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Black Noise Import, Original recording remastered

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, February 19, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered edition of the 1977 debut album by the Canadian Progressive Rock group FM. The band began life in 1976 with Cameron Hawkins (synthesizers, bass, vocals) and Nash the Slash (electric violin, mandolin, vocals) coming together as a duo, making an appearance on national TV in Canada in the summer of 1976. By March 1977, FM became a trio with the addition of Martin Dellar on drums. The Canadian Broadcasting Company offered to release the band's debut album, Black Noise on their own label later that year, but the record was only made available via mail order. The following year, Black Noise was given a wider release on the Visa label in the U.S. This Esoteric Recordings release is the first time Black Noise has been issued in Europe and has been newly remastered and includes an illustrated booklet and a new essay.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Phasors on Stun
  2. One O'Clock Tomorrow
  3. Hours
  4. Journey
  5. Dailing for Dharma
  6. Slaughter in Robot Village
  7. Aldebaran
  8. Black Noise

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 19, 2013)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Esoteric
  • ASIN: B00APPJO70
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,039 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's FM Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
FM was one of the few Canadian prog band people seem to know (other than Rush and Saga). There are a few other Canadian prog bands I know of like Symphonic Slam, Spirit of Christmas, and Robert Connolly, but much of the great Canadian prog I know of is from Quebec, like Pollen, Et Cetera, Harmonium, Sloche, Maneige, Opus 5 and the likes. FM often had a futuristic, hi-tech sound to them. You will never mistake their music for Gentle Giant, this is all fairly accessible stuff. Cameron Hawkins tended to use great synths like the Minimoog and the Elka Rhapsody. "One O'Clock Tomorrow" and "Journey" are nothing short of amazing, very energetic and exciting. "Journey", for some odd reason, reminds me of Saga, it bear an odd resemblance to "On the Loose" from Worlds Apart, although that song and album did not appear until another 4 or so years later. The instrumental "Dialing For Dharma" is a great spacy cut with violin work from Nash the Slash. "Aldabaran" has some rather commercial tendencies, but I guess that can't be too surprising, all the FM albums (aside from Direct to Disc) has some commercial inclinations (but of course, their mid '80s reunion effort, Con-Test is supposedly full-on commercial, which I can't be too surprised as that was the era of Phil Collins' No Jacket Required and Genesis' Invisible Touch). The title track is by far the most progressive cut on the album, I particularly love the spacy string synths in the middle.

To get the confusion about the release of Black Noise straight: CBC first issued this album in 1977, unfortunately it was never released in record stores, but rather through mail order. Only 500 copies made so the original Black Noise is probably the rarest FM item (along with their following album, Direct to Disc aka Headroom).
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By A Customer on April 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
If your here, you dig FM! We saw FM live back in the late 70's at a bar in Schaumburg (Il), and they didn't let us down. Extremely talented Musicians in every right. Cameron Hawkins had each hand on a seperate keyboards, while his feet were kicking the Bass pedals. Ofcourse he was singing lead as well. Can't take anything away from Nash or Martin either. Nash's playing takes the Mandolin into new realms and Martin Dellers druming is flawless. All three gents combine their talents well. Back to earth and a review of the album. Whether listening to this music through your system (on 10!) or through headphones, Black Noise is a masterpiece. Personally (and this is MY review), I never want 'Phasors on stun' to end. Very powerful! 'Dialing for Dharma' is another jamming piece (especially in the headphones). Mellowing it out (a bit) is 'Aldebaran'. Beautiful, melodic....and, once again, Powerful! Finally, the title tune itself 'Black Noise' brings the disc to an end, but not before displaying yet another epic production. This is FM's best, though if your a die-hard, you realize this already (BUT....we all know their remianing disc's are excellent as well).
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What can you say about a three piece band that doesn't feature a guitarist? I used to believe, until 1978, that it was impossible for a group to sound good without one. Well, two groups proved me wrong in the 70's, FM and UK. Funny, they both have two letters for names. Why this wasn't huge I will never know. "Journey" is about as pop-hit as a song can sound. Cameron Hawkins' vocals are stupendous, as are his ability to play multiple keyboards, bass, taurus pedals and more. Not to underwrite the rest of the band, because Martin Dellar is an excellent drummer and Nash plays electric violin and mandolin without compare, other than Eddie Jobson from UK.
I bought this album originally because of "Phasors on Stun". I figured that title and several of the others led to these guys being trekies, so, I would check it out. They blew me away! The sound on each track is full and hypnotical. Take a trip to "Aldebaran". Go "Dialing for Dharma". Witness the "Slaughter in Robot Village". The music on this disc is stunning. You will be amazed at the intensity at which these three musicians play. The only warning is be aware this is not main-stream music, with the exception of "Journey". Give your ears a treat; try the best of FM on Black Noise. I say buy it!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
FM is yet another band that has been unfairly relegated to the far corners of the prog rock niche, which is too bad - this 1977 release is a great example of highly melodic and synth heavy progressive rock. In a manner similar to another much more famous prog band from Canada, FM is a trio. The three musicians on this album include Cameron Hawkins (synthesizers, Rickenbacker bass guitar, piano, and lead voice); Martin Deller (Drums, percussion, and synthesizers) and "Nash the Slash" (electric violins and mandolin, glockenspiel, vocals, and effects). All of the musicians are very good and really crank out some tight performances. There are eight tracks on the album that range in length from 2'36" to 9'55". Overall, this is well written and performed progressive rock that sounds a great deal like the prog band England, not to mention UK (especially their Danger Money album from 1979). Melodies and harmonies abound, and synthesizer use is very heavy. In fact, there are points where a low frequency left hand synth bass line is used in place of the real bass guitar. As a bassist, I like to hear the bass guitar, but then again the synth bass lines are not too bad. The vocals are excellent and work well with the predominantly upbeat nature of the music. Although many of the songs have vocals, there are some excellent instrumentals as well and include the fantastic jazz-rockish piece Hours that features excellent soloing on the violin, mini-moog, and drums. The other instrumentals include Dialing for Dharma and the excellent Slaughter in Robot Village. The instrumental Dialing for Dharma is pretty interesting and starts off with a pulsating synth line that would not be out of place on an album by electronic composer Larry Fast.Read more ›
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