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FOLLOWING GHOSTS

Galahad

Neo-Prog


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Galahad Following Ghosts album cover
3.10 | 98 ratings | 11 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Myopia (5:00)
2. Imago (5:53)
3. A Short Reflection on Two Past Lives - Part One (3:53)
4. Karma for One (6:23)
5. Perfection Personified (4:51)
6. Bug Eye (13:58)
7. A Short Reflection on Two Past Lives - Part Two (5:52)
8. Ocean Blue (7:13)
9. Rejuvenation (1:59)
10. Easier Said Than Done (4:31)
11. Shine (14:01)
- i. Like a Bolt Out of the Blue
- ii. The Pain She Feel Inside
- iii. Shine on...

Total Time 73:34

Expanded edition CD 2 - "Alternative Ghosts (2019 new version)" (65:38)
1. Myopia (2019 new version) (5:33)
2. Imago (2019 new version) (5:32)
3. A Short Reflection on Two Past Lives - Part One (2019 version) (3:45)
4. Karma for One (new mix of 2015 version) (7:31)
5. Perfection Personified (2019 new version) (6:30)
6. Bug Eye (new mix of 2014 version) (8:54)
7. A Short Reflection on Two Past Lives - Part Two (2019 new version) (5:14)
8. Ocean Blue (new remix of 2015 version) (7:02)
9. Rejuvenation (2019 new version) (2:01)
10. Easier Said Than Done (remix of 2017 version) (4:21)
11. Shine (remix of 2017 version) (9:15)

Expanded edition CD 3 - "De-constructing Ghosts (2019 remaster)" (73:32)
1. Dusty Rhodes (5:31)
2. Imago Separation Mix (6:14)
3. Cheese Roll Rozwell (6:55)
4. Ultra Shine (3:24)
5. Holy Curry Land (3:14)
6. Ocean Black (3:56)
7. Karma Divine (4:40)
8. The Bliss Police (6:40)
9. Myopic Distortion (4:14)
10. Stu Goes to Morocco (5:13)
11. Enshillar Surf Punk Mix (3:32)
12. Great Portland Bleats (5:43)
13. Blind (5:36)
14. Sludge Flute Landing Zone (4:15)
15. We Will Always Remember the Good Times (4:25)

Line-up / Musicians

- Stuart Nicholson / lead & backing vocals
- Roy Keyworth / guitars, Fx
- Dean Baker / keyboards, programming, samples
- Neil Pepper / bass, bass pedals, programming, samples
- Spencer Luckman / drums, percussion

With:
- Sarah Quilter / clarinet, flute, backing vocals
- Titch (Richard Roberts) / violin
- Steve Smith / piano (11)
- Kate Jenner / voice
- Chris McManus / voice ("sound bites") (6)
- Ann McManus / voice ("sound bites") (6)

Additional musicians on expanded edition:
- Lee Abraham / electric & acoustic guitars
- Mark Spencer / basses, backing vocals, orchestration
- Tim Ashton / bass (15)
- Karl Groom / acoustic guitar (21,22)

Releases information

CD Avalon Records - GHCD6 (1998, UK)
CD Oskar - 1033 CD (2007, Poland) Remastered by Radek Barczak

3CD - Avalon Records - GHR3CD6 (2020)
The expanded edition includes re-mixed and repaired version of the original, alternate versions of all tracks plus the re-mastered Deconstructing Ghosts

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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GALAHAD Following Ghosts ratings distribution


3.10
(98 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
18%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
37%
Good, but non-essential (28%)
28%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

GALAHAD Following Ghosts reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars For years I have been a big GALAHAD fan fiinding these guys to be one of the most originals of the neo-prog movement. "Following Ghosts" is a real charmer and will please all prog heads I am sure. Every song here is well crafted and offers very solid musicanship. GALAHAD never get to "synthy" sounding and this time around build in 2 epic tracks (over 12 mins long). Lead singer Stuart Nicholson sounds his best yet and I still think he would have also have been a nice addition to MARILLION (not that Hogarth isnt!). This is the best neo-prog I have heard in a while and I would strongly recommend this CD to fans of Progressive Rock.
Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Go bug-eyed!!

With the exception of "bug eye", truly horrible. The best moments in other tracks are those stolen from Camel and/or Twelfth Night.

The lyrics are, perhaps, the most consistently painful, being riddled with badly used cliches and awful rhymes.

The opening track, "Myopia" features a half-stolen, half-mangled Diamond Head riff. which has been interspersed with an atrocious attempt at a 5/4. "Imago" is the most horrible Camel/TN cross - really someone should tell them that a bad riff does not get better if you repeat it several times!

I really don't want to go through the remaining tracks individually, as there is not much evidence of musicianship or craftsmanship in the music, just a never-ending series of short riffs repeated and layered in an "Oh, this will go with that" type of methodology. However, the track "Bug Eye" is the very best on this album - do not buy it on the strength of this track alone, though!

That said, they do try to layer up a multitude of different sounds and styles, which occasionally work fairly well - but those vocals and dreadful lyrics spoil anything nice that comes out of the mix. It is obvious that they have put a lot of work into this album, so credit where it is due - but sadly, credit does not improve the music.

Review by Greger
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars GALAHAD are a progressive rock band from Dorset in the UK and 'Following Ghosts' is their 8th release. The first track 'Myopia', a good opener that rocks. There is a nice melody and good vocals from Stuart, who at times sounds a little similar to FISH and Peter GABRIEL. There's a good strong catchy chorus, nice keyboards and a good change in direction where the band are playing an Irish Jig type theme.

The next track is 'Imago' and is quite an emotional track, starting with some nice mellow keyboards and acoustic guitar. There are some nice vocals from Stuart and Sarah. There's some very nice bass lines from Neil and again this track has a nice melody.

The third track is 'A Short Reflection On Two Past lives - part one', this track starts with the sounds of birds singing and running water. Nice acoustic guitar work. Vocals sound more Peter GABRIEL influenced on this track and there's some nice flute.

The next track 'Karma For One' is Indian influenced with nice mellow keyboards, nice vocals and uses a drum machine, with Spencer taking over after a short period. this is a track that gradually builds up. There are some spacey type keyboard effects and some nice flute.

'Perfection Personified', has a strong MARILLION influence with a good strong melody and a catchy tune.

The sixth track is 'Bug Eye' and is the first of two tracks on the album at around 14 mins in length. Nice mellow keyboards and nice vocals from Stuart and Sarah. There are some computer sound effects similar to the one song "Radio Kaos" - Roger WATERS. There's a nice rhythm and some superb guitar over the top from Roy with a heavier guitar sound coming in over the top. There are many changes in direction, mood and tempo within this track. Later there are some techno type drum sounds with some heavy guitar and nice keyboards with the keyboards changing to give some spacey type sounds.

The next track is 'A Short Reflection On Two Past Lives - part two' has a nice keyboard intro with the drums coming in quite sharply. An acoustic guitar come in and Sarah plays some quite fitting clarinet. Good vocals once again and some very nice guitar work from Roy.

'Ocean Blue' starts with some nice keyboards, followed by a fade in heavier keyboard sound. There's a disco type drumbeat with some nice soft vocals and this track is in a similar vein to the Pet Shop Boys.

Track nine is 'Rejuvenation', short track starting with some nice spacey type keyboards and acoustic guitar. vocals follow the melody but are very subdued and there's a little percussion. The track then fades out. The next track is 'Easier Said Than Done' This track shows a heavily influenced classical piece. Nice combination of keyboards, flute and clarinet. Vocals are fairly soft throughout the track.

The final track 'Shine' is also the longest one at just over 14 mins and starts off fairly quietly, but soon erupts with some great keyboards from Dean. there's a good solid drum sound from Spencer with again nice vocals. Many changes in direction, mood and tempo. Later there are some more nice keyboards, percussion and guitar. The midsection is quite atmospheric, starting very quietly and gradually building up and showing a slight PINK FLOYD and YES influence. The last section is more keyboard dominated with some nice guitar work and overall for me the best track on the album, showing GALAHAD to be a very creative and versatile progressive rock band.

In my opinion, a superb release from GALAHAD and one I would recommend to all progressive rock fans.

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 2.5 stars. When you hear the opening of "Myopia" you would think your listening to Prog-Metal, heavy drums and bass with guitar riffs, but as they die out in comes acoustic guitar and vocals.The heaviness does come back though in this memorable opening song. "Imago" is a gentle, Spanish sounding song. I like "A Short Reflection On Two Past Lives-Part one" and also "Part two" later on, they both sound great, the first with flute the later with a good guitar melody.

Now "Karma For One" has some electronica in it, which doesn't do a lot for me. "Perfection Personified" is ok. "Bug Eye" has a good chorus with an electronica sound most of the time. "Ocean Blue" has smooth vocals with more electronica, sounding a lot like the PET SHOP BOYS. Yikes ! "Rejuvenation" is a good song, spacey with synths and a female vocal melody. "Easier Said Then Done" not so good. The last tune "Shine" is great for 4 minutes, problem is the song is 14 minutes long.

This was a big disappointment for me. I wasn't expecting the dance sounds of electronica to be so prevelent, a definite change from their earlier stuff.

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars If you would exclude the album "Other Crimes And Misdemeanours II" which was a collection of old songs (prior to their debut), the band didn't produce any new material for four years ("Sleepers").

This album starts almost as a heavy metal one with a wild, powerful but noisy intro; Myopiais only saved thanks to a very catchy chorus and fine vocals.

Nicholson is really shining during the emotional "Imago". This is the one and only good song out here. What a contrast with "Myopia". Superb classic guitar intro, ambient keyboards and such a wonderful melody. Maybe some would say mellow. True. But not only. It turns into a enjoyable rock ballad. And, oh boy, such a great guitar break. Very close to Nick Barrett's ones.

But this album is not all enchantment to say the least. Their "Short Reflection On Two Past Lives" is divided into two parts of which the first one is a dull acoustic guitar part and the second is a repetitive and not so attractive rock ballad.

And what to say about the awful "Karma For One"? Starting with a muezzin intro (nothing to do with karma), passing through a borrowed "Pendragon" vocals part and culminating with these borrowed lines (again): "It is now, it is here, it is real". Remember "It", the closing song from "The Lamb"?

In awaiting of the first epic, the mellowish to death "Perfection Personified" (can't quite compare to this) is not too good either I'm afraid.

Some fine "IQ" oriented and ambient intro opens "Bug Eye" and that's the best part of it (almost for two minutes). And during the last twelve ones, the band displays an electro beat which is deeply lacking of any interest. Painful. Ouch! What a treat!

And the carbon copy is offered with "Ocean Blue". Ouch again! I am definitely not impressed with the female vocals (Sarah Quilter). But there is still one epic to epic to swallow. Again: ambient music all the way through. Nothing (or so little) happens in here. It is hopeless.

When I pre-reviewed this album a few years ago, I mentioned "NO". This means the minimum rating. In the meantime, nothing has changed.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Rejuvenation is easier said than done

While it is fully possible (though not quite appropriate, in my opinion) to dismiss Galahad's earlier albums as typical, derivate Neo-Prog that doesn't take things any further beyond Marillion (and similar recurrent accusations), any such dismissal can hardly be extended to Following Ghosts. The band probably felt that they had taken their brand of Neo-Prog as far as they could with the superb previous album, Sleepers, and here they opt instead for something altogether different. Stuart Nicholson might still sound a bit like Fish, but overall this album is nothing like traditional Neo-Prog.

Never content to stay in one place, the band incorporates lots of new and surprising influences into the present album. Whatever you might think of the end result, you must give them that they have a bona fide progressive attitude; the band's sound "progresses" with each new release. Following Ghosts might not be Prog as we know it, but it is surely both experimental and eclectic. The new influences include Metal, Folk, World-Music, Electronica, Pop and even Dance music! Now you are probably thinking that this will sound like an incoherent mess, and sadly that is occasionally true! But there are some very successful moments as well.

The album opens with an extremely silly spoken word passage thanking the listener for buying the album and encourages us to turn the volume up to 11! After such a ridiculous start, the first song kicks in with a vengeance with a riff that is heavier than anything the band had done up to that point. The tempo slows down considerably before the first verse on which Stuart Nicholson delivers a strong vocal over acoustic guitars. The chorus is pretty strong too and the heavy riff returns to form the backing for a fast paced violin solo just before the end of the song!

The following two songs tones things down significantly. Imago starts with tasteful Spanish guitars and Nicholson provides a strong vocal once again, this time supported by female backing vocals. The lyrics are some of his best too, this particular number being about how we all are shaped and moulded by our genes (I think?). Bird noises over the sound of a flowing stream introduces the next song which is another soothing, acoustically based number again with strong vocals. Here we are also treated to some lovely flutes and (what sounds like an) accordion! This one is part one of a two-part song, the second part comes later on. Karma For One introduces the newfound electronic influences, but we also get some Folk and World-Music influences here with some nice flutes and Indian percussions. The Indian influence continues discretely on the next song which features some elegant Sitars. The song itself is, however, a rather straightforward Pop song in structure.

Next up is the album's centrepiece, the 14 minute Bug Eye. This brilliant composition belongs to Galahad's best ever and it is, in a word, unique. Here the many disparate influences of Following Ghosts peacefully coexist in one epic, well-structured piece. The electronic sounds and Dance beats might scare some Prog fans away (like they initially did me), but the sublime vocals and guitars are bound to bring them back (as again they did me). When hearing this I am often reminded of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells III which similarly combined Dance beats and electronic sounds with soaring electric guitars and delightful melodies. The sampled spoken voices are very Pink Floydian. It cannot be enough emphasised how different this track is compared anything the band has done before or since, but it is a Galahad classic and it has established itself in the band's live set till the present day.

Part two of A Short Reflection Of Two Past Lives follows with Mellotron, saxophone and electric guitars. Obviously, this sounds very different from Bug Eye and you might even wonder if it is the same band! Following Ghosts is indeed a sprawling collection of songs and the band seems to be unsure of which direction they should go in, so they opt for every direction! (Which is another feature that reminds me of Mike Oldfield!).

Ocean Blue is an upbeat, poppy song, again with a Dance beat, but very much lighter and "friendlier" than on Bug Eye. This one almost sound a bit like a Pet Shop Boys number! At this point you start to wonder why on earth the album is 73 minutes long! The album as a whole would unquestionably benefit from dropping a few songs out, and Ocean Blue, Rejuvenation and Easier Said Than Done would be good candidates for being cut as they add nothing of interest. The second epic song of the album still holds some promise though, but sadly it does not quite hold up for 14 minutes despite a strong opening. There are simply too many "grey" areas in this otherwise good song.

To sum up. This album is a bit of a roller-coaster ride that takes the listener in a multitude of directions. Indeed, too many for its own good! As such it is an interesting album but also a bit disjointed. While undoubtedly a big step forward for the band in terms of experimental and eclectic spirit, some of the compositions are not quite good enough. There are some excellent bits here, but with a running time of well over an hour you might rightly wonder what was going on in the quality department! I guess this is one of those love-it-or-hate-it releases, and as usual when it comes to such releases I fall down somewhere in the middle!

Interesting for sure, but with the exception of Bug Eye, certainly not an essential release. In my view, the band peaked with Sleepers. But their subsequent releases, including the present one, are not bad.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In 1996 Galahad cover Camel's ''Lady fantasy'' for the tribute album ''Harbour of joy'', followed by the first official live CD of the group ''Classic Rock Live''.However keyboardist Karl Garrett decided to leave the band at the end of the year.In 1997 the reduced Galahad release the compilation ''Decade'' with songs from the first three albums on German label Bluestone and finally find a replacement for Garrett on Dean Baker.With the new keyboardist the group released its fourth studio album ''Following ghosts'' in June 1998.

Seems that the group eventually made clear that reproducing an already saturated style would lead to nowhere.With ''Following Ghosts'' Galahad tried something different, adding a bit of personality in their sound, which is still not fully conveincing but definitely heads into a different yet attractive direction.The familiar atmospheric Neo Prog style of the group is now enriched by a variety of flexible instrumental tools, like sampled string sections, loops (much in the vein of MILLENIUM) or electronics to come up with a partly original approach, blending modern Prog with Neo Prog and Pop/Rock.The melodies and choruses sound more memorable despite the stylistically wide array of the group, most of the arrangements are well-crafted and the deep atmosphere is the basic element of the release.The contrast between the Mellotron waves and loops is certainly a different view in music, credited to these Englishmen.On the other hand there is still room for improvement.Some tracks remain very accesible compared to others, while the album's balance needed also a bit of work, especially on the heavy use of sampled instrumentation.

Overall ''Following Ghosts'' was a great achievement by Galahad and a step forward compared to the previous studio releases.This could best described as contemporary Art Rock with strong Prog inspirations as a whole and marks a nice starting point for anyone willing to meet the band's more recent styles.Recommended.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Reviewer
4 stars A while back Stu told me that the band were going to be releasing a special edition of 'Following Ghosts' and perhaps I might be interested in saying a few words about it. Of course, I agreed and delved back into the original which for some reason I had not played for some time. Strangely enough, I discovered that even after all these years I still find the introduction to the album charming, and it makes me smile each and every time I play it. I scribbled some thoughts and sent them off, and then some time later a package arrived containing the triple disc set. In some ways this was like reliving the old vinyl days, as there are stacks of information here to read which explain what was going on with the band at the time, a booklet containing snippets of reviews from back then (including yours truly), detailed commentary from both Stu and Dean, as well as my thoughts plus more from Polish reviewer and legend Artur Chachlowski. Then on top of that there is information culled from Andrew Wild's book and newsletters from back in the day, all to conjure up a picture of what was going on. As for the music? The set includes a remixed and mastered version of the original care of Karl Groom, one CD which contains either remixed alternate versions or brand-new recordings by the current line-up of the band (so this is the first appearance of Mark Spencer on bass), plus a re-mastered version of 'De-constructing Ghosts'.

To place the album into the context of the time, Galahad were going through a rough period. This was to be their third consecutive CD with a new keyboard player, founder member and guitarist Roy Keyworth had already told everyone this was going to be his last recording, and the band had nearly been destroyed by the painful experience that was 'Sleepers'. I am sure many bands would have thrown in the towel by then, but Galahad, and Stu and Spencer in particular, have staying power and sheer stubbornness, which has seen them get through many travails ? these were not the first, and certainly not the last ? but they are still going today, and still releasing wonderful albums.

It is interesting to look at reviews of this album written some time after the fact, as they are incredibly inconsistent with some fairly scathing and others quite positive. But those of us actually writing at the time were all of the same opinion, that Galahad had got past everything and were deliberately moving at speed into new directions. Looking at my review from August 1998 I said, "This is not the same band that produced 'Nothing Is Written' and won the Radio 1 Rock Wars. This is a band that has come of age and matured like a fine wine". Later I said, "Galahad have progressed in the truest sense of the word, with an album that hits many musical bases, and is all the better for it." More than twenty years later I still stand by those words and listening to this in 2021 it is interesting to realise that unlike their earlier albums this does not sound at all dated. Part of the reason for this is that the guys were really looking to change, which including bringing on board a keyboard player who had no idea at all of what progressive rock was all about, plus using guests, with Sarah Quilter in particular having huge impact. Fast forward to 2018's 'Seas of Change' and there is Sarah still helping out on songs when required, as she has been doing ever since this album, and that new keyboard player is still onboard as well. In fact, Dean set up a studio in his garage and Stu used to go over and work with him on material for this release, something which continues to this day.

Musically this album had a band searching around for the right direction, trying desperately hard to break away from the neo-prog tag which Stu in particular never liked. In bassist Neil Pepper they already had someone interested more in the dance scene, and he wrote and performed "Ocean Blue", with Stu adding his vocals over the top, and this showed a very different direction as in songs like this they were moving much more into the area of Pet Shop Boys than Genesis. However, the album also contains two songs in excess of fourteen minutes, where Galahad allow themselves to play with dynamics, moving and switching styles, and in "Myopia" they have one of the catchiest chorus hooks ever. Karl Groom has long been recognised as a wizard in production (as well as on guitar), and he has really brought the old songs back to life, providing clear separation for all the instruments which allows us to really enjoy Neil's bass which switches from complex to simple depending on need, Spencer's drumming which is always controlled and on point, never overplaying but providing the flourishes when the time is right. Roy's guitar and Dean's keyboards are given the right amount of focus, but Galahad are one band where everything is geared towards the vocals, and Stu never disappoints. I have always enjoyed his style, and his control and range are always what the band needs.

Just having the original remastered would be enough for me, but then we have another version of the album as well. This is a mix of new recordings featuring Lee and Mark, plus a few remixed featuring Roy. Here the guys are staying true to the original, but adding a little more sparkle, a little more depth, while staying true to the original. They do not deviate too far away from what was first released but have put their own stamp on it. I guess this would have become a major part of the touring set for 2020 if something had not got in the way, but maybe next year.

Then we have the re-mastered 'De-constructing Ghosts', which is probably one of the most controversial releases from a prog band in the last 20+ years. A throwaway comment in a studio led to Stu handing over a bag of DAT tapes, allowing different people (including Dean and Neil) to use the album as a basis and then create something totally different in the dance space. Some of the tracks keep much of Stu's vocals and little else, while others are almost impossible to tie back to any of the songs on the album. At the time Galahad released it as a separate album, under the name Galahad Electric Company (keeping it separate both from the band and also their previous side project, Galahad Acoustic Quintet), and it was not exactly a resounding success. Many applauded Galahad for trying to do something different, while not enjoying the final version. I must confess I am the same and can honestly say that playing it for this review was the first time since I played it to review when it was originally released. It is not a style of music I understand or enjoy, yet at least Galahad were trying to push the envelope.

This is an album that is often overlooked in the Galahad canon, as it is the one between 'Sleepers' and 'Year Zero', but hopefully this extensive reissue will do something to correct those wrongs. I have certainly been playing it a great deal, and it is something that fans of their more recent albums really should go back and discover.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I think ratings are a bit unfair to Galahad's Following Ghosts. Sure, Galahad at that time was still a second-tier retro-Genesis lite- prog with an unmodern production, saved primarily by an excellent theatrical vocal. But here they begin to broaden their palate - cautiously - with metal, world b ... (read more)

Report this review (#1106247) | Posted by Progrussia | Friday, January 3, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars eOK, lets deal with what's already been said: Do Galahad wear their influences on their sleeves? That may be true of their debut release but it's certainly not the case this far down the line. Ff you listen you can no doubt detect similarities with other prog and neo-prog acts but this is not ... (read more)

Report this review (#410516) | Posted by Matt-T | Thursday, March 3, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excelent album! All songs are remarkable in their own way and, although I haven't heard all of GALAHAD's albums yet, this is the one I like the most (so far)! The album shows that the band has really reached a mature level in neo prog, mixing some electronica (although I'm not a fan of that my ... (read more)

Report this review (#105524) | Posted by augustomen | Thursday, January 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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