Khan – Space Shanty (1972)

Khan_SpaceShanty4.5 out of 5 Stars!

Space Shanty is a terrific one-off album from Khan, a short-lived “supergroup” from the U.K. that included lauded and legendary guitarist Steve Hillage (Gong/Arzachel), bassist Nick Greenwood (The Crazy World of Arthur Brown), and keyboardist David L. Stewart (Egg/National Health/Hatfield and the North).

The album is nothing less than a giant caldron bubbling with Canterbury-Prog magic, with only six tracks in total, including “Mixed Up Man of the Mountains,” “Hollow Stone (inc. Escape of the Space Pilots),” “Driving to Amsterdam,” and the wonderful opening title track, officially known as “Space Shanty (inc. The Cobalt Sequence and the March of the Sine Squadrons).” But each tune is crammed with megatons of creativity, haunting melodies, both heavy and lighter passages, some Space Rock atmospheres, and inspired instrumentation. For those who may be unfamiliar with the often-jazzy and occasionally quirky “Canterbury Scene” Progressive Rock sub-genre, then Space Shanty is an album that will more than likely get you hooked.

I can’t help but wonder what Khan might have achieved had it stayed together longer, but thankfully, it left behind at least one enduring masterpiece.

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