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ECLECTIC PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Eclectic Prog definition

The term 'eclectic' in the context of progressive rock describes a summation of elements from various musical sources, and the influences and career paths of bands that take from a wide range of genres or styles. While progressive music can be, in a larger sense, eclectic, the 'Eclectic Prog' term is specially meant to reference bands that trespass the boundaries of established Progressive Rock genres or that blend many influences.

Eclectic Prog combines hybrids of style and diversity of theme, promoting many elements from different sources. The Eclectic category recognizes bands that evolved markedly over their career (in a progressive, evolutionary way), or have a plural style without a clear referential core.

The basic features lie within the music's variety, rich influences, art tendencies and classic prog rock elements. Among the representative bands are KING CRIMSON, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, and GENTLE GIANT.

- written by Ricochet (Victor)

Current Team as at 20/06/2017

Rob (Epignosis)
Sagi (Sagichim)
Logan (thellama73)
Kevin (Magnum Vaeltajas)
Ian (Tapfret)

Eclectic Prog Top Albums


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

4.62 | 3791 ratings
IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
King Crimson
4.54 | 2993 ratings
RED
King Crimson
4.48 | 1821 ratings
GODBLUFF
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.42 | 2554 ratings
LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC
King Crimson
4.42 | 1932 ratings
PAWN HEARTS
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.35 | 1490 ratings
IN A GLASS HOUSE
Gentle Giant
4.31 | 1456 ratings
H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.30 | 1389 ratings
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
Gentle Giant
4.29 | 1713 ratings
OCTOPUS
Gentle Giant
4.29 | 1342 ratings
STILL LIFE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.31 | 754 ratings
THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE
Hammill, Peter
4.28 | 1332 ratings
FREE HAND
Gentle Giant
4.25 | 1341 ratings
ACQUIRING THE TASTE
Gentle Giant
4.23 | 1245 ratings
VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
Hackett, Steve
4.27 | 490 ratings
ANABELAS
Bubu
4.26 | 435 ratings
BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH
Birds And Buildings
4.26 | 375 ratings
MEMENTO Z BANALNYM TRYPTYKIEM
SBB
4.19 | 658 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC - PART TWO
Beardfish
4.12 | 1916 ratings
LIZARD
King Crimson
4.15 | 776 ratings
SPECTRAL MORNINGS
Hackett, Steve

Eclectic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Eclectic Prog experts team

SNAFU
East Of Eden
DADARUHI
Replikas
ERIS
Baku Llama
NIEMEN VOL. 1 [AKA: MARIONETKI]
Niemen, CzesŁaw

Latest Eclectic Prog Music Reviews


 Elemento Antropico by BASTA! album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 7 ratings

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Elemento Antropico
Basta! Eclectic Prog

Review by omphaloskepsis

4 stars Novel hedonistic zany Italian!

BASTA! is an eclectic electric progressive rock quintet from Tuscany, consisting of Damiano BONDI (Diamonica Hammond 44), Saverio SISTI (Electric Guitar, 8-Strings Guitar), Giacomo SOLDANI (Bass), Andrea TINACCI (Bass Clarinet, Clarinet), and Roberto MOLISSE (Drums).

If you go to Basta's website the first thing you see- "Our name is Basta!, which means "stop"? but nothing will stop us!" Well, that's a can-do-attitude. Elemento Antropico which translates to " Antropic Element" is the 2017 follow up to 2013's debut "Ogetta di Studio". I know nothing of Basta's debut but I will remedy that oversight soon.

Basta! exhales schizophrenic fumes. One moment "Lady and the Tramp" happy grotto Disney scene interupted by heavy guitar riffs that descend like large hail on a spring picnic. Invigorating and bracing thunderstorm to say the least. Madcap eccentric Peter and the Wolf chasing a Tasmanian Tuscany heavy prog dog tail. Giacomo Soldani's bass burbling beneath rusty razor edged Saverio Sisti's guitar leads. If you don't like the direction this is going then stick around for a minute. For me, Andrea Tinacci superb clarinet technique is the star of "Elemento Antropico". As a teenager I played Bass Clarinet, so I have a weakness for first-rate clarinet technique. Tinacci's has a classical meets Italian vino style. I like, I like. Actually, Damiano Bondi playing adds flavorful Italian squeezebox/harmonic accents throughout. For those who don't know, a Diamonica Hammond 44 is a Melodion (Keyboard Harmonica). With his melodeon Bondi creates a very warm and deep reed sound which is indispensable to Basta!'s identity. If you go to the Progarchive band page for Basta! you can see a photo of Bondi playing a melodeon, Tinnacci on bass clarinet and the rest of the band. Looks like they're having fun! .

Although diverse, the instrumentation tones always match and rhyme. Vocals? We don't need no vocals! Every now and then there's narration between songs. For fans of adventurous Peter and Wolf style classical clarinet, Heavy but not necessarily loud prog riffs, and Italian seaside bar" Diamonica Hammond 44" dynamics and avant-garde sensibilities. Basta's "Elemento Antropico" in a one of a kind album that would be fun to play while eating a "Lady and Tramp" spaghetti dinner. Instead of animated Disney dogs we got Bass clarinet and electric guitar dialog. Basta can be heard at Progstreaming.

3.6 stars rounded to 4 stars because I personally like it. An excellent addition to any progressive rock music collection.

 The World That We Drive Through by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.74 | 240 ratings

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The World That We Drive Through
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by Walkscore

4 stars A Grower.

The charms of some albums hit one immediately, while those of others take their time. I picked this one up after getting most of the other Tangent albums first, and initially was not as impressed. While their debut ('The Music that Died Alone') is easy to cognitively map, this one takes longer, partially because the compositions are more dense (tri-tone intervals are all over this album!) , partially there are fewer theatrics (i.e. really obvious complex sections), and partially because each tune on this album shares some sonic and rhythmic similarities. So on the first couple of listens one might not easily remember the distinctions and different sections, whereas the tunes on the debut are very distinct and easily identifiable. Also, I didn't initially take to the opening track, "The Winning Game", and I have to say it has taken longer for me to warm up to that song. However, over time I find this album has grown on me, and now I actually find I put this one on more often than the debut. There are a few reasons for this. For one, I think the flow works well - I enjoy listening to this album all the way through, and there are no songs or even parts of songs that I dislike (I have warmed up to The Winning Game too). Secondly, the musicianship is really outstanding. Because the musicians (especially the rhythm section) don't have too many chances to show off here, one might not notice on first listen just how stellar and musical the playing is, particularly since one is trying to make out the singing and map the songs. Of course, Tillison and Baine are awesome on the keys - that is to be expected. But the rhythm section is also really top notch. Zoltan Csorsz (who played on the debut, and on some of the best Flower Kings albums), is such an excellent drummer, and Jonas Reingold is an awesome bass player, in my opinion one of the best in the world still active. Their work on this album is so good, I could turn off the rest of the band and be happy just listening to the rhythm section for the hour. And there are some great jazzy sections where the rest of the band turns down, and Sam Baine solos on piano over some great grooves. Roine Stolt's guitar playing is great too, even though I think Roine Stolt's vocals don't work as well on The Tangent albums as on his other projects. For instance, I particularly like his guitar work on the opening track, "The Winning Game", even as I kindof wish that Andy Tillison had been the lead singer (Tillison wrote all the lyrics and it is really his message, so like on later Tangent albums it seems appropriate for him to sing them, even though I admit he is not always the most accurate singer). Saying this, the album feels more like a band effort than the debut or some other Tangent albums, particularly with Sam Baine and Guy Manning adding their own vocals. There is even a tune on this album written by Sam Baine ("Photosynthesis") and it is one of the better tracks on the album too. The long epic that (sort of) closes the album, "A Gap in the Night", is a high-quality long tune, musically up there with their other epics, and the title track is very good. However, my favourite track here is the second track, "Skipping the Distance". I find it the most musical, with some great groovy sections as well as some really great musical use of dissonance. There is also a bonus track at the end ("Exponenzgesetz") performed solely be Tillison in the style of Tangerine Dream. This track carries less heft and really could have been left off the album without any drop in quality, although it is better than most things TD recorded in the 80s. Tillison stated that it was meant for a solo project called "Tangent of Dreams", and listening to it I can't help but wish that Tillison had released such an album. But it is a nice-enough post-close to the album. Overall, while I like some of the later Tangent even better than this one, this one has slowly grown on me. The first year I had it I would have given it three stars, but after a few years I now rate it 8.2 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars. It has staying power. Best not to judge it too early.

 Vital by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR album cover Live, 1978
3.79 | 249 ratings

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Vital
Van Der Graaf Generator Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nş 157

"Vital" is Van Der Graaf Generator's debut live album. It's the only live album of the group made during their two first musical periods and it marked also the end of Van Der Graaf Generator as a band until their last reunion in 2005. The album was recorded in 16 January 1978 at The Marquee Club in London and was released in July of the same year. As happened with the band's previous album, it was also only credited under the name of Van Der Graaf.

It has also the same line up of "The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome", plus the new band's member Charles Dickie. It shows also the return of their original saxophonist David Jackson, as a guest. So, the line up on the album is Peter Hammill (vocals, piano and guitars), Graham Smith (violin), Nick Potter (bass guitar), Guy Evans (drums) and Charles Dickie (cello, electric piano and synthesizer). David Jackson (saxophones and flute), appears as a guest musician.

My review of "Vital" is about the double CD remastered edition of 2005 with ten tracks. The first track "Ship Of Fools" is a live version of a song released as the B side of the single "Cat's Eye". "Cat's Eye" was released on "The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome". The second track "Still Life" is a live version of a song released on "Still Life". The third track "Last Frame" is a live version of a song released on "The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome". The fourth track "Mirror Images" is a live version of an unreleased song. It was released later on Hammill's "PH7". The fifth track "Medley: A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers/Sleepwalkers" is a medley of two songs, "A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers" released on "Pawn Hearts" and "Sleepwalkers" released on "Godbluf". The sixth track "Pioneers Over C" is a live version of a song released on "H To He, Who Am The Only One". The seventh track "Sci-Finance" is a live version of an unreleased song. The eighth track "Door" is a live version of an unreleased song. The ninth track "Urban/Killer/Urban" is a live version of two songs. "Urban" is an unreleased song and "Killer" was released on "H To He, Who Am The Only One". The tenth track "Nadir's Big Chance" is a live version of a song released on Hammill's "Nadir's Big Chance".

About the performance on the album, I think we can say this is a very strange and curious live album. It contains some new material, recent material and some old favourite material. Yet, they are all played with a dark malignant air hanging around them. Maybe because we were in times of changes, in 1978, the times of punk rock movement. I've always thought "Vital" was one of the heaviest and aggressive live albums ever made, even for Van Der Graaf Generator's canon. When I'm saying heavy and agressive, I don't mean "heavy" in the Iron Maiden's sense of the word, and I don't mean "aggressive" in the King Crimson's sence, too. Listen to Potter's bass on "Nadir's Big Chance" and you can see what I'm saying, or Hammill's utterly rabid vocals at the end of "Ship Of Fools". Then, there's the sombre, crushing doom of "Still Life", which surpasses its studio predecessor. Listening to this it's not hard to imagine why Johnny Rotten was enthusiastic with them. Sometimes it seems like we are being hit by a car. Perhaps it was due to that they added a cello, because Hammill thought they were getting "too much extreme" live. To be fair there are some times when this album drags a bit with the heaviness and aggressivity of some of its live versions, and some other times it's performed much more closely faithful with the original studio versions. For instance, "Mirror Images" and "Medley: A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers/Sleepwalkers" are the two and only tracks performed with the sound more close to the original sound of the group. By the other hand, "Still Life" is performed as if the paranoia, restfulness and the final resigned state of the song's subjects have exploded asunder. Still, it's the only official live album the band released in the 70's, even if it was performed with an atypical line up. But it still remains a great line up. It only lacks Hugh Banton.

Conclusion: I've heard people describe this album as a masterpiece and others as utterly detestable and criminal. I think none are right. Still, despite "Vital" be a very good live album I always was a bit disappointed with it. I expected much more of the first live album of a band like Van Der Graaf Generator. This is an album with a very savage heavy sound, with some punk influences, which was very unusual in them. By the other hand, the quality of the sound should be better, even on my remastered edition. I think there are two reasons for that. First, they were again with financial difficulties and they needed a record company to support them. In those times we were at the height of the punk movement and probably they thought that the change of their sound was an attempt to resolve that problem. Second, is the absence of their keyboardist and founder member Hugh Banton. I always considered his keyboard sound as one of the pillars of the group's sound. So, despite the high quality of the musicians who participated on the album and the return of David Jackson, the lack of his presence is clearly felt. Still, "Vital" remains, for me, an essential addition to any progressive rock collection, especially because it represents a great statement of the band and of those times of prog.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 USA by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 1975
4.02 | 453 ratings

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USA
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by thwok

4 stars I once read that Maynard James Keenan called King Crimson the biggest musical influence on Tool. KC's sound had certainly become more aggressive by the time of their second live album. By 1975 David Cross & John Wetton were touring members of the band; USA represents the band at their peak imho.

These are simply great performances of great music. My favorite tracks are the two bonus songs from the 202 reissue; it's the version to get. I haven't heard other live compilations, which seen to breed like rabbits, for comparison. I think the sound quality of USA, the main issue with EARTHBOUND, is perfectly acceptable. Deciding whether these live performances are "better" than the studio ones is purely subjective, so it"s up to each individual. Only my general reservations about live albums reduce my rating of USA for the Progarchives website.

 Blackbox by MAJOR PARKINSON album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.10 | 89 ratings

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Blackbox
Major Parkinson Eclectic Prog

Review by DragonX32

5 stars My music listening has fallen off in recent years, but then I noticed Major Parkinson had an upcoming album. Twilight Cinema is, in my mind, one of the better albums I've had the pleasure to experience. Not only do I still listen to Twilight Cinema on a regular basis, many of my friends that have little interest in music (much less prog) love this album. In short, I hold TC in high regard and I was especially excited for the new material.

So how does Blackbox measure up? Very well! While it's a pretty low threshold to cross these days, I feel pretty good saying that Blackbox will be my 2017 album of the year. Blackbox is consistent all the way through and I don't feel there are any "duds" on the album. The album streams seamlessly from dark, to poppy, to melodic, to circusy. The sounds (instruments, mood, tempo, style, etc) change very rapidly throughout the album, not dwelling on any sound or instrument for too long, and keeping you engaged throughout the entire experience. For one example of catchy tunes and interesting instrumentation, near the end of the track "Isabel - A Report to an Academy" the climax includes a catchy melody that involves the rhythm of a type-writer. Every time I hear that part, my mind is blown how well it brings together the other layers in the track to bring the song to a close. The band has countless examples like this in their catalog that demonstrate how unique their sound is.

Blackbox has excellent tracks throughout including Isabel, Madeline Crumbles, and Baseball. Compared to previous works, it did take me a while to fall in love with this album, as there is more of a focus on building up to a climax throughout the major tracks and throughout the album. While Blackbox is perhaps not as immediately accessible as their previous works, Blackbox may be Major Parkinson's best work yet.

If you are wanting to listen to something that is unique, engaging, eclectic, circusy, dark, and yet catchy with a broad array of instrumentation, then by all means check this one out, you won't regret it!

 Land of the Blind by HALF PAST FOUR album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
4.52 | 10 ratings

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Land of the Blind
Half Past Four Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars This 2016 mini-album is my first experience of Canadian progressive band Half Past Four, and the only question I have is 'where have you been?'. My initial reaction to this was if ever a band was channelling the spirit of classic Zappa with Seventies Rundgren and then throwing in some King Crimson, Cardiacs, Poisoned Electrick Head and others then this has to be it! Also, if there are any Max Webster fans out there, then you need head straight to their cover of 'Toronto Tontos' which is more strident, with wider extremes, than the original which featured on the debut album. It even includes squeaky toys!!

The band is comprised of Kyree Vibrant (lead vocals), Dmitry Lesov (bass guitar, chapman stick, vocals), Igor Kurtzman (keyboards, vocals), Constantin Necrasov (guitars, vocals) and Marcello Ciurleo (drums). I had a look at their website, and I loved this statement 'Like the best of progressive rock music, the listener cannot predict where the band will take them next. It is this shifting flow of sound and feeling that distinguishes Half Past Four. They are an aural tapestry, weaving 50+ years of musical influences into mellifluous melodies and rhythmic resonances that take their listeners on a journey to states that are both fresh and familiar.' This is music that is truly progressive, refusing to sit within one particular style or another, moving and changing so that Kyree can be singing sweetly one minute or virtually shouting the next with a totally different timbre, while the band all of a sudden is based around the piano, whereas at others it is definitely the guitar, or is it the bass, but there again the drum patterns are all over the place'..

This is one of the most exciting and vibrant progressive bands I have come across in recent years, producing music that is complex, refusing to conform to what anyone feels should be produced, and is definitely progressing as opposed to regressing. This five-track mini-album is only 26 minutes long, and I can only hope that we will soon hear a full-length release. As for me, I'm going to have to go back and discover their first two albums, as music as good as this screams out to be heard.

 Acquiring The Taste by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.25 | 1341 ratings

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Acquiring The Taste
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Frenetic Zetetic

4 stars 4.5/5 stars. Essential progressive rock with perfect early 70's production.

Gentle Giant were never a "straight shot", conventional band. They were always ahead of the curve. Acquiring The Taste (1971) behaves almost like a sampler platter of what the band would offer moving through the decade.

The record opens with Kerry's bleeping-blooping synthesizer line, and calm, gentle vocal entry. The acoustic guitar and synthesizers follow and slowly build, until'DER NER NER NER'that infectious jazz guitar lick! Soon flutes and recorders join the fray for the next "verse". It should be noted that Gentle Giant were never really one for conventional arrangements. Their work is almost like a painting in music; the big picture best for viewing. Sabbath-like chords and riffs follow. I really, really enjoy how the song ends on the particular sustained note.

Edge of Twilight is a fantastic display of progressive rock instrumentation. Kerry's vocals and lyrics really set the mood here. It makes me think of a frosty village, mid-winter at night time. "Figures" moving in the dark'the dreamy synth and tones are picturesque. Derek and company join in for the backing vocals "whisper'". Kerry then comes in with a synth line that reminds me of Final Fantasy for the NES. That's the only way I can describe it! We're then treated to marching drums and xylophone exposition. Gentle Giant somehow manages to never make this seem pretentious. Fantastic, diverse, dynamic track.

The House, The Street, The Room was once a favorite track of mine, but I've seem to grow beyond it a bit. It's catchy to first time listeners compared to some of GG's more infamously-complex stuff. Derek's vocals are great, however! Gary's guitar solo is spot on. I love the baroque bass lines. Not much more to say here honestly.

Acquiring The Taste (title track) immediately reminds me of Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts on the Super Nintendo. The game developers clearly ripped off GG here! Anyone who's played this will know what I'm talking about! I love the moog display here. Killer prog piece.

Wreck is a fan favorite, and for good reason! The jaunty riff and vocals will be caught in your head forever. This one has to be heard to be understood. The guitar and builds and swells are perfect. This song alone brings this record up another half star!

The Moon is Down is another creepy little track with picturesque imagery. "The horse riding up through the red sky" instantly gives you set and setting. Harp-like chords ring in the first verse and sections. The organ/harpsichord sound of the keys really sets the tone. More classic GG choral vocals ensue.

Black Cat is arguably my favorite track from this record. Phil Shulman takes the vocal and lyrical lead here. He seems to have an affinity for animals, which is great because he does them serious justice in his art! The way he wraps his voice and harmonies around words - his vibrato is top notch. Even if he's singing a bit low in the mix, it fits very well with the atmosphere here. "River" from Octopus is another one where his vocal appearance is worth noting!

Plain Truth closes the album with its Hendrix-like riffing and anthem feel. Fantastic guitar work and vocal delivery. This is GG doing hard rock. They really can't go wrong, and you can't either once you Acquire the Taste!

I'm a massive GG fan, and I can give this an honest 4.5/5 stars. This is essential progressive rock. The production is perfect. It arrived on shelves a full year before Yes' Close to The Edge (THE apex of progressive rock music), and already displayed elements that other bands would explore into the late 1970's. Gentle Giant have always been ahead of the curve. This is a great sampler platter of latter offerings from this criminally underrated progressive rock group!

 Of Clans and Clones and Clowns by SOUL ENEMA album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.92 | 88 ratings

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Of Clans and Clones and Clowns
Soul Enema Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars SOUL ENEMA are a band out of Israel who play Prog- Metal with a lot of humour. Now I feel they've limited their audience as Prog- Metal seems to get trashed on this site although I do like it a lot. Humour in music? Well I never used to like it but have grown to appreciate it. I'm not into the kind of humour Zappa is known for but I like the more subtle brand like we get on a lot of Canterbury albums. CARDIACS are pretty funny too and I do like them although the helium vocals get old. The title of this album "Of Clans And Clones And Clowns" is awkward to say the least but probably that was intended.

I'm going to make this one short simply because there are some great reviews here that are very positive. Unlike mine. I have to say the music is very well played and at times really well thought out, some great ideas here. The female singer is amazing! She can sing in different styles and is the star of the show in my opinion. It's kind of cool that we get a Middle Eastern vibe here not surprisingly. Also some interesting guests help out like Yossi Sassi from ORPHANED LAND and Arjen Lucassen from his various projects. There's others too.

Lots of variety and some genuinely funny sections. The fact that this is very highly rated should be enough to at least sample this album. I think my favourite track is "Aral Sea I: Feeding Hand" and at almost 9 minutes it's also the longest. The whole three part section is very well done in fact. A very entertaining album overall and if your into Prog- Metal you really need to hear this band. Lots of fun.

 O Velho, A Carne E A Psicodélica Árvore Do Imaculado Ventre Da Terra by ÁVORA DI CARLLA album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.59 | 15 ratings

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O Velho, A Carne E A Psicodélica Árvore Do Imaculado Ventre Da Terra
Ávora Di Carlla Eclectic Prog

Review by poslednijat_colobar
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The overshadowed Latin masterpiece of the 2010s

This extremely rare album is an unexpected gem in the progressive rock crown of the decade. Brazilian symphonic prog band amazes with a sincere and accomplished masterwork. The composition are extremely balanced and unspoiled. The musicianship comes out with mystic eclectic parts implemented into the symphonic compositions. The Latin American school reveals yet another prog giant from this sphere. The sharp tunes and profound sound embraces the ideas completely. The album is very rare and hard to find and that is another reason for me to promote the release.

Highly recommended for Latin prog lovers

 Second Generation (Scenes from 1975-1977) by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1986
3.35 | 45 ratings

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Second Generation (Scenes from 1975-1977)
Van Der Graaf Generator Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nş 153

'Second Generation (Scenes From 1975-1977)' is a compilation of Van Der Graaf Generation and was released in 1986. This is a compilation that includes tracks from four studio albums of them, their fifth studio album 'Godbluff', released in 1975, their sixth studio album 'Still Life', released in 1976, their seventh studio album 'World Record', released also in 1976, and their eighth studio album 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome', released in 1977.

'Godbluff', 'Still Life', 'World Record' and 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome' belong to their second musical period. About these four albums there isn't a consensual opinion among all the progressive rock fans, or even with the band's fans. Relatively to 'Godbluff' and 'Still Life' is commonly accepted that they are two truly masterpieces, being 'Godbluff' also considered one of the best albums ever made. 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome' is in general considered one of their weakest albums from the 70's, with their debut studio album 'The Aerosol Grey Machine'. With 'World Record' the opinions are slightly divided, because some people considered it an excellent album too.

'First Generation (Scenes From 1975-1977)' has nine tracks. The first track 'The Undercover Man' was taken from 'Godbluff'. It begins with Hammill's voice in a low timbre, accompanied by Jackson's flute and Evans' drums. The track develops, with a slow crescendo of Hammill's voice and Banton's organ. This is one of the most beautiful songs created by the band. The second track 'Scorched Earth' was taken from 'Godbluff'. It's a traditional band's track. This is a darker, aggressive and complex track. It has a great work by Jackson on saxophones, well accompanied by Hammill's aggressive vocals. It represents the closest track to their previous album, 'Pawn Hearts'. The third track 'The Sleepwalkers' was taken from 'Godbluff'. It represents the highlight of 'Godbluff'. This is the lengthiest track on that album and is one of their best songs. The fourth track 'Pilgrims' was taken from 'Still Life'. This is a very good track to open 'Still Life'. It starts with a gloomy and melancholic note, along with your own mood and then slowly pulls out its melancholy, ending in a not of an optimistic message. There is a beautiful Banton's organ with soft vocals from Hammill, but Jackson's saxophones make the real mood here. The fifth track 'Still Life' was taken from 'Still Life'. This is a very dark song that speaks about the death and one's own resignation before the death. It's about the consequences of the immortality and the inevitable paradoxes of the eternal life, if there is such kind of thing. It starts with Hammill's singing and Banton's playing organ. The song grows with intensity all over it. The sixth track 'When She Comes' was taken from 'World Record'. This is a song related with Peter's personal love affair. It relates how unstable and unpredictable the relationships are, and how we can live with a person that we didn't know as well as we thought. This is a very sarcastic song with with an excellent saxophone and organ works by Jackson and Banton. The seventh track 'The Siren Song' was taken from 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome'. This is a very calm and beautiful song conducted by piano and violin. It's a very melancholic and acoustic song with deep vocals. This is a song that came directly from the past with the same dark atmosphere of their previous albums. It seems a reminiscent of 'Pilgrims'. The eighth track 'Cat's Eye/Yellow Fever (Running)' was taken from 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome'. This is my favourite song on that album. It has a fantastic violin work which demonstrates the technical virtuosity of Smith, which raises this song to the perfection of a masterpiece. This is a very frantic and heavy song with an excessive vocal approach by Hammill. The ninth track 'Wondering' was taken from 'World Record'. It's the song that ends beautifully 'World Record'. This is a hymn with a note of hope and desperate questions. It's an optimistic song with great lyrics supported by high quality Banton's keyboards. It brings to us the hope that we need after the breakup on a relationship. It tells us we can return, arise and survive in this world. This is also a nice and perfect way to close this compilation too.

Conclusion: This is another compilation of Van Der Graaf Generator with a great selection of tracks. Relatively to the selection from 'Godbluff', 'The Undercover Man', 'Scorched Earth' and 'The Sleepwalkers', are absolutely perfect. Still, if 'Arrow' had been selected, it would have been perfect too. Relatively to the selection from 'Still Life', 'Pilgrims' and 'Still Life', it's excellent. But, I would have preferred the inclusion of 'La Rossa' instead of 'Still Life'. Relatively to the selection from 'World Record', 'When She Comes' and 'Wondering', it's also perfect. Still, I'm very sad that 'Masks' couldn't be included on it. Finally, and relatively to the selection from 'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome', 'The Siren Song' and 'Cat's Eye/Yellow Fever (Running)', it's once more excellent. In my opinion, 'Cat's Eye/Yellow Fever (Running)' is the best track on the album. 'Siren' is also one of the best tracks, but if it had been replaced by 'Last Frame' or 'The Wave', it would have been nice too. However, and as happens with so many other progressive compilations, it doesn't can substitute those albums by any mean. So, it's only good and not an essential purchase.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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Eclectic Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
16 DEADLY IMPROVS United States
17F Switzerland
4/3 DE TRIO France
8 DAYS IN APRIL Germany
A.C.T Sweden
ABRETE GANDUL Chile
ABSOLUTE ELSEWHERE United Kingdom
ABSURDCUS Romania
ACADEMIE OF FARSIDE Indonesia
ACINTYA France
ADVENT United States
AFFINITY United Kingdom
AKO DOMA Slovakia
AKRITAS Greece
AKT Italy
JEAN-PIERRE ALARCEN France
ALBATROS Germany
ALCO FRISBASS France
ALEXL Brazil
ALGERNON United States
ALLOMERUS Australia
ALON United States
ALPHA RALPHA France
ALQUILBENCIL Spain
ALQUIN Netherlands
ALTABLANCA Argentina
ALTAIR Spain
ALTERNATIV QUARTET Romania
ALTERS Poland
MICHEL ALTMAYER France
AMPLEDEED United States
ANAKDOTA Israel
APERCO Israel
COSTE APETREA Sweden
APPLE BELLS Poland
ARBATEL Mexico
ARDO DOMBEC Germany
AREKNAMÉS Italy
ART AND ILLUSION Italy
ARTCANE France
PETER ASHBY United Kingdom
THE ASHQELON QUILT Israel
ASTRID PRÖLL Puerto Rico
ATHELSTONE Malta
ATLANTIDE France
AUDIENCE United Kingdom
AUDIO VISIONS United States
AUNT MARY Norway
AVE ROCK Argentina
AVIATOR United Kingdom
ÁVORA DI CARLLA Brazil
AXON-NEURON United States
BAD ALCHEMY United States
VLADIMIR BADIROV Uzbekistan
BAG France
DAVID BAGSBY United States
BAKU LLAMA United States
FRANCK BALESTRACCI France
BARBARO Hungary
BARRACUDA TRIANGLE Sweden
AL BASIM Iraq
BASTA! Italy
BATABEAT Canada
BEAR IS DRIVING United States
BEARDFISH Sweden
ADRIAN BELEW United States
SERGIO BENCHIMOL Brazil
IL BERLIONE Japan
MICHAEL BERNIER United States
BIRDS AND BUILDINGS United States
BLOQUE Spain
THE BOB LAZAR STORY New Zealand
BOOTCUT Sweden
EMMANUEL BOOZ France
BORDERLINE SYNDROME Greece
EDUARDO BORT Spain
BRAINSTATIK United States
VYTAS BRENNER Venezuela
BRIGHTEYE BRISON Sweden
BUBBLEMATH United States
BUBU Argentina
JEAN-LOUIS BUCCHI France
BUDKA SUFLERA Poland
ARNAUD BUKWALD France
C & K VOCAL Czech Republic
CABEZAS DE CERA Mexico
CALLE DEBAUCHE United States
CAMERA CHIARA Italy
NEIL CAMPBELL COLLECTIVE United Kingdom
CANGACEIRO Chile
JOSE CARBALLIDO Spain
CARPE DIEM France
CARPET Germany
CARTOON Brazil
CASTLE FUSION Italy
CATAPILLA United Kingdom
CENTENAIRE France
CHAMELEON United States
CICCADA Greece
CIRCLES END Norway
EL CIRCULO DE WILLIS Spain
CIRCUS Switzerland
CIRKUS United Kingdom
BARRY CLEVELAND United States
CLOUDS ON STRINGS United States
CMU United Kingdom
COLONEL CLAYPOOL'S BUCKET OF BERNIE BRAINS United States
CONSIDER THE SOURCE United States
THE COWBOYS FROM HELL Switzerland
CRIME IN CHOIR United States
CRÓ! Spain
THE CRYSTAL SUN United Kingdom
CULPEPER'S ORCHARD Denmark
CURVED AIR United Kingdom
CZAR United Kingdom
DAAL Italy
THE DAEDALUS SPIRIT ORCHESTRA France
DAGMÄHR Canada
DALTONIA Chile
DARK AETHER PROJECT United States
DAYS BETWEEN STATIONS United States
GUILLAUME DE LA PILIERE France
DEBOCO France
DIAGONAL United Kingdom
DICE Sweden
DIONYSOS Canada
DISCORDIA Finland
DISEN GAGE Russia
DISTINGUISHED PANEL OF EXPERTS Multi-National
DJAM KARET United States
JULIUS DOBOS Hungary
WILLIAM D. DRAKE United Kingdom
DREADNAUGHT United States
DREADNOUGHT United States
DRIFT United States
EARTH SIZE DIAMONDS United States
EAST OF EDEN United Kingdom
ECHOES France
EDENSONG United States
EFECTO Chile
EKSEPTION Netherlands
ELEKTRYK BESTIA United States
EMMETT ELVIN United Kingdom
EMPATHI Thailand
EMPTY SPACE ORCHESTRA United States
EPIDERMIS Germany
ERE G Canada
ERIK BARON & D-ZAKORD France
ESPERANTO Multi-National
ESTHEMA United States
ET CETERA Canada
EVELINE'S DUST Italy
EXCLUSIVE RAJA France
EXPERIMENTAL Chile
EXPERIMENTAL QUINTET Romania
FAMILY United Kingdom
FANTASIA Finland
FETUS MAXIMUS Finland
OLIVIER FEUILLERAT France
FINNEUS GAUGE United States
FLASH United Kingdom
FLÄSKET BRINNER Sweden
FLIGHT United States
THE FLOCK United States
HUGO FLORES Portugal
FOND OF TIGERS Canada
FONDERIA Italy
FOXTROT Norway
FRAMUS 5 Czech Republic
FRATERNITY Australia
FRIENDSHIP TIME Sweden
ROBERT FRIPP United Kingdom
FROM.UZ Uzbekistan
FRUMPY Germany
FUN MACHINE United States
FUSIOON Spain
THE GAK OMEK United States
GALAAD Switzerland
GARDENIA Argentina
GARGAMEL Norway
GAYLORD United States
GECKO'S TEAR Italy
RON GEESIN United Kingdom
GENTLE GIANT United Kingdom
GESTALT Japan
JANE GETTER United States
GEVENDE Turkey
GEYSIR Germany
GLAZZ Spain
GLOBALYS Belgium
GNIDROLOG United Kingdom
GOAD Italy
GOMA Spain
GOOD NIGHTOWL United States
GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA Sweden
JEAN-PHILIPPE GOUDE France
THE GOURISHANKAR Russia
SÉBASTIEN GRAMOND France
THE GRAND ASTORIA Russia
GRATTO United States
THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH United Kingdom
MAREK GRECHUTA Poland
GREYLYNG United States
GRIOT Portugal
GROOVECTOR Finland
THE GUARDIAN'S OFFICE Norway
GUERNICA Japan
TREY GUNN United States
GUNS AND BUTTER United States
GURUH GIPSY Indonesia
GUZZLEMUG United States
GYPSY United States
H7G Costa Rica
STEVE HACKETT United Kingdom
HAIKARA Finland
BRENDAN HAINS Australia
HALF PAST FOUR Canada
HAMADRYAD Canada
PETER HAMMILL United Kingdom
HANAGARIA Israel
HAPPY THE MAN United States
GAVIN HARRISON & 05RIC United Kingdom
STEVE HART United Kingdom
HEADSHEAR United States
HERD OF INSTINCT United States
HOBO Yugoslavia
HOBSON'S CHOICE United States
HOKR Czech Republic
HOME United Kingdom
HOMÍNIDO Chile
HOUSE OF USHER United States
HUNE Canada
ICED INK United States
ICHTHYANDER DAD'S ONLY DOLPHIN Ukraine
IKARUS Germany
ILLŔCHIME QUARTET Italy
ILLUSION United Kingdom
IN ABSTRACKTO Mexico
INFINIEN United States
INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA Finland
INTERFACE Japan
INTERPOSE+ Japan
ISKANDER Germany
ISLAND Switzerland
IT United States
IT'S THE END Norway
IX Venezuela
IXT ADUX United States
JANOS VÁRGA PROJECT Hungary
JEAVESTONE Finland
JOY UNLIMITED Germany
JULIAN'S TREATMENT United Kingdom
JUNE CLEAVER AND THE STEAK KNIVES United States
KARMABLUE Italy
KATAYA Finland
KHARMINA BURANNA Peru
KIDS EAT CRAYONS Canada
KING CRIMSON United Kingdom
KLOTET Sweden
KOIAK Chile
KOLORS OF ZOUND Austria
KOMARA Multi-National
KORPUS 2 (Корпус 2) Russia
KRACQ Netherlands
KRAKEN IN THE MAELSTROM Italy
KROMLECH Mexico
KTU Multi-National
KTZAT ACHERET Israel
KULTIVATOR Sweden
KWADRAT Poland
KYTAJA Finland
LAPLACE Argentina
LALLE LARSSON Sweden
LASER PACE United States
THE LAZE United Kingdom
LAZULI France
LEMURYA France
LETHEAN Italy
BJORN J:SON LINDH Sweden
LIZARD Poland
LOBSTER NEWBERG United States
LOCOMOTIV GT Hungary
THE LONG HELLO United Kingdom
LOST KITE Sweden
LUARVIK LUARVIK Estonia
LUCIFER WAS Norway
MA BANLIEUE FLASQUE France
MACHIAVEL Belgium
MAD FELLAZ Italy
MAELSTROM Canada
MAGICAL PLANETS United States
MAHOGANY FROG Canada
MAJOR PARKINSON Norway
MAKAJODAMA Sweden
MAKKIWHIPDIES United States
MAMMUT Germany
MAN ON FIRE United States
MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND United Kingdom
MANNING United Kingdom
MAQAMA Israel
MARSUPILAMI United Kingdom
MASTERMIND United States
ME EL-MA Israel
THE MEDICINE CABINET United States
HAI MEIRZADH Israel
MEN OF LAKE Italy
METROGNOM Norway
MICHIRU Japan
JOHN MINER United States
MINI (TÖRÖK ÁDÁM & MINI) Hungary
MINIMUM VITAL France
MIRTHRANDIR United States
KIMIO MIZUTANI Japan
MOJO POJO Venezuela
MORAINE United States
EDUARDO MORENO Spain
MÖRGLBL France
STEVE MORSE BAND United States
MOSER WOODS United States
MOTORPSYCHO Norway
MOUTH Germany
MR. EUPHORIA United States
MR. HYDE Chile
DOMINIK MÜLLER Germany
MUSICA FICTA Israel
N.Y.X Italy
NAPRA Hungary
NARAJAMA Czech Republic
NARANJA MECANICA Cuba
NARR France
THE NATURAL MYSTIC Italy
NAU ALETHEIA Argentina
NECROMONKEY Sweden
NEMO France
NEMO France
NÉODYME Canada
NEOGRASS Norway
NEUTRONS United Kingdom
NEWCROSS United States
NICE BEAVER Netherlands
CZESŁAW NIEMEN Poland
NIL France
NOT A GOOD SIGN Italy
NOVA Finland
NURT Poland
OBLIVION SUN United States
OCTOHPERA Brazil
ODYSSEE Germany
RYO OKUMOTO Japan
THE OPEN WINDOW United States
OPERATION: MILKSNATCH United States
ORDER OF THE LIVING Finland
ORGIYA PRAVEDNIKOV Russia
ORIGINS United States
ORNE Finland
OS MUNDI Germany
THE OTHELLO SYNDROME United Kingdom
OUT OF THE BEARDSPACE United States
OZ URUGULU Switzerland
PALEY'S WATCH United Kingdom
PANDORA SNAIL Russia
HET PANDORRA ENSEMBLE Netherlands
PANGÉE Canada
PEANUT BRITTLE SATELLITE United States
THE PENGUIN CAFE ORCHESTRA United Kingdom
PENTWATER United States
THE PEROTIC THEATRE Germany
PHILHARMONIE France
PINGVINORKESTERN Sweden
BRUNO PITCH France
THE PITTS MINNEMANN PROJECT United States
PLAMP Switzerland
PLAT DU JOUR France
PLATURNO Chile
POETICA IN SILENTIO Netherlands
LAURI PORRA Finland
VYACHESLAV POTAPOV Kazakhstan
JEAN-PAUL PRAT France
PRAXIS Mexico
PRAZSKY VYBER Czech Republic
PROCOSMIAN FANNYFIDDLERS Norway
PROFIL Germany
PROFUSION Italy
PROGRES 2 Czech Republic
PROMETHEAN Finland
PSI VOJACI Czech Republic
PSICOTROPIA Spain
LA PURA REALIDAD Mexico
PURGE SOLENOID United States
QUAKER Argentina
QUARTETO 1111 Portugal
QUILT Canada
QUODIA United States
RACHEL'S BIRTHDAY Germany
SIMON RAILTON United Kingdom
RAW MATERIAL United Kingdom
REDD Argentina
THE REDZEN Italy
THE REFORMATION United States
EL RELOJ Argentina
REPLIKAS Turkey
RITRATTO DI UN MATTINO Italy
OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ Puerto Rico
ROOTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS United States
LA ROSSA France
ANDRES RUIZ Argentina
THE RUNNING MAN United Kingdom
SACCHARINE TRUST United States
SAHARA Germany
SANHEDRIN Israel
SBB Poland
LUCA SCHERANI Italy
SCHIZOFRANTIK Germany
SCYTHE Germany
SEAMUS France
THE SEASON STANDARD Germany
SENOGUL Spain
SEVEN IMPALE Norway
SFILTROM Slovenia
SFINX Romania
SHAMBLEMATHS Norway
SHESHET Israel
SHINSEKAI Japan
SINATLIS TSELITSADI (THE LIGHT YEAR) Georgia
RIKARD SJÖBLOM Sweden
SKALDOWIE Poland
SKE Italy
JÓZEF SKRZEK Poland
SKY United Kingdom
SLEEPY PEOPLE United Kingdom
JULIE SLICK United States
MALCOLM SMITH United States
SIGMUND SNOPEK III United States
SOLUS3 United Kingdom
SOM NOSSO DE CADA DIA Brazil
SOMA PLANET Spain
SOPHISTREE Germany
SOUL ENEMA Israel
SPECIMEN13 Canada
SPEKTAKEL Germany
SPIROSFERA Italy
SPRING United Kingdom
STA IMA? Croatia
STAR PERIOD STAR United States
STELLA LEE JONES Japan
STICK MEN United States
JEREMY STORCH United States
STORM CORROSION Multi-National
STRINGPURÉE BAND Finland
JAMES SUDAKOW United States
SUMO ELEVATOR Israel
SUPERLUMINAL PACHYDERM United States
SYLBAT France
SYLVIA BLISS United States
SYNKOPY Czech Republic
SYRIUS Hungary
TAAL France
TAGYERIT United States
THE TANGENT Multi-National
TÁNGER Argentina
TCP United States
TELIOF Israel
TELLAH Brazil
TERRENO BALDIO Brazil
THIEVES' KITCHEN United Kingdom
THORS HAMMER Denmark
TIME United Kingdom
TIN SCRIBBLE United States
TMN Switzerland
TOOTSCATS Russia
TOWNSCREAM Hungary
TRAFFIC United Kingdom
I TRENI ALL'ALBA Italy
TRIODE France
TRIPCYCLE Serbia
TROYA Germany
TU United States
TULLY Australia
UK United Kingdom
UMLÄUT Australia
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD United States
UTOPIA United States
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR United Kingdom
LAURENCE VANAY France
JEAN-CLAUDE VANNIER France
VELUDO Brazil
THE VIRIDIAN GROOVE Venezuela
VISITOR 2035 United Kingdom
VISITORS France
VISOKOSNOE LETO Russia
VITA NOVA Multi-National
VITAL DUO France
VITKASTE Finland
VOX NOSTRA France
VU METERS Italy
VULGAR UNICORN United Kingdom
VY Puerto Rico
WALPURGIS Germany
WEJAH Brazil
WHALEPHANT Russia
WLUD France
WOOLLY WOLSTENHOLME'S MAESTOSO United Kingdom
WOMEGA Belgium
THE WORM OUROBOROS Belarus
ALEX WROTEN United States
WRUPK UREI Estonia
XENOGRAFT Australia
XL Finland
YEAR ONE United States
YEZDA URFA United States
YGGDRASIL Faroe Islands
YOLE France
YONIN BAYASHI Japan
ZAPOTEC United States
ZECHS MARQUISE United States
ZEROESQUE United States
ZHONGYU United States
ZIP TANG United States
ZITA ENSEMBLE Italy
ZOMB France
ZWEITON Germany

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