Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce a 2CD Anthology by the legendary Progressive Rock group Cressida. One of the finest groups to sign to the legendary Vertigo label in 1969, Cressida’s unique Progressive Rock style earned them a loyal fan base in the early 1970s, with their legend growing over the ensuing decades and their followers growing, with notable aficionados including Mikael Akerfeldt of the band Opeth. The roots of Cressida were sown in March 1968, when guitarist John Heyworth answered an advertisement in Melody Maker, and later travelled to London to join The Dominators…
Paranoid was not only Black Sabbath’s most popular record (it was a number one smash in the U.K., and “Paranoid” and “Iron Man” both scraped the U.S. charts despite virtually nonexistent radio play), it also stands as one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time. Paranoid refined Black Sabbath’s signature sound — crushingly loud, minor-key dirges loosely based on heavy blues-rock — and applied it to a newly consistent set of songs with utterly memorable riffs, most of which now rank as all-time metal classics. Where the extended, multi-sectioned songs on the debut sometimes felt like aimless jams, their counterparts on Paranoid have been given focus and direction, lending an epic drama to now-standards like “War Pigs” and “Iron Man” (which sports one of the most immediately identifiable riffs in metal history).
Deluxe 13 CD box set from the veteran Greek composer and instrumental/electronic music pioneer. Delectus gathers together digitally remastered and expanded editions of Vangelis' seminal albums Earth, L'Apocalypse Des Animaux, China, See You Later, Antarctica, Mask, Opera Sauvage, Chariots of Fire, Soil Festivities and Invisible Connections, plus his collaborative recordings with Jon Anderson as Jon & Vangelis - Short Stories, The Friends of Mister Cairo and Private Collection. The mammoth collection includes all of his albums on Vertigo and Polydor, recently remastered for the first time ever under the legendary composer's own supervision…
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
Swimming in mellotron
“Waters of change” was Beggar’s opera’s best album in my opinion, full of strong melodies and well constructed songs. Having introduced themselves with the innovative, classically driven “Act one”, the band invested in a mellotron, which instantly became the dominant instrument in their sound. The band moved away from the intricate symphonic prog of their first album, towards the art rock of the Moody Blues and Barclay James Harvest.
France’s leading young harpsichordist performs works by two masters of the French Baroque. No surprises there, perhaps … but the harpsichordist in question is Jean Rondeau and the album is called Vertigo. It conceives the harpsichord in vividly theatrical terms. Vertigo takes its name from a dramatic, rhapsodic piece by Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer, who, along with Jean-Philippe Rameau, forms the focus of this album. If Rameau (1683–1764) is the better-known composer today, especially admired for such operatic masterpieces as Hippolyte et Aricie and Platée, the younger Royer (1705–1755) was also a major figure in his time, rising to become master of music at the court of Louis XV. Both Rameau and Royer excelled in keyboard music and in works for the stage. As Jean Rondeau says: “These two illustrious composers battled for the top spot at the Opéra.” He describes them as “two magicians, two master architects, amongst the most wildly imaginative and brilliant of their era … Two composers who also tried to capture echoes of grand theatre with the palette offered by their keyboard.
Moments of Genesis are as spooky and arty as those on Abacab – in particular, there's the tortured howl of "Mama," uncannily reminiscent of Phil Collins' Face Value, and the two-part "Second Home by the Sea" – but this eponymous 1983 album is indeed a rebirth, as so many self-titled albums delivered in the thick of a band's career often are…
Over 17 previous albums, The Necks have explored as many different kinds of space and texture the piano trio format (occasionally with electronics) would seemingly allow for. But Australia's longstanding avant-ambient jazz unit, while having an instantly identifiable sound, has never made the same record twice – even though they typically employ a single, set-length track in doing so. Unlike their Northern Spy debut, 2013's airy, gentle, and drifting Open, Vertigo is a dark, brooding, sometimes dissonant – and occasionally explosive – outing. The 43-minute work is informally split into movement-like halves, though its sense of fluidity is constant, no matter what arises in the proceedings – and there is plenty.
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.
"Octopus" is a fitting title, since the band is playing here like they've got extra arms. I have yet to hear any GG album so skillfully wrought as "Octopus"; if you're approaching the band from the outside, this is definitely the right appetizer.