Sunday, November 10, 2019

Lucifer's Friend - Banquet (1974 germany / uk, remarkable prog jazz brass rock, 2015 digi pak remaster with extra track)

On Banquet, Lucifer's Friend finally pulled together the many different elements to their sound (prog, soul, jazz, hard rock) into one cohesive and totally distinctive style. This time out, the primary focus of the album is epic prog numbers with complex instrumentation that go through a variety of surprising and ambitious changes in their arrangements. The standout example is the opening track, "Spanish Galleon": this pirate-themed epic starts with a Latin-flavored rock groove, that is given further power by the addition of horns, segues into a lyrical, pirate-themed song section that climaxes with a rousing chorus, takes a left turn into an instrumental portion studded with jazzy solos, and then finishes with a stirring reprise of the song section. 

The other prog numbers continue in a similar vein, reaching heights of almost orchestral complexity, but working in enough hooks and solid songcraft into the compositions to keep the listener hooked. Another standout in this arena is "Sorrow," a keyboard-based epic that features a lovely midsection where a keyboard solo is accompanied by a lush string arrangement. Banquet also balances out these epics with a pair of shorter, poppier songs that still manage to show off the band's firepower and complexity in their tighter format; the best is "Dirty Old Town," the closing ballad that builds to a jazzy, horn-powered chorus. All in all, Banquet is a fine, underrated prog outing and is worthy of rediscovery by art-rock fanatics. It's an ideal introduction to the sound of Lucifer's Friend. 
by Donald A. Guarisco
1. Spanish Galleon (Peter Hesslein, John Lawton) - 11:50
2. Thus Spoke Oberon (John F. Bacardi, John O'Brien-Docker) - 6:44
3. High Flying Lady Goodbye (Peter Hesslein, John Lawton) - 3:40
4. Sorrow (Peter Hesslein, John Lawton) - 11:36
5. Dirty Old Town (Dieter Horns, Peter Hesslein, John Lawton) - 4:46
6. Our World Is A Rock 'N' Roll Band (Werner Becker, John O'Brien-Docker) - 3:20
Bonus Track 6

Lucifer's Friend
*John Lawton - Lead Vocals
*Peter Hesslein - Electric And Acoustic Guitars, 12 String Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals
*Dieter Horns - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Herbert Bornhold - Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
*Peter Hecht - Piano, Organ, Moog Synthesizer, Electric Piano
*Herb Geller - Alto Saxsophone, Flute
*Karl Hermann Lüer - Baritone Saxophone
*Stefan Dobrzynski - Tenor Saxophone
*Wilfried Schoberanzky - Bass
*Klaus Holle - Flute
*Franz Behle - Oboe
*Rolf Lind - French Horn
*Hans Alves - English Horn
*Kurt Donocik, Luigi Schaufub, Walter Hillinghaus - Cello
*Günter Fulisch, Heinz Reese, Waldemar Erbe, Wolfgang Ahlers - Trombone
*Bob Lanese, Heinz Habermann, Manfred Moch - Trumpet
*Bruno Korzuschek, Günter Grünig, Werner Knupke - Viola
*Fritz Köhnsen, Günter Klein, Günther Zander, Heinz Donocik, Helmut Jochens, Helmut Rahn, Ingeborg Kaufmann, Otto Kaufmann, Reinhold Gabriel, Senia Daschewski - Violin
*Dave Brian, Elvira Herbert, Sheila McKinley - Choir

1970  Lucifer's Friend - Lucifer's Friend (2008 remaster) 
Related Act
1970  Asterix - Asterix 

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