Alive & Well Recorded In Paris (2CD)

Alive & Well Recorded In Paris has been out of print for many years. Esoteric Recordings uncovered the original multitrack tapes and presented an expanded edition.

The original sessions were recorded in Paris in 1977. This lineup featured John Etheridge on guitar and Ric Sanders on violin as lead instruments. It was a vastly different sounding version of Soft Machine - at this point there were well into their fusion phase. The bonus disc features 45 minutes of unreleased material from these live recordings as well as 2 tracks from a single they released on Harvest. Of course you get an expanded booklet with nice liner notes. Typical great Esoteric job. Highly recommended.

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  • One of the finest releases of the era "Procol Harum” captured the exquisite song writing of Gary Brooker and Keith Reid and the excellence of the musicians in the group, namely Gary Brooker (voice, piano), Robin Trower (lead guitar), David Knights (bass guitar), B.J. Wilson (drums) and Matthew Fisher (Hammond organ). The overall result was a collection of songs that would prove to be truly ground breaking, despite only having being released in Mono at the insistence of producer Denny Cordell.Newly re-mastered from the original tapes, this Deluxe edition of "Procol Harum” has been expanded to include 27 bonus tracks (8 previously unreleased) over two CDs, including the classic singles "A Whiter Shade of Pale”, "Homburg”, along with rare B-sides, alternate session takes and stereo mixes and seven previously unreleased BBC Radio sessions from June and September 1967.This expanded deluxe edition of "Procol Harum” also includes a lavishly illustrated booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay by Procol Harum biographer Henry Scott-Irvine, along with a facsimile promotional shop poster for the release of the album in January 1968.Disc One1. CONQUISTADOR2. SHE WANDERED THROUGH THE GARDEN FENCE3. SOMETHING FOLLOWING ME4. MABEL5. CERDES (OUTSIDE THE GATES OF)6. A CHRISTMAS CAMEL7. KALEIDOSCOPE8. SALAD DAYS (ARE HERE AGAIN)9. GOOD CAPTAIN CLACK10. REPENT WALPURGISBONUS TRACKS11. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE12. LIME STREET BLUESA & B SIDES OF SINGLE13. HOMBURG14. GOOD CAPTAIN CLACK (SINGLE VERSION)A & B SIDES OF SINGLE15. ALPHA16. SALAD DAYS (ARE HERE AGAIN) – PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASEDRECORDED AT OLYMPIC STUDIOS, LONDON – 29th MARCH 196717. UNDERSTANDABLY BLUERECORDED AT OLYMPIC STUDIOS, LONDON – 17th JULY 196718. PANDORA’S BOX (INSTRUMENTAL)RECORDED AT ADVISION STUDIOS, LONDON - 24TH AUGUST 196719. CERDES (OUTSIDE THE GATES OF) (ALTERNATE MONO MIX)20. SOMETHING FOLLOWING ME (ALTERNATE MONO MIX)Disc Two1. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE (EXTENDED EARLY VERSION)RECORDED AT OLYMPIC STUDIOS, LONDON – 29TH MARCH 19672. HOMBURG (EXTENDED STEREO VERSION)3. REPENT WALPURGIS (EXTENDED STEREO VERSION)RECORDED AT ADVISION STUDIOS, LONDON - AUGUST 19674. CONQUISTADOR (1971 STEREO MIX)5. SHE WANDERED THROUGH THE GARDEN FENCE (1971 STEREO MIX)6. SOMETHING FOLLOWING ME (STEREO MIX)7. MABEL (UNDUBBED STEREO MIX)8. KALEIDOSCOPE (STEREO MIX)9. CERDES (OUTSIDE THE GATES OF) (STEREO MIX)10. HOMBURG (1971 STEREO MIX)11. MORNING DEW12. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE13. MABEL"EASYBEAT” SESSION 14th JUNE 1967 BBC LIGHT PROGRAMME PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED14. HOMBURG15. GOOD CAPTAIN CLACK16. SHE WANDERED THROUGH THE GARDEN FENCE17. KALEIDOSCOPE"TOP GEAR” SESSION 27th SEPTEMBER 1967 BBC RADIO ONE PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED 
    $19.00
  • "I suppose naming your band Standing Ovation could be considered more than a little pretentious. What if you played your music and nobody gave you one? I don't think this Finnish band will have that problem. Their first full length album, The Antikythera Mechanism is a fine collection of progressive metal.Yet, their progressive metal doesn't necessarily fit into the traditional mold. Sure they owe a debt to peers like Dream Theater or Symphony X, but there's a more reckless modern feel to their sound. Also, the music is both equally dense and technical. For example, on I Have Superhuman Powers, a clever tune, every player weaves their part with assertive intensity and skill, sounding nearly in bitter competition with each other, but only complimenting each other. And you get much more of this throughout The Antikythera Mechanism.Conversely, With a song like Break the News the intensity and complexity takes a back seat to what can only be described as simply heavier melodic rock. Then there's humorous Hey Ho! which sounds like a pop rock song tricked out with heavy power progressive metal. It's curious and compelling, speedy and intense, and crazy catchy. For more conventional progressive metal the three part The Antikythera Mechanism may be the best example, mostly in first and third parts. Part 2 can offer some of that aforementioned rushing dense intensity, notably in the second half of the song.Standing Ovation's style of progressive metal on The Antikythera Mechanism is compelling and challenging and, therefore, mostly entertaining. Exactly the things a prog metal fan wants. Recommended."
    $15.00
  • After toying with the neoprog genre for some time, Portugal's Forgotten Suns lets its freak flag fly and goes full bore with a fantastic prog metal disc. The band is led by virtuoso guitarist Ricardo Falcao who has definitely spent some time listening to John Petrucci. The band has a new vocalist in Nio Nunes. He's got a great voice and fits into the new found sound perfectly. So what is the new sound exactly? Well it consists of more than a few dips into the Dream Theater pool - laser beam keyboard solos, stunning guitar solos, and expressive vocals. There is no doubt - while there are some prog rock underpinnings the Marillion influences have gone by the wayside - this is as good a prog metal album you will hear this year. If you dig chops from hell but with melodies that will stick with you - you need to hear this disc. Think of this band as Portugal's answer to Spheric Universe Experience. Buy or die!!
    $3.00
  • Last studio album before the 70s lineup broke up. Ian McDonald returns.
    $15.00
  • "Death.Taxes.Ozric Tentacles.Since 1984 this loose collective have been releasing reliably great music from the mind of leader Ed Wynne. Their margin of error is enviably tiny – there is no such thing as a bad Ozrics album. Sure, some are better than others, but the body of work is as inescapably consistent as mortality and societal contributions. Technicians of the Sacred is their fifteenth studio album, second double album and the first release in this format since Erpland in 1990. It is also one of the best they have ever recorded.The blend of electronica and inner-space rock is instantly recognisable with ‘The High Pass’. World music and gently undulating synths take their time to ease us back into the required frame of cosmic consciousness. It takes almost 6 minutes for the secret weapon, Wynne’s signature lysergic lead guitar, to be deployed and that is the modus operandi of the whole album – nothing is rushed, each track unfolds lotus-like.‘Changa Masala’ distils all the band’s ingredients into a spicy side-dish. Sequencers, vocal samples and a reggae skank provide the base while acoustic guitar rips like a John McLaughlin solo, interjecting a nod to their past, a musical in-joke for the fans, which I won’t spoil for those who haven’t yet heard it.The Steve Hillage (Gong, System 7 and sometime Ozrics collaborator) influence is foregrounded in the first disc’s closer, ‘Switchback’. Tap-delay guitar slithers over a web of ambient keyboard washes. Portamento bass notes slide and glide their way through the patchouli-scented psychedelic haze.f the first disc was an aromatic treat, then the second is manna. ‘Epiphlioy’ recalls the classic ‘Saucers’. Its serpentine twelve-string acoustic riffs employ Eastern modes to evoke a scene that is paradoxically earthy and otherworldly. Staccato strings conjure Kashmir while a celestial orchestra of whooshing keyboard pads threatens to levitate us into the stratosphere and beyond. We are back in the bizarre bazaar, folks. Brandi Wynne pins down the ethereal mix with a heavy dub bassline. The track changes constantly. This is the most compositionally complex music the band has ever produced.While there are references to Ozric history and a more organic feel similar to early classics with the occasional use of non-electric instruments and ethnic voices, the album as a whole is a step forward. The painstakingly crafted symbiosis of synthesised sounds and rock instrumentation, coupled with a slick production, lend Technicians of the Sacred a holistic integrity not heard since Jurassic Shift (which incidentally entered the UK charts at a very respectable number 11 in 1993). The whole gels together and flows with the multi-layered sophistication of a symphony while retaining some of the jam-band aesthetic of the free festival days.‘Smiling Potion’ features interlocking sequences even Tangerine Dream would be proud of and a tribal metronome-sense beat straight out of Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ.As ‘Rubbing Shoulders With The Absolute’ throbs along on a blissed-out dub rhythm artificially generated voices ensure the weirdness meter is kept firmly in the red.Hungarian drummer Balázs Szende makes his first studio appearance and throughout the album he proves to be a superb addition to the group, whether approximating the tight programmed style of The Hidden Step era or, as on the closing track, ‘Zenlike Creature’, tackling elusive prog time signatures with ease and finesse. As Ed Wynne winds up a solo worthy of fusion maestros Mahavishnu Orchestra he introduces a shimmering Hillage-esque repeating motif that stays in the mind long after the music has stopped.Technicians of the Sacred, for all its dynamic shifts and intricacies, is a very chilled-out release, one for relaxing to and for transportation to the other, wherever that may be. There are no jarring wig-out rock guitar hero sections or all-out sonic attacks like ‘The Throbbe’. Rather this is Ozric Tentacles’ most cohesive and accomplished effort in almost 20 years and a highlight of a long and peerless career." - Echoes And Dust
    $35.00
  • Limited edition digipak of the new Evergrey album includes 2 booklets and one bonus track."Reformed and rejuvenated may best describe Evergrey 2.0 and their eighth studio album Glorious Collision After dissolving the band in the Spring of 2010, founder, guitarist, and vocalist Tom Englund immediately began recreating Evergrey, writing several songs with remaining keyboard player Rikard Zander. Englund then filled out the band with the incoming talent of Marcus Jidell (guitar), Hannes Van Dahl (drums) and Johan Niemann (bass).A cursory listen to Glorious Collision finds Evergrey revitalized and seeming to draw from a well of new sources. In the past, both lyrically and musically, Englund/Evergrey was almost uniformly heavy, bleak, and often discomforting. I don't think Englund has lost any of his somber, near depressive, edge, but musically Glorious Collision certainly has a more lively feel to it. Leave It Behind, You, and It Comes From Within find Evergrey drawing on a more classic melodic rock feel wrapped in pure heavy metal. Wrong brings back some of Evergrey/Englund's melancholy while sounding like a Swedish version of current, and commercial, modern hard rock. Others, like Frozen, thunder along with a well-paced and invigorating melodic power metal style. Generally, with the depth and variety of the arrangements, Evergrey hasn't lost it's progressive edge either. But I'm not ready to call this work pure progressive metal. Ultimately, when listening to Wrong, I'm Drowning Alone, or the wonderful To Fit the Mold, Glorious Collision has a sweeping near epic quality to it thanks to the aforementioned melodic rock character wrapped in some serious heavy metal.If Glorious Collision is the future of a re-emergent and revitalized Evergrey, then we are in for some grand days ahead. Glorious Collision is impressive: heavy, melodic, thick with groove, and quite entertaining. Maybe more bands should reboot." - dangerdog.com
    $15.00
  • Special edition CD/DVD set arrives in a digipak. The bonus DVD contains Steven Wilson's mixes: DTS 5.1, Dolby AC3 5.1 and 24/48 Stereo LPCM tracks (no idea why it's not 24/96). You also get a lot of documentary footage as well.This should probably suck but it actually doesn't. Because of a rift between Ian Anderson and Martin Barre this is being put into the market as "Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson". As you by now surmise this is a musical sequel to the original album. Again its a concept album updating us on the life of the main character Gerald Bostock. In live performance, Anderson's voice is shot. Within the context of the studio recording he plays it smart and never takes his voice where it doesn't want to go. Lots of Hammond organ and flute gives it the authentic 70s Tull flavor. Admittedly my expectations were pretty low but I have to say that this is far better than it has any right to be.
    $24.00
  • "Another album---another vocalist. I feel badly for bands that just cannot seem to retain a lead vocalist. Italy's Soul Secret started out with a guest singer, progressed to Fabio Manda's amazing voice on their sophomore album, and now have turned to Lino Di Pietrantonio to lead them. This choice, much like the album, is a solid one, though flawed in some ways.Soul Secret's third album is called "4", and, yes, that is confusing as hell. It represents a slight change in sound for Soul Secret, due not only to the change of singer, but also to the maturity of these guys as musicians. Indeed, I hear stylistic changes across the board. Soul Secret, if you are not familiar, are definitely a progressive metal band in the vein of Dream Theater, though I'm sure that's a shadow they don't want. Either way, though, it is the truth, as they rely on strong guitars from Antonio Vittozzi, sizzling keys from Luca Di Gennaro, foundational bass from Claudio Casaburi, and the ever present structure of Antonio Mocerino's drums.Their styles have changed somewhat, though. I am a huge fan of their previous album "Closer to Daylight", and the band as a whole has moved on from shorter, more structured tracks to longer and more varied concepts. This is both good and bad, as you won't really find much to sing along to here, but you will certainly find incredible instrumentals to admire (something Soul Secret has always done well). In fact, it seems like each and every track has a noteworthy instrumental, and some, like "Traces on the Seaside", "On the Ledge", and "Our Horizon", have multiple sections that are incredibly sublime. This is partially due to the new sounds for this band, especially Luca's wonderful keys. He has moved on from the standard atmospherics so often found in prog metal to new heights of solos, even leading the music many times. Needless to say, I'm very impressed with the large range of key tones used, too. Besides this, I sense a change for Mocerino's drums, too, as he has opted for a more delicate touch than his blast beating past. In addition, Vittozzi's guitars seem much more deliberate and inspired in composition.Thus far, we have a great third album called "4" that features some notable changes in sound. This is where my slight issues with the album appear. First of all, I do feel that it is a bit long. At 72+ minutes long, I feel like some of the incredible effectiveness of the first half of the album wears off by the end. Indeed, I feel like they realize it, too, as most of the really amazing rhythms are found in the first half. This is not to say that the latter half is bad. It's actually great, especially songs like the instrumental "Silence" or the addictive ending to "My Lighthouse". Heck, "Downfall" might be my favorite song on the album! The first few tracks, however, just gel so well that you barely notice the time pass.My other issue with this album is the Dream Theater sound. This is primarily because of Lino's vocal performance. Indeed, I think the band actively tries to avoid the DT sound by including plenty of small oddities, like harsh vox, crazy synth, and a notable lack of overpowering guitar. Lino's voice, however, sounds SO much like Labrie's vox on "Images & Words". This isn't a bad thing, as I don't think Labrie has ever sounded better. Lino does avoid the pretentious wailing (thank God), but there are definitely a few times where I could have imagined that I was listening to DT.Overall, though, this is another solid album from Soul Secret, and they really show their instrumental chops. Indeed, the ending epic "The White Stairs" opens with a fantastic groove that always makes me stop everything else I'm doing. For progressive metal fans, then, I don't think there has been a better offering so far this year. Be sure to get your hands on this album!" - ProgArchives
    $14.00
  • Another finely crafted gem from this underrated German melodic metal band.
    $8.00
  • "On ZAO's second album they have lost the stunning vocals of Mauricia Platon who has left,leaving the vocal duties to Dugrenot (bass player) who sang the low notes, and Seffer who would sing the high notes. There would be two guest percussionists in their lineup as well, and Seffer would not be playing clarinet on this one, only sax. As their liner notes state, they did not wish to have "Osiris" released on a major label and so turned to a new label called "Disjuncta" which had been created by Richard Pinhas of HELDON fame. He was a friend of Cahen and a cousin of MAGMA's singer Stella Vander. Thanks to Pinhas' hard work "Osiris" outsold their debut "Z=7L". One year later the label went bankrupt unfortunately and "Osiris" was deleted. Thankyou "Musea" for reissueing this amazing recording."Shardaz" opens with drums and sax as vocal melodies come in. Violin after a minute as the tempo picks up. The vocal melodies are prominant much like what you would hear on some MAGMA records. Piano before 3 minutes, and the bass is nice and heavy that follows. "Isis" is pastoral for 1 1/2 minutes until we get some guitar melodies that come and go as warm sax melodies play on. The drums and sound are building, and the tempo picks up 6 minutes in. Great sound ! Violin arrives a minute later. A calm takes over (that reminds me of the intro) for the final minute of the song. What a ride that was. "Reinna" features drums, bass, piano and sax while Zeuhl-like vocals arrive a minute in causing the instrumental work to take a back seat temporarily. Some great drumming and sax work follows. Piano and violin join in and we are cooking now ! Percussion too as this is quite jazzy."Yog" features deep vocals and piano that are contrasted with instrumental outbreaks. I love this stuff ! This is such a beautiful passage.The song takes off after 2 minutes with sax and vocal melodies taking center stage. It calms down 5 minutes in and check out the drumming after 6 minutes ! Vocal melodies end the song. "La Rhune" is a very good song with bass, percussion, drums and piano leading off before sax comes in followed by violin after 3 minutes. The bonus track is a live song that Seffer and Cahen recorded with members from Quebec artist Robert Charlebois' band who showed a great deal of interest in ZAO, and actually recorded three tracks with Seffer and Cahen in 1973. This one is called "Montreal" and it's truly an amazing live Zeuhl song at almost 12 minutes. Guest female vocals along with relentless bass and drums. Seffer especially stands out with his sax work. Cahen is incredible on the keys as well.This is not as challenging as their debut was, but it's not inferior either. These guys (Cahen & Seffer) were a big part of MAGMA's early sound and also composed a lot of their music then as well. "Osiris" is a feast that is as satisfying for me as their debut. 5 stars." - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • This is what the ancient bearded one has to say:"Morgan Ågren is one of the great drummers of our time. Best known for his work with Mats/Morgan Band, he's also a fine composer and musical thinker.Since the mid 2000s, one of his interests have been to combine the intense jazz/rock stylings of the Mats/Morgan's earlier work with more contemporary technology, stylings and sounds (think 'beats' and 'electronica'); while those words might scare some folks reading this away, if you liked the sound of "Thanks For Flying With Us" and "[schack tati]", you've heard what I am talking about.He's been working on this album for the last number of years and it's very much a companion to "[schack tati]" stylistically, some of it completely solo (but not solo drums by any means) and some of it with Mats, as well as Devin Townsend, Fredrik Thordendal, Jimmy Ågren, Simon Steensland and others. Highly recommended! Released only in Japan, in a elegant, mini-lp sleeve!"
    $20.00
  • OK I have to say this right up front...Toyz is a terrible name for a band.  It conjures up images of some long forgotten hair metal band - and these guys just ain't that at all.Toyz is actually a very talented instrumental symphonic rock band from the Netherlands.  There is one familiar name in the band.  Guitarist Peter van Heijningen may be known to you as the lead guitarist on the first Knight Area album "The Sun Also Rises".  On this album he lays down some beautiful melodic solos filled with tons of energy - but he's not the whole show.  Keyboardist Arjan van Gog plays his b***s off here as well.  Plenty of lead synth and piano work well as a foil for the axe work with plenty of back and forth soloing. So an unfortunate name but a great debut.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • First time on CD (does any one know why?). This was the last album the band recorded for A&M. On the heels of Ghosts it came across as a bit of disappointment at the time although I think time treated it well. John Hawken had left the band and he was replaced by a series of keyboard session players including Rick Wakeman and Tommy Eyre. One of the players, John Mealing, became a member of the band. Tracks like "Golden Salamander" and "The Promised Land" are as good as anything the ever recorded and "Hanging In The Gallery" can still bring a grown man to tears. This long awaited release comes with 2 unreleased bonus tracks and the typical nice liner notes and attention from Mark Powell and crew. Highly recommended.
    $9.00
  • "Code of Silence is the creation of Paul Logue, founder and bass player of Eden’s Curse, and friend James Murray. These two Scotsman had the idea to create a new melodic heavy metal band composed mostly of their country men. It almost worked out for them, three out of five ain't bad.Logue wrote the music and Murray contributed the lyrical themes (based upon history and legend of the Knights Templar), but also plays bass. They got Scots John Clelland and Scott McLean to play drums and keyboards, respectively. The two also pitched in on some songwriting. Logue and Murray turned to England for guitar, recruiting young prodigy Ben Randall, and to Brazil for the experience of vocalist Gus Monsanto (Revolution Renaissance, Takara, Adagio).The result is a rather stellar Dark Skies Over Babylon, 11 songs of classic melodic heavy/power metal. If you like the sound and direction of Eden's Curse, then Code of Silence will be right in your comfort zone. In other words, there's a perfect combination of heaviness, melody, hooks, and rock groove. Along side these things is very strong song composition, artfully merging the arrangement with every instrument. You'll hear these strengths the notable songs Dark Skies Over Babylon, Black Abyss, and Here to Heaven. For the some of that aforementioned hearty hooks and groove look to Sky Is Falling Down and Witches of November. Alternatively, Tame the Tempest may also have some slight prog metal nuances and Knights of the Crimson Cross delivers straight power metal. Fundamentally then, Dark Skies Over Babylon is a well-crafted and entertaining record of traditional melodic metal. Quite recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00