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Red Jasper

Prog Folk

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Red Jasper Action Replay album cover
3.02 | 8 ratings | 4 reviews | 14% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hostage To Fortune
2. Go For It
3. Come And Buy
4. World Turned Upside Down
5. Contented Man
6. Englands Green And Pleasant Land
7. Old Jack
8. Crawling Into Work
9. Land Fit For Heroes
10. Second Coming
11. The Shamens Song
12. Soldiers Vision
13. The Magpie
14. The King Of The Fairies
15. Cool To Be Crazy

Line-up / Musicians

- Davey Dodds / vocals, acoustic / electric mandolins and tin whistles
- Robin Harrison / lead guitar
- Dave Clifford / drums
- Jonathan Thornton / bass
- Lloyd George / keyboards

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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RED JASPER Action Replay ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (29%)
Poor. Only for completionists (14%)

RED JASPER Action Replay reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
4 stars On 26th January 1992 Red Jasper took to the stage at the Fleece & Firkin in Bristol with the intention of recording the gig for posterity. This was the second time of asking as the equipment had failed during the originally planned recording at the end of 1991, so this was the 'action replay'. At this time the band didn't have a recording contract, although their previous release 'Sting In The Tale' had been well received, so they felt that a quick way to get more product out was to release a live set. The line-up had also changed, with Davey Dodds (vocals, mandolin etc), Robin Harrison (guitars) and DC (drums) being joined by bassist Jon Thornton. But they felt that they ought to expand the sound again (previously having sax and keys etc), so roped in keyboard player Lloyd George (of Just) to guest for this night only.

The result is an album that has really stood the test of time and is still as lively and vibrant 20 years down the line as it was on that night. There was/is a very Englishness about this band that was matched by very few in the prog scene, and probably their only real contemporaries in the underground was Grace, but these guys really knew how to put the 'rock' into prog rock. The band have been compared to many others, but really they had no comparison. Of course people who haven't heard them do need a pag on which to hang their musical hat so to speak, so let's say that they had the folk and balls of Horslips, as well as the whistle and keyboards (and even perform 'The King Of The Fairies') yet at times come across as a metallic Jethro Tull. There is a venom in Davey's vocals that provide a harsh edge to proceedings; the folk/punk ethic combining strongly.

It is great that this album has now been made available on CD at long last. No bonus songs, but there is an incredibly well-written booklet''

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Land fit for heroes

This reviewer is very happy indeed that Red Jasper's entire back catalogue has now been remastered and released on CD (and a brand new studio album in in the pipeline). The remastered series includes all four of the band's previous studio albums (with all the tracks from the 1989 EP Pull That Thumb (Off The Top Of Your Head) added as bonus tracks to the Sting In The Tale remaster) as well as this live album. Unfortunately, Action Replay is not very representative of the greatness of the band. This has everything to do with the fact that it was recorded very early in their career, before their masterpiece album A Midsummer Night's Dream that constituted the band's first mature release. Still, there are some hints here of what was to come.

The brilliant and distinctive lead vocals of Davey Dodds were already present here, as well as the lovely electric mandolins and tin whistles that makes the sound of Red Jasper so unique and wonderful. However, at this early stage in their career they still suffered from a certain do-it-yourself-mentality and slightly "punky" attitude. There is little of the refined subtlety, and nothing of the sonic excellence that would characterise A Midsummer Night's Dream and subsequent albums. The tasteful Neo-Prog sounds that would come to influence A Midsummer Night's Dream (and then go on to dominate Anagramary) had not yet made its mark on the band at this point.

Oddly, the majority of the songs on this live album never appeared on any studio album. This fact makes this album essential for hard core fans, but it detracts from the album's status as representative of the band (to say nothing of the best of the band). Surprisingly, only a couple of songs from their studio debut - the only album they had under their belts at the time of this live recording - appear here. Not one song performed here ended up on A Midsummer Night's Dream that was only a single year away at the time of this album's release. Interestingly, one of the songs later appeared on A Winter's Tale.

The best tracks here are Englands Green & Pleasant Land?, Second Coming, The Shaman's Song, and the traditional King Of The Fairies. These songs are indeed nothing short of brilliant, and these are also the ones that most strongly point toward the great future of the band. But the first three of these these songs are all available elsewhere in even better versions (studio versions). Overall, there are just too many throw-away songs here to make a solid live record.

Red Jasper is a very underrated and highly recommended band, but Action Replay is recommended primarily for fans and collectors. Beginners should check out the band's studio albums first, especially the fantastic duo of A Midsummer Night's Dream and A Winter's Tale.

Latest members reviews

5 stars A great classic live album. Played a a furious pace, but with some sublety when required. It is rare that one can feel the energy in a live performance, but here you can almost smell the fastfret, and sense the fully live flavour. Have to say that their studio efforts are a lot more accomplishe ... (read more)

Report this review (#6341) | Posted by | Tuesday, March 16, 2004 | Review Permanlink

1 stars These guys are in the folk/rock vein. This album is only the second ive heard..and ill have to say im not happy with what i hear....ita a live album in a sort of messy sound (the songs arent even that interesting...neither the playing!) and overall it feels like a waste of time....avoid this one. ... (read more)

Report this review (#6340) | Posted by Tonny Larz | Monday, February 16, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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