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Posted (edited)

Let me tell you about a guy I rediscovered many years ago while wading through some old wish-lists.

 

I scored some earlier Hungarian albums by a band called East which featured their main man, Janos Varga, (guitar, keyboards). Those albums, called Jatetok (1981) and Huseg (1982) are excellent examples of how well some of these Europeans can write great music. (Think Omega's "200 Years After The Last War").

 

Thanks to the ease with which one could discover new music, I was really keen to score some albums by Janos Varga Project.

 

I ordered these releases from Synphonic many years ago and was so impressed with the first one, I wrote a review in 2011.

 

The Wings of Revelation I (2000)

The Wings of Revelation II (2002)

Elixir (2009)

 

 

*******************************************************************

 

Janos Varga Project : Wings Of Revelation I


O.K., O.K. I know we should be concentrating on recent releases with our reviews but this one slipped under the radar for way too long and therefore requires your immediate attention and action.

Janos Varga, for those who were still in diapers when the Hungarian band, East were in their prime, leads a very accessible group of talented musicians on this rather incredible outing. Starting with a slow surging theme right out of the Pink Floyd school of better rock music, the band quickly shifts up a gear or two to introduce some stunning guitar that reminded me of Leslie West of Mountain fame together with some brilliant keyboard runs reminiscent of Manfred Mann's work with the Earth Band during the late 70's and early 80's. It's hard to ignore that phat synth sound that was so revered when progressive music was considered reasonably normal and to add the really accessible guitar flourishes injects a compelling magic to this CD that is absent from far too many albums these days.

The main track, being the 19.39 minute epic, broken into 7 minor sections, is a stunning piece of song writing that answers all the critics and yet showcases that excessive flash and panache are no match for clever arrangements and well structured music that really shines in all areas. The track, "Matching Souls" is very reminiscent of something that a latter day Jade Warrior would compose if they had Steve Vai or Joe Satriani on board as their guitarist. The song is just incredibly beautiful and would not be out of place on the "Enchanting Guitar Melodies Archive" by VAI. It is certainly as good as anything on that compilation. All other songs are equally impressive.

Sure, this is a totally instrumental album and you'd think that without any vocals, there has to be something missing or that too much self indulgent wankery is at hand. Let me assure you that each individual note, phrasing and piece of music that makes up this amazing collection of songs has been really carefully constructed to ensure this doesn't get lost amongst a sea of aspiring shredders who are only interested in extreme virtuosity. With a cross section of clever riffs, thundering bass lines, dynamic drumming and downright instant gratification after only a few spins, this has hardly left my player since I plonked down the hard earned moolah and bought my own imports of both this and the second release from 2002.

Scorching lead guitar and awesome synthesizer abound throughout all songs on this record and being underpinned by the relentless rhythm section, has made for one of the best efforts I have heard in five years. There is just so much happening within each song that despite the lack of vocals, I found every section very memorable, covering more territory within 5 minutes than most bands cover in an hour of plod-along-till-we-get-bored drivel.

Janos is certainly no limp-dicked six string slinger trying to carve out a name for himself. His brilliance is already clearly evident on the two most highly revered earlier albums by East called "Huseg" and "Jatetok" and with this admirable effort, he has propelled his name further into the stratosphere than most serious musicians could ever dream of. Any aspiring keyboard player should take note of how Janos injects so much melody and charm into his music and study his techniques properly if they want to make any inroads into the overcrowded world of progressive rock. Looking at the cover, you'd think Janos was one of the former members of ZZ Top but be assured; the man makes a total mockery of the efforts of some of the younger talent vying for your dollar these days.

Needless to say, this outrageously brilliant album has my highest recommendation.

Track Details:

1. I Must Be Going (19.39)


a. I Must Be Going (5.48)
b. Fight Of Mind (3.05)
c. Prayer (1.11)
d. The Joy Of Starting (5.38)
e. Mysterious Stars (3.22)
f. Welcome To The Jungle (1.15)


2. Matching Souls (5.33)
3. Sunrise (4.46)
4. Hard Life (3.34)
5. All I Can Give (5.19)
6. The Wings Of Revelation (8.16)


Original review posted by myself at www.seaoftranquility.org and used with permission.

 

 

*************************************************************************************

 

If you ever get the chance to grab this album and either of the 2 follow-ups, then I would highly suggest you do. Repeated spins of this one will pay huge rewards. It is so infectiously melodic. The track, "Sunrise" is similar to "Albatross" from Fleetwood Mac but better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Edited by progladyte
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Steven Wilson ~ The Raven That Refused To Sing  

So spent a long time today with some classic prog and rock.   A bottle of Shiraz, some chips, chocolates and no work!!!!    

Hi Proggers,    On to some Opeth for the afternoon.     JJ

7 hours ago, progladyte said:

Let me tell you about a guy I rediscovered many years ago while wading through some old wish-lists.

 

I scored some earlier Hungarian albums by a band called East which featured their main man, Janos Varga, (guitar, keyboards). Those albums, called Jatetok (1981) and Huseg (1982) are excellent examples of how well some of these Europeans can write great music. (Think Omega's "200 Years After The Last War").

 

Thanks to the ease with which one could discover new music, I was really keen to score some albums by Janos Varga Project.

 

I ordered these releases from Synphonic many years ago and was so impressed with the first one, I wrote a review in 2011.

 

The Wings of Revelation I (2000)

The Wings of Revelation II (2002)

Elixir (2009)

 

 

*******************************************************************

 

Janos Varga Project : Wings Of Revelation I


O.K., O.K. I know we should be concentrating on recent releases with our reviews but this one slipped under the radar for way too long and therefore requires your immediate attention and action.

Janos Varga, for those who were still in diapers when the Hungarian band, East were in their prime, leads a very accessible group of talented musicians on this rather incredible outing. Starting with a slow surging theme right out of the Pink Floyd school of better rock music, the band quickly shifts up a gear or two to introduce some stunning guitar that reminded me of Leslie West of Mountain fame together with some brilliant keyboard runs reminiscent of Manfred Mann's work with the Earth Band during the late 70's and early 80's. It's hard to ignore that phat synth sound that was so revered when progressive music was considered reasonably normal and to add the really accessible guitar flourishes injects a compelling magic to this CD that is absent from far too many albums these days.

The main track, being the 19.39 minute epic, broken into 7 minor sections, is a stunning piece of song writing that answers all the critics and yet showcases that excessive flash and panache are no match for clever arrangements and well structured music that really shines in all areas. The track, "Matching Souls" is very reminiscent of something that a latter day Jade Warrior would compose if they had Steve Vai or Joe Satriani on board as their guitarist. The song is just incredibly beautiful and would not be out of place on the "Enchanting Guitar Melodies Archive" by VAI. It is certainly as good as anything on that compilation. All other songs are equally impressive.

Sure, this is a totally instrumental album and you'd think that without any vocals, there has to be something missing or that too much self indulgent wankery is at hand. Let me assure you that each individual note, phrasing and piece of music that makes up this amazing collection of songs has been really carefully constructed to ensure this doesn't get lost amongst a sea of aspiring shredders who are only interested in extreme virtuosity. With a cross section of clever riffs, thundering bass lines, dynamic drumming and downright instant gratification after only a few spins, this has hardly left my player since I plonked down the hard earned moolah and bought my own imports of both this and the second release from 2002.

Scorching lead guitar and awesome synthesizer abound throughout all songs on this record and being underpinned by the relentless rhythm section, has made for one of the best efforts I have heard in five years. There is just so much happening within each song that despite the lack of vocals, I found every section very memorable, covering more territory within 5 minutes than most bands cover in an hour of plod-along-till-we-get-bored drivel.

Janos is certainly no limp-dicked six string slinger trying to carve out a name for himself. His brilliance is already clearly evident on the two most highly revered earlier albums by East called "Huseg" and "Jatetok" and with this admirable effort, he has propelled his name further into the stratosphere than most serious musicians could ever dream of. Any aspiring keyboard player should take note of how Janos injects so much melody and charm into his music and study his techniques properly if they want to make any inroads into the overcrowded world of progressive rock. Looking at the cover, you'd think Janos was one of the former members of ZZ Top but be assured; the man makes a total mockery of the efforts of some of the younger talent vying for your dollar these days.

Needless to say, this outrageously brilliant album has my highest recommendation.

Track Details:

1. I Must Be Going (19.39)


a. I Must Be Going (5.48)
b. Fight Of Mind (3.05)
c. Prayer (1.11)
d. The Joy Of Starting (5.38)
e. Mysterious Stars (3.22)
f. Welcome To The Jungle (1.15)


2. Matching Souls (5.33)
3. Sunrise (4.46)
4. Hard Life (3.34)
5. All I Can Give (5.19)
6. The Wings Of Revelation (8.16)


Original review posted by myself at www.seaoftranquility.org and used with permission.

 

 

*************************************************************************************

 

If you ever get the chance to grab this album and either of the 2 follow-ups, then I would highly suggest you do. Repeated spins of this one will pay huge rewards. It is so infectiously melodic. The track, "Sunrise" is similar to "Albatross" from Fleetwood Mac but better.

 

 

 

I recall reading a review on Janos many years ago which got my interest. Maybe it was yours Greg? Anyway l liked what l heard but found that his music was somewhat difficult to find or it was expensive at the time. Will revisit for sure.

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2 hours ago, patjoy said:

I recall reading a review on Janos many years ago which got my interest. Maybe it was yours Greg? Anyway l liked what l heard but found that his music was somewhat difficult to find or it was expensive at the time. Will revisit for sure.

 

Pat,

 

It might have been my review but I believe there are others floating around.

 

I( understand Spotify might have some of his music available for streaming while I see that You Tube music has Elixir and possibly some earlier ones.

 

You can always use the tube to play the videos, despite the inferior audio quality but I must admit there is nothing better than having the CDs.

 

Greg

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14 hours ago, progladyte said:

I( understand Spotify might have some of his music available for streaming while I see that You Tube music has Elixir and possibly some earlier ones.

Between the two of them, Tidal and Qobuz have three albums available; Elixir, Latin Fantasy and The Wings of Revelation, Vol. 1. Roon has no information on this last one (or the other two, as it happens), though from the title I'm guessing that it may be a compilation album. Or not.

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Unfortunately I’m not a streaming type guy, yet! Still like the tangible stuff. But l know it will be inevitable, I’m just slow on the take up of newer tech.

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2 minutes ago, patjoy said:

Unfortunately I’m not a streaming type guy, yet! Still like the tangible stuff. But l know it will be inevitable, I’m just slow on the take up of newer tech.

I still buy the stuff myself, the streamers allow you to find what you like and listen to it while you're waiting for it to arrive.

They're also handy for those time when the discs are either unavailable or, more often than is comfortable, are selling for outrageous prices that are just too, too much.

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Oh, and sometimes, best of all, the streamers have the albums in Hi-Res formats. Best of both worlds, you own the disc and you have access to even higher levels of SQ via the streaming services. Win/win.

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@progladyte have ordered  , the wings of revelations 1, after hearing the clips you put up, agree with your reviews and recommendations about this album and artist, will invest further as funds permit

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4 minutes ago, wen said:

@progladyte have ordered  , the wings of revelations 1, after hearing the clips you put up, agree with your reviews and recommendations about this album and artist, will invest further as funds permit

 

Now that's the best type of feedback I could possibly hear.

 

A great choice!

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OK, here's another band I want you guys to try.

 

Sylvan are a German Neo-prog outfit who have 10 excellent albums under their belt with this one being their first release in over 6 years.

 

I have just picked up a copy of this for moi so I have yet to play it right through a few times but needless to say, this is yet another great band with even more good material to let you enjoy, according to the positive reviews.

 

Here's one I didn't prepare earlier.....

 

Sylvan — One To Zero

Sylvan - One To Zero
 
Country of Origin
Germany
Year of Release
2021
Time
65:46

Bit By Bit (Overture) (6:16), Encoded At Heart (6:41), Start Of Your Life (3:14), Unleashed Power (7:30), Trust In Yourself (5:32), Oh My Odyssey (6:26), Part Of Me (9:16), Worlds Apart (3:57), Go Viral (6:40), Not A Goodbye (10:14)

 

 
Patrick McAfee
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  • 10 / 10

Over the last two decades, Sylvan has somewhat quietly built a compelling discography of music. For whatever reason though, their name isn't often mentioned amongst the top modern bands of the prog genre. One To Zero, their first release in six years and tenth studio album, should go a long way towards changing that. It is a masterful work that radiates with excellent performances and stunningly infectious melodies.

 

Deviating in part from some of the harder, rock leanings of their past, the band utilises a more subtle, but nonetheless effective musical approach here. Songs such as Encoded at Heart, Unleashed Power, Oh My Odyssey, Part Of Me, Worlds Apart and Not A Goodbye represent a career-high compositional strength. Other tracks, (Bit By Bit, Start Of Your life, and Go Viral_) showcase their more aggressive side and are equally as successful.

 

Ultimately, there is a level of quality and emotional depth to this album that places it amongst some of the best prog rock releases of the last few decades. I mean no hyperbole by that statement. From the very first listen, I was immediately struck by how good this is.

 

Previous Sylvan albums came frustratingly close to that type of stature, but missed due to a few mediocre songs. That is definitely not the case here. One To Zero is loaded with sweeping musical moments, indelible choruses and some of the best guitar solos that I've heard in a long time.

Like other great albums, it has that special feeling of all of the right elements falling perfectly and memorably into place. Easily the band's strongest statement to date and another fantastic release in what is shaping up to be an amazing year in progressive rock.

 

sylvan-promo.jpgSylvan promo photo

 

 

 

Let me know if you enjoy what you heard!

Edited by progladyte
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Double live set from late 2019/2020 featuring full play through of ‘POINT OF KNOW RETURN ‘ plus 12 or so deep cuts. Quite a good set, although Phil Earhart is the only remaining  original member. Probably the best progressive/prog band America gave rise to.

Billy

 

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I'm tempted to get this Dave as Kansas are really one of THE best things America produced musically.

 

 

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I am currently watching a documentary on Netflix 

The band is Rush at around the 40 years anniversary 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Full Range said:

I am currently watching a documentary on Netflix 

The band is Rush at around the 40 years anniversary 

 

 

If it’s “Beyond the Lighted Stage” then it’s an excellent documentary/one of the better band documentaries released IMHO

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13 minutes ago, patjoy said:

If it’s “Beyond the Lighted Stage” then it’s an excellent documentary/one of the better band documentaries released IMHO


That is the one 

Enjoying the early years and the music as it progresses 

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I don't know if this has come up previously but, is anyone else following The Daily Doug on YouTube? It's usually bannered as something like, "Classical Composer Reacts to....", which caught my eye initially. He's a composer and an educator in his daily life and he seems to like Prog. Look him up. He's done a few of my favourites and a whole lot more  stuff that I don't have familiarity with and I have to say,

1. It's great to have someone who appears to know what he's talking about being enthusiastic about music that you have loved for decades. It brings a level of validation that I, at least, don't find in my close circle of family and is something I usually get from only my closest of friends.

2. Although I don't really understand a lot of the technical details, except on an intuitive level, I find that he's opening me up to things of which I previously had limited appreciation.

Anyone else been there already?

Edited by JukKluk2
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5 minutes ago, JukKluk2 said:

I don't know if this has come up previously but, is anyone else following The Daily Doug on YouTube?


Yes I have seen him on numerous occasions 

He is classically trained and composes classical music pieces 

 

He also at times dissects a piece on music and explains how it’s achieved 

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Love The Daily Doug. His episode on ‘. Close to the Edge’ was excellent, but my favourites are the two RUSH episodes : La Villa Stragiatto and ‘ 2112 ‘ - his face as he explores these two is priceless.👍

Billy

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Yes, I came across him only a week ago. Have only watched his Suppers Ready and Firth of Fifth episodes as I’m currently revisiting early Genesis.

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Listening to this.... vinyl bought ca. 2010 - 2011...

 

https://fanart.tv/fanart/music/a57fb9e3-ac21-4c53-87f1-e3b25cb6944a/albumcover/the-whirlwind-5457e32f113f2.jpg

 

I love this album, and the covers on the extras are top notch!

 

Cheers,

 

Alberto

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Had a big prog day today.

 

Let's have a quick poll.

 

Can all of the guys that read and / or post in this thread indicate how many of these titles you have?

 

That would be awesome!

 

BTW - the untitled blue cover is Anubis - Tower of Silence - a brilliant Australian prog release from 2011

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5 minutes ago, progladyte said:

how many of these titles you have?

Technically none, but I do stream so I suppose it is all also.

I’m an IQ and Porcupine Tree fan so have listened to these albums via streaming.

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Unfortunately none, but I own IQ's "Road of Bones"....

 

Cheers,

 

Alberto

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I have the first two, multiple verions of Aqualung in fact, and a couple of Nektar albums (though not that one), Down to Earth being my favourite.

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I have The Geese & The Ghost (on LP and CD), and Aqualung (1996 CD release, and 40th Anniversary 2xCD Steven Wilson remix).

 

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I have 

The Geese & The Ghost ( Anthony Philips ) 

A Curious Feeling ( Tony Banks )

Aqualung ( Jethro Tull ) 

Nectar 

 

I have a Strawbs LP but not that one posted 

It’s Title is Bursting At The Seams 

 

 

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For record store day 

 

To commemorate this day I have purchased a box set 

An email came with a special offer that I could not refuse 

 

The box set is the Pink Floyd P.U.L.S.E. (Live) (Limited Deluxe Edition 180gm Vinyl) (2018 Reissue)

 

Should be here mid week 

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16 hours ago, JukKluk2 said:

I don't know if this has come up previously but, is anyone else following The Daily Doug on YouTube? It's usually bannered as something like, "Classical Composer Reacts to....", which caught my eye initially. He's a composer and an educator in his daily life and he seems to like Prog. Look him up. He's done a few of my favourites and a whole lot more  stuff that I don't have familiarity with and I have to say,

1. It's great to have someone who appears to know what he's talking about being enthusiastic about music that you have loved for decades. It brings a level of validation that I, at least, don't find in my close circle of family and is something I usually get from only my closest of friends.

2. Although I don't really understand a lot of the technical details, except on an intuitive level, I find that he's opening me up to things of which I previously had limited appreciation.

Anyone else been there already?

 

Have seen his posts up on the toob plenty of times and watched one or two but as a former musician, record collector and general band groupie, I prefer to diagnose my own understanding of the music. This is not trying to ignore this man's obvious professional talents but I am happy knowing why I like the music I like - prog music just clicks for me almost every time with a few rare exceptions.

 

Just my $0.02 worth.

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2 minutes ago, progladyte said:

 

Have seen his posts up on the toob plenty of times and watched one or two but as a former musician, record collector and general band groupie, I prefer to diagnose my own understanding of the music. This is not trying to ignore this man's obvious professional talents but I am happy knowing why I like the music I like - prog music just clicks for me almost every time with a few rare exceptions.

 

Just my $0.02 worth.

 

I haven't seen any of his posts, but I don't seek any validation for my musical tastes. I more or less agree with progladyte in that regard. My musical tastes these days go in a number of different directions and cover a range of musical styles. Discovering music of different types, whether old or new, is an ongoing and very enjoyable thing to do. I think we all find our own way to appreciate music.

 

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How great is this band. The album Wake, by Dead Can Dance. A compilation of all their great songs up to 2003. 26 glorious songs. Sounds great on cd too.

 

Calling this my hang over music, after toooo many red wines last night ( so not loud).

16235552206485534464847475709243.jpg

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17 hours ago, progladyte said:

Had a big prog day today.

 

Let's have a quick poll.

 

Can all of the guys that read and / or post in this thread indicate how many of these titles you have?

 

That would be awesome!

 

BTW - the untitled blue cover is Anubis - Tower of Silence - a brilliant Australian prog release from 2011

ap.jpg

jt.jpg

tb.jpg

nek.jpg

iq.jpg

pt.jpg

an.jpg

str.jpg

Just the one. Porcupine Tree for me Greg. That's it...bloody one!!!  Both humiliated, sad, and embarrassed 😪😣🌗😱

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19 hours ago, progladyte said:

Had a big prog day today.

 

I'm also having a big prog day ... streaming the "Prog Rock Monsters" playlist in artist order on the spotifies whilst I do the grubby toil. 100 tracks, 15 hours of proggy goodness. Currently up to Sebastian Hardie.

 

--Geoff

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8 hours ago, Full Range said:

For record store day 

 

To commemorate this day I have purchased a box set 

An email came with a special offer that I could not refuse 

 

The box set is the Pink Floyd P.U.L.S.E. (Live) (Limited Deluxe Edition 180gm Vinyl) (2018 Reissue)

 

Should be here mid week 

Yeah, look... I'm going to need your address.... when my wife finds out about why the extra expense on my credit card I want to point her in your direction.

 

Still.... at least she does like Pink Floyd, we might not yet be in trouble...

 

Damn this thread became dangerous this week!

 

Cheers,

 

Alberto

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Thanks to the guys who responded although the sample titles were a bit small in number to really mean very much.

 

So,,,,,,,,,,, I thought I would really make this poll idea stick with quite a few more samples.

 

These will include a lot of prog / neo-prog / jazz fusion / alternative / old classic rock etc. Seeing prog started in the late 60's / 70's there is a large number of good examples from that period with some additional ones from later years. The other music types are indicative of prog collectors who also enjoy other genre (as I do very much)

 

Ownership formats that can be considered to be yours include:

 

LP / CD / CDR / DVD / MP3 / Flac or other digital types.

 

If you only stream music, then by all means still participate but indicate your format/s please.

 

If you own a reasonable proportion of these albums, (say 35), (or other titles by the same band), then you have what could be considered a good start. If you have less than 10, then you might need to sweet talk your partner into allowing you to take out a 4th mortgage on the house (+ kids optional)

 

Please feel free to participate as it will be very interesting to see the depth of the kleckshuns.

 

Be aware that these albums rate very highly and are amongst the artists most popular and best selling releases so you can be assured the music lives up to its name.

ADM.jpg

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Hi All,

9 hours ago, Full Range said:

For record store day 

 

To commemorate this day I have purchased a box set 

An email came with a special offer that I could not refuse 

 

The box set is the Pink Floyd P.U.L.S.E. (Live) (Limited Deluxe Edition 180gm Vinyl) (2018 Reissue)

 

Should be here mid week 

 

You will not be disappointed, very good pressing and sounds great.

 

20 hours ago, progladyte said:

Had a big prog day today.

 

Let's have a quick poll.

 

Can all of the guys that read and / or post in this thread indicate how many of these titles you have?

 

That would be awesome!

 

BTW - the untitled blue cover is Anubis - Tower of Silence - a brilliant Australian prog release from 2011

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I have all but Tony Banks and another Anubis album, Hitchhiking To Byzantium

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1 hour ago, hired goon said:

 

I'm also having a big prog day ... streaming the "Prog Rock Monsters" playlist in artist order on the spotifies whilst I do the grubby toil. 100 tracks, 15 hours of proggy goodness. Currently up to Sebastian Hardie.

 

--Geoff

 

Geoff, some excellent tracks listed there and which probably represents THE best prog music to have been released over the years. Whilst there are some obvious omissions, I can report I have all but 3 of those titles.

 

I hope the grubby toil went well....

Edited by progladyte
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I have:

Camel - The Snow Goose (CD), actually, my Missus is the big Camel fan

Transatlantic - The Whirlwind

Flying Colors

 

Cheers,

 

Alberto

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24 minutes ago, Janjuggler said:

Hi All,

 

You will not be disappointed, very good pressing and sounds great.

 

 

I have all but Tony Banks and another Anubis album, Hitchhiking To Byzantium

 

Tony Banks first solo is really excellent and probably the only one of his you need.

 

Also Anubis are a really great local band that get better each year. A "Tower of Silence" is stunning.

 

 

 

 

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