Original Album Classics (3CD)

SKU: 886919016321
Label:
Sony Music
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Slipcase budget priced collection of the first three Journey albums.  This is the really awesome pre-Steve Perry jazz rock proggy stuff.

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  • "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a newly re-mastered and expanded edition of the classic 1975 self-titled album by KESTREL. Hailing from Newcastle, the band featured Tom Knowles (lead vocals), Dave Black (guitar, vocals), John Cook (keyboards, mellotron), Fenwick Moir (bass) and Dave Whitaker (drums), who had previously been with Newcastle trio GINHOUSE.Signing to Cube Records in 1974, Kestrel recorded their sole eponymously titled album in 1975, with the majority of the compositions written by Dave Black. A fine example of melodic Progressive Rock, the album featured some outstanding tracks, including the gorgeous "The Acrobat” and the stunning epic "August Carol”. Inexplicably the album failed to sell in significant quantities and within a short time Kestrel dis-banded, leaving just one album and a single as their recorded legacy.Four decades later, "Kestrel” is now rightly regarded as a true over-looked classic of the Progressive Rock era, with original vinyl copies being impossibly rare and changing hands for huge sums, particularly in Japan.Newly re-mastered from the original tapes, this reissue of "Kestrel” has been expanded to include six bonus tracks, with four of them previously unreleased in the UK, and also includes a booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay.""Obviously, prog does come in all shapes and sizes. There are the pompous ones, the low-key, the larger-than-life ones and the small, the complex and those easily likeable. Everything in between and all things put together makes up the world of prog. Sometimes prog can be sort of poppy aswell. Nothing wrong with that. It can be very enjoyable. I would like to put forth a likeness and draw inspiration from the pub. After several sturdy Guinesses (think of Magma or some other complex band as Guiness) the pallet craves something refreshing, like a cool lemonade or just a sip of water. In this case the lemonade is Kestrel. Light, refreshing yet with a bite to it.Kestrel is one of those obscure bands that did not make it. Not because they were bad, as often the case with some obscurities, but maybe because they simply fell through the net and escaped the record buyer's hands. Who knows? The fact, however, is that the sole album by Kestrel is a very enjobale mixture of pop and prog, sort of a Supertramp meets Chicago and has a child by Genesis and nursed by Nektar added. If that is not all I'd say that Chris Squire babysat at times, considering the sound of the rumbling bass. Or something like that. It holds enough keyboards to make me happy and that says something.The tracks varies in length, the longest being 7.31 minutes, the shortest 4.09. I like all of the songs but "Wind cloud" with it's beautiful and dreamy web is fantastic. So are "Last requests", the epic "In the war" or (the more accessible) Gentle Giant-ish "August carol". All of the tracks are very well produced, performed and thought through. Nothing is left to chance.I think prog is the greatest genre due to it's variety and width. The severely complex at the one end and the very accessible and poppy at the other. All that gives me as a listener the chance to really ease my muscial hunger. If you are looking for something british, something complex yet accessible I would recommend this little overlooked gem. I would not call it a masterpiece but it is a fantastic album, full of ideas and enthusiasm which I really enjoy listening to. Well worth checking out." - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • New reissue of this US prog rarity.  Even the CD reissue from a decade ago is long out of print!  Considered by many to be one of the best examples of US prog."An overlookied US band, formed in early-70's and led by guitarist/keyboardist/sax player Robert Williams aka Roberts Owen (R.I.P.).The original line-up featured also multi-instrumentalist James Larner, keyboardist Mark Knox, drummer Jim Miller, bassist Paul Klotzbier and Jeff McMullen on lead vocals/guitars.Maelstrom had a private press LP out in Canada, recorded in 1973 at Fort Walton Beach in Florida and very rare nowadays, originally released under the title ''On the gulf''.Why this band is so overlooked remains a huge mystery to me, as Maelstrom had one of the most eclectic and intricate sounds back in the days.Every track shows a different amount of influences and musical approaches, always played under a very complicated yet well-structured musicianship, offering a huge and dramatic sound like a cross between ETHOS, CATHEDRAL and YEZDA URFA.There are strong amounts of melodies and acoustic passages in the vein of GENESIS, huge sax-based more improvised sections in the vein of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and SOFT MACHINE, smooth electric parts with delicate vocal harmonies as tribute to CARAVAN, complex interplays as GENTLE GIANT first ever presented and YES-like adventurous symphonic orchestrations with a superb atmosphere.Heavy loads of Mellotron and organ, jazzy-flavored sax atmospheres, dramatic orchestrations with good electric parts, instrumental battles and endless changing climates can be detected constantly, leaving the most demanding proghead satisfied.In 1997 Black Moon Records re-issued the album in CD format under the title ''Maelstrom'' and this work contains a couple of extra tracks recorded live by Maelstrom in 1980 at the ''Three Rivers Festival'' in Indiana with only Owen and Klotzbier from the original line-up along with keyboardist Kent Overholser and Rollin Wood on drums.''Opus one'' has a strong E.L.P. vibe with organs leading the way along with some dramatic synth work in a classic Symphonic Rock track, while the longer ''Genesis to geneva'' is a bit more of a loose instrumental composition again in a Symphonic Rock path but surrounded with some more Avant-Garde/Fusion atmospheres, where synths, organ and electric guitars are on the forefront.A fantastic discovery for all fans of adventurous Classic Prog.Interesting combination of Symphonic Rock, Cantebury Prog and Jazz-Rock, where so much is going on.Definitely among the finest releases of the time in the USA/Canada and highly recommended." - Prog Archives
    $16.00
  • Man o man - does this one define obscure? Woodoo is a one-off Finnish prog band from 1971 released on the equally obscure UFO label. Their music is an eclectic mix of strong African rhythms and Finnish folk. Its the percussion that really drives the album, underpinning leads of flute, sax, and guitar. Vocals are in Finnish and don't ask me what they are about. Pretty cool stuff.
    $21.00
  • Great first album from this German classical rock band. Originally released in 1972 on the Bellaphon label. The band was notorious for lifting from classical compositions and reinterpreting them. The album features wicked swirling organ, beautiful Mellotron, violin, flute, and smoking hot guitar leads from guest guitarist Andy Kirnberger (Frame). One of the great ones from the German scene. Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • This one was totally unknown to me but I once I heard it I knew I had to stock it. Eero Koivistoinen is a well regarded Finnish sax player. In 1976 he uncharacteristically made this blazing fusion album. Notable members of the lineup include Wlodek Gulkowski on synths, Pekka Pohjola on bass, Olli Ahvenlanti on piano, George Wadenius and Jukka Tolonen on guitar. Gulkowski once again comes through with really sick synth leads. Koivistoinen is quite the impressive player but its the cohesive band sound that really struck me. Definitely recommended to any fan of Weather Report, Hot Rats-period Zappa or Return To Forver. 24 bit remaster.
    $20.00
  • Second of three albums recorded by this lineup under different names. Their previous work was the fairly uninspired Flea On The Honey. Subsequent to this work they changed their name again to Etna and made a very good fusion album that sounds nothing like this. This interim album, under the name Flea, features a progressive sound heavily dominated by guitarist Carlo Pennisi. The album kicks off with the 20 minute title track which alllows Pennisi to basically freak out about as well as anyone. He goes into Hendrix mode and totally slays. This actually was an interesting band - some of these guys went on to play with L'Uovo Di Colombo and even Goblin. This is a new remastered version that comes housed in a mini-lp sleeve.
    $19.00
  • Masterfully played German fusion classic. Brilliant Moog-work and of course Mr. Doldinger. Essential.
    $13.00
  • Love the Mellotron?  Well have we got an album for you...Many years ago we reissued the 1971 release from this British progressive band.  Originally released on the RCA Neon label it achieved mythic status because there were 3 Mellotron players listed (turned out to be one Mellotron and a few of the band members played it).  Prices for original albums soared into the stratosphere.  We set out on our quest to bring Spring into the digital age.  As it turned out it was actually quite easy and we had the full participation of the lead singer Pat Moran.  For many years it was one of our most succesful releases but ultimately went out of print.  Since then it has reappeared on various labels - all using our CD as their source materials.Now we have a new visitiation by Esoteric Recordings who have not only gone back to the original source tapes but have successfully done what we were unable to - they have uncovered the tapes for the unreleased second album.The second album featured a slightly different lineup.  The Mellotron was gone and largely subplanted with organ.  Even still it was obviously Spring through and through.  So you now have the complete works of Spring: the first album, three non-lp tracks, plus a complete second album.  Of course expect the usual great booklet filled with all kinds of unknown facts culled from the late Pat Moran's diaries.Highest recommendation.  BUY OR DIE! 
    $15.00
  • Remastered edition of this Italian rarity from 1974. Samadhi was a supergroup of sorts featuring members of Raccamandata Ricevuta Ritorno, Kaleidon, I Teoremi, and L'Uovo Di Colombo. Its a nice mix of keys, guitar, sax/flute but what I always felt set these guys apart was the use of an orchestra. This provided some real depth and richness to the sound.
    $18.00
  • Third album from this Swiss psychedelic/space rock outfit led by multi-instrumentalist Joel Vandroogenbroeck. the band went through a different incarnation on each album. Vandroogenbroeck was augmented by his girlfriend Carol Muriel and drummer Barney Palm. Celestial Ocean is a totally tripped out affair dealing with the Egyptian Book Of The Dead. A variety of instruments are used: multi-keys, flute, guitar, zither, and hand percussion. If you are a fan of the Cosmic Jokers series, Yatha Sidhra, and maybe even early Hawkwind you should check this album out as its one of the best in the genre. Until this release there was never a decent sounding version of this album available on CD. I suspect the master tapes were lost and that Esoteric worked from clean vinyl. Regardless it sounds fine and much better than the Cleopatra version.
    $17.00
  • Produced by Billy Cobham, Forest Of Feelings is the first solo album from David Sancious, originally released in 1975.  It was recorded after his exit from the E Street Band.  Its an incredible blend of prog rock and fusion.  Its a trio format with the rhythm section held down by his former bandmate Ernest "Mad Dog" Carter on drums and Gerald Carboy on bass.  As proficient as he is as a keyboardist, most people overlook his attributes as a guitarist.  The man can play!This was briefly available on CD in 1992, and if I recall the story correctly, was withdrawn for sale due to legal threats by Mr. Sancious.  Its always been a tough disc to find.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • "‘Map of the Past‘, the fifth studio album from Cumbrian prog rockers It Bites, will most likely inhabit a strange, disturbing place in your heart. It’s a release that is obscurely beautiful and tender, but also one that can occasionally sound incongruous and lost in time. Very often, when it comes to progressive music, people will often justify anything odd by defending it with its genre. In the case of It Bites, there is a temptation to lean on a sound from their 80s heyday, which occasionally makes ‘Map of the Past’ seem staid and not just a little cheesy.In places this album is a wonderful, soaring retrospect vision of a forgotten generation, built around the ‘discovery of an old family photograph’. Although not a concept album per se, ‘Map of the Past’ explores the idea of lives captured within photographs, and reflects these contemplative visions with equally thoughtful music; album opener, ‘Man In the Photograph’ opens with the fuzz of radio static and soon leads into sound of organs and John Mitchell’s recollections borne from this one picture. The song blends into the more progressive sounding fare of ‘Wallflower‘ and its indulgent synth solo. The title track is more engaging, with soaring chorus vocals and disorientating time signatures, showcasing the tight musicianship and richly mature songwriting ability that has grown from their 30 years of existence.The strength of this album falters with ‘Flag’ and its irrepressibly outdated smattering of 80s memorabilia and Sting powered vocal lines, although the lyrics are undoubtedly more engaging than any Police offshoot. The album does have a tendency to wander into these unpalatable territories, but more than often than not redeems itself; as the grandiose, irresistible flounce of ‘Send No Flowers‘ resurrects its orchestral bombast and moves into ‘Meadow and the Stream’s artistically detailed backdrop, it’s clear that this album is more rollercoaster than record. The album finishes, as it started, relying on simply constructed songs and that radio static to bookmark the end; ‘The Last Escape’ is honestly beautiful, and seems even more so in contrast to the tumult of the remainder of the record.‘Map of the Past’ shifts between temporal paradigms rather than changing between tracks; it’s a scintillating album that is honest to itself, and stays true to It Bites’ form, even if it does rely on sounds from their back backcatalogue occasionally. Despite this, the depth of the album is phenomenal and is genuinely rich in its storyline, with music that peaks and troughs fittingly. Well worth a listen if you find yourself pointed at the progosphere." - Bring The Noise
    $5.00
  • Horn Culture is a nice spiritual jazz session led by the legendary saxophonist.  It dates back to 1973 and most of the musicians actually plug in.  Yoshiaki Masuo is the guitarist (some of you may know his great "24" album only released in Japan).  Walter Davis is playing electric piano and Bob Crenshaw is on electric bass.  David Lee is on drums and the great Mtume is on percussion.  Worth it just for the near 12 minute "Sais".
    $6.00