Drama – Yes, 1980 – 100th on the List

In a previous post I said I was going to track down the top 100 albums in the Prog Rock magazine count down.  Well I began that journey by purchasing downloads of the one hundreth, ninety nineth and ninety eighth albums on the list.  I began at the top as it seems right to do so and work towards the top ten.  I don’t know how long this will take me and I doubt I will review every album on the list but I will refer to it and let you know as I go.  So….Drama by Yes.  How was it?

“Machine Messiah” and “Tempus Fugit” have rightfully gone down in history as two of the best songs on this album but as I listened to this album ten times over the last three days in the car and at home and by headphones and speakers I felt that the other tracks fell quite short of expectations.  I know its 100th on the list but this is my first experience of Yes as a band so that might have a lot to do with it.   There was a change of vocalist and line up for this album but I did not look this up until after writing down my thoughts.  It does show.  Until I encounter Yes again I will not know if the departing of Jon Anderson as singer made a difference to quality but it did seem to affect the album to my ear.   There are several very weak tracks there including “Does It Really Happen?” which is really, really boring and drawn out.

So purchase it or not?  Well I enjoyed it and if you can get it for under a fiver like I did and you like prog then go ahead.  Amazon link HERE.


Going for 100 on Prog!


I am about to re-enter the realm of fiction.  No, I don’t mean that I am going to cease to be a real person.  I mean that I will be creating new content for Alternative Armies, 15mm.co.uk and The Ion Age.  While there will be more on this as it happens what it does mean is that I will be looking for listening material.  Some people can write while listening to the radio or to recorded audio books but I simply cannot as the voices get confused with my own if you follow me.  So what does that leave as I do like to listen to something as the hours pass.  It leaves music.

I have a large collection of music on CD and on Vinyl and as MP3’s as well.  Last week I saw a magazine for sale that caught my attention.  You can see it above.  I really like Prog Music and since the magazine had a count down of the top 100 albums in this genre a plan was hatched.  I am going to try and get all one hundred of these albums and listen to them essentially in order!

There may be blog reviews of some of them or the better ones but this is more of a mission statement for me.  As it turns out most of these albums are fairly cheap and I have just purchased a download of number 100 on the list.  What is at this barely made it position?  Its the 1980 album Drama by the band Yes.  Find more about it HERE.

I will let you know how it ‘prog’ resses!  Ha!


Girvan Folk Festival 2013

ohn Watt & Davie Stewart, in the dance hall at the first festival – 1974. © Peter Fairbairn, Kilmaurs

It was the annual Girvan Folk Festival at the weekend and by all accounts a good time was had all around.  While I did not attend any of the two dozen or so events I do live in the very heart of the town of Girvan and this meant I was within earshot of most of the pubs and hotels which hosted the groups and bands playing their music and teaching others the skills of folk.  This was the thirty ninth festival, tinged with a hint of sadness as the instigator of the festivals Bobby Robb died last year.

In the Roxy Beer Garden 2013. © Tog Porter – Wigwam Photography

While it is no secret that Girvan has suffered in the current recession I was proud of the way that the town managed to bring in a couple of thousand visitors over a weekend and take good care of them.  This despite the diminishing in facilities in the town (don’t get me started on politics!) and weather that was thankfully mild but dull and rainy.  Listening to the music gave me free entertainment and some joy too.  It is always good to hear people having fun (my neighbours got married at the weekend too) and while I got little sleep on Saturday night I lay awake with a smile on my face while the guitars played away the wee hours.

I have heard a rumour that some people complained about the charge for a weekend in secure parking and camping in the town.  This charge being to turn away those not interested in the festival and for security, including a police presence, to keep families and others safe.   I personally think that about 35.00GBP for a family of four for a weekend pitch during an event is perfectly fine but some did not.  The security was needed after the activities of some ‘people’ (and I use the term loosely…cretins would be more accurate) last year and some property damage.  There was no trouble this year that I am aware of.

If you have an interest in Folk Music check out the website for the festival and even if you don’t do it anyway as it is worth five minutes to see all the pictures.

Perhaps my schedule will allow me to attend some of the gigs next year for the big fortieth festival in 2014.

Well done Girvan!


B.B.King the Life of Riley

The great B.B.King

Coming out in a few very lucky cinema’s this week is a biopic of the greatest living blues man B.B.King (sorry Mr Guy you are a close second to me).  I will not be able to see this film until it comes out on DVD but for now I am content to watch clips and listen to my collection of his music.  Those who know me know that I am a big fan of the Blues along with vintage Prog-Rock and other music of the 1950’s-1970’s but my love of this music comes from my childhood and, thanks to my father, a visit to B.B’s club in Memphis when I was a young teenager.

The film by GFM Films is titled The Life of Riley being a play on the old phrase plus that is actually Mr King’s first name.  It features interviews and so on along with live footage and a lot of the man himself looking over a life and career that has spanned way more than half a century.  Follow the link in this paragraph to learn more on this and see some stills.

Below I have put a clip from the film which you can enjoy but it makes me a bit sad really that I have never seen him play and likely I never will.


Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen

I thought I would try a micro posting, so here we go.  Today while working I have had one track on You Tube on repeat and that track is the excellent ‘Anything Could Happen’ by Ellie Goulding.  This ethereal track is new and well worth a listen.  It makes me smile as so often now popular music is the same rubbish over and over but this is more like what I normally listen to (big fan of the Psych Rock of the 1960’s) and it is catchy as hell.  So the link is below to the video…give it a try.  Am I right or wrong that this is a top track?