Song Of The Day 8/16/2016: Nektar – “Astral Man”

The Hidden '70s, Part 2 – Nektar, strictly speaking, were proggers. Excuse me -- "progressive rockers." They were Englishmen based in Germany, which sounds like a good middle-man-cutting move to me. I'm only getting cozy with their stuff just now, but from this distance it sounds like an agreeable combination of high-minded ideas and a lack of resistance to occasionally try to be "accessible." Nektar actually had a hit album in the States: Remember the Future, a surprisingly funk- and pop-informed extended piece (one suite, two parts, one on each side) that hit the Top 20 album chart in America and went gold. It's pretty pleasant. I'm listening to it now. I haven't yet reached for the lancing equipment.

Their next album, Down to Earth, was a more song-oriented record, but still had a unified concept. I believe the narrative involves an "alien circus." "Astral Man" (#91, 1975) became the only Nektar song that had a shot at becoming a hit single, but Nektar were very much a staple of the unbridled, album-oriented rock radio persuasion and not so much the American Bandstand crowd. But it's good. We should note with some sadness that Roye Albrighton, Nektar's lead singer and overall driving creative force, just died last month. I hope he enjoys his existence as an actual astral man as many people seemed to enjoy him on earth.

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