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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Godley & Creme

Frabjous Days – The Secret World Of Godley & Creme

Review by Gary Hill

Based just on the music here, this set would not land under progressive rock. Some of it does quality as proto-prog, though. The thing is, Godley & Creme as part of 10cc really did revolutionize a certain style of art rock, and for that reason I've included this under prog. The music here ranges from exceptional to sort of run-of-the-mill, but from a foundational and historical point of view, it's all worthwhile.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
The Marmalade Sessions 1969
                         
I’m Beside Myself

There are some hints of bluegrass music in the mix on this. The cut has a real folk music concept at play. It's catchy and tasty stuff.

Chaplin House
Now, this folk meets psychedelia tune has some proto-prog in the mix. It's also got a lot of soft rock of bands like America. This is such a great tune.
Cowboys And Indians
This killer tune has some definite signs of the sound that would become 10cc. This is proggy in a proto way. It makes me think of Todd Rundgren in some ways, too. There are some intriguing twists and turns, and the whole thing just oozes cool.
It’s The Best Seaside In The World
Bouncy and fun, this has some jazz and old-time music in the mix. It's very much of the 1960s folk pop music vein overall, though.
Fly Away (Frabjoy & Runcible Spoon LP version)
There is a lush arrangement on this with a real focus on mellow pop-based psychedelia.
Take Me Back
A folk music concept is on the menu here. This has some hints of things that seem related to early Genesis in some ways. I'm not saying Genesis heard or was influenced by this, but rather that they probably shared influences with Godley & Creme. Overall this is a folk song, though. At least that's true of the first half of this. It turns to more of a rocking, electrified sound from there. After that powered up instrumental movement the track works to more of a folk rock concept for the return of the vocals. That short movement ends the piece. 
Today
There is definitely a proto-prog experimental nature to this number. The cut has a lot of the kind of thing that would later become the sound of 10cc. I really like this track. It's dramatic, creative and yet oddly catchy.
Hot Sun
This rocker deftly combines psychedelia and proto-prog. It's a classy tune that's both catchy and edgy.
Virgin Soldiers
This is very much a 1960s pop rock song. It is not bad, but it is nothing special, either.
The Late Mr. Late (GRAHAM GOULDMAN)
The main part of this song is a pretty generic psychedelic rocker. The mellower dropped back movement is a little more interesting, though.
To Fly Away (Marmalade sampler LP version)
The folk meets psychedelia and proto-prog concept works really well on this.
I’m Beside Myself (single version)
An up-tempo 1960s pop rock sound is at the heart of this tune. It's energetic and fun.
Animal Song
I like this quite a lot. It has some proto-prog weirdness along with folk music and more in the mix. The psychedelic edges are not entirely unique, but they are very effective.
Bonus tracks (recorded 1967-1969)
                  
Seeing Things Green

This is a bouncing psychedelic pop number. Yet, it also has hints of the kind of sound that would later become 10cc's trademark. The tune is entertaining.

Easy Life
I dig the fast paced acoustic guitar on this. The cut has a real dated pop music vibe, though. It's not bad, but it's also not anything particularly strong.
One And One Make Love
Horns bring a jazzy edge to this. The cut feels very dated, but it is rather tasty.
Over And Above My Head
There is a soul music vibe to this. The cut is a pretty run-of-the-mill thing, but it works reasonably well.
Hello Blinkers
A fun 1960s pop rocker, this isn't particularly original or creative. It's very entertaining, though.
Goodnight Blinkers
Now, this is more on an even level with some of the earlier stuff. It has a proto-prog groove that still manages to be catchy and pop-oriented.
 
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