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Twelfth Night


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Twelfth Night Smiling At Grief album cover
2.91 | 55 ratings | 4 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. East Of Eden (3:29)
2. This City (3:13)
3. The Honeymoon Is Over (2:35)
4. Creepshow (10:13)
5. Puppets (Intro) (1:25)
6. Puppets (2:50)
7. Three Dancers (2:54)
8. Makes No Sense (4:02)
9. Für Helene Part II (10:48)
10. Kindergarten (3:05)

Total time 44:34

Bonus Tracks on 1997 MSI reissue:
11. Midnight (poem) (0:51)
12. Keep The Aspidistra Flying (9:40)
13. Convenient Blindness (3:27)
14. Makes No Sense (instrumental) (5:10)

Total time 63:42

Additional Bonus Tracks on 2009 remaster:
15. Eleanor Rigby (Original Demo) * (3:03)
16. This City (Alternative Version) * (3:19)

Total time 70:04

Bonus Live Disc from 2009 remastered edition:
1. Kindergarden (3:05)
2. The Honeymoon Is Over (2:50)
3. Eleanor Rigby (3:38)
4. Makes No Sense (5:20)
5. East To West (9:39)
6. Three Dancers (3:44)
7. Puppets (3:50)
8. This City (4:16)
9. Creepshow (10:13)
10. East Of Eden (3:29)
11. Sequences (20:15)
12. Convenient Blindness (3:27) *

Total time 73:46

* Previously unreleased

Line-up / Musicians

- Geoff Mann / vocals
- Andy Revell / lead guitar
- Rick Battersby / keyboards (4,7,8,10,12,13)
- Clive Mitten / bass, keyboards (1,2,3,5,6), acoustic guitar (14)
- Brian Devoil / drums, percussion

Releases information

MC Twelfth Night Records - TN-003 (1982, UK)

CD MSI Distributions - CDMS 1177 (1997, France) W/ 4 bonus tracks recorded in 1981.
2xCD Festival Music ‎- 200903 (2009, UK) Remastered w/ 6 bonus tracks including the 4 released in 1997) plus bonus CD Live at The Target, Reading, all recorded in 1981.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TWELFTH NIGHT Smiling At Grief ratings distribution

(55 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

TWELFTH NIGHT Smiling At Grief reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
3 stars Years ago I stumbled into the music world of Geoff Mann and Twelfth Night. IMHO he was an innovator and years and years ahead of his time...a true genius. I was so glad that F2 Music has re-released this original cassette only release! In fact it was released as a Deluxe edition with the 2nd CD sharing the only known live recording of this line-up from this era. A few of the songs I know from Fact and Fiction but the versions are different as well which makes this a very cool album to have. As always Geoff sounds possessed and delivers a high energy and distinct sound and actually brings the music to emotional climaxes that few can achieve. Twelfth Night is a band you have to slowly grow into and at first listening may seem a bit too punky or sub Neo prog'ish , but once you get there you will know what i mean.............welcome to the Creepshow
Review by stefro
2 stars A scratchy, low-budget, cassette-only affair, Twelfth Night's 'Smiling At Grief' was the group's first album-length release, and the first album to feature lead-singer Geoff Mann. Basically a selection of demo's recorded at either Woodcray Manor Farm Studios in Berkshire or various band-members basement's, 'Smiling At Grief' would prove to be the group's stepping stone towards their impressive first-album proper, the excellent 1982 album 'Fact & Fiction'. The early 1980's had seen a small group of British bands intent on keeping the prog torch burning in the wake of punk rock's bloody onslaught, and, once the dust had settled at the beginning of the 1980's, Twelfth Night were joined by the likes of Marillion, IQ, Pendragon and Pallas in trying to emulate their early-1970's progressive rock forefathers, albeit in a new, modern context. The bands that had so influenced this new crop of musicians, the likes of Genesis, Yes and King Crimson, were no longer producing straight-ahead prog, instead being forced to adapt to the changing musical times by the bloody punk cull. Genesis, in the wake of guitarist Steve Hackett's departure in 1977, had slowly inched their way towards a more commercially-orientated, radio-friendly sound, producing a string of hit albums that began with 1978's '...And Then There Were Three' and culminating with the worldwide smash-hit 'Invisible Touch' album from 1986. Others, such as Yes, had struggled through myriad personnel and financial problems before, like Genesis, reverting to a sleeker, more modern pop-rock sound with the 1983 release of their massive- selling '90125' album, whilst even King Crimson, led by the enigmatic Robert Fripp, had eschewed the overtly-progressive material of their past in favour of a hip, metallic, newly- minted post-punk sound. By 1981 prog-rock was very much a lost art. The genre's major exponents had either changed or disappeared from view, leaving just Twelfth Night and their neo-prog cohorts. However, this new crop of groups would not be able to call on the major-label backing or large recording budgets enjoyed by the likes of Yes or Pink Floyd. As 'Smiling A Grief' demonstrated, Twelfth Night were, at this time, very much an amateur group, without a record contract but with a loyal 'live' following. Others like them, such as Southampton's IQ, would also be forced to record their debut album's quickly and cheaply, and it wouldn't be until the completely-unexpected success of Marillion's EMI-backed 'A Script For Jester's Tear' album in 1982 that the music industry door would be opened for prog's second-wave of groups. 'Smiling At Grief' was, for years, available on cassette only. Then, in 1997, French label MSI re-released the album on CD, making it available for a few years until the label's bankruptcy in early 2000. Finally, after almost 10 years, 'Smiling At Grief' has finally had a proper re- mastering job thanks to the F2 label, and the album now comes complete with 2nd disc featuring live recordings from the same era entitled 'Smiling At Grief Live'. Although the quality of the original recordings isn't great, the remastering job has certanily enlivened the original tape album, and it's interesting to find that the material has a slightly sharp, punky edge. Songs such as 'This City' and 'Creepshow', which would appear in fuller versions on the 'Fact & Fiction' album a year later, seem half-complete, with the obvious recording limitations giving the overall package a very low-budget, DIY feel. The recording quality is, sadly, even worse on 'Smiling At Grief Live', which must go down as a recording for die-hard fans only, although the end of the disc features an intriguing live offering of one of the groups most popular tracks, the epic, 20-minute plus 'Sequences'. What 'Smiling At Grief' does do is provide a fascinating picture of the band's early existence, offering up early versions of songs that would go on to become staples of the group's live show. 'Fact & Fiction', their seminal 1982 album that would define the group, would build upon the rough ideas first sown here, with better recording facilities and more time contributing to more rounded and professional album. Fans of the group will surely lap this newly-released archive recording up in droves, which features over 29 tracks and offers an insight into the group's early development. Non fans, however, are urged to stick with 'Fact & Fiction'. Interesting, but in the overall canon of prog, non-essential. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars The music ranges from flat neo-prog stuff ("East Of Eden") to new wave sounds ("The Honeymoon is Over") and finally good neo songs like the excellent "Creepshow" even if the latter borrows quite substantially to "Genesis" (the "Watcher" riff at times). But this is the essence of the genre, so?

One thing to add though: while listening to "Creepshow" (already available on "Fact and Fiction"), you should not look any further to find out where Steve Rothery found his inspiration for his transitional guitar lines with the early "Marillion". Here it is.

Some of the songs seem to be unfinished ("Puppets") and sounds very row and unproduced. But of course when you look at the genesis of this album, it is almost normal. Still, for the fan, the marketing technique is borderline IMO. The electro-pop sound so typical of the eighties appears during "Three Dancers": if you're in for "Human League" that's alright!

The long and repetitive "Für Helene Part 2 "is quite indigestible and "Painting By Numbers" sounds like a PIL track (yes, "Public Image Limited"). Almost ten minutes of this treat is quite an experience!

This album is for die-hard fans only: demos, poor production. Two stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Essentially a demo tape produced between Live at the Target and Fact and Fiction, Smiling at Grief finds Twelfth Night dabbling in a range of different styles and getting used to working with new vocalist Geoff Mann. Compared to the Electra Tape, this seems to have been a more successful bid to incorporate vocals into the band's music; whilst the Electra material is very obviously Electra's vocals recorded in isolation and pasted onto previously-instrumental tracks, here Mann and the rest of the band have clearly been working more closely together from the start.

It's pretty nice-sounding for a demo album too, especially on the 2009 Definitive Edition (which includes as a bonus disc Smiling At Grief Live, a live recording from the tour the band went on to promote the tape), with tracks such as East of Eden both giving Geoff a decent chance to show off his vocal chords whilst blending edgy New Wave anger with neo-prog atmosphere.

Though the two best prog-oriented songs on the album - This City and Creepshow - exist in superior versions on Fact and Fiction, the versions here aren't too bad either, and it's clear that Geoff Mann has found his style as a vocalist and lyricist quickly. He's very theatrical, which might be off-putting to some, and he's clearly got some social commentary to offer, so you can see why Twelfth Night and Fish-era Marillion would soon become associated in people's minds. (Indeed, it feels like in some passages on Creepshow either Marillion would go on to be influenced by Twelfth Night or Twelfth Night were being influenced by Marillion or, more likely, both were deriving inspiration from each other.)

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