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Jump The Freedom Train album cover
4.02 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews | 33% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Nation of Friends (3:39)
2. The Lightbox (3:04)
3. Poison in the Sea (5:05)
4. Personal Revolution (5:19)
5. Alone Ahead (4:57)
6. The Pressed Man (4:49)
7. Shed No Tears (6:32)
8. On My Side (6:20)
9. The Freedom Train (4:28)
10. Highwayman (9:39)
11. Valediction (4:24)
12. Used to the Taste (4:18)
13. Judgement Day (3:53)
14. Keep the Blues (7:39)

Total time: 74:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Barker / drums
- Mo / keyboards
- Hugh Gascoyne / bass
- Steve Hayes / guitars
- Pete Davies / guitars
- John Dexter Jones / vocals

Releases information

Cyclops Records, CYCL 081

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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JUMP The Freedom Train ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JUMP The Freedom Train reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
5 stars After nine years with the same line-up, and five studio albums behind them, the time was right to release a live album. What was also special about this night was that it was to be the last gig with Hugh Gascoyne on bass who had decided to leave. The booklet is a tribute to Hugh, which I have not seen from a band to a departing member before. The front cover shows the five remaining members of the band waiting at a train station, with a poster of Hugh on the station wall. The photo on the rear shows the five all staring at the photo with new bassist Andy Faulkner (Walking On Ice) just walking into shot. The photo on the rear of the tray card shows the six of them walking off to catch 'The Freedom Train'. The words in the booklet also show just how much Hugh was admired and respected by the rest of the band, but also how they knew that they would continue without him. Jump seem to virtually live on the road at times, I have lost count of how many times I have seen them (favourite gig was probably at The Marquee when they completely outshone GLD, although some of the gigs with Credo were also superb), and have met and talked with them many times. John Dexter Jones is renowned as being one of the finest frontmen in the business, as well as being a great singer; twin guitarist Pete Davies and Steve Hayes have an intimate understanding of each other, Mo fills in the missing pieces with gentle keyboards while Hugh and Andy Barker were totally solid.

Jump are one of the 'oddities' of the progressive scene, in that they have been embraced by that crowd but in reality they have little musical affinity with much of the prog crowd. Firstly they are very much guitar based, with keyboards just used for melodic effect as opposed to being a lead instrument, and they are also very much a songs outfit. They play English Rock, and while they have been likened to both Marillion and Fish at times, with whom they have both completed UK tours, they are very much their own band with their own sound. This album has provided the opportunity to have almost a 'Best Of' package, while at the same time the versions on offer are superior to those which were recorded in the studio as John reacts to the crowd and the passion is there for all to hear. Personal faves are probably "The Pressed Man" and "Shed No Tears" but there isn't a duff song to be heard.

Originally appeared in Feedback #59

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars "This is no recreation people, this is absolute live sensation. This is no means of passing time, we are living on the front line."

In 1998, when this live album was recorded, Jump was at the uppermost height of their career. They had just released what is, in my opinion, their best album, Living In A Promised Land, and before that four other good albums, including the excellent ...And All The King's Men. There simply wasn't a more perfect time for Jump to record their first live album. In the light of this, I must say that the resulting record falls far short of the massive potential. It could have been, and should have been, a lot better than it actually is. Before I elaborate further on why I think this is so, I wish to point out that this is by no means a bad live album. The band is full of talent and the performances are both energetic and passionate.

Some live albums run like "best of" collections, pulling together all, or at least many, of a band's best songs on a single release. Freedom Train is not such an album. With the exception of the brilliant The Pressed Man from Living In A Promised Land and Shed No Tears from ...And All The King's Men, the songs selected for inclusion on this live album are not obviously the best choices. Rather few of my favourite songs from the band's five or six first studio albums are actually present here. As such, the songs on this live album do not always well represent the respective studio albums from which they are taken and nor do they represent the best side(s) of the band as I know them from the studio albums. This live album does not particularly showcase the Prog-side of the band.

Two songs from the band's 1991 debut The Winds Of Change are included here. The Lightbox is a good choice and the sing-a-long-friendly The Freedom Train of course gave its name to this album. The latter is not a bad song, but I wish they would abstain from the embarrassing political agitation! From World Of Wonder comes only one song in the Reggae-influenced Poison In The Sea. While I do like this song, I think that there were at least a handful better songs on that album that I would rather have heard in a live setting. This is especially so as there was room for improving those early recordings. Two songs from ...And All The King's Men made it onto here one of which I've already mentioned, the excellent Shed No Tears. The other one is Judgement Day which, though it is not a bad song, is not among the best songs from that great album. There are many others that I would rather have heard played live.

The Myth Of Independence is allowed three selections in On My Side, Valediction, and Keep The Blues. The first of these is indeed excellent, at least in the verses, and one of the better songs overall on this live album, and Valediction is rather good too even if not particularly memorable, but Keep The Blues is not a favourite of mine. Here too, there are other songs from this album that I would rather have heard. Finally, Living In A Promised Land is represented by two tracks in the aforementioned The Pressed Man as well as Used To The Taste. The latter is a good song too, but possibly the least good song from that excellent album! I guess I will have to "get used to the taste" of the band members regarding which of their own songs are better, which obviously differs from my taste. Besides, I generally prefer the studio versions of these songs. Of the remaining four songs, two would end up on the forthcoming Matthew album (which was presumably under production at the time of this recording, and subsequently released in the year 2000). The other two, A Nation Of Friends and Personal Revolution, are of unknown (to me) origin. These are not remarkable and not up to par with the better songs from the band's studio albums (perhaps they were written for Matthew, but then excluded from that album?).

Though these are excellent performances, I wouldn't say that any of these live versions are improvements over their studio counterparts. My advice is to get the studio albums first, before moving on to this live album. The Freedom Train is indeed enjoyable and a good live album in its own right, but the set list is nonetheless slightly disappointing relative to its potential. I have no complaints about the performances themselves or the quality of the recording, but personally, I would have wanted different songs and a stronger focus on material from especially ...And All The King's Men and Living In A Promised Land.

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