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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jack Lancaster and Robin Lumley

Marscape

Review by Gary Hill

This album was recorded in 1976. It was meant to commemorate the landing of NASA's Viking 2 on Mars. Jack Lancaster and Robin Lumley are joined on this disc by John Goodsall, Percy Jones and Phil Collins, who would later form Brand X together. The music here is intriguing and varied. Some feels more like soundtrack music, while other parts are more rocking or fusion oriented. This is all re-mastered and released in a nice digipack complete with informative booklet and two bonus tracks.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Take-Off
Dramatic electronic sounds start this cut. It drops to a mellower movement that has a real classical bent from there. It grows, but only a little before it's done.
Sail On Solar Winds
A playful section opens this. They work out to some dramatic and powerful fusion styled stuff as it continues.
Arrival
A pretty and mellower keyboard showcase, this comes out of the previous piece. There is a sense of wonder to it.
Phobos And Deimos
Here we get much more of a full progressive rock arrangement. This is all class. There are some non-lyrical vocals on this, and the piano is just great here.
With A Great Feeling Of Love: Inner Warmth And Feelings Of Affinity
This comes in mellow and gradually works upward. I'm reminded just a little of Dark Side of the Moon era Pink Floyd.
With A Great Feeling by Marscape: Outer Cold and Icy Silence
This is a piano solo with a bit of jazz does classical vibe. It's rather sparse at times and mellow.
Olympus Mons
Here we get a fast-paced, driving rocker. It reaches about peak after the one minute mark and drops to atmospherics. Then it gradually starts rising upward. That works through and then gives way to sound effects. A hard rocking, fusion-like jam climbs up from there to take this in new directions.
Homelight
There is some Spanish guitar at the start of this cut. That doesn't stick around long, though, and other instruments and styles take its place. At times this makes me think of Mike Oldfield to some degree. It grows gradually outward into a cool arrangement and concept.
Hopper
There is a real bouncy and playful groove to this cut. It's a lot of fun. It covers quite a bit of territory before it's over.
Dust-Storm
Trippy textures bring this cut in, and noisy percussion rises up after a time. That gives way to a fast-paced fusion jam that's so cool.
Blowholes (The Pipes Of Mars)
Synthesizer brings this into being. It shifts to a focus on a rhythmic element from there. Gradually other elements begin to emerge. It evolves gradually from there.
Realisation
There is a pretty and majestic vibe to this cut. There are some chorale-style non-lyrical vocals, too. The track works out to a classy instrumental prog jam with a lot of charm. It goes through quite a few changes in a dynamic arrangement.
Release
A mellow and melodic piece, this is quite pretty. It's rather sparse and definitely restrained with flute carrying most of the number.
Bonus Tracks:
                   
With A Great Feeling Of Love (SINGLE VERSION)

This single version of the tune seems to really play up that Pink Floyd angle. It works really well in this format.

Hopper (SINGLE VERSION)
There is almost a reggae vibe to this single version of the tune.
 
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