Flower Kings, The - The Rainmaker - Special Edition

Year of Release: 2001
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMLTDCD
Format: CD
Total Time: 116:17:00

As I've already reviewed the "regular" edition of The Rainmaker, here we will only focus on the bonus disc which makes up this great package. Not so much music on this disc, but then again the six songs submitted here are indeed six worthwhile songs, as opposed to studio outtakes or rough demos. Wagner's "Excerpt from Valkyrian" illustrates the talents of master magician Tomas Bodin. Witty as he is, this arrangement nevertheless proves what a fantastic professional he is, strongly rooted in the classics. In fact, whilst I was in Sweden in August, I phoned Roine Stolt who told me Tomas would be in that particular afternoon with some extra material for the bonus disc. That's when I knew it would be a good investment to get hold of the limited set because a lot of the stuff would be Bodin material and if you have witnessed his An Ordinary Night In My Ordinary Life solo album you know you can't wait for his second solo offering! "Mr. Hope Goes To Salzburg" is a funny, short intermezzo with a playful melody.

"One Whole Half" is Jonas Reingold's pi?ce de r?sistance, being pure fusion with Stolt sounding like Holdsworth's little brother and Reingold pulling those strings powerful enough to make his fingers bleed until the next tour! Having always been a big fan of anything fretless, of course I'm bewildered by the middle section here. The little percussive details certainly enhance the total feel of the song, which can easily be fit next to the Brand X output. Great electric piano also from Bodin. Next up is the bluesy, funky Stolt original "Agent Supreme" which gives way to pure improvisation, emphasising the percussive nature of the idea. Complete keyboard madness strikes towards the end with "Violent Brat," before evolving into pure bombastic vintage prog, almost turning towards a film score. Great organ playing spices up the song, and together with the multiple drum breaks and rhythm changes courtesy of Zoltan Cs?rsz, it marks this song as being my favourite of the pack. Bodin is probably one of my all-time favourite keyboard players and is ever such a nice guy as well! The bonus section ends with another Bodin original. This time "The Woman With No Shadow" sees Tomas add some background organ to a fragile female voice resulting in a Wishing Tree meets Clannad atmosphere. Seashells are the percussion whilst the song ends with the washing of the sea.

The interactive section is divided into two separate films, a biography and link to the band's website. The first film sees the band in the studio. Jonas Reingold tries his hand at the classic Nat King Cole song "Mona Lisa" whilst Hasse Fr?berg rehearses the high notes for "Last Minute On Earth." It also shows us the many talents of Hasse Bruniusson on percussion, sometimes in duel with newcomer Zoltan Cs?rz. As probably all narration is done in Swedish, no doubt Swedish fans will have that little bit extra because they will know what the band is bloody talking about! Suddenly there's this view of an unknown guy behind the mixing console. Could he be the mysterious Don Azzaro? Who can solve the mystery here? We see Jonas and Tomas killing time in the studio when Jonas holds up a book pointing at the title which reads "Vad ?r Ljud" meaning "What is sound?" (just phoned P?r Lindh to know this actually!), indeed a nice question to be asked whilst being in the studio! Just like Phil Collins and Chester Thompson used to battle it out, Cs?rsz and Bruniusson deliver a musical fight, backed by the roaring sounds of Reingold's bass.

We change the studio world for a trip to Buenos Aires to witness The Flower Kings live in Argentina. We see the band boarding their plane and driving through the city. We see Jaime Salazar and Jonas Reingold recording jingles for Radio Futuro and Hasse Fr?berg playing the drums during the sound check. And then it's showtime with The Flower Kings diving right into "Gates Of Delirium" by Yes followed by a steaming version of the Beatles classic "Hey Jude" leaving behind them a tremendously enthusiastic crowd. Certainly a nice balance between the studio madness and the live recognition and reward. If the bonus material remains exclusive to this release then, of course, this limited edition is a must have if you have not yet purchased the "normal" copy of the album. However, you never know, some of the bonus songs here might eventually end up on forthcoming compilations, Japanese releases or fan club discs. To be on the safe side however, you'd better reserve your copy today. You have been warned!

Disc One: Last Minute On Earth (11:40) / World Without A Heart (4:29) / Road To Sanctuary (13:50) / The Rainmaker (6:02) / City Of Angels (12:04) / Elaine (4:55) / Thru The Walls (4:31) / Sword Of God (6:00) / Blessing Of A Smile (3:12) / Red Alert (1:10) / Serious Dreamers (8:59)

Disc Two: Excerpt From Valkyrian (3:14) / Mr. Hope Goes To Salzburg (0:50) / One Whole Half (5:16) / Agent Supreme (2:32) / Violent Brat (4:31) / The Woman With No Shadow (2:16) / Interactive Section: Flowerkings Movie 1 (11:17) / Flowerkings Movie 2 (9:13)

Roine Stolt - vocals, guitars
Tomas Bodin - keyboards
Jonas Reingold - bass
Jaime Salazar - drums
Hasse Fröberg - vocals, guitar

Roine Stolt - The Flower King (1994/2001/2004)
Back In The World Of Adventures (1995)
Retropolis (1996)
Stardust We Are (1997/2000)
Scanning The Greenhouse (comp) (1998)
Edition Limitée Quebec (1998) (only 700 copies!)
Flower Power (1999)
TFK fanclub disc (2000) (free CD exclusive to fanclub members only)
Alive On Planet Earth (2000)
Space Revolver (2000)
Space Revolver Special Edition (2CD set) (2000)
The Rainmaker (2001)
The Rainmaker - Special Edition (2001)
Unfold The Future (2002)
Live In New York: Official Bootleg (2002)
Fan Club CD 2002 (2002)
Fan Club CD 2004 (2004)
Adam & Eve (2004)
BetchaWannaDanceStoopid (2004)
Harvest (fan club CD) (2005)
Paradox Hotel (2006)
The Road Back Home (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (Special Edition) (2007)
Banks Of Eden (2012)

Meet The Flower Kings - Live Recording (DVD) (2003)
Instant Delivery (DVD) (2006)
Instant Delivery - Limited Edition (2CD/2DVD) (2006)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin SE

Added: October 26th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.flowerkings.se
Hits: 752
Language: english


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