Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock
Import reissue of 1972 album. Repertoire.
Import reissue of 1972 album. Repertoire.
Pathfinder: the title says it all
snowballer88 | Manitoba, Canada | 07/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first album I had ever heard from this progressive rock group. I bought it because of the original cover, which was a six-frame fold out poster of an astronaut riding a horse on the moon. Although the music is not as dynamic as other prog rock bands of the time, Beggars Opera have held a place in my heart for years. MaCarthur's Park is the best piece on the album in my opinion and the rest are very good; especially the "dark and moody" to "light and spirited" song "From Shark To Haggis". Musically, this is a delight to listen to, though it seems under-produced at times and the musical "style" and "feel" tend to change from song to song, but the album is called Pathfinder. Over-all definitely worth the money....but when is GET YOUR DOG OFF ME going to be re-released, that was the classic one!"
Fantastic prog rock
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 10/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Scotland isn't the first place you think of for prog rock, but Beggars Opera, as well as Pallas, are two Scottish prog bands I know of (although many English prog bands had Scottish born musicians, like Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, all three Shulman brothers of Gentle Giant, and Caravan's Pye Hastings). Beggars Opera is quite underrated, but can compare to many of the great prog bands down in England. The music to Pathfinder does not remind me of any particular prog band, and that's fine with me. But don't expect overly complex, grand, over-the-top prog, this music is actually quite typical of British prog of the time: emphasis on strong melodies. As for the keyboards, the Hammond organ is by for the most dominant. There is also a little piano, Mellotron, and Harpsichord as well. The album doesn't take much to get in to, it only needs a couple listens to like. One complaint I have of this album is why yet another version of "MacArthur Park"? How many versions of this song exists? Did Jimmy Webb gave that song away? Oh well, but it's really nice to hear this version because it's unlikely anyone else's version of this song would feature Mellotron! A truly worthwhile song on here is "From Shark to Haggis" which starts of jazzy but transforms in to a Scottish jig (hence the "Haggis") to let everyone know the band's Scottish roots. "The Witch" and "Madame Doubfire" are the album's most scary songs which deals with witchcraft and Satanism, so just like Black Widow's Sacrifice, you better avoid those songs if you're a Christian fundamentalist, but I think those are such cool songs. The title track has great vocal harmonies that sound exactly how the Byrds might have sounded like if they were a prog band, rather than a folk rock/country/roots band. "Stretcher" is I feel the album's low point. It's a pretty unremarkable guitar-oriented instrumental piece. The album was originally released on the classic "swirl" Vertigo and the original LP features a cover that folds in to a giant poster, so if you have a little extra money to burn on and you collect vinyl, I suggest you seek out the original LP, as the cover will simply blow you away! As far as I'm concerned, Pathfinder is one of the great, underrated prog gems out there. That means if you love early British prog, like Spring, Gracious, Cressida, Fantasy, Indian Summer, Black Widow, Rare Bird, etc. you will probably enjoy this album as well. From what I understand, this was their last good album before supposedly turning to a more commercial direction."
A Downward Trend, But Still Good
Chris Gerbig | Ontario, Canada | 04/22/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Pathfinder sees the band becoming more of a vocals group and moving away from the harder-edged, classically tinged instrumental blowouts that they'd achieved on "Act One". Martin Griffiths voice is at its strongest, but the album suffers a bit from a lack of original ideas. "MacArthur Park" (a big hit single for Richard Harris and covered by many singers since) is a sign that they were moving in a more mainstream direction. However, there's the pulsing, proggy/psych insanity of "The Witch" or "Madame Doubtfire" to remind you of the previous albums. "Pathfinder" is a strong track with Deep Purplish guitar. This is really the last truly progressive album. And it's got a great period album cover too. Very worthwhile to get on CD if you enjoyed the 1st 2 Beggars Opera albums. Many fans express affection for "Get Your Dog Off Me" - but that album saw Beggars Opera moving to an MOR, countryfied boogie rock that sounded VERY American. However, the cover version of "Classical Gas" from that album is one of their finest moments!!! I believe it's out on CD at last."