User Page: chopper

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Joined 16 years ago
Last Visit 14 years ago
Ratings Submitted 24
Main Genres Set 26
Artists Added 3
Albums Added 9
Trust level 6/10
Permalink http://progfreak.com/user/chopper
Last.fm Username chopper777
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Review by chopper 14 years ago <Permalink>
Caravan - Live In Nottingham 2003, Live
7.8
English/British Prog Jazz
This CD is apparently taken from a concert that was part of the Bedrock series made by Central Music in the late 1980s, a series which also includes Asia, Rick Wakeman, Gong, Hawkwind and Uriah Heep. Personally I have no recollection of this series but the television broadcasts were a great success (it says here). It features the classic Caravan line-up of Pye Hastings, Richard and David Sinclair, Richard Coughlan with the ever reliable Jimmy Hastings on flute. Most of the songs here are well known Caravan classics including Head Loss, Winter Wine, For Richard and a nice version of Nine Feet Underground. I must admit I find the original of Nine Feet Underground a bit boring in places due to the lack of variety in the keyboard sound. This version breaks things up a bit with the ubiqitous Mr Hastings' flute and sax.

The sound is pretty good, some of the keyboard sounds are a bit tinny but overall it's a worthwhile purchase for Caravan fans, especially at the price I picked it up for. It also features a new Roger Dean "buildings" painting on the cover. What more can you want?
Review by chopper 14 years ago <Permalink>
Caravan - The Battle Of Hastings 1995
8.0
Non-Prog Canterbury
I've always liked the short, whimsical "pop" songs from Caravan - Golf Girl, If I could Do It All Over Again and particularly Love to Love You. This 1995 release contains at least one of the whimsical songs in "Wendy wants another 6" mole", but the rest of the tracks are all short (by Caravan standards anyway) and are in a less Canterbury style than the original band. This is very much a Pye Hastings CD, as he wrote all the songs bar one. To be honest I wasn't expecting too much but this has come as a very pleasant surprise. The quality of recordings is good, the songs are all melodic and well played as you'd expect, but there are enough solos to keep most prog fans happy. The wind of Jimmy Hastings (if you'll pardon the expression) is very much in evidence here and "I know why you're laughing" even features what sounds like the Caravan organ sound of old.

I appear to have the older edition where the cover art has a budget, almost photocopied feel to it, nevertheless this is an excellent CD and I'd recommend it to all but the most die-hard Canterbury fan.
Review by chopper 15 years ago <Permalink>
Tinyfish - Tinyfish 2007
8.5
Symphonic Prog Rock
This is the debut CD from the self-styled "world's smallest prog rock band" and very good it is too. Starting off with some spoken words from Rob Ramsay ("black cold dogs noses"), Motorville kicks in the album with a fine guitar riff over some great drumming from Simon Godfrey. "Fly like a bird" takes things down a notch or two and features a brilliant guitar solo. "Nine months on fire" picks things up again and is the start of a succession of excellent tracks which take us through to the Eleanor Rigby-like "Sundried" which reprises a theme from the chorus of the earlier "Too high for low company". The next track is the "epic" of the album - "All hands lost" at just over 12 minutes - and the album concludes with the eponymous title track.
All in all this album is up there with "Fear of a blank planet" as my favourite album of 2007 so far and there are a great many prog bands who would have liked their debut album to have been as good as this. At first listening it may seem like simple rock/pop, but repeated listenings bring out the subtleties in the instrumentation and particularly the vocal harmonies. The spoken words add to the overall feel of the album without being embarassing in a Moody Blues way. I can hear bits of their quoted influences (King Crimson, Marillion, Tom Waits and Rush) but they have found their own sound here and it's a good one. Highly recommended.
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1-20 of 23  
Talk Talk - Spirit Of Eden 1988
 #1
9.8
Ambient Retro Prog Rock
Yes - Relayer 1974
 #2
9.4
Technical Experimental Prog
Yes - Close to the Edge 1972
 #3
9.2
Technical Experimental Prog
Porcupine Tree - Fear of a Blank Planet 2007
 #4
9.0
Atmospheric Non-Prog Rock
Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever 2001
 #5
8.7
Symphonic Prog Rock
Neal Morse - One 2004
 #6
8.7
Prog Rock
Gentle Giant - Octopus 1972
 #7
8.6
English/British Medieval Prog Rock
Tinyfish - Tinyfish 2007
 #8
8.5
Symphonic Prog Rock
The Tangent - Place in the Queue 2006
 #10
8.4
Technical Retro Prog Canterbury
Tool - 10,000 Days 2006
 #11
8.3
Heavy Prog-Related Metal
Caravan - The Battle Of Hastings 1995
 #13
8.0
Non-Prog Canterbury
Rush - Snakes & Arrows 2007
 #14
8.0
Prog-Related Album Oriented Rock
The Gourishankar - 2nd Hands 2007
 #15
8.0
Prog Rock
Magic Pie - Motions of Desire 2005
 #16
8.0
Prog Rock
Frank Zappa - Sheik Yerbouti 1979
 #17
8.0
Retro Prog-Related Rock
Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant 1970
 #19
7.6
Prog Rock
Yes - Big Generator 1987
 #20
7.5
Prog Rock
Playlist
1
2
1-20 of 24  
Kevin Ayers - The Unfairground 2007
 14 years ago
7.0
Retro Non-Prog Pop
Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant 1970
 14 years ago
7.6
Prog Rock
Gentle Giant - Octopus 1972
 14 years ago
8.6
English/British Medieval Prog Rock
Yes - Big Generator 1987
 14 years ago
7.5
Prog Rock
Caravan - Live In Nottingham 2003, Live
 14 years ago
7.8
English/British Prog Jazz
Caravan - The Battle Of Hastings 1995
 14 years ago
8.0
Non-Prog Canterbury
Caravan - In The Land Of Grey And Pink 1971
 14 years ago
8.4
Prog Jazz
Talk Talk - Spirit Of Eden 1988
 15 years ago
9.8
Ambient Retro Prog Rock
The Tangent - Place in the Queue 2006
 15 years ago
8.4
Technical Retro Prog Canterbury
Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever 2001
 15 years ago
8.7
Symphonic Prog Rock
Tool - 10,000 Days 2006
 15 years ago
8.3
Heavy Prog-Related Metal
Rush - Snakes & Arrows 2007
 15 years ago
8.0
Prog-Related Album Oriented Rock
The Gourishankar - 2nd Hands 2007
 15 years ago
8.0
Prog Rock
Magic Pie - Motions of Desire 2005
 15 years ago
8.0
Prog Rock
Neal Morse - One 2004
 15 years ago
8.7
Prog Rock
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