Land Of Cockayne

SKU: ECLEC 2208
Label:
Esoteric Recordings
Category:
Fusion
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Universally considered to be the worst studio album from Soft Machine. In actuality Land Of Cockayne began as a Karl Jenkins solo album. There are some great names associated with this album: Allan Holdsworth, Jack Bruce, Dick Morrissey, and John Taylor but the reality is that it just isn't really a Soft Machine album. This is really more for completists as its been out of print for many years and now being given the royalty treatment from Esoteric Recordings.

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  • Latest solo album from Dream Theater's vocalist finds him pushing the boundaries a bit. This is square on prog metal with keyboardist Matt Guillory and guitarist Marco Sfogli returning. LaBrie plays with a monster rhythm section with his main band but he's put together a formidible complement here in Peter Wildoer (Darkane) and Ray Riendeau (Halford) on drums and bass. There seems to be a bit more of a harder edge than his previous solo albums, probably due to the mix of Jens Bogren (Opeth, Paradise Lost). Wildoer also contributes coarse vocals in contrast to LaBrie's smoother style. Essential for any Dream Theater fan.
    $5.00
  • "Garden Wall would get heavier in subsequent albums, but on their debut the band seems to be paying tribute to a whole host of neo-prog bands like Marillion, Pendragon and Cathedral. In fact they remind me quite a bit of Cathedral with their heavy rhythm section grounding the guitar arpeggios and keyboard flourishes. The vocals here are measurably better though.I don’t know much about these guys, but this album shows they have a strong knowledge of eighties progressive rock. Musically they remind me a little bit of fellow countrymen Sad Minstrel with their highly expressive and heavier rock sound, but these guys rely a lot more on synth orchestral layers than that group. The songs all exude plenty of energy, although I’m left with a general feeling that this is closer to slightly moody eighties music than some of their neo contemporaries.While I said the vocals are better than bands like Cathedral, vocalist Alessandro Seravalle does have a strong attribute of the throaty singing of many eighties crooners like Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Holly Johnson or the Romantics Wally Palmar. The music isn’t anything like those bands, but Seravalle seems to be another in a long line of Bryan Ferry soundalikes who have graced album tracks over the past thirty years or so. Not necessarily a bad thing, and considering the band’s penchant for moody synthetic sounds on tracks like “Silent Waves in a Raging Ocean” and “Ekpyrosis”, his voice is for the most part a reasonable fit.Speaking of “Ekpyrosis”, this is the most lengthy song on the album at more than thirteen minutes, and while it features some grand climaxes and really cool chamber vocals, for the most part I think the thing drags on for a bit longer than is necessary, especially in the middle section.The band shows a glimpse of what’s to come with the closing “Onde Radio” though, a prototypical neo- prog number with driving drums, soaring electric guitar and a torrid pace. This is much close to the sound the band would show on their next couple of albums, but on this debut the brooding synth arrangements seem to be much more prevalent.This isn’t a great album by any means, but it is decent. So three stars are not unreasonable. I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on a copy, but at a fair price this would make an okay addition to most neo-progger’s collections. Recommended to fans of late eighties neo bands and those who like Italian music that isn’t awash with symphonic pompousness." - Progarchives
    $9.00
  • New expanded 2 CD edition of the great first album from Colosseum II. It features the same bonus tracks that were previously available on the Sanctuary expanded edition but doesn't include the BBC live session from 1976. Oh well.
    $19.00
  • Remastered edition of Hammill's proto-punk classic.
    $10.00
  • Archival release on Long Hair Music of a German prog duo that never recorded a proper album.  Interesting that the lineup consisted solely of organ and drums.  Gunter Kuhlwein takes a Brian Auger meets Keith Emerson approach to his playing and drummer Walter Helbig has a bit of a jazz leaning.  Kuhlwein sings a bit as well but this is mostly instrumental.  If you are fan of early ELP, The Nice, Hardin & York, or even a very obscure German band called Sixty-Nine (anyone remember Circle Of The Crayfish?) you need to check these two kats out.  They rip it up!
    $18.00
  • Man when they talk about "Mellotron drenched" albums they mean this one. The band's second album is loaded with great organ/'tron passages and Ms. Kaagman sounds more and more like Annie Haslam. The album is capped off with the side long title track. This new edition from Esoteric gets all their normal love and attention and features 6 bonus tracks.
    $18.00
  • More of an emphasis on keys lends a Yes quality to their sound.
    $14.00
  • One of the best Quebecois prog albums.  Originally released in 1972 by Columbia its become a serious rarity - one of the top in the Canadian prog genre.  All the reviews will tell you the same basic story.  Dervieux was dying of cancer.  He assembled a group of musicians that would ultimately carry on after his death as Contraction.  The album is very keyboard intensive having a bit of a classical feel - kind of ELP-ish in spots.  Quite a beautiful album and essential."Franck Dervieux manned the keyboards on some of Jean-Pierre Ferland's earlier works, but by 1972 the gifted pianist had decided to strike out on his own. For Dimension M, Dervieux assembled some of the cream of the early Quebec prog scene, including bassist Yves Laferriere, Michel Robidoux on acoustic guitar, drummer Christian St. Roch and on several tracks singer Christiane Robichaud, all of whom would go on to form the sought-after prog band Contraction. Dervieux was suffering from late-stage cancer at the time and dedicated the record to his team of doctors in Sherbrooke, who he claims "preserved" him for the making of this record.What makes Dimension M such a joy is the way it straddles - remember this is just 1972 - the worlds of psychedelia and prog. Dervieux delivers plenty of classically-themed piano and virtuosic organ solos a la ELP, but elsewhere, on the blithe intro to side-one closer 'Hyperboree' (an adaptation of a work by obscure French composer Gabriel Govrez) he fuses some bluesy organ with Robichaud's fetching aria. Even better is the haunting build-up of drums, keyboard and voice on his own 'Concerto Pour Les Mondes Perdus' or the spacy workout 'Present Du Futur' over on side two. Fans of Soft Machine, Kingdom Come or Van der Graaf Generator should find plenty to salivate over on these tracks.Alas, though the Lord may giveth, he also taketh away, and one of the true originators of Quebecois progressive rock died not long after the release of Dimension M. The original vinyl came in a gatefold sleeve with a four-page insert, but it can be devilishly hard to find despite coming out on Columbia Canada. For those of us who want more immediate gratification, the dedicated folks over at ProgQuebec recently issued Dimension M on CD, carefully mastered from a vinyl source, with photos and bilingual liner notes to boot." - Canukistan Music 
    $18.00
  • Fifth studio album from one of the pre-eminent US progressive metal bands. Redemption is led by guitarist Nick Van Dyk and features Fates Warning vocalist Ray Alder. Redemption albums are always hallmarked with deep and meaningful lyrical content. This is not lightweight fluff. Neil Kernon was brought on board to produce and the results finds a more aggressive sound but one that stays true to the bands progressive roots. Personally, Ark's Burn The Sun with the exception, I was never a fan of Tommy Newton's production. I think Neil's style fits the band much better and he was able to extract an overall heaviness from the band that they never were able to achieve before. There is a ton of material here - 72 minutes. In addition you get a bonus CD featuring 6 cover tunes. Highest recommendation.
    $5.00
  • "With contemporary music often looking to dissolve artificial boundaries and cross-pollinate with abandon, it shouldn't comes as a surprise to hear progressive rock groups using the same tack. On one hand, expectations often drive them to stay close to home— Yes may release new music periodically, but its live shows draw more from the classic 1970-1977 repertoire than any other. Then there's King Crimson who, while looking back to some extent, are more interested in pushing forward and creating live sets reflective of that aesthetic. New groups aren't anchored down with the dilemma of evolving while, at the same time, pleasing longtime fans interested in hearing their favorite songs. Mahogany Frog suggests, perhaps, one possible future of progressive rock, bringing together elements of electronica, ambient, industrial and jazz into the more familiar terrain of detailed, long-form writing, odd meters and neoclassicism. DO5 demonstrates what might happen if Radiohead and Sigur Rós were put into a blender with Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis, then dropping the vocals. The end result sounds like none of them, though markers run throughout DO5—Mahogany Frog's fifth album, but its first for a label with widespread distribution. "G.M.F.T.P.O." opens the nine-song, 45-minute disc with a high energy, guitar-driven anthemic melody, propelled by drummer J.P. Perron's visceral beat and Scott Ellenberger's thundering bass. But a mere thirty seconds into its brief ninety-second duration, it enters space-rock territory, with electronics entering the picture as a series of punctuating shots segue into the eleven-minute "T-Tigers & Toasters." Ambient sounds from a variety of analog and digital keyboards, played by Graham Epp and Jesse Warkentin, build into a deceptively unsophisticated three-chord change that morphs into alt-rock as they pick up guitars for a high volume, heavily distorted power-chord theme. The simplicity turns complex, however, during the second half as odd meters and unexpected twists and turns are introduced, along with sudden dynamic shifts from ear-splitting to a near-whisper. One thing is certain, however: Mahogany Frog is a band best experienced with the volume control turned up to eleven. It only helps to make the quieter passages even more dramatic and the symphonic tinges of "Last Stand at Fisher Farm," with Epps and Ellenberger picking up trumpets for its potent theme, all the stronger. Mahogany Frog isn't a group that relies on solos to impress, but Perron nevertheless stands out, his playing on the knotty "You're Meshugah!" especially frenetic and captivating. The brief, riff-driven "I Am Not Your Sugar" may be a head-banger's delight, but it's one that expects the metal-head to pump his fist while searching desperately for the "one." Accusations of bombast tend to follow progressive rockers around, and there's no shortage of turgidity to be found on DO5. Still, it's a guilty pleasure that fans of the alt-rock scene, looking for something more challenging, may well gravitate towards. For longstanding progressive rockers who believe in emphasis on progressive, Mahogany Frog hits all the right reference points, yet is as contemporary as it gets, breathing new life into what is mistakenly considered by some to be an outdated genre. They couldn't be more wrong." - All About Jazz
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  • Next to last album finds the band with a new lineup and a more commercial direction. Still some good stuff here.
    $18.00
  • Domestic pressing of the second album from this superb Polish prog band. While their first album tended to veer more towards the metal side, Metafiction is a bit lighter - but only in overall sound, not thematically. There are plenty of heavy moments but lets call it heavy progressive rock as opposed to metal. Whereas Riverside initially drew heavily from bands like Porcupine Tree, Opeth, and Anathema they ultimately found their own voice. Votum find themselves at the same crossroads. These bands are all similar influences emphasizing atmosphere and mood. Melancholy prevails - this is not an upbeat sounding album. The heavy parts may seem heavier because the quiet parts...are well...they are quieter! This adds to the dynamics of the album and overall it draws you right in to an inxoticating dreamscape. Easily one of 2009's best albums. Lets hope with a US release they are able to find an audience here. Highest recommendation.
    $13.00
  • "Plastic Soup is the first album of the new Dutch Progressive rock band PBII, the successor to the well known Plackband of the 70's and 80's, often called the Dutch Genesis. Plastic Soup however, has a sound that is absolutely 2010: modern, fresh and rocky but still with some great symphonic influences of the past. Stylistically, you could place it somewhere between Spocks Beard, Porcupine Tree, Frost*, Marilion, Linkin Park and Genesis. Special guests include John Mitchell (Arena, It Bites, Frost*), John Jowitt (IQ, Frost*) and Heidi Jo Hines (daughter of Denny Laine of Wings. Though not a concept album, the central theme of the album is the environment. Plastic Soup is another name for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, floating in the ocean with a size twice that of the US. Discoverer of this plastic soup is captain Charles Moore, who also did some voice overs on the album. PBII wishes to get more attention to this environmental problem. "
    $3.00
  • The beauty and the beast wars are over and Epica has won. Until Floor Jansen comes through with her new project we have to consider Simone Simons the last woman standing. This is the band's fifth studio album and probably their most bombastic. Stunning female vocals mixed with death growls and a wall of synthesized orchestrations and power chords. You all know the drill by now. These guys are the masters of the genre.
    $13.00