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Nektar

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Biography

The four Englishmen who formed the initial incarnation of Nektar met in Germany and formed the band there in 1969. For a little while in the early to mid-'70s, it seemed like they might take American rock by storm, but that was mostly hype, and by 1975 their big moment had already passed, although they lingered on until the end of the decade and have re-formed in the new millennium, recording several new CDs and appearing at various progressive music festivals. Allan Freeman (keyboards, vocals), Roye Albrighton (guitar, vocals), Derek Moore (bass, Mellotron, vocals), and Ron Howden (drums) all came to Hamburg from England in 1965 as members of different bands. They met in 1968 at the Star Club, where they discovered some common ground in the Beatles as well as early rock & roll, but were drawn to the more experimental sounds just beginning to emerge on the rock scene. A year later they formed Nektar and began working at combining these influences into an effective whole. By 1970, with a light show (designed and operated by unofficial fifth member Mick Brockett) added to their stage act, they began attracting a growing following in Germany. They were signed to the Bellaphon label in 1971 and released their debut album, Journey to the Centre of the Eye. Their second album, A Tab in the Ocean, arrived in 1972, and achieved a cult following as a direct import. Their extended songs, usually involving extensive variations on the same theme, found a growing audience in an era dominated by the sounds of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes. Nektar's sound, built around guitar, electronic keyboards, and bass, was far more gothic, with dense textures that didn't always reproduce well on-stage -- but the fans didn't seem to notice. On radio, however, their music filled in large patches of time and attracted listeners ready to graduate from Iron Butterfly and Vanilla Fudge, and seeking a re-creation of the drug experience in progressive rock. Their third album, Remember the Future, released in Germany in 1973, was the group's breakthrough record. The title track, broken into two side-length halves, took up the entire record, and became a favorite of FM radio in 1974. The album was followed later in 1973 by Sounds Like This, which was made up of shorter, simpler songs, but it was eclipsed in the United States by the American release of Remember the Future on the Passport label, their first U.S. release. When the group made its New York debut at the Academy of Music on September 28, 1974, Remember the Future was still the only Nektar album officially available in the United States. An indication of their stage presence and the nature of their act can be gleaned from the fact that between the wattage of their instruments and their light show, they blew the power at the Academy of Music upon taking the stage. Their next album, Down to Earth (1974), featured ten support musicians and singers, among them P.P. (Pat) Arnold, but it didn't attract nearly the radio play of Remember the Future. Their next album, Live at the Roundhouse (1974), was cut live at the London venue, and didn't include "Remember the Future" among its tracks. They maintained a devoted and significant cult following in America as well as Germany, and their German label later released two double live albums from concerts in New York (which, between them, included two versions of "Remember the Future, Pt. 1" and two versions of "Pt. 2"). Ironically, Passport Records never released either album in the United States. Albrighton was gone by Magic Is a Child (which featured one of the worst punning titles ever, "Eerie Lackawanna"), replaced on guitar by Dave Nelson, and synthesizer virtuoso Larry Fast joined the lineup for this album. The release of a double-LP best-of anthology in 1978 heralded the end of the group's run of success during the decade, although Man in the Moon, with David Prater on drums, was issued in 1980. However, the band re-formed in 2002 and began releasing new albums and appearing at progressive rock festivals such as that year’s NEARfest in Trenton, NJ. Original members Albrighton and Howden were featured in the group’s lineup, along with bassist Randy Dembo and organist Tom Hughes, although both Dembo and Hughes departed Nektar in 2006, and have since been replaced by Peter Pichl on bass and Klaus Henatsch on keyboards. During the 2000s, Nektar’s albums have included The Prodigal Son (2001), Evolution (2004), and Book of Days (2007). The live album Fortyfied was issued in 2009. ~ Bruce Eder
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Burn Out My Eyes
  3.   Remember the Future Part One
  4.   Midnight Light
  5.   Too Young to Die
  6.   Tranquility
  7.   Man in the Moon
  8.   It's All in the Mind
  9.   Marvellous Moses
  10.   The Nine Lifeless Daughters of the Sun
  11.   Spread Your Wings
  12.   The Dream Nebula, Pt. 1
  13.   Automation Horrorscope
  14.   Early Morning Clown
  15.   On the Run (The Trucker)
  16.   Away From Asgard
  17.   King of Twilight
  18.   New Day Dawning
  19.   Crying In the Dark
  20.   Lamorna
  21.   Nelly the Elephant
  22.   Astronaut's Nightmare
  23.   Astral Man
  24.   Out of the Blue
  25.   Can't Find My Way Home
  26.   The Life I've Been Leading
  27.   It's All Over Now
  28.   The 1970 Boston Tapes: Do You Believe in Magic?
  29.   A Better Way
  30.   The Drinking Mans Wine
  31.   Diamond Eyes
  32.   Sweet Little Rock'n'Roller
  33.   Epiphonic Vomit Jam
  34.   Talk to Me
  35.   Remember The Future, Pt. 2 (Tomorrow Never Comes)
  36.   Do You Believe in Magic?
  37.   1-2-3-4 / Extended Jam
  38.   Look Just Once More
  39.   The 1970 Boston Tapes: Our Love Will Last Forever
  40.   The 1970 Boston Tapes: Sealed with a Kiss
  41.   The 1970 Boston Tapes: Where Did You Go?
  42.   The 1970 Boston Tapes: The Life I've Been Leading
  43.   The 1970 Boston Tapes: Good Day
  44.   The 1970 Boston Tapes: Candlelight
  45.   The 1970 Boston Tapes: New Day Dawning
  46.   Bonus: Train from Nowhere
  47.   Bonus: On the Run (The Trucker)
  48.   Porcelain Valley
  49.   Mocking the Moon
  50.   Time Machine
  51.   If Only I Could
  52.   Set Me Free, Amigo
  53.   One Mile Red / the Ticket
  54.   Africa
  55.   I'm Not In Love
  56.   Dream Weaver by Jerry Goodman
  57.   Old Man
  58.   Blinded By The Light
  59.   Riders On The Storm
  60.   2000 Light Years From Home
  61.   For the Love of Money
  62.   Wish You Were Here
  63.   Fly Like an Eagle
  64.   Spirit of the Radio
  65.   Sirius
  66.   Show Me the Way + Finale
  67.   Book of Days (Between the Lines)
  68.   The Iceman
  69.   Over Krakatoa
  70.   It's All Over/Good Day
  71.   Rainbows
  72.   Where Did You Go
  73.   Our Love Will Last Forever
  74.   Gooday
  75.   Candlelight
  76.   Where Are You Now
  77.   Recycled Part 1
  78.   Dream Nebula
  79.   Sunshine Down on the City
  80.   It's All in Your Mind
  81.   Good Day (Disc 02)
  82.   Da Da Dum
  83.   Dream Nebula, Pts. 1 & 2
  84.   Odyssee
  85.   Midnite Light
  86.   Johnny B. Goode/Sweet Little Rock & Roller/Blue Suede Shoes/Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
  87.   Introduction
  88.   The Devils' Door
  89.   Anyway/Sorrow
  90.   Woman Trouble
  91.   The Debate
  92.   Desolation Valley/Waves
  93.   Crying In The Dark/King Of Twilight
  94.   Be Tonight
  95.   Salt and Vinegar and Rhythm and Blues
  96.   Shangri-La
  97.   I Can't Help You
  98.   Now
  99.   Costa del Sol
  100.   Sao Paulo Sunrise
  101.   Listen
  102.   Train From Nowhere
  103.   Eerie Lackawanna
  104.   Magic Is a Child
  105.   Summer Breeze
  106.   Mundetango
  107.   Unendless Imaginations
  108.   Flight to Reality
  109.   Recycling
  110.   Recycle Countdown
  111.   Cybernetic Consumption
  112.   Recycle
  113.   Oops/Unidentified Flying Abstract
  114.   It's All in My Mind
  115.   Death of the Mind
  116.   Look Inside Yourself
  117.   Pupil of the Eye
  118.   Void of Vision
  119.   Warp Oversight
  120.   Countenance
  121.   Prelude
  122.   Odyssee: Rons on/Never, Never, Never/Da-Da-Dum
  123.   A Day in the Life of a Preacher: Preacher/Squeeze/Mr. H
  124.   Cast Your Fate
  125.   1-2-3-4
  126.   What Ya Gonna Do?
  127.   Remember the Future, Pt. 1
  128.   A Day in the Life of a Preacher
  129.   Lonely Roads
  130.   Let It Grow
  131.   Waves
  132.   A Tab in the Ocean
  133.   Show Me the Way
  134.   Little Boy
  135.   Oh Willy
  136.   It's All Over
  137.   Good Day
  138.   Fidgety Queen
  139.   Desolation Valley
  140.   That's Life
  141.   Wings
  142.   Doctor Kool
  143.   We Must Have Been Smashed
  144.   Day 9
  145.   King of the Deep
  146.   Love to Share (Keep Your Worries Behind You)
  147.   Good Day (Disc 01)
  148.   Telephone
  149.   Juggernaut
  150.   Sealed With a Kiss
  151.   Destiny
  152.   The Prodigal Son
  153.   Bonus: Away from Asgard
  154.   Terminus/Oh My
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