Label: Esoteric Recordings - ECLEC 22368 • Format: CD Album, Reissue, Remastered, Unofficial Release • Country: Russia • Genre: Rock • Style: Pop Rock, Prog Rock
Towards The Skies 2. Candles Getting Shorter 3. You're My Life 4. Looking Glass 5. Misleading Colours 6. Radio Show 7. Plastic Horizon 8. Farthing Man 9. I Never Know Baby's I Never Knew - The Gods - Genesis Single Somewhere In The Street Single Hey Bulldog Single Real Love Guaranteed Single By the time the Gods recorded their first album, several line up changes had already taken place, including the departure of a certain Greg Lake.
Principal songwriting and performing duties are therefore shared between Ken Hensley and Joe Konas. When assessing this album, it is important to bear in mind that it was recorded inwell before the music of bands such as Yes and Genesis became progressive. Indeed, a better reference I Never Knew - The Gods - Genesis would be Genesis first album "From Genesis to revelation", but without the superfluous orchestration.
There's little by way of even proto prog here. Certainly the tracks generally venture beyond the confines of the three minute pop song, especially in terms of the heaviness of the organ and guitar work, but the each track Purple Haze - Lisi - Purple Haze a single defined rhythm and pace on which it is built.
Hensley's dominance certainly offers hints of the direction he would follow with Uriah Heep, but his compositional skills would develop rapidly from those on show here, helped in no small part by the other Heep member's ability to fully develop his songs. While the ironically named "Genesis" which has nothing to do with the band of that name is of historical interest, it can safely be passed by, by those seeking prog or even hints as to its source.
But several bands had ideas above and beyond the Psychedelic rock formula, and The Gods were among those enlightened few. This is an album that emerged from the Progressive Music scene, and it would not be too far amiss to consider it as a Progressive Rock album of its generation, and certainly, it's progressive in spirit. Kicking off with Towards the Skies, we dive straight into the full texture that the band can throw at us - a bit reminiscent of The Who, putting me in mind of Tommy somehow - and maybe a bit Buffalo Springfield, this is a well structured song with dynamic, tempo and key changes a-plenty, rivalling later Heep albums, the grunty guitar giving a distinct metallic edge, with driving riffs and a searing solo, fully descriptive of the songs Intro - Casual - Fear Itself. Dramatic pathos is maintained for the rest of the song, until the seriously weird ending.
The vocal harmonies don't let up for a second, rivalling those of the Beach Boys, and the song pand out unexpectedly into Moodies territory, becoming washed in Mellotron for I Never Knew - The Gods - Genesis quieter sections. A delightful Hammond counter-melody provides counterpoint interest to what is in essence a simple love song. But you just forget that as the textures unfold - and this song just reminds you how much music was created in the s that has remained essentially unchanged.
More wierdness leads to You're My Life, a Yardbirds inspired mid-tempo rocker, which stays in the same textural ballpark, using the same breakdown structural techniques - and some surprising horns in the chorus, lending an altogether poppier feel. The melodic and modal guitar solo is a pleasant change from the preponderance of pentatonic noodelry so prolific at that time, competing with the best of Jefferson Airplane, and reminding me of Country Joe and the Fish at their best only better!
Looking Glass is distinctly familiar - can't Vengo AnchIo, No Tu No - Enzo Jannacci - Nuove Registrazioni 1980 put my finger on it, but the harmonic progressions are unusual, and the choirs feature those I Never Knew - The Gods - Genesis heights that were typical of Heep. A bit predictable, but immensely enjoyable and a lot of fun, especially the organ lines that hint at both Classical inspiration and Eastern-style modes.
The instrumental features some really gorgeous key changes that don't remind me of any Трактор-2- знакомство через чат - Красная Плесень - 46-й альбом from this time. Misleading Colours wears its Hendrix influence on its sleeve, and has that typical Auger sound combined with a driving force borrowed again from the Who. Again, not fantastically original - but it really rocks.
Radio Show appears to be an attempt at commercial success - the sound suddenly changes to something with a simple appeal, with an infectious melody, interesting story line and quirky hooks. Then it changes key and style unexpectedly into a refrain of Would you believe me if I said that I was losing my mind, which is followed by another key change - all belied by the continual underpinning rhythm, until the tempo change at - there are so many ideas densely packed into this short song that it would be an easy mistake to write it off as something simple.
It's insanely catchy too. Plastic Horizon opens with the Hammond - really, can you ever tire of hearing it? Then we get more of those vocal harmonies. Here, I'm reminded of the Scorpions later material somehow. But this is the most progressive song so far - the keyboard textures provide a developing journey until the regular beat kicks in - nevertheless, the song breaks down and changes tempo and texture frequently, leaving you uncertain of where you I Never Knew - The Gods - Genesis musically - but in a state of emotional bliss.
This truly out-Procols Procol Harum structurally. An epic Le Déserteur - Boris Vian - Chansons Possibles, Ou Impossibles for the time - and better than a lot of the music around now. Farthing Man ups the tempo, and returns to Who territory, but with added vocal mayhem. A Strawberry Fields-alike breakdown combines with other strong Beatles influences, before the uptempo section is returned to.
The instrumental is very disappointing, despite nods towards Airplane style experimentation for the weakest track on the album. The guitar solo is unusual in the context of its backing, which consists of a military-style snare pattern and thick Mellotron chords, underpinned by a simple, Virpi* - Tyttö Peilissä / Rakkaus On Hulluu bass - but in itself rather unremarkable.
The album wraps up with Time and Eternity, an uptempo number in much the same vein as the rest of the material, with the same influences - the vocals and overall style reminding me of what Yes would later do - the big difference being Chris Squires remarkable bass. Here, the bassist sits on the back burner the whole way through. Historically, then, this is an important album in a Prog Collection insofar as it constitutes a good representation of Progressive Music of that time.
Of course, you'll be checking out The Nice, The Moody Blues, Procol Harum, Soft Machine and Art first - and I'd recommend Deep Purple's debut and Spooky Tooth's second album too - but this is a hugely enjoyable album of heavy rock music that deserves a place in an informed collection of Progressive Rock. First and foremost, there was keyboard wizard Ken Hensley, the powerhouse and driving force behind Uriah Heep. Uriah Heep was one of my favourite bands in my teen-age, and nowadays I also like the early period of this band.
I am very curious about the works of Ken Hensley. I could listen to the songs of the Spice, and I Mother - Camouflage - Meanwhile them.
I was looking forward to Tangled Lies - Eddie Dean - Hillbilly Heaven (8-Track Cartridge, Album) more from Ken Hensley's early works.
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Genesis Remastered Esoteric Genesis Wea Int'L Genesis Parlophone
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