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Thread: Refugee - (Moraz and 2/3 of The Nice)

  1. #76
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    I think Jackson could be an effective singer in the right circumstances (he had a certain edge/attitude which was just right for much of The Nice's material). Just not 'Someday' on this album!

    The Esoteric release looks very nice, BTW. This album has been out of print for a long time- and that BBC show looks to be a great bonus.
    Last edited by JJ88; 08-12-2019 at 05:52 AM.

  2. #77
    ^ Jackson's vocal input works wonders for "Since I Last Saw You", a breezy jazzy ballad from King Progress, the debut Jackson Heights album. I have a hard time thinking of many others who'd sing it better. Differently, perhaps - but not necessarily better.
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  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovecraft View Post
    Thing is, if he was majorly flat or out of tune, I'm sure it would grate on me, but, for whatever reason, I never even think about it. Hell, now I think about it, I saw the reformed Nice 2 or 3 times in the early 2000s and thought nothing of it. It seems blown out of all proportion to me, though I do get a good laugh out of the grimacing of others.
    Since I wrote I didn't care for his vocals, I'd like to say, to me vocals are as much of a band's music as any instrument. If there is a prog band that has an accordion player in it's ensemble and you may like the overall sound of the band but whenever the accordion plays, you skip the song. I find having a vocalist I don't care for ruins the music for me because they are part of the overall sound of the music.
    I don't quite understand how people reacting to Lee's vocals cause you to think it's overblown.

    I personally don't feel I'm in a group of prog lovers who because they don't like certain vocalists in a band, as a hater. Perhaps there is an element in the prog community that do react that way, I just don't pay that much attention.People can say what they want, it's their opinion and if they don't like a vocalist that I like, that's fine. We're all different.
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  4. #79
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    Listening to The Nice & Refugee brings back only good memories for me. I wouldn't change a thing.

    Now, this 3CD set includes the Newcastle performance. If memory serves me correctly, hasn't this recording been discussed on this forum in the past? And, if I am correct, the general consensus was that it was a bad performance that was poorly recorded. However, I coud very well be mistaken.
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  5. #80
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    In Germany there was a band:Tritonus,great music but the vocals are dramatically.
    It starts at 1.34 minutes.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpeT...&start_radio=1

  6. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by rockcup View Post
    In Germany there was a band:Tritonus,great music but the vocals are dramatically.
    ...also Triumvirat and Trilogy in the bass-drums-organ style.


    2nd Tritonus with vocals by Geff Harisson (2066 & Then, Kin Ping Meh) is better than their debut.
    Last edited by spacefreak; 08-13-2019 at 08:55 AM.
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  7. #82
    ^ and Tetragon.

    I never had too much time for any of these except Here It Is, the first Trilogy. The bland tendency to 'copy' was one of the least enticing traits of 70s "symphonic" rock, and West Germany was practically full of it.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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  8. #83
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    Spacefreak, you know this live album?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYt9...WEdKku-AUJESp8

  9. #84
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    Anyone compared the old and new issues. The sleevenotes suggest the mastering is the same but the Esoteric comes across as louder and brighter to my ears. I will hang on to my Voiceprint.

    Just listening to the Radio session. Lee seems in good voice....though of course everything is relative.....

  10. #85
    I actually drove across the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle the other week and played the 5 Bridges 'High Level?' Whilst driving - superb stuff!

    Jackson's vocals are an acquired taste to say the least and when compared to the lush, velvet tones of Lake, it's easy to see why Emerson jumped ship.

    With regards to Moraz, his solo spot on my the 75 tour (much of which is from the Refugee album) is one of my the greatest performances I have ever seen. Check out the QPR Live concert. For these five minutes he was the greatest musician in earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4no3Gu...ature=youtu.be
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  11. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    2nd Tritonus with vocals by Geff Harisson (2066 & Then, Kin Ping Meh) is better than their debut.
    Geff Harrison is only on part of the opening track of Between the Universes. I generally like his voice, but his voice is wrong for that track (the addition of a choir isn’t helping his case). I didn’t care much for either Tritonus album, though the second album has the instrumental “Mars Detection,” which is unquestionably their best song. Splendid stereophonic space synthesizers, a must-listen with headphones.
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  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    Interestingly, I was just checking out some Jackson Heights on YT to see if my view was just an isolated event. I thought his voice(which had a lot of reverb) worked better on that project, but I agree there are moments on Refugee I liked, but overall it is distracting enough for me to not listen to the whole album.
    Perhaps you have heard not Lee, but John McBurnie, who sang for Jackson Heights? Later McBurnie was a member of Moraz band ( Story of I, Out In the Sun)

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by grego View Post
    Perhaps you have heard not Lee, but John McBurnie, who sang for Jackson Heights? Later McBurnie was a member of Moraz band ( Story of I, Out In the Sun)
    Could be, I'm pretty sure the video I saw was a 3 piece with Lee on vocals, but you could be right.
    I just listened to a few of the songs Lee and McBurnie did together and I liked it.
    Thanks for the update.
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  14. #89
    The admirable Bruno Sampaio from hereabouts recently uploaded this rare archive footage of Refugee playing Ritt Mickley at the Marquee, originally broadcast on the OGWT:


  15. #90
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    ^^^
    Yikes, thank you for posting that footage of Refugee. Ritt Mickley was too short in duration I always thought, but in this raucous performance it really shines! I always loved the album and never thought that the vocals were so bad, as many thought. The instrumental portions were so over the top that one can easily get lost in the swirl of sounds that these guys created. I purchased the vinyl from Intergalactic Trading Company (Archie Patterson) back when it first came out. Got the CD years ago. Great stuff.

  16. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by rael74 View Post
    I actually drove across the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle the other week and played the 5 Bridges 'High Level?' Whilst driving - superb stuff!
    ]

    After you played Lindisfarne, I hope?

  17. #92
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    Listening again to the Newcastle concert... It's difficult to conceive of singing more atrocious than Jackson's on "One Left-Handed Peter Pan" or "Diamond-Hard Blue Apples of the Moon". Love Moraz's playing, though.
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  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    Listening again to the Newcastle concert... It's difficult to conceive of singing more atrocious than Jackson's on "One Left-Handed Peter Pan" or "Diamond-Hard Blue Apples of the Moon". Love Moraz's playing, though.
    Jackson completely ruins these songs with his guttural howls, I wouldn't even call this "singing". And the Newcastle concert (In the Esoteric Boxset) suffers from a very poor quality (bootleg level) sound. The BBC Radio 1 concert (CD two) is sonically way better but still marred by Jackson's "vocals", though fortunately there aren't many of them and at a lower level in the mix. As expected, Moraz is brilliant all along the sets.
    Last edited by Mr.Krautman; 10-22-2019 at 05:37 PM.

  19. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    Listening again to the Newcastle concert... It's difficult to conceive of singing more atrocious than Jackson's on "One Left-Handed Peter Pan" or "Diamond-Hard Blue Apples of the Moon". Love Moraz's playing, though.
    And yet, for me, I have no problem with his vocals. By contrast, I really struggle listening to Caravan & Hatfield, when Richard Sinclair is singing.

    I would never claim that Jackson is, or was, a good singer - but his vocals don't offend my ears. On the other hand, I wouldn't claim that Sinclair wasn't a good singer. But his vocals are close to intolerable to my ears.

    But then, I love Mark Stewart's (of The Pop Group) vocals!
    Last edited by per anporth; 10-23-2019 at 09:32 AM.

  20. #95
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    The above is well beyond rational to me... You like Jackson and canít tolerate Sinclair ? Boggles the mind, really. Iím speechless.

  21. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    The above is well beyond rational to me... You like Jackson and can’t tolerate Sinclair ? Boggles the mind, really. I’m speechless.
    I chose the example specifically with you in mind!!

    In fact, I can rationalise for myself - even though doing so is slightly post hoc, propter hoc. But, basically, it's a visceral reaction.

  22. #97
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    Look, I can understand why Sinclairís style wouldnít be everyoneís cup of tea. Itís your willingness to stomach Jackson at his unlistenable worst that I fail to comprehend...

  23. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    Look, I can understand why Sinclair’s style wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s your willingness to stomach Jackson at his unlistenable worst that I fail to comprehend...
    Hah! This actually made me laugh out loud when I read it!

    I think voice is a fundamentally visceral property (although that viscerality is socially overdetermined). There have been good socio-lingustic studies which show the role of class as an overwhelming influence on perceptions of voice & accent - the predominantly working class accents of Liverpool, Birmingham, Belfast, Glasgow & Newcastle are regularly deemed to be the ugliest in the UK; in contrast to the accents of the South East.

    What's interesting, I think, is that people react to voices as being "ugly", pleasant or unpleasant.

    I'm not talking about quality of speaking or of singing - but rather the basic nature of the voice itself.

    I think that this was a really important aspect of what punk & post-punk vocalists were trying to do. Hammill tries to do similar things at key moments.

    I actually think Jackson has a voice that would have been perfect for a punk band.

    As to whether it worked in the context of Refugee music, which aspired to different ends - possibly not. But, despite this, it doesn't "offend" my ears.

  24. #99
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    That seems weird, that stuff about ugly accents. When I worked in call centres it was commonly accepted that Glaswegian and Geordie accents were considered the most friendly trustworthy and attractive. A Geordie accent on a female is particularly attractive I think.

  25. #100
    Go 25 miles down the coast, & you'd find me melting to the accents being spoken!

    But that's such an interesting (well, to me, at any rate!) distinction - that an accent can be perceived to be ugly, but that the person speaking it deemed to be trustworthy. I think that there is a common ground for both of these reactions, as it happens - & their converses!

    Anyway, this is all going a long way away from discussing & appreciating Refugee, for which, my apologies.

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