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Various Artists

Wind Of Change – Progressive Sounds Of 1973, 4CD Box Set

Review by Gary Hill

This four-CD set has some great music contained within. We get some of the bigger prog acts in terms of songs from Renaissance, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Electric Light Orchestra, Procol Harum and Yes. Hawkwind and Hawkwind founder Robert Calvert are both represented. We get other notables including Traffic, Camel, Nektar, PFM, Greenslade, Caravan, Anthony Phillips, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Budge and more. There are no clunkers here, although there are a handful of things that I don't think really fit as progressive rock.

The whole thing comes in a cardboard clamshell box. Each CD is in its own cardboard sleeve, and we get an informative and extensive booklet included, too. This set would serve as a great introduction to a wide range of artists. It should be noted that I previously reviewed a number of these songs on other albums. For the sake of consistency some of the track reviews are taken or modified from those other reviews for use here. Also, I should note that in the liner notes, the artist names are all in capital letters and follow the titles of the songs. I modified that format here because I thought that it looked better this way in the review.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2023  Volume 3 More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Camel - Slow Yourself Down

I love the keyboard sound that opens this track. The number works out to a cool retro rocking groove that has some jazz, soul and more in the mix. This is such a classy tune. It's also a great way to start the set. There are some intriguing twists and turns. There is a killer fast paced jam that features smoking hot bass work and rather psychedelic guitar built into it at one point. I love the non-lyrical vocal section on this, too. There are definitely some hints of jazz rock along the journey that this track takes us on.

Kevin Ayers - Decadence
This rises up gradually with an almost folk rock kind of groove to it. This takes on more of a space rock meets psychedelic groove. There are cool swirling layers of sound all around the number. It builds gradually, but steadily. The cut gets quite chirpy and trippy at times, particularly in the instrumental movement late. It turns toward chaos as it approaches the end and piano goes nuts.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Jerusalem
This comes in with all the bombast one expects from ELP. It drops to mellower zones for the entrance of the vocals. Those vocals come over the top of a keyboard tapestry. This works through some evolution getting more intense as it does until it finally closes.
Family - Check Out
A cool rocking groove is in command here. This is not the proggiest thing here, but it has some great sounds. I dig the keyboards on the number quite a bit. There are some cool changes, too. The instrumental section does take it into proggier zones, and the closing movement is on fire.
Traffic - Evening Blue
Acoustic guitar brings this track into being. The vocals come in over the top of that. It evolves into more of a folk prog zone as it continues from there. The track continues to evolve, getting into slow moving, mellow jazz rock zones as it does so. There are some spacey elements at times. This is a classy melodic piece of music.
PFM - River of Life
Acoustic guitar brings this number into being and holds it for a time. Eventually other instruments join and bring more of a classical music meets folk prog approach. This is intricate and quite pretty. Then after the one-minute mark it shifts to a bit that's slightly weird. That transition section doesn't last long, though. They fire out into some smoking hot progressive jamming from there. That section works through. Then this drops down to just vocals as a folk music styled section emerges. Folk prog is the order of business and this isn't far removed from some of the melodic early King Crimson. Multiple layers of vocals are a nice touch. Around the three-minute mark this rises upward into a more powerful (but still melodic) progressive rock movement. We're taken out from there into a playful kind of excursion that again makes me think a bit of early Crimson. The cut keeps evolving from there in a powerful and rather lush progressive rock arrangement. This is both classic and classy.
Electric Light Orchestra - In Old England Town (Boogie No. 2)
This drives in symphonic, dramatic and so powerful. There is a dangerous sort of vibe to it. It becomes quite classically oriented as it moves on. The extended introduction is crazy cool as it works through a number of changes. They take it out into the song proper with some killer rocking sound that's part trademark Move and ELO and also part Beatles. The evolution continues as this works forward. While it doesn't stay in one place all that long, the transitions seem organic and never strained or abrupt.
Caravan - Memory Laine Hugh / Headloss
More of a straight ahead rocker, as it gets underway, this gets into some cool symphonic prog that's not far removed from Renaissance instrumentally at times. There is some powerful keyboard work at times here. This goes through all kinds of changes before eventually shifting to a driving rock motif for a while. It's more decidedly mainstream, but very proggy. We get another smoking hot instrumental section after that, but it gives way to a return to the vocal zones. We get a dramatic shift to another cool jam after that, though. I dig the tasty instrumental interplay that takes place on this closing jam.
Robert Calvert - Ejection (single version)
I am a big Hawkwind and Robert Calvert fan. This single version of the classic tune comes in with some effects. Then a punky sort of jam emerges. The cut feels very much like Hawkwind, and Hawkwind actually did do this song from time to time. It's a hard rocking tune that works well even in this truncated form.
Man - Back into the Future
Building out with a classically tinged prog jam, this grows gradually. As the vocals come in, it feels rather like space rock. The cut explodes into some smoking hot prog jamming from there. It continues to change and grow.
Greenslade - Drowning Man
The weird prog that serves as the backdrop for the first vocals makes me think of King Crimson a bit. That sound is contrasted with a more melodic, classically tinged movement. This turns a bit toward a soulful, church music kind of vibe after that section. Sure, it's still packed full of psychedelic prog goodness. It grows out gradually as it continues. As it approaches the two minute mark it explodes out into some killer prog rock jamming. Eventually it makes it back out the song proper to take it to the closing.
Darryl Way's Wolf - The Void
Trippy sounds get us going here. The track gradually rises upward from there with hints of space rock. This builds out and works through a number of changes in pursuit of a folk rock meets prog conceptual basis.
Badger - Wind of Change
This song is at once proggy and catchy mainstream rock. As I said in my review of the album from which it comes, "It makes me think of the band H.P. Lovecraft to a large degree. It has some great song construction and the jamming is top-notch."
Beggars Opera - Classical Gas
Starting with a piano introduction, this seems to end. The cut grows out there to more of a full band treatment. This is a killer classical version of a classic instrumental piece of music. I really love some of the synthesizer work on this powerhouse tune.
John Lees - Untitled No. 1

Piano gets us underway here. Other instruments join, and we're taken on a flight of magic and drama from there. This has a number of twists and turns as it grows outward. There are some definite folk rock elements along with plenty of pure progressive rock. The extended instrumental movement is purely on fire here. That section just screams "class and style."

Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Father of Day, Father of Night
I really love the classy prog meets mainstream rock vibe of this. The cut is packed with drama. This kind of stuff is the reason I have always loved Manfred Mann and considered his music to be prog. There is some hard rocking jamming on the instrumental movement on this tune. I really dig the synthesizer that dances over the top of the cut later, too. It's trademark Manfred Mann.
Jonesy - Song
Piano and vocals make up the arrangement for the first verse. This gets some other keyboards as augmentation as it evolves. This gets more rocking, but overall stays pretty close to its origins for the duration.
Edgar Broughton Band - Hurricane Man / Rock n’ Roller
I dig the cool space rock meets psychedelic rocking concept as this gets going. The track takes on some jazzy elements as it continues. It works through a number of twists and has a bit of a punky edge at times. This shifts directions to more of an acoustic-based folk meets space rock groove later. I can make out hints of Mott the Hoople on that section. I dig the female backing vocals that come in on the anthemic section later. That whole part is particularly effective.
Rare Bird - Hard Time
A slower tune this is rather reflective. It does manage to rock out more at times, though. A Traffic reference point is in force here. There is some cool jamming in the number, and it's particularly well written and performed.
Nektar - Good Day
This rises up tentatively and melodically before guitar screams overhead. It drops to mellower tones for the verses, and there’s almost a Nektar does gospel texture to the choruses. The progression on this is rather simple and it doesn’t go very far, but it’s still effective.
Budgie - Parents
Dramatic, driving, hard rocking sounds bring this into being. It builds outward from there before dropping down to a mellower arrangement with melodic guitar dancing over the rhythm section in jazzy ways. The vocals come in over the top of that backdrop. This is a cool rocker. I'm not sure how proggy it is, really. Sure there are some prog aspects, but it's more mainstream rock. Whatever you call this, though, it's so strong. I love the bass work on the number. There are definite jazzy things that come in later, too.
Hawkwind - Orgone Accumulator
A live recording taken from Space Ritual, this is hard rocking number is strong space rock with good hypnotic jamming.
Pink Fairies - Street Urchin
A hard rocking tune with hints of punky edges is the concept here. This isn't very proggy, but it has some cool glam meets space rock vibes. This has some killer rocking sounds built into it, and I can see it sharing space with some Hawkwind, but I don't really think of it as progressive rock.
Badger - Wheel of Fortune
Imagine combining early Yes with Santana and some R&B. You’ll have a good idea of what this song sounds like. It has some smoking hot jamming with both the guitar and the organ really weaving some classic melodies.
John Martyn - Dreams by the Sea
This comes in very funky between the guitar and the bass. The vocals bring a soulful groove to it. The track builds out from there with style. We get into some killer, spacey jazzy grooves as it continues.
Curved Air - Armin
A dramatic synthesizer texture starts this. It fires out from there to a killer jam with some smoking hot violin. A cool guitar riff joins to move things forward. There is definitely a Celtic angle to this, but it's a hard rocking jam. The rhythm section brings a bit of fusion. This is a hard rocking, frantically driving piece that just plain rocks. This instrumental is just so cool.
Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come - Time Captives

This comes in percussive and stays mostly that way for quite some time. The pace eventually picks up and then some synthesizer and other elements join. The speed and sound both intensify as this continues. The cut switches after a long time to a dramatic space rock jam. This really makes me think of Hawkwind in a lot of ways.

Al Stewart - Terminal Eyes (single version)
As you might get from the parenthetical, this is a single version of a tune from Al Stewart. The song is bouncy, and the arrangement is dense. It has some cool hooks and interesting melodies. It's sort of a straight-line building tune with some pop music meets early Yes in the mix. Of course, all that's delivered with classic Al Stewart sound. There is a short, but tasty guitar solo built into it. This builds into some pretty powerful and symphonic stuff before it's over.
Caravan - L’Auberge du Sanglier / A Hunting We Shall Go / Pengola / Backwards / A Hunting We Shall Go (reprise)
Acoustic guitar with symphonic layers over the top gets things underway here. That section works through for a time. Then it all shifts gear dramatically into a fast-paced rocking progressive rock jam. The violin gets positively scorching as this works onward. After a time it drops to a piano and violin movement. That gradually gets layers added to it. It becomes lusher but remains fairly mellow. I really love some of the synthesizer that comes across. This eventually makes its way to more of a jamming, but still melodic, prog movement that has some symphonic and fusion elements at play. It eventually twists to another fast paced prog jam. That section eventually closes the track. At just over ten-minutes long, this instrumental is epic in size and scope.
Gong - Flying Teapot
Mellow, trippy space music gradually rises up to get this going. This track is almost two minutes longer than the one that preceded it. I'm reminded of early Pink Floyd as the weirdness evolves. Eventually a groove that feels both tribal and funky rises up and takes control. Some vocals come over the top of that. It seems a nice combination of the aforementioned Floyd and some of the more tribal sides of early Hawkwind. The cut continues evolving after the vocals drop away. It takes a turn toward fusion as they really jam like crazy. It dissolves temporarily into chaos about mid-track. A funky jam emerges from there that sees the return of the vocals, and an almost Frank Zappa like vibe comes with them. This keeps growing and changing with various previous concepts driving it. It's like space fusion in a lot of ways. Tribal elements begin to emerge in the mix again as the music drifts further upward in space craziness. A hard rocking jam emerges late, but then it shifts to chaos. That peaks and the track seems to end, but a groaning person and other oddities take over. Drums come up after a time and those oddities drop away. Some other sound effects emerge as the percussion gets more developed and trippy. More traditional percussion takes over for a time from there. Then we get other instruments added to the mix for an outro section. A quick burst of chaotic music ends it.
Hemlock - Fool’s Gold
Acoustic guitar gets things going here. As the vocals join this feels very much like a folk song. This never really rises far beyond those origins, but it's quite effective.
Curved Air - Metamorphosis
A classical piano solo leads this track into being. After a time other instruments join, and the cut begins to drive forward in a more standard prog rock way. This has some seriously rocking stuff built into it. At over ten and a half minutes of music, this is fairly epic in scope. It's about two minutes in before the vocals join. As they do the cut feels a bit like Renaissance. This song continues to shift and turn as it makes its way forward. After the three-minute-mark it drops to another piano solo. The tune works to more of a mellow psychedelic prog arrangement from there. The vocals return in a dreamy kind of way. After the vocals drop away, they start to gradually turn this to more rocking territory, building steadily upward. It shifts directions a bit later to a dramatic building section to carry it forward. It explodes into another fast paced jam, eventually making it back to the Renaissance like section. A cool prog jam takes it to the end.
PFM - Photos of Ghosts
There is a dramatic kind of trippy texture to this number. It has hints of AOR progressive rock and psychedelia in the mix. Yet it also has more traditional prog here. There are shifts and changes. The balance between mellower and more powered up is classic. I dig the driving jam around the two-minute mark. Don't get used to it, though, because nothing stays long, and that gives way to a full classical break that eventually evolves into driving powerhouse prog from there. The synthesizer based section later is cool, and the cut drops downward to mellow stuff from there. It rebuilds for a short instrumental outro.
Camel - Never Let Go
Melodic guitar brings this in. Bass joins, and synthesizer comes over the top. The track works to more of a mainstream prog rocker zone as it continues. This is melodic and song-oriented. It's accessible and very classy. We get a cool instrumental jam later that includes flute. It's a bit like fusion meets folk rock. This is a pretty classy rocker that makes its way back to the song proper and takes that in new directions for the duration.
Procol Harum - Grand Hotel
Starting as a piano based balladic number, this grows out into a powerful prog rock piece that's very cool. The number takes a shift toward the classical end of things with a strings-and-chorale-vocals portion. A full classical treatment mid-track starts fast and then works out to evocative and powerful musical efforts from there. This is about as progressive and expansive as you can get. In some ways it shares territory with the band Renaissance. It gets back into the rocking zone further down the road with a particularly powerful movement.
Pete Sinfield - Still
Trippy music serves as the backdrop for a poetry reason. This feels a lot like early King Crimson, but then again, Sinfield wrote a lot of lyrics for KC, so that shouldn't be a big surprise. It shifts to a powerful sung movement featuring vocals by Greg Lake. Then we drop back to the mellower modes with spoken recitation from there. We get brought back into the sung movement further down the road and Lake's performance gets very evocative and intense.
Yes - Starship Trooper (live)
Taken from the Yessongs album, this classic Yes tune works so well. It's a safe bet that anyone reading this has heard this song before, and probably this version of it. It's a rather epic piece, working through several movements. It's packed full of style and charm. While everyone in the band puts in performances, Chris Squire's bass and Steve Howe's guitar in particularly really shine. Of course, Jon Anderson nails it and pulls it all together. The soaring movements of this really work so well. Rick Wakeman's chance to shine comes in a powerhouse solo around the three-quarter mark of the song as part of the extended closing jam.
Stray - Move It (single version)

Coming in hard rocking, there is a glam meets punk edge to this. It does have some hints of Hawkwind-like stuff, but this has more in common with T-Rex. I wouldn't really consider this to be prog at all.

Spirogyra - The Furthest Point
Some killer intricate acoustic guitar work gets things going here. Other instruments join in a rather folk prog arrangement. This opening movement works through, without moving far from its origins. Then a new mellow section comes in with a classical prog meets folk rock vibe. Spoken vocals come over the top, followed by sung ones, as the tune evolves. As female vocals join, and the track turns more decidedly progressive rock oriented, it begins to resemble Renaissance. This drives with style and charm as it continues. There is a violin dominated section with more spoken male vocals after that. That concept gets more vitality and intensity and the male vocal turns more sung in a space rock sort of arrangement as it continues. Then they shift gear to a more driving prog section with more male vocals. The instrumental section that emerges later makes great use of a horn floating over the top. Vocals cone back in as that motif holds it. It drops back down from there for a decidedly sedate and classically based outro.
Arthur Brown's Kingdome Come - Spirit of Joy
There really is a joyous vibe to this number. It's so classy and cool with both prog and space rock elements merged into a rather mainstream cut.
Al Stewart - Nostradamus
There is a bouncy vibe to this. It’s definitely folk prog with a rock element. It’s also a lot of fun. I like this one a lot. The later sections rock out more and bring some real prog to the proceedings. Parts of this make me think of the first Hawkwind album a bit, when it mellows back down. This is another piece that’s of epic length and scope. There are so many different movements. The energized jamming later really rocks. This lasts almost ten minutes.
Anthony Phillips - Silver Song (1973 single version)
Some great acoustic guitar gets this underway. This becomes more of an intricate folk rock number as the vocals come over the top. There are some Genesis-like hints, but overall this is more of a mainstream pop rock song. It turns out toward a real folk rock sound as it intensifies. The instrumental break brings more pure prog and definitely feels Genesis-like. I really love the synthesizer work that comes in near the end of the piece.
Help Yourself - It Has to Be
Gradually rising upward, this has a great keyboard dominated mellow prog sound as it gets underway. That section builds and works through, and then eventually fades downward. Some spacey trippiness takes over. At first it's quiet, but then it gets electrified and driving with a stabby sort of energy. It gets into more of a blues rock jam that has some hints of Hawkwind-like space as it works forward. They take it into some trippy zones as they continue. This instrumental works through some pretty freaky territory getting rather freeform at times. At nearly twelve-and-a-half-minutes long, it's fairly epic. A weird piano and sound effects movement takes it near the end and holds in an almost spooky way. The piano turns a bit more mainstream right at the end, and the effects drop away.
Pete Sinfield - The Night People
There is definitely an early King Crimson art music vibe on this track. There is a jazzy powered up romp further down the road. It's a lot like Lizard-era Crimson. I really love the gritty jazz rock texture on this track. This thing just oozes cool. It's so artsy, too. It has a great contrast between mellower and more powered up sections, with it turning toward the more sedate again later, but gradually working back upward from there.
Tempest - Upon Tomorrow
I dig the cool jazz meets prog groove that gets us underway here a lot. This thing works through a number of twists and turns. There is a definite cool mainstream prog rock style to it. There are some dramatic and triumphant hooks to this. The cut is a guitar dominated song, but it's very much a prog rocking thing.
Kevin Ayers - Shouting in a Bucket Blues
I don't really consider this to be a prog number. It's more of a bluesy folk rocker. It's stylish, but not a standout.
Greenslade - Bedside Manners Are Extra
Mellow tones start this with a bit of a jazzy vibe. Non-lyrical vocals and piano add to that general vibe as it continues. As the song proper takes control I'm reminded of something that you might get if you blended Traffic with Steely Dan. Still, as the synthesizer dances over the top further down the road, the prog stylings dominate the piece. This piece continues to evolve and change. The mellower, trippy movement later is so classy. It jumps up into a cool psychedelic prog jam from there that's packed with energy and a lot of fun.
Renaissance - Ashes Are Burning
The sound of wind brings this into being. Piano rises up from there. The rest of the band join, bringing it more into pure progressive rock territory. Annie Haslam's vocals soar over the top. The cut works to a more folk prog, but still rocking, movement for the chorus. The piano really shines as it drops back again for the next verse. They continue to explore the musical potential of the piece, taking it in different directions as they work forward. After the three-and-a-half-minute mark bass takes over, moving this out into a smoking hot fast paced prog jam. This is purely on fire. I love some of the keyboard sounds so much. The whole thing really rocks, though. It reinvents itself before the five-and-a-half-minute mark, and the synthesizer really shines as it continues from there. It eventually drops way down for the return of Haslam's vocals. At the end of that movement, though, the rocking sounds return and she rises up to meet it. They move out to a dramatic prog meets psychedelic jam from there. That section turns more pure progressive rock and eventually takes the number to its closing.
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