The Meandering Hexagon

Listener's Log: You by Gong

Album: You
Artist: Gong
Release Date: October 1974
Date Listened: 30 May 2017
Remarks: You is a thoroughly enjoyable album. Flying Teapot still ranks as my favorite, but I prefer the gorgeous instrumentals here to anything on Angel's Egg.
Stand Out Tracks: Thoughts for Naught, Magick Mother Invocation, Master Builder, A Sprinkling of Clouds, The Isle of Everywhere

Listener's Log: Space Oddity by David Bowie

Album: Space Oddity (David Bowie)
Artist: David Bowie
Release Date: 14 November 1969
Date Listened: 27 May 2017
Remarks: Bowie's second is definitely a more fully realized version of his sound, but I have a hard time loving it more than the first record. It's nice, but by no means a total classic (at least to me) although there's nothing to hate here.
Stand Out Tracks: Space Oddity, Letter to Hermione, Cygnet Committee, and all the others more or less equally

Listener's Log: Radio Gnome Invisible #2

Angels Egg
Artist: Gong
Release Date: 7 December 1973
Date Listened: 16 May 2017
Remarks: This second part of the trilogy is more atmospheric and less unpredictable than the first. The songwriting is strong and it's an incredibly enjoyable album.
Stand Out Tracks: Need to listen again

Listener's Log: Radio Gnome Invisible #1

Album: Flying Teapot 
Artist: Gong
Release Date: 25 May 1973
Date Listened: 14 May 2017
Remarks: Everything that happens is totally unexpected... Prog rock in the Lewis Carroll vein. I have to say that I've enjoyed this more than any prog album I've listened to recently... and I've been listening to a lot.
Stand Out Tracks: All of them!

Listener's Log: The Grateful Dead

Album: The Grateful Dead
Artist: The Grateful Dead
Release Date: 17 March 1967
Date Listened: 15 May 2017
Remarks: I'm not really sure how to tackle the Dead. I never listen to them, because it's hard to find a point of entry into the massive amoeba of their world. They aren't a studio album kind of group, there aren't really singles... Finally I just figured I'd try to jump in at an approximation of the beginning and was pleased to find that I liked it. I wasn't expecting to because I assumed it would take them some time to find their voice, but this album (in particular the B side) has a lot of listenable rock in a psychedelic/Californian style that was peculiar to the bands of San Francisco about the time of the summer of love. 
Stand Out Tracks: Good Mornin' Little School Girl, Cold Rain and Snow, Sittin On Top of the World, Cream Puff War, Viola Lee Blues

Listener's Log: The Times They Are A-Changin' by Bob Dylan

Album: The Times They Are A-Changin'
Artist: Bob Dylan
Release Date: 13 January 1964
Date Listened: 15 May 2017
Remarks: I enjoyed this album. It could be classified as my favorite so far. None of the early albums have blown my socks off yet. There's many a tune that's iconic, but the interesting part is hearing Dylan evolve as an artist.
Stand Out Tracks: The Times They Are A-Changin', Ballad of Hollis Brown, With God On Our Side, North Country Blues, Boots of Spanish Leather, The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

Listener's Log: Disraeli Gears by Cream

Album: Disraeli Gears
Artist: Cream
Release Date: 2 November 1967
Date Listened: 11 May 2017
Remarks: Maybe my favorite Cream album? Either that or I just really love listening to Tales of Brave Ulysses over and over and over again.
Stand Out Tracks: Strange Brew, Sunshine of Your Love, Tales of Brave Ulysses, SWLABR, We're Going Wrong, Mother's Lament

Listener's Log: Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Album: Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Artist: Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Release Date: 20 November 1970
Date Listened: 8 May 2017
Remarks: ELP, one of the earliest supergroup success stories in rock (yes, I haven't forgotten Cream), were one of the first bands to REALLY make keyboards rock. Only Jon Lord of Deep Purple would have as much success bringing keyboards into the heavy rock genre and with nowhere near as much elegance as Emerson does here. From right out of the gates, ELP lets you know it's going to be a ride. There's classical adaptations, magnum opus style prog tracks, and the signature Greg Lake acoustic ballad Lucky Man which concludes with a marvelous Moog solo. The energy is so high, it's hard to believe that the band would ever fizzle out, as they eventually did. 
Stand Out Tracks: Yep. All of them. But especially Take A Pebble and Lucky Man. Also, the bonus tracks Promenade, Rave Up, and Drum Solo are all excellent.

Listener's Log: Phaedra by Tangerine Dream

Album: Phaedra
Artist: Tangerine Dream
Release Date: 20 February 1974
Date Listened: 8 May 2017
Remarks: Phaedra was a turning point for Tangerine Dream. Not just because it was the first record on a new label and not just because it brought them to the attention of a wider audience. Phaedra is a different album from the works that precede it musically. It sounds different, it features new instrumentation, and it's so beautiful. There's nothing quite like Tangerine Dream and their ambient music. 
Stand Out Tracks: Whole Album... but Phaedra

Listener's Log: Burnt Weeny Sandwich by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

Album: Burnt Weeny Sandwich
Artist: Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention
Release Date: 9 February 1970
Date Listened: 8 May 2017
Remarks: After Hot Rats, it's hard to go backwards to a Mother's album. I love the Mothers, don't get me wrong, it's just that Hot Rats was so much more... Zappesque. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this outing. Everyone is wearing a uniform indeed. 
Stand Out Tracks: WPLJ, Theme from Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Igor's Boogie Part Two, Holiday in Berlin (Full-Blown), Aybe Sea, The Little House I Used to Live In

Listener's Log: Acquiring the Taste by Gentle Giant

Album: Acquiring the Taste
Artist: Gentle Giant
Release Date: 16 July 1971
Date Listened: 4 May 2017
Remarks: Acquiring the Taste is one of those albums that you would never listen to based on the, erm, artwork. But! The boys' sophmore record is far more atmospheric and sensitive than their first. There is much less rock here, and a lot more roll. Surely a harbinger of the great things to come.
Stand Out Tracks: Pantagruel's Nativity, Edge of Twilight, The House, the Street, the Room, Wreck, The Moon Is Down, Black Cat, Plain Truth

Listener's Log: Toad by Toad

Album: Toad
Artist: Toad
Release Date: April 1971
Date Listened: 2 May 2017
Remarks: Toad is pretty much exactly what I want to listen to. Three musicians making a splash with guitar, bass, and drums without really sticking to a formula. This first release is pretty progressive and features one or two lengthy works that are quite exciting. On the whole, I can't wait to hear more, although I'm curious what they will sound like without their singer. What a Swiss mix!
Stand Out Tracks: Cotton Wood Hill, Tank, They Say I'm Mad, Life Goes On, Pig's Walk

Listener's Log: Going For The One by Yes

Album: Going For The One
Artist: Yes
Release Date: 15 July 1977
Date Listened: 2 May 2017
Remarks: After the refreshing change that was Relayer, Going For the One is a disappointment. It feels weak, at least on the first listen. The arrangemnts are complex and interesting and Rick Wakeman is back with a vengeance, but the quality of the songwriting just isn't what it was previously. Bruford is (as always) badly missed
Stand Out Tracks: Wondrous Stories (umm... I guess) and the fantastic: Awaken