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Galahad - When Worlds Collide CD (album) cover





4.89 | 8 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars Back in 1985 a small group of progheads formed a band, and even though the musical furrow they were ploughing has never been the most popular, somehow they have persevered and in 2015 they marked their thirtieth anniversary. Through some twists and turns, the line-up in 2015 was 80% the same as the one that recorded their first CD, 'Nothing Is Written', with just 'new boy' keyboard player Dean Baker the only one not there all those years ago. But, seeing as how he joined the group in 1997, possibly the new boy tag is just a little unfair...The concept behind this double CD was quite simple, re-record a number of songs from throughout the band's career, but perform them as if they had just been written. Also involved were previous members of the band (and in one case, the son of a previous member), and co-producer Karl Groom also assisted with acoustic guitar on one song. As for the booklet, they approached various people who had been involved with the band at some point in their career and asked for some memories to be included, so I do have to confess and admit some involvement at this point so my review is obviously going to be biased?

To my ears this is an amazing album in that they have stayed true to the originals in many ways, yet have given them a new lease of life. As an example, take the extended version of "Room 801" which in its original form was seven minutes long, but is now nearly eleven. There is a much longer introduction, Dean has provided quite a different keyboard sound in many places, yet stays close in others, while Tim's bass is much warmer, and both Spencer and Roy are kicking it far more than in the original. Of course, back in 1990 Stu didn't have the confidence that only comes from fronting a band for many years, and back then they weren't working with a producer like Karl. A nice addition to this song is the original comments from Tommy Vance that he gave after the song was played on the Radio 1 Rock Show, and he states who plays on the song, with a machine providing the name of Dean as he was the only one not involved at the time.

"Richelieu's Prayer" is another triumph, featuring quite a different piano introduction to the original, but performed by Mark Andrews who was of course the keyboard player on the debut CD. This has always been a personal favourite of mine, and it builds to a climax with the piano being a focal point throughout. It is the confidence of all those involved that makes this album such a triumph. It would be churlish of me to complete the review, though, without mentioning the reworking of "Exorcising Demons". This is has been one of my favourite songs since I first heard it performed at The Astoria a million years ago, and Stu and I had discussion a few times back in the Nineties when I realised that it wasn't going to be performed. Stu even made a point of telling me that it was going to be included on this album! It has been deconstructed in some ways, and the fresh arrangement has made it something that wouldn't sound out of place on a new album. Here Tim is putting his own take on what was originally Neil's bassline, instead of the other way around, which was the normal state of affairs.

It's not really possible to have a "Greatest Hits" album without at least one true "hit", so what we have here instead is an album of classic numbers that have been reworked and re-recorded to make them more relevant and important to today. If you have never come across Galahd before this, then this is the place to start.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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