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Timo Laine | Symphonic Slam

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Timo Laine web site timolainemusic.com timolainemusic.com

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Rock: Progressive Rock Rock: Progressive Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Symphonic Slam

by Timo Laine

Progressive Rock in its deepest form, Timo Laine`s creation with analog synthesizers, polyphonic guitar synthesizer,guitar, and drums. Historic recording that broke ground for many who never experienced the large scape of this expression.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Universe
6:38 $0.88
2. Everytime
4:21 $0.88
3. Fold back
2:50 $0.88
4. I Won't Cry
2:55 $0.88
5. Let It Grow
3:56 $0.88
6. Modane Train
4:19 $0.88
7. Times Run Short
2:48 $0.88
8. Days
5:00 $0.88
9. Summer Rain
3:53 FREE
10. How Do You Stand
5:01 $0.88
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
SYMPHONIC SLAM — Symphonic Slam
Review by acceleron2001

5 stars As a longtime signed and seasoned pro recording artist who will remain anonymous for this review, I must say that Symphonic Slam is one of the great albums of all time- PERIOD. It's too bad some people just don't get it. Then again, great music is never understood by the masses, and it just goes to show that sophisticated music is only for sophisticated minds. This is exactly the case here, as Symphonic Slam was WAY ahead of its time, in too many ways to list here. A great album- PERIOD.

Posted Saturday, June 12, 2004, 14:04 EST | Permanent link

Acceleron - Prog review (Jun 12, 2004)

Product Description
After participating to numerous concerts or studio recordings next to stars so different as THE ROLLING STONES, Chuck BERRY, Tina TURNER or RUSH, the Canadian with Norwegian origins Timo LAINE is recognise as the true pioneer of synthesizer-guitar. This is how he and his band SYMPHONIC SLAM (With keyboardist David STONE, Drummer John LOWERY and himself at the vocals) recorded in 1976 what would remain the first true album based on this very peculiar instrument. Beyond this anecdote, this eponymous album comes to us with a wonderful esoteric cover, an emphatic progressive rock that owes a lot to PINK FLOYD and that can sometimes remind of CAMEL in their "Mirage" period, or even WINDCHASE.

- Music Review (Jan 17, 2002)

This pioneering Canadian prog band featured the talents of Timo Laine who created a real specialized talent with his use of a new gizmo….the 360 systems polyphonic guitar synthesizer. Essentially ‘Slam’ deliver a rich keyboard based sophisticated poly synthetic nodes with support from John Lowery's drums and David Stone’s keyboards. Musically this album covers a lot of ground with progressive rock standing out as the clear line with Jazz, AOR, Pop , 70’s Classic Rock and Blues. A few years later after the break-up of Symphonic Slam, David Stone would join Ritchie Blackmore’s “Rainbow”. Symphonic Slam debut album contains some pretty eclectic material which reminds very at times very much of Mirage era “Camel” , FM (Canada) and with a degree of “Windchase” tossed in for good measure.

- All Time Favorite Prog rock (Jun 29, 2007)

Timo Laine, godfather of the synth guitar has released two cds this year, “Monotrim Project” and “Her Fire” with symphonic slam. Timo has been playing synth guitar from the very beginning and has been faithful to his LGX-SA because it is simply one of the best tracking guitars on the market. Check out our dealer list to try one out for yourself.

- Godin Guitar News (May 29, 2004)

SYMPHONIC SLAM — Symphonic Slam
Review by xlr854

5 stars I own this album. I bought it immediately after seeing them perform at a bar In sarnia , ontario called hughies junkyard. I found the music to be Excellent & still enjoy it very much to this day!! First band i have ever seen That used a guitar synth. I found the songs to be unlike anything out there On the rock scene. The music was very refreshing at the time. The Musicianship was extraordinary & they had a big sound for just having 3 Members! I've played it at parties i've had & everyone would ask --who is this? This band is great! I wish they would reunite & tour the bars as i would Definately love to see them again! I find alot of todays newer bands kind of Boring----nothing new & exciting , they pretty much all sound the same. Maybe if symphonic slam got together -even for just one more time , it might Ignite some fire in an up & coming band or two! I own the album & have Transfered it to cd. Now when i have friends in the car i let them give it a Listen. I get alot of positive feedback about the music . They love the energy This band has. I'm 51 & when i'm alone at home i crank this band up & still feel Like i did when i first seen them in 76 , 77. It makes me feel damn good. Ahead Of they're time----yes , & i can't help but wonder what they would be playing If they were together today. I'm sure it would be ahead of they're time & just As good as it was back then. I,m sure they would pack a club just like they Did when i first seen them & i know alot of musicians that would show up , Young and old to see this band!! Sometimes i wish i could go back in time just To see them again!!!!!!!!!!

Posted Thursday, September 15, 2005, 03:24 EST | Permanent link

Fan - Prog Archives (Sep 15, 2005)

Symphonic Slam
(Studio Album, 1976) Title information (Edit) | Free MP3 | Reviews | Buy Music
Symphonic SlamSymphonic Slam album cover 3.88
Excellent addition to any
prog music collection

Track Listings

1. Universe (6:37)
2. Everytime (4:21)
3. Fold Back (2:50)
4. I Won't Cry (2:55)
5. Let It Grow (3:56)
6. Modane Train (4:19)
7. Times Run Short (2:48)
8. Days (instrumental) (5:00)
9. Summer Rain (3:53)
10. How Do You Stand (before The Lord) (4:56)

Total Time: 41:35

- Timo Laine / guitar synthesizers, guitar, vocals
- John Lowery / drums, backing vocals
- David Stone / keyboards, backing vocals
Releases information

Musea FGBG 4366.AR (2001)
Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition

Musea Records, France - Prog Archives (Jun 29, 2007)

Starts out with a very powerful track titled "Universe" and continue with nine more songs of heavy progressive rock; at times sounding not too far from what, for example, Flower Kings does today. It seems to me that this album was kind of head of its time. I believe this is one is of great interest to those who want to find out more about the "second generation" of progressive rock acts.
(review by Hansi Cross)

SYZYGY - The Allegory Of Light 2003 Back to webshop

- Progress Records Review (Jun 29, 2007)

SYMPHONIC SLAM — Symphonic Slam
Review by Legoman

5 stars What in the world!? Why doesn't the archieves have a more detailed description of this band!? A band that seemingly came out of no where and produced only one album that is either on par or beating some of the most acclaimed Symphonic Prog albums! Jesus! Seriously... I was never a huge fan of Close to the Edge and after hearing this album I see exactly where Yes went wrong in some parts of their "Masterpiece." Also, I would really have to say that I hear some parts that were probably inspired by Uriah Heep. So if you are a Heep fan, you'll especially dig this. This album is a must listen to of any member of this site, and especially if Symphonic is your favorite genre because this album has everything. Jazz elements, synth guitar and drums that will blow your mind.

The only real weak part of this album, or so I can see, is in the song Modane Train. Not that it is a bad song but it is a little too poppy and seems a little off from the rest of the album. And maybe some people might have a hard time admitting that this is Symphonic Prog because of the fact that no 20 minute epics exist in this album... but I don't feel that that is even necissary. Not that big of a dent put on the album if you ask me.

It's true that a lot of people might not agree with my rating of 5 stars on this album, but seriously, after you take into consideration that it was Symphonic Slam's only album and then they were basically never heard from again... it raises a little attention. Good, better, bestest than I expect out of any one hit wonder. I love it.

Posted Monday, February 06, 2006, 11:26 EST | Permanent link

Leggoman - Prog Archives (Feb 6, 2006)

SYMPHONIC SLAM — Symphonic Slam
Review by robinandcecil

5 stars I spent years searching this album out after someone nicked it. It's SO good! If you enjoy ProgRock, you owe it to yourself to buy this CD. The music is very atmospheric with a multitude of styles and palettes, and it's even got art work by the late great Abdul Mati Klarwein. A gem.

Posted Thursday, February 12, 2004, 01:48 EST | Permanent link

Robinandcecil - Prog Archives (Jun 12, 2004)

SYMPHONIC SLAM — Symphonic Slam
Review by Gatot (Gatot Widayanto)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator

4 stars It’s a memorable album which colored my school days …

Symphonic Slam reminds me to the period when I bought the cassette of Pink Floyd “Animals” whereby the B side leftover was filled up with a band “unknown” and unfamiliar to my ears … Symphonic Slam! The name itself scared me because at the time I was not aware of anything called “symphonic”. I thought it would be something that would sound like a a symphonic orchestra. But it was not because what I heard was a bunch of shows on electronic equipment with state of the art technology. As this was leftover, I only played after I played Pink Floyd “Animals”. I got no idea at all about the “band”. Only couple of years ago (I think sometime in 2001) I purchased the CD version and I came to know the band – a bit.

It’s basically a Canadian with Norwegian origins Timo LAINE who was recognized as the true pioneer of synthesizer-guitar. After 40 years of guitar playing, Timo has seen the road and eras of music. “I’ve played on stage with everybody, from Dick Dale, to the Stones, Chuck Berry, BB King, Cher, Tina Turner, and Rush” and the list could go on! He’s spent twenty years playing clubs and concerts plus a few record deals in between. Timo Laine has been referred to as the “Father of Guitar Synthesizer”. He pioneered its technology during its infancy by performing and recording the first major guitar synthesizer record known: Symphonic Slam.

“Universe” is of course very memorable for me not because I was so familiar when I was at school age but its melody is really catchy. This kind of track suits the definition of what so called at the time as Heavy Slow Rock – a sub genre that we, at our country, created as category for songs with slow tempo / mellow with tight composition. “Universe” definitely fits into the definition. On top of great melody it has nice combination between guitar and synthesizer. “Everytime” lends its bed from the first track with similar style and nice melody with synthesizer-drenched music. “Fold Back” brings the music much more dynamic with powerful drumming and pulsating synthesizer in a rocker style. “I Won’t Grow” shows much more aggressive synthesizer work which make the vocal a bit go to drain swept by the synthesizer sounds.

“Let It Grow” as well as “Universe” were quite well known in my country for some people by the time it was released. Again it shares great melody as “Universe” that’s why it’s memorable. “Let it grow .. my love”. “How Do You Stand” concludes the album with an upbeat tempo music and straight forward structure. It’s a classic and it’s recommended. Keep on proggin’ ..!

PS - Whenever I listen to this CD, the reaction to me is so emotional and the best thing to describe the situation is with my locality language as mbrebes mili. It's so touchy and so memorable for me .. personally ...

Peace on earth and mercy mild – GW

Posted Friday, April 21, 2006, 07:57 EST | Permanent link

Gatot Widayanto - Prog Reviews (Apr 26, 2006)

Symphonic Slam picture

Progressive music sub-genre: Prog Related
Country: Canada
Official website: http://timolainemusic.com/home.html
Symphonic Slam was mainly about Timo Laine (born in Finland, and moved to America as a child), and his polyphonic guitar synthesizer. The rest of the band was filled out by drummer John Lowery, and keyboardist David Stone.

Timo had been playing the club circuit for a while, but it wasn't until he relocated to Canada that things began to happen. It was there that Symphonic Slam was discovered by A&M Records. What set them apart was the $10,000 360 systems guitar synthesizer prototype. This led to the release of their 1976 self-titled album.

They toured, and played gigs with some of the big names of the time (Rush, The Rolling Stones, and the Village People). Soon they were asked to go to L.A. to work on a new album. Not being interested in this tack, Stone took the opportunity...Symphonic Slam was mainly about Timo Laine (born in Finland, and moved to America as a child), and his polyphonic guitar synthesizer. The rest of the band was filled out by drummer John Lowery, and keyboardist David Stone.

Timo had been playing the club circuit for a while, but it wasn't until he relocated to Canada that things began to happen. It was there that Symphonic Slam was discovered by A&M Records. What set them apart was the $10,000 360 systems guitar synthesizer prototype. This led to the release of their 1976 self-titled album.

They toured, and played gigs with some of the big names of the time (Rush, The Rolling Stones, and the Village People). Soon they were asked to go to L.A. to work on a new album. Not being interested in this tack, Stone took the opportunity to defect to Rainbow.

After the album was completed, A&M wasn't pleased (they wanted disco). Timo took it to Canada, and created his own label on which to release it. It had some modest success, but Laine wasn't interested in going back to L.A. to fight disco once again.

Musea's 2001 re-release of the first album inspired Timo to get back on the horse. Apparently he had been working on another album for many years. "Her Fire" is supposed to be released some time in the future. He is also working on an instrumental solo project.

You can hear some influences of Styx, Kansas, Wakeman, Emerson, a bit of E.L.O., and even some funk. However, this is not like most of what we consider to be the classic '70s progressive sound. Some of those qualities are woven in, and there are some lovely moments. But make no mistake, this is mid 70's rock and roll at the core.

The main point of interest here is really the fact that Laine basically pioneered the synth guitar. It was a very new thing at the time.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)read more

H.T. Riekels - Progressive Music (Jun 29, 2006)

SYMPHONIC SLAM — Symphonic Slam
Review by btwomey

5 stars As a high school student in '76, any music I really wanted to listen to was done through headphones. Many an hour was spent playing Symphonic Slam, making an indelible impression. Unfortunately, I hadn't heard from Timo Laine since.... With the advent of Kazaa (and others), the proliferation of downloading etc., I was pleasantly surprised to find Symphonic Slam again. I checked it out for nostalgic reasons if nothing else. Having listened to many times since on my (much) better stereo system, it is still is an amazing way to spend time. Like most prog-rock, it is best enjoyed without conversation - not really the ideal album (oops) CD to put on at a party but, incredibly rewarding if you spend the time to actually listen. The blur of genres and changes between songs ensure a great journey each listen. Most of the songs make you feel (something/anything) deeply as you listen. Kick ass musicianship & a great intro to prog- rock music. As someone who already enjoyed Yes, ELP, Genesis (remember them when...), this album had me searching for new sounds by others on a similar (but unique) journey. Phil Manzanera, Eno (801...) and others were only discovered because of what Symphonic Slam awakened. This to me makes this album an essential addition to anyone looking to appreciate how great prog-rock can be.

btw.... I believe this album won a (Canadian) Juno award

Posted Friday, February 25, 2005, 22:01 EST | Permanent link

btwomey - Prog Archives (Feb 25, 2005)

Use the Links tab to read press reviews and articles

(Nov 4, 2005)

(Aug 11, 2006)

(Aug 11, 2006)

CD ¥ 2280 (税込¥ 2394 )■ MUSEA FGBG 4366. AR
’76年。CANADA。 当時世界に数台のみという、360SYSTEMS POLYPHONIC GUITAR SYNTHESIZERを操る、もともとFINLAND出身のTIMO LAINE率いるトリオバンド! サウンド的には、RUSH ~ MAHOGANY RUSH的宇宙サウンドに、TRIUMVIRAT (TRIUMPHじゃないところがミソ)的ヨーロピアン・シンフォニック・プログレッシヴ展開をプラス! 幻想的なジャケの魅力も相まって長年この手のサウンドの愛好者に銘板とされてきたもの。いやー、いいんですワ これが・・・。 KeyのDAVID STONEは後に、RAINBOWに加入のあの人!

- Disk Heaven (Jun 29, 2005)

© 2008 Timo Laine



to write a review


Let it Grow
It was good then in 1976. But it felt like almost too much at the time.
Now I understand; They were simply one of those ahead of their time, and very much so.

Listening to "Symphonic Slam" today is incredible. Brilliant songs, arrangements and production, it had deseved to make it better.

The follow-up (Timo Laine - SS II) unfortunally did not get out to the world the same way. Almost as good as the first one, but on a different label. It took ages before I managed to get hold of a copy. Well worth to check out if you are fan of the first one.

Maybe we will se that one as well on CD Baby? It is after all their second best

Thanks from Scandinavia