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KRAAN Reissues SPV (2006)

German Jazz/Prog rockers Kraan kicked off in the early 70s, the 1978 Harvest album Flyday (SPV 304382 / REV28) (released a year after their farewell concert) is a solid slice of hard rock with touches of fusion and Kraut Rock.

The guitar in 'My Brother Said' adds touches of Jeff Beck, while 'Ausflug' is both more spaced out and funky too, The sound is rather enjoyable, consistent with lots of flair and artistic touches. Not as typically progressive (or easy to get into) as Eloy but it sold well around Europe and in the US. When you listen to it itís easy to see why. ***

1990ís Dancing In The Shade (SPV 304392 / REV29) was one of their last studio albums, and kicks off with a hard edged guitar, and the trumpet (great sound) and female choir-like vocals add an extra dimension to the opener 'Rockets'. The driving bass adds to the prog sound, and itís still obviously German, and great with it too. 'Are You Good Enough' is at the heavy end of mainstream/guitar led Kraftwork. Quieter tracks meander a little too much but itís still a good album. ***½

2001 saw a reunion for the bandís 30th anniversary, and this Live 2001 (SPV 304402 / REV30) set showís how good they were live. Tight, powerful and still able to draw a crowd. And unlike many prog bands, this set only features 2 lengthy work outs, 15 minutes the longest. Plenty of guitar and melody too. ***½

All three sets come in a lavish digipak with extensive notes in the booklets. The two studio sets feature extra tracks too.

Although haphazard in order (thereís plenty of albums inbetween) these sets will please fans and collectors no end.

Review by Joe Geesin

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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