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The Story of Little Milton – Top Album Challenge No. 9/10


Later – when announcing his epic live – Ian Anderson would say: “… we even did concept albums …” – with a little pitch in the tone on “concept”. Jethro Tull weren’t particularly a progrock formation, more like a genius crossover of folk, rock, a little irish/celtic here and there with progrock as the icing of the cake.

No. Wrong. The icing of the cake was Anderson’s art of playing and “singing” the flute at the very same time.

Anyway – there is one Tull album, indeed, rightfully to be claimed into the progrock section. And it is accompanied by a brilliant story (composed into a newspaper issue of the “St. Cleve Chronicle & Linwell Advertiser“) around a boy winning a literature contest and being disqualified afterwards as psychiatrists judged him to have a “seriously unbalanced mind”. Embarrassingly enough, it was years past my acquaintance with the record that I realized, the story was actually 100% fake 🙂

“Little Milton” named the poem he won with “Thick as a Brick”. And the newspaper reports are reprinted beneath the youtube link, I chose … Have fun with my penultimate top album challenge feature!


P.S.: When searching google for “thick as a brick newspaper“, one can find loads of copies of that 12 page St. Cleve Chronicle & Linwell Advertiser from 1972.


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A “Yes” for progrock – Top Album Challenge No. 8/10


Commencing the holiday season with my passion for progrock (and I won’t keep you long with words): “Yes” were my entrance into progrock. “Yes” were amongst my first ever bought LPs (and I still own those). “Yes” opened a way into music during my late teenage years like no other group. “Yes” – for me – remains the utmost musical art. It was a complete artistic masterpiece. Songs. Suite-style compositions. Ever-changing hard-to-follow rhythm and structure. And beyond-awesome album cover artwork by Roger Dean.

Meanwhile my collection – crazily enough – contains all the official Yes-work, the records of the “diaspora” era when Chris Squire and Jon Anderson had parted paths, the “Yes, Friends and Relatives” albums and a few semi-official stuff. Why I chose “Yessongs” for the Top-Album-Challenge? Because I’ve restricted myself to only one per artist 😉 – and this is the most comprehensive compilation of their early works. And it’s live – showing off their tremendous genius.

Sit back and enjoy – 2+ hours of Yesmusic:


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Seconds Out for the Top Album Challenge No. 4/10


No. 4 of my favourite album list right-away moves into the long gone genre of progressive rock. Mind: We might stay with it for waht’s to come up – be warned 😉

And – no – I am not including “Selling England By the Pound” which is without doubt to be considered one of the genre’s cornerstones. Full ack. On the other hand, I could probably have included more or less every one of Genesis’ 70ies albums. I think I chose this one for their monstrous versions of “Firth of Fifth” (unsurprisingly part of the before mentioned “Selling England …”) and “Los Endos” (wonder why I dislike Phil Spector’s sound approach if I do like these ;)). Youtube offers just the album recording – so nothing to watch this time …:

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Thou shall not challenge me – Top Album Challenge No. 1/10


A dear friend nominated me. To one of those challenges. I hate those challenges (well: I find the starbucketchallenge quite – funny — and fitting). Anyway: I consider the idea to give people instructions on what to post into their social media feed rather strange and counterproductive to the otherwise intriguing idea of social networks – but well: when we all run out of weather reports and cat videos, one must be given new challenges. Obviously.

I dislike them. And they bore me.

Admittedly, however, I could not by any means resist this one: Being asked to list my top 10 music albums of all time. And so, the SmileIT blog received its new “Music” category, will see 10 posts on great music and if youtube is nice’n’neat, will even see the video link of the respective album in the post.

So – here’s No. 1: The Beatles’ masterpiece “Abbey Road”, because it is – for me – the one and only justifiable transition of music into my beloveth genre of progressive rock; and because it contains George Harrison’s “Something” – a love song of a beauty never again attained by anything else ever written.

Here we go … listen closely: There’s so much to discover!

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