Cressida — Asylum
(Vertigo 6360 025, 1971, LP)
by Mike McLatchey, 2017-07-06:
Another of the great Vertigo albums of the early 70s, Cressida's second and last album worked largely on a powerful sense of atmosphere, almost as if it was one long dream. Their debut album had much shorter songs and in may ways worked more as a pop album, but like many groups of the era, the band's progressive aspirations had them stretching out on this follow up with longer instrumental sections on two tracks, "Munich" and "Let Them Come When They Will." In some ways this is definitive early 70s British symphonic rock with a lot of use of big organ and mellotron chords, fronted by a very good vocalist and a real sense of the wistful and nostalgic in the mix. Like a lot of good progressive music this is less about tricky key and rhythm changes and more about good songwriting, feeling, and color. I first heard this on its Repertoire CD reissue in the early 90s and it has always remained a favorite.
by Mike McLatchey, 1993-10-01:
Cressida's second Asylum in my opinion is the best of the genre represented by Beggars' Opera, Spring, Fantasy, Fruupp, and many more. An amazingly elegant album, Asylum was a beautiful progressive rock album in that laid back English style with great room for instrumentals and a very pleasant vocalist. Both Asylum and their debut are very rare now (both were original Vertigo "Swirls") and it took a while for them to reissue this first one, but this was well worth the wait. While the songs are generally shorter, all of the ideas are there and in condensed form making this a great album of 70s progressive rock. If any of the above bands are to your liking, this one should be an essential purchase.
Related artist(s): Cressida
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more
Steve Roach - Kairos: The Meeting of Time and Destiny – Subtitled The Meeting of Time and Destiny, this package includes a 74 minute CD and companion DVD that feature essentially the same audio program: eight tracks mixing floating ambient dreamlike... (2007) » Read more