Thursday, August 07, 2008

Emerson, Lake & Palmer ~ Brain Salad Surgery (Deluxe Edition)

Just announced is this 3 CD deluxe edition of ELP’s signature album, “Brain Salad Surgery” to be released at the end of September. But what could they put on 3 CD’s!! Well, looking at the track list on Amazon, seems we are being treated to no less than 5 versions, that’s right, 5 versions of the album. Three are on the 3rd disc. Not sure how they can fit 3 versions of the album on one disc. Maybe a mistake on the posting of the track listing. The second disc at least includes bonus tracks in the form of “Brain Salad Surgery” and “When the Apple Blossoms Bloom In the Windmill Of Your Heart I’ll Be Your Valentine” which were recorded at the same sessions but appeared on the “Works Vol.2” album.

According to the highly informative “Brain Salad Surgery – See The Show “ web site (completely dedicated to just this album) other tracks were recorded at the same sessions. These were “Tiger In the Spotlight” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (recorded by the band, but appeared on “Works Vol.1” as part of Greg Lakes solo side). Also, the song “So Far to Fall” was recorded slightly later than the album and also appeared on “Works vol.2”. So there is a case to have included these or at least the first two tracks on this edition to make up a complete “Brain Salad Surgery” sessions package.

Time will tell what will be on this edition. My feeling is that it is a Mark Powell project as he has done a lot of archival work for Universal and also oversaw the “From the Beginning” box set of a year or so ago. That was mastered by Paschal Byrne and the results for me were the best sounding ELP on CD yet. So if he is involved it should sound pretty good.

Friday, August 01, 2008

England ~ Garden Shed

England are one of those long lost prog bands who only lasted for one studio album. “Garden Shed” was released in 1977 which was not the best year for releasing a prog album. However, the album has gained much attention over the years and was released on CD by the band back in 2005. For that issue, they used Tony Arnolds 1997 master and packaged it in a 7-inch sleeve with a 20 page booklet containing newly restored artwork not included in the original LP release. That has since sold out and is very hard to obtain.

Now I have come across a new version, released this year on Piper Records who seem to be based in Estonia! So not sure on the legitimacy of the release, but it is available on a few on-line shops. There is a web address on the packaging but that doesn’t seem to work. This version is packaged in a nice digipack with 8 page booklet which includes the lyrics but very little else. The sound though is pretty good, so not sure if it has been remastered or is taken from another source. There are two bonus tracks in the shape of the 1976 Olympic Studio recording of “Three Piece Suite”, which was included in the 2005 release and an excellent instrumental “Nanagram” which I believe was the b-side to the single "Paraffinalea". I have also seen some references to the track being called "Nanogram".

This is a very good slice of late period prog rock. Quite pastoral, with lots of excellent synth and mellotron work. I always regretted not getting the 2005 issue when it came out, but for now this edition will suffice until hopefully the band decide to re-release the special edition again.

England Web Site:
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