Big Hairy Monster!
(All Album Reviews by Big Hairy Monster!)
Looking for some obscure early prog to add to your collection? Look no further than this classic album by Gracious. Released in 1972, this is an often overlooked gem...as is their debut title Gracious!. Some very nice arrangements, epic songs, and a cover by Roger Dean...what else could you want?
The nearly 25 minute opus "Supernova" starts this disk of in grand fashion. With a sound not too far removed from early Pink Floyd, the song leads off with sweeps of mellotron, reversed cymbals, and crashes of reverb before launching into the music proper. With music ranging from spacey to funky to ripping, this song can hold its own against the best of early King Crimson, Yes, or Moody Blues. This song alone is worth the price of admission.
"C.B.S." is a lot more straightforward composition, but this doesn't prevent Martin Kitkat's keyboard work from shining through. Up-tempo and rocking.
"What's Come To Be" is a slow piece that reminds me partly of Crimson's "Moonchild", partly of In The Court Of The Crimson King...I just wish the song would have developed more before fading out.
"Blue Skies And Alibis" is another up-tempo piece that for some reason reminds me of something from Deep Purple's Book Of Talesin recording, but with tamer guitar playing than Blackmore's.
"Hold Me Down" is another up-tempo piece that for some reason reminds me of early Spirit, but not quite.
I purchased this disk as part of a two for one compilation on the Beat Goes On (BGO) label. The first disk features Gracious' self-titled first album. The package is nicer than I expected, with each album on a separate disk and nice liner notes. Sound quality is also very good, but this is the only recording of heard of these albums, so I have nothing to judge it by.
Personally, I prefer their debut to this second release; however I think both disks are excellent. If you like early symphonic prog, check this one out.