Nektar - Remember the Future, the title track from their stunning fourth album, released in 1973. Nektar were one of the finest exponents of the conceptual album, fusing excellent organ and guitar parts in some of the most memorable progressive rock tunes to be released by any band during the seventies. This album is hardly your bog standard Top 40 jobbie, with the title track taking up both sides of the album! We're talking epic stuff here, an album that no lover of this type of music should be without. A British band, they were formed in the early seventies and based themselves in Germany, where their diverse style of music was highly respected and appreciated. Initially calling themselves "Prophecy", they gigged around Germany for a number of years before landing a recording contract with Bellaphon Records, for whom they recorded their awesome debut album, "Journey to the Centre of the Eye" in March of 1972. The band was made up of Roye Albrighton, a seriously underrated guitarist and a man blessed with one of the most emotive voices in rock music, keyboard player and vocalist Allan Freeman, bassist Derek "Mo" Moore and drummer Ron Howden. The fifth member of the band, Mick Brockett, was the inventor of the spectacular light show that was an integral part of Nektar's live show. They appeared to be largely ignored in the UK, but in the US, they reached number 20 on the charts with "Remember the Future". They subsequently recorded two live albums in New York. King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Genesis and The Moody Blues are generally believed to be amongst the pioneers of progressive rock, and there's no argument there: Nektar, although coming onto the scene slightly later than the above bands, certainly deserve a mention as one of the genres' best ever bands.They finally split in 1980, having released about twelve albums. The next time you're in your favourite music store and you happen to come across a Nektar album ( there are a number of ideal "Best of" compilations around ), do yourself a favour and have a listen - you'll kick yourself for not knowing them before.

Nektar 
Nektar - Odyssey, from "....Sounds like This", in 1973, their third album. There seems to be a resurgence of interest in the music of this unbelievably good Germany- based British seventies progressive rock outfit. Quite a few of their albums have recently been re-released by Bellaphon Records. Pity somebody stuffed up the tapes to "Remember the Future", though - the mix on the CD version of one of the best conceptual albums ever recorded did absolutely no justice to that masterful album. Hopefully plans are afoot to rectify the problem. "....Sounds like This", on the other hand, is perfect and captures the band in all their organ/guitar based progressive glory. Crimson, ELP, Gentle Giant, Genesis, etc, are generally felt to be the pioneers of progressive rock and this is true, but Nektar certainly deserve the title of one of the best bands of the genre. Guitarist Roye Albrighton was, together with the likes of Beggar's Opera's Ricky Gardiner, Warhorse's Peter Parks and Atomic Rooster's John (Du) Cann, one of the finest players around at the time. He was also an exceptionally good vocalist to boot. Our featured album, a "live in the studio" effort, was originally released as a double album on the United Artists label, and it features a number of typically long and involved epic tracks - "Odyssey" features the obligatory drum solo. Brilliant! If you enjoy the stuff you hear on the Dinosaur Days, bear in mind that it's bands like Nektar that continue to give us the encouragement to want to share this great music with you. Now that their material is being re-released, you have another chance to experience the class of this awesome band. Rumour has it that they're working on a new album - now THAT'S worth selling your bod for! Information on the band? We've featured them many times before (how could we not?). Go back into these pages - you'll find all you need to know.
  
 


Biography by Bruce Eder
Formed in Germany in 1969, Nektar was a quartet of Englishmen who met in Germany and, for a little while in the early to mid-'70s, seemed like they might take American rock by storm. It was mostly hype, and by 1975 their big moment had already passed, although they lingered on until the end of the decade.

Allan Freeman (keyboards, vocals), Ray Albrighton (guitar, vocals), Derek Moore (bass, Mellotron, vocals), and Ron Howden (drums) all came to Hamburg from England in 1965 as members of different bands. They met in 1968 at the Star Club, where they discovered some common ground in the Beatles as well as early rock & roll, but were drawn to the more experimental sounds just beginning to emerge on the rock scene. A year later they formed Nektar and began working at combining these influences into an effective whole. By 1970, with a light show (designed and operated by unofficial fifth member Mick Brockett) added to their stage act, they began attracting a growing following in Germany.

They were signed to the Bellaphon label in 1971 and released their debut album, Journey to the Center of the Eye, a year later. Their second album, A Tab in the Ocean, followed later the same year, and achieved a cult following as a direct import. Their extended songs, usually involving extensive variations on the same theme, found a growing audience in an era dominated by the sounds of Emerson Lake & Palmer and Yes. Nektar's sound, built around guitar, electronic keyboards, and bass, was far more gothic, with dense textures that didn't always reproduce well on stage — the fans didn't seem to notice. On radio, however, their music filled in large patches of time and attracted listeners ready to graduate from Iron Butterfly and Vanilla Fudge, and seeking a recreation of the drug experience in progressive rock.

Their third album, Remember the Future, released in Germany in 1973, was the group's breakthrough record. The title track, broken into two side-length halves, took up the entire record, and became a favorite of FM radio in 1974. The album was followed later in 1973 by Sounds Like This, which was made up of shorter, simpler songs, but it was eclipsed in the United States by the American release of Remember the Future on the Passport label, their first U.S. release. When the group made their New York debut at the Academy of Music on September 28, 1974, Remember the Future was still the only one of their albums available officially in the United States. An indication of their stage presence and the nature of their act can be gleaned from the fact that between the wattage of their instruments and their light show, they blew the power at the Academy of Music upon taking the stage.

Their next album, Down to Earth (1974), featured ten support musicians and singers, among them P. P. (Pat) Arnold, but it didn't attract nearly the radio play of Remember the Future. Their next album, Live at the Roundhouse (1974), was cut live at the London venue, and didn't include "Remember the Future" among its tracks. They maintained a devoted and significant cult following in America as well as Germany, and their German label later released two double live albums from concerts in New York (which, between them, included two versions of "Remember the Future Part I" and two versions of "Part 2"). Ironically, Passport Records never released either album in the United States.

Albrighton was gone by Magic Is a Child (which featured one of the worst punning titles ever, "Eerie Lackawanna"), replaced on guitar by Dave Nelson, and synthesizer virtuoso Larry Fast joined the line-up for this album. The release of a double-LP best-of anthology in 1978 heralded the end of the group's run of success, although they did get one subsequent release, Man in the Moon, with David Prater on drums, issued in 1980. 

 

Larry Fast
Ron Howden
Derek Moore
Roye Albrighton
Dave Nelson

Alan Freeman
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Faust
King Crimson
Genesis
Neu!
Magma

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Nektar - 1972 - A Tab in the Ocean - 3.5/5

Nektar - 1972 - Journey to the Centre of the Eye - 4/5

Nektar - 1973 - ...Sounds Like This - 4/5

Nektar - 1973 - Remember the Future - 4/5

Nektar - 1974 - Down to earth - 4/5

Nektar - 1974 - Sunday Night at London Roundhouse - 3.5/5

Nektar - 1976 - Nektar - 3/5

Nektar - 1976 - Recyled - 2/5

Nektar - 1977 - Live in New York - 2/5

Nektar - 1977 - Magic Is a Child - 4/5

Nektar - 1978 - More Nektar Live in New York - 3/5

Nektar - 1980 - Man in the Moon - 2.5/5

Nektar - 2002 - Live 2002 - 4/5

Nektar - 2002 - The Prodigal Son - 3/5

Nektar - 2004 - Evolution - 3.5/5

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