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ALIVE ON PLANET EARTH

The Flower Kings

Symphonic Prog


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The Flower Kings Alive On Planet Earth album cover
3.78 | 94 ratings | 14 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Live, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1: (50:25)
1. There Is More To This World (11:31)
2. Church Of Your Heart (9:41)
3. The Judas Kiss (15:43)
4. Nothing New Under The Sun (4:13)
5. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (9:17)

CD 2: (64:51)
1. Big Puzzle (18:29)
2. Sounds Of Violence (6:37)
3. Three Stories (6:04)
4. In The Eyes Of The World (12:14)
5. The Flower King (11:27)
6. Stardust We Are, part three (10:00)

Total Time: 115:16

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Roine Stolt / lead guitar and vocals
- Hans Fröberg / acoustic, electric and slide guitar, and vocals
- Robert Engstrand / keyboards on disc 1
- Tomas Bodin / keyboards on disc 2
- Michael Stolt / bass, bass-synth, and vocals
- Jaime Salazar / drums, percussion, and vocals

Releases information

INSIDEOUT #IOMCD 054 / SPV 089-31862DCD

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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THE FLOWER KINGS Alive On Planet Earth ratings distribution


3.78
(94 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
17%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
60%
Good, but non-essential (19%)
19%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

THE FLOWER KINGS Alive On Planet Earth reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After four studio albums of which two of them are double CD's, The FLOWER KINGS has finally released a double live-CD. How many other bands have managed to do so many in 5 years? The musicians within The FLOWER KINGS have to be some of the most busy and creative ones around today. Apart from The FLOWER KINGS albums, Tomas Bodin has released a solo album and Roine Stolt two! But then you can question: "Are they really good all of them?", and the answer is without doubt: "Yes!". The FLOWER KINGS music has reminiscences to the 70's progressive heroes such as CAMEL, FOCUS, GENESIS, KING CRIMSON and YES, and they are mixing it with some Jazz influences. - The first CD was recorded during their tour in North America 1998. For some reasons Robert Engstrand replaced Tomas Bodin on this show. First up is "There Is More To This World" from their "Retropolis" album. "Church Of Your Heart" from the "Stardust We Are" comes next. "The Judas Kiss" is another song from the "Retropolis" album. "Nothing New Under The Sun" is actually a song taken from KAIPA's "Inget nytt under Solen" album from 1976. "Nothing New Under The Sun" is an English translation of the Swedish title "Inget nytt under Solen". Rounding off CD 1 are a cover of the classic GENESIS song "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" from the album of the same name. To me it seems a little unnecessary to record a cover when they have so much own material they could've performed instead. But they're doing it very well and Roine's guitar is more present on this recording than on the original song. - The second CD was recorded during three concerts in Japan 1999. First up is "Big Puzzle" from the "Back In The World Of Adventures" album. Next up is "Sound Of Violence" from Roine Stolt's solo album "The Flower Kings". "Three Stories" comes next, and this is taken from Tomas Bodin's solo album "An Ordinary Night In My Ordinary Life". "In The Eyes Of The World" is taken from the "Stardust We Are Album". "The Flower King" from Roine Stolt's solo album "The Flower King" became a personal favorite back then, and it still gives me that magic feeling. A splendid song! Rounding of CD 2 is "Stardust We Are, part three" from the album of the same name. As a big fanatic of The FLOWER KINGS albums, I can't do other than love this live album. The performance couldn't be better and the production is almost perfect! I only wish I got the chance to see them live sometime, because this album shows just how good they are! Roine Stolt was a member in one of the premier Swedish symphonic rock band in the 70's when he was a part of KAIPA. Now he has made himself one of the big names in the 90's too, and he will certainly continue in the new Millennium. Highly recommended!

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Send comments to Greger (BETA) | Report this review (#2673) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 2 CD's full of The FLOWER KINGS live...what else can you ask for! CD 1 was recorded at various shows across North America including Prog'est 98 at the D'Auteuil in Quebec City while CD2 is from their tour of Japan in 1999. Considering the various sources you might think that the recording would be patchy , but this is not the case. Songs covered include a nice cross section of previous album material including a real treat in thier coverage of GENESIS' "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway". Songs are very well recorded and capture the real energy and musical magic that surrounds The FLOWER KINGS.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#2674) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Review by Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Alive On Planet Earth" is progressive rock heaven with some of the best FLOWER KINGS music released over the last several years. Their studio work has been brilliant, offering their listeners strength, consistency, and a bounty of material without fail. All of their music is excellent, and this live performance lends further credence to their greatness. This is a live recording that's the next best thing to being there. I always wondered how they would sound on stage, now I have a good idea. I want to see them for myself someday to experience the beauty and passion of their music and performance. I want to take in every note so I never forget it for as long as I live. There are some groups that do something to you that you just can't explain; The FLOWER KINGS are one of those groups. This two CD set was recorded in North America in 1998 (CD 1) and in Japan in 1999 (CD 2). It's a more than a worthy testament to their worldly magnitude and the supremacy of their music.

They do a version of the classic GENESIS prog-rocker by Peter GABRIEL "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" that would please and delight any to-the-core prog-rock enthusiast in a heartbeat. "Sounds of Violence" reminded me of the 70's version of URIAH HEEP, complete with the grinding driving keyboard sound of Ken Hensley. "In The Eyes Of The World" and "Big Puzzle" are highpoints, and rather memorable. I hadn't previously detected that on prior albums. At times you can hear the influence of YES, particularly in Roine STOLT's guitar playing. STOLT ventures off to the fringes of jazz on several occasions during the improvisational segments of some of the songs. The live setting certainly encourages and prompts every band member to push it to the limit and change the way each song is remembered in the studio recordings. Of course this is the true test of a groups wherewithal and combined talents to make all of this work. I realize I always give a lot of credit to STOLT, and I should, he deserves it. Roine is very modest and humble, and he really appreciates his band mates so I do need to give proper credit to all. I would hear about it from him if I didn't! It does take more than one person to make a thriving and intense group like The FLOWER KINGS work. Robert Engstrand (keyboards, disc one) and Tomas Bodin (keyboards, disc two) are hypnotizing on the keys and serve Hans Froberg's cause to help him bring his voice to another level. His voice is very strong and it never falters during any performance. He also adds his six-string experience to the mix. Michael Stolt (bass) and Jaime Salazar (drums) are a superb rhythm section that the rest of the group couldn't do without. This is a great example of the spontaneous musical magic of a group effort. With the FLOWER KINGS it's always a few notches higher than anyone else.

If you were ever wondering if they could reproduce their studio work live, don't ever doubt it, they can, and with additional substance and excitement. They are every bit as good live as they are in the studio. And I would venture to say that they are better live, if you can believe that. I am still in total awe of this group; they are without a doubt one of THE greatest bands on earth.

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#2677) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 24, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A Superb Live Album!

For those of you who have watched the "Meet The Flower Kings" DVD you might have a sense of emptiness in terms of how the stage generates the live dynamics of the show because all players are relatively quiet while performing the show. But it's totally different with the live CD of The Flower Kings like "Alive on Planet Earth" - I feel the power of the show not through the live vibes it generates but through how the music is presented to the audience. I can feel it that this is a great live record which shows how great the band is on stage performing their repertoires. The other aspect that helps me enjoy this album is the sonic quality of the CD which sounds truly great to me - it has a compact and tight bass sounds, powerful mid-range and transparent treble. It's really enjoyable.

Disc One is the band's performance at ProgDay, Chappel Hill, North California , September 1998. It kicks off with a powerful song with excellent composition "There Is More To This World" where the band members contribute nicely to produce excellent performance. It's good to notice here that Tomas Bodin's role in keyboard is replaced by Robert Engstrand who plays as excellent as Tomas. Unless it's noted at the CD sleeve, no one would know that this is not Tomas Bodin. It flows to ambient song with excellent flow in relatively moderate tempo "Church of Your Heart". The song has excellent chorus which is melodic and memorable. Some segments with organ solos indicate the strength of this song combined with - as always - stunning guitar work by Roine Stolt. In the middle of the track there is a church organ solo that enriches this song. It's wonderful! If you are audiophile this song might attract you on how excellent the sound quality is. The multi-style texture of this song has made the position as second track is the right decision. The music brings us to a mixture of feelings: being dark, gloomy and in some way happy mood as well.

"The Judas Kiss" starts off beautifully with soaring church organ sound followed with bluesy guitar work in medium tempo. It then flows to a bit faster tempo which brings the lead vocal enters the music beautifully. This is definitely a song that stirs my emotion because it has excellent melody as well as stunning guitar work which reminds me to a blend of David Gilmour's as well as Hackett's style. But, actually Roine Stolt's guitar sound is totally different with any legendary guitar players. Whatever the style, this is truly a great track with great dynamic. I can hear clearly how the bass guitar contributes dynamically to the song, being performed live. What makes this song is truly enjoyable is the improvisation part which starts off with guitar (really great!) followed with other instruments: keyboards and bass guitar. The improvisation part is very satisfying because it consumes long duration. The piano solo sounds terrific with jazz mood. I do enjoy this improvisation part. WOW! Man ... it's pretty damn hard to deny that I do love this band very much! This is THE band after the demise of all old school bands like Yes, Genesis. Oh yes, I dare to say that this band is on par excellent with its predecessors in terms of musicianship as well as the tight compositions they have with its music. Try this song yourself and play it with LOUD volume at your power amplifier! You'll be amazed to the bone, man! Oh .. help me ... I'm totally suffering from complete satisfaction with this song being performed live. Nggeblak! (oops .. sorry for using my local language menaing: "my mind is totally paralyzed enjoying how wonderful the song is presented live here on this live show". Superb! Do I overstate my opinion saying that this live show is better than Genesis "Seconds Out"? My apology if you disagree with me ...).

Having been brought into the peak dynamic experience with "The Judas Kiss" the band is now playing my emotion by bringing it down to the mellow mood - but it's still excellent - of "Nothing New Under The Sun". It's a stunning combination of bluesy guitar work and symphonic organ. The last part of this Disc One the band plays a cover of legendary Genesis song "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" excellently.

Disc Two (recorded live in Japan 1999) is to me another great music offering where the band not only plays their songs but also two songs from Roine Stolt's solo album "The Flower King". The disc starts beautifully with soft piano touch combined with guitar work under "Big Puzzle". I can see the jazzy style performed here - but it's not just jazz, it's more than that. A great opening of disc two. This song is taken from the band's "Back In The World of Adventure" album (which I already reviewed here at this site). This version takes 5 minutes longer in duration from original studio version bringing it to 18 minutes duration. But believe me .. you won't get bored with this 18 minutes thing because you will experience a great journey of beautifully crafted music with various styles and breaks. Awesome!

"Sounds of Violence" is a great track taken from Stolt's "The Flower King" solo album. It starts wonderfully with great pulsating keyboard sounds in memorable melody. This is the kind of composition I enjoy very much. The stream of music that comes after the keyboard solo at the opening is rich in textures and melodies. "In The Eyes of The World" is another great song performed excellently at this live show. After this song the band seems to end the show as there is long hand clapping from the crowd until they band come back on stage performing Stolt's solo "The Flower Kings". This must be an encore and is followed with a concluding performance of "Stardust We Are - Part Three".

Overall, it's a masterpiece live performance of a symphonic prog band The Flower Kings from Sweden. It's not just the music is great but the performance is also superb. It's highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#81208) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, June 15, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars TFK have released four studio albums (of which two double ones) and here we go for a ... double live one !

There won't be any from their last album at that time : "Flowerpower ". Guess why ? Some will say that the one hour "suite" could hardly be cut but my feeling is that it is just not interesting enough to be played live, even in a shorter format.

So, only three albums covered in this double live one. Well, not really. We'll get a very old excerpts of a Kaipa song (another Roine project). It is the solo guitar available on the album "Inget Nytt Under Solen" released in ... 1976. This instrumental track "Nothing New Under The Sun" comes from the title track of the album and is stretched to over four minutes. Very good guitar work from Roine but not an exceptional moment.

We'll even get a cover from "The Lamb", with Roine trying to mime Peter. Frightening. I could understand that they did an attempt of a Genesis cover on some early recordings that could fit better into their genre like "Stagnation" or "Visions Of Angels" from "Trespass" but "The Lamb". Come on !

They would also have been inspired by playing a YesSong since their obvious filiation is definitely more Yes oriented than Genesis. On top of this, after the traditional song we'll get two minutes of audience participation (on Braooooodway) and useless and heavy guitar solo. What went through their minds ? This is totally awful. Although it ends disc one, this was the last number of one of their sets (since this live album has been recorded at different venues). Disgusting, really.

Disc one holds two great numbers : "There Is More To This World" (Retropolis) and "Church Of Your Heart" (Stardust). I admit that I am not really impressed by their very extended version for "The Judas Kiss" (Retropolis again). This long and dull middle part to double the original song lenght is absolutely not necessary. I understand that a live version is not a carbon copy of the original studio track. But at least, if one adds some unexisting part, it should be at least worthwhile. It is not the case here.

We'll get only one song from their debut album : "Big Puzzle". Here again the track has been extended to almost nineteen minutes (but the original was already clocking at over thirteen minutes). This version is a great one, full of beauty and harmony. TFK as we all (?) like. Just playing beautiful music (even if it is 100% Yes oriented). One of the best track in this live record although that these additional five minutes are not vital.

"Three Stories" is a track from "An Ordinary Night In My Ordinary Life" from Bodin. Subtle piano to start and a great guitar solo at the end. Not too bad.

Two songs will come out from the excellent Roine solo album : "The Flower King" (1994). "The Sounds Of Violence" is not really a great instrumental track (a bit noisy and almost hard-rocking : when TFK meets Deep Purple). Out of purpose I should say.

Of course the title track is a wonderful song, fully in-line with TFK repertoire. They had already recorded this song on their compilation album "Scanning the Grenhouse" (another Roine's song) but slightly different from the original one. I would rank this version as the poorest one of the three: my preferred one remaining the original. This version is rockier (almost heavy), Roine even asking the audience to clap their hands if they feel like it...The passion and subtlety of the original is all gone.

There will be two songs from "Stardust" (We Are, not Ziggy).

An excellent version of "In the Eyes Of The World" (although harder as well). Very dynamic and bombastic. TFK in all its splendour. The second one will be a shorter (!) version of "Stardust We Are". It is based on the version available on "Scanning" and known as Part Three. FYI, the original track lasts for about twenty-five minutes, so this shortened version was a pretty good idea since this long piece of music was a bit inconsistent and was lacking in interesting moments to hold the listener's attention for this long period of time. So, alomost ten minutes is a good compromise I guess. It is another one of the good versions here (but there are not many like this, unfortunately).

Although recorded at several venues, the overall sound quality is very good. One can hardly feel the difference actually. Still there are some very poor moments or just average ones on this live album.

The harder side of several tracks is also something difficult to bear (at least for me). I like TFK while they play their wonderful and so melodic music and the treatment applied here is not very convincing. There will be better live albums from TFK, so if you would like to have only one, I can not recommend this one.Two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#122883) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 20, 2007

Review by NJprogfan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Fantastic live document of two concerts, one from North America during 1998 and the other from Japan during 1999. They play tracks from their first three albums and Ronnie's first solo album, which ironicly is named "The Flower Kings". Right from the start they play one of my favorite FK tunes, "There Is More To This World" as bombastic, energetic and soaring as you can possibly get. "Church Of Your Heart" is an updated version of what I wish YES would sound like, but here it's done very well live and maybe not as majestic as the album version, especially the missing church organ solo, but it's still a super version. The rest of side one is done well with a decent version of "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" with Ronnie playing a guitar solo towards the end. Side two has some softer sounds mixed inside lengthy tracks, especially the first track, "The Big Puzzle", rather soothing. It's not until we hit two awesome tracks, "In The Eyes Of The World" and "The Flower Kings" do we return to some monster jams and Ronnie soloing. The disc ends with a good version of "Stardust We Are Pt 3". Overall, it's got killer sound, great audience participation on disc one, many solos by Ronnie and they fiddle with songs so as not to be complete copies of the studio tracks. And that in a nutshell is what a live album should be. 4 stars! Bravo!

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Send comments to NJprogfan (BETA) | Report this review (#124692) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 04, 2007

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars Although Roine Stolt first came to prominence in Kaipa in the 70's, it is since his solo album 'The Flower King' and the formation of this band that he has become popular outside of his native Sweden. This double live CD, with the first being from the North American tour in 1998, and the second from the Japan tour of 1999, shows just why Flower Kings are so highly regarded. Unusually for a prog band they have two guitarists, and with four of the five providing vocals there are also vocal harmonies to go round.

In some ways they are quite 'traditional' in their sound, and the one cover "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" doesn't sound at all out of place (although it has been given a Flower Kings treatment which includes an electrifying guitar solo). Six of the songs are in excess of ten minutes long, with two over fifteen, but the music is never boring or overly self indulgent. Sometimes the keyboards are just gentle piano combining with delicate guitar, while at other times the music is quite bombastic.

My personal fave is the title cut of the solo album, which is still a regular visitor to my deck. Here Roine starts gently, meandering up and down the frets as the band slowly comes to life. It is laid back and glorious, soaring keyboards combine with blistering guitar runs, as the gentle verse gradually leads into the singalong chorus.

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#136995) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 07, 2007

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars This live album by The Flower Kings, their first live album in fact, contains two CDs, each one representing a different tour. The first disc, I would rate at three stars. The music is somewhat spiritual, with songs like There Is More To This World and Church Of The Heart. This set actuall takes off at the third track, The Judas Kiss, which contains an excellent funk fusion tinged jam. The cover of the Genesis classic, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is nice, but it offeres nothing new to the song.

The second disc I would rate at four stars. It has a somewhat darker mood. The band feels tighter, and the songs, at least to me have more to offer the prog listener. The highlight to me is Sounds Of Violence, which shows TFK at their heavy best. But each song, even The Flower King has nice grandiose moments.

3.5 stars, rounded up.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#246603) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Ah, the first Flower Kings live album, recorded with the original, classic, line up! with its futuristic stunning cover I knew I had to get it as soon as I saw it. After all TFK were THE symphonic prog kings of the 90´s, and rightly so. However, as live albums go, this is not perfect. For instance, I was surprised by the absense of key member Tomas Bodin on CD 1 (recorded during the Progday festival, USA, 1998). Ok,. Robert Engstrand does a fine job here and as Gotot stated on his review, he plays so close to the original you wouldn´t notice if he wasn´t credit on the CD´s sleeve.

The tracklist was always a controvertial point on all TFK´s live appearances and this is no exception. First of all the CDs are a bit shorter (for TFK´s standards, of course). They could have included at least another half hour of music in total. And there are always the case where you wish some song was included and some other discarded. Well, overall I liked the repertoire, and it could not be otherwise, since they were playing primarily stuff from their first 3 albums, all masterpieces. Plus there is a solo keyboard piece from Bodin on Disc 2 (very nice, with a good guitar solo by Stolt in the second part)) and an instrumental Kaipa song (Stolt´s former band in the 70´s) called Nothing New Under The Sun (actually the translation for its original swedish title, Inget nytt under Solen). And, surprise!, a very good version of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, the Genesis classic.

As expected, the performances are simply terrific. They faithfully reproduce the intricated, long tunes with ease and even add some improvisations here and ther (like the jazzy segment on the extended version of The Judas Kiss). The chemistry between those guys is something unique. 24 carat symphonic prog. Although recorded in different places, the tracks are very well recorded and put together giving the impression of being all done on the same show . When you hear them playing one can understand why they have such reputation. Those guys are unbelievable! Pure music and magic! On the dowside, I really wish they had performed the whole Stardust We Are epic like they did on their brilliant DVD Meet The Flower Kings. The track The Sounds Of Violence seem to be a little out of place here and a bit too heavy compared to its studio version But those are just personal opinions. And I loved the inclusion of the song The Flower King.

Alive On Planet Earth is the kind of live album every fan of the band has to have. An important document of their most prolific and inventive phase, the final proof of the unique chemistry those guys had when playing together on a stage. Final rating: 4 to 4,5 stars. Highly recommended

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#247933) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Latest members reviews

4 stars A mix of shame and happiness, this review. I bought it eight years ago from Amazon and ignored it until I accidently found it among my death metal albums. Clearly a mishap during a move to a new flat. So I put these two discs on last week and transferred them onto my MP3 player. This is the fir ... (read more)

Report this review (#561698) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, November 03, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When this first came out, it was the first FK release since my discovery of them. At the time, I was thrilled to get to hear them live for the first time. In retrospect, especially considering the wonderful Meet The Flower Kings and live shows I've seen, this really is not that great of a set. ... (read more)

Report this review (#215191) | Posted by infandous | Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When this first came out, it was the first FK release since my discovery of them. At the time, I was thrilled to get to hear them live for the first time. In retrospect, especially considering the wonderful Meet The Flower Kings and live shows I've seen, this really is not that great of a set. ... (read more)

Report this review (#74710) | Posted by | Wednesday, April 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is maybe the most prolific band in the world since many years, they´ve got lots of double albums, and they release almost one work each year. This is their first live release, of course it´s double but not so long as their double studio ones. Wonderful sound, fantastic "chosen" song ... (read more)

Report this review (#2676) | Posted by | Thursday, August 05, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars For fans of classic progressive rock, this two-disc live collection is a treat from The Flower Kings, with all the instrumental proficiency and sprawling, ambitious songwriting you'd expect. Disc 1 (recorded in North America) is focused on mellower, more atmospheric prog; the only real burst of ... (read more)

Report this review (#2675) | Posted by | Thursday, July 08, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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