Wigwam - Being. 1974 Finland

Wigwam - Being. 1974 Love

CD reissues: 2001 Love; 2009 Belle Antique (Japan mini-LP); 2010 Esoteric (UK)

Packaging details: I recently picked up the Esoteric remaster. It's their usual fine job, that reprints all the original lyrics and liners, along with a short essay written by founding member Jim Pembroke.

Review: A long time friend, musician, and album collector once told me that Wigwam's "Being" is his single favorite progressive rock album of all time. That took me aback, as the album didn't really even register with me much on first listen some 20+ years ago. But on subsequent careful listens, you can certainly understand one's passion for it. It is a highly stylized, complex and dense work that requires an enormous amount of focus and attention. This same friend is also a co-leader of a contemporary progressive rock band, who have released a couple of albums that are much respected, and it's very clear to me that "Being" has been a huge influence on his songwriting. I won't mention who this band is. I'll let you all try to figure it out :-)

James Unger writes in ProgArchives: ""Being" was WIGWAM's 5th album and represents one of the most profound and highly dramatized concept albums mixing religious and political themes in a very strange little album. The trademark of WIGWAM's music was their unique ability to compose music of high progressive quality and complexity while still incorporating strong "pop-rock" aspects. The end result is a wild mix of Steve HACKETT with the complex chording and musical themes not unlike GENTLE GIANT achieved (some pretty musically twisted parts). This album features great and varied instrumentation with great emphasis on keyboards (piano, organ, synths). Essentially"'Being" picks right off where "Fairyport" left off but does deliver a more aggressive and complex album."

There's much debate amongst Wigwam fans on which is their finest hour. I tend to fall into the "Fairyport" camp, preferring the more loosely structured proto-progressive sound, but "Being" is certainly a close second.

1 comment:

  1. Nice text thank You a lot, as You found out Wigwam definitely is one of the biggest pearls of Finnish Progressive Music. Not to forget the others, like Tasavallan Presidentti, Finnforest, Fantasia, Haikara etc.

    Thanks again and greetings from Helsinki

    ps Wigwam's Nuclear Nightclub is my cup of Wigwam tea. ;-))


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