Year of Release: 2008
Catalog Number: GEPCD1037
Total Time: 58:01:00
The following story is way overdue and I wish I could have published it earlier. In recent times I found that the situation in the world today has an effect on music as well. Because of the many pirates that illegally distribute music and thus deprive labels, but especially musicians, of income, labels are not so generous with promos anymore. So for reviewers it is also getting harder to get those precious promos to review. Honestly, this takes a lot of the fun out of reviewing?
But I received the album in question, and I really wanted to review it, as I found it a very important album from a person I had the pleasure of meeting once, several years ago. And I have been in touch with him via e-mail. This man too suffered from the piracy that took the joy out of music for him. This is evident in both the music and the packaging!
The contributions of this man to progressive music are countless. The Lens, IQ, Jadis, John Wetton, all very familiar names and well respected bands/musicians that have a long and outstanding career. The man in question: Martin Orford. He was a founding member of bands like The Lens and the continuation of it in IQ, one of the household names in progressive rock, and he played a key role in Jadis, together with Gary Chandler.
In recent years there were already signs of change. Martin first left Jadis in 2006. And one year later, in 2007, Martin left IQ, after having been a member for no fewer than 26 years! At that point he wanted to "do his own thing." Of course sad events, but still with the prospect of coming music by Mr. Orford. And he already had one solo album to his name, which received praise everywhere, so there was more good music to come.
And it came ... not just good music, but great music. A second solo album entitled The Old Road. But an album with another sad announcement: Martin Orford would end his career as a musician. The main reason? His (as well as all other musician's) career was seriously endangered by the illegal downloading and distribution of music. This is especially seen in the credits: "No thanks to: anyone who uploads or downloads other people's music on the nternet. You are making it increasingly difficult to make albums like this one." So ... if the shoe fits, please change your ways and stop putting great musicians out of business.
On the inside of the jewel case, when you take out the CD, you see a photo of a dead-end railroad. The end of the line?
For this album Martin invited many of his friends, including former colleagues from Jadis, IQ and John Wetton (of course the man himself!). In nine songs he takes us on a journey that shows what progressive music is all about: great songs that are timeless. In the liner notes he says it is not a progressive album, but more a retro album, with all the trademarks of the "golden prog rock era." Well, he is right either way. The album breathes the same atmosphere as you find when visiting these old villages in England. Villages that are still miles away from computers, the Internet and fast food.
The Old Road is filled with beautiful songs, melodic, sometimes powerful, but always with a touch of melancholy. It is an album to dream away with. I can think of many reasons why you should buy this album. It may not get Martin Orford back into music, but maybe it will restore some faith that there are many who care for the music. Not the least of reasons is the fact it is a very good album, which is the most important reason why it was released.
A classic album with an important message for all to be heard. Please buy this album and/or other albums and stop pirates whenever and wherever you can, or many more musicians will follow the same road?
[As it happens, when I went searching for the track timings for this release, the 8th and 9th search results were from a downloads?. -ed.]
Grand Designs (9:58) / Power And Speed (5:58) / Ray Of Hope (3:53) / Take It To The Sun (5:26) / Prelude (1:36) / The Old Road (8:37) / Out In The Darkness (6:27) / The Time And The Season (10:46)/ Endgame (5:20)
Martin Orford - keyboards, guitars, vocals
Gary Chandler - rhythm guitars
Nick D'Virgilio - drums
Dave Meros - bass guitar
John Mitchell - lead guitar
Steve Thorne - acoustic guitar, vocals
David Longdon - vocals
John Wetton - vocals, bass guitar
Colm Murphy - fiddle
Dave Oberle - backing vocals
Mike Holmes - harmony guitar
Classical Music And Popular Songs (2000)
The Old Road (2008)
Genre: Progressive Rock