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Nektar — The Dream Nebula - Best of 1971-1975
(Purple Pyramid CLP 0301-2, 1975/1998, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1999-01-01

The Dream Nebula - Best of 1971-1975 Cover art

Hamburg in the 60s was a regular stop for British bands on the road, and a few British bands were even able to forge out a living there entirely. By the end of the 60s, Nektar had established themselves there as sort of a British / German hybrid band, drawing freely from the Krautrock styles of the day and the then-current British spacerock scene (Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, etc.). Although their 1971 debut, Journey to the Center of the Eye, was a powerful opening statement, their second and third albums, A Tab in the Ocean and Sounds Like This, saw the band honing their vision and finding their own unique voice. The entire first disc (and a couple songs on the second disc) of this 2CD retrospective is devoted to material from those first three Nektar releases, including many essential classics. The second disc presents entire sides from their fourth (Remember the Future) and seventh (Recycled) albums, as well as the odd track from the two in between. While the opening side of Remember the Future was this writer’s introduction to the band, I don’t remember it sounding like this....yes, apparently when Cleopatra licensed the material, Bellaphon gave them the same crap-defective source tape that they used to cut their own CD of the same album eight years ago, with most of the guitar parts mixed out, and the backing organ parts brought annoyingly to the fore. Cleopatra would have been better advised to use a virgin vinyl copy of the LP, like Rhino did when they mastered the Supernatural Fairy Tales box set. By the time of Recycled, Nektar was already on their way down, but this one was somewhat of an aberration in that downward path, the band revitalized by the addition of Larry “Synergy” Fast on synthesizers. We have to thank Cleopatra for only including one cut from their embarrassingly lame fifth album Down to Earth, and nothing at all from the last two studio albums. Overall, this set is an excellent representation of the very best material that Nektar produced. Sadly the only major flaw (and it’s a big one) is the defective mix on the Remember th Future material.

Filed under: Archives, Issue 16, 1998 releases, 1975 recordings

Related artist(s): Nektar


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