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3 stars Ekseption is a band with two sides. They became well known for their reworkings of classic tunes but they also wrote some interesting material themselves. On this compilation both sides of the band are present. CD one contains the "classic" material and cd two contains the selfpenned material (with some exceptions). Altough Ekseption made albums well into the eighties, the bulk of the tracks on this release come from '69 - '73.

The first cd opens, of course, with Bach's "Air". Many of the Ekseption trademarks can be heard in this track, the brass section and the jazzy keyboards. The only thing that is missing is the hammond, so wonderfully played by the late Van der Linden. On the other tracks this shortcoming is restored. Almost all the tunes on this cd will sound familiar. Some will sound a bit silly like "El Barbero" and "Sabre Dance", but there are also some great reworkings such as "Flight of the Bumble Bee", "Adagio", "The Lamplighter" and "Peace Planet".

On the second cd you will find the material Ekseption wrote themselves (except for three tracks). This is also the cd I prefer most from this set. It contains some excellent tracks like "Julia" and "Another History" both with vocals from Michel van Dijk; "Morning Rose" and "On Sunday They Will Kill The World" with vocals by Steve Allet. And the great organ track "Lonely Chase". But unfortunately it also includes a track like "Ramses" with just spoken words by Ramses Shaffy. Why this was included no one knows.

If you are interested in the music of Ekseption, this double album is a good start. It gives a good overview of the music they made. But when you just want to listen to their best albums, I would suggest Beggar Julia's Time Trip or 3. These albums are their most progressive.

Report this review (#96243)
Posted Monday, October 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars This is just one of my lesser reviews to expand the number of the bands I have reviewed. The ones I'm not really interested in. EKSEPTION makes no exception in this matter. After painfully listening thru this double cd compilation I think I will never again return to their albums.

I have never digged The NICE's way to translate classical compositions into rock, but compared to Ekseption they at least had more balls in their results. Here you have well-known tunes by Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, Gershwin, etc. transformed into very kitch pop instrumentals. Why on earth listen to them when you can listen to orchestral classical music as a real thing? Awful!

The second disc is by far more reasonable as it contains original works by Ekseption. But neither they turned me on. Some are nice, no more, no less. In my humble opinion nothing by EKSEPTION seems to stand the test of time very well, whether it's originally theirs or Bach's. (If you want alternative versions of classics, try for example Jacques Loussier's jazz albums.)

Report this review (#125521)
Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I think that of all the CD compilations which are available from EKSEPTION, this should be called the best, because it is a compilation which does more justice to this band, because it has one CD all the tracks which were included in their "With Love from Ekseption" double LP compilation released in the mid seventies (plus one more track, Bourée), which are arrangements done by the band to Classical Music Works. The second CD contains some of their original compositions. So, in my opinion, both aspects of this band are considered in this double CD package, and I think it is a very representative compilation of their work. This band had very good musicians in the line-ups. So, despite having several musical influences all mixed in their sound, it is very recommendable for Prog Rock fans which have interest in listening to good quality music, being it very Prog Rock or not.
Report this review (#160324)
Posted Thursday, January 31, 2008 | Review Permalink

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