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Porcupine Tree - Recordings CD (album) cover

RECORDINGS

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

4.17 | 301 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars First of all thankyou Martijn (evenless) for allowing me to finally listen to this album. I've been lusting after this one for so long. Consider that "Lightbulb Sun" and "Stupid Dream" both have over 200 ratings on this site while this record which many consider even better than those two has only 58 ratings.This badly needs to be re-issued Mr. Wilson. Six of the tracks on this album were recorded during either the "Lightbulb Sun" or "Stupid Dream" sessions but didn't make the cut. "Even Less" made the cut on "Stupid Dream" but this 14 minute version of it did not, just the first half. "Buying A New Soul" and "Access Denied" aren't from either sesion but are new tracks. I agree with Bonnek who suggested to me that "Recordings" has that space vibe from their earlier albums that "Stupid Dream" and "Lightbulb Sun" have little of. And that's what makes this so good. If your a fan of "Signify", "Up The Downstair" or "The Sky Moves Sideways" to a lesser extent, then this will appeal to you.

I first heard "Buying A New Soul" when I purchased a special edition of "Lightbulb Sun" years ago which came with a second disc but with only three tracks on it, one of which was this gem. This is one of the best PT tracks i've ever heard. The lyrics, atmosphere and especially the chorus are all so impressive. It turns chaotic after 4 1/2 minutes with some great drumming from Chris Maitland. Hey there's even some cello early on in this version. "I still wave at the dots on the shore, and I still beat my head against the wall, I still rage and wage my little war, i'm ashamed and easy to ignore". "Acess Denied" is the only track that bugs me somewhat because of that BEATLES flavour. It's contrasted though with a better laid back soundscape throughout. "Cure For Optimism" is a great title. This is from the "Lightbulb Sun" sessions and appeared on the "Shesmovedon" single. It's somewhat haunting early with lots of atmosphere. Strummed guitar before 2 minutes as the mood changes. Keyboards then vocals join in. This is so moving for me. Love the mellotron. It ends as it began. Amazing tune. "Untitled" was from the "Lightbulb Sun" sessions as well and is in fact an early instrumental version of "Buying A New Soul". Much more atmosphere here and of course no chorus. Quite spacey, and it would have fit well on "Up The Downstair". Incredible sounding tune.

"Disappear" is also from the "Lightbulb Sun" recordings. A mellow tune for the most part with strummed guitar and vocals standing out. I really like Barbieri's spacey keybaord work. It kicks in before 3 minutes before settling again. "Ambulance Chasing" is from the "Stupid Dream" sessions. Heavy drums to start then chunky bass and synths. It settles before 2 1/2 minutes to a better sound. Some organ as well. Guitar around 4 1/2 minutes. "In Formaldehyde" is from the "Lightbulb Sun" recordings and a fantstic tune, one of my favourites. I kept thinking of "I Drive The Hearse" from "The Incident". Lyrics like "When you get out of here you get to keep the car, and I get a plastic vase". Beautiful guitar intro as reserved vocals join in. A gorgeous sound. Great lyrics too. An emotional guitar solo after 3 1/2 minutes. A moving track. "Even Less" is the extended version here. It sort of drifts off after 6 minutes. Some killer guitar 9 minutes in goes on and on. Back to the original song around 11 minutes. "Oceans Have No Memory" is from the "Stupid Dream" sessions and reminds me of FLOYD. It's laid back and dreamy.

I want t give this 5 stars but am going to stay with 4.5 stars for now. I do like it better than "Lightbulb Sun" and "Stupid Dream" though.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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