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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Hold Your Fire

Review by Gary Hill

I know these guys are considered a prog band, but based on the two CDs I have, I only see it so much. Sure, they do have some fusion in the mix, but overall this is more like a classic bluesy rock. Still, it's good, no matter how you slice it. This never version includes the main album with a couple bonus tracks, plus an extra CD. That extra CD includes a number of live versions and three alternate takes. All in all, this is good stuff. I'm putting it under prog mainly because that's what it's considered, but I'm not convinced. I am convinced that this is a cool set of music and well worth having.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 3 at
Track by Track Review
CD One

Hold Your Fire

This comes in with a cool jam that's part bluesy hard rock and part psychedelia. There is a lot of both The Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead built into this. It turns a bit towards proggy stuff in the extended jam later in the track. This tune is extensive, taking up more than the first eight minutes of the album.

You, You Point Your Finger

A slower cut, this one is definitely more on the proggy side. It has a powerful mellower motif to it. This is very much a folk prog kind of number. It's quite evocative. In some ways this makes me think of Nektar just a bit.

How's Your Father

Bluesy rock and some serious jazz are the main elements here. They work together into a nice kind of jam. I dig the expressive guitar soloing on this. It really takes the cut into more of a fusion territory.

See You at the Dance Tonight

This starts with a pretty straight ahead blues rocking section. When it powers out into the instrumental section, though, we get some definite fusion. It works back out to the bluesy rock beyond that segment, though.

Give It All Away

More of a proggy jam, this still has plenty of mainstream rock built into it.

Air Raid Shelter
This is a cool tune. It's a mellower, trippy kind of psychedelia meets fusion number. There is a real free-form element to this cut. That's particularly true when it works out to a killer fast paced jam later in the track.
Tell Me Where You've Been
Classic rock merges with some classy jazzy elements here. It's more of a mainstream rocker.
Magic Door
I love the spacey, mellower, jazzy sounds on this cool tune. This is arguably the most proggy thing on the album proper.
Bonus Tracks

Beat the Drum

Now, this lands firmly in the territory of jazz prog. It has a real freeform groove to it. It isn't far removed from a lot of Rock In Opposition music.

Bad News
There's some trippy jazz in this cut. That's joined with bluesy rock, jam band sounds and more.
CD Two; BBC Sessions and Out-takes

BBC Radio One "In Concert" - 4th March 1971


San Antone

This is interesting. The "song" parts are full on mainstream rock. The jamming, though, is very much in the vein of jazz and prog music. It makes for an intriguing cut that's unpredictable and quite surprising.

Government Man
Coming in with more of a mellow jazz vibe, this gets more of that straight rock concept, too. I really like the vibes on this tune.
Beat the Drum

Here we get another version of the cut from the last CD. This is such a prime example of why these guys are considered prog. It's very freeform fusion styled stuff. Again, the vibes really stand out.

Sittin' Back Easy

This cool rocker is more of a mainstream thing in a lot of ways. It gets into some heavier stuff later that brings some psychedelia to the table.

So Cold
Fast paced, frantic and rather crazy fusion is the order of business here. It turns out to more mainstream rock for the vocals as it approaches the three and a half minute mark. It breaks back out into freeform jamming beyond that, though, this time more hard rocking stuff.
BBC Radio One "Sounds of the 70s" Session - 28th June 1971

Give It All Away

While this is more straight ahead rock for the "song" part of it, they work into more of a hard-edged jazz arrangement for the instrumental section.

Air Raid Shelter

I like this version of the tune quite a bit. Somehow it makes me think of ELP a bit in this live telling.

You, You Point Your Finger

This live version of the album cut works really well, too. It has a lot of magic and emotion in this performance.

Alternate Versions

Don't Shoot Me ("Hold Your Fire") (First Version)

I dig this early rendition, but it's a bit more mainstream rocker than anything else.

Give It All Away (Alternative Version)

There is a kind of a bluesy chugging element to this version of the piece. It's more of a straight rocker.

Air Raid Shelter (Alternative Version)

This is less free-form than the final version, but it still has plenty of proggy fusion stuff in the mix.

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