Sunday, May 11, 2014

Empire - Mark I (1974 uk, fine soft jazzy prog rock)

Recorded in 1974, this has a few fillers, and it occasionally falls into the prog habit of going six minutes when four would do, but it's still mystifying that this perfectly solid collection would go missing for so long. Empire's sound bridges the West Coast funk of Cold Blood and the jazzy guitar of early Yes, and it works surprisingly well. 

The charging "Out of Our Hands" has some clever guitar effects thrown in, and a startling moment where Foxx's vocals rise up like a kettle on the boil. Magnusson's keyboards lend a velvety smoothness to the lovelorn "More Than Words," and the country twang of "Hear My Voice On the Radio" is so appropriately radio-friendly that it's shocking that it wasn't released as a single. 
by Paul Collins
1. Out Of Our Hands - 5:40
2. More Than Words - 7:40
3. Someone Who Cares - 7:01
4. For A Lifetime - 2:44
5. Hear My Voice On The Radio - 3:30
6. Shooting Star - 13:00
.a.Part 1 - From The Top  
.b.Part 2 - Common Ground  
.c.Part 3 - Iceland On The Rocks
.d.Part 4 - Shooting Star
7. Sky At Night - 9:38

*Sydney Fox - Vocals
*Peter Banks - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*John Giblin - Bass, Vocals
*Preston Ross-Heyman - Drums
*Jakob Magnusson - Keyboards, Vocals
*Sam Gopal - Tabla
*Phil Collins - Drums, Vocals

Related Act
1972  Flash - Flash (2010 remaster)
1972  Flash - In The Can (2010 remaster)
1973  Flash - Out of Our Hands (2010 Esoteric remaster)

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