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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Chorale - 1978 Chorale
Chorale - 1978 Chorale

ARTIST: Chorale
ALBUM: Chorale
LABEL: Arista
SERIAL: 1 C 064-62 24B
YEAR: 1978


LINEUP: Steve Davies - vocals, recorder * Barbara Courtney King, Lee Gibson - vocals * Peter Gosling - vocals, keyboards * Robert Howes - percussion * Derek Austin - keyboards * Mo Foster - bass * Billy McGillivray - guitars * Terry Popple - drums

Additional Musicians: Pat Halling, Bill Reid, Dennis McConnell, Nick Mernick, David Randall, Laurie Lewis, Homi Kanga, Robin Williams - violins * Brian Mac, Norris Bosworth, Michael Cookson, Tony Harris - violas * Quentin Williams, Nigel Pinkett, Clive Anstee, Peter Willison, Lennox Langton, Tim Barlas - cellos * William Houghton - trumpet * David Snell - harp * Derek Austin - string arrangements

TRACK LISTING: 01 Warrior: a) Anthem b) Merry Old England c) Thomas Harper d) Songs For Every Season e) War f) The Battle * 02 Come The Night-Time * 03 Riu Riu * 04 Child Of Space * 05 Heavy Load * 06 Pantomime

While pointy-nosed critics in the post-punk era were more than eager to bury progressive rock once and for all, it's amazing how many good art rock records were still finding their way onto major label release schedules and ultimately bought by music lovers who didn't care for the stripped-down pop sounds the media was pushing. The sole release from British ensemble Chorale is as good an example as any that complex and thoughtful music still had infinite possibilities, despite claims to the contrary from the music elite. Formed by keyboardist Peter Gosling who would later find a place in the 80's version of Renaissance; the self-titled album was only released in The Netherlands but did well, boosted by the albums hit single 'Riu Riu'. Produced by Christopher Neil whose future track record would include Sheena Easton, The Moody Blues and Marillion; Chorale is a sprawling and shimmering jewel in the progressive canon.

The Songs
A ballsy move devoting the entire first side to an epic six-part suite but it's a fascinating twenty minutes and opening with a lovely A cappella choir segueing effortlessly into a medieval mid-period Renaissance influenced rocker; what prog fan in his right mind could ask for more? Elegant and sophisticated; the female vocals of Lee Gibson and Barbara Courtney-King who would later work with Andrew Lloyd Webber are in a word-stunning and Gosling as well as Steve Davies are more than adequate counterpoint. Compositionally it's an enjoyable ride through the cheery Jethro Tull-ish jig 'Merry Old England' to the grandiose Alan Parsons Project influenced couplet 'War' and 'The Battle'; 'Warrior' is a concept piece with more than enough pop appeal for fans of Jeff Wayne's 'War Of The Worlds' opus and the eponymous album from the Intergalactic Touring Band. Side two is even more diverse touching on dazzling Camel styled fusion with 'Come The Night-Time' and pre-dating the otherworldly Gregorian pop of Enigma by half a dozen years with the aforementioned 'Riu Riu'. On the down-side the pop rock of 'Heavy Load' sounds somewhat out of place more akin to a lost Lynsey de Paul track although 'Pantomime' quickly brings the record back in line and is very reminiscent of Swedish prog favourites Tribute and their classic 1984 album 'New Views'.

In Summary
Personally I would love to have Chorale on CD but considering its limited run at the time I don't think many are aware of this record or how good it is. Let's start here and spread the word on what is one of progressive pop's all-time classics.

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#1 | tonissive on October 16 2011 20:30:08
I bought this album on vinyl on fair records in spain for 2€, an obscure great album! i think never released on cd!
#2 | gdazegod on March 06 2018 09:00:50
I have a few of their later albums, but never found this one. The ones from the early 80's are quite strange. Vocal improvisation, a la Renaissance, Camel, Caravan, even some 80's techno. Very challenging. Shock
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