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Aragon - Rocking Horse And Other Stories CD (album) cover

ROCKING HORSE AND OTHER STORIES

Aragon

 

Neo-Prog

3.77 | 58 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars A past that tells a story of a future that never was

To fill the gap between 1992's The Meeting and 1995's Mouse, Aragon released Rocking Horse And Other Stories From The Past in 1993. This album contains material that dates from before the band's debut album, Don't Bring The Rain. This means that the material featured here goes back to the band's early days sometime in the 80's. It is unclear to me whether it is the compositions only that date from before the band's debut album and that the present recordings of these songs were made later, or if even the recordings themselves date from before Don't Bring The Rain. Regardless of which, the sound quality of these recordings, though not perfect, is actually better than that of the debut album itself. Interestingly, and this is the important part, the compositions also by far outshine those that actually made it onto Don't Bring The Rain. Indeed, to have such great pieces as the 20 minute Rocking Horse and the haunting Ghosts on their hands and decide not to include them on their first album release cannot be explained by anything else than bad judgment or possibly by pure madness! The songs featured here are generally excellent and certainly include some of the best songs the band ever did.

The song Ghosts appear twice, first in a studio version and then in a live version. This emphasizes the compilation nature of this album and distracts somewhat from its inherent qualities. If I allow myself to dream a bit, I would say that had Aragon released a full-length studio album containing the best songs from the present collection plus good-sounding versions of the very best songs from Don't Bring The Rain and The Meeting, they would doubtlessly have a truly excellent album on their hands. As they stand, however, none of these releases deserve a higher rating. Still, I would say that at least Rocking Horse (the track) is essential listening for any fan of Neo-Progressive Rock.

Recommended, but not excellent all the way

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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