Released April 1979, reached #79 (#71 in UK)
While this clearly has elements of King Crimson’s version of progressive rock, it also shows influences from the mid-70s arty underground of NYC where Fripp had relocated in 1977–the same time he started working on elements of this 1979 release.
If you’re looking from mainstream straight-forward rock and roll, look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for something different that doesn’t push into noisy avant garde, this set is at least worth a listen. When progressive rock was focused on synthesized pomp, Fripp delivered something a bit more interesting and enjoyable.
Darryl Way’s Wolf
1974 (Recorded 1973)
This USA release collects cuts from the first two albums, Canis Lupus and Saturation Point, both from 1973. Somewhat similar to Way’s work with Curved Air, these recordings continue to showcase Way’s obsession with Vivaldi and other classical composers, guitarist John Etheridge helping bring out jazz influences.
This is a varied set, but fans of progressive rock will likely find enough to justify the time under the headphones.
Volume II: Les Chevrons
Festival FLD 651
Second set by this French progressive-rock outfit, coming out of the early works of Floyd, Purple, and the Nice, horror-movie soundtracks and classical music, Black Sabbath’s more moody material, all instrumental except chants and yelps and such, the heavy focus on the organ (rather than guitars) giving it the feeling of a mass or a soundtrack for a seance, the rock rhythms running through the dimly lit corridors, the bass slightly understated, the percussion quite pronounced, the music rising out of the sludge for a more airy sound, the instrumentations an integral part of the compositions rather than a reason to show off.
Recommended set for fans of progressive rock.
Silver Apples of the Moon
Rating: *** (Noteworthy)
Crazy avant-garde robot music, space-age craziness, random bleep-beat for a disjointed version of rhythm, the sound somewhere between the Residents and Tangerine Dream, this sounding like it influenced both of those groups.
Released September 1982 (UK only)
While some of this band’s output was clearly lacking, the band sinks their talons into this second set. There’s nothing to really separate it from the flock, but (other than the brief acoustic instrumental “20/21”) this rocks nonstop.
Worthwhile grab for fans of NWOBHM.
with Camper Van Beethoven
Camper Van Chadbourne
Foundamental Music (Save 46)
Singing out of key to the extreme, out of tune instruments. Not exactly like the Residents, they approach the covers with respect and disregard, celebrating the songs I assume, and at the same time bringing out the absurd qualities in them, and in life in general.
Unlike the Residents, the political commentary is clear on the original material, covers meanwhile likely pointing out influences, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Zappa.
***** Good Shit
Pretty great bootleg from 1979 Dallas show, radio broadcast, top-notch sound capturing the band just before things would go wrong.
Ignoring Plastic Letters, the set offers two cuts from each of the other albums from the 70s, concluding with a rocking ’60s medley that crashes into a version of Iggy Pop’s “Funtime.”
The album ends with demo cuts from 1975, including a version of the Shangra-La’s 1965 “Out in the Streets” which is pure gold.