Monday, July 2, 2012

THE PROGRESSIVE ROCK ENCYCLOPEDIA: A (Part.2)


A Part.2

 ARENA
   They were founded in 1994 by Clive Nolan on keyboards (ex-Pentragon), and Mick Pointer on drums. (The former drummer of Marillion). Many members have come and go through the years, but these two are the only ones who still remain since day one.
   The band is considered as one of the big names in the neo-prog scene. They have released 7 studio albums so far, and a couple 'live' ones.
   In the following video you can watch them perform live...

                                                                  


ASH RA TEMPEL
   The group was founded in 1970 by M.Gottschling, K.Schulze and H.Enke. K.Schulze has been a member to Tangerine Dream before joining Ash Ra Tempel.
   Their music is considered mainly as Space-Rock with many psychedelic influences.
Their debut self titled album was released in 1971. After this album K.Schulze quit the band for a solo career.
   In 1972 they release 'Schwingungen' and a few months later 'Seven up'. (With Timothy Leary).
(Timothy Leary was a very known psychologist/writer and the 'guru' of psychedelic drugs).
Their first albums had one long song on each side of the record. Usually one atmospheric and dramatic, and one more powerful. Most of their songs are instrumental, because the German language was not so popular in Rock music, and they didn't want to use English.
   After the first albums, they changed their name to Astra and they released a couple more studio albums and a soundtrack, before they disbanded in 1976.
   The band reunited in 2000 and recorded one album named 'Friendship'. In this album K.Schulze is also included as member of the band again.
     In the following video you can listen to the song "Schizo"...

                                                                  

ASTRA
   Astra is a new band coming from San Diego, California.
The were founded in 2001 under the name 'Silver Sunshine', but they changed it to 'Astra' in 2006.
Their sound is based on the Prog-Rock bands of the '70's played in a more modern way though.
They have released 2 albums so far. Their debut is 'The Weirding' and it was released in 2009, and their second is 'The Black Chord' that was released this year.
It is a very interesting band, and for sure they deserve some attention...
In the following video you can listen to the song 'The Weirding'...

                                                 

                 
AUDIENCE
   Audience was an English band that was formed in 1969.
They were lucky enough to gain attention almost immediately. Within the first few months found a manager, a club to play in a regular basis, and a recording contract with Polydor. They released their self-titled album the same year. Their style was Progressive and the characteristic in their sound was the use of saxophone.
 They agreed with Polydor to release the song 'Too late I'm gone' as single, but the company cancelled it.
The band was very displeased in general with Polydor, and after many incidents, (at some time they escape to Switzerland in hiding). Luckily, the director of Charisma records saw them performing live as an opening act for Led Zeppelin and offered them a contract. (Charisma records was the best and biggest company for Progressive Rock in these days).
   They released 3 albums in total with Charisma, on 1970, 1971 and 1972.
In the early 1972, the band's members were disappointed from the low sales of their albums and tired from the endless live performances, so after a U.S tour with Rod Stewart & The Faces two of the members quitted the band, leaving an unfinished record in the studio.
   The remaining two members found 2 new mucisians, and with the help of The Rolling Stones finished the record. This would be the last studio album they will ever record. After the release of the album in 1972, the band went back on the road to perform live. But this new line up never worked well together, and a few months later they were disbanded.
   On 2004 they made a reunion, followed up by a long tour mainly in Germany Italy, Canada and Uk.
The result of this tour was a live album that was released in 2005.
And there are no news about Audience since then...