First albums by bands are always interesting, though not necessarily essential. Sometimes the artist is feeling their way, often the vision is a work-in-progress, occasionally it’s “All Change!” after the first effort. The two 1968 debuts we’re looking at in this post cover most of the bases mentioned above. Both are worthy of attention; both […]

Released in November 1968, Ars Longa Vita Brevis was the second album by The Nice. Their first, 1967’s The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack, has some classic psychedelic songs (“Flower King of Flies” is a personal fave) and clear progressive characteristics, exemplified by Keith Emerson’s keyboard work on “Rondo”, but you could not call it a […]

“When did prog rock begin?” is a question that gets trotted out periodically and always invites a storm of opinion, most of it generating more heat than light. A big part of the problem is a lack of shared understanding around the terms. What is prog? Is it different from progressive music? And what constitutes […]

One of the best albums of the 60s was released in January 1968. It garnished folk-rock, psychedelic, country and pop tunes with flourishes of Eastern tonalities, smatterings of jazz and a knowing awareness of what four chaps from Liverpool were doing over in the UK. We are talking about The Notorious Byrd Brothers, behind whose […]

When it comes to choosing albums to write about, I’ve noticed a few trends. One—previously mentioned—is the difficulty in writing about a really special, favourite record. Something about the meaning, the importance, the desire to communicate the specialness; these somehow inhibit my fingers. At the other end of the spectrum are those artists only known […]

Here is the third instalment in the ‘Decade’ themed album cover quizzes. We’ve aced the Eighties, and nuked the Naughties… Now it’s time to swing into the Sixties. Below are fourteen album covers (CD sized) resting on a 12″ LP. All were released between 1960 and 1969. The task is to identify as many as […]

There is a wind-up alien on the cover. The title is Attack Of The Martians. No record label; it was self-produced in 2004. Eccentric Orbit is the name of the band. They come from planet Synth.   This intriguing CD was part of a recent haul, a whim-purchase based on half the quartet playing electric […]