Posts Tagged ‘Prog Rock’

In 1985, the British progressive rock group Marillion achieved their only UK Number one album  and the best-selling album of their career with their third album “Misplaced Childhood” , a concept album featuring lyrics by frontman Fish which were partly autobiographical. The album was played as two continuous pieces of music on the two sides of the vinyl and produced the band’s two biggest hit singles,  “Kayleigh” and “Lavender” The band’s follow-up in 1987, “Clutching At Straws”, has also been described as a concept album In the 1990s prog rock had all but faded from popular music, but some bands, such as Marillion, still had a sizeable cult fanbase. Their next 1994 concept album, “Brave” , was also described as “the most complex Marillion release to date”, and became the final Marillion album to reach the UK top ten. With the advent of alternativeand indie rock, however, a number of artists still continued to use the format within that genre.


Marillion helped revitalise progressive rock in 1985 when the band released its third studio album, Misplaced Childhood. The band builds on the album’s legacy with two new versions that boast remastered sound and unreleased recordings.

Singer Derek Dick (aka Fish), guitarist Steve Rothery, keyboardist Mark Kelly, bassist Pete Trewavas and percussionist Ian Mosley recorded Misplaced Childhood at Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin, Germany during the spring of 1985. A concept record with two continuous pieces of music, the song cycle explored themes of lost love, lost childhood, and more. Released in June 1985, it was an immediate success, topping the U.K. album chart and earning platinum status. The album included three big hits: “Kayleigh” (#2), “Lavender” (#5), and “Heart Of Lothian” (#29).

This CD/Blu-ray set includes the original album newly remastered and a 5.1 surround remix by acclaimed producer Steven Wilson. It’s accompanied by a previously unreleased concert from Holland that features a performance of Misplaced Childhood in its entirety, plus demos and rarities remastered exclusively for this set. The BluRay disc contains promo videos, and an album documentary, as well as high resolution and 5.1 Surround Sound mixes of the album. The entire set is presented in a case-bound book that includes a 60-page booklet with liner notes written by rock writer Dave Everley.

The most extensive reissue of the Emerson Lake & Palmer masterpiece to date.
This deluxe 2CD /1DVDA digipack format includes fully remastered audio, new high resolution stereo mixes, 5.1 mixes by Jakko Jakszyk, a previously unheard version of ‘From The Beginning’, digitally restored artwork, 16 page booklet with new liner notes and photos.

Emerson Lake & Palmer‘s third album Trilogy is being reissued later this month (ELP) by Sony Music and the new deluxe edition will feature a brand new 5.1 mix, new stereo mixes and previously unheard version of From The Beginning.

The 1972 long-player is expanded two three discs –  two CDs and a DVD-audio – for this new set, with CD 2 including brand new stereo mixes(and the unheard version of From The Beginning). The third disc (a DVD-audio) contains the surround sound mix put together by King Crimson’s Jakko Jakszyk.

The 5.1 mix is lossless hi-res if you have compatible equipment, if not the surround mix can be enjoyed in DTS or Dolby 5.1 via any standard DVD player (and a surround speaker set-up, of course!). The DVD also contains hi-res stereo versions of the new mixes, as well as hi-res stereo versions of the original mixes.

This new version of Trilogy comes with restored artwork and a 16-page booklet with new liner notes and photos. The best thing is that it is INCREDIBLE value – a steal at less than £12 at the time of writing on Amazon UK.



22 years ago today on April 1, 1993 Emerson Lake and Palmer performed at the Estadio Chile in Santiago, Chile. Enjoy this free sample of Lucky Man from the show available on RockBeat Records “Once Upon A Time In South America”


Bell Gardens official music video for “Take Us Away” from the album “Slow Dawns For Lost Conclusions”.

Bell Gardens combines the musical visions of Kenneth James Gibson (formerly of Furry Things, and Brian McBride (one half of Stars of the Lid) who began releasing music in 2010, beginning with an EP, “Hangups Need Company” on their own imprint Failed Better.

Their debut album Full Sundown Assembly (Southern / Burger Records) appeared in 2012 and, now signed to Rocket Girl in the UK, the band are set to release their second, “Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions”, in October 2014.

Bell Gardens’ origins began arguably as more of an experiment than the duo’s current ‘experimental’ projects – McBride’s drone- and string-laden ambient symphonies, and Gibson’s ventures in dub and minimalist techno – as they sought to manifest their mutual reverence for folk, psychedelia and chamber pop in a traditional band structure without cannibalising any particular past genre. Bell Gardens’ sound is less reliant on effects and studio trickery than the pairs’ independent guises, laying bare as it does vocals and live instruments with emotional sincerity, and presenting songs imbued with an almost pastoral or gospel simplicity and timelessness.



On November 19th, 1973, Emerson, Lake & Palmer released their fourth  album “Brain Salad Surgery”. Greg Lake wrote the lyrics for the album with the assistance, on two tracks, “Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression” and “Benny the Bouncer” of former King Crimson bandmate Peter Sinfield. This was the first Emerson, Lake & Palmer album to have no songwriting contributions from Carl Palmer. The cover art is by H. R. Giger.
After they released Trilogy, the band decided to make an album that they could perform live. Trilogy was recorded on the 24-track machines with a lot of overdubbing, and that made the music difficult to recreate the songs on stage. The band purchased a cinema and would perform the music “live” on the stage, then write, perform again, write, etc., resulting in a feeling of addressing the audience directly and a more Live feel to the production.

For ELP were huge, their every gesture enormous, their deliciously overblown muse utterly titanic and, my God, were we impressed?

Even the ever-cynical bubble-popping hacks of the NME saw their prose grow ever more purple as they snatched desperately for the requisite adjectives to describe just how ‘not worthy’ we all were. Carrying an Emerson Lake & Palmer album under your arm became the schoolboy equivalent of Mensa membership; it screamed to all who gazed upon you that: ‘He gets this: ergo he is old enough to shave, Here, then, was true sophistication, a vinyl passage-to-manhood in a cardboard sleeve.

Prog-rock behemoth Emerson Lake & Palmer unleashed their ultimate album: Brain Salad Surgery, the record that marked the pinnacle of their creative extravagance,

ELP had long since abandoned the constraints of the stultifying three-minute form. By introducing both classical and jazz elements to cutting-edge rock technology, ELP appeared to be nothing less than larger-than-life progenitors of a giant evolutionary leap forward; One day, we mused, all bands will be as unapologetically enormous as this. But, with our awe-stricken pre-punk appetites whetted for the unfeasibly massive, we craved something even more gargantuan from our three heroes, and like all true thrill-seekers were compelled to push the envelope yet further.

We wanted the hugest, most ear-boggling sounds from the furthest technological frontier available to modern man; we wanted the fastest and most intricate keyboard runs and percussive paradiddlings audible to the human ear; we wanted lyrics that we couldn’t possibly understand; and, most importantly of all, we wanted them in morbidly obese half-hour slabs.

Coming up to the recording of Brain Salad Surgery, Emerson Lake & Palmer seemed unassailable. They’d been voted, both collectively and individually, to the very top of every readers’ poll extant and had just set up their own Manticore label which ostensibly gave them greater artistic freedom than ever before.

“We’d had a long lay-off,” Keith Emerson recalled, “and were really unsure of what direction we should go in. All our previous stuff had gone gold, which we were very thrilled about, and we simply wanted to augment upon that. But it took me a long time because I never like to jam around and play indiscriminately whatever it is that comes into my head. But I do remember arriving at Advision Studios with this fugue design, Greg learning the notes and it being a pretty painless procedure. We were all inspired and one thing would lead to another. We’d all contribute and that’s what a band should be. Whether or not you regard yourself as a composer, it doesn’t really happen unless everybody else involved enjoys playing what you’ve written.”

“We quickly learned that whatever you put on a record you’d have to play live,” added Greg, “So we started preparing the records in the same way that you’d prepare a tour. Brain Salad Surgery was made by rehearsing live in a cinema. We bought a cinema – now that was an indulgence – and rehearsed it in there until we got it in a state where we thought it was good. Then we took it to the studio for an upgrade, but would essentially record live – which was one of Keith’s great abilities. That way, when we finally took it back on to the stage we knew how to play it.”

“It was recorded at a time when the band felt incredibly warm to each other,” said Carl, “and, while I think it marks the height of ELP’s creative powers, it came very quickly. I can’t remember having to labour over much of it, and I don’t think it took more than six weeks to make. “I just remember it as being a very lovable period really. Just so experimental; I was laying cymbals on the floor for overdubs to get a different sound, and we were putting keyboards into different rooms, putting a microphone into the street to get ambient noise and it was just fantastic. It was one of those things that just happened and you wish would happen every time you go into the studio.”

“Brain Salad Surgery” included extra lyrics from Pete Sinfield (Greg Lake: “I worked with him in King Crimson and while I’m not a bad lyricist, Pete’s better”), stunning cover art from the then relatively unknown HR ‘Alien’ Giger.  “The working title was Whip Some Skull On Ya,” expounded Keith, “until our tour manager pointed out a Dr John lyric that features the line ‘give me some Brain Salad Surgery’ which, in the vernacular, means the same as Whip Some Skull On Ya: a blow-job, basically.”

Emerson Lake & Palmer  toured tirelessly (not least in support of Brain Salad Surgery) and with their own proscenium arch, as well as every kind of revolving instrument that you ever thought possible, including some that you hadn’t, like a grand piano that flipped end-over-end while a strapped-in Emerson hammered manfully at the ivories like an unholy cross between Arthur Rubinstein and Biggles. But according to an ostensibly impenetrable party line the trio were usually far too pooped from on stage improvisation to reach for the proverbial mud shark.

Keith Emerson’s father played piano competently enough by ear, but when his young son started to mimic his decidedly amateur ivory-tinkling he insisted upon paying for some expert tuition for the boy. Lessons with Mrs Smith were “really boring to begin with”, but the benefits of his new-found skill soon began to pay dividends: “I became popular at school,” remembered Keith, “and avoided a lot of bullying simply by playing all the rock’n’roll tunes of the day.”

After making his first public appearance at the local rifle-club dinner and dance Emerson set about honing his own style: “I wasn’t into the genre of the day – The Beatles, Stones and Yardbirds – I fancied myself more as a jazz player. Then I got more into blues and – after hearing guys like Brother Jack McDuff on the Hammond organ.” In late summer 1965, Emerson joined established Brighton-based R&B group, Gary Farr & The T-Bones: “I found playing with them acceptable because Gary Farr, who was a pretty good blues singer, had jammed with Sonny Boy Williamson and when T-Bone Walker came over to play the clubs we’d back him.”

Following a brief spell with Island Records’ first non-Jamaican recording artists, The VIPs, Emerson formed The Nice, a band that rapidly developed a flamboyant style of virtuoso cross-generic experimentation, but started life as the relatively anonymous sidemen to PP Arnold: a former Ike & Tina Turner Ikette, hand-picked for stardom by Mick Jagger and summarily signed to Andrew Oldham’s Immediate label. “[Nice bassist] Lee Jackson was a late addition to the T-Bones,” Keith recalled, “and we’d often jam backstage at gigs. I’d play some Brubeck or Bach.

“I loved the guitar,” smiled Greg Lake, his reminiscences still characterised by the slightest suggestion of a lilting Dorset burr. “I loved playing, not only was it an open door to a career, there was also this mass adoration thing. It was the early days of The Beatles so it became the fashion to scream; I remember distinctly coming out of gigs and the van would be completely covered in lipstick. Following a couple of years spent gravitating through the ranks of The Time Checks and The Shame Greg ultimately relocated to London to join future Uriah Heep members Lee Kerslake and Ken Hensley in The Gods. Heavy duty gig rotation earned the band a deal with EMI, but on the eve of their first recording date The Gods fell apart.

“When we were boys,” said Lake, “Robert Fripp and I went to the same guitar teacher – a guy called Don Strike – and used to play duets together. Robert would come along and watch me before he was in a band, but he eventually formed a very strange outfit called Giles, Giles & Fripp. They’d made this album for Decca called The Insanity Of Giles, Giles & Fripp.

Robert gave me the call and said, ‘Hello, my dear’ in his West Country accent. ‘Would you be interested in being the lead singer for the band?’ he asked, and I said, ‘Yeah’ – because they had a record deal, which was fantastic. But then he said, ‘The only thing is, we don’t need two guitarists. Will you play bass?’ So that’s how that started.”

The Lake-augmented combo were re-named King Crimson. King Crimson, featuring the quintessentially English, choirboy clarity of Greg Lake’s vocals, had supported The Nice on a number of previous occasions but it wasn’t until this crucial juncture that Emerson really started to take notice of their singer’s not insubstantial melodic potential. And, when he was informed that not only could Lake double up on bass but also played lead guitar, offered the choice between remaining with Robert Fripp or accepting a fresh challenge with Keith Emerson, Lake ultimately opted for the latter. You’re probably comfortably ahead of me here, and primed for the inevitable arrival of pot-free zone Carl Palmer in the soon-to-be-revolving drum stool.

Upon answering a classified advertisement in The Birmingham Mail, young Carl Palmer found himself auditioning for local R&B chancers The King Bees at the Plaza Ballroom, Handsworth, conveniently situated at the top of his road. “I expected them to give me music and they didn’t,” remembered Palmer, “They gave me a bunch of forty-fives and said, ‘Learn those and come back tomorrow’. I thought that was kind of bizarre, so I dashed home, charted them out immediately and couldn’t believe how easy they were.”

Carl Palmer was a King Bee before the day was out. Eight months of gruelling all-nighters later and the tireless 16-year old caught the eye of Chris Farlowe who offered him a job on the spot. Carl’s transition from moonlighting Black Country schoolkid to scene-making London circuit pro was nothing if not swift: “I left school on the Friday, left home on the Sunday, did the audition on the Wednesday and was working in Chris Farlowe’s Thunderbirds by the following weekend. It was an exciting time, certainly, but Palmer remained uncommonly astute, and set about securing all the extracurricular session work he could find. Tireless networking paid off when star management team Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp called Carl in to record sessions with The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, for when the band’s original drummer Drachen Theaker bailed for “some kind of religious sect” midway through an hallucinogen-fuelled American jaunt, it was Palmer who leapt into the breach.

The Crazy World were riding high after their hit single, Fire, but as the band endeavoured to snort Haight-Asbury whole, the drug experience began to take its toll and after a few months of sustained psychedelic fame Arthur disappeared and Carl formed Nice-styled, super-heavy power trio Atomic Rooster with keyboard player Vincent Crane. “I was only ever interested in playing in a three-piece group,” Palmer recalled, “but when Keith asked me if I was interested I was apprehensive because Atomic Rooster were doing incredibly well and I’d just bought a Mercedes van. I knew of The Nice, obviously, but I didn’t know who Greg Lake was. I knew of King Crimson but I didn’t know he was the singer, so I was a bit apprehensive.

ELP made their big-league debut at the 1970 Isle Of Wight festival,

Happy 41st Birthday to “Brain Salad Surgery”. Welcome back my friends,


The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is a double concept album recorded and released in 1974 by the British progressive rock band Genesis. It was their sixth studio album, and the last to feature original singer and frontman Peter Gabriel.It was only a matter of time before Genesis attempted a full-fledged concept album, and 1974’s The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was a massive rock opera: the winding, wielding story of a Puerto Rican hustler name Rael making his way in New York City. Peter Gabriel made some tentative moves toward developing this story into a movie with William Friedkin but it never took off, perhaps it’s just as well; even with the lengthy libretto included with the album, the story never makes sense. But just because the story is rather impenetrable doesn’t mean that the album is as well, because it is a forceful, imaginative piece of work that showcases the original Genesis lineup at a peak. Even if the story is rather hard to piece together, the album is set up in a remarkable fashion, with the first LP being devoted to pop-oriented rock songs and the second being largely devoted to instrumentals. This means that The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway contains both Genesis’ most immediate music to date. Depending on a listener’s taste, they may gravitate toward the first LP with its tight collection of ten rock songs, or the nightmarish landscapes of the second, where Rael descends into darkness and ultimately redemption (or so it would seem), but there’s little question that the first album is far more direct than the second and it contains a number of masterpieces, from the opening fanfare of the title song to the surging “In the Cage,” from the frightening “Back in NYC” to the soothing conclusion “The Carpet Crawlers.” In retrospect, this first LP plays a bit more like the first Gabriel solo album than the final Genesis album, but there’s also little question that the band helps form and shape this music (with Brian Eno adding extra coloring on occasion), while Genesis shines as a group shines on the impressionistic second half. In every way, it’s a considerable, lasting achievement and it’s little wonder that Peter Gabriel had to leave the band after this record: they had gone as far as they could go together, and could never top this extraordinary Album.
Tony Banks – Hammond T-102 organ, RMI 368x Electra piano, Mellotron M400, Elka Rhapsody synthesizer, ARP 2600 & ARP Pro Soloist synthesizers, acoustic piano
Phil Collins – drums, percussion, vibraphone, backing vocals
Peter Gabriel – lead vocals, flute, oboe, tambourine, experiments with foreign sounds
Steve Hackett – electric guitar, classical acoustic guitar
Mike Rutherford – bass guitar, 12-string guitar, bass pedals, fuzz bass

Genesis Rehearsals

How important are Genesis, which incarnation their early work under the idiosyncratic vocals of Peter Gabriel intellectural artsy music and the holy grail of Progressive rock with sprawling masterpieces of the 1974 double album “The lamb Lies Down On Broadway” In 1975 Genesis continued with Phil Collins taking the lead vocals and moving from epics like the “Eleventh Earl Of Marl” to poppy songs from “Invisible Touch” but Genesis have made great music in every era from the insanity of “Suppers Ready” to the “Hold On My Heart” the band members recently reconvened for the BBC2 documentary Gabriel, Collins, Hackett, Banks and Rutherford plus there is a 3cd box set that spans the career of the famous five

LOOKING FOR SOMEONE……..taken from the second album “Trespass” full of 12 string guitars and big church organ type sounds the album is bookended by two huge tracks this one building from a soulfull whisper to a thundering Climax and “The Knife” .

AM I VERY WRONG…………from the debut album “From Genesis To Revelation” they were all teenagers when this debut was recorded and with pop producer Jonathan King at the helm this gentle melodic ballad with lush piano from Tony Banks and Anthony Phillips 12 string guitars.

ON THE SHORELINE…………from the “We Can’t Dance” album of 1991 Phil Collins pushes his voice to the tops of his vocal range and with Tony Banks synths drifting through the song like the sea and the mist.

THE LADY LIES ……………with the band becoming a three piece this track was a prog rock tale of a an eager warrior and his demon disguised damsel

TWIGHTLIGHT ALEHOUSE………..recorded during the Foxtrot sessions and a staple of early setlists becoming a b-side for the major hit “I Know What I like In Your Wardrobe”

FEEDING THE FIRE …………..As the B-side of the huge hit “Land Of Confusion” an alluring dark tale with a great chorus with Phil Collins belting out the song “Mama” style

GOING OUT TO GET YOU………..Written during the “Trespass” period and became a highlight of the bands early setlists but was left off that album for the more dynamic “The Knife” this version is taken from the 1968 Archive Box Set 1967-1975.

The FOUNTAIN OF SALMACIUS…….Steve Hackett and Phil Collins made their debut recording on the album “Nursery Cryme” this overlooked closing track this triumphant epic is with its jazzy interludes tony banks mellotron and keyboards are outstanding.


Saw this band play a superb prog rock set at the Liverpool Psychedelica Festival this band should be huge amazing musicianship check out this track on Jagjaguwar Records



the Moody Blues Sixth album released on August 7th in 1970, 44 years ago, The band wanted to perform these songs live with more of a band sound, the group abandoned the usual practice of overdubs and huge orchestration for this record. Justin Haywards song “Question” which gave the band a No 2 hit single in the British Charts and increased the band success in america , the other song that was a highlight was Mike Pinders Melancholy Man