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Album Review

Catapilla's second album is probably better-remembered for its gatefold cover — a bug-headed lettuce leaf which opens to reveal a fat, juicy maggot — than for its contents. Delve in deeper than that, though, and the music is even more striking . A magnificent disc, Changes offered an absolute shift away from the grinding Armageddon of Catapilla's debut, with the opening "Reflections" viciously carving out a new territory which floats with breathtaking audacity. For over 12 minutes, vocalist Anna Meek and saxophonist Robert Calvert duel and duet in a manner which would influence everything from Deep Purple's voice and guitar confabulations to Gong's spectral, spacy meanderings. Indeed, experienced Catapilla-watchers will not have been surprised to see Calvert working with that band's Gilli Smyth in the mid-'90s; the blueprint is all over "Reflections." From such a spectacular high, Changes drops back somewhat for the next two tracks, preferring to refine the jazz-rock compounds its predecessor found so profitable, but without the eye-over-the-shoulder toward Crimson and company. "Charing Cross" is jerky and arrogantly discomforting; it's the closest thing to the first album's brittle battery. The relentless "Thank Christ for George," on the other hand, is a smorgasbord of textures underpinned by some absurdly angry guitar and one of Meek's most effective vocals. But it's the reflective instrumental "It Could Only Happen to Me" which truly returns us to the peaks of the opener. A lovely sax melody haunts the same pastoral landscapes as Pink Floyd inhabited across "Atom Heart Mother" and "Echoes" before being scythed into silence about three minutes in, as Graham Wilson's guitar not only rewires everything you thought you knew about Catapilla, but comes close to rewriting prog history as well. A third album from this most visionary of bands, drawing its impetus from "Reflections" and "It Could Only Happen," might have rendered even Dark Side of the Moon academic. As it is, we can only dream wistfully, "What if?"


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s

With vocalist Anna Meek and saxophonist Robert Calvert leading the way, British progressive rock band Catapilla created some of England's most innovative music of the early '70s. Although they disbanded shortly after the release...
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Changes, Catapilla
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Pop
  • Released: 1972

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