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Porcupine Tree - Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape CD (album) cover

YELLOW HEDGEROW DREAMSCAPE

Porcupine Tree

Heavy Prog


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Fishy
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Please do not waste your money on this one. I know the record is no longer in print and believe me there's a reason why. It's just a collection of early demos of the period prior to the release of "on the sunday of life". The soundquality is really bad. I heard some people are willing to pay a lot of money for this album. It's obvious they haven't heard it. Try any other Porcupine Tree album and you'll be better off. For fans only
Report this review (#9471)
Posted Monday, April 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars Well as some have pointed out, this is not the best place to start listening to Porcupine Tree, this one is a rarity and it will remain this way since there's absolutely no interest in releasing it again, due to the lack of quality, as Steven Wilson has pointed out these records will not be released again for the reasons before mentioned, BUT if you're a real die-hard PT fan, well, have luck trying to find it!
Report this review (#9472)
Posted Monday, April 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Tristan Mulders
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Porcupine Tree - Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape

I agree with most reviewers that this is a collection of (ambient) musical experiments and that therefore this is a substandard release when compared to the more familiar studio recordings by this British band. However, perhaps because of my liking of the sound of the older Porcupine Tree albums, I can enjoy this album too much to simply pass it of as being of horrid quality.

"Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape" is a collection of songs taken from the "On the Sunday of Life" era, but were regarded as not good enough to be allowed to appear on that debut album. The majority of these songs are ambient structures, borderline psychedelic music. These 'songs' are what seems to put most of the people off when it comes to this release. I, however, see this album as an ambient trip and it works surprisingly well as background music while reading a novel! So I've discovered.

There are however a few songs included amongst all these soundscapes. I have to admit that some are a bit tedious, but a few of these are actually really quite good. Opening track Mute has some good keyboards and decent guitar playing, yet the voice over ruins the mid section of the song (the music is muted a bit -how ironic?! - so we can hear mister Wilson's babbling more clearly. Too bad this "narration" ruins the built-up of the first part of the song.

No Reason to live, no Reason to die is a song alike It will rain for a Million Years which was the closing track of the "On the Sunday of Life" album. I can imagine this song being left off, because of its likeness in 'feeling'. Yet, it still is a rather excellent song! With its length of approximately eleven minutes it is the album's second longest track, and my personal favourite as well. I really like the improvised playing of both guitar and keys on this one. Very spacey and ambient as well, though this one show structure in its composition. Too bad it wasn't given a second chance.

The title track is also worth mentioning, though compared to the reworked and remastered version that ended up as a track on the "Staircase Infinities" EP (later included as a bonus disc to the re-release of the "Up the Downstair" album) it is of far lesser quality. This could be down to a decent job mastering and editing the song though, for many elements are identical. The extended introduction of this version adds something though (the narration in which instruments are introduced).

The other songs are a shortened version of Radioactive Toy, which is amusing as always, though lesser psyched-out; The Execution of the Will of the Marquis de Sade, which has a great rhythm section, but the "Hockey Pockey something" soundsample bit should immediately be deleted from the song! There are a few more tracks along these lines included, though they're not overly too special to mention.

I can imagine that as a whole this will probably never be reissued, yet there are several good works included here. A song like No Reason to live. is in my opinion better than some of the stuff included with the final debut album! Overal, a nice collection of early Porcupine Tree recordings, but I as a fan would not even consider paying the insane amounts of money for which this release sells on E-bay!

Report this review (#133189)
Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
evenless
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars YHD : For hardcore collectors only!

Porcupine Tree started out as an imaginary band from the seventies created by Steven Wilson and his friend Malcolm Stocks. To back up the story they made up non-existent band members and an absurd discography. To back up the story behind the band Steven made a homemade Music Cassette called "Tarquin's Seeweed Farm" and sent out some copies to people who might be interested. One copy was sent to Underground UK Magazine Freakbeat, run by Richard Allen and Ivor Trueman who were in the process of setting up their own record company. This company would be DELERIUM, the label where it all started for Porcupine Tree.

When signed to the label Richard Allen suggested to release PT's first two MC's "Tarquin's Seaweed Farm" and "The Nostalgia Factory" on CD. Steven Wilson decided otherwise. He preferred to put the superior tracks on the CD "On The Sunday Of Life" and the inferior tracks on the limited CD "Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape". A limited edition would probably fit him best, because he wasn't particularly proud of the YHD material. This is exactly the reason why SW prefers this CD not to be re-issued again. The YHD made an incarnation on vinyl and that has probably been the last of it. A shame? For collectors probably yes, because prices of the CD have gone up to incredible high amounts on auction sites. For people who really are interested in PT's better work the answer would be no. They can probably miss the material on YHD like a toothache.

So what's my opinion of this album? Actually I consider myself a PT collector, but not in the widest sense of the word. Yes, I really would like to have all the CD's, singles and Promo's that PT has ever issued. Then again, I was happy to pay around 80 GBP for an original XM and around 50 GBP for Recordings. But this was, and still is, essential PT music! YHD simply is not, at least, not to me. So after having had this album in my possession for just a couple of weeks I have decided to sell it off again on the Internet. If interested have a look on eBay quickly :-)

Report this review (#135289)
Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Having finally managed to get a hold of this, I realise that Steven Wilson (SW) was absolutely right in taking these tracks off to make On the Sunday of Life... On the Sunday to me is a superb re-birth of psychedelia and Space Rock - and I love the story behind it all (the make-believe band and all that) - although I think you get into PT first with some of their other later albums, get to know the music and the story and go back to it please see my review on On the Sunday..)

Apparently the original intention was to release the two early cassettes, but SW had other ideas - if he hadn't taken these off, then I'm sure that On the Sunday.. would not have been the masterpiece that it is.

I mean, it's only natural, all other bands don't release the stuff they don't think is any good, so that they can come up with a really good album final product.

A lot of the music on YHD is simply Steve Wilson messing about, often sounding like a kid wondering what stupid noises he can make with his guitar. The tracks - Landscare, Daughters in Excess, Prayer, Delightful Suicide, Split Image and Wastecoat - are all in this vein - and are only worth listening to the once for the fun of it and for interest only. I mean SW is just experimenting

With the other tracks, the sound quality simply isn't as good as On the Sunday (I guess this is to do with working hard on re-mastering the stuff on on the Sunday). Also, the synthetic drumming (the charm of On the Sunday..) seems to worked less well on these - it seems a little out in places (which is NOT the case on the on the Sunday.. tracks). Also, it's nearly all instrumentals - so no more peculiar vocals (another charm of On the Sunday..) and no more superb spaced out lyrics from Alan Duffy.

On the other hand, there are some really good tracks, especially Mute, which is a superb freak-out opener, with great guitar and mellotron work. I think this is the only track that could be argued that should have been on On the Sunday of Life..

No Reason to Live... has lush extended solo lead guitar playing - something that SW should never leave behind. It does on a little, and with It will rain for a million years on On the Sunday it didn't really need another track so like it.

Hokey Cokey is OK, with some sense of humour in doing the Hokey Kokey

Track 11 is the only other track in existence that's like Linton Samuel Dawson and Jupiter Island, and is good, but definitely a poorer cousin of those two awesome psychedelic pieces.

SW was definitely right to re-record Radioactive Toy for On the Sunday.., as the original demo version here is very poor sound quality and not so good. It's still very interesting and worth of a listen as it truly is such a great track.

An Empty Box has a really funny moment at the beginning, and is an interesting track - though I think this didn't come from Tarquin or The Nostalgia Factory - not sure where it came from.

The Cross and the title track are both really good, with some great extended soloing - these are worth the acquistion in themselves. At last there's some nice vocals on The Cross, and the build-up of YHD telling you to relax and announcing the imaginary members of the band is real fun. (I still like the YHD version on Staircase Infinities better). Actually, throughout the album you can hear a few moments that SW used on Staircase Infinities.

Finally, Music for the Head -There is god, but not anything like as spacey as Music for the HEad - here.

SW was right.

Overall, its a good interesting listen, but it's not essential - and don't spend hundreds of pound trying to get it. If you absolutely love On the Sunday of Life... and desperatley want more (which is exactly what happened to me), then by all means go for it -just don't expect it to be so good that's all

It's worth getting for Mute even if the rest of it isn't so worth it...

Report this review (#173924)
Posted Saturday, June 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Well, if you compare this issue with 'normal' album of Porcupine Tree, you will find regret with this record because this one is totally exploratory in nature, full of sound experiments as well as sound effects. I find myself enjoyable listening this record when my musical mood is under 'wild' emotion where I can forget the concept of song melody in music. The music offered here captures the stream of music in jam session kind of stuff, so you should clear away your expectation of listening a collection of songs. Once you do that and try to enjoy whatever comes into your ears, no need to analyze or syntethize it, you might be OK with this ....

For me personally, I try to capture the subtleties of sounds being produced by this record. 'No Reason To Live, No Reason To Die' (11:07) is a good example where I can enjoy the offering here.

Yes, this is suitable for collectors only.

Report this review (#223450)
Posted Saturday, June 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I am not sure why the reviews for this are so low. I adore this release! It is a disjointed, yet cohesive, trippy wonder that hearkens back to the free form days of OTSOL and TSMS. I love this slice of post-60's psychedelia! It speaks to me from some far off planet, whispering the promises of what is to come on the first PT release. I can hear the birth of songs that later emerge, fully gestated, on OTSOL and TSMS. For me this is an essetenial release and would love to see it re-issued on a CD sometime in the future, along with Recordings (which has been promised for at least a year now...).
Report this review (#277704)
Posted Monday, April 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape is the first compilation album from Porcupine Tree and was first released in 1994 in a limited 2500 copies. It was later released on vinyl in 2000 and 2005.

Here i am reviewing the 1994 CD version and the sound quality is good. I have read that some people have heard this album with poor sound quality which i can only imagine is the same quality as the ones from the cassettes. I do wonder whether people have heard the pirate versions of this album and are only listening to the tracks compiled from the cassettes into the same order as this album. However i have read that the 2LP version of this album uses better master tapes including additional sleeve notes correcting factual errors made and dates of when some of the material dates back to that was on the CD version.

This compilation comprises most of the tracks from the early era that didn't appear on the album On The Sunday Of Life...

1) Mute - This track is a newer version of the same track that appeared on the album Tarquin's Seaweed Farm and as i said on that review this track is very similar to that of a sound that would appear on a No-Man album which is one project that Steven Wilson would work on.

2) Landscare - This track is a ambient/soundscape one that appeared on the album The Nostalgia Factory however the quality of sound is much better on this album.

3) Prayer - Again this track is an ambient track which first appeared on the album The Nostalgia Factory but now i can actually hear it because the sound quality has been cleared up.

4) Daughters In Excess - This track first appeared on the album Tarquin's Seaweed Farm and as i explained on that album review this track also had very poor sound quality and on this album it is refreshing to hear the track without the background noise.

5) Delightful Suicide - This track is an instrumental and has a Eastern feel to it. If you like music that has lyrics i would say that you should probably stay clear of this album.

6) Split Image - Once again an ambient interlude track.

7) No Reason To Live, No Reason To Die - This is one of only 2 tracks that break the 10 minute mark on this album and it first appeared on Tarquin's Seaweed Farm. I can tolerate and i enjoy ambient music depending on my mood and it is nice to hear this album because this is the only album that has these tracks on that actually has good sound quality to listen to.

8) Wastecoat - This track again is an ambient interlude and we are now half way through the tracks and there hasn't been a single lyric. Once again stay clear if you like words.

9) Towel - This track is another instrumental and first appeared on Tarquin's Seaweed Farm however the quality has been cleared up and the use of a drum machine is less apparent.

10) Execution Of The Will Of The Marquis De Sade - This track appeared on The Nostalgia Factory but under the title Hokey Cokey and is the first track that has lyrics in the words of the Hokey Cokey tune.

11) Track 11 - This track appeared on The Nostalgia Factory as well but under the title Colours Dance Angels Kiss. This track always reminds me of people who are on drugs tripping.

12) Radioactive Toy - The most well known track from this era of Porcupine Tree however this is the original cassette version and not the re-recorded and extended version that appears on the album On The Sunday Of Life...

13) An Empty Box - This is a track that has not been released on any other album that Porcupine Tree have done to date but is still material from the same time. The track begins with an echoed monologue and then delves into the instrumental track.

14) The Cross - This is a cover song from Prince and on the vinyl edition of this album this track has been replaced with the track Out. This track also has a similar build up to the next track Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape.

15) Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape - This is the second track on the album that breaks the 10 minute mark. This track is also later released on the Staircase Infinities EP in 1994 but was later released in 2005 on the reissued and expanded album Up The Downstair which is how the album was originally intended. In my opinion i prefer the version that would appear on Staircase Infinities and Up The Downstair because it dosen't include the monologue on the list of fictious credits.

16) Music For The Head - This is an instrumental outro track that appeared as the outro to Side A of the album Tarquin's Seaweed Farm.

This album is for collectors and hardcore fans only however i am giving it 3 stars because of its sound quality. This album i am able to listen to and enjoy more than the cassette versions however i prefer the album On The Sunday Of Life... with its selection of tracks. I have only been back to listen to this album a couple of times which is why this is not 4 stars.

Report this review (#288343)
Posted Saturday, June 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
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.)

Report this review (#603070)
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 | Review Permalink

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