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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Dee Long

Live Long and Prosper

Review by Gary Hill

Dee Long is probably best known for his work with Klaatu. If you take a look at the other review of his that is in this current issue, you’ll see that that association is the central reason for putting his work into the progressive rock category. That said, this disc (a live album) falls closer into that musical territory than the other one we looked at this time around. This is a solid rock album that does have elements of progressive rock, but will probably appeal more to fans of Neil Young as a lot of the material has that sort of a vibe going on. Of particular note, though, is the live version of the Klaatu song “Little Neutrino.” Even if the rest of the disc was bad (and it isn’t by any stretch of the imagination) this album would be worth the price of admission to Klaatu fans on that one alone.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Meaning of Life
This fun rocker is a good starter for the disc, complete with a garage band approach and a Gordon Lightfoot musical quote. This feels quite a bit like Neil Young to me.
Mad Magazine
You have to love a song devoted to “Mad Magazine,” well, at least I do. This bouncy number is a lot of fun – as it should be. I love the “What, me worry?” processed voice.
Outside
This has a more crunchy approach and the weird vocals on the chorus call to mind Alice Cooper a bit. This also features some great guitar work.
You Are
While this one gets more energized and powerful as it carries on, overall it is an acoustic guitar based ballad. This has elements of both Neil Young and The Beatles.
Chromosome Syndrome
Here we get a cool rocker that has some great musical textures. Lyrically this one addresses genetically mutated (or should I say “mutilated?”) foods, but it also addresses other paradoxes in society. I hear more Neil Young on this track and the hard-edged guitar elements even call to mind Crazy Horse a bit.
Collecting Icons
This one has a lot in common with the noisier, spacey music of Jimi Hendrix. It’s also one of the most prog-like, albeit noisy prog, music of the disc. This one also reminds me of some of the feedback-laden sounds produced by Neil Young and Crazy Horse.
Older
The shades of Neil Young’s Crazy Horse are all over this hard rocker, but it seriously borders on heavy metal. There is also a Spinal Tap riff on this one – seriously.
Everybody Took a Holiday
With a garagey psychedelic approach, this also reminds me of Spinal Tap a bit (think “Flower People”).
Blue Jay Way
The only cover on the disc, here Long and company take on a George Harrison penned Beatles track. The grungy, garage band sort of take, coupled with the metallic textures on the guitars create a completely different atmosphere on this, but yet some of the psychedelia still remains. While a lot of Beatles fans might call this one “sacrilege,” it’s intriguing.
It's Good to be Back Home
Here we get another hard-edged, rocker. This is one of the stronger cuts on the disc, and also one that shows off more progressive rock tendencies than a lot of the CD.
Little Neutrino
While this rendition of the Long penned Klaatu track is less studio induced than the original, it’s certainly cool to have a live take on this. Always a favorite of mine, I think I like this version nearly as much as the original.
 
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