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Alan Reed

Crossover Prog

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Alan Reed First in a Field of One album cover
3.67 | 40 ratings | 4 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Begin Again (6:27)
2. Kingdom of the Blind (5:12)
3. Never Too Late (5:32)
4. The Bottom of the Bottle (3:23)
5. Darkness Has Spoken (7:05)
6. The Real Me (5:53)
7. Teardrops in the Rain (3:03)
8. The Usual Suspects (5:03)

Total Time 41:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan Reed / vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, synth, percussion, co-producer

- Christina Booth / vocals
- Jeff Green / lead guitar (2,5)
- Kalle Wallner / lead guitar (3)
- Mike Stobbie / keyboards, co-producer
- Scott Higham / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Graeme Bell for Planet Twig

CD White Knight Records ‎- WKCD1012 (2012, UK)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ALAN REED First in a Field of One ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ALAN REED First in a Field of One reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars He began again. And what a beginning!

Alan Reed is best known for fronting the classic Neo-Prog band Pallas for many years and also working with Abel Ganz. First In A Field Of One is Reed's first full-length venture out on his own. And it is a surprisingly successful one. In addition to providing his very own distinctive voice, Reed also plays electric and acoustic guitars, bass and some other instruments. The keyboards are handled by another ex-Pallas member in Mike Stobbie, and the drums are played by Scott Higham (who recently reinvigorated Pendragon). A few additional guests are credited including Christina Booth of Magenta fame, who provides some backing vocals. This line-up is thus a kind of minor "super group".

The album starts on a very strong note with the stirring Begin Again. The song indeed reeks of a new beginning for Reed after he was so rudely dismissed from Pallas (what a mistake they made!). Within the first 20 seconds of the song we already get to hear acoustic guitar, piano, bass, organ, synthesizers, and bagpipes (uncredited). Then Reed enters with a strong vocal melody rooted in Folk and Neo-Prog. The folky feel lasts throughout most of the album which relies on a strong acoustic base, with lead guitars and keyboards playing on top. In contrast to the often dark and hard-edged music of Pallas, First In A Field Of One is sometimes rather bright and uplifting, and more organic. But full of substance.

Reed is an excellent vocalist with a unique voice, and this might be his strongest vocal performance yet. He sounds passionate and inspired throughout. The first five songs are all of a very high standard. Unfortunately, the quality drops somewhat towards end with the closer The Usual Suspects being something of a real stinker. But this sole embarrassment is not enough to taint an otherwise very strong album.

Highly recommended!

Review by kev rowland
3 stars Alan first came to my attention when he started singing with Pallas, and then on the Strangers on a Train projects so I then worked backwards to discover his work with Abel Ganz and have always been impressed with his skills as a vocalist. Now, I'm not nearly as in touch with the UK prog scene these days as I used to be (I live on the other side of the world; that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it) but I was somewhat surprised to hear that he was no longer with Pallas, as his work with them was always of the highest quality. However, that is all in the past and now we have his first full-length solo album which see him reunited with keyboard player Mike Stobbie. Others taking part are Scott Higham (drums, percussion), Jeff Green (guitars), Kalle Wallner (guitars) and Christina Booth from Magenta on additional vocals.

It did take me quite a while to get into this album, not because it wasn't any good but rather because I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I was pretty sure that this wasn't it. In many ways this is a very laid back album with quite a folky element, almost as if Clannad have gained a male lead singer who has some prog influences combined with some Mike Oldfield. Alan is singing as well as ever, and this album is all about his vocals and being at the fore. It isn't nearly as complex or symphonic as I would have liked and possibly that is why it feels more of an opportunity missed than one taken.

"Teardrops In The Rain" is a great song that captures all that is good about the album, but is spoiled somewhat by an annoying drum pattern that I could have done without. Alan is one of the finest singers around, but while this is an enjoyable album I would much rather hear him belting out with a full prog rock band behind him.

Review by friso
4 stars Alan Reed (known as the former lead singer of Pallas) returned to the progressive public with this release from 2012. This very well produced and great sounding record is a mixture neo prog and adult oriented eclectic poprock. The instrumentation is varied and has some prog sophistication, but atmospherically the album never gets very complex. Alan Reed has a beautiful voice and as a fan of Pallas you are almost certain to like his singing and songwriting on this record as well. The album doesn't have weak points and because of the musical variation it remains entertaining throughout. For instance, the opening track has modern folk influences (to the point of sounding a bit like a travelling commercial) and the last track sounds a like a jazzy cabaret song. Though I miss the seriousness of the full blown neo prog experience, the poppy moments of this record are quite nice. The guitars sound very epic on this record as well. 'First in a Field of One' is slightly more consistent than its follow-up. I'm going with a 3,5 star rating here.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I know of Alan Reed from Pallas, and I'd be the first to admit that I'm not his greatest fan. However, people were saying nice things about the album, so I thought I'd give it a go. To be fair, I always expected a lack of musicianship to restrict the scope of Alan's ideas, but given the perfo ... (read more)

Report this review (#925125) | Posted by sussexbowler | Wednesday, March 6, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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