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Arena Edits album cover
2.15 | 15 ratings | 2 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Welcome To The Cage (Edit) (2:55)
2. Medusa (Edit) (3:52)
3. Fools Gold (Edit) (4:18)
4. Sirens (Edit) (2:52)
5. Empire Of A Thousand Days (Sing-A-Long) (8:41)

Total Time: 22:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Wrightson / vocals
- Keith More / guitars
- Clive Nolan / keyboards, backing vocals
- John Jowitt / bass
- Mick Pointer / drums

Releases information

CD Verglas Music / Arena Records CD001 (1996)

A Special edition for France, limited to 1000 copies

Thanks to grendelbox for the addition
and to Desoc for the last updates
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ARENA Edits ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(8%)
Good, but non-essential (8%)
Collectors/fans only (46%)
Poor. Only for completionists (31%)

ARENA Edits reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by evenless
2 stars ARENA - Edits

This is a strange album! All 5 tracks of this album can be found on the 9 track album of the same year called PRIDE. Yet, they are all shorter than the original tracks, hence the title of the album: EDITS.

."Welcome to the cage" is 4:14 long and now cut to 2:55 ."Medusa", normally 4:28 now only lasts 3:52 .The merely ten minute track "Fools Gold" is now almost cut in half! .The epic "Sirens" which almost lasts 14 minutes on PRIDE is now edited into a shameless (not even) 3 minute track! ."Empire Of A Thousand Days" is (fortunately) almost not edited and only misses some 45 seconds. At least this track still almost last 9 minutes.

So what's the point of issuing this album only containing "edits" from its predecessor "PRIDE"? Maybe ARENA wanted to make the album more "radio friendly" and therefore having some commercial success? Or is this just a cheap album to rip off music collectors?

Personally I see absolutely no point at all of getting this album. (As a matter of fact I have it and I have no plans of buying it either whatsoever). Just spend the money to get the album PRIDE and you will be pleased of not having wasted it on this "el cheapo" version of it.

Unfortunately I think 2 stars is the only rating I can come up with. Shame on ARENA for putting out this album!

Review by VianaProghead
2 stars Review Nš 279

With nearly as many line up changes, Arena was one of the dominant neo-prog British bands of the 90's. Arena has featured former members of some other neo-prog British bands, Marillion, IQ, Pendragon and Shadowland. Arena has been amazingly successful. At irregular intervals, the band releases albums and tours the stages all over the world.

Arena was formed in 1994 by Mick Pointer, the former drummer of Marillion, and Clive Nolan, the keyboardist of Pendragon. The group was completed by the addition of the bassist Cliff Orsi, the guitarist Keith More and the vocalist John Carson. Their first studio album, "Songs From The Lions Cage" released in 1995, was a very strong debut with aggressive playing that brought some comparison with Marillion in Fish's era. It contained tracks with long guitar and keyboard solos. Carson was even compared by many to Fish. However, a planned live tour was scratched after Carson left the group. He was promptly replaced by Paul Wrightson. More line up changes followed. Orsi left the band and was replaced by the former bassist of IQ, John Jowitt. Jowitt and Wrightson appeared on their next studio album "Pride".

So, their second studio album "Pride" was released in 1996. It built up the sound that the band had begun on their first studio album. But, it also saw them develop away from some of the Marillion musical influences. However, it also can be considered, in a certain way, a kind of a "Songs From The Lion's Cage, Part II". In reality, "Pride" has the same musical structure of "Songs From The Lion's Cage" and has also the same number of tracks, nine. So, we have five long and most complex progressive tracks alternated with four short and less complex tracks, like on their debut. Even the shortest tracks are still called "Crying For Help" and continue with the same sequential number of their first album.

The mini EP "Edits" followed latter that year was comprised of the group's singles. In reality, here we have their album "Pride" with its five long tracks and without its four "Crying For Help" tracks. However, all the long tracks were shorted.

So, "Edits" is the debut EP of Arena and was released in 1996. As I wrote above, it has only five tracks. The first track "Welcome To The Cage..." is an edited version of the original song. The original version with 4:14 minutes long was cut to 2:55 minutes long. It was almost cut to an half. The second track "Medusa" is also an edited version of the original song. The original version with 4:28 minutes long was cut to 3:52 minutes long. The third track "Fools Gold" is another edited version of the original song. The original version with 9:37 minutes long was cut to 4:18 minutes long. It was also almost cut to an half. The fourth track "Sirens" is one more edited version of the original song. The original version, the greatest epic of that album, with 13:42 minutes long was cut to only 2:52. This was the track most severely cut on the EP. It was reduced approximately to one quarter of its time, really. The fifth and last track "Empire Of A Thousand Days" is also another edited version of the original song. The original version, the second epic of that album, with 9:34 minutes long was cut to only 8:41. Fortunately and unless the others, this was the track less severely cut on the EP. Contrary to the previous track it only suffers from a small cut, became practically equal. It only missed 54 seconds to it.

As I've already reviewed these five tracks on Progarchives when I reviewed "Pride", I'm not going to do it again. So, if you are interested to know, in more detail, what I wrote about them before, I invite you to read my review of "Pride".

Conclusion: As I wrote before, "Edits" is relatively similar to "Pride" with less its short "Crying For Help" tracks and with its long tracks shorted. Of course that we can always question the necessity to release such a version likes this. In reality, "Pride" is an excellent studio album that suffers, in my humble opinion, of the same problems that suffers their debut studio album "Songs From The Lion's Cage". I always thought that the inclusion on both albums of the big and most progressive songs with the short and less complex songs wasn't a very good option. I'm not saying that the global quality of the albums were highly impaired. However, I suspect that this option took some damaged to the final musical consistency of both albums. Anyway, despite "Pride" be a great album, it hasn't, in my humble opinion, the same quality level of "Songs From The Lion's Cage". While, on "Songs From The Lion's Cage" all the long songs are great, on "Pride" the long songs are also great but less great. For me, "Welcome To The Cage...", "Medusa" and especially "Sirens" are the real highlights on that album. "Fools Gold" and "Empire Of A Thousand Days" are also good songs but they sound to me less appellative and catchy songs than the other three. Returning to "Edits" I sincerely think that it represents a failed chance to release a very good EP. If I can understand the need of separate the long songs from the short songs, I can't understand the severe cuts that some of the songs suffered, especially "Sirens". The cut of about one quarter of the length of the song is almost criminal. This is, for me, the best track on "Pride" and is also one of the best tracks ever made by Arena. What Arena should have done was to release an EP with new versions of all the long tracks from both albums, like they did with their debut EP "The Cry" with all "Crying For Help" tracks.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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