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Spock's Beard

Symphonic Prog

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Spock's Beard The Beard Is Out There album cover
3.73 | 61 ratings | 5 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Light (16:19)
2. Go the Way You Go (12:40)
3. Thoughts (7:05)
4. The Water (23:12)
5. On the Edge (7:01)
6. Fire / Waste Away (Live) (6:01)

Total Time: 72:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Neal Morse / vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Alan Morse / guitars, vocals, cello, mellotron
- Dave Meros / bass, vocals, french horn
- Ryo Okumoto / organ, mellotron
- Nick D'Virgilio / drums, vocals

- Molly Pasutti and Dibra Lynn Rice / backing vocals

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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SPOCK'S BEARD The Beard Is Out There ratings distribution

(61 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

SPOCK'S BEARD The Beard Is Out There reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
5 stars In the Eighties we had a small but fanatic group of Dutch progheads who ordered every two months a bunch of CD's from Greg Walker his known mailorder service Syn-Phonic. One day he send us a message that he would like to add a brandnew CD from his own label, he was sure we would love it. WELL, WE STILL DO because that CD was "The light" (1995) from Spock's Beard, what a sensationel 24-carat symphonic rock sound, the best we had heard since Rush and Marillion! This live-CD contains a special version of "The light", keyboardist Ryo Okumoto has embellished the intro of the titletrack with Mellotron waves, that's why this CD is still my favorite one, wonderful! Spock's Beard showcases on "The light" their incredible power and skills: strong, very distinctive vocals featuring an emotional undertone from multi-instrumentalist Neal Morse, propulsive Squire-inspired bass from Dave Meros, dynamic drums from Nick D'Virgilio, bombastic keyboardplay from Japanese veteran Ryo Okumoto and excellent, often howling and biting guitarwork from Alan Morse. The interplay between these musicians is pure chemistry, especially the tension between the Jimi Hendrix-like wah-wah drenched guitar from Alan and the vintage keyboard sound from Ryo featuring bombastic Hammond organ, majestic violin - and choir- Mellotron and delicate ARP Odyssey synthesizer work. The composition "The light" delivers outstanding shifting moods, ranging from mellow with piano to bombastic with floods of violin - and choir Mellotron. A thrilling moment is the break with Spanish guitar runs and swinging piano (a Caribbean feel) while Neal sings "I drink my milk with Tabasco", SPLENDID PROG!! The rest of this live-CD is also very worth listening: fresh, driven and creative prog with obvious hints from Yes, King Crimson and Gentle Giant. This is one of the best progrock CD's in the last 15 years and in my opinion a KEY-album, AN ABSOLUTE MUST!! By the way, I miss the video Live at the Whiskey (99) in the discography, strange because it's a very exciting concert that captures Spock's Beard their enormous energy, humor and skills.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The Beard Is Out There is the first live album from Spockīs Beard. It was recorded at Progfest in 1995 and features all songs from the debut album and two at the time unreleased songs from Beware of Darkness ( the heavily Gentle Giant inspired Thoughts and the semi-ballad Waste Away) plus a cover of Fire. I usually like Spockīs Beardīs music a lot but this live album totally fails to capture my attention.

I was never the biggest fan of the debut studio album The Light ( itīs pretty good but not excellent), so the fact that almost all of The Beard Is Out There consists of songs from that album doesnīt really make this album easier to swallow for me.

As such everything is played by the book but some sections sound very weak compared to the studio versions and the singing isnīt very well sounding. Neal Morse sings acceptable but the other vocal contributions are really weak. The harmony vocals often sound like they are out of key. The worst is the female guest vocalists though. They sound downright horrible. Totally out of tune.

The production is another weak spot. Itīs below standard and really doesnīt help the music.

For me this sounds like a professional bootleg recording and IMO you have to be a diehard fan to appreciate this live album. Iīm a fan but not a diehard fan and the consequence is that I will give The Beard Is Out There a 2 star rating. I hate to be negative when itīs a band I usually like but I just donīt enjoy this album very much.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is a nice early concert from Spock's Beard, recorded at Progfest in 1995, between the release of their first album, "The Light" and "Beware Of Darkness". If you don't like "The Light" (I do), watch out, as the album is played in it's entirety, along with two songs from the next album.

The sound at the beginning is shaky, and gives the feeling that this might be a bootleg quality recording, but that probably had to do with the festival setup (sound checks are sometimes useless, as the band's equipment is usually moved between the check and the performance). After a minute or so, the mix gets straightened out, and the sound remains exceptional through to the end.

The Light is fantastic and played to perfection. Go The Way You Go has some good sections, but the main themes of the song are a bit simplistic for my tastes, and therefore remind me too much of why I dislike much of Genesis' work. Thoughts is the standout track here. I'm impressed that they could perform this Gentle Giant-like piece so flawlessly.

the album closes with a medley of Jimi Hendrix' Fire and Waste Away from "Beware Of Darkness". While Fire makes a nice closing tune, the pairing with the other song is awkward.

It's still a fine concert recording.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Spock's Beard's first live album comes in two distinct configurations and - confusingly - under two different titles, though in terms of the actual music you get the versions are almost identical. To keep them straight: The Official Live Bootleg is what the release was called when it came out on Radiant Records, the independent label Neal Morse originally set up to put out the band's own works on, whilst The Beard Is Out There is what the album was retitled as when InsideOut gave it a wider release.

Either way, the basis of the album is the band's set at Progfest 1995, in support of The Light, and includes performances of all the tracks from that album, plus Thoughts from Beware of Darkness. The Beard Is Out There version adds on to the end the finale - a performance of Waste Away, also from Beware of Darkness, intertwined with Jimi Hendrix's Fire to bring the set to a rocking conclusion.

Whichever release you are dealing with, you're getting into an interesting spot in the band's history. They're riding high f rom the warm reception The Light received in prog circles, and they've just added Ryo Okumoto on keyboards, but t hey've not yet gone into the studio to complete Beware of Darkness. Okumoto slides seamlessly into the lineup, making i t possible to perform live renditions of the complex epics from The Light in the first place (Neal wouldn't have enough a rms otherwise!), the band's ability to bring those studio marathons alive in tight, energetic versions is impressive, and t he previews of Beyond of Darkness are welcome. Thoughts, in particular, is about as unabashed a tribute to Gentle G iant as any 1990s band would produce.

The recording quality is broadly fine - a little shaky towards the start of the album, perhaps, but this may well be down to t he live mixing desk not quite being right until a little way into the performance; such is often the case at festivals, after a ll. Either way, in whichever configuration, this is a decidedly solid live album which really shows how well Spock's Beard's e arly material translates to the stage. If you'd only heard The Light at this point in time, you might have wondered w hether the Beard could really pull this off, or whether they were relying on studio wizardry; this is where they prove t hey could tackle the stage right from their earliest days.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I bought this CD at a low price and in order to avoid buying the more expensive debut album, for this recording contains all of the first SB offering plus Thoughts and Waste away from the second studio album. So, the live version of The Light, cannot stand up in the light of the studio version. ... (read more)

Report this review (#169605) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Friday, May 2, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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