Clowns and Clouds, Hoelderlin's third album, is a diverse work from this classic 70s German symphonic progressive rock band. No doubt Genesis is a major influence here, especially on the 'Clowns' side (tracks 1 to 3). 'Madhouse' could easily have been lifted from Genesis' Trick of the Tail, but with the addition of viola and squealing sax, which gives it an entirely unique sound. 'Your Eyes' is interesting to me, because it sounds like something you'd hear on a late 70s / early 80s Alan Parsons Project album, though the instrumental sections are much more progressive rock oriented. The 'Clouds' side is considerably more unique and is what makes this album special. Here, Hoelderlin offer up a more laid back and cosmic rock music. Violin, flute, sax, Rhodes, synthesizers, ac+el. guitar and a steady rhythm section make for a serene and beautiful experience. Difficult to find comparisons for this side of their music, but perhaps the instrumental sections of Novalis' second album and Dawn-era Eloy can provide some context.
LP: 1976 Spiegelei
CD: 1994 WMMS / Music is Intelligence