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TEN YEARS ON 1995-2005



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Arena Ten Years On 1995-2005 album cover
3.28 | 26 ratings | 4 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Smoke and Mirrors (4:42)
2. Skin Game (4:43)
3. The Hanging Tree (7:09)
4. The Butterfly Man (8:55)
5. Chosen (live) (7:23)
6. Empire of a Thousand Days (new recording) (8:42)
7. Crack in the Ice (5:10)
8. Salamander (3:54)
9. Bedlam Fayre (5:44)
10. Solomon (14:38)

Total Time 71:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Instrumentation could not be verified at this time. If you have information, please contact the site.

Releases information

CD Verglas Music VGCD029 (2006)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ARENA Ten Years On 1995-2005 ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

ARENA Ten Years On 1995-2005 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by evenless
3 stars A Prog-rock compilation album. What's up with that?!

I'm usually now a fan of compilation albums as a "real fan" would always prefer to have all original studio albums rather than just some compilation disc. Usually it also tends to reek after some "cashing in" by the artist as many artist come up with some compilation albums when they are long lost and forgotten.

In this case I think the words written above would be untrue, since ARENA isn't long lost and forgotten, on the contrary! I personally really liked their last studio album Pepper's Ghost and I hope and would assume they will continue to produce records for many years to come. So why would a compilation album be fair? Well, I think there's only two good reasons for it. The 1st would be the commercial motive as already mentioned. The 2nd one would be a way for newcomers to ARENA to explore there music and I think only this reason can be justified.

So how can I review an album that I don't have and have no intention of getting? Well, by the track list of course! And I would say the track list is chosen quite smartly. However: tracks like The Hanging Tree and Crack In The Ice (which happen to be my favourite tracks of The Visitor ) seem to be really misplaced on a compilation album as they were originally part of on of the best concept albums of the nineties, which all songs fading in and out of each other.

Conclusion: Recommended to anyone who doesn't know ARENA yet. Not recommended to anyone who already has a few albums of ARENA. Just save some money to get all their original studio albums, since they are all really worth it!

Rating: For the track list alone probably 4 stars, but I will only give 3 for the effort by the band. (Which was almost non-existent, since all songs had already been made.)

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars To celebrate Arena's tenth anniversary, Verglas (their record company, owned by Clive and Mick) decided to market this compilation which is a nice journey though their six studio albums. Actually, it is the first of that kind so far.

On this compilation, there is a good (and extended) live version for "Chosen", a new version of "Empire Of Thousand Days" with Rob on vocals (I personally, preferred the original version). Each track is very good of course but some great anthems of the band are forgotten like "Jericho", "Sirens", "Fool's Gold " and more recently "Opera Fanatica" from their sublime last studio release "Pepper & Ghost".

Of course, we can console with "Solomon"...I understand that an Arena compilation is not easy to put together. On their earliest albums, several very long songs were featured, while later on they will release two concept albums which is always difficult to compile. So, I guess, we'll have to live with this one.

I honestly would recommend more their live albums which were real "best of". "Welcome To The Stage" + "Welcome Back !" (representing all the interesting numbers from their first two albums ("Lions Cage" and "Pride") as well as "Breakfast in Biarritz " ("Visitor & Immortal" oriented). "Live & Life" was a double album, which was more a kaleidoscope of their whole discography (disc II) while disc I was fully concentrated on "Contagion".

Three stars but only for Arena's newbies. I would say to the old Arena fans, that the numbers which are different than the originals, do not justify to buy this album.

Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review Nš 526

"Ten Years On 1995 ? 2005" is a compilation of Arena and was released in 2006. Unlike their previous compilation, "The Cry", released in 1997, which is a very special compilation with all the eight parts of "Crying For Help" themes, taken from their first two studio albums "Songs From The Lion's Cage" and "Pride", released in 1995 and 1996, respectively, put together and reworked as a completely new single conceptual album, "Ten Years On 1995 ? 2005" is a traditional compilation with songs taken from their studio albums, until then, as a best off, to celebrate Arena's 10th anniversary.

The tracks chosen by Arena to be part of this compilation are: "Solomon" from "Songs From The Lion's Cage" from 1995, "Empire Of A Thousand Days" from "Pride" from 1996, "The Hanging Tree" and "A Crack In The Ice" from "The Visitor" from 1998, "The Butterfly Man" and "Chosen" from "Immortal?" from 2000, "Skin Game" and "Salamander" from "Contagion" from 2003 and "Smoke And Mirrors" and "Bedlam Fayre" from "Pepper's Ghost" from 2005.

So, "Ten Years On 1995 ? 2005" has ten tracks. The first track "Smoke And Mirrors" is a song that starts with Mitchell in an acoustic mode, before the band turns it on a mid tempo rock song with a very strong and catchy chorus which features some nice vocals from Sowden. The solo works from Nolan and Mitchell are wonderful and confirms perfectly well their skills as great performers. The second track "Skin Game" has a good start and an epic finish. It's a heavy track with some heavy passages that come and go. It has an abrupt beginning and has strong vocals too that are well supported by Clive Nolan's powerful keyboards. The guitar that follows sounds beautiful, as do the harmonies to the end of the song. The third track "The Hanging Tree" has a guitar lead that reminds a little of Joe Satriani leads. It's built on a nice vocal line and isn't very sad thematically. In general, the songs always capture moods that fit the thematic framework. The structure of the song is a reminiscent of "Jericho" from their debut album. It's one of the highlights of the original album. The fourth track "The Butterfly Man" is one of the two best tracks on the original album and one of my favourites too. It's a powerful song that reminds me "The Visitor". It's a song with a great guitar work and is one of the few songs not dominated by the keyboards of Nolan. It's a great song that moves perfectly well between the heavy and melodic parts. The fifth track "Chosen" is a progressive track that opens the original album in a bombastic way. It's a catchy song with great melody, nice keyboard work and a beautiful guitar performance. This is a track with a darker and heavier tone which leaves us the impression that the band's sound changed with a new progressive metal style influence into their music. The sixth track "Empire Of A Thousand Days" is a nice and good song. However, it sounds to me a less appellative and a less catch song than many of the songs on the original album and on this compilation too. It's an epic song with very good lyrics and nice guitar and bass works. It represents a great musical moment on the original album and here too. The seventh track "A Crack In The Ice" starts with a rather strange sound that immediately cuts into your ears and appears again and again on the original album in a modified form. The guitar takes over this sound passage and turns it in a typical Arena's song. The chorus never lets go. And then the break in the ice happens. It's a powerful song. The eighth track "Salamander" opens with keyboards and is another favourite of mine. It has the best chorus on the original album. The track contains some excellent keyboard work by Clive Nolan, both in the gothic sounding backing and his fantastic, if short, solo. It has also fairly good, nice chorus and guitar solo and a keyboard solo. The ninth track "Bedlam Fayre" is an excellent opener to the original album and appears in the same vein of many other great openers of Arena. It reminds me "Witch Hunt" of "Contagion" and "Chosen" of "Immortal?". It's nice to hear and can be considered an Arena's classic song. It's in vein of most songs on "Immortal?" and "Contagion". The tenth track "Solomon" is often considered as one of their finest tracks. It's a well structured song with a storyline, many time changes and a majestic keyboard work and a great guitar work too. This is the big highlight of the original album. With this song Arena made one their best songs and one of their most brilliant closing track numbers in their career, really.

Conclusion: As I wrote before, "Ten Years On 1995 ? 2005" is a retrospective over the first ten years of existence of Arena. For those, like me, who knows perfectly well all the entire career of the band, the quality of this compilation isn't a real problem, indeed. In reality, the track list is great. Of course we can always question the subjective choice of the tracks chosen to be part of it. We always can say that many other great tracks were left outside of it, or even that it isn't right to choose some tracks from a conceptual album like "The Visitor", since a conceptual album should be presented entirely. However, for newcomers to Arena, "Ten Years On 1995 ? 2005" is a good starting point with songs from their first six studio albums. But, if you have all this six studio albums, like me, in spite of be a very nice and interesting musical journey to the different stages of the band, it has nothing new to offer, really. So, this is good but non-essential.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars I'm a huge fan of this band, and when they decided to release a 'best off' I was really curious what songs where to be integrated into the compilation. I was given this compilation, though I have no need for it, since I already own the regular albums, but still it's nice. For people not kno ... (read more)

Report this review (#107925) | Posted by tuxon | Thursday, January 18, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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