39. Würm

“Second of two in a row from Yes’s early 1970s glory years, though Würm is technically only part three of 1971’s Starship Trooper, which I figure most people probably have heard in one way or another. But probably not the longer, bigger, vaster 1972 live version, which truly takes off at its standalone climax – the Würm in question here. The album in question is the six sided monster known as Yessongs which was my proper introduction to Yes, the first album of theirs I actually owned. Talk about starting big. And even to this day, I have no problem arguing that at least four of those sides are a waste of nobody’s time, proving beyond any doubt that even as this crowd sometimes chased their high and mighty conceptual concerns perhaps a little (or a lot) too far, they always did it from a foundation of solid ROCK. With Würm’s deceptively simple, ever expanding power exhibit A in that regard.” (Philip Random)

40. close to the edge

“So here we are, decades after the fact and it’s still difficult to discuss the music of the band known as Yes without somehow disparaging it as overwrought, pretentious, guilty of trying too hard. To which I say, f*** that (unless you’re talking about their later stuff – the 1980s and beyond, some of which I’m pretty sure is on perpetual repeat in hell’s jukebox). Because the good stuff, the grand stuff, the vast and virtuous and ambitious stuff of their early-mid 1970s phase, we need that stuff, particularly Close To The Edge (the song and the album, but particularly the side long song). Because it’s true, I think, the edge isn’t a place, the edge doesn’t exist. You’ve either gone too far and you’re falling the long fall into oblivion, or you’ve found that sweet spot just short of it where everything opens up. All those BIG unifying passions and ideas that have been floating in and around you since before puberty even – the idea of indivisibility. Jehovah and Allah and Jesus and Muhammad and Krishna and every known and unknown god or whatever, all one big happy. Bigger than any cathedral, that’s for sure. Because every church, every creed, every ideology gets it wrong the instant it claims to have gotten it all right. Because even if you have vast chunks of the truth, you can’t have it all. It’s the nature of it, beyond mortal comprehension. So the very claim of TRUTH divides us, sets loose corrosive elements, brings the f***ing roof down.

Which is what’s going on in the middle of Close To The Edge, I think, the part where the church organ kicks in. That’s the capital T Truth failing. That’s the cathedrals all collapsing, and the mosques, the temples, the synagogues. That’s the outside crashing in, the inside gushing out. Now that you’re saved, now that you’re whole. Seasons will pass you by. You get up. You get down.  It’s all so clear once you stop trying to make sense of it. Just smoke a doob, put on the headphones, stretch out and let it all be … for eighteen and a half minutes anyway. Maybe the best damned band on the planet. Ever. Or certainly close to it. Hell even Led Zeppelin had to be looking over their shoulders by 1972. Because Yes simply had more going on. Hell, they had Rick Wakeman and his mountainous stacks of keyboards, conjuring choirs and orchestras and all manner of big and mysterious colours and textures and everything really, or damned close to it anyway. As close as anyone got at the time, and maybe ever since. Because has there ever been another time like it? We were definitely close to something.” (Philip Random)

411. where is this dream of your youth?

“The Strawbs original recording of Where is This Dream of Your Youth? is nice enough, a nifty little bit of folk pop, but it’s Rick Wakeman‘s sustained live freakout on the Hammond organ (found on 1970’s Just a Collection of Antiques + Curios) that hooked me, and keeps on hooking me, just keeps going, going, going through the decades – peaks and valleys and all manner of long haired freaky looking people grooving along in smoke filled rooms, smelling of incense and wacky tabacky. Because groovy still meant something in those days, with a new decade dawning, the revolution at hand. Or so it must have seemed.” (Philip Random)

Strawbs-Wakeman

645. Benedictus

“As the story goes, Strawbs main man David Cousins was rather choked at losing keyboard whiz kid Rick Wakeman to Yes. So, as was popular at the time, he consulted the Classic of Changes (aka the mystical I-Ching), which gave him a few lyrics if nothing else. ‘Humble must he constant be, where the paths of wisdom lead, distant is the shadow of the setting sun‘. Good enough for the lead-off track from 1972’s Grave New World, which I’d say was their best album, as if losing Wakeman had lit a fire under them. They’d prove the bastards wrong. They’d expand the known universe without him. And they did, even if hardly anyone noticed. One of the best damned bands most people have never heard of, let alone heard.” (Philip Random)

Strawbs-1972

39. The Solid Time Of Change

Installment #39 of the Solid Time of Change aired on Saturday June-3-2017 (c/o CiTR.FM.101.9).

Youtube playlist (not entirely accurate).

The Solid Time of Change is our overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era – 661 selections from 1965 through 1979 with which we hope to do justice to a strange and ambitious time indeed, musically speaking.

solid-crop-39x

Part Thirty-Nine of the journey went as follows:

  1. Focus – Hocus Pocus
  2. PFM – Dove … Quando [part 1]
  3. PFM – Dove Quando [part 2]
  4. Nektar – the dream nebula
  5. Nektar – it’s all in the mind
  6. Jethro Tull – My God
  7. Jethro Tull – slipstream
  8. Jethro Tull – Wind Up
  9. Camel – Nimrodel
  10. Renaissance – ashes are burning
  11. David Bowie – life on Mars
  12. Klaus Schulze – floating

Fresh episodes air pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.

28. The Solid Time Of Change

Installment #28 of the Solid Time of Change aired on Saturday February-4-2016 (c/o CiTR.FM.101.9).

Podcast (Solid Time begins a few minutes in). Youtube playlist (somewhat inaccurate).

The Solid Time of Change is our overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era – 661 selections from 1965 through 1979 with which we hope to do justice to a strange and ambitious time indeed, musically speaking.

solid-crop-28

Part Twenty-Eight of the journey went as follows:

  1. Jethro Tull – Dharma for One [live]
  2. Strawbs – where is this dream of your youth?
  3. Strawbs – Benedictus
  4. Alice Cooper – I Love the Dead
  5. Tiny Tim- the other side
  6. Vangelis – he-ho
  7. Vangelis – we were all uprooted
  8. Moody Blues – melancholy man
  9. Procol Harum – a salty dog
  10. Yes – to be over
  11. Doors – The End
  12. Pink Floyd – careful with that axe Eugene
  13. Van Der Graaf Generator – my room [waiting for wonderland]

Fresh episodes air pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.

854. the life auction

The Strawbs started out as a folk band in the 1960s, but somewhere along the line, things started getting so-called progressive, which Rick Wakeman‘s stint on keyboards only accentuated. But even after Yes scooped him up, the Strawbs continued with the progressing and expanding, and nowhere so seriously, intensely, psychedelically as The Life Auction, found on 1975’s Ghosts. It’s tea time, the middle of England somewhere (or maybe just some drab Canadian suburb) and the acid you dropped an hour or so back is finally kicking in hard, the truth about everything revealed in the polluted haze of another diluted day.

(photo: Steve Jepson)

937. disruption in world communication

Synergy was one man, a guy named Larry Fast who, when he wasn’t working with the likes of Rick Wakeman, Peter Gabriel, Nektar, FM, was inventing the future via his devotion to synthesizer technologies. 1978’s Cords is one of those albums that still manages to sound rather ahead of things. Peter Gabriel gets credit for helping with some of the titles, and none better than Disruption in World Communication. Because yes, this is exactly what it ends up sounding like when we humans cease communicating with each other. Genuinely scary stuff.

synergy-cords

9. The Solid Time Of Change

Part nine of the Solid Time of Change aired Saturday July-9-2016 c/o CiTR.FM.101.9.

Podcast (Solid Time begins at around the 5 minute point). Youtube playlist (probably inaccurate).

The Solid Time of Change will be Randophonic’s main focus for the forseeable future, an overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era (presented in countdown form) – 661 records from 1965 through 1979 with which we hope to do justice to a strange and ambitious time, musically speaking.

solid-crop-09

Part nine of the journey went as follows:

  1. Rick Wakeman – white rock
  2. Rick Wakeman – lax’x
  3. Love – alone again or
  4. Love – the good humour man, he sees everything like this
  5. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Pluto the Dog
  6. Emerson Lake + Palmer – take a pebble [edit]
  7. America – sandman
  8. Moody Blues – higher + higher
  9. Moody Blues – house of (three) doors
  10. Moody Blues – legend of a mind
  11. Caravan – the dog the dog, he’s at it again
  12. Caravan – the love in your eye [unpop edit]
  13. Pink Floyd – fat old sun
  14. Jon Anderson – ocean song
  15. Jon Anderson – meeting [garden of Geda]
  16. Jon Anderson – sound out the galleon
  17. Jon Anderson – transic
  18. Jon Anderson – naon
  19. Daevid Allen – only make love if you want to
  20. Van Morrison – almost independence day

Fresh episodes air pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.