NEKTAR – A Spoonful Of Time (2012)
NEKTAR is probably the most German-like of the seventies British bands, a fame that owes a lot to the town in which this act was founded (Hamburg) and to their stylistic approach.
Their earliest works were hard rock that drew heavily from the space-rock and later the band definitely turned melodic Prog releasing some mindblowing epic albums.
Nektar is celebrating their 43rd Anniversary releasing an album covering classic songs of all time aptly entitled “A Spoonful Of Time”, featuring an all-star guest line up.
Amongst the contributors we have Rick Wakeman, Geoff Downes, Derek Sherinian, Billy Sheehan, Ian Paice, Steve Howe and many more luminaries.
Doing a covers album can be tricky business; you need the right songs, but more importantly the inspiration and enthusiasm to bring them to life by your own interpretation. In the case of “A Spoonful Of Time” the results are satisfactory for most of these classic tunes.
Nektar chose 14 popular, mostly rock, songs from the last 40 years or so. Most are well known like Rush’s “Spirit of the Radio”, Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”, The Doors’s “Riders on the Storm” or Toto’s “Africa”.
Others, like Roxy Music’s “Out of the Blue” and The Rolling Stone’s “2000 Light Years from Home” may be a little more obscure for some.
On all covers, Nektar’s interpretation basically stay faithful to the original melodies and arrangements of every song with, of course, some Prog variation.
I liked the majority, being Rush’s “Spirit of the Radio”, Toto’s “Africa” (featuring Bobby Kimball on vocals), 10CC’s “I’m Not In Love”, the mellotron festival of “Blinded By The Light” and Door’s “Riders On The Storm” with a long keyboard solo, the best of the bunch.
Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle” and Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home” are the only weak covers for me, a bit flat in their development.
On the other hand, in the obscure O’ Jays song, “For the Love of Money” (that drops more into the Motown category) Nektar version is truly well done with Ian Paice hitting the skins effectively.
Nektar’s “A Spoonful Of Time” was produced by the band and mixed by Prog icon Billy Sherwood, who also played bass on some of the tracks.
The CD is a good Classic Rock collection of tunes covered with a Prog touch performed by these seasoned musicians with ease. It’s a pleasure listening Bobby Kimball singing again or Billy Sheehan and Ian Paice playing something different from what they do in their bands.
featuring Michael Pinnella (Symphony X)
2. Spirit Of The Radio
featuring Mark Kelly (Marillion)
3. Fly Like An Eagle
feat. Geoff Downes (Asia) • Joel Vandroogenbroeck (Brainticket)
4. Wish You Were Here
featuring Edgar Froese (Tangerine Dream)
5. For The Love Of Money
feat. Ian Paice (Deep Purple) • Nik Turner (Hawkwind)
6. Can’t Find My Way Home
feat. Steve Howe (Yes) • Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater) • Mel Collins (King Crimson)
7. 2000 Light Years From Home
featuring Simon House (Hawkwind)
8. Riders On The Storm
feat. Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big) • Rod Argent (Argent)
9. Blinded By The Light
feat. Joakim Svalberg (Opeth) • Ginger Baker (Cream)
10. Out Of The Blue
featuring Simon House (Hawkwind)
11. Old Man featuring
David Cross (King Crimson)
12. Dream Weaver
featuring Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra)
13. I’m Not In Love
featuring Rick Wakeman (Yes)
featuring Bobby Kimball (Toto) • Patrick Moraz (The Moody Blues)
Roye Albrighton: Vocals, Guitar
Ron Howden: Drums, Vocals
Klaus Henatsch: Keyboards, Hammond, Mellotron, Vocals
Billy Sherwood, Peter Pichl: Bass
BUY IT !