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Taï Phong - Last Flight CD (album) cover


Taï Phong

Symphonic Prog

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2 stars "Flight" is TAÏ PHONG's 3rd album from 1977 and was aply titled as it was the last album recorded by this original band. Although I suppose you would say that this album is definitely more accessible than their first two brilliant albums, "Last Flight" also shines in its own light. Gone is the obvious "YES" and "PINK FLOYD" allusions, but is replaced with more of a Canterbury feel (aka CARAVAN) and AOR Prog (aka 10CC). TAÏ PHONG were Jean- Jacques Goldman (vocals & guitars), Khanh (vocals & guitars), Michael Jones (bass, vocals), Pascal Wuthrich (keyboards) and Stephan Caussarieu (drums). It is really sad that these guys did not really become as big as was their music and all the TAÏ PHONG albums are fantatsic and unique in color and texture. 2 longer songs on this album are very recognizeable as "Tai Phong" "Last Flight" and "Farewell Gig In Amsterdam" which are given lots of room to be explored and carry a very classic progressive feel to them. Overall "Last Flight" is a fun album to listen to and essential if you are a fan of TAÏ PHONG.
Report this review (#33172)
Posted Sunday, November 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars I wonder why they have released this record only 3 years after their previous one. Or this is a posthumous album? OK, this is another TAI PHONG album, but you won’t find the words like “different” or “challenging” in this review. “Last Flight” proves that this band was one of the first to ring in the Neo-prog bell (this fact only strengthens my sympathy to them). If you already have first two from them , get this one without hesitation. I haven’t heard “Sun” (2000), but pretty sure that nothing have changed there as well. YES met FLOYD, and they’ve got a baby. Yes, a baby – there were no clones in those times :) .
Report this review (#131817)
Posted Sunday, August 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars I discovered "Tai Phong" in 1975 thanks to their very good debut album. But it seems that the band produced most of their best songs with this album. The follow-up "Windows" was weaker in terms of compositions and this one is just a poor album. As the cover could already indicates.

Just listen to "End of an End". The pity is that it is the opening song. If this one is just as bad, the worse can be expected from the others. At times vocals are pretty bad. Whatever you may like Goldman or not (but he is not singing all of them).

There won't be many highlights on this album. "Farewell Gig in Amsterdam" sounds to jazzy to my ears to be attractive. But the problem is more global. Actually, most of the songs are useless and when you listen to "Sad Passion" you just can be glad that it lasts for less than four minutes. Awful.

It is very painful to listen to this album from start to finish. I am desperately waiting for something outstanding but it seems hopeless. Their symphonic oriented music of their debut is totally forgotten. Just boring jazz stuff for most of it like "Thirteenth Space".

My last hopes reside in the title track "Last Flight". Almost ten minutes. Finally, some true symphonic moments. Mainly on the guitar. But these short breaks can't make a good album. This song is a mix of some "Yes" oriented parts combined with dull moments. Just an average song actually. Vocals are pretty poor. And forget about "How Do You Do" which is another uninspired song.

I am afraid that I can only use the one star rating for this "Last Flight". Don't bothe rwith this album. It is totally useless.

Report this review (#145980)
Posted Friday, October 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album seems heavily underrated. I find it better than the second Taï Phong album because it is richer in melodies. The only low points are the side closers ("Sad Passion", "How do you do"), which are a little overlong pop songs, but I find that the melodies are still entertaining. "Thirteen space" is a fine piece of art rock, with a very memorable vocal melody in the intro, over a simple but pretty guitar riff; then it extends into a pleasant jazzy jam and a dreamsy conclusion. It seems to play the same role as "Circle" on the previous album. The rest of the album consists of the opener "End of an end" which I find melodically very good, again the intro is the hight point. I can say the same about "Last flight" whose intro is excellent, and then the "starship" part sung by JJ Goldman is great, but I could do without the falsetto part sung by Khanh Mai on the rest of the song. This "good intro/okay song" pattern disappears in the second long song of the album, "Farewell gig in amsterdam", which is my high point of the album despite its sometimes forced transitions. While the intro is excellent, its other parts, including the sax jamming in the end, are great and different from what Taï Phong offered us in the first two albums (as are the other jazzy moments on the album).

So my opinion is that it is the second Taï Phong album to hear after their self-titled debut. The overall production is weaker, but the compositions compensate this.

Report this review (#222216)
Posted Sunday, June 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Tai Phong's last album before a long haitus (which they then did the excellent Sun album). This album is not as strong as it's predecessors (both masterpieces to my ears) but it still contains some excellent moments. The title track "Last Flight" is just as good/solid as anything they did on their previous albums and it makes this whole album worth having and is the reason for the 3 star rating. The song has Eela Craig "One Niter" like moments with melodies/harmonies that made 70's prog the classic era to my ears. That song alone is a "classic" to my ears and fortunately, it comprises 25% of the album which is a good thing :- ) The rest of the album is more in lines of what was on the AOR radio airwaves in 1979. What I mean to say is that the rest of the album is not horrible and the pop is "just mediocre and ok but nothing incredible". I get the feeling they had to do this album as a contractual obligation so they came into this album with one GREAT idea/song (The title track) just like the best of their previous 2 classics and had to somehow fill the rest of the album and may have written the remaining songs quickly with a shift towards radio airplay (think Giant for a Day maybe?).

As far as the one great title track, I wished it would not have ended as quickly as it did (with the quick fadeout just as things were really getting interesting). But it's still a great 10 minutes worth of listening.

Breaking the album apart:

The title track = ***** and great prog and takes up 25% of the album. The rest of the songs = **1/2

total = ***

Report this review (#279295)
Posted Saturday, April 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is not the best album of the band and the transition towards the pop-rock world is perceptible at several levels; the line-up is different than on the two previous albums, the first sign of the fracture being guitarist, singer and keyboardist Tai Sihn leaving the band (and with him a part of the group's name, Taï, maybe even a part of the musical vision?); the egos are exacerbed, both Khanh Mai and Jean-Jacques Goldman seeming to fight for becoming the lead(er) singer of the band; then, each in turn was not present at the recording sessions, therefore absent on some tracks; all this contributing to a real lack of musical unity! Goldman finally made it later as a pop star! Last sign of the commercial thoughts: an ugly and uninspiring cover! But what about the music? Well, it finds itself trapped between the dreams of the past and the seek for fame of the future; there are still at times longer instrumental passages where the musicians stretch it out but the song structures and clichés weigh more and actually wear out the prog aspects, bringing the album closer to some kind of americanized pop music with nice vocal harmonies; in fact if you have the Japanese papersleeve release of this album, you'll find three bonus tracks taken from singles, two of them from 78 leaving no more doubt about the musical direction wished by the band! Last Flight is an unequal album showing a band on the way to desagregation; unfortunately for them, the audience didn't react to their change of style and they called it a day in 1980! Followed a long crossing of the desert that lasted until 2000, where a new album (Sun) was released, with only Khanh Mai and drummer Stéphan Caussarieu remaining from the original line-up.
Report this review (#488047)
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars The Vietnamese-French combination known as TAI PHONG was cursed by their early success due largely to the single "Sister Jane" from their first album. While it was an effective pop ballad with progressive arrangements and sold very well, it insisted upon itself for the next few years, with several mediocre clones appearing on 45 and the "Windows" album, resulting in a musical schism between these and their symphonic progressive epics. By the time of the aptly titled "Last Flight", the band had lost their ability to write and perform effectively in both realms. Instead we are subject to undistinguished late 1970s rock reminiscent of SUPERTRAMP, CITY BOY or KAYAK. Through the course of this thankfully brief exercise, a few passages stand out here and there, particularly on the two longest tracks, courtesy of Michel Gaucher's tenor saxophone and Pascal Wuthrich's jazzy piano, but the overall effort is rather unrewarding. As for the shorter tracks, well, they aren't "Sister Jane" wannabes but are otherwise just as banal, with the best probably being the Asian sounding "Thirteen Space" or the sappy closer describing the birth of the singer's daughter in somewhat cloying and egotistical terms that are thankfully eclipsed by the overall novelty of the perspective. Like many swan songs from the time period. "Last Flight" was ultimately not the last word by the band, but it signaled their crash landing as a commercially viable band, while prog fans won't salvage much from the wreckage.
Report this review (#1584632)
Posted Sunday, July 3, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars I discovered TAÏ PHONG in 2020 with their self-titled album. As a french I was really pleased to see a band from our country able to compete with the international prog scene. This is the last album with Jean-Jacques Goldman before he began his successful career in the 80s. I love most of the songs on the album. 'End Of An End' has a beautiful acoustic introduction with tight vocal harmonies and also great instrumental parts. 'Farewell Gig In Amsterdam' contains a killer and jazzy sax solo in the end as well as a nice acoustic part in the middle of the song. 'Last Flight' and 'How Do You Do' are also favorites of mine. The keyboard sounds used remind of CAMEL, which might be a huge influence for them. However some tracks fall flat. The bonus tracks have a more commercial approach, as if they tried to renew with the success gained with their hit 'Sister Jane' on the first album. 'Shanghai Casino' sounds annoying and repetitive to me, 'Follow Me' is kind of catchy but lacks of something. This is a very solid record overall, even though the bonus tracks add nothing special. Most of the songs are really worth it.
Report this review (#2579028)
Posted Thursday, July 15, 2021 | Review Permalink

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