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VARIOUS GENRES

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Various Genres definition

Albums or CD's where more than one artist is featured either as a SAMPLER or a TRIBUTE to a particular band. Examples: - Peter and The Wolf - Prog Fairytale - 1975 / The Reading Room - 2000 / Leonardo - The Absolute Man - 2001 / Best Prog Rock Album in the World... Ever - 2003 / Un Voyage En Progressif Volume 1 to 8 / Kalevala - A Finnish Progressive Rock Epic.

Various Genres Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Various Genres | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.22 | 163 ratings
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.27 | 80 ratings
ODYSSEY - THE GREATEST TALE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.36 | 44 ratings
LA BIBLIA
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.25 | 74 ratings
INFERNO THE DIVINE COMEDY - PART 1
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.34 | 41 ratings
THE SPAGHETTI EPIC 3
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.17 | 70 ratings
DECAMERON: TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS (PART 1)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.21 | 47 ratings
REWIRING GENESIS: A TRIBUTE TO THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.78 | 11 ratings
LEADER OF THE STARRY SKIES: A TRIBUTE TO TIM SMITH, SONGBOOK 1
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.15 | 55 ratings
THE STORIES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT: A SYNPHONIC COLLECTION
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.05 | 77 ratings
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (THE ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUND TRACK ALBUM)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.27 | 22 ratings
THE BLACK CODEX (EPISODES 1 - 13)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.09 | 43 ratings
PURGATORIO THE DIVINE COMEDY - PART 2
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.05 | 43 ratings
DECAMERON. TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART II
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.04 | 38 ratings
(THE) 7 SAMURAI
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.25 | 16 ratings
THE BLACK CODEX (EPISODES 14 - 26)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.00 | 34 ratings
DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART III
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.05 | 24 ratings
MARSCAPE
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)
4.11 | 19 ratings
RETURN TO THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON - A TRIBUTE TO PINK FLOYD
Various Artists (Tributes)
4.41 | 8 ratings
VISIONS OF AN INNER MOUNTING APOCALYPSE (MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA)
Various Artists (Tributes)
3.94 | 29 ratings
GIALLO! ONE SUITE FOR THE MURDERER
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

Latest Various Genres Music Reviews


 Psychedelic Underground 16 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Psychedelic Underground 16
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars I'm not sure about the continuity now, but at least some years back the German re-issue label Garden of Delights used to put out a promotional samler disc representing its nine latest releases, with a mathematical precision. This 16th sampler offers 59 and ½ minutes of German rarities mainly from the seventies. The first thing that comes to my mind how it could have been better is purely quantitative; more tracks to make the disc 20 minutes longer.

As always with GoD releases, the leaflet is packed up with information (both in German and in English) in a very user-friendly fashion. I'm naturally basing my review on those band introductions. First comes TETRAGON, an instrumental quartet who released one album in 1971. Here's a track from their intended second album that remained unpublished for nearly four decades. It's energetic, jazzy prog-rock starring Hammond and electric guitar. XHOL played psychedelic jazz-rock. The GoD release represented here with a frenzy 12-minute instrumental is a live album "Essen 1970".

YGGDRASIL was a more song-oriented sextet that released their sole LP in 1972, though only as a metal-acetate. Sounds very nice! Lyrics are in English and there's a lot of flute to increase a certain [pre-Aqualung] Jethro Tull flavour. At the time ZOPPO TRUMP appeared only on a compilation album in 1976, but GoD dug out more unreleased studio recordings. Here's a cool, organ oriented jazz-rock instrumental that slightly reminds me of Jukka Gustavson's compositions on the WIGWAM debut. RADIO NOISZ ENSEMBLE was a Third Ear Band reminding successor of the folk group Emma Myldenberger and released their only album in 1982. The chosen fast-paced track is starring oboe.

The next two bands are the best known. The GURU GURU release is their live performance in Wiesbaden 1973 featuring three long tracks full of free improvisation. The sound quality is not very good, and to me this is the sampler's weakest link. EMBRYO had visited New York which brought funk and soul influences into their 1975 album Surfin'. At least the 9-minute, lighthearted instrumental 'Dance of Some Broken Glasses' sounds nice with the cool groove and flutes, but there's not much of progression in the composition. SÜNDENFALL II sounded very much like the early Jethro Tull, up to the vocals in English. (The original LP of 200 copies is worth a small fortune.) And finally on this sampler disc, an excellent slice of bright-sounding insrumental jazz-rock of the year 1980 by SURGERY. - All in all, this issue (or the period of re-issues) is among the finest from Garden of Delights, with only one track that I rather skip.

 Decameron: Ten Days in 100 Novellas (Part 1) by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.17 | 70 ratings

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Decameron: Ten Days in 100 Novellas (Part 1)
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars Although the Colossus Projects was begun at the turn of the millennium with the intent to promote outstanding Finnish progressive rock which began with the first installment 'Tuonen tyt'r: A Tribute to Finnish Progressive,' the collaboration with Musea Records has become quite ambitious in its output with one various artist compilation after another tackling all kinds of esoteric history from well beyond the land of where the Suomi and Saami coincide with reindeer and Nokia! In 2011, the ambitiousness continued with the first installment of the DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART I, which isn't remotely Finnish but rather a collection of Italian tales excavated from the 14th century. The word DECAMERON is a neologism of the Greek words deca (ten) and mera (days) and THE DECAMERON which is subtitled Prince Galehaut is a collection of novellas written by the author Giovanni Baccaccio (1313- 1375) and is structured as a frame story that contains 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men who were sheltered in a secluded villa outside of Firenze (Florence), Italy in order to escape the black death plague that was rampant at the time. Seemingly intent to represent each novella with a prog track from a different band, PART I tackles a staggering 35 of them alone with as many bands contributing their sonic forces to unleash a whopping 4-CD symphonic prog extravaganza that takes on each novella in musical form. While most of these musical expressions are purely instrumental, a scant few actually contribute a significant lyrical storyline and focus on the lyrical delivery rather than the usual instrumental prog wankery. These Colossus Projects seemed to have made a career for many of the artists involved as they tend to utilize the talents of the same bands for each of these! Once again i'm treated to the side-project tracks of some of my favorite modern symphonic prog heroes such as Nexus, Roz Vitalis, The Samarai Of Prog and Daal but mostly i am pleased to have discovered many more with whom i have not been familiarized and eagerly awaiting to check out further explorations.

Thematically the subject matter adheres strictly to the subject of the DECAMERON but musically it evokes a classic Rick Wakeman sophistication as heard on similar period pieces on his famous 'The Six Wives Of Henry VIII' or 'The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table.' However, with 35 bands contributing to a single theme, it's quite an interesting listen to hear as many interpretations of the period and eisegeses in a modern 20th to 21st century context. While the theme may be the same, there is ample wiggle room for deciphering and DECAMERON - TEN DAYS IN 100 NOVELLAS - PART I is unbelievably packed with one addictive melodic symphonic prog track after another. It's almost too good to be true actually. The quality of the 4 discs is surprisingly consistent and each one could easily hold up on its own as a single release. There are, of course, highlights and a few turkeys that while not bad per se simply sound a tad lackluster in the mix of great company.

Throughout the 4 discs, the general rule of thumb is that the music composed is instrumental and focuses on rather catchy traditional symphonic prog melodies based on Western classical music with jazz and rock interminglings and develop and deviate where each band sees fit. Although in a way it's like checking off all the boxes on the 'prog for dummies' checklist, there is a lot of creative input interspersed throughout this release as well. Those few bands that didn't get the rules-and-regulations memos and went above and beyond the call of duty include the following excellent tracks: 'Sixth Tale' by the USA band Resistor on disc one is perhaps my favorite track on the album (although that's a tall statement since everything is good and above.) This track is perfectly constructed with a prog folk guitar build up that turns into an Irish jig type of groove but provides an excellent lyrical delivery with an Ian Anderson type of vocal style only as much more sophisticated offering vocally and instrumentally than most Jethro Tull albums. It mixes folk, hard rock and progressive elements and lets them dance together in the most satisfying ways with time signatures and dynamics changing it up in all the right places. Also on the 'fish out of water' list is track 4 on disc 4 by Ozone from Finland which sort of has a James Bond theme melody but has an ample supply of male vocal spoken word narration with female sung parts and a rather explorative trade-off type of delivery. Quite the stand out in the mix of great quality. Also on my love list: Index provides a stellar keyboard solo action with their 'Lauretta's Tale,' love the exquisite harmonica laden grooves that build on Serdimontana's 'Campaign' and although there are many others, i should also mention that i'm quite smitten with the Ars Ephemara track 'DECAMERON 3:7' with its incessant prog slaps in the face as well as

With 4 discs of prog music one would obviously expect a few lackluster performances and i have to say i have pigeonholed a few tracks to make my least pleasurable list but they are a mere very good in the sea of great on this one. Tracks that displease me are the unfortunate opener by La Conscienza Di Zeno as well as those by Kate (can't seem to relate to this band), Jinetes Negro (same), Safar' also has a rather ho hum performance. But let me state that no tracks are bad on here. There are precious few releases that take up a staggering 4 CDs of real estate that can keep my interest but THIS ONE can!!!! Not only am i highly impressed with this album in not only in its ability to adhere to the script delivered but also for the fact that 35 progressive rock bands were corralled into the same pen for the same purpose and delivered the goods. Musea Records is truly the masters of prog talent control for all these wonderful Colossus Projects that have been released. This compilation is intended for the truest sense of prog lover as no one else could possibly appreciate it. Prog addicts will salivate over this one and those who don't should not venture into these territories and will find it quite outside their musical realities. If you take it for what it was meant to be then it's an utterly brilliant collection of music, if you feel otherwise then don't even bother. This is classic sounding symphonic prog with the extra bonus of production perfection and every band has contributed a unique sound to a series of novellas from the past. This is truly my favorite edition of the Colossus Projects so far!

4.5 but rounded down

 Leonardo - The Absolute Man by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.57 | 57 ratings

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Leonardo - The Absolute Man
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 117

"Leonardo - The Absolute Man" is a very personal project of Gardner's brothers, who created the musical project Magellan, and where all music and lyrics were composed by the creative Magellan's man, Trent Gardner. If you're familiar with the music of Magellan, you will know that Trent Gardner's composition are not of the usual chorus and verse type of songs, but complex epics, with developing melodies and reoccurring themes. Their music is quite heavy and usually takes some time to grow on you. The same goes for this new project of both Gardner's brothers.

This project is about the life of one of the greatest figures of the Renaissance period and one of the greatest men of all time, Leonardo da Vinci. This project represents a very personal point of view and a tribute of Gardner's brothers to him. As we all know, Leonardo was an Italian polymath man, who studied a significant of different subject areas such as painting, sculpture, architecture, music, science, mathematics, engineering, anatomy, geology, cartography, botanic and writing. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance man. He is also considered to be one of the greatest painters of all times, and perhaps he also can be the most diversely talented person that ever has lived. I completely agree with Trent Gardner's idea that the life is unfair because some have everything and others have nothing. But for Leonard's happiness, we can say that, in life, Leonardo had almost everything we can get from life.

"Leonardo - The Absolute Man" is a conceptual album with the format of a rock opera performed by a great constellation of progressive rock singers. The cast of the singers is very extensive and corresponds to figures who took part in the life of Leonardo. So we have in this musical project: James Labrie (Dream Theater) is Leonardo da Vinci. Davey Pattison is Ser Piero da Vinci, the father of Leonardo. Michelle Young (Glass Hammer) is Caterina, the mother of Leonardo. Lisa Bouchelle (Mastermind) is Mona Lisa, the subject of Leonardo's favourite painting. Mike Baker (Shadow Gallery) is Giovan Francesco Melzi, a personal friend, companion and apprentice of Leonardo. Chris Shyrack (Under The Sun) is Ludovico il Moro Sforza, one of the powerful princes of Renaissance in Italy. Bret Douglas (Cairo) is François I the King of France. Josh Pincus (Ice Age) is Lorenzo de Medici, the man who ruled Florence. Steve Walsh (Kansas) is Bartolemeu Calco, the advisor of Sforza. Trent Gardner (Magellan) is Andrea del Verrocchio, the master of Leonardo. Robert Berry (Three) is Salai, the protégé and also the "adopted son" of Leonardo.

Beyond the singers, we have also the musicians. But when we look at the musicians we realize that Gardner's "Magellan" Bros, Trent and Wayne, are who really conduct the whole work. So, the line up of the musicians on this album is Trent Gardner (keyboards and trombone), Wayne Gardner (guitar), Patrick Reyes (guitar), Steve Reyes (bass), Jeremy Colson (drums), Luis Maldonado (guitar and bass) and Joe Franco (drums and orchestral percussion).

"Leonardo - The Absolute Man" has eighteen tracks. Of all, there are ten vocals tracks and eight instrumentals tracks. The structure of the work is like a rock opera. The characters sing depending on their roles and the music accompanies without too much protagonism. And I'm surprised to see Gardner's great sense of the composition structuring different intensities depending on the moment. But mainly this album has lots of melody. Vocally, this is a stupendous project, and all the participants really shine in their solo spots. Sections that feature Labrie and Pincus together, and Walsh, Shryack, Baker and Douglas, are quite good. The Magellan stamp is always present, especially in the chorus sections, where the Gardner vocals are full force. The women of the group, Young and Bouchelle, also turn in fine performances as well. Musically, there are some neat keyboard passages, very orchestral sounding, and some heavy guitar riffs here and there, but this is mainly about the vocals and the story behind it. I'm sure it must have taken Trent Gardner a while to put this all together and find the right singers to fill each part, but the end result is quite polished and enjoyable.

Conclusion: First, a word about Magellan and Gardner's brothers. I'm a big fan of Magellan. Magellan represents the second wave of American progressive rock music. About Gardner's brothers I've always respected and admired them. Their great fascination for the great values of culture was once more proven with this work. They had already done it with the choice of the name Magellan. Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães in Portuguese), was the name of a Portuguese navigator. He was the first man to complete the first circumnavigation around the world. As unfortunately the brothers are no more within us, here is my homage and tribute to them. "Leonardo - The Absolute Man", is an ambitious project where the concept works very well. It has great music and lyrics and is a very well balanced and modern work. The choice of the singers was very good and they made a perfect rock opera. The complex compositions and arrangements may take some time to get into, but at least you won't get bored. This is an album not to be missed.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Decameron - Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part III by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 34 ratings

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Decameron - Ten Days in 100 Novellas - Part III
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by snelling

4 stars There is a lot of positives I can say about this collection. First of all, you get 4 1/2 hours of prog, for the price of maybe 2 discs. Second, you get tracks by artists that are unavailable elsewhere, or, in some cases, different versions. Third, there are artists from all over the world, five continents, contibuting to this project. Granted, not all of the tracks are great. I admit to skipping a few tracks, particularly on the 4th disc. But at the same time, there is some truly excellent music as well. I will point out that the lengthy instrumentals by Cirrus Bay and Ageness are outstanding, with some jaw-dropping moments throughout each of their pieces, and the track by Spanish artist "s.a.l.u.e.n.a", whom I had not heard of, is just fantastic. Notable here is the vocal section, with some beautiful vocals by Steve Unruh, who also provides a killer violin solo, and who is featured in several tracks in this collection. These three tracks alone are worth the price of the disc in my opinion. Other favorites include those by Latte e Miele, from Italy, Ars Ephemera, from Canada, and Stella Lee Jones, from Japan. The intro, by Robert Webb, is a fun slice of proggy heaven to start things off with as well. One curious track is that from Japanese artist "Interpose". This one started off a bit bland to me, like weak Renaissance, and I was nearly ready to hit the skip button, when suddenly it became rather glorious. The middle section was quite poignant, before getting into soloing and, after a nice Floydian section, back to the intro section to conclude the song. So this one song (nearly 12 minutes) would be curious to rate. Sometimes the vocals sound too thin, to high, or a little shrill. Other times they sound great. Some of the music is so-so, some of it, great. But that's the fun thing about prog, and this collection, and there are several tracks like this, where certain parts stand out over others. But all of this music for the price I paid, is the best purchase value I've paid all year.
 Paradiso The divine comedy - Part 3 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
4.02 | 12 ratings

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Paradiso The divine comedy - Part 3
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Finnish prog association Colossus and its Italian chairman Marco Bernard have been very active since 2000 in producing numerous 4-disc projects for various prog artists around the world to participate in. Perhaps two of the largest ordeals have been the trilogies based on Boccaccio's Decameron (Pt. 3 of it was released in 2016) and Dante's The Divine Comedy. "Paradiso" is naturally the final part of the latter. Here's my modest look at it, to accompany Octopus-4's more detailed review.

Marco Piva has written a 7-page essay of Dante's work. The lay-out of the thick booklet lists, including little pics too, all the performers and their instruments, with (mainly?) Gustave Doré's graphic art in the background instead of being lavishly illustrated with full-colour paintings as in the Decameron series. Looks very good anyway. Marco Lo Muscio's Intro is a piano solo. Disc One's highlights include beautiful, keyboard-centred instrumentals by NUOVA ERA, Dutch keyboardist MATTHIJS HERDER, Argentinan NEXUS and TOMMY ERIKSSON (better known as the frontman of Finland's Ageness).

Disc Two contains a bit more vocal stuff. ORACLE (ie. Canadian Cary Clouser) may not be an excellent singer but the retro-style arrangement is good. (NB! the whole set, as actually all Clossus projects, is intentionally meant to sound rather 70's.) The vocals on ARMALITE's Wakemanesque piece are not very cultivated either. GROOVECTOR offers a good composition with Finnish lyrics and a flute in a big role. ECHOES from Venezuela features as many as three guitarists; the instrumental track is moody and dynamic. The vocals are slightly average on otherwise gorgeous 10-minute track of JAIME ROSAS from Chile.

While the listener is hardly not even expected to love each participation, Disc Three is perhaps most notably uneven. Fine instrumentally oriented pieces by e.g. KBRIDGE and MATTHIJS HERDER. The female vocals grace RAIMUNDO RODULFO's 'El sol de sus ojos'. The 4th disc is stronger. Finnish MIST SEASON featuring female guest vocals is a bliss, and the Dutch bands FLAMBOROUGH HEAD and LADY LAKE are in good shape here, the latter citing Dido's Lament of Henry Purcell. The Hungarian group YESTERDAYS comes with perhaps the poppiest song of the set, sung by Hanna Horvath. Of course it would be more elegant to end the whole set with the real Outro (an organ piece by Marco Lo Muscio) instead of having a separate "Bonus Track" by Atlantis1001...

These Colossus projects are always a great way of getting to know dozens of prog acts all over the world and to hear how they are inspired by the literary source material and how they obey the producer's wish to sound like 70's prog. Italy is however much more represented than any other country, and it's understandable that often the same artists reappear on several projects. "Paradiso" could well be among the finest ones, even if the content is not as celestial as one could think, starting from the beautiful cover art.

 Savoldelli - Casarano - Bardoscia: The Great Jazz Gig in the Sky (Tribute to Pink Floyd) by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.09 | 4 ratings

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Savoldelli - Casarano - Bardoscia: The Great Jazz Gig in the Sky (Tribute to Pink Floyd)
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The impact of being different!

It is not a secret that Pink Floyd's Darkside of the Moon is one of the most influential and loved albums in the history of music, which has modified (positively, I guess) the lives of countless individuals and groups, and has led to the creation of several covers, tributes and renditions. Most of those tributes ?at least the ones I've heard- continued with the rock potion all over the music, creating nice covers but in the end covers that maintain the same spirit, I mean, that don't really make us think: "this is different", no. Fortunately, Boris Savoldelli decided to create something quite different, a surprise that someone who expects a tribute with a similar sound from the original work will not really dig. So yeah, I warn you, this is a rue creative tribute, so go forward or turn around right now.

The Great Jazz Gig in the Sky is a pretty cool name for this tribute album, which of course tells that jazz is what we might find here. Though Savoldelli might be the mastermind behind, the project consists on a trio, greatly complemented by Rafaelle Casarano on sax and Marco Bardoscia on bass. The songtitles are the same you already know, but the music is what is drastically different.

The jazz does not appear in the short opener "Speak to me", in fact, this is a loony introduction in which vocals and spacey-noises can be heard, a bit freaky. With "Breath" now we can notice the important role bass will play during the album, because it is the only instrument here, creating the rhythm we are used to know. Of course there are vocals, Savoldelli is the singer and man, he does it really good but I have to say that the first time I listened to it I felt kind of disconcerted, maybe it is an acquired taste. The "second" part of this song is amazing. Saxophone appear along with some spacey electronic atmospheres, sensual and relaxing, but probing and stimulating. This was the first moment in which I said to myself "this is gonna be great".

"On the Run" is a short lunatic track with some quirky noises here and there. When it vanishes, we are already listening to "Time" which has a very disarming sound provoked by the vocals and double bass, it is beautiful and becomes even better when sax adds its melancholic sound. I dare saying that the mood of this piece is actually sad, so if you are sensitive, it could even make you cry. "The Great Gig in The Sky / Money" is a challenging combo. The first minute continues with the melancholic sound, but then all of a sudden electronics appear creating a quite different atmosphere, while vocals enter singing the Clare Torry part. Those electronics keep beating but now is Savoldelli's vocals singing the Gilmour part. When vocals finish, the music changes again, bass stays and produce once again, some disarming sounds.

The longest creation comes next with the mighty "Us and Them". Man, I was obsessed with its depth the first time I listened to it. Here the trio has a wonderful guest musician, Dewa Budjana plays guitar in a very soft way but totally accurate to create the ideal atmosphere. Tender vocals surrounded by ambient and electronic nuances will transport you to another threshold, so you can close your eyes and feel the charm and magic of this amazingly arranged song that despite being the longest, it has been the one I have repeated the most. In the last part the guitar becomes a bit more protagonist with some nice riffs included. It is great how after a long instrumental (interlude?) vocals return in order to finish this enchanting track.

"Any Colour You Like" brings some electronic noises, like spacey and futuristic; in a passage bass appear in a subtle way. It leads to "Brain Damage" which has Boris' vocals with a loony spirit, you know, the lunatic is on the grass. Bass and sax are here all the way, the vocals create strange textures and we can also notice some soft but deep atmospheric backgrounds. The song flows and the last two minutes are deliciously highlighted by Casarano's sax. A gem! The album finishes with "Eclipse" which has a kind of humoristic mood that contrasts with what we had been listening. It is a cool way to finish an amazing and unique tribute that I would like to recommend to any open mind aiming to discover memorable tunes.

Enjoy it!

 Plankton: A Fruits de Mer Collection by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Plankton: A Fruits de Mer Collection
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
4 stars UK label Fruits de Mer Records started out back in 2008, with a clear concept in mind and learning the skills of marketing along the way. From the initial phase of being more or less ignored, in the span of a few years they have established themselves as a strong name in their specific field of the music business. The compilation "Plankton" features a selection of material released in the first two years of the label's existence, initially made as a cover CD for Record Collector Magazine in 2013 and then in late 2016 also made available to buy as a regular CD from the label itself.

As usual the quality of the material is good to excellent, and for those with an interest or passion for vintage style psychedelic rock it'll be quite the pleasant experience indeed. From a psyched up take on George Martin's classic Theme One to a cover of Brian Eno's Baby's on Fire there's great variety in the source material covered, ranging from pastoral excursions and 60's psychedelic pop/rock to vintage space rock and krautrock. Tracks originally from Pink Floyd and Amon Duul II representing the latter, while Tudor Lodge and Strawberry Alarm Clock are examples of the former. As they are presented in these cover versions at least: I haven't checked with the originals to hear just how much these reinterpretations are different from the originals.

In my view there's one cut here that stands a head and a shoulder above the rest though, namely Vibravoid's take on Pink Floyd's classic Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun. A firmly retro-oriented take on this track, with a plethora of odd and eerie sounds, but with a firmer and more concise delivery that adds a tension and hardness to this track that manage to elevate the sheer cosmic nature of the song and a highly appealing manner.

If you have an interest in psychedelic rock, be it progressive or not, this is a fine collection of material of classic tracks and forgotten jewels from yesteryear as explored and performed by contemporary artists. Those with an interest for material of this kind should not be disappointed by the material presented here.

 Prog P50: Tales Of The Future by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Prog P50: Tales Of The Future
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by sussexbowler

— First review of this album —
4 stars Overall, this is a smasher! Other than the 'Metal' track by Tardive Dyskinesia, which I skip, the rest of this album is great.

The album has a strong opener from Big big train, but never really let's go other than that track 4.

The song from Bellerophon is probably the first to surface, as there are many mood changes, which make you wonder if you're listening to the same band throughout.

The flow continues thereafter, with some strong music, and the excellent vocalist from 'This winter machine' comes to the fore, sounding like Patrick Lundstrom from Ritual.

I found this to be a good album, and very likeable.

 Prog P46: Ocean Song by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Studio Album, 2016
2.83 | 3 ratings

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Prog P46: Ocean Song
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by sussexbowler

3 stars I reckon that the Prog magazine demo's have been getting better recently, and demanding more listening to find that something 'new'. I usually 'saturate' myself with these until something (if anything) shines through, and can go sometimes 3 weeks or more quite happily. Whether this proves that eventually I will get used to anything, well, the jury's out!

Amazingly, I bought two albums as a result of songs being on this album, namely albums by Gandalf's fist and Lyrian. Thankfully, both albums ended up being good, so the desired result was achieved.

There's also a track from Bellerophon, who appear again, and make their presence felt on a later Prog magazine demo, P50 'Tales of the future'.

 Yes, Friends and Relatives by VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1998
1.94 | 16 ratings

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Yes, Friends and Relatives
Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Various Genres

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

2 stars What may have come across as a wonderful idea in the planning stages ended up becoming one of the most bungled and convoluted compilation albums in all of the 90s. YES, FRIENDS AND RELATIVES is supposed to be a continuation of the previous compilation "The Family Album" that featured samples from the greater Yes family. On this botched attempt of continuing that idea however the material was geared more from the 90s pool of solo releases but the brilliant minds at Eagle Rock Entertainment somehow misplaced these lofty ambitions on a shelf in the back room and somehow came up with a totally ill-prepared product instead.

While i thought this one would introduce me to the best works of Yes members past and present (prior to 1998 of course) what we get is not only a ver random hodgepodge of solo samplings but for some reason live group efforts from the "Keys To Ascension" albums which unfortunately accomplish nothing except making most of this solo rubbish sound like weak crap. It doesn't take long to discover how misconceived this effort is when the very first track is a remix of Yes' big pop hit "Owner Of A Lonely Heart." Now don't get me wrong, i'm a big fan of "90125" and some of Yes' progressive pop material but not only is this remix a very BAAAD remix but also leaves me scratching my head as to why they possibly include it on a so-called "family & relative" compilation much less place it as the first track.

As the album continues the listener gets bombarded with the worst pop shlop aspects of the individual family members with an extra heaping helping of Rick Wakeman dishing out his most banal and cheesy attempts to create catchy pop hooks. I can't say the Jon Anderson are much better. The only tracks i really like on here (other than the live tracks from the band) are the live performances of Steve Howe doing a decent acoustic version of "Excerpts From Tales From Topographic Oceans" despite his weak vocals, the good but not really improved upon version of the 1954 track "Walk, Don't Run" made more famous by The Ventures and excellent "Arthur" from Wakeman's "Live At Hammersmith" which only serves to show how weak all the other Wakeman tracks are on this one.

I must say that i am by no means an expert on Yes' members' solo projects but i still have heard enough to know that i could have picked out a better selection of tracks than this! What's most glaring about this pratfall of a project is the distinct absence of many members like Chris Squire, Tony Banks, Patrick Moraz, Peter Banks or even decent Bill Bruford projects while others like Wakeman are overly represented. Not to mention even Squire's ex-wife Nikki gets her band Esquire included! Yikes! A total wipeout of a compilation. At the end of the day, there is good material on this one so i couldn't possibly give this the worst rating but when i rate compilations i rate them on their effectiveness at representing what they intended to represent and this one falls off the mark big time. My advice is to simply not even bother with this one, unless by chance you get it for super cheap at a thrift store or something. Instead, just go straight to the sources of where these tracks were lifted. All except two track had been released before (the exceptions are "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" which didn't need to be made and is also included as a bonus track on remastered versions of "90125" and "10 Million" which doesn't thrill me).

Tracks with original album sources included:

DISC 1 (71:26) Jon Anderson - Owner of a lonely heart ('98 remake) (3:31) Rick Wakeman - Ice (4:50) from "Time Machine" 3. Steve Howe - Red and White (3:33) from "Home Brew" 4. Esquire - Zone of O (5:19) from "Coming Home" 5. Earthworks/Bill Bruford - Up North (5:22) from "Earthworks" 6. Rick Wakeman - The Pyramids of Egypt (7:06) from "Seven Wonders Of The World" 7. Steve Howe - Roundabout (2:29) from "Not Necessarily Acoustic" 8. Wakeman with Wakeman - Sync or Swim (6:05) from "Wakeman & Wakeman" 9. Rick Wakerman - Arthur (12:57) from "Live At Hammersmith" 10. Yes - Close to the edge (19:40) from "Keys To Ascension 2"

DISC 2 (69:14) 1. Wakeman with Wakeman - No expense spared (5:30) from "Wakeman & Wakeman" 2. Jon Anderson - Say (3:47) from "The More You Know" 3. Steve Howe - Walk Don't Run (3:01) from "Quantum Guitar" 4. Esquire - Tron Thomi (7:52) from "Coming Home" 5. Jon Anderson - 10 Million (3:39) 6. Steve Howe - Excerpts from Tales from Topographic Oceans (9:08) from "Not Necessarily Acoustic" 7. Jon Anderson - The more you know (3:44) from "The More You Know" 8. Rick Wakeman - Journey to the centre of the earth (Extract) (21:26) from "Live At Hammersmith" 9. Yes - America (live) (10:37) from "Keys To Ascension 1"

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