Thursday, March 31, 2016

Goodies from GFreedom's Music Collection # 25

          JETHRO TULL: Minstrel in the Gallery (1975)

  I have been listening to Jethro Tull’s music since my teenage years, and I consider them as one of my most beloved and well-respected bands.

In my collection I have almost 20 albums of them, and there are some that I like more than others, for various reasons. One of them is Minstrel in the Gallery.

  Minstrel in the Gallery was recorded in Monte Carlo on April of 1975 and it was released in September of the same year. The album follows a different musical direction from the previous album (War Child-1974), and it includes elements of British Folk music and Pre-Elisabeth medieval tunes, mixed with beautiful acoustic and electric pieces.

In the original version, the album includes 7 songs and has a total running time of almost 45 minutes. In 2002 a re-mastered version was released, including 3 extra songs, and 2 live versions of the songs Minstrel in the Gallery and Cold Wind to Valhalla.

  The album’s opening song is Minstrel in the Gallery, which refers to the use of a minstrel’s gallery in the great halls of Medieval castles and manor houses. It begins with a small speech by the minstrel himself, before the acoustic guitar starts playing the song’s main theme. After almost 2.5 minutes, the electric guitar enters and the song’s structure changes completely. In my opinion ‘Minstrel’ in a typical Progressive Rock song, including a few Folk influences.

The next song is Cold Wind to Valhalla, another beautiful and Folk-influenced piece. What I wrote for ‘Minstrel’ stands for this song as well. It begins as an acoustic song, but it soon becomes electric and faster in pace and rhythm.

The 3rd song is the beautiful 7-minute-long Black Satin Dancer, which is also one of the album’s finest moments. Here the band uses the piano as a leading instrument accompanied by a string quartet at start. But after 2.5 minutes the electric guitar enters once more, playing some beautiful riffs and solos.

The A-side of the vinyl version is closing with the ballad Requiem, which is a beautiful, melodic and kind of melancholic piece. Although it is nothing impressive, I really love this song.

  The B-side opens with the track with the bizarre title One White Duck / 010 = Nothing at All.  A very nice acoustic song that prepares the listener for what’s coming next. And next comes one of the best long songs that Jethro Tull ever recorded, and definitely the album’s Top song by far. Baker St. Muse with its almost 17-minutes length is the album’s epic song, and an absolute masterpiece. I am not going to write anything about it, because I don’t think I can describe it in any way possible. But in order to fully appreciate it, you will surely need more than 1 or 2 listenings.

The album’s closing song is Grace, one of the shortest - if not THE shortest - songs Jethro Tull ever recorded. Grace is a half minute long melodic ballad, that it was used as a small closing piece and nothing more.

  Although Minstrel in the Gallery was never characterized as a “Top album” and never climbed to the high positions of the charts, it is a very beautiful album that only needs a few careful listens in order to reveal its hidden beauty.

  Personally, I love each and every song in it, and I can't give anything less than 4.0 out of 5.0 stars to it.

  For those who are not familiar with Jethro Tull, I definitely don’t recommend this album as a starter (better try Aqualung). But to all those who have some albums and like the band’s style, I recommend it without a second thought.
 By clicking on the following links you will listen to a couple of songs from the album. Enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2016

PROG & ROLL radio show (27/3/2016) A small "review" & the complete playlist.

  Last night Prog & Roll radio show was online once more, and because it was the last show of March it was including the 'Listener's Happy Hour' as well. During the LHH we are playing the songs that our listeners are asking for during each month. 
For last night's show we prepared a rather different (in parts) and upbeat playlist, and as it seemed the people enjoyed it a lot, judging from the comments and the fun on the chatbox.
 During the first part we played some good old Heavy Metal from the 80's, and we continued with Hard & Heavy Rock. And after that, it was time for the LHH...
We had listeners from many countries once more, and that surely makes us happy and kind of proud.
We even had a person listening from Ohio, with whom we "met" through the chatbox.
Furthermore, we had our usual music quiz once more, and the winner was Florian Decros from France. Again! Prog & Roll's wonderkid was there, and won one more contest!
 I must say that I am very pleased with last night's show, and I believe that everybody had some nice time in general.
Here you can check the whole playlist:

1st PART: TWISTED SISTER: What You Don’t Know / MOTLEY CRUE: Looks that Kill / JUDAS PRIEST: You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ / RIOT: Restless Breed / DIO: Egypt. 
2nd PART: RUSH: A Farewell to Kings / URIAH HEEP: Look at Yourself / SIENA ROOT: There and Back Again / ARABS IN ASPIC: Seventytwo-Hair of the Dog / DEEP PURPLE: Speed King.
The 'Listener's Happy Hour:
1st PART: VOIVOD: Astronomy Domine (Music quiz) / NIGHTWISH: Last Ride of the Day / RAINBOW: Black Masquerade / GUANO APES: Sunday Lover.
2nd PART: DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA: Guerilla Laments / BIG BIG TRAIN: Judas Unrepentant / THE ROLLING STONES: She’s a Rainbow / DISTURBED: The Sound of Silence / LED ZEPPELIN: I’m Gonna Crawl.

I would like to thank all those who tuned in last night, hoping you had a good time. Prog & Roll will be online again on Sunday the 3rd of April at 20.00 UK time as usual.
Thank you!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

GFreedom's Juke Box No.158

Hello everybody! :-)
Since today it's Saturday, it's time to post here my usual weekly Top-5 songlist for you. 
I think that this week my list includes some really beautiful songs, which are the following ones:
DIO: Egypt (The Last in Line - 1984)
THE GENTLE STORM: Endless Sea - Storm Version (The Diary - 2015)
NIGHTWISH: Last Ride of the Day (Imaginaerum - 2011)
DAVID GILMOUR: Faces of Stone (Rattle that Lock - 2015)
QUEEN: The Show Must Go On (Innuendo - 1991)
By clicking on the following links you will be able to listen to the songs in my list right away.
Enjoy the music, and have a nice weekend!
Thank you for visiting my blog...
DIO - Egypt
NIGHTWISH - Last Ride of the Day
DAVID GILMOUR - Faces of Stone
QUEEN - The Show Must Go On

Thursday, March 24, 2016

UDO Live in Athens. The complete setlist.

  As I wrote in a previous post a few days ago, the former singer of Accept Udo, appeared in Athens for a live show. I couldn't go to the show, but a friend of mine went there, and he told me that the whole concert was fantastic! Udo played for almost 2 hours, and his setlist was including songs from his years with Accept exclusively.
 Here you can take a look at the whole setlist if you are interested:            

Living For Tonite
Flash Rockin’ Man                              
London Leatherboys
Midnight Mover  
Head Over Heels
Neon Nights
Princess Of The Dawn
Restless And Wild
Son Of A Bitch
Up To The Limit
Wrong Is Right
Midnight Highway
Screaming For A Love-
T.V. War
Losers And Winners
Metal Heart
I’m A Rebel
Fast As A Shark
Balls To The Wall

Monday, March 21, 2016

PROG & ROLL Radio Show (20/3/2016). A small review & the complete playlist.

  Last night - after a week's break - Prog & Roll radio show was back online at the usual time.
That was a show to remember I believe!
Further than the music and the usual warm and fun atmosphere on the chatbox, all of us participated in a guitar auction somehow!
 One of our listeners - Benjamin Bell - who is a musician, was taking part in an auction for an electric guitar. The auction ended almost at the time that Prog & Roll was ending. In order to support and encourage him, we promised that we will keep the microphones open after the end of the show, and we will be there in order to see what was going to happen On his behalf, he was informing us what was going on during the last minutes, and because we were all so supportive and there was a real panic on the chatbox, he promised that if he was lucky enough to win, he would be naming his guitar Prog & Roll as a memory of that night. AND HE WON! :-)
(I don't remember the type of the guitar to be honest, but it is a very beautiful purple one).
  But that was not all! During the show we were chatting with our listeners, trying to find a way to meet with some of them from close, and we were trying to find some convenient places. We - of course - proposed to them to come to Greece for holidays, and I think that was the idea the people liked the most. At one point one of our listeners - Sarah from UK - was checking the flights, but I don't know what finally happened.
 Furthermore, we had Phegos from France, who was trying to explain to Nihal how to pronounce the French language, by writing examples on the chatbox.
As you can understand, we lots of fun once more, and an unforgettable ending.
In my opinion, this is what makes Prog & Roll different from all the other radio shows. They are the people that are making the difference, and we are really grateful for having such a wonderful audience!
Here you can take a look at the song we played:

Part 1: PAIN OF SALVATION: Reconciliation / REDEMPTION: Threads / CALIGULA’S HORSE: Marigold / BLIND GUARDIAN: At the Edge of Time.
Part 2: EMERSON LAKE & PALMER: Battlefield / YES: Soon / NEKTAR: New Day Dawning / BABE RUTH: The Duchess of Orleans / CURVED AIR: Back Street Luv / CAROL OF HARVEST: Treary Eyes.
Part 3: PAUL McCARTNEY & WINGS: Band on the Run / THE ROLLING STONES: Beast of Burden / THE WHO: Trick of the Light / TOM PETTY: Something in the Air / THE WALKABOUTS: Jack Candy / MADRUGADA: Salt.
Part 4:  ALCEST: Le ou Naissent les Couleurs / TOOL: Parabola
"Epic" song:  CIRCUS MAXIMUS: Architect of Fortune.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

GFreedom's Juke Box No.157

After a week's break, my usual Saturday's 'Juke Box' is back.
During this week I listened to lots of music, and I had some difficulties choosing only 5 songs for my list.
But I think that these are the best ones:
MADRUGADA: Salt (Insdustrial Silence - 1999)
STEVEN WILSON: Don't Hate Me (4.1/2 - 2016)
THE WHO: You Better You Bet (Face Dances - 1981)
MYRATH: Get Your Freedom Back (Legacy - 2016)
BLIND GUARDIAN: At the Edge of Time (Beyond the Red Mirror - 2015)
I'll conclude this post by adding the YT links for the songs in my list as usual. (The ones I could find at least). So you can listen to them right away if you want to.
Enjoy! :-)
THE WHO: You Better you Bet
BLIND GUARDIAN: At the Edge of Time

Friday, March 18, 2016

UDO (ACCEPT) & ANVIL Live in Athens

All those who are fans of classic Heavy Metal and live in and/or around Athens, should definitely attend tomorrow's concert of Accept's ex-singer.
As far as we know, Udo's setlist will last for more than 2 hours, and it will be including songs exclusively from his career with Accept, 'for the last time ever', as the poster indicates.
Before him, the Canadian veterans Anvil will be on the stage as opening act.
So, as you can understand this will be a total '80's Metal concert.
The tickets cost between 25 - 30€, which is a fair price I think.

Travelling: Bratislava (Slovakia)

  A few days ago I made a small visit to Bratislava together with my wife and kid.
We came back 2 days ago, and I decided to sit down and write down my impressions of the place.
  Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and the country’s largest city, with a population of almost 500.000 people. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia, occupying both banks of the River Danube and the left bank of the river Morava. It is a political, economic and cultural center of Slovakia, and it is home to several universities, museums, theatres, galleries and other important cultural and educational institutions.
  The first thing that the visitor notices is the really impressive castle/palace which lies on the top of a hill overlooking the city, and it is visible from almost everywhere. Definitely worth a visit!
  We spent most of our time there by making rounds in and around the old city which is really
beautiful. The narrow streets and the big squares of the old city are filled with really beautiful buildings, palaces and impressive churches. As you can understand the whole territory is a magnet for tourists, but in our case that was not a problem. Maybe in summer the whole place will be jammed, but now it was rather quiet and peaceful in many occasions.
There are many small café, beer-pubs and restaurants everywhere, with prices that will satisfy everybody. 
  A place that I would like to mention is the Bratislava Transport Museum.
You can find it outside the old city, but in a walking distance. If you are bored to walk, just take the bus. It is situated on the site of the first steam-railway station in Bratislava on Sancova Street, near the current railway station.

The two exhibition halls of the museum include about 100 motor cars, 25 historical motorcycles and numerous technical accessories.
The vehicles in the collection date from the inter-war period up to the 1970s. These include prototypes, military and government vehicles.
On the museum's railway tracks various steam and electrical locomotives are exhibited.
  One day we made a daily trip to the north of Slovakia, and we saw some really beautiful towns and impressive castles. Two places worth mentioning in my opinion are: Trnava and Trencin. If you ever visit Bratislava, then you should consider visiting these 2 cities. Especially Trencin with the medieval castle overlooking the city is a must-see!
  The people in Bratislava are kind and helpful, and most of them do speak English. But when you leave Bratislava, there is a serious problem of communication, even for the simplest things.
There is no point to continue writing this piece, I think you got a general idea. And if not, just take a look at the pictures… ;-)