Flaming Youth: Ark 2 (1969)

Ark 2 is a pyschedelic/prog-rock concept album of sorts that would be all-but-forgotten today (ok, it IS all-but-forgotten, but even MORE so) if not for the fact that Flaming Youth included a young drummer (and occasional vocalist) by the name of Phil Collins.  They recorded a lone album, after which Collins went and auditioned for Genesis, and you know the rest.

Now, is it a good album?  Well, no, not really.  It's pretty badly dated.  There's some sort of general space-related theme (the songs written by a pair of songwriters outside the band), and there are a couple halfway-decent stand-alone tunes, but for the most part it sounds like lightweight Yes or Moody Blues or, in its organ-driven moments, the Nice (Keith Emerson's pre-ELP band), but without those bands' instrumental chops; and while it's fun to pick out Collins' vocals, the other vocalists are on the bland side.

"Changes," one of the tunes on which Collins handles some of the vocals (but, sadly, not all), has a nice pop hook, kinda catchy though still veering off into organ-driven prog territory.  "The Planets" is a lengthy suite that has a number of fun little bits; no idea how it all fits together, but it's entertaining, probably the main attraction here.  "In The Light Of Love" is upbeat, a feel-good hippie romp.  But beyond that -- well, it's a nice relic of its age, but if not for Collins it would probably be something you'd find for a quarter at a garage sale rather than commanding top dollar on eBay.  Still, as someone who's a sucker for kitschy prog and psychedelia, I actually get a kick out of it.

The album doesn't stream (not sure you can even buy it anywhere), but you here's an audio rip of the entire LP:
Here's a video for "Changes":
Here's a video for portions of the "Planets" suite (and, hoo-boy, skip ahead to about the 2:30 marker for a little something I'm guessing Phil Collins would prefer not to be circulating on YouTube):
Here's "From Now On" -- not one I'd care to listen to, but, hey, here it is.
Ditto "Earthglow."
...and "Space Child" (this one's got some Collins vox, but, still, ugh):
Finally, here's a lengthy documentary clip with a bunch of performances.  (Yeah, given that they recorded one obscure album, there's a surprising amount of footage of this band.)