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

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    Member AncientChord's Avatar
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    Mellotron in prog - My top ten list, what's yours?

    I've been a tronaholic since first hearing the Moody Blues use it in 1967, and my love for the beast, whether analog tape or digital continues to grow. I know that it has been used in many different music genres, but it is certainly an iconic staple of progressive rock. And I'm also certain that this is not the first time this question has been asked on this forum. I'm gearing up to make a new prog-tron playlist for my listening pleasure, and want to get an idea of what others on this forum like too. This has been hard, as there are so many great examples, but here goes...

    1. KING CRIMSON - Epitaph (IMO the first true dark, melancholy prog song, and a huge influence on what followed)
    2. GENESIS - Watcher of the Skies (the intro and the ending section are burned into one's soul)
    3. ANGLAGARD - Vandringar i Vilsenhet (The slow build-up in the closing section, which eventually blows out of proportion with both string and voice tron is truly creepy when the tapes of the tron glitch and drag)
    4. GENESIS - Seven Stones (Again a closing section of note. A stunningly beautiful interlude between Steve Hackett and Tony Banks that's tear inducing)
    5. KING CRIMSON - In The Wake of Poseidon (powerful, dominant tron throughout)
    6. PINK FLOYD - Julia Dream (an early song I've always liked)
    7. YES - And You and I ("Coming quickly to terms" ah..Jon Anderson's voice soaring with Rick Wakeman's tron, still spine tingling)
    8. THE MOODY BLUES - Candle of Life (one of the first of the Moodies tron songs that brought me to tears)
    9. GENESIS - White Mountain (The 1976 tour version with soaring string, voice tron and bass pedals)
    10. TANGERINE DREAM - Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares (dark electronic prog at its best...cosmos mellotron)

    OK now...what say you?
    Day dawns dark...it now numbers infinity.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by AncientChord View Post
    1. KING CRIMSON - Epitaph (IMO the first true dark, melancholy prog song, and a huge influence on what followed)
    OK now...what say you?
    "Nights In White Satin" would seem more logically the "first," and the template for "Epitaph" as well.

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    Member AncientChord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffCarney View Post
    "Nights In White Satin" would seem more logically the "first," and the template for "Epitaph" as well.
    Agree that this one also perked up my ears and eye brows.
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    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    It would be hard to come up with the definitive 10, but my #1 would probably be Trio. (If I have to name the artist, you never heard it. )

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    Member AncientChord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    It would be hard to come up with the definitive 10, but my #1 would probably be Trio. (If I have to name the artist, you never heard it. )
    Yeah nice track. Artist: Beelzabub
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    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    In no order:

    Anglagard- Jordrok
    Camel- Lady Fantasy
    Gentle Giant- Pantagruel's nativity
    Spock's Beard- Mouth of Madness
    Yes- The revealing science of god (I like the choral mellotron)
    Genesis- Dancing with the Moonlit Knight (same as above)(I like the tron at the coda of the song as well)
    PFM- Appena Un Po
    King Crimson- In the wake of Poseidon
    " " -Epitaph
    Genesis- Supper's Ready


    Honorable mentions:

    Camel-Nimrodel/the Procession/The White Rider (I think it's the Procession part with the great tron but I'll list the whole thing).

    Genesis- can utility and the coastliners
    " - Silent sorrow in empty boats (there's that choral mellotron again)
    Yes- To be over
    " -Heart of the Sunrise
    Rush- tears (I think it's the only rush song to feature a tron)
    King Crimson- The devil's triangle
    Last edited by Digital_Man; 12-26-2016 at 10:49 PM.

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Surprised no mentions of Strawberry Fields Forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    It would be hard to come up with the definitive 10, but my #1 would probably be Trio. (If I have to name the artist, you never heard it. )
    Quote Originally Posted by AncientChord View Post
    Yeah nice track. Artist: Beelzabub
    An improvisation in which three men may be heard, yet it is credited to four people.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffCarney View Post
    "Nights In White Satin" would seem more logically the "first," and the template for "Epitaph" as well.
    Agreed, and I would add "The Voyage" from the suite on the second side of the Moody's 1969 release Threshold of a Dream for an entire symphonic movement on mellotron.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

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    Member emperorken's Avatar
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    Picking no more than one track per band:

    1. Genesis- Fountain of Salmacis
    2. K.C.- Court of the Crimson King
    3. Moodies- Legend of a Mind
    4. Rolling Stones- 2000 Light Years From Home
    5. Bowie- Space Oddity
    6. Strawbs- The Life Auction
    7. Anglagard- Kung Bore
    8. Nordagust- Elegy
    9. Yes- Heart of the Sunrise
    10. Morte Macabre- Symphonic Holocaust

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    Member AncientChord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    An improvisation in which three men may be heard, yet it is credited to four people.
    Isn't this where Bill Bruford is quoted as saying that he used admirable restraint, or was it Robert Fripp talking about Bruford?
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    Quote Originally Posted by emperorken View Post
    Picking no more than one track per band:

    1. Genesis- Fountain of Salmacis
    2. K.C.- Court of the Crimson King
    3. Moodies- Legend of a Mind
    4. Rolling Stones- 2000 Light Years From Home
    5. Bowie- Space Oddity
    6. Strawbs- The Life Auction
    7. Anglagard- Kung Bore
    8. Nordagust- Elegy
    9. Yes- Heart of the Sunrise
    10. Morte Macabre- Symphonic Holocaust

    I love Nordagust and Morte Macabre. What happened to Nordagust? After the wonderful In The Mist of Morning, it seems they dissolved in the mist.
    Day dawns dark...it now numbers infinity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AncientChord View Post
    Isn't this where Bill Bruford is quoted as saying that he used admirable restraint, or was it Robert Fripp talking about Bruford?
    I think it was Fripp - and it's the reason Bruford is credited. He didn't hear anything he could play that would fit and was needed, so he played nothing.

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    Not in any particular order:



    Princ Rupert Awakes by King Crimson


    Watcher of the Skies by Genesis


    Heart of the Sunrise by Yes


    Sanjao sam noćas da te nemam by Bijelo Dugme


    One Strange December Evening by Standarte




    Žarek by Sončna Pot





    Expectations by Nordagust





    Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares by Tangerine Dream


    Maroubra Bay by Edgar Froese


    Haunted Island by Agitation Free

    Last edited by Svetonio; 12-27-2016 at 02:37 AM.

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    Member Mr.Krautman's Avatar
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    Some less know ones:

    (no particular tracks, they're all loaded with Trons)

    1. SANDROSE: s/t
    2. SPRING: s/t
    3. EARTH & FIRE: Atlantis
    4. GRACIOUS: This is Gracious !
    5. ENGLAND: Garden Shed
    6. EDGAR FROESE: Epsylon In Malaysian Pale
    7. SFF: Symphonic Pictures
    8. BEGGARS OPERA: Waters of Change
    9. TANGERINE DREAM: Rubycon
    10.PULSAR: The Strands of the Future

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    Bringing the discussion into the 80's the live album arrive alive by Pallas is full of great mellotron playing on tracks like 5 to 4, crown of thorns and queen of the deep.

    From the same period tales from the lush attic and the wake by iq had lots of mellotron, the choir sound on awake and nervous gives me goosebumps every time.

    I think my all time favourite mellotron moment is on the the seconds out version of cinema show, the bit when the choir and the bass pedals comes in during the long keyboard solo.

    Some less obvious choices would be Edgar froese epsylon in Malaysian pale (really haunting use of strings and flute). Staying in Germany perhaps the most OTT mellotron album is symphonic pictures by SFF

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Surprised no mentions of Strawberry Fields Forever.


    KC- Starless (Red)
    YES- TFTO
    KC - Earthbound

  18. #18
    Gentle Giant - "Schooldays" (good use of 'Tron in the mid-section)
    Genesis - "The Cinema Show" (toward the end of the 'keyboard section')
    King Crimson - "The Talking Drum (Live)" (from "The Night Watch -11/23/73) (love the long build-up in which Fripp's 'Tron backs David Cross' violin)
    Pink Floyd - "Echoes"

  19. #19
    The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever
    The Moody Blues - Nights In White Satin
    King Crimson - The Court Of The Crimson King
    Van Der Graaf Generator - W
    Genesis - Entangled
    Spring - Grail
    Pink Floyd - Embryo

  20. #20
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    So many great picks upthread.....two that come to mind...

    Witch's Promise-Jethro Tull
    Dream Gerrard-Traffic
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  21. #21
    MASCHERA DI CERA
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

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    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    The Cheerful Insanity Of Giles Giles & Fripp-Suite No.1
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  23. #23
    Tracks that come to my mind and haven't been mentioned yet:

    Strawbs - Autumn
    Steve Hackett - Shadow of the Hierophant
    Tangerine Dream - Ricochet
    Barclay James Harvest - For No One

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    Member TheH's Avatar
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    Last 3 Minutes of this one


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    Quote Originally Posted by walt View Post
    Dream Gerrard - Traffic
    That's a good one, all right, and interesting in how it's out of the usual 'Tron box: Winwood is recreating the sort of string arrangements found in early-Seventies "psychedelic soul", and playing the sort of lines you'd hear on Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On, one of Isaac Hayes's extended tracks, or the Temptations' "Cloud Nine". Which makes sense, since Winwood was always an R&B guy.

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