Cathedral - Stained Glass Stories. 1978 USA


It's interesting for me to see how many folks today poo-poo this album and say it's overrated, hyped, plagiarist, or whatever. Perhaps it was the background that my friends and I came from that made Cathedral's album seem so extraordinary. Nowadays progressive rock fans have access to thousands of albums at their finger tips, and perhaps it does blend in with similar artists - and so maybe that's why they can't understand old-timers like us who would rave about Stained Glass Stories. I personally think it's a great example of the American underground take on progressive rock. They went all out and left absolutely nothing behind. It doesn't matter to me that it wasn't perfect from a composition/playing standpoint. It's a highly ambitious work with great melodies interspersed throughout and therein lies the charm of it all.

I guess I'm glad to have discovered the album before I read it was "one of the greatest progressive rock albums ever." We didn't have any expectations back then. We just loved it.

Personal Collection
LP: 1978 Delta
CD: 2010 Belle Antique (Japan)

My first copy to own was the Syn-Phonic LP reissue which was housed in a unique poster cover. I eventually exchanged this for the CD from the same label. I first heard this album in 1988 from a friend / record dealer who had stumbled onto the original. For hardcore progressive rock heads like me, Cathedral was an astounding find. It was exciting to know that there may be dozens of unknown gems yet to be discovered. Those were exhilarating times if you were a record collector. Over the years, I eventually secure an original LP and upgraded my CD to the Japanese mini-LP (basically the same as Syn-Phonic with better packaging).

Interesting side story: Way back in 1990 or so, both Syn-Phonic and Rockadelic were trying to release a second unreleased album called Epilogue. I was friendly with both gentlemen so knew the details behind this as it was happening. All these years later, and it still remains in the vaults as the band couldn't agree on terms. I have a copy on CD-R and it's fantastic. Really a shame that it's not out there for public consumption.

Last update: August 5, 2017

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