Another day, another Italian prog album celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The self-titled debut from Alphataurus was pretty much a one-shot: after their debut the band, formed out of some like-minded musicians in Milan broke up before completing their second album. But that one is enough for me – this is more bombastic and rocking that the previous albums we’ve covered so far, and I remember it also being the first album I checked out from the Sea of Tranquility primer (yeah, I know…I’m linking to this a lot), namely because the list was alphabetical. But whatever the course it took to discover, it’s here, in my hands and on my turntable and the rush of sound is both exciting and calming, putting me in the familiar waters of prog and getting steadily settled in the Italian vibe.
Continue reading “Alphataurus: Alphataurus (1973)”
I was originally going to write about about failure, about how 2022 basically ground me to dust and left me lost…a failure inside, weak in body and spirit, and sick. By giving myself writing goals and objectives and deadlines I turned this outlet, a channel for my passions and joy into just another job, and I don’t need that…don’t want that. It’s just one more thing that puts me further in the dark.
There. That’s the post. Now let’s just listen to an album and record some thoughts about it. And try it again the next day, and the day after that. I’d been meaning to get to the loads of Italian prog I had purchased over the last few months… my post on Arti + Mestieri was just the start of it. So why not kick off 2023 with an album celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the third release from Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, the complex bag of tricks known as Io sono nato libero.
Continue reading “Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso: Io sono nato libero (1973)”
It took forever to find a good copy of Doremi Fasol Latido, the third album from space rock pioneers Hawkwind for a price that wasn’t outrageous. The band’s third studio album – and the first to feature one Mr. Ian Fraser Kilmister on bass – marks the change of emphasis of their signature space rock sound from the “space” to the “rock” but I feel like the album gets a bit of short shrift since the live album that documents the touring cycle of the record might be one of the greatest live albums ever recorded. It’s definitely the place where I first heard most of these sings. But the studio effort has a lot going for it, so for me it’s still a part of the band’s essential discography.
Continue reading “Hawkwind: Doremi Fasol Latido (1972)”
Day 16 of the #mayvinylchallenge celebrates the halfway point of the endeavor and asks for a random pick from your collection. I shuffled through my recent acquisitions and came upon Mainhorse, whose sole eponymous album from 1971 begs a certain question: there are so many lost or forgotten bands out there, are all of these band lost gems, or is there a reason they’re buried? Is this really as good as a lot of the more successful and popular prog rock bands out there, or is it that I’ve heard the popular stuff so much that something relatively obscure sounds like a diamond? I think with Mainhorse the answer is a little of both.
Continue reading “Mainhorse: Mainhorse (1971)”
Day 14 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for the album you’ve wither waited the longest to receive, or the longest to be released. I’ve got two albums that I ordered back in November that were supposed to be released and six months later I’m still waiting (though one is due to get here next week). And the longest I’ve waited for something that was already shipped I wrote about last year. So how about an album that took 31 years to get a North American release? I may have already featured it a few weeks ago during my Record Store Day excursion, but it’s always a good time to talk about Voivod, and their beguiling release Angel Rat.
Continue reading “Voivod: Angel Rat (1991)”
Returning to the glory of obscure 70s instrumental prog! I mentioned when I wrote up Beyond Expression, the sophomore album from Dutch prog band Finch that the scuttlebutt was their debut was more jazz-influenced, and bore some comparison to bands like the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Thanks to the mighty Discogs I was able to track down a US pressing of Glory Of The Inner Force and I’m here to tell you that yes: it IS more jazz influenced, and their ARE some comparisons to be made to the fusion giants, mainly in some of the electrifying leads of Joop Van Nimwegen (though he’s a far cry from John McLaughlin). Whatever your take, on the whole this is a rocking debut that leans on the shoulders of the giants of the day to create an enjoyable record that isn’t afraid to go bold.
Continue reading “Finch: Glory Of The Inner Force (1975)”