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Supernatural Fairy Tales: The Progressive Rock Era Box set

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, August 20, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Wow, and furthermore, wow. Rhino has a history of doing things up right, but this time it's outdone itself. More than five hours of prog, from The Nice to Golden Earring, presented thoroughly and largely chronologically. Depending on your outlook, it's either heaven or hell. There's plenty here to occupy the idle, drug-riddled mind; some well known (Focus's "Hocus Pocus," ELP's "Knife Edge," Genesis) and some wonderfully obscure (Wigwam in their pre-Virgin days, when they were an obscure, Finnish-Irish outfit, and Hatfield and the North's delicious first single, "Let's Eat Again [Real Soon]," which had nothing to do with food). Of course, it's mostly European, but that's where prog was, (as was punk, but that's another discussion altogether). You even get the Italians from outer space, PFM, and one of the few French bands to mean anything--Magma. Toss in some Roxy Music, a few Krauts, early ELO, and a whole host of others, and you have something close to paradise, or overkill. With cover art by--who else--Roger Dean, and a tab of windowpane (just kidding, really!), it's everything you could imagine a prog rock box being. Bloody glorious. --Chris Nickson

Disc: 1
1. America - The Nice
2. Paper Sun - Traffic Featuring Stevie Winwood
3. Repent Walpurgis - Procol Harum
4. Private Sorrow/Balloon Burning - Pretty Things
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. The System/Babylon - Aphrodite's Child
2. Death Walks Behind You - Atomic Rooster
3. Der Vierte Kuss - Ash Ra Tempel
4. Killer - Van Der Graaf Generator
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Perpetual Change - Yes
2. Lothlorien - Argent
3. Ladytron - Roxy Music
4. Radio - Supersister
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight - Genesis
2. Siberian Khatru - Yes
3. Virginia Plain - Roxy Music
4. Warrior - Wishbone Ash
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Star Palace Of The Sombre Warrior - Seventh Wave
2. Perfect Mystery - Gong
3. Free Hand - Gentle Giant
4. War - Henry Cow/Slapp Happy
See all 12 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 20, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: August 20, 1996
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0000033T5
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,171 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Rykre on June 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I love progressive rock. It's most plausable era was between 1968 and 1975. It continued to exist, but it lost it's charm as late 70's album rock became the norm for FM radio. Guitar rock with more simple-minded lyrics became more radio friendly. Progressive Rock took us to other worlds, other dimensions, other levels of consciousness. In other words, Prog rock was intelligent music. It was science-fiction in a form of unique music. It explored realms of fantasy, not everyday social dilemas. From my perspective, it was the keyboard-oriented rock that captured my fancy. Progressive rock artists were artists that wanted to explore other sounds and ideas that nobody may have approached before. Today's record companies probably frown on such ideas. Today's record companies are only concerned about the fast buck, not an artist pouring his (or her) heart into a unique idea for creative venturing in music. Progressive Rock ruled as music for the psyche. Supernatural Fairy Tales is a pretty good box set designed to represent the Progressive Rock era. Everyone has their own idea what some Prog Rock artist's best projects were, so, true, not every track here will satisfy everyone's idea of which track best represents the band. Just be grateful that your favorite Prog band has, at least, been represented here. And, if they were overlooked entirely, well, what can Rhino do about a sound genre that has thousands of bands world-wide. I'm remotely satisfied. There's some good stuff here. My favorite Prog bands, Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, Strawbs, Yes, The Moody Blues and the such, are here. My only grumble is that Aphrodite's Child has more adventurous music than this bleak example they selected (Babylon). But, the best thing Le Orme has ever done is here (Ritorno Al Nulla).Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Peterson on March 28, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I noticed that there's some grousing about the contents of this box set and what's been left out; in the accompanying booklet it explains that some of the groups (King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, and Camel are mentioned) were left out because of Licensing Restrictions, but look at what's included; Nice (w/ Keith Emerson), Moody Blues, ELP, ELO, Genesis, Yes, and Frank Zappa are the obvious choices, but there are also groups that do not get the attention they deserve though they are equally impressive; Can, Roxy Music, Strawbs, Savage Rose, Nektar, Van Der Graaf Generator, Amon Duul II, Atomic Rooster, Focus, and a host of other bands that rarely get any radio play even on so-called progressive music stations. A lot of these songs aren't available on CD (domestically anyway). Ok, I'll admit I groused a bit too (no Goblin, to name one band), but hey, if you want Rush buy a Rush CD. If you want Pink Floyd buy a Pink Floyd CD. I think this is a cool collection of bands that I would haven't even consider listening to had not Rhino taken the time to produce this anthology. I doubt very much you'll find a better collection of this type of music in one place. I love it! (and I have my Goblin CDs too now, thank you very much).
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Format: Audio CD
As a long-time progressive rock fan, I already own most of this stuff and as such, did not find the set particularly enlightening. Admittedly however, there were a few pleasant surprises including the unreleased track by electronica giant Klaus Schulze and the appearance of the hard rock group Wishbone Ash and a few other bands that I did not think fit under the progressive rock umbrella (and that I now enjoy very much). Regardless however, I do feel that for the prog "newbie", the set is somewhat misleading in that it delves far too deeply into styles related to progressive rock. I also wish that the compilers had restricted their coverage to the 1971 to 1976 timeframe, which was essentially the "golden age" of progressive rock.

Most (not all) musicologists define progressive rock through the work of the English symphonic progressive rock groups. In this regard, Yes, Genesis, ELP, Gentle Giant, Curved Air, Renaissance and Van der graaf Generator are represented on this box set. King Crimson, Jethro Tull and Camel were not included, yet are very much part of the English progressive rock scene (evidently, Rhino experienced licensing problems). Of these groups, the absence of King Crimson on a box set (ostensibly) devoted to progressive rock is pretty bad. I say "pretty bad" because it was their 1969 debut In the Court of the Crimson King that signaled the emergence of progressive rock as a distinct genre and was an extraordinarily influential album.

A number of musical styles related to progressive rock are, however, well-represented, which is a nice aspect of this box set. Progressive rock was, above all else, highly eclectic and borrowed from these related styles to varying degrees.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bice on May 8, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I was getting into prog-rock in a big way right around the time this boxed set came out, so I immediately bought a copy. I found it to be a useful sampler of early progressive rock bands. Yes, one could argue that some of the biggest names and most influential bands are missing, but Rhino did the best they could with what the music they had access to. Prog rock fans tend to be overly-opinionated, so there will always be arguments that this song should have been included, or that song shouldn't have been included...heck, you'll never even get two progressive rock fans to agree on what "progressive rock" is, so I don't envy the person who had to pick the track listing for this box.

Personally, I'm glad the set isn't just well known tracks by top selling bands, because I already own most of the albums by those bands anyway, so their absence leaves more room on the discs for obscure music that I hadn't heard before. In fact, I'm slightly annoyed that some of the big name bands (for example Yes and Genesis) get multiple tracks when that space seems like it could have been put to better use by featuring more lesser known bands. But I guess Rhino wanted some hits and known band names to help boost sales to casual music fans. It's also annoying that the set makes it seem like progressive rock is something that just stopped in the late 70s. I'd love to see Rhino put together a follow-up box that tracks prog-rock of the 80s, 90s and beyond.

Bottom line is that this is an enjoyable boxed set, and I found it very helpful in terms of giving me leads on what bands I should persue further (and which ones I shouldn't waste money on). I'm listening to the box right now for the first time in years, and it still stands up as a great collection of music.
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