There are many music legends and the UK band Nektar are among them. Nektar’s contribution over the last 49 years has quite rightly earned them their place in any Progressive Rock Hall Of Fame. But the band is much more than a prog legend, the Nektar brand of innovative composition, performance and visuals is simply close to unique. On January 24th Nektar willl release their fifteenth album entitled The Other Side.
Some updated old ideas from 1978 is used on The Other Side! The 1978 unrecorded song Skypilot has evolved into Skywriter in 2020. I’m On Fire is the musical adaptation of a poem written by Derek Moore for his soon-to-be wife, Nicki, during that same time period of 1978. The closing track, Devil’s Door, was originally performed live in 1974, but never featured on a Nektar album. Updated and recorded for this album, the song features the presence of the late Roye Albrighton on the introduction to the track, whose wonderful guitar part was taken from a live soundboard recording made in 1974. Roye Albrighton passed on 27 Jul 2016 at the age of 67.
Nektar was founded in Hamburg, Germany in 1969. The band disbanded in 1982 but regrouped from 2000-2016 and reformed again in 2018. Probably Nektar is the most German-like of the Seventies British bands with their stylistic krautrock approach. The founders was Alaln Freeman on keyboards and vocals, Roye Albrighton on guitar and vocals, Derek Moore with bass, mellotron and vocals, and Ron Howden. Howden and Moore plays on the new album alongside with Randy Dembo on bass, and 12-string guitar, Ryche Chlanda on guitar and vocals and Kendall Scott on keyboards.
Although Nektar is a British band they found their greatest fame in Germany The also attained cult-status in the US – particularly on the east-coast. Nektar toured with a large production set because they usually had an immense multi-media light show to complement their performances. Most of their recordings were theme based. On their first recording Nektar played hard rock with healthy space rock injections and Floydian vibes.
The 70’s gave them the occasion to issue some very good albums, like for example Remember The Future (1973) and Recycled (1975). Both was conceptual albums with a vocal story and with keyboards and guitars of the melodic kind. The debut album Journey To The Centre Of The Eye is a epic album with much dual mellotron and echoplex guitars. The album also have a Krautrock vibe but are definitely British.
The second album Tab In The Ocean from 1972 have shorter songs, and four years later came a compilation entitled Nektar. This is a real nice starting point for those who want to explore the older songs from Nektar.