Exposé Online banner

David Bedford — The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
(Virgin CDOVD 443, 1976/1994, CD)

by Roel Steverink, Published 2004-09-01

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Cover artI never had the pleasure to hear this album when it was still only available on LP. The transfer to CD is fine, the noise is not disturbing this time. The subject of the album is the famous poem from the 19th century romantic poet Samuel Coleridge. Bedford could have gone for only a musical impression of the poem, but he wanted more. So the whole poem is being recited by the excellent intonating voice of Robert Powell, and that voice and music proves to be a winning combination. Bedford has created just the right melodies, themes and atmospheres to float along the great poem Coleridge created a century and a half ago. Like the poem, the music is also a masterpiece. We hear that typical unruly minimalistic building of suspense and unevenness in a way only Bedford can do. Although minimalistic in character, the outcome is more of a complex brew of piano, organ, bells, guitar and synth which culminates in a grotesque, sometimes medieval, but ever fascinating soundscape. Even within that framework Bedford does leave room for improvisation. Oh yes, there's even a children's choir aboard. It's deadly horrific in the uprising of dissonant harmony and strangely beautiful in the ultra soft passages. What more do you want from adventurous music?

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 30, 1994 releases, 1976 recordings

Related artist(s): Mike Oldfield, David Bedford

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Zao - Osiris – Zao's second album was recorded in 1974, and originally released on Richard Pinhas' startup Disjuncta label. Despite the minimal resources available to Pinhas, Osiris fared well, surpassing sales of...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues