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Thread: Any Magellan (The Band) Fans?

  1. #26
    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Yeah, I wasn't sure if the link would work for long - I guess not. When you search, click Advanced Search, enter your search words and select Titles Only. You get better results that way.
    Thanks JKL2000, I knew I had to be doing something not quite right. Great info and I'll try it next time.

    It's great reading everyone's comments and warms my heart that for some it was even a memory which caused you to relisten with today's ears.
    Magellan was/is a band like Saga, who no matter what kind of mood I'm in or if I'm having a bad day, I'll put one of their cd's and it just picks me up and gets me out of my mood.
    I think there is only one Magellan release that never worked for me and that is the Hundred Year Flood, just never clicked, I think because it was too dark, and it was written about their brother who died in Vietnam.
    I also have the last full cd Magellan did and that was Innocent God which has some Magellan DNA and some music which shows Trent breaking out and stretching his writing and production.
    Last edited by Top Cat; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:13 PM.
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  2. #27
    I'm not sure why I regard them as a guilty pleasure, but I can understand why some people find them offputting. Restoration/Ascension/Wills are just so fun and uplifting though, especially if you're of the school that there's no such thing as 'too many notes' as I am.

    I love their pomp, too. If you needed a time-traveller to write some kind of martial anthem, and for some reason Wagner wasn't available, you could do worse than hire Magellan. Those guys knew how to go big.

  3. #28
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    Impending Ascension is my favorite Magellan album. I consider it perfect from beginning to end. I also own HoR and Flood. I prefer Flood over HoR.

    Kevin

  4. #29
    Member No Pride's Avatar
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    I'm another one who considers Magellan sort of a guilty pleasure. At times they could be annoying. "Put on the game face, put on the game face, put it on, put it on, put it on, now, now, now...." SHUT UP! On the other hand, I like some of the writing a lot, particularly the time changes, chord progressions and some very strong melodies. Some favorites are "Estadium Nacional," "Waterfront Weirdos" and especially "Walk Fast, Look Worried" (though I don't like the outro and wish it had ended a minute and a half sooner). For me, "guilty pleasure" means that it's not something I'd play for most of my friends, but I do enjoy listening alone at times and I still visit from time to time.

  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by No Pride View Post
    For me, "guilty pleasure" means that it's not something I'd play for most of my friends, but I do enjoy listening alone at times and I still visit from time to time.
    Exactly. When I play "Test of Wills" (the tune), I'm just a tiny bit worried that perhaps Susanna Wallumrød should hear me from across the backyard, as she knws how I'm a big fan of hers and usually play somewhat positively intriguing stuff; while 'gellan may be intriguing, most folks wouldn't deem it very 'positively' so. But I love the middle-section of that tune - really, really moving in a skinless kind of fashion.

    But it's certainly not about the "number of notes"; compared to The Flying Luttenbachers, Blast, Tipographica, Yowie, Upsilon Acrux or 300 other bands, 'gellan were nice and decent in that respect.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  6. #31
    Member Joe F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    I never enjoyed anything by the Magna Carta label except for some stuff from the first three 'gellans.
    I'm petty much in agreement with this, though I do like both MoeTar albums, and some of the Bozzio Levin Stevens stuff.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Pride View Post
    I'm another one who considers Magellan sort of a guilty pleasure. At times they could be annoying. "Put on the game face, put on the game face, put it on, put it on, put it on, now, now, now...." SHUT UP! On the other hand, I like some of the writing a lot, particularly the time changes, chord progressions and some very strong melodies. Some favorites are "Estadium Nacional," "Waterfront Weirdos" and especially "Walk Fast, Look Worried" (though I don't like the outro and wish it had ended a minute and a half sooner). For me, "guilty pleasure" means that it's not something I'd play for most of my friends, but I do enjoy listening alone at times and I still visit from time to time.
    I got a chuckle out of your comments. Yea, that game face thing is annoying as hell, but the 3 other tunes that you mention are 3 of my favorites too. They were pretty inconsistent, but when they were good they were really good.

  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe F. View Post
    I do like both MoeTar albums,
    Y'know, I'd completely forgotten about MoeTar being on MC! And you're absolutely right; great band.

    On checking last night, though, it turns out I've gotten rid of -every- single other MC purchase I ever committed; some 30 CDs in all. Just not my thing at all, I suppose.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  9. #34
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    I found a used copy of Test Of Wills many years ago. I didn't have it for very long. I think I liked one track off that album. No doubt these guys were great musicians but just didn't care for the album at all. Never heard anything else by them. I guess I'll listen on Youtube one day, out of curiosity. Otoh, I do LOVE what Trent Gardner did with Steve Walsh on Glossolalia.

  10. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Exactly. When I play "Test of Wills" (the tune), I'm just a tiny bit worried that perhaps Susanna Wallumrød should hear me from across the backyard, as she knws how I'm a big fan of hers and usually play somewhat positively intriguing stuff
    Don't you dare allow Prog to interfere with a great, evolving romance

  11. #36
    ^Prog conquers all, 'thustraman! All'n'all...!
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  12. #37
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    "Test of Wills" is markedly different from their prior output. While I still like it, it's not my favorite for that reason.

  13. #38
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    i turned out to really like MAGELLAN’s cover versions on those MAGNA CARTA tribute albums from the 1990s. “mama”, “don’t kill the whale” and (especially) “the endless enigma” were a fun romp on all sorts of prog tropes (never heard the JT tribute and i dislike “working man” – the RUSH one – quite intensely). in a benign way – this says it all about MAGELLAN for me.

  14. #39
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    Had a tape of HoR and bought IA when it came out, but I lost interest after that, and while I loved them at the time (admittedly this was likely due to the fact that there wasn't much else going on out there) must admit that neither do much for me now. Far too didactic in the lyrics, and I just hate that clattering drum machine. Amazing how this stuff sounds far more dated to me now than the 'classic' prog stuff from the early 70s.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid_runningfox View Post
    I just hate that clattering drum machine. Amazing how this stuff sounds far more dated to me now than the 'classic' prog stuff from the early 70s.
    It's something I noticed on a more general level: drum machines and the majority of drum and synth sounds from the 1980s to the early 90s mostly sound cringeworthy today, whereas recordings from the 70s seem acceptable to us even though they are also definitely "of their time".
    I've always wondered if there was a technical explanation as to why some sounds are deemed acceptable to us today and others less.
    Not just a Genesis fanboy.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid_runningfox View Post
    I loved them at the time (admittedly this was likely due to the fact that there wasn't much else going on out there) must admit that neither do much for me now.
    This is kind of why I got into Magellan as well. Up until I got the "Tales from Yesterday" compilation, the ONLY new prog act I was aware of was Dream Theater. Thus it was SO EXCITING to find that there were new prog bands to discover on the Magna Carta level. Magellan turned out to be quite fun and exciting, but I was let down by their other acts: Ice Age, Cairo, Enchant and Shadow Gallery. (Cairo and Enchant have since moderately grown on me, and Ice Age has a decent instrumental track that I like and that's it.) Therefore it was mostly Magellan until I found out about things like Spock's Beard, the Flower Kings, IQ and so on.

    I still enjoy the first three albums and pieces of Impossible Figures from time to time. It all depends on what I'm in the mood for. The digital drums don't bother me as much because I'm a child of the eighties, but I agree that analog drums would have made for a warmer, more accessible experience.
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

  17. #42
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeFrog View Post
    It's something I noticed on a more general level: drum machines and the majority of drum and synth sounds from the 1980s to the early 90s mostly sound cringeworthy today, whereas recordings from the 70s seem acceptable to us even though they are also definitely "of their time".
    I've always wondered if there was a technical explanation as to why some sounds are deemed acceptable to us today and others less.
    Possibly because in the 70s, the actual sound generation from a drum machine was analog, or mostly analog. The only thing "digital" in 70s machines was the sequencing of notes. In the 80s and 90s, the analog drum sound generation was replaced with digital samples of drums sounds. The nearest analog would be the Moog Modular and Mini Moog still sound better than any digital synthesizer.

    In the 80s and 90s, the digital samples were of quite low bit rate. At the time of the earliest digital machines, computer memory was still measured in Kilobytes, compared to the Gigabytes of today.

    I would also point out that older technology only sounds bad to us in hindsight. In the mid to late 80s, I thought the Yamaha DX7 was a fantastic sounding synth. I was struck by how realistic the piano patch of my DX27 (4 operator FM versus the 6 operator DX7) was, when played through my Alesis Microverb. It's like the movie King Kong: when it came out in the year 1933, the special effects were spectacular. Today, they're an absolute joke. I have no doubt that 20, 30 or 50 years from now, people will comment on how fake the Korg Kronos sounds, and how cheesy the movie Avatar looks.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    and how cheesy the movie Avatar looks.
    Already happening.

  19. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    the ONLY new prog act […] Magellan turned out to be quite fun and exciting, but I was let down by their other acts: Ice Age, Cairo, Enchant and Shadow Gallery. (Cairo and Enchant have since moderately grown on me, and Ice Age has a decent instrumental track that I like and that's it.) Therefore it was mostly Magellan until I found out about things like Spock's Beard, the Flower Kings, IQ and so on.
    I never thought of any of these names as harbingers of 'progressive rock'. Clichéd "sympho" owing as much to Queen or ELO as anything even remotely in the heritage of progressive artists - who were initially defined by the radical character of their creative creed. But yeah, I guess YMMV.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  20. #45
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    I never thought of any of these names as harbingers of 'progressive rock'. Clichéd "sympho" owing as much to Queen or ELO as anything even remotely in the heritage of progressive artists - who were initially defined by the radical character of their creative creed. But yeah, I guess YMMV.
    Cairo definitely had an ELP influence (it's rather blatant on some songs) but I don't want to open the stale can of worms as to whether "prog" means 1) based on the styles of late sixties/early seventies rock acts or 2) mind-bendingly new and different at all times.
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

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    I ordered Impending Ascension in 1995 on the strength of a Keyboard review. I do like the long tracks ”Estadium Nacional” and ”Waterfront Weirdos” as a sort of delightfully pompous and rambling update of ELP and, to a lesser degree, Yes to the techno rock of the 90s. While the rest of the songs are more or hit or miss, I still like the album. There was sense of refreshing energy at the time, and of course I was rely just desperately looking for clues about any progressive rock beyond the usual suspects.

    However, I didn't follow through with their later releases, as by then, there was so much more to explore. I did finally hear Hour of Restoration a couple of years ago, and I'm afraid it didn't move me at all. In another time, perhaps it would've been different.

    Speaking from a Finnish point of view, Magna Carta was actually quite well represented in the record shops in the latter half of the 1990s, but its impact was rather muted. It appeared, as others have pointed out, as an outshoot of American metal scene combining with some of the U. S. versions of the European neoprogressive trends. As I've never been a metal fan, the attraction was limited. I do remember being excited about Cairo's first album initially in 1996, but it didn't really last, although I do think all three of the band's albums have their moments. So does even Shadow Gallery's Carved in Stone, which I bought second-hand around the same time, though it and the first album particularly also have their moments of sheer comedy. The album I've got most mileage out of has been Enchant's A Blueprint of the World. It's really just a nimble,well-played melodic hard rock album with a hint of Marillion in it, and all the better for leaving at that. Their later works got more ponderous and manneric very quickly, though.

    As for the early-90s synthesizer sounds, I do think they fit the kind of sound that Magellan were projecting. The slightly clunky sampled drums somehow matched their overall ”contemporary” vibe. Of course, those same sounds do sound ”of their time” now, but as I am just trying to coax useful sounds from similar patches of my early-90s workstation, I can't really complain about them. It's actually the mid to late-90s scuffling and filtered drum loops that I find dated in a more irritating way today. YMMV.

  22. #47
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    I love Test of Wills and hearing Trent ripping on the trombone over that chunky, metallic groove! I think Impossible Figures was a really good album too. Leonardo: The Absolute Man is a masterpiece. Count me as a big fan.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    I ordered Impending Ascension in 1995 on the strength of a Keyboard review. I do like the long tracks ”Estadium Nacional” and ”Waterfront Weirdos” as a sort of delightfully pompous and rambling update of ELP and, to a lesser degree, Yes to the techno rock of the 90s. While the rest of the songs are more or hit or miss, I still like the album. There was sense of refreshing energy at the time, and of course I was rely just desperately looking for clues about any progressive rock beyond the usual suspects.

    However, I didn't follow through with their later releases, as by then, there was so much more to explore. I did finally hear Hour of Restoration a couple of years ago, and I'm afraid it didn't move me at all. In another time, perhaps it would've been different.

    Speaking from a Finnish point of view, Magna Carta was actually quite well represented in the record shops in the latter half of the 1990s, but its impact was rather muted. It appeared, as others have pointed out, as an outshoot of American metal scene combining with some of the U. S. versions of the European neoprogressive trends. As I've never been a metal fan, the attraction was limited. I do remember being excited about Cairo's first album initially in 1996, but it didn't really last, although I do think all three of the band's albums have their moments. So does even Shadow Gallery's Carved in Stone, which I bought second-hand around the same time, though it and the first album particularly also have their moments of sheer comedy. The album I've got most mileage out of has been Enchant's A Blueprint of the World. It's really just a nimble,well-played melodic hard rock album with a hint of Marillion in it, and all the better for leaving at that. Their later works got more ponderous and manneric very quickly, though.

    As for the early-90s synthesizer sounds, I do think they fit the kind of sound that Magellan were projecting. The slightly clunky sampled drums somehow matched their overall ”contemporary” vibe. Of course, those same sounds do sound ”of their time” now, but as I am just trying to coax useful sounds from similar patches of my early-90s workstation, I can't really complain about them. It's actually the mid to late-90s scuffling and filtered drum loops that I find dated in a more irritating way today. YMMV.
    a sound assessment of MC’s place in the biz during the mid 1990s, kai! it is notable that the label was (co-) formed by one mike varney; he who flooded the market with square miles of post-yngwie shred guitar mayhem on his own shrapnel label during the the preceding decade … yep, definitely a purveyor of “more is more and more of the same is even more” )

    re: ENCHANT … “blueprint” was actually partly produced by MARiLLiON’s steve rothery. it's the only one that i kept by them. i remember having seen them in a tiny club here around the time of its release (co-head show with JADiS, those were the days …) and having a long conversation with their guitarist doug ott who insisted on rothery actually having salvaged the album in terms of quality because the initial producer came close to ramming it in the ground.

    ah, my 1990s prog awakening. loads of wide eyed detours and illusionary giants. and YES not quitting …

  24. #49
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozricale View Post
    I love Test of Wills and hearing Trent ripping on the trombone over that chunky, metallic groove!
    Yes, that's a good couple of sections in that song. It somehow works in an idiosyncratic way.
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

  25. #50
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    It's like the movie King Kong: when it came out in the year 1933, the special effects were spectacular. Today, they're an absolute joke.
    Ok, this means war!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    It's actually the mid to late-90s scuffling and filtered drum loops that I find dated in a more irritating way today. YMMV.
    That's an interesting observation, and now I'm worried it's going to start bothering me too. The first thing I thought of after reading this is Fish's "Raingods with Zippos" album, and the section from the "epic track" called "Waving at Stars." Is this what you mean?:

    Last edited by JKL2000; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:50 AM.
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