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Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom

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The Enid picture
The Enid biography
British group THE ENID were formed around the founder/keyboardist Robert John GODFREY (BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST) and his fellow founder-members, guitarists Stephen STEWART and Francis LICKERISH in 1974. Almost like a combination of classical and rock, the band combined vast orchestral movements, exclusively classical instrumentation, rigourous construction completely well-written and romantic rock music led by composer Robert John GODFREY. For the most part the albums have some orchestrated sound, all created using the standard guitars, basses, keyboards and drums. THE ENID are probably the TOP of the symphonic tradition.


Time Out

The only band on the planet to have successfully fused rock based music with the power, dynamics and scale of symphonic classical music. They are the absolute masters of their art and their achievements over more than twenty years of creative work set them apart from everything else which calls itself progressive.

THE ENID - In the beginning Part I (1972 - 1980)
In 1969 Robert John GODFREY (RJG for short) became of BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST (BJH) and it was he who developed the orchestra and co-wrote some of the music for which BJH are now so famous. He remained with BJH until 1971. At the end of 1972 he recorded a solo album on the Charisma label "The Fall of Hyperion" showed the musical foundations on which his future music with THE ENID would be built on. In 1974 he became friends with Steve STEWART and together with others they found the highly individual and now very respected rock band known as THE ENID.

They released their first album in 1976. "In the Region of the Summer Stars" is one of those epic symphonic progressive rock albums for the seventies that are a must for every serious collector of progressive rock. Two years later the group followed that release with "Aerie Faerie Nonsense". Fans of the "heavier" or jazzier side of progressive rock might find this album somewhat too classical. However for all those who love to hear majestic with broad classical ovetones, this album is a MUST. The group's third album was called "Touch Me" and was released in 1979. Once again there is the return of an amount of response between various rock and classical modalities, though the classical features are much more prominent. The last album in the first part of THE ENID's history, "Six Pieces" was released in 1980 with next to no promotion...
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Audio CD$11.71
$11.71 (used)
In The Region Of The Summer StarsIn The Region Of The Summer Stars
Operation Seraphim 2013
Audio CD$23.42 (used)
Aerie Faerie NonsenseAerie Faerie Nonsense
Operation Seraphim 2013
Audio CD$16.99
$49.05 (used)
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THE ENID discography

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

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

3.53 | 40 ratings
Robert John Godfrey: Fall Of Hyperion
3.73 | 7 ratings
In the Region Of The Summer Stars
4.96 | 6 ratings
Aerie Faerie Nonsense
3.59 | 69 ratings
Touch Me
3.88 | 56 ratings
Six Pieces
3.71 | 40 ratings
Something Wicked This Way Comes
3.62 | 100 ratings
Aerie Faerie Nonsense (1983)
4.22 | 193 ratings
In the Region Of The Summer Stars (1984)
3.34 | 37 ratings
The Spell
3.13 | 29 ratings
3.48 | 28 ratings
Godfrey & Stewart: The Seed And The Sower
3.85 | 31 ratings
Tripping The Light Fantastic
4.02 | 18 ratings
3.92 | 44 ratings
White Goddess
3.90 | 22 ratings
Arise And Shine
3.70 | 34 ratings
Journey's End
3.87 | 31 ratings
3.33 | 14 ratings
3.98 | 138 ratings
3.79 | 19 ratings
First Light
3.12 | 26 ratings
The Bridge
3.79 | 54 ratings

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

3.62 | 19 ratings
The Enid - Live At Hammersmith (Volumes I & II)
3.80 | 10 ratings
The Stand (1984)
3.14 | 5 ratings
Liverpool Live
3.39 | 14 ratings
Final Noise
4.38 | 8 ratings
Live at Town Hall, Birmingham
4.11 | 9 ratings
Live with The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & The Warickshire County Youth Choirs

THE ENID Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.33 | 6 ratings
Something Wicked This Way Comes
4.00 | 4 ratings
Live at Hammersmith Odeon
4.08 | 5 ratings
Live at Town Hall, Birmingham
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Enid en Concert į Crescendo
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Bridge Show, Live at Union Chapel

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

4.20 | 5 ratings
The Stand (1985)
3.75 | 4 ratings
Lovers And Fools
3.33 | 6 ratings
Anarchy On 45 (Complete Singles Collection)
0.00 | 0 ratings
Healing Hearts
3.00 | 2 ratings
An Alternative History Volume 1
3.00 | 1 ratings
An Alternative History Volume 2
0.00 | 0 ratings
An Alternative History Volume 3
3.92 | 28 ratings
Tears Of The Sun
2.67 | 3 ratings
Sheets Of Blue. An Anthology 1975 - 2004

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

4.50 | 6 ratings
3.67 | 3 ratings
Members One of Another
4.00 | 2 ratings
Live at King George's Hall Blackburn 2010

THE ENID Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Aerie Faerie Nonsense by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.96 | 6 ratings

Aerie Faerie Nonsense
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by richardh
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Listening to this and In The Region Of The Summer Stars back to back I like this a lot more.The question being posed by other reviewers seems to be whether this is actually prog rock or a symphony.Does it matter if its good? Anyway there is definitely a drummer on the album so it comes under prog rock! At pretty much the same time this was released ELP were recording the brilliant symphonic prog track Pirates(from Works Volume One) with the L'Orchestra Du Paris so I'm comfortable this comes with the genre we are discussing.

BUT is it any good? Certainly is! I found this overall a much more satisfying listen than In The Region Of The Summer Stars. The composition is more complete to my ears with more thought given to the flow of the music.I also really enjoy the use of orchestra and classical instrumentation. I have a tiny classical collection so my knowledge of such things is a bit sketchy. However I do know this is beautifully written and conceived. It is mainly orchestrated but drums,synths and guitars do figure along the way.All done for the benefit of the music to my ears.Despite the grandiose themes the music never sounds bloated or overdone. The creative vision reigns supreme.

Masterpeice then? Yes why not. Music like this is so rare it should be treasured

 In the Region Of The Summer Stars by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.73 | 7 ratings

In the Region Of The Summer Stars
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

2 stars After reviewing all the new released The Enid albums I have a different idea about the band. Their latest album Invicta (2012) is really good. And was sad to hear about the Robert John Godfrey disease. But truth be told, In The Region Of The Summer Stars (1976), The Enid first album, is a 'love or hate' case. Probably because is soaked in Classical Music, and then we can see that was always the band intentions since the very beginning,

But, on the other hand, for some people, like myself, the 'too much classical music' feeling is bigger than the 'Prog Rock' feeling, and this kills my enjoyment. I like bands that do a crossover of sound in the Symphonic area. but I like the middle term, not just one side of the coin. And despite the fact that we have many nice moments in the album, the overall feeling is that something went wrong. Is way to orchestral for my taste.

I can see why so many 5 stars the album receives, but I just can't cope with them.

 In the Region Of The Summer Stars by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.73 | 7 ratings

In the Region Of The Summer Stars
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

5 stars Not an album for everyone, not an album for any time, an artistic expression unlike many others. A sound so vivid and epic at the same time, conceived in these often rainy and gloomy parts of the world, though still expressing a melancholia and optimism at the same time, round about the region of the summer stars...

An unconventional soundtrack for summer and winter, the first album under the The Enid moniker bears more resemblance to the music of Ennio Morricone, rather than "typical" progressive rock of the 70's. Classical music re- invented? Possibly. In fact, listening through its (sadly, only) 39 minutes, sceneries and movie excerpts come in mind, via pompous orchestration, sliding guitar phrases, dreamy piano and flute parts. The mood shifts quite often from the epic/grandiose/scary (yes, that too) to total tranquility and back again to complete the dance of emotions. If I had to look for references in prog rock, then those would be early Genesis and Renaissance.

The "vintage" feeling is portrayed in "The Lovers" and "The Sun", the adventure in "Fool/The Falling Tower" and "The Devil" in haunting atmospheres, and the climax is reached (intentionally?) in the closing two compositions, unraveling the quality and inspiration behind this record.

Beware: I find myself listening to this on repeat for numerous times and the same effect might have on you. You have been warned.

5 (rainy) summer stars

 In the Region Of The Summer Stars by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.73 | 7 ratings

In the Region Of The Summer Stars
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars First let me state that I am reviewing the 2012 remaster of the original 1976 album and not the 80's re-recording.

I am always excited to read about other symphonic rock bands of the 70s and when I read about the Enid in Stephen Lambe's book "Citizens of Hope and Glory: The Story of Progressive Rock" I was eager to give them a listen. After some sneak peeks (or sneaks listens) to samples of songs on Amazon, I ordered the album and I was not disappointed.

Most surprisingly is that while Yes and some other bands were recording rock music in a symphonic vein, the Enid appear to have been recording symphonic music in a rock vein. All tracks except for "The Lovers" (a piano solo) feature symphonic instruments with drums, bass, and electric guitar being just instruments in the symphony and not comprising a rock band that is playing with a symphony. For a debut album, the music is remarkably bold and complex. From the beginning, Robert Godfrey wanted this band to do things differently from other rock bands.

Aside from "The Lovers" which is beautiful but a little dull to me, the album is very enjoyable to listen to from start to finish. I normally have great impatience when listening to a new album as I want to find the songs I like the most and listen to them a lot. However, with "In the Region of the Summer Stars" I had a difficult time whittling down the number of songs to three or four favourites. I can now say that I enjoy "Fool / The Falling Tower", "The Devil", "The Last Judgement", and the title track best, but mention should go to "The Sun" and "Death, the Reaper" which I also enjoy.

This is not an album for everyone and I am surprised that I like it as much as I do. But this is one of those albums that really illustrate just how far progressive rock bands could go even in 1976 when prog is said to have been on its way out of fashion.

 Dust by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.79 | 54 ratings

The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by Terakonin

5 stars Dust is the newest album by famed symphonic rock band The Enid, and the last in a trilogy consisting of Journey's End, Invicta, and this album. Immediately we can see that this is the strongest of the three albums. It is a melodramatic, sweeping, orchestral work that leaves the listener both satisfied and wanting more - the ideal feeling to get from an album. The tracks, though all made in the Enid's signature style and featuring the shockingly operatic vocals of Joe Payne, vary where it counts. From the overwhelmingly grand finale to Born in the Fire, to the dark introduction to 1000 Stars, to the funky beat and wailing chorus of Heavy Hearts, this is a fitting end to the trilogy and an album deserving of the highest rating. Five stars.
 Six Pieces by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.88 | 56 ratings

Six Pieces
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by fudgenuts64

4 stars Ah, The Enid. A group I still feel is so overlooked in the 70s prog realm that it pains me a bit. While still active today the lineup we're talking about here is long since gone, with the backbone being the always present Robert John Godfrey and guitarist Francis Lickerish, who would depart after this record was cut. I might also add the date for this record is not correct - it was released in 1979, probably near the tail end but I have not found a month or day.

Onto the review, though. This outing is certainly different from the past three records The Enid released. What we have are six pieces each written by one of the members. I'd love to know who wrote what, but anyhow, it works well, and each track feels different. Punch and Judy Man starts with a very ELP esque bombast that The Enid rarely showed after In The Region... but it works quite well, going quiet in it's middle part before going back to the rockier bit. We now fade into the beautiful Once She Was, a piece that definitely isn't rock, but is absolutely stunning with a great melody and perfect atmosphere. The Ring Master is a bit of a sprawl, doesn't go much of anywhere and it might fly right by you. Not bad, but not particular a standout track. Sanctus is a track ripe with keyboards, as always, but with some nice guitar flourishes here and there. Hall of Mirrors is a piece all about the atmosphere, and works well enough. I'll admit, the albums quiet bits borderline on sleepy time music. Not a bad record to fall asleep to. Mind you, that isn't a bad thing.

Finally, the last track, err, two? My pressing has "Intro" and "The Dreamer" as separate tracks but others seem to have it as one track. Either way, same music. It's a great somber piece, in line with a lot of the other songs on the record. As mentioned earlier, it's a very sleepy album. Perfect right before bed or falling asleep to. Great piano playing and atmosphere from Robert John Godfrey as is the case with many The Enid pieces. On the whole, I recommend this one to any symphonic prog fans looking for something on the lighter side. It's a very classically driven album, one that is best played at night, maybe with a glass of wine or two. Four stars easily.

 Something Wicked This Way Comes by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.71 | 40 ratings

Something Wicked This Way Comes
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Finally I have sunk my teeth into the beast known as The Enid. I must confess that I have stayed away and in mind dismissed this band as being the equivalent to Enya, which obviously is misguided. I do not care for Enya and my subconscious led me to stray further and further from The Enid as time went by. I was wrong and fooled by my own doing.

When I decided to explore The Enid my Eyes (and ears) fell on this one. Loved and discarded, depending on who you'd ask, I could not do anything but be enthused. The cover was the first thing that grabbed me and the theme, the Cold War and nuclear bombs, the reason for me to go all in on this one.

Being a mere child when this album was released I do remember the times, the early 80's and the Power struggle between the West and the East. Two super Powers dominating the globe whilst I felt the chilling breeze from the threat of nuclear doom and gloom. So, I have become sort of obsessed with albums of this thematic kind. I am also obsessed with the novel "1984" and somehow it all comes together here, on "Something wicked this way comes".

It all starts rather eerily (in "Raindown") with sweeping, disharmonic sounds just prior to head into classical territory. And then the song continues with a ELO-ish, operatic, musical themed sound. It may sound strange, and it is, but it is gloriously brilliant. The synthesized, nigh on 20's sounding, "Jessica" leads into "And then there were none". Quite artificial in sound it is scary and happy at the same time. "Evensong" is like a somber march for a world troubled with nuclear threats. "Bright star" seems like an interlude to "Song for Europé", a brilliant piece of bombastic prog. I get the feeling a some intro to the Olympic games during this era and maybe one could view the politics at the time as a Sporting event, though deadly serious. The title track is the best piece on this albuw. Beautiful, melancholic, light, sinister and floating. I love this track.

While the album holds vocal contributions it is mainly instrumental. I tend to be wary of instrumental music, for reasons I cannot account for. However, this album balances perfectly between instrumental music and vocals.

All in all, one might say that this album very accurately describes the feeling of the early 80's. It is chilly, artificial and eerie but all in a good way. The warmth is there but the freezing winds of high politics makes it all the scarier and cold.

I think this is a brilliant album, well worth exploring if you are interested in The Enid or just want some great, classically infused, symphonic musical-ish progressive rock. It i really something. I happen to own the deluxe edition, which comes with a lot of bonus material, and do recommend you to t“get a hold of that one, if you can.

 Final Noise  by ENID, THE album cover Live, 1989
3.39 | 14 ratings

Final Noise
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This album is a collection of highlights from a couple of sold out shows that were recorded in the London Dominion Theatre. It was released in 1989 and was to be the final concert of the partnership between Robert Godfrey (originally from Barclay James Harvest) and Stephen Stewart. There is quite a variety of symphonic music here and most of it is instrumental with a lot of flourish, but there are some vocal passages on here, which have a dramatic feel to them, more like from a play than from an opera. The music itself is a rock/classical fusion, but the classical elements are from the Romantic era specifically, so it is very emotional and dynamic.

There are a mix of symphonic and rock instruments, but the music tends to lean heavily towards the symphonic side of things. That is where it is consistently different from most classical fusion music, typically the sound in symphonic prog leans toward the rock sound. As such, it is a nice original sound, but it is accessible and easy to listen to. At times, it tends to sound dated, especially when the synths are heavy. The music is beautiful and does venture into some heavier guitar sounds a few times, but, is mostly orchestral sounding.

I have hear a few live albums by The Enid, and both times I have the complaint that they are not mixed very well in the softer passages and it can be hard to pick out a melody or theme thus making the songs sound under-developed. From the sound of the audience, especially at the end of the album, the performance is quite satisfying and it makes one wish they could see the concert. I would imagine it is quite a show. The mix doesn't suffer quite as badly as it does on "Live at the Hammersmith" and so it is better on this album. But there still are places that you wish you could hear the sounds clearer.

There are some places where the music just takes too long to develop also, and the music just kind of meanders along like on "Sheets of Blue" and "Chaldean Crossing". But other tracks are quite well done and exciting like "Jerusalem", "Childe Roland" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes". The inconsistency of the tracks and the music weakens the album. I don't know if that is always an issue with The Enid or not since I have only heard a few of their albums, but knowing that there are some good tracks here makes me want to explore their music some more. It is rather hard to find it though, so when I run across an album like this one, I have to take what I can get. Until then, I have to average this one out to a 3 star because half of the tracks are great and half are not.

 Six Pieces by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.88 | 56 ratings

Six Pieces
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Despite the problems with their label, The Enid were in a creative mood at the end of the 70's and less than a year after the release of ''Touch me'' they reentered their studio to work on a new album.''Six pieces'' was recorded between August and September 1979, Terry Pack was no more among the members (although he occasionally helped the Enid as a session member) and he was replaced by Martin Russell.Now, there is an interesting rumour that the front cover, with the six members on a chess, was refering to the PYE label and the fact they were used as pawns than a proper signing.Anyway the album was released eventually in 1980.

The opening ''The punch and judy man'' was a huge suprise, it's quite complex keyboard-driven Symphonic Rock with many similarities to the sound of GENESIS with all these Moog synth effects and solos and the propelled rhythm section, althought the Classical and cinematic atmospheres are still present, but much more pronounced on the ethereal follower ''Once she was...''.''The Ringmaster'' finds The Enid in their familiar style of fairytale Symphonic/Classical Rock with the powerful orchestrations showered by the guitars of Steve Stewart and Francis Lickerish, I especially like the naughty flute parts and the interplays with the guitar and keyboards.''Sanctus'' is again closer to cinematic Classical Music, featuring some brilliant atmospheres based on the synth parts and the discreet electric guitars, but as with many of The Enid's offerings, this comes more into music arranged for orchestra than a Rock band.More of the same with ''The hall of mirrors'', excellent music for a Soundtrack and a guiding light for Classical Rock lovers, but somewhat losing the true progressive spirit.The 9-min. ''The dreamer'' is the longest track on the album.Half of the track is dedicated to a soft atmosphere exhibited on piano and light electric soloing, before turning into more bombastic orchestral music towards a grand finale, again this is contemporary Classical Music with minor rock elements than the fascinating Prog/Symphonic Rock The Enid played in their previous releases.

I am impressed by the extremely high artistic value of the album, we are talking about 1980 here, and the band still insists on creating technically flawless cinematic music.The rockin' vibes are somewhat reduced, but the bombastic atmosphere of the album will please fans of majestic, symphonic arrangements.Recommended.

 Live at Town Hall, Birmingham by ENID, THE album cover DVD/Video, 2010
4.08 | 5 ratings

Live at Town Hall, Birmingham
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by Progulator
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There are some things that should need no introduction, such as Robert John Godfrey and his band the Enid. The fact that their fans paid for the filming and production of their new DVD, Live at Town Hall, Birmingham, says it all. Although they have been producing opuses where classical meets progressive rock since the 70's, this live performance shows no signs of weariness or slowing down. The Enid produce a stellar performance with Live at Town Hall, Birmingham.

Basically, what we get is an amazing journey in 2 parts. The first half of the concert is most of The Enid's latest album, Journey's End. Whether you're in it for the classic rock or an epic orchestral feast, this one's got both. I will tell you right now that "Malacandra" will absolutely knock your socks off. It's got everything from classical and film-score-ish-Elfman-Batman- esque (is that an adjective or what?) to huge vocal harmonies to will absolutely make you grin from ear to ear. They close this part off with the second to last track, "Shiva," an uplifting epic that takes you through several twists and turns and ultimately leaves you feeling great. I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty disappointed when Robert Godrey lets the audience know that they would hear the final piece of the album on their way out of the venue that night. I wanted it right then and there in my living room. Oh well.

Please allow me to briefly comment on the very intimate and personal feel of the concert, due to band taking advantage of a number of moments to talk about songs and band history. They are very interesting people to listen to, something that I had previously realized from hearing Mr. Godfrey talk about composing the piece "Fool" from Region of the Summer Stars. Furthermore, the speaking parts lend the show an almost sort of a "reunion" feel, due to the inclusion of former band members during the second half of the set. At any rate, nostalgia never leads to tears of boredom, as the discussion and insights into the band's history and compositions adds great depth to the performance.

Just as the first half of the set was truly enjoyable, the second half did not leave me disappointed. I was most pleased to see the inclusion and phenomenal execution of "Judgement," the song that converted me to the Enid. There are a number of pleasant surprises during the second half of the show, including the participation of the Chandos Symphony Orchestra (which makes the Enid's already large sound go from gargantuan to colossal), Francis Lickerish's performance of "Childe Roland" and "Ondine" (lute!!!), and a divinely sensible solo of melancholy and joy by Mr. Godfrey himself, playing (you guessed it) "The Lovers."

Just so that I don't go on for too long, this concert and its accompanying interviews produce high levels of satisfaction. As Robert John Godfrey states in his interview, there were some people that wanted something radical and different but didn't want punk. I am glad that he gave us the Enid.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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