Tuesday 30 July 2013

Gyöngyhajú lány (Omega, 1969)

In the wide and never enough explored proto-progressive galaxy, this song deserves a special place. Firstly, it's an East Europe band's track, not as usual a location as it is today for a prog rock group. Secondly, this was a huge success both in its original language and in translated or cover versions. Omega is a real monument in Hungarian rock history and this song comes from their second album, called "10000 lépés" (in English, "10000 steps"). The song title means "The girl with pearly hair" and it's a long, slow ballad with a slightly synphonic arrangement, soft keyboards and a psychedelic electric guitar and a very good vocal performance, featuring strong volume variations.
The original "10000 lépés" artwork.
The catchy chorus has an inusual strenght and a gypsy taste. I highly recommend the album version, including a short but good instrumental interlude and some more choral variations of the main tune. This song proves how the musical and cultural background of the late '60s, that was soon to give birth to prog rock, was widespread and not only in the Western countries.

Monday 29 July 2013

Il tempo, una donna, la città (Pooh, 1975)

There's a never endig debate about Pooh in Italy: are they or have they ever been a prog band or are they just an easy listening group (maybe the most successful one in their country)? Well, as usual I'm not specially into musical controversies and I better like to listen to music instead of quarrelling about it. So, please, listen to this and give me your advice. Anyway, if this wonderful group and orchestra rhapsody isn't prog or prog related, I don't know how else I could label it. When it comes to the form, this 10 minute track, taken from an album called "Un po' del nostro tempo migliore" ("A Bit of Our Best Time"), is composed of a succession of six short ballads plus an orchestral finale. You'll also find some instrumental guitar driven bridges.

                    Some of the old fashioned pictures illustrating the album booklet.
As usual with this band, the strongest points are the sung melodies and Dodi Battaglia's electric and acoustic guitar performances. But in this case, there's something more: the surprising and pleasant transitions from each ballad to the following one and a mysterious aura supported by the somehow arcane lyrics about a woman (or the ghost of a woman) hiding herself from life after the tragic loss of her lover and finally delivering his body (or its supernatural shape) to the narrator. The title "Il tempo, una donna, la città" ("Time, A Woman, The Town") includes the three main elements of the story. Well now, my friends, it's up to you: what do you think of this song?

Sunday 28 July 2013

Le vieil arbre (Le Temps, 1975)

I like very much old sweet folk-prog songs and the 70s Québec scene was particularly generous in this genre. This band, for example, was one of the best in the wake of Harmonium and friends. The opening track of their first self-titled album, called "Le vieil arbre" ("The Old Tree"), is a fine specimen of their production, made of gentle ballads graced by instrumental interludes.This song is also introduced by countryside effects like thunders, birdsongs and children's voices. Then the acoustic guitar leads on the instrumental intro accompanied by a chamber orchestra till the first verse begins.

The original artwork of "Le Temps".

It's a relaxing music, full of optimism, and I usually put it on my CD reader when I'm stressed and I'm in search of a calm and old fashioned break. Also try it when in a traffic jam. But you'll find more than this in this band, if ever you accept my invitation and taste the happier side of prog with Le Temps...

Saturday 27 July 2013

Rhayader Goes to Town (Camel, 1975)

"Music Inspired by The Snow Goose", based on a Paul Gallico's novel published in 1941, is a whole instrumental album, one of the best records of this kind and a recognized masterpiece by Camel. "Rhayader Goes to Town" perfectly represents the main features of this work and even if it isn't the most popular song from the album it certainly is one of the best in the lot. Its 5 minutes and more are full of unpredictable and still enjoyable music, including keyboard progressions and a stunning floyd-esque electric guitar solo. The music describes how the citizens react when the eccentric artist Philip Rhayader, one of the main characters of Gallico's book, comes to town.

Camel's line-up in 1975.

The sweetness of the song is also enriched by a good deal of humour, some acid sounds and a creative drumming, so that I always considered this song as kind of an anthology of prog rock main characters. Even so, "Rhayader Goes to Town" has its own distinctive style and is a quintessential Camel song, that's to say fresh, tasty, pure music juice!

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Poseidon's Creation (Eloy, 1977)

Beyond its grandeur and its bombastic arrangements, this track reserves many good surprises and emotions. First of all, the usual Floydian (and not only) inspiration is melted with other significant progressive styles, giving to the whole song a full and round sound. Then, I appreciate very much the chenges of tempo, with speedy progessions flowing into relaxing and liquid largos.

The impressive cover for "Ocean" by Wojtek Siudmak.

The sung part of the song's like a ballad, a slightly acid one, followed by a long instrumental coda, maybe the best section of the track, with original musical solutions and a suggestive drum background, with the final choral line in the 70s mood. The whole song hasn't lost its charms today and almost represents a bridge between the classic prog years and the neo-prog era, and the album "Ocean" is a landmark in Eloy's discography, as the recent "Ocean 2" definitely proves.

Sunday 21 July 2013

The Great Nothing (Spock's Beard, 2000)

This long suite (more than 27 minutes) is a peak in Spock Beard's career, IMHO and comes from one of their best albums, "V", obviously the fifth in the band's catalogue. It comprises six movements ("From Nowhere", "One Note", "Come up Breathing", "Submerged", "Missed Your Calling" and "The Great Nothing") and I couldn't say wich is the best one. All melodies are good, there's a perpetual change in arrangements, instrumentations, tempos, moods and a well structured architecture, too. The instrumental passages and the sung themes are always pleasant, but never trivial.

Spock's Beard: their line up for "V" (2000).

Music and words are by Neal Morse and we find here many of his favourite elements, such as the acoustic guitar solos and the piano bridges, but also the spiritual subject in lyrics. In short, this is the quintessential Spock Beard, including the grand walls of sound, some country rock hints and, last but not least, the choral vocal arrangements. With such a programme, those 27 minutes seem to pass in one breath. A breath of good prog, of course.

Saturday 20 July 2013

Widow's Peak (IQ, 1985)

Taken from "The Wake" album, this is one of the most inspired and well structured neo-prog songs of the 80s, IMHO. After an atmospheric keyboards driven intro, the track lives on a series of rock gusts where drums and guitars are in the foreground. A slow mid section just prepares the return of the rythm, also thanks to Peter Nicholls' voice. Peter deserves a special mention for his performance on this song, a very difficult one, obliging him to run after the other instruments during the faster passages and to fill the blanks between those rushes with more intimate accents.

"The Wake" was the second album of the band.

He performs both tasks very well. This contributes to the final effect, that's to say a perfectly balanced track, swinging from melody to rythm, increasing the value of each member of the band. The dramatic use of all the instruments, both in slow and fast passages, gives an electric charge to the song, so, please, don't resume that old story of Genesis influence, 'cause I'm listening to a good piece of music and, really, who cares?

Friday 19 July 2013

C'est la vie (Emerson, Lake & Palmer, 1976)

Included in ELP's double album "Works" (the first volume), this song is credited to Greg Lake alone, as each member of the trio had one LP side for himself. It's a romantic and beautiful song, one of those tracks never getting old. I know this is not too far from easy listening music and i'm aware ELP did more progressive, intricate, challenging things in their career, nevertheless I'm hopeless, 'cause I love this little, catchy song.

Three guys that changed the world. Well, the prog, at least.

Not only I like the melody and the arrangement (even the french sounding accordion), but I also appreciate l'Orchestre de l'Opéra de Paris directed by Godfrey Salmon and, last but not least, Peter Sinfield's lyrics, perfectly matching the music. I have to spend some words for Lake's vocals, perfect as usual, with his soft, warm and still almost nonchalant tone. Really, I go crazy when I listen to this performance and I couldn't imagine more suitable words for that voice: Who knows, who cares for me... C'est la vie!

Thursday 18 July 2013

Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times (Anthony Phillips, 1977)

Is it because of this renaissance music inspiration? Or maybe for its pastoral and rarefied 12 string guitars? No, I think I love this suite because of him, Anthony Phillips and his passion for good melodies and melancholy atmospheres. This track comes from Ant's first album, "The Geese And The Ghost" and it's a 14 minute epic in seven movements, depicting life and death of  Henry, a Tudor era knight, during the long war against France. Two main features single out this track: the strong contrast between quiet and loud moments and, of course, the little chamber orchestra accompanying Ant's and Mike Rutherford's guitars.

I also like this cover. Do you?

You'll find many wind instruments, with John Hackett's flute playing the lead role. The final effect is an Old England tapestry and a delicate romantic fresco, brighter than "Trespass" songs but more intimate than any Genesis track. One may love or hate Ant's music, but never say he's not perfectly coherent and sincere. He lives in a world of his own and his music's a door to go in and take a look.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Contrappunti (Le Orme, 1974)

Another one of the finest moments of the wide Italian '70s progressive rock movement. This instrumental title track of Le Orme's album of 1974 is simply stunning for its complex architecture and its energy. "Contrappunti" is based on the fruitful collaboration between the band and the classical trained and well known musician and composer Gian Piero Reverberi, credited as a proper member of the band.

Contrappunti featured one of the simplest cover arts of its times.

In this track, Reverbery plays the piano showing all his technical skills and providing the basic compositional idea, that's to say the counterpoint technique. This is the presence in a musical composition of two different but stricly intetwined melodic lines. The final result is a classically inspired and powerful track, where piano, keys and bass guitar drive a series of changing and unpredictable variations of the two main themes. Calm and rythmatic moments create an enthralling masterpiece still original and strong today.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Cadence And Cascade (King Crimson, 1970)

In the second King Crimson's album, "In The Wake of Poseidon", a curious listener will find almost everything: from slow ballads to long instrumental and experimental tracks. This "Cadence And Cascade" belongs to the first category, being a beautiful and rather pastoral song, sung by Gordon Haskell in a soft tone reminiscent of Greg Lake's performances. This mellow and acoustic track always carries me away in a calm, far dimension.

Tammo de Jong's "12 Archeotypes" features on the album cover.

A flute, a piano, a gentle guitar and, of course, all the cymbals you can imagine fill this song of muffled sounds, giving a decadent and hypnotic countenance to the whole composition. But the sweetness of this music shouldn't lead the listener into error: this is not a trivial melodic song, as the clever arrangement and the richness of the instrumentation suggest. See how the vibraphone comes in to emphasize the chorus melody, listen to the slightly dissonant piano scales, enjoy the flute variations... dear, this is a prog masterpiece!

Monday 15 July 2013

Lazarus (Porcupine Tree, 2005)

This is a beautiful song, a modern day prog song, in fact. Taken from "Deadwing" album, it shows why and how Steven Wilson won the title of "Man who saved the prog". A killing piano provides the background for the catchy melody (a very good one) and the usual increasing number of instruments leading from low volume ballad to a crimsonian wall of sound (and back again). The structure isn't tricky, but the sound is so carefully laboured you always find something new in it each time you listen to.

The art for "Lazarus" single. Towards the valley below...

What's great in this song (and in other Porcupine Tree's songs of the same kind) is the contrast between the warm background and the apparently cold vocals, a musical struggle adding a shroud of mystery and wonder to the track. This sense of wonder is keenly powered by the lyrics, describing an upside down Lazarus receiving the invitation to leave the life and go down the valley below. Do they play prog there?

Sunday 14 July 2013

Hosianna-Mantra (Popol Vuh, 1972)

I'm not particularly fond of exprerimantal music, because of my deep ignorance, I suppose. But I still can feel magic in music, when I listen to it. This is exactly the case with "Hosianna-Mantra", the suite taking up the A side of Popol Vuh's album of the same title. This was in 1972, when Florian Fricke decided to abandon electronic instruments in order to fully convey his spiritual and rarefied idea of music. He certainly did well and this three part suite is a living proof of that. The first section, simply titled "Ah!" (like an oriental mantra, but also a surprised interjection) introduces the acoustic instruments, especially Fricke's piano and Robert Eliscu's oboe, plus Klaus Wiese's Indian traditional tanpura,providing the background tapestry of the whole composition.

A beautiful picture of Florian Fricke.
He left the material world in 2001, his music never belonged to it.

We're gently carried away, in an immaterial dimension and when the music fades away, we're ready for the second, inner section, called "Kyrie". This is also rarefied and elevated, but the beautiful voice of Djong Yun, repeating Kyrie eleison (Lord have mercy, in ancient Greek) like a mantra adds a human and moving touch, melting in a thrilling way Christian and Hindu traditions. The electric guitar, played by Conny Veit of Amon Düül II fame, alternates with oboe, piano and tampura This goes on in the third and longer part, "Hosianna-Mantra". Fricke put aside the soprano voice, singing a Hosianna prayer on a  beautiful melody, the oboe and an more present psychedelic electric guitar. When the last gentle notes arrive, I always feel like waking up from a pleasant dream.

Saturday 13 July 2013

Baker St. Muse (Jethro Tull, 1975)

Often underrated, the suite "Baker Street Muse", from the album "Minstrel in The Gallery", is one of my favourite Jethro Tull's songs. True, there's an orchestra and this changes a bit the traditional rustic sound of Ian Anderson & Co., but the strings are always in the background and the group still plays the leading role all along the track. The melodies are wonderful, all accompanied by Ian's acoustic guitar, while his legendary flute appears here and there enriching the arrangements with its distinctive sound. The suite is divided in five parts, titled "Baker Street Muse", "Pig Me, And The Whore", "Nice Little Time", "Crash Barrier Waltzer" and "Mother England Reverie". Basically, each one is a ballad with arrangements and variations in the usual Jethro Tull way.

"One day I'll be a minstrel in the gallery..." (I. Anderson). 

The final result is certainly a little less aggressive than in previous masterpieces like "Aqualung", "My God" or "Thick As A Brick", but the melodic parts and the musical architecture are even better. Also the lyrics, inspired by Anderson's own life contribute to the intimate atmosphere of most of the epic's themes. I think one should listen to this without any comparison with previous and following developments, just for the pleasure this almost 17 minute song can give. It's a lighter side of Ian Anderson's band, with a touch the Elizabethan imagery shown in the album cover art and - let me say this - a great deal of good music.

Friday 12 July 2013

La carrozza di Hans (Premiata Forneria Marconi, 1971)

Here's another of the major classic tracks from the golden era of Italian progressive rock. Not only that: "La carrozza di Hans", taken from the first PFM's album "Storia di un minuto" (1972), but composed, recorded as a single (along with "Impressioni di Settembre) and publicly performed in 1971, some months before the LP release, is also one of the first acoustic guitar driven songs in its period. That's why guitarist Franco Mussida is the main character of this book of wonders, also including Mauro Pagani's melancholic violin and adorned flute, an icredible choice of keys by Flavio Premoli and, of course, all the typical rock paraphernalia provided by Franz Di Cioccio and Giorgio Piazza.

This song was the first PFM's release in 1971 as a 7" single,
featuring "Impressioni di Settembre" as A-side.

The strange vocal intro, midway between sung and recited, immediately marks the originality of a composition featuring quasi-medieval slow passages and more rythmic sections, all separated by dramatic changes. This song is a brilliant example of the early Premiata charming sound, so different from anything else the music fans of the '70s had listen before and yet so perfectlty in tune with its time. Pure magic, I daresay.

Thursday 11 July 2013

Sugar Mice (Marillion, 1987)

Marillion's "Clutching at Straws" album, is about restlessness and alcohol addiction and most of its songs are full of anger or despair. This one is rather on the melancholic side and features a very, very good melody. Fish and Steve Rothery play the main role here, the first for his usual passionate preformance, the secondr for a splendid guitar solo. I also appreciate Pete Trewavas' bass lines, but what really strikes me is the rare balance between the natural expression of inner sorrow and the smooth and neat arrangement.

This was the cover art of "Sugar Mice" 7" single version.

This contrast perfecly depicts the endless separation between social and intimate spheres in most of human beings. So I think this song represents our unavoidable solitude and also our hidden desire of coming out of our social cage. Each time I listen to this I think Fish was the one man who could sing such a thing.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Then (Yes, 1970)

A fascinating song, IMHO. Firsly because it runs exactly on the edge between the '60s and the '70s, incorporating the best of both, then because it's one of the first Yes' songs going plainly beyond the traditional song structure: no verse, no chorus, no bridge... al is somewhat shuffled and still recognizable in a new and challenging order. The second half of "Then" is particularly exciting, with the instrumental part, a real war of the instruments set off by keyboards and drums, then expanding to the whole set and leading towards Jon Anderson's reprise of the main sung theme.

Yes in 1970.

This reprise is worth a note: Jon sings it with a whispered and broken voice creating one of the greatest vocal performances of his career. Of course, this is not yet symphonic rock, not exactly the way of prog Yes contributed to spread all around the world, but it's a creative and unpredictable music, full of soul and feeling. Something that left its mark. On music and on my own experience as a humble listener.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Memories of Old Days (Gentle Giant, 1977)

This is a song I like very much for his folk roots and for the slightly acid sound the band found out for it. Taken from "The Missing Piece" album, this song features only acoustic instruments, apart for the keys here and there and the bass guitar. There's a flavour of Middle Ages meet the Far East. Derek Shulman's vocal performance is tight and perfectly fit in the sharp sounds dominating the beautiful arrangement.

Not a great album, "The Missing Piece",
but with some hidden treasures for you to discover.

The melody is captivating but not at all a trivial one and the whole song has a movement like waves on the shoreline. All is fluid and flowing, but never too sweet, in an admirable balance between old and new, easy and daring. 7'44" of heavenly music, if you ask my advice. One of the last Giant's pearls.

Monday 8 July 2013

Blood on The Rooftops (Genesis, 1976)

Taken from "Wind & Wuthering" album, this track is considered the manifesto of the nostalgic wing of progressive rock. Introduced by a legendary Steve Hackett's sacoustic olo, the song goes on floating on a series of slow and atmospheric keyboard chords provided by Tony Banks, while the lyrics draw a sketch - midway between serious and ironic - of a very british old couple lost in the media world and missing the good old times. Phil Collins' words and performance are simply perfect here, conjuring up Tarzan and Christmas, Mother Goose and the Queen from a TV screen. 

The cover art of "Wind & Wuthering" was simply perfect.

The misty sound of this track still rivets today many listeners to its out of time story, made of grey skies and warm fireplaces, somewhere amid downtown skyscrapers. Coming from his last album with the band, "Blood on The Rooftops" is strongly linked to Steve Hackett's musical world and proved in time to be a very influential song for the neo-prog revival of the '80s and the '90s (and so on). No one knows how many hearts fell in love with this song, but I know mine did so.

Sunday 7 July 2013

A Sun of Your Own (Moon Safari, 2005)

Sweden is a land full of progressive surprises. When I first listened to Moon Safari I was highly impressed and I still are. They're not a derivative band, they have their own soud and this beautiful song is a good start point to discover their universe. It'a a long (9'20") and sweet track, taken from "A Doorway to Summer", the band's second album, a song with mainly acoustic instruments and a sense of simplicity and magic in it. The voice and the vocal arrangements are very good and there's a perfect mix of folk and prog, something reminds of the Canadian band Harmonium, back in the '70s, but with a modern taste.

The original cover of "A Doorway to Summer" (up) and the band (down ,of course).

The second part of the song is mostly instrumental and choral and there you'll find the band's progressive soul in all its glory, but still with a strong melodic and emotional approach I appreciate very much. They're good songwriters, these Moon Safari boys, and after five good albums I think they're worth a place in every prog lover's heart.

Saturday 6 July 2013

In Held Twas in I (Procol Harum, 1968)

Two unavoidable questions are strictly linked to this Procol Harum's 1968 suite, the first being "Is this prog?" and the second "If it is, is it the first progressive suite ever?". It was my duty to report them here, but luckily I'm not obliged to answer. Of course, if I put the song here you may imagine my answer to the first question... and after all, a long composition like this one, with strong rock roots and tons of changes in mood, tempo and genre, with guitar and keyboard solos can't really be too far from what we call progressive rock! Now, for the track itself, taken from the second album of the band, titled "Shine on Brightly" and lasting 17'31".

The American (left) and European (right) covers of "Shine on Brightly".

It's an eclectic one, divided in five parts being kind of separate songs (Glimpses of Nirvana, Twas Teatime at The Circus, In The Autumn of My Madness, Look to Your Soul and Grande Finale) with no recurring themes, many effects and some recited bridges. After an oriental first part, the piano dominates the second and the third brings back the band' signature Hammond organ, while the fourth segment is guitar and harpsichord driven and finally here's the classical and choral finale. So, you'll find enough reasons to listen or re-listen to this,  but let me say that in spite of all the special effects and fireworks, what I really love here are the beautiful melodies spread all along the track. And after such a musical trip, if you think you can answer my second question above, well, let me know.

Friday 5 July 2013

Your Time Starts Now (Van Der Graaf Generator, 2011)

Reunions aren't always a good moment for music lovers: how many bands resumed old collaborations under the media announcements and trumpets and just gave birth to useless albums (and songs)? Well, VDGG are a welcome exception. Since their reunion, they released three interesting studio albums,  and this is one of my favourite songs of the new Graaf era, taken from "A Grounding in Numbers". A short, intense, atmospheric song featuring a pleasant melody and a stunning vocal interpretation by Peter Hammill.
VDGG today: creativity has no age.
No intricate arrangements,  no musical experiments, no jamming, no tricks at all, just a song, a good one. This doesn't mean we've got a trivial track here: in its apparent simplicity, "Your Time Starts Now" is a moving piece of art. And the lyrics, so perfectly appropriate for the current group re-start period, urge the listener (and the singer, of course) to live each moment of life as a new beginning. VDGG certainly did so. What about us?

Thursday 4 July 2013

Your Possible Pasts (Pink Floyd, 1983)

This my favourite song from the much underrated album "The Final Cut". Sure, this was more a Roger Water's solo album (about his father's story once again) than a proper Pink Floyd's work, but even so there are some very, very good songs in it. Unfortunately, just a few of them actually sound like a rock band production. This is the case of "Your Possible Pasts", where the typical group signature is everywhere. Here, David Gilmour and Nick Mason don't leave the place to the orchestra or to the piano and the song could be part of anyone of their previous albums.

One of the pics from "The Final Cut" art.

I also like Water's vocal performance, so sad and so tight, perfectly in tune with Mason's sharp drums. And the volume and tempo changes, the guitar elegant embroidery and, of course, Gilmour's solo single out this track. Even without Rick Wright's keys, I found here the old good times, one of the last glimpses of the '70s.

Wednesday 3 July 2013

If I Were The Wind (Pendragon, 2001)

This is what I call a beautiful prog song. It's roughly divided in three parts: the long and magic intro where Nick Barrett and Co. draw a stormy landscape, then the main sung theme, tight and enthralling with its rock guitar, finally a melodic, piano driven sung theme. There's magic in this song, in each part of it, and there's also passion, specially conveyed by Barret's vocal interpretation, full of warm tones and inner shades.

A very good pic recently posted by Nick in his own blog on Pendragon's site:

Yes, this is the little, big miracle of Pendragon's best tracks: epic and intimacy go on together so well. "If I Were The Wind" (taken from "Not of This World" album) provides a great deal of both and from the very first chord it wipes out the grey real world and carries the listener to a keen, colourful planet in the galaxy of prog rock. That's why I like this band and I'll always be grateful for their music.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Sound of The Apocalypse (Black Bonzo, 2007)

I like most of Black Bonzo's songs, but I admit they're often derivative ones, where one could easily recognize the inspirers (usually from the '70s), even if these Swedish guys mix them very well. This song is different. I could define it as a contemporary prog ballad, full of a morn atmosphere and - as the title says - of apocalyptic expectations. In fact, it's a mini-suite divided in three sections: A) Twins, B) Towers Collapse and C) The Boiling Point. The reference to the Twint Towers attack is likely but not clearly stated. 

Black Bonzo: even their facial expressions are somehow apocalyptic!

The sung theme in the first part is gloomy and unceasing, like a growing dark cloud, but the majestic instrumental ssecond section open brighter gashes in this dying picture. The third part resumes the first theme, then introduces a bombastic finale that's the most glorious passage of the epic. There's no optimism there, but a wider point of view, a farther horizon. The sound of the whole track is a good compromise between the retro style of the band and some current musical worlds, such as the British post-progressive scene. The result is a powerful, winding, misty song I highly recommend to old and new prog fans.

Monday 1 July 2013

Judas Iscariot (Rick Wakeman, 1977)

Taken from a particularly good album ("Rick Wakeman's Criminal Record"), this 12 minute instrumental track is the quintessential Wakeman's sound. Choir, pipe organ and assorted keys provide the bombastic side of Rick, while the piano and some lighter arrangements represent his ironic and intimate side. Four different themes follow one another and build up a real cathedral of music, rising its spires up to the sky and sounding out loud its bells.

The "Criminal Record" includes Judas Iscariot
and songs for other famous rogues.

In particular, the first theme - kind of a keyboards riff, similar to a Pink Floyd's bass line from "Echoes", then reproduced in perfect Wakeman's style by Andrew Lloyd Webber - is strong and suggestive and so is the cantato performed by the choir in the middle of the song. But I'm in love with the sweet melody dominating the second half of this "Judas Iscariot" and adding milder feelings to such a classical architecture. When I listen to this song and to many other ones from Rick's abundant catalogue, I know I'll never be in the (alas) large number of his detractors.