Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 

Twenty Sixty Six and Then

Reflections on the Future

Review by Gary Hill
I've never heard of these guys before. Given the strength of this set, it's my loss. These guys occupy the proto-prog territory that came directly out of psychedelia. I'd land them more fully under the prog heading most of the time, but there is a lot of psychedelic rock in the mix. However you label this, though, this double CD reissue is exceptional.
 
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
CD 1

                  
At My Home

Fast paced and hard rocking, this is a powerhouse tune. It's part proto prog, part psychedelia and all cool. I love the keyboard dominated instrumental section on the tune.

Autumn
Coming in mellower and yet quite dramatic, this is purely prog as it starts. It builds upward to a crescendo. Then there is a short break before a fast paced, harder rocking jam emerges. To me, it's almost one part early Yes and one part thrash. When it moves out to the song proper we're taken into a jam that's proto prog with a lot of psychedelia. There are some instrumental twists and turns here and there along the road, but overall this is a killer early prog jam. A drop to a mellower movement brings a folk meets psychedelia element to the table. A short section at the end of that rises up to both close the piece and bring back closer to the prog end of the spectrum.
Butterking
The sounds of nature open this. Then we hear someone discovering a butterfly. From there the first line of vocals is heard. It's a bit distant and acapella. They fire out into some smoking hot proto prog from there. The vocals are delivered sans vocals, though, the music dropping away to make it happen. As it approaches the two minute mark a fast paced prog jam emerges to take into some intriguing directions. That drops away and a balladic movement rises up from the vacuum created. As the vocals return they come in over the music this time. There are a couple different types of vocals lines, some distant and some close. This is much more of a psychedelic rock thing, but the shifts and changes still bring the prog. The instrumental section that emerges is full on prog with a lot of classical music in the mix. We're dropped back into the original section for the final vocal bits of the cut.
Reflections on the Future
At nearly 16 minutes of music, the title track is the epic piece of the set. It fires in with some seriously awesome prog meets psychedelia. They take it through some changes. The first vocals are delivered in a cool, dropped back part. This cut is trippy, but such a prog based thing. It has some harder rocking stuff alternated nicely with the more sedate music. After the four minute mark it turns out to some seriously mellow stuff for a short break. Then they fire out into something that is quite metallic from that point. While there are still prog things happening, there are some parts of this that are tied to some of the more metallic of Led Zeppelin's sounds. Uriah Heep is also a valid reference at times. We're brought back to the earlier parts of the cut later. Sped up effects as the cut approaches the 11 minute mark take into psychedelic weirdness. That really turns it toward a spacey trip-fest. That holds it until around the 14 minute mark when it drops way down. We're brought back into earlier parts of the piece from there to take it to the end.
How Would You Feel
Piano starts this. Some odd vocals come over the top. The cut grows out from there with a psychedelia meets proto prog vibe that's somehow catchy, while still a bit strange.
At My Home (Studio Live-Version)

I really love the jamming on this alternate take of the earlier tune. The flute brings something special to the table.

CD 2
            

The Way That I Feel Today (Studio Live-Version)

This powerhouse jam fires right out of the gate. It works through some fast paced prog and seriously jazzy stuff. As it approaches the two minute mark it drops to a piano arrangement. The vocals come over the top of that and the piece continues to grow. The evolution is underway and for a time we're taken back to the earlier sections. Then it drops way down mid-track for the organ to get to show off. The piece works out from there to something that's part Deep Purple and part Vanilla Fudge. As it keeps growing and developing it gets into more pure progressive rock territory. As the instrumental section continues its exploration we get some smoking hot jamming that at times touches on Jethro Tull. It drops back after that movement to just piano for the song to essentially restart. The piece works toward the close with one more drop to piano and build up after this initial one.

Spring (duet for two Hammonds)
As you might guess, organ starts this and dominates the cut. Comparisons to Uriah Heep and Deep Purple are appropriate at times here. It works toward sort of a fusion thing at times during the middle of the piece. There is some amazing jamming later in the track. Everyone seems to be firing on all cylinders. This is screaming hot instrumental prog with a lot of psychedelia in the mix. 
I Wanna Stay (The Munich Sessions)
I dig this cut. It's more of a straightforward psychedelic rocker than a prog piece, though. It rocks and has some cool changes and instrumental work, though.
Time Can't Take It Away (The Munich Sessions)
Now, this gets a lot more prog rock. I love some of the prominent drumming. This is a fast paced and particularly effective tune.
Winter (Demo 1970)
This feels like a distant live recording. The cut is a powerhouse jam that's part jazz, part prog and all cool.
I Saw The World (Demo 1970)
With a similar recording quality as the last cut, this is a lot more of a straightahead psychedelic rocker. It's classy stuff, though.
You Are Under My Skin
This is a huge change. It has a lot of funk and trippy soul styled sound built into it. It's a much more modern sounding piece.
 
Return
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2017 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com