Journey ($5 Blowout Price!)

SKU: CK33388
Label:
Columbia
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Cheap price for this reissue of the first album from the band that ultimately evolved into the AOR radio friendly band. This stuff isn't like that at all. Essentially the initial incarnation of Journey featured Neal Schon and Greg Rolie from Santana, along with Aynsley Dunbar (post-Zappa), and bassist Ross Valory. The music is high-energy with strong progressive rock and fusion elements. The three instrumentals veer towards the fusion side but Rolie's organ work lend the music the prog rock touches. Schon simply annihilates on this entire disc - he sounds like a cross between Jeff Beck and Carlos Santana. Forget your preconceived notions - this is like a different band with the same name as the one you are thinking of. Not a wheel in the sky to be found...

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    $39.00
  • This is the second album from the Polish band Believe. The band was formed by former Collage guitarist Mirek Gil. I have to be honest - I hated this band's first album. It was an incoherent mishmosh of styles and simply didn't work. Thankfully Gil has righted the ship and he's come up with a work that is far more substantial and worthy of your attention. Gil tends to de-emphasize keyboards (but they are still present). Primarily the music revolves around his languid guitar work that reminds a bit of David Gilmour. His musical foil is violinist Satomi. She lends a nice counterpoint to the guitar lines as well as an exotic Eastern tinged feel. Vocals from Tomek Rozycki are accent free and on the mark. Musically speaking, Believe is far removed from Collage. Where that band was clearly defined as "neoprog", Believe opts for a more contemporary approach that evokes some of the moods that Riverside explored on Out Of Myself. Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • "Give Aerosmith credit for not only realizing something was wrong after Nine Lives relatively flat-lined, but deciding to do something about it. Ditching the outside producers who initially liberated but eventually straitjacketed them, Steve Tyler and Joe Perry seized control of the boards, working with the assistance of Mark Hudson and Marti Frederiksen. (Forever the Stones fanatics, Tyler and Perry dubbed this crew the Boneyard Boys, just like how Mick-n-Keef are the Glimmer Twins.) So, this isn't really a full-fledged band affair and Hudson and Frederiksen's fingerprints are all over the place, but that doesn't matter since the end result is tighter, savvier, and better than anything since Pump. It's still far from perfect, however, since it suffers from a surfeit of memorable material, and the group members' steadfast refusal to act their age results in a couple of embarrassing slips into stodginess (the "f*ckin' A" chorus on the title track, a song improbably titled "Trip Hoppin'," or the ludicrous "Avant Garden"). These mean that the record doesn't come close to matching the twin comebacks of Permanent Vacation and Pump, but it's a sleek, classicist hard rock record that sounds good -- better than Aerosmith has sounded in nearly a decade, as a matter of fact, particularly when the group gets a hook as tuneful as that of "Jaded." Aerosmith sounds good enough on Just Push Play that it almost makes you forgive the Heavy Metal refugee on the front cover, a sexy robot illustration that looks far more out of date than the music sounds." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • I'm not quite sure what a pictorial wand is but I know that at the very least it's an ambitious debut 2 CD set from Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Mattias Sorum. He has enlisted a number of musicians and vocalists on the album so it has a full band sound. This is a conceptual fantasy work which always seems to fit symphonic rock well. It's surprisingly guitar driven although keyboards, flutes and various classical instruments are used as well. If I have any specific complaint it would have to be the use of narration to move the story along. I hate narration on albums. Hated it on Journey To The Center Of The Earth and hate it to this day. Other than that Mr. Sorum has produced an interesting debut that touches on symphonic rock, neo prog, and whatever it is you call what guys like Arjen Lucassen are doing at the moment.
    $21.00
  • The band's second album, originally released on Brain in 1973, is another stone cold killer. You have to love this - a disc filled with long jamming tracks of frenetic sax, guitar and organ soloing. The 14 minute "Trash Man" picks up speed as it moves through the track and totally blasts off with undercurrents of Santana-esque percussion driving it along. Monster stuff long over due. Now it comes to us with great sound, mastered from the original master tapes by long time engineer Jorg Scheuermann.  Highly recommended. Essential listening.
    $27.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of the first ever boxed set celebrating the solo work of Genesis founding member Tony Banks. A CHORD TOO FAR is a deluxe 4 CD set comprising 48 songs and pieces, all personally selected by Tony. Many tracks have been remixed exclusively for this collection and have been drawn from his seven solo and two orchestral albums; A CURIOUS FEELING, THE FUGITIVE, THE WICKED LADY (film score), SOUNDTRACKS , BANKSTATEMENT, STILL, STRICTLY INC. and his orchestral albums SEVEN – A SUITE FOR ORCHESTRA and SIX PIECES FOR ORCHESTRA.A CHORD TOO FAR also includes four previously unreleased tracks, three of which are keyboard demos of his orchestral suites. The fourth is a piece originally written for the album STILL. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 as a member of Genesis, Tony is one of the most respected songwriters and keyboardists in the world. His career spans almost 50 years and has seen him sell in excess of 130 million albums . His body of work is as innovative as it is eclectic. Genesis’ avant-garde style made them one of progressive rock’s founding fathers in the 1970s, creating an experimental style of rock music never before seen. They went on to produce music with a greater pop sensibility in the 1980s that saw them become one of the biggest selling bands of the decade, and play stadiums throughout the world.Tony Banks’ solo work has continued in the same vein. His rock albums have included collaborations with some of the world’s most respected musicians including singers Toyah Wilcox, Fish and Nick Kershaw , bassist Pino Pallodino , and drummers Steve Gadd and Vinnie Colaiuta , as well as long time Genesis collaborators Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson . He has composed original scores for four films The Shout (1978), The Wicked Lady (1983), Starship (1985) and Quicksilver (1986) and most recently his orchestral albums, Seven: A Suite for Orchestra and Six Pieces for Orchestra, that were performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra."
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  • For some this was the start of an era for others the end.  This took my hopes and dreams for a true progressive supergroup for the 80s and stomped them into dust.  Your mileage may vary.
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  • Second album from this French zeuhl influenced ensemble.  It demonstrates a variety of influences from zeuhl, Canterbury, and RIO - all blended together with jazz rock.  The music can become hypnotic at times - quite intense actually.
    $18.00
  • "GAZPACHO was formed in 1996 by Jon-Arne Vilbo and Thomas Andersen and Jan-Henrik Ohme, later completed by the three others. They released six studio albums, which were well received. The Norwegian band is bringing out their seventh album, ‘March Of Ghosts’ which Vilbo describes as “a collection of short stories. The idea behind the album was to have the lead character spend a night where all these ghosts (dead and alive) would march past him to tell their stories. Characters include Haitian war criminals, the crew of the Marie Celeste, a returning American WWI soldier who finds himself in 2012 and the ghost of an English comedy writer who was wrongly accused of treason.” You might then expect quite a dramatic concept album with a lot of turbulent and heavy soundscapes or with the ghostliness some eerie and ethereal, thickly layered atmospheric songs, but with the mixture of ambient and folk elements into their post-art rock sound the music is more on the relaxing side. Though the layers and atmosphere are there, it’s rather straightforward and unpretentious and accessible. Many of the songs are dreamy, mostly evoked by Ohme’s vocal, take the first part of the ‘Hell Freezes Over’ songs, of which the second part, following the first, ups on the intensity, but it’s still pretty low key affair, reminiscent of MUSE. Added interest to this song comes with some bagpipe-y, Celtic sounds towards the end raising the oomph as it fades. ‘Black Lily’ is enhanced by some unimposing and non-bombastic orchestra parts. Some compare GAZPACHO to ANATHEMA, PORCUPINE TREE and MARILLION, yet the sound so many times reminds me of the band I’ve previously mentioned – MUSE, this track in some ways is the most representative of it - with the vocals and the way the melody sways, lets go and intensifies with that nearly MUSE-like music diction. Guitar details and folk-ish elements in the ‘Gold Star’ change this tack somewhat and earn rather the comparison with MARILLION. The violin and dreaminess in the third part of ‘Hell Freezes Over’ and its melancholy create the best moment of the album together with ‘Mary Celeste’ which has this precarious steering towards heavier sound with some wonderful detailing going on with piano, and darker, moodier strings. The lyrical narrative stands out more here too. ‘Golem’ has a most pronounced sense of experimentation woven together in an appealing way. Lyrically I especially enjoy how they’ve worked the legend of Golem into an interesting metaphor. The last part of ‘Hell Freezes Over’ is the hardest here, yet atmospheric and quite beautiful and the reference to ANATHEMA comes justified here. In fact within the last few sentences I have also written some of the adjectives that fit this album overall quite well - appealing, (very) interesting, beautiful, and also a multi-faceted and richly rewarding listen. " - Reflections In Darkness
    $16.00
  • "The Aristocrats by any measure the hottest new band in instrumental rock/fusion today rewrote their own rules for their third studio album, Tres Caballeros. After two fairly raw trio albums, guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia/GPS), bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani, Dethklok) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani) set up camp at legendary Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood, CA, where Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen all recorded landmark albums. The result: Nine new compositions of greater sonic depth and breadth than ever before, with unique textures and lush layering augmenting the band s preternatural ability to improvise at the highest levels possible. But it s all still tempered with a steadfast refusal to take themselves too seriously, and The Aristocrats are still having more fun than a fusion band has any right to have. We ve learned a lot since we started this band four years, three studio albums, two live DVDs and about a billion notes ago! and I think our latest offering reflects this in all kinds of ways, says guitarist Guthrie Govan. The decision to road-test our new material in front of a live audience before commencing the recording process; the choice to record in a studio which had some thoroughly inspiring rock'n'roll "mojo"; our sudden urge to become more bold and experimental with overdubs rather than feeling any pressure to record exclusively in a strict trio format... all of this has had some kind of positive effect on the way the new record came out. Plus, I think the material on this album is some of the most interesting stuff we ve ever written for each other, so... here s hoping our noble listeners will like the finished product as much as we do!"
    $13.00
  • Wholly appealing because of their oriental workaround on the female-fronted metal sound, France’s Arkan don’t quite have the panache of the buxom-beauty bands, but their songs are better. Definitely better. A tad on the difficult side to pin down when making sonic comparisons, the band has their feet somewhere near the present exotic-slanted territory of Tristania, and on the extreme metal side of the spectrum, the forceful moods of late-90s Septicflesh…back when they were called Septic Flesh. Regardless of where they’re getting their influences from, Sofia (the band’s third album) is very much a winner in the stacked deck that is chick metal.Per the subgenre norm, the focus falls upon singer Sarah Layssac, who is in possession of a luscious, well-toned voice. Her humming chorus choices on opener “Hayati” set the tone for the rest of the album, where upon she keeps the songs largely in check with either a daunting chorus, or lush harmony idea. Just go down the line – “March of Sorrow,” “Deafening Silence,” and “Wireless Angels,” each punctuate Layssac’s emotive, soul-bearing vocals, which are made all the more interesting thanks to the oriental flavor.Primarily because Sofia never goes overboard on the oriental instrumentation side, there’s a lot to gobble up here, particularly when the band peddles choice instrumental breaks (see: “My Reverence”) or blends gentle acoustic guitar touches with streamlined melodies (“Endless Way”). So point being, Sofia offers a lot of everything in the female-fronted, exotic metal field, none of which feels dumbed-down or forced. In fact, so advanced and interesting these compositions are, that Arkan makes more image-friendly bands seem quite useless at the moment. Highly recommended." - Dead Rhetoric
    $12.00
  • "Alice Cooper wasted little time following up the breakthrough success of Love It to Death with another album released the same year, Killer. Again, producer Bob Ezrin was on board and helps the group solidify their heavy rock (yet wide-ranging) style even further. The band's stage show dealt with the macabre, and such disturbing tracks as "Dead Babies" and the title track fit in perfectly. Other songs were even more exceptional, such as the perennial barnstorming concert standard "Under My Wheels," the melodic yet gritty "Be My Lover," and the tribute to their fallen friend Jim Morrison, "Desperado." The long and winding "Halo of Flies" correctly hinted that the band would be tackling more complex song structures on future albums, while "You Drive Me Nervous" and "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" showed that Alice Cooper hadn't completely abandoned their early garage rock direction. With Killer, they became one of the world's top rock bands and concert attractions; it rewarded them as being among the most notorious and misunderstood entertainers, thoroughly despised by grownups." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • "The new Echolyn The End is beautiful is a far cry from the absolutely fantastic As The World which still is one of my favorite Echolyn albums! That said, they´re most certainly progressive in the truest sense of the word. As this album steers towards new areas. And YES it is brilliant! This my friend is a top notch album of the highest order!The music is excellent as always. They still have the complexity in their arrangements and individually they deliver the goods! But...and there is a but....you have to wait till track #6 "So Ready" to get some of their trademark Gentle Giant-like vocal arrangements. And therein my dear prog friends the problem lies. We have come to expect some fine complicated vocals arrangements. Now they're almost gone. Brett Kull & Ray Weston used to deliver the excellent lead vocals with the rest of these wonderful musicians following on superb second vocal harmonies.And they still do, that is, deliver the vocals...but somehow its not the Echolyn of yesterday! On the other hand, this is about progressive music and as such they still are, this great US band with superb arrangements and a brilliant mind for new thinking in this musical world we adore and love! "Misery, Not Memory" is the track that comes closest to that of the former Echolyn –ideology...with traces of Gentle Giant contra-point music style.Overall I must say that I love this album (my favorite still is As The World) for the sheer power and exuberance in fabulous ideas and musical brilliance. And oh....they dare....they dare go a step further...which is what this is all about: progression!So if you are new to these guys, get the first one (just out in a fine new package...with bonus) then work your way up till this one! Echolyn, a fine US prog band that always deliver! If you are a true prog fan then this album should be on your want list! Yeah, I am calling your prog loyality into question! This is a killer album! Make no mistake! This one goes to prog history!" - Prog Planet
    $11.00
  • "It only seems like a couple of weeks since Caravan announced in August 2013 that they were to record a new album that would be financed by money pledged by fans, and yet here it is already!What should have been a joyous time for the band and fans alike was sadly marred by the death of long-time drummer Richard Coughlan on December , however it is fitting that the digital download of the album was released to fans who had pledged on December 20, the day of Richard’s funeral!Musically this has classic Caravan stamped all over it. It is not, however, a hark back to the halcyon days of the 70′s and In the Land of Grey and Pink or For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night, there are not anywhere near as many long instrumental sections in there for a start and the longest song I’ll Be There For You clocks in at a mere 6:14. What we do have here is a stripped down, and updated 2013 version of everything that Caravan fans look for. The classic songwriting is there, as is the excellent musicianship and whimsical lyrics, and let’s face it, with that instantly recognisable, trademark voice, Pye Hastings could re-record Never Mind The Bollocks and it would probably still sound like Caravan.All This Could Be Yours is a belter of an opener, and despite what I said above, this is one track that would not have been out of place on Grey and Pink or Girls Who Grow Plump! With an excellent, albeit short, viola solo from Geoffrey Richardson, and a great hook in the chorus, it skips along merrily in classic Caravan style.One of the ways of financing the album was to get people to pledge extra to go to the studio and get involved in the recording, I don’t want to pour cold water on anything but sadly I think this is where the band have shot themselves ever so slightly in the foot. Despite being a great song, I’m On My Way, has some awful, flat backing vocals in the chorus which almost ruin the song. The same applies to This Is What We Are where a slightly naff chorus comes close to ruining what is otherwise a very strong song, being slightly heavier than we are used to from Caravan including an infectious piano motif and an excellent, soaring guitar solo towards the end.The slower Dead Man Walking is the perfect pacer, leading into the very emotive Farewell My Old Friend. As an ode to the passing of a close friend, this song is made all the more poignant following the death of Richard Coughlan and brings a lump to the throat!In typical Caravan style, no-one is allowed to get too maudlin, as the next two songs Pain in the Arse with the vitriolic closing line ‘I don’t care if you sue me now, you are insane’, and Trust Me I Am A Doctor put the collective tongues firmly back in the cheek. Doctor takes an irreverent stab at a GP, who I’m quite sure, given the amount of names dropped in the song is a real person and should have no difficulty in identifying himself! But it is all done in good fun and I’m sure no umbrage will be taken!The album finishes on a mellow note with the wistful I’ll Be There For You and the title song Paradise Filter which kicks off  really slow and  melancholy with a late night jazz feel, before breaking out into a middle section that is very reminiscent of the instrumental break in The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again!Overall this is an excellent return for a band that has been absent from the recording studio for too long (it is ten years since the release of The Unauthorised Breakfast Item in 2003). Not that they have been resting on their laurels as they have still been playing live gigs, but it is nice to know that they can still cut it and write well crafted, catchy and extremely listenable songs.It also proves that the pledging route is a very viable way of financing studio time and album releases, sadly, however, I doubt very much that would work for new bands as you would have to have a name for yourself in order to create the initial interest. Maybe extensive gigging and as the old saying goes ‘paying your dues’ would help. Now there’s an idea (take note potential XFactor and The Voice contestants)!" - jonb52
    $20.00