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Porcupine Tree - Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape CD (album) cover

YELLOW HEDGEROW DREAMSCAPE

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

2.75 | 130 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape is a compilation of those tracks from Porcupine Tree's early cassette releases which didn't make it onto their debut album, On the Sunday of Life. The first version of the album I heard was the 1994 CD issue, highly limited in its distribution, and I was only able to acquire an affordable copy of by searching high and low and being extremely patient; at the end of the day, I felt it was a wasted effort.

This, however, was due to that particular issue having a somewhat murky sound quality, which has been tuned up on the most easily-available rerelease, the 2013 CD from Headphone Dust. This has a cover of Prince's "The Cross" trimmed from it, due perhaps to copyright issues, but includes "Out", a track from one of the tape albums both this release and On The Sunday of Life were derived from.

This somewhat reconfigured version of the release reveals it to be something of a neo-psychedelic gem. It's pretty evident that when compiling On the Sunday of Life, Wilson erred towards somewhat more commercially palatable material - even then, the end album was deeply weird. This, if anything, is even more odd. It's more challenging both from a psychedelic perspective and from a prog perspective, with a more uncompromising focus on soundscapes and musicianship over well-formed songs.

I can quite understand why some gave this album a poor rating in the past, because the initial issue really did suffer in the sound quality stakes - but the Headphone Dust remaster really does correct a lot of this, and losing the Prince cover is a worthwhile price to pay in return for a much-improved album which, thanks to Wilson's diligent efforts in cleaning up the material, can now finally take its place as a companion piece to On the Sunday of Life. (The remaster was, according to Wilson's liner notes, prepared for the 2000 vinyl release of the album, though I have not heard that so I can't say for sure how well it sounds.)

Warthur | 4/5 |

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