Sunday, 29 March 2015

11: RUSH - Rush in Rio (DVD) (2003)

Introduction by Andy Read

"I've only seen Rush live on two occasions. The second was the final date of their R30 tour in a large, echoing cow shed in Rotterdam. It was a rather frustrating audio experience. However, the first at Wembley Arena on the Hold Your Fire tour, was a dream come true and ranks as an all-time top 5 live experience for me.
Yet the show captured on this DVD is in a world of its own and unlike any gig that I've ever been to. Rush had never played Brazil before and the three stadium shows attracted 120,000 people. If ever an audience can make a live DVD an unmissable experience, then the 40,000-strong mass of bouncing humanity inside Rio de Janeiro's Maracanä Stadium, all deserve their names on the album credits.
This first-ever live DVD from the Canadian trio must rank as one of the best ever for any genre. Not just because of the amazing set list that clocks in at just under three hours, but for the added extras including a fascinating tour-documentary. They even managed to make the tracks from Vapour Trails sound godly!"

From the 2003 archives, read Andy's original DPRP review and see what score he gave the DVD:
Read it here 

Watch this video of Rush playing Tom Sawyer live in Rio.
Watch the video here

Sunday, 22 March 2015

10: PORCUPINE TREE - Signify (1996)

Introduction by Rich Kamerman
(A DPRP reader and music blogger from New York City)

"It might be a cliché to say "you never forget your first," but it's especially true when it comes to music. This album was my first exposure to Porcupine Tree and it had an immediate impact. I had been reading about them in fanzines, mail-order catalogues and early prog-friendly websites, so when I stumbled on this CD I was excited to finally hear what the fuss was all about.
Unlike other then-current prog bands, whose influences were clearly worn on their sleeves, the sound of Porcupine Tree combined elements of numerous artists I loved, but blended them into a sound that was uniquely their own. Ed Sander's stellar review of the expanded 2-CD edition of Signify does a great job of explaining the transitional nature of the album in their discography, but I disagree when he states that it "isn't one of the first recommendations I would make to a 'newbie' wanting to check out the band."
As a newbie myself nearly two decades ago, I can say that this album continues to be one of my favourites in their catalogue. The Sleep of No Dreaming was the first song to ever truly capture my imagination. I still consider it one of their defining songs. For anyone who became a fan later and never checked out their formative years, Signify is the ideal place to start."

From the 2004 archives, read the original DPRP review and see what score Ed Sander gave the album:
Read it here 

Watch this video of Porcupine Tree playing an extended version on the title track live in Italy in 1997.
Watch the video here

You can buy the double-vinyl version of the album here.
Buy it here

Sunday, 15 March 2015

09: THE FLOWER KINGS - Space Revolver (2000)

Introduction by Niels Hazeborg

"How do you describe the effect that hearing The Flower Kings for the first time has on a young, impressionable mind? I was 14 and my musical world didn't extend much beyond what was on MTV. Suddenly, Tomas Bodin's Hammond and Roine Stolt's guitar, lead off the main theme of I Am The Sun in 7/4 time, changing my life forever.
The boundless energy, the unbridled creativity, and the mind-boggling musicianship all showed me that music could be so much more than I had ever imagined. It was long and baggy and pretentious and utterly undisciplined. I loved it.
And yet, it felt like I'd always known it, somehow. It felt warm and familiar, like something that was always waiting for me. More than an eye-opener; it was a homecoming. Today, Space Revolver still holds up as one of the definitive albums of the early 2000s. The DPRP review from that time was, as usual, bang on the money."

From the 2000 archives, read the original Round Table DPRP review and see what scores our three reviewers gave the album:
Read it here 

Watch the video for the track Rumble Fish Twist.
Watch the video here

The whole album is currently available on Spotify.
Listen to it here

Sunday, 8 March 2015

08: FISH - Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors (1990)

Introduction by Andy Read

"Along with Pallas, early-period Marillion is the only neo-progressive band of which I'd ever call myself a big fan. Having never enjoyed Marillion since the departure of Fish, and having never been a big fan of Fish since he left Marillion, then I guess it was just that unique combination of musical characters, which held the appeal for me.
I keep trying the Fish solo output, but of the 10 studio albums, it is only the debut from Derek William Dick which has held any lasting appeal. For me it is the natural successor to Misplaced Childhood in its mood, sharp lyricism and faultless songwriting. The fact that five of the tracks were unfinished Marillion compositions, possibly helps. 
The live favourite, Family Business, is the song I know best in the world, as it was the title track for the short-film I submitted for my degree. I've heard every word and note at least 100 times, as I struggled with antique editing equipment to get the images to match the music.  
A quarter of a century later and Vigil ... still stands as one of the albums that every lover of prog should own."

From the 2000 archives, read the original review by the DPRP's Ed Sander, and see what score he gave the album:
Read it here 
(It formed part of a DPRP Special: Fish Retrospective, with 12 of his albums reviewed.)

Watch the official video for the track A Gentleman's Excuse Me.
Watch the video here

The whole album is currently available on Spotify.

Listen to it here

Sunday, 1 March 2015

07: PURE REASON REVOLUTION - The Dark Third (2006)

Introduction by Martin Burns

"Harmony prog, there’s a lot of it about these days. Taking the templates laid down by The Beach Boys and The Beatles, for exquisite vocal harmonies in experimental pop, which were then developed by groups as various as Yes and Gentle Giant, through to Spock’s Beard and Moon Safari. One of my favourite examples of harmony prog is Pure Reason Revolution’s wonderful _The Dark Third_. Here the harmonies are subtly different, in that they have dual female-male lead vocals. The two singers harmonise superbly, along with the rest of the band.

They mix delicious vocal lines with a modern prog sound to make an album, that whilst showing some influences, remains entirely their own. However, it is not all about the vocals. The arrangements of the songs are constantly interesting, using guitars that crunch or slide where the song demands, whilst the keyboards swirl and bubble, and the rhythm section pins the beat to the floor. I fell for this as a reader of long before joining as a writer. Go listen. It is one of the great full length debut CDs."

From the 1996 archives, read the original duo review by the DPRP's Ed Sanders and Tom De Val, and see what scores they gave the album:
Read it here

Watch the official video of The Bright Ambassadors Of Morning.
Watch the video here

The whole album is currently available to listen to on Grooveshark. The band split in 2011.

Listen to it here