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#20621 - 12/20/99 05:43 AM Re: What do you recommend as great synth material?
zzzzz Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/99
Posts: 13
Loc: Milky Way
If there were to be a topic on great synth music, I'd like to see it categorized by genre. While synths are great, I personally don't care much for dance music of any type. I understand there is a lot of synths in it, but I just don't care for the style. I would love to see others' recommendation on use of synths in progressive rock though, as mentioned above....

Some of my prog rock nominees are:

Old Prog:
Anything by ELP, Yes, Old Genesis, Triumvirat (A German band similar to ELP), King Crimson (to a lesser degree only because synths aren't as dominant as the others), Galaxy (if you can find it), FM, Camel, Happy the Man (Playing a reunion concert at Nearfest in Bethlehem PA. in June), Gentle Giant (very diverse), and many more!

New Prog:
Mastermind (sounds like an ELP. The guitarist plays all of the many synth sounds through a guitar controller!), IQ (sounds like old Genesis), and many more..

Electronic (a guying playing full arrangements on synths):
Synergy (rock), Tomita (Classical), Jean Michel Jarre (the 1st two and Zoolook releases), Kit Watkins early 80's material (ex Happy the Man keyboardist), Richard Souther's Heirborne and Innermission (lot's of emotion, but not boring!).

Jazz/Rock Fusion:
Return To Forever (Chick Corea keyboardist), Jean Luc Ponty (electric violinist who always has tons of great synth work on his albums), Chick Corea's Elecktric Band (1st two releases, Al Di Meola's Elegant Gypsy, Casino, and Electric Rendevous(Jan Hammer keyboardist, yes the Miami Vice guy, but this is the REAL stuff!), many more...

The above is my opinion of a small number (there's lots more!) of all time great synth based music. I'm still amazed at this music after all these years of listening. Your mileage may vary.

[This message has been edited by zzzzz (edited 12-20-1999).]

[This message has been edited by zzzzz (edited 12-20-1999).]

[This message has been edited by zzzzz (edited 12-20-1999).]

[This message has been edited by zzzzz (edited 12-21-1999).]

#20622 - 01/04/00 01:11 AM Re: What do you recommend as great synth material?
buinu Offline

Registered: 09/27/98
Posts: 310
Loc: Atlanta, GA USA
I suppose there is need for a seperate thread for this type of stuff but at any rate, you have to love the internet!

In 1980 (I believe), Geoff Downes replaced Rick Wakeman in YES. This was also about the same time that ELP and King Crimson disolved and where things start getting interesting.

Around 1981, Steve Howe (YES), John Wetton (King Crimson), Carl Palmer (ELP, PM) and Geoff Downes (Buggles, YES, Trapeze) got together and ASIA was formed.
In 1983 Wetton was replaced with Greg Lake (King Crimson, ELP,).

Three years later, with Downes producing, Steve Howe forms GTR with Steve Hackett (Genesis).

1988(?) Emerson and Palmer (plus Robert Berry) form THREE

Somewhere in here Emerson, Lake and Powell was formed but in 1990(?) Emerson, Lake and Palmer got together again.

It's kinda funny how names keep popping up, almost like a family tree. I guess it's like the saying goes: "when you're good..."

#20623 - 01/04/00 09:46 AM Re: What do you recommend as great synth material? Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/99
Posts: 7
In case anybody is curious, I have recently bought King Crimson's first album. I really enjoy it. Lively, and I love that Mellotron. I'm gonna buy their second album now. Too bad I was too young to appreciate what was happening in music in the late '60s, but I am making up for lost time now.

I will think about the other recommendations on this list as some of them seem like good ones.

#20624 - 01/17/00 03:10 PM Re: What do you recommend as great synth material?
Nigel Offline

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6483
Loc: Ventura CA USA
I agree with zzzzz about some of his fusion choices. "Romantic Warrior" by Return To Forever is one the the most memorable albums of all time, for synth, guitar, bass and drums. By the way, there was a video of them performing the whole album live in a club, I wish I could lay my hands on it.

And Jan Hammer has done a lot of good music, well prior to Miami Vice, with bands like Marevishnu Orchestra and Jeff Beck's "Wired" album, as well as early solo albums such as "Like Children" with Jerry Goodman on electric violin (if my memory serves me correctly). Jan was experimenting with analog sequencers from the beginning.

[This message has been edited by Nigel (edited 01-20-2000).]

#20625 - 01/19/00 01:56 PM Re: What do you recommend as great synth material?
freddynl Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/17/99
Posts: 1150
Loc: netherlands
Great reading,
As I do like most of the mentionned music and due to my age I did not miss the late 60ties.
Allthough quite some memorable groups are mentionned I still miss IMO an important group called TANGERINE DREAM and sure i know there are a lot more where also some more commercial ones were important, like Alan Parsons project, Vangelis etc...and if I even recall I think the Mellotron earlier mentionned from the Beatles was bought by Tangerin Dream or anyway ended there...
Keyboards/Sound Units: Kurzweil 2600S, Roland VR-760, Acces Virus C, Roland G-800, Akai AX60, Minimoog, Machine Drum, Roland R8-M, mediastation x-76

#20626 - 01/19/00 11:10 PM Re: What do you recommend as great synth material? Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/99
Posts: 7
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Majik:
[B]back in the early 80's I was the international radio director for the IEMA. I received hundreds of lp's from all over the world. Of all of them, there are a few that stand out. Klaus Schultz for best use of synths

**** Any album in particular?

, Emerald Web for the best overall listening pleasure

**** Any album in particular? Thanks in advance.

#20627 - 01/20/00 10:44 AM Re: What do you recommend as great synth material?
Chris Attison Offline

Registered: 12/08/98
Posts: 819
Loc: Long Island, NY.
If you have purchased the new issue of Keyboard mag, it has the 25 years of the greats from Jan Hammer to Kraftwerk etc,etc.
So far as I can see the feeling is quite mutual. Also, take a look at 25 years of the weirdest synth gear. Most of it experimental, but still fascinating.

#20628 - 02/07/00 07:11 AM Re: What do you recommend as great synth material?
Majik Offline

Registered: 10/21/99
Posts: 108
Loc: Wakefield, RI. USA
Sorry I have not responded sooner. been out of touch with the world for a while.
Klaus S. put out two lp's that I like. "X" and "DIG IT" Two different cats if you know what I mean.
Emerald Web is best known for ther "COSMOS"
Background music. (They won an EMMY for that effort). COSMOS was a tv special put out by Carl Sagan. The only Lp I have of them is called "SONG OF THE DRAGON".
Aslo I have a special place in my heart for
the Tangerine Dream lp "SORCERER". (soundtrack music from the movie of the same name.)They made the soundtrack before they saw the film cuts. Used only a draft script.
The music fit the movie like a glove.
I have a lot of lp's from artists that you most likely would not reconize their names.
Some of thest are just as good as the top named artist. They were just not in the right place at the right time to get their break.
I also have many tapes of the top artist before they became famous. (Vangelis, Yani,kitaro,tomita,Schultz,Hammer,and Carlos). To some extent success has had some influnce on their music. Some have gotten better and some have gone in the other direction. It would not be fair for me to say which ones went where, but it sure helped me to have these early efforts to study.
I applaud, and actually envy, your efforts in
your study of the use of synths. Were I younger, and had it to do all over again, I would. Keep the smile on your face and the twinkle in your eye.

#20629 - 02/14/00 11:41 AM Re: What do you recommend as great synth material?
800dv Offline

Registered: 07/03/99
Posts: 549
Loc: atlanta, georgia, usa
Well , I would have to say KRAFTWERK , TANGERINE DREAM , JEAN MICHEL JARRE , and early HUMAN LEAGUE ( before DARE ) . KRAFTWERK used the mellotrons in RADIO ACTIVITY , TRANS EUROPE EXSPRESS , and the MAN MACHINE . Those albums are filled with mellotron choir and string sounds . TANGERINE DREAM uses the mellotron almost as well as todays samplers ( even though todays samplers are far more reliable ) , they used loop mellotrons which allowed you a longer sustain . I just bought JEAN MICHEL JARRE'S album OXYGEN and that guy has it all together as well . That album is full of mellotrons , string machines and the very rare RMI HARMONIC SYNTHESIZER . There is also some early BBC recordings with the CHAMBERLIN which predates the mellotron by about 15 years or so but that stuff is hard to find .

#20630 - 04/08/05 08:00 PM Re: What do you recommend as great synth material?

I would recomend a guy from Sweden His name is Dan Lind. I have a copy of his homemade music which is better than any other I have ever heard in the keyboard realm. It is very nice music.. electronic meditation type music with an uplifting sound. Eccelent work I would say...

Originally posted by
Hi all,

I am fascinated by synthesizers in music. In particular, the Mellotron used by Michael Pinder when he was with the Moody Blues, especially as used in "Nights In White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon". Also, I am blown away by the synthesizer used powerfully in other Moody Blues songs such as "Isn't Life Strange" and Pinder's "When You're A Free Man", both from the Seventh Sojourn album. Unfortunately, Pinder quit the music business in 1978, so we have missed great things from him, though I still like the Moody Blues greatly. But 21 years have gone by and monstrous amounts of new music have been made, whether becoming popular or not. Well, I would like to find more material in the same (or similar) league, if it is out there somewhere, material with synthesizers as primary instruments in Rock music. Do you have any recommendations of groups, albums, or even just individual songs, that might satisfy this hunger? I have not been able to keep up with even a fraction of what has happened in music the last 15 years, being turned off by the rap invasion.

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