Category Debut Albums

YOUNG AND FRESH

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 […]

LIFE IS SHORT, ART IS LONG

“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 […]

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIR REG!

It’s odd to think of Elton John as a Sixties artist. But Reginald Dwight first played and recorded in that decade of innocence and transformation, most notably with Long John Baldry in Bluesology. A solo career and an enduring song-writing partnership with fellow Englishman Bernie Taupin beckoned, as did one of the most famous name-changes […]

PLAY IT AGAIN, TIM

Video may well have killed the radio star, but the song also came very close to provoking the death by strangulation of my friend Tim. Released in September 1979, “Video Killed The Radio Star” was co-written by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Bruce Woolley a year earlier. Fans of Yes will know the first two […]

TIMELESS

I remember where but not which. The shop was in Princes Gate Arcade, down the end in a kind of cul-de-sac where only record hunters and lost commuters ended up. I remember a big window, counter, racks—sparsely distributed around a loungeroom-sized space—and bean bags where you could audition an LP of your choice under headphones […]

HE’S GETTING RATHER OLD BUT HE’S A GOOD MOUSE

Syd Barrett and the Pink Floyd invented salted caramel in 1967  [Hieronymus Botch, Paisley Curtains website] While Roger Waters, Rick Wright and Nick Mason studied architecture at Regent Street Polytechnic in London, Syd Barrett enrolled in Art and Design at the Cambridge School of Art. Contemporaries of young Syd, interviewed later on the strength of […]

DO THE POP?

In 1977, being on a trial separation from the University of Melbourne (it ended in divorce) I was working at Max Rose Electronics in suburban Melbourne. At the time I was deeply into prog heavyweights Yes for the playing, the complexity, even the unfathomable lyrics. All the things smart-arse music journalists were queuing up to […]