Live At Hammersmith Vol.1 & Vol.2
The Enid
1983 : UK
This is a recorded live album of The Enid. Full live performance at Hammersmith Odeon in 1979 is contained in 2 CD set.
"How can they perform the music like that in live concert??" was frequntly asked question about The Enid from their debut time. The Enid answered the question completely to the rock scene. Their live performance is complete !! From the opening "God Save The Queen" to the ending "A Land Of Hope And Glory", in all the time thorough this live album, you will be knocked out by ultimate symphnoic rock in live. The 2nd and 3rd albums of The Enid are best masterpieces of symphonic rock in studio, So, this album is too in live. ( If you know greater album of symphonic rock in live than this, please tell me.......)
Then, the focused symthsizer orichestration was played by 2 - 4 members including R.J.Godfrey. In the set list, representative numbers of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd albums are all selected without omission. Especially, the numbers of the 1st album still in process of completion in studio, revealed the final completion in this live version. The band menbers ware best formation including Francis Lickerish. This album catches the first peak of The Enid.
In 2010 DVD was released containing the visual of the same concert. It is a must item too !!

 
Mandalaband
Mandalaband
1975 : UK
This is the 1st album of Mandalaband. They may be often thought in image of religious color, because of the band name, sleeve design, and Tibetan lyrics. But Mandalaband is a genuine british prog rock band.
The former half of this album is a big suite "Om Mani Padme Hum"It is a gigantic "Rock Opera" performed by Tibetan vocal, Vic Emerson's large scale synthesiuzer orchestration, choir, and the band. This suite is consisted of 4 movements, .but from the opening to the end, the energy of music keeps on increasing and expanding to the climax !! In this point, it is very unique rock suite.
And in many case, rhythm section may be rather weak point in symphonic rock, but Mandalaband is exception. The rhythm section and guitar are very strong in Jazz Rock style, like Canterbury Jazz Rock music. The guitar and drums are rushing fast and pilling a band ensemble.
In 1978 the 2nd album "The Eye Of Wender" was released. This one is inspired by "The Load Of The Rings" written by J.R.R.Tolkien. Featuring many famous guest musicians, it is very fantastic too !!

 
Journey To The Center Of The Earth
Rick Wakeman
1974 : UK
This is the 2nd solo album of Rick Wakeman, keyboard player of YES. It is recoeded live album and musical story inspired by SF novel "Journey To The Center Of The Earth" written by Jules Verne. Lots of kind's keyboards of Wakeman are set in the center, rock band ensemble, full scale orchestra, and male and female mixed choir are introduced luxuriously. The great "Rock Spectacle Symphony" is performed.
In 1970's talkimg about the music of Rick Wakeman, "How academic....!!" may be usual tone. But I think Rick Wakeman's music is not so academic, but genuine entertainment. Entertainment is very good !! The opinion "Crossover of classical and rock music must be academic" is just a prejudice, I think. Rick Wakeman quotes some motifs from his favorite classical composer's works, and makes his music by free imagination.
This album must be enjoyed as a High Quality Entertainment Music. The big scale SF world will fascinate you certainly.
 
Alessandra
I Pooh
1972 : Italy
The best group in Italian pop scene is I Pooh !! This album is 2nd release in CBS rabel. It is The Eternal Masterpiece in Italian rock.
From the opening, beautiful strings ensemble is heard not pleyed other than Italian orchestra. To the ending, all is the sweetest "Love Rock World". Voices like CANZONE sing sentimental and romantic songs in impressive vocal and chorus style. The orchestra is introduded extensively and makes the music so dramatic !! THE TREASURE OF ITALY !!
I feel that this album is suitable for the season Autumn, with fallen leaves and golden sunshine.
Regrettably, this is the last album Riccardo Fogli took a lead vocal of I Pooh. Afterward I Pooh kept on releasing wonderful albums until now, but I select this album as No.1 in all works of I Pooh.

 
Concerto Grosso Per I
New Trolls
1971 : Italy
The best masterpiece of symphonic rock in Italy is "Concerto Grosso Per I" of New Trolls. This crossover of baroque and rock music is one of five masterpieces of Italian prog rock.
The strings orchestration is very brilliant, the electric guitar is crying emotionally, the melody line in baroque style is so beautiful, and constraction of the suite is very dramatic !! There is no other symphonic rock album so impressive as "Concetro Grosso".
In 1976 2nd part " Concerto Grosso Per II" was released. It is very wonderful album too. "Per I" and "Per II" are total works. So, I recommend you both two.
In 2001 "Concerto Grosso Live" was released by Vittorio De Scalzi, leader of New Trolls. It is The Must Item for prog rock mania too !!
 
Stephen Schlaks (Best)
Stephen Schlaks
1979 : Italy
This album is Japanese compilation of Stephen Schlaks. It is Easy Listening too. Stephen schlaks is very popular by the smash hit tune "Blue Dolphin".
Stephen Schlaks was very majour artist in 1970's, but after 1980's he was completely forgotten in the music scene. Original albums are not released on CD now. But he is one of my "God Of Music".
His music is very beautiful., and has very sweet and moody atmosphere. And arrangement is so good,. For example, synthesizer is used instead of using real strings orchestra, and synthesizer programming is very complexed in this age. And male and female mixed choir is introduced dramanically. The spacy expanse of sound is very cosmic !!
I think the people who likes Prog Rock or Symphonic Rock will be pleased with it certainly.
In Japan, or, Worldwide, I wish Stephen Schlaks would be re-estimated again.
 
Sweet People
Sweet People
1978 : Switzerland
This is the 1st album of Sweet People. It is not Symphonic Rock, but genuine Easy Listening.
Sweet People in Switzerland broke out suddenly in 1978 by the smash hit tune "Et Les Oiseaux Chantaient". It is a little bit quieer tune, electric piano repeats sequence chord phrase, on background switter of birds only.
Why do I select this album on this page ?? Sweet People was told as mysteric anonymous band, but in their sound, Mellotron is featured extensively. The sound of synthesizers and electrc piano is very dreamy, and melody is so beautiful !! I like it !!
I recommend this album for the people who likes moody and beautiful music.
 
La Fete Sauvage
Vangelis
1976 : Greece
This is a soundtrack album of the French movie "La Fete Sauvage". All music are composed by Vangelis. This sleeve design is Japanese release only.
It is very hard to choose only one album from many works of Vangelis. He has many musical styles, and every album is so good in every way.......I cannot decide No.1 album of all. If I may choose only 1 album based on the beauty of the melody, I choose this one.
This album is devided half, part1 and part2. The former half part 1 is ethnic rhythm music featuring African drums., but the latter half part 2 is very beautiful symphonic music, Female voice and synthesizer take a lead of classical melody, and on background the strings and brass sound synthesized by Vangelis flows and spreads largely. We can image the large horizon of Africa.
This is the Vangelis World !!
 
SKY2
SKY
1980 : UK
This is the 2nd album of Sky. Sky is a project unioned by "A Prince Of Classical Guitar" John Williams in 1979. About other member, Francis Monkman (ex. Courved Air) joined in Sky.
This album ranked NO.1 in UK chart, made them very popular in the world.
I think this is not symphonic rock (because of without any orachestration.....), but crossover of classical and rock music. Sky is categorized in fusion music, but most af all fans of Sky are Prog Rock maniac.
The greatest work of Sky is making crossover music of rock and classical, not exaggerated as Prog Rock in 1970's, but soft and halfway between Rock and Easy Listning. This album contains beautifl sounds all in it, whitch we can listen to in relax.
I went to the live concert of Sky in Japan in 1983.
 
Live In Concert With Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
Procol Harum
1972 : UK
This is the 6th album and 1st live album of Procol Harum.
In Japan, only "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" is well-known tune of Procol Harum, but they released 10 wonderful albums in ten years. And now, Procol Harum is reunioned, playing their music energetically. Procol Harum is THE PIONEER OF CROSSOVER OF ROCK AND CLASSICAL MUSIC in Great Britain.
This is Procol Harum's most symphnoic rock album, recorded live with orchestra and choir. Totally very dynamic orchestration is featured, and ending grand finale is very large scale !! And it includes the roch suite "In Held 'Twas In I",. In the rock music scene in early 1970's, this suite was revolutional !!
And don't forget a geneus drummer, late B.J.Wilson. His playing style, "sing a drum as a melody instrument" is took over by The Enid.
 
The Spell
The Enid
1984 : UK
This is the 6th studio album of The Enid. Once more The Enid?? but I think The Enid is THE GREATEST MAESTRO of symphonic rock.
In Robert John Godfrey and Stephen Stewart formation, The Enid tried unification of vocal rock way like "Something Wiched This Way Comes" and original symphonic rock way.
This album is constituted by long suite "The Spell" in 3/4 of all. In the 2nd part "Spring", Dave Storey plays superhuman drumming !! (I think it is his best play....) The 4th part "Autmn" is the great grand finale like symphony of Gustav Mahler.
This is very fantastic and beautiful album influenced by music of Mahler and Wagner.
 
Aerie Faerie Nonsense
The Enid
1977 : UK
The 2nd album of The Enid. In Japan, the 1st album "In The Region Of The Summer Stars" is often recognized as reprisentative album of The Enid. But I think this recognition is fault. The 1st album is still in progress, but in this 2nd album The Enid has established their music completely.
This album contains their reprisentative suite "Fand". Totally symphonic and delicate sound is very beautiful !!
This album was remaked and re-recorded later, but I like the original EMI version best. And this original version was released on CD recently.
Congratulations !!I
 
Touch Me
The Enid
1979 : UK
This is the 3rd album of The Enid. It is THE BEST MASTERPIECE of symphonic rock.
Orchestration playd all by analog synthesizers is very large scale, and twin electric guitar parts are very sweet and emotional. Durms plays not simple rhythm part, but melody part as a counter line. Every Pieces is classical and dramatic, very beautiful !!
The cosmic image of sleeve design is very good expressing the spacy sound.
This album is MY BIBLE !!
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