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Thread: Mellotron in prog - My top ten list, what's yours?

  1. #51
    Member AncientChord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    She's the keyboard player for EYE, who played Progday this year. Sort of a raw protoprog/stonermetal thing, different in sound from that solo track, but similar in aesthetic.
    It's funny because I just got the new EYE album, but my brain didn't connect to her. I really like the album, but I'm very impressed with her videos on YouTube.
    Day dawns dark...it now numbers infinity.

  2. #52
    Member lak611's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    She's the keyboard player for EYE, who played Progday this year. Sort of a raw protoprog/stonermetal thing, different in sound from that solo track, but similar in aesthetic.
    I got the new EYE album a few weeks ago, and it's really good.

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  3. #53
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    The Crazy World of Arthur Brown have lots of great mellotron

  4. #54
    My Top Ten Mellotron in Prog Tracks;

    1. King Crimson - 'Cirkus'
    2. Genesis - 'Watcher Of The Skies'
    3. Yes - 'The Remembering'
    4. Gentle Giant - 'Pantagruel's Nativity'
    5. King Crimson - 'Sailor's Tale'
    6. Yes - 'And You And I'
    7. Gentle Giant - 'Schooldays'
    8. King Crimson - 'Starless'
    9. Yes - 'Siberian Khatru'
    10. Genesis - 'The Fountain Of Salamacis'

    And for my favorite non-Prog songs using Mellotron-
    1. The Beatles - 'Strawberry Fields Forever'
    2. The Rolling Stones - 'We Love You'
    3. Led Zeppelin - 'The Rain Song'
    4. The Rolling Stones - '2000 Light Years From Home'
    5. The Beatles - 'The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill'

  5. #55
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow Jester View Post
    And for my favorite non-Prog songs using Mellotron-
    Here I'll add the instrumental "The Taste of Rain" from the 1966 Jan & Dean album Save for a Rainy Day. The Mellotron becomes the lead instrument from the one minute mark on. (I'm guessing though that it's a Chamberlin considering the year, but the liner notes say "Mellotron.")

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  6. #56
    A singer-songwriter who uses the Tron a lot is Greg Weeks:





    He also plays in the band Espers.

  7. #57
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    Last edited by yesman1955; 12-28-2016 at 08:10 PM.

  8. #58
    Member AncientChord's Avatar
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    ^^^^Oh yeah. Big Big Train are awesome. Kind of a cross between old Genesis and IQ. Their new live album is excellent.
    Day dawns dark...it now numbers infinity.

  9. #59
    I think this may be the only echolyn song to make use of a Mellotron:


  10. #60
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    Here are a couple of lesser known ones:

    Easter Island--"Genius of the Dance"
    Ethos--"Atlanteans" (The albums has both mellotron and chamberlin, not sure which is which.)

    I need to go back and listen to some PFM because they had some great mellotron moments.

  11. #61
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    Okay, gave PFM--Per Un Amico a very quick listen. "Appena Un Po" (aka "River of Life") has some killer mellotron. Not to get us off topic, but I love when bands blend Moog and mellotron the way PFM does.

  12. #62
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    If you're really serious about this "mellotron in prog" thing, then I highly suggest all of you check out Quarteto 1111's Onde, quando, como, porquê cantamos pessoas vivas (1975 Portugal). Perhaps not the best prog album that contains a mellotron, but if considering only the instrument itself, it's hard to beat. And I'm not the only one to make such an observation -> http://www.planetmellotron.com/revq.htm#quarteto

  13. #63
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    10.56 on Gnosis is defintely worth a check.




    Frm the same dude (Jose Cid), his next album

    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  14. #64
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    IMHO, the ultimate 'tron album is French: Flamen Dialis




    My review:

    Attention, Mellotron a gogo and chef d'oeuvre.

    Most progheads make a sort of fixation on THE definitive prog instrument (outside the flute that is) and even if some of us won't admit it, we all drool and melt at the sound of it, a bit like Quasimodo did for Esmeralda, the Big Bertha did for ten Big Macs or Sylvester did for Tweety. And generally most progheads to cherish the lone albums of Spring and Morte Macabre. But I got for you another baby that puts to shame the ones I just mentioned and it is more prog than those two combined - yessir!!! ;-) puts them to shame in the mellotronic dept. And not only is this album rather unique and awesome, obviously the guys from Landberk and Anekdoten (this is what Morte Macabre was really) obviously heard this album and inspired themselves rather heavily on it.

    Flamen Dialis: a Breton prog group that started as the trio Yecta Plus Band in 71, but acquired a more standard line-up with the arrival Didier Le Gallic in 76 and released a single in 78 (as a quartet), and finally their album in 79as a septet but two members concentrating on whatever few vocals. But by this time, this kind of album might seem a bit anachronistic since most of music had shifted to digital synth, so basing an album on the original analog synth was sort of a rear-guard combat. This might explain why FD's sole album is barely known and went almost unnoticed.

    Musically this record is a strange mix of Zeit-era Tangerine Dream (but not quite as spooky) with a weirdish Magma influence (mostly in the vocals, but the booming bass when present, also) and sometimes-free improvs (never made difficult because of the Tron layers), and as you probably known the Swedish MM's Symphonic Holocaust. Limiting FD to the mellotrons would be misleading as there is plenty of musical interplay between Didier Le Galic (drums and keyboards) and his compatriots, as his brother Yves is the other keyboard man. After a superb start (Dernière Croisade), the album goes wild with a bizarre Sanctuaire D'Argile with haunting Kobaian-like chants, soon over taken by an intrusive and implacable Mellotron, but the chants come back and lead to a superb acoustic guitar with Arabian influences. WOW!!! Dedale Vert is definitely more Tangerine Dream, and less impressive and oppressive. But soon Illusion bring back the gloom with doomy wind instruments that could easily find place in Shub-Niggurath or Univers Zero.

    After a windy intro (Méandres), the Mellotron comes back in Eclosion , menacing, haunting, loomy , doomy and sombre, but Le Gallic's superb vibes are the centre of your attention here. The track ends with a rather minimalist repeating note pattern, which slowly segues into spoken words (we are now in Labyrinth) and yells out. Spooky? A bit, I must say. But just as the album gets lugubrious come some fascinating vibes Arc En Lumière as an interlude. Renaissance is an aptly-titled track which discusses the bass and the two Mellotrons (this is grandiose) and segues into a fast duo (remember the Mellotron is a slow instrument due to its mechanism) that seems unreal (Village) and the album closing in a complete chaos with Eclats, delving into improvisation.

    As for the bonus tracks, they consist of the afore-mentioned single tracks, which are sensibly similar (especially Découverte and its enthusiastic TD-Clearlight realm), even if less complex and slightly more mainstream (the second in the JM Jarre vein). But they do not hinder or harm the progress of the album.

    Truly one of those lost French gems that came a bit too late to get a better notice the first time around. Hopefully, Zaharia's label MIO will make the second time around. BTW, if anybody knows the whereabouts of Didier Le Gallic, there is a boss label waitng to pay him his dies, so please warn him. A real must.
    Last edited by Trane; 12-29-2016 at 07:13 AM.
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  15. #65
    Some great citations above, but I'm surprised Hawkwind's 'Assault And Battery/The Golden Void' from 'Warrior On The Edge Of Time' has yet to receive a mention. Layer upon layer of Mellotrons run through lord knows how many effects. 'Warrior' and 'Grill' before it are lush with Mellotrons.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UIYMxZRLf0

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    The Crazy World of Arthur Brown have lots of great mellotron
    None on there that I remember. Maybe you are getting mixed up with Kingdom Comes's Journey which is overloaded with tron riches...

    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow Jester View Post
    Pink Floyd - "Echoes"
    No tron on there.....

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovecraft View Post
    None on there that I remember. Maybe you are getting mixed up with Kingdom Comes's Journey which is overloaded with tron riches....
    I just relistened - and you are right there is not a lot. But the beginning and a repeat later on doesnt sound like violins at all, unless the recording is kind of flawed.

  18. #68
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    I've always thought that "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" by Genesis has the most beautiful tron I've ever heard.

    On the rock side:

    Free Bird- Skynyrd
    Dream On - Aerosmith

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    I just relistened - and you are right there is not a lot. But the beginning and a repeat later on doesnt sound like violins at all, unless the recording is kind of flawed.
    Yeah, its sawing cellos with some flute and a famously muddy production that you are hearing....not tron.

  20. #70

  21. #71
    A mix of the obvious and the obscure:

    1. Änglagård: “Jordrök” (On the minus side, I kind of hold them responsible for the whole gear-fetishization of prog, and they’re at least partially responsible for prog-as-formula bands like Spock’s Beard. On the plus side, this was an eye-opener, a flash of good olde prog after some dry and dreary years, and still holds up well, blatant SFF steal [see below] and all.)
    2. Atlas: “Elisabiten” (This was out-of-step with the times circa 1979 and all the better for it. These guys were very subtle users of Mellotron, and I like the way the strings very gently swell through the slow, majestic, rising melody at the end of this piece.)
    3. Eela Craig: “Circles” (No subtlety here, big honking brass chords over tympani, followed by choirs accompanying harpsichord!)
    4. England: “Midnight Madness” (Robert Webb was a master of using dynamics with the Mellotron. Heavy use of that volume pedal, I suspect.)
    5. Genesis: “Watcher of the Skies” (Much-imitated, and for good reason)
    6. Kayak: “Lovely Luna” (The sudden explosion of Mellotron strings over the climactic finale is just the icing on the cake of this one. As I said elsewhere in another thread, it’s Johan Slager’s fantastic guitar lead that’s the star of the show here. Have I mentioned he’s underrated?)
    7. King Crimson: “Epitaph” (I think this, more than any other song, made keyboardists want to own a Mellotron)
    8. PFM: “Impressioni di Settembre” (The Mellotron is the spice that makes this song really soar)
    9. SFF: “Pictures” (They really put their Mellotron through the wringer on this one! If you told me it broke down at the end of the recording session, I’d have a hard time refuting that claim!)
    10. Yes: “And You and I” (The string accompaniment to the “Eclipse” section, accompanying Steve’s guitar lead, is one of those chills-down-the-spine moments!)



    Quote Originally Posted by lovecraft View Post
    Yeah, its sawing cellos with some flute and a famously muddy production that you are hearing....not tron.
    It’s funny how crummy production can make real strings sound like a Mellotron; see also Lighthouse’s last album: Good Day.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  22. #72
    Greetings!
    Longtime lurker, finally registered and figure this is as good a jump in point as any! So here goes my first post.

    This is a tough one really, as there are songs where the tape isn't the typical string sounds one associates with the instrument, such as Siberian Khatru. Others are dominated by mellotron - and then there's the ones where it is simply part of the wall of sound. But the song wouldn't be the same without it. I also assume we're being strict here and avoiding sampled mellotron or the chamberlin.

    Progressive bands:
    1. Motorpsycho: Ghost
    2. Edgar Froese: Epsilon in Malaysian Pale (perhaps the ultimate mellotron album)
    3. Pink Floyd: See Saw ("The Most Boring Song I've Ever Heard Bar Two" So much hate for this RW penned effort and I simply adore it)
    4. The Moody Blues: Have You Heard? 1/The Voyage/Have You Heard? 2
    5. Yes: And You And I
    6. King Crimson: Sailor’s Tale (this was tough and literally a coin flip)
    7. Genesis: Dancing With the Moonlit Knight
    8. Gentle Giant: Raconteur Troubadour
    9. Premiata Forneria: Marconi Appena Un Po/River of Life
    10. Steve Hackett: Shadow of the Hierophant (almost didn't include it as I had Genesis, but Steve is his own guy. If we're going to get technical as SH was still in the band, then I'll go with Spectral Mornings)

    Non Progressive Bands:
    1. Sugarbomb: Poster Child for Tragedy (the tron here sounds nearly identical to Rain Song by Led Zeppelin - the whole album is flush with the instrument)
    2. Led Zeppelin: Rain Song
    3. Rolling Stones: 2000 Light Years from Home
    4. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark: Maid of Orleans
    5. Roxy Music: A Really Good Time
    6. Julian Cope: The Battle For The Trees
    7. Split Enz: Stranger Than Fiction
    8. Beatles: Strawberry Fields (too obvious but got me into the Moody Blues)
    9. Talk Talk: Life's What You Make It
    10. XTC: Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her

    I'm doing this from memory - so I hope I didn't blow it and imagine a mellotron somewhere. Long story. Someday I hope to be reunited with my stereo and collection.

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post

    1. Änglagård: “Jordrök” (On the minus side, I kind of hold them responsible for the whole gear-fetishization of prog, and they’re at least partially responsible for prog-as-formula bands like Spock’s Beard.
    I don't understand. Really curious to hear your reasoning for these claims.

  24. #74
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    Not yet making a top-10 list for this --- only pointing to the first 53 seconds of this:

    band: Anekdoten
    song: Hole

  25. #75
    Without reading what other people have posted, a few of my favorite Mellotron bits, not all of which are proog (so sue me):

    Schicke, Furs And Frohling: Symphonic Pictures (possibly the best Mellotron record ever recorded)
    Lynyrd Skynyrd: Tuesday's Gone
    Tangerine Dream: beginning of first set Royal Albert Hall April 75 concert (the one broadcast by the BBC)
    Pink Floyd: See Saw
    Pink Floyd: studio version of Saucerful Of Secrets (last section)
    Radio Massacre International: I think it's Maelstrom that kicks off with the Mellotron choir thing
    The Beatles: Strawberry Fields Forever intro (well duh!)
    The Beatles: I Am The Walrus
    Genesis: Afterglow (Second's Out version)
    Rick Wakeman: Moanin' (Going For The One sessions video, that's the bit where he plays Moanin', then says to the camera, "You think you can bluff your way through that one?!", it's on the Yesyears video)


    And an honorable mention to Take Me With U, Raspberry Beret, and Purple Rain itself by Prince And The Revolution. I swear it sounds like Mellotron strings on those tracks, by His Purpleness had actual musicians credited with playing violin, viola and cello on those tracks. I suspect that he probably wanted a Mellotron vibe on those tracks, but at the time he probably couldn't get ahold of one. Remember this was circa 83-85 we're talking about, so there probably weren't too many functioning Mellotrons in any of the recording studios he might have been working in. He may have decided the Fairlight, Synclavier and Emulator emulations were all lemons, so he arranged a string section to play ever so slightly out of tune (a key ingredient of the Mellotron sound) and then EQ'd the strings during mixdown so that it would sound like you were listening to a recording of a recording (which of course is what you get when a Mellotron appears on a record).

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