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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

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Fools Meeting

Review by G. W. Hill

Featuring members of such bands as Camel, Gong and Soft Machine in musical performances that predate those bands, this disc shows the talent of a very early progressive rock band. Delivery was rooted as heavily in the hippie psychedelia as they were in what was to become prog, but they certainly showed plenty of prog muscle. This disc has recently been reissued on Cuneiform.

The band members are Steve Miller (Caravan), Phil Miller (Hatfield and the North and National Health), Pip Pyle (Hatfield and the North, National Health and Gong), Roy Babbington (Soft Machine), Lol Coxhill and Carol Grimes.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Blind To Your Light
Fast moving bass starts this cut. The number then takes on a bluesy sort of mode with Joplinesque vocals. This mode makes up the bulk of the song with some slower and jazzy prog interludes thrown in for good measure. It also includes a strong prog jam in a classic King Crimson mode.
Miserable Man
Piano in slow modes begins this cut. As the other instruments enter, the mood and tone begins to resemble a jazz old-school King Crimson. The vocal segments add a bluesy sort of texture with '60's oriented styles. The cut is just a bit Jefferson Airplaneish at times. It features a bluesy keyboard solo, but, in general, most of the song is in a mode like '60's hippie rock.
Home Made Ruin
Although the majority of this cut is straightforward '60's psychedelically tinged rock (a bit like Janis Joplin does Jefferson Airplane), the outro take on definite prog modes.
Is It Really The Same
This is another composition that calls to mind Crimson, this time Starless and Bible Black era. An instrumental, this one features a jazzy break and killer guitar solo.
We Were Satisfied
Psychedelically tinged, this one takes on progish elements in the instrumental breaks.
The Wrong Time
A bluesy jazz oriented cut, this one really rocks. It features a sax solo break that feels right out of "21st Century Schizoid Man". This segment ends with bluesy sax that takes the track into a more sedate Crimsonesque sort of disonance. This then becomes a great jazzy prog jam.
Figuring It Out
Jazzy Grateful Dead sorts of textures begin this one. It features a considerably quirky and progish arrangement.
Fools Meeting
This is bluesy '60's rock with prog/jazz jamming overlaid atop.
Harry Lucky
This '60's rock and roller is quite countrified.
Home Made Ruin (Alternate Take):
A quirky prog intro leads to a dramatic ballad with more strong prog overtones. It becomes faster paced after a time, but definitely retains its progish nature.
Is It Really The Same (Live)
A live cut, this one feels rather Deadish here, but with definite prog overtones.
Blind To Your Light (Live)
Live this one comes across as high energy, progish hippie rock.
One For You
Very enchanting keyboard sounds start this number. This instrumental becomes a solid prog jam, at times quite disonant; at times quite jazzy.
 
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