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14.12.08

Nektar




Nektar - Sunday Night at London Roundhouse - 1974 - Bacillus/Bellaphon (GER)

This album received some poor reviews in the past, but nowadays, it is regarded by real music lovers as a great prog. rock album, especially the CD edition with bonus tracks. One music critic who was at the original gig, wrote off this album because he wasn't impressed by the band's light show ! Also, the band opened for the very popular Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel. This would not have impressed many "Glam Rock" music critics, who probably fell asleep ! What a contrast in musical styles ! Slightly ironic, as the British-born, German-based band was responsible for some of the great mid-'70s psychedelic/space rock albums, and many prog. rock fans regarded Nektar as one of the seventies great live progressive rock acts. Amazingly, the original 1974 LP, has only two of the tracks from the original concert. The other tracks were later live studio recordings. In 1974, many of Nektar's fans were angry when this "abridged" album hit the record stores. Nevertheless, this 1974 release is still a great album, and demonstrates the great sound of Nektar. Expanded and remastered editions of the concert can now be found on various CD releases. On some of their later seventies' releases, Nektar's somewhat dark prog rock style had started to fade, as the band became more "commercial". Try and listen to Nektar's first album, "Journey to the Centre of the Eye." It is arguably Nektar's best recording.

TRACKS (1974 LP)

Side 1
*Desolation Valley
*A Day In The Life Of A Preacher
featuring the birth of Oh Willie

Side 2
**Oop's (Unidentified Flying Abstract)
**Mundetango
**Summer Breeze

All songs composed by Nektar

* recorded live on Sunday 25th November 1973 live at the Roundhouse, London
** recorded on the 27th March 1974 at Chipping Norton Studios, Oxfordshire, England

There are many reissues of this album - Re-released on CD by Bellaphon (GER) on Apr.16th 1990, a 2CD 10 track issue was released in 2002 on Bellaphon, and in 2005 on Eclectic Discs. There was a remastered 5 track version issued in 2006 on Bellaphon, and there is also a Japanese edition with all the usual trimmings.

BAND

Roye Albrighton / guitar, lead vocals
Derek "Mo" Moore / bass, backing vocals
Ron Howden / drums, percussion
Allan "Taff" Freeman / keyboards, backing vocals
Mick Brockett / lights and visual effects

BIO

Formed in Germany in 1969, Nektar was a quartet of Englishmen who met in Germany and, for a little while in the early to mid-'70s, seemed like they might take American rock by storm. It was mostly hype, and by 1975 their big moment had already passed, although they lingered on until the end of the decade. Allan Freeman (keyboards, vocals), Ray Albrighton (guitar, vocals), Derek Moore (bass, Mellotron, vocals), and Ron Howden (drums) all came to Hamburg from England in 1965 as members of different bands. They met in 1968 at the Star Club, where they discovered some common ground in the Beatles as well as early rock & roll, but were drawn to the more experimental sounds just beginning to emerge on the rock scene. A year later they formed Nektar and began working at combining these influences into an effective whole. By 1970, with a light show (designed and operated by unofficial fifth member Mick Brockett) added to their stage act, they began attracting a growing following in Germany. They were signed to the Bellaphon label in 1971 and released their debut album, Journey to the Center of the Eye, a year later. Their second album, A Tab in the Ocean, followed later the same year, and achieved a cult following as a direct import. Their extended songs, usually involving extensive variations on the same theme, found a growing audience in an era dominated by the sounds of Emerson Lake & Palmer and Yes. Nektar's sound, built around guitar, electronic keyboards, and bass, was far more gothic, with dense textures that didn't always reproduce well on stage — the fans didn't seem to notice. On radio, however, their music filled in large patches of time and attracted listeners ready to graduate from Iron Butterfly and Vanilla Fudge, and seeking a recreation of the drug experience in progressive rock. Their third album, Remember the Future, released in Germany in 1973, was the group's breakthrough record. The title track, broken into two side-length halves, took up the entire record, and became a favorite of FM radio in 1974. The album was followed later in 1973 by Sounds Like This, which was made up of shorter, simpler songs, but it was eclipsed in the United States by the American release of Remember the Future on the Passport label, their first U.S. release. When the group made their New York debut at the Academy of Music on September 28, 1974, Remember the Future was still the only one of their albums available officially in the United States. An indication of their stage presence and the nature of their act can be gleaned from the fact that between the wattage of their instruments and their light show, they blew the power at the Academy of Music upon taking the stage. Their next album, Down to Earth (1974), featured ten support musicians and singers, among them P. P. (Pat) Arnold, but it didn't attract nearly the radio play of Remember the Future. Their next album, Live at the Roundhouse (1974), was cut live at the London venue, and didn't include "Remember the Future" among its tracks. They maintained a devoted and significant cult following in America as well as Germany, and their German label later released two double live albums from concerts in New York (which, between them, included two versions of "Remember the Future Part I" and two versions of "Part 2"). Ironically, Passport Records never released either album in the United States. Albrighton was gone by Magic Is a Child (which featured one of the worst punning titles ever, "Eerie Lackawanna"), replaced on guitar by Dave Nelson, and synthesizer virtuoso Larry Fast joined the line-up for this album. The release of a double-LP best-of anthology in 1978 heralded the end of the group's run of success, although they did get one subsequent release, Man in the Moon, with David Prater on drums, issued in 1980. © Bruce Eder, allmusic.com

3 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

Lawrence said...

Enjoyed it,
Thanks...

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, Lawrence. Nektar are a much ignored band who made some terrific albums. Glad you appreciate their music.