Thursday, July 5, 2018

Nektar - 1975-04-02 - Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MO

Nektar
1975-04-02
Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MO

Soundboard recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Next up on the tour is another under-appreciated progressive rock band, Nektar. Nektar is an English band, but was formed in 1969 in Hamburg, Germany (by musicians playing the German club circuit in different bands) featuring  Roye Albrighton (guitar, vocals), Allan "Taff" Freeman (keyboards),  Derek "Mo" Moore (bass), and Ron Howden (Drums). Initially their sound  followed in the psychedelic/space-rock tradition of Pink Floyd, but with a bit heavier rock style, and influences from the current German scene as well. The visual style and effects of their shows were very much a feature of the band, so much so that their "visual effects" guy was considered an actual member of the band. Each album featured a somewhat different, or developing sound and style, thus "progressing" through their history. Their first album, Journey to the Center of the Eye (1971) was a sci-fi concept album consisting of one continuous song. By their 2nd album, A Tab in the Ocean (1972), their unique progressive rock style was solidifying (less psychedelic,more progressive) into a satisfying blend, and their following was increasing (primarily by word of mouth). The band continued to experiment with a largely improvised double live-in-the-studio third album, Sounds Like This (1973), quickly followed by the elaborate concept album Remember The Future (1973), which featured 2 multi-part songs and a more melodic rock style, and became their breakthrough album (and most critically acclaimed), especially in the US, where it quite surprisingly rose to #19 on the Billboard Charts. In 1974, they released Down to Earth, another concept album with a circus theme that also did well (with their only charting single, "Astral Man". Their next album, Recycled (1975) featured an environmental concept theme, and also featured the addition of heavier synthesizer work from emerging electronic music whiz Larry Fast (Synergy) for additional layers to their sound. However, by the end of 1976, guitarist Albrighton left the band, to be replaced by Dave Nelson, and their next album, Magic is A Child (1977), featured a slicker, melodic (more commercial?) rock sound (but still with plenty of progressive sparks and twists). But by 1978, the band split, only for Albrighton and Freeman to re-form the band in 1979 (with different bass and drummer) for the release of Man in the Moon (1980), before dissolving again in 1982. I really like Nektar and their ever-changing progressive styles (even as they became more mainstream), and they certainly deserve a revered place in Progressive rock history, but they seem little remembered these days. Unfortunately, there are not many good quality live recordings available from the prime years of Nektar (and most of the really good ones have been commercially released). But here is a great-sounding show from early 1975 (unfortunately woefully incomplete, cuts out after ~45 min), that mostly features previews (early versions) of some new songs from their still yet to be recorded 1975 album, Recycled, and their recent album, Down to Earth, but doesn't include anything from Remember the Future. Thus, I have added as bonus tracks some pieces of Remember The Future (as well as "Good Day" from Sounds Like This), from a 1974 show (but unfortunately, I only have these bonus tracks in lower-res mp3, no FLAC. note - If anybody has this show in FLAC, would love to get it). Anyway, check out the prog-rock classic Nektar. 


Tracklist:
01. Astral Man
02. Recycled
03. A Day In The Life Of A Preacher
04. Show Me The Way
05. Marvelous Moses (Cut-Fades out)

Bonus Tracks:
1974-05-30 - Musikhalle, Minden, Germany
(Audience recording, very good quality - only available as mp3 [240 kbps])
06. Remember The Future (Part1)
07. Good Day
08. Remember The Future (Part2)

Roye Albrighton - Guitars, lead vocals
Allan "Taff" Freeman - Keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals
Derek "Mo" Moore - Bass, backing vocals
Ron Howden - Drums, percussion, backing vocals
Mick Brockett - Special effects

FLAC - Nektar_1975-04-02_St.Louis_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Nektar_1975-04-02_St.Louis_mp3.rar

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