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Nektar - Recycled

Nektar - Recycled

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Genre: progressive
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Title:  Recycled
Company: Passport
Catalog: PPSD-98011
Year: 1975
Country/State: UK/Germany
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: gatefold sleeve
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 148
Price: $10.00

Wow, Roye Albrighton and company get down to social responsibility. Released in 1975, 'Recycled' was apparently intended as a concept piece built around the misuse of natural resources. The band claimed the inspiration came during their 1974 tour of the States when they were simply stunned by the amount of waste they saw during their performances - audiences literally tossing away tons of paper and plastic cups, and soda and beer cans. Side one was basically a 16 minute, seven part suite telling the story of an earth dependent on recycle energy (hum, guess Alrbrighton knew something the rest of us didn't). Musically the overarching sound wasn't all that different than their previous couple of albums. Perhaps the biggest change was the addition of guest performer Larry Fast's synthesizers to the mix (occasionally giving the album a slight Krautrock feel ('Cybernetic Consumption'), which served to push Albrighton's guitar to the sidelines. On side two the plotline became vaguer (frankly I've never been sure what was going on), though the music took on a much broader spectrum including stabs at disco, adult contemporary pop, and one of their prettiest ballads..
- The title track started out with the combination of Ron Howden's drums and Larry Fast's synthesizer washes sounding like a train rolling down the tracks. Then Albrighton's whiny vocals kicked in giving the song a dark, gloomy overtone (fitting for the album's depressing theme). rating: *** stars
- Opening up with percussion and sound effects that mimicked a futuristic production line, the brief instrumental 'Cybernetic Consumption' actually sounded a bit like a slice of mid-'70 Kraftwerk. rating: *** stars
- After a brief snippet of Albrighton's lead guitar, 'Recycle Countdown' briefly returned to main theme (same jumpy melody) rating: *** stars
- After some effects-treated explanatory narrative "Webs of concrete giving off waste dust that marks the search of an age of a thousand vast empires sweeping away legends untold to human ears. While shafts of steel clutch the stars nature supplies ... once numerous]... now lapse into eerie silence recycled energy becomes the only form of life as it was and now new forms are moulded from patterns alewdy used to struggle to survive"), 'Automation Horrorscope' (great title) served as one of the few tracks to spotlighted Albrigton's guitar and Allan Freeman keyboards before shifting gears into side one's prettiest segment. rating: *** stars
- And back to the main theme for just under two minutes ... rating: *** stars
- Showcasing drummer Howden, 'Flight of Reality' was a rollicking pop song. It also gave Albrighton a brief opportunity to showcase his excellent slide guitar. rating: **** stars
- Introduced the English Chorale, 'Unendless Imagination?' ended side one with a brief slice of Pink Floyd-styled instrumentation. rating: *** stars
- 'São Paulo Sunrise' found the band incorporating a disco element (seriously) in the mix. I guess it was excusable in that they were trying to support the theme (whatever it was at this point), but I've got to tell you ever time I hear it, this one throws me for a loop. rating: ** stars
- And just when you were trying to get over the disco tinges, 'Costa del Sol' found the band reaching out to embrace adult contemporary lite jazz. Luckily a nice keyboard melody some surprisingly sweet harmony vocals,, and a breakout Albrighton solo saved the track. rating: *** stars
- The poppy 'Marvellous Moses' initially appalled me. Seriously commercial (except for the enigmatic lyrics that still puzzle me after forty years), I remember thinking the track had sell-out stamped all over it. Luckily I gave the song a couple of more opportunities and over time it's charm caught my attention. Yeah, it was catchy, but it also had a great melody and arrangement. Derek Moore's pumping bass was a treat. rating: **** stars
- The beautiful ballad 'It's All Over' ended the album on another high note. rating: **** stars

I'll have to agree with the majority of folks on this one - the album's good and well worth owning, but simply doesn't match their earlier releases.

By the way, Helmut Wenske's cover art was a treat. Wonder how many hours I've spent staring at it ...

"Recycled" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Recycle (Nektar) - 2:47
2.) Cybernetic Consumption (instrumental) (Nektar) - 2:323.) Recycle Countdown (Nektar) - 1:514.) Automation Horrorscope (Nektar) - 3:08
5.) Recycling (Nektar) - 1:46
6.) Flight of Reality (Nektar) - - 1:18
6.) Unendless Imaginations (Nektar) - 4:36

(side 2)
1.) São Paulo Sunrise (Nektar) - 3:05
2.) Costa del Sol (Nektar) - 4:04
3.) Marvellous Moses (Nektar) - 6:37
4.) It's All Over (Nektar) - 5:11
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