Alquin – Best Kept Secret (1976)

FrontCover1This is the last Alquin studio album from the Seventies … and even it´s not so best Alquin  album … it´s a damn good album …

This fourth album is the logical follower of Nobody but that also means that it out of the scope of this site as this is rather poor in Prog contents : I would diagnose less than 5% which means that you will never overdose of it but will likely get bored before reaching the fatal level. Don’t get me wrong , this is correct FM rock along the lines of Foreigner (actually, they spring to mind quite often when I hear Alquin) . Even the longer tracks divided into subsection are relatively uninteresting for the proghead. Another comparison would be their great fellow Dutchmen Golden Earring (not any proggier but one hell of more adventure and inspiration , though). In another site , i might have given this a third star. (by Sean Trane)

And I can´ agree with this review … this is another pretty good album by Alquin … one of the best dutch groups from the Seventies …

Listen and enjoy … to songs like “L.A. Rendez-Vous”, “Fool In The Mirror” or “One More Night” and you´ll know what I mean …

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Personnel:
Ferdinand Bakker (guitar, violin, background vocals)
Michel van Dijk (vocals)
Dick Franssen (keyboards)
Ron Ottenhof  (saxophone, flute)
Job Tarenskeen (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Jan Visser (bass, background vocals, percussion)
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horns on 01.:
Buddy Beadle – Geoff Wright – Martin Droner – Steve Gregory
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The Deadcenter Boys (on 05.)

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Tracklist:
01. Fool In The Mirror:
01.1. Sham Fight (Bakker/v. Dijk)
01.2. Stars End (Franssen/Visser/Ottenhoff) 3.01
02. Central Station Hustle (Bakker/Tarenskeen/v.Dijk) 5.58
03. L.A. Rendez-Vous (Bakker/Tarenskeen) 4.39
04. High Rockin’ (Bakker/Ottenhoff) 5.29
05. One More Night:
05.1. Bootleg Ballet (Franssen/Visser/Ottenhoff)
05.2. Laserlights (Bakker/Tarenskeen/v.Dijk)
05.3. Back At The Losing End (Bakker/Tarenskeen/v.Dijk) 9.02
06 Amy (Bakker/v. Dijk) 4.21
07. Take Any Road (Bakker/v. Dijk) 5.50

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Alquin – Nobody Can Wait Forever (1975)

frontcover1Alquin is a band from The Netherlands whose debut album is a versatile, Canterburish album. Alquin’s second album is the best in their catalogue. With the third album there were some changes. The band wanted to make less complicated music, and more rock music. To achieve this they asked producer Rodger Bain. They also had a new vocalist, Michel van Dijk (ex-Ekseption). He had a more powerful voice, than Tarenskeen, and this fitted the music they were aiming for better.
The opener still sounds like the old Alquin, keyboard orientated music with good guitar and sax solos. Compared to the first two albums, the tracks are more vocal orientated. After the opener it is more straightforward rock as in Mr Widow and Farewell, Miss Barcelona, or even hardrock in Wheelchair Groupie. There are however still beautiful instrumental passages and great solos (for instance in the middle part of Stranger). The best track on this album and the most progressive is the last one. Still a good album, but not as impressive as their second one. (by Agemo)
This is the best Alquin album. On this album are some powerfull tracks like New Guinea Sunrise, Stranger, Darling Superstar, Revolution’s Eve and the single Wheelchair Groupie. Alquin plays progressive rock with some blues influences. Your hear the hammond organ, sax and guitar as the main instruments together with the beautiful voice of Michel van Dijk (ex-Ekseption). A good album is it’s predecessor Mountain Queen. (by hcklvanzessen )
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Although less progressive than the two previous albums, this is by far my favourite ALQUIN record. This is the first album that feature vocalist Michael Van Dijk, his versatile performance in addition to the new approach of the compositions gives a powerful and overall fresher sound to the band. Highlights are the album opener, the almost hard-rocker Stranger and the album closer Revolution’s Eve, coincidentaly the proggiest tracks on this record.
While most people may enjoy the two previous albums better, I prefer the less complicated compositions featured on this album, as I said before ALQUIN managed to sound really fresh and powerful but keeping their progressive influences. (by Prosciutto)
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Personnel:
Ferdinand Bakker (guitar, piano, vocals)
Michel van Dijk (vocals)
Dick Franssen (keyboards, synthesizer)
Hein Mars (bass)
Ronald Ottenhoff (Saxophone, flute)
Job Tarenskeen (saxophone, vocals, drums, percussion)
Paul Weststrate (drums)
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The Thunderthighs (background vocals)
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Tracklist:
01. New Guinea Sunrise (Bakker/Mars/Franssen/Ottenhoff) 6.37
01.1. Sunrise
01.2.Wake Me Up
02. Mr. Widow (Mars/Franssen/Ottenhoff) 3.32
03. Stranger (Bakker/v.Dijk) 6.41
03.1. Stranger
03.2. You Might As Well Fall
04. Darling Superstar (Bakker/v.Dijk)
05. Farewell, Miss Barcelona (Bakker/Tarenskeen) 2.58
06. Wheelchair Groupie (Bakker/Tarenskeen) 3.12
07. Revolution’s Eve 7.27
07.1.Revolution’s Theme (Bakker/Mars/Franssen/Ottenhoff)
07.2. Nobody Can’t Wait Forever (Bakker/Tarenskeen)
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She moved her chair up on the stage
Her Hasselblad was on her knees
Watch her eyes, she lookes so happy
And see her smile, oh I know it’s not for me
Wheelchair groupie
Oooooh, wheelchair groupie
Her wonderboy came down the stairs
With silver pants and golden hair
Watch her eyes, she lookes so happy
And see her smile, oh I know it’s not for me
Wheelchair groupie
Oooooh, wheelchair groupie
Watch it . . .

Alquin – Mountain Queen (1973)

FrontCover1Alquin is a Dutch progressive rock group whose debut ‘Marks’ (1972) and ‘Mountain Queen’ (1973) are acclaimed albums of the classic progressive scene in Holland. On the debut Alquin sounded as an enthusiastic naïve band with many influences (from Pink Floyd to Soft Machine) with a mild touch and good melodic compositions and effective song-writing.

On their second album Alquin sounds more professional and the sound of the band is more balanced. The band now focuses on long compositions (whereas the debut was made up of a big collection of short pieces). The influences of jazz (perhaps from the Canterbury scene) are widespread, whilst Alquin has the format of a progressive rock group with many different melodic parts in every composition and expressive vocals. The style of the band is bit hard to nail down, but is comes down to combing jazz-rock jams with wind soloists and many melodic parts with some vocals and catchy melodies. To some extend the main themes of the longer tracks are a bit ‘epical’, having that larger-then-music effect. There are two long compositions, The Dance (13.03) and Mountain Queen (15.04) and some shorter tracks.

The use of many different instruments is attractive, adding violin, sax and flute to the normal rock equipment. The organ sounds and piano-playing of Dick Franssen can get very exciting, but during vocals sections he also some great subtle passages. The Les Paul guitar of Ferdinand Bakker is a great element of the music, his melodic style is derived from the age when bands would release instrumental singles. A good example of this is the short ‘Soft-eyed Woman’.

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Conclusion. This a strong jazz-rock influenced progressive rock album, recommended to fans of eclectic prog, jazz rock and classic progressive rock in general.  (by friso)

“Mountain Queen” is one of the best prog-rock albums of the Netherlands ever recorded !

Alquin

Personnel:
Ferdinand Bakker (guitar, vocals, violin)
Dick Franssen (keyboards)
Hein Mars (bass)
Ronald Ottenhoff (saxophone, flute)
Job Tarenskeen (saxophone, percussion, vocals)
Paul Weststrate (drums)
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Tracklist:
01. The Dance (Fransen/Bakker/Tarenskeen) 13.04
02. Soft-Eyed Woman (Bakker/Tarenskeen) 2.39
03. Convicts Of The Air (Bakker/Fransen/Mars/Ottenhoff/Tarenskeen/Weststrate) 3.56
04. Mountain Queen (Bakker/Tarenskeen) 14.49
05. Don And Dewey (Bowman/LaFlamme) 1.28
07. Mr. Barnum Jr.’s Magnificent And Fabulous City (Bakker/Fransen/Mars/Ottenhoff/Tarenskeen/Weststrate) 8.15

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Alquin – Mountain Queen (1973)

FrontCover1Alquin’s second album is often considered to be their finest hour, and it pretty much brings together all the elements of the debut into a more unified sound. The 13-minute opener “The Dance” starts with a juicy and very typical progressive organ-riff that gets joined by a driving beat and horns. Some melodic flute and acoustic guitar builds up to the first vocal-part, before it returns to the opening section again that gets followed by some very catchy horn-riffs. The last vocal-part is pretty much in the vein of the debut. The relaxed and atmospheric instrumental “Soft Eyed Woman” reminds of Focus, but the flute is more in the vein of Camel. The short song “Convicts of the Air” features a catchy chorus in a slight Canterbury style. The complex and nearly 15-minute title-track opens with some fresh horns and a cheerful vocal-part before it turns into a quite traditional and melodic progressive tune, before turning into a jam where some distorted violin, saxophone and the el-piano duels a lot. It then slows down, before it yet again turns into a jam at the very end. A quite impressive and complicated tune this one. The album ends with a short cover of It’s A Beautiful Day’s “Don and Dewey” that is followed by a studio recording of “Mr. Barnum Jr.’s Magnificent and Fabulous City” from the debut. It’s naturally a bit more polished here than in the live version, but benefits quite a lot from it. Especially the flute sounds great here (vintageprog.com).

AlquinLivePersonnel:
Ferdinand Bakker (guitar, violin, keyboards, vocals)
Dick Franssen (keyboards)
Hein Mars (bass, vocals)
Ronald Ottenhoff (saxophone, flute)
Job Tarenskeen (saxophone, percussions, vocals)
Paul Westrate (drums, vocals)

BackCoverTracklist:
01. The Dance (Bakker/Fransen/Tarenskeen) 13.00
02. Soft Eyed Woman (Bakker/Tarenskeen) 2.38
03. Convicts Of The Air (Bakker/Ottenhof/Franssen/Westrate/Mars/Tarenskeen) 3.50
04. Mountain Queen (Bakker/Tarenskeen) 14.45
05. Don And Dewey (Bowman/LaFlamme) 1.27
06. Mr. Barnum´s Jr. Magnificent And Fabulous City (Bakker/Ottenhof/Franssen/Westrate/Mars/Tarenskeen) 8.25

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Alquin – Marks (1972)

AlquinMarksFCAlquin were an innovative Dutch band who released four studio albums during the early to mid-70’s, their first two being of particular interest to progsters. With a mixture of rock, jazz and classical music
they show elements of Soft Machine, Caravan, Pink Floyd, Curved Air with tinges of Roxy Music
“Marks” (1972), their first release, is mostly instrumental with a highly jazzy feel. Quite versatile, it features snippets of calypso, circus music, Dixieland and (of all things!) country music.
The longest track on this album, “I Wish I Would” is one of the first hightlights from manies, which gave us these band as a gift !
AlquinMarks

Personnel:
Ferdinand Bakker (guitar, violin, keyboards, vocals)
Dick Franssen (keyboards)
Hein Mars (bass, vocals)
Ronald Ottenhoff (saxophone, flute)
Job Tarenskeen (saxophone, percussions, vocals)
Paul Westrate (drums, vocals)

AlquinMarksAlternateFCAlternate frontcover

Tracklist:
01. Oriental Journey (Bakker) 2.35
02. The Last You Could Do Is Send Me Flowers (Bakker) 4.09
03. Soft Royce (Bakker/Ottenhoff) 7.00
04. Mr. Barnum´s Jr.´s Magnificent & Fabolous city (Bakker/Franssen/Mars/Ottenhoff/Tarenskeen/Westrate) 5.21
05. I Wish I Coul (Bakker) 11.41
06. You Always Can Change (Tarenskeen) 3.02
07. Marc´s Occasional Showers (Bakker) 3.16)
08. Catherine´s Wig (Bakker) 2.30

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