Spock's Beard - The Light - The Artwork Collector's Series

Year of Release: 2004
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: TACS 001/SPV 087-28208 CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 72:24:00

Originally released in 1995, I'm sure you'll understand it is by no means my intention to review the actual contents of this album once again. We all know what a breath of fresh air the arrival of this classic album meant. This Spock's Beard debut indeed let in The Light, as it illustrated that progressive rock could once again be very contemporary, meaning the media could no longer slag us off by saying it was all very much d?ja vu. Remastered from the original tapes, the music on this disc sounds as crisp and clear as can be expected, but then again so did the original album as mastered by the late Kevin Gilbert, friend and fan of the band since day one. If I'm not mistaken, I think it was Greg Walker who released The Light on his Syn-Phonic label (SYNCD 14), also giving the band a possibility to perform on stage during ProgFest '95, which he had set up in the Los Angeles area. In fact, when The Light was recorded, Ryo Okumoto wasn't yet a member of the band. He only stepped in for live purposes, but stayed as a permanenent member beginning with the band's second album Beware Of Darkness a year later.

With Syn-Phonic not having a decent distribution in Europe at the time, a licensing deal was struck with IQ's Giant Electric Pea label, or GEP, as it's better known worldwide. The Light was then released sporting different artwork, which sadly is nowhere to be seen in this superbly finished "artwork series." Because Inside Out's Thomas Waber was also involved in GEP, the step to Inside Out was made fairly easy and the rest, as they say, is history. In order to beat the hordes of so called music fans who simply burn their own CDs, not thinking for one second how much harm they are causing by doing this (in many cases they are the reason why certain artists never get further than releasing one single album, and we all know how much better albums can get as time evolves!), Inside Out has always treated the music fan with the utmost respect. Tons of limited editions have so far been released, often sporting extra bonus discs and/or massive artwork. Although some might see it as yet another form of "cash-in," I'm convinced fans of Spock's Beard and collectors alike will be enthusiastic about this current but limited (only 3000 numbered copies) edition, which comes housed in a triple foldout glossy 7" sleeve. Maybe some of you will not go out and buy this little gem only because the size will prevent you from storing it back to back with your "normal" CD collection, although I'm dead certain everyone has at least one or two "oddities" in his/her collection.

Next to releases by Roine Stolt (The Flower King) and Pallas (The Sentinel), this remastered version of The Light comes in the already mentioned triple foldout cover, based around the original US design. The set also contains a small glossy poster, three glossy postcards and a nicely compiled booklet including new liner notes written by Neal Morse, together with all the lyrics. To make it even more interesting. a home demo from the band's most favourite track ever, "The Light," has also been included. This version sounds very much like the actual album version, although certain parts are played a little slower whilst others sound a little faster, only to result in almost identical playing time (only fifteen seconds difference). Pity no details are given about this "home demo," as we don't know whether every single instrument heard on this demo is indeed played by Neal, although judging from the liner notes where Neal writes "I asked my brother Al to play on the demos," he probably restricted him to some instruments only (but which ones?). The Light probably was the starting shot for a brand new revival of progressive rock and it's importance has rightfully been done justice by means of this wonderful arty re-issue. Hurry while stocks last!

The Light (15:33) / Go The Way You Go (12:03) / The Water (23:07) / On The Edge (6:11) / Bonustrack : The Light (Home Demo) (15:18)

Neal Morse - vocals, guitar, keyboards
Nick d'Virgilio - drums, percussion, vocals
Ryo Okumoto - keyboards
Alan Morse - guitars
Dave Meros - bass

The Light (1991)
Beware of Darkness (1995)
The Beard Is Out There Live (1995)
Official Live Bootleg (1996)
The Kindness of Strangers (1997)
From The Vault - 1995-1998 (1998)
Day For Night (1999)
Live At The Whiskey and NEARfest (1999)
Don't Try This At Home (2000)
V (2000)
Snow (2002)
Feel Euphoria (2003)
The Light - The Artwork Collector's Series (2004)
Octane (2005)
Gluttons For Punishment (2005)
Spock's Beard (2006)
Live (2008)
X (2010)
Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep (2013)
The Oblivion Particle (2015)
Noise Floor (2018)

The Beard Is Out There Live (VID) (1995)
Spock's Beard's Home Movie (VID) (1998)
Live At The Whisky (VID) (1999)
Making Of V (VID) (2001)
Don't Try This At Home & The Making Of V (DVD) (2002)
The Making Of Snow (DVD) (2004)
Live (DVD) (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: September 5th 2004
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.spocksbeard.com
Hits: 948
Language: english


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