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Procol Harum – Live (1972) [A&M Records/SP 4335 – US Pressing] (24-Bit/96Khz + 16-Bit/44.1Khz) (Vinyl Rip)

Procol Harum – Live “In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra”
Label: A&M Records/SP 4335 | Release: 1972 | Genre: Progressive-Rock
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz

The Moody Blues “Days of future passed” represents one of the earliest collaborations between band and orchestra. Deep Purple’s “Concerto…” also offers an early example of a live album involving both. For me though, Procol Harum’s “Live in concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra” was the first truly successful integration of the sound of an orchestra into the music of a band. Both the albums mentioned above tend to segregate the two factions, with either orchestral pieces or band performances, but the two do not perform together throughout the album. The music tends to be either symphonic or rock, not a true blend of both.

On this album, Procol Harum use the orchestra simply as an additional band member. Others such as Caravan (“& the new Symphonia”), Yes (“Yessymphonic”), and the Moody Blues (“Red Rocks”), have successfully done so since in a live environment, but for me, PH were the first.

The appeal of this album is enhanced significantly by the track selection. Those chosen invariably lend themselves well to orchestration. The opening “Conquistador” has been transformed from a good rock track to a bombastic symphonic overture, with rousing bursts from the brass section, and an astonishing vocal performance by Gary Brooker. Brooker’s distinctive vocals never sounded better than they do here, he’s clearly enjoying himself! This would have made a great theme tune for the film “Gladiator”.

“Whaling stories” and “A salt dog” are similar in pace and structure, both gaining an awesome majesty through the orchestration.

If side one of the album demonstrated how relatively short pieces could be greatly enhanced through the addition of an orchestra, side two presents the ultimate collaboration. “In held twas in I” was way ahead of its time when it first appeared on “Shine on brightly”. Here it becomes a symphonic masterpiece. The multi-tracked vocals of the studio version are of course gone. While they were effective then, they tended to make that version very much “of its time”. Throughout, band and orchestra play as one, building the tension, then breaking it, only to rebuild again. Dave Ball’s guitar work is superb throughout; even when dominant, it is still controlled and melodic.

“Live in concert…” stands even today as the template for others follow when it comes to combining band and orchestra. It benefits immensely from the quality of the songs selected, but the performance also, is superb.

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Planxty – Words & Music (1983) [WEA/240101 1 – IR Pressing] (24-Bit/96Khz + 16-Bit/44.1Khz) (Vinyl Rip)

Planxty – Words & Music
Label: WEA/240101 1 | Release: 1983 | Genre: Irish-Folk
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz

The last of the official discography of Planxty. There is a loss of that signature sound that made them famous : The traditional and rustic irish-folk except of course, for the noble Liam O’Flynn, that keeps your sound intact.
But why?
Because, if I using my logic, memory and point of view, we were in the eighties (1982 to be precise). Which group did not succumb that artificial sound to the eighties? That decade (my decade of life), was the turning point in terms of what was the excellence music.
Well, unfortunately fell into a pseudo-pop-folk. The classic wear after the first ten years of life. The disc itself is a collector’s item and can not be unaware the fame of its members, vocal and instrumental quality is the same , the opinion expressed is personal.

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Planxty – The Woman I Loved So Well (1980) [Tara/TARA 3005 – IR Pressing] (24-Bit/96Khz + 16-Bit/44.1Khz) (Vinyl Rip)

Planxty – The Woman I Loved So Well
Label: Tara/TARA 3005 | Release: 1980 | Genre: Irish-Folk
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz

The original lineup of Christy, Andy, Liam and Donal reformed Planxty in 1979. They recorded three further albums including After the Break and The Woman I Loved So Well. There were several additions and changes to their lineup most notably the addition of Matt Molloy, flautist from the Bothy Band, and later with The Chieftains.
Planxty with Matt MolloyOthers included fiddlers James Kelly and Nollaig Casey on Words & Music, Bill Whelan, later of Riverdance fame, plays keyboards on The Woman I Love So Well as do concertina/fiddle duet Noel Hill and Tony Linnane. In 1981, Planxty performed a Bill Whelan arrangement called Timedance as the intermission piece during the Eurovision song contest, held that year in Ireland, and later released it as a single (and included on Bill’s The Seville Suite album released by Tara in 1992.

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Planxty – After The Break (1979) [Tara/TARA 3001 – IR Pressing] (24-Bit/96Khz + 16-Bit/44.1Khz) (Vinyl Rip)

Planxty – After The Break
Label: Tara/TARA 3001 | Release: 1979 | Genre: Irish-Folk
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The gravest danger in the resurrection of Planxty was always that, in attempting to recreate the extraordinary verve and majesty of their original incarnation, they neglected natural current instincts and succeeded only in becoming a parody of their former selves. That they managed with ease to avoid this considerable pitfall alone makes this a great record.

Naturally there’s no conceivable way that “After The Break” can manage the same impact as their bold debut LP, purely because “Planxty” came first and hit upon a blend that evidently inspired all those involved. If “The Well Below The Valley” and “Cold Blow The Rainy Night” fell short of it (albeit narrowly) then it was because that sharpness and charged sense of restrained dynamics had to a small degree dissipated. On several tracks here notably “The Rambling Suiler”, “The Pursuit Of Farmer Michael Hayes”, and two sets of reels, it’s fully recaptured.

Yet the track that defiantly declares that they are looking ahead and not behind is “Smeceno Horo”, a frantic Bulgarian dance tune that’s proved so popular on gigs it even merits a “FEATURING SMECENO HORO” sticker on the sleeve. A joker in the pack, it’s a complete departure from everything they’ve done before, even allowing for some of Andy Irvine’s flirtations with Eastern European music in the past. Undeniably invigorating and infectious, it’s nevertheless my least favourite track on the record, jarring in relation to the rest of the album, but I admire their resolve in tackling it. It comes over much more powerfully live.

The only other real quibbles are that Christy Moore (on “The Good Ship Kangaroo” and Andy Irvine (on “You Rambling Boys Of Pleasure”) seem to take the understated vocal style perhaps a shade too far, or maybe the vocals are a fraction too low in the mix. But these really are details – the arrangements around both tracks are superb, the instrumental break tagged on to the end of “The Good Ship Kangaroo”, the opening track, stirring memories of “Raggle Taggle Gypsy” and “Tabhair Dum Do Lamh”, “The Rambling Suiler”, a Scots moral tale of a colonel who dresses up as a beggar and pulls a farmer’s daughter, and “The Pursuit Of Farmer Michael Hayes”, a geographical guide to Ireland through the eyes of a fleeing murderer, are both vintage Planxty.

Matt Molloy and Liam O’Flynn are at the helm of the instrumental tracks (two sets of reels and one of double-jigs) and two things emerge. One is that Liam O’Flynn has become an even more accomplished piper than he was before, and that Matt Molloy’s brief contribution on flute was greater than it actually appeared on stage. His blend with O’Flynn is mesmerising here.

This is of course, an essential album.

Colin Irwin review for Melody Maker 15/12/79)

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Iron Maiden – Live After Death (1985) [2LP, EMI, ES 24 0426 3] (24-Bit/96Khz) (Vinyl Rip)

Iron Maiden – Live After Death (1985, 2LP)
Vinyl Rip in 24 Bit/96 kHz -> 2.4 GB | Complete HQ Scans | PNG -> 500 MB
DR 12 | FLAC, IMG+CUE, No Log | Label: EMI, ES 24 0426 3 (RIP 1) | RAR 3% Recovery
… 2 LP Gatefold Sleeve with tour photos + 8-page 12″x12″ book with tour credits and crew photos …

Iron Maiden’s World Slavery Tour was one of the longest and most extensive tours ever undertaken by a rock band. Lasting from August 9, 1984, to July 5, 1985, and visiting such countries as Poland, Austria, Hungry, Yugoslavia, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Scotland, England, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Japan, and the U.S., the show included a mammoth setup that replicated the intricate ancient Egyptian scenery of the Powerslave album cover. As a “thank you” to the hundreds of thousands of fans who packed arenas the world over, the double-LP live set Live After Death was issued in 1985 (and first reissued as one CD, without several songs). The album is essentially a best-of of sorts, since most of their singles released up to this point are featured in all of their high-decibel glory. Live After Death is easily one of heavy metal’s best live albums.

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Nektar ‎- A Tab In The Ocean (1972) [Passport Records/PPSD-98017 – US Pressing] (24-Bit/96Khz + 16-Bit/44.1Khz) (Vinyl Rip)

Nektar ‎- A Tab In The Ocean
Label: Passport Records/PPSD-98017 | Release: 1972 | This Issue: 1976 | Mastered at Sterling Sound | Genre: Progressive-Rock
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz

From the opening strains of a monumental organ theme you know this is going to be Prog Heaven. Right on cue the band crashes in and off we go on a roller-coaster ride of majestic proportions. It is a journey that will take us stomping through rough seas of real heavyweight guitar action, sometimes floating lightly on a calm sea beneath the stars of some mellow verses, bobbing bemused on confused waters of quick-fire disorientating theme changes, or surfing serenely on giant Atlantic rollers as riff follows giant riff.
Along the way we open doors into worlds of such delight that no listener will be able to resist, wow moments that cause an involuntary physical reaction, maybe to break into a beatific grin accompanied by a sudden urge to thump something rhythmically. These guys had hit a rich seam of creativity at this time and few bars are without something exciting happening, toying with our emotions and leaving us wanting more.

Based on trademark riff structures from multi-tracked guitars, title track A Tab In The Ocean has a genuinely complex Symphonic Prog structure, with continuous organic progression throughout, awash with key, tempo and mood changes in an ever-flowing monster of a piece. It even has a final sting in its tail with a fantastic guitar motif at 16:00 that is gone before it has time to sink in. A Tab In The Ocean is one of those beloved ‘epics’ that ought to stand proud alongside Tarkus, Supper’s Ready and Close To The Edge as a shining example of the best of Prog.

After a noisy start, Desolation Alley settles into a cool groove, jazz-inspired but with a hint of Floydian blues too, notable by some lovely touches from organ and bass. A mid-song instrumental ups the tempo with guitars and organ bashing away as the bass holds tension. Later, a languid mood is maintained by the wonderful Waves with its spoken vocal, an old Moody Blues trick and very well executed.

Crying In The Dark begins quietly, slowly building tension until a killer riff is finally unleashed. Forever shifting and changing within a hard rock framework, the track proceeds with organ and guitar soloing to segue into King Of Twilight which continues the mood with staccato percussion and a welcome touch of Mellotron choir. It also contains some stunning instrumentals including thrusting power space rock, and it rocks off to an unexpected abrupt end on the word ‘free’. Rock doesn’t get much better than this!

One thing about Nektar – each album had its own special imprint, a character quite distinct from its siblings. A Tab In The Ocean is their most overtly Classic Prog, less psychedelic and more assured than Journey To The Centre Of The Eye, darker and less ‘vocal’ than the funkier, more mainstream road they would later travel. Despite Albrighton’s dominant, almost virtuoso, performance on guitar, there is little soloing as such, just lots of solid riffs and structured progressions dripping with Prog quality oozing from every pore.

Aside from his uplifting guitar, Albrighton’s singing is fine without being special or noteworthy, perfectly in keeping with the mood of the music. Taff Freeman plays a mean Hammond throughout, only occasionally jumping to something different, but is slightly too recessed in an otherwise excellent transparent production. Mo Moore’s bass playing is always strong, and quite forward, often playing semi-lead runs like Jon Camp of Renaissance as a counterpoint while at other times laying a solid foundation for the others.

A Tab In The Ocean was remastered and released in 2004 by Dream Nebula with two versions on the CD – the original German 1972 mix, and a vastly inferior USA 1976 version. Sound is good, though there would appear to some slight problems with a wobbly bottom on one or two occasions. It is presented with a decent booklet containing lyrics and extensive interesting notes.

In the 1970s, Nektar passed underneath my radar, as they must have for most British Prog fans of the time. It was only later I discovered them and soon realised the error of my ways, but I still find it sad they don’t command the same respect as Yes or Genesis. A Tab In The Ocean remains a phenomonal achievement, well deserving of a place in all classic Prog collections.

And all this arose from a chance remark, while admiring the antics of some captive fish, wondering what would happen if someone dropped a giant tab in the ocean!

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Mike Oldfield ‎- Discovery (1984) [Virgin/V 2308, Virgin/DMM 206 300 – DE Pressing] (24-Bit/96Khz + 16-Bit/44.1Khz) (Vinyl Rip)

Mike Oldfield ‎- Discovery
Label: Virgin/V 2308, Virgin/DMM 206 300| Release: 1984 | Genre: Pop-Rock
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz

Not a masterpiece by any means but I do find “Discovery” underrated ’cause of some pure magical moments. Three quarters of this album are conventional pop/folk songs but there’s one great instrumental track entitled “The Lake”. One of the best instrumentals the man’s ever done in his entire career with lots of stunning melodies and great moods. Listening to this marvellous track with many mood swings and rhythm breaks you wonder why he didn’t include more of this kind of brilliant stuff on this album. The highly symphonic melodies are the bridge between the very different excerpts of classical themes to reflective quiet moments to powerful rhythms of rock and folk. Like he use to, Oldfield added some great female voices singing diabolic melodies on the background. Every now and then there’s some keyboard motives which refers to the exorcist excerpt of “Tubular bells”. Just like on that album a lot of instruments can be found on “The Lake”: bells, flutes, keyboards and a range of different types of electric and acoustic guitars. Simon Phillips handles the drums and he seems in top shape by adding some essential dynamics with percussion which found its roots in fusion. This piece de résistance alone makes it worthwhile for getting to know this album if you haven’t discovered it already. Oldfield did longer tracks than this on other eighties albums but “The Lake” is the most enjoyable of the era, only Crises comes close to the beauty of this track.
For a hit single, “To France” holds the perfect mood for a romantic love story without slickness. I love this song with it’s Kate Bush like melodies and folkish melody motifs. To the end of the track the delicate arrangements change into a wall of sound made of sharp acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and atmospheric keys. At the end of “To France” the dreamy sequence turns sinister as the intro of the mysterious “Poison arrow” starts to interfere. Again the folk rhythm section is heavy felt like on all the tracks. Again, take note of the excitable percussion sounds Simon Phillips provided this track from. All sorts of guitars are creating the atmosphere of paranoia quite effective even though the sinister keyboard line is helping a lot. The howling wolves are doing the rest of the job to get the listener shivers down the spine.

Other tracks on this album are barely excitable from a progressive point of view. These are decent pop tracks but nothing more. Still there’s some progressive flavours like the symphonic sounding chorus of “Saved by the bell” or the exploding guitar work on the title track. Oldfield even seems to manage to use some instrumental themes of “To France” a second time for “Talk about your life”. Here the vocals illustrate a typical male female argument in the emotional lyrics. Not a bad pop song.

This album deserves a three star rating for the good part. It could be described as a transitional album which has some inspiring traces of the best work of the previous decade and some worse pop influences from the disappointing albums to come.

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Lavilliers – O Gringo (1980) [Barclay/92 038/39 – Double LP/FR Pressing] (24-Bit/96Khz + 16-Bit/44.1Khz) (Vinyl Rip)

Lavilliers – O Gringo
Label: Barclay/92 038/39 | Release: 1980 | Genre: Pop-Rock
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz

Bernard Oulion born October 7, 1946 in Saint- Étienne1 . He grew up in a very modest environment , lulled by the working class. His father, also a trade unionist, is used in the manufacture of weapons of Saint -Étienne (MAS ) and his mother is a social worker . Her education plays a big role in his approach to music . He explained that it is indeed his parents give him the passion for tropical rhythms, Puerto Rican jazz and classical music . It also benefits from its four years of music with the turntable we offer him for his birthday . Pulmonary ill during his childhood, his parents moved to the suburbs away from the pollution of Saint -Étienne . At 16, he became an apprentice turner metals MAS and also turns to boxing . He stays in the house of correction after some thefts. Upon his release , he began to work . The work itself seems tasteless, he later wrote : ” At this time of my life , I was looking for: I do not know if I ‘d gangster , boxer or a poet … ” . He joined the Communist Party in 1963. At 18 , Saint -Étienne , he participated in a first mounting Nocturne (text – songs) created by Duk troupe (led by Pierre- René Massard ) , alongside another young Etienne , Alain Meilland , future co-founder of Printemps de Bourges in which he participated in numerous occasions.
At age 19 he moved to Brazil, where he returned a year later. It is considered to be rebellious and he was interned in the fortress of Metz for a year. This period of his life, often repeated in different ways by the media , is the subject of controversy focusing on the consistency of dates and veracity of faits3 . Upon his release, he began singing in nightclubs on the left bank in Paris: Chez Jacky Scala, Lacepede street is also found in the Court of Miracles in Bordeaux with Gilles Elbaz, Germinal , Gérard Ansaloni . He released in 1967 his first 45 laps. He won the prize of the Golden Rose at Montreux song with The Swank . His first album was released in 1968 , with its first title and an enigmatic ” Lavilliers ” who became his stage name . During the events of May 1968, he sang in the occupied factories in the Lyon region . While crisscrossing France and have difficulties to break into the music, he plays a few months in cabarets province in June , he begs in Britain. He held several odd jobs ( restaurant , nightclub manager in Marseille … ) and married in 1970 with Evelyn . The same year he released a 45 simple4 under the name of ” Edgar Lyon ,” with Camelia blues and Juliet 703 titles .
He released his second album in 1972, The Poets and begins to have a certain reputation , which was confirmed in 1975 with the Etienne ( including securities and San Salvador Saint Etienne ) . Consecration occurs in 1976 with The Barbares5 . He describes this album as musical turning point in his career. It reveals indeed a musical mix ranging from rock to funk, tropical rhythms. He passes for the first time at the Olympia in October 1977. It was at this time that he met Léo Ferré, a model for him. In favor of a joint tour in 1977 (which also involved the Magma and Gong groups) , the two men become friends. Lavilliers also invite his older singing with him at the Fête de l’Humanité in 1992 and will be a tribute concert to the works of Ferré in 2006 in Lyon with her usual musicians and the National Orchestra of Lyon . A DVD of this concert will be released in 2009 under the name Lavilliers Ferré sings .

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Jan Akkerman & Kaz Lux ‎- Eli (1976) [Atlantic/SD 18210 – US Pressing] (24-Bit/96Khz + 16-Bit/44.1Khz) (Vinyl Rip)

Jan Akkerman & Kaz Lux ‎- Eli
Label: Atlantic/SD 18210 | Release: 1976 | Genre: Rock-Fusion
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz

Out of limited number of albums that I have on Jan Akkerman’s solo works, this is the album that I like most for a very simple and basic reason: the music is nice even though not that progressive or not that jazz. It’s probably there is an addition of vocal with Kaz Lux that makes it an excellent collaboration. Not only that, the music represents what kind of music in the seventies in terms of recording quality as well as how the music was composed. Look at “Guardian Angel” that flows very nicely from start to end giving intense nuances of vintage or classic rock sounds. The instrumental “Tranqualizer” is also a good one to enjoy. I do enjoy how the flow and groove of “Can’t Fake a Good Time” move from one piece to another – it’s very enjoyable. I can find it also with “Eli” which demonstrates excellent quality of Kaz Lux voice. Of course there are some disco-style music like “There he still goes” but it’s OK as a break.

It’s hard to believe if you claim yourself as someone who loves vintage rock music for not liking this album. Yes, it’s not that progressive or jazzy, but the feels and nuances of the music are really great.

At first I did not realize that this excellent album was backed up with talented musicians like Rick van Der Linden as well as singer Maggie McNeal.

On the basis how the composition was made and how the music flows in the entire album regardless it’s progressive or not, I consider this one is an excellent album. Keep on proggin’ ..!

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Invisible – Durazno Sangrando (1975) [CBS 119467 – AR Demo Pressing] (24-Bit/96Khz + 16-Bit/44.1Khz) (Vinyl Rip)

Invisible – Durazno Sangrando
Label: CBS 119467| Release: 1975 | Genre: Progressive-Rock
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC | 24bit/96kHz & 16bit/44kHz


Side A
1. Encadenado Al Ánima 15:52
2. Durazno Sangrando 3:53
Side B
1. Pleamar De Águillas 4:29
2. En Una Lejana Playa Del Animus 10:14
3. Dios De Adolescencia 2:55

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