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The Unknown Beauty Of The 80's Vol. 116

Discuss hard-to-find or out-of-print New Wave and '80s Alternative, and share a few songs along the way.
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The Unknown Beauty Of The 80's Vol. 116

Postby Rissan » Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:28 am

And now for something completely different

For the none readers, the link pickers, at this forum, sorry but this is gonna be a long introduction. But, if you want to jump straight to the download link, be aware this Unknown Beauty Of The 80’s Volume is quite different from the 115 Volumes that preceded it.

Sofar I presented you 115 Volumes of Synthpop, New Wave, Goth Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Rock and sporadically threw in a Progressive Rock song (remember Esquire, IQ and Twelfth Night?). I always was careful to present the prog in this Volumes since I know people love it or hate it, although funny enough I became interested in Progressive Rock through New Wave and New Romantic music.

So why finally a twist and present you a Volume with Unknown “Progressive Rock” Beauty Of The 80’s. Well this needs an explanation. Last Sunday, I was checking something on Discogs, when I read in the introduction of the band info that part of the content was taken from a booklet called “The History Of British Progressive Rock Of The Eighties”. I have that booklet on my book shelve for ages. So I defoliated through the booklet and decided to import all discography information of all bands mentioned in the booklet into an Excel file. This info I compared with discogs and complemented the list. This info I compared with discogs and complemented the list. And of course then went through my collection to search for as much available.

It brought back the memories, which so often happen these days, of listening to bands like Marillion, Pallas, Pendragon and IQ (and then I don’t mentioned the big bands from the seventies like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Camel, Yes, ELP, Kansas, Eloy) for the first time, to see the bands for the first time live and crave for the new releases that came out. The search and discover for new names, which later on became the same with the fanatic search of new names of New Wave bands, which mainly populate the Volumes after the restart in 2018, was already there, and I searched and looked for new Progressive Rock bands, mainly (to be honest) British bands at first. The only rock show on the Dutch radio that day, which played Progressive Rock, was “De LP Show” later transferred to “De CD Show” which brought me my love for Rush, Pallas and IQ. Around 1986 I became aware of a Dutch Progressive Rock magazine called Sym Info. That same year in September they organized their first SI Double Concert at the famous Paradiso with the double bill of IQ and Pallas, which I visited with my then girlfriend. She sat down at the end of the hall while I went crazy with the music. I was stirred by tears and had goosebumps everywhere. Through this concert and the magazine I came in touch with some guys from the Rotterdam region who introduced me to new names like Abel Ganz, Comedy Of Errors, Castanarc, Twelfth Night but also other European bands like Chandelier, Asgard, Eris Pluvia, Leviathan, Arrakeen and Japanese bands like Gerard, Vienna, Ars Nova and Outer Limits.

At the start of the nineties I lost my job since the company I worked for went bankrupt. I was able to get a job at the office of the then well know SI Magazine, a continuation of the Sym Info magazine and the generator of the SI Music label. And at the beginning of 1991 I started writing reviews for the magazine, which brought me in contact with a lot of bands and artists. I became a hugh fan of Galahad, and introduced the Polish prog scene to the Netherlands, simply since I had a Polish pen pal, with whom I exchanged cd’s. In April of that same year the booklet “The History Of British Progressive Rock Of The Eighties” was released; the dedicated and fanatic outcome of the French guys François Guirin and André-François Ruaud. It became my guidance for the Neo-Prog years of the eighties, which the style was called by now. Two years later a guy called David Robinson, nowadays the owner of the Festival Music (F2 Music) label wrote and released the booklet The British Progressive Rock Directory with detailed biographies of nearly eighty bands, some with photos and all with a reliable contact address. The directory got an update in 1995. This directory also helped me a lot with my reviews of the prog albums I received, which was mainly Neo Prog. So, just what a little searching and the recovery of a booklet can lead to. This new volume, completely dedicated to the British Progressive Rock scene of the eighties, houses a bunch of songs that are special to me.

Quasar was the brainchild of Keith Turner. The band released two lp’s and two cassettes in the eighties, of which The Loreli became well known. I saw the band twice after the release of The Loreli, and soon afterwards the band disbanded, to be reformed with a complete new line-up centering Keith Turner around 2010. Vocalist Tracy Hitchings became well known in the scene for her solo project and as vocalist for Strangers On A Train, Landmarq among others.

Galahad formed in 1985 and is around for over 35 years now. Centered around core members vocalist Stuart Nicholson and drummer Spencer Luckman, the band was called by me the crown prince of the British Progressive Rock in the nineties, after Marillion decided to change their musical style. From the moment I ordered their demo In A Moment Of Madness I became a hugh fan of the band, which in recent years have integrated dance and house to the prog scene.

Ark was one of the bands I got a cd of bought through the SI store. Their bass player John Jowitt, later, became a member of IQ and Jadis and also worked with John Wetton among others.

Boragg Thung was a band introduced on the Exposure Compilation in 1986, which changed their name in GoGo Street some years later to vanish into obscurity at the end of the eighties after two demo cassettes.

Jadis I follow since their Live ’88 demo. Their first proper release, their self-titled lp in 1989, was produced by Steve Rothery, the guitarist of Marillion, and released as an edition of 500, numbered on the back. Although G13 was featured on their success album More Than Meets The Eye three years later, I choose for the lp version.

Edge started as Galadriel in 1982. After two demos under that name and after a minor line-up change, they changed their name to Edge and recorded their cassette Suction 8, which in 1990 was re-released on CD by the obscure label UGUM. A second cd followed within a year after which the band called it a day.

The first time I saw Multi-Story was at another SI Double Concert. The band made an impression, but due to miscommunication they just played a set of half an hour assuming they were only the opening act. After two albums in the eighties they went underground, to return in 2017 with their marvelous album Crimson Stone. After the double live album Live At Acapela they are scheduled for a new album later this year. Listen closely to the keyboard parts after the first chorus, they sound a lot like on Higher Circles of Pendragon.

Abel Ganz has been a favourite since their early demo albums in 1984/1985. The reason is quite simple I am a hugh fan and for quite some years in contact with the singer Alan Reed, also known for being the former singer of Pallas, who has released a couple of marvelous solo albums over the past years. Rain Part 2 is from their third cassette album Dangers Of Strangers. The band with a different line-up released their new album The Life Of The Honeybee & Other Moments Of Clarity recently which received a lot of very positive reviews.

No Man Is An Island, formerly known as No Man Is An Island Except For The Isle Of Man is the brainchild of Steven Wilson, well known for the band Porcupine Tree. Nowadays the band works under the name No-Man. After the joining of Tim Bowness (ex Always The Stranger, Plenty) and Ben Coleman, the bands debut was the cassette Swagger, of which I feature the track Bleed. Another track from the demo was later used as title track for their breakthrough album Flowermouth.

Pendragon was originally formed in 1979 as Zeus Pendragon. They debuted in 1983 with two demos, which formed the base for their debut 12” Fly High Fall Far in 1984 and the album The Jewel in 1985. The featured track is the goosebumps opening of The Jewel.

LaHost is quite an obscure band, which, just like Twelfth Night, used a lot of New Wave influences in their prog music. After two demo’s and a 7” they disbanded. In 1992 the obscure label UGUM released a compilation of their outtakes with the title Erotic Antiques. Mark Spencer later played with Twelfth Night, Coburg, Alan Reed, The C:Live Collective (of ex Twelfth Night member Clive Mitten) and is now a member of Galahad. Stephen Bennett works a lot with Tim Bowness (No-Man) these days and both are in the band Henry Fool. Fudge Smith became the drummer of Pendragon and Henry Fool and is now in The C:Live Collective.

IQ was formed in 1981 by Mark Holmes and Martin Orford. Since the release of their album The Wake the band is a constant factor in the prog scene with several highlighted albums. The featured track is from their great album Nomzamo from 1987. I already follow the band since their live album Living Proof from 1986 and the first time I saw them live that year. Last year was the 25th time I saw the band live during their Annual Christmas Bash at De Boerderij in Zoetermeer.

Final Conflict is a band that I learned in the early nineties through their album Redress The Balance. Again it was during an SI Double Concert. The band made two demo cassettes during the late eighties and Redress The Balance was their first cd album in the nineties. Their latest album The Rise Of The Artisan was released recently.

Pallas was with IQ and Marillion one of the first bands I saw live. I became addicted to the album The Wedge released in that same year, also because of the vocals of Alan Reed. I followed the band through all the line-up changes until the devastated split with Alan Reed by the end of 2010.

Twelfth Night was also quite an obscure band, which blended New Wave into their style of prog rock. The charismatic singer/pastor Geoff Mann was part of their great success in the prog scene. A band that turned on a crossroad in 1982 when they saw the success of Simple Minds’ New Gold Dream and the breakthrough of Marillion with their Market Square Heroes 12”. The result became their classic Fact And Fiction. After the album the band toured intensively, which in the end resulted in the split with Geoff Mann, who went solo and formed his own band until his death in 1993. Art & Illusion was the title for the first album after the split with Geoff Mann, which featured their new singer Andy Sears. Fortunately the band already performed the song live with Geoff Mann (lyrics written by him). So here is the live version with him.

Comedy Of Errors is also a band I follow since the second part of the eighties. I am in contact with their singer Joe Cairney for quite some time and did the first reviews after their return to the scene in 2011. Emperor Clothes comes from their second demo 24 Hours from 1987.

Airbridge was the first band of Sean Peter Godfrey who later formed LaHost. After an lp, a demo cassette and a single the band called it a day around 1984, to be reformed in 2009 with a cd ep in 2013 as result. Rounddance is from their debut album Paradise Moves from 1982.

Which brings us to the last band on this compilation Castanarc. Formed in the late seventies by David Powell and Mark Holiday after they left the band Traffic. The band did some sporadically shows, including the SI Double Concert with Pendragon on 11 March 1989. Earlier this year, after an absence of 22 years, they released the album Water From The Well.

Most of the bands I reviewed and interviewed over the period 1990 - 2018 when I was a member of the editorial board of SI Magazine and later iO Pages. I keep fond memories about those interviews and it was and still is a delight to speak the artists after their shows.

The tracks:

01. Quasar - The Loreli (5:10)
02. Galahad - One For The Record (4:54)
03. Ark - Kaleidoscope (4:19)
04. Borag Thungg - Song Of The Vineyard (4:20)
05. Jadis - G13 (5:36)
06. Edge - Incognito (4:51)
07. Multi-Story - Breaking Ground (3:22)
08. Abel Ganz - Rain Again Part 2 (3:27)
09. No Man Is An Island - Bleed (5:23)
10. Pendragon - Higher Circles (3:29)
11. LaHost - The Big Sleep (5:13)
12. IQ - Promises (as the year go by) (4:34)
13. Final Conflict - The Time Has Arrived (4:44)
14. Pallas - Voices In The Dark (4:37)
15. Twelfth Night - Art & Illusion (live) (4:02)
16. Comedy Of Errors - The Emperors Clothes (3:59)
17. Airbridge - Rounddance (4:03)
18. Castanarc - Peyote (4:33)

The link: ... XjNPxKdF5Y

A last word: I could have overfeed you with so much more. But for now I keep it to one Volume. If people show interest I will come with more, because I have a lot of obscure prog lying around on cassette, 7”, 12”, cd and as audio files.

To quote Galahad: “We are lost in nostalgia, with love for the future. One For The Record, One for our memory.”

Last edited by Rissan on Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:02 am, edited 13 times in total.
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Re: The Unknown Beauty Of The 80's Vol. 116

Postby crichert » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:59 am

Wow, I LOVED this post - thank you Rissan!! Love reading the descriptions and backstory!! I've always been that person that sits down to read the booklets provided my artists, so this was an enjoyable read!! :mrgreen:
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Re: The Unknown Beauty Of The 80's Vol. 116

Postby LMP69 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:04 am

Thanks Rissan,
I am a prog fan myself. As much as I like 80s new wave/post punk, etc., I'm perhaps an even bigger fan of more obscure 60-70s psych and rock, and prog rock from 60s up even through current releases. Also enjoy the neopsychedelic phase the US experienced in the early to mid-80s (three o'clock, Rain Parade, Dream Syndicate, Eyes of Mind, The Things, The Last, The name just a few.

You mentioned Asgard. I've seen their name as Asgard and Asgaerd. I think it's the same group? Anyway, I love their song "In The Realm of Asgard"

Thanks for posting

Maybe for those interested, we could consider shares in the Not Necessarily New Wave section if that is allowed. I know this is an 80s forum, so I would not want to deviate from any rules the admin may have.
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Re: The Unknown Beauty Of The 80's Vol. 116

Postby Rissan » Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:13 am

LMP69 wrote:You mentioned Asgard. I've seen their name as Asgard and Asgaerd. I think it's the same group? Anyway, I love their song "In The Realm of Asgard"

Hi LM69,

The Asgard I am referring to is:
And as far as I know/remember they never released a song called "In The Realm Of Asgard"
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Re: The Unknown Beauty Of The 80's Vol. 116

Postby Gazebo Music » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:15 am

Ris, This SHARE is absolutely brilliant and very much appreciated! The attention to detail in your write up and the track selection are top notch! Job well done my friend!
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Re: The Unknown Beauty Of The 80's Vol. 116

Postby LMP69 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:36 pm ... ter/532164

This is the link to the Asgaerd I am familiar with. Exceptionally fine if you enjoy early to mid-70s prog rock
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Re: The Unknown Beauty Of The 80's Vol. 116

Postby Rissan » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:47 am

LMP69 wrote:

This is the link to the Asgaerd I am familiar with. Exceptionally fine if you enjoy early to mid-70s prog rock

Was not aware of the band. I'm gonna give it a listen.
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Re: The Unknown Beauty Of The 80's Vol. 116

Postby maccafan076 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:08 pm

Great idea Rissan. I'm a prog rock fan as well so this is a treat. Thank you :)
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