Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Popol Ace - 1972 - Popol Vuh

Popol Ace 
Popol Vuh

01. Hunchback (4:08)
02. Joy and Pleasure (3:32)
03. All We Have Is the Past (4:29)
04. Leavin' Chicago (3:53)
05. For Eternity (5:36)
06. Sucklin' Pig (4:22)
07. Medicine (8:02)

- Arne Schulze / guitar
- Pete Knutsen / guitar, keyboards
- Thor Andreassen / drums
- Pjokken Eide / trombone, flute
- Terje Methi / bass
- Jahn Teigen / vocals

This is the debut album from Popol Ace(then called Popol Vuh) from 1972. The first time I heard it, it really did not appeal to me, but after bying it some years later, the album have really grown on me, and have become a personal Prog favorite of mine.

Even though Norway has a great number of good progbands, they haven't been among the big "Prog Country", and there hasn't been a lot of prog-albums on the charts here.

From what I know, this was the first Norwegian prog album to enter the charts, back in '73, and Popol Vuh is Norways most succsessful prog band ever.

This is a great record!! Jahn Teigen, who later went on to do musicals, European song contest and comersial pop, has a very karismatic voice, wich suits this genre well. The guitarist does an absoloutly wonderfull job, and Pjokken Eide is as strange as always....

The album starts of with "Hunchback", a wonderfull, powerfull song in the ways of ELP, Focus and Genesis. It's a really groovey tune, with a beautifull middle part. Hunchback has some amazing flute-work, and a cool sounding organ.

Next song is "Joy and Pleasure", wich has a very "gentle gianty" vibe. Its funky and weird, and absoloutly astonishing. The track is jazzy, and the peep-bob courus fits the song.

Then we have the ballad "all we have is the past", wich was the single from this album, and was some kind of hit back in the day. It's your typical, symphonic ballad with lots of orchestra, mellotron and drammatic vocals. Mr.Teigen does a great job on this song, and lifts it abowe average.

"Leaving Chicago" is a funky blues-rock track with a very good bass-line. It's a very good song, and the most accessable track on the album. This song just makes you feel good, and the powerfull vocals, the great guitar and piano work and the eceptional bass makes this among my top 10 songs ever.

"For Eternity" starts of with a very ITCotCK-like guitar-flute intro, and ventures out into a great mellow, floating prog track with lots of great guitar-work. This is the most symphonic track of the album, and reminds a lot of old King Crimson and Genesis, with lots of mellotron. An exeptionally good track, with great instumentalisation.

"Suckling Pig" is the most progressive track on the album, with great fluete-work by Pjokken Eide, great drumming and unbeliveable drumming. It's somewhat Jazzy, and reminds of a mix of Gentle Giant, Focus and Camel. It's all instrumental, and very interessting. An absouloutly increadible track.

"Medicine" is the longest track on the album, and is a funky prog-track with unbeliveable vocals, great drumming and good orchestration. The track never gets boring, and is IMO among the highlights in Scandinavian prog.

All in all, Popol Vuh manage to have a recognitiable sound, and it's very good. This album is very well produced, and it's not hard to understand why they are the most succesfull Norwegian prog band ever.

Itf you're into Scandinavian prog, this is an essential album. For anyone else it is an excellent adition to your record collection, and should be among the first 500 albums you buy.

1 comment:

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