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Reviews

Il Balletto di Bronzo — Ys
(Polydor 523 693-2, 1972/1994, CD)

Il Balletto di Bronzo — Ys English Versions
(Mellow MMP 112, 1972/1992, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1996-08-01

Ys Cover artYs English Versions Cover art

Ys is certainly one of the more controversial progressive rock albums. Many people will tell you not only that it is a classic, but it's often quoted as being the very best of the 70s progressives. Others, usually those into the more accessible and conventional side, tend to think it's overrated. Obviously anything like this is well worth a listen by anyone – I personally fall well within the former opinion and consider Ys one of the ultimate classics. Il Balletto di Bronzo's second release is a dark album of incredible dexterity and dynamics, an absolutely phenomenal statement of innovative and talented progressive rock. Full of unusual dissonances, wailing spooky voices, and intense passion, it's no doubt it would scare some listeners off. It certainly is an overwhelming experience; yet a truly brilliant album. The Mellow CD reissue contains a bonus single that pales considerably, thankfully it's tacked on the end.

The English versions are from 1971 and make up what is a very expensive mini CD (about 18 minutes), being priced the same as the majority of the catalog. The English lyrics are quite amusing and not very effective, but are worth a listen from a historical perspective considering the album's legendary status. For most, it wouldn't be worth the bother. Regardless, the original Ys is essential in every sense of the word; it is one of the most groundbreaking musical statements of the 70s.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 10, 1994 releases, 1972 recordings, 1992 releases

Related artist(s): Il Balletto di Bronzo

 

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