Monday, December 12, 2016

Nektar - 1973 - ...Sounds Like This

...Sounds Like This

101. Good Day 06:45
102. New Day Dawning 05:03
103. What Ya Gonna Do? 05:25
104. 1-2-3-4 12:43
105. Do You Believe In Magic? 07:16
106. Cast Your Fate 05:25
107. A Day In The Life Of A Preacher 12:58
a) Preacher
b) Squeeze
c) Mr. H
108. Wings 03:47
109. Odyssee 14:25
a) Ron's On
b) Never, Never, Never
c) Da-Da-Dum

Recorded Live November 13, 1971
At Bassunger Turnhalle In Darmstadt, Germany

201. Good Day 07:59
202. Odyssee (Da-Da-Dum) 06:51
203. 1-2-3-4 13:34
204. Do You Believe In Magic? 04:55
205. Odyssee (Ron's On) 10:42
206. New Day Dawning 07:30

- Roye Albrighton / lead vocals, guitars
- Allan "Taff" Freeman / keyboards, vocals
- Derek "Mo" Moore / bass, vocals
- Ron Howden / drums, percussion, vocals

 "Dieter remixed side four before breakfast ..... "
..... so say the excellent liner notes for the Dream Nebula remastered edition of Sounds Like This which clearly demonstrates how different it all was 30 years ago. Whilst recording the classic A Tab In The Ocean the boys in the band had the notion of tidying up a lot of unrecorded loose ends from their past. Two studio sessions were subsequently undertaken with the bulk of the material originally released in 1973 coming from the later session in February 1973. Unusually, the decision was taken to record live-in-the-studio with no overdubs, resulting in a very raw take-it-or-leave-it production.

Those expecting Nektar's regular brand of muscular Symphonic Prog might get a severe shock, as this album is unremittingly pure heavy rock: high quality, inventive and exciting, but stripped of Prog fancies. Indeed, Albrighton has here become an axe god and the band have morphed into Uriah Heep, giving a flavour of their concert sound - loud, proud and very energetic, the sound of a tight outfit who know and understand each other well and are prepared to stretch themselves on long improvisational jams. The guys had fun with this album, their performances exuberant yet assured, creating what must have been an electric atmosphere in that Cologne studio judging by the noises-off.

Material ranges from classy tuneful rock ballads, a couple of more typically AOR style mid-tempo rockers and surprisingly some southern boogie. The rest is hard rocking all the way - oh, and aided by a spot of Norwegian Wood! One of these, the 12½ minute 1-2-3-4, becomes my favourite track once the unfortunate song part is dispensed with: the energy levels get almost too hard to bear as they crank it up higher and ever higher. Darker and slower, A Day In The Life Of A Preacher is another cracker, probably the nearest they come on this album to anything progressive.

The first CD of Dream Nebula's latest 2CD set contains the entire original album as released in 1973, expertly remastered as always and excellently packaged. The second disc contains previously unreleased material left over from the original recording sessions from October 1972. Generally, this earlier material is inferior, justifying the band's decision to re-record it. Only some tracks are duplicated while others were redeveloped.

At judgement time, you need to be a fan of heavy rock to get the most out of this. I always felt it was too long and overpowering to be heard in one go, even more so now with 2½ hours on the latest issue! In Prog terms, this really is only for fans of the band, but it gains a point for sheer quality.

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