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Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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Home picture
Home biography
Founded in London, UK in 1970 - Disbanded in 1974

The band were centred around the fine guitar work of Laurie Wisefield, and the voice of Mick Stubbs, the band's principal songwriter. They released three albums between 1971 and 1973. The first two albums contained competent and reasonably original songs, some with progressive leanings.

It was however the third album, "The Alchemist" which was the band's masterpiece. This concept album is one of the forgotten gems of prog, telling a tale of supernatural events and the reaction of those placed in fear by them. Musically, the album sees the band taking an enormous leap forward. Sadly, the momentum was lost as quickly as it came, and "The Alchemist" proved to be Home's final album. Test pressings are said to exist for an unreleased fourth album, but if they do exist, they have yet to be released.

During their brief life, the band supported a number of top acts on tour, including LED ZEPPELIN and WISHBONE ASH. In 1974, AL STEWART invited the band members to become his backing band. Stubbs left at this point, but the others took up the offer.

Wisefield subsequently went on to join WISHBONE ASH replacing Ted Turner, while Cliff Williams briefly joined BANDIT then enjoyed a successful career with AC/DC.

Both Mick Stubbs and Drummer Mick Cook have now sadly passed away, but Wisefield continues to enjoy success with the "War of the Worlds Live" tour.

Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com : A fine but sadly almost forgotten band from the early 1970's who are frequently described as progressive in references to them. Their music fits neatly into the Art Rock category, but they covered a wide range of styles on their three albums. Their third album is an excellent example of a prog concept album.

See also: WiKi

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HOME discography


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

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

3.10 | 28 ratings
Pause For A Hoarse Horse
1971
3.37 | 21 ratings
Home
1972
3.64 | 52 ratings
The Alchemist
1973

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

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

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

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

HOME Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Alchemist by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.64 | 52 ratings

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The Alchemist
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by Maceta

5 stars "The Alchemist" is HOMEīs most progressive, and overall best release. After several listens I can say that the album works much better listened as a whole 40 minute piece rather than each song individually. In fact, whenever I come back to this album it is always to listen to the whole thing, rather than one individual song. Itīs very eclectic and explores almost every mood possible, going from standard prog rock to funky moods, from reagge to dramatic symphonic rock. And yet manages to do all this while mantaining a coherent storyline that flows effortlessly and cohesively. A great example of how a concept album should be. It has really grown on me and I cannot think of it as anything other than a forgotten masterpiece.
 The Alchemist by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.64 | 52 ratings

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The Alchemist
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars HOME "The Alchemist". Is an album that presents a kind of music ( for the most purist listeners ) which be in the half-way between the psychedelic movement "last steps" (in the late 60's) and the progressive rock "explosion" in the subsequent period ( early 70's) . They sound to me ( with a certain dose of exaggeration ) like Steve Howe or Jimmy Page came in studio with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young for a session. Great part of the disk gave me this exactly impression, the vocals are very beauty (with use of voices counterpoints and choirs) and the musical "atmosphere" is almost the same to CSNY! The main difference is in the work developed by Laurie Wisefield in the guitars...remembering at the same time the " crackling " Page's style and the "western" Howe's "touch". The best (and more progressive) tracks are : track 5 "The disaster" , track 9 "Rejoicing" and track 10 "The disaster returns (Devastation)".... but, in general way all of tracks are good . My rate is 4 stars !!!
 Pause For A Hoarse Horse by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.10 | 28 ratings

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Pause For A Hoarse Horse
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by historian9
Forum & Site Admin Group Site Admin / JRF Team

3 stars As the early debut of the band, I didn't expect much, and just seeing the cover one shouldn't expect much of prog rock going on. That said, this blues or british country rock like music is very charming and catchy. It does have some mellotron here and there as well as violins but don't expect anything too adventurous aside from guitar playing which does have some kind of original style to it, making it recognizable on all HOME recordings; this stuff might be interesting for WHISHBONE ASH fans. Not much of prog, but seeing as it is not that bad at all, this "feel good" record deserves a raise from collectors and fans only to three stars.
 The Alchemist by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.64 | 52 ratings

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The Alchemist
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by progshachar

4 stars Great prog album. A fine addition to me collection Just heard it few times in a row and it keep grow pn me. The new remastered 2010 album sounds terrific. This is really a concept album. There is a plot and the music strongly supports it. The lyrics are nice, the singing is great and the music is brilliant. The albu, starts slowly and it progress literally from song to song. The finale - the death of the alchemist is oustanding. The bonuses are ok, not on the same level as the whole album. I am new to Home and I really enjot this brilliant album Really a great addition to any prog collection.
 The Alchemist by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.64 | 52 ratings

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The Alchemist
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After two disappointing studio efforts, 1973 saw the talented British quartet Home take up a much more overtly-progressive mantle and produce this finely-crafted concept album known as 'The Alchemist'. It would prove to be the group's final release, but it would also prove to be a true underground cult classic and a much-sought after album that would enable the name of Home to live on through the ages. Thanks to the excellent reissue label Esoteric Recordings, Home's defining album is finally released in all it's remastered glory for fans old and new.

Featuring Mick Stubbs(guitar, vocals), Cliff Williams(bass), Mick Cook(drums) and future Wishbone Ash member Laurie Wisefield(guitar), Home's 'The Alchemist' was a critically-acclaimed yet commercially-ignored album, the kind of album that could only have been made in the heady days of the late sixties and early-seventies when experimentation and creativity were, unbelievably, the recording industry watchword's. Home's label, CBS Records, had given the foursome all the time and space they needed to create their magnus opus but yet somehow neglected to advertise the album properly, leading to poor sales despite the group's constant live performances up-and-down the country and the small-but-loyal following these shows cultivated.

However, while the group might not have made any money out of their finest album, the did make a name for themselves amongst prog fans, with 'The Alchemist' now regarded as a stand-out concept piece thirty-plus years down the line. Stylistically, the album does, at times, invoke the feel of 'Trespass'-era Genesis or 'The Yes Album'-era Yes, but with a rich palette of instrumentation that is all their own, including acoustic-and-electric guitars, mellotrons, viola's, flutes and horns as well as Mick Stubbs soul-flecked vocals. As the songs flit from slow-and-serene folk to raucous, symphonic prog workouts, the carefuly-constructed story - that of a small boy befriending an old wizard in a small Cornish village - starts to slowly unfold.

 Home by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.37 | 21 ratings

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Home
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by Norman Kiddie

4 stars This being my very first review on Progarchives, I would just like to say that this website is simply brilliant. Home by Home, being the bands second release following their Pause For A Hoarse Horse was a superb album. Mostly written by the late Mick Stubbs, who was also the lead vocalist, keyboarder and support or rythum guitar for Laurie Wisefield. The album starts with the track Dreamer which opens the album up very cleverly as the listener does not really know what to expect next. Heavy rock, blues, a ballad. This album features almost all of these genres and even a bit of folk on the lovely Rise Up. It is an album of two sides the better of which can be put down to pure taste. Personally I prefer the second side, beginning with Baby Be Friend Of Mine and ending with Homeīs greatest track Lady Of The Birds (also available as a live version on the BBC recordings). This track is what it is all about. Laurie Wisefield is absolutely stunning on not only this track but the whole album. I will never forget the sadness at hearing that Laurie had been hired to take over Ted Turnerīs vacant position with Wishbone Ash. The beginnig of a new career for Laurie, but the end of a great band for all those HOME fans. This is a four star album. I got my cd copy via EBAY. Itīs a Russian version.
 The Alchemist by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.64 | 52 ratings

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The Alchemist
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by raleks

5 stars Undoubtedly (for me) (and after more than several tens listens) masterpiece of prog. This album have all I want from prog music - interesting melodies and arrangements (ye, there is big work for my brain and ears:) ), good vocal. But there is an unexpected thing - after some listens I've suddenly understood I want to listen and listen also most disharmonic tracks on the album - Disaster ans Devastation :) And also I can NOT remeber any prog album with such hypnotize riffs, simple and effective, hard- rockish, repeated and repeated and... mmm... very tasteful. Highlight! The Death... is very dramatic song and perfectly feet (in contrast) with final song. The last one is simple STRONG melodic song. I happy my collection is enriched with this stuff. Generally there are no weak tracks here. Undoubtedly :D
 Pause For A Hoarse Horse by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.10 | 28 ratings

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Pause For A Hoarse Horse
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by prabbit

4 stars To these ears, this is a very underrated album, though I must confess to a certain bias on my part since I really do love this album... Anyway, this, the debut album by UK outfit Home is a quiet gem, one that reflects and refracts subtle shades and colors in the setting sun, rather than dazzling the listener with pyrotechnic displays. Laurie Wisefield's guitar is well suited to the material here and fans of early Wishbone Ash will probably find much to enjoy. Over the years, I've seen a lot of comments about this lp that describe it as country rock and very US influenced which is true to a degree, but I think that the real similarities lie with UK counterparts like Help Yourself, Man (it makes perfect sense that Clive John of Man is featured on this album), Family (John Weider also guests here), The Dog That Bit People, or even a folkier Andwella's Dream. These bands, to some degree, all looked to the U.S. West Coast groups for inspiration but they somehow still retained a very British air about them. People that dig Free's unfairly maligned Highway album should also like this lp. Standout moments are leadoff track Tramp which has a dreamy, wistful feel, the mournful title track (which contrary to what is written in the reviews above, is actually a touching ode to the group's battered equipment van, which apparently had to be put down after years of faithful service, using the metaphor of putting down an old horse to describe how they felt...lyrics include (approx, from memory) doors keep rattlin', roof lets in the rain...when they take you away, they're going to crush you to the ground...you know you served us well right to the end, we've got to find another friend...), and the wonderful Red E. Lewis and the Red Caps (a reference/ode to Jimmy page's first band). Most people prefer Home's 3rd album The Alchemist (which is certainly their most progressive effort) but for me, this is their best album. The second, self-titled lp has more elaborate production values but weaker material. The Alchemist is very progressive and has some cool tracks, but it sounds just a bit forced to me. Obviously, most others disagree... There is a tendency for hardcore music fans to portray their secret favorites as unheralded masterpieces that rival or even surpass landmark albums and I don't want to mislead readers: this is not a 5 star work of towering genius, but, it is a VERY underrated album that constantly rewards the listener by revealing its charms over time. It should also be pointed out that the CD reissue while offering decent sound quality, is mastered from a vinyl source, and being that the album's production was a bit muddy to begin with, a good remastering job from an original tape source would be most welcome.
 The Alchemist by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.64 | 52 ratings

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The Alchemist
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Opinions seem to be split on the worth of this album. On the one hand, it seems to represent the best of Home's three studio releases. On the other, some pan it as lacking in focus, boring, even pompous.

I think it falls somewhere in between, with the pendulum swinging in either direction depending on what one is listening for. 'The Alchemist' is a well-defined concept album that tells the tale of a young lad who assumes the powers of a dying wizard and uses those powers to save his town from some sort of rather vague disaster, apparently suffering from the same fatal affliction as his mentor as a result. Because of his diminished powers he is reviled by those same citizens when he is unable to stave off the second wave of doom, and is murdered by an angry mob. The album closes with a kind of eulogy to the alchemist, although the lyrics don't quite match the album artwork so it's not completely clear to me which wizard is being eulogized. That's the concept part. As a tale the story line is a bit simplistic, so I can see where some would consider the musical accompaniment to be a bit pretentious in comparison.

Then again this was released in 1973, so some accommodation must be made for the time period, and the level of the story's complexity probably falls somewhere between Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust' and 'Thick as a Brick' (both of which were released around the same time), and well short of 'Dark Side of the Moon' or even say, Jeff Wayne's 'War of the Worlds'.

But musically this definitely represents a peak for Home, particularly the guitar work of Laurie Wisefield. His playing is much more pronounced and complex than on the previous two albums, and is very close to what he would do for Wishbone Ash on 'Where's the Rub' a year later. But his playing is a bit one-dimensional compared to his later Ash work, where he would add the banjo and quite a bit of 12-string to his arsenal. Guest musician Jimmy Anderson adds quite a bit of useful filler with his keyboards, particularly the mellotron sections that help Home to shed a bit of their folksy/country reputation. Some of the various synth sound effects do seem a bit cheesy today, particularly the 'disaster' and crowd noises, but overall the music is more expansive than their debut and more animated than their rather staid sophomore release.

I would tend to lump this album historically and musically with Ash's 'Argus', Allman Brother's 'Eat a Peach', Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Pronounced.' and even ZZ Top's 'Tres Hombres', all released around the same time as this one. Of those only 'Argus' can also make the claim of being a concept album, although musically it far outshines Alchemist.

So this is a decent album, although not as deserving of the 'lost classic' label that some would suggest. Key tracks include the title song for its emotive instrumental work; the brief but keyboard-intense "Disaster"; and "The Sun's Revenge" for its strong guitar riffs. So three stars are where this gets placed, along with a modest recommendation for those who enjoy guitar- dominated early seventies tunes, as well as those who get a kick out of the many concept albums that found their way onto vinyl in the early seventies. If either of these types of albums appeal to you then you'll probably enjoy this one, but otherwise it will probably end up at the bottom of your playlist.

peace

 Pause For A Hoarse Horse by HOME album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.10 | 28 ratings

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Pause For A Hoarse Horse
Home Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars While the ‘progressive’ label is dubious in the case of Home, the band managed to put out two decent and one very good album (‘The Alchemist‘) during their short existence of the early seventies. This is their first and one of the decent ones.

For a British band Home sounded surprisingly similar to any number of American blues-rocking groups of the same period: Cactus, Ramatam, Blues Image, Canned Heat, etc. The group’s lineup was distinguished by guitarists Laurie Wisefield and Mick Stubbs and their twin-guitar attack very comparable to contemporary Brits Wishbone Ash, a band Wisefield would join after Home’s demise. Bassist Cliff Williams would leave for a stint with Bandit before joining Aussie rockers AC/DC in the late seventies.

Like I said, Home’s sound is most comparable to that of Wishbone Ash, with an appealing twin-guitar rhythm, understated bass, and Mick Stubb’s fairly plain percussion. This debut album also features Man keyboardist Clive John and Family member Johnny Weider on violin on the closing track. This is an unexceptional album, full of blues-inspired riffs, early-seventies sentiment earthy lyrics, and occasional solo indulgences. As far as I know the album didn’t garner any hits, but was apparently good enough for CBS to bankroll two more releases before the group disbanded in 1974. Brit balladeer Al Stewart reportedly offered the group a job as his backing band after their final release, but only Mick Cook to him up on the offer as far as I know.

None of the tracks really stand out. “Family” is sort of a prodigal son tune, the title track tells the sad tale of a dying horse, and “Moses” is the closest thing to a Lynyrd Skynyrd ballad as I’ve ever heard out of a bunch of British musicians. “Welvyn Garden City Blues” sounds like a combination of honky-tonk blues and a little bluegrass, with the only thing missing being a nice bass fiddle and maybe a banjo.

This is an interesting history piece, but nothing to get excited about. Rewind reissued it on CD, but it is a bit difficult to find and probably not worth the effort unless you stumble on a copy in a dusty used record bin somewhere. Three stars for the well- formed guitar work of Wisefield and Stubbs, but not particularly recommended.

peace

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