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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Bardens, Peter - 1987 Seen One Earth
Bardens, Peter - 1987 Seen One Earth

ARTIST: Bardens, Peter
ALBUM: Seen One Earth
LABEL: Cinema
SERIAL: CDP 7 4686
YEAR: 1987


LINEUP: Peter Bardens - keyboards, synthesizers, grand piano, linn drums * Adrian Dessent - guitar * Neil Lockwood, Honey Hylton - vocals * Peter Van Hooke - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Seascape * 02 Man Alive * 03 Seen One Earth * 04 Home Thoughts * 05 Prelude * 06 In Dreams * 07 The Stargate * 08 Manny Happy Returns

Contrary to popular myth there were good and interesting things happening in the progressive and art rock scenes during the 1980's. Anyone who says otherwise either wasn't there, didn't bother to look or just didn't like anything the go-go decade represented and really didn't or doesn't want to know now. I can understand this to some extent but for better or worse pop music is forever changing and in the 80's more than a few long in the tooth prog artists were looking to adapt while trying to stay relevant. Enter the Cinema label; an off shoot of parent company Capitol Records and headed up by one Denny Somach, a media personality with numerous credentials including producing several successful radio and TV shows and a Grammy to prove it. Somach likened the imprint to Harvest Records in the early 70's and while in hindsight this sounds naively laughable, it was somewhat chivalrous considering prog was very much out of earshot from the mainstream with perhaps the looming exception of Rush and the sporadic Pink Floyd album.

The Songs
Out of the small handful of Cinema releases, former Camel keyboard player Peter Bardens 'Seen One Earth' was the most successful and for lack of a better description think 'Dark Side Of The Moon' for the Yuppie set. Armed to teeth with an arsenal of 80's gadgetry, there's plenty of that high-end new age digitalis you'll either love or hate but the songs are quite good and with former Wendy & The Rockets and future Asia guitarist Adrian Dessent emulating David Gilmour, you have a recipe for something very different from the elfin harp of Andrea Vollenweider or with the exception of his very good 1984 Atlantic Records debut, Yanni's sugary brand of romantic slop. There is a strong rock element in the set and the opening 'Seascape' has a breezy Camel feel which comes as no surprise while the percussive 'Man Alive' brings to mind both Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd but its 'In Dreams' that stands out. With soon to be Alan Parsons singer Neil Lockwood, rock and pop stations picked it up immediately and again considering the year, this was an amazing feat for Bardens or any other old school progger who hadn't filtered through Asia. Peaking at 41 on the Billboard chart, it's a solid track with a great hook and there were a couple different mixes made available as well.

In Summary
Patrick Moraz and Tangerine Dream's Michael Hoenig each put out mediocre CD's on Cinema but Tony Kaye, fresh off the Yes monstrosity 'Big Generator', recorded an album for the label yet decided not to release it for various reasons. Jazz rock guitarist Eric Johnson was signed as well, but Capitol had other plans for his third album 'Ah Via Musicom' and this seemed to be the beginning of the end for the imprint, leaving everyone to wonder how much skin Capitol Records really had in the progressive rock sounds of 1987. [word count 497]

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#1 | gdazegod on May 02 2016 01:22:20
I would probably add Barclay James Harvest' 80's material into this category too.
#2 | gdazegod on May 02 2016 10:50:06
Peter Bardens - 1987 Seascape
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