Emerson, Lake & Powell “The Complete Collection” 3 CD Box Available April 12, 2024

Spirit of Unicorn Music are proud to announce the release of Emerson, Lake & Powell “The Complete Collection,” a 3 CD box set which pays a fitting tribute to the power and creativity of this all-too-brief powerhouse collaboration.

In the early 1980’s, many of the established progressive rock artists were experiencing a rough ride. The musical landscape was changing. The arrival of punk rock and new wave meant that for many, the grand, creative indulgences which were de rigueur throughout the 1970’s, were fast becoming outdated. During a time of rapid change, bands had to adapt to survive. By 1979, Emerson Lake & Palmer, one of the biggest bands in the world during the 1970’s, were struggling and quietly called time on their once supergroup status band.

Having both explored solo careers, come 1984 Keith Emerson (The Nice, Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and Greg Lake (King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer) were considering their next move. Carl Palmer (PM, Asia, Emerson, Lake & Palmer) was busy enjoying enormous success with Asia. Thus, the legendary Cozy Powell (Rainbow, Whitesnake) stepped in to occupy the drum stool.

“When Cozy came in, he really dazzled us. We didn’t intend to put the group back together but he was such a good technical drummer and such a good performer, we thought it might be a good idea to go back out with a new version of the band,” Greg Lake told the LA Times back in 1986. And so, Emerson, Lake & Powell came to pass.

DISC ONE: Emerson Lake And Powell
The Score
Learning To Fly
The Miracle
Touch And Go
Love Blind
Step Aside
Lay Down Your Guns
Mars, The Bringer of War
The Loco-Motion – B-Side
Vacant Possession – B-Side
The Score – Single Edit

DISC TWO: The Sprocket Sessions
The Score
Learning To Fly
The Miracle
Knife Edge
Pictures At an Exhibition
Lucky Man
Still, You Turn Me On
Love Blind
Mars Bringer Of War
Touch & Go

DISC THREE: Live In Concert
The Score
Touch & Go
Knife Edge
From The Beginning
Lucky Man
Fanfare For the Common Man
Mars, The Bringer of War / Drum Solo
Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression)

Emerson, Lake & Powell were:
Greg Lake: guitar, bass and vocals
Keith Emerson: keyboards
Cozy Powell: drumsums

British Prog Keyboardist Benjamin Croft To Release New Single “Wrestling With Plato” From Forthcoming Album “We Are Here To Help”

New Album Featuring Simon Phillips, Marco Minnemann, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm, Jeff Scott Soto, Greg Howe, Mike Stern and Frank Gambale!

Benjamin Croft is a British Prog keyboardist, music producer and songwriter. He will be releasing his new single “Wrestling With Plato” on February 2nd. The song features Lynsey Ward (Exploring Birdsong) on vocals and virtuoso drummer Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats).

“Wrestling with Plato” is a tragic love story told over the lifetime of two people. A song about elaborate excuses; in the case of our protagonists, these are far reaching…

From a very young age, Benjamin developed a strong interest for music. At the age of 7, Benjamin began piano and trumpet lessons. “Around age 17, my life was forever changed after hearing the album ‘Close to the Edge’ by the band Yes. I quickly developed a love for progressive rock. Keyboard players such as Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson inspired me to practice for up to 8 hours a day,” says Croft.

At 19, he won a scholarship at Leeds College of Music. After graduating, he completed several contracts on international cruise lines, travelling and performing. He lived and played in the US, and toured the world twice, working with artists as diverse as Belinda Carlisle, Leslie Garrett, The Temptations and The Platters. “One night I was playing country, the next musical theatre and then jazz or rock.”

Benjamin relocated to London in 2012 and quickly began to make a name for himself. In 2018, he recorded for Beautiful South founder Dave Hemingway’s latest project ‘Sunbirds,’ and worked as a session musician, composer and arranger. He recently joined the progressive rock band The Gift.

While keeping up with a busy schedule performing and recording, Benjamin started composing his own music and released his first album “10 Reasons To…” on 33Jazz Records in March 2019. 12 original compositions blending jazz fusion, classical and progressive rock.

His second album, “Far and Distant Things,” was recorded throughout 2020 and released in the summer of 2021 on Ubuntu Music. It features some prestigious guest musicians such as Randy Brecker, Allen Vizzutti, Frank Gambale, Barry Finnerty, Mike Miller, and Chad Wackerman.

Both albums have been critically acclaimed in the UK, US and Europe.

Benjamin spent the last 2 years making his latest album, “We Are Here To Help,”. “It has been a great honour to record with legendary musicians including Simon Phillips, Marco Minnemann, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm, Jeff Scott Soto, Greg Howe, Mike Stern and Frank Gambale.”

“We Are Here To Help “ is an epic project with a heavier blend of progressive rock and metal, pushing further the boundaries of creativity, musical mastery and sonic excellence. The album also marks the launch of his record label “Galactic Receiver”. It is due for release in 2024.

“Benjamin Croft is a force to be reckoned with, and I can’t wait to hear what he comes up with next.” – Sea of Tranquility

“Wrestling With Plato”Produced, written and arranged by Benjamin CroftLyrics by Marsha SwansonLynsey Ward – VocalsBenjamin Croft – KeyboardsPer Nilsson – GuitarDave Marks – Bass Guitar, Additional Guitars and PercussionMarco Minnemann – DrumsRecorded at:Sleeper SoundsEngineer – Marcus LocockGreystoke StudioEngineer – Andy WhitmoreMixed by Stephen W Tayler at Millside, Real World StudiosMastered by Barry Grint At AIR Studios, LondonArt Direction, illustration and design by Hugh SymeMusic video directed by Sam CheginiA selection of analog keyboards have been used on this track including Yamaha CS-80, Roland Jupiter 8, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, Oberheim ob-xa, Mellotron M4000, Hammond Organ and Steinway.

To pre-order: https://orcd.co/wrestlingwithplato

For more information:
Website: https://www.benjamincroftmusic.com/
Linktree: https://linktr.ee/BenjaminCroftMusic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BenjaminCroftMusic
Instagram: https://instagram.com/benjamincroftmusic?igshid=OGQ5ZDc2ODk2ZA==
Youtube: https://youtube.com/@benjamincroftmusic8126?si=vPQwYyHhEPJOAoNY
TikTok: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMeVaKVED/


Big Big Train live in 2024

Since last month’s update we have announced five shows in the USA to take place before our appearance on Cruise To The Edge. Additionally we will be performing at the final ever Night Of The Prog festival in Germany in July and at the legendary Cropredy festival in the UK in August. 

We’re looking forward to all these shows enormously. The band’s first visit to the USA has been long awaited. We hope to return to North America (including Canada!) before too long. However whether we are able to do so depends entirely on how well attended or not the five March shows are. If in doubt, please come out! 

The full list of shows announced for 2024 so far is:

1 March 2024 Sweetwater Performance Theater, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA 

2 March 2024 Rivoli Theater, Rutherford, New Jersey, USA*

3 March 2024 Rivoli Theater, Rutherford, New Jersey, USA*

5 March 2024 Regent Theatre, Arlington (Boston), Massachusetts, USA

6 March 2024 Electric City, Buffalo, New York, USA (new show added)**
Tickets on sale 23rd January 2024

8 –13 March 2024 Cruise To The Edge 

July 2024 Night Of The Prog, Loreley, Germany

9 August 2024 Cropredy Festival, Oxfordshire, UK

*The two New Jersey shows will feature significantly different set lists.

** The Buffalo show is the only mainland USA show currently scheduled to feature the BBT four piece brass section.

2024 Tour Patron Package

Following the very positive feedback from fans about the 2022/23 Tour Patron package, we will be launching a 2024 Tour Patron package tomorrow.

The Likes Of Us

Last Wednesday our label InsideOut released Miramare, a second single from our forthcoming new studio album The Likes Of Us. Here’s the video:

Thank you to everyone who helped Oblivion, the first single from The Likes Of Us, reach well over 140,000 views so far. You can watch Gregory Spawton in conversation with Andy Stuart about Oblivion here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyUS2vjYie4&t=2s

Nick D’Virgilio talks about and plays through the song here: https://youtu.be/B7wpJ1fKSS8?si=7pbkS8B-Zd7VekeT
A further Andy Stuart interview with Gregory discussing the background to the album is here:

You can pre-order The Likes Of Us in multiple different formats (limited edition Mediabook with Dolby Atmos, 5.1 Surround Sound & 24-bit high-resolution stereo; Gatefold 180g 2LP available in black, sky blue, olive green and orange; Standard CD Jewelcase) here: 

www.burningshed.com/store/english-electric-recordings (UK, Europe, Rest of the World)

www.thebandwagonusa.com/en-gb/collections/big-big-train (North America)

A link to all digital services is here: https://bigbigtrain.lnk.to/TheLikesOfUs

Best wishes,

Big Big Train

The Chronicles of Father Robin Book III out in February

With Book 3, The Chronicles of Father Robin reach the final chapter of “The Songs & Tales of Airoea”. This dynamic and soulful journey starts with the upbeat “Magical Chronicle”, a vocal driven track full of lush harmonies and clear references to prog classics such as Gentle Giant, Yezda Urfa and the Canterbury Scene. From the atmospheric “Skyslumber” and the soaring prog ballad that Yes never wrote, “Cloudship”, the album burst into the dynamic psych-rocker “Empress of the Sun”, a song full of energy and contrast eventually sliding into a keyboard lead middle part reminiscent of The Doors at their most adventurous. Finishing the album “Lost in the Palace Gardens” starts off with a beautiful acoustic guitar part brining associations to British folk bands such as Steeleye Span, but also the guitar work of a certain Jimmy Page. The track follows up with vocal parts where Andreas Prestmo and Aleksandra Morozova’s voices perfectly complement each other, making it a perfect culmination of this highly ambitious body of work where Father Robin explores the cloud lands in the Sky.

Featuring members from some of the most revered progressive rock bands from Norway, Wobbler, Jordsjø, Tusmørke and seasoned post-rockers The Samuel Jackson Five, TCOFR is a veritable all-star team. “The Songs & Tales of Airoea”, 30 years in the making, is a cohesive triple concept album with 18 songs set in an alternate archaic world for over a period of three decades. The first album, “Book I”, was released on September 15th, and “Book II” will be out December 08th.

The Chronicles of Father Robin (TCOFR) emerged from the remains of the band Fangorn back in 1993- 94, mainly inspired by the classic bands and albums of the early 1970s progressive music scene, alongside contemporary bands like Änglagård, Anekdoten, White Willow and Landberk.

1. Magical Chronicle (6:09)
2. Skyslumber (7:26)
3. Cloudship (6:57)
4. Empress of the Sun (4:47)
5. Lost in the Palace Gardens (7:58)
6. The Great Storm (1:04)

Total Time 34:21

Andreas Wettergreen Strømman Prestmo / vocals, guitars, bass, synth, organ, glockenspiel, percussion
Henrik Harmer / drums & percussion, synth, backing vocals
Regin Meyer / flute, organ, piano, backing vocals
Jon Andre Nilsen / bass, backing vocals
Thomas Hagen Kaldhol / guitars, mandolin, electronics & sound effects, backing vocals
Aleksandra Morozova / vocals

Lars Fredrik Frøislie / keyboards, organ, Mellotron, piano, synth
Kristoffer Momrak / synth
Håkon Oftung / organ, clavinet, Mellotron, strings, electric piano, synth

Rick Wakeman’s “The Prog Years: Redux” 32-Disc Box Set Available February 23, 2024! 

Here is some exciting news for those who pre-ordered Rick Wakeman’s “The Prog Years 1973-1977” CD+DVD box set: the expansive collection will now include 17 discs’ worth of never-before-released concert material totaling 300-plus minutes – or a whopping five hours – of live recordings all previously unreleased.

Now known as “The Prog Years: Redux,” the 32-disc box set is back in production, with a brand-new list of content and a new release date of 23rd February 2024. Explaining the decision to overhaul the collection at the 11th hour, compiler Rob Ayling says that he had a duty to do it for the fans:

“Totally out of the blue came a wave of previously unreleased concert recordings. I couldn’t believe it when I discovered them. I generally know what was recorded and what wasn’t – and then to find entire gigs from the 70s that had never before been released… I simply couldn’t ignore them! Especially if they got released later, the fans would rightly ask the question, why weren’t these recordings in the ‘Prog Years’ ?

“It was a really tough decision to make, to stop a box set in full production. But it was also a no-brainer to remove releases which have already been available in different formats over the years  and replace them with a trove of music no one will own.

“My feeling is that the true fans will already have most if not all of the previously planned ‘Prog Years’ content, like the Winterland Ballroom and Hammersmith Odeon shows. They have been officially available for years. Yet how many fans have Rick Wakeman’s full 1975 concert from Boston Music Hall, or the opening night of that year’s Japanese tour, with the orchestra, or the Montreux concert from 1979? 

“The newly discovered material will replace these recordings in what we’re calling ‘The Prog Years: Redux,’ which now boasts over five hours of previously unreleased music! That, to me, is a game-changer. I know it means fans will have to wait a little longer to receive the box but given that it will contain these newly unearthed gems, I hope everyone will understand why I had to make this decision. I am convinced that everyone will enjoy the gigs as much as I do.

“I also want to thank everyone who has pre-ordered the release for their patience, and promise that it will be worth the wait when ‘The Prog Years: Redux’ lands on your doorstep!”

The previously unreleased discs are:

1). The Six Wives… alternative versions
2). The Three Wives: Radio session, 27 February 1973
3). Boston Music Hall, Massachusetts, 10 October 1975, Part 1
4). Boston Music Hall, Massachusetts, 10 October 1975, Part 2
5). Missing Pieces and interviews
6). Apollo Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland, 7 May 1976
7). Koseinenkin Hall, Osaka, Japan, 21 January 1975, Part 1
8). Koseinenkin Hall, Osaka, Japan, 21 January 1975, Part 2
9). Nakano Sunplaza, Tokyo, Japan, 16 January 1975, Part 1
10). Nakano Sunplaza, Tokyo, Japan, 16 January 1975, Part 2
11). Live in Anaheim, 11 November 1975, Part 1
12). Live in Anaheim, 11 November 1975, Part 2
13). Reflections Of Winter (White Rock sessions), Part 1
14). Reflections Of Winter (White Rock sessions), Part 2
15). White Rock Original soundtrack music and FX soundtrack
16). Live From London 1979
17). Live at Montreux 1979

Previously released:

18). Live in Melbourne, 4th February 1975, Part 1*
19). Live in Melbourne, 4th February 1975, Part 2*
* this concert was previously released but in an edited form to fit on one CD. We are releasing the full concert, now fully remastered.

To purchase: https://www.musicglue.com/rick-wakeman-the-prog-years/

US Purchase link: https://www.popmarket.com/the-prog-years-redux-1973-1977-27cd-5dvd-box-set/5056083212941

Emerald City Council Releases Highly Anticipated Debut Album Motion Carries

Melodic Revolution Records is beyond excited to announce the release of Motion Carries the debut album by US Melodic Prog band Emerald City Council, the album is available as a Limited Edition 140-gram Double Green LP/vinyl housed in a full-color gatefold sleeve, as well as a single CD housed in a 4-panel full-color Digipak, and also available on your favorite streaming channels.

“A few weeks ago, Neal Morse launched our album, Motion Carries, on his Waterfall stream service by saying ” I heard this music at the last Radiant School as Brent Bristow was a participant. I loved the music right away!” We have received so much incredible feedback, and we can’t wait to share this album with the rest of the world. We now have a pre-order available for those who want to get a jump on ordering the CD or the limited edition transparent green vinyl. Both of these products sound amazing, and for those who pre-order, we are offering a discounted price to help start your 2024 musical journey. Thanks to everyone for the support!!”

“This album, Motion Carries, has been a couple of years in the making, with tracks recorded in Los Angeles, London, and so many points in between. Countless hours have been spent in preparation for this release, and we can’t believe the time is finally upon us. We believe we have made an album that flows from start to finish, and it will let you escape the world and lose yourself in the music for an hour. Everyone who has been a part of this project feels that it is something special, and we hope that you will too. Whether you are a hardcore prog fan, or just enjoy great rock music, we have made an album for you. So, let the 2024 session of Emerald City Council commence!”
Emerald City Council

CD Track-list

1 Realize I – Escape From The Ancient
2 Realize II – Brutal Camouflage
3 Noisy Talking
4 Mortal Game
5 Ice Thinning
6 Platforms of Illusion
7 Diversion I
8 No Thanks To You
9 Realize III – The Comfort of Suffering

LP Tracklist

Side – 1
Realize I – Escape From The Ancient
2 Realize II – Brutal Camouflage
3 Noisy Talking

Side – 2
4 Mortal Game
5 Ice Thinning

Side – 3
6 Platforms of Illusion

Side – 4
7 Diversion I
8 No Thanks To You
9 Realize III – The Comfort of Suffering

Emerald City Council are:
Jake Livgren-lead and backing vocals, keyboard
Noah Hungate-drums
Jeremy Nichols-bass
Seth Hankerson-guitar
Brent Bristow-saxophones, keyboards, recorder, guitar, vocals

Guest performances:
Brandon Goff-lead guitar on tracks 1 and 4
Paul Bielatowicz-guitar solos on track 3
Jeffrey Combs-narration on track 1 and acoustic guitar on track 7 Steve Rankin-acoustic guitar, guitar solo, and mandolin on track 7 Mike Thompson-guitar solo on track 8

Additional musicians:
Phillip Moore-acoustic guitar on track 2
Heather Bristow-additional vocals on tracks 2 and 4
Douglas Case-additional guitar and backing vocals on track 3 
Calvin Barnes-acoustic guitar on tracks 6 and 9

The album will appeal to fans of Transatlantic, Able Ganz, Flying Colors, Kansas, The Neil Morse Band, Seven Steps to the Green Door, Proto-Kaw, Native Window, Alan Parsons Project, and Fish On Friday.

Website: https://emeraldcitycouncil.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100083160671049
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/direct/t/110414447021828/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@brentbristow2200/featured
Bandcamp: https://emeraldcitycouncil.bandcamp.com/
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@emerald.city.coun

Melodic Revolution Records Online