Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce a 2CD Anthology by the classic Scottish Progressive Rock group Beggars Opera. Drawing on material from the band’s first four albums, recorded for the legendary Vertigo label, "Nimbus” features 27 of the band’s best tracks. This anthology is a fine tribute to an inspiring band and has been newly re-mastered from the original master tapes, and features a booklet with new essay.
When they made "Beggars Can't Be Choosers", the band had already begun to move away from the overtly progressive style. The album seemed to signal the end of the band, but five years later came "Lifeline", a 1980 album that did not include Ricky or Pete. The project was the result of a revival conceived by former Beggars' guitarist Gordon Sellar. He was keen to bring the brand into the new decade with a high tech glossy sound, while retaining the Beggars' rock roots. The line-up also included Linnie Paterson back on vocals with Alan Park (keyboards), Colin Pattenden (bass) and John Hollywood (drums).
Scottish band Beggar's Opera started out as an organ based proto-prog unit, sounding similar to ELP or The Nice, thanks to Alan Park's Hammond histrionics. Their first 3 albums are all highly recommended, but something happened and the direction of the band changed radically, for the worse unfortunately, in terms of progressive music anyway.
Get Your Dog Off Me was the fourth release from this Scottish progressive rock band, now just seeing the light of day on CD. Features the original 10 tracks plus 2 bonus tracks, originally the A & B sides to a UK single also released in 1973. For this album, the band took on a more hard rock approach, somewhat similar to Deep Purple, and cast aside many of the King Crimson, Spring, Moody Blues, Mellotron-soaked influences from some of the earlier material. Tracks like "Freestyle Ladies", with its aggressive attack of guitar, Hammond organ, and the fiery vocals of Linnie Paterson, and "Open Letter", rock hard, but still have a high proggy quality to them.
After fading from the `live' gigging scene, founder member Ricky Gardner began to suffer from illness which also prevented any further recording. However, in 2007 the guitarist and his wife keyboard player and vocalist Virginia Scott released Close To My Heart, an album that had taken them 10 years to compose and record. Most of the pieces are tightly constructed in length and don't roam into `Prog' instrumental excess. The vocals are prominent, while an intriguing atmosphere is provided by tough guitar riffs and meandering Mellotron themes. The effect has been compared to a blend of Pink Floyd with Hawkwind symphonic space age moods.
Their fearless fusion of exploratory rock and classical music made this Scottish band a cult favorite-especially in Germany, where they scored a hit with the song Time Machine. When the band announced their breakup in '74, the German label Jupiter leapt into action and insisted the band re-form and record a new album for them; here's the result from that very same year.
2011 concept album from the legendary Prog band. Lose A Life (a nano opera based on a true story) is a sonic biography by leader Ricky Gardiner on the subject of living with Electrical Sensitivity, a condition that affects many people and one that Ricky suffers and champions further awareness and investigation. Lyrics by long standing Beggars Opera musical partner and keyboardist Virginia Scott (Ricky's wife). Together, they produce electrifying performances on this thought-provoking album. Ricky Gardiner is interviewed by respected author and journalist Chris Welch for the exclusive detailed liner notes in the booklet.
Defiantly cast in the shadow of the then-recently defunct Nice, but brimming with their own ideas and imagination, Beggars Opera emerged in 1970 with a debut album that still stands as one of the crown jewels of prog. Five tracks long in its original (Vertigo label) form, but bolstered with both sides of their debut single for the Repertoire CD, Act One is an audacious blending of hard riffs, Heep-esque vocals, and crazed organ and Mellotron, and it's those latter elements that most distinctly flavor the album.
This band was from Scotland, their name is derived from a novel by the poet John Gray in 1728. The musicians were Martin Griffiths (vocals), Rick Gardiner (guitar and vocals), Alan Park (keyboards), Gordon Sellar (bass, acoustic guitar and vocals), Virginia Scott (Mellotron and vocals) and Raymond Wilson (drums and percussion). The Band made a lot of records but remained acting in the shade of most progressive rock bands. On the third LP "Pathfinder" Beggars Opera seems to have reached its pinnacle: strong and alternating compositions with lush keyboards (Mellotron, organ, piano and harpsichord), powerful electric guitarplay and many shifting moods (even Scottish folk with bagpipes).