Pedro's Party 2. Gettysberg 3. Swings and Roundabouts 4. Time Takes my Time 5. Forever and Ever 6. Country Dance 8. Finale Total Time: Their music was far from being original and none of their albums scored better than three stars IMHHO. Still, I was curious to figure out how this good musician would start his "solo" career. To tell the truth, the result is quite average. In terms of prog, there are hardly great moments to retain. Some confidential bluesy stuff like "Time Takes My Time" is the best you can grab from this album.
Nothing too fancy: just a good song with bluesy roots. One of the best track is by all means the instrumental "Forever and Ever".
At least it features some great and passionate keyboards play which we all would have expected from the first second of this album. Fortunately, this album ends up on a better way than it all started.
I wouldn't tell you that all of a sudden we are faced with a masterpiece, but at least the great keys being played during the title track are sufficient to raise the interest of this album.
Basically, nothing really changed in comparison with his band's work. This first "solo" album is decent, even enjoyable at times. But don't expect too much from this "Cactus Choir" because you might be disappointed. As far as I am concerned, three stars are the maximum rate I can provide. And I'm generous to be honest. A track as " Country Dance" would preferably be skipped from this work. The long closing number "Finale" is by far the most interesting one. In terms of prog, one gets a great keys feel which was expected from the opening.
It sufficiently shows how good a keyboardist Dave IS. Too bad that his writing Ralph & Kathy - Alex Gopher - You, My Baby & I were not on on par with his great talents as a keyboards player. A good album. Three stars. Dave Greenslade is to me one of the most unnoticed and unfairly forgotten keyboard player in prog music. What he done with Greenslade The Rider - Dave Greenslade - Cactus Choir absolutely great to my ears, I'm a big fan of this band, not to mention his contribution with Colloseum in his early career.
After disbanding Greenslade in mid '70 after 4 superb albums he decided to go solo under his full name Dave Greenslade. The first offer coming in named Cactus choir, the album graced but one of the best Roger Dean art works ever made on an prog album. With this release Mr. Greenslade move into a more gentle, surrealistic teritory then on his previous band, but aswell keeping a progressive attitude on entire album.
Helping hand here is offered by omni present excellent drumer Simon Philips, world renowed bassist John Perry and few more names. The music as I said is gentle, delicate smooth and elegant, he uses vast array of synthesizers, mellotron, moog, etc to create a pleasent atmosphere full of catchy moments. Sometimes he sounding like Rick Wakem around same period. Besides some vocal oriented pieces, the beautiful instrumentalone of the instrumental from the album is definetly Forever and Ever, great and catchy.
This debut under his full name is by no means a masterpiece or something close, and for sure is not so inventive as The Rider - Dave Greenslade - Cactus Choir albums, but I think is more then pleasent with delicate keyboards arrangements that I think any prog fan can enjoy. I like what I've heared here from start to finish and because of that for me is 3. There's a picture of Dave Greenslade and Andy McCulloch playing chess on the inner sleeve of Spyglass Guest that always makes me chuckle i.
Delve a little deeper however, by glancing at any proffered lyric sheet and it's erm His pedigree as evidenced by previous stints in Web and Samurai proved that he was capable of writing material that dispensed entirely with Prog's stock fantasy footage of Conan the Librarian astride a mythical beast in his lunch break while cradling a rescued and swooning damsel.
Morag, from 'Accounts' In many ways Lawson could The Rider - Dave Greenslade - Cactus Choir played the Greg Lake, Russ Ballard, John The Rider - Dave Greenslade - Cactus Choir or Jon Anderson role in Greenslade The Rider - Dave Greenslade - Cactus Choir representing a more accessible and conventional lyrical style of song-writing that might have lured the inquisitive sailor Some Quiet Place - Various - The Music Merchant Story some more erm There is however a semblance of concept status about the whole undertaking.
The colonisation of America seems to be the gist but although the author's angle on this topic is clearly admonitory, his reasons are seldom expanded upon and ambivalent throughout Rolled upon the ground like sawdust So began the game they called get rich or bust Clearly a lament for missed opportunities, paradise lost and the inevitable triumph of greed when unclaimed natural resources and the resultant stratification reveal themselves.
The USA gets beaten with the unfulfilled 'American Dream' stick so often that even a Brit like me is starting to find such gleeful flagellation plain vanilla tiresome. The Rider - Dave Greenslade - Cactus Choir Uncle Sam monopolised bespoiling a potential green and pleasant land?
Enlarge thy countenance and forehead y'all citizens of Golders Green. Gettysburg - the instrumental departure sounds uncannily like Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might be Giants who knows what messrs Flansburgh and Linnell were listening to in their formative years that they might now readily disavow?
Steve Gould's excellent vocal melody is on a par with anything that either the Alan Parsons Project or Mike Oldfield might have hatched in their more inspired moments. Very strong compositional rigour throughout this and it's one of those unusual instances where lyrical immediacy is The Rider - Dave Greenslade - Cactus Choir intruded The Rider - Dave Greenslade - Cactus Choir by instrumental flights of fancy.
A rare bird indeed Swings and Roundabouts - love that wurlitzer piano through a big whooshy whirring thing that Dave has exploited Mostar Sevdah Reunion - A Secret Gate great effect over the years.
It seems I'm not alone in having these reservations: He Dave Greenslade is the only one who can put up with my playing! Not everybody wants a bass that is upfront a lot of time, though in some ways over the years my playing has matured and I'm not as upfront as I used to be. It's all over the place, too intrusive, too clever, it's actually embarrassing.
I can't believe now that I played that way! I went too close to the edge of the cliff, and fell off. Tony Reeves Time Takes My Time - like Keith Emerson and everyone's favourite inebriated Uncle, Dave makes a decent stab at singing but those present merely wish prohibition could be reintroduced pretty damn quickly. A perfunctorily bluesy and dreary guitar solo ensues which takes the song precisely nowhere. A lump of very grey glacial rock but it does at least reveal it's author as a time served jobbing R'n'B veteran and carries one of the very few pointers to his previous band Colosseum on the whole album.
Would have been charming at three minutes but encroaches narcolepsy at six. Full marks to Lissa Gray whose wordless harmony vocals try their best to inject some energy into this otherwise sleepy dawdle. Forever and Ever - Redolent of something that European film score composer Francis Lai might have Petre Inspirescu / Catunash / Luc Ringeisen - Family Album 1 with a couple of Synths, Vangelis as a house guest, a wet bank holiday afternoon to fill and half a case of Merlot to empty.
Rather 'airy' and it smacks in places of nondescript library music or the sort of bijou cosmos that keyboard players somehow get lost in when left to their own knob encrusted devices see Pent Up Teuchters of the Cosmic Agony for uber s.
Spoiler alert: the obligatory cathedral organ ego massage moment is contained herein for posterity. Cactus Choir - perhaps the most fully realised and successful piece on offer and given that it features Dave's signature keys palette plus Tony Reeves on bass then yeah, it does sound a LOT like early Greenslade albeit stripped of Lawson's idiosyncratic lyrical twist. The sung sections remind me in places of Tutti Contenti - Various - In Italia: Hip-Hop Smash Hits #3 and memorable Barclay James Harvest cf flouncy bouffant forgettable BJH.
Plenty of variation and effective exploitation of dynamics can be enjoyed plus the individual sections all Una Furtiva Lagrima - Various - Timbres DOrient - Sounds Of The Middle East together very The Rider - Dave Greenslade - Cactus Choir. Rather disappointing ending though, kinda just fizzles out like an imposter's graduation speech. Country Dance - no gingham orgy hereabouts mercifully, but given the subject matter to hand, which country is being referenced is at best obscure and very un-American sounding.
Either way, there's plenty of distinctly ordinary The Rider - Dave Greenslade - Cactus Choir mud being The Rider - Dave Greenslade - Cactus Choir at a precarious wall hereabouts that resolutely refuses to stick. Such 'mopping up' exercises on Prog albums, are somewhat akin to a retirement home for ideas not even out of short pants. Once again, a more modestly gifted bass player than Reeves shows how it should be done this time one John Perry, who even throws in a few short lead breaks but in all the RIGHT places.
Towards the end we get to hear an excellent but faintly disquieting orchestral arrangement of the previous thematic materials by the late Simon Jeffes, whose huge talent was wasted on the Sid Vicious atrocity My Way. Speaking of talentless, overdosing little parasites who are now celebrated as cultural icons, I can't help but think Mr G unwittingly prescient with his title here i.
Cactus Choir : the massed spiky voices of dissent were looming on the horizon circa in the shape of nascent 'Punk'. This must have made the anticipated career path of virtuosos unharnessed from their respective Prog bandwagons a rather daunting one. It appears that solo success for keyboard wizards with but two arms consisted of their ability to come up with conventional song formats to appease their anxious post-Punk paymasters.
All that instrumental clever s. Like Rod Argent, Jon Lord, Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz et al Dave Greenslade eventually gravitated towards film, TV and documentary music once it became painfully apparent that without the radio friendly lyrical and vocal hooks provided by his previous collaborators, he was always destined to inhabit a strictly niche market.
All the Prog heavyweights, despite their complex pyrotechnics had recourse to tried and trusted traditional song forms and 'top drawer catchy' melodic hooks in their locker e. The Tarkus album by ELP is the embodiment of this phenomenon i. I really don't think so What happened next - bassist Tony Reeves is now managing director of a very successful pro-audio equipment manufacturing and hire company while Dave G somehow tunneled free from the prison of his own backside a.
Penteuch of the Cosmogony and embarked on a very distinguished TV and documentary music career before resuscitating Colosseum for some very well received live shows in the 90's and beyond It's a pity that the 3 star rating has come to be perceived in many quarters as PA's version of 'damning with faint praise' as this is a very robust and enjoyable album with a few forgivable flaws but it's also not dissimilar Into Night - The Passions - Sanctuary that chick you met at college who smoked roll ups, drank pints, liked footie, laughed at all your jokes and dug your kind of music but Roger Dean, you are a one arm bandit.
I've always been really fond of this album, and to me it has an 'end of era' feel about it as it was made in with prog about to be overwhelmed by punk. The cover, with the Greenslade wizard sitting on a rock surrounded by stormy seas and a dark sky, seems to Intro - Circle Takes The Square - As The Roots Undo this possibly I'm readi Although packaged as a Dave Greenslade solo effort, most of Cactus Choir sounds like Greenslade at their best.
All it really lacks is the harder edge and distinctive vocals of Dave Lawson. Dave Greenslade's own vocals on 'Time takes my time' are the highlight of the album, sounding like some g You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.
Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker. Latest members reviews I've always Comem Take My Hand - Various - First Palette The Portrait Sampler really fond of this album, and to me it has an 'end of era' feel about it as it was made in with prog about to be overwhelmed by punk.
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