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Carmen - Fandangos In Space/Dancing On A Cold Wind CD (album) cover



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Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Let's get Bizet

Those wishing to explore the first two albums by Carmen have to go for this double CD compilation. The albums were remasteerd (sic) in 2006 offering the opportunity to hear the songs devoid of any production and presentation issues which may have dogged previous releases.

While only two bonus tracks are included, the albums offered good value in terms of their original content. It is however the unique nature of the music which makes this collection worthy of investigation. There is a wonderful blend here of traditional Spanish sounds and progressive rock. The band, who actually originate from the USA but relocated to the United Kingdom to record the albums, are centred around brother and sister David and Angela Allen. The two grew up in Los Angeles, but their parents had strong Hispanic ties which have a clear influence on their chosen style. Notable also for his presence in the line up is John Glascock later of Jethro Tull.

There are occasional glimpses of the music of Jethro Tull on songs such as "Drifting along", but these should not be overplayed. This is in many ways a band who defy description or comparison, their wonderful blend of traditional and contemporary sounds making for a truly unique experience.

The two bonus tracks were clearly orientated towards the singles market. They are nevertheless worth hearing for those with an interest in the band, and "Out in the street" does play out with an enjoyable spacey guitar run.

The presentation of this double CD set is excellent, with an informative booklet containing a brief biography plus archive photos.

Report this review (#121898)
Posted Sunday, May 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
The Whistler
3 stars This repackage is just the first two albums in a single unit, so on one hand, you don't need it at all. On the other hand, this is pretty essential for the 21st Century Carmen Fan, since it's the most available way to access these albums. As for their reviews, just check my reviews you big dummy!

However, you do get the incentive of two bonus tracks, tacked onto the end of Dancing on a Cold Wind (when they were recorded, I guess). The better of the two, "Quiriquitu," is a delightful little flamenco number, very much in the vein of "I've Been Crying" from Dancing on a Cold Wind. In fact, the tune might be just as powerful, and it never drifts off anywhere, so it's probably a superior tune.

"Out on the Street" is a psychedelic number that maybe lasts a little too long, but maybe it doesn't. I don't know. Depends on your tolerance for Allen's guitar I guess. Oh well, I like Allen's guitar well enough, and the tune is still catchy enough to get by on its own.

So, as I said, if you love Carmen and you don't have either of these albums on CD yet, you might as well pick this up. Of course, if you love Carmen and don't have either of these albums, that would be an...interesting situation. I guess you're a diehard Tuller or Queen fan or whatever (I mean, if you're a diehard Tuller, then you obviously have good taste). So this is not too hard to find online, and you do get those two tracks. Which, in truth, isn't a lot of incentive, but neither one is bad by any means. Use your own judgment; I can't tell you everything.

Report this review (#126788)
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2007 | Review Permalink

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