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The RockIt Scientist
on 1485 Radio Today

1485 Radio Today
Also on DStv
Audio Channel 70

The RockIt Scientist is a very diverse music programme that features Progressive/ Hard/ Classic Rock, Blues, Brass Rock, Latin/ African Rock, Jazz and Metal music.

As "non-commercial/ non-Top 40" music ranging from the mid sixties to the present day is featured, the intention is to cater for the more discerning music listener, with no age limits or restrictions imposed or implied. An open mind and a love of music is mandatory!

The programme, which is broadcast on 1485am Radio Today, every Friday evening between 10pm and 1am, is presented by Leon Economides, who has worked with radio greats such as Tony Sanderson (Chuckle and Chat Show on Radio 5), Chris Prior (The Priority Feature on Radio 5), Phil Wright (The Dinosaur Days on 5fm), and Rafe Lavine (Rock Classics and The Great Unknowns on Radio 5, and the original RockIt Scientists on SAfm).

Radio Today is also available nationwide on the DStv Audio Channel 70.


Wednesday 26 Oct 2005/ Friday 28 Oct 2005

01). Johnny A - Oh Yeah


From his debut album, "Sometime Tuesday Morning", released in 1999. Johnny A is a very versatile and skilled US blues/rock guitarist who used to play with various bands in the Boston area. The instrumental album features Craig Macintyre on drums and Ed Spargo on bass, and they do a fantastic version of Jimmy Webbs's "Witchita Lineman". He used to sell the album out of the boot of his car after gigs, but after a fair amount of promotion and airplay, people began to notice him and the album became a hit. His style ranges from blisteringly fast licks to smooth, gentle caresses. He spent the next four years touring and playing the live circuit before he returned to the studio to record his second album, ''Get Inside", which was released, also on Steve Vai's Favored Nations label, in 2004. The guitarist was now joined by a totally different, and bigger band, namely Ron Stewart on drums, Rick O'Neal on bass, Ken Clark on Hammond B3, Henley Douglas Jnr. on sax and Garret Savluk on trumpet.

02). Cosmosquad - Three A.M.

This fantastic US jazz/rock trio are individually and collectively amongst the finest musicians you're likely to hear, anywhere. Jeff Kollman is on guitars, Shane Gaalaas is on drums, and Barry Sparks is on bass. This self-titled debut album was released on the band's own Marmaduke Record label in 1997, and it contains a diverse range of musical styles that demonstrate just how good these guys are. They are equally at home playing hard rock as they are playing funk or fusion. Cosmosquad have also released a fantastic live album, "Live at The Baked Potato", released in 2001, and a further studio album, "Squadrophenia", in 2002. Each member has, between them, featured with the likes of Sign of 4, Edwin Dare, Mogg Way, and a host of others. Jeff Kollman has also released a number of brilliant solo albums, and also recently featured with JKB (Jeff Kollman Band). He is undoubtedly one of the finest guitarists around today. Shane Gaalaas also released a new solo album, called "Primer", as has Barry Sparks, with ''Can't Look Back", both having been released within the last year or so. Talent like this is rare, and it should be heard and appreciated for what it is.

03). Derek Trucks Band - 555 Lake


Guitarist Derek Trucks is the nephew of Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks. He's highly regarded as one of the most talented of the "new generation" of blues/rock guitarists, alongside Jonny Lang, Dan Patlansky, Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and others. This self-titled debut album, released in 1997, features some equally talented (and young!) musicians, in Todd Smallie (bass), Bill McKay (keyboards/vocals), and Yonrico Scott on percussion. Trucks has a very unique and interesting style, and this has no doubt contributed to his appearing as a featured guitarist (alongside Warren Haynes) with the great Allmans themselves! A second album, "Out Of The Madness", appeared in 1998, with guests Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring and Larry McCray, and two further albums, "Joyful Noise" and "Soul Serenade" have since been released, each demonstrating the burgeoning maturity and skills of this talented guitarist and his band.

04). Barrabas - Hijack

From the album ''Release", in 1975. Barrabas were one of Spain's best and best known bands. Led by drummer/vocalist Fernando Arbex (previously of the band Alacran), Barrabas's music was based on a funky soul/salsa rhythm which doffed a cap to the early Motown, African and Latino sounds. Before Alacran, Arbex had featured with the well known Los Brincos, who released a great album in 1970 (called ''World, Devil, Body"). Alacran was a short-lived project, recording a 26 minute album, before Arbex and guitarist Iguacio Egana (aka Inaky) broke away and formed Barrabas in 1970. Their well received self-titled album, released in 1972 on the RCA label, featured vocalist Ricky Morales, Miguel Morales on acoustic guitar, bass and vocals, together with Portuguese keyboard player Juan Vidal and Cuban percussionist Ernesto Duarte. They scored with a number of popular singles, namely "Wild Safari" and " Woman", which did well on the US and Canadian charts, as well as the featured track, ''Hijack", which was very popular in the clubs and discos during the seventies. All in all, Barrabas released about eight albums plus a couple of compilations and disappeared in the mid 80's.

05). Rare Earth - Satisfaction Guaranteed


US outfit Rare Earth were formed in Detroit in the late sixties, evolving out of The Sunliners. Original members Gil Bridges (sax) and Pete (Hoorelbeke) Riviera (drums) were joined by guitarist Rod Richards (later to form the powerful hard rock trio Road, with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Les Sampson), keyboard player Kenny James and bassist John Parrish. The debut album, ''Dreams And Answers", was released in 1968, on the Verve Record label. They later signed to Motown Records and they had the honour of having a newly formed progressive rock label named after them (Rare Earth Records), and they had a major hit with their version of The Temptations' "Get Ready", which reached the US Top 10. Further success followed with numbers such as "(I Know) I'm Losing You", "I Just Want To Celebrate" and ''Born To Wander". Rare Earth had the uncanny ability to turn any track into something to groove or move to! They were known for their superb musicianship, long songs and extended solos, as was very evident on their brilliant live "In Concert" album, in 1971. The featured track, whilst not a hit, was quite popular, as was the album it was originally released on, "Ecology", in 1970. The Temptations' Norman Whitfield produced what was probably their best known album, "Ma", in 1973, although, by this time, internal upheavals led to a complete revamp of the band's musical style. They eventually folded in the late 70's and reformed in the late 80's, releasing a great studio album "Different World", plus a live album. They're still around today, having recently appeared live on stage with the likes of Steppenwolf, Mark Farner (Grand Funk), Firefall and others. (A dvd of this concert is available). Eddie Guzman, who joined on percussion in 1971, died of unknown causes in 1993.

06). Brian Auger's Oblivion Express - Freedom Jazz Dance


Listeners may recall that we featured this fantastic keyboard player (with Julie Tippetts), a few weeks ago. Since then, we've received numerous requests to hear more from Brian Auger. Born in Bihar, India, on 18 July 1939, Brian Auger first rose to prominence with the Brian Auger Trio in 1962. Featuring Rick Laird on bass and Phil Kinorra on drums, this outfit soon evolved into the Brian Auger Trinity, which featured, amongst others, John McLaughlin (guitar), Julie Driscoll (later Tippett) on vocals, Micky Waller (drums) and Rickie Brown on bass. The Trinity then evolved into Steampacket before the Oblivion Express (with guitarist Jim Mullen and drummer Robbie McIntosh, later of the Average White Band), was formed. The featured track was taken from "Second Wind", which came out in 1972, and featured future Santana vocalist Alex Ligertwood, together with bassist Barry Dean. Auger went on to record well into the 80's, releasing albums under the Oblivion Express name, as well as albums under his own name. He collaborated with Eric Burdon (of The Animals and War fame) and they enjoyed a fair amount of success (with Dave Meros and Neil Morse of Spock's Beard fame!) in the 90's. He then reformed the Oblivion Express with his children Karma on drums (and production) and Savannah on vocals, and they released "Voices Of Other Times" in 1999.

07). Malo - Momotombo

We featured this great Latin Rock band a few weeks ago, but since then, the new album, "En Vivo/Live", arrived in the post! Malo's sound was always powerful and beefy, and their horn section was one of the best in the business. Nothing's changed - they're still sounding brilliant, and the three new studio tracks "Ritmo Reggaeton", ''Dilo Otra Vez" and ''Do What You Say'' are all worthy of airplay, and they capture the band who are sounding very modern, but haven't lost the feel and passion that made them leaders of the genre back in the early 70's. The live tracks were recorded at The Palace Indian Gaming Centre in Lemoore, California. They do great versions of "Nena", "Cafe", "Pana", "Chevere" and their well known hit "Suavecito". Jorge Santana's "Love The Way" (off his first solo album) is also given the full Malo treatment. Vocalist Arcelio Garcia is still leading band, and he remains the only original member of Malo. Octaviano Cueto Garcia, who would appear to be Garcia's son, is also on lead vocals and he sounds like his dad's talent has rubbed off on him. Other members of this 12-piece band include guitarist Gabriel Manzo, who was in the band back in the 80's on the "Coast To Coast" album, percussionists Tony Menjivar and Gibby Ross, keyboard player Daniel Cervantes, Frank Bailey on trumpet and flugelhorn, Jack Musgrove on trumpet, Pete Rodriguez on trombone and trumpet, David George on drums, Jat Rossette on guitar and Julian Molina (who passed away on August 21, 2005, and to whom the album is dedicated), on bass. The album is released on EMI Latin, and you can visit the band at www.malomusic.com

08). Cold Blood - Wait For You


Cold Blood is another band we featured just recently, and, as promised, we said we'd treat you to a track from the new album "Transfusion" as soon as it arrived. The band's roots go back to San Francisco in the late sixties when they were featured guitarist Larry Field, keyboard player Raul Matute, sax player Danny Hull, bassist Rod Ellicott, Frank J. Davis on drums, David Padron on trumpet and brothers Jerry and Larry Jonutz on sax and trumpet respectively. Lydia Pense, who many compared to Janis Joplin, was on vocals, and her bluesy voice and strong stage presence gave the band an added dimension. They released their self-titled debut album on impresario Bill Graham's San Francisco record label in 1969 and the album enjoyed some success on the charts as a result of the tracks "You Got Me Hummin'" (penned by David Porter and Isaac Hayes) and "I'm a Good Woman", which was also covered by El Chicano a few years later. For the next album, "Sisyphis", also on the San Francisco label, Sandy McKee replaced Frank J. Davis on drums and Mic Gillette, of Tower of Power fame, replaced David Padron on trumpet. Jerry Jonutz had since left the band, who were firm favorites at Bill Graham's Fillmore venues. A video, featuring Cold Blood, together with Lamb, Boz Scaggs, Santana, Quicksilver Messenger Service and a host of other famous bands, came out in the late 70's/early 80's, as did a triple album set called "Fillmore:The Last Days". Various members came and went, and the band, who by now had moved over to Reprise Records, released a further three albums, namely ''First Taste of Sin" in 1972, "Thriller" in 1973 and "Lydia" in 1974, all of which featured great songs and fantastic musicianship. ("Dinosaur Days" listeners will recall that a Cold Blood track, "Just Like Sunshine", from "Lydia", was one of the featured tracks on the first "Dinosaur Days" compilation CD, released in 1999.) One further album, ''Lydia Pense and Cold Blood'', was released on the ABC Record label in 1976, but the band folded in the late 70's.

Cold Blood reformed briefly in the late 90's, and there was talk of a new album, but nothing surfaced, until now. The new look Cold Blood, which features guitarist Steve Dunne, trumpet player Rich Armstrong, sax player Rob Zuckerman, percussionist Mike Morgan, keyboard player Steve Salinas, bassist Evan Palmerston and drummer Don Baldwin (previously of Snail fame), together with Lydia Pense, is sounding as tight and as together as they ever did. Many of the numbers are written by Skip Mesquite, who was a member of the band in the early 70's, and who features as a guest sax player and Hammond B3 player on a number of tracks. Other guests include Mike Carrabello of Santana/Abraxas Pool fame, Jeff Tamelier and David Garibaldi from Tower of Power, Lenny Williams, a mid 70's Tower of Power vocalist, who does a great duet with Lydia Pense on the soulful and jazzy "It Could Be Me It Must Be You", (a number written for radio play!), and Michelle Shocked, who does a duet with Pense on a great reworked version of "Down To The Bone", a track originally off the "First Taste of Sin" album. The band have been touring and playing the live circuit for a while now, and this fantastic album undoubtedly sees Cold Blood deservedly back at the top of the pile after all these years of recording silence. The album is available through Dig Music (www.digmusic.com). Visit the band's great website(www.coldblood.biz)

09). Bruce Conte - Mojo Mambo

From "Bullet Proof", in 2000. US Guitarist Bruce Conte is best known for his work with Tower of Power. He joined the band in 1974, having worked with Hot Tuna's Papa John Creach and vocalist/guitarist Jack Bonus in the early 70's. He replaced original guitarist Willie Fulton, who went on to work with The Pointer Sisters. Conte was with Tower of Power for about four years before being replaced by Danny Hoefer in 1979. This solo album, which would appear to be his second offering (an earlier album being "Right From My Heart" in 1997, featured the likes of vocalists Bobby Kimball, Ed Edddick, Lenny Williams, Ellis Hall, Gavin Christopher and others, and his backing musicians included drummer Billy Haynes and keyboard player Hans Zermuehlen. Conte is a very versatile (Gibson Les Paul) guitarist who has a great tone and style, and this funky/bluesy album does him justice.

10). Leslie West - Hang Me Out To Dry

Born in the Queens area of New York in 1945, guitarist Leslie West's first band was The Vagrants, a mid 60's hard rock group that released a few singles. He formed Mountain with bassist Felix Pappalardi in 1969 (Pappalardi had discovered West and produced his first solo album, "Leslie West Mountain", that year). Mountain recorded four albums before folding, with West, (Jack) Bruce (bass) and (Corky, Mountain's drummer) Laing forming in 1972. This short-lived group released two studio albums and a great live album. West then toured with Corky Laing under the name of Leslie West's Wild West Show before reforming Mountain in 1974. The reformed Mountain released two albums, "Avalanche" and "Twin Peaks", before splitting again. West then released two further solo albums, "The Great Fatsby" in 1975 and "The Leslie West Band"(with Foreigner's Mick Jones), the following year. He reformed Mountain yet again, with Mark Clarke on bass (ex-Colosseum, Uriah Heep, etc) and Corky Laing, and they released the great "Go For Your Life" album in 1985. He's since released a number of great solo albums, and has also appeared on two IRS label compilations, "Guitar Speak" and "Night of The Guitars". The featured album, ''Guitarded", which was released in 2004, is one of his best solo efforts, and it features appearances from Ian Gillan (Deep Purple,vocals) and Phil Kennmore on bass and Leonard Haze on drums (both from San Francisco's Y & T). Other great musicians on the album include the talented guitarist Joe Bonamassa, bassists Mark Clarke and Randy Coven, vocalists Joe Lynn Turner and keyboard player Greg Allman. His latest solo effort, ''Got Blooze", was released earlier this year. Mountain is still around, by the way - the latest album, "High", was released a few years ago, as was a great live DVD. Leslie West is one of rock's finest, and most respected guitarists.

11). ZZ Top - Goin' Down To Mexico


This legendary Texan power blues/rock trio came together at the end of the sixties. Formed by ex-Moving Sidewalks guitarist Billy Gibbons, the original ZZ Top line-up included bassist Lanier Greig and drummer Dan Mitchell, who were eventually replaced by two members from American Blues, bassist Dusty Hill (who had replaced Greig's replacement, Bill Etheridge) and drummer Frank Beard, respectively. The band released their debut album, "ZZ Top's First Album", from which the featured track was taken, on the London Record label in 1971. They'd built up a reputation as solid boogie/blues rock outfit, and by the time their second album, "Rio Grande Mud", had been released, they were extremely popular, supporting groups like The Rolling Stones. The follow-up album, "Tres Hombres", released in 1973, is considered to be one of their best, selling in excess of three million copies in the US (their ultra-popular "La Grange" came from this album). By 1974, the band had become one of the biggest grossing live acts in the US, with their "Tejas" album (1976) being their most successful to date. However, the band then entered a state of inactivity for three years, resurfacing in 1979 with the excellent "Deguello" album. "El Loco" followed in 1981, but their 1883 release, ''Eliminator", with no less than four of the tracks being major hits, was the album that established them as one of the world's largest crowd-drawing acts. A further album, ''After Burner", which was tame in comparison, was released in 1985, but then ZZ Top did another disappearing trick, only resurfacing in 1990 with their "Recycler" album. Subsequent albums, whilst all bearing the familiar ZZ Top boogie rock signature, have not reached the heights of albums such as "Eliminator" and "Tres Hombres".

12). Human Instinct - Stand Up

From their 3rd album, "Pins In It", released in 1971. Human Instinct were on of New Zealand's best bands. Evolving out of "The Four Fours" in the mid sixties, they headed for the UK, playing on board a cruise ship. They changed their name to the Human Instinct en route. The original members were Maurice Greer on drums, Bill Ward and Dave Hartstone on guitars and Frank Hay on bass. Arriving in Southampton, they soon found a good agent and ended up supporting bands and artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, Jeff Beck and the Small Faces. They became very popular, playing at famous venues such as The Marquee and The Playboy Club. They then returned to New Zealand and released their debut album,''Burning Up Years" in 1969. They went on to release a further four albums, plus a number of singles and folded in the mid 70's, although Maurice Greer reformed the band in the late 90's.

13). Bad Company - Joe Fabulous


This brilliant, catchy track was one of two new bonus studio tracks released on the band's most recent album, the great live "In Concert - Agents Of Cool" album, which was released in 2002. (A dvd of the same concert was also released). Bad Company's roots go back to 1973, when they were formed by vocalist Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke, both ex-Free, bassist Boz Burrell, ex-King Crimson, and ex-Mott The Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs. Their brilliant debut album, "Bad Co", released in 1974 on the Island label, topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The original Bad Company went on to release a further five albums, "Straight Shooter" in 1974, "Run With The Pack" in 1975, ''Burnin' Sky" in 1976, "Desolation Angels" in 1978 and ''Rough Diamonds" in 1981, before folding in 1982 when Rodgers embarked on a solo venture, recording his ''Cut Loose" album in 1883. Rodgers then collaborated with Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page in The Firm,(with drummer Chris Slade and bassist Tony Franklin), and they released two albums, "The Firm" in 1985 and "Mean Business" in 1986. When The Firm split, Rodgers then formed the short lived "The Law" with Faces drummer Kenny Jones, and they released one self-titled album in 1991. Meanwhile, Simon Kirke, Mick Ralphs and Boz Burrell had reformed Bad Company in 1985, with ex-Ted Nugent vocalist Brian Howe. They released ''Fame and Fortune" that year and ''Dangerous Age" (with bassist Steve Price in place of Burrell) in 1988, "Holy Water" in 1990, and "Here Comes Trouble" in 1992, the last two albums with Felix Krish on bass.

Whilst Brian Howe was no Paul Rodgers, he was nonetheless a great vocalist and his style suited the band perfectly. In 1993, ex-ASAP/Samson guitarist Dave "Bucket" Colwell, joined the band, together with new bassist, Rick Wills (ex-Foreigner. You don't need to be a genius to realize that Bad Co didn't have much luck with bassists!), and the new look Bad Company quintet released the great "What You Hear Is What You Get" live album in that year. Two further albums, ''Company Of Strangers", in 1995, and ''Stories Told & Untold", in 1996, both featuring new vocalist Robert Hart, were released. Bad Company then finally folded. Paul Rodgers, in the meantime, had enjoyed a lot of success as a solo artist, releasing a number of great albums between 1993 and 1999, working with the likes of guitarists Neil Schon, Geoff Whitehorn, Dave Gilmour, Slash and a host of other famous musicians.

On to the featured album (finally!) Rodgers and Kirke revived Bad Company, together with Dave Colwell on guitar and Jaz Lochrie on bass (who featured in Rodgers' solo band). Recorded in the US during 2002, this live album captures Bad Company and their dynamic vocalist and frontman in full flight. The years have definitely been very kind to Rodgers; he's actually got better as he's got older, and, unlike many vocalists from the 70's who've embarked on the "reformation/revival" route, he hasn't lost any of the class and quality that made him one of the finest rock vocalists in the world. Colwell is a very competent guitarist (he actually looks like Ralphs and Foreigner's Mick Jones at times!), Kirke is as solid as ever and Lochrie is a great choice.This reformation, however, seemed short-lived, as Rodgers was recently featuring with Queen, a highly unlikely combination if there ever was one, but one that worked fantastically! Colwell was the featured guitarist in the reformed Humble Pie on their "Back On Track" album in 2002.

14). .38 Special - Bad Looks Good On You


From their latest album, "Drivetrain", released in 2004. .38 Special were formed in 1977 by guitarist and vocalist Donnie Van Zant, brother to Johnny and Ronnie Van Zant of The(Johnny)Van Zant Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd fame, together with guitarists Don Barnes and Jeff Carlisi, bassist Larry Junstrom and drummers Steve Brookins and Jack Grodin (.38 Special, like other great bands such as The Outlaws, The Allmans and The Doobie Brothers, believed in having two drummers!). Signing to A & M Records, they released their self-titled debut album in 1977. Initially starting out as a full-on Southern Rock outfit, they later moved into AOR territory in the late 70's/early 80's, releasing great albums such as "Special Forces" in 1982 and "Tour De Force" in 1983. They dropped out of the scene in 1984 but made a comeback in 1986 and released the movie score to "Revenge of The Nerds". Both Don Barnes and Steve Brookins left soon after in an attempt to launch their own bands. Brookins was replaced by keyboard player Max Carl, and Danny Chauncey joined on guitar. Their second last album for A & M Records, "Rock 'n Roll Strategy", was well received but they then in the process of losing their contract with the label, and the final album for the label, "Strength In Numbers", came out in 1987. Their "Bone Against Steel" album, released in 1991 on the Charisma label, saw them move back to the Southern boogie style that made them famous, although they seemed to fade from the scene for a number of years, resurfacing in 1997, releasing their great "Resolution" album that year. At that stage, the band had trimmed down to the quartet of Donnie Van Zant, Don Barnes, Danny Chauncey and Larry Junstrom, with touring musicians Gary Moffatt on drums and Bobby Capps on keyboards. In 1999, this line-up appeared on their first live album, ''Live at Sturgis", which was also released on dvd. It would be nearly five years before .38 Special would release a new album. The featured album, with the same line up as the one that appeared on the "Live at Sturgis" cd and dvd, must rate as one of their best ever. They're touching on melodic hard rock again, and they're sounding great! In the meantime, Donnie Van Zant and Johnny Van Zant have just released their third album, "Get Right With The Man". Let's hope it's not another five years before .38 Special release a new album!

15). Living Loud - Last Chance


An Australian/English/American supergroup of sorts, featuring guitarist Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs/Deep Purple), bassist Bob Daisley (Kahvas Jute/Ozzy Osbourne/Dio, etc), drummer Lee Kerslake (Toefat/Uriah Heep/Ozzy Osbourne, etc), keyboard player Don Airey (Colosseum II/Deep Purple) and vocalist Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel). They do a number of tracks, penned by Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake, that were featured on Ozzy albums, but that were apparently not properly credited to these respected musicians. This fantastic self-titled album, which started out as an idea of Bob Daisley's more than ten years ago, was released in 2004. Any album that features Steve Morse HAS to be good! Some of the featured tracks are "Crazy Train", "Mr. Crowley", "Over The Mountain" and "I Don't Know". A live dvd has also been released. Stunning stuff from a really special bunch of musicians.

16). Pallas - Blood and Roses


From "Live Our Lives", released in 2000. Pallas are one of the better prog bands to emerge from the UK. Formed in Aberdeen, Scotland, in the mid 70's, The original line-up of Euan Lowson (vocals), Derek Forman (drums), Graeme Murray (bass), Ronnie Brown (keyboards) and Niall Mathewson (guitars) recorded their debut album, ''Arrive Alive", in 1983 on their own label before securing a deal with EMI Harvest in 1984, after having received constant rejections from other record companies. Two further albums, "The Sentinel", which was produced by Yes producer Eddie Offord and which featured stunning sleeve artwork by Patrick Woodroffe (of Magnum and Dave Greenslade fame), and ''(Knightmoves to)Wedge" were released in 1984 and 1986, ("Knightmoves.." featured new vocalist Alan Reed {Abel Ganz}), but they split when commercial failure eluded them and EMI dropped them. It would be nearly 12 years before this great group reformed. Their "Beat The Drum" album, with new drummer Colin Fraser, together with Reed, Murray, Brown and Mathewson, was one of 1998's best prog rock releases. Their 12 year break had helped Pallas develop into a band that could quite easily rival similar bands such as Marillion and Pendragon. Their strongest album, however, was their 2001 conceptual release, "The Cross and The Crucible", which was one of our top albums of that year. Their double "Live Our Lives" album was recorded in Europe. (Leon and Phil Wright dedicated "Blood and Roses" to the victims of the Ellis Park football stadium tragedy on the Dinosaur Days a few years ago).

17). Kamelot - Abandoned


Kamelot are a US progressive metal band, formed in the early to mid 90's. The initial line-up of Thom Youngblood on guitar, Mark Vanderbilt on vocals, Glenn Barry on bass, Richard Warner on drums and Dave Pavlicko on keyboards released ''Eternity" in 1995 and "Dominion" in 1996. They became quite popular on the live circuit, and when new vocalist Khan and new drummer Casey Grillo joined in 1997, their "Siege Perilous" album, released the following year, they'd already built up quite a sizeable following. By the time the next album, "The Fourth Legacy" appeared in 1999, the band had trimmed down to a quartet, with Dave Pavlicko having left the band, and they were starting to make use of flutes and a string section, together with stunning female vocals. Next up was the first of several live albums that Kamelot will have in their history. "The Expedition", with the same four members mentioned above, together with guest keyboard player Gunter Werno, was recorded in Germany and Greece during April 2000. Their sixth album, ''Karma" was released in 2001, followed by "Epica" in 2003. The band was now close to their peak, and their recordings were getting better and better. The featured track was taken from what's arguably their best album to date, "The Black Halo", released earlier this year, which was their first album for the German Steamhammer Record label. Kamelot play a very intense yet melodic form of orchestral progressive metal, and they certainly give the Nordic, German and Italian prog metal bands a run for their money.

18). Threshold - Falling Away


Threshold are one of the UK's best progressive metal bands. who were formed in the late 80's. Their initial line-up included Karl Groom and Nick Midson on guitars, Tony Grinham on drums, Richard West on keyboards, Jon Jeary on bass & acoustic guitar and the great Damian Wilson on vocals. Their debut album, "Wounded Land", was released on the Giant Electric Pea label in 1993. Glynn Morgan replaced Wilson and Nick Harradence replaced Tony Grinham for the following album, ''Psychedelicatessen", which came out in 1994, also on Giant Electric Pea Records. Threshold were a hard working band in the early years, and they were up against many similar bands that were trying to cash in on the interest shown in the flourishing progressive metal market worldwide. Their "Livedelica" album, released in 1995, showcased a band that had come a long way since its very first concert in November 1988. Damian Wilson, who has released a few solo albums, returned to Threshold in 1997, together with new drummer Mark Heaney, and this line-up recorded their excellent ''Extinct Instinct" album that year. By now, the punters had really started to notice this very good band, as had the record companies. They had a great new singer in Andy "Mac" McDermott and they band was sounding really together on 1998's "Clone" album. An interesting album, called "Decadent", featuring remixes and radio edits of well known tracks, was released in 1999, but this was just an appetite-wetter for their next three albums, "Hypothetical" in 2001, "Critical Mass", from which the featured track was taken, in 2002, and their latest offering, "Subsurface", which came out in 2004, all of which feature new drummer Johanne James, and are prime examples of intelligent, well played melodic progressive metal music. A great live dvd, "Critical Energy", was also released a few years ago. Threshold are undoubtedly one of the best and classiest of the progressive metal bands doing the rounds nowadays.

19). Hannibal - Bend For a Friend

Taken from their self-titled debut (and only!) album, released in 1970. Hannibal was actually initially called The Bakerloo Blues Line, essentially an offshoot of Bakerloo, the hard rock band that featured guitarist Clem Clempson, later of Colosseum and Humble Pie fame. Managed by Jim Simpson of Black Sabbath fame, this little-known British band's line-up featured Adrian Ingram on guitar, (considered to be one of the best guitarists on the Jazz/prog rock scene at the time), Jack Griffiths on bass, Bill Hunt on Hammond B3 and French horn, John Parkes on drums, Cliff Williams on sax and clarinet and Alex Boyce on vocals. They toured with the likes of Free and Black Sabbath, but although they'd earned the respect and admiration of fellow musicians, the record buying public largely ignored them and the band folded by mid 1971. The album is highly collectible. Bill Hunt went on to form ELO with Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne, and he then teamed up with Wood in Wizzard. The other members became teachers and reps and some worked with other musicians, notably Slade's Dave Hill. Hannibal hold a very small but significant part of English prog rock in their hands. Think of Tonton Macoute with a bit of Blodwyn Pig thrown in, and you have Hannibal. And if you have a copy of the original album (released on B & C Records), hold onto it: it's worth quite a bit on the collector's market.

20). Raw Material - Ice Queen

Another great UK progressive act, formed in the late 60's. Information on this very good band is a tad hard to come by . Formed by vocalist/keyboard player Colin Catt, drummer Paul Young, guitarist Dave Green (ex-Deep Feeling), sax/flute player/vocalist Mike Fletcher (ex-Steam) and bassist Phil Young, they released their now extremely rare debut album, "Raw Material Album", on the Evolution label, in 1970. Whilst being a good example of typical Brit prog rock, the debut was overshadowed by the brilliant "Time Is...." album, from which the featured track was taken. Released in 1971 on the highly collectible RCA Neon label, the songs on this album were more sophisticated and structured, with the best tracks being the featured one and "Miracle Worker". Both albums are highly collectible. Colin Catt later formed "Shoot" with vocalist/keyboard player Jim McCarty, bassist Bill Russell and drummer Craig Collinge.

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