Down to earth

Besides the UK and US many countries had their own great symphonic rock bands. Like Focus and Kayak in the Netherlands for example. In Germany they introduced Krautrock and Nektar their first album is in this genre ("Journey To The Centre Of The Eye" 1971). They formed in Hamburg in 1969 by Englishmen Roye Albrighton on guitars and lead vocals, Allan "Taff" Freeman on keyboards, Derek "Mo" Moore on bass and Ron Howden on drums.
Picture from inner sleeve of Down To Earth
After the first album they moved to the more traditional symphonic rock sound of Yes and Genesis. "A Tab In The Ocean" (1972) and "Remember The Future" (1973) are based around long symphonic tracks. Inbetween they released "...Sounds Like This" (1973) which is a step backwards and uninspiring.

Fidgety Queen single cover
In 1974 they moved to a more commercial approach. Something other symphonic rock bands will do later at the end of the seventies/begin eighties.
Astral Man single cover
"Down To Earth" is a concept album about an intergalactic circus, with a heavily-accented ringmaster (Robert Calvert from Hawkwind trying to speak german at some moments) and a melodic sound that lands somewhere between traditional symphonic rock and straightforward hard rock.The title of the album has a double meaning. First described in the song "Astral Man" when someone who is shot out of a cannon (living cannonball) and lands back on earth. Second for the band itself to do shorter accessible pop songs instead of longer symphonic stuff. "That's Life" the longest track is in the same style as their previous album "Remember The Future". Instrumentally we can hear horns added to the sound or imitating an elephant. Although hated by fans from the first hour I consider this to be their best album. If you are unfamiliar with Nektar then this is the right place to start your journey. You can save your journey to the centre of the eye for the last.
Album cover
Down To Earth

Astral Man / Nelly The Elephant / Early Morning Clown / That's Life / Fidgety Queen / Oh Willy / Little Boy / Show Me The Way / Finale

That's Life

Astral Man

Armand Wilhelm

I am a professional blogger from the Netherlands born in 1970 and my name is Armand Wilhelm. My passions are music and visual art as you might have noticed in my blog. I also like other pop culture things like watching movies.

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