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Roye Albrighton with Nektar live in 2007
|Genres||Progressive rock, space rock|
|Years active||1969–1978, 1979–1982, 2000–present|
Bellaphon, United Artists, Passport, Decca, Polydor, Ariola, Bacillus
|Past members||Roye Albrighton
Allan "Taff" Freeman
Derek "Mo" Moore
The band formed in Hamburg, Germany in 1969. Founding members of the band 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 and Keith Walters on lights and special effects. Throughout their early existence the band's songwriting was credited as a group effort; however post-reformation most of the band's songwriting has been credited to Albrighton.
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.
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.
Albrighton left the band in December 1976; just prior to the studio sessions for Nektar's first major-label release, Magic Is a Child (1977). The remaining members were joined by guitarist/vocalist Dave Nelson at this point. 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. In 1978 the band dissolved; however in 1980 Albrighton and Freeman reformed the band with bassist Carmine Rojas and drummer Dave Prater and released a new album, Man in the Moon, before the band dissolved once again in 1982.
Nektar regrouped in 2000 with a line-up consisting of Albrighton, Freeman, and drummer Ray Hardwick; and released a new album under the title of The Prodigal Son. The following year they headlined NEARfest (opposite Steve Hackett) with a full line-up including Moore returning on bass and Larry Fast on synthesisers. In 2003 Hardwick, Moore, and Fast departed the band and were replaced by a returning Howden and new bassist Randy Dembo; releasing another new album, Evolution, before Freeman was replaced by Tom Hughes. Dembo and Hughes left in August 2006, citing communication problems, money issues, personality issues and trust in the management issues, with Dembo being briefly replaced by a returning Carmine Rojas; before the band settled on a line-up that consisted of Albrighton, Howden, guitarist Steve Adams, bassist Desha Dunnahoe, and keyboardist Steve Mattern.
Later in 2006, the band found new management in 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.
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, Book of Days; which was not released until the following year (by which time Adams, Dunnahoe, and Mattern had departed the band), and which featured more of Roye Albrighton's guitar work than previous Nektar albums.
In late 2007, the band embarked on a tour for which they performed Remember the Future in its entirety; the line-up now including Klaus Henatsch on keyboards and Peter Pichl on bass.
By the time the band came to record their next album, 2012's covers' album A Spoonful of Time, Pichl had departed. Rather than Albrighton covering the role of bassist (as he had done on The Prodigal Son), bass duties were shared by session musician Jürgen Engler, Mr. Big bassist Billy Sheehan, and Yes member Billy Sherwood;the latter of which also served as the album's producer and joined the band officially following the completion of the album. The Albrighton-Howden-Henatsch-Sherwood line-up recorded and released the album Time Machine the following year. In 2014 Sherwood departed the band and was replaced by Lux Vibratus.
On 26 July 2016, Roye Albrighton died after an unspecified illness; at present the future of the band is unknown.
- Current members
- Ron Howden - drums, percussion, backing vocals (1969-1978, 2003-present)
- Klaus Henatsch - keyboards, backing vocals (2007-present)
- Lux Vibratus - bass (2014-present)
- Former members
|1971||Journey to the Centre of the Eye||–|
|1972||A Tab in the Ocean||141|
|1973||...Sounds Like This||–|
|Remember the Future||19|
|1974||Down to Earth||32|
|1977||Magic Is a Child||172|
|1980||Man in the Moon||–|
|2001||The Prodigal Son||–|
|2008||Book of Days||–|
|2012||A Spoonful of Time||–|
|1974||Sunday Night at London Roundhouse|
|1977||Live in New York|
|1978||More Live Nektar in New York|
|2002||Unidentified Flying Abstract - Live at Chipping Norton 1974|
|2004||Greatest Hits Live|
|2005||2004 Tour Live|
|Door to the Future|
|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.
- "Nektar - A Spoonful Of Time (CD, Album)". Discogs.com. 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
- "Nektar - Time Machine (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
- "Legendary NEKTAR Frontman Roye Albrighton Passes". Bravewords.com. Retrieved 2016-08-03.