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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 4 January 2006/ Friday 6 January 2006

01). Therion - The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah

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From "Vovin" in 1998. Therion are a Swedish operatic metal outfit who've released some amazing music, much of it conceptual. The band centered around guitarist/keyboard player/vocalist and principal songwriter Christofer Johnsson, drummer/vocalist Piotr Wawrzeniuk, bass player Lars Rosenberg and guitarist/keyboard player Jonas Mellberg, and would appear to have been formed around the early 90's. Johnsson also composed the music to the soundtrack of a movie called "Golden Embrace" in 1997(released as ''A'arab Zaraq Lucid Dreaming"). Their early material such as "Beauty In Black" and "Lepaca Kliffoth" were slightly on the dark side, and, in many instances, choirs and strings were used in much of their music. Albums to look out for include "Theli" (1996), "Vovin",(especially!), "Crowning Of Atlantis'' (1999), ''Deggial" (2000), "Secret of The Runes" (2001), "Live in Midgard" (2002) and the awesome "Sirius B/Lemuria", released as a deluxe double CD, in 2004.

02). Ayreon - Isis and Osiris

Ayreon is a band put together by Dutch multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Arjen Anthony Lucassen, previously of the hard rock band Vengeance. When Vengeance broke up in the early 90's, not being able to secure a record deal, Lucassen put together a new band called Planet Nine, and he also released a solo album, both of which failed dismally. Throwing caution to the wind, and wanting to record a rock opera for many years, he formed Ayreon and recorded ''The Final Experiment" in the early 90's, with a host of guest musicians such as Davy Mickers on drums, Peter Vink on bass, Marieke van der Heyden on cello, Ewa Albering and Jeroen Goossens on flute, Lori Linstruth on guitars and others. After a year of trying, he managed to get two record companies, one Japanese and the other Dutch (Transmission Records), to release the album. Sales were slow at first, but in time, they picked up fantastically and haven't stopped since. The album was recently re-released as a 2cd set by InsideOut Records.

The second Ayreon album, "Actual Fantasy" (re-released as "Actual Fantasy Revisited" in 2004), originally came out in 1996. Lucassen's songwriting was reaching a different level and he was starting to attract the attention of some of the big names in the prog scene, and many of these big names would appear on later albums.

The featured track was taken from Ayreon's third album, "Into The Electric Castle - A Space Opera", released in 1998. Marillion's Fish was one of the guest vocalists, as was Damian Wilson from Threshold. Another elaborate conceptual album, it was released as a double CD by Transmission Records. Lucassen then embarked on another project, the intention being to release two albums, one being 'a song-orientated melodic and atmospheric journey', which he called "Universal Migrator Part 1". Part 2 of "Universal Migrator" was 'a heavy progressive adventure through time and space'. Both cds came out in 2000, once again on Transmission Records, and the featured musicians and singers included the likes of Lana Lane, Eric Norlander, Andi Deris, Bruce Dickinson, Ed Warby, Neal Morse, Clive Nolan and many others.

An album called "Ayreonauts Only", which was not a new Ayreon album, but an album of unreleased versions of known Ayreon songs, was also released in 2000.

Lucassen also has a band called Star One, and this band released an awesome double album called "Space Metal" in 2002. A live dvd was also released. The most recent Ayreon album, "The Human Equation", which featured the likes of Heather Findlay from Mostly Autumn, James LaBrie from Dream Theater, Mike Baker from Shadow Gallery and a host of others, came out in 2004. Other recordings/projects to feature this very talent songwriter and musician include "Ambeon" and, more recently, "Steam of Passion".

03). Solaris - The Duel

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Taken from "Nostradamus - Book of Prophecies", in 1999, a conceptual album based on the life of Nostradamus. Solaris are one of Hungary's best prog bands, having been formed around 1980. The band was formed by Istvan "Czigi" Cziglan on guitar, Robert Erdesz on organ, Atilla Kollar on flute, Attila Seres on bass (replaced by Pocs Tamas) and Vilmos Toth on drums (replaced by Laszlo Gomor). It would appear that the band released their debut album, "The Martian Chronicles", in the early 80's. Very much a conceptual album, it became their best known work. Actual band history and discography is a tad hard to trace (the Hungarian sleeve notes being a minor stumbling block in this regard!), but further albums included "Solaris 1990" , the double reformation "Live in Los Angeles", recorded in 1995, and three further albums of earlier/archive material, "Back To The Roots", "NOAB" and "Los Angeles 2026", which were released in 2000. Their recordings aren't that easy to find, unfortunately, but if you spot anything by them, they're certainly worth a spin. Seriously good musicianship from a band who really struggled to get their music heard outside their native Hungary in the early 80's. The featured album, which we played regularly on The Dinosaur Days, was one of our top albums of 1998, and is highly recommended.

04). Alquin - Soft Royce

From "Marks", in 1972. Alquin were one of Holland's lesser known bands, although they were equally as good as bands like Golden Earring, Livin' Blues, Earth & Fire, Focus and Kayak. Formed in the early 70's, the band was formed by Dick Franssen (keyboards), Ronald Ottendorff (sax & flute), Paul Westrate (drums), Hein Mars (bass & vocals), Ferdinand Bakker (guitar, piano, violin & vocals) and Job Tarenskeen (vocals & sax). They were signed to Polydor Records and released "Marks" in 1972. Their versatile style ranged from pop-rock to classical to jazz, which attracted them to quite a wide audience. They were often compared to UK bands Caravan, Climax Blues Band and Traffic. "The Mountain Queen", arguably their best album, was released in 1973. Further releases were "Nobody Can Wait Forever" (1974), "Best Kept Secret" (1976),the live "On Tour" (1976) and the double compilation, "Crash" (1977). The band have recently reformed and a new album is on the cards.

05). Climax Blues Band - Standing By a River

A UK blues/rock outfit who were contemporaries to Fleetwood Mac, Ten Years After, Savoy Brown and others. Originally known as Climax Chicago Blues Band, then Climax Chicago and then finally Climax Blues Band (after confusion associated with the US brass rock outfit Chicago). The initial line-up included Derek Holt on rhythm guitar, organ and bass, Colin Cooper on vocals and harmonica, Pete Haycock on guitar and vocals, Richard Jones on bass, Arthur Wood on keyboards and George Newsome (ex-Loading Zone) on drums. The debut album, "The Climax Chicago Blues Band", was released on the Parlophone Record label in 1969. Like many early UK blues bands, the band was largely ignored in their home country after the British blues boom lost momentum and, as a result, they aimed themselves at the US market, where they became quite successful during the mid 70's. The second album, "Plays On", also released on Parlophone Records in 1969, featured Derek Holt on bass and Mellotron, with Richard Jones having left the band to join Principal Edwards Magic Theatre (although he rejoined in 1975).

Two further albums, ''A Lot Of Bottle" (1970) and "Tightly Knit" (1971), both on EMI's Harvest subsidiary label, were released before George Newsome left the band. His replacement was John Cuffley (ex-Emile Ford's Checkmates). Arthur Wood had also departed, and the new look quartet, now renamed "Climax Blues Band", released the featured album, "Rich Man", in 1972 , which proved to be their final album for EMI Harvest. Their musical style was starting to change quite dramatically, becoming more rock orientated and, later on, decidedly more funky. The band then signed to Polydor Records and their "FM/Llive" album, recorded in New York in 1974, was a top seller in the US and remained on the US charts for quite some time. The album set the seal on their American success.

Subsequent albums like "Sense of Direction" (1974 - their final album for Polydor), and "Stamp Album" (1975 - their first for BTM Records in the UK and Sire Records in the US - Sire Records created a huge backdrop in the shape of the stamp on the album's cover to promote the album. When it was hung out to dry from a skyscraper in Atlanta, it made national TV news in the US as the biggest stamp in the world! The album also featured the returning Richard Jones), were both very well received, but it was "Gold Plated", released in 1976, with their biggest hit, "Couldn't Get It Right", that really made them huge in the US and finally drew them to a wider audience in their home country. Later albums such as ''Shine On" (1978), "Real To Reel" (1979), "Flying The Flag" (1980), "Lucky For Some" (1981) and their final studio album, "Sample & Hold", in 1983, all had their moments, and, at various times and on various albums, musicians such as Henry Spinetti and Jeff Rich (drums), Dave Markee and John Edwards (bass), George Glover and Peter Filleul (keyboards).

The Climax leadership of Pete Haycock and Colin Cooper split in late 1984, with Haycock embarking on a solo career. Cooper revived the Climax name in 1986 with keyboard player George Glover, drummer Roy Adams, guitarist Les Hunt and original bass player Derek Holt. This line-up, with Status Quo drummer Jeff Rich in place of Adams, released "Drastic Steps" in 1988. The album received considerable airplay and was quite well received, although poor distribution hampered its national success. The next, and what has proved to be the final effort from Climax Blues Band, was the live "Blues From The Attic", recorded in their home town of Stafford in England in September 1993, with new bass player Neil Simpson on bass and Roy Adams back on drums. ("The Seventh Son", from this album, is one of the featured tracks on the first Dinosaur Days compilation CD, released in 1999).

John Cuffley, Colin Cooper, Pete Haycock, Peter Filleul and Derek Holt all appeared as backing musicians on the Tarney-Spencer Band's "Three's a Crowd" album in 1978, which explains why that was such a great album! Both Holt and Haycock were featured on "The Night Of The Guitar" albums and videos that came out in the late 80's.

A number of Climax Blues Band compilation/best of CDs have been released over the years, the best being the double "25 Years - 1968 to 1993", put together by Repertoire Records in 1994. This is a well documented history of the ups and downs of one of the really great bands to emerge from the UK in the late 60's.

06). Man Made - Man Made

The title track of the sole album from this obscure Canadian prog band. Released in 1972 on the Good Noise Record label, it's become a minor collectible. Based in Montreal, the band was comprised of Claude Roy on drums, Richard Terry on bass and vocals, Roger Walls on horns and flute, Billy Ledster on vocals and electric piano and Jean Ranger on keyboards and vocals, all of whom, except Walls, had come from horn rock outfit, Illustration. The featured track, which had to be edited to feature on air because of its length, has some fantastic organ and flute passages, with a few spooky and interesting bits in between! The album's cover apparently caused a minor stir when it was released.

07). Crow - Evil Woman

album cover

From ''Crow Music" in 1969. Crow were a Minnesota-based US hard rock outfit who were originally known as South 40, which, in turn, evolved out of two bands, The Rave-Ons and Jokers Wild, when they were formed in the mid to late 60's. The band was formed by brothers Dick and Larry Wiegand on guitar and bass respectively, Dave Wagner on vocals, Harry Nehls on drums (later replaced by Mike Malasgar, who was in turn replaced by Denny Craswell, of The Castaways) and Dave Middlemist on organ.

The band started recorded their debut album, ''Crow Music", during January of 1969. They weren't signed to a label at this stage and there was talk of them being signed to Atlantic, but this didn't materialize. Amaret Records ended up signing the band, and the album was released later that year, with the featured track issued as the main 45. The single sold in excess of 600,000 copies, reaching number seven on the Billboard charts! Black Sabbath did a great cover of "Evil Woman" on their self-titled debut album, released in 1970. Crow then moved to Chicago in the summer of 1969 and embarked on a series of concerts to promote the album. They appeared at the fourth annual Denver Teenage Fair (aka "Pop Expo '69"), alongside Janis Joplin in November 1969 and they were becoming very popular throughout the US.

The second Crow album, "Crow By Crow", was released in May 1970. As was the case with the debut album, this new offering also did very well, as did the two 45's it spawned, "Cottage Cheese" and "Don't Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock and Roll". A third Crow album, ''Mosaic", was released in 1971, but the band were becoming very disillusioned with Amaret Records, mainly over their artistic direction, and material for a mooted fourth album was declined by the company because it wasn't "commercial" enough (sound familiar??) Elektra Records showed an interest, but Amaret wouldn't release the band from their contract and the band eventually folded midway through 1972. Dave Wagner revived Crow in the early 80's, but none of the original members appeared in the band. Top selling hits aside, Crow were a very competent hard rock band who should have gone a lot further than they were allowed to.

08). Keef Hartley Band - Roundabout

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From "Overdog", in 1970. The track was actually released as a single in the UK. At this stage, the band featured bass player Gary Thain, later to join Uriah Heep, guitarist/vocalist Miller Anderson, keyboard players Mick "Blue'' Weaver and Peter Dines, Dave Caswell on trumpet and flugel horn, Lyle Jenkins on tenor sax and flute, Johnny Almond on flute and Jon Hiseman on drums, together with Keef Hartley.

Drummer Keef Hartley had previously been with John Mayall's band. He broke away and formed his own band in 1969, and they released their debut album, "Halfbreed", that year. The Keef Hartley Band released seven albums, the final two, "Seventy Second Brave" (1972) and "Lancashire Hustler" (1973), considered to be Keef Hartley solo albums. The UK based Eclectic Record company have recently re-released "Overdog" and "The Time is Near" in a remastered format, with plans to re-release the other albums in the near future.

The featured track (album version) was one of the featured tracks on the second Dinosaur Days compilation, released in 2000.

(See other write-ups on this important UK band here...)

09). Warm Dust - The Blind Boy

Warm Dust was an progressive jazz/rock English group who were formed in the late 60's by keyboard player Paul Carrack, bass player Tex Corner, vocalist Les Walker, sax player/guitarist/vocalist Alan Soloman and drummer Dave Pepper. They released three albums between 1970 and 1972, ''And It Came To Pass", a double album on the Trend Record label, and the excellent "Peace For Our Time", which was their best album.(This album featured Keith Bailey on drums). The third album, ''Dreams Of Impossibilities", from which the featured track was taken, was only released in Germany, on the BASF Record label, in 1972. Paul Carrack later went on to feature with Ace and more recently with Mike & The Mechanics.

10). Crucible - Over The Falls

Crucible are one of the better modern US prog outfits. They were formed in the late 90's and released their great debut album, "Tall Tales", from where the featured track was taken. The band was comprised of Tim Horan on keyboards and flute, Chris Kasidas on bass guitar, Dan Esposito on guitars, Bill Esposito on vocals and Tony Cappellina on drums. They're apparently very popular at the various progfest concerts and they released an excellent second album called ''Curtains" in 2001, with Chris Vescera on bass.

11). Genesis - Squonk (6'26)

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From "A Trick Of The Tail", released in 1975. This was the first album to feature drummer Phil Collins handling lead vocals duties. He took over from the departed Peter Gabriel. Genesis were formed in the UK in the late sixties, evolving out of two bands, The Anon, who were apparently a Beatles/Rolling Stones covers band, and the more psych Garden Wall. The band went through a number of changes, with the line-up eventually stabilizing with drummer Chris Stewart (later replaced by John Silver, although Stewart still contributed to the band), bass player/guitarist/vocalist Mike Rutherford, guitarist Anthony Phillips, vocalist/flautist Peter Gabriel and keyboard player Tony Banks. This line-up appeared on Genesis' fairly rare debut album, ''From Genesis To Revelation", which was released in 1968 on the Decca Record label.

They then moved to Charisma Records where they stayed for many years, releasing albums such as ''Trespass" (1970 - Anthony Phillips left the band at this stage, as did Chris Stewart - their respective replacements were Steve Hackett and John Mayhew, soon to be replaced by Phil Collins) and "Nursery Cryme" (1971 - this was the first album to feature Phil Collins, ex-Flaming Youth, and Steve Hackett, who come from Quiet World). Genesis had, by now, become very popular in the UK, and were beginning to have a major influence on many up and coming prog bands (a trend that's continued to this day). Next up was "Foxtrot" (1972),which featured one of their best known tracks, "Supper's Ready". The album brought them their big break, climbing to number 12 on the UK charts. Their "Live" record, released in 1973, captured the band at the height of what they were doing. It was one of the great live albums of the early 70's.

Genesis were now touring relentlessly in Europe and in the US. When "Selling England By The Pound" was released in 1974, it reached number three in the UK and number 70 in the US. It was at this stage that, with increasing interest in the band in the US, London Records released their debut album there, and it went to number 170 on the charts. It was ironic that the album that really established Genesis as a major prog rock band, proved to be the last album that would feature their charismatic singer, Peter Gabriel. The awesome conceptual "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" was released in November 1974. The band then embarked on a world tour on which they performed the entire album 102 times! It reached number 10 in the UK and number 41 in the US.

Peter Gabriel left Genesis in May 1975. Phil Collins stepped up in his place and the featured album, arguably one of their best, was released in 1975. There were some brilliant numbers on this album and it flew in the face of the critics that had said earlier that Genesis was dead without Gabriel. Bill Bruford of Yes and King Crimson fame, joined the band to augment their line-up on stage, as it was impractical for Collins to play drums and be the band's lead vocalist at the same time. (Collins was, in the meantime, also appearing and recording with his "other" group, Brand X). Bruford was later replaced by ex-Weather Report drummer, Chester Thompson. Subsequent albums were ''Wind and Wuthering" (1977) and the live "Seconds Out", also in 1977. Steve Hackett then left to pursue a solo career and the band released "And Then There Were Three", receiving their first gold disc for an album, in 1978. (Amazingly, the group appeared to grow in popularity with the successive departure of each key member!).

Genesis scored well with "Duke" in 1980 and with "Abacab", in 1981. This was also the year that Phil Collins released his debut solo album, "Face Value". Mike Rutherford formed Mike & The Mechanics and had some major hits with that band. In the meantime, Genesis soldiered on, reuniting for various tours and albums. Later albums included ''3 Sides Live" (1982), "Genesis'' (1983), "Invisible Touch" (1986) and "We Can't Dance" (1991), "The Way We Walk: The Shorts" (1992), "The Way We Walk: The Longs" (1993), and "Calling All Stations" in 1997 (with Ray Wilson on vocals, together with Banks and Rutherford, and Nir Zidyahu and Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard) on drums).

12). Pavlov's Dog - Song Dance

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Taken from "Pampered Menial" in 1975, the debut album from this US band who are quite famous and popular here in South Africa. The band was led by vocalist/guitarist David Surkamp (sort of Geddy Lee on laughing gas, as he's been described on many an occasion!), who, together with drummer Mike Safron, keyboard player Dave Hamilton, violinist Siegfried Carver, mellotron and bass player Doug Rayburn and ex-REO Speedwagon guitarist, Steve Scorfina, formed Pavlov's Dog in St.Louis, Missouri, in the US, in 1973.

They were initially signed to the now defunct ABC Record label, for whom they recorded their debut album with Blue Oyster Cult producer Sandy Pearlman. The band was then traded to CBS in exchange for Poco and "Pampered Menial" appeared on their new label. Although not an immediate success, the band enjoyed a cult following, in particular for the album's opening track, "Julia", which many people immediately identified them with. The follow-up album, "At The Sound Of The Bell", released in 1975, featured new members Tom Nickeson and Bill Bruford of Yes and King Crimson fame. Rick Stockton came in on bass, and Carver left, to be replaced by guest violinist, Gavyn Wright. "At The Sound Of The Bell", although not as good as "Pampered Menial", had its moments, but the band supposedly disbanded soon after it was released.

David Surkamp then revived Pavlov's Dog in 1977 and released " Pavlov's Dog Three" that year, together with Doug Rayburn, Rick Stockton, Steve Scorfina, Tom Nickeson and new drummer Kirk Sarkisian. Not many people are/were aware that Pavlov's Dog were still around at this time, as this album, plus the next one, were never released on any major or known label and were therefore not freely available. "Three" had some very good moments, as did "Lost In America", which featured Surkamp and Rayburn, together with Robert Lloyd, Frank Kriege and Michele Isam. This album came out in 1993, and it was released on cd on the German TRC label. (Before the band reformed, Surkamp had worked with ex-Fairport Convention and Matthews Southern Comfort guitarist/vocalist Ian Matthews in Hi Fi during the 80's and he also worked with Michael Quattro).

A fifth album, (actually a five track EP), recorded under the name Pavlov's Dog 2000 and featuring original member Mike Safron, now on vocals and percussion, together with Tom Tarantino on keyboards and vocals, Julie Moreno on vocals, Steve Simon on guitars, Ron Vince on violin and Hunter Springer on bass, was released in 1995. A fair amount of Live material has also been recorded, although no (known) official recordings have since been released. David Surkamp has apparently recently reformed Pavlov's Dog.

13). Mom's Apple Pie - I Just Want To Make Love To You

A great version of the Willie Dixon classic, in this case covered by this promising US ten piece horn/brass rock band who had a lot of potential. The members on their self-titled debut album from which the featured track was taken in 1972, were Tony Gigliotti and Rob Fiorino on vocals, Joe Ahladis and Bob Miller on guitars, Greg Yochman on bass, Dave Mazzochi on keyboards and vocals, Roger Force on sax and flute, Bob Pinti on trumpet and vocals, Pat Aulizia on drums and Fred Marzulla on trombone. The rare Brown Bag Records-released album also features a great version of Spirit's "Mr.Skin", which was also covered by Juicy Lucy around the same time. The album's controversial cover caused quite a stir, and later copies were censored.

Their next album proved to be their last. Released in 1973, also on Brown Bag Records, "Mom's Apply Pie #2", aka "Music", was just as good as the debut. The band line-up had remained constant and the songwriting and musicianship was of a high quality. They unfortunately faded into obscurity and both albums have since become quite collectible.

14). Show of Hands - Stanley's Theme

Another rarity from the US, this time on the Elektra label. Show of Hands were a jazz/rock trio who released just one album, "Formerly Anthrax", in 1970. They did a great version of Van Morrison's "Moondance". Rick Cutler was on percussion, Jack Jacobsen on keyboards and keyboard bass, and Jerry McCann was on vocals, guitar and flute. They're probably best described as the US's answer to The Peddlers, with some stunning Hammond playing from Jack Jacobsen. Rick Cutler later appeared with Tommy Tutone (1981).

15). Ten Wheel Drive - How Long Before I'm Gone

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From "Brief Replies" in 1970, their second album. Ten Wheel Drive were an American horn rock band led and fronted by singer Genya Ravan, who's real name was Genya Zelkowitz. Born in Poland, she moved to the US with her parents after the Second World War. One of her first bands was The Furies, and later, The Escorts, which she joined in 1961. During the mid 60's she formed an all girl group called Goldie & The Gingerbreads, which was spotted one night in a club on New York's 45th street by Eric Burdon. He loved the band, and suggested that her band tour with The Animals. Goldie & The Gingerbreads ended up touring relentlessly, not only with The Animals, but with The Yardbirds, The Hollies and The Rolling Stones, and the band was doing well on the UK charts.

She then formed Ten Wheel Drive in the late 60's with keyboard player Michael Zager and guitarist Aram Schefrin and they released their debut album "Construction # 1" in 1969. The initial line-up also featured Bill Takas (bass), Leon Rix (drums/cello/percussion), Louis Hoff (tenor/baritone sax & flute), Dennis Parisi (trombone), Jay Silva (flute/trumpet/flugelhorn), Richard Meisterman (trumpet & flugelhorn) and Peter Hyde (trumpet, flugelhorn & trumpet). Often compared to Janis Joplin by the musical press, Ravan had a love/hate relationship with the press, but she continued to record and perform with the band that was now scoring quite regularly on the US charts.

The band's second album, ''Brief Replies", still featured the Ravan/Zager/Schefrin partnership, together with new members Bob Piazza (bass & vocals), Allen Herman (drums, percussion & vibes), Dave Liebman (soprano/tenor/baritone sax & flute), trumpet & flugelhorn players John Eckert, John Gatchell and Steve Satten and trombone player Dennis Parisi. A final album, ''Peculiar Friends" was released in May 1971. Genya Ravan left the band in the summer of that year.

Michael Zager became a famous disco writer and singer ( one of his biggest hits being "Let's All Chant"). Genya Ravan became a solo artist and released five albums before becoming one of the first female record producers, working with the likes of Ronnie Spector, The Dead Boys and other Punk acts.

16). Indaco - Ragillek Ya Bladi

An Italian band whose roots are a tad difficult to trace. The featured track was taken from their "Live..Spezie" album, released in 2000. The band would appear to have been formed by guitarist Rodolfo Maltese and bouzouki/violin player Mario Pio Mancini in the mid 90's. Other members were Carlo Mezzanotte on keyboards, Luca Barberini on bass, Pierluigi Calderoni on drums, Arnaldo Vacca on percussion and Gabriella Aiello on vocals. They released "Terra Maris" in the mid 90's and "Vento Del Deserto" in 1997, which featured a great version of Pink Floyd's "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun". The band play a very interesting blend of Eastern-flavoured progressive rock and traditional music

17). Ozric Tentacles - Sultana Detrii

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The Ozrics, as they're known, are an English band in the Hawkwind/Gong mould. Formed in the early to mid 80's, it was quite a few years before they released their debut album, although they'd released six cassettes of great music during the 80's (these were released on the "Vitamin Enhanced Ozric Tentacles" 6 CD box set, released in the early 90's). The band was formed by brothers Ed and Roly Wynne on guitar and bass respectively, together with drummer Nick Van Gelder and guitarist Gavin Griffiths, initially as The Bolshem People. They recruited synth player Joie Hinton and the Ozrics were born.

Their first album, "Pungent Effulgent", was released in 1990 on Dovetail Records, as were the following albums, ''Erpland" and ''Strangeitude". Their music ranges from straight ahead space rock to jazz and reggae, making them one of the most interesting bands to emerge from the UK in many years. The standard of the musicianship in the Ozrics is astounding. Other albums they've released are too numerous to mention here, but ones to look out for are ''Jurassic Shift'', ''Arborescence", ''Curious Corn", "Become The Other" and the featured album, "Pyramidion", which was released in 2001. A dvd, "Live At The Pongmaster's Ball", was released a few years ago.

18). Nick Magnus - The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea

Keyboard player Nick Magnus featured on a number of Steve Hackett's (ex-Genesis guitarist) solo albums in the late 70's. He also worked with vocalist Johnny Mars in the mid 80's and he also featured on Renaissance's "Time Line" album in 1983. He's released a few albums, with music ranging from New Age to progressive rock. The featured track was taken from "Inhaling Green", in 1999, with ex-If guitarist, Geoff Whitehorn, and soprano vocalist Clare Brigstocke.

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