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John Wetton - Amorata CD (album) cover

AMORATA

John Wetton

 

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4.07 | 7 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 366

The veteran progressive rock musician John Wetton has been involved in a true impressive array of musical ventures throughout his three decade career, culminating in this live performance for some two thousand fans in Krakow, Poland in 2003. 'Amorata' found John Wetton and his latest 'solo' band touring for their latest 'Rock Of Faith' release, a release that John Wetton himself described as more 'spiritual' than much of his previous progressive rock wandering.

'Amorata' is the second DVD of John Wetton and was released in 2003. It was taken from a live show filmed and recorded at the Studio Krzemionki, Krak'v, Poland, on 11 April 2003. Beyond the images of the concert, the DVD also includes a fully animated menu, artist's biography plus individual member's profiles, photo gallery, desktop images, web links, Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound and an interview with John Wetton. The set was filmed with multiple cameras showcasing each member of the band. On an interesting note about the interview of John Wetton, while John's fascinating candour of his face is taken, the video bumps and moves like a hand held audience bootleg video.

To release 'Amorata' John Wetton joined a small but very impressive punch of musicians to play with him. He invited the guitarist of Arena John Mitchell who played to a number of progressive rock bands such as It Bites, Kino, Frost* and The Urbane. He also invited Martin Orford, best known as the keyboardist and founder member of the progressive rock bands IQ and Jadis. However he was also involved in his solo career and appeared on the two first studio albums of Big Train. Finally, he also invited to play the drums, Steve Christey, who is the drummer of the neo- prog band Jadis.

So, the line up that appears on the DVD 'Amorata' is John Wetton (lead vocals, bass guitar and acoustic guitar), John Mitchell (backing vocals and guitars), Martin Orford (backing vocals and keyboards) and Steve Christey (drums).

The second DVD of John Wetton 'Amorata' has thirteen tracks. The set list contained on this DVD includes many of the classic tracks of some of the bands where John Wetton was member, as well as a couple of songs taken from John Wetton's solo musical career. So, from King Crimson we have: 'Red' and 'Starless' from 'Red', 'Book Of Saturday' and 'Easy Money' from 'Lark's Tongues In Aspic'. From Asia we have: 'Sole Survivor' and 'Heat Of The Moment' from 'Asia', and 'The Smile Has Left Your Eyes' from 'Alpha'. From UK we have: 'In The Dead Of Night' from UK and 'Rendez Vous 6.02' from 'Danger Money'. From John Wetton's solo albums, we have: 'Battle Lines' from 'Battle Lines', 'Emma' and 'After All' from 'Arkangel' and 'Nothing's Gonna Stand In Our Way' from 'Rock Of Faith'.

Beginning with 'Red', a very ambitious track from his earliest days with King Crimson in the 70's, Wetton flew into 'Soul Survivor', the third single and sleeper hit from Asia's popular self-titled debut album in 1982, 'Nothing's Gonna Stand In Our Way', the lone rep from 'Rock Of Faith', to the classic King Crimson's 'Book Of Saturday'. It was clear from the onset that Wetton's latest group is a talented cast of youthful yet seasoned players able to easily connect with the complexity of Wetton's musical roots, maintaining a fluidity and aura that equates and often exceeds the high bar of expectation previously established. Wetton's focus is revealed in a more 'personal' nature with songs like 'Emma', an emotional ballad from his 'Arkangel' release that precedes the equally stirring 'The Smile Has Left Your Eyes', from Asia's 'Alpha' album. The energy returns quickly with 'In The Dead Of Night', another influential moment, this time from his later work with the band U.K. This is one of the less obscure tracks and a widely held blueprint for many of today's popular Prog/Metal acts like Dream Theater and Fates Warning. The prolific 'Easy Money' follows and provides another fine example of the power and grandeur present here, handled almost too flawlessly by John Wetton's band.

Conclusion: I don't know very well the solo career of John Wetton. The only album I know from him is 'Battle Lines'. Still, he always was one of my favourite bassists and vocalists of the 70's. Besides, I always considered John Wetton as an important part of King Crimson. He participated on one of my favourite progressive albums, 'Red'. So, when I knew about the existence of this DVD I never hesitated in buying it. By the other hand, it has some of my current favourite musicians too, John Mitchell and Martin Orford. 'Amorata' is an excellent DVD, really. The production and the sound are very good. The track list is also very impressive and even the songs that belong to John Wetton's solo repertoire are very well performed. Of course the highlights on the live show are the King Crimson and UK's songs, I'm talking about 'Red', 'In The Dead Of Night' and especially 'Starless'. So, 'Amorata' is a DVD highly recommended and an excellent addition to all prog rock fans collection, especially for those who love the early King Crimson and UK's music.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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