece, that had the whole album been this way, would have been a sought after monster. After the opening, however, the band opts for the standard funky fusion sounds that were dime a dozen back then. Disappointing. On the same label as Pondus.

xxx Toshiyuki Miyama & New Herd - Tsuchi No Ne (Nippon Densetsu No Naka No Shijou). 1973 Columbia. There are other albums by the New Herd, but for now, I'll just list this one. Yet another amazing find from the Japanese underground. A great discovery from The Alaskan Connection! You know, it's not everyday that you hear music described as complex horn rock meets Ian Carr's Nucleus meets Vortex. But, in effect, as the AC notes in the main entry, that's exactly what this is. I've only heard one other New Herd album, the Yamataifu album mentioned below, and it was too "out jazz" for me. This album, however, is definitely within the rails, and I found it highly enjoyable. *** Reissued by Nippon Columbia 2012 xxx

# Moas Ark – Jomfrumtur (Norway) 1980 Stark. Norwegian rock with a horn section. The latter was quite rare for the era, but doesn't save this pretty ordinary LP (despite the cool B&W cover).

# Don Mock - Mock One (USA) 1978 private. Acclaimed teacher/guitarist Mock's first fusion album. The addition of trumpet and violin add a little spice to the usual recipe. Considered by many to be a cut above in the all things fusion year of 1978, though I found it to still be pretty typical in its approach and execution. A must for fans of the genre.

** Modern Music Band - s/t (Sweden) 1972 Spark. Not long ago we featured a 1970 Swedish group called Opus III & Friends, and I stated that they reminded me of a horn rock band, except that they didn't have horns. And here we have another band like that, except they do feature them... horns that is. And much more, fully utilizing the 8 piece band here (trumpet, trombone, organ, flute, sax, guitar, bass, drums). This is a very fine example of the style, with good melodies and female vocals sung in Swedish. I believe all are originals, except one cover of Chicago's "Make Me Smile" (and an excellent rendition it is). For Swedish horn rock, I found this to be much more preferable than Splash's "Ut På Vischan". Horn rock heaven.

# Modo - s/t (Latvia) 1978 Melodia. EP length. Somewhat famous in underground circles for the amazing track on side 1 - an instrumental tour de force of funky fuzz and Hammond organ. And the bass/drumming is insane, sounding like a distant cousin to the Gunesh Ensemble. The second side is far less interesting, pretty much dumb pop rock to appease the ever present authorities no doubt. If only there were piles of tapes of Modo material in some Soviet era vault (preferably marked "subversive - to be investigated") similar to Side 1. Ah, we can dream can't we?

* Moira - Crazy Countdown (Germany) 1977 Schneeball.
*** Moira - s/t (aka Reise Nach Ixtlan) (Germany) 1984 private. These would be great for a label like Garden of Delights or even Schneeball, which still exists, if they'd get around to reissuing some of their catalog on CD. Full review posted.

* Momentum - Introducing Brad Carlton (USA) 1980 J.B.C. Records
* Momentum – Scintillation (USA) 1983 J.B.C. Records. A pleasant surprise given the late date. Excellent guitar fronted fusion, with loud, almost psychedelic leads - very much at odds with 1983. One beautiful flute driven piece as well. A couple of funky sax laden tracks to sit through, but both contain fine melodies. A real obscurity here, and thanks again to good friend of this site for providing to me via CD-R. After obtaining the debut, it becomes clearer why these albums have such a strong guitar presence. Brad Carlton is indeed that player, and he is also a guitar teacher (in fact he has a nice set of instructional videos on YouTube that budding guitarists can learn from). I personally really appreciate Carlton's tones, giving both of Momentum's albums a strong mid 70s feel. Once again, there is some dated early 80s styled funk jazz to sit through, but one is never too far away from another cool biting fuzz guitar solo. There's some nice piano work too. Both come highly recommended for fusion fans.

# Mongrel - Get Your Teeth Into This (England) 1973 Polydor. Now here's a record that collectors all over the world are looking for. It's extremely rare.... and extremely terrible. Plain old 3 minute-a-track rock. There's just nothing here. Really. Not in scope for our list, but will leave here for reference so you can stop looking for it ;-)

Montoro – Esencia (Spain) 1991 private. Montoro's sole album is a good example of Flamenco Rock, past the 1970's glory days of course. The spiritual successor to Triana's “Sombra y Luz” as it were. Make no mistake, this album is as commercial as it is progressive. But it features fine lead guitar, excellent Arabian vocals, and thoughtful compositions. Much better than contemporary Medina Azahara, for example. Worth hearing, though not exemplary by any means.

# Moonlyte - Better Late Than Never (USA) 1974 Astro. Philadelphia based Latino group, who play a mixture of funk, psych and soul pop. Some of this is great, with funky wah wah guitar, Santana-ish guitar leads and well executed horn charts. But there's a lot of nightclub crooning to endure as well. No one will confuse Moonlyte with Chango or Dakila unfortunately. There's enough here to warrant a listen or two. File next to the Broth album.

* Moose Loose - Elgen Er Løs. 1974 MAI.
* Moose Loose - Transition. 1976 Vertigo. Debut "Elgen Er Løs" is a powerful fusion album, that mixes in funky clavinet lines with some ferocious electric guitar leads, playing in an almost psychedelic style. Latter half of the album drifts towards more standard jazz / jazz-rock before closing with an acoustic guitar, piano piece. Followup album, "Transition", is a good fusion work filled with the new addition of violin combined with the guitar leads of the prior album (more subdued here though). Reminds quite a bit of same era Jean-Luc Ponty mixed with Terje Rypdal's more aggressive works.

# Moravigine – s/t (France) 1975.

xxx ** Morgen - s/t (USA) 1969 Probe. As these things go, Morgen is practically a household name compared to the usual CDRWL fare. It's also one heck of a psych album, and that's one reason why it leads the league in bootlegs. This is something I think we've all been waiting for a high profile label like Sundazed to tackle. And I'm sure they would if they could. My guess is it's tied up legally somewhere. When I first started collecting psych music in the late 1980s (which admittedly came after progressive rock and heavy metal), I expected all the albums to sound something like Morgen. Great bumble bee fuzz guitar, good melodies, somewhat spaced out vocals. But alas, it wasn't to be the case. But Morgen is in the big leagues, and it's no surprise to me that it is one of the most sought after of the major label psych pieces, despite there being a relatively large supply in circulation. It's just that good - and no legal reissue to offset demand. To me, this one is the real deal and I file it right next to The Plastic Cloud. Nice late 1800's artwork of "The Scream" by Edvard Munch. *** Reissued by Sunbeam March 2013 xxx

* Morning Sky - Sea of Dreams (USA) 1976 Morning Sky Records. On the surface, New Hampshire based Morning Sky are a typical mid 70s jazz flute ensemble. Then the sweet airy female vocals add some life, and the peppy rhythms recall Lloyd McNeill. Then, out of nowhere, arrives these load fuzz guitar solos that are truly exciting in this context. Fascinating album and very much worth seeking out!

* Mosaic - s/t (USA) 1978 LMI. Like Touch and Ocean, Mosaic is one of those band names that has been used dozens of times, so finding info about them can be difficult without any other clues. LMI was a jazz/soul label from Malibu, founded by Lee Magid, who apparently was a famous producer and manager for some big name soul and blues artists back in the day. This Mosaic were from Peoria, Illinois, and have that sweet jazz funk sound with an exotic bent that we so often find from this era. Perhaps Embryo's "Apo Calypso" or even the Ville Emard Blues Band can provide some context. Lovely female vocals, Fender Rhodes, sax, percussion, and guitar (note the instrumental setup on the cover). 

** Mosaik - No.1 (Germany) 1977 private. Mosaik are yet one more fusion group from Germany. There were so many great bands from that era in Germany, and we’re just now learning about many of them. Kraan and Embryo were the knowns. If you really were into the scene, you may have learned about Missus Beastly, Moira and Munju, possibly even Aera. Through CD reissues, we then learn about bands like Morpheus, Frob and Skyline. And still we find out the surface is just being scratched. Ceddo, Nanu Urwerk, Sun, Syncrises, Surgery and many more keep bubbling up. For my ears, Mosaik is in the top tier of these groups. The guitar work is superb (like Frob) and there’s some really nice melodic sax playing throughout. They’re clearly informed by bands like Soft Machine and Passport, but add their own ingredients. Another group that hopefully Garden of Delights or Long Hair gets to in the near future.

# Mosaik - s/t (Sweden) 1981 private. Post-Atlas group plays a primarily introspective jazz fusion album. Some nice flute and fuzz guitar interspersed amongst the chamber like setting.

xxx * Moses - Changes (Denmark) 1971 Spectator. Good blues rock like Blue Cheer and early Black Sabbath. *** Reissued by Shadoks in 2009 xxx

Ted Moses Quintet - The Farther You Go, The Farther You See (Canada) 1979 Mother Necessity. Canadian pianist/keyboardist Ted Moses' second album is straight up fusion with Chick Corea styled keyboards that really dominate the proceedings. There's some trumpet, and the album has a bit of that late 70s funky feel. This is Fusion 101, so if you're a fan of the genre, then this is right in the middle of the railroad track. I'd prefer a bit more dirt and edge, though I have to admit this did sound pleasing to the ears. Solid, though perhaps inessential.

* Mother Yod - s/t (England) 1997 Prescription Drug. The first album from the one time experiment/series known as the Prescription Drug label. This one at least gives hints to its 1997 date, with a decidedly post-rock sound mixed with the overt 70's Krautrock underground aesthetic that all of them possess. Only duffer track is a short vocal folk piece (which sounds too much like the duffer vocal folk pieces on REAL Krautrock albums!) Heavy use of analog instruments per recipe, with emphasis on processed keys and fuzz bass. Electronic percussion sounds more modern, though I think they're going for the Klaus Schulze 1973 variety of that sound. Neat use of choral voice (not mellotron). Not the high standard of Ohr Musik and Quad, but pretty close. Good album.

* Motiffe - s/t (England) 1972 Derby. Recently reissued on LP by Shadoks. I now own the reissue LP and it's a huge improvement on the bootleg CD. But it's clearly not from master tapes. One member of the band was in touch with me for awhile and had promised me a copy of the album (on CD-R) from his own archive. Not sure how that sounds, as it never arrived. The sad thing is, the primarily instrumental music here is brilliant progressive rock. But the pressed LP version sounds very muffled. Not sure if a good cleanup job would do the trick, or if it's a lost cause. Whatever you do, don't buy the bootleg CD-R on Ammonite that came out in the late 1990s. It was taken from a vinyl copy that sounds like it was dumped into the washing machine.

*** Michel Moulinie - Chrysalide (France) 1978 Crypto. One man show Moulinie crafted his sole work for the Crypto label in 1978. Perfect for the time and place, Moulinie's work is similar to other like minded French underground artists such as Phillippe Besombes and Richard Pinhas. The use of acoustic guitar gives the recording a warm touch, that can be missing from the more clinical works of the era. I would guess that Moulinie was quite familiar with some of Mike Oldfield's classic works at this stage. The violin (or as it is credited "guitare violin") has a haunting, almost mellotron-like sound. On 3) and 5), Moulinie experiments with sound on sound techniques, that recall Manuel Gottsching on "Inventions For Electric Guitar". A very beautiful album, and one that has no peer in terms of sound and execution.

* Francis Moze - Naissance (France) 1982 Harps. Francis Moze is one of many ex-Magma alumni to have pursued a short career in the fusion field. Perhaps the most overt of these attempts was the collaboration of Lockwood, Top, Vander & Widemann, and their 1981 album so subtlety entitled "Fusion". It's not overly surprising, given that Magma were at heart a jazz group right from the beginning. However by the time of "Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh", the band had become so creative, it spawned an entire music movement that still survives today: Zeuhl. Moze was a veteran of the early Magma lineups, and later turned up on a couple of the more fusion oriented Gong ensembles. Thus his one sole album flew under the radar, unlike his bass playing brethren such as Paganotti and Top. The album really gains momentum as it goes. Personally I'm a big fan of the McCoy Tyner styled staccato piano, and Moze's band utilizes this technique to great effect, propelling the music forward at an exciting rate. Very nice record from perhaps a surprising source.

** Munju - High Speed Kindergarten (Germany) 1976 April.
* Munju - Moon You (Germany) 1977 Schneeball.
* Munju - Brot + Spiele (Germany) 1979 Schneeball.
* Munju - Le Perfectionniste (Germany) 1982 Exil. Munju's albums can be downloaded from their website. Apparently the tapes are lost. Munju . Concerning "High Speed Kindergarten", the bass work and acoustic in particular stands out. Some nice sax/flute melody work as well. I like their use of rhythm guitar too. (more details on the other releases as I revisit them).

Shuichi "Ponta" Murakami - Introducing (Japan) 1976 Toshiba EMI. Starts off pretty much in the funky fusion bag, similar to many European fusion albums of the era. Plenty of funky Rhodes, clavinet and bass. But then by the third track, Murakami goes all George Hirota, and delivers spacey electronics with indigenous Japanese percussion. Suddenly the album becomes more interesting, though unfortunately the drums become a bit too dominant. Last track brings it altogether. A good album, though not as consistent as it could have been, especially with the percussion focus being a bit strong.

# Ilpo Murtojärvi – Avaus. 1983 Luumu. Typical solo album (Murtojärvi was the guitarist for Kaamos) with a kitchen sink mentality towards style. A mix of funk, hard rock, jazz, and introspective quiet numbers. All with a worn out and canned 80's production. Not for me I'm afraid.

# Musica Orbis - To the Listeners (USA) 1977 Longdivity.

Musikalische Gruppenimprovisation - s/t (Germany) 1974 private. Names like Musikalische Gruppenimprovisation tend to be a magnet for me. Especially bands with that name and coming from the Year 1974. And with a personnel pedigree that includes Broselmaschine, Kollektiv, and Annexus Quam. This is, in effect, the third Annexus Quam album and continues their free music exploration of their second album. Though I feel this one is a bit more focused, and enjoyable. Perhaps the two albums by Limbus (3 and 4) are the closest in comparison. Though there is at least one direct reference to Soft Machine's "Third". Very much a product of its age. This is for those who truly love the avant garde. Nothing fake about this - the real deal in both atmosphere and sense of exploration. A bit "outside" for me, but an absolute must for fans of radical frei musik.

* Mutha Goose - I (USA) 1975 Alpha Omega. Typical Midwest prog, this time from Indiana. Recalls the southern Illinois group Thunderpussy in the compositions, though there's a strong presence of keyboards here. Better than most US private prog albums.

* Myrth - s/t (USA) 1969 RCA. I'd say within the horn rock spectrum, Myrth tracks closest to Ides of March. The vocals are gruff, and the music is hard charging. The horns are tight and well charted. And, yes, there's a commercial slant to some of the material, that is wonderfully offset by more progressive leanings. This is exactly the style of music you'd find on Ides of March's "Vehicle", a much under appreciated album in my eyes. It remains debatable if the horn rock era will ever find a new fan base after its initial run. But if it does, Myrth should be an early consideration. I haven't been able to discern where Myrth originated. The album was recorded in Hollywood, and it would seem given the logistics of a large ensemble, that southern California would be the logical source. But I've also found references to Utah and Arizona, that are possible but not conclusive.

xxx * Mythos - Quasar (Germany) 1980 Sky. *** Reissued by Sireena, March 2012 xxx
xxx Mythos - Grand Prix (Germany) 1981 Sky. Mythos' first 4 albums were reissued by Spalax over 15 years ago (unfortunately a pretty much barebones job on all). But these latter two have never seen the light of day in the digital age. Mythos's first two releases are classic in the Krautrock/electronic rock genre, but the next two albums were pretty mundane straight ahead hard rockers. Which is why I didn't think these latter efforts would amount to much (and, truth be told, "Grand Prix" didn't). "Quasar" is definitely a creative effort, with quirky electronics and fast paced mechanical (and some real) drums. Stefan Kaske still sings in his ridiculous out of tune low voice, but is sporadic and fortunately buried in the mix. Some really great synthesizer work here, plus it's nice to see Kaske not abandon the flute, and he puts the instrument through many effects to achieve a cool sound. Inventive effort, unlike any other really. Like a New Wave / Berlin School / Krautrock album. Not bad at all. "Grand Prix" picks up where "Quasar" left off and dives completely into the "man machine" early 80s synth pop New Wave racket. 'Robot Agent' is downright hysterical, with Kaske's poor attempt at a British accent. What saves the album from a total disaster, is that Kaske flat out refuses to put away the flute, and its presence here is completely at odds with the rest of the material. Fortunately, that is. *** All reissued by June 2013 xxx

# Nada - Song for a Happy Girl (Germany) 1979 CHMP. Primarily a jazz album, but with plenty of rock fusion elements to qualify for our list. In particular the flute driven numbers as well as an occasional guitar rave-up will make you turn your head up. Otherwise it's a lot of jazz tone guitar and sax solos. Nothing wrong with that of course, just a different game than what I'm in here.

xxx * Nadavati - Le Vent de L'Esprit Souffle Il Vent (France) 1978 IPG. Interesting jazz rock album, that opens incongruously with a Chicago styled horn rocker. There's a definite Mahavishnu streak that prevails, especially in the violin and guitar parts. Some nice flute jazz too. They seem to favor unison runs to overlong solos, and that scores points in my book. Nadavati do not offer anything that hadn't already been done countless times prior, but for what they do, it's quite competent. A good one that I'm sure most fusion fans would love to see on CD. *** To be reissued by Soleil Zeuhl in 2015 xxx

** Nanu Urwerk - Irgendwo... Nicht Weit von Hier (Germany) 1978 Tonstudio Bieber. Highly creative fusion effort from unknown German band. Flute, trombone and electric piano are the primary instruments with a few nice guitar licks thrown in for good measure. There's also some interesting voices in German. It's hard to pin the tail on the donkey with this one, so easy reference calling is a tough challenge. Certainly an encyclopedic knowledge of the German fusion scene from 1976-1984 helps, and you may want to yell out "Mosaik" or "Surgery" to a puzzled audience. Zappa and Canterbury get cameos as well. Nevertheless, it's an album that needs repeated listenings to fully appreciate, the perfect justification for a much needed reissue.

* Napalis - s/t (Netherlands) 1976 Negram. Another interesting band on the Dutch Negram label (Finch, Crypto). Napalis are a pretty standard European fusion band with all the usual trappings (sax, electric piano, guitar). However, the sell point here is the ferocious pace and ripping guitar solos, a purposely more edgy sound than is typically heard from the era. One of the better albums in the mid 1970s fusion genre.

Natdamperen - s/t (Denmark) 1975 Abel. Ugh. What a mess of an album. Some of it is horrific, and some of it is sublime. Perfect for an archival release, as long as I get to choose the tracks of course... Let's start out positive: 'Cabana In' and 'Cabana Out' could have easily been on an Embryo album from this era, with its deep jazz funk groove and wah wah guitar providing the base. Then there's the band's lengthy namesake track - straight from Furtive Pearl era Secret Oyster, with blistering bumble bee guitar, fuzzed out Rhodes piano, and especially the blotted sax layered on top of it all. And now it's time for the.... BAD. The album opens with the incredibly insipid 'Lille', which sounds like a cross between television advertising music and The Benny Hill Show. This obnoxious sound is carried further on the tracks 'På gaden' and 'Malstrømmen'. 'Kniven' is a smooth jazz throwaway, whereas the closer sounds like a drunken requiem composed for a wake. Mixed bag here, so proceed with caution. But 17 minutes of high quality jazz rock music that just can't be ignored.

# Natkaravanen – HGF (Denmark) 1981. Hybrid of post punk polit rock and fusion. Sounds a little bit like Novaks Kapelle from Austria.

# Thomas Natschinski + Gruppe - Wir Uber Uns (Germany) 1972 Amiga. Whereas Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia had already-established rock scenes by the early 70s, East Germany inexplicably lagged behind (especially when one considers what was going on in West Germany at the time). Natschinski's band is one of the rare examples of East German progressive rock pre-1975. At its core, "Wir Uber Uns" is a pop rock album with German vocals. However there's more to it than that, and the interest here for readers of the CD Reissue Wish List is the abundance of high quality organ work interspersed throughout. Not a great album, but for the time and place, certainly an historical achievement. Thomas Natschinski + Gruppe also released one album from 1970 that I understand to be even more pop influenced than "Wir Uber Uns".

** Nattura - Magic Key (Iceland) 1972 private. Another great album in the Sandrose, Mad Curry, Earth & Fire tradition, with female vocals, lush keyboards and soaring leads. There are boots out there.

Nautilus - 20000 Miles Under the Sea (Switzerland) 1978 Turicaphon.
Nautilus - Space Storm (Switzerland) 1980 Musk. Both Nautilus albums were released in the heydey of the Swiss private press progressive rock movement that continued through the early 80s (see Agamemnon, Plamp, Eloiteron, Schakta and many others here in this list). "20000 Miles Under the Sea" is a bit more "proto prog" than most and carries over some harder edges (organ, guitar) from the days when Uriah Heep and Deep Purple ruled the airwaves. It's been 20 years since I last heard "Space Storm", but I do have a copy here to revisit with.

* Chris Neal - Winds of Isis (Australia) 1974 Infinity. Instrumental, mellotron heavy, symphonic rock work. At its best, the music recalls the early albums by Duncan Mackay and Mike Oldfield. The music is relatively simplistic, but highly melodic. I was also reminded some of the French group Catharsis and even Roland Bocquet's "Paradia". This is certain to appeal to fans of lush symphonic rock and comes recommended. Would be a natural reissue for Aztec Records.

# Nebulosa - s/t (Sweden) 1977 Orange Park. Obscure progressive rock album, that sounds more German in execution than Swedish. Some pretty good instrumental work is erased by the horrendous vocals. Definitely bottom tier stuff on the worldwide obscure progressive rock search.

Nekropolis - Suite til Sommeren (Denmark) 1976 Hookfarm. I would say that Nekropolis fall on the folk side of the genre. Pleasant music to sing around the campfire so as to keep the wolves away. It's vocal heavy (in Danish) and lacks any kind of solo instrumental arrangements, so there's little to grab onto here if you're programmed that way. Recommended to those that love that particular 1970s styled woodsy Scandinavian folk rock.

Nemo - s/t (France) 1973 Agave.
Nemo - Doin' Nuthin' (France) 1974 Agave. A mix of funk, rock, jazz fusion. First album has more vocals and recalls to mind Santana in places (the best parts actually). "Doin' Nuthin" is mainly instrumental. Good stuff overall and features Francois Breant, who later had some success as a solo artist. Both albums are similar in their eclectic style.

* Neuron - For What We Are (USA) 1980 Erect. Chicago based Neuron's sole album is on the margins of the list. While the music does fit squarely in the "classic Midwest prog" sound that I've featured extensively over the years, Neuron most assuredly are on the AOR side of the fence. All considered though, it's still a very good album, with a fine combination of radio friendly numbers, Latin rock, and progressive rock. Perhaps similar to Ethos' more commercially oriented efforts. The obscure Boston band Hot Flash would have to be considered another reference.

# Nessie - The Tree (Belgium) 1978 Belgia.
Nessie - Head in the Sand (Belgium) 1979 Belgia. Lightweight late 70's proto-neo progressive with mainstream influences similar to later era Machiavel.

* New Cross - s/t (USA) 1986 private. King Crimson was the only major left standing in the 1980s (or at least they were smart enough to pack it in during the tumultuous late 70s, only to reemerge stronger than before), so it's not too surprising that they were the major influence on a lot of bands during this lost period of progressive rock. As we saw with yesterday's Regressive Aid, and you'll note with the band we feature tomorrow, Crimson truly did hold court back then. New Cross is probably closest to Ixt Adux, in that they mix contemporary Discipline era KC with the more aggressive sounds of "Red". However, unlike Ixt Adux, there's no leftover VDGG traces. It would be heartening to know if there was more high quality recorded material from New Cross, as a full CD would be highly satisfying.

# New Zealand Trading Company - s/t (USA) 1970 Memphis. Nice pop psych group with an interesting back story. Apparently made up of Australasian expats, who relocated to the USA, and recorded the sole album on the Memphis label. The label itself was backed by a couple of majors in Memphis including Stax, but the NZTC album didn't sell well, and the label folded shortly thereafter. I had seen the music compared to the Strawberry Alarm Clock, and those that follow the CDRWL know that the SAC is my favorite psych band of all time. And the description isn't inaccurate at all, especially when one considers the use of vibes, the jazzy undertone and sweet harmony vocals. Unfortunately the quality of the compositions isn't near that level, and the album wheezes out at the end with yet another painful cover version of 'Hey Jude', easily one of my least favorite Beatles tunes.

** Nexus Erratic - Inverse (Switzerland) 1983 Turicaphon. OK, I admit it. I'm a bit of a closet neo progressive rock fan. I remember when it was known as the New Wave of British Progressive Rock (NWOBPR) to counter the NWOBHM movement (of which I'm also a fan). And I love all those early albums in the style by iQ, Marillion, Twelfth Night, Pendragon, Haze, Tamarisk, LaHost and a few others that you might find on this site as well. Unfortunately the term "neo prog" became muddied later in the 1980s when it became a euphemism for thinly disguised arena rock/AOR but with longer songs and fantasy lyrics. I was turned off, as were many other progressive rock fans. But there weren't too many progenitors from continental Europe, especially Switzerland, until many years later. But Nexus Erratic fits squarely in the 1982/83 UK neo sound. The only other band from Switzerland I can think of like this is Galaad (a pretty good early 90s band), another group from near the French Alps (as Nexus Erratic is). However Nexus Erratic are minus the Ange, Mona Lisa influences of Galaad - this is definitively UK sounding. I was really surprised by how much I liked this one. Cautiously recommended to most, highly recommended to those who love a good early 80's UK "neo" album (that would be me).

* The New Age - Neptuned (USA) 1980 Microdot. Atlanta's The New Age is a decent classically inspired keyboard symphonic progressive rock work. A sound very much out of vogue for 1980 - similar to 1970 era ELP and, more to the point, The Nice. A 100% legit CD-R exists, but no CD to date.

xxx * Niagara - S.U.B. (Germany) 1972 United Artists. Founded by drummer and percussionist Klaus Weiss (see also Sunbirds), Niagara released three albums, two of which are entirely percussive, and thus out of the scope of this list. The exception is the middle album "S.U.B.", a jamming rock fusion session with an all star cast including Daniel Fichelscher (Popol Vuh), Kristian Schultze (Passport, and leader of the "Recreation" album), and Udo Lindenberg amongst a handful of others. The presence of trumpet and the bass heavy percussive driven sound reminds me of early 70's Miles Davis. Good album that I could see Garden of Delights eventually reissuing. boots exist. xxx Reissued by Made In Germany Records July 2010 xxx

Ole G. Nilssen - World of Dreams (Norway) 1976 Apollo. Future Solaris member Nilssen put out this one incredibly obscure album before he himself disappeared into the ether. I've had this one on a curiosity list for well over 10 years, and finally in 2009 I had a chance to hear it, due to a good friend of this site. So was it worth the effort? Rarely is the answer yes in these cases, and "World of Dreams" is no exception, but this is a mighty fine album for certain. Light years better than the subpar Solaris "Misty Morning" album. At its core, "World of Dreams" is a soft rock vocal album. But there are long sections dedicated to instrumentals, and its these sections that are clearly progressive rock influenced, with 1970s era instrumentation. Like a lot of soft rock, the songwriting is better than average, and Nilssen possesses a fine voice, and so the combination is highly appealing, even if not consistent. One I'm glad I finally heard.

xxx ** Nimbus - Obus (Finland) 1974 Satsunga. When I first bought this album from a Helsinki record store some 17 years ago, I wasn't sure what to make of it. Today, I enjoy it more than ever. The vocalist uses a narrative style of singing, all in wonderful Finnish. The music is more typical of the Scandinavian tradition of mixing hard rock with progressive rock - and maintains a somewhat dour atmosphere. Instrumentally guitar, violin and, in particular, organ dominate. Definitely recommended to fans of Sweden's Trettioåriga Kriget (first album) and Norway's Host, though not as dynamic as the former. Features a nice lyric insert. My vinyl copy will most likely stay as a permanent fixture of the collection. Now if we can only get a CD to supplement that. Rocket Records would appear to be the obvious choice. boots exist. *** reissued by Rocket July 2013 xxx

Nightwings - Grande Randonnee… en de Reiziger Moet Verder (Netherlands) 1981 Crossroad. Nightwings are that very rare breed of a Netherlands group who actually sing in Dutch. While the album is clearly folk based, there are plenty of progressive rock elements especially in the keyboard department. What Nightwings are to The Netherlands is akin to what the early Anacrusa albums are to Argentina. If that makes sense. It's also one of the rare times when I see the description "folk psych", it actually lives up to the latter part of the name. And while not near enough psych for a freak like me, I think fans of the genre will indeed appreciate this effort.

* Nimbus - s/t (Germany) 1980 private. Nimbus are an incredibly obscure German band who released this one highly melodic instrumental jazz rock album, with guitar and keyboards in the lead. Bands like Surgery, Mosaik, Moira, and Profil are all good guideposts here, and all just as obscure as hell too (though at least the former did get reissued by Garden of Delights - and one we bought immediately).

* Nishin - Dai Dai (Japan) 1987 Panama. Musically there is no doubt of Nishin's influence - that of Adrian Belew-era King Crimson. Specifically the Discipline, Beat, and Three of a Perfect Pair albums. A 4 piece, with dual guitars (one known as a Carimbaguitar, which sounds somewhat like a violin), the lineup is exactly like Fripp's bunch from this time, minus the Stick bass. The production and vocal style are mid 1980s all the way. But there's no doubting the complexity and energy of the music, and the true spirit of progressive rock is alive here. A nice little album, that has few peers in terms of sound and composition.

xxx Noa - s/t (France) 1980 private. Like Gutura above, Noa features a histrionic female vocalist, piping the French language and enunciating syllables like another instrument. The music of Noa is of the jazzy Zeuhl variety, with plenty of sax (some shrieking), soaring flute and the expected rhythms of the genre. A pretty experimental record that could have only come out in France during this era (see Gutura for more info on what I mean). *** to be reissued by Soleil Zeuhl in the Spring of 2011 ****

Noa - Tri-Logic (Japan) 1987 private. In the 1980s there were a lot of Japanese progressive bands flying well under the radar (a few examples would be Nishin, Saisai Koubou, Orpheus, Picaresque of Bremen - and many more). Noa would have to be considered in this group of bands. Musically a strong guitar fronted fusion/King Crimson hybrid, with typical 1980s era sounding keys. I've seen one Heldon reference in researching, but I don't hear it myself. Good album and worth seeking out.

* Noah - Brain Suck (USA) 1969 / 2003 Head. Archival LP release from somewhere in Ohio, unearthed by one Al Simones, who put out a couple of freaked out psych guitar albums in the 1990s. The LP has been carefully distributed, and so its scarcity has caused the value to remain high. The kind of release that used to be the sole domain of Rockadelic Records. Fuzz guitar and organ lead the psych rock parade. Very much a product of the great Midwest, and the time and place are very apparent. Compositions stray more towards the thinking man's genre, ala Cleveland's Dragonwyck. A nice discovery, and would definitely benefit from a CD reissue. A natural for a label like Germany's World in Sound.

# * Kristen Nogues - Marc'h Gouez (France) 1976 Nevenoe. Haunting Celtic folk music from Breton sung in the local tongue. Soft female vocals, violin, harp, acoustic guitar, hand percussion, and bombarde provide the instrumental backdrop. Quiet and introspective, with a mystical aura. One imagines hearing tales of love and war, while cuddled around the fire, as the cold fog envelopes the rocky green coast. Essential listening for fans of Emmanuelle Parrenin. Probably a bit outside of the CDRWL focus, so it will go without a featured post, but I definitely like it.

* Northwind - s/t (aka The Woods of Zandor) (USA) 1974 private.
** Northwind - Distant Shores (USA) 1977 unreleased. Northwind were a Detroit area progressive rock band that is another fantastic representation of the Midwest music scene of the era. Hints of commercialism abound, but the group cannot resist the tricky compositions, while wailing on all that fat analog gear. Bands like Surprise, Starcastle, Ethos and Albatross are all good reference points. These albums are available for free on the band's website, but I for one would love to see a full blown CD production with liner notes, photos and a more detailed history. "Distant Shores", the stronger of the two albums, was never formally released, and the debut only existed as a white cover demo, that bootleggers later renamed "The Woods of Zandor".

# Nova - In the Clouds (USA) 1976 private. Private press instrumental fusion album from Stockton, California. Very typical of the era and little here to distinguish it from countless others. Sunny and tropical with lots of technical prowess.

** Nova Express - Space Khmer (Germany) 1987 Syndicate. A band I first heard about from Freakbeat in the early 90s. Their two albums have always been difficult to find, even back then. "Space Khmer" reminds me a lot of early Amon Duul II - especially the shorter songs as found on "Tanz der Lemming" and "Carnival in Babylon". It's really apparent in the psychedelic guitar work and the accented male vocals. The organ they use is actually an older vintage than what Amon Duul II used. No doubt they were also influenced by the post punk crowd of the early 80s, and it shows in some of the composition writing. Overall, a very good album. After many years, I finally found a copy of their second album "Once in the Blue Moon" (1991 Heartache Transplant). The photo you see is the actual LP copy I bought on ebay (I haven't ever found a scan of the album anywhere). It was pressed on CD back in 1991 and you can still find one from the odd German dealer (if you look hard enough - make sure to get the title exactly right when searching). Musically it's a bit more aggressive and punk-ish if you will. But it's still very psychedelic, especially in the ferocious guitar work and some of the atmospheric distant vocals employed. About the only other band I've heard like Nova Express is the equally obscure German group Der Kampf Gegen den Schlaf.

* Jerry Novac - The Fifth Word (USA) 1970 Embryo. Despite being on Herbie Mann's Embryo label, Novac's album was more in the vein of the burgeoning progressive rock movement, mixing in psych and jazz. Plenty of swell organ work here. Not a hard album to find on LP, but would make for a fine CD reissue.

# Novaks Kapelle - Naked (Austria) 1978 Ariola. This Vienna based group has to be considered pioneers of the post-punk movement - almost before there was a punk movement itself... now that's forward thinking! Fairly complex, but anguished basic raw rock album from a band that would've probably been a polit-rock group in early 70s Osterreich, but were in a completely different zone by 1978. One of the most disturbing covers ever of fully naked grandmothers enjoying a glass of wine together. On a gatefold no less. It's a sight that remains with you... and not in a good way. Black metal bands take note: The whole satan peeing on the cross with virgins drinking goat blood is a total yawner compared to this thing.

** Nuance - Il est une Legende (France) 1982 FLVM. One of the many interesting albums on the private do-it-yourself FLVM label. Despite the 1982 year, the keyboards sound more like 1960s vintage, and there's even some mellotron on the last track. Solid French vocal progressive rock album that fits squarely with others of its ilk like Terpendre, Orion and Pentacle. They have 3 later albums, starting in 1986, that are supposedly of lesser interest, though I haven't heard them to be certain of this claim.

** Nucleus - s/t (Canada) 1969 Mainstream. Pressed in the USA. I'll be the first to admit I'm not the world's biggest "psych" fan. I absolutely adore psychedelic influences in my progressive rock, but actual psych rock tends to be too straight for me in most instances, and rarely lives up to the genre name. But when an album is truly psychedelic in both sound, and composition, then I take notice. Nucleus is that album. In fact, at times it's a bit too disjointed to get into. It's really a strange phenomena they have going here. They seem to be jamming, but in odd time signatures ---- for each member. Perhaps it's pure incompetence, and no one band member can keep up with the other. Maybe. But I doubt it. It sounds intentional to me. It's downright disorienting at times. Which, almost by definition, is psychedelic. There's some incredible Hammond organ and acid guitar on here, with all sorts of screamed, distant, and... well... melodic vocals. Damn, this album is just flat out cool honestly.

* Nuit Caline A La Villa Mon Reve - Juillet 1977 (Belgium) 1977 International Bestseller Company / IBC. Large collective from the south of Belgium that sounds to me like many of the albums coming out of Quebec during this time. Very much a communal affair, with many ideas and a general uplifting mood. Violin, female vocals and acoustic guitar dominate, with many other instruments providing some color. A nice one. For fans of Connivence and L'Engoulevent.

Nya Ljudbolaget - s/t (Sweden) 1981 MNW. Very much a product of the Swedish Progg (note spelling) MNW label, Nya Ljudbolaget carries a blend of late era Archimedes Badkar, along with Arbete och Fritid and Samla Mammas Manna - the latter two each featuring representatives on the album. One track is even called 'Ramlösa mammas fritid', a giveaway if there ever was one. In effect, it's a world music / jazz hybrid, where India and the Middle East meets the West via the avant garde. Features some fine flute, hand percussion, and cello amongst the usual melodic and free blow saxophone/trumpet. Vocals are sung in the always lovely Swedish tongue. Albums like this tend to rate well, but personally I find them somewhat academic and highbrow. I prefer some dirt with my music. All the same, a pleasant listen, especially if inclined towards the genres and bands mentioned above.

Oakley - Peculiar Autumn (Germany) 1978 Lava. Oakley seem to straddle the border between the more overt late 1970s German progressive bands such as Trilogy and Rousseau - and the Christian folky singalong types such as Eden and Credemus. Overall, it's a rather simplistic album for the progressive rock genre, but the melodies are a cut above the norm and the instrumentals are good if not a bit too straightforward. Some old time revival flute mixed in here and there as well. File under: Nice and harmless. Maybe not enough here to warrant a CD reissue, but worth a spin if you get a chance.

Oblique – s/t (Netherlands) 1985 CBS. One of many obscurities that I had received in my cassette tape trading days. I didn't even realize I had this until digging through the tape drawer recently. An interesting mix of Berlin School electronics, new age and instrumental rock with electric guitar and sax. Not too bad, though typical of the era.

** Ocarinah - Premiere Vision de L'Etrange (France) 1978 private. Imagine the first two Clearlight albums as strictly a keyboard trio, with a strong dash of Canterbury ala Egg. One of my favorites. Boots exist.

* Ocean - Melody (Germany) 1981 Tonstudio Bieber. This came as a big surprise, as most of these private German presses from the early 80s are best left alone. And with a moniker like Ocean, a band name that must've been used 269 times by then, the word "generic" couldn't slip my mind. Until I put the disc on that is. If you're looking for references, "Symphonic Pictures" era SFF isn't a bad place to start. It's not quite in that league, but it's not like the world is filled with similar albums to SFF's debut. Plenty of mellotron (including the much loved choir). Maybe Odyssee's "White Swan" is another good check point. This one for certain should be reissued by Garden of Delights or Musea. Both labels would enjoy success with this title.

* Ocean - Sunrise (USA) 1982 Ocean Sound Records. A nice mixture of early 1980s fusion and 70s style horn rock. Definitely anachronistic for the era. I never tire of hearing trumpet in a rock setting, and this one rocks out more than you'd expect. Some excellent guitar solos. File alongside the Genre album from New Mexico. The label is from Cincinnati, though we've told the group was from Los Angeles.

** October - s/t (USA) 1979 Charisma Sound Studios.
** October - After the Fall (USA) 1980 private. October are a Detroit, Michigan area based progressive band. Their sound is a unique combination of symphonic prog rock with a pronounced fusion flair, probably due to the abundance of electric violin. The vocals have that late 1970s "private press voice" that is found on many albums from America during this time. Strangely, the vocals remind me a bit of the guy from Babylon, though not quite as Gabriel-esque. "After the Fall" is more symphonic rock oriented, and a bit looser in structure. Long passages are reserved for jamming and other instrumental experiments. Both albums have stood the test of time well, and are certain Tier 1 CD reissue wishlisters. I've had the self-titled album on LP for well over 15 years. "After the Fall" remains as probably the single rarest US progressive rock album, with supposedly only 25 pressed, each with a hand painted watercolor cover. I can honestly say that in all the years I've been collecting, I've never seen one actually for sale. A good friend of mine paid dearly for one, and it's a site to behold. Neither have been reissued legitimately on CD to date, though bootlegs abound.

xxx * Octobre - s/t (Canada) 1973 Les Productions Gerry Plamondon Records (PGP) / 1974 Option.
xxx * Octobre - Les Nouvelles Terres (Canada) 1974 Zodiaque.
xxx Octobre - Survivance (Canada) 1975 Trans-World. The debut is a mix of commercially oriented pop, protest folk rock (in French) and progressive rock tendencies (strong keyboard presence, changes in dynamics and meters). At only 28 minutes, there isn't much room for error, and unfortunately Octobre wastes too much time here with the pop stuff. Les Nouvelles Terres takes the progressive rock / folk pop of the debut towards a more serious direction. Imagine Contraction playing the music of Ange, and you'll have a good idea where Octobre's sophomore album lands. It's a bit vocal heavy (all in French) and drags in places, but still a fine album for fans of Quebecois progressive rock. "Survivance" takes in both albums and is at the crossroads of progressive and pop music, while ditching the folk rock tendencies of those albums. Somewhat like a Quebecois Supertramp, lead by strong keyboard work, excellent lead guitars, fine vocals in French. The wordless female vocals recall Contraction and the overall style points to Morse Code's mid 70's work. The two instrumental tracks highlight this middle-tier work. *** About 85% of these three albums are on a compilation called "Octobre 1972-1989" (1995 Audiogram), along with portions their 4th and 5th albums and some live material from 1989. Though, none of the three are complete. xxx

* Octopus - Thaerie Wiighen (Norway) 1981 private. Extremely rare symphonic album, with an incredible cover and libretto booklet insert. The music is not unlike many of the Swiss private progressive albums found in this list. Also the Norwegian band Thule, who came along a few years later, would be a reference.

xx Octopus - The Boat of Thoughts (Germany) 1976 Sky. The band went on to record 3 later, pop oriented albums that are of little interest, and fall out of the scope of this list. **reissued by Sireena, August 2009**

Octopus 4 - Confluents (France) 1969 RCA. Psych exploitation album coming from France (and also released in Canada). Not that far in sound from albums by Popera Cosmic and Jean Le Fennec. Probably closer to the former, though not as groundbreaking or experimental. Some wicked fuzz moments will make you sit up on occasion, but otherwise a pretty harmless 30 minute ride.

# Odyssee - s/t (Germany) 1973 private. This one came out on LP sometime in the 90s. Not sure if it was a reissue or an archival recording. Album sounds unfinished, as if the singer left the studio before laying down the tracks. Pretty decent, but amateurish, jamming basement style. I don't think this is related to the "White Swan" album below.

* Odyssee - White Swan (Germany) 1978 MPA. Way above average German symphonic progressive album. This one has a lot more meat on its bones than most of the somnambulant snoozers coming from there during this time. For one thing, the tempo is faster and they mix in some time changes, to help keep it interesting throughout. Full fledged band sound with a thick production. The thematic sections are well developed, and a melody or two can actually be committed to memory. There's a definite Genesis influence, but not as much as Neuschwanstein, Ivory and Sirius. There's even a little funky business in the bass lines. A good album. As far as I know, this is not related to the Odyssee above.

xxx Ofege - Try and Love (Nigeria) 1973 EMI. Very interesting Nigerian psych album. The music sounds from an earlier era, around 1968, and more like a US band than UK (the influence you would expect). The songs themselves have a light and breezy song style, with a Vox Continental sounding organ, and very distinctive African English vocals. So at this point they sound like some sort of African Afterglow. But what makes this album so good is the delicious fuzz leads - cranked at maximum volume and played in a soulful manner. Well worth checking out. ** Reissued by Academy Records, November, 2009 **

** Ohr Musik - s/t (England) 1997 Prescription Drug. Some of the best retro Krautrock ever made. Second album "Friction Burns" is even better, and that's a CD only release (be sure to get!). It's doubtful the 99 copy only LP issues of the Prescription Drug series will ever see the light of day, as the master tapes were purposely destroyed (supposedly). But it's still possible to take from a clean LP and add bonus tracks, etc.. Will be interesting to see.

Ojas - Seven Levels of Man (USA) 1979 Unity. While recently listening to Earthstar's "Salterbarty Tales", I was reminded me of this title, another electronic oriented album I owned years ago. Since I was based in Dallas-Ft.Worth, and Ojas were just 3-4 hours north in Oklahoma City, this album had pretty good distribution amongst the used record stores in my area. That is to say, it was a regular $1 bin special in the late 1980s and early 90s. These are the albums I keep forgetting to add on here - but they do need inclusion. For fans of sequencer based electronics who enjoy the addition of some acoustic work, Ojas comes recommended. There are two covers for the album, and the black background (not pictured) is the more common.

xxx Oko – Raskorak (Croatia) 1976 Jugoton. Mix of hard rock, fusion and funk. The guitar work here is much better than average, and that's where the interest in this record has come from. In some ways it reminds me of the Izvir album listed above, though less jazz and more rock oriented. *** There is a legit CD from 1998 on the Sazas label xxx

# Oktagon - s/t (Germany) 1980 Weryton. More snoozer fusion. These albums were a dime a dozen in the late 70s and early 80s.

xxx ** The Old Man & The Sea - s/t (Denmark) 1972 Sonet. Ugh! Here we go again. Like the Kravetz I posted at the beginning of the year, here's an album I thought was legit on CD - or, as with the Metropolis post yesterday, one I thought for sure would have been put out legit by now. Years ago it was presumed the Walhalla label was legit. This was in 1996, and they appeared to be a Danish label who had obtained licenses from both Thors Hammer and The Old Man & The Sea. If only I was more observant back then! License from F. Hansen? Really now... the organist of OMTS is named Tommy Hansen. F. Hansen would presumably be Freddy Hansen of Thors Hammer. And, as we learned from the Garden of Delights legal reissue of Thors Hammer (under their non-German moniker of Thors Hammer), this was just an out and out lie. Walhalla, as was to be obvious later with their multitude of pirate activities, was just another German bootleg label, of which there are sadly many. I got snookered way back then that's for sure. Now, multiple bootlegs later - The Old Man & The Sea remains still without correct representation. Perhaps GoD's Thors Hammer will pick this one up too? We can only hope. There is a legal archival release from the excellent Karma label of Denmark called "1972-1975", but this album is sadly without issue. As an aside, to the rarity of this album, I would like to point out an article I read years ago. It was in a newspaper called The European, which was an awesome English language resource for a European backpacker like me in the 1990s. I think it was in 1991 (maybe 1993), where I read about the rarity of European rock records - something I was already all too painfully aware of. The example they used? The Old Man & The Sea on Sonet. Even back then, this was a huge prize. And it's easy to see why. Musically speaking, The Old Man & The Sea fits squarely in the Scandinavian / Northern European sophisticated heavy rock bag. Heavy organ and guitar lead the instrumental solo sections, while rough English vocals add a bluesy feel to the proceedings. It's definitely influenced by the "Vertigo" UK sound, but of course deep divers will likely recognize other Scandinavian acts such as Norway's Ruphus (first album) or Host, Finland's Kalevala, and Sweden's November. An essential early 70's heavy progressive album that is in dire need of a legal CD reissue. So I wrote all the above words, was ready to hit "publish" and then discovered there is a legit press. On a label called Dunk released around 2003 or so. Except no one has a copy. Apparently Karma Music of Denmark had it for awhile, but they're out of stock. None of the US dealers ever had it. Waaaahhh! I want one! Well, in any case, given its total obscurity, I'll leave this entry and ask for a new legit reissue please! *** Reissued by Belle Antique October 2011 xxx

** Olive - s/t (Japan). Still researching the details, but the album I heard (from ProgNotFrog) is great! The problem is it just doesn't sound like an album from 1976.

# Omega - The Timekeeper (USA) 1979 private. Amateurish hard rock, with some odd electronic soundscapes that are more sophomoric in execution than atmospheric. Overall, a pretty aimless record. But fans of US private presses will enjoy, as this one is pretty much extinct. Thanks to Heavyrock for this title.

Omega Plus - How to Kiss the Sky (France) 1969 Pitch. Featuring Claude Engel on guitar (later with Magma, Dayde, Univeria Zekt and many others), this is generally considered France's first psychedelic record (see also Dickens, Octopus 4 and Popera Cosmic). Interesting to note that Engel himself, on his website at least, does not even reference this album. I don't know why not, as it's not a bad example of the Hendrix psych sound, and with the addition of flute, adds more than the usual copyist acid psych rock that many American band were doing during this time. Also includes one long free rock improvisation that's pretty interesting. A short record, that doesn't even break the 30 minute mark. A CD label would be wise to pair this with another psych obscurity - again, perhaps the Dickens album would make a good companion. Naturally a bootleg exists already, not surprising given Engel's disassociation.

** Omnia Opera - Beyond the Tenth. 1986 private cassette.
* Omnia Opera - Celebrate for Change. 1987 private cassette.
* Omniasphere - Surfing the Zuvuya. 1990 private cassette.
** Omnia - Seeking the Elusive. 1997 private cassette. Omnia Opera can best be described as a heavier and more in-yer-face variation of the classic UK festival space rock sound. About the only band I can think of that rocks harder than Ozric Tentacles in this genre. See our Under the Radar entry for their second CD "Red Shift". And their debut CD is even better. The first two cassettes listed here are very similar to the CDs, and in fact some feature reworked versions. No word on the Omniasphere or Omnia projects. I've heard the former, and it's quite good, perhaps a bit more geared towards the electronica crowd. If there was ever a title more apropos than "Seeking the Elusive", I sure would like to know. But the AC has persevered and we now have finally heard this rarity! The AC notes "Very obscure cassette album by this post Omnia Opera group (it's basically the regular band lineup, just with a different drummer). A more stripped-down and guitar-oriented recording, with lots of thrashing, heavy Hawkwindian riffage and angsty vocals over a steadily pounding rhythm section, with the usual keyboards and spacey effects used only sparingly. All of the techno/electronica elements that had crept in on "Red Shift" are completely out the window here, and the songs tend to be a bit more concise, making for nothing but a full frontal assault. This one has seemingly been lost to history, and aside from a reworking of "Second Skin" on their comeback album "Nothing Is Ordinary", none of this material has ever appeared elsewhere." And really, while on the topic of Nothing is Ordinary, clearly this was the path Omnia Opera were heading even at this stage some 15 years prior. If you like the 1993 debut CD, then for certain Seeking the Elusive will be of great interest. Perhaps a bit rawer in sound quality, but compositionally very familiar.

* Omnibus - s/t (USA) 1970 United Artists. Northeastern group (I've seen references to both Boston and New Jersey as the homebase) with a strong affinity for the Doors. Perhaps given the later date, Omnibus were more aggressive than Morrison and company, and the organ of choice is the Hammond. Plenty of psychedelic fuzz guitar as well. Vocalist does a nice job of emulating Jim Morrison's sonorous tone. File next to the first Dragonwyck album as a good example of post-Doors heavy rock. boots exist.

One (1) - Come (USA) 1972 Grunt. West coast communal hippie psych, with some Eastern vibes. Not bad. Boots exist.

* One St. Stephen - s/t (USA) 1975 Owl. Musically the album is influenced by Jim Morrison and The Doors, and is a very anachronistic sound for 1975. Perhaps similar to Phantom's Divine Comedy in that way. I should note that the idea that One St. Stephen sounds like The Doors is hotly contested in some quarters. OK, then...

* Oniris - L'Homme Voilier (France) 1979 Barclay. One of those albums that received a Japanese LP reissue in the early 1980s and has yet to see a CD reissue. Strong ties to Ange, Mona Lisa, Grime, Synopsis, Trefle etc… this is the dramatic French vocal symphonic rock we all know and love. The kind of album you could count on Musea to have reissued in the early 1990s. Not sure why they didn't.

# Opale - La Derniere Toile du Maitre (France) 1981 Podom. French soft rock album sung in the native tongue with occasional progressive rock breaks that recall Ange or Yes. Seems the band has their roots in the progressive rock tradition, but by the time of recording they had drifted towards pop - an all too common affliction of the era.

# The Open Window - s/t (USA) 1969 Vanguard. Perhaps the original avant progressive album. Despite featuring a psych album cover, the group clearly has an academic pedigree, while the music is rooted in both classical and jazz. Basically a trio of three keyboardists, with organ (some wonderfully fuzzed out and compressed), electric piano, acoustic piano, electric harpsichord and clarinet. There are some oddly placed vocals, that give it a offbeat rock feel. Chamber jazz avant classical. Yea, I don't know how to describe it either.

Opus III & Friends - s/t (Sweden) 1970 Sonet. What strikes me most about Opus III & Friends is how much it reminds me of an American album circa 1970 as found on labels like Paramount, Rare Earth and ABC. It actually sounds like a horn rock album - without the horns. But the compositions have that similar flavor about it. It's clearly a post psych release and many elements of that genre are present, most fortuitously on a couple of the guitar solos spread throughout. The instrumentals go for a quiet introspective electric guitar trio sound. This is definitely not the Sweden of Parsson Sound, International Harvester and Flasket Brinner. Not much is unfortunately. A good album though, and worth hearing.

# Orang-Utan - s/t (England) 1970 Bell. Typical heavy UK blues rock, strongly influenced by the first two albums of Led Zeppelin. Good stuff for fans of the style, which includes me. Boots exist.

* Orange Power - s/t (Austria) 1977 Philips. Intriguing progressive rock album from Austria. Patterned after the early 1970s UK scene, primarily the Neon, Dawn, and Vertigo label styles, rather than the Big 3. Varied, as those British bands were, but pleasant throughout. Even the vocals in English aren't as heavily accented as usual. Not an easy one to typecast. Would make for an interesting reissue. Orange Power has two more albums from the 1980s which I haven't heard.

Oratorium - s/t (Germany) 1972 private (though ASS is prominently featured on the cover and label). Sounds more like a 1968 era American garage psych album, than anything typically coming from Germany circa 1972. Excepting the semi-narrated vocals in German of course. Somewhat like Ainigma's "Diluvium", but a better reference is some of the 45's coming from the German underground as featured on Garden of Delight's "Psychedelic Gems" series. Straightforward rock n roll songs, with Farfisa organ, slightly fuzzy guitars, echoed piano and a lot of vocals. A very unusual sound for Germany, so I can understand the collector appeal.

Orchestra Njervudarov - Con le Orecchie di Eros (Italy) 1979 EMI. Another one of those crazy late 70's Italian acts, mixing in rock, jazz, humor, Zappa, and whatever else pops in their nutty heads. Not too far off from Roberto Colombo, Ultima Spiaggia and Gramigna. Definitely has that original RIO spirit ala the second Picchio dal Pozzo album.

# Orexis (Germany). World fusion band that strays pretty far from the core of this list. Both albums I've heard (Inspiration (1978); Reflection (1979)) are pleasant, but hardly groundbreaking or very interesting. There are 7 albums in total, none on CD that I can tell.

# The Orient Express - s/t (France) 1969 Mainstream (released in the USA). Psychedelic raga rock. Watch for boots on this one.

@@ Oriental Wind / Okay Temiz (Sweden-Turkey) - s/t. 1977 Sonet
- Live in der Balver Höhle. 1978 JG (Germany)
- Bazaar. 1981 Sonet
- Live in Bremen. 1981 JARO (Germany)
- Life Road. 1983 JARO (Germany)

* Orkiestra Ósmego Dnia - Muzyka na Koniec. 1982 Savitor. (Released in the US as Orchestra of the 8th Day - Music For the End. 1982 Flying Fish.) Poland seems to have cornered the market on moody, organic, ethnic psychedelic music. Osjan/Ossian were the first (though even local pop star Niemen explored a bit in this area). Orchestra of the 8th Day appeared next and years later both Atman and The Magic Carpathians followed this path. Multiple reed and string instruments create an otherworldly landscape. No doubt labeled New Age music in its day, I would be hard pressed to believe that fans of the genre would walk away with anything but being mentally disturbed. This is not soft, meditational and relaxing music. This is truly psychedelic music - not via drugs or overt lyrical references, but rather a timeless ritualistic sound. A very fascinating work. The band has at least 3 other albums that I have not heard.

The Oroonies - The Woods Are Alive with the Smell of His Coming. 1985 Better Days. cassette
@@ The Oroonies - Exalt the Horn. 1986 Better Days. cassette
@@ * The Oroonies - Like Yeast We Rise. 1986 Better Days. cassette.
@@ The Oroonies - Ee I Ee I O. 1987 Better Days. cassette.
@@ * The Oroonies - The Whale and the Wind. 1988 Better Days. cassette.
** The Oroonies - Of Hoof and Horn. 1991 Demi Monde.
x Cheapsuit Oroonies - Eat, Drink and Be Merry. 1992 cassette.
x Cheapsuit Oroonies - Party On Frapsos. 1994 cassette.
x Cheapsuit Oroonies - Feelin Rooti. 1995 cassette. The difference between the debut cassette of The Woods and the Demi-Monde LP is striking. "The Woods Are Alive with the Smell of His Coming" is a very crude beginning for the band - a mix of heavy space rock, folk, neo-psych, hard rock, industrial and punk. The band seems to have no direction whatsoever, and the album is quite raw sounding. Still, it's not without its merits - including some pretty inspired space rock jams. "Of Hoof and Horn" is a wonderful album, and shows that The Oroonies chose to take the path of mystical Central and Eastern European folk mixed in with Ozric Tentacles like space jams. A sound that would still be fresh today, and something the Ozrics themselves could use to balance their all too predictable formula. A super album really. So I'm very interested in hearing the progression from the beginning to the end. I suspect some of those cassettes could be wonderful - or equally as crude. I have no idea and anxiously await any further data. My understanding is that The Cheapsuit Oroonies, which are all the albums after "Of Hoof and Horn" were more acoustic and folk oriented.

Orpheus – s/t (Canada) 1979 private.
* Orpheus – Orpheus 2 (Canada) 1979 Acapella. Orpheus' second album is definitely a fusion lover's delight. Has that warm slap bass, and patented cheesy synthesizer sound that we know and love. All in complex time signatures, and with some fiery guitar solos thrown on top. The AC adds: "Disregard the cheesy aesthetics and forget all about their snoozer debut, because this one is nothing short of an outstanding display of instrumental progressive fusion. Tight, energetic and full of twists and turns, this pretty much nails it from start to finish. Great production, as well." As for the debut, I did pull that one down for a recent listen, and it was a bit better than I recall. I was hearing a lot of new-to-me fusion at once in the 2009 to 2011 time frame, so only the best albums were catching my ears. This one isn't really anything special, and definitely pales to the followup. But I bumped it up a Gnosis point. It's good, but not essential.

# Orpheus - s/t (Japan) 1984 private. One of the rarest of the 1980s Japanese progressive albums, similar to Sagittarian in both the amateurish quality and scarcity of the product. Also an embryonic variation of what would be called prog metal only a few years later. Clearly Orpheus had all the Iron Maiden albums up to that point. Worth a listen anyway. I traded away my LP in the 1990s.

* Jackie Orszaczky - Beramiada (Australia) 1975 Real. Hungarian born Orszaczky (RIP 2008), most known as the bass player for the Hungarian band Syrius as well as the Australian group Bakery, put together this fine progressive, sometimes funky, fusion album with the guitarist from Blackfeather. Aztec had announced its reissue, but unfortunately closed down before the product was released.

* Os Mundi - Latin Mass (Germany) 1970 Metronome. One of the earliest examples of what we now call Krautrock. Nice organ and guitar leads, with the added gimmick that they sing in Latin (years later, this idea was picked up by the Italian group Deus Ex Machina). Still has a holdover psych rock sound, making it somewhat unique for German rock. While Universal has reissued many of the titles on Brain, it remains to be seen if they'll do the earlier albums on the parent label Metronome. Currently only boots exist. Second album "43 Minuten" is available from Repertoire and Universal. There's also an archival release called "Sturmflut" on Garden of Delights that's worth a listen or two.

* Ose - Adonia (France) 1978 Egg. Electronic progressive album with Richard Pinhas guesting on guitar, though not as dark as Heldon. A fine album that has so far escaped reissue. A good one for Soleil Zeuhl or Captain Trip.

Osiris - In the Mist of Time (Japan) 1980 private. One man band fancies himself as a Richard Pinhas virtuoso (dark synthesizer and guitar journeys). Cheesy synths bog down a promising album, especially considering the mad bursts of fuzz guitar that come out of nowhere. Has dozens of cassettes as well.

Other Music - Prime Numbers (USA) 1980.
* Other Music - Incidents Out of Context (USA) 1983 Flying Fish. To date I haven't heard "Prime Numbers", but "Incidents Out of Context" is a fine example of what we now call avant progressive. A mix of systems electronic music, far eastern ethnic scales and instruments, unusual percussion, classical chamber music and.... fuzz bass. This latter element just slays me every time, especially in this context (so to speak). Anyway, I'm not doing the music any justice at all, as it's entirely unique and pretty far from my expertise. But well within my typical scope too. If this sounds cool, it's because it is. One of a kind.

# Yvan Ouellet – Le Chant des Choses (Canada) 1979. Another Contraction related artist, though this one is more song based rock than most from the collective.

# %%% Out of Darkness - s/t (England) 1970 Key. Christian blues rock. Pretty average stuff to be honest with a little bit of interesting guitar work. There is a legit LP on Little Wing issued in 1990.

# Outeiro – Ollos de Marzal (Spain) 1980. One of countless Spanish fusion bands of the era. Very ordinary. File next to Borne and Pegasus.

** Oz Knozz - Ruff Mix (USA) 1975 private. One of the better US private press progressive (alliteration allegation) rock albums from the 1970s. Coming from Houston, but having that amateurish production, vocal style (Id's "Where Are We Going" leaped to mind) and overall approach of any US 1970s group from anywhere. Like most bands of the era, the idea was to throw out a few different styles to see if something would stick. Of course a major label would hear their private album by chance and want to sign them up for a 5 album contract so they could open for Led Zeppelin or Foghat's next US tour. What separates Oz Knozz from the others, is a strong compositional component, with plenty of original ideas and superb instrumentation (especially the guitar work). My favorite track though, has to be the groovy and infectious horn rocker, which sounds as dated as the movement itself and easily could have been from 1969. The fact these guys tried that in 1975 is the equivalent of Genesis releasing a "Foxtrot" like album in 1982. Which explains why Oz Knozz disappeared practically without a trace. Love it. The band wrote me a few years ago to tell me they reissued the CD, but it appears that did not happen.

Oz Quartet - Instant (France) 1984 private. Nice progressive fusion with violin and guitar leads, somewhat typical of the time and place. File alongside Bedjabetch.

* P. F. Flyer - Play Gianchetta Jazz. 1970 AVG. A short album, not even topping 26 minutes, P.F. Flyer produced this one instrumental psych blues LP. Loads of fuzz guitar and Hammond organ dominate. The AC says about one song: "The track "Rocks Off" in particular would probably make those hipster DJ crate-digger types' heads explode, with the heavy open drum breaks and wild Hendrix-style fuzz/wah guitar." Overall, the AC notes that the music can best be described as "accidental library psych".

P. P. Zahl - Alle Türen Offen (Germany) 1978 Antagon. Complex polit-rock similar to Oktober. Also, fellow German language compatriots Novalis seem to also have played an influence, primarily in the spacey texture of sound. Minotaurus also comes to mind.

xxx Seppo Paroni Paakkunainen - Plastic Maailma (Finland) 1971 Scandia. Fairly typical all-over-the-map kitchen sink mentality dominates this obscure work. Eastern ragas, groovy hippy rock with cute female Finnish vocals, blues rock with tough male vocals (from Apollo lead singer), moody atmospheric jazz, soft religious revival music, heavy organ proto prog, Nosferatu-like guitar/flute rockers etc... Paakkunainen is the winds player and he provides some nice sax and flute leads. More focus would have lead to a strong album, as the production and playing are top notch. Would probably do well as a CD reissue. *** Reissue Jan, 2010 on Rocket Records ***

# * Los Pablos - s/t (USA) 1970 Tear Drop. San Antonio based Latin rock group. As always, a mixed bag of sounds, though conveniently they split it up by side. First side is traditional grandma music. Side 2 is freaked out psychedelic Latin rock at its finest. Amazing fuzz and museum quality electric organ. If it were all like Side 2, then this would be huge. One has to wonder why they did it this way, but it's still worth seeking out.

# Palass - Private Property (Belgium) 1981 Imavox. Belgium, like Switzerland, possessed a slew of small pressing progressive albums in the late 70s and early 80s. Nothing special here, other than it's a decent attempt at the Genesis inspired symphonic rock sound. File next to Flyte, Isopoda, Nessie, etc...

Tony Palkovic - Deep Water. 1980 Deep Water Records. And, as you'll see on the main entry, guitarist Tony Palkovic has a couple of other 1980s albums. I've only heard this title. Throwing this one out there for you fusion fans who are looking for new items to uncover. Mike sent this along with the batch, and it's definitely worthy of consideration. The one element of Palkovic's music I enjoyed is the heavy use of electronic-music styled synthesizer within the usual guitar fronted jazz rock instrumental setting. The guitar tone is a bit too light for me to sink my teeth into, and it's not exactly a tear-up session ala Bill Connors on "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy". But that's not the purpose of the album I'm sure. Apparently Palkovic is an artist who has received great praise from the guitar playing community.

* Panama Red - Limited (Germany) 1981 private. Panama Red were one of those compelling German bands that came around in the late 70s and early 80s. Most were privately released, and mixed straight up 70s FM rock with progressive oriented ideas/meters, and a Latin jazz fusion undertone. What strikes me most about Panama Red is 1) the exemplary guitar work and 2) the high quality of the production. This is no backyard job, that's for sure. File next to Desiree and Blister Chap, a couple of other hard-to-describe German bands of high quality, but yet do not fit easy categorization.

xxx Pancake - No Illusions (Germany) 1979 Blubber Lips. "No Illusions" is Pancake's third album, and an improvement compared to its two predecessors. Here, Pancake presents a typical German symphonic prog album with female vocals which veers towards the sound of bands like October circa "Boat of Thoughts" or Streetmark's "Eileen". It's my personal favorite of the 3. Garden of Delights has already done both "Roxy Elephant" and followup "Out of the Ashes" so I suspect they'll ultimately finish their canon (though it is no longer listed on their future releases section, so maybe they deemed it not worthy?). *** Reissued by Garden of Delights January 2013 xxx

* Pandora - Measures of Time (Sweden) 1974 SMA. For years I thought of this album as being entirely mediocre. But I've changed my tune over repeated listens. The first track is dubious though, and has much to do with my early frown. It's a direct rip from Uriah Heep's Salisbury, and not at all in touch with the remainder. From there on out, the album switches gears to a semi-progressive rock album. The band they emulate most, and it becomes clear on multiple listens, is Genesis. Now this is interesting actually. The progressive rock world is filled with Genesis imitators, and one could argue that the group was germane to the entire "neo prog" movement of the 1980s. But you'd be hard pressed to find anyone (outside of Italy) imitating Genesis back in 1974, especially from Sweden. The album is vocal heavy, sung in English, and can weigh down the compositions. But there's much happening musically behind the scenes, taking this album up a notch. Guitar, keyboards, and irregular rhythms all make this one an interesting listen. It does require some patience, and it definitely insists on focus, as otherwise it blows by without notice. Speaking from experience of course.

xxx ** Het Pandorra Ensemble - III (Netherlands) 1978 Disaster Electronics. Taking Side 2 of King Crimson's "Starless and Bible Black" as a blueprint, Het Pandorra Ensemble went about releasing one of the stranger progressive rock album of the era. There's quite a bit of ambient atmospherics, augmented by louder rock sections with compressed fuzz tone Frippian guitar. But unlike the decidely atonal Crimson, Pandorra follow the European model of melodic, almost jazzy, progressive rock. This is a one of a kind album, with no regards to any kind of pre-conceived audience. See also Zog, their followup group, who also play an entirely unique music, yet still different from Pandorra Ensemble. These guys were on their own planet. Despite the title, "III" is their debut. Strange lads. *** Reissued by Modulus March 2012 xxx

xxx ** Panko Musik - Weiles So Schon Perlt (Germany) Recorded 1971 / released on cassette in 1983. Out of nowhere comes this obscure Krautrock tape, that reminds me most of the Erna Schmidt archival release from Garden of Delights. Also the first album of Thirsty Moon, especially their 'Yellow Sunshine' opus. Guitar, sax, flute, fuzz bass, German narration, and echoed voices. It screams 1971 Germany. Would've probably slipped into the black hole of time, save a cassette release from the former drummer back in 1983. There was no audience for this in 1983! The recording quality is a bit rough - not sure if this is a later generation tape, or if it's just the source. This would be perfect for a GoD reissue, especially if the master tapes are still around and could be cleaned up. *** Reissued by Garden of Delights Dec 2014 xxx

# Panos Dracos - 2000 B.C. or A.D. (Greece) 1984 Minos. Very much a product of its time, with thin sounding digital synths and drums. The long tracks and heady concept point clearly to the progressive rock tradition, similar to many of the Japanese artists of the era.

** Panta Rei - s/t (Sweden) 1973 Harvest. Panta Rei are a difficult group to describe. On the song front, they are relatively weak. It appears they're going for a US West Coast psych sound mixed with a dash of Wishbone Ash thrown in. But the instrumental sections, with emphasis on guitar soling, is absolutely extraordinary. And fortunately the last 70 percent or so of the album is primarily instrumental. Closest band I can think of when they're jamming is the Dutch group Cargo, who are one of my personal favorites. I'm sure it's the dual guitar setup that makes me think of this. Last track's ethnic approach gives off a whiff of Kebnekaise as well. I've been expecting Mellotronen to reissue this for years. Maybe one day they will. Multiple bootlegs exist.

xxx Stefano Panteleoni - Alle Muse (Italy) 1989 LMC. Dark and brooding electronic album that recalls Arturo Stalteri's debut or maybe even Franco Leprino's "Integrati...Disintegrati". Very obscure album. *** reissued by Maestro in 2002 (!) xxx

** Pantha - s/t (aka Dowaydo Dowaydo) (Australia) 1975 Wizard. A mixture of that unique Austalasian take on symphonic rock (Sebastian Hardie, Dragon) combined with some early Santana grooves. Somewhat poppy in places, but highly infectious. It's an album I reach for more often than usual.

# Pantin - Welcome to the Palace (France) 1977 EMI. Now here's a strange one. Two side long brooding electronic pieces with piano dominating are what Pantin are about. Very slow moving but does crescendo towards the end making the investment of time worth it. Not sure what the label executives at EMI were thinking here, as this one has no commercial potential. Far too experimental for that. And the cover of an electric guitar has to be one of the most misleading ever. Underground heads take note.

Pão com Manteiga - s/t (Brazil) 1976 Continental. Band name translates to "Bread and Butter" in Portugese, so good luck in finding info on this obscure album. The most surprising aspect is the date, as it sounds more like a flower power psych album from 1968, which were pretty typical in South America back then. It's an interesting listen though. The Brazilian group Spectrum comes to mind here.

Didier Paquette - Le Souffle Noir (France) 1976 Pavillon. Here's an album I had many years ago, but ultimately sold. Interesting French electronic record, with real and digital drums (early 80s style). Some sequencer and the odd outburst of fuzz guitar. More amateurish and less dark than Richard Pinhas' solo works, but not too far off stylistically.

** Paradox - Modern Madness (USA) 1977 Magna Glide. Modern Madness is an all instrumental progressive rock album from Paradox, a power trio residing in the New York City / Long Island area, and released on the Kasenetz & Katz owned Magna Glide Records - a label which existed primarily as a business to solely lose money for tax purposes. Ah, the late 70s... While listening to the album my mind immediately wandered to that of Automatic Fine Tuning, the excellent English instrumental group that continues to be much unheralded. AFT had a twin guitar setup recalling Wishbone Ash, and I would say that Paradox took a more straightforward hard rock path, perhaps recalling Rush around that same time. From a composition standpoint, and perhaps overall musical approach, I was also reminded of the obscure Chicago band Seiche, who recorded a similarly complex power trio album in 1979 (though Seiche had vocals, giving the band a little downtime). Excellent album.

# Paragon - Looking For You (Netherlands) 1982 Delta Music. Upbeat, straightforward, 4/4 pop-AOR styled album with female vocals, melodic guitar leads, organ and synth leads. Recalls late era versions of Earth & Fire, Hoelderlin, etc.. and barely qualifies for this list. Not something that needs to be sought for, unless you're a fan of said style. Leaving only due to the private press rarity factor.

# Park - November Lady (Germany) 1983 private. Rather ordinary Teutonic rock album with a few progressive moves, barely qualifying for this list.

xxx Claudio Pascoli - Naifunk (Italy) 1978 Mirto. More known as a studio sax player, Pascoli put together this all-star fusion session. Light and breezy funky fusion, with plenty of featured sax (naturally), hot bass playing, flute, sweeping strings and fat, danceable beats. Harmless and fun. *** Reissued by Universal on 6/10 (Vol. 5) ***

# Passage - Once is Not Enough (USA) 1984 NTP Music (EP). Despite being hyped as a rare progressive rock album, and sporting a nice album cover, this band from Aurora, Colorado (Denver suburb) is nothing more than 1980s AOR power rock. 6 short, simple tracks with hopes of getting radio airplay. And they failed. Miserably.

Passenger - Jail Notes (England) 1977 Mulbery. This one has been on my curiosity list for a long time, ever since first seeing it in one of those Pokora books. After hearing it, you have to wonder why records like this get hyped. Personally, I think people all the time incorrectly use the word hype and over-hype. Generally I see folks use it when they disagree with an accepted standard viewpoint. "Anglagard's Hybris is over hyped!!" That's not hype, that's a difference of opinion. Hype is described as to intensify (advertising, promotion, or publicity) by ingenious or questionable claims, methods, etc... or a swindle, deception, or trick. When I think of hype, I think of the New York Times gushing over a new restaurant that charges $200 a plate and closes in 2 months because everyone hated it. In the music world, hype can simply be described as: Passenger. Of course, it's easy to understand why a dealer would do this. The record is genuinely rare*. It just doesn't happen to be any good. I'm sure someone out there will say it is awesome, and maybe even mean it. But if you're a fan of progressive rock, or underground sounds, then there's a really good chance you won't like this. Especially at the prices this album is likely to fetch in the open market. Why? Because it's just plain 3 minute-a-track rock. The kind of album that was dime a dozen in the 1970's and now rightfully will cost you 25 cents at your local record fair. Which is why I say it's HYPED. The AC, as always, nails it by stating "I had heard this was supposed to be some sort of prog album, maybe even in the Canterbury vein. But that was obviously nonsense, as this sounds more like anachronistic soft-psych and folky rural rock, as heard on many a crappy Acid Archives type of album from the US private press scene." *- Continuing on from above, I have to admit to being a little more than suspicious about this album (though the pressed in 100 copies is probably authentic). Maybe it's a genuine 1970's article, but there are some clues here that state otherwise. The AC kindly provided detailed photos. Strictly limited to 100 copies. Why do that? From what I understand, there was a specific tax law in the UK on why you would want to press an album in only 99 copies - like the Holyground albums for example (that's based on memory, so I may be entirely wrong here about the tax thing). Then there's the 2 cover songs that struck me as odd. First is 'Elizabeth Reid', which is a cover of The Allman Brothers Band 'In Memory of Elizabeth Reed'. Awfully sloppy on the spelling and truncation don't you think? I guess I'm supposed to buy that they were so stoned, they didn't notice? Or that they didn't want to have to pay the rights to cover it? Hmmm... But the one that really caught my attention is 'Indian Summer'. This track is the cover of the namesake band's 'From the Film of the Same Name', one of my all-time favorite early 70s UK progressive rock instrumentals. That's how I noticed it. But seriously? Calling the track 'Indian Summer'? And who the heck would cover Indian Summer in the 1970s anyway? They were always obscure. I could see someone doing that in the 1990s or 2000's. And I'm starting to wonder now if this wasn't put together by some psych collectors. Some other oddities on the back cover. It says "File under Amazing". That's not a 1970's way of stating things. That's more of our own era. A wink-wink type of thing. And how about "This record is not mono; if in doubt consult your dealer". In 1977?? That was a 1960's issue. I dunno - I could be way off base here. So if anyone knows any different, for certain rather than rumor - then please comment away. It's just a bit weird that's all. In conclusion, the Passenger album isn't terrible. Not in the same way as that awful Mongrel album that is also HYPED. The Indian Summer cover was nicely done for example. A couple of the other songs were well penned I thought, like the opener. It's a 7 on the Gnosis scale.

# Passing Clouds - Hawks and Doves (USA) 1970 Pete Records. Soft psych music, with female vocals, and an occasional outburst of fuzz. Somewhat typical of the "lost year" of 1970, when bands were actively seeking an audience between the new found progressive sounds and soft pop. The melodies are the selling point here. File next to Michaelangelo and late stage Free Design.

* Pat Cool - Daybreak (Netherlands) 1973 Delta. Pat Cool play in a slightly jazz influenced progressive rock and are very much from the Dutch school. But a quote from an online Dutch Encyclopedia "and the voice of Gé Titulaer is very prominent also" would have to rank as one of the all-time great understatements. It's quite apparent to me that he was trying very hard to emulate one Tom Jones - and well... hmmm.... maybe not the most successful try out there. So I'll offer another great understatement: His voice is an acquired taste. And scary to say, I think I'm falling into that camp. So, in the end, a very solid Dutch progressive rock album, with pop and jazz overtones - and an overbearing voice. Sound good? Probably not. But it is strangely enough.

# Pataphonie - s/t (France) 1976 Pole / Tapioca. Pataphonie's second album "Le Matin Blanc" is a super avant progressive album filled with innovation. Musea, under their Gazul banner, reissued that album many years ago and is highly recommended. Pataphonie's debut, however, remains without issue. Good thing. Their two albums couldn't be any more different from each other. It sounds like a never ending rehearsal. No melody, no structure, no form, no atmosphere, no compositions, no musicianship. Just noodling in the studio for what seems like forever. Awful really.

Patch - The Star Suite (Australia) 1977 Harvest. Features four long, slow, and drawn out instrumental soft rock pieces with the expected titles of Fire, Water, Earth and Air. Pretty relaxing actually, so a good one to finish the evening off with. Definitely not dull, and it's clear the compositions were thought out. I could see Aztec reissuing this one day.

* Patchwork - Ouvertures (France) 1978 Cobra. Patchwork is still a fine album in its own right. As long as your expectations are in check, and you're not looking for experimental musique, then I think it will all work out. Basically Patchwork is a light and breezy fusion album with sax and flute taking the lead role. There's some of the era's expected funk as well. To be honest, Patchwork could be considered a proto-smooth jazz group. Still, the high melodic content makes this one well worthwhile. I find it pleasant, and could see those into rare groove swooning for it.

xxx Guntram Pauli + Christian Kabitz + Klaus Haimerl - Rock Requiem: Concert For Orchestra Choir And Band (Germany) 1980 Jupiter. One of the many Christian progressive rock albums coming out of Germany at this time (Eden, Credemus, Yavanna, Gloria's Children, etc...). Typically varied album with uplifting tones and lyrics. Nice flute (some nice echoing towards the end of the album) and acoustic guitar. Some latin mass overtures. And some regular rock tracks with early 80s digital synths. Naturally there are some full orchestra classical bits to sit through. A hit and miss affair, but better than you might think. *** Just discovered this was reissued in 2000 on the obscure (to me anyway) Pila label, which seems to have focused primarily on Christian rock albums. ***

** PBX - Milktoast Repose/Gangplank (USA) 1978 Collage Records. 45 RPM single. Calling for archival release with bonus tracks. Fantastic progressive rock from the Bay Area (Los Gatos). Very complex similar to a Yes/Gentle Giant/King Crimson hybrid. The first group that leaped to my mind was Yezda Urfa!

# Pegasus - Seems a Long Time Gone (Germany) 1975 private. A very rare album, but musically not so interesting. 5 long and aimless tracks, that is more or less what is usually called "West Coast" rock. Sung in English and is extremely amateurish. Some halfway decent jangly guitar leads keeps it from a total waste of time.

* Fernand Pena et Puzzle - s/t (France) 1977 Centaur. Fernand Pena and his backing group Puzzle are one of the few bands who actually put the psych in psychedelic folk. You've heard me go on about this already, but I often question where the rock parts are in these supposed acid folk / psychedelic folk albums. A lot of this stuff isn't terribly far from my Old Man's collection (that I still possess), and his albums were pure Irish/Scottish/English/American folk music. My pop couldn't stand listening to rock music  - and yet there's plenty of the "psych folk" albums I picked up along the way that he enjoyed. Because there was no rock! About the only group from France that Fernand Pena et Puzzle remind me of is Canelle. And as you may recall from that entry, my initial thought about them is that they were from Quebec. Perhaps Fernand Pena et Puzzle is a bit less pop/country than Canelle, and more geared toward progressive and psych. So in that light, Fernand Pena et Puzzle recall groups such as L'Engoulevent, Connivence, and Harmonium more so than the standard Brittany groups of Malicorne or Gwendal. While it's not specifically cited in the liner notes, I doubt Pena is from Breton, and thus that adds another dimension to the usual folk music coming from France. There is some really fine electric guitar work here, amongst the folk/vocal based compositions. At times it's straight rock, others it's haunting acoustic folk, and even a little bit of funky business to date it precisely at 1977. Despite the band moniker, this isn't really a solo affair, as the group Puzzle features no less than 10 members (mostly on stringed instruments).

xxx **Victor Peraino's Kingdom Come - No Man's Land (USA) 1975 private. *** reissued by Black Widow May, 2010 xxx

xxx # Luis Perez – Mexico Magico Cosmico (Mexico) 1981 private. Basically a government funded album to promote the indigenous cultures of Mexico. Freed from the restraints of the capitalist market, Luis Perez recorded this avant-garde interpretation of pre-Columbian music. That's all well and good but unfortunately the album is incredibly dull, with meandering compositions that go nowhere. Lots of "bird cage" music here folks - as in exactly what a bird sounds like in a cage. The instrumentation is a mix of the ancient and the modern. The latter represented by analog synthesizers, and is the album's one saving grace, as 'Ipan in xiktli metztli' has some nice sequencing to add a truly exotic atmosphere. But sadly it's too little, too late to save this academic exercise. On the plus side, the gatefold version is a beautiful package. *** Reissued privately 2013 xxx

Perfume Azul Do Sol – Nascimento (Brazil) 1974 Chantecler. Obscure, but no less satisfying, Brazilian psych/freak/hippie band in the Tropicalia tradition of Os Mutantes. Being 1974 and all, the band throws in some more musically challenging pieces, along with the hyped up fuzz. Good album - thanks to Progczar for the tip.

* Claude Perraudin - Mutation 24 (France) 1977 RCA. Film library musician Claude Perraudin released only this one fully realized instrumental electronic album. Nicely done, with atmospheric wordless voices, acoustic / electric guitars, a pile of synthesizers and real drums. This is old school electronic music, where Perraudin plays all the instruments, lays down tons tracks and assembles them later. A very nice album that deserves a CD reissue, and is likely to raise the rating a point, as I'm sure the muffled record does not allow the music to breath as it should.

** Rudy Perrone - Oceans of Art. 1981 Heartstring Music. Rudy Perrone was the original guitarist for Cathedral, and not surprisingly the music possesses some of the same sophisticated progressive rock you would expect. Of course, this being 1981, there are plenty of nods towards more current trends, and a bit of AOR as well. The music is lighter, with acoustic guitar playing a major role. A very good album that improves with each listen.

# Persona - Som (Brazil) 1975 Private Steps. 10" LP. Experimental weirdness featuring a spoken introduction, percussion and guitar. Mostly it's just a studio mashup of fuzz guitar manipulations, but not anything like Gottsching or Reichel's works. More impenetrable than that and hard to find anything to latch onto. Features the backup group to resident freak girl Rita Lee (ex Os Mutantes). Highly original, though not necessarily very good.

xxx * Pete & Royce - Suffering of Tomorrow (Greece) 1980 private.
xxx Pete & Royce - Days of Destruction (Greece) 1981 private. *** Reissued by Musicbazz in 2012 xxx

* Laurent Petitgirard - Suite Epique (aka s/t) (France) 1972 Alberti / Discodis. One of the more interesting instrumental rock albums from early 1970s France is Pop Instrumental de France, which was a pseudonym for Laurent Petitgirard. This album represents the followup. Perhaps a little less "Le Fun GoGo Pop" and a bit more towards serious jazz rock with classical overtones. For soundtrack fans, Petitgirard is a household name, and he's still scoring films and concertos all these many years later. While PIdF received a legit reissue on Vadim not long ago, his followup has fallen into the deep chasm. Laurent himself seems to have disowned it, as not a word about it appears on his own website. That's too bad, because this a lovely set of instrumental tunes, perfect for that spring afternoon drive on a winding two lane trek through the mountains. Perhaps Vadim has their eye on this one as well. Let's hope so.

* Phluph – s/t (USA) 1968 Verve. Phluph were like many one-offs during the psych era - faceless, nameless, and a $1 cutout bin special. On the clueless Verve label, and lost in the shuffle with many of their Boston ("Bosstown Sound") contemporaries, Phluph went away with barely a murmur. Starts off in typical lame-o psych / rock territory. But then it takes an interesting turn towards the weird by the third track (though perhaps  not weird enough). One distinguishing characteristic of Phluph's sound is the prominent use of organ. Has that carnival sound, like The Doors, but the similarities end there. Some surprising fuzz guitar outbursts too. Even a rare progressive rock move here and there. A very good listen that grows on you over time.

* Phrydderichs Phaelda - Bruch=Stuecke. 1975 private. As the old 70s Smuckers commercials used to state: With a name like Phrydderichs Phaelda, it's got to be good! Right? Well, maybe. Phrydderichs Phaelda's sole album is a nice instrumental jazz rock set. Keyword here is jazz.... followed well behind by rock. Overall, this is inoffensive music that is sure to please all, and wow nobody. Sounds like a US album too, not even a small hint of its German heritage. Not Krautrock, Kraut fusion, or even sauerkraut. Instrumental music lead by lightly amplified guitar, electric piano, and a tight rhythm section. As far as jazz music goes though, this is a mighty fine listen, and flows by with much ease and comfort. A good one for a late night drive down the interstate. Professional to a fault, and well recorded.

Pi Corp - Lost in the Cosmic Void (USA) 1973-1976 / 2001 Rockadelic. Archival LP uncovered by Rockadelic and certainly one of their more progressive oriented releases. Pi Corp were a space rock band from Cleveland with plenty of Vox Continental organ. These seem like rehearsals that have been heavily affected by studio trickery. Interesting, though not necessarily compelling. Not issued on CD yet, but I could see Germany's World in Sound tackling this project eventually.

# Picaresque of Bremen - s/t (Japan) 1984 private.
Picaresque of Bremen - ...Tales of an Alchemist (Japan) 1985 private. Embryonic prog metal that recalls other groups from Japan like Novela and Orpheus. Fates Warning this is not. The debut is definitely the heavier of the two, and the metal component is a large part of the music. But with violin, flute and acoustic guitar - along with dynamic changes and a female vocalist, the ingredients certainly are intriguing. But something is wrong with the recipe. It's all a bit too much and untidy. And the 80s slick and canned production doesn't help matters. But you have to admire them for being so bold, especially for the time and place. I had "Tales..." years ago and probably sold off the LP about 15 years ago. It's a bit better than I remembered, and the metal angle is definitely more toned down here. But on the whole, it's not as interesting as the debut. And the vocals on both albums can only be described as "goofy". RYM lists 4 more titles, though word on the street says they're more pop oriented. I'm still a bit curious.

* Roberto Picchi - Raggi di Sole (Italy) 1977 Fonit-Cetra. Picchi's sole work is technically listed as a singer-songwriter album, but with most of the tracks exceeding 7 minutes, you can bet that instrumental progressive rock music is also being employed. Acoustic guitar, violin, piano, sax, flute and hand percussion lead the instrumental parade. Comparisons to the best of Claudio Rocchi, Mauro Pagani and Emilio Locurcio wouldn't be out of place. A late era Fonit-Cetra release, and comes at the tail end of the original Italian progressive rock movement. One of the very few Italian progressive rock albums still not on CD. Features a wonderful gatefold cover. A natural choice for BTF.

# Lee Pickens Group - LPG (USA) 1973 Capitol. Obscure hard rock album from lead guitarist of Bloodrock. Genre fans will love this, especially given all the organ crunch. 1970s badass rock and roll.

# Pictures - s/t (England) 1983 EG. Been many years since I last heard.

** Mark Pierson Band - Songs for the Sirens. 1976 Gothic. Mark Pierson is one of a seemingly endless number of folks to consider use of the generic rainbow album cover. The kind of sleeve you expect to find at Goodwill for 10 cents fronting the "The Megachurch All-Stars Sing The Osmonds" (with one tube of toothpaste included!). And yet here we are again with another splendid AC discovery. A quick look around the webosphere demonstrates this one is rare as hen's teeth. Nope - I couldn't find one for myself, so it's open season folks. And when one does get found, look out - high dollars are on their way. If your local Salvation Army has a copy - run and get it now. Because it has been discovered. The AC modestly describes this as: "Unusual and extremely obscure jazz-rock effort from this Worcester, Massachusetts based ensemble. Flute and lightly amplified jazz guitar lead the way through a mostly tuneful set of tracks (no free jazz freak outs here). An introspective, almost melancholy tone defines this album, which won't knock your socks off with its energy or virtuosity, but is engaging and appealing on its own terms." All of which is agreeable from my vantage point - I found this album to be an extremely pleasant piece of music. And there's an underground experimentalism found here that gives off a whiff of Ohr era Krautrockian glory. Perhaps the abundance of flute plays a major role in this perception. We tend to forget that many of the original German underground rockers had a jazz background before entering the studio stoned out of their frickin' minds. Now - to be clear - this is a straight up instrumental jazz rock album in the mold of MPS moreso than a Kosmische Musik freakout session. But one that is wonderfully underproduced which gives it that underground garage feel. All considered, I dug this one tremendously, and would line up for a CD reissue should one ever surface. Doubtful, but hey, we've seen more obscure stuff get reissued now haven't we?

# Pillion - Enigmas (Belgium) 1980 Mastik. Tangerine Dream styled electronic concert that came out at a time when there were very few albums like this in the open market. One side has a fair amount of sequencing while the other is a more atmospheric piece. Good effort, but unfortunately they didn't have the equipment needed to pull it off, and it comes out rather thin sounding - and ultimately becomes a dull listen. Enigmas is a live album recorded in Brussels.

** Ping Pong - About Time (Italy) 1969 Emiliana. One reason why Ping Pong's debut may have been ignored in the reissue market, is that it has very little to do with what we consider Italian Progressive Rock. It's sung in English, and the sound has a light jazzy feel, very much what one could find in the UK at this time (anywhere from Tonton Macoute to Nucleus' more accessible efforts). However, I personally think it's an exceptional example of this type of music. The flute in particular seems to foreshadow a signature sound from Italy - found in groups like Osanna, PFM, Delirium, Capitolo 6, Cervello and many others. And I would argue that these flautists' are not influenced by Ian Anderson / Jethro Tull, but rather American and UK jazz. It's a good little album, with a 1960s cool (though very fragile) cover.

** Pinguin - Der Grosse Rote Vogel (Germany) 1971 Zebra. Flute/electric sax/organ/guitar with complex rhythms and superb vocals in German define this still criminally unknown prog record. Even has one experimental Ohr style Krautrocker. File along with Ikarus, Prof Wolfff, Nosferatu and Murphy Blend. boots exist.

* Pirana - s/t (Australia) 1971 Harvest.
** Pirana - II (Australia) 1972 Harvest. Australia's answer to 1969-71 era Santana, and a pretty good attempt with excellent guitar and organ leads. Tribal percussion, impassioned vocals and a solid pop sensibility help reinforce this comparison. First album has a little too much percussion, and can drag at times. Second album is a gem. Both albums listed on Aztec's coming soon list, and should be considered welcome additions to any early 70s collection.

** Frank Pisani - Sky (USA) 1977 Dellwood. Jamming Hammond, loud electric guitar, high energy rhythms, rough and bluesy but-oh-so-sincere vocals, and.... cowbell. Yea, there's a little too much crooning at times, and there's that always present party-time Grand Funk Railroad sound, but that only adds to the vibe. Man, this is just a heck of a lot of fun. Probably ties closest to the Canadian band Dillinger, though I hear serious references to classic Kansas as well.

xxx * Placebo - Ball of Eyes (Belgium) 1971 CBS.
xxx ** Placebo - s/t (Belgium) 1973 CBS.
xxx ** Placebo - 1974 (Belgium) 1974 Harvest. Marc Moulin's three Placebo albums are the "Holy Grail" for the rare groove crowd, a sector of music fans who love that unique 70s style of cool. The beat and the mood of the sound are key. For an album from the 1971 jazz scene, "Ball of Eyes" is remarkably focused, without any experimentation or free jazz moments which were still in vogue during that time. Not edgy like same era Miles Davis, Wolfgang Dauner or even other rare Euro groovers like the Sunbirds. In fact when I first heard it, I was certain it was from 1975 or later. The horn charts are all very well done and they do catch that certain 70s spy groove. It's all a bit too laid back for me to get hugely excited over, but it's wide appeal is undeniable. The 1973 self-titled album continues in the same vein as "Ball of Eyes", though it's definitely more funky and head boppin' than the debut. And the real ear grabber is the superb Moog soloing by Moulin. Strangely, the album finishes in a completely different direction. The next to last track is more towards straight jazz and the closer has more in common with Electronik Musik, than anything one would associate with Placebo. I thought the sophomore effort surpassed the debut, and from what I could tell, many considered it their best. But my vote goes to the 3rd and last album titled "1974". Here the grooves go deeper, the solos more intense, and the ideas are, to a greater degree, unique. In all, a two CD, three album comprehensive reissue would be ideal. *** Reissued by P-Vine Dec. 2011 xxx

Plamp - Und Uberhaupt (Switzerland) 1978 private. Like many albums from Switzerland, Plamp's sole album is a private press that time forgot. The CD Reissue Wish List is full of such albums (Nautilus, Agamemnon, Schakta, Eloiteron, etc...). From the northeastern town of Chur, Plamp went boldly forward with their native German language. As for the music, it's a hodge podge of late 70s rock with jazz and classical accents highlighted by flute, violin and sax. A bit too diverse for its own good, but plenty of nice fuzz leads and organ bursts. Reference groups: Rumpel Stilz, Flaming Bess, Novalis, Sicher, Novaks Kapelle and El Shalom.

xxx * Planes - s/t (aka I'll Remember the Landscape on Your Face) (Germany) 1974 private. 2 long brooding electronic pieces that reminds me of the two Kluster albums. Droning voices add some uniqueness on Side 1, while Side 2 has some nice touch guitar amongst the usual dark electronic moods. *** Reissued by Entre'Acte in 2012 xxx

** Plat du Jour - s/t (France) 1977 Speedball. Super album. Great throbbing bass, fuzz guitars, organ, sax, madcap vocals, deep grooves. And it's so VERY French in sound but with an almost Italian progressive approach to songwriting.

* Plebb - Yes It Isn't It (Sweden) 1979 Plebb Records. Plebb are in essence a hard rock band with that patented twin guitar attack. They offer a smorgasbord of musical styles presenting the instrumental palette of two guitars, bass, and drums. With "Yes It Isn't It" you will hear reggae influenced hard rock ('Reaggie IIb'); Brilliantly intense dual guitar jamming like the Dutch group Cargo ('Push Box'); Hard rock party music ('Rockaria'); Early riffing metal with nice melodic leads ('Tankar om Natten'); Heavy rock balladry / proto Power Pop like early 80's Scorpions ('Förflutet'); Instrumental dual acoustic guitar ('Psst'); And proggy hard rock ('Fresh Fish'). Some of the lead electric guitar work presented here is truly sublime. Swedish vocals add an exotic touch, for us English speakers anyway. 'Push Box' and 'Tankar Om Natten" are the highlights for sure. This album has grown on me over time.

# Plum Nelly - Deceptive Lines (USA) 1971 Warner Brothers. Electric blues rock, heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin, a band that wasn't imitated as much as you'd think from back then. Plum Nelly employ a lighter jazzy touch in places, with some sweet guitar and flute solos, which make this a more attractive listen from my perspective. Vocalist emulates a decent variation of Robert Plant. Side 1 is pretty strong, but Side 2 bogs down into a blues/gospel mix that can be difficult to get through. boots exist.

# Plus - The Seven Deadly Sins (USA) 1969 Probe. Hard rock /gospel mix. Not my cup of tea. Watch for bootlegs .

# Pluto - Voyage Into a Dreamer's Mind (Norway) 1980 Strawberry.
Pluto - Ouverture (Norway) 1982 Strawberry. Both are a mix of electronic and soft progressive rock. I had both of these albums years ago."Ouverture" is similar to same period Mike Oldfield. Synthesizer oriented, some excellent guitar  - and with vocal pop tracks interspersed

# Pole - Kotrill (France) 1975 Pole.
Pole - Inside the Dream (France) 1975 Pole. Pole is the pseudonym for label owner and bandleader Paul Putti. "Kotrill" is an avant garde mess, favored by those who worship at the altar of the NWW list. It holds nothing back in its experimentation, but is difficult to sit through. Followup "Inside the Dream", on the other hand, is far more interesting. More atmospheric, with nice synth and guitar leads. Rizet helped on this one, and he foreshadows his next move with Phillippe Besombes.

** Polestar - Flying Through the Universe (USA) 1980 Rascal. Polestar 1 are a Baltimore based heavy progressive rock band that in many ways reflect the same standards and sound as their Midwest brethren close by. There's a certain directness from America's premier political region, and you hear it in bands such as The Muffins, Oho, Heavy the World, Mars Everywhere and Id's "Where are We Going". The latter two groups in particular seem to have parallels with Polestar 1, especially the cosmic themes, vocal styling and guitar-centered space rock nature of the recordings. Like the Midwest groups, the playing is compact but complex. For fans of American progressive rock, this is an easy recommendation.

xxx * Poliphony - s/t (England) 1973 Zella. Very nice instrumental jazz psych record. Not too far from some of the Italian film library bands like Fourth Sensation or Psycheground or even the UK group Hungry Wolf. Some nice fuzz leads and flute. Also some jazz-tone guitar and plenty of Rhodes. I think a little more fire in the belly would have lead to a tier 1 wishlister, but it's still close. Well worth seeking out. Not to be confused with the more well known US band Polyphony. *** Reissued by Audio Archives in 2012 xxx

# Pollen - Ry D'Oxhe (Belgium) 1978 Beo. An odd combination of Dylan-esque street folk, depressing blues and dramatic Ange inspired progressive rock - all sung in French. A bit outside my interest area, but there's some challenging and compelling music to be found here. Worth seeking out for a couple of listens.

# Polyfeen - Langt ude I Skoven (Denmark) 2002 Orpheus. 1972 archival recording. Musically a very interesting artifact, with a typically great Northern European hard progressive sound (Junipher Greene, Host, Ache, Alrune Rod, Frame, Night Sun, etc...). Emotional gruff vocals, wedgy organ and loud acid guitar define the sound portrait. Unfortunately it's a dodgy audience recording, that is of low bootleg quality (that gets worse as it goes). And that pretty much ruins my potential enjoyment of it. Hopefully something more substantive turns up, otherwise this band goes onto the long pile of unknown and unrecorded bands from the 1970s.

xxx *** Polyphony - Without Introduction (USA) 1971 Eleventh Hour. Leads the league in bootlegs. One reason for this is apparently the owner of the tapes has disappeared. What a shame. Would love to see this reissued from tapes. Word out says there are some great tracks never issued as well. One of the best from the US. *** Reissued by Gear Fab June 2011 xxx

# Pondus - Myrornas Frammarsch (Sweden) 1979 COOP. Complex fusion album. Much more on the jazz side than rock (light amplification, jazzy rhythms and structures). A bit out of scope for the list.

** Pop Workshop - Vol. 1 (Sweden) 1973 Grammofonverket.
* Pop Workshop - Song Of The Pterodactyl (Sweden) 1974 Grammofonverket - Europa Film. On the same label (Grammofonverket) as the much recommended Ibis album, Pop Workshop are clearly a band operating in the raw jazz rock category (rather than fusion). Founded by two prominent Polish jazz members on keyboards and sax, Pop Workshop - over the course of both albums - features marquee name players such as guitarist Janne Schaffer, drummer Tony Williams, and bassist Mads Vinding. This is definitely music of the underground, and fans looking for slick fusion will have to look elsewhere. I would say Ablution - another international band based in Sweden - is probably the closest comparison here. "Song of the Pterodactyl" adds in the more trendy Herbie Hancock "Headhunters" era styled funk to great effect. Both are very good albums that are in dire need of a CD reissue.

Popera Cosmic - Les Enclaves (France) 1969 CBS. I've had this on cassette forever, and totally forgot about it until recently. This is a very early William Sheller effort, and is pretty close to an exploitation album (there's even a cover of 'Batman' for crying out loud!). But it can't be written off so easily, as there are many experimental, avant garde, and flat out interesting rock segments that are way ahead its time for 1969. Also sung in French which was still unusual for the rock scene in those days. I actually think this would do well in the reissue market - especially with DJs who love to sample vintage sounds.

Gian Piero Pramaggiore - Chan (Italy) 1981 Mama Barley. On "Chan", the music features primarily acoustic guitar, soprano sax and a variety of flutes in a rock setting along with some wordless voice. Definitely a variation on the post 70s jazz fusion display. A good album, with a high energy level. It appears that Pramaggiore is currently active in conducting music workshops.

# Predmestje
- Brez Naslova. 1977 RTB
- Danes, Vceraj In. 1978 RTB
- Hazard. 1980 RTB
- Kamasutra. 1982 RTB. Standard issue late 70s jazz rock fusion with non-consequential vocals, this time from Slovenia. Some nice guitar and sax leads, but overall pretty generic. Only heard "Danes..." to date, but understand later albums move towards disco.

xxx Primevil – Smokin’ Bats at Campton’s (USA) 1974 700 West. ***Band reissued album on CD recently. Available from CD Baby ***

* Prisma - s/t (Netherlands) 1980 private. On the surface, Prisma are a commercial rock band typical of the era. But there's a depth to the musicianship and quality of compositions that belies its superficial tendencies. With that in mind, I'm most reminded of those Canadian FM staples Saga, or perhaps the obscure Indiana group Stencil Forest. Even a slight nod to the great Kestrel, especially in the piano work. Memorable music and a group that probably should've hit the big time with the right breaks. Original LP features a nice die cut triangle cover, supposedly representing a (I guess) prism. My personal LP isn't in great nick, that's for sure. If this came out on CD, I'd buy it instantly, even though it's just barely a Priority 3. Nostalgia for the time and place I suppose.

xxx *** Probe 10 - There is a Universe (USA) 1975 Blue Universe. Insanely good progressive psych horn rock. *** Reissued in 2014 by Lion Productions (USA) xxx

** Profil - For You (Germany) 1982 Brutkasten. We've posted on the Brutkasten label before. It's the original German DIY label, like France's FLVM. So there's really no consistency to what's on it - a true grab bag of styles. After listening to Profil for the first time on Saturday, I'd say it's in the top 4 albums I've heard on the label to date, along with Sirius' "Running to Paradise", Gebärväterli's "Im Tal der Emmen" and the label's most famous underground album - Carol of Harvest (and the only one of these to be released legit on CD). Profil can be simply described as instrumental rock driven by guitar and synthesizer. But what I found fascinating was how expressive the guitarist is, and the choice times when the synthesizer would lay down a fat solo. And the tracks seem to extend longer than usual, but with an irregular rhythm giving off a trance like effect. There's little variation of this sound, save a couple of tracks, including one funky bit. I've been trying to think of a comparison for 3 days now. About the best I can come up with is the debut of Flaming Bess ("Tanz Der Gotter") minus the narration parts of course. You know how that album just keeps driving forward, with guitar solo after guitar solo. It's kind of like that. Despite the rather simplistic and generic description, Profil's album is somewhat unique in this space. I really enjoyed it myself and would love an opportunity to hear it as a remastered CD. A perfect fit for Garden of Delights.

Project Tyme - Clockwyse (USA) 1985 private. A 4 piece from Iowa, but pressed in Dallas. As such, just like the Ojas album above, this was a buck bin album in my neck of the woods through to the early 90s. Lead by double neck guitarist Scot Jon Schwestka (mullet is intact and functioning), Project Tyme are mid-80's all the way, with electric drums and warm bass tones. Early 80's Rush seems to be the main inspiration for the compositions. What keeps this from being a laugher, is the guitar work which is quite good actually. Expressive, skillful, energetic and no shred to be found (a common problem in those days). Once you get past the first 2 tracks, the rest is quite good as it's pretty much all instrumental from there on out. The production is excellent considering it's a homemade job. Neat cover art as well.

Projections - s/t (USA) 1981 Projectile. North Carolina's Projections is the kind of album that I would normally leave in the main list as a reference, but wouldn't necessarily give it a feature post. Why? Well I'm no fusion nut (though I love the edgier side of the genre as is obvious from the many postings here), and this one is pretty typical for the era in which it was released. But there are a couple of reasons why it's here. One, it features none other than Dregs man T Lavitz on about half the album as a guest on keyboards (what else?). Two - many of my readers are really into obscure fusion, and I couldn't find one thing about it anywhere, other than Lavitz's (RIP) website. So here it is for your reference, with detailed photos provided by CDRWL benefactor Midwest Mike. It's definitely a nice instrumental jazz fusion - slightly complex, with a smooth soft texture. Not Love Boat smooth like Buki-Yamaz, but ya know, I could see these guys headlining a Vegas club...

** Proteus - Infinite Change (USA) 1981 Proteus International Records. Proteus are a Chicago based fusion group, not too far in style from another Windy City favorite that we recently featured: Streetdancer. The highlight is the constant and fiery guitar work, and the compositions are more geared towards progressive rock than slick fusion. Side 1 is flat out awesome, whereas the other side begins to add the dreaded funky chicken components that were all too common for the era. Still, we're never too far away from another blazing guitar solo, and all is right again. An excellent album that is a must for fusion and instrumental progressive rock fans.

** Proyecto A - s/t (Spain) 1970 RCA. At the meeting point of psych and progressive rock. Surprisingly sophisticated for an album from Spain during the Franco era (especially as early as 1970). Lots of fuzz bass and guitar, along with a horn section. All the album tracks are planet names, and it seems to be a concept album of some sort. Probably Spain's first progressive rock album, pre-dating Maquina and Pan y Regaliz. Nice gatefold cover.

** Psi - Horizonte (Germany) 1977 Bacillus. Released right in the middle of the Kraut fusion boom of the late 1970s. Psi definitely evokes Kraan, Munju, RMO, Missus Beastly, etc... Apparently Psi impressed someone high up, as their sole album was on the high profile Bacillus label, besting many of the private presses of the era. For me, there are a couple of things that separate Psi from the pack. One is the fantastic rhythm section, propelling the tracks forward at an exciting rate. The other is the terrific production. Clearly a big budget was behind the recording. Recommended to fusion fans who enjoy a high melodic content.

Psopho - Sheer Profundity (Belgium) 1982 New Sound. Early neo progressive work, that recalls fellow countrymen Isopoda and Now. Also the German band Tibet comes to mind here.

* Psy-Nukli - Number Nine (England) 1988 private. Cassette only release. This is actually a collective of two related bands: Psy and Nukli. Both groups were intimately involved with the UK festival space rock psychedelic scene. And the recording media choice of the day was the cassette. By 1989, most had moved on to CD, so this was released at the tale end of the movement. It's about 90 minutes, so it uses the full length of the cassette. It could use a good editing, and contains about 60 minutes of great space rock / experimental found sounds material. Like a more unhinged and unfocused version of Ozric Tentacles. Would be nice for someone to tackle this project, as the potential is mighty. Nukli finally managed a CD on Delerium sometime in 1997, but the group was just a shadow of their former selves by then. Psy-Nukli has at least two other cassettes during the 80s, but as with most of the scene, info is scarce and dodgy at best.

Psynkopat - Har Vi Nagen Stil (Sweden) 1978 Mistlur. Primarily heavy progressive fusion mixed with experimental bits and a dollop of humor. If that sounds familiar, then yes, Psynkopat are indeed influenced by "Waka Jawaka" era Frank Zappa. The highlight of the album is the instumental work, which remarkably manages to stay focused, with some fiery guitar work - again emulating Zappa at his best. The sophomoric goofball elements drag it down considerably though. Other Scandinavian references are Storm (Sweden) and Dr. Dopo Jam (Denmark).

** Ptolomy Psycon - Loose Capacitor (EP) (England) 1971 private. (catalog number HAT 1306 A). Ptolomy Psycon practically defines the raw UK underground of the early 1970s. I suppose the 99 count Holyground albums, or the hyper rare Dark album* can give you an indication of the recording quality. But the music is definitely influenced by the upcoming progressive rock movement, especially Hawkwind, Steel Mill, Jethro Tull and King Crimson. The AC also offers "Ptolomy Psycon has lots of that UK psychy proto-prog flavor. This was released as a 10" EP, in an edition of only 50 copies with homemade covers. The band were from the Birmingham area, and were supposedly all students in the same school (around 16-17 years old, I think). In fact, all the "orchestral" stuff you'll hear on this was apparently done by their school band, who they hired to play on the recording!" Hopefully they recorded more than the 22 minutes found here, as this is a really good example of the early 70s UK deep underground scene.

* Public Foot the Roman - s/t (England) 1973 EMI/Capitol. When I first started collecting progressive rock albums in earnest in the early 1980s, this is one of those "obscure" albums that I was told I must get. To be honest, Public Foot the Roman fell way short of my expectations, and I never understood what all the fuss was about. Nearly 25 years later, I may not crown this a classic, but at least it makes more sense to me. I think the problem is the inclusion of standard rock and roll songs - like the opener - which can be greatly off-putting to those of us looking for something more adventurous. And my standards in the early 80s is that all "progressive rock" meant every album was stood up against Close to the Edge or Selling England by the Pound. Well thousands of obscurities later, and not much holds a candle to those albums anyway, IMHO of course. Now in retrospect, I hear Public Foot the Roman in the way I do bands on the Neon or Dawn labels - albums that were still too far from my radar back then. And when shown in that light, PFtR holds up pretty well. The mix of straightforward material with more ambitious jazzy progressions is fairly typical of 1973 England. Maybe not the best representative of said style, but I can now see why folks touted this one back to me then. Certainly better than the dime a dozen Hit Parade pop bands of the day. And it's presence on Capitol Records, made it more known here in the US at least - especially when compared to their Dawn label brethren. A natural for a high profile label like Esoteric.

Pugh's Place - West One. 1973 Decca.
* Pugh's Place / Children of Jubal / Rick and Dave - Child in Time. 1974 Universe. "West One" is a pretty substandard rock album for the era, with a particularly bad cover of The Beatles' 'Ride My Car'. Still, not all is a loss, and there's some mighty fine flute, guitar and organ work here. Perhaps even best, is the driving bassist, who keeps the whole thing hopping along. But the songs, and especially the vocals, aren't up to snuff. Should have been much better and can only be considered a disappointment given the obvious talent. A bootleg exists for this title. Much better is the "Child in Time" album, supposedly performed by "The Group". It's a thinly disguised moniker for Pugh's Place - as why else have their biography on the back cover? The album itself is definitely a cash-in job. Side 1 is two cover tracks, one by The Beatles, and the other is Deep Purple's namesake track. Pugh's Place perform both of these, and they're pretty decent covers, with some unique arrangements and added woodwinds. But the real reason to consider this album is Side 2 and the original material by Children of Jubal and Rick & Dave. The latter are two musicians from the United States - one on guitar, the other on keys - and their one short track is quite good. But best of all is Children of Jubal, whose two tracks dominate the second side. They're very much from the jazz influenced progressive rock school - a style that was immensely popular in England at this time. It would be great to know if this band had more recordings hiding in a basement somewhere. Based on the material here, they would be a favorite group of mine. Overall, a nice curio piece that would make good bonus tracks elsewhere. But if they could find more Children of Jubal material, then this would skyrocket to a Priority 1.

Pulse - s/t (USA) 1968 Poison Ring. Pulse are a heavy blues rock band from New Haven, Connecticut. I particularly enjoy the heavy tone coming from the guitar and the appropriate-for-the-genre gruff voice. There's quite a bit of harmonica to sit through, which is unfortunately one of my least favorite instruments. For the style, Pulse is a cut above the norm. Some of the tracks are lengthy and as such, they’ll throw in a creative idea or two with respect to composition and instrumentation. Still, in the end, nothing to get overly excited about. A classic period piece.

Pumpkin - s/t (Netherlands) 1975 Bubble. Frequently noted by dealers as the "Dutch Placebo", I would say that prize should be awarded to Crypto if comparisons must be made. Placebo is a buzzword band that adds dollars to the prize, and it isn't a flat out lie that Pumpkin gets mentioned in the same breath - but in reality this Dutch band is a jazz fusion outfit, pretty far removed from the cool funky vibes of Placebo. With the abundance of sax and electric piano solos, Pumpkin are a far more generic outfit very much of their era. However, on a positive note, their ensemble playing is quite nice. Add a splendid cover, and the overall package is decent, though non-essential.

Purple Image - s/t (USA) 1971 Map City. Primarily a hard rock album with slight touches of Motown soul pop, which primarily surface via the harmony vocals. Some good psychedelic work evenly spread throughout. From the ghettos of Cleveland. Not as intense as Del Jones Positive Vibes or Maggot Brain era Funkadelic, but still worth tracking down. Boots exist.

* Puzzle - s/t (France) 1983 private. A very well executed psychedelic guitar driven album, released at a time when very little of this style was available on the market. Perhaps only Cincinnati's Ra Can Row could be called out during this era. But Puzzle has one fatal flaw. And it's the only thing keeping me raving about it - the dreaded drum machine. And it's an early 80's style drum machine too, so it's even worse than it would be today. Had they employed a real drummer, I would enthuse more about it. Naturally enough, the keyboards are all 1980's era synthesizers too.

Pyranha - s/t (Switzerland) 1972 Epsilon. Pyranha's sole album seems like a lost recording from the Futura label. There's quite a bit of psychotic ranting in French over studio effects, vibes, guitar and percussion. Also some organ and electric piano driven rock sessions. Album opener is even a bit funky. Only misstep is the second song on side 1, a misguided improvisation that seems to serve no purpose whatsover. Unfortunately it's also the longest track at nearly 13 minutes long. Had that track just been merely average, and not so obtrusive, I think I would've considered this for a one star CD wishlister. A fascinating listen though.

xxx Pythagoras - Journey to the Vast Unknown (Netherlands) 1980 Syntone. Fairly simplistic instrumental keyboards / drums duo, where melody and atmosphere are more important than complexity. Trends towards electronic music (Klaus Schulze, Wolfgang Bock) rather than symphonic progressive (Sixty Nine, Eden, Twogether). Apparently was a relatively big seller in its day, and strictly via word of mouth and late night cult radio. E-Music has always had a strong foothold in The Netherlands, which continues to this day. Pythagoras must be considered pioneers of that scene. Most of the music is laid back, and the keyboards of choice are string synthesizers and Moogs, thus missing some depth with organ or mellotron (which does make an appearance on Side 2, along with some nice sequencer action). Not as rocking as Schulze's "Moondawn" for example, but pleasant overall. *** This and their second album "After the Silence" have been reissued by the Korean label Media Arte. ***

*** Quad - II (England) 1997 Acme Prescription Drug. Their debut LP album has been reissued, but it remains to be seen if any of the limited Drug series will ever see the light of day on CD. An Indian stringed instrument sets the tone (or drone) while tribal drums and acid guitar slowly float the listener away. Lots of mellotron and acoustic guitar. One of the most blissfully tranced Krautrock albums since Dom's "Edge of Time". See also Ohr Musik.

# Quantum - New World (USA) 1976 private. Need to hear again.

** Quasar - Nebular Trajectory (Australia) 1979 ACR (Australian Creative Recording).
* Quasar - Man Coda (Australia) 1981 Aija (custom pressed by EMI - compositions are from 1975-1980). Here's a couple of albums I picked up in the early 2000s on ebay. I wasn't even aware of their existence until then. My recollection was these were space rock albums. In revisiting these LPs in succession, it's obvious that's not the case at all. In reality they are a fusion band with spacious avant-garde textures highlighted by Frippian sustained guitar leads and plenty of fuzz bass. So a combination of Mahavishnu Orchestra and Starless era King Crimson. And at that point, it hit me who these guys remind me of: SBB! Especially around the time of "Nowy Horizont". And when you hear the lengthy fuzz bass solo, that solidifies the comparison - especially when you consider the debut by SBB. "Man Coda" is a bit looser in structure, following on from the title track of "Nebular Trajectory" which closed that album. As such, it's not quite as excellent as the debut, but both are still highly recommended. A natural choice for Vicious Sloth to reissue on CD.

* Quasar Light - Experience This. 1981 Jet Eye. One of the absolute funniest reviews I've ever read concisely stated the following: WTF is this? That got a belly laugh out of me. How many times have I felt exactly like that? Who knows, but no album I've heard in the last few years qualifies that expression more than Quasar Light. WTF is this indeed. I don't even know where to begin. Umm... yea, it's like... OK. No more like... yea, that. The first half of the album is like an alien pop album with hard rock guitar and disembodied female vocals. And no mistaking its 1980's heritage. So far, so bad - to be honest. But then this thing starts to go off the rails. In the weirdest way possible. Not that it's avant noise or anything so overt as that. No, they still are going strong with actual songs. But they're weird, twisted, distorted and downright complex at times. It's progressive rock in the 6th dimension. There is absolutely no reference here. Band is from the York area of Pennsylvania and one has to suspect that they're Amish on a Rumspringa binge. The only reference I could find on this album was a stream of consciousness rant on MySpace from the Quasar Light founder. Yea, what a surprise that.Do I want to see this reissued? Yea, I kinda do actually. It's just too unique to ignore. Underground America at its weirdest right here.

# Quasimodogeniti - Quazz (Germany) 1975 Ravenstein. Named after an obscure Christian holiday. In any case, way out of scope for this list. This is one is pure jazz, with stand-up bass, sax, trumpet, scattered drums and a little flute. Leaving here for reference though, as it's sold in fusion circles.

Quel Giorno di Uve Rosse - s/t (Italy) 1976 PCC (Pro Civitate Christiana). Pleasant symphonic Italian prog. Elements of Latte e Miele circa "Passio Secundum Mattheum" can be found, but this is more soft and pastoral. Lots of harpsichord, flute and female voice (sometimes narrated).

xxx # Question Mark - Be Nice to the People (Kenya) 1974 private. One of a handful of interesting African rock albums. This one is in the same genre as B.L.O., Witch, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, etc... Features some nice old organ sounds, a lot of scratchy fuzz and 1960s psych style melodies. Better than most Sub Saharan African albums I've heard - closest comparison would be the Nigerian band Ofege. Album has been reissued on LP by Shadoks, so I'd expect a CD issue to follow shortly (ed: and I was right). *** Reissued by Shadoks August 2011 xxx

*** Ra Can Row - s/t (USA) 1982 private. Before there was the Ozric Tentacles, there was Ra Can Row, a Cincinnati based group who also liked the Hillage-era Gong space jam. An amazing album when it arrived, it's too bad they stopped with only this one album.

# Radavique - B Sides (Netherlands) 1984 private. Dutch group who play on the commercial side of the neo progressive movement, with thin sounding period instrumentation and production. The type of group who would have signed to the SI label had they come around a few years later. Neat album cover.

xxx Radio Noisz Ensemble - Yniverse (Germany) 1983 private. Now that the Emma Myldenberger's have been reissued, I would expect Garden of Delights to tackle this one soon (and so it became reality - look for the reissue in May 2009). Similar folk based genre, but even more in the progressive rock camp. ** reissued by Garden of Delights June 2009 xxx

xxx * Radio Piece III - Tomato Pie Blues (USA) 1987 ZNR. This was a cassette only release. Good Egg-like organ metronomic trio action. Don't think this ever was put out on CD. I thought this was better than their later CD releases. *** Reissued by ZNR in 2010 as "The Lost Puzzle" xxx

* Ragnarok - s/t (New Zealand) 1975 Revolution.
* Ragnarok - Nooks (New Zealand) 1976 Polydor. The debut is a combination of early 70s UK proto-progressive with female vocals mixed with space rock. The second is more sophisticated and melodic, and recalls groups like Sebastian Hardie and Fruupp. "Nooks" has been reissued legally, but it was only in Japan on Polygram (circa 1990), and is forever long OOP. It's a poor reissue, taken from crackly vinyl and the only info is in Japanese. With Aztec announcing the Dragon reissues, is it possible they'll tackle these two NZ gems as well? Boots exist.

xxx * Ragnarok - Fjarilar i Magen (Sweden) 1979 Silence. *** Reissued by Arcangelo Nov 2011 xxx
* Ragnarok - Fata Morgana (Sweden) 1981 Silence. Silence did manage to reissue their debut years ago, but stopped before getting to these two acclaimed modern Nordic fusion classics. Both contain fiery guitar work and some fine sax passages. "3 Signs", released in 1983, is of lesser interest. Boots exist.

** Rainbow Generator - Dance of the Spheres (Australia) 1978 Fission Chips. I've heard about Rainbow Generator for years, but somewhere along the line I either read or understood that they were a mechanical Systems styled electronic band. That peculiar genre of minimalistic sound sculpturing is way too static for me. However, Rainbow Generator is no such thing. They are in fact a highly inventive electronic meets space rock band. In some ways, they're like fellow countrymen Cybotron, though Rainbow Generator do not pursue the obvious Tangerine Dream temptations. With the electric guitar explosions, female and male semi-singing/narrations, didgeridoo, and synthesizer solos - Rainbow Generator conjure up images closer to that of the Cosmic Courier clan. They do use a very primitive drum machine, but it oddly recalls Klaus Schulze's "Picture Music" than anything associated with the cheesy 1980s experiments that were to be hoisted on us. Really swell stuff here for old school space rock heads like me.

# The Rainy Daze - That Acapulco Gold (USA) 1967 Uni. Subpar psych band from Denver. 3 decent tracks and the other 8 range from average to terrible. A pirate CD exists.

*** Ram - Where? (In Conclusion) (USA) 1972 Polydor. For many years, since I first bought the LP in the late 1980s, I've felt that Ram is one of America's more unheralded progressive rock albums. The first two tracks are straight ahead rockers, almost like Rare Earth or similar US street rock groups. But the last two tracks on Side 1, and especially the 25 minute side long suite 'Aza', show a remarkable progression. 'Aza' is fascinating, as it sounds like synthesizers, or even mellotron, are the dominant instruments. But on a careful listen, you can hear they are using saxes, flutes and contact mics to emulate the synthesized sounds. The electric guitar and fuzz bass are blistering on this track. I find it hard to believe a creative band like Ram doesn't have other similar sounding tracks sitting in a vault somewhere. Can you imagine a CD reissue with one or two extra epics like 'Aza'? For me, that could raise Ram to the very best the US ever put out, especially from the early 1970s.

Ken Ramm - Dragon (Canada) 1981 private. A very fine, and professionally produced, early 80s instrumental fusion album. And, lo and behold, the entire FM team is playing on this, which should give this an instant built-in audience. Ramm apparently had the right connections, or a lot of money, as this sounds more like a major label release, than an obscure private.

* Rancid Poultry - Controlled Exposure (England) 1989 Poultry Productions. Cassette only release. Rancid Poultry came out of the 1980s festival scene, and were just a little early. Most likely they would've been on a label like Mystic Stones or Demi Monde. Good raucous space rock - with some interesting screamed vocals. They had other cassettes as well, but this is the only one I owned and have heard.

& Rancid Poultry - Rancid Riffs. 1985 Land of Yrx
Leyline Lords of the Motorway Web. 1986 Land of Yrx
Midnight Disendowed. 1986 Land of Yrx
& Delicate Creatures. 1986 Land of Yrx
& Rock 'N' Roll Won't Never Die! 1987 Poultry Productions
& * Controlled Exposure. 1989 Poultry Productions
& Lungs Full of Lead (2xMC, 1989) Poultry Productions
HTIABR! 1990 Poultry Productions
& Live In Leads (But Steve Doesn't). 1992 Poultry Productions
& Musicide 19??. ???
& Qaotic Pestilence 19??. ???
All released on cassette originally.
& - Are the ones I've personally heard. This is probably the single largest entry in the CDRWL, if the sole criteria is number of albums not reissued. I first heard of Rancid Poultry via Audion Magazine in the late 1980s, and picked up Controlled Exposure through their Ultima Thule mail order channel not long after it was released. We featured this album a little over a year ago. According to the Freeman's, Controlled Exposure was probably their most accomplished work, and now after having devoured 6 other titles (including a double album), I would have to agree with their original assessment. My review for Controlled Exposure basically stated: "Rancid Poultry came out of the 1980s festival scene, but arrived with some influences out of the industrial movement... ...Good raucous space rock - with some interesting screamed vocals." And that more or less describes all the albums listed here. One correction though to my original review: Even though the band came from the festival scene era, I don't believe they were an actual live act performing at the festivals. I could be wrong, but my impression based on reports is they were more of a "city band" who played in and around small clubs in England. There's a little bit of history on Rancid Poultry from the Land of Yrx page, which gives us insight into their beginnings (go to the bottom of the linked page). I've only heard Delicate Creatures from this phase of the band, but based on that I think I can safely presume the first 3 albums are not going to be for me I'm afraid. This is Rancid Poultry at their most experimental and noisy, with dare I say, a rancid 80's computer drum sound. By the time of Rock 'N' Roll Will Never Die, the band is clearly leaning in a space rock direction, with more emphasis on traditional guitar, bass, drum jamming and less of the keyboard knob twiddling. It's still quite primitive though. After this comes their landmark Controlled Exposure tape, and we hear a group more focused, with actual compositions mixed in with the jams. Lungs Full of Lead is a sprawling mess of industrial, space rock, progressive and experimentalism. If you want to gain the full Rancid Poultry experience, this may be a good introduction, though it can be frustrating for those of us with (admittedly) more narrow tastes. By 1992, Live in Leads demonstrates a much more professional band, though the bootleg quality of the recording itself leaves much to be desired. As for Musicide and Qaotic Pestilence, there's absolutely no data I can find on them, beyond the covers the AC provided me. Based on sound alone, I'd hazard a guess that Musicide comes after Lungs Full of Lead - though again the recording is a bit primitive. But musically very interesting. Of all the albums listed here, Qaotic Pestilence is probably the closest to Controlled Exposure, except there are no vocals here. This may indeed be the most fully realized Rancid Poultry album I've heard to date. I would suspect this to be an early 90's release.

Random - Nuthin' Tricky (USA) 1977 Hell Yes. Very interesting avant progressive band from Illinois. Starts off with a disco(?!) track, but you know it's a head fake from the beginning. Mostly the group Random go for a chamber music sound, with all sorts of other styles mixed in, most notably jazz. Highly inventive for 1977, and one has to presume Henry Cow were an influence here. Album is available for free on the band's website.

** Rantz - s/t (USA) 1982 private. I don't even know where to start here. The cover is indicative, perhaps. The female vocalist sounds like a mutant Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons. The guitarist plays in a decidedly psychedelic manner as if 1973 never happened. Did I mention flute? Oh yes, it's everywhere here - all played 1970 style. The compositions? Clearly informed by the MTV acts of the day: Men Without Hats, Talking Heads, Blondie, The Pretenders, The Human League... oh you get the idea. (I'm so old, I remember when MTV only played music videos). Gotta love a tune called 'Gnostic Blues'. You know, I've been thinking of getting a bunch of international guys together to rate progressive albums... and call it Gnosis! Naw, that would be dumb. Anyway, really time warp stuff here for a high school junior in 1982. About the only album this f'ed up is the Amish Rumspringa band Quasar Light. Seriously, if Ancient Aliens had a show on progressive rock, Rantz would be their proof. Not sure they'd be off base either. If only they were from Roswell, New Mexico. "Could it be, as Ancient Astronaut Theorists believe..."

# *Rastus - Steamin' (USA) 1972 Neighborhood. Coming from the bluesy, soul pop side of the horn rock equation - Cleveland, Ohio based octet Rastus' second album "Steamin'" is overall a fine album for the genre. Highlights include the passionate slow blues number 'Big City Letdown Blues', the Chicago Transit Authority styled numbers 'Love You', 'I-94 Riff', and 'Trying to Find Her', and the Motown inspired 'What Will it Take'. I haven't heard the live debut, which I understand to be made up of primarily cover tunes.

** Rayuela - s/t (Argentina) 1977 Orfeo. Rayuela are yet another late 1970s band from Argentina who took a swipe at the fusion fad. Where there's separation, however, is the higher quotient of melodic interplay, giving it that strong symphonic progressive rock feel. And the second track is an absolute stunner in the Celeste/Errata Corrige school of Italian soft progressive rock. In one case, Rayuela extends their stylistic brush a bit too far, such as the awkward singer songwriter blues number, right from the Louisiana bayou, complete with harmonica. I think they were going for a Jumbo style here, and fell short. No matter, as that's the only shortcoming here. The instrumental tracks are stunning, and the guitar/sax playing here is superb, along with the passionate vocals. It's like stumbling on a lost Italian album from 1975. Excellent album. There is a CD out there, but it's at best a "gray area reissue", so let's hope for something better!

* Recreation - Don't Open (Belgium) 1971 Triangle. later Bellaphon (German press).
*** Recreation - Music or Not Music (Belgium) 1972 Barclay. The debut by this Belgian trio is a kick – somewhere between the avant space psych of Group 1850, the rigid metronomics of Egg and exploito organ-led covers of classic psych tracks. Great fuzz bass and go-go organ sounds throughout. For “Music or Not Music”, the music takes a decidedly creative turn while adding guitar to the mix. An all-over-the-map type release, totaling 15 tracks, that reminds me some of Aphrodite’s Child’s “666” album, minus the pop songs. The quirkiness and overall demeanor recall some of the earlier work by Supersister. Like the debut, this is entirely instrumental. Both of these would be great to see on CD (there does exist a bootleg). Pseudonym would have done this a few years ago - would love to see a label like Musea tackle it!

*** Red - s/t (England) 1983 Jigsaw. This was released amongst all the other New Wave of British Progressive Rock albums (now known as Neo Prog). But Red were nothing like IQ, Twelfth Night, Marillion, Haze, etc... nor were they like mid period King Crimson ala their name. Nope, this is a very strong fusion oriented album, with some early 80s keyboard sounds. What separates this album from the pack is the ferocious guitar playing, and the outstanding melodies. I bought this when it came out, and it's still one of my favorites.

* Red Summer - Release (England) 1982 Rimshot. Though Red Summer are a duo, they manage to pack in quite a few ideas per track. And it's just this setup that also reminded me of Jade Warrior's "Horizen" album, also from the 1980s. Jade Warrior always managed to feature a big sound from a small lineup. And there is that distinct world music edge that pops up now and again, further solidifying the comparison. Perhaps most startling is the opening title track, that had me at first thinking I may have the wrong disc in the changer. Why? Well, it sounded so very French, that's why. Like a long lost Richard Pinhas tape circa "L'Ethique". There's also some of that good ole fashioned handmade, basement styled NDW electronik German sound prevalent as well. Unusually loud and psychedelic guitars pop out of nowhere on "Release", and are completely incongruous with most anything else going on in England during this era.

# Red Television - s/t (England) 1971. Terrible amateurish low budget folk rock.

Regressive Aid – Why Settle For Less When You Can Regress? (USA) 1981 Rhesus.
* Regressive Aid – Effects on Exposed People (USA) 1983 Rhesus. Also in this list we feature a Japanese band called Nishin, and Regressive Aid reminds me quite a bit of their album "Dai Dai". The early 80's sound is very apparent here, from the use of digital technology to the fast punkish pace of the music. There's no mistaking the "Discipline" era Crimson influence, though Regressive Aid appears to have drawn the same conclusion as Fripp rather than just following the master. The EP, which is just over 10 minutes long (4 songs), is pretty rough sounding. By the time of Effects, itself a very short album clocking in just under 30 minutes, the Crimson influence is more apparent and the production values are of a high quality. Another group that came along later, but also reminds me of Regressive Aid, is the Virginia-based Famous Actors From Out of Town.

# Reifrock - Unter Einem Hut (Germany) 1981 Folk Freak. German language rock with folk overtones (including mandolin and accordion). Nice electric guitar work throughout.

* Release Music Orchestra - Life (Germany) 1974 Brain.
** Release Music Orchestra - Garuda (Germany) 1975 Brain.
* Release Music Orchestra - Get the Ball (Germany) 1976 Brain.
Release Music Orchestra - Beyond the Limit (Germany) 1978 Brain. Well known fusion band that evolved out of Tomorrow's Gift. One of the last of the "Green Brain" bands not to receive a CD reissue. These sold well back in the day, so I suspect they receive a lot of requests for a reissue. Given that related albums such as Tomorrow's Gift "Goodbye Future" and the Dennis "Hyperthalamus" remain unissued tells me this situation may be caused by the artist's refusal rather than label, but I don't have any data to support that theory. Boots exists. The first two RMO's in particular are definitely recommended for fusion lovers. They slowly evolved into a fuzak act (I think the cover of "Beyond the Limit" explains everything), like many bands of the late 1970s. They have one more called "News" that is better left unknown.

* Alain Renaud - s/t (France) 1975 Disjuncta.
Alain Renaud - Out of Time (France) 1976 Disjuncta. Alain Renaud played on some of the early Heldon albums, and his sound is somewhat similar, especially on the first. Long drifting cosmic pieces of electronics and guitar. Not as menacing or as immediate as Pinhas' works. I've had the first Renaud album since the mid 1980s, so I have a sentimental soft spot for it. "Out of Time" is a completely different affair. Here, Renaud mixes instrumental rock fusion with some vocal oriented tracks (extremely ill advised I must add) that have me coiling in despair. There is one longish electronic piece similar to the debut, that's quite nice. A reissue of the first, with a couple of bonus tracks taken from the second would be ideal.

Renia - First Offenders (England) 1973 Transatlantic. In aggregate, a pretty dull UK early 70s rock album. There is some nice organ runs to keep it from being a total yawner, but ultimately this is the kind of album makes Fantasy's "Paint a Picture" seem like speed metal by comparison. Comparisons to Humble Pie wouldn't be out of place, minus the versatility of said group. Only track to put it in high gear is called 'Slow Down' ironically enough.

* Resan - s/t (Sweden) 1973 Epic. A very unusual album indeed, this Resan is. Starts out in a similar terrain to the The Beatles "White Album", before drifting off into a folky flute number ala Träd, Gräs och Stenar. But then the real party starts, with the remainder containing long, energetic, acid guitar driven numbers, some freaky percussion bits, dreamy cosmic pieces and an overall general sense of the psychedelic. Would've been a perfect fit for the Silence label. I could see where this album wouldn't be well received by many, given its eclectic nature, but I found most of it interesting at least. I could see this being a reissue for Transubstans or Mellotronen.

Rhea - Sad Sorceress (Switzerland) 1980 private (HD 363). There were a few of these kind of European progressive rock acts in the late 1970s and early 80s. Long on ideas, but short on execution. You can tell they had talent, but without the major label funding and expertise, the level of professionalism was incredibly lacking. So I thought it was very astute of the AC to call out Schakta below, as that's a very apt comparison. They are both: From 1980, Swiss, amateurish, feature cool covers, nominally progressive, and mythical for collectors. In fact, Schakta was one of my top curiosities throughout the 1990s, after first hearing about it in a 1980s issue of Marquee Magazine (Japan). All the same, I enjoyed this album a bit more than both Sustain and Schakta (though hardly worthy of a CD reissue). It is quite charming in its ineptitude. The melodies are not bad, and I enjoyed the organ work - which was surprisingly good. Perhaps this latter element is the separator. Most of these type of albums rely heavily on thin sound strong synths (there is that too though).

xxx ** Catherine Ribeiro + 2 Bis - s/t (France) 1969 Philips.
xxx *** Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes - No. 2 (France) 1970 Festival. Second album by gorgeous model who is completely anguished in this amazing set of tunes that has as much in common with Ash Ra Tempel as it does with something that could have been on the Futura label. Debut is sublime as well. Surprising no one has put these out yet. The rest of her extensive catalog has been reissued and is still available. *** No. 2 reissued by Mercury (France) in 2012 as part of a 4 album box set; And in 2015, a 9 CD boxset has been released by Mercury which covers all of Ribeiro's released and unreleased LPs xxx

xxx * Rictus - Christelle ou la Decouverte du Mal (France) 1981 Le Kiosque D'Orphee. Very much a deep underground album from France. Raw and primitive overall but with some cool compressed fuzz guitar sounds and a vintage 60's organ. They also employ cheap 1980's era synthesizers. At times the album recalls Nuance's "Il est une Legende", but this one is a mite untogether and has more of a straight rock element. There's also some dramatic Ange style vocals that are cool. Definitely worth hearing. They have two other albums that I understand are more in the hard rock or even early metal styles. Their next two albums aren't scant worth mentioning. Stop here. *** Reissued by Strawberry Rain in 2012 xxx

# Laza Ristovski & Ipe Ivandic – Stizemo (Serbia) 1978 RTV. I bought this LP in 2003, as it was one I was searching for high and low. When I finally got it, I was quite disappointed (and sold it quickly afterward). Despite featuring two wonderful keyboard oriented progressive rock pieces (complex compositions with mellotron, female vocals - the works) in the middle of the album, the rest falls flat. Mostly it reminds me of mid 1970's The Who mixed with some good times rock 'n roll.

* Frank Robson - Robson (England-Finland) 1974 Blue Master Special. British born Robson is most known as the original vocalist for Tasavallan Presidentti (and Blues Section prior to that), and he appeared on their first two albums. Not surprisingly, he brings the same blues rock styled vocals to his first solo album. The album itself could have been a Tasavallan Presidentti release, being an eclectic affair mixing horn rock, jazz, blues, progressive and plain old rock and roll. The prominent use of horns adds a unique dimension and raises the quality a couple of points. Other than a heavy reliance on a Mini-Moog, the album sounds older, more akin to a 1970 release.

** Claudio Rocchi - Essenza (Italy) 1973 Ariston. Some of the Rocchi albums are out on CD, but this, his best IMO, is still elusive. On "Essenza", the first track has phased voices, tablas, droning synthesizers (similar to Battiato's early work) and a little child's voice reciting something in Italian. This reminds me of Picchio dal Pozzo on their debut and sends chills down my spine. Other tracks have flute, sax, organ, piano and quite a bit of acoustic guitar strumming. Rocchi sings in a very unique way, though not that dissimilar from others of his ilk in the 1970's Italian scene. In fact, parts of this remind me of Sergius Golowin's album with an obvious stoned vibe (the phasing has a lot to do with this perception).

xxx ** Rock Joint Biwa - Kumikyoku: Furukotofumi (Japan) 1972 RCA Victor 4-Channel "QuadraDisc" (R4J-7015) I maintain that Japan is hiding the most buried treasure when talking underground rock from the 1970s. I'm still hearing about dozens of albums that almost no one has any data on. Whether or not they are truly what is purported remains to be seen and heard. I recall a similar experience when going on a deep sea expedition (in the early 1990s) through the Yugoslavian 70s scene, only to find a true few that really matched what was advertised. Like T. Yokota's "Primitive Community" album, we are at the meeting place of rock and jazz. Except the all-instrumental Furukotofumi has a completely different sound than Yokota's bunch. Definitely not a mystical experience as Primitive Community is, yet there are some fascinating Japanese indigenous moments to behold - primarily used as interludes between songs. I'd say the scales are more tipped towards the jazz side here, but make no mistake, this clearly is psychedelic rock influenced throughout. Some fantastic electric guitar work, including at least one blazing acid solo (and mixed with a biwa no less) amongst other excellent amped up shredders. A definite early fusion vibe permeates as well, no doubt informed by the UK groups like Nucleus or Soft Machine. Rhodes, piano, violin and organ also get their turn in the solo spotlight. Even a little Bacharach-ian lounger, with some wonderful horn and string charts, soap opera organ and a nice toned down guitar rip. The highlight is the pounding drum, biwa and psychedelic wah wah guitar piece followed by the groovy horn charts, sax solo - and get this - all phased out ala Dieter Dirks in the Kosmische Kourier studio. There's a lot here to digest. (this album is commonly known as the self-titled album by Fulukotofumi). *** Reissued by Sony June 2011 xxx

# Rockcelona - La Bruja (Spain) 1979 CBS. Straight ahead hard rock album that sounds like it's from the American Midwest. Nothing Spanish at all about it, other than the lyrics. Great fuzz guitar sound and nice leads. Strictly for rock and rollers.

# Röda Ropet - Spänn Bågen (Sweden) 1975 ML. Germany's politrock scene is somewhat well known amongst collectors of progressive rock (Oktober, P.P. Zahl, Ton Steine Scherben, Hammerfest, etc...). Less known, but perhaps even larger in scale, was a similar such scene in Sweden (generally known as Progg). Politically charged music was all the rage in 1970s Sweden (primarily from the Left as it were), and it's something I know very little about. Röda Ropet is one of many in the scene (go to the excellent Progg.se website to find more - especially note the top listed bands in the left column). Naturally enough, all the lyrics are in Swedish, and so the meaning is lost on me (but I still enjoying hearing the language in song - here presented in both male and female forms). However there's still something here for the casual underground rock listener, as there's plenty of exquisite guitar soloing, along with a few meter and composition changes - similar to some of the more ambitious German projects. Worth a listen if you're so inclined, but out of scope for our list.

** Rodan - s/t (USA) 1974 Pandora. Super horn rock album, that absolutely kills on most of the 12 short tracks. There are a couple of bluesy moves and at least one James Brown styled funker, but mostly this just rips from start to finish. The kind of album you wish all horn rockers were. Smoking guitar and great brass charts. The rhythm section never stops. California based group was actually known as MAX, and toured extensively with groups like Malo and Tower of Power. One of the band members has started his own label called Digital Cellars, and there's a chance this obscurity will be reissued eventually. Album sports a fantastic drawing on the cover.

# Henri Roger - Images (France) 1975 Pole. Probably closest to founder Paul Putti's albums (under the pseudonym of... Pole). Somewhat dull electronic music, with a few experimental bits. Closer to "Kotrill" than the more melodic "Inside the Dream", though more cohesive than the former. Besombes / Rizet were definitely the best electronic artists on the label, and those have already been reissued by Mio.

Romantic Warrior - s/t (Germany) 1985 Frog. Romantic Warrior are no doubt named after the famous Return to Forever album, though this German band doesn't quite possess the vibrancy of Corea's classic bunch. There's the slick-as-a-butter-dish production, with slap bass, happy rhythm guitar and digital drums. However all is not a loss, as the lead guitar work has a slight bite to it, and there's even a little sitar to break up the monotony. If the term "1985 jazz fusion" doesn't have you fleeing for the exits, then definitely give this one a spin. Otherwise run. Run faraway.

# Rontheo - s/t (Germany) 1976 Breitkopf Song. Primarily a dull folk album with English vocals and rural violin. Picks up towards the end of the record with some fine electric guitar soloing and ritualistic violin. The latter parts recalling Emma Myldenberger, but not enough to save the record.

xxx * Randy Roos - Mistral. 1978 Spoonfed. Like the Projections and Landress-Hart, here's another fusion rarity that isn't spoken of much. Boston based Berklee grad guitarist Roos was originally in a band called Orchestra Luna, an album that used to turn up quite a bit in my crate digging days. This album is quite a bit different from that, and is a guitar fronted instrumental fusion that was gaining popularity back then. But it has a rougher edge that I find appealing, and thus scores an extra point for me. Roos is a master of the instrument, and will occasionally call out Al Di Meola circa "Casino". I was also reminded of the German group Syncrisis, that we've featured here in the past. Overall, a pretty neat little obscurity. *** Reissued by Modulus March 2012 xxx

** Round House - 'Scuse Me (Germany) 1972 Harvest.
** Round House - Down to Earth (Germany) 1973 Harvest. German group who spent a lot of time with their Chicago Transit Authority album collection obviously. And they do a pretty convincing job of their variation of the horn rock sound. Some good grooves and they veer towards the jazzy side, always a plus in this genre. Much better than the more known Brain label horn groups like Emergency and Creative Rock. I wrote those words having heard only the debut "'Scuse Me". Followup album "Down to Earth" is more adventurous and includes a near side long suite similar to Chicago's 'A Girl from Buchanon', but less pop oriented. Both albums lack consistency, but plenty of great stuff here, especially the Terry Kath inspired wah wah guitar. The Freeman's say the album is 'lightweight' and of 'marginal interest', but I disagree with them here (I do usually see it their way).

# Round Robin Monopoly - Alpha (USA) 1974 Truth. There are a lot of funky soul albums from the early 70s, and most were geared towards the radio hit machine. But bands like Mandrill and Funkadelic burned another trail, where musicianship and composition also mattered, while still kicking major boo-tay. Round Robin Monopoly are one such band. They still had their eye on the charts for most of the songs, but mostly "Alpha" grooves in the red zone. Probably a bit too song oriented for the general audience of this list, but there's enough here to warrant a couple of listens.

Il Rovescio della Medaglia - ..Giudizio Avrai (Italy) 1988 private (1975 recording). Here's one I totally forgot about until rummaging through my vinyl collection. It's a live demo recording taken after the band had slimmed down after the "Contaminazione" sessions. All instrumental, it's pretty much a loose space rock jam with plenty of keyboard and guitar solos. Closer in sound to the raw debut "La Bibbia" than the bombastic classic Italo-prog of "Contaminazione". Not a great recording, but certainly listenable. For the general progressive rock buying public, I would think this holds more historic, rather than music, interest. Strange the band self-released this when they did, though I do know it was specifically for the Japanese market, which is where my copy came from. Originals came in a brown gatefold cover, some with an embossed felt logo.

# Olivier Roy - Pochette-Surprise. 1979 FLVM. One man and his String Synthesizer (with occasional Mini-Moog). Pretty good for what it is (cosmic electronic musik), and practically defines the DIY aesthetic of the FLVM label. Recorded between 1975 and 1979.

Rozz - Prüfungsangst (Germany) 1980 Telefunken.
Rozz - Eisbrecher (Germany) 1981 Telefunken. Both Rozz albums are well played fusion with a focus on the guitar work, as was typical from this era of German jazz rock. Excellent playing all around and features a fine production. Reference groups would be Return to Forever or Weather Report, or for local flavor - Syncrisis or To Be.

# Rumpel Stilz – Vogelfuetter (Switzerland) 1975 Schnoutz. Reminds me a whole lot of Plamp's "Und Uberhaupt", which is also featured in this list. A mixture of German language rock, fusion and progressive. Has its moments, though wildly inconsistent. Band went on to record many more albums than this, so it appears they were popular back at home.

Robin Runge - Don't Give Up the Ship (USA) 1974 QCA.
* Robin - Don't Give Up the Ship (USA) 1977 Century. Apparently Mr. Runge decided to skip his Creative Writing class or he really, really doesn't want you to give up on the ship (though perhaps a recent Italian captain would have benefited from such sound advice). Regardless of the motivation, these two distinct albums caused quite a bit of confusion for this author anyway. We'll start with the second, and better album. Though his name is Robin Runge, the male/female duo on this album is known as Robin. The album was recorded and released in 1977 on the Christian oriented Century label (same label behind The Search Party's "Montgomery Chapel"!). The album overall is primarily an acoustic, but sophisticated folk rock work, with plenty of synthesizer to add color. The guitar playing is clearly inspired by Steve Howe and the vocals have a pleasant lilt like Jon Anderson. Could have been a song based Yes album from the same time period (1977-78), with overt Christian, rather than Eastern religious / mystic based lyrics. A good progressive folk album from an unlikely source. The 1974 album is considerably more raw and amateurish as can be expected from a one man band - though there still is plenty of keyboards, including a cool mellotron blast to open the album. Of interest to local DFW readers - one track is recorded live at Six Flags over Texas in Arlington.

# S.T. Mikael - Claustromania (Sweden) 1991 Xotic Mind.
S.T. Mikael - Psychocosmic Songs (Sweden) 1994 Xotic Mind.
S.T. Mikael - Soul Flower (Sweden) 1996 Xotic Mind. A pioneer of the DIY psychedelic movement along with Bevis Frond, S.T. Mikael's first two albums "Visions of a Trespasser (1989) and "The Unknown" (1991) were released in impossibly scarce 100-200 editions on LP. Fortunately both of these were reissued in the US by Gallium Arsenide in 1997 as a double CD called "Visions of the Unknown" with extra bonus tracks. I did pick up "Soul Flower" on LP not long after it was released, but unfortunately don't remember much about it, except it was far more developed than the two primitive, but still interesting, early albums. The 3 albums listed have never been issued on CD. In 2007, he returned with a new album called "Mind of Fire", that is available on CD for the first run.

Sab - Crystallization (Japan) 1978 Vanity. On the super rare Vanity label (Dada, Aunt Sally, etc...). Sab is primarily a tranquil electronic album, with solo segments for sitar and piano. I have to imagine that both Klaus Schulze and Popol Vuh were a huge influence here - and both were highly popular in Japan at this time.

# Sadja - s/t (Germany) 1974 cassette only release. Featuring Roman Bunka and Christian Burchard along with Ken Wells and his wife, this is an all instrumental acoustic jam session, primarily featuring Indian stringed instruments and percussion. This would be a style Embryo would later pursue in full force on "Embryo's Reise" (1979), and albums beyond. Mostly out of the scope of this list, but will leave here due to the Embryo connection.

* Saga - To Whom It Concerns (Netherlands) 1978 UAP. The Godfather of the Dutch neo progressive movement. Long before IQ and Marillion were reinventing the Genesis model for the 1980s, and even before the German school (Ivory, Neuschwanstein), Saga took on the task of replicating the "Foxtrot" sound (maybe they knew the Austrian group Kyrie Eleison?). Countless bands on the former SI label and continuing today on InsideOut, Musea and Cyclops can point to Saga as a band who pioneered this trail for our friends in The Netherlands. Lots of mellotron here, which unfortunately is something that the neo's were keen to get away from. It's not a bad example of the genre, not as inspired as the German school like Sirius' "Running to Paradise" or Ivory's "Sad Cypress", but better than most of the Dutch Genesis imitators I can think of. UAP also had Kracq amongst its ranks, and they've self-released their one fine album, so perhaps Saga will do the same?

** Saga - s/t (Sweden) 1974 Harvest. Post November guitar based hard rock. Great fuzzed blues guitar played over jazz, hard rock, folk and progressive styled tunes. Similar in sound to many 70s Swedish groups, though this is a bit more expressive in places. Mellotronen has announced its intention to reissue this.

Sailor - s/t (USA) 1974 private. Sometimes known as Sailor Band, though we could find no evidence of that on the LP itself. From Minnesota and surprisingly sophisticated for such a private release. Most albums from 1974 have a strong hard rock element, and there's little of that here with this jazz and classical inspired album. Plenty of jazz guitar and piano as well as amped up electric guitar and Hammond organ. Almost all instrumental except the final track. A nice surprise.

** Saino - s/t (France) 1982 private. Far superior to most instrumental fusion albums coming from Europe during this time, Saino provides much more firepower than expected, plus the melodic content is very high - keeping this from a cold technical academic exercise. Five piece group that employs both a lead and rhythm guitar, which seems to be the magic formula that propels Saino's music forward. I've had this LP for well over 15 years, and it never fails to satisfy. Apparently they have a second album, though it isn't touted as high.

# St-Erhart – Paprika (France) 1981.

* St. Helena - Hello Friend (Norway) 1974 / 1992 Colours. St. Helena play a very complex progressive sound akin to the UK scene at the time. Matches closest with the band Gracious! on their debut. I also hear parallels to another classic Norway band, Junipher Greene, especially from their "Friendship" album. Unfortunately the album is under 25 minutes, but it's time well spent. Only an archive LP exists, from the late great Colours label. Would be nice to pair this with the archival Hades album, that is also under 25 minutes.

* Saisei-Koubou - s/t (Japan) 1987 private. As also found in my reviews, I spoke of a Japanese group from 1987 (Nishin) who released an album heavily influenced by early 80's Belew era King Crimson. Here's another obscurity from 1987 Japan, also influenced by Crimson. This time we go back to the 1974 Starless and Bible Black era. A heavy psych guitar, woody bass, metallic percussion sound pervades, with some ominous male vocals (in Japanese) and tuneless keyboard sounds overlaid on top. It's a bit under produced and amateurish, but their hearts are in the right place, and frankly no one was doing music like this in the late 1980s. Probably the closest comparison here is the Michigan band Inserts from their first album (which was distributed in Japan, so I have to wonder if this band may have stumbled on the album.

** Sakre - Bizitako Gauzak (Spain) 1979 Elkar. It can be argued, like with most Basque albums, that Sakre isn't progressive rock at all. It's not terribly complex, or lyrically based in some high minded concept (well, I'm guessing on that last point - I'm hardly fluent in the Basque language). But no matter, as the music is clearly from the Basque underground, and Sakre has a sound of their own. The guitar work here is splendid, highly melodic with a cool acid tone. The rhythm section keeps everything hopping along, and there's a handful of meter changes. Though not as overtly psychedelic as fellow Basques' Lisker, there are some parallels with Sakre in the guitar work. A great album as far as I'm concerned - and one that is easy to listen to.

Saluki - s/t (Norway) 1977 Compendium. Funky deep groove album from Norway with the requisite beats and loads of clavinet. Definitely a style the Americans were better at mastering, and this comes across as a somewhat cheap imitation. Given the label pedigree, I'm guessing these were accomplished jazz musicians branching out into more commercial territory. Features a wonderful topless genie-out-of-a-bottle cover.

xx San Michael's - s/t (Sweden) 1971 California. San Michael's is a typical early 70s song-based organ rock band with Swedish vocals, with an occasional creative instrumental to keep it interesting. Most notable for featuring Hans Lundin (Kaipa) on organ, though this isn't anywhere near the progressive rock sound of his next venture. There are rumors a reissue may be coming soon. Mellotronen, Transubstans or Musea would be my 3 guesses as to who will do it. **Transubstans is the winner - slated for November 2009, along with a second archival release. Also reissued by Belle Antique September 2009**

Sanctuary - s/t (USA) 1971 Veritas. Kansas based progressive rock group, with remnants of psych, somewhat typical of the US rock scene of 1971. They take the unusual course of covering Yes'"Time and a Word", plus an Edgar Winter Group composition stretched to 20 minutes. Some folky bits and lots of mellotron for fans of the style. One gets the impression they're a Polyphony type group (though Polyphony's album is far better than Sanctuary), where the best material still sits in a vault somewhere, just dying for an ambitious US reissue label to release them.

Sangi - s/t (Italy) 1978 Sun Records. The Sangi album is a very pleasant fusion album, with a noticeable late 70s cruise ship / tropical feel. Exquisitely played and produced. As the AC says "I think part of the appeal of this one is the excellent sound quality, especially for such an obscure small label release. I doubt anyone could make an album that has quite this kind of production nowadays." And it's true. For such a small label private production, the rich full sound here is amazing. He goes on to mention "You might hear this and think "just another funky fusion album", but to me it just sounds SO good. Anyway, musically it's nothing original as I said, but I just think the execution and presentation are perfect, which really makes it for me." Haha - he knows me too well! I'm sure I'm way too dismissive of these kind of albums, especially to the fans of the style, but I don't mean to be. So forgive me on that front. I admit to loving rougher sounding music, but I really do enjoy hearing these, even if it's not my main focus. Finally, the AC notes "The other interesting thing is that there's a cameo appearance by Lucio Fabbri of PFM."

# Mike Santiago & Entity – White Trees (USA) 1977 Chiaroscuro Records. Well done jazz / jazz fusion. More the former, but occasional forays into "dirtier" sounds like fuzz guitars and amplified Rhodes, gives off more than a whiff to classic Nucleus and Soft Machine. It's more a result of the era it was released, rather than a pure attempt at rock music. If only more jazz albums were so open minded and interesting. I would say the album is out of scope for our list, but fans that are looking for more adventurous jazz pieces, will certainly want to seek out.

* Sapphire Thinkers – From Within (USA) 1969 Hobbit. At its core, Sapphire Thinkers are a psych pop band. At times complex, while at other times a naïve simplicity is brought forth. All the tracks save the close are between the 2 and 4 minute mark. Reference groups are Strawberry Alarm Clock, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Free Design and Phluph. Good, but not exceptional, despite flashes of brilliance including some good fuzz guitar work. A bootleg exists.

* Sapo - s/t (USA) 1974 Bell. Smokin' Latin rock with guitar, organ and horns. Not top tier like Santana, Chango or Dakila, but certainly at the next level like early Malo and Macondo.

# Satchitananda – A Thought Away (USA) 1978 Aferton. Illinois based group lead by David Hoffman. A mixture of slick Steely Dan moves along with a proto New Age stance. Nice flute, and some good melodies. Unusual album, and certainly ahead of its time. Definitely worth a couple of listens.

*** Satin Whale - Desert Places (Germany) 1974 Brain. Now that Kollektiv is out on Long Hair, that leaves Satin Whale's debut as the last GREAT Brain album not yet reissued legit on CD (there's a boot from the 90s). The band's other (and lesser) catalog is out, but this heavy organ / guitar interplay albums remains elusive. Maybe Long Hair will do this one as well? Or SPV?

# Robert Savage - The Adventures of Robert Savage Volume 1 (USA) 1971 Paramount. Guitar fronted trio playing a type of psychedelic soul rock. Savage's guitar work is way out front, with plenty of wah and fuzz. Hendrix is an obvious influence here. Probably a bit too song oriented for most fans of adventurous progressive rock, but when the group stretches out, the results are powerful and pleasing. A decent period piece. File next to Velvert Turner and Purple Image. A bootleg exists.

xxx Scapa Flow - Uuteen Aikaan (Finland) 1980 Kompass. *** reissued by Rocket Records May, 2010 ***

* Schäggi Bädsch - Plankton (Germany) 1983 Schneeball. A perfect fit for the Schneeball label, as elements of label founders Embryo and Missus Beastly both can be found. There's a trace of the ethnicity that the former brings, with a certain jazz rock abandon of the latter. Perhaps ties closest to Embryo's "Zack Gluck" or maybe even the post Out of Focus group Kontrast. Funny enough, I even caught a glimpse of those wacky Italian progressive rockers Delirium, circa their brilliant second album. Unfortunately they dedicated their longest song to an aimless improvisation, calling out Henry Cow at their worst. Pull that track back some, and add some bonus tracks, and you have a monster CD.

Schakta - Tales (Switzerland) 1980 G+F Records. Not as fully developed as most of the private press albums from Switzerland during this time (Eloiteron, Nautilus, Sicher). Thin sounding and amateurish, with poorly executed vocals. It's a sincere attempt with a few good ideas, but this is strictly hardcore fan material, and not likely to garner much interest from those who haven't heard it. Reminds me of some of the embryonic Japanese sympho groups from the early 80s (Picareque of Bremen, Orpheus, Jankees). Love the period cover, a great example of cheesy amateurism that works.

Schalk Rock - s/t (Germany) 1981 private. Described once in a rare catalog (I won't name names to protect the guilty) as "Early Guru Guru with sax", it comes as no surprise that the entry was mostly hype. Schalk Rock is primarily a straight ahead rock group that employs both guitar, sax and harmonica. Some of the guitar leads feature some cool wah-wah and are definitely the highlights of the album, few as they are. Otherwise, a fairly ordinary German language rock release.

# Rene George Schenderling - Messengers of Autumn (Netherlands) 1981. Interesting symphonic folk rock album, including the use of drum machines. Better than it sounds.

xxx ** Gunter Schickert - Samtvogel (Germany) 1974 private (1975 Brain). Gunther Schickert's debut is a recognized stellar piece of guitar fronted electronic music. Schickert plays a sound on sound style similar to Achim Reichel's classic albums, as well as Manuel Gottsching's "Inventions for Electric Guitar" (as Ash Ra Tempel). There was talk at some point of Audion's Ultima Thule label reissuing this, given their already long term relationship with Schickert, including prior releases of CD-R's, tapes and one pressed CD of a GAM album. Speaking of these CD-R's and cassettes, they have also not been reissued on CD properly, though given the rougher quality of the source, maybe that's for the best. In any case, Schickert's classic "Samtvogel" remains un-reissued, and is amongst the last of the excellent Brain albums not reissued legitimately (even though it was originally released as a private press). *** Reissued by Important Records April 2013 xxx

xxx * Gunter Schickert - Kinder in der Wildnis (Germany) 1981 MC. *** Reissued by Bureau B November 2013 xxx

Schtung - s/t (New Zealand) 1977 Polydor. For the first three tracks, these New Zealanders make other goofball acts like Dr. Dopo Jam and even Storm (Sweden) sound like Univers Zero by comparison. But everything changes on `Au Revoir', a stunning moody instrumental that provides amazing contrast to what has taken place before. The band doesn't look back again, though they never get close to this brilliant piece. All of Side 2 is a pleasant, almost Canterburyish, piece of light jazz prog.

Schwarzarbeit - s/t (Germany) 1979 private.
Schwarzarbeit - Traum oder Wirklichkeit (Germany) 1982 private. Good ole Schwarzarbeit. I bought the second album well over 20 years ago, and was surprised to find out that it's still without a CD issue. And that's because of Musea's issue of their 3rd album "James Gordon's Story", which I also bought at the time of release (1994/1995). So now I've finally heard the debut, and I can say that Schwarzarbeit are remarkably consistent. The key word with Schwarzarbeit is "almost". They're almost very good. The debut starts off with a pretty awful vocal number only to be followed by 8 well done rock instrumentals. The second album is similar as is their final album (only released on CD). Schwarzarbeit are the kind of group that is nice to have in the collection, but not one you'll pull out with any kind of regularity. There's always something better to listen to. But it could be worse. It's almost great. Both do, however, feature excellent album covers.

# Patrice Sciortino avec Le Quatuor de Percussion de Paris - Espaces (France) 1978 Arc en Ciel. My primary interest in hearing this album is that it is the first album in the Espaces series. "Espaces 2" by Yves and Alain Lorentz is a wonderful French styled instrumental psychedelic rock album. Sciortino's album is made with only percussion instruments, and was intended to be used as incidental music in films and TV. It's highly inventive, though difficult to listen to as a whole album, which was not its purpose. Special thanks goes to Strawbs Fan for giving me the opportunity to hear this very rare album. Sciortino has many other works, that I presume to also be in the music library genre.

** Scope - s/t (Netherlands) 1974 Atlantic.
** Scope - II (Netherlands) 1975 Atlantic. Exactly the type of instrumental progressive rock I like. Has a slight jazz edge, and rocks hard with plenty of great guitar, Rhodes and flute solos. Like a cross between Finch, Secret Oyster's "Sea Son", Bill Connors era RTF, and the Swedish band Energy. Both albums are smokers!

# Scorpion - s/t (USA) 1969 Tower. Hard rock / soul album by obscure group from Detroit. Vocal heavy, and quite frankly an exceedingly boring album overall. Little to grab onto besides some nice fuzz bass here and there. This one is for specialty collectors only.

xxx ** The Search Party - Montgomery Chapel. 1969 Century. I've heard about The Search Party ever since the 1980s when I first started receiving progressive and psych rarities catalogs. Even then, this album was off the charts rare and expensive. I never did bother to seek it out, figuring it was another over-hyped Christian psych album (you won't see me use the term over-hype very much, but with Christian psych, it truly does apply). So finally last week I heard the album. Oh wow, this really is good. No wonder everyone made a fuss years ago. My kind of atmospheric , doomy psych with Voxx organ, acoustic guitars, haunting male/female vocals and occasional fuzz guitar outbursts. About the only comparison I could think of is the brilliant Music Emporium album, on their more cosmic tripped out tracks. Excellent then, I said to myself, now I need to buy the CD. What? There isn't one? Oh sure, I saw the usual suspects in the pirate world. But nothing that was confirmed legit. Now, there is a legit LP on the Void label, but no one it appears followed his lead for a CD. That's crazy! Where is Sundazed when I need them? As an aside, the Century label is not some boiler room operation, but rather a mainstream Christian music label from Los Angeles. Obviously, I should have been on top of this one years ago. The Search Party therefore is making its long awaited debut today. *** Reissued by Lion January 2013 xxx

# Eddie Sears Conspiracy – Year of the Dragon (USA) 1976 private. Absolutely has to go down as one of the worst albums I’ve ever heard. I would think only the most arcane of avant garde obscurists would find some value in this piece of mindless noise. It really doesn’t look like it was meant for release in any case. The front cover is uneven and unfinished. The music is poorly recorded, as if someone brought in a Radio Shack cassette recorder. The music is just pure improve in the spirit of a bunch of 5th graders playing with their parent’s instruments. This somehow has become a collectible piece and is outrageously compared to Soft Machine’s "Three". Soft Machine members would jump off the London Tower if they heard that.

* The Second Coming - s/t (USA) 1970 Mercury. Second Coming are an old school horn rock band originally on Mercury Records (also the label behind the even better horn rock band Aura). I’m probably one of the world’s biggest horn rock fans, but it’s rare to find albums in this style with any kind of consistency. And Second Coming are no exception. They’ll mix a brilliant 7 piece instrumental with simplistic blues and pop music. Their arrangements were a little tighter than most, and they actually allowed their guitar player to go in frenzied Terry Kath mode, which is what kept the early Chicago albums interesting (and kept them rooted in the underground). Second Coming take this inconsistency even a bit further, and have brilliant moments within each track - along with the ordinary. For example, the staccato trumpet and drum corps bit on 'Requiem for a Rainy Day' is about as good as it gets. 'Landlubber' and the 11 minute progressive oriented 'Jeremiah Crane' also have much to recommend with some fiery guitar solos, and wonderful brass charts. But the boozy woozy numbers 'Take Me Home' and 'Roundhouse' are wretched in comparison, though the latter features a fine bluesy guitar solo at least. Tracks like "Requiem.." and 'It's Over' most certainly had major hit potential, but it wasn't meant to be I guess. A very talented band, that time has forgotten. Worth seeking out for fans of the style.

* Seedog - We Hope to See You (Germany) 1974 Delta Acustic. On a label most known for two highly regarded avant Krautrock albums - Code III and Sand - Seedog couldn't be more different. This album has a poor reputation, most likely a reaction to the fact its not anywhere near the same style of the two aforementioned bands. It's not Krautrock in the traditional style, yet many of the elements are present: Soaring flute, long tracks and loud guitar solos. It would be passable as an album on Brain, perhaps a companion piece to albums by Cornucopia, Lava and Satin Whale. "We Hope to See You" is song oriented, with way too many vocals in accented English. But its surprisingly listenable with a chugging acoustic guitar driving the generally happy tone of the album. Had Agitation Free added a multitude of vocals after their "Second" album, then I could imagine Seedog coming from that. And, as it turns out, a former Agitation Free member indeed is a member of Seedog. Much better than I expected.

xxx Mike Selesia – Flavor (USA) 1976 Flavor. Fresno, CA based jazz musician presented this fascinating hybrid of early 60s Coltrane, early 70s Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix. Albums starts with the former and gradually moves to the latter. By the end we have an almost Kosmische Krautrock type sound, something that would have been comfortable on the Ohr and Brain labels. Wild fuzz guitar, fluttering flute, haunting voices and reckless experimentation. As if the drugs kicked in about half way. Excellent album. *** Reissued by Shout! (Japan) 2012 xxx

xxx Sensations Fix - s/t (Italy) 1974 Polydor.
xxx Sensations Fix - Portable Madness. 1975 Polydor. (Now available as part of a 6 CD box set)
xxx (Sensations Fix) Franco Falsini - Cold Nose (Italy) 1975 Polydor.
xxx Sensations Fix - Finest Finger (Italy) 1976 Polydor. (Now available as part of a 6 CD box set)
xxx Sensations Fix - Boxes Paradise (Italy) 1977 Polydor. How can it be that while most of the Italian progressive scene has been reissued, that most of the Sensations Fix catalog has been ignored? Legal reasons I'm sure. One of the best space rock bands ever and "Portable Madness" is their peak. Along with Achim Reichel, Franco Falsini and troupe are probably the band that is the most requested for a reissue. Mellow was successful in getting out their "Fragments of Light" album, before Phonogram put the kabash on licensing. Until very recently, I didn't even know that Sensations Fix had a self-titled debut album. Apparently it was only a promo and not sold through stores (even though it does sport a unique cover). It's a little more underproduced than the others, but unmistakably has the Sensations Fix space rock sound. Much of the material represents earlier versions of songs that would show up later on "Fragments of Light". I feel there's a distinct downward turn on "Boxes Paradise" and that's as far as I'll go for a reissue. One of my favorite bands from the 1970s. The self titled debut and Falsini is all that remains unissued. Unfortunately most are only part of a box set *** All have been reissued in various box sets from 2009 and 2010 xxx

# Sensory System - s/t (Denmark) 1974 HØrekiks. Released in Germany on Nova as the group System. Like many Danish rockers, Sensory System has their basis in rural rock, and are not that dissimilar from Day of Phoenix, Culpepers Orchard and Midnight Sun. It's a bit more straightforward than these groups, but does feature some fine guitar work. Also reminds me of the debut by Rush, oddly enough. I understand their second album is more straight forward rock n roll.

xxx *** Sepi Kuu - Rannan Usvassa (Finland) 1980 Help. An amazing find... intense droning Finnish vocals and searing fuzz guitars with hand percussion. Sounds like the more serious tracks on the Walter Wegmuller "Tarot" album. *** Reissued by Rocket Records April, 2015 xxx

# Serenade - s/t (Netherlands) 1972 Negram. Primarily a horn pop album with bad accented English vocals. But there are a few legitimate great progressive rock moments to behold include a Canterbury styled sequence with fuzz bass and organ, and a couple of complex brass rock charts similar to early Chicago. Worth a spin.

# Serene - s/t (Germany) 1979 Lava. Straight forward German rock with female vocals, not atypical of the era. Some nice organ work and a wide open, spacious sound define this obscurity. Late 70s Novalis is an obvious influence. I also hear a little bit of the lesser progressive efforts by Eloy. Neat album cover.

xxx Session - Unikuva (Finland) 1974 EMI/Odeon. A strong progressive rock album with loud guitar solos, organ, electric piano, horns and most significant, a fiercely driving bass. In fact the bass playing reminds me quite a bit of Trettioariga Kriget's first album. The occasional happy chorus lines call to mind Haikara circa "Geafar" mixed with a quaint late 60s psychedelic style. Lots of cool vocals in Finnish. And there's more than a nod to Wigwam from their "Fairyport" days. For a major label effort, this has to be considered one of the most obscure. I spent time with some big time Finnish collectors about 15 years ago and pretty much heard every progressive album from the country (I can say that with some authority now that so much time has passed). The Scapa Flow and Sepi Kuu above are but two examples of that experience. Except no one mentioned this title and I have to wonder if they even knew of it then (I'm sure they do now!). Would make a great CD, so more than 10 of us can say we heard this record. *** Reissued by Rocket Records Aug, 2010 xxx

* Seventh Seal - s/t (Japan) 1997 Acme (released in England). So it pretty much starts here for Makoto Kawabata, mastermind behind the Acid Mothers Temple franchise (though technically Kawabata was in Toho Sara and Musica Transonic prior to this). To be honest, I wish I was a big fan of his work, as he is involved with scores of albums - all in a style that I happen to love. Except he has no sense of restraint. Everything goes through the wringer so that there isn't one drop left. Guitar feedback overload for 40 minutes makes one nauseous after while. It's like those bad SNL skits, where the first 30 seconds are funny and the next 5 minutes are painful. Good thing Kawabata didn't jam with Terry Brooks in the mid 70s. Ay-chee-wah-wah. Of course, it would be a false statement for me to say I've heard all of his albums. Only a small fraction, and there are a couple of albums by AMT that are well worth the effort. And as a guest musician, his hit rate is even better (most recently with the French group Aquaserge). All of this to say that his start here with Seventh Seal was most promising. His chance encounter with Gary Ramon (Sun Dial, Quad, owner of Acme Records) must have proven to be highly enlightening for Kawabata (in both sound and label activity). The side long opener in fact sounds somewhat like Quad, with wordless female vocals, which also recalls the group Floating Flower (one of Kawabata's early era bands). Side two features a fetching psychedelic ethnic Japanese track before launching into the closer, our first indication that Kawabata didn't have much use for an editor. Still, an overall delightful psychedelic effort. This should be one of the Holy Grail pieces for AMT fans (I'm sure there are many). Within the next month, I also plan on featuring the Prescription Drug album by the Holy Angels, who most assuredly is another effort from Kawabata (and likely Seventh Seal).

xxx Shaa Khan - The World Will End on Friday (Germany) 1978 Sky. Before Sky became an almost exclusive electronic label, they experimented some with symphonic progressive rock. Shaa Khan, Octopus and Ramses are three of their most known bands in this area. Shaa Khan is yet ANOTHER laid back German prog rock band. Bands like Novalis and Grobschnitt were huge influences in their day and Shaa Khan draws directly from this well. Of course, Pink Floyd must be mentioned as well. The English vocals are awkward, a feeble attempt at performing a Peter Gabriel style. Nice guitar leads and 5 long compositions, so I'm sure a reissue would sell pretty well actually. They have a second album that I'm told is much more commercial. File along with Faithful Breath, Indigo, Pancake, Fly, etc... They have another, more pop oriented album, as well. *** Reissued by Sireena, August 2009 xxx

# Shaftsbury – The Lull Before the Storm (England) 1979 OK Records. Released at the tail end of the progressive rock movement, but prior to both the neo-prog and New Wave of British Heavy Metal eras. A no-man's-land style album, with primarily straight ahead rock songs with a slightly raw and hard edge. One 12 minute+ track (title song) with more involved songwriting and instrumentation (including keyboards) points to a band with a more ambitious past trying for recent commercial success, but all too late on both fronts.

** Shampoo - Volume 1 (Belgium) 1971 Motors. In my personal favorite style of jazzy psych prog. In the same genre as "Hot Rats" era Zappa, Moving Gelatine Plates, Xhol Caravan and Placebo. Plenty of sophisticated ensemble work, with energetic solos (love the electric sax work) and psychedelic dreamy vocals. Not all works (opening psych track, overlong drum solo on Side 2), but still worthy of attention. Very much a product of a much missed period in music history. Beautiful, but simple, day-glo pink gatefold cover. Would make for a nice Japanese mini-LP. Bootlegs exist.

Nariyuki Shimamoto - Prelude To... (Japan) 198? Private. And while I haven't heard these Osiris cassettes, I did once own the LP (documented elsewhere here), and take away the wild fuzz guitar, and that's exactly what you get here. It's primarily an early 80s styled electronic musik album with polyphonic synthesizers, and completely lacking in heavy analog tones. Picking up a later Earthstar sound here, given the cool vocal effects. This latter element propelling the album to its greatest heights.

# Shivananda - Cross Now (Switzerland) 1977 Gnome.
Shivananda - Headlines (Switzerland) 1979 Gnome. Standard issue fusion, with sax and guitar leads. If you like mid 70's European jazz rock, then you're certain to enjoy "Cross Now". I haven't heard "Headlines" but gathering it's a similar record.

Shotgun LTD. - s/t (USA) 1971 Prophesy. Shotgun LTD is one of those albums I passed over dozens of times in my crate digging years of the 80s and 90s. That looks to have been a mistake. Even though it's not a masterpiece, it's a fine example of North American hard rock, with blues and even a slight rural underpinning. The three track sequence on the first side starting with 'Against the Wall' is simply fantastic, and there's more than a nod to the Hammond organ / electric guitar based proto-prog sound here. Hard to imagine anyone who enjoys the latter genre not being impressed with 'Number Two'. After this, the album's momentum begins to slow considerably, and by side 2 there are couple of stinkers to endure in 'River of Hope' and 'Feelin' Bad'. All in all though, a fine discovery after all these years. Would make for a nice reissue, perhaps with some relevant bonus tracks to kick it up a notch.

xxx Shub Niggurath - s/t (France) 1985 private. Cassette only release. When Shub Niggurath released "Les Morts Vont Vite" in 1986 (on Musea), hardcore Zeuhl fans everywhere were frothing at the mouth, dirtying their dogeared copies of Lovecraft, while frantically chanting "Kobaia" and envisioning a world of Magma and Univers Zero dominance. Personally, while I found the album quite good (and still do), I did feel it lacked a bit in the melody, groove and soul departments. It was all manic depressive, all the time. And they were quite the noisy bunch if truth be told. Well before that, unbeknownst to but a few of some Secret Order of the Golden Fleece, there was a privately released cassette. And if you loved "Les Morts Vont Vite", then a CD reissue of this puppy will put you in Hog Hell. Not much variation of their classic sound, doom/gloom and still a bit noisy... but, yea, that would make you happy wouldn't it? *** Reissued by Soleil Zeuhl, April 2009 xxx

* Sicher - s/t (Switzerland) 1981 private. There was a major boom in private progressive albums from Switzerland in the late 70s and early 80s. Not sure why that's the case, but here's another one worth your consideration. Featuring two flute players, and possessing a strong af finity for classical music, Sicher put out a better than average progressive album when compared to many of their peers. Some semblance to Eloiteron. Well worth seeking out for a listen or two.

* Sideline - Sidesteps (Germany) 1979 private. The music is a bit edgier, more melodic, and sounds like it was recorded a few years earlier when jazz musicians were still exploring the exciting possibilities of rock. Violin, as would be expected from a leader, is the dominant instrument (though the music is all composed by guitarist Hugo Vogel). Sometime electric violin can be too flashy (Jean-Luc Ponty) or too hoedown like the Appalachian Americana influenced bands. Here the sound, style, and playing by Koehler is just perfect. If I had a preference though, I would have preferred the guitarist to go beyond the jazz tone here. If only he'd let 'er rip psychedelic style (as the violin will on occasion), then this album would've jumped two points.

# Tony Sidney - Play it by Ear! (Italy) 1978 RCA. Italian / American guitarist Sidney, most known for being a founding and long time member of Perigeo, as well as a session man for many a famous solo artist, struck out on his own with "Play It By Ear". A jazz rock similar to Perigeo, though most (not all) of the guitar is acoustic. Wordless voice a nice touch. Pleasant music for that Italian villa holiday along the coast.

# Siebenstern's Abfahrt - s/t (Germany) 1978 private. I had this album a few years ago, and I thought I took some notes, but can't find them. Pretty average rock album, with a few progressive moves (6 of the 7 tracks are over 5 minutes long) and a couple of decent melodies. I saw comparisons to Tortilla Flat, but that's utterly ridiculous. I remember liking the album somewhat, but it didn't justify the high price, so I sold it pretty quickly. I'm sure a reissue would appeal to Krautrock completists.

xxx Silberbart - 4 Times Sound Razing (Germany) 1971 Philips. 4 long freaked out blues psych tracks similar to early Guru Guru. Not many folks talk this one up, but it's a real winner, and blows away albums like Hairy Chapter, Haze, Light of Darkness, Dies Irae, etc.... Bootlegs exist. *** Reissued by Long Hair December 2012 xxx

** Lourival Silvestre - Fiction Musicale (France) 1976 Disjuncta. A really nice hidden gem on Pinhas' Disjuncta label. And quite a bit different from anything on that label - or any label in fact. Silvestre plays guitar (primarily acoustic but some electric) and, on rare occasion, synthesizer. He also sings in a wordless format. Additional members provide flute and hand percussion. The overall result is haunting yet peaceful. A real underground vibe permeates. It fits the electronic genre, even though it's primarily all acoustic - in that way resembling Popol Vuh. A very fine album, that hopefully has more studio quality tracks sitting in the vault, as it's pretty short in length.

* Sincerely P.T. - s/t (Germany) 1973 Speigelei. What an interesting album. Starts out in typical Euro jazz territory with some soft Rhodes and horns but gets freakier and freakier as it goes. Plenty of wiggy fuzz keys and exotic stringed instruments. The P.T. stands for Peter Trunk (who plays bass) and he surrounds himself with an all-star cast of underground Kraut jazzers including Sigi Schwab on guitar (Vampyros Lesbos, Embryo), Jasper Van't Hof (Pork Pie) on keys and Curt Cress on drums amongst many others. I'd say Schwab has the most influence here musically speaking. Finds the middle ground between horn rock, Krautrock and Euro fusion. Good one, the type of album that one would normally find on MPS.

# Sinto - Right on Brother (Germany) 1972 Philips. Interesting multi-national rock-funk group released in the heyday of the Krautrock scene. Pretty straightforward in the composition department, with a few progressive ideas to keep things somewhat hopping. The only instrument that stands out is the heavy use of violin (from Hannes Beckmann, who it appears would be the leader), which is unusual in this setting, and creates a nice contrast to the usual pseudo-hippyisms that abound. The group went on to release 3 more albums, that presumably are more commercial Latin styled efforts, if covers and song titles are any indication.

** Sirius - Running to Paradise (Germany) 1982 Brutkasten.
Sirius - The Three Bushes (Germany) 1984 private. Sirius' debut is one of the better Genesis inspired albums out there and compares favorably to other German bands like Ivory or Neuschwanstein. I've been higher on this album in the past, but my 2008 ears are hearing too many Genesis knockoffs to get too carried away with the contents. Still, as far as these kind of albums go, Sirius is better than most of their contemporaries, and are nowhere near as laughable as a band like Deyss or most of the SI stable, for example. In fact, had they been part of the UK new wave of progressive rock, then I could imagine them having the same kind of success as IQ, who they resemble perhaps the most. "The Three Bushes" has a more modern sound, with a more determined pop approach, though still no mistaking their early 1970s Genesis minded heritage. I would imagine that Marillion was also an influence at this stage.

# Sithonia - Lungo Il Sentiero Di Pietra (Italy) 1989 private. An excellent Italian progressive rock band, one of the first to bring about the revival, and whose best work (by far) came from the CD age starting in 1992. This debut was LP only and remains that way. It's pretty mediocre overall so perhaps for the better.

Sixty Nine - Circle of the Crayfish (Germany) 1973 Philips.
Sixty Nine - Live (Germany) 1974 Philips. Sixty Nine were a rock based instrumental organ drums duo following in the footsteps of Hansson and Karlsson. Given the limitations of such a small setup, it takes quite a bit of imagination and sound variation to keep things interesting. On "Circle of the Crayfish", they do manage to get some outlandish sounds out of the organ, and combined with the riproaring tempos, the group do keep things hopping for the most part. There's even an introspective electronic piece. Even with all of the innovations applied, the album still sounds too monolithic for its own good. As expected, the live album loses some of the studio effects, and is even more one dimensional than the debut. Sixty Nine are to be commended for their mighty efforts, and both of these do deserve a CD reissue. But it's for a niche within a niche audience.

# Skogie – There’s a String Attached To Everything We Do (USA) 1974 General. Minneapolis based group who put out only one album. Overall a spotty affair, with Zappa complex and humor bits, rock, funk, etc.. Some great guitar and Moog leads. Worth a listen anyway.

Sky High - s/t (Canada) 1979 Eagle Creek. Here's an album that has been getting some buzz lately within the collector community, and the ebay prices have soared because of it. Word on the street told me to avoid, and it proved to be a warning to heed. Of course, the first two tracks are pure late 70's mirror ball disco numbers, certainly not the sounds one wants to hear when shelling out hundreds of $. After track 2, I found the music to be relatively pleasant, not too far removed from the French band Cortex. Though by no means does it exude the exoticism of their first couple of records. The AC says: "The first side is absolute dreck, a nauseous brew of cheese-tacular disco, whiter-than-white funk rock and trite AOR/pop tracks that will have you clawing your ears out. There's one sort of proggy AOR piece towards the end that's okay, but the rest is just unspeakably bad. Then we hit side two, and it's almost like an entirely different album. A frenetic instrumental fusion track leads things off, complete with some scorching lead guitar. Unfortunately, there's one more bit of pain to endure, in the form of a hilariously bad lounge-funk number, but after that they finally turn the corner for good. The remainder consists of a couple tracks of pleasant spacey fusion with female vocals, followed by another excellent instrumental jazz-rock workout. So, we end up with about an even split in the good-to-crap ratio here. The group were from Regina, Saskatchewan (where the albums was also recorded), but the label was based out of Vancouver."

Skyeros - s/t (USA) 1975 private. Skyeros reminds me a lot of another band we featured a few days ago - Luna Sea. Both are from the Midwest, and pretty much play in a straightforward rock style with a rural tinge. But whereas Luna Sea dedicated all of Side 2 to their more progressive ambitions, Skyeros waited until the final lengthy track, and even at that, it's marginally progressive. A few changes here and there, but it's pretty conservative. Some nice organ and guitar work can be found on this track. Doesn't really fit the "Midwest progressive" sound that we feature quite a bit here. This one is more rock / AOR oriented.

** Skywhale - The World at Mind's End (England) 1977 private. Skywhale is one of the rare non-Canterbury UK fusion albums that sound more in line with what was happening over the Channel in places like France, Denmark and Germany. For those that likes chops and melody, with plenty of good time signatures to keep it all interesting. It knows to stop at the point where the solos begin to drag. A must pickup for anyone who likes bands such as Carpe Diem, Secret Oyster, or Munju. A legit CD-R exists, but no factory pressed CD to date.

# Sleipnir – Vikings (France) 1986 private. Folk rock from Normandy.

xxx Sloche - J'Un Oeil (Canada) 1975 RCA.
xxx Sloche - Stadacone (Canada) 1976 RCA. *** Reissued by ProgQuebec, September 2009 xxx

* Smoke - Everything. 1973 MPS. Released only in Germany. "Everything" is a varied, but super cool atmospheric jazz rock album. Freaky in the MPS tradition, though group is California based (rather than German as is often thought). The bass clarinet piece recalls Lard Free on I'm Around Midnight. Speaking of which, lots of great midnight lounge organ sounds. No other album like this one. A kozmigroov classic.

* Snakes Alive - s/t (Australia) 1974 EMI. In the early 70s, the music world was teeming with jazz fusion bands. The major two schools were a) The technically proficient, as defined by the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever and Weather Report. And b) The Miles Davis long track deep groove, with many followers in Germany (in particular the MPS label), Poland, Italy, USA and beyond. These were jazzers who were fascinated with rock's rhythms and power. But finding rockers who were fascinated by jazz was a much more rare breed. Guess that's why they call it jazz fusion. Snakes Alive are a rock fusion band. Of course bands like Mahavishnu come to mind. Even early Zappa and Xhol Caravan. But, you know, Finch did too - for example. There are vocals, but they're sparse. Trumpet, sax, flute, organ, guitar are the solo instruments. And it rocks with a capital R. This is a good one, that's slipped way under the radar. Extremely obscure - I've never seen an original. Looks like it may have been a demo, without wide release. This would be a good one for Aztec to reissue.

Greg Sneddon - Mind Stroll (Australia) 1975 Mushroom. Well done symphonic progressive rock from multi-instrumentalist Sneddon. Nice keyboard work in particular. Reminds me of other Australian artists of the day like Mario Millo ("Epic III" and leader of Sebastian Hardie) and Chris Neal's "Winds of Isis". There's a certain commercial slant found here, which is not uncommon for progressive rock artists operating in Australasia. Wouldn't be surprised to see Aztec eventually reissue this album.

# Soderburg, Nono -Nono (Finland) 1976 Hi-Hat. Fine jazz rock effort with slight nods to the Canterbury movement. Probably a bit too slick in the fusion department for my tastes, but I would imagine fans of the genre will gobble this one up.

* Soffgruppen - Greatest Sits (aka Soffgruppen) (Sweden) 1975 Nacksving. Splendid emotional heavy jazz rock album with trumpet, electric piano, organ and fuzz guitar highlighting the accent instruments. Somewhere between Ibis (Sweden), Berits Halsband and the French school of 1970s underground rock.

** Solar Plexus - s/t (Sweden) 1972 Odeon.
Solar Plexus - Solar Plexus 2 (Sweden) 1973 Odeon.
Solar Plexus - Det Är Inte Båten Som Gungar - Det Är Havet Som Rör Sig (Sweden) 1974 EMI-Harvest.
Solar Plexus - Hellre Gycklare Än Hycklare (Sweden) 1975 EMI-Harvest. The self titled album is two LPs of groovy jazz psych. Organ, electric piano (with lots of effects applied), guitar, bass, active drumming. Primarily instrumental, though a few Swedish vocals that add a joyful disposition to the mix. Even some elements of Bacharachian pop lounge, and when combined with the Swedish vocals, makes for an interesting smorgasbord. Side 3 is a long suite for classical orchestra and jazz rock, and is definitely the weakest portion of the album. The idea is good, but it's poorly executed, with long stretches of noodling/down time. But the other 3 sides are exemplary, and thus a Tier 1 album that is in definite need of a CD reissue. I feel that "Solar Plexus 2" is a huge drop off in quality from the first. Sounds as if they wanted to be the Swedish equivalent of Blood Sweat and Tears, but without the horn section. Plenty of lounge, gospel and pop tinged tracks with only one interesting instrumental towards the end of the album. Disappointing considering the strength of the debut. "Det Är Inte Båten Som Gungar - Det Är Havet Som Rör Sig" sees Solar Plexus back on track, though still not at the level of the debut. But most of the overt commercial moves of the second album have been traded in for a more jazzy approach, which helps. I haven't heard the 4th album.

# Solaris - Misty Morning (Norway) 1977 private. Solaris play a mix of what is commonly known as "west coast" music and plain old country rock. An extremely rare album, but nothing worth seeking out to be honest. A few decent jangly guitar jams can be found if you look hard enough. Ole G Nilssen is one of the members, and his solo album "World of Dreams" is just as rare, but is definitely much better.

# Solenoid - Almost Tender (USA) 1977 Rufert. Minneapolis/St. Paul had a pretty healthy independent rock scene in the 1970s, and Solenoid was typical of the type of band that could obtain a private release, which was then handed out to friends and club patrons, and then disappear into the mists of time - only to be trotted out decades later by music archivists. Not a progressive rock album at all, so it falls out of the scope here, but if you're looking for a good example of the late 70's "kitchen sink" mentality that prevailed, then at least give this one a spin. Playing different genres was all the rage, so you'll get the usual mix of fusion, funk, disco, country rock, hard rock, etc... Fun little album. At least one member came from the notable hard blues rock band Cain.

# Solstice - Mirage (Canada) 1978 Cadence.
Solstice - Expresso (Canada) 1981 Cadence. Typical dime-a-dozen instrumental fusion with the all the ingredients expected. Hard to avoid albums like this in the late 70s. The gimmick here is the lead clarinet. I've only heard "Mirage" to date.

# Soncna Pot - s/t (Slovenia) 1979 RTL. Jazz rock album. Been many years since I last heard, but will leave hear as a placeholder.

xxx # Sonorhc - Purf (France) 1972 Disques du Cavalier.
xxx # Sonorhc – Outreland (France) 1982. I've seen the "Purf" album compared to Agitation Free, but it's far more unstructured than that might imply. Basically what we have here is some unhinged experimental avant psych. Closer to some of the loons on the Futura label like Mahogany Brain and Fille Qui Mousse than anything typically associated with the Krautrock tag. Much recommended, though, for those whose tastes run to the exotic and extreme. They have a second album from 1982 as well, which I haven't heard and is presumably a bit more toned down. *** Both reissued by Fractal April 2014 xxx

Soular System - Birth of Paradise (Canada) 1971 BASF. Not much is known about this mysterious electronic album. The only name associated with it is James Bolden, and the album was released in France, as apparently Bolden was residing in Paris at the time. The music sounds more 1978 than 1971, as the electronics have that late 1970s sound especially the electronic percussion (though the computer drums are primitive sounding, similar to Klaus Schulze's "Picture Music"). Some psychedelic guitar on Side 2 adds much needed variety to an otherwise mundane album. I was reminded of Didier Paquette or Alain Renaud's first album.

Sound Creation - Progressive Rock (Japan) 1971 Teichiku.
** Sound Creation - Rock Fantasia (Japan) 1972 Teichiku. Sound Creation's first album "Progressive Rock" is a pretty mundane set of cover tunes, though anything with Kimio Mizutani (the busiest man in Japan?) is bound to bring a wry smile to any self-proclaimed psychedelic fan. Their Rock Fantasia album, however, is well worth seeking out. Rock Fantasia, like "Progressive Rock", is still primarily a psyched out cover-the-hits-of-the-day type album. Though good luck in recognizing any of it. This is wonderfully damaged and bent. As The AC notes: "it seems like the guys were on a bit too much acid at this point... However, the jackpot is really hit around halfway through side 2, as the deep end is reached and left behind in chilling fashion. The moment where a crystal clear rendition of the main theme from "Sweet Caroline" (backed by disturbing dissonant noises) emerges briefly from a pool of abstract synths and noise guitar, only to be swallowed by a sinister space-rock march into a pounding krautrockian "end of the universe" freakout is truly hair-raising, and elevates this album into a must-listen experience."  And for me personally, I find the highlight to be the end of Side 1, that climaxes into a wonderful Ash Ra Tempel / Pink Floyd thundering jam with molten psychedelic guitar. There are some serious payoffs on this album, and while it's not completely solid, there's plenty of reward here for obscure psych/prog deep divers who have been at this game for many years.

Spaces - Border Station (USA) 1981 Red Giant. If you saw this cover in a store, you'd swear it was a typical early 80s disco album. Or sometimes album with covers like these were slick fusion albums. But Spaces are neither. It's fusion, to be sure. And there is a funk component. But primarily this is hard hitting jazz rock in the mid 1970s style, with plenty of great guitar and keys. Well worth a few listens. If you do see the LP, you're not likely to pay more than $10 for it.

** Spacious Mind - Garden of a Well Fed Head (Sweden) 1997 Lone Starfighter.
** Spacious Mind - Reality D Blipcrotch (Sweden) 2002 Goddamn I'm a Countryman. LP only releases from great space rock group. The LP of "Garden..." is a die cut and very similar to Yatha Sidhra's "A Meditation Mass". I know in the FAQ I said I won't add "LP only" items from 2000 and beyond, but the 10 inch, 29 minute "Reality..." is too good to pass up. I have the LP of the first one and only a CD-R of the other. Both on one CD would be ideal. Hopefully the band is listening here!

Spektar - s/t (Croatia) 1974 Suzy. A keyboard trio, Spektar's sound vacillates between funk (lots of clavinet), progressive (with organ featured) and straight ahead rock with some marginal vocals. There's definitely some weeds to clear here, but underneath is some prime turf. All the 8 tracks are short. Probably the most obscure album coming from the former Yugoslavia, even more so than Izvir. Adding to the obscurity factor, Suzy was generally known for releasing straight pop music, and Spektar was sort of the odd album out.

# Spell - Time Waves (USA) 1979 Tsunami. Electronic duo from Jacksonville, who do a nice job emulating the Berlin School of electronics, especially in the cosmic atmosphere category, though there is little in the way of sequencing. Quite a bit of acoustic piano adds an exotic touch, though it pushes the contents towards the New Age scene.

Splash - Ut På Vischan (Sweden) 1972 Polydor.
* Splash - s/t (Sweden) 1974 PLA.
* Splash - Splash 2 (Sweden) 1978 PLA. On "Ut På Vischan" one will hear a typical horn rock album very much modeled after Chicago or Blood, Sweat and Tears. Except it's sung in Swedish (which is kinda neat). Like most horn rock albums, there are some great instrumental charts offset by some lame songs. Not bad, and does sport a great cover. On "Splash 2", the group has moved from standard pop rock structures to an improvisational jazz rock unit. I hesitate to use the word "fusion" here, as they clearly weren't emulating the usual suspects like Return to Forever or Weather Report. And at times they have that college level stage band type tightness. There's also a little bit of silliness calling out their Zappa influence (not to mention some fine guitar soloing). And even a little dancing around the barn music to open the album. On the self-titled second album from 1974, the music is closer to "Splash 2", though there's only 3 tracks here, so the instrumentals are more stretched out. The highlight being the Latin jazz rock piece that closes the album. Of the three, this album is probably the best, but they're all worth seeking out. Great fantasy design cover graces the 1974 album as well.

Sponge - Foam Spins (One) (Scotland) 1989 Alternate Media Tapes. Cassette. There's over an hour of improvised space rock on here, and like most of these type of live outings, the album itself could have used a good edit. It's like having to eat spoonfuls of the spinach, broccoli, carrots, peas, potatoes, rice, beans all before actually getting to the meat. As mentioned by both gentlemen above, the sound quality is of bootleg standard.  I'd say Sponge relates closest to AMA, another long form improvisational space rock band - though AMA didn't possess synthesizers or  saxophone. And I'm also reminded of the Milwaukee collective F/i, at their most loose and reckless jam mode. If you're a fan of space rock, this is one you'll want to hear. When they get "in the zone", there's some pretty good ripping going on here.

# St-Erhart - Paprika (France) 1981 Omega.

Staff - Primerose (Denmark) 1984 Danish Music Production. Here is another one from the progressive rock wasteland of 1984 to 1986. With Staff you get the same 80s digitalitis that most bands from the time fell prey to. However, the one saving grace here is the guitar work, seemingly from another era, and carries a raw edge I find appealing. Staff also has as its pedigree the recently reviewed Matao album. To sum up the AC's thoughts: "Similar to Matao, this is a very focused and consistent effort, around 45 minutes of solid instrumental jazz-rock, with no real dips in quality or experiments gone awry, and at times Larsen really lets it rip with some fiery soloing... Considering the time period, it would probably have been impossible for them to live up to the lofty standards of the original, but this is really a pretty satisfying listen in its own right, and definitely worth a shot for fusion fanatics." And I completely agree with the conclusion, this is a definite bulls-eye for fusion fans that can stomach the 80s production values.

xxx Stardrive - Stardrive featuring Robert Mason (USA) 1974 Columbia. Second album by this instrumental space funk group. Apparently the debut had quite a bit of sax, that is missing here. Robert Mason was/is a talented synthesist, who actually built his own instruments! Which gives it a nice fat analog sound. The music sounds almost like a demonstration record, with a solid rythmic beat. But it's not disco or anything. Very intriguing album, and definitely one of a kind. You can still find original LPs for under $10. First album "Intergalactic Trot" (originally on Elektra) has been reissued on CD by Wounded Bird. **Wounded Bird will also reissue this title**

# Starfire - s/t (USA) 1974 private. Excellent fuzz guitar, old organ (Farfisa or Vox) and mediocre compositions. Sounds more like a 1969 recording than something from (presumably) 1974. Overall pretty decent psych rock, but not something one needs to go out of their way for. A bootleg exists with no info (of course).

# Starr - s/t (USA) 1979 private. From Colorado, and another album I used to own. Need to hear again, but recall a straightforward hard rock album with commercial aspirations.

* Stefan - Consecration (Sweden) 1995 Xotic Mind. While most albums on the Xotic Mind label tended towards an ethereal psychedelic aesthetic, label owner Stefan's sole album is a bit more rock based than most. Closer to The Word of Life than Adam, S.T. Mikael or the Entheogens. The only drawback is the vocals, which are amateurish at best. But otherwise, this is one of the better albums from this proto Subliminal Sounds collective.

** Steinzeit - Geburtstag (Germany) 1982 Absurde Geburten. As General Burkhalter might say "Ve-dy IN-TER-REST-ING Klink!" This is a wild one to be sure. The very first band to enter my mind, and it never left, is Gutura (France) - another hard-to-pigeonhole band. As the AC notes, this is twisty kraut jazz indeed, with spastic yet enunciated yelping from our crazy gal up front. And some fine mid 70s Crimsonish guitar. Odd album for sure, but one I found quite arresting.

# Steppenblüte - Chum ine! (Switzerland) 1981 private. Uplifting, gather-by-the-campfire Christian folk rock. Only a truly dark spirit wouldn't find some enlightenment here, though its constant praise-to-the-heavens positivity can be nauseating after while. Some fine multi-flute work, acoustic guitar, and even a rare rocked out moment with electric guitar. They also throw in a few awkward attempts at New Wave modernity. But mostly this is some serious Woodsy-the-Owl type feel-good music. Mostly sung in regional German, with a couple of English songs for worldwide acceptance that somehow didn't happen. File next to your Ougenweide albums... and the Holy Bible, if applicable. Apparently a Swiss commune band, with transitional members. Though have no doubt, Amon Duul they are not.

Steps - s/t (England) 1977 EMI C 068-60190. Steps seems to be a popular word in the jazz fusion world. We just recently featured an album called "Steps" by Sangi. There's the Japanese fusion group Side Steps, and of course John Coltrane's jazz classic "Giant Steps". And then there's the Australian fusion group Stepps (of "Waltz for Tiger Joe" fame). The AC says "One interesting thing is that Hanny Rowe of Gong plays bass on about half of the tracks. Also, it comes in a really cool gatefold sleeve with very weird artwork. Musically, I'd say they were heavily influence by mid-70s Soft Machine. The second side features some slightly more original ideas, with a couple of moody synth-driven pieces." I agree, this one had a bit of an edge, moving closer to my personal target zone. And where that angst shows up most is in the drumming, which is very active and drives the music forward in an exciting way. Make no mistake, this is late 70's fusion - the ever present lead soprano sax guarantees that. But it's a good example of the style, and I think the fusion heads out there would go nuts over this one.

xxx # Storm - El Día de la Tormenta (Spain) 1979 Alba. Commercially oriented second album (their 1974 debut was reissued years ago on Lost Vinyl), with a couple of decent instrumentals to spice it up. Straight forward rhythmically, but some well thought compositions with sophisticated melody lines. An album that predicted the coming of the neo progressive movement, without knowing it. *** Reissued by Arabiand Rock on the two CD set "Lost in Time" (2014) xxx

** David Stoughton - Transformer (USA) 1968 Elektra. Way ahead of its time experimental psychedelic album. As adventurous as they come for such an early date, I was reminded of groups such as the United States of America, Friendsound, Music Emporium, Fifty Foot Hose and The Beat of the Earth. Female vocals, trumpet, guitar, sound collages, and much more. Pure genius.

Streetdancer - s/t. 1974 Future.
** Streetdancer - Rising. 1977 Dharma. From the Chicago area, Streetdancer are one of the more energetic of the jazz fusion bands to come from the USA. The debut borders on free jazz, is entirely dominated by saxophone, and is a difficult listen. I wouldn't even consider it for entry here, had this been their only release. However "Rising" is completely different. Adding a guitarist and a violinist, Streetdancer jumped in with both feet in crafting their version of early Mahavishnu Orchestra. And it smokes pretty much from beginning to end. This is the kind of roughhewn fusion I personally love with distorted guitar, soaring violin and an active rhythm section. It gets a little loose in places, not surprising given their free jazz background, but for the most part it's a tight, kinetic barnburner. No fusion head should be without it. The band went on to release at least 4 more albums, as late as 2004.

# Strinx - Talk to the Wind (Germany) 1973 Spiegelei. Very fine atmospheric jazz / fusion album, with violin as the primary instrument. More jazz focused than what we usually cover, but I could see fans of the MPS label really flipping for this one. Will leave here for reference.

# Strongbow - s/t (USA) 1975 Southwind. Standard sounding mid 70s hard rock album with a few progressive moves to fit the style of the day. Columbus based group represents the hard rock scene of the era well, though not as underground sounding as the private presses that are so treasured today.

* Structure - Pop Music. 1970 Disques AFA. In effect, Structure is a Bernard Wystraete solo album. Lead by his various flutes, the instrumental (with some wordless female chants) jazz psych presented is somewhat typical of the film and TV library music of the era (of which Wystraete has at least two albums under his name with titles like "Hits Variety"). It just happens to be a very good representation of said style, and recalls later instrumental flute lead outfits from France like Jean Cohen-Solal's two albums or Triode (on Futura). Some fine fuzz guitar and violin work here too - not to mention a particularly fat bass sound, something the French have become known for over the years. This would be a good choice for Vadim or Finders Keepers.

* Stud - s/t (USA) 1975 Baron. I generally avoid adding underground hard albums to the CDRWL, as they're clearly out of scope, and there are literally hundreds to consider. However, Houston, Texas' Stud deserves special mention given that they aren't solely dedicated to booze, broads and rock n roll. There's some of that, sure, but there's also 3 lengthy pieces (2 over 12 minutes) including one impassioned folk rock number. A hard rock album is usually only as good as the guitar player, and here Stud shines mightily. Some great jams can be found here. As good as Poobah in my book. A natural choice for Rockadrome, who generally only reissue the very best of the private label hard rock albums.

# Styff Nack - Sundial (Germany) 1978 private. There's some nice instrumental work here to offset the poorly executed Genesis-inspired vocal moments. The funk bits really go off the cliff in a bad way...

* Subversion - s/t (France) 1976 Pole. Certainly the most obscure album on Phillippe Besombes' Pole label. I hadn't even heard of it until recently (2008), and I think I'd heard every other Pole/Tapioca album by 1992! Featuring a crude black and white cover, it's exactly the sort of album you would expect to find on the FLVM label a few years later. This pre-Falstaff outfit mixed complex prog in the Memoriance / Pulsar vein, along with jazz rock sections and some introspective folky moments. Not much cohesion, but they did well with each style they attempted. Very different from anything else on the label, except maybe Emergency Exit. And, like EE, Subversion was also not repressed by Tapioca later in the decade, adding to its obscurity.

* Sudden Death - Suddenly (USA) 1971 / 1990's Rockadelic. Another Rockadelic archival discovery that was put on LP, but never on CD. The group remained a mystery until one of the band members (John) reached out to the CD Reissue Wishlist. We share their story here . Sudden Death are quite a find for fans of the hard rock psych underground. They have that much desired underproduced hard guitar sound with a Robert Plant like vocalist. Rockadelic's cover is awesomely creepy and whoever does put it on CD should leave that intact (and I think John of Sudden Death agrees with me on this point).

* Sukellusvene - Vesi- Ja Lintumusiikkia (Finland) 1979 Love. Very nice fusion album. Primary instruments are sax, synthesizer and guitar. Sounds much more like an album from 1973/74 than anything as late as 1979. More of a gritty edge, and one track sounds like a lost organ freaky fusion number that would've shown up on the German MPS label (and naturally my favorite track). Another anachronism is the use of the wah wah pedal as a rhythm component. Not a totally breathtaking release, but executed perfectly for the 70s jazz fusion sound. Overall the album recalls early Weather Report and Bill Connors era Return to Forever. File next to the Jupu Group album. Band translates to "Submarine" and the album to "Water- And Bird Music".

# Summerhaze - s/t (Australia) 1987 Larrikin. Well executed modern day psych folk, that recalls other revivalists like Red Chair Fadeaway, Spiral Sky and Snowdonia. Larrikin is Festival Records' folk label.

Sun - Yume No Michi (Japan) 1978 private. In some ways, this album foretells the future of Japanese progressive rock as we find in the 1980s. There's a large scale bombastic "concept album" feel to the proceedings. A proto-Teru's Symphonia as it were. And, as we hear more typically from South Asia, there's quite a bit of lounge crooning in addition to the choirs, string quartets, and - of course - a couple of full blown instrumental progressive rock numbers to keep the collectors salivating. This album is seriously rare, and it's not too bad actually. Probably better suited for a compilation of rare Japanese gems though, than as a straight reissue.

xxx *** Sunbirds - s/t (Germany) 1971 BASF. *** Reissued by Garden of Delights, May, 2011 xxx
xxx ** Sunbirds - Zagara (Germany) 1972 Polydor. Both are great albums that sound like a cross between Wolfgang Dauner and Chris Hinze, played for the Brain label! Garden of Delights has had these on their “coming soon” list for some time, so hopefully they’ll eventually get around to it, as they’ll be an immediate buy item for me. Note that Zagara should be reissued by the end of 2011. *** And not reissued until June 2015! But it did get done finally and from GoD. xxx

# Sundance - s/t (Sweden) 1976 EMI. Inventive mix of funky fusion, horn rock, wordless female vocals, and complex rock sections with brief mellotron. It's primarily a jazz fusion album, but there's enough of a diverse mix to keep most progressive rock folks interested.

* Sunday - s/t (England) 1972 Bellaphon. Mix of organ rock, hard rock and progressive. Another UK band who's only release was in Germany (like Diabolus or Odin). Good record and an even better cover that would make a nice choice for a mini-LP from Japan. Boots exist.

# Sunhouse - s/t (Belgium) 1977 JWS Records. Typical late 1970s sax lead funky jazz fusion, but with some inspired guitar leads. Dealers are trying hard to compare with Placebo, but no way. More like the later albums by Release Music Orchestra, Nova, Aera and countless obscurities like Patchwork, Michael Borner's Sun, CCPP, and, well, seemingly half of this reissue wish list.

** Super Freego - Pourquoi es-tu si Mechant? (France) 1982 RCA. If you ever wondered what it would sound like if The Human League or Missing Persons were a Zeuhl influenced group, then Super Freego gives you a window into that world. Stylistically it fits in the early 80s New Wave synth pop camp. Except all these irregular rhythms combined with the familiar male/female chanting clearly point to that most unique French school of music. And it gets weirder as you go through the album, that by Side 2 it's almost purely Zeuhl. I've seen a couple of YouTube videos that demonstrate that Super Freego were a far wilder group on stage than in the studio, which gives me some hope there might be some crazy Zeuhl music sitting in a canister somewhere. The only other album that even comes close to sounding like this is Eskaton's "Fiction", though that album is far closer to pure Zeuhl than Super Freego. Maybe Foehn's "Faeria", though Super Freego are much more intense.

* Supply, Demand and Curve - s/t (Ireland) 1976 Mulligan. An album I owned as far back as 1992, and comes in an oversized cover that always suffers from edgewear and a bent top. With that annoyance out of the way, musically speaking Supply Demand and Curve provide a vast array of sounds, like a sampler through contemporary Ireland. The primary progressive rock influence is Gentle Giant, especially their more jazzy moments. Even a few traditional instruments are employed. A good album, second to only Fruupp when talking 1970s Irish progressive rock.

xxx * Surgery - Übermorgen (Germany) 1980 private. Yet another unknown German fusion album from the late 70s and early 80s. File along with the "German M" groups like Moira, Mosaik, Munju, Missus Beastly and Morpheus. Some pretty hot psychedelic guitar, especially on the first side. Superb unison melodies with the sax and electric piano. Can get to be a bit breezy on Side 2, though some of it reminded me of Ash Ra's "Correlations" in the guitar work, oddly enough. On Garden of Delights Coming Soon list. *** Reissued by Garden of Delights, Dec. 2010 xxx

The Surprise Package - Free Up (USA) 1968 LHC. I was reminded of this title as I was researching The Aggregation two nights ago. The Surprise Package were also on Lee Hazlewood's label. I bought the album in the late 80s but sold it about 10 years after that. And completely forgot about it. And like The Aggregation, pirate editions abound, so time to enter into the CDRWL. Since I don't possess any copy of this album, off to YouTube I went for a refresher. And it's what I recalled. A varied "kitchen sink" type of psych album on one side, and a side long jam on the other. The jam itself features some great psych guitar, Iron Butterfly styled organ, and the song itself reminds me of Rare Earth. But of course it has an insufferably long drum solo to take a nap to. Not a bad album (I probably should have kept it), but one that doesn't need a reissue unless there's some superb archival material sitting in the vaults.

Sustain - s/t (Netherlands) 1978 private. One of those big time rarities that have collectors turning every stone over for. However, Sustain are about as generic as it gets. Slow to mid tempo rock/jazz tracks, amateur thin production, slightly spacey textures, poorly executed accented English vocals, some mild sax and guitar leads. I suppose if you look at some of the other Dutch/Flemish albums from the era, like Flyte and Isopoda, you can get an idea of their sound. Probably a CD reissue of a very limited number would sell, just due to the curiosity factor.

xxx Svenska Löd AB - Hörselmat (Sweden) 1971 private. One of the rarest albums from Sweden, if not THE rarest. Primarily a jazz funk album with blues overtones, that features none other than Janne Schaffer on guitar. Pressed in a micro quantity of 200 copies. Privately released album in an era when that kind of thing was unheard of. Great production, and some splendid guitar, trumpet, sax and organ work (ESPECIALLY the organ). Opening track is a killer horn rock piece ala primo Chicago. I can see this album being a huge hit with the DJ beatdigger hipster crowd. A little out of scope of our normal fare, but felt its rarity alone was worth its inclusion here. *** Reissued by Creole Stream (Japan) Jan, 2012 xxx

* Sway - s/t (Italy) 1973 CPT. Excellent album heavily influenced by early 70s Miles Davis, even without the presence of trumpet. Throughout, the album features wah wah guitar rhythms and tribal drumming. The first side is a bit looser, with some shrieky sax, drum solos and some piano noise bits. But Side 2 is absolutely sublime. The sax is traded in for flute, there's an actual melody line carried throughout, and the guitar fuzzes out some wonderful solos. *** There is a reissue - but it's a classic "gray area" type. That is, it does seem to have band permission, but there's more to the story I presume. We're leaving here until we hear more data, or a for certain legit version becomes available.

* Swegas - Child of Light (England) 1970 Trend.
** Swegas - Beyond the Ox (England) 1971 BASF. Nice mix of horn rock, Brit-Jazz, progressive rock and even some jazz improvisation. Definitely not the typical simple blues based horn rock album. Closest to Brainchild, though not near as infectious. Very good albums, especially the latter.

* Symphonic Metamorphosis - s/t (USA) 1971 London. Fascinating nine piece horn rock band formed by (then) active members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The horns are exquisitely performed, though the rock sections are a tad more restrained and pedestrian for a band with these kind of quals. Still, the guitar and organ work is efficient. The vocal harmonies have a 60s vibe to them. Worth seeking out for a listen or two.

# Syn - Cast the First Stone (USA) 1980 Cheap Plastic. Song based rock from Pennsylvania, with a few sophisticated arrangements and variation in music style. Features some nice keyboard, guitar and flute breaks. The 11 songs, all under 5 minutes, predominantly feature the female vocalist. She sings in a forceful yet pleasant style that was to become more common 20 years later. Overall a non-challenging but nice listen.

xxx *** Synchro Rhythmic Eclectic Language - Lambi (France) 1976 Moshe-Naim. I'd read of this album prior, almost always seeing terms like "Afro Cuban psych" or "West Indies funk". Well that may be, but I'm here to tell you this is definitely a Zeuhl album as well. With the throbbing irregular bass, chanting vocals, horn charts, and violin soloing there's no denying the Magma references. And then when you realize that the violinist is none other than Jean-Yves Rigaud, fresh off the Zao "Z=7l" and "Osiris" albums, then you know the lineage is there and it's no coincidence. The tranced out part on Side 2 with the powerful rhythms (let's not forget the heavy amount of percussion), coupled with the organ and violin solos, is sublime. This is the best obscurity I've heard all year along with Leong Lau's "Dragon Man". Superb! Well..... thanks to reader Rob, I have great news. It's already on CD! I never saw it because it was reissued under an abbreviated name. *** Reissued by Moshe-Naim in the 1990s xxx

** Syncope - s/t. 1980 private. A very obscure LP from Quebec, where scant information can be found on the internet. I hear a mix of way-past-its-sell-date horn rock, late 70s fusion, complex progressive rock similar to Opus 5 / Pollen and even a little downer blues rock. The more I hear it, the better the album gets. The horn rock angle is really weird given the 1980 date, especially since it's of the 1969 Chicago / BST variety. A real grower.

Syncrisis - Reflections In Musical Power (Germany) 1981 private.
* Syncrisis - Sunny Crisis (Germany) 1982 Inside. Syncrisis were led by guitarist Titus Köstler-Philipp, and his superior technical playing on "Sunny Crisis" is featured throughout. Similar to other German fusion bands at this time like Lindwurm, but with more emphasis on the smoking guitar. I also hear some of the same type of sounds as on the Red album (1983 UK - also featured here above), which may be the first time I've ever said that. With the technical fast playing on the guitar, one can't help but to compare "Sunny Crisis" to Al Di Meola's best work like "Elegant Gypsy" or "Casino". The debut "Reflections in Musical Power" isn't quite as successful. Here Syncrisis trades in on some jazz fusion cliches like swapping guitar/keys solos, breezy tropical themes and the requisite tedious drum solo. Would be nice to see both of these on the same CD. Köstler-Philipp is still playing today and his latest group is called Dokapi.

** Synopsis - Gamme (France) 1981 FLVM. An improvement on their first. In the Mona Lisa, Ange school of French progressive. Very good and surprised this has escaped reissue (especially since the first was reissued). An obvious candidate for Musea.

Synthesax - Grundlos (Germany) 1981 Leico. Synthesax are an instrumental group who play a fiery fusion with, yes, synthesizers and saxophone. As well as a very tight rhythm section, Fender Rhodes, and... some pretty mean electric guitar licks too. There are some really fine peak moments here when they get into the zone and rock out. The more introspective moments tend to drag and then I feel ready for a nap. And there is a little too much happy sax here for me (of course there is), but fans of the genre won't want to miss out on this one.

** Synthesis - s/t (France) 1971 Fabulous. I'd say Synthesis tracks closest to classic early Chicago, and that's a good thing in the CDRWL book. With song titles like 'Dilemma of My Life', 'Walkin' In the Hell', 'Insanity', 'My Obsession', and the 3 part closer 'Symphony for a Stranger', I think it's safe to assume that Synthesis weren't aiming for the bubblegum hit parade. The songwriting is top notch, the horn charts are exhilarating, the guitar is fuzz laden / psychedelic, and the energy level is high. And the album gets freakier as it goes, and I've said this a few times before, that's always a hallmark of a great album.

* Synthesis - s/t (France) 1976 Arc-RCA. Thanks to a good friend of this site, I recently received this on LP. And it's a very nice embossed gatefold cover. Musically falls into that unique French fusion of funk, jazz, disco and progressive rock all rolled into one. Reminds me somewhat of the early efforts by Cortex and Edition Speciale.. 25 piece group (with soft female chorus vocals) recalls some of the Quebec groups like Ville Emard Blues Band, Toubabou and Contraction. Very good effort. Amongst the notables, Didier Lockwood is the violinist while Andre Ceccarelli plays the drums.

# Syrinx - s/t (Canada) 1970 True North.
# Syrinx - Long Lost Relatives (Canada) 1971 True North. Pioneers of electronic rock. I need to revisit these albums as it's been many years. Thanks to Achim for the notice!

# System - On the Other Side of Time (England) 1977 Tash. Here we go again, a super rare album - that just isn't anything to bother with. It has all the right ingredients visually speaking: Cool black cover with intricate design, private press from England, interesting song titles. But it's mostly plain rock - maybe like Shaftsbury or Scarecrow, but not even that interesting honestly. There were a couple legitimate exciting progressive moves, but before I could even look up, they quickly faded away. Out of scope here, but I know many folks are looking for it - so now you know.

xxx * Hermann Szobel - Szobel (USA) 1976 Arista. An album that is complex as all get out by 18 year old prodigy pianist. Album has a distinct RIO flavor to it, though I suspect there's no intention of going for that sound, as it really didn't exist as a genre by then. Instrumental Frank Zappa an obvious influence here, with some tight wind charts, and I'm betting that Szobel may have heard a Henry Cow album or two. Arista started as a "progressive" label, much like Virgin did, but by 1978 they were already hopelessly signing commercial slop. Szobel's sole album remains the most obscure on the label. He's pretty much disappeared into the ether, though there are rumors of a reissue possibly coming soon. *** To be reissued 2012 xxx

* T.C.B. - Open for Business (USA) 1970 Traffic. TCB's sole album is a mix of soul based horn rock with gruff vocals and bluesy motifs, coupled with a gentle folk side recalling perhaps Michaelangelo of "One Voice Many" fame. Roller rink organ, fuzz guitar, harpsichord, male/female vocals, alto/tenor sax, and trumpet are the primary instruments. The music is very much a sound of its time and recalls other such acts like The Albert, Sod, 4th Cekcion, etc... The band's ace up the sleeve, though, is the 23+ minute closer, which shows TCB stretching out in a jazz rock way. A choppy organ, bass, drums vamp is laid down, and each instrument is allowed some time for a solo including a bit of scat singing. While not exactly groundbreaking, it is unusual to find this much time allocated for such music - especially on what is essentially a pop rock record. A fine album worth investigating. This TCB is not to be confused with Elvis Presley's backup band who operated from 1969 to 1977. And just like that TCB, this ensemble is indeed an acronym that stands for Taking Care of Business.

** Tabletom - Mezclalina (Spain) 1980 RCA. Such a strange little album, perhaps mirroring the surrealistic cover. On the surface, Tabletom seem to opt for a light, Spanish flavored, jazz rock sound. Flute is the initial featured instrument of choice. Then comes these crunchy power chord guitars, and irregular flamenco style rhythms. Violin and sax also make appearances. The vocalist reminds me of some of the more gravelly Italian guys as found on Jumbo or Odissea. It takes a bit to get into, but this one has a lot to recommend. The last 9 minute track is a barnburner. I had thrown the Mezquita name out in the past, but that's a bit misleading, as Tabletom aren't quite as Andalusian influenced as that may imply. Certainly worthy of a CD reissue! They had a few albums after this debut, but I understand they are of less interest to the scope of this list, but don't know for certain. Great Dali-esque cover would be perfect for a Japanese mini-LP.

# Inoue Takayuki Band – Sunrise (Japan) 1976 Polydor. An instrumental mix of fusion and funk/disco. Very well done, with exemplary musicianship, feel good vibes, cop show themes. Fun album. Takayuki has more albums than this, but it's the only one I'm familiar with. Out of scope for this list but will leave here for reference.

Talix - Spuren (Germany) 1970 Vogue. A German psych album. The music is somewhere between thoughtful, almost progressive, songwriting and fun saxophone lead exploito dance numbers. The guitar is a constant highlight, fuzzed out to the maximum, reminding me of the guy from The Plastic Cloud. Overall for the style, better than the more known Bokaj Retsiem. Pre-Pinguin, which is also listed above.

* Tamalone - New Acres (Netherlands) 1979 Crossroad. Jethro Tull soundalikes, though strangely minus the flute. But in every other way, it sounds like Ian Anderson and Co. Pretty decent record actually.

# Tamarugo – Tan Lejos del Mar (Chile) 1979. Decent Chilean fusion, with the expected ethnic elements. Comparisons to Los Jaivas aren't entirely incorrect, but this album is far more typical of the era.

xxx Tamarisk - s/t (England) 1982 private. Cassette only release.
xxx Tamarisk - Lost Properties (England) 1984 private. Cassette only release. Just as I'm trying to get my arms around the UK free festival cassette culture of the mid to late 80's, I'm also digging back into one of my early loves - the original UK neo prog scene of Pallas, Marillion, iQ, Pendragon, LaHost, Abel Ganz, et al... Tamarisk was one I missed from back in the day, but a good friend of this site sent me both of these albums on CD-R, and I was reminded of everything I like about the scene. They're tight, melodic, fast and reasonably complex. The vocalist sounds like every other UK vocalist who spent a wasted youth with his dogeared Genesis albums. The guitar playing, in particular, is well done. And lots of mellotron on "Lost Properties". All in all, very satisfying material. I'm not sure how many EP's and full albums I'm still missing from the NWOBPR scene (not to be confused with NWOBHM), but I'm curious what's still out there to be discovered. (for example, I just found out recently that LaHost's full works were released on CD in 1992. And I was pleasantly surprised by how strong the material was there too.) *** Reissued by the band in November 2012 xxx

*** Kiyoshi Tanaka & Super Session - British Rock Live In Japan (Japan) 1972 Teichiku. It's 1972 Japan, but it is in reality, pure Krautrock freakout city. You know the drill by now - think debut albums by Guru Guru, Ash Ra Tempel, Tangerine Dream, etc... If you enjoy that sort of thing, then you will absolutely swoon for this one. If not - run... run... RUN FAR AWAY from it. I presume you all know by now where I stand on such music. Theoretically these are two cover tunes (30 minute variations of 1 track each side - it's a long album!). The first side is Jimi Hendrix (didn't recognize what they were attempting here at all), while Side 2 is a psychotic variation of Pink Floyd's 'Echoes', a composition that is already greatly enhanced with alternative substances, but this takes the idea to its logical extreme. As the AC astutely observes: "It all seems to be semi-improvised, driven by pummeling rhythms that sort of ebb and flow while the bass, guitar and organ converge and coalesce into one freaky jam after another. Even the most stoned-out-of-their-minds krautrockers would have been shocked by this level of depravity."

xxx Tangle Edge - Improvised Drop Outs (Norway) 1983 Mushroom (cassette). 1990 Auricle (UK cassette). *** reissued by the band as "Dropouts" with extra archive material xxx
** Tangle Edge - Radio Stroganoff (Norway) 1986 Mushroom (cassette).
Tangle Edge - Live in the Presence of Aphrodite (Norway) 1986 Mushroom (cassette). I'm presuming the new Dropouts archival release is all of Improvised Drop Outs plus many more jams that didn't fit. Improvised Drop Outs is well named, as that's exactly what it is. Basically these are relatively short song skeletons, with free form psychedelic improvisations thrown on top. If you're familiar with Tangle Edge at all, the style is instantly recognizable even at this early stage. It can all be a bit much. As the AC jokes "seems like nine and a half hours", but it does have a trance like effect if you leave it in the background. It's incidental film and TV music for an opium den. For my ears, this is way more preferable than the modern noise makers such as Acid Mother's Temple. Radio Stroganoff shows the remarkable progression that was to ultimately lead to the brilliant In Search of a New Dawn. In fact, many of these songs ended up there with different arrangements. There's a little less than 30 minutes of music here, considering that the last piece is a radio interview in Norwegian, which will obviously have limited appeal. But being the archivists Tangle Edge are, I'm sure they can find enough quality material to fill a CDs worth including this whole album. Just consider the void of released material from 1984-1988, save 1986. Or the time from 1998-2005. Live in the Presence of Aphrodite is probably the most stripped down recording from the band. It's more like an instrumental Hendrix or Cream, which is a good thing in my book. And then, in fact, they do cover Hendrix on the second side. This is the one and only place you'll hear vocals on a Tangle Edge album, and both the music and the vocals are in the early 70s blues rock style. Perhaps fortunate for us that Tangle Edge abandoned this style quickly after. Not their best release.

Toshio Tanioka / Tom & Jerrys - Nippon Minyou In New Country. 1972 Tam (Toho).
Toshio Tanioka / Tom & Jerrys - Human Being. 1973 Tam (Toho). I'll admit that many of these albums are difficult to absorb at first. Similar to how we were first able to listen to Zeuhl or Krautrock or Canterbury. At some point all of us into experimental music made a leap from normal convention. To illustrate what I mean, perhaps I should use a food reference. It should come as no surprise that I'm also very much into exploring restaurants as well as trying new beers. One thing you notice over the years is tolerance for different flavors and styles. In effect, you train your palate to be able to distinguish the various ingredients and tastes. I feel the same about music. One has to train their ear palate as it were. For this particular brand of Japanese rock music, my ear palate is untrained. I have a particular aversion to anything "country", and yet I found both of these albums fascinating. Tanioka has a smooth voice, almost like Marty Robbins (my Old Man had a pretty large C&W collection, so I do have some background knowledge of the genre). As well, harmonica is an instrumental that usually has me coiling in despair, and yet here it has a gratifying Spaghetti Western scene setting mood about it. There's also plenty of loose underground rock sections as well, so this isn't something out of scope.

Tantalus - Sitting in a Dream (Germany) 1980 Srilanca. Generic, but tasteful, symphonic progressive. Elements of Camel and Pink Floyd abound. Nice keyboard and guitar leads, and mediocre vocals. Pretty much what you would expect from this era of German symphonic rock. File next to Shaa Khan, Fly and Indigo.

* Tantor - s/t (Argentina) 1979 Philips. Tantor, from Argentina, were yet another band from this era to tackle the fusion genre with alacrity. Tight and energetic fusion is the order of the day, with 1979 period instruments dominating the sounds. Tantor are exactly what I'd imagine Crucis to sound like had they released an album in 1979.

# Tarantula - s/t (USA) 1969 A&M. Been a long time since I heard this hard psych album. Need to revisit. 

* El Tarro de Mostaza - s/t (Mexico) 1970 Capitol. Lot of misinformation about this title, but I did find deep in the bowels of the internet (yea, I don't recommend you go there often either), I found a Spanish language interview (from a local Veracruz newspaper!). And with the ever trusty help of Google translate, I was able to discern a few interesting facts. The album was actually recorded in 1968, but not released until two years later. Apparently it was a "happening sound in", and the band was forced to play for hours on end, with no chance to sleep, eat, bio breaks, etc... Obviously not a pleasant experience for the participants. The name of the band was Los Sonidos (The Sounds), but the producers (rightly I think) suggested that the moniker was boring. And so the band arbitrarily picked Mustard Jar because it was both solid and hard (ummm... sure.... ok). I also found a little nugget that Spain's Guerssen has (or had) been in hot pursuit. The article goes back to 2009, and Guerssen is one of the best - if not THE best - reissue label today. So if they can't get it done, not sure anyone else could - legitimately of course. Musically, the album consists of two distinct sides. One is a lengthy jam with killer organ (really old stock too - like a Farfisa) and guitars. The other side is more psychedelic pop, but you're never too far away from a blistering acid guitar solo. For 1968 Mexico, this was really quite a pioneering effort. And well worth a reissue. Hopefully Guerssen will succeed.

xxx Taste of Blues - Schizofrenia (Sweden) 1969 SSR (released only in Denmark). One side is a cool free rock jam, like the best of the Krautrock and Swedish artists like International Harvester. The other side is more traditional electric blues, so the album is indeed schizophrenic. Was scheduled to be reissued on CD by Transubstans, but it doesn't appear that happened. Garageland reissued it on LP in 1992. *** Reissued by Transubstans Dec, 2010 xxx

* Tau - s/t (Germany) 1981 private. Simply put, Tau play a symphonic rock style, with bits of humor spread throughout. The progressions are very much out of the early Genesis school, and Tau could be considered contemporaries of Ivory or even Neuschwanstein. But there's also a strain of late 70s Grobschnitt found throughout, both in the zaniness and even in the AOR moments. Sung in German, which is unusual for this type of progressive rock. Lots of mellotron for a 1980s album. Not a monster or anything, but fans of neo progressive rock are likely to really enjoy this one.

Taurus - Swiss Rock History Vol. 3 (Switzerland) 1996 Blue Moon. This is the 3rd and I believe last entry in the Swiss Rock History series which also includes albums by Lear and Exit. Taurus' sole work is clearly not ready for prime-time, and could best be described as raw demos. The songs themselves are early sketches of what was to be a full painting. Had they completed what was started here, Taurus' album would have most assuredly gone down as a masterpiece. They clearly had a lot of great ideas, along with some stellar vintage sounds (organ, guitar, etc...). So definitely worth releasing as an archival document for the curious. Perhaps the band could reunite and finish what they started?

** Teddybjörn Band - s/t (Sweden) 1980 Piglet. Now I'm not the world's foremost RIO / Avant Prog fan (the genre can be paradoxically either overly academic or too cartoonish for my tastes) , but I do find Samla Mammas Manna to be one of the better examples of the sound - mixing traditional Swedish folk music with rock instrumentation. This is a long way from the Northside label's variation of same sound. It definitely has more of that 1970s psychedelic recklessness about it - which is what I find appealing about the music. Now in my mind, there's great Samla ("Familjesprickor") and lousy Samla (För äldre Nybegynnare). As you can surmise by now, Teddybjörn Band is the former and its recording date mirrors close with Samla's masterpiece. I doubt I need to say more here. If what I'm saying above fits into your wheelhouse, you'll love Teddybjörn Band. Not sure if Italy's AltRock plans on getting into the reissue market, but if they do, this album fits their oeuvre perfectly.

* Mama Bea Tekielski - La Folle (France) 1976 Isadora. Mama Bea's debut album is clearly indebted to Catherine Ribeiro & Alpes' early 1970s works, but honestly this is much more dense, and truth be told, completely unhinged. Perhaps its Ribeiro's Portugese heritage verse Tekielski's Polish background, but there's something far more disturbing going on with "La Folle" than anything Ribeiro coughed up (literally). While Ribeiro is far from an easy listen, she still comes across as the mysterious troubled damsel in distress. Perhaps it's her runway-fashion-model looks, but Catherine seems to be reaching out for help while still dominating all that is around her. With Mama Bea, you get the ragged 100 straight nights of booze, pills and rock and roll look and attitude. The cover of her smoking a cigarette, with a face that says that she's had just about enough of the crap she's been dealing with, is priceless. And so she takes it out on this recording. There are times that it would seem appropriate for the medics to come in and hustle her off to safer pastures. Meanwhile all the earmarks of a classic underground album are going on in the background, with plenty of psychedelic guitar, rumbling bass (a trademark of the French scene) and pounding percussion. It's all a bit unsettling, but it's also too real to ignore. A real grower if I ever heard one.

# Telefon Paisa - Sogmusobil (Sweden) 1971 Gump. Starts off promising enough in the Hendrix bag with fuzz overload and a similar song style. But it quickly deteriorates from there into a drunken mess. Sounds like a frat party while they left the tapes rolling. Some bright spots here and there, but otherwise not one of Sweden's strongest efforts.

# Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family - My Ancestors (Zambia) 1974 private. Some research will reveal that Zambia had "an unusually high amount of fuzz boxes shipped there". And, with that in mind, this album is pretty typical African rock EXCEPT there is screaming FUZZ on every track! Better than Witch's "Lazy Bones" from my perspective.

* Tempo e Modo - Um Mundo a Construir (Portugal) 1983? private. Given that they are of Portuguese origin and supposedly from 1980, I had presumed the album would be a symphonic fusion along the lines of Tantra and Ananga Ranga (which would have been great as well). But that's not really the case at all. Primarily it's a mixture of instrumental symphonic progressive rock combined with a distinct new wave element, that tilts the album towards the neo-prog camp. This latter style, as I've noted in prior posts, was quite a good genre in its early stages, and Tempo e Modo are an excellent example of it. Think early 80s IQ / Pendragon / Twelfth Night. The instrumental tracks are the highlight here, with a strong melodic content coupled with excellent guitar and keyboard runs. A very nice surprise. This is the kind of album Musea used to release in their prime. I keep hoping, perhaps naively so, that they will dip back into the reissue market. The date commonly affixed to the album is 1980, but I've also seen 1983, and that does seem more like the logical date. The back cover also doesn't indicate when it was recorded. Pure speculation on my part, but it sure does have that early 80s New Wave of British Progressive Rock thing going on.

** Terraced Garden - Melody and Menace (Canada) 1982 Doggerel.
Terraced Garden - Braille (Canada) 1984 Doggerel.
Terraced Garden - Within (Canada) 1988 Doggerel. Not an easy band to describe, this Terraced Garden. Arriving very late in the game, it's not easy to see where the band is coming from. Especially on "Melody & Menace". King Crimson is the obvious influence, especially when considering the Fripp sustained leads and the David Cross like violin. Flute and mellotron also call out an early 70s UK progressive rock heritage. But then there's the maudlin monotone vocals and compact song lengths, very clearly a product of the early 80s. I never cared much for "Braille", an album that was too quick to embrace the digitized 80s New Wave movement. Since they were always a concise band, it was probably a natural transition for a band looking for some chart respect. "Within" did a better job of melding the two styles together, but still a bit too commercially oriented for my tastes.

# Thanatos - Alptraum (Germany) 1982 Rockport. Thanatos' sole album, Alptraum, is yet one more small label pressing coming out of Germany during the early 80s. Despite sporting a cool cover, and the evocative title meaning "Nightmare", the album is surprisingly conservative. For the most part, Thanatos are a straight forward rock group with some fine guitar leads and little else. Vocals are split between German and English, presumably as a hedge to which market they hoped to break big in. Too safe, I'm afraid, for any kind of bust-out on the world stage. There are 2 notable exceptions here though: 'Morgenrot' and the closer 'Leere-gefuhl'. Both of these tracks are fine progressive rock oriented numbers that bring in plenty of compositional ideas, meter breaks, and some excellent organ work. But, like the language issue, it seems yet another hedge play as to what music market they want to be in. And yes, like all such market plays, this stock went belly-up not long after.

Theatre Aleph - La Nuit Suspendue (France) 1982 Kiosque d'Orphee. "La Nuit Suspendue" is a theater play set to music. So a bit of a slog if you don't speak French, though there is some wonderful piano, string synthesizer and flute here to enjoy. References include Après la Pluie, Chene Noir, J.A. Seazer, and even Mike Oldfield.

* Think - We'll Give You a Buzz (New Zealand) 1976 Atlantic. A mix of mid to late 70s British pomp prog ala England or Nostradamus, combined with some obvious pop moves and the required boogie rock number that all Australasian bands felt obligated to do back then. Great cover would make this a good candidate for a Japanese mini-LP.

* Third Eye - s/t. 1976 Ring.
xxx Third Eye - Connexion. 1977 Ring. On the surface, Third Eye would seem to be a typical mid to late 1970s kraut fusion album, of which there are dozens. That is, until you hear the mellotron being played like a flautist would play his solo! It's really odd to hear this traditional symphonic prog / electronik musik instrument used in this context. For this alone, Third Eye is worth seeking out. There's also a classically inspired romantic piece, cocktail piano, a drum solo, typical fusion runs. Bizarre. "Connexion" is a completely different animal and far more traditional jazz than its predecessor. Gone is the mellotron and all the interesting fusion of styles. *** Connexion reissued by Sonorama October 2013 xxx

Third Quadrant - Seeing Yourself As You Really Are (England) 1982 Rock Cottage. Released a few months prior to the New Wave of Progressive Rock movement (aka Neo Prog), Third Quadrant's debut album arrived just a tad early to receive the press and distribution it needed to survive. Is still considered one of the major rarities from the era, along with the Airship label groups like Protos and Gemini. Musically it's fairly underproduced, but does possess a strong mid 70's Genesis to late 70's Pink Floyd feel. Mellow Records reissued a later album "Layered" over 15 years ago, but never did tackle this one. Not essential, but nice to have from an historical perspective. I've read from the band's bass player that there are 2 albums prior to this one, but not sure if they were on LP, cassette or just on their own personal reel to reels.

* This Oneness - Surprize (USA) 1975 private. Minnesota based group who performs a Mahavishnu styled heavy fusion with Canterbury touches. The song portions are of the Midwest progressive rock variety ala Ethos, Albatross. A good one that Syn-Phonic would have reissued in the 90s.

# Jacques Thollot - Watch Devil Go (France) 1975 Palm.
Jacques Thollot - Resurgence (France) 1977 Musica. Both of these are more steeped in pure jazz, than the more rock fusion oriented "Cinq Hops" album. Will leave here for reference, but I feel both of these fall out of scope for this list.

** Thomas Flinter - s/t (Netherlands) 1978 Munich.
Thomas Flinter - For a Fugitive (Netherlands) 1984 Boni. Thomas Flinter, named after a medieval troubadour, is another fine Dutch instrumental progressive rock band. There are a couple of vocals tracks that bookend this release. The opener seems to be a slight try for a radio hit, though at over 7 minutes - complete with complex instrumental sections - seems like an odd choice. The vocalist sings in a heavily affected baritone style and it frankly sounds goofy. The final track is a traditional heavily rearranged and features chorus vocals. Musically it reminds me of early 70's Focus, though vocally it's closer to Gentle Giant. And, after the opener, I have to say I'm surprised by how good the vocals are here. Otherwise the album is a very fine instrumental music similar to Lady Lake or even some Finch, especially from "Galleons of Passion". An excellent album. "For Fugitive" has way too much 80s gloss and lacks teeth. But compositionally it's pretty well done for what it is.

*** Rob Thomsett - Yaraandoo (Australia) 1975 private. This is one trippy album, I'll tell you that. And there's some Canterbury like grooves mixed in here too and you'll hear a couple of Nucleus / Soft Machine style runs. One thing to note - Thomsett assembles no less than 9 people to play on this album. This isn't a private bedroom affair, but a full scale psychedelic work. This is one of those six dimension type albums that I love so much. The real-deal freaky underground. You'll recognize the pioneering field tapes of Agitation Free's Malesch and the otherworldly-ness of Algarnas Tradgard. For my tastes, this album is genius.

* Thunder and Roses – King of the Black Sunrise (USA) 1969 United Artists. King of the Black Sunrise, now that's a cool title, eh? Thunder and Roses were a Philly based band who's stock in trade is what is commonly known as "heavy psych". The primary drivers here are Cream and Jimi Hendrix, and for those that love distorted heavy blues rock, then Thunder and Roses will scratch that itch for the most part. There are some weak spots to be found though, such as the country rock song, and their sleepy version of Hendrix's "Red House". But when they crank up the pace and start kickin' out the jams as it were, then this one is primo. Worth a legit CD for sure. Pirates, naturally enough, own these waters to date.

** Time - s/t (England) 1975 Buk (BULP 2005) also released in Germany on Buk (17 22536-4). I have the catalog numbers here so you, the reader, have a slight chance of finding this album (good luck in searching for Time and Buk). What a great album. Very complex for the time and place. Somewhat like Yes' "Relayer" crossed with "Power and the Glory" Gentle Giant (you won't see me use these type of mainstream comparisons much, because they rarely apply - but they do in this case!). And the vocalist reminds me a bit of Yezda Urfa (and the complexity of the music too). I also hear a little Fruupp and Jonesy here too. This is one of the last great major label British albums not on CD (OK, maybe Buk wasn't major, but they were definitely a AAA minor league label).

# Tingling Mother's Circus - A Circus of the Mind (USA) 1968 Musicor. Charming orchestrated pop psych, with dual male and female vocals - and small bouts of organ and fuzz guitar to definitely give it that late 60s edge. Comes in a fine uni-pak gatefold on Musicor, a major label that pretty much eschewed the entire psychedelic rock movement. One of the few obscure US psych albums that can still be found for dirt cheap, and it's actually quite decent! If you can conjure up a 1968 image of 'Sunday Kind of Feeling' and 'Happy Bubble', then I think you already know how this album will sound without having to hit the YouTube samples first.

* To Be - s/t (Germany) 1977 Brain. Latin rock / fusion that capitalized on "Borboletto" era Santana, but came a bit late to find its audience. However, the beatdigger crowd has gone nuts for it in recent years, sealing it as probably the most sought after "multi-colored / orange" Brain release.

Tocabiol - Es El, Es Ela... (France) 1977 Revolum. Here's another one of those buried cassette tapes I have from my 1990s trading days. First half of the album is strictly regional folk music, while the other is a long spaced out acid folk rock journey with narrative vocals. This half reminds me a little bit of Sergius Golowin without the percussive build-ups. Perhaps they have another session similar that would make a great CD? Sung in Occitan, a language found in southern France and northern Spain. They have a second album that is purely folk.

# Eric Tocanne – Questions D’Habitude. 1983 Puls. Interesting counterpoint guitar fronted instrumental fusion. The toned down guitar, and the generally academic approach recalls The Alain Eckert Quartet. Worth discovering.

** Tomorrow's Gift - Goodbye Future (Germany) 1973 Aamok. One of the more well-known Krautrock albums without a CD reissue. First album was done by Second Battle almost 15 years ago now! "Goodbye Future" is completely different and is a keyboard centered Canterbury styled album - a little like same period Supersister, especially the Zappa influence. Band evolved into the fusion oriented Release Music Orchestra, who also lack reissues - as does related band Dennis. There's a very convincing boot out there, which even has "bonus tracks", which was also taken from an obscure compilation vinyl. Hopefully Long Hair or Garden of Delights will set the record straight.

** Tonic - This Way (Germany) 1980 Peak. If it weren't for a cassette tape a friend sent me over 10 years ago, I'd still not know this record. One of the most obscure albums in this list, I've never seen an original for sale. There's now a review on the excellent Planet Mellotron site as well. For the late date, this has a remarkably complex sound – similar to the classic Italian prog scene. With choir mellotron, organ, bells, speedy guitar solos, flute, sax and complex meters. When the vocals kick in, I'm reminded of Grobschnitt's "Rockpommel's Land" era.

# Topaz - s/t (Belgium) 1978 private. Supertramp soundalike with a light jazzy backdrop, and strong piano work. Very rare, but not a lot here for progressive rock fans.

* Topper - At Last (USA) 1977 private. As stated in many places, I truly enjoy the underground rock scene of the great American Midwest and Topper are no different. This time hailing from Kansas City, we have a band that was typically over ambitious, and wonderfully amateurish. There are a lot of ideas on their one album, and it's clear they had a few Yes, Genesis and Led Zeppelin albums in their closet. And they get a little too close to plagiarism in a couple of places. The Moog soloing in particular is inspired. A bootleg exists.

# * Topos Uranos - Suite Mistica (Brazil) 1993 private. One of the last of the private press LPs not to be issued on CD (before the recent wave of LP only albums). Topos Uranos play a confident style of symphonic progressive similar to a few bands in Brazil at this time like Quaterna Requiem, Via Lumini, and Dogma.

# Toro - s/t (USA) 1975 Coco. Latin rock with Santana-like guitar rave-ups combined with Malo styled ballads. File next to Sapo and Wild Wind.

*** Tortilla Flat - Fur Ein 3/4 Stundchen (Germany) 1974 private. Extraordinary Canterbury fusion album like the very best of Supersister or Soft Machine. Even better is the unreleased SWF Sessions from 1973 - one of the best recordings I've ever heard period. Long Hair, Garden of Delights, Musea - someone - anyone!

* Total Issue - s/t (France) 1971 United Artists. One of the earliest French progressive rock albums. Has that loose jazzy quality that recalls Moving Gelatine Plates with flute and fuzzy guitar leading the way. Not as Canterbury influenced nor as consistent as MGP, but still a very strong early effort. There's also a fair amount of acoustic guitar / flute based SSW material, but arranged in a progressive manner, similar to how the Italians would do. Album is mostly sung in French (a rarity for rock bands in those days), with some English tracks, which are more commercial (but all thankfully short). A natural choice for Musea to reissue.

* Totty - s/t (USA) 1977 Our First Record. The Totty Brothers of Tulsa, Oklahoma provide us with a strong hard rock entry, complete with a mixed up Christian-score-with-chicks message. And just how many righteous men have gotten religion for a chance at a piece of sweet ass? Hmmm-mmm, homeboy know! No matter though, 'cause this delivers the goods in the layman's sense - solid distorted guitar fronted hard rock. Pre NWOBHM, but with that same take no prisoners attitude. File alongside Truth & Janey / Poobah. This is the good stuff. The kind of album that would've been reissued by Monster and probably will be by Rockadrome in the future. Their second album is straight AOR music and not worth mentioning. boots exist.

* TOuCH - Traumwerk 1 (Germany) 1980 private. Nice example of Berlin School electronics mixed with rock elements, primarily in the form of real drums. Not as dynamic as Wolfgang Bock's "Cycles", but some of the sequences are inventive and the album holds up well to modern ears. Band owns a large palette of keyboards, not uncommon for the genre. Band name stands for the two protagonist's "Tom und Charly".

* Touch - s/t (Germany) 1981 Cain.Germany certainly had no shortage of bands influenced by Gabriel era Genesis in the late 70s and early 80s including Neuschwanstein, Ivory, Sirius, and a host of others. The populous nation had a head start on the burgeoning NWOBPR scene that was about to take hold in England. Unfortunately there was little market for progressive music in Germany at the time, and all the bands faded rather quickly. Touch features a violinist, and his fine playing recalls Hoelderlin's own Genesis phase ("Clowns and Clouds" specifically). The vocals do resemble the theatrical elements of Mr. Gabriel quite well. The instrumental work throughout is above standard, and I'm impressed with the overall production. The use of Moog sequencing is refreshing in this context. There is, as noted by The AC, a fair amount of commercial pandering - yet another harbinger of the ill-conceived "neo prog" aspect of the once promising NWOBPR movement. The compositions are diverse, and well thought out. Fans of early 80s Genesis inspired progressive music will love this one.

Tower of Dreams - s/t (USA) 1981 private (EP). New Jersey based Tower of Dreams looks great on the surface. But despite a cool black and white cover of a European medieval castle (and an accompanying comic book no less), we neither receive one of those off the wall early epic metal works nor a cool amateurish past-its-shelf-life prog album. Nah... just another lightweight guitar fronted instrumental album, somewhere between fusion, new age, and rock. Possesses this sort of "dull" sound that was typical of US private presses for the early 80s. Not the music necessarily, but there's just no edge to the instrumentation or production. This 20 minute EP is pleasant, and isn't time down the drain, but not essential either. Worth a couple of listens.

Train - Coo-Coo Out (Germany) 1977 private. Bremen based Train puts the jazz in jazz fusion. Mostly this is sax and toned down guitar driven jazz rock. But there's also some acoustic guitar pieces, and the opener 'Solution' is pure funk. The best track is saved for last, a slow atmospheric exotic percussive Middle Eastern piece with flute as the lead, appropriately enough titled 'Arabesque'. Recommended to fans of the jazzier side of the large German fusion scene.

# ** Trance - Dystopia (Germany) 1979 private. Fine French styled progressive electronic album from German duo. More to come.....

** Trefle - Reflet (France) 1979 private. In the Ange school of French progressive rock. More of an underproduced effort, recalling Grime or the first Synopsis album. One of the better examples of the style, with impassioned vocals and fine guitar work. The atmosphere here is rich. All the songs are short but segue nicely into each other. A good one that Musea would've typically reissued in the early 90s.

Tribu - Cuauhtemoc Agulia Solar (Mexico) 1987 Pentagrama. Tribu have a lot more albums than this, in fact Gnosis lists 10 of them, many without any ratings. Finding any info about Tribu has proven to be a challenge. The above album is the only one I've known about for years, and remains the only one I've heard. Tribu collaborated quite a bit with Jorge Reyes during this period. Sometimes the album is known as "Fusion Etno-Rock" as it's stated that way on the cover, but that was to inform the buyer of the style of music. "Cuauhtemoc Agulia Solar" is a fusion of pre-Hispanic indigenous tribal music and modern day rock. Most of it is the former, but there are some supreme examples of the latter, with wonderful fuzzed out guitars and synth soloing. On these pieces, I'm most reminded of the Arco Iris album I recently listed, as well as Lula Cortes & Ze Remalho's "Paebiru" album. Had it been more fusion and less indigenous, I'd probably have rated this a Priority 2 or 3. I'll go with a no priority, but it's borderline, and fans of ancient world music in general will love this album.

# Jean Tricot - Par Les Temps Qui Courent (France) 1982. Mix of traditional French music and fusion.

# Trilogy - Nachtlichter (Germany) 1984 ETA. A mixture of early 80s styled fuzak and song based rock sung in German. Some of the instrumentals are inspired, especially the guitar work. The pop tracks recall same period Novalis, including some sophisticated arrangements. The instrumentation has a warm and early 80s digital sound. A long way from their excellent "Here It Is" album, but it's not terrible.

* Trilogy - Arctic Life (England) 1982 private. EP Cassette. Trilogy were, as you might suspect, a trio that also happened to feature quite a bit of keyboards. When the keyboards are active, I am reminded indeed of many of the bands from the early 80s period such as Twelfth Night and Pallas. But the guitarist plays a double neck guitar - and you have to know exactly where I'm going here. Correct... Rush. As in "Moving Pictures" Rush. Tightly wound, non-sprawling Rush. And I love it. Rush meets Pendragon? OK  - works for me!

** El Trio (Lapouble / Lew / Cevasco) - Todo En Su Medida y Armoniosamente (Argentina) 1974 Music Hall. Highly inventive, and primarily instrumental, guitar trio with fuzzy electric and some well placed acoustic bits. The two tracks with female vocals are the highlights, and add to the jazzy psych allure of the material. Like a looser, more improvisational take on the second El Reloj album. Very short album clocking in around 28 minutes.

* Tripsichord - The Tripsichord Music Box (USA) 1970 San Francisco Sound. 1971 Janus. The band is usually known by the title of the album - and it is in fact their original name. They had shortened it by the time of this recording (in 1969) to just Tripsichord. The first copy you see is the actual original and probably sits in the SFMOMA it's so rare. The second copy is the more common one, as the relatively large American label Janus picked up the rights in 1971 and released it all too late for anyone to care by that point. Hence its rarity today. Musically it falls squarely into what was popular in San Francisco in the late 60s. More commonly known as the "West Coast Sound". It's a mix of hard edged psych and jangly rural pop songs. The latter has always been a turn off to me, but The Byrds were an enormous influence in those days, and that was the mix they brought forward to great popularity. Tripsichord's needle moves more towards the psychedelic, and features a few great tracks that you want to hear over and over. Boots exist.

xxx # Troc - s/t (France) 1973 CY. Andre Ceccarelli and Jannick Top's jazzy / funk / soul group. Good instrumental segments are offset by awkward vocal moments. Best to leave this kind of music to the streets of America. *** Reissued by Frémeaux & Associés in 2013 xxx

* Trocarn - s/t (Switzerland) 1977 Studiovox. Trocarn play in that charming, but hopelessly low budget, maudlin, French progressive folk genre. Epic but somewhat confused. Towards the end of the album, we're presented with a loud burst of fuzz guitar, coupled with the freaky fast complex changes. It appears the band possessed tons of pent-up anger and went nuts at the end. More of that interspersed throughout would have made for a monster album. One has to think there is more of that sound in a canister somewhere. From the French section of Suisse. File next to Emeraude, Subversion and Alpha Centauri. I also have to think a newly remastered CD taken from the masters could do wonders for an album like this, and maybe take some of the "low budget" aspects off of it.

# Troisieme Rive - Banlieues (France) 1978 Iris. Part of the electrified French folk movement, which had gained quite a bit of traction in Brittany with Malicorne and Gwendal. However this album is from Besançon, on the eastern front, bordering Switzerland - though there are some similarities to the folk rock approach. A very vocal-heavy album, so if you're looking for instrumental expansion, you won't get it here. There's even a hint of Gabriel era Genesis in the vocal passages, but again, no instrumental break outs. Good for fans of French folk rock. Features a fantastic album cover.

# Rolf Trostel - Two Faces (Germany) 1981 RP. Nice bit of Schulzian electronics, though nothing that hadn't been tried and recorded before. But one to add to the stack, if so inclined. Trostel has 3 other albums as well.

# Troyka - s/t (Canada) 1970 Cotillion. Pretty wild guitar trio, with plenty of experimental bits. Edmonton based group, who pulls some material from the local Ukrainian immigrant culture. Good album, if not a bit silly in places considering the vocal approach. boots exist.

xxx* True Myth - s/t (Canada) 1979 Warner Brothers. Much was made at the time that True Myth's sole album was the first ever all digital recording. I guess it's ironic, then, that the album remains unissued in digital format. This is obviously a big budget affair, complete with a thick gatefold cover, lengthy liner notes, and a brilliant production. Musically, even though it's from Canada, it has much in common with the US Midwest prog rock scene of the mid 1970s. Though not that much of a stretch since southern Ontario is an extension of the region. 1979 was a little late for an album like this, and there's the expected obvious commercial AOR moves that can be a bit cringe inducing. But the piano work here is stellar (recalling Italy's Festa Mobile actually). A good album that is generally panned by the progressive rock community. But I have a soft spot for this kind of stuff and recommend it to those who like groups such as Ethos, Styx and Sunblind Lion. xxxx Reissued by Belle Antique Aug, 2010 xxxx

Trust - Le Mutant (France) 1970 Philips. "Le Mutant" is basically a French pop rock album, with a distinct British proto-prog feel where The Beatles have to be considered an obvious influence here, despite it all being sung in French. Similar to countrymen Iris and M.O.T.U.S. in that same way. Not as adventurous as the first two albums from Alain Markusfeld, for example. Speaking of which, it is rumored that both Markusfeld (guitar) and Jacky Chalard (bass) play on this (though uncredited). Non-essential fluff for the most part, but a good one to hear for specialists. This Trust is not related to the French hard rock group of the same name that later supplied Iron Maiden with its drummers.

Velvert Turner Group - s/t (USA) 1972 Family. This is one of those albums that had two releases: a Soul and a Rock mix. Of interest to us is the latter of course. Velvert Turner is heavily, and I mean HEAVILY, influenced by classic Jimi Hendrix, whom apparently he had a student/mentor relationship with. On this, his only album, Turner pretty much imitates the vocal and compositional style to perfection. Nice guitar work as well, but of course falls short of the master. A bit too much hero worship here for me to recommend further. Boots exist.

* Tyll - Sexphonie (Germany) 1974 Kerston. Tyll were one of those obscure groups on the Kerston label (Gaa, Epidermis, Proton 1 concert). Optimistically (that would be VERY optimistically) you could almost call this the Hatfield and the North of Krautrock. Maybe Zappa is closer - but not in the same way as the first Nine Days Wonder. Each track is different, some are fiery fusion workouts, others are German folk, while still others are hard rock. The German vocals make it unique and thus remind me of groups like Drosselbart, Professor Wolff and Franz K (circa Sensemann). The latter gets a further comparison due to the supercool use of heavily affected electric guitar. It is this element that makes Tyll attractive for multiple relistens. On the spacier tracks, labelmates Gaa are a fair comparison. In many places I also hear the weird composition style of Lily's "V.C.U.". In the end, this would make a good reissue for a label like Garden of Delights.

** UHF – Timeless Voyager (USA) 1981 Rofer Music. At CD Baby, there's an album you can buy from a Chicago band called The Seiche ("1979 Seiche Demo"). When listening to UHF, I was reminded of The Seiche. At its core, both bands are heavily influenced by late 70s Rush, minus the epic aspirations. More of a streamlined approach, similar to how Rush would emerge themselves, but with a rawer edge that is to be expected on a private production. But Florida based UHF take it one step further by adding a bit of a metal component. There's a certain riffing style that identifies it as such, though it doesn't fit comfortably into what is generally known as heavy metal - even for the early date. In fact, it wouldn't be a reach to compare UHF to Manilla Road at this 1981 stage (again, minus the more grandiose compositions and themes). And it's not just hard rock and metal, but a very strong progressive component can be found, with unusual meter breaks, and well placed keyboards. This is one of the best new-to-me albums I've heard in a long time. Great stuff.

# The Ullulators – Share a Clam With the Ullulators (England) 1985 cassette. The Ullulators were formed by one of the founders of Ozric Tentacles and are one of the original festival space rock bands. "Share a Clam ..." is pretty rudimentary, with drum machines and a very low budget production. The songwriting and guitar plying are very good however. According to Gnosis, they have a total of 9 releases, of which only one is an LP. I may try to seek the LP out, but otherwise I'll need some convincing to dig deeper with The Ullulators.

Uludag - Mau Mau (Germany) 1988 Review. A cross between various Oriental musics and avant progressive rock. All instrumental and unlike any other album. Groundbreaking, though not necessarily that enjoyable on the whole.

# Under Milkwood (USA) 1969 Monarch Record Mfg. It would appear this was just a demo press, that supposedly was picked up - and dropped - by A&M Records in 1969 or 1970. Both Fanny of Belgium and Akarma of Italy have "reissued" it, though I seriously doubt copyrights were secured ahead of time. So we'll keep it here in the CDRWL until which time we hear a good story about it. Otherwise this is pretty mediocre rural psych folk, with a few electric leads. If it indeed is from 1969/70, then it's already long past its shelf life - sounding more like the '67 gather-round-the-campfire sound that was in vogue. There's some sax to spruce things up, but in an unconvincing way.

* Svend Undseth - Grenseland (Norway) 1979 Nor-Disc/Polydor. Let's have The AC introduce the album: "Surprising, obscure solo effort from multi-instrumentalist and former member of progressive fusion greats Vanessa. Completely eschewing his former band's style, this is actually a dark, experimental effort that's pretty intriguing. Synths, electric and acoustic guitar, bass, sax, flute, percussion and wordless vocals create an eerie soundscape that at times recalls Lard Free. There's also one track in full band mode that almost sounds like Heldon meets Hawkwind. Overall though, this mostly reminds one of some of the darkest 70s/early 80s electronic progressive works. There seems to be some kind of "arctic" concept going on here a la Richard Pinhas' "Iceland", but the atmosphere actually strikes me as more "lost in a haunted Tibetan monastery", with the clanging percussion, creepy chanting/moaning voices, etc. Maybe a bit too abstract for some tastes, but I really like it!". And I concur wholeheartedly with the conclusion. I really like it too! It truly has an underground vibe, almost what you could expect from 1970 Germany or 1971 Sweden. Completely incongruous with the lighter fusion touch of Vanessa (who I also quite like). As is often the case with albums such as this, the experimentalism can sometimes overstay its welcome, but in general, Undseth does a fine job of keeping this within the rails.

** Ungava - s/t (Canada) 1977 36 Records. On the surface it would appear Ungava would be yet another power trio, given their guitar-bass-drums lineup. But the 2 guest musicians, one on keys and the other on sax/flute seem to have far more than cameo appearances as seemingly they are part of the bad, perhaps leaving just prior to release and being relegated to "guest". This is one of Quebec's finest, recalling Opus 5 or Maneige in places, but with the added strong guitar work. Maybe not Frank Marino or Walter Rossi strong, but still some high quality six stringing going on amongst the complex progressive rock compositions. Bootlegs exist.

# Universe - s/t (England) 1971 Experience. Released in Norway only. Universe were a UK band who recorded one album in Norway. Their music can best be categorized as countrified blues rock (complete with harmonica), with occasional hard rock forays which contains some fine electric guitar and organ leads. A couple of decent jams, especially towards the end of the album, but overall not a stellar record. Songwriting is not their strong suit I'm afraid. The Norwegian Colours label put this out on LP in the early 90s along with an archival release called "The Wheel".

# Unobstructed Universe - s/t (USA) 1976 Adamo. Experimental jazz (barely rock) release that shows promise on Side 1 with a blues base and cool rock riffs. But eventually unwinds into pointless improvisations. In these sections, I'm reminded of the dreadful Eddie Sears Conspiracy album. First side is incredibly long at over 30 minutes. Fans of out-jazz may like this, but pretty far out of scope for this list.

Vacation - Resurrection of (Belgium) 1971 Majestic. Standard issue guitar fronted blues rock in the Cream / Blue Cheer tradition, all very typical of the day. Sound is quite raw, supposedly a live recording, though I suspect the crowd noise was added later (I'm a bit suspicious of the delirious crowd, as if Vacation were The Beatles). Guitarist is a cut above the rest. Opening track is a fast paced instrumental, and not in step with the rest of the album. Reminds me of another Belgian group called Kleptomania. Fans of American garage music may take a shine to this, like Saint Anthony's Fyre for example. Other guideposts include France's Amphyrite and Quebec's Ellison.

* Valhalla - s/t (USA) 1969 United Artists. Valhalla's sole album is more typical of the "USA confused year of 1970" than 1969. You can tell they are shedding their psychedelic past, yet that sound is still very prominent in Valhalla's repertoire. Certainly UK bands like Deep Purple had a profound influence on Valhalla and there's also a strong - what we now call - proto-progressive sound with a strong organ presence. Comparisons to bands like Vanilla Fudge and Iron Butterfly wouldn't be out of place either.

xxx *** Laurence Vanay - Galaxies (aka Laurence Vanay) (France) 1974 SFP (Societe Francaise de Productions Phonographiques)
xxx *** Laurence Vanay - Gateway Evening Colours (France) 1975 Galloway (aka "Evening Colours" 1976 CAM). Laurence Vanay is the pseudonym for Jacqueline Thibault, wife of famed French music producer and musician Laurent Thibault. The two albums above are pure genius. Almost all instrumental with gorgeous organ, flute, acoustic/electric guitar. Even a little Zeuhl bass to knock things around. She provides some wordless voice through many of the tracks. And on "Galaxies" occassionally sings in a soft, seductive female manner - all in French of course. If anyone can help me hear her other three albums, I'd be very grateful. *** All albums save "Magic Slows" reissued by Lion Productions (USA) December 2013. Also look for the mythical archival 4th and 5th albums to be reissued by Lion in 2015. xxx

Vanessa - City Lips (Norway) 1973 On.
Vanessa - Black and White (Norway) 1976 Compendium. The more known of the two albums, "Black and White", is a better than average instrumental jazz fusion album, with some tight rhythms and occasional funky lines. Primary leads come from the sax, but plenty of good guitar and keyboard leads as well. Comparisons to the French group Spheroe wouldn't be out of place. This album received pretty good distribution in the US, and it wasn't too difficult to find in the used bins in the 1980s. Because of this, I'm surprised it still hasn't been reissued to date. "City Lips" is similar, again a mix of funk and fusion, with a couple of experimental bits thrown in for good measure. A bit more meaty than "Black and White", but not as focused.

* Vangelis - Sex Power (Greece) 1970 Philips.
* Vangelis - Hypothesis (Greece) 1971/1978 Charly.
* Vangelis - The Dragon (Greece) 1971/1978 Charly. "Sex Power" is Vangelis' debut solo album, which is a pretty crude, but well done, soundtrack to a French soft core erotica flick. Not sure why this hasn't been reissued, given its historical value at the very least. "Hypothesis" and "The Dragon" are loose rock jams recorded prior to his masterwork "666" with Aphrodite's Child. Vangelis treats these two recordings much in the same way as Klaus Schulze does with the Cosmic Jokers, in that he's distanced himself from them and claims they were never meant to be released to a larger audience. This argument can be further advanced by the fact that the LP's were released some 7 years later. And Vangelis successfully sued to have them removed from the market. Though not in time for them to proliferate world-wide. These two albums aren't particularly rare in original form. Because of this circumstance, these albums naturally thrive in the bootleg CD market - unfortunately. For awhile it seemed the Sex Power CD (combined with another album) was authentic, but it proved to be "unauthorized" from a variety of sources.

* V.A. - Birth of a New Place (Germany) 1978 Offers Musik. The first two tracks are from Sloe Gin, and I thought they were nothing short of amazing. A real Canterbury vibe exists throughout, with wonderful flute and fuzz guitar soloing. Good soft affected English vocals on the second track as well. This is one of those bands you hope that Garden of Delights or Long Hair would find some obscure archival radio session to release. Reminds me of some of those great bands you'd find on the Umsonst and Draussen albums. Both Flintsprint and Pythagoras have a similar sound, but definitely have less compositional acumen, nor do they possess the instrumental palette of Sloe Gin. The latter in particular sounds like a rhythm track awaiting some front line soloist to jam on top of. Flintsprint sounds like they were about 6 months away from having some significant material (their first track on here is quite good). All in all, a very good compilation - one that is worthy of a reissue on its own. Though even better would be separate albums from Sloe Gin and Flintsprint.

# Varis - s/t (Germany) 1979 private. Another one of those albums lumped in with the Kraut fusion movement, but it's really a jazz album with a few rock elements - like Hippopotamus or Quasimodogeniti. Some nice flute, sax, Rhodes and jazz guitar leads. One track has vocals which is unusual for an album like this. Not a bad album, but once again we're out of scope here.

# Vatten - Tungt Vatten (Sweden) 1975 Prophone. Straight ahead blues rock with Swedish vocals. But considering the fuzzy bass and raucous electric leads, this one is a little more interesting than most in the genre. Even a couple of Latin groovers to keep it from being all depressing, all the time. Vatten also had three albums from the 1980s that I don't believe are on CD either.

* Vecchio - Afro-Rock (Spain) 1971 Music DeWolfe. Vecchio is lead by one Luis Vecchio, resident of the Canary Islands, and his album for the Sound Library label DeWolfe is one that is frequently mentioned in hushed reverence amongst the beat digger DJ collecting crowd. And it's easy to see why, given its massive brass charts, funky bass lines, fluttering flute, choppy organ and additional hand tribal percussion. Unlike most incidental film music, the album works as a whole and isn't just a disparate bit of sounds and rhythms. Up there in the big leagues of rare groove with Mandingo, The Feedback, and the Roland Kovac Set.

* Vega - Jara (Spain) 1979 Movieplay.
Vega - Sol de Oscuridad (Spain) 1981 Movieplay. In the early 90's Fonomusic released most of the classic Movieplay progressive rock albums on CD (terrible bare bones packaging, but legit all the same). But curiously the Vega's were ignored. Then in the early 2000's, Fonomusic was back - this time with much more elaborate tri-fold digi-pak's and better sound. And they picked up Vega's debut "Andaluza" while they were at it. But curiously, again, these two Vega albums were left behind. "Jara" is a fine flamenco fusion album - not aggressive rock as with other Andalusian bands such as Medina Azahara, Mezquita and Triana - more of a refined cocktail sound. Twelve string acoustic flamenco guitars and rhythms combined with Rhodes, flute and a lightly amplified electric guitar define the sound of Vega. Both "Andaluza" and "Jara" feature remarkable paintings, two of the finest that ever have graced LPs. Oh, this is Tomas Vega, not to be confused with Daniel Vega, who also put out a nice progressive fusion album (and reissued last decade as well).

Vent d'Est - s/t (France) 1980 Om. Melodic progressive in the Camel / Pink Floyd vein. The instrumental work is quite good, especially the guitarist who lights it up quite a bit more than most from this era. Plenty of commercially oriented material to wade through as well.

Venus - s/t (Germany) 1975 private. Venus is one of those super rare albums that was in the pages of one of the older Pokora books, and thus has everyone and their Grandmother looking under every stone for a copy. Starting out with female German narration like Ash Ra Tempel's Rosi or Gilles Zeitschiff, it would seem to be an auspicious beginning for this super obscure Krautrock release. This is followed by a rather straightforward hard rock track, but with some odd female vocals and psychedelic guitar soloing, and so not really that far from my Proto Progressive with Female Vocals list that I have here on RYM. It's a pity she didn't stick with German, because the English vocals are heavily accented, and somewhat strained. As it goes it gets weaker.There's some boogie shuffle rock to endure and when they go into folk rock territory, it's time to look for shelter. All the same, I found the album oddly alluring, though by no means necessary for a reissue. Worth two listens at least.

Versylus - s/t (USA) 1982 private. New Jersey based group who put out this "hedged" progressive LP and held out hope that the AOR/commercial songs would take hold and send them to the big time. That strategy never did work. The progressive cuts are nice, showing an almost neo approach to the early Genesis sound (guessing here that the band wasn't aware of what was going on in the English underground at this time). There's also some nice Gentle Giant chorus-counterpoint bits to grab hold of. Pretty decent for a self produced album. I think there were no covers - just released in generic white sleeves.

** Verto - Krig Volubilis (France) 1976 Pole.
Verto - Reel 1936 (France) 1978 Fleur. Verto is the one man guitar/electronic pseudonym of Jean-Pierre Grasset with multiple guests that seems to be modeled directly after Richard Pinhas and Heldon. And the results are similar, though less structured and more amateurish. If "Krig Volubilis" is Verto's "Electronique Guerilla", then "Reel 1936" is the "Interface" except far more experimental, sometimes to its detriment. Would make a great 2 for 1 CD.

# Vestenvinden - Gummimasker (Denmark) 1971 Polydor. Danish flower-power folk rock with male and female vocals (at their best when singing, but without words). All lyrics in Danish (a plus). Good melodies, but not a very adventurous album, and thus fails to capture the imagination. Guitarist Uffe Steen was later in the jazz fusion band Kamæleon.

xxx # Patrick Vian - Bruits et Temps Analogues (France) 1976 Egg. A long way from Red Noise, this is an eclectic brew with sequencer based electronic music at its base. Was a standard $5 import back in the 1980s, but not around as much anymore. *** Reissued by Staubgold, March 2013 xxx

# VIIth Temple - Under the Burning Sun (Canada) 1978 private. 3 longish songs clocking in at what is really an EP, VIIth Temple's sole effort sounds more like a basement prog band from south of the Canadian border. There's a bit of a Rush component (first 2 albums), and some strong synth work. A real curiosity piece, supposedly only 15 were pressed, though if that's true, then about half of them have already been offered on ebay - so probably a larger press than that. Too short to be reissued alone, unless there are more worthy bonus tracks. Probably best to pair with a similar album (Joker's Memory maybe?)

Vildkaktus - Tidsmaskinen (Sweden) 1970 MNW.
Vildkaktus - Vindarnas Vagar (Sweden) 1971 Polydor. Both albums are like a Swedish Crosby Stills and Nash, especially around CSN's debut. Which means some jazzy sections, that adds flavor to an otherwise bland dish. Also some peppy Yes-like progressions circa "Time and a Word". Lyrics in Swedish add an exotic vibe (for us English speakers anyway). A couple of swell albums here.

# Villblomst - s/t (Norway) 1979 Briskeby. Mostly this is an American styled light funk rock album, with Norwegian lyrics. Some excellent electric guitar work keeps it from a total laugher. Just barely.

* Vindication - s/t (USA) 1973 Custom Fidelity. Indiana based Christian progressive rock band. I've had a copy of this for years, so not sure why I didn't have in the reissue wishlist prior. No mistakening its Midwest identity, with those unique bowling alley beer binges meets barbershop quartet harmony vocals. Music is insanely complex for the time and place, and especially for the subject matter. It would seem Ohio's The Load may have heard or known Vindication as well, though they weren't near as complex as their brethren to the West. This one seems to get better with age.

Mads Vinding Group - Danish Design. 1974 Sonet (also 1977 Peters International (USA)) There are two solid reasons to chase down this rather mundane fusion album: 1) Guitarist Janne Schaffer absolutely blazes on two extraordinary tracks. 2) The really cool album cover. For reason 1), on these two tracks, it sounds more like the Dutch hard hitting instrumental progressive rock of Finch, Bonfire and Scope. Otherwise I'd have left it as a reference on the main list and called it out of scope. If you're a one or two track guy or gal, then this is a must. Otherwise, be prepared for the ordinary.

** The Viola Crayola - Music: Breathing of Statues (USA) 1974 Fautna. You know, there are great guitar trio albums and then there's San Antonio's Viola Crayola. This jazzy psych freakout jam album is just remarkable and sounds about 15 years ahead of its time in technique. And fortunately it IS of its era soundwise. This thing just rips and shreds and wahwah's until you collapse from exhaustion. The last 2 minute goofball track allows us to see Viola's mentor - Mr. Zappa. If these guys released this in 1991, there'd be a monthly feature in Guitar Player for him. Unfortunately, Tony Viola died tragically later in 1974. Album is only about 29 minutes long. A bootleg exists.

Virgin's Dream - Sophisty (Germany) 1980 Elm Records. A couple of years ago, I received a package from Rolf Trenkler, former leader of Virgin's Dream. It contained a CD compiled from unreleased demos called "The X-Tapes" and dated primarily from 1972 (and I reviewed it for Gnosis). But there was no mention of this "Sophisty" album (maybe because he wasn't on it)! In fact, I see no similar members between the 2 albums. A similar thing happened with the band Moira, and yet there was a tie-in, just not on album. So this certainly could be the same band. The Krautrock Musikzirkus website lists them together, as a band from Essen. But the history provided is strictly from "The X-Tapes" era. In any case, I never knew of its existence until a good friend of this site recently provided me with a CDR burn. Virgin's Dream, on "Sophisty" at least, are very much a product of the late 70s and early 80s German fusion scene. Perhaps a bit more tropical, and funky, than most. Comparisons to Michael Borner's Sun or some of Syncrises' work wouldn't be out of line. As usual, the guitar work is exemplary, a trademark of the time and place.

Visitor 2035 - s/t (England) 1978 Ariola. Progressive fusion influenced by the usual suspects like Return to Forever, David Sancious and Weather Report. I also pick up some fellow countrymen Skywhale here as well as the US group Flight, and that's a good thing.

# Voiz - Boanerges (Netherlands) 1977 Grapevine. Basically a Christian rock album with an occasional meter shift or dynamic change putting it in the "progressive" category, though that's a stretch. Early Jethro Tull gets more than a passing reference, but not solidly in that camp. Lots of hard rock, blues, jazz flute -- typical smorgasbord from a band that was trying to get their message across anyway they could.

# Adelbert Von Deyen - Sternzeit (Germany) 1978 Sky.
Adelbert Von Deyen - Nordberg (Germany) 1979 Sky.
Adelbert Von Deyen - Eclipse (Germany) 1981 Sky.
Adelbert Von Deyen - Planetary (Germany) 1982 Sky. Von Deyen was one of Sky's more prolific artists, and the above represents only about half of his catalog. Von Deyen primarily performed a typical German electronic music ala Klaus Schulze, though as on "Eclipse", he would mix in a slower paced space rock reminiscent of Pink Floyd. His 1980 album "Atmosphere" has been reissued by Sky, a label that never quite embraced CDs.

Von Zamla - No Make Up! (Sweden) 1983 JA&RO (Exil). Full review posted on Gnosis.

xxx ** Vos Voisons - s/t (aka Holocauste à Montréal) (Canada) 1971 Polydor. Really good example of a heavy organ styled blues based progressive rock. This seemed to be a somewhat popular breed of music in Quebec in the early 1970s, and can also be found in other fine groups like Champignons or Dionysos. Some wonderful fat guitar leads too. High quality French vocals as well. A couple of the tracks are piano lead introspective numbers. There are two album covers for this title. The original "wanted poster" rendition had to be pulled, due to Polydor not receiving permission from the Allo Police tabloid to use their logo. So they went with the other brick building cover. I've had both LPs in the past, and honestly I prefer the replacement cover (and that's what I currently own). A perfect fit for ProgQuebec. *** To be reissued by ProgQuebec, November 2011 xxx

VSOP - s/t. 1973 London / King. Ahhhh, finally a band from Japan that doesn't require me to type a book as the title! :-) VSOP are a fairly typical early 70s blend of blues rock and various other styles. Side 1 is a pedestrian "trail mix" of genres, whereas Side 2 has a nice raw, grungy underground feel about it (and it's a live concert recording). This latter element recalls the Argentinian blues psych scene such as Pappo's Blues or Cuero.

* Peter Wale - The Memoirs of Hakeford Wart (Goodbye Cape Town... and Good Riddance) (South Africa) 1972 private. Very good new discovery from South Africa that combines equal amounts of progressive rock, psych, and folk - with loads of flute and fuzz guitar. And good songwriting. CD was announced for Strawberry Rain, but they've gone silent since 2014.

@@** Howard Wales - Rendezvous with the Sun (USA) 1976 Costal. Need to hear my LP one more time, but this is a very good one

* Warm Dust - And It Came to Pass (England) 1970 BASF.
* Warm Dust - Peace For Our Time (England) 1971 BASF.
Warm Dust - s/t (England) 1971 BASF. Warm Dust released 4 albums worth of material in two years (first album was a double). When this band is on, they have some of the finest jazz infused prog rock one can ever hear. Somewhere between Nucleus and If. And there are some really beautiful grooves here. Sometimes they're a bit too diverse for their own good, especially in their feeble attempts at free jazz or straight blues rock numbers. But the good outweighs the bad - especially on the first two albums. Bootlegs exist for all unfortunately.

Eddie Warner - Progressive Percussions Vol. 1 (France) 1971 I.M.
Eddie Warner - Progressive Percussions Vol. 2 (France) 1974 I.M. For many years, I had wondered where the (uncredited) music came from that appeared on television shows and obscure movies that didn't commission a soundtrack. Most of the shows were from the late 1960s and early 70s, and featured all kinds of wild sounds including fuzz bass, acid guitar, organ, etc... Years later I learned about film library music. These albums basically contained short (1 to 3 minute) instrumental landscapes that were mere skeletons of a composition - that is, flexible enough to be used in various episodic sequences. The most sought after of these collections tend to be from the golden era of psychedelic music. Eddie Warner's two Percussion albums are amongst the most highly valued, due to the overabundance of all the psych elements mentioned above. As for album length listening, they fall short - but if used for the purpose as they were designed, these albums can be a great place to draw samples from. Most library albums such as this have been reissued in compilations - perhaps for the better.

* Mike Warren & Survival Kit - Please Yourself First. 1978 Dobre Records. Another completely new name for the CDRWL, Warren's sole album is a fine mix of typical late 70's fusion (side 1) with a more ferocious side 2, bordering progressive rock and even includes some psychedelic guitar. Progressive rock laced fusion with acid guitar is one of my favorite mixes. And this has to be the only jazz rock album I've heard that uses timpani extensively. Overall a mixture of Pierre Moerlin's Gong, Colosseum II, Randy Roos and Frank Zappa. I'm sure the latter was a major influence and one hopes Frank's outlook is the inspiration behind the title of the album. Otherwise, a rather unfortunate choice of words. In looking for the album, it appears there's already some buzz about it in the jazz rock collecting world. It's easy to see why, as this one separates itself from the norm of the day. I could see Modulus going for this one.

# Warrior - Invasion (England) 1972 private. Demo release. This one has an interesting past and features a well-known 1980s pop star in Howard Jones. Yes, that Howard Jones! I contacted him and spoke with his publicist, who mentioned the album received some coverage in a Record Collector article (a UK specialist magazine). Musically, a mix of early 70s pop rock and long psychedelic journeys with Moog synthesizer and guitar solos. Long album, over 50 minutes. Though I now suspect that my CD-R copy includes some late 1970s demos as well. No CD for this, and I suspect that Jones would just assume keep it that way.

# Wave - s/t (Netherlands) 1972 Philips. Song based rock, with folk and psych tendencies. A bit out of scope for the list, but given the obscurity/rarity factor, plus time and place, will leave here as a reference.

* Wavemaker - Where are we Captain? (England) 1975 Polydor
Wavemaker - New Atlantis (England) 1977 Polydor. Wavemaker are an instrumental group made up of two keyboard players dedicated to synthesizers, with guests on percussion and tympani. This is definitely not a Berlin School sequencer fest ala Tangerine Dream, nor a rock based drum-fueled electronic album along the lines of Klaus Schulze's "Moondawn" or Wolfgang Bock's "Cycles". It is, in fact, a progressive rock instrumental album - but all played on big... fat... analog... synthesizers. Works for me. Some truly wonderful sound textures are created by these massive beasts of wires. And the music is most certainly composed, with care given to both melody and complexity. It's nice to find a good album amongst the more common stock every once awhile. Like Guns and Butter in that way (referencing availability not musical style). 

Ways - Planètes (France) 1986 private. IMO, 1986 could be considered the nadir of the entire progressive rock movement. Seemed every band of the day was using cheap digital keyboard equipment, and even cheaper drum sounds. All my favorite genres of progressive rock were going down the tubes: Symphonic, electronic, and fusion. Only the avant progressive scene was alive and well during this time (Univers Zero, Art Zoyd, Present, etc...). The New Wave of British Progressive Rock movement, which seemed so promising in 1983, had already given up the 20 minute epics for common arena rock fare. There were pockets of hope, like the UK festival psych scene, though it would be a few years before most of us outside of England knew what that was. And in the field of heavy metal, many bands were experimenting with more progressive ideas and adding a dose of complexity to their angst. Fortunately, all was to change in that landmark year of 1987, when progressive rock found its roots again, and we still enjoy the fruits from that planted tree. It is with this backdrop that Ways released their sole album. And it's no surprise the album has been completely ignored until recently. Ways, which was lead by Jean-Luc Hamonet and who we've already featured, falls prey to many of the mid 1980s pitfalls. It's digital, slick, and lacks any kind of rough edge to grab one's attention. However, given the landscape of the age, had I discovered this album at the time of release, I'm sure I would have loved it and now would treasure it for nostalgia reasons alone. It's *good enough*. The bar was low in 1986, and Ways jumped it with ease.

# Dennis Weise - Valhalla (USA) 1979 private. Probably the weirdest album I've ever heard. It's sometimes hard to know the difference between incompetence and cutting edge avant garde music, and Weise's album will have you questioning all your musical assumptions. It's not without merit, but one does get the impression that this was strictly a labor of love, and not sure it ever had an audience beyond himself. Those who live for music on the edge of reason, will find plenty to enjoy here. He also released a second album under the name Dennis Wize.

** Henk Werkhoven - Orphical Positions. 1982 VMU. Prior to Mike sending this over, I'd never even heard of Henk Werkhoven. But once I saw the album cover, I was intrigued. After hearing this once, I bought an LP on the spot. You can read about Mr. Werkhoven here. Another one of those Renaissance guys, constantly in creativity mode, yet few know who he is or what he does. As you read the bio, you could come away thinking this is a new age album. Couldn't be further from the truth. Basically "Orphical Positions" is good old fashioned instrumental progressive rock lead by flute, violin and guitar (acoustic and electric), along with exotics like sitar. A crack rhythm section keeps the proceedings moving along at a crisp pace. At once I'm reminded of Camel's "Snowgoose" and Rousseau's"Flowers in Asphalt". But I also hear Anthony Phillips, Kenso, Flairck, Coda and Verdaguer. A very fine release, and definitely a new discovery for the CDRWL. Apparently this is one of those albums reissued by the Dutch company Fonos. Basically you can walk up to the Fonos offices, hand them your LP and they'll go off and make a custom CD (or CD-R? I'm not sure). And of course they'll make a handful to sell to others to cover costs. And they'll obtain the rights first. It's a totally legit operation, but not the kind of CDs we want to see here (master tapes, liner notes, bonus tracks, etc...). This would be a perfect fit for a label like Musea.

The West Coast Workshop - The Wizard of Oz and Other Trans Love Trips (USA) 1967 Capitol. One of the better exploitation albums you can hear. It's primarily orchestrated pop music geared for a mature adult crowd. That is until they break into these cool long jams featuring flute, tablas/hand percussion and sitars. In the end, you have a "psychedelic" version of the original soundtrack + a handful of originals. Get hip man. Solid. As one online zine (Scram) states it's "easy listening gone horribly awry". Well said.

White Summer - s/t (USA) 1976 private. Michigan based hard rock and funk. Most of the tracks are under the 3 minute mark, tritely executed, and are scarce worth mentioning. However, there are 3 long pieces (5+, 6+ and 13+) that are absolutely fantastic with great guitar soloing, changes in dynamic and rhythms - not to mention excellent songcraft. Worth seeking out, though probably not enough here in sum to give a Priority 3.

White Wing - s/t. 1976 ASI. I recently got back into the Asia (Rapid City, South Dakota) albums that were diligently reissued on CD by Michael Piper / The Wild Places back in 1995. While reading the liners, I had forgotten that the precursor to that band was White Wing, an album I heard way back when and completely forgot about (didn't even have it rated anywhere). So I asked Midwest Mike to send along a copy to revisit. Of course he has it! Mike has everything (well just about!). There's nothing really special about White Wing. It's pretty much a mix of hard rock and AOR styles with some good organ runs and mellotron strings. Recorded in the same studio as the Minnesota group Cain, and there are some similarities regarding the hard rock aspects. Not at the same level as the successor band Asia, especially Armed to the Teeth, but an album worth hearing a couple of times for certain.

# Wild Wind - s/t (USA) 1975 Sound Triangle. French label Sound Triangle has become all the rage with the "rare groove" crowd, and so I'll include this Miami based group here. I'm always looking for bands with the early Santana sound, and Wild Wind come through in a big way on about half the album. The rest is unfortunately typical Latin pop music. File along with Coke, Toro, Yaqui, Azteca, Zokalo, Los Pablos and a host of others.

# Wiebelfetzer - s/t (Switzerland) 1971 Bazillus. Sprawling 2LP set of out jazz / experimental world music. Very good for what it is, and I would imagine free jazz genre freaks going head over heels for this one. But too out for me. I don't think Bazillus is related in anyway to Bacillus/Bellaphon.

* Wild Havana - s/t (Netherlands) 1977 private. Perhaps not surprising given the band name of Wild Havana, an overt drug themed album cover photo, and coming from The Netherlands, but this is one strange album for certain. Blindfold me, ask for time and place, absolutely I would have felt confident to claim it comes from the late 1970s French scene or maybe even Germany from the same time. But never Dutch. Though one could imagine this album as one of many possible directions Group 1850 could have taken after "Polyandri". The music is all instrumental, very psychedelic, loose, peaceful, and free. One caveat is the heavy use of 70s era electronic percussion that may turn off some potential listeners. I find them charming, given the historical context. Loads of synthesizer sounds, fuzz guitar, various flutes, electric piano, and acoustic guitar (this element in particular reminds me of the French artists of the day like Michel Moulinie or Christian Boule). Perhaps the only album where I've heard wah-wah electric mandolin(?!). There's a South American indigenous undertone throughout (perhaps giving the band an authentic double entendre to work with). Wild Havana finds itself somewhere in the same musical space as the two aforementioned artists, "East West" era Richard Pinhas, Orexis, and Ose. A good one, that is still quite unknown.

** Window - The Empyreal Ballet (USA) 1978 Cottage Records. Window are a San Francisco / Bay Area based group, and they released this one very good progressive rock album. Honestly, I was certain I was going to find out the band were from Illinois or Missouri, because it does indeed have that Midwest progressive rock sound, especially apparent in the vocal sections. The mix of complex progressive rock, piano jazz-rock and AOR FM radio ambition only cements the comparison. Excellent electric / acoustic guitar work, flute, tuned percussion, with a horn section and complex rhythms is what you'll find on "Empyreal Ballet". Curiously for a band of its type, there are no keyboards (beyond the piano of course).

Windy Corner - The House at Windy Corner (Netherlands) 1973 Deroy.
Windy Corner - Lost Garden (Netherlands) 1998 Buckly (1972 recording). "The House at Windy Corner" is one of the most sought after and expensive albums in the world, with copies known to fetch four figures. Windy Corner play a delicate and sparse folk rock with acoustic guitar, organ and dreamy vocals. One distinguishing characteristic about Windy Corner is the use of harmonium, especially featured on the archival "Lost Garden" album (LP only). Pleasant stuff, one where a reissue will most likely satisfy the curious.

Wintauge - Dem Anfang ein Lied (Germany) 1983 private. To simply put: Wintauge are a rock band that sings in German. A style of music that is actually known as Deutschrock in Germany itself, and which is distinguished from Krautrock. What makes the band interesting, are the instrumental portions of the songs, which have a strange 1960s aura - primarily due to the use of primitive keyboards and guitar tones. So imagine the music of late 70s Novalis but sounding like Oratorium.

# Raymond Winter - Tropic Woods (France) 1981 EPM. w/ Didier Lockwood and Jean My-Truong. Typical late 70s and early 80s fusion with nice violin provided by Lockwood.

** Womega - A Quick Step (Belgium) 1975 Skruup. Very interesting release. It's an all-over-the-map type album, but all within the confines of what normally constitues progressive rock (rather than the usual kitchen sink that represents all facets of music in general). There's pomp, Canterbury, proto, symphonic, fusion, Zappa. Lots of mellotron and flute, in the most unexpected places. Some parts are more simplistic, giving it a radio friendly sound, and then followed by something entirely difficult and complex. Maybe a little too diverse for its own good, but undeniably fascinating!

# Wooden Ear - Fantasy (France) 1978 Warner Music. On Eddie Warner's library music label, though this is a comprehensive album - decidedly not incidental film music. Basically a typical fusion album from the late 70's with lots of guitar solos, Rhodes, sax, etc...

xxx Woodoo - Taikakulkunen (Finland) 1971 UFO. Terribly rare album from Finnish rock-jazz-vocal album. Lots of hand percussion drives the rhythms while sax takes the lead lines. Vocals in Finnish dominate. This one has a nice groove to it, despite the heavy reliance on vocals. Can be trance inducing. Short album, well under 30 minutes. Worth seeking out for a listen. *** Reissued by Rocket Records, August 2011 ***

Woorden - s/t (Netherlands) 1968 Omega. Freaky jazz / beat poet / psychedelic album - primarily sung / spoken in Dutch, with some nonsensical English. Real underground sounds here. Imagine hitting North Beach circa 1967, and thinking those cats in Haight Ashbury are nothing more than a bunch of peacenik punks who'd run under Mommy's skirt the moment the "pigs" and "fuzz" broke up the party. But these guys would keep on smoking their cigarellos while still vehemently protesting against The Man..... Man.

* Working Progress - s/t (France) 1976 RCA. This one starts off in the funky fusion style, but it's a head fake, something you can almost predict with Mr. Massiera. Within the album you'll find sweetly sung soft female vocals ala Cortex, indigenous islander music, a little Zeuhlish horns - flute and vocal piece, and even some straight jazz. For certain, all of that is fine and dandy, but it doesn't prepare you for the middle of the album with the lengthy West Indies tribal percussion and underground fuzz guitar soloing. This sequence elevates the album to a must listen experience, even it's not entirely consistent.

X-Tet - Premiere Ligne (France) 1981 private. Strange album here. Weird in its construction more than its purpose. Mixture of straight jazz, fusion, electronic and new wave / minimalist synth. A little something for everyone for the early 1980s collector.

* Xaal - s/t (France) 1989 cassette. Until recently, I didn't realize Xaal had a debut cassette prior to their two CDs, which I became familiar with upon release. Here, Xaal is more barebones than on subsequent albums. The Zeuhl influence is there, as is a sedated jazz perspective. The ideas aren't quite as developed and the compositions seem like mere skeletons of what they could be. In fact, two of the five tracks will indeed show up on the next two albums, each album claiming one. And indeed they are more fleshed out. Still a pretty adventurous album for the time, and worth seeking out.

# Yaqui - s/t (USA) 1972 Playboy (yes, Hefner's label). Typical Latino rock from East LA. Best parts, naturally, are the Santana inspired rave-ups. But there's also some good time rock and roll along with some bluesy boozy woozy stuff to sit through. There are many better Latin albums than this, but Latin rock enthusiasts may want to spin it once. If only the Playboy models we're on it!

xxx Yellow – Keltakuume (Finland) 1975 Finnlevy. Take the blue collar factory hard rock of the US Midwest and move it to Finland, and you have Yellow. Simply substitute the oval patches of Joe and Billy with Timo and Jukka. Mix of Finnish and English language tracks, most not varying too far from the 3 minute mark. Not surprising, but the Finnish sung tracks are the more varied (hard rock, good time psych) while the English ones are more radio friendly rock anthems. Guitar work is the highlight with aggressive moves, solos and loud tone. Extremely rare to find on LP, and not on CD, I’ve only seen a couple of times over the years. Qualifies as a curio piece. *** Reissued by Rocket Records Sept, 2010 xxxx

xxx ** Yellow Sunshine - s/t (USA) 1973 Gamble. Philadelphia based group recorded one of the best of the Afro psych albums. Strong hard rock edge, that is usually missing in most of these soul-oriented works. In the big leagues with Funkadelic and Mandrill. Band evolved into MFSB, a very fine mid 1970s funk/disco group, that recorded the fantastic 'K-Jee' track, by far the best song on the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack. Gamble is one Kenny Gamble and his label was a part of Epic Records. There is a legit LP reissue, but no CD as of yet. *** reissued in Japan 2010 xxx

* Yesterday's Children - s/t (USA) 1970 Map City. Yesterday's Children were a band from Connecticut, who play a mix of hard blues rock and heavy psych. Very consistent of the type of album that came out of the 1970 cultural transition year in America. Final track 'Hunter's Moon' is an absolute killer, predating the metal movement by a decade. Yet one more American band from this era that was one and done. On the Map City label, perhaps most known amongst collectors for the equally obscure Purple Image. I think Yogi Berra might have appreciated that last sentence.

Yog Sothoth - s/t (France) 1984 Cryonic. Like a more free jazz version of the 80s Zeuhl based efforts by Yoch'ko Seffer or Bernard Paganotti. Can get a bit annoying in places.

xxx *** Toshiaki Yokota and Genshi Kyodotai - s/t (Japan) 1971 Toshiba. Well... here it is. An album only whispered by a few in the know. I'm not in the know of course, but I heard this guy talking once at the barber shop about this Japanese flautist... Yesterday, I spoke of Heavyrock's amazing collection. This isn't one he owns. He had to buy a CD-R transfer from a Japanese dealer who was keeping it closely guarded. And it wasn't cheap. And this from someone he buys a lot from! But since the original sells for a few thousand, what are you going to do? Don't believe me? Well consider that a below average condition copy of "Flute Adventure" recently went for $1600 - and that's commonplace compared to this. I believe Genshi Kyodotai means Primitive Community, but I'm not 100% sure. (And thanks to Nobuhisa and Rob for confirming it!), And, as Rob asserts, the cover displays "Primitive Community" predominantly, so perhaps that really is the title of the album, not the Japanese variation. There's scant info on the Internet, but I did find a Japanese page (with an English translation) and it's from there I learned of the band members. Most prominent is Yokota's constant electric guitar companion - Kimio Mizutani. Just the mere mention of Mizutani usually has heads like me scrambling for a listen. There's also a track listing... and it's all originals save one cover - a Beatles instrumental called 'Flying' from their Magical Mystery Tour album. The Beatles, of course, we're not known for their instrumentals. A full dissertation on this song can be found here. It's important to note that there are almost no covers, as Yokota had a few pay-the-bills albums like "Exciting Flute" and "Young Young Flute" that are nothing but jazz flute renditions of Bacharach, Simon and Garfunkel, Blood Sweat & Tears, ad nauseum. So now it's time to pull back the curtain, and display the contents.... I feel like I'm in a Steve Berry novel here... "Toshiaki Yokota and Genshi Kyodotai" is at the meeting place of jazz and rock. That exciting time at the turn of the 1970 decade, long before what is commonly referred to as fusion, when the ambition of free jazz met with rock's exciting psychedelic nature. It wasn't important to display Berklee-trained chops, but rather it was about texture, atmosphere and creativity at its most radical. But fortunately it stops short of free jazz's reckless abandon - that point where it's just noise for the sake of noise. There is meaning to every note, instrument and pattern. As well, we get a peek-through-the-bushes look at a Japanese sacrificial ritual as described by the tribal drumming, Hammond organ shards, wordless monk chanting, Yokota's flute and Mizutani's acid fuzz guitar blazing a wah wah trail all to be one with Kami. And that's before we get to the Hare Krishna chorus. An album like this becomes mythical because it is mystical. It's in the same league of sixth dimensioners like Älgarnas Trädgård's "Framtiden Är Ett Svävande Skepp, Förankrat I Forntiden", Lula Côrtes e Zé Ramalho's "Paêbirú" or Pierrot Lunaire's "Gudrun". If Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser had heard this band, they would have been signed to the Ohr label on the spot. This album perfectly fits my idea of a "freaky underground album". No, it's not the greatest album of all time. Or even close. But it is the kind that you want to listen to over and over. Because it's fascinating and exhilarating. And for that, I grant it a Priority 1. *** Reissued by Think,October 2011 xxx

# * The Young Brothers - High Energy Rock (USA) 1978 GDS. More aggressive hard rock than most Christian albums. So much so, that I didn't even realize it was of the Faith until I saw the song titles. Midwest group (Illinois it turns out), that fits well with other hard rocking albums from the area. Not featuring on the main list since it's purely hard rock. But it's still a goodie.

* Ys - Madame la Frontiere (France) 1976 Philips. Breton folk rock similar to Malicorne with a couple of progressive rock instrumentals thrown in for good measure. Violin and guitar lead the instrumental work, while vocals and traditional melodies dominate the songwriting. One of the better albums in the style and also features a pretty crochet cover.

Yucatan - s/t (Germany) 1982 Tricom. I suppose if I was to summarize in a hurry, I'd call Yucatan a Deutschrock band and walk away. But that would disregard the fact that when Yucatan wanted to, they could deliver a highly fascinating and complex sequence of progressive rock music. And yet they could as well incongruously take a direct lift from Eddie Van Halen's 'Eruption' solo and stick it in the middle of a song. For no reason, it would appear, other than to perhaps satisfy the guitarist that he indeed learned how to play it after 4 years of intense practice in front of the mirror. I just sat there waiting for the riff of 'You Really Got Me' but instead got the Gunther blues voice. And speaking of which, there is a tepid attempt at playing heavy metal here too. There's some galloping guitars (with no heft at all), and a few other tries at a sound that local countrymen Accept had already mastered with their brilliant and very heavy "Restless and Wild" album (and sadly, Accept then degenerated into an AC/DC party band not long after, much to my dismay). And then there's the 4th track. A very fine slice of instrumental organ/guitar driven progressive rock (though the ridiculously thin sounding synth at the opening is entirely unnecessary)!

* Fernando Yvosky – Dos Mundos (Venezuela) 1975 private. Yvosky's sole album is a good example of the pastoral progressive rock that was coming out Italy in 1972/1973, and perhaps closer to home, in Argentina. Early PFM combined with Aucan is what you can expect here. Well worth discovering. Features a beautiful gatefold cover, which is hard to imagine given that it's a private press from country not known for that. Bootlegs exist.

** Zadri & Mo - Erebus. 1982 Polydor. Zadri & Mo, despite looking like the bad guys in a Luc Besson film, have created quite an exquisite analog electronic album before the market became saturated with third rate amateur done-in-the-bedroom digital variations. Not only is there a duo on keys and sequencers (and that extra person definitely adds to the creativity), they also brought along Heldon's drummer François Auger for the ride. And he adds an urgency to the proceedings, just as he did for Richard Pinhas. Erebus continually changes in a progressive rock sort of way, never settling too long on any one sequence. Real drums in an electronic setting has always been appealing to me, and there aren't that many examples. So file this along with Klaus Schulze's "Moondawn", Klaus Krüger era Tangerine Dream/Edgar Froese, You's "Electric Day" and Wolfgang Bock's "Cycles". Or imagine Zanov with another synthesist and analog drums. Despite the listing of a guitar player, he unfortunately doesn't make his presence felt. A rave up ala Pinhas would've put me under for good I think...

* Zanov - Green Ray (France) 1977 Polydor.
* Zanov - Moebius 256 301 (France) 1978 Polydor.
xxx * Zanov - In Course of Time (France) 1983 SFPP. *** This title reissued by Groove April 2015 xxx. Sequencer based electronic musician, whose real name is Pierre Zalkazanov. Given the one man nature of the recordings, Klaus Schulze would be the obvious influence. Though musically there's more Tangerine Dream "Stratosfear" than "Mirage" or "Blackdance". And surprisingly very little Heldon touches, given how influencial Pinhas was in his own country (at least in the underground). There were very few artists in this field in the late 1970s (today there are hundreds), so Zanov deserves credit for being one of the pioneers. Though from a purely musical perspective, "Green Ray" and "Moebius 256 301" aren't as well developed as his peers of the day. Still, always nice to hear those fat analog synths battle it out. I haven't heard the 1983 album.

** Zarathustra - Also Spielt (Germany) 1982 private / TSM. Early on in my collecting career (say, 1985?), I was informed that the early 80s version of Zarathustra was a waste of time, and that the 1971 album by an unrelated band was the only Zarathustra worth seeking out. So when Second Battle reissued the Metronome 1971 album (in 1989), I was all over it, buying the LP re-release the minute it came out. I was happy with the purchase, as it was a decent representative of the Hammond organ rich German culture of the time. And I still own that LP, which I hope to review eventually on UMR. 23 years later, I finally heard the "inferior" 1982 band. Gotta an inside tip for all you out there: I like this one better. SORRY! This Zarathustra absolutely nails the 80s neo-progressive meets 60s psychedelic sound. If you like the music of similar German bands like Neuschwanstein, Ivory and Sirius with the psychedelic acid guitar of Iskander (another underrated 80s group), then by all means seek this puppy out. Perhaps only the M.L. Bongers Project approaches this mix of Hawkwind meets Genesis. A really great find. Don't miss your chance to hear it, and hopefully a CD reissue label will take a chance on this one! It's a perfect fit for Sireena or Garden of Delights. Oddly enough, the dramatic guttural English vocalist (well... that's how it sounds!) reminds me of Rob Halford (Judas Priest) circa "Sad Wings of Destiny". And the distorted vocal opening recalls first album Metal Church. Bizarre references I realize.

* Zartong - s/t (Armenia) 1979 Dom. Recorded and released in France. Musically similar to Asia Minor, though a bit more traditional and less symphonic (and like Zartong, Asia Minor also immigrated to France - though from Turkey). This is a raucous fuzz filled party album, with great indigenous melodies and some bonafide progressive rock moves as well.

Stefan Zauner - Narziss (Germany) 1976 Ariola.
Stefan Zauner - Prisms and Views (Germany) 1978 Teldec. Zauner was a figure involved with the late 70's Amon Duul II albums, and that's clearly not at their best stage. With that in mind, Zauner's own solo albums show enormous potential but fail considerably short. Narziss is the more interesting, as it features German lyrics and more quality synthesizer solos ala Banks. The tone of his voice and the overall structure of some of the compositions point to a love of the early 70s Genesis albums. But there are far too many other elements at play here to call this a progressive rock album - mostly it's straight ahead vocal rock. Prisms and Views falls further down the drain, now singing in English and pretty much tossing all progressive ambitions out the window. I owned this record many years ago, and sold it as quickly as I bought it. This revisit proved that was not a mistake.

** Zebulon - s/t (Germany) 1980 Pollux Produktion. What we have here is the type of album we wish all private symphonic rock albums to be. Not long ago, we featured a band called Profil and their album "For You". Zebulon reminded me of that album, though this is much more keyboard driven than the purely guitar oriented Profil. Zebulon has a positive energy, with many hooks and changes, and plenty of fiery solos. At any one time while listening to this, I was reminded of other German bands such as Tonic, Trilogy, Rousseau, Prosper and maybe even the first Amenophis album. Probably the only weakness is the choice of keyboards / synthesizers that are employed - generally of the cheap and tinny variety. It's a small complaint with music this good. The AC comments "This one is straight-up excellent instrumental prog, with a few fusion touches thrown in for good measure. I really enjoy this album, and it seems almost totally unknown." Overall, a superb instrumental progressive rock album.

# Zerfas - s/t (USA) 1973 700 West. Straight up 70s rock from Indianapolis. A few decent ideas here, but mostly this is rock n roll for the bar set. %%% LP reissue on Or (1994)

# Zior - Every Inch a Man (England) 1973 Global / Intercord.  Released in Germany only. About half of this album is part of the "Zior... Plus" CD on See For Miles. But SFM didn't necessarily pick the best tracks to be honest. Solid early UK hard rock, with a vocalist that kind of reminds me of a guttural Rob Halford circa Rocka Rolla. Some good riffs mixed with the usual rock n roll and blues stuff. Could be a grower.

** Zog - Do ze Funkie Wiz Me (Netherlands) 1983 Disaster Electronics. Entirely unique album from post Het Pandorra Ensemble guys. While still very much a product of the 1980s (song structures, vocal style), Zog also possess a strong admiration for 1960s psych and even the early 70s Krautrock pioneers. Some wonderful acid guitar soling belies its 80s heritage. There's also the occassional reference to their fondness for "Red" era King Crimson, featured more prominently in the Pandorra Ensemble days. About the only other album I can think of that sounds like this is Iskander's "Boheme", another oddity from the 80s. Maybe the best way to describe is to call it 1980s psychedelia, and I don't mean neo-psych, if that makes any sense. Over the years, I've come to appreciate Zog's album more and more, perhaps due to its uniqueness. This, Zog's only album, is a live recording. And at 56 minutes, quite a lengthy album for one disc.

Zone Time - s/t (Japan) 1976 private. Here's a very obscure album from Japan that appears to have just been discovered. The AC tells us: "Very obscure private press LP by a group of Keio University students. An extremely long (almost 55 minutes) and well-produced album that's all over the map musically, from keyboard driven semi-prog to ultra-heavy guitar psych/hard rock, soft rock, crooning balladry, etc. It's like they took every idea from the early/mid 70s rock scene that they could think of and tried to cram it in here. Quite inconsistent obviously, but with some real moments of interest. The guitar work stands out in particular, with some excellent psych and hard rock style soloing. Sort of fascinating, but it will probably try your patience by the end. Beautiful cover art, and comes with a nice booklet." Can't add much to this. A diversified album, with an obvious background of the great acts of the day, perhaps once again The Beatles being a primary influence here, despite the late date. It is indeed more 70s rock than 60s psych, but in effect, the kitchen sink mentality is at play here. And do I hear some Peter Frampton in these grooves? Why I think I do! 55 minutes is an extraordinary length for the era. Perhaps too much so.

* Zyma - Brave New World (Germany) 1979 private. I first heard Zyma on the "Proton 1" compilation that was released by Kerston in 1974, which featured five up and coming new German bands. Of those, Zyma and Sun were the only groups to eventually get a full length LP. And with Zyma, they managed two releases, "Thoughts" and "Brave New World". "Thoughts" was reissued by Garden of Delights a few years back, which allowed me a revisit of that fine album. And now I'm finally returning to hear their followup. Zyma were similar to many of their late 1970s contemporaries, with a strong melodic sense, female vocals, and a slight fusion edge. Groups like Eden, Credemus, Rebekka and Werwolf all come to mind. One significant difference, however, is the use of scat vocals. And she can get quite hysterical at times, which reminded me of early Zao strangely enough. Lots of violin and flute as well. I would expect GoD will eventually reissue this one as well. And it would be worth the effort.

# various artists - Posicoes (Brazil) 1971. A live concert featuring Tribo, Modulo 1000, Som Imaginario and a couple of others. Only 22 minutes long, but not a moment wasted. These should be added as bonus tracks to the respective releases of the bands listed.

# various artists - Proton 1: Penicillin / Sun / Zyma / Nexus / Andorra (Germany) 1974 Kerston. Full review up on my UMR site.

# horn rock bands - in addition to the many brass rock bands I have listed individually here, there are a number more that have similar qualities. Each of the following groups feature at least 2 or 3 excellent cuts amongst the more mundane pop or blues rock compositions: Ambergris, Anthem, Ballin' Jack, Big Foot, Broth, Chelsea Beige, Coldwater Army, Game, Iguana, Illustration, Jam Factory, Little John, Melting Pot, Pig Iron, The Seven Ages of Man, Sod, Undertaker's Circus.

Long time collaborator and friend Gnosis Mike has provided me a list of other albums I haven't added, and I thought I would add them here until which time I hear them myself.

Jose "Chepito" Areas - s/t (USA. ex Santana solo)

Atmospheres featuring Clive Stevens & Friends (USA. 2 LPs - early 70s jazz rock)

La Bamboche - Nee de la Lune (France)

Bayete - Worlds Around the Sun

Bayete Umbra Zindiko - Seeking Other Beauty (USA. strong kozmigroov releases, closer to the Pharoah Sanders side than the electric Miles side)

Sigi Busch - Age of Miracles (Germany) 1975 MPS.

Confluence - Four Voyages + other two (France)

Peter Frohmader - Two Compositions (Germany. EP release, the only one of his cool early period not to see a reissue to date)

Giants - s/t (USA. another Santana related item)

Le Grand Rouge - first two (France)

Happy Family - Live at Kichojoji 8/23/92, 5/10 (MC); Flying Spirit Dance (MC) 1994. Japan. Legit tapes released by the band before the Cuneiform's came out.

Jimi Hendrix - Nine to the Universe. Recorded in '69. Released in 1979 on LP. Many bootlegs are available.

Teddy Lasry - E=MC2; Seven Stones (France)

David Liebman - Sweet Hands; Lookout Farm (USA)

Makam es Kolinda - Uton (Hungary)

Barry Miles & Silverlight (USA) - s/t; Magic Theater; Barry Miles - Fusion. killer fusion

Mtume - Rebirth Cycle (USA)

Parrenin/Fromont/Lefebvre - Chateau dans les Nuages (France)  excellent psychy folk record

Richard Tinti - Osmose (the second LP in the Ariel Kalma set)

Michael Urbaniak - Atma; Paratyphus B (announced for late 2015); Inactin

Suggestions from friends of the CDRWL (many more to add... just getting started here)

Barabba - Canti dal Vangelo secondo Barabba (Italy) 1976 Elledici. Christian themed avant progressive album featuring members of Circus 2000, Living Life, and Arti +Mestieri published by the Catholic church.

Ron Berry - Osiris; Wastelands; others (English electronic artist). Released on CD-R by the artist, but no CDs

Maneige - Composite; Montreal 6 AM; Images (Later albums by Quebec fusion group)

Oktober - Uhrsprung (Germany) 1976 Trikont.
Oktober - Die Pariser Commune (Germany) 1977 Antagon. I'm pretty sure I've heard one of these two progressive politrok albums in the past, but I can't find notes or references, so we'll add down here for now based on a suggestion from our friend Pierre in Paris.

Ray Rivamonte - Birth of the Sun (Australia) 1976 Image. Roots/Country rock from Australia.

Trouble - After the War (Denmark) 1970 Sonet. Danish underground jazz album. Watch for bootlegs!

Video Liszt ‎– Ektakröm Killer (France) 1980 Epic.


Alex said...

Hi Tom!

Yeeah, congratulations: the great and user-friendly blog you have started!

Some comments would be...

Certain Lions & Tigers - (El) Soul Condor was re-issued by MPS as a part (CD1) of 4cd box set
Peter Herbolzheimer- Big Band Man - The MPS & Polydor Studio Recordings. All the compositions go in the proper order.
I have also heard about an earlier cd-re-issue with alternative track order. Never seen it though...

Melodiya Jazz Ensemble – Labyrinth was re-issued (in 2004) by Melodia (Russia) as a beginning part of the compilation
George Garanian - All that Jazz.

-Alex (from gnosis2000)

Tom said...

Thanks Alex for the nice note. I had no idea about the two reissues - so I'll add that as a news item! Thanks again.

Tom said...

Man, have spent tonight attempting to collect the names of legit prog/psych/jazz/folk reissue labels and in doing so found your blog. Fantastic work.

Was just wondering if you could help me at all? Is there perhaps anywhere online that lists these labels, legit and bootleg alike? Or could you possibly send me a few good names along with those to avoid? Have already learnt more from asides on your blog than I had from hours spent searching cocking Google. Finders Keepers, for example: looks shit-hot. Only just realised within the last couple of weeks that Radioactive/Fallout are bootleg labels and am now feeling like a bit of an arse for having dozens of their cds. Any help that you could offer to ensure sure that I don't get duped again would be properly appreciated. My email's tamlewell@hotmail.co.uk, though of course I'll check back here too. Thanks Man.

Tom said...

Hi Tom,

I'm not sure there is any centralized location where you can find what's legit and what is not. At one point, I did something like that, but I seemed to be on shaky legal ground without any cohesive proof, so I stopped publishing labels as "bootlegs" - even if it's somewhat common knowledge.

A good example is Fallout, a label that does pay royalties --- if you ask them for it afterwards. But if no one knows they reissued it, oh well, public domain I suppose (is what they say).

Some of my favorite reissue CD labels today include: Garden of Delights, Long Hair, Transubstans, Esoteric, Musea, BTF/AMS, Mellow, Wooden Hill, Mellotronen, Shadoks, ProgQuebec, Soleil Zeuhl, Word in Sound, Aztec (Australia), Fresh Music (South Africa), Black Widow, Sireena, SPV

There are many other great labels out there fighting the good fight. I'm also highlighting them on my other blog unencumberedmusicreviews.blogspot.com

So check there as well!

Tom said...

Hey Tom, was going to post yesterday, but at the end of a day spent almost entirely staring at a screen, flitting between youtube and your blogs, headphones on, fuelled only by coffee and chips, I was barely capable of thought. And the processes needed to transform thoughts into words: they had long left my reach.

So many bands to obsess over! Brave New World - Impressions on Reading Aldous Huxley! What a production! Just amazing. And Horrific Child, had no idea that that was on the way. I actually punched the air. And then looked around, despite knowing for certain
that I'd escaped my actions unseen.

Had a look at the labels you listed, thanks for that. Made me realise that what I'm really looking for are labels that specialise in reissuing psych/prog/etc that isn't US-Eurocentric, particularly stuff from Latin America and Turkey, c. '67-82, though anything interesting from anywhere a little exotic usually gets me. (Had to try bloody hard there not to write World Music) Could you point me in the direction of any blogs/labels?

Thanks so much.

Tom said...

Hello again Tom,

For the really rare Turkish and Latin American albums, the Shadoks label out of Germany is the clear leader.

Check out their website: http://www.psychedelic-music.com/

Enjoy the discoveries. That's the most fun aspect of collecting I think...

Tom said...

Hey Tom,

I've been keeping-up with your site over the last few months and, as far as my limited finances will allow, I've also been following-up the labels that you recommended a while back. Got my grubby hands on Shadoks' Los Blops box-set the other day and now find myself falling hard for the pretty, spacey psych scene of 1970s Chile. Shadoks is a strange, wondrous beast, isn't it? It's kinda refreshing to find yourself face-to-face with a label that doesn't focus on genre or current trends (and I'm tempted to say musical worth!) when deciding upon what to put out next. How does such a label come about?

Anyway, I've held-off writing back to you for a while in the hope that I'd soon be able to offer you a few recommendations of my own for your site. But then, every time I think of/find one that I think you might be interested in, there it is on one of your blogs! Oh well, here goes. Have you heard of this one before?


Although I could be wrong, I don't think that it's been picked-up properly yet, which is astonishing to me, given the quality of the music, the historical importance of the album to the Turkish scene and the fact that Koray is a pretty well-known name outside of Turkey.

And then there's this...


Perhaps not one for your blog here, but the quality is undeniable. I don't think that it's ever had anything other than a small vinyl reissue...

Anyway, keep up the excellent work! Please!


p.s. Got Rainbow Theatre/The Armada (Aztec) through the post today. If you've not heard it already, it's some pretty fantastic Aussie Prog/Jazz/Horn-Rock that I think you'd love. Has an almost operatic feel to the whole thing. Do you know of any other albums like it?

Tom said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks again for the kind comments about the site.

I agree about Rainbow Theatre, and I also think they're entirely unique. The leader of the band, Julian Browning has even written me through this blog. As good as "The Armada" is, I think I prefer their second "Fantasy of Horses" even better. It's also on Aztec, and is brilliant!

Shadoks started as Little Indians in the 1990s, and have always specialized in the rarest albums known. Most of them aren't of interest to me, but they also have many great reissues - perhaps the best of all is the Lula Cortes & Ze Remalho album from Brazil. I cannot recommend that album high enough.

Erkin Koray is a legend in Turkey, and his release have been collectible for years. Elektronik Türküler is his most known work. I thought it was on CD, but I can't find a quick reference for it. I'll have to dig around.

I'm also familiar with Congregacion, having first run into their albums from lists I'd receive from Argentina back in the old Goldmine days (early 90s). I'd totally forgotten about it until you mentioned it. And it appears you're right - no CD! I haven't heard it, though the YouTube video provided did confirm my suspicions it might be a bit too pop/SSW for my tastes. I may obtain a copy at some point and add it though.

Thanks, as always, for your comments!

- Tom

RomanZeus said...

great collection of known unknowns.... thx for all your efforts to make our MP3 players more colorful...
Highly appreciated!!!



Tom said...

Hi Tom,

A quick message, kept short for fear that I would produce something utterly unreadable were I to attempt anything longer. (I've kept myself to cricket-hours this past week or so, in preparation for the test in Melbourne, only my brain's not coped quite so well as I'd hoped!)

First of all, I must say, you've conjured-up some crackers lately! You have as a consequence induced in me an unquenchable, almost painful thirst for the want of hearing Rock Joint Biwa, but I'm sure that I'll be able to forgive you for that. In time. As a sidenote, wrought in mid-70s Japan, have you heard these before? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26ifzotRCAg If past record is anything to go by, I'd be a fool to think that you might not have, and it has already been reissued, but still, can't have you missing-out on such excellent Mirror Man-esque music for the sake of forsaking the off-chance.

What I meant to write: Disciplina Kičme. Almost unclassifiable at their best. Omnipresent, muddy, lurching guitar tones. Heard them much? The '85 EP's the best that I've come across, but, knowing your penchant for horn rock, I think that you might get a kick out of their second album proper too (1986). All there for the searching on Youtube. Apologies as always if you've heard all this before!

Right, time to consider whether or not bed might be best. Hope that all's well,


Tom said...

Well, hello Tom - always good to hear from you.

I do hope you can hear the Rock Joint Biwa soon. And we're all on the lookout now for Rock Joint Sitar!

So to the first Youtube. Yes, Karuna Khyal. I used to actually have the LP of this one. Gets a little out there for me, but not a bad example of Japanese noise mixed with the Krautrock scene. Similar to Brast Burn in that way, and both were reissued at the same time. I have the Brast Burn CD, but never did go back and own Karuna Khyal. I probably should hear it again - it's been a long time.

But you got me on the Disciplina Kičme. That's a new name for me. Wow, they have a lot of albums. I see a couple are around, so I'll try that EP on your recommendation.

Thanks as always for your comments!

- Tom

El Guajolote said...

An album that was reissued in CD, but needs another again is this:

The Electronic Hole - S/T (1970)

And a one that needs a reissue is this:

Vulcan - Meet your Ghost (1970)

Tom said...

Thanks for the suggestions El Guajalote!