Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Musical and related discussions about other bands.
Mr. Stout
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Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 102218Post Mr. Stout
Thu May 17, 2007 3:58 pm

There is no question that for me, it`s the Emerson,lake and Powell project, released in 1986. That was twenty one years ago, and its not such a pleasnt reminder when you look back and realize you are getting older, and Im still a young man.
Anyways, I digress. When I first heard the Emerson, Lake and Powell project, it was so different from what was being played on the radio. Let`s face, it, the mid `80`s were a dire time for music. When you have a song such as `Rock me amadeus' hitting the top spot in America, you know you are in serious trouble.
The Emerson, Lake and Powell project is a fantastci album. Keith Emerson and Greg lake decided to reunite,and they did try to interest carl Plamer in the project, but he was still committed to Asia. Emerson and Lake decied to plough on, recruiting veteran drummer Cozy Powell(Black sabbath, Rainbow) and they did receive a lot of flak from the critics for having Powell hold down the `P' initial.
However, there was lot of care put into this album. Some of the tracks are truly epic sounding, such as The Score, The Miracle, and Mars; the Bringer of War. There is also anice balnce of pop/rock tunes such as Touch and Go. I loved the modernesque sound of Emerson`s keyboards and the power of Lake`s voice is startling. And as great as Carl Palmer is, Cozy Powell added a dimension of heviness in his playing that Palmer never could have.
And they did tour the album, and Im fortunate to have a few boots given to me by some kind people of that tour. They sounded utterly amazing and when they performed the classic ELp material, they gave it new life.
Unfortunately, managerial problems ensued, and as a result, tensions arose between Emerson and Lake to the point where they couldnt stand one another( atrend that continues to this day As musically sucessful as ELP Powell were, financially, they were not. They overestimated the demand for the tour, often playing in half filled arenas or occasionaly, arenas where there were hardly any people at all. It was a shame that the group was nipped in the bud after that, because in the `90`s, you had a bunch of half- baked ELP reunions(with Carl Plamer) that nowhere near approached the power and intensisty of their earlier years. I guess lake`s voice descending into a not very attractive baritone over the years doesnt help matters.
I know I have droned on, but Im not adept at one sentence question topics.
What`s your favorite underrated gem?

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Post: # 102239Post happytheman
Fri May 18, 2007 10:57 pm

Mr. Stout wrote:There is no question that for me, it`s the Emerson,lake and Powell project, released in 1986. That was twenty one years ago, and its not such a pleasnt reminder when you look back and realize you are getting older, and Im still a young man.
Anyways, I digress. When I first heard the Emerson, Lake and Powell project, it was so different from what was being played on the radio. Let`s face, it, the mid `80`s were a dire time for music. When you have a song such as `Rock me amadeus' hitting the top spot in America, you know you are in serious trouble.
The Emerson, Lake and Powell project is a fantastci album. Keith Emerson and Greg lake decided to reunite,and they did try to interest carl Plamer in the project, but he was still committed to Asia. Emerson and Lake decied to plough on, recruiting veteran drummer Cozy Powell(Black sabbath, Rainbow) and they did receive a lot of flak from the critics for having Powell hold down the `P' initial.
However, there was lot of care put into this album. Some of the tracks are truly epic sounding, such as The Score, The Miracle, and Mars; the Bringer of War. There is also anice balnce of pop/rock tunes such as Touch and Go. I loved the modernesque sound of Emerson`s keyboards and the power of Lake`s voice is startling. And as great as Carl Palmer is, Cozy Powell added a dimension of heviness in his playing that Palmer never could have.
And they did tour the album, and Im fortunate to have a few boots given to me by some kind people of that tour. They sounded utterly amazing and when they performed the classic ELp material, they gave it new life.
Unfortunately, managerial problems ensued, and as a result, tensions arose between Emerson and Lake to the point where they couldnt stand one another( atrend that continues to this day As musically sucessful as ELP Powell were, financially, they were not. They overestimated the demand for the tour, often playing in half filled arenas or occasionaly, arenas where there were hardly any people at all. It was a shame that the group was nipped in the bud after that, because in the `90`s, you had a bunch of half- baked ELP reunions(with Carl Plamer) that nowhere near approached the power and intensisty of their earlier years. I guess lake`s voice descending into a not very attractive baritone over the years doesnt help matters.
I know I have droned on, but Im not adept at one sentence question topics.
What`s your favorite underrated gem?
Like Children - Jan Hammer
Stomu Yamashta - Go
Happy The Man - 1st Album
I could go on and on, so many to mention. I'm not sure if it is simply a matter of underrated vs. under exposed. But there are hundreds of gems sitting in record shops collecting dust just waiting for someone to give them a spin on the ole' turntable. One of my personal goals is to find as many of them as I can before I leave this earth!

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Post: # 102278Post proghead
Tue May 22, 2007 6:22 pm

Karnataka - Delicate Flame of Desire

Best described as Enya meets Yes!
Progressive will never be a popular form of music simply due to the fact that the average person has a 'attention span' of less than three minutes with a simple beat.

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Post: # 102282Post Greenglade's Frog
Tue May 22, 2007 8:53 pm

I used to like Duran Duran's -Rio
Other gems:
Renaissance -Novella
The Fixxx
Flock of Seagulls
Justin Hayward's Blue Jays
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Post: # 102285Post Triton
Wed May 23, 2007 12:12 am

Yeah, there's tons and tons out there of undiscovered treasures out there ... Allow me to present you one of my current favourite CDs that no one seems to have heard of except for me:

DARK MATTER by IQ

(just found the official website http://www.gep.co.uk/iq/)

You'd swear it's Genesis from their LAMB-phase, music- and arrangementwise; you enjoy hearing another Rickenbaker bass as well as some fretless action going on, you get so much good stuff to listen to (being a fan of "our" kind of music, of course) ...

And yet: No one except me, myself and I knows from this album. Didn't see any other CD by this group standing around in any record shop in my neck of the woods, but on the website I just learnt that there's a new release due for 2007 ... Well, bring it on!

So: Anyone around here who can join the population of "Indeed-I-know-the-band-IQ"-town, one and only (up to now) known resident yours truly?

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Post: # 102286Post child-of-the-light
Wed May 23, 2007 1:13 am

I've got to say Kansas' Left Overture. I think it's pretty well known, but it definately doesn't get the recognition it deserves.
Ride the tides of faith

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I know of them and Im sure others do..

Post: # 102306Post Mr. Stout
Thu May 24, 2007 4:22 pm

Triton wrote:Yeah, there's tons and tons out there of undiscovered treasures out there ... Allow me to present you one of my current favourite CDs that no one seems to have heard of except for me:

DARK MATTER by IQ

(just found the official website http://www.gep.co.uk/iq/)

You'd swear it's Genesis from their LAMB-phase, music- and arrangementwise; you enjoy hearing another Rickenbaker bass as well as some fretless action going on, you get so much good stuff to listen to (being a fan of "our" kind of music, of course) ...

And yet: No one except me, myself and I knows from this album. Didn't see any other CD by this group standing around in any record shop in my neck of the woods, but on the website I just learnt that there's a new release due for 2007 ... Well, bring it on!

So: Anyone around here who can join the population of "Indeed-I-know-the-band-IQ"-town, one and only (up to now) known resident yours truly?
I know of IQ, and while I think they are good, Im not overwhelmed by them. Stylistcially, they do model themselves after Genesis. Peter Nicholls does sound alot like gabriel and Mike Holmes guitar is reminscent of Steve Hackett. They are not particularly original when it comes to forging their own style, but they are competent and professional
I guess I shouldnt complain , because as I said in another thread, even Genesis doesnt play Genesis music anymore, unless you go for the maudlin stylings of Pabalum Phil and co.
I did have the fortune of seeing IQ at Nearfest `05. It was good pefromance and they werre easily one of the best bands of the weekend. My only complaint was with the Dark matter material. One song in particular was a very blistering attack on America, it`s foreign policy and americans in general. While I realize that many nations are not happy with America`s foreign policy these days, it`s very foolish to characterize Americans as trigger -happy war mongers. That is a gross stereotype and not ringing in truth. I remember when they were performing the song, I was thinking it was pretty ballsy for them to do so in front of an american audience. I guess that attitude has sort of turned me off on them. But perhaps it`s Peter Nicholls mindset more so than the other members.
But I did meet John Jowitt, the bass player. He really is a gentleman.

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Post: # 102331Post Roan's Lady
Sat May 26, 2007 2:29 pm

Triton wrote:Yeah, there's tons and tons out there of undiscovered treasures out there ... Allow me to present you one of my current favourite CDs that no one seems to have heard of except for me:

DARK MATTER by IQ

(just found the official website http://www.gep.co.uk/iq/)

You'd swear it's Genesis from their LAMB-phase, music- and arrangementwise; you enjoy hearing another Rickenbaker bass as well as some fretless action going on, you get so much good stuff to listen to (being a fan of "our" kind of music, of course) ...

And yet: No one except me, myself and I knows from this album. Didn't see any other CD by this group standing around in any record shop in my neck of the woods, but on the website I just learnt that there's a new release due for 2007 ... Well, bring it on!

So: Anyone around here who can join the population of "Indeed-I-know-the-band-IQ"-town, one and only (up to now) known resident yours truly?
I know the band IQ and like a lot of their material. A definite Genesis feel. I think "The Wake" is one of their best.

There is so much great music out there that is underrated - no mass appeal. The masses aren't too willing to break away from the 4/4, 1-4-5 mentality.

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Post: # 102352Post stinky britches
Tue May 29, 2007 1:09 am

proghead wrote:Karnataka - Delicate Flame of Desire
Bloody good album! I was gutted when they split after the tour to promote this album (the tour did manage to produce a cracking live album and dvd). They have reformed with a radically new line-up and gigged with Pete Banks. I look forward to a new studio album with great anticipation

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Post: # 102355Post IGSXIII
Tue May 29, 2007 3:57 am

Image


I'd list Al Di Meola's Cielo e Terra album. I'm not sure how many visitors on this forums are fans of Al Di's music, but this is one of the best guitar albums I have ever heard, and my personal vote for Al's best album. The songs aren't blazing fast like some of his other albums (although there certainly are some fast runs and amazing technique throughout) but the compositions are beautiful and make you sit back and wonder just how much devotion and care he put into each one. This is definitely one you can listen from start to finish without need of any other distraction. It'll lift you from this earth (assuming you can find a copy).

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Post: # 102363Post proghead
Tue May 29, 2007 4:22 pm

stinky britches wrote:Bloody good album! I was gutted when they split after the tour to promote this album (the tour did manage to produce a cracking live album and dvd). They have reformed with a radically new line-up and gigged with Pete Banks. I look forward to a new studio album with great anticipation
I don't have any faith that the band will be anything like it was. There is something magical about that album that really hit me on the first listen. I put it right up there with the classics. The live stuff was great also. Meanwhile, I followed Rachel Jones onto The Reasoning-The Awakening. This is very good also but I don't consider it a gem. Great three part vocal compositions although Rachel only has a small part.
Progressive will never be a popular form of music simply due to the fact that the average person has a 'attention span' of less than three minutes with a simple beat.

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Post: # 102367Post stinky britches
Tue May 29, 2007 5:24 pm

proghead wrote:There is something magical about that album
Absolutely. I really thought they were destined for great things.

And I guess you're right about the new line-up. It is, for all intents and purposes, a different band

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Post: # 102425Post happytheman
Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:07 pm

IGSXIII wrote:Image


I'd list Al Di Meola's Cielo e Terra album. I'm not sure how many visitors on this forums are fans of Al Di's music, but this is one of the best guitar albums I have ever heard, and my personal vote for Al's best album. The songs aren't blazing fast like some of his other albums (although there certainly are some fast runs and amazing technique throughout) but the compositions are beautiful and make you sit back and wonder just how much devotion and care he put into each one. This is definitely one you can listen from start to finish without need of any other distraction. It'll lift you from this earth (assuming you can find a copy).
Great choice! I can think of several of Al's albums that have "slipped through the cracks" so to speak. Speaking of underrated, he is far and away a very underrated guitarist.

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Post: # 102428Post stinky britches
Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:10 pm

I'd like to nominate "In The Region Of The Summer Stars" by The Enid.

A fantastic symphonic prog album that hardly ever gets a mention

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Post: # 102446Post Greenglade's Frog
Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:41 pm

IGSXIII wrote:Image


I'd list Al Di Meola's Cielo e Terra album. I'm not sure how many visitors on this forums are fans of Al Di's music, but this is one of the best guitar albums I have ever heard, and my personal vote for Al's best album. The songs aren't blazing fast like some of his other albums (although there certainly are some fast runs and amazing technique throughout) but the compositions are beautiful and make you sit back and wonder just how much devotion and care he put into each one. This is definitely one you can listen from start to finish without need of any other distraction. It'll lift you from this earth (assuming you can find a copy).

He plays that on the Dimeola at Montreux Jazz Festival DVD('86 and '92 concerts). Good stuff and all with just a pick
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Post: # 102540Post EricBliss12345
Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:54 pm

"Angels On the Balcony" by Blondie. It was never a single or even necessarily a live staple, but hands down it is my favorite Blondie song and the mental imagery from the lyrics just takes me all kinds of great places. It also has a beautifully understated and haunting vocal melody from Debbie Harry and a chorus that will just shoot you to the moon. Great stuff!

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Post: # 102545Post Lyth
Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:53 am

Triton wrote:So: Anyone around here who can join the population of "Indeed-I-know-the-band-IQ"-town, one and only (up to now) known resident yours truly?
Yep.

First saw them in 1985, touring in support of 'The Wake' album and have liked them ever since.

Have seen them live 12 times since then including the premiere of the wonderful 'Subterranea' album (their best IMHO) back in 1997.

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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103101Post Hydroponic
Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:44 am

I'm going with "Transistor" by 311.

Normally, when one speaks of 311, 3 things come to mind: "Amber", their cover of The Cure's "Love Song", and their multi-platinum eponymous album, dubbed the "Blue Album". However, no one outside of the "Excitable Ones", 311's grassroots fan base really mentions Transistor, though it's truly an amazing album. 21 tracks, none lesser than its predecessor, ranging through pretty much every style imaginable.

Some tracks are mellow, sometimes serene and almost ethereal, while others are as heavy as you can get. There's even a few tracks, like "Running" and "Stealing Happy Hours" that straddle the two extremes for great effect. A small example of these styles can be found at the following links:

Video for "Prisoner"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SakkS2Im1OE

Video for "Transistor"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJygdqza8FM

Video for "Beautiful Disaster"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTs7ioZUXiU

"Stealing Happy Hours" - Ignore the footage, the song is the meat of it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp-oLwu_1Qk
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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103167Post frankh
Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:32 am

[quote="happytheman"]Like Children - Jan Hammer
quote]

Hate to be a stickler, but wasn't this Jan Hammer & Jerry Goodman?40% of the Mahavishnu Orchestra in all it's glory...

Has the tune 'No Fear'(amongst other wonderful gems...).One of the great synth pieces ever.Amazingly well done sequencing, and a positively incendiary lead.I'm not sure anyone ever bent notes on the synth with the panache of Mr. Hammer.

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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103168Post frankh
Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:45 am

To continue in the Jan Hammer vein, The First Seven Days.

The opening track, Darkness/Earth In Search Of A Sun is another one of those pieces of music that ought to be played to this day, if only as a reminder to people of what music can actually be, actually do.

Kind of an early prototype of what has since been labelled (unfortunately) New Age, after the heat of the initial track, the album mellows considerably, and beautifully.Loved every part of it since the very first spin, and time has not diminished my fondness for it.

Also, love to see the Al DiMeola mentions.Got to see the man live in the 70's (late), opening for Kenny Loggins, which was interesting to say the least.That was kind of like Gentle Giant opening for Renaissance, a mismatch.Al was splendid that day, and there were many females present who couldn't wait for Kenny, who just couldn't quite measure up to the standard set previously.Wasn't bad, but he wasn't Al.

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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103338Post YesFan01
Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:49 pm

Al Stewart - Past, Present & Future. Incredible stuff here.

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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103351Post Roan's Lady
Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:40 pm

frankh wrote:
Also, love to see the Al DiMeola mentions.Got to see the man live in the 70's (late), opening for Kenny Loggins, which was interesting to say the least.That was kind of like Gentle Giant opening for Renaissance, a mismatch.Al was splendid that day, and there were many females present who couldn't wait for Kenny, who just couldn't quite measure up to the standard set previously.Wasn't bad, but he wasn't Al.
Al DiMeola with Kenny Loggins is a strange match!
I would have been the female who left after Al. :)
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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103476Post N2yes
Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:39 am

CREAM-----DISRAELI GEARS-----well received but worth more acclaim, at least IMHO.
"Master of images-Songs cast a light on you"

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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103481Post frankh
Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:49 am

Isao Tomita / Snowflakes Are Dancing - The Music Of Claude DeBussy

First heard this album across Genesis' p.a. prior to The Lamb concert in early 1975. Had no idea what it was. So compelling were the sounds, though that I had to hie myself over to their soundboard and ask the soundguy what this music is.

Although rather highly 'altered' at that show (and the show itself is another story altogether, as you might imagine), I did not forget what he had told me (maybe I had written it down? It was 32 years ago...). The next day I went to the record shop, RecordTown it was.Found this album, and have seldom if ever done without it again. Also waiting to greet me that day on one of the main displays as soon as you walked into the store was the newly released (and I had no clue, which is usually the case, lol!) Yes / Relayer album. So I emerged from the shop with two indispensable recordings that day.

Snowflakes is wonderful, lovely stuff, and listening to it, I am sure Claude himself would have approved.

The versions of Claire De Lune and The Engulfed Cathedral are amazing!

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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103482Post frankh
Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:17 am

The Last Record Album

Time Loves A Hero

Waiting For Columbus

All from Little Feat.

Alot of people sing the praises of Feat's earlier efforts.Sailing Shoes, Dixie Chicken, their first album, eponymously named.

For me, the great Feat is from the above three records. Such a melange of jazz, funk, rock and roll, country exists almost nowhere else. Lowell George was still present.

Waiting is one of the great live albums of all time. The tunes upon which The Tower Of Power also perform are fabulous.

I had the privilege of seeing this band before Lowell was lost the only time they came Northeast. Great, great show.

The introduction given at the beginning of Waiting For Columbus - the track Join The Band - does not lie.

"Good evening friends, we have some great, great music for you tonight! Please join me in welcoming, let's hear it! F! (crowd: 'F!') E! ('E!') A! ('A!') T! ('T!') Please welcome Little Feat!!"

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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103484Post frankh
Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:52 am

Mysterious Traveller / Weather Report

Another one I go nowhere in life without. Joyous, wonderful, adventurous music with influences from the world over.

Had the great privilege of seeing this band in concert at about this time. They were still transitioning from a change on bass, Miroslav Vitous having departed, replaced by Alfonso Johnson.
(Imagine being able to replace one with the other! Do you think people wanted to play with Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter?!)

It was an all day, free concert. The last three acts were Weather Report, Blue Oyster Cult and David Bromberg. When Weather Report hit the stage, the 'Culties" were becoming restless. They commenced an attempt to boo them off. I am happy to report ( I was there for Weather Report! ) that the first 30, 45 seconds of the opening song, Scarlet Woman, silenced everyone, enabling a mesmerizing show to take place.

From the first strains of Nubian Sundance to the final notes of Jungle Book, this is an amazing listen.

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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103485Post happytheman
Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:58 am

frankh wrote:
Also, love to see the Al DiMeola mentions.Got to see the man live in the 70's (late), opening for Kenny Loggins, which was interesting to say the least.That was kind of like Gentle Giant opening for Renaissance, a mismatch.Al was splendid that day, and there were many females present who couldn't wait for Kenny, who just couldn't quite measure up to the standard set previously.Wasn't bad, but he wasn't Al.
Funny you should mention this. When I saw Al he was opening for Renaissance! Supporting the "Casino" album. Great concert.

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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103506Post frankh
Sat Aug 04, 2007 9:00 am

happytheman wrote:Funny you should mention this. When I saw Al he was opening for Renaissance! Supporting the "Casino" album. Great concert.

Funny YOU should mention this!

LOL

Great as Renaissance was, lovely as Annie Haslam, in her diaphanous gown, backlit, was...

Giant blew them right off the stage.

It was also a great concert.But, it was a worse mismatch than Al opening for Kenny.

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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103507Post frankh
Sat Aug 04, 2007 9:25 am

Sonic Seasonings / Walter, now Wendy, or is it Walter again? - Carlos

This was the album that followed not long after the legendary Switched On Bach, one of the very first popular applications of the Moog synthesizer, and an amazing album itself.

This work, I became familiar with through the local college radio station back in the 70's, when there was so much more variation in what could be heard on the airwaves.The station was WRPI, in Troy, New York, and did they play alot of music that was rare anywhere else.One of their ads actually proclaimed, probably erroneously, but mostly truly, "WRPI!If you've heard it before, you won't hear it here!"

The dj's were very fond of playing large, hour + long blocks of arcane music and comedy (alot of Firesign Theatre!), and then segueing into their rare periods of speech (or not!Often they would just return after awhile to the tunes!) using portions of one of the 4 tracks on this double album, Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter.It was a Tales formatted recording before there was a Tales.

So lovely was much of this music that I had to own it.Ambient before anyone had used the term, Spring consisted of birds chirping, with light synth chords, and a beautiful synth lead wrapped around a thunderstorm approaching, peaking, and then receding.Summer was the drones of insects, and an audio representation of periods of stifling heat, such that the sleeve on the remastering proclaims that people were known to experience episodes of vertigo listening.So, this was the least frequently heard side!Fall was crystalline chordings to the sounds of waves crashing upon an ocean shore, in the middle of which we listeners were lifted up above rocky cliffs to a field where cows and/or sheep were grazing.Winter, the most sinister.An amazingly dark chord sequence to the blowing of the cold wind, leading up to wolves prowling about you nearer and nearer...

This is another recording I've found that basically I can go nowhere without owning.It's beautiful.Just plain beautiful.

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Re: Your favorite underrated gem of an album?

Post: # 103592Post frankh
Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:40 am

Tangerine Dream / Rubycon

Always compared unfavorably with it's immediate predecessor (Phaedra), this was my baptism into the Dream.

Still utilizing those old VCS-3's (wonderful instruments, weren't they!?), Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann and Christopher Franke had also updated with some nice sequencers, giving this album a strong rhythmic core.I always thought that if you added the title track from Phaedra to thse two tracks (Rubycon consists of two lp-sidelong tracks, pts. I & II), you'd more or less have the quintessential electronic record.

As it is, Rubycon does just fine all by itself.Amazingly visual music.

I was reading Tolkien's The Fellowship Of The Ring when I first heard Rubycon, and found it an amazingly fitting soundtrack.Sometime, I should provide a moment - by - moment, chapter - by - chapter synopsis of which parts of the recording I found fit which parts of the book so well.And, maybe this is why I love this music so much.

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