Goblin Volume II, 1975-1980

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DRG's second compilation of Goblin material is much more aimed at the collector's market than The Goblin Collection 1975-1989. Goblin fanatics will be no doubt be pleased by the presence of unreleased film versions of tracks from the Profondo Rosso album and an alternate version of "Markos" from Suspiria. This material also appeared on the Italian Goblin reissues of the late '90s, but this compilation remains a nice way to pick up this material for fans who do not have easy access to those reissues. However, the true highlight of this collection is the inclusion of three tracks from the ultra-rare Cherry Five album, a straightforward prog rock album that the group recorded with a vocalist shortly before getting the job to score Profondo Rosso. The two-part composition "The Swan Is a Murderer" represents prog rock at its most dramatic: The first part leaps out of the speakers with a frantic burst of percussion before developing into a complex tune highlighted by harpsichord and organ flourishes, while the second part starts with spooky sound effects and then fades into a driving, organ-fueled tune that boasts Yes-styled harmonies and an array of ELP-like keyboard solos. The other Cherry Five track is "Oliver," an epic that shifts its way through several tempos as it weaves an array of different keyboard textures into the band's complicated yet tightly-wound jamming. These tracks prove that Goblin could have given any of the top '70s prog outfits a run for the money if the band had decided to abandon soundtracks to play art rock alone. Given the combination of these tracks and the rest of the album's soundtrack rarities, Goblin Volume II: 1975-1980 is a solid pick for Goblin fans who want something new and fresh to place alongside the familiar Goblin soundtracks.

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