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Kerry Livgren

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Kerry Livgren Collector's Sedition - Director's Cut album cover
3.80 | 15 ratings | 4 reviews | 27% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Am Juengsten Tage (2:59)
2. On The Air (4:43)
3. The Sentinel (7:31)
4. Hindsight (6:13)
5. The Navigator (5:08)
6. No More Time For Love (4:37)
7. Safe Alone (5:13)
8. Cold Gray Morning (4:42)
9. As It Should Be (5:04)
10. Red Money (4:38)
11. At Every Turn (3:30)
12. The Man With An Iron Heart (5:06)
13. The Dragon (5:54)
14. So Ends The Show (1:37)

Total time 66:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Kerry Livgren / guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, backing vocals, production

- Sam Billen / vocals (2)
- Dan Billen / vocals (2)
- Jacob Livgren / lead (3-7,11) & backing vocals
- Darren Rogers / lead (10) & backing vocals
- Kreg Hoover / vocals (8,12)
- Jason Beddoe / lead (13,14) & backing vocals
- Jessica Livgren / backing vocals
- Katy Livgren / backing vocals
- Stephanie Teagarden / backing vocals
- Praetorius Pesterwald / fretted & fretless basses
- Craig Kew / bass (4,6,7,10)
- Yetsper Danteetsper / drums
- Mike Patrum / drums (2-4,10)

Releases information

Reissue of Collector's Sedition (2000), partly re-recorded, remixed and remastered (track 14 included instead of the original # 6)

CD Numavox - 0012 (2007, US)

Thanks to Garion81 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KERRY LIVGREN Collector's Sedition - Director's Cut ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KERRY LIVGREN Collector's Sedition - Director's Cut reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Garion81
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This was already my favorite Livgren solo release and now it is even better. The history of this album briefly was in the late 90's Kerry had prolific time of writing. Some of the material he had he thought sounded like Kansas so he contacted Kasnas drummer and manager Phil Erhart and Erhart listened and agreed. So the reunion album of Somewhere to Elsewhere was born.

This album is what was not chosen for that album. Livgren in the liner notes that he felt some pressure to release these tracks and he did so. In his own mind he never felt they were much more than demos so he wanted to revisit this CD an give these tracks their due diligence. With exception of some of the vocals and guitar tracks this CD is re-recorded, song order is changed and one song dropped and another added. Kerry also brought in Proto-Kaw band mates bassist Craig Kew and Drummer Mike Patrum to lend a hand. Proto-kaw's Jake Livgren has the majority of the lead vocals and sings on 7 tracks 5 other vocalists cover the other 7 tracks. The cover was even re-touched up by original cover artist Ken Westphal and the CD label was also redesigned. So this is almost a brand new album with familiar songs.

The re-recording is phenomenal these songs almost sound brand new. The re-mastering of already digital tracks from 16 to 24 bits is also shocking in its clarity. Livgren also stated he evaluated every keyboard track used for orchestration and most were rewritten and re-recorded using newer samples. I am telling you they really stand out now compared to the original. From the first note of Am Juengsten Tage you can hear the difference. When the drums kick in in On the Air you start to think this is really special.

The songs that were great before are stellar now and as good as anything Kerry has written and recorded with anyone. These are On the Air, The Sentinel, Hindsight, Cold Grey Morning and The Dragon. It is such a shame that these songs are never going to be heard live as they truly show the brilliance of Kerry as a songwriter and musician. The real beauty of this CD though is on the other songs I regarded as not as much on the original release. Songs such as the Navigator which is a ballad with a great vocal by Jake Livgren but all the nuances under the vocal in the acoustic guitar and the bass are really heard now and add so much to overall song. A song like As it Should Be comes alive with some great keyboard/guitar work and with its Latin rhythm it sounds almost like a live track. Livgren even adds a crowd response in it to make it seem more so. The backing vocal work in At Every Turn seems right next to you on this recording along with great new orchestration. This one is going to get a lot of listens on my play list.

There was one song that didn't make it on this Song Du Jour because the original master was lost. Kerry remastered the final cut as best he could and it is available for download at I-tunes. It was replaced by an add on called So Ends the Show kind of a Sgt Pepper outro so I am disappointed that we lose a complete song to this novelty even with its great guitar solo. So as much as I would like to give this a 5 star I will have to give it 4.5.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A truly eclectic and diversified creation from Kerry Livgren this one.

In just over an hour, we're served compositions ranging from mellow folk-inspired affairs to majestic soundtrack.inspired symphonic creations, with detours to AOR-tinged territories as well as a funk-tinged blues-rock affair that sounds like it was pulled off one of Robin Trowers earlier solo efforts.And a couple of fusion escapades are thrown in for good measure as well.

The first half of the album is a slightly mixed affair, with "The Sentinel" as a standout venture here; but on the second half of the album one gem after another appears; with the latin-tinged energetic fusion tune "As It Should Be" and the more laid-back organ-dominated "The Man with an Iron Heart" as two of many highlights in a diversified collection of songs exploring a multitude of stylistic variations.

Those looking for a well made album covering a broad spectrum of styles should try to get hold of this album; and especially the last seven compositions should charm and fascinate many purveyors of progressive rock.

Review by Epignosis
4 stars At the turn of the century, Kerry Livgren experienced a prolific period of musical creativity. Thinking much of the music was suited for his musical alma mater, as it were, he contacted Phil Ehart and the band agreed to record a reunion album. The band had their choice of the songs, and so the brilliant Somewhere to Elsewhere was born. The remaining pieces found a home as a Livgren solo project entitled Collector's Sedition. Years passed, though, and Livgren decided that the recordings (elaborate demos, he called them) needed to be upgraded with proper musicianship and mastering, effectively given the treatment they deserved. Hence, the "Director's Cut" portion of the title. This album is a precious jewel; when I first received it in the mail, I greedily tore into it, knowing I was about the hear what was essentially the second half of my favorite Kansas album. As it is, I regard it as the pinnacle of Livgren's solo career. This comes highly recommended.

"Am Juengsten Tage" Stunning strings set a breathtaking mood, like the grand opening of a cinematic masterpiece. Halfway through, it becomes very similar to "Byzantium," from the aforementioned Kansas album, boasting a majestic palette of Near Eastern sounds. The title is German for, "On the Last Day."

"On the Air" My favorite track on the album, this has a straight ahead rock groove for verses with a great vocal melody. The chorus is stellar, having a gorgeous melody and strings to compliment. While I would have loved to have heard Kansas's interpretation of this one especially, this piece sounds very close to what Proto-Kaw has done this decade. The heavy middle section likewise lends it that impression.

"The Sentinel" Acoustic guitar and piano dance gracefully under thoughtful and meditative lyrics. Musically, this piece sounds like an extension of that gorgeous middle section of "Distant Vision." A powerful bridge in 5/4 leads into a gloriously symphonic instrumental passage.

"Hindsight" This straightforward song has heavy pop leanings and is solidly performed. Fortunately, there are some symphonic touches in the upbeat middle section. The instrumental ending is rather unbefitting, and the chorus is on the cheesy side, however.

"The Navigator" Livgren treats listeners to a peaceful, acoustic song that would be right at home just before the sermon in a small rural church. It has country and bluegrass flavor due in no small part to the Appalachian instrumentation, all while retaining a substance similar to "Reason to Be." And then a bluesy, David Gilmour-like guitar solo adds another dimension.

"No More Time For Love" This is a rocking blues number similar to "Grand Fun Alley," just more upbeat and heavier. The bass and harmonica are outstanding in this context. Of course I have a suspicion that Livgren pens this ditties for an opportunity to cut loose and show off his chops on the fret board, which he certainly does during the middle.

"Safe Alone" Adding even more variety to the album is this one, which is more in the vein of a 1990s R&B / party song. In that respect, it sounds like a cut from the Kansas album Vinyl Confessions. It has a busy sound, with funky guitars and brass.

"Cold Gray Morning" Not all of the songs were pieces not selected for Kansas's 2000 release and relegated to a Livgren solo project; fans of the band will recognize this as the only Livgren-penned song on Freaks of Nature- a fantastic album in its own right. I honestly have a difficult time deciding which version I prefer. It is one of the more symphonic tracks on the album, and is given a bold treatment with some mighty fine guitar playing.

"As It Should Be" This instrumental almost smiles in its jubilance. There's exquisite organ, brass, electric guitar, fabulous bass work, competent drumming, and an acoustic guitar chunking out the chords in the background.

"Red Money" Here is another gritty number. This has a real Stevie Ray Vaughn smokehouse blues flavor, though. This is a second opportunity for the songwriter to just have some fun and jam.

"At Every Turn" This transitory piece features one of the best vocal performances on the album. It becomes complex very suddenly, however, with gorgeous feminine vocal counterpoint and a beautiful melody.

"The Man With An Iron Heart" A blend of symphonic and blues, this piece has a static rhythm for the most part that makes up the bulk of the song. Livgren has a fantastic guitar solo at the end. I liked this song a lot for some reason when I first heard it, but its lack of dynamics makes it depreciate just a little with each listen.

"The Dragon" Music suited for the climactic battle between a sword-wielding hero and the titular creature abound in this piece. Livgren engages in a spirited guitar solo- one of his best performances on the album.

"So Ends The Show" This ninety-second conclusion is reminiscent of a pompous Styx song.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Leftover(ture)'s from Somewhere To Elsewhere

For those who like Kansas' great comeback album Somewhere To Elsewhere, Kerry Livgren's Collector's Sedition - Directors Cut is highly recommended. The songs on this album came from the same writing sessions as the songs that ended up on Somewhere To Elsewhere. Kerry wrote all of these songs and thought that many of them sounded like Kansas songs. This led him to approach his old band (that he had left in the 80's) to suggest a reunion. The band agreed and Kerry gave them the choice of songs for what was to become Somewhere To Elsewhere. The Collector's Sedition material consists of the rest of these songs i.e. the songs that were not chosen by the band for inclusion on that album. Kerry writes in the booklet that he was surprised by some of the band's choices and he is right that some of these songs could have been excellent inclusions to Somewhere To Elsewhere.

These "leftover" songs were first released in 2000 (the same year that Somewhere To Elsewhere came out) as Collector's Sedition Vol. 1. But Kerry was not happy with the result; he thought that the release was somewhat rushed. This induced him to re-record these songs again with a full band sound and better production. While I have not heard the original Collector's Sedition album, I must say that the result is mostly very good. Some songs remind of Kansas while others remind me more of Kerry's later work with the reunited pre-Kansas band Proto-Kaw. While the material here is not among Kerry's best song writing work, as a collection of leftovers it is very impressive indeed and provides even more evidence of what a great songwriter he is (as if that was ever in doubt!).

I think that Kerry was in a strong period as a writer when he wrote these songs. Together with the period in the 70's that resulted in Kansas' Leftoverture and Point Of Know Return albums, and the period in the new millennium that resulted in Proto-Kaw's Before Became After and Wait Of Glory, the period that produced Somewhere To Elsewhere as well as the present album was one of Kerry Livgren's most creative periods ever. For fans of these albums, Collector's Sedition - Directors Cut should not be missed.

The Navigator is only one of several excellent songs here. Cold Grey Morning resembles the excellent later Proto-Kaw material in both sound and quality. There are no bad tracks here, but some songs are clearly less good than some of the others and there is nothing here that is up to par with the fantastic Icarus II from Somewhere To Elsewhere or the better Proto-Kaw songs. Still, this is possibly Kerry Livgren's best solo album (I can't say for sure because I have not yet heard them all) and it is even better than some Kansas albums!

Collector's Sedition is, despite its title, not only for fans and collectors. For anyone who appreciates Kansas and/or Proto-Kaw, this album will be a very worthy addition to your collection. It constitutes a great place to start investigating Kerry's solo career, but it is not a very good place to start if you don't yet know anything of Livgren's amazing work as a writer and performer; start with Kansas and Proto-Kaw.

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