Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Nova Solis with track EARTH

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Rien user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 23 Aug 09, 08:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Just found out that in 1972 Morgan (Fisher) and Tim Staffell recorded together an album called Nova Solis.
In the year 2000 this was released on cd as far as I know. (just bought it through I-Tunes)
The album has 4 tracks and the title track is 20 minutes long. That track contains a recording of the Smile song EARTH.

More info on my website (for a snippet of the title track)
and here: http://www.hunter-mott.com/discography/nova_solis.html

another review:
The first of Morgan's own projects, recorded by the progressive rock band he and drummer Maurice Bacon of Love Affair formed in 1971. Bass player Bob Sapsed had also played in the last period of Love Affair. Singer and co-composer of this album Tim Staffell had been the singer/bassist in the band Smile, which included Brian May and Roger Taylor, who went on to form Queen. Some say that Tim's powerful tenor voice resembles that of Freddie Mercury. “Nova Solis” is, in true progressive rock style, a concept album, but hopefully with none of the pompousness associated with the genre. A mixture of beautiful acoustic songs (with Tim's voice reminiscent of, yes, Freddie Mercury) and aggressive synths over a powerful rhythm section, it shows power and versatility from beginning to end.

REVIEWS
***** Incredible English prog, May 28, 2006
Reviewer: Jeffrey J.Park (Massachusetts, USA)   
This 1972 release is very obscure, even amongst proggers, and I am not quite sure why - this stuff is amazing.
The musicians on this album are incredible and include bandleader Morgan Fisher (VCS3, Hammond organ, acoustic piano, and mellotron), Bob Sapsed (fretless bass), Maurice Bacon (drums/percussion), and Tim Staffell (vocals, acoustic/electric guitars). The performances are excellent and there is some fairly intricate ensemble work - just the type of thing that one would expect from high quality English prog. Tim Staffell has a very good and high pitched voice that is occasionally altered by running his voice through the VCS3 synthesizer.
The four tracks on the album range in length from 5'17" (Tim Staffell's haunting piece Alone), to the mammoth, 20'17" suite and prog extravaganza Nova Solis. Morgan is an excellent composer and arranger, and all of the tracks flow along nicely. Melodies and harmonies are also highly developed and dynamic contrasts are used effectively. I guess it's worth noting that sections of Jupiter from Gustav Holst's Planets were worked into the Nova Solis suite only after lengthy negotiations with Imogen Holst (his daughter). Although Morgan is an incredible keyboardist, I have to single out Bob Sapsed. He is an excellent player, thoroughly contrapuntal, and the tone and texture of his fretless bass (he uses glissandos very well) adds great depth to this music.
The album was recorded at the then "state of the art" RCA recording studios in Rome, Italy and the sound quality is excellent. There are abundant and recent commentaries from Morgan both in a general sense and in track by track comments. The lyrics have also been reproduced and there are several photos of the band taken during the recording process (with some pretty funny captions).
This is an unfairly neglected prog rock album that is simply excellent and very highly recommended. For those of you that like this album, the second (and final) album The Sleeper Wakes (1973) is also fantastic.


Feel free to visit my site - http://www.mercuryparadise.com

(Come into my life, it's a MercuryParadise)
pittrek user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 23 Aug 09, 09:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yep. Nova Solis is a fantastic song, I listen to it every day


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Posted: 23 Aug 09, 12:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



pittrek wrote:

Yep. Nova Solis is a fantastic song, I listen to it every day


You listen to the same song EVERY day?








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Posted: 23 Aug 09, 12:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Ducksoup wrote:







pittrek wrote:



Yep. Nova Solis is a fantastic song, I listen to it every day



You listen to the same song EVERY day?


Actually I have a playlist created on my hard disc and listen to randomly chosen songs from it :) Nova Solis, Child In Time and Stairway To Heaven are the top 3 positions on the playlist







rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 24 Aug 09, 02:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've got both of Morgan's albums on CD (Nova Solis and Brown Out [aka The Sleeper Wakes]). Nova Solis is a great track, but it's not for everyone. This is hardcore progressive stuff, more so than early Yes, with lots of looooooong synth noddling, weird experimentation and crazy key changes. If you're only used to popular rock, classic rock and heavy metal, this will knock you on yor butt. I know people who *hate* this kind of music because it so bizaare at times. A familiarity with Rush's 2nd and 3rd albums, early Yes, and King Crimson can help ease you into how musically off-the-beaten-path the Morgan albums are.

I bought Nova Solis primarily because of "Earth" being on it, but being a fan of progressive rock, as well as mainstream rock, does allow me to enjoy the entire thing for what it is. "Alone" is a great track from that album as well.

And listen for an excerpt of Holst's "Jupiter: Bringer of Jollity" that bookend "Nova Solis" (the track).

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Posted: 26 Aug 09, 08:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

According to the author himself, the track 'Alone' (thanks for the segue, Rhyeking) was in fact written by Tim Staffell during the Smile period tho never recorded by Smile.





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Posted: 26 Aug 09, 12:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Like "White Queen (As It Began)," it's a pity Smile never tried recording "Alone." As I said, it's a great track.

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Posted: 26 Aug 09, 13:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote







When you listen to 'Morgan' it is very easy to see why it is Tim and the others had to go in seperate directions.







In one way it was a shame because I really liked what Smile did, and I thought that Tim was a remarkable singer (similar to Tim Buckley/David Bowie) but it was clearly the right thing to do. Not just because we would not have Queen now, but also because each band member's artistic integrity remained intact as they each had their own ideas of where they wanted to go.







Bit of a shame that Tim gave up entirely - Morgan were never going to acheive 'mega' success but Tim was such a good singer.








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Posted: 26 Aug 09, 14:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Give Tim's aMIGO album a listen. It's mix of jazz, folk, rock and country and is pretty decent. He does a version of "Earth" on it, with Brian May (of Smile) and Morgan Fisher (of Morgan) and a version of "Doing All Right,' also with Brian (as they both co-wrote the song).

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Posted: 26 Aug 09, 14:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I shall look out for it, thanks :)


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