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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Hudson Ford


Review by Gary Hill

Based strictly on the music here, this probably wouldn't land under the progressive rock heading. Don't get me wrong. There is some proggy stuff here. It's just that it's more along the lines of pop rock most of the time. That said, these two guys (Richard Hudson and John Ford) worked together as members of The Strawbs. Since that band was considered progressive rock, that lands this under that heading. This is a reissue of an album that was released in 1977. It appears here with four bonus tracks - various single sides from around the same time as this album.

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Track by Track Review
A sort of chiming, droning keyboard sound leads this out of the gate. A cool mellow prog jam emerges from there. The vocal arrangement is so classy, and the tune just works so well. There are definitely the Strawbs type hints you would imagine there would be, but this also feels a bit like a prog version of the band America in some ways. It's melodic, accessible and so cool.
Out of Your Shadow
More of a rocker, if the first cut seemed like a prog America, this is perhaps a prog Eagles. There are definitely hints of Southern rock in the mix here. This is a mainstream tune with just enough prog to keep it interesting. In particular, the closing section (with its dramatic symphonic prog sound) really elevates this.
Kiss in the Dark
Another AOR styled prog tune, this is so cool. Some symphonic elements emerge mid-track in a cool prog break.
Shy Girl
Imagine merging The Strawbs with Klaatu and Sweet. Now add some funk to the mix. You are pretty close to what this fun number sounds like. There is a cool funky jazz break mid-track lending something different to it.
Let It Rain

The cool folk prog vibe on this cut really makes me think of The Strawbs. The more powered up chorus section calls to mind The Beatles and Queen to me.

Poor Boy

Symphonic bombast and keyboards makes up this short number. It definitely sounds a lot like Klaatu to me.

Poor Boy

Bearing the same title as the previous tune, this comes in with a more full arrangement that still utilizes some of the sounds of that other piece. The introduction calls to mind both ELO and Klaatu, while the dropped back song proper has Beatles elements along with those Klaatu leanings.

Simple Man

The opening riff calls to mind The Doobie Brothers. As the horns join the track brings some soulful elements to play. There are some Beatles references to be made here. This is more of a mainstream pop rock tune. It's energetic, catchy and fun.

Are You Dancing

With funk and even some disco in the mix, this is an energetic and catchy number. There are still some proggy elements, particularly on the cool instrumental movement.

Wicked Lady

A droning rhythmic element lives at the back of this tune. The cut has a lot of that folk prog element. It also has leanings toward The Beatles and Klaatu. I dig the cool rocking movement later in the piece, too.

95° in the Shade

I love the cool dreamy vibe to this cut. It is more of a pop rock song at its heart, but there are still some definite proggy elements here. This is just very classy stuff.

The title track almost feels like the second part of the previous tune. In fact, the way it rises up out of that one, I'd have to say that it's more of a reprise.
Bonus Tracks

The A-side of a single, this track has a lot of Beatles elements along with some reggae at play. I particularly like the bass work on this thing.

Daylight (Single Version)
This shortened version of the title track was grouped with the previous number as a single, with this landing as the B-side. This single edit seems to have a bit more energy than the version on the album. It's a bit proggy and very cool. It should be noted that the liner notes actually seem to show that both of these songs are on Side A of the single, but when I looked up the catalog number, it shows that this was the B-side. Since the two together are around five minutes in length, that makes more sense.
Lost in a Lost World
Side A of a single, there is more progressive rock built into this number. It has a real 1970s pop rock vibe to it, too. It's a classy cut. This was released as the B-side of the single version of "95° in the Shade."
Sold on Love
There is a lot of funk and disco in the mix here. This is a cool rocking number, but it really doesn't have much progressive rock built into it. It is fun, though. This was originally released as the A-side of a single.
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