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Music / Spock's Beard

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Spock's Beard (named after the infamous facial features of Mirror Universe Spock) is a rock band from California. They may be regarded as the Boisterous Bruiser of Progressive Rock, and one of the bands that saved the genre from the Scrappy Heap.

After a good ten years' run as one of the world's leading Progressive Rock outfits, main composer Neal Morse got religion and left the band in pursuit of a Christian Rock career note . In a career move similar to their great example Genesis, the band has continued with drummer Nick D'Virgilio (who, oddly enough, was in Genesis during the Ray Wilson period) taking up the singer's mantle and released their tenth album X to great acclaim. Once he left, he got replaced with Ted Leonard and Jimmy Keegan.

Members (founders in bold, current members in italic):

  • John Ballard - bass (1992-3)
  • Nick D'Virgilio - drums (1992-2011, 2017-present), backing vocals (1992-2002, 2017-present), lead vocals, guitar, keyboards (2002-2011)
  • Jimmy Keegan - drums, backing vocals (2011-6)
  • Ted Leonard - lead vocals, guitar (2011-)
  • Dave Meros - bass, backing vocals (1993-)
  • Alan Morse - guitars, backing vocals (1992-)
  • Neal Morse - lead vocals, keyboards, guitar, synths (1992-2002; sporadic guest appearances afterward)
  • Ryo Okumoto - keyboards, backing vocals (1995-)

Studio Discography:

  • 1995 - The Light
  • 1996 - Beware of Darkness
  • 1998 - The Kindness of Strangers
  • 1999 - Day for Night
  • 2000 - V
  • 2002 - Snow
  • 2003 - Feel Euphoria
  • 2005 - Octane
  • 2006 - Spock's Beard
  • 2010 - X
  • 2013 - Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
  • 2015 - The Oblivion Particle
  • 2018 - Noise Floor

Warning! May contain examples of:

  • Ascended Extra: Sort of. Tour drummer Jimmy Keegan was promoted to a fully-fledged band member following the departure of Nick D'Virgilio.
  • The Band Minus the Face: Twice. First, when Neal Morse left to pursue a Christian career, then when Nick D'Virgilio left to work on Cirque Du Soleil.
  • The Bus Came Back: The song "Falling For Forever" (A bonus track from The First Twenty Years compilation) features every band past and current band member up to that point.
  • Chronological Album Title - V and X.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: A pretty notorious section (titled FU) in the epic "The Water". The narrator subsequently apologizes for it.
  • Counterpoint Duet: One of the band's trademarks are multi-layered vocal bits In the Style of Gentle Giant.
  • Cover Version:
  • Door-Closes Ending: Played with in "The Doorway", which has a final reprise of the original melody after the door closes.
  • Epic Rocking: Quite frequently. Their first five albums each have at least one song that tops 15 minutes.
    • The Light has just four songs, all of which qualify: The title track (15:32), "Go The Way You Go" (12:07), "The Water" (23:10) and "On the Edge" (6:14).
    • Beware of Darkness has "Thoughts" (7:04), "The Doorway" (11:35), "Walking On the Wind" (9:09) and "Time Has Come" (16:22).
    • Their career-spanning compilation The First Twenty Years contains the 20-minute bonus track "Falling For Forever".
  • Greatest Hits Album: The First Twenty Years, which covers the first twenty years of the band's output, along with one new song titled "Falling For Forever" that features every member that's appeared on a Spock's Beard studio recording up to that point.
  • "I Am" Song: 'The Light' is perhaps the most extreme example of this trope ever committed to tape.
  • List Song: "Their Names Escape Me" lists the names of all who pre-ordered the deluxe package of X.
  • Step Up to the Microphone:
    • "Sometimes They Stay, Sometimes They Go" is their only song fully sung by Alan Morse, although he has plenty of isolated vocal leads in their other songs
    • Drummer Nick D'Virgilio succeeded Neal Morse as the band's lead singer. Before Neal left, he sang lead on "Carrie" and "Looking for Answers" from the Snow album (the latter of which he wrote) while also providing occasional lead lines similarly to Alan
    • Jimmy Keegan (D'Virgilio's successor behind the drum kit) gets to sing lead on "Bennett Built a Time Machine."
    • Dave Meros lends his voice to the bonus track "Iron Man."