Nektar – Down To Earth

by TW on February 2, 2010

For many progressive rock fans, the German band Nektar hit their grand slam with the 1973 concept album Remember The Future – essentially one song spread across two album sides. The band’s 1974 follow-up, Down To Earth, takes a wacked-out circus as its theme; Nektar tighten the song structures and create another prog-rock classic.

The vintage Nektar sound is all over: chiming guitar chords (“Show Me The Way”), lilting harmonies (“Early Morning Clown”), perfect melodies (“Little Boy”), in-your-face-bass (“Astral Man”) and a wonderful sense of play (“Nelly The Elephant” and “Fidgety Queen”). Look for the Eclectic Discs reissue, which includes six alternate versions of Down To Earth songs and outtakes.

In the liner notes, Nektar guitarist and lead vocalist Roye Albrighton writes, “Down To Earth is Nektar’s Magical Mystery Tour…”

What other Magical Mystery Tours are there?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Patrick April 1, 2010 at 8:26 pm

I own their 7th album, Magic is a Child, which is famously jacketed with the image of a young Brooke Shields about to enter the pool beneath a waterfall.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the sentiment “Magic is a child, imagination is alive.” Even now, some 30 years later, I’ll still catch myself singing the refrain, especially when I’m around playful children. However, the song itself seems frustratingly mundane, and the lyrics very ordinary. The same goes witht the rest of the album. As a result, this record never made it into the b-list of my prog-rock catalogue and didn’t get many spins. Come to think of it, neither did A Tab in the Ocean.

I’ve been known to buy a record simply because I like the cover, and Down to Earth has a certain appeal. Musically, is it much different than either of the albums I already own?

Cheers,

Patrick.

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