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At the BBC

Howard Jones

Pop - Released November 26, 2021 | Cherry Red Records

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Shine On

Kim Wilde

Pop - Released June 25, 2021 | Cherry Red Records

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Fed Up and Feeling Strange

J Mascis

Alternative & Indie - Released January 29, 2021 | Cherry Red Records

As the central force in Dinosaur Jr., J Mascis defined the band with his mumbly baritone vocals and god-level guitar work heavy on volume, distortion, and technically impressive soloing. With much of his solo output, however, Mascis goes acoustic, leaving his trembling singing sitting naked atop melancholic open chords. Fed Up and Feeling Strange: Live and in Person 1993-1998 presents three of Mascis' intimate solo concerts, two previously released sets, and one that had gone unreleased before this collection. One of the three volumes was originally released as Martin + Me, and pulls highlights from a 1995 solo acoustic tour that include shambling versions of Dinosaur Jr. tunes as well as covers of the Wipers' Greg Sage, Carly Simon, and an especially spirited rendition of the Smiths' "The Boy with a Thorn in His Side." New to this collection is the previously unreleased outtake "Grab It." Another disc previously released as Live at CBGB's captures Mascis' first solo acoustic show, recorded at the legendary punk club in 1993. The audio is a little rougher and the set list is similar to the selections from Martin + Me, with the addition of Where You Been's eerie centerpiece "Not the Same." The previously unreleased Copenhagen concert was recorded after the release of 1997's Hand It Over, and includes several songs from that album and material from as far back in Mascis' catalog as You're Living All Over Me opener "Little Furry Things" and "Repulsion" from Dinosaur Jr.'s 1985 debut. The crowd sounds more enthusiastic here than on Fed Up and Feeling Strange's other volumes, audibly singing along with Mascis' falsetto vocals on "Goin' Home." This concert also includes an out-of-tune rendition of "Too Hard," which is introduced as a new song and would show up in a far sludgier version as the B-side of a J Mascis + The Fog single in 2001. Without his signature soloing or the backing of a full-blast rhythm section, Fed Up and Feeling Strange emphasizes' Mascis' particularities and unique talents as a songwriter. His fumbling stoner persona struggles with social interactions and emotional complexities on almost every track, and in these stripped-down acoustic forms, the bittersweet beauty of his songs is one of the only things on display. © Fred Thomas /TiVo
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Spyglass Guest

Greenslade

Rock - Released October 26, 2018 | Cherry Red Records

British prog-rock underdogs Greenslade reached their peak with their third album, SPYGLASS GUEST. While the dueling keyboards of Dave Greenslade and Dave Lawson still lead the charge, it's the first Greenslade album to feature guitar (Dave “Clem” Clempson of Humble Pie), and it's probably the band's most visceral effort. Their trademark balance between arty, fleet-fingered keyboard antics and grittier, more light-hearted tunes is refined here to the point of perfection, making this a lost prog classic. © TiVo
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Greenslade

Greenslade

Rock - Released February 1, 1973 | Cherry Red Records

Not long after the disintegration of Colosseum, Greenslade was born, with their inaugural self-titled album whetting the appetites of progressive rock fans worldwide. Dave Greenslade used the group to showcase his illustrious keyboard intricacies alongside Tony Reeves' bass guitar, Andrew McCulloch's predominant percussion work, and Dave Lawson's vocals, all of which made Greenslade a quintessential prog album. The attention almost never veers from David Greenslade's beautiful organ texturing, alternating between hard and delicate patterns while defining the album's pure progressive sound. Reeves' bass riffs are spatial and thorough, complimenting the keyboard runs when needed while falling in behind the music at the proper times. Although the three instrumental pieces ("An English Western," "Melange," and "Sundance") aim the spotlight straight at Greenslade, the vocal tracks are just as worthy. The lyrics are of a simple nature, unlike Yes' brand of fantastical poetry, and they adhere perfectly to the instruments, especially on the sincere "What Are You Doin' to Me." For this project and the rest of Greenslade's albums, Dave Greenslade exchanges the jazz-infused stylishness of his Colosseum days for the complexities of a progressive rock realm, and his transition ends up being faultless. Bedside Manners carries on with the same rich, keyboard-led sound, while another member from Colosseum, guitarist Dave Clempson, joins on for 1974's Spyglass Guest, in which the electronics were noticeably toned down. © Mike DeGagne /TiVo
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Barclay James Harvest

Barclay James Harvest

Rock - Released June 1, 1970 | Cherry Red Records

Barclay James Harvest's sensibly titled debut album was one of the unsung classics of the late '60s, a post-psychedelic pop album that posits a peculiar collision between the Bee Gees' vision of classic grandeur and the heftier sounds leaking out of the rock underground. Add Norman Smith's epic production and one cannot help thinking that if the Pretty Things had ever looked elsewhere for their follow-up to S.F. Sorrow, Barclay James Harvest could have handed it to them on a plate. The opening "Taking Some Time On" is absolutely phenomenal, churning and riffing on the one hand, positively hymnal on the other -- and poised, during its chorus, to plunge into a virtual dry run for R.E.M.'s "Talk About the Weather." Elsewhere, "When the World Was Woken" is unmistakably daubed in a whiter shade of Procol Harum, while the 12-minute closer, "Dark Now My Sky," is simply spellbinding. Barclay James Harvest ranks among the finest albums of the entire early prog boom. © Dave Thompson /TiVo
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Air Conditioning: Remastered & Expanded Edition

Curved Air

Rock - Released January 1, 1970 | Cherry Red Records

In its initial vinyl form, Curved Air's debut album is one of the prog rock movement's most prized artifacts -- not for the music (for that, it goes without saying, is flawless), but for the picture-disc format which had never previously graced a 12" rock record. A glimmering of that sought-after magnificence lives on, of course, in the artwork which has graced every subsequent release, this Collectors' Choice reissue included. Sadly, however, no other attempt is made to replicate the original jewel; indeed, beyond a straightforward dub of the album, Air Conditioning's American CD debut is something of a disappointment. No bonus tracks, no liner notes, no remastering -- nothing, in fact, beyond one of the finest classical rock fusions of the age. Curved Air were an unwieldy beast at the best of times, an uneasy liaison between Sonja Kristina's rampant rock sensibilities and her bandmates' undisguised virtuosity. Keyboard player Francis Monkman, in particular, led the group into some genuinely uncharted territory -- it was he who named the group after a Terry Riley composition; he who consumed side two of each album for a series of wild experiments, most of which incorporate acoustic folk, free form jazz, and a hefty dose of Vivaldi. Not that this was a bad thing. Indeed, Air Conditioning rates among the great debut albums of 1970s rock, a hybrid whose breathless audacity stands in starkly good-natured contrast to the po-faced noodlings of the genre's other leading progenitors. Even in full, fanciful flight (the instrumental "Rob One" or the sawing discordant "Vivaldi"), you can hear the band enjoying themselves, as Darryl Way's violin soars to pitches unknown to rocking man, the immortally named Florian Pilkington-Miksa conjures brand new rhythms from his percussive arsenal and Monkman. Well, Monkman is as Monkman does, but even when you know what's going to happen next, a frill or a flourish still leaps out to surprise you. Kristina, meanwhile, possesses one of the most distinctive voices of the age, a virtue which is apparent from the moment she enters on the opening "It Happens Today." Hints of Grace Slick enter her delivery during the Airplane-like "Stretch," but it's a fleeting comparison. By the time you hit "Propositions," all echoed riffs and space age synth, Curved Air don't sound like anything else on earth. You do, however, notice how many subsequent bands sound a lot like them. © Dave Thompson /TiVo
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Air Cut: Newly Remastered Official Edition

Curved Air

Rock - Released January 1, 1973 | Cherry Red Records

Curved Air's fourth album featured a very different lineup and is considered by many a weaker effort. Of course, it does not have the bombast of Phantasmagoria (Francis Monkman's classical touch is cruelly missed), but it still has its share of strong moments. By 1973, only singer Sonja Kristina remained of the original members, but her voice suffices to keep the flame burning. She and bassist Mike Wedgewood, introduced with the previous LP, are joined by drummer Jim Russell, guitarist Gregory Kirby, and an 18-year-old violinist/keyboardist by the name of Eddie Jobson. "The Purple Speed Queen," a decent light psychedelic rock song, became one of the group's best-known tracks, and the ten-minute "Metamorphosis" still ranks high among the classic tracks of British progressive rock (here Jobson comes very close to Monkman's virtuosity at the piano). Side two of the original LP comprised a string of more straightforward rock numbers in the vein of Babe Ruth. Less striking, it pictured a group trying to widen its audience without sounding convinced it was the right thing to do. The album closer, "Easy," a lusher ballad, was nonetheless a good song. The only LP released by this lineup and the only Curved Air album with Jobson on it (he would join Roxy Music right after its completion), Air Cut is mostly remembered for introducing the future member of UK, Jethro Tull, and many other prog rock-related bands. © François Couture /TiVo
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Scheherazade and Other Stories

Renaissance

Rock - Released January 1, 1975 | Cherry Red Records

This album was the group's magnum opus in the perception of many onlookers and fans, and it still plays well, though its flaws are more evident than they were at the time. The "Song of Scheherazade," really a suite for the group supported by the London Symphony Orchestra and a chorus, started with guitarist-composer Michael Dunford, who had a personal fascination with the medieval literary work Tales of 1,001 Arabian Nights, and was realized by Dunford and his composing partner Betty Thatcher, with bassist Jon Camp and pianist John Tout. The piece, really nine sections assembled together, was one of the more ambitious works to come out of the progressive rock boom -- it fits together nicely and does have some gorgeous passages and many lyrical, powerful sections, although it also seems slightly repetitive, overstaying its welcome somewhat; additionally, it never uses the orchestra quite as effectively as one senses it might have, for anything except embellishment. Less ambitious and more completely successful are "Ocean Gypsy," "The Vultures Fly High," and "Trip to the Fair" on side one, all relatively unpretentious pieces which feature extraordinary singing by Annie Haslam. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Once Again

Barclay James Harvest

Rock - Released January 1, 1971 | Cherry Red Records

The band's follow-up still finds it working very much in the vein of orchestral rock, largely driven by Stewart Wooly Wolstenholme's keyboards and the presence of the London Symphony Orchestra. The reach of the music exceeds the grasp of the lyrics, though -- they lack the cold oracularity of Peter Sinfield or the allusive cleverness of Peter Gabriel. Still, there's some fine compositions here. "She Said" turns upon a keening opening Mellotron riff to develop into a slow-four dirge. "Song for Dying" shows off the band's fine ability at vocal harmonies, while the later concert standard, "Mocking Bird," shows a dramatic evolution from pensive acoustic guitar to a full-blown orchestral attack. © Paul Collins /TiVo
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Baby James Harvest

Barclay James Harvest

Rock - Released September 1, 2017 | Cherry Red Records

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Best 1983-2017

Howard Jones

Pop - Released July 28, 2017 | Cherry Red Records

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New Song

Howard Jones

Pop - Released July 1, 2017 | Cherry Red Records

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Fish Out of Water

Chris Squire

Rock - Released June 16, 2017 | Cherry Red Records

Yes-like in every possible aspect, Chris Squire's Fish out of Water is an album that's typical of his band's progressive formula: softened keyboard extensions à la Patrick Moraz, steady yet atmospheric percussion work from Bill Bruford, and a smattering of flute and saxophone that accompanies a small orchestra, which includes effective horn and harp work. Squire's guitar playing is standard, coming to life the most on "Silently Falling" and "Lucky Seven," with the former boosted by a rather dazzling synthesizer solo from Moraz. Even though there are few surprises laid out on the album's five tracks, the elemental composition of pure '70s progressive rock is strewn across each song from start to finish. Squire even sounds like Jon Anderson, especially on "Hold out Your Hand," and each of the song's melodies cater to Squire's vocal ascent. Fish out of Water harbors some firm instrumental and vocal cross-breeding while remaining well within the prog rock norm. © Mike DeGagne /TiVo

Engage

Howard Jones

Electronic - Released March 8, 2015 | Cherry Red Records

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One To One

Howard Jones

Pop - Released October 12, 2012 | Cherry Red Records

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Bite Size

Mel & Kim

Pop - Released September 28, 2012 | Cherry Red Records

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Human's Lib & Dream Into Action (Live At Indigo2)

Howard Jones

Pop - Released January 1, 2011 | Cherry Red Records

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Noggi 'Tar

Tim Blake

Rock - Released January 26, 2012 | Cherry Red Records

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Essential

Kim Wilde

Pop - Released September 12, 2011 | Cherry Red Records