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Flyte - 1979 Dawn Dancer

ALBUM: Dawn Dancer
LABEL: Don Quixote Records
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1994, Musea, FGBG 4096.AR


LINEUP: Lu Rousseau - lead vocals, percussion * Ruud Worthman - acoustic & electric guitars * Jack Van Liesdonck - acoustic & electric piano, clavinet, synthesizer * Leo Cornelissens - electric organ, mellotron, string ensemble, vocals * Hans Boeye - drums, percussion * Peter Dekeersmaeker - bass, vocals * Hans Marynissen - percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Woman * 02 Heavy Like A Child * 03 Grace * 04 You're Free, I Guess * 05 Aim At The Head * 06 Your Breath Enjoyer * 07 King Of Clouds * 08 Brain Damage

A band consisting of both Dutch and Belgian band members; Flyte's only LP was recorded in Belgium but released on the Don Quixote label which was based in The Netherlands just to confuse everyone. I can't find much on the company other than they were a subsidiary of a larger distribution outfit that dabbled in classical music and released the occasional oddball pop compilation although it doesn't appear they were overly active. Flyte on the other hand have seen 'Dawn Dancer' reissued in Japan, Korea as well as France which is somewhat surprising since reviews I've read over the years have been less than complimentary, often citing the lead vocalist's weaknesses and questionable use of the Kings English.

The Songs
As many of you already know, I'm quite fond of progressive rock from this region of the world and in this context 'Dawn Dancer' is a mighty fine album. Yes, vocalist Lu Rousseau's range is a bit thin at several points on the record and goofy lyrics and song titles like 'Your Breath Enjoyer' certainly gives one pause, but this is keyboard-rich commercial prog drawn from Camel, Genesis and Supertramp which I'm very much at home with despite the aforementioned and ultimately minor flaws. Good, solid playing throughout in particular keyboardist Leo Cornelissens whose elegant orchestral style is more than impressive. Kicking off with 'Woman' is a great start and a terrific falsetto from Rousseau with blissful Camel styled leads and I really enjoyed 'Heavy Like A Child' which reminds me a little of bit of Kayak and with the photo of the band dressed in all white on the back of the Musea reissue well, I'm just saying. The grand instrumental 'Grace' is the album's jewel and again the Camel influences are even more apparent although 'Aim At The Head' is Flyte's most accessible track; very Supertramp right down to the faultless e-piano intro and vocal stylizations. Great stuff and in fact this song was re-recorded with even more of a rock edge following the LP's release and although that version flipped with the unreleased 'Killer Cure' was pressed as a single, it's extremely difficult to locate these days. The band have since disassociated themselves from it of course, but it would have made for great bonus tracks as would the demo recorded for their aborted second album 'Cast Of The Stars'.

In Summary
Flyte didn't really tour but appeared at several major festivals in the Benelux region with Focus, Earth And Fire, Solution and others, but the new wave explosion killed Flyte's chances in 1979's marketplace and as such 'Dawn Dancer' is a fine epitaph as one of the period's lesser-known, but highly enjoyable releases.

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#1 | tonissive on January 01 2012 11:52:34
very good album eric! flyte, topaz and nessie albums are the best benelux progressive albums of late 70s!
#2 | Eric on January 08 2012 15:25:50
Not forgetting Machiavel! 'Urban Games' is a classic...
#3 | super80boy on June 11 2017 20:31:51
I recently found this CD in a local record store and jumped on it, knowing it was a rather obscure progressive rocker. 'Aim At The Head', 'Brain Damage' and 'Woman' are album standouts. An excellent private press production.
#4 | Eric on June 12 2017 21:29:14
Hold on to that CD! Its long out of print on Musea... The Dutch always seem to do prog right don't they?
#5 | Emda on June 14 2017 17:40:26
Yes they do Eric. Marathon 'The First Run' always comes on my mind when talking about dutch prog.

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