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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Martin Turner

New Live Dates

Review by Gary Hill

This is a new album in this configuration. The whole thing has been released before, though. Originally it was issued as two volumes – single disc sets. I suppose if you have them in that format, perhaps you'd want to steer clear of this. Still, it works particularly well to have the whole thing together in this two CD set. I have to say that if I were to base where this lands on the music here, it probably wouldn’t make it under prog. This is much more of a mainstream rock album with a lot of blues in the mix. There is some prog included, but I’ve landed it there because of the connection to Wishbone Ash. Ted Turner joins the group at one point on the second disc. This is a solid live album for sure.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1

                              
Doctor

This is a rather mainstream rocker. It’s melodic, energized and has enough prog in the mix to keep it interesting. There are some riffs that land closer to blues rock. I really dig the guitar solo section on this.

Blind Eye
Talk a full on blues rock tune and blend some progressive rock changes into it. You’ll have a really good idea of what this piece is like.
Lorelei
Although this is more of a full on melodic prog tune, the instrumental segment mid-track brings some blues rock to it.
Walking the Reeperbahn
There is definitely a lot of psychedelic influence on this rocker It has some of that blues rock thing, too. Overall, though, it’s a killer melodic prog tune.
Outward Bound
This instrumental is scorching hot. It has some great twin guitar work. It’s part hard blues rocker and part proggy tune. It’s all cool, though. It’s one of my favorites on the set.
Persephone
A melodic tune that combines prog and psychedelia, this is another strong one. It’s another of the standout tunes presented here.
Front Page News

Although this is another with a good amount of blues rock built into it, this is a smoking hot prog number more than it is anything else.

Runaway
Screaming hot guitar rock is the concept here. It reminds me quite a bit of Blue Oyster Cult, really. It’s another killer tune.
Baby the Angels Are Here
The balance between melodic prog and more straight rocking stuff here is great. I love the guitar soloing, too. That’s particularly true of the instrumental section near the end of the tune.
Warrior
This comes in hard rocking, but works to great mellower prog from there. The twin-guitar rocking section later is classy stuff.
Lifeline
A mellower, slower moving jam, this is classy stuff. It’s part psychedelic rock, part prog and part good old fashioned guitar rock.
Silver Shoes
I really love the bass work on this prog jam. There is some scat singing that sounds like something Frank Zappa would have done. This is not a huge departure beyond those things. It’s a great tune, though. I do really dig the guitar duel section, too.
Cosmic Jazz
This intriguing rocker is one of my favorites here. It’s perhaps less proggy than some of the rest. That said, it’s also one of the most unusual things here. There is a bit of a “spy movie” soundtrack vibe to it.
Disc 2
                                
Diamond Jack

This is cool rocker. It’s not a big change of pace or style, but it’s particularly well crafted. It has a good balance between mellower and rocking territory.  

Master of Disguise
I really love the guitar that dances all over this thing. Beyond that it’s kind of a bluesy folk rocker number. It’s a classy tune. It’s a tough call to make, but this might have some of the best guitar work of the whole set.
Say Goodbye
While this mellow and rather sad song is fairly strong on the strength of that aspect, the guitar soloing really makes this thing. It’s another strong tune.
Fubb
This is a killer, fast paced instrumental that takes no prisoner. It’s screaming hot and has some great jamming.
Come in from the Rain
This is another song that makes me think of Blue Oyster Cult quite a bit. It’s a cool cut.
Living Proof
There’s nothing all that unexpected here. It’s more of the same, but craftfully executed. This is classy stuff.
Blowin' Free
This is a classic and a great live telling of it. The balance between mellower and rocking works well.
Flesh and Steel
This is a great bluesy rocking jam. It’s an instrumental that works pretty well.
Standing in the Rain

A bit more of a proggy jam, this one is effective.

Why Don't We

This is a killer proggy jam that works really well.

Jailbait
Here we get a cool blues rocker that is very effective. It’s a good way to close things in style.
 
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