Opening Move - Gryphon (1974)
Progressive rock probably shows up more on this insanely exhausting list than any other type of music. I guess that makes sense because it is the genre that truly inspires, challenges and rewards my ears the most. Also, I'm a sucker for underdogs, and Prog's phoenix-like revival is a humble reward for the many years of study I've poured into its history, culture and practitioners.
I've said all that to say this: Where else are you going to find a concept album about the game of chess that mixes Medieval instrumentation with a rock combo?
It ain't going to be on a Cody Simpson album, I assure you.
I remember first hearing about Gryphon's magnum opus in a magazine listing of the worst albums ever released. Naturally, I was intrigued.
After loving today's track from the day I pulled it out of the plastic and let the laser skim it's digitized surface, it is quite nice to find that the venerable All Music Guide bestowed four out of fives stars on it. Take that, music magazine I cannot remember!! Gryphon's catalog is short, but I promise you won't hear anything quite like it in the entire pantheon of recorded sound. Their music is timeless, extremely adventurous and steadfastly traditional, usually in the course of three consecutive numbers.
They are definitely worth the import prices you'll have to pay to get this, but isn't all good prog?