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Big Big Train

Crossover Prog

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Big Big Train Goodbye To The Age Of Steam album cover
3.37 | 184 ratings | 7 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wind Distorted Pioneers (3:21)
2. Head Hit The Pillow (5:49)
3. Edge Of The Known World (4:47)
4. Landfall (4:18)
5. Dragon Bone Hill (3:53)
6. Blow The House Down (9:20)
7. Expecting Snow (2:36)
8. Blue Silver Red (10:04)
9. Losing Your Way (7:29)

Total Time: 51:36

Bonus track on Japanese Release only:
10. Two Poets Meet (4:30)

Bonus tracks on 2011 remixed edition:
10. Far Distant Thing (1993 recording) (4:35)
11. Expecting Dragons (new recording) (7:16)
12. Losing Your Way (extended version) (10:01)

Line-up / Musicians

- Martin Read / vocals
- Greg Spawton / guitar, keyboards, co-producer
- Ian Cooper / keyboards
- Andy Poole / bass, co-producer
- Steve Hughes / drums

- David Longdon / flute & keyboards (11)
- Nick D'Virgilio / drums (11)
- Steve Christey / wind chimes
- Martin Orford / arrangements & backing vocals
- Gary Chandler / backing vocals
- Ken Bundy / backing vocals
- Mandy Taylor / backing vocals
- Sally French / backing vocals
- Stuart Nicholson / backing vocals
- Rob Aubrey / backing vocals, co-producer

Releases information

Artwork: Jim Trainer with Andy Poole (design)

CD Giant Electric Pea ‎- GEPCD 1007 (1994, UK)
CD English Electric Recordings ‎- EERCD008 (2011, UK) Remixed by Rob Aubrey & Andy Poole w/ 3 bonus tracks and different cover art

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BIG BIG TRAIN Goodbye To The Age Of Steam ratings distribution

(184 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

BIG BIG TRAIN Goodbye To The Age Of Steam reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
3 stars Rich in the English neo-prog vein of JADIS and GALAHAD, BIG BIG TRAIN deliver highly symphonic and memorable music. "Goodbye To The Age Of Steam" is a wonderful little recording with some solid guitar, keyboard and drum interplay. In many ways this album reminds very much of JADIS and in fact Steve Christey and Gary Chandler both join the lads adding some brilliance. In fact this album is hosted by a few other friends including Stu Nicholson (GALAHAD), Martin Orford (IQ) and Sally French. BIG BIG TRAIN play a very tight and bright rock with gentle passages and packed with solid instrumentation. Solid neo-prog all the way through.
Review by The Crow
3 stars After two interesting demos, Big Big Train released their first full length album back in 1994. And the project started good!

I must say that the production of the album sounds professional. The only problem I find in terms of sound is the dated and unfitting sound of the keyboards in some songs. I think for their attempt to create a melancholic neo-prog approach to music the keys are too strident and too much early 80's oriented. And while in other acts like Pendragon or Arena that's not a big deal, in the music of Big Big Train sounds just incorrect.

Nevertheless, Wind Distorted Pioneers introduces correctly the style of the band, despite its dubious initial guitar melody. Melancholic melodies, piano-based sections and some folk elements. Pure Big Big Train! And typical is also Head Hit the Pillow, which starts with a long instrumental introduction with old-sounding keyboards. After that, at 2:28 we can hear an excellent chorus and good bass playing. Fine song!

Edge of the Known World is not so good, because the more rocking tracks of the album are curiously also the worst. Despite the good and complex initial riff and the neo-prog elements, this song is not remarkable. Landfall's start is also very neo-prog at the beginning, especially in the keyboards. After that we can find a beautiful song dominated by the excellent voice of Martin Read and acoustic guitars. The keyboard is a bit annoying in the chorus, but the inspiring guitar solo accompanied by a fine piano melody compensates that.

Dragon Bone Hill is a dreamy instrumental tune played with Spanish guitar and delicate keyboards, and it gives way to Blow the House Down. This song starts very beautifully, just voice and keys in the first two minutes. After that the track becomes a bit more conventional, but very good nevertheless. The instrumental progression is remarkable, and the great melody of bass and keyboards which appear at 4:09 too.

Expecting Snow is another harmless instrumental with Spanish guitar, but this time with drums and bass and some acoustic chords. Not really special. Blue Silver Red is also a bit irregular, with great sections like the one which starts with the words 'So sorry'', and others which are not so good, specially the rockier ones. Nevertheless, this song has another mature and intense instrumental work. This band was good since the very beginning!

Losing Your Way starts with an epic keyboard, and even more epic guitar melody, which leads to another good song. The fans of Marillion will be specially delighted with this one! The acoustic guitar solo is the top of the track, which ended the album in its first edition.

Because Far Distant thing is an extra song added in the remastered edition, obtained from the demo The Infant Hercules. Not a bad one, but pales in comparison with the rest of the album despite the good electrical guitar works which contains. And Expecting Dragons is a new track made specially for this re-edition with the actual line-up. Is a mixture between Dragon Bone Hill and Expecting Snow, adding Big Big Train's modern elements like flutes, strings, better production and D'Virgilio.

This reissue contains also a longer version of Losing Your Way, but I honestly prefer the original.

Conclusion: a good album from a very talented band! The true personality of the band is here, despite being their first official full lenght. So, the melancholic mixture of neo-prog, folk, pop and symphonic prog will surely delight not only the fans of Big Big Train, but also to curious listeners desiring to know the origins of this gifted group of musicians. In my opinion is also not a bad place to start with them!

The unfitting keyboard sound which ruins some sections, alongside some repetitiveness prevent this album to receive four stars. But It's a good album, even very good sometimes, and it has a great singer who sings very catchy vocal lines and a very versatile and delightful guitar work.

I'm willing to hear more of this band!

Best Tracks: Head Hit the Pillow, Landfall, Blow the House Down, Losing Your Way (short version)

My Rating: ***

Latest members reviews

4 stars Big Big Train first album remastered. Always to start is difficult. This guys overtake the afraid and temptation to be likeable (or not) to everybody(fans of prog) Melodies are beautiful. Yes in their last albums they were going to show us all their very talented skills in instrumenta ... (read more)

Report this review (#756650) | Posted by robbob | Tuesday, May 22, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 5/10 This is a median debut. Although Big Big Train has gained attention with his latest album (the magnificent The Underfall Yard) they are already on the road for a long time - 20 years. While their first demo was a complete abomination to me, the same can not be said Goodbye to Age of St ... (read more)

Report this review (#545107) | Posted by voliveira | Friday, October 7, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars From the River to the Sea was their first demo, followed by The Infant Hercules, both pretty awful to be honest. A young band's first compositions I guess. So initially, I ignored this album, not expecting anything too much better. Eventually I think I won a CD prize and chose this as I alread ... (read more)

Report this review (#244526) | Posted by gingernut | Tuesday, October 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I'm no more impressed with this than the other CD i've reviewed (Bard). The singer just bores me and it appears that the singing parts are ALL EXACTLY THE SAME, tempo tone - just BORING!!! Thus when you get to the instrumental break (where it gets better) you are already realising that you wou ... (read more)

Report this review (#244510) | Posted by M27Barney | Tuesday, October 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars yes i know big big train, not the greatest band in the worldwhen compared to the likes of spock's beard/marillion etc... but still a good effort all the same with this disc. It has its moments and is fairly original sounding, shame about the voice! goodbye... opens with wind distorted pioneer ... (read more)

Report this review (#12006) | Posted by | Saturday, August 7, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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