Flower Kings, The - Fan Club CD 2000

Year of Release: 2000
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: FOX CD 021
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:20:00

Remember the Beatles? They were so hung up on their fans (well the British anyway) that they sent each member of their fanclub an exclusive flexidisc around Christmas. They did this seven times and put all of that material on an album which they handed out to US fans a while later. This idea has been taken over by Dream Theater, who so far have released several out-of-print collectables. Would you believe that none other than our Swedish friends The Flower Kings have now also adopted this idea? And what a great idea it is!

Cover of FanzineSo members of the Flower Kings fanclub not only receive the great fanzine World of Adventures, each issue of which is personally signed by a member of the band, but come X-mas and Santa, send to them an exclusive full-CD containing almost one hour of rare and exclusive material spread over 9 songs.

The album opens with the Tomas Bodin penned "Return Of The Giant Monkey Boy" that opens in a very traditional Japanese way before the mellotron sets in and introduces one of the finest songs around. Roine's guitar playing adapts very well with the superb sounding whistles. Someone added weird vocals, which kind of continues the tradition introduced by Thys Van Leer during his Focus period. Towards the end, it all becomes jazzy and experimental. Wild marimbas open ?Poor Sebastian? which evolves into a majestic 'chant' not in the least featuring outstanding keyboards and guitar. In fact the keyboards here flirt with National Health atmospheres.

More middle-of-the-road is, without a doubt, the country flavoured "One Dat Like This." Based around acoustic guitar this is very much a popsong in true Bon Jovi style. Strange to think of Flower Kings attacking the charts but with this kind of stuff they might surprise enough people! The band is never afraid to tackle a classic either as they prove here with "Across The Universe" made immortal by The Beatles. Here the boys have introduced one of the "older" drum machines, which of course creates something interesting. Add to this some 'out of this world' guitar - and synth solos and I'm convinced Lennon would like it a lot as it sounds heavenly (geddit?).

In the same way that Ed Macan poured his percussive efforts over us comes "Dance-Joy," which is a feast for percussionists containing some Japanese influences as well. This little "ditty" is credited to Per Nordin known amongst others as sleeve designer for the Transatlantic disc! "Ottan" sounds like a circus coming to town what with its jolly rhythm and cheerful melodies adding a little bit of humor to the disc. Certainly fans of the Flower Kings will love the inclusion of the band's long version of the Genesis classic "Cinema Show," which previously only could be found on the Japanese version of Scanning The Greenhouse. Jaime Salazar adds a nice groove to make it a very enjoyable song, although of course there are some modest passages as well where mellotron reigns. Towards the end the song really cooks featuring splendid keyboard solos from Tomas.

My favourite probably has to be the pure symphonic "My Longing Was Still There." It must be a treat to be able to compose music this way. The orchestral keyboard sounds are almost classical and it would be indeed wonderful if one day we would be able to hear this song being performed by a classical ensemble. Strange how, whilst listening to this song, I keep thinking of my father who died three years ago. The album closes with "Precious Moments" a soft melodic pop song written by Michael Stolt of which the arrangement grows and grows culminating like U2 at its best.

This, my dear friends, is a true must have for every Flower Kings lover as these songs are no cheap demos but real songs in which once again the true craftmanship and diversity shines. Now all you need to do is subscribe to the fanclub and be treated like a true king!

This is an exclusive fanclub CD only available to members of the Flower Kings Fanclub. You get the superb fanzine World of Adventures filled to the rim with interesting FK news and facts plus all kinds of bonusses, the CD being one of them. See the Flower Kings website for more info.

Return Of The Giant Monkey Boy (9:11) / Poor Sebastian (7:21) / One Day Like This (3:52) / Across The Universe (10:03) / Dance-Joy (2:01) / Ottan (3:55) / Cinema Show (11:53) / My Longing Was Still There (3:28) / Precious Moments (5:56)

Roine Stolt - guitars, vocals
Tomas Bodin - keyboards
Hasse Bruniusson - ?
Michael Stolt - ?
Jaime Salazar - drums

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: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: October 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.flowerkings.se
Hits: 1864
Language: english


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