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Roye Albrighton with Nektar live in 2007
|Past members||Derek "Mo" Moore
Allan "Taff" Freeman
The band formed in Hamburg, Germany in 1969. Members included Englishmen Roye Albrighton on guitars and vocals, Allan "Taff" Freeman on keyboards, Derek "Mo" Moore on bass, Ron Howden on drums, and Mick Brockett on lights and special effects. Songwriting was always considered a group effort.
The band's early albums Journey to the Centre of the Eye, A Tab in the Ocean, and ...Sounds Like This were obscure psychedelic rock albums that won the band a growing cult following, based largely on word of mouth. The last of those albums was the first Nektar album to be released in the U.S., on the small Passport Records label. Iron Maiden recorded a cover version of the A Tab in the Ocean song "King of Twilight", released on a 1995 reissue of their 1984 album Powerslave as a bonus track.
Nektar's second U.S. release, Remember the Future (1973), propelled the band briefly into mass popularity. A concept album about a blind boy who communicates with an extraterrestrial being, the music was a big leap forward for the band, with a much more melodic sound than on previous albums. It shot into the Top 20 album charts in the U.S. The follow-up album, Down to Earth (1974), was another concept album with a circus theme; it also sold well, breaking into the Top 40 album charts and included Nektar's only song to chart on the Billboard singles charts, "Astral Man". The next album, Recycled (1975), was stylistically close to bands like Gentle Giant and carried on the band's close connection with progressive rock.
Guitarist Roye Albrighton left the band just prior to the studio sessions for Nektar's first major-label release, Magic Is a Child (1977). He was replaced by guitarist/vocalist Dave Nelson. The album was more eclectic, although with shorter songs and fairly straightforward rhythms. Lyrically the album covered a wide range of subjects from Norse mythology and magic to more down to earth subjects like railroads and truck drivers. The band would go on to release one more album, 1980's Man in the Moon, before breaking up.
Nektar regrouped in 2002 and headlined NEARfest (opposite Steve Hackett) with a full line-up including synthesizer player Larry Fast. They also released their first album of new material since the 1970s, The Prodigal Son. They followed this release in 2004 with Evolution. The lineup of Nektar included Randy Dembo on bass and Tom Hughes on Hammond organ alongside original members Albrighton and Howden. Dembo and Hughes left in August 2006, citing communication problems, money issues, personality issues and trust in the management issues. All of Nektar's back catalogue has either been remastered and re-released or is in the process of being so.
In 2006, the band found new management (Roy Clay) to replace The Eclectic Records staff, playing "Prog fests" around the globe on a part-time basis, and occasionally appearing in some of their old haunts in the New Jersey/New York area. Clay was subsequently released from management duties early 2007 after a dispute over financial matters.
The band's next album Book of Days, was released on 16 May 2008 on the Bellaphon Label. It features more of Roye Albrighton's guitar work than previous Nektar albums.
In mid-2007, a solo tour was undertaken by lead singer Roye Albrighton, to be followed by a full band tour of Europe (primarily Germany), and scheduled by a European-based promoter, but they had to postpone as extra funds were needed to complete the new album.
The band began work on a new album for 2012, titled Time Machine (formerly titled "Juggernaut"), and a covers album called A Spoonful of Time. Time Machine faced delays and was not released until July 2013.
|1971||Journey to the Centre of the Eye|
|1972||A Tab in the Ocean US no. 141|
|1973||...Sounds Like This|
|Remember the Future US no. 19|
|1974||Down to Earth US no. 32|
|1975||Recycled US no. 89|
|1977||Magic is a Child US no. 172|
|1980||Man in the Moon|
|2001||The Prodigal Son|
|2008||Book of Days|
|2012||A Spoonful of Time|
|1978||Thru the Ears|
|1994||Highlights - The Best of Nektar|
|1998||The Dream Nebula: The Best of 1971-1975|
|Year||Title||Billboard Hot 100||U.S Mainstream Rock||UK Top 100||Album|
|1973||"Do You Believe in Magic?"||-||-||-||...Sounds Like This|
|1974||"What Ya Gonna Do?"||-||-||-|
|"Remember the Future (Edit)"||-||-||-||Remember the Future|
|"Fidgety Queen'"||-||-||-||Down to Earth|
|1975||"Flight to Reality"||-||-||-||Recycled|
|2005||Pure: Live in Germany 2005|
- "27-Apr-2008 interview with Roye Albrighton on Outsight Radio Hours". Archive.org. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- The Official Nektar web site
- The Nektar Project: the classic Nektar years from 1969 to 2003
- Nektar discography at Discogs
- 2010 interview with Roye Albrighton