It's that time of the year again. Time for compilations for the Christmas market. Well not really. Prog doesn't pander to such things. Or does it? Here are a couple of newly released double CD's showcasing the recorded output of two bands who have been going for over twenty years, believe it or not.
Spocks Beard are an important band as regards the current wave of interest and popularity in progressive rock. Their first album The Light was released in 1995 and for me as someone who had left prog behind it was a bold listen, hearing lengthy prog epics again. Thanks to the legendary Malcolm Parker of GFT for bringing albums like this to my attention back in those bleak years!
This compilation covers all their albums, pre- and post- Neal Morse. To be fair their sound has stuck quite firmly to their mix of Gentle Giant trickiness and Yes/Genesis symphonia. But for me the songwriting and playing is always so strong that I do love them very much. The bonus on this package is the newly recorded 19 minute piece which features members past and present. It's great, Well it's Spocks Beard, nothing more to say!
The Supersonic Scientists compilation (Suppers Ready reference?) shows the versatile Motorpsycho in all their glory. This Norwegian band has covered everything from stoner rock, alt-rock, psychedelia and of course prog. They are going through a high point at the moment with Reine Fiske in their ranks. Their last few albums have been bold and brilliant! This compilation doesn't fill out each disc to the brim with tracks but offers a concise delve into their ouvre, offering a wonderful snapshot of what they are about. It's not definitive, but it's all superb!