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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Time Machine: Vertigo Retrospective CD (album) cover

TIME MACHINE: VERTIGO RETROSPECTIVE

Various Artists (Label Samplers)

 

Various Genres

3.72 | 10 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is a 3-CD box containing material from the legendary British Vertigo label. Vertigo was a sub-label of Philips Records, designed to distribute progressive / fusion rock. The original "Vertigo Swirl" era lasted only few years from the late sixties to the early seventies, and also very many of its groups were short-lived ones - and therefor many Vertigo Swirl LP's are highly rare collector's items. That fact in mind, one might expect much more adveturous dive into obscure depths of rare vintage prog. But after all the heritage of Vertigo has been re-released on CD's so thoroughly that for a connoisseur this box is mostly repetition of already familiar stuff.

CD 1 was the least favourite of mine: as I already knew, bands like COLOSSEUM, JUICY LUCY, CLEAR BLUE SKY and MAY BLITZ are not really up to my taste, while the couple of brand new rarer names didn't impress me, and the best tracks were already in my music collections (by CRESSIDA, GRACIOUS, NUCLEUS and GENTLE GIANT - all pretty good choices). The disc includes also Rod Stewart's version of 'Handbags and Gladrags', one of the clearest non-prog tracks.

CD 2 offered me more delights than the first disc. BEGGARS OPERA's 'Time Machine' and MAGNA CARTA's 'Lord of The Ages' were long, great tracks I hadn't heard before. Jazzy rock of PATTO had a nice instrumentation but uninteresting vocals. WARHORSE: nearly 9 minutes of boring heavy rock. The hit 'Lady in Black' from URIAH HEEP, what else... TUDOR LODGE's folk rock was a nice introduction to me. COLOSSEUM's second track on this box is better (as well as BLACK SABBATH's 'Spiral Architect' on CD 3), but I think too many of the groups are given two tracks on this box set.

CD 3 is my favourite. New names I enjoyed were GRAVY TRAIN, RAMASES and IAN MATTHEWS. APHRODITE's CHILD's apocalyptic opus 666 is represented, but also a surprisingly ordinary vocal track 'Let It Happen' from VANGELIS's early album Earth! BEGGARS OPERA's second offering is their powerful version of the lovely 'McArthur Park' originally sung by Richard Harris. (Also both tracks by JADE WARRIOR were welcome to me.) The disc, as all of them, of course contains also few of the rarer assignments of Vertigo.

The package is very user-friendly: no huge, clumsy box but a normal-size box just enough space for three discs in simple containers and a booklet with clear track informations and well written, brief band infos. There are enough pictures (all album covers?); they all may be small but the design is fine. All in all this compilation is recommendable at least if you don't already have the classics mentioned above. How well it works in introducing new names is completely dependant on your taste and your music collections.

Matti | 3/5 |

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