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ISLAND

Eclectic Prog • Switzerland


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Island biography
Good band which sounds pretty much canterbury like. The band format includes keys, sax, drums and vocals. The biggest influence for ISLAND definitely seems to be VdGG, and the band certainly approaches progressive rock from the darker end of the spectrum. Sometimes the influence of GENTLE GIANT gets very clear in their music. Recommended!

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JOHNNY ISLAND-MY HEART BEATS ONLY FOR YOU-12" SINGLE-VINYL-FACTORY SEALED-NEW USD $5.09 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Green Cat Island USD $4.41 Buy It Now 1h 31m
STEVIE SALAS - COLORCODE - CASSETTE TAPE - ISLAND (1990) USD $5.74 Buy It Now 1h 31m
U2 - Live Under A Blood Red Sky - 1983 Vinyl LP - Island IMA3 USD $12.71 Buy It Now 1h 33m
ELLIOTT RANDALL Randall's Island SIGNED COPY CD USD $19.98 Buy It Now 1h 34m
Pop by U2 (CD, Mar-1997, Island (Label)) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1h 44m
War by U2 (CD, Oct-1990, Island (Label)) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1h 44m
Zooropa by U2 (CD, Jun-1993, Island (Label)) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1h 44m
Staring at the Sun [#1] [Single] by U2 (CD, Apr-1997, Island (Label)) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1h 44m
FT ISLAND The Mood Korean Album Autographed Signed by Jaejin K-pop CD USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 44m
Little Island Cree: Shadow of the Island tim30043 USD $15.99 Buy It Now 1h 45m
Melissa Etheridge (1992, Island Records CD) USD $1.37 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Drew's Famous WELCOME TO PARADISE ISLAND: HAWAIIAN LUAU & TIKI PARTY MUSIC CD! USD $11.95 Buy It Now 1h 48m
F.T. Island Memory in FTISLAND Album CD+DVD Taiwan version K-pop USD $20.00 Buy It Now 1h 48m
FT ISLAND Beautiful Journey Mini Album CD+DVD Taiwan Edition K-pop USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1h 49m
On The Town - Turtle Island String Quartet (CD, 1991, Windham Hill Jazz) USD $9.00 Buy It Now 1h 51m
Laments and Merry Melodies from Cape Breton Island by Theresa Morrison (CD, 1999 USD $9.00 Buy It Now 1h 52m
Mindy SMITH - Long Island Shores USD $1.26 [0 bids]
1h 53m
Robert Palmer Riptide vinyl LP album record UK ILPS9801 ISLAND 1985 USD $7.65 Buy It Now 1h 56m
Natalie Imbruglia White Lilies Island Japan CD OBI BVCM-37915 2007 OBI USD $27.99 Buy It Now 1h 59m
Harry Belafonte & Friends - Harry Belafonte (CD, 1997, Island) USD $6.99 Buy It Now 2h
MARVIN RAINWATER 45 RPM - Lonely Island (1958) USD $14.75 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Falloch - This Island Our Funeral [New CD] USD $13.97 Buy It Now 2h 3m
SNJOUGLAN KRISTIAN BLACK MEGA RARE FAROES ISLAND PRIVATE JAZZ FUSION LP USD $35.88 Buy It Now 2h 5m
BLONDIE - ISLAND OF LOST SOULS - 1982 GERMAN 7" P/S - BUY 3 7"S USD $3.83 Buy It Now 2h 8m
CAT STEVENS - BANAPPLE GAS - 1976 7" ISLAND DJ ONLY COPY - 1000'S MORE 7"S LOOK USD $3.83 Buy It Now 2h 15m
ANTHRAX state of Euphoria US ISLAND RECORDS LP + Artwork/lyrics Inner 91004 1! USD $31.94 Buy It Now 2h 15m
JIM Capaldi It's All Up To You / Whale Meat Again WIP.8198 1974 Island USD $6.39 Buy It Now 2h 16m
ROUTE 33 FEAT ALEX JAMES - LOOKING BACK. ON ISLAND RECORDS 12" VINYL USD $6.38 Buy It Now 2h 16m
ULTRAVOX HA! HA! HA! Island UK LP EX/EX plus Inner USD $19.15 Buy It Now 2h 18m
Addictions, Vol. 1 by Robert Palmer (CD, Oct-1989, Island (Label)) USD $1.99 Buy It Now 2h 23m
ISLAND PRESENTS DUB 1976 TO 1990 38 HARD AND HEAVY DUB CUTS - 2014 SPECTRUM 2xCD USD $10.86 Buy It Now 2h 25m
U2 - War - 1983 - Island - ILPS 19733 - Italy USD $54.77 Buy It Now 2h 27m
U2 - Under A Blood Red Sky - 1983 - Island - ISM 127 - Can USD $42.96 Buy It Now 2h 27m
HAWAII CALLS SEALED LP - Favorite Island Instrumentals USD $17.50 Buy It Now 2h 28m
War by U2 (CD, Oct-1990, Island (Label)) USD $3.75 Buy It Now 2h 30m
Your Little Secret by Melissa Etheridge (CD, Nov-1995, Island (Label) **NEW** USD $6.99 Buy It Now 2h 36m
Infinity on High by Fall Out Boy (CD, Feb-2007, Island (Label) USD $7.41 Buy It Now 2h 41m
ISLAND IAN GILLAN WAR RODEN Original 1977 RM Trade Press Advert Poster Size ## USD $11.49 Buy It Now 2h 43m
bob marley & the wailers tuff gong buffalo soldier island record lp 1983 rare USD $20.00 Buy It Now 2h 43m
From Under the Cork Tree by Fall Out Boy (CD, May-2005, Island (Label) USD $7.41 Buy It Now 2h 43m
NIGHT WORKS_Urban Heat Island_used CD_ships from AUS!_zz4_J3 USD $9.08 Buy It Now 2h 45m
Angels with Dirty Faces by Tricky (CD, Jun-1998, Island (Label)) USD $1.99 Buy It Now 2h 48m
LADYHAWKE: LADYHAWKE 2008 Island CD inc. My Delirium, Dusk Till Dawn, Oh My USD $2.54 [0 bids]
2h 48m
Pre-Millennium Tension by Tricky (CD, Nov-1996, Island (Label)) USD $1.99 Buy It Now 2h 48m
BOB MARLEY WAILERS Live ORIG 12" 33RPM LP Reggae First Press Island USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2h 50m
JOHN MARTYN THE ELECTRIC JOHN MARTYN CASSETTE TAPE 1982 PAPER LABEL ISLAND UK USD $12.76 Buy It Now 2h 50m
HawnayTroof-Island Of Ayle CD New USD $7.67 Buy It Now 2h 53m
Two Steps From Hell - INVINCIBLE Soundtrack CD NEW X-Men/Watchmen/Shutter Island USD $25.54 Buy It Now 2h 56m
Julian Cope - My nation underground - Vinyl LP album 1988 (Island) USD $5.11 [1 bids]
2h 56m
Robert Palmer - Maybe It's Live - 1982 GT Britain - Island - ILPS9665 - Vinyl USD $33.16 Buy It Now 2h 58m
PASCALI'S ISLAND SEALED LP - Film Soundtrack USD $19.95 Buy It Now 2h 59m
Negative Approach + Punch, SSS, No Island - Glasgow 2012 tour concert gig poster USD $7.01 Buy It Now 3h
Minilogue - Island Of If [Vinyl New] USD $16.91 Buy It Now 3h 2m
*NO BARCODE CID 132* GRACE JONES- Island Life, the Best of CD (Nimbus UK) 1985 USD $7.64 Buy It Now 3h 2m
U2 Pride 2x7" paper Island labels. USD $1.65 [0 bids]
3h 4m
Tony Bennett - In The Middle Of An Island - "1BB/1BC" - 45 RPM USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3h 8m
War Ina Babylon by Max Romeo & the Upsetters (CD, Mar-1991, Universal/Island) USD $6.18 Buy It Now 3h 13m
Trace / Line Of Fire ORG Long Island Records B8 USD $34.99 Buy It Now 3h 16m
Falloch - This Island Our Funeral [New CD] USD $14.79 Buy It Now 3h 16m
Christmas Island by Jimmy Buffett (CD, Oct-1996, Universal Special Products) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 3h 22m
THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU omp soundtrack GARY CHANG 1996 US milan CD USD $8.00 Buy It Now 3h 23m
INNER CIRCLE everything is great ILPS 9558 A4U/B3U uk island 1979 LP PS EX/EX USD $11.49 Buy It Now 3h 24m
STEVE WINWOOD chronicles SSW1 A1/B1 1st press uk island 1987 LP PS EX/EX + inner USD $11.49 Buy It Now 3h 24m
MARIANNE FAITHFULL A CHILDS ADVENTURE island 83 A-1UB-2U EX/VG+ USD $8.93 Buy It Now 3h 26m
THE WATERBOYS self titled 90147-1 usa island 1983 MINI LP PS EX/EX USD $11.49 Buy It Now 3h 26m
ROSIE ANIA eyes of a woman 12 ISP 461 picture disc uk island 1990 12" WS EX/ USD $11.49 Buy It Now 3h 28m
KEANE Hopes And Fears Universal/Island CD 986657 USD $2.56 Buy It Now 3h 28m
FREE - ALL RIGHT NOW, A 3-TRACK 7" VINYL, ISLAND RECORDS, IEP 6 (1978) USD $7.40 Buy It Now 3h 29m
THE CRANBERRIES-a-(45)-WHEN YOU'RE GONE / FREE TO DECIDE - ISLAND -854 802 -1996 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 3h 30m
1989 BANDERA CRUISIN DOWN COLLINS ISLAND LP #91276-1 SEALED USD $5.95 Buy It Now 3h 30m
GIBSON BROTHERS que sera mi vida 7" CS EX/EX island WIP 6525 USD $9.30 Buy It Now 3h 31m
JULIAN COPE trampoline 7" WS EX/ uk island IS 305 sol USD $9.30 Buy It Now 3h 31m
U2 -THE JOSHUA TREE- ISLAND - CD Only (Original Cover Missing) USD $1.99 Buy It Now 3h 34m
Bob Dylan - Planet Waves - 1974 - Island - ILPS 9261 - Vinyl LP USD $16.55 Buy It Now 3h 34m
To the Faithful Departed by The Cranberries CD Island 1996 Salvation Hollywood USD $5.99 Buy It Now 3h 35m
U2 WAR VINYL RECORD LP 1983 ISLAND GREAT SHAPE - joshua tree rattle hum boy USD $7.99 [1 bids]
3h 37m
IKE & TINA TURNER - 2 (TWO) x 7" VINYL SINGLES inc SWEET RHODE ISLAND RED USD $1.28 [0 bids]
3h 37m
THE CHRISTIANS. HARVEST FOR THE WORLD. 1988 ISLAND. 7" VINYL USD $1.26 [0 bids]
3h 41m
Aswad - Give A Little Love - 1988 UK - Island - IS 358 USD $6.32 Buy It Now 3h 42m
Mr. Happy Go Lucky by John Mellencamp (CD, Sep-1996, Island/Mercury) USD $1.99 Buy It Now 3h 43m
JAY FERGUSON - Thunder Island - CD ** Like New - Mint ** USD $26.95 Buy It Now 3h 43m
U2 - TWO HEARTS BEAT AS ONE - ORIGINAL 1983 ISLAND RECORDS 12" 45rpm 3 TRACK USD $7.67 [0 bids]
3h 43m
U2 - DESIRE - ORIGINAL 1988 ISLAND RECORDS 12" 3 TRACK GATEFOLD SLEEVE USD $12.78 [0 bids]
3h 43m
SPEEDY KEEN~SOMEONE TO LOVE~1975 UK 7" ISLAND WIP.6230 USD $4.47 Buy It Now 3h 44m
STEREO MC'S - CONNECTED - 1992 ISLAND RECORDS AUDIO CASSETTE ALBUM USD $6.39 [0 bids]
3h 46m
U2 * LIVE UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY * VINYL LP ISLAND IMA3 PLAYS GREAT USD $12.07 Buy It Now 3h 47m
JAY FERGUSON - Thunder Island - CD ** Brand New ** USD $107.95 Buy It Now 3h 47m
Bob Marley And The Wailers Burnin' New & Sealed 2015 UNI / Island Vinyl USD $19.15 Buy It Now 3h 48m
Riptide by Robert Palmer R&B Soul Songs CD 1985 Island Records (G) #W113 USD $5.86 Buy It Now 3h 48m
7" Single - Robert Palmer - Addicted To Love - Island IS 270 - 1986 USD $3.82 Buy It Now 3h 49m
Bob Marley And The Wailers Natty Dread New & Sealed 2015 UNI / Island Vinyl USD $19.15 Buy It Now 3h 50m
U2 45 " With Or Without You / Luminous Times " ISLAND Canada 1987' USD $7.41 Buy It Now 3h 50m
Bob Dylan/The Band - Before The Flood Island IDBD-1 1974 Gatefold Sleeve LP x 2 USD $19.15 Buy It Now 3h 50m
Tower: Sequoia; Island Prelude; Silver Ladders; Music for Cello USD $1.94 Buy It Now 3h 50m
CKY, CKY Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild , 2002 Island Records CD! USD $5.99 Buy It Now 3h 52m
THE CHRISTIANS - Ideal World - 1987 UK Island 2-track 7" vinyl single USD $3.44 Buy It Now 3h 53m
CANDY ISLAND-THE [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLS ANIMATION PROJECT 04-JAPAN CD C15 USD $14.50 Buy It Now 3h 55m
PJ Harvey - Letter 7" b/w bows and arrows 2004 island 45 rpm vinyl USD $16.19 Buy It Now 3h 55m
Cusco m- japan with obi LP Cool Island USD $14.99 Buy It Now 3h 59m

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ISLAND discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ISLAND top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.13 | 128 ratings
Pictures
1977

ISLAND Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ISLAND Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ISLAND Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.07 | 8 ratings
Pyrrho
2005

ISLAND Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ISLAND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 128 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars A very dark, obscure journey into the deepest vestiges of prog's reaches.

Dug up from the absolute bowels of music, the sole studio offering from an obscure Swiss band, "Pictures" is a bit of an oddball release. Like its chilling album artwork, the album is bleak and cold, and inhumanly intricate. The music is keyboard-heavy with saxophone touches, a la Van der Graaf, and is primarily instrumental. There are some English vocals, but they're unconventional to say the least. As in, singing backwards, and waxing poetic about gastric juices. Many reviewers are quick to note heavy influences from other eclectic and jazz-based prog artists but the atmosphere of this album is really like nothing else out there. The first time you listen to this album it's generally hard to take in more than the first 10 minutes or so, as the music is often very dense and technical, but with each listen you slowly begin to appreciate it more and more. Having said that, this seems to be an album that you put on for the experience, not necessarily for the music.

While there are truly riveting, and frankly haunting, moments on the album, and the atmosphere is extraordinarily eerie, I would not recommend this to just anyone. This is certainly not an album for newcomers to prog but more something for the listener who's heard anything and everything and is craving for something a little (read: a lot) different. While I would normally assign a high rating to music as interesting and original as this, I feel that 3 stars does "Pictures" justice not only because I find (even after repeated listens) that many of the instrumental passages overstay their welcome, but also due to the incredibly niche appeal of the album. So if you like your prog headspinningly kinky (Mmmm - gastric juices, anyone?), then this should be right up your alley.

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 128 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by tmay102436

5 stars How in the world can an avid lover / fanatic / caused a divorce (many years ago - happily married now) / devotee of progressive rock have missed this fabulous album!? But, I did. I just got this through Synphonic Music, and what a surprise.

Very complex, and yes, as others have mentioned there's Van der Graaf, Gentle Giant, ELP, avant prog, RIO, etc...influences. But also, a similarity to USA's, Fireballet, actually both fabulous albums from them. Of course another point of reference might be their fellow Swiss, Flame Dream.

Still, this is so very unusual, personal, yet extremely professional and well recorded and remastered. And that combination is what makes it 5 stars for me.

I just love the addition of woodwinds, and the sax here on Island's "Pictures" is what takes them to another level. The keyboards (oh my gosh, on this third listening I just noticed that there's no guitar - not even missed) are the predominate, with the bass pedals sounding like there supposed to, just in the right spot. Very cool through a surround decoder, with the subwoofer slightly pinning the whole tapestry down. I usually don't like the "extra track(s), but this one is quite good, although maybe not necessary. Still, nice to hear sometimes.

OK, I'm gushing now, but again, what a pleasant surprise. May there always be these nuggets of pure inspiration and performance to be found. And as always, thanks to this wonderful site, Progarchives.com for being able to share our love of this musical miracle, Progressive Rock.

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 128 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars Living up to their name, it really seems like this band was stranded on an island somewhere far away for a really long time and had nothing better to do except create this otherworldly music. This sole release is probably the strangest prog i've ever heard. Yes, the influences of Van der Graaf, Gentle Giant, ELP, avant prog, RIO and the rest are here, but this music really doesn't sound like anything else. It is eerie, spooky, complex, powerful and bizarre! The decision to leave out the guitar and add lots of percussion, crotales, saxes, flute and clarinet really add to its uniqueness

Warning! This eclectic stew takes a few listens to grow on you. I have grown to love this! I heard this several times on YouTube before I tracked down a copy and after several listens I only like this more each time. The production isn't as bad as i've read and I think it actually adds to the strangeness of it all. The bonus track on the CD is no throwaway. It fits in perfectly with the rest of the album and clocking in at over 23 minutes adds a huge chunk of time. So what are you waiting for? Go out and find this! It's the perfect soundtrack for cuddling up to H.R. Giger's Necronomicon

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 128 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Not much is known about this legendary Swiss Prog band, but it seems certain that Island evolved from the disbanded Deaf, as the very early mid-70's five-piece line-up included drummer Güge Jürg Meier and guitarist/singer Dany Ruehle (also a member of The Shiver).However their sole album ''Pictures'' would only see the light in 1977 on the unkown Round Records (propably Island's members had some involvement with the label), featuring from the original line-up ex-Toad Benjamin Jäger on vocals and percussion, Güge Jürg Meier on drums, Peter Scherer on keyboards and bass pedals along with the newest addition of wind-instrumentalist René Fisch.

The album is a British-influenced experience of dense and complex Progressive Rock along the lines of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, GENTLE GIANT and GNIDROLOG, very unpopular for the time of its release but definitely well-executed and offering plenty of interesting material already from the opening minutes and the superb instrumental ''Zero'', a milestone of rich and frenetic Progressive Rock with fantastic interplays between piano, organ, saxes and clarinets as well as some excellent drumming.What follows is a dark, haunting and complicated trilogy of three long epics, clocking between 12 and 17 minutes, where Island's sound reaches the top of its complexity but also where the VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR is trully apparent.What really shines in these compositions is the perfectly balanced sound of the band between the instrumental madness and the intense lyrical parts as well as the dreamy, almost fairytale atmospheres and obscure, dark soundscapes.The instrumentation seems also greatly measures.Lots of sax and clarinet interventions next to some lighter flute parts but also plenty of keyboard attacks, including Avant Garde-like piano textures and tons of organ orgasms.Pretty tight stuff and what makes ''Pictures'' even more charming is the absence of guitars and the use of bass pedals instead of a bass.Count in the numerous wordless chants and you get ''Pictures'' abnormal and schizophenic atmosphere.

The Laser's Edge CD reissue contains also a rare 23-min. jamming of the band, which is also attractive and very solid.A must have for all fans of complex and dark music of the VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR school of Prog and warmly recommended for all the rest...3.5 stars.

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 128 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A very, very, very strange slice of avant-garde-cum-canterbury-style progressive rock from the rather obscure Swiss four-piece Island, this 1977 release, right down to the techno-biological artwork of renowned Swiss artist H. R. Giger(him of 'Alien' fame) really is an 'acquired' taste. Practically impossible to get hold of(certainly at the time of writing) this is one of those exceptionally singular albums that both confounds and delights in equal measure, though after initial listens one does wish that the group had simply focused more on developing the album's various quirky melodies instead of just being deliberately weird. Featuring five tracks - the final three of which each break the ten-minute mark - 'Pictures' kicks off with strange moanings, hushed whispers and crashing gongs on the aptly-titled mini-prologue 'Introduction' before a cacophony of sonic squalls lead into the impressively jazz-flecked follow-up 'Zero'. It's on 'Zero' that the group's canny ear for delightfully intricate melodies really shines through, as brisk keyboard patterns and skittering drums dance an oddly-timed avant-jazz jig that brings to mind the more complex meanderings of both National Health and Hatfield & The North. However, 'Pictures' really starts to amp up the weirdness factor on the three epic closing compositions, each of which drags the listener bemused and kicking into the Swiss group's wholly eclectic musical world. Mainly instrumental - bar from some genuinely creepy vocals courtesy of percussionist and ex-Toad member Benjamin Jager - the title- track, 'Herold & King' and 'Here & Now' really need to be heard to truly be (dis)believed. At times, a slight medieval feel permeates the dizzy madness, and whilst frequent needless wanders into overly dissonant territory prove frustrating, it's almost worth the effort when Island do manage to concentrate on the actual music. If you can take over forty-minutes of whacked-out prog(sample chorus line: "Gastric Juices! Gastric Juices!") 'Pictures', an album almost perfectly summed up by its freakish cover art, may actually be worth exploring. However, you have been warned... STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 128 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by Bj-1
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Dark, sinister and closer to avantgarde progressive rock than any other variation of the genre, I've been aware of this gem for quite some time now but haven't got a chance to listen to the whole album until recently. This is an unique, complex and very adventurous album and while the music is constantly interesting (at least for a weirdo like myself) the best thing about it is the absolutely eerie, almost chilling atmosphere that just get tenser as the album progresses. The music is strangely melodic and elegant but simultaneously uneasy that usually relief itself into some really deranged or spooky sections. The best thing is that it's all very effective, at least if you can appreciate this kind of dark music cause it is not easy listening. Musicianship is absolutely stunning and right on time even in the most bizarre and demanding sections, these guys really know how to play and peform and I was mindblown by their unique approach to their instruments. As you probably figured out the songs are dangerously complex so it requires a good ear and slight insanity from the listener to fully grab it all. The lyrics are odd and the vocalist might be an acquired taste for some but the rest is brilliant all the way. I'll leave it to the excellent cover art explaining the rest for you..

If you like Gnidrolog, Gentle Giant, Van der Graaf Generator, King Crimson and have a taste for zeuhl and avantprog then check it out, but be open minded. You either get it or get run over by it, so take your time.

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 128 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Island's "Pictures" is a vicious jazz attack and quite unsettling at times but never less than creative. The band are an inventive jazz RIO and may be described as Gentle Giant meets Van der Graaf Generator. It is strange and compelling and slightly sinister. The instrumental 'Zero' is one of the most virtuoso in terms of musicianship and experimentation. Scherer is a wizard on keyboards and the drumming of Meier is phenomental competing with one another yet oddly amalgamating together. The time sig changes are wondrous, really making the music more dynamic than it already is. It is bold and daring and challenging.

Fisch is an incredible sax player and shines on the lengthy 'Pictures' with Jager's vocals and massive dollops of avant jazz hyper strangeness. It is almost Zappa meets Hatfield and the North, a weird combination of psychotic jazz and Canterbury. The sigs are all over the place and chaos reigns supreme. 'Herold And King' is a disturbing track with drones and jolts of sax and silence, and it does sound as though the musicians are just tuning up but they are actually playing dissonant jazz. The piano on this is spine tingling and really is not one I would play at night.

'Here and Now' is a dark piece with VDGG sax squeals and Tull like flute. It is rather scary but the vocals are warm and inviting. The music is incredible and off the scale as far as time sigs, the meter changes and the percussion is always maintaining an odd pattern. It ends the album on a highlight. But there is a bonus on the Cd and it is a huge jam session called 'Empty Bottles'. It is really a manic jazz feast, with dissonant sax, drums and other instruments basting up a storm.

A word about the cover. It is an HR Giger artwork 2 years before he became famous for "Alien" and yet it looks very much like the Alien in Ridley Scott's classic. It certainly drew me to the album. Giger of course provided the artwork for many albums such as ELP's "BSS" and Debbie Harry's solo album "Koo Koo", even being involved with the clip to her 'Backfired' and appearing in 'Now I Know You Know'.

Overall Islands' "Pictures" is a bold inventive album that is really going to challenge listeners and for those of us who want to hear odd time meters, jazz weirdness and Canterbury all in one package, look no further!

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 128 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Few bands deserve the "eclectic" descriptor more than Island. Pictures presents extended compositions that are generally based on symphonic conventions, but include heavy doses of fusion (often of a Canterbury nature), theatrical lyrics influenced by Peter Gabriel and Peter Hammill in equal portions, avant-garde Gentle Giant-like moments, and the occasional hypnotic rhythm reminiscent of Zeuhl. The highly complex and technical material is let a little by the fuzzy sound quality (at least on my copy), and whilst the band undeniably possess fearsome chops, the album does rather meander, with the epics dragging out some musical ideas well past the point where they stop being interesting. A good album, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it essential by any stretch of the imagination.
 Pyrrho by ISLAND album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2005
3.07 | 8 ratings

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Pyrrho
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Much to the pleasure of the fans of Island's sole studio album, they get to see an "official" release of the live material that had circulated as some form of boot or another for the last decades or so. This rather dark and sober green artwork (again HR Giger) fits the general tone of the group's soundscape. Both live recordings date from 76, well before the album's actual sessions (summer 77) and therefore don't expect unheard material. What is relatively interesting is to follow the progression of the group, both in its personnel and in its musical direction, compared to the finished product. It seems obvious that the contents of the first disc is more ancient than the stuff of the second one, but both are subdivided in a flurry of track sub-division, which may seem and be a little arbitrary.

The first disc is announced as home recording, so you're warned, but like the bonus track on the CD reissue of Pictures, it's actually quite acceptable, and if every home recording was of that quality, there wouldn't have been many studios left in the late 70's. The group was then a quintet, based on the "basic trio foundation" drummer Scherer, keyboardist Meier and singer Jager, but included a guitarist and a bassist. Musically the group didn't have that Zeuhl dimension it would have in Pictures, being much more Emersonian- symphonic in style, but still jazz-rock tinged. Interestingly enough, this "home session" last some 40 minutes, enough material for an album.

The second disc is unsurprisingly not quite as good in terms of sound quality, being a live concert recording, with not all the parameters fully under control. Unlike the first disc, this could be a bootleg origin, but it's nothing scandalous either. Line-up wise, the guitarist is nw gone, replaced with saxman René Fisch, while the bassist has changed. While it may appear trivial or anecdotic, this change might be one of the key to the group's relative change of musical scope, as this recording does see the appearance of Zeuhl influences, absent in the first disc, but not nearly as dominant as it would be in their Pictures album. There are hints of VdGG influences appearing now, but I didn't detect any GG yet. So if you're looking for some more Pictures, this second disc would be up your alley, despite seeing your enthusiasm slightly tempered about the sound quality.

I certainly wouldn't call this double-disc affair essential to any proghead (given that the sound quality is not exactly up-to-par), unless you're an absolute fan of Pictures and really want to deepen your knowledge of the second-best Swiss band ever, after Circus. Interesting enough to listen to it a few times, but I'm not sure that you'll get a good mileage of this double-shot.

 Pictures by ISLAND album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.13 | 128 ratings

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Pictures
Island Eclectic Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The only studio album of obscure Swiss prog band is very competent and complex work for your head.CD version contains of 6 compositions, four of them are longer than 12 minutes.

Musically band plays complex symphonic/contemporary classical music influenced prog with some symphonic fusion elements and dark, almost zeuhlish atmosphere. Compositions all are of complex structure, with rhythm breaks, some avant elements and really requires repeated listening. In moments similar to some Van Der Graaf Generator of Gentle Giant works, this album is great release in its quality, but has same result on me - this is music for head but hardly for the heart.

Fans of complex and technical symphonic prog should really enjoy this release. For others it could be interesting, but not too enjoyable one.

My rating is 3,5, rounded to 4.

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