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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Ziggurat - 1979 Ziggurat
Ziggurat - 1979 Ziggurat

ARTIST: Ziggurat
ALBUM: Ziggurat
LABEL: Robox
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2009, Retrospect Records, RR-387 (2 on 1 with 'Melodic Scandal')
SPONSOR: Retrospect Records


LINEUP: Dave Sansom - lead vocals * Nathan Barfield - guitars, percussion, backing vocals * Bob Geresti - keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals * Don McWhorter - bass, percussion, backing vocals * Russell Daniel - drums, percussion, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rounder * 02 Alone Tonight * 03 Winter Snow * 04 Soft Passage * 05 Will There Come A Time * 06 Gypsy Said * 07 Sally Paradise * 08 Let Me Come Home * 09 Run With The Wind * 10 Melathys

For those that don't know, a Ziggurat is a middle eastern term used to describe age old pyramids. Especially around the old region of Mesopotamia. There are a heap of them in modern day Iraq and Iran. Just what prompted a bunch of boys from Georgia USA to name themselves after a middle eastern pyramid is unknown, but it kinda suits their commercial art rock/prog sound, unusual considering Georgia is the heartland of southern rock, blues and dixie. Recorded in Nashville by Bud Reneau, Ziggurat may have been mis-matched geographically for their style of art rock/prog rock, but the bands stuck to their guns and released an adequate set of songs for the time, though it sailed so far under the radar that they probably should've invested in a couple of shovels and a trench digger! We've previously reviewed their follow-up album 'Melodic Scandal', and much of what was mentioned there applies equally here. Namely, the sound comparing favourably to Canadian outfits during that late 70's era, plus of course the aforementioned prog rock/art rock themes.

The Songs
The flanger effects are on red alert for the cruisy opener 'Rounder', but the song doesn't really take off at any point, just meandering through to track two 'Alone Tonight', which is a much better interpretation of their style, the song could have made a name for itself in the radio rock/FM market. 'Winter Snow' is a lovely lilting piece but far too soft to excite the rockers among you. Same goes for 'Soft Passage', which is piano oriented semi-ballad, with more in the way of symphonic rock elements. It does lift as it progresses through, with some nice lead guitar and harmony vocals. 'Will There Come A Time' integrates various styles, but commercial prog would be the prevailing one, ducking down to a form of radio rock. Much more interesting is the symphonic uptake of 'And The Gypsy Said', merging Jethro Tull and Kansas in an unusual way, Dave Sansom trying his best Ian Anderson impersonation. 'Sally Paradise' is a straight-ahead rocker with not a lot going for it, same goes for 'Let Me Come Here', just not enough in the 'stand-out' stakes to make a dent in the consciousness. The album featured 'Methalys' coupled with 'Run With The End' as the albums single. Ironically, both of these two tracks were the last two listed on the LP, but neither of them would've been my choice for the A side single, if given the opportunity to change it around.. If it were me I would've put 'Alone Tonight' as the A-side, with perhaps 'Methalys' as the b-side, offering something of a contrast.

In Summary
As mentioned, the band went on to record 'Melodic Scandal' three years later, so no doubt, the band toured all around the south eastern USA in between times. 'Ziggurat' is not so hard to find on original vinyl. There are many copies available on Ebay, but you could go one better and obtain the CD reissue (coupled with 'Melodic Scandal') from Retrospect Records instead.

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#1 | Eric on October 17 2010 13:21:59
This is one of two covers I've seen for this album.
#2 | gdazegod on October 17 2010 16:32:14
The above is the original Robox cover. I'll put the other one up shortly.
#3 | super80boy on July 28 2014 01:33:53
My choice for the single would also have been 'Alone Tonight' with B side being 'Rounder'. After reading subpar reviews on this debut, I was pleasantly surprised with quite a variety of above par tracks. The closing 'Melathys' definitely works its way into progressive territory and quite well I might add.
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