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Grand Stand

Symphonic Prog

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Grand Stand In the Middle, On the Edge album cover
4.00 | 31 ratings | 4 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The trees and the chopping nutcracker (5:53)
2. Condor and the java cup (4:40)
3. The first thrilling steps of another day (1:37)
4. Triumphant forrest going frenzy (6:38)
5. Minor mischiefs in big ways (8:20)
6. Flexible thoughts (7:40)
7. Resting in the eye of the riot (6:51)
8. Marble stains (4:33)

Total Time: 46:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Olov Andersson / keyboards & synthesizers
- Tomas Hurtig / drums & sound advice

Releases information

CD GSE Records CSCD001 (2000)

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In The Middle, On The EdgeIn The Middle, On The Edge
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GRAND STAND In the Middle, On the Edge ratings distribution

(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GRAND STAND In the Middle, On the Edge reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
4 stars My first reaction listening this album was "If I wouldn't know the realisation date, I would believe this is a 70's band". There's a vintage taste in the music, remembering specially some old Genesis style, and some (few) neo prog influences too, but Swedish Grand Stand debut album is a real interesting work. Looking at the same country bands, we can't take the melancholic sounds of Anglagard or Sinkadus like reference, because here we have a most "happy" feeling like, i. e., the classic band Atlas. Nevertheless, there's a high sense of melody, making "In the Middle, On the Edge" an enjoyable effort. If not the better Scandinavian band, well worth a listen.
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Seemingly dismissed by some as nothing more than unfinished Genesis-style demos, this debut from Swedish band Grandstand deserves, at the very least, a little deeper analysis that will lead to eventual outright respect. Had the nay-sayers spent a little effort in reading the short liner notes (that may be in itself a huge endeavor), they would have noticed the immediate and rather effusive tribute the musicians have expressed in dedicating this work to those prog idols that have inspired them. First conclusion: this is a personal, very non-commercial musical thank you, with kudos and winks to Yes, Genesis, The Flower Kings, Kaipa and Spock's Beard, with no vocals at all, thus eliminating any potential accusation of overt cloning or humdrum repeats of days of yore. Second conclusion: with such obvious working titles as "The Trees and the Chopping Nutcracker", the galloping " Condor and the Java Cup", the puzzling "Triumphant Forest going Frenzy" (sic) and enigmatic "Resting in the Eye of the Riot", there is ample room to take a critical step back, breathe in the air, crack a smile and mellow the bile emanating from the PC keyboard (used to be ink, once long ago!). Keyboardist Olov Andersson and drummer Tomas Hurtig deserve a little recognition (especially in light of the brilliance of their next album "The Tricks of Time") for doing something for sheer FUN! We proggers have this sad tendency of being a little too scientific and rigorous of our genre's expectations and in serious need of a little levity on occasion (thankfully Fish and Tull in a live setting do infuse prog with some humor and even FUN ). And if some do claim this to be "pseudo Genesis outtakes" that were left "unfulfilled", well its way damn better than anything the glory band has done since "Winds and Wuthering". In fact, from the opening notes, it becomes abundantly clear that "In the Middle, On the Edge" is an EXCELLENT instrumental album that has given this relaxed reviewer many a thrill, perhaps even more than the pure symph-prog of "Tricks". Olov is perhaps not as accomplished as Emerson, Fritz, Wakeman or Banks but his solos simply dance over the ivories with utter dexterity and languid passion. Drummer Hurtig keeps a steady propulsive drive throughout. This is not a polished classic but all the tracks are consistently appealing and if "Colbank Hackford" would have authored this gem, it would be have pleased countless incredulous fans and Supper would have been served! We all have our "out of leftfield" favorites, this is one of mine. I had lost this when moving out and about to repurchase it when my "gracious" ex-wife was kind enough to return it to me. You see what FUN can do? 4 reprieves
Review by progrules
4 stars For several years now I have been chasing the successor of this debet, Tricks of Time, because I'm 99% sure it's a terrific album. And that's because I love the stream track Jurassic Spark for all those years now and I've heard it's not even the best track of the album. But I still haven't managed to find it but I did run into this one and I'm pretty sure it has to be great as well. I also know their fantastic contribution on the Kalevela project (Stormen) and that song is almost as good as Jurassic Spark so I'm beginning to believe you can't go wrong with these Swedish masters of symphonic prog.

This album starts with a very entertaining instrumental called The Trees and the Chopping Nutcracker. I've been doing a birds study many years ago so I happen to know a nutcracker is a very interesting bird that's only breeding in Scandinavia and a few other countries in Europe. It's related to crows and is only rarely seen in my country so that's why the bird is special to me. Anyway, it's obviously interesting enough for Grand Stand to write a song about. Maybe these guys are nature lovers as well, that would be a plus to me for sure. The song is good enough for a four star rating for me mainly thanks to great keys.

Actually next song is also about a bird and that species is even much more special because it's the super rare and impressive condor from America. The song is called Condor and the Java Cup to be precise and it's another instrumental in roughly the same style with dominant (and excellent) keys. These first two songs are really how I had imagined them, very high quality in both composing as well as execution. 4*.

Third track (The first steps of another Day) is more wind dominated so that's nice for a change. Must be wind imitation on the synthisizer because I read nothing about wind instrument playing in the line up. The sound reminds me somewhat of a song by Galleon, a bit fairytale like but not too cheesy, simply beautiful. 3,75*.

Triumphant Forrest going Frenzy is going back to the keyboards, needless to say it's instrumental all the time because it appears there are no vocals at all on this album and that's a surprise to me because in the songs I already knew by Grand Stand there were both vocal contributions. Anyway, another very fine track and another 3,75* effort.

Minore Mischiefs in Big Ways is another very melodic effort, I have to admit that you will have to love the style if you want to love this album. If you are not into very melodic, laid back keyboard/synth music you'd better forget about this album. It's much of the same in that sense but I have no problem with it as I like this kind of music a lot. Another 4 stars for this lengthy tune.

Ok, I'd better stop the song by song reviewing before I start repeating myself. The other three tracks are of the same level and in the style as above mentioned and deserve ratings between 3,75 and 4 stars as well so that completes this album and I think I have said all there is to be said about it. This Grand Stand is a bit different from the real band it became later on. This is a two men effort and I think they did very well. Recommended for lovers of melodic keyboardplaying like I said. Good stuff. 4 stars.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars I stumbled upon this album completely by chance. A friend lend me a bunch of CDs and Grand Stand's debut was among them. Lucky me! If I knew it was a guitarless record I would probably not try too hard to listen to it. Being a guitarrist myself I am not particularly fond of keyboards/drums only records. But I've got to admit you don't really miss any other instruments while listening to In The Middle, On The Edge. Besides, this work is far from just another pointless display of virtuosity like so many I've heard before.

The first thing I noticed it the fact that Olov Andersson is not only a fantastic player, but also a good songwriter. Every track is a mini epic on its own. And every note is on the right place, Judging by what I read in Grand Salm's biography, their music is utterly influenced by Genesis. This is not what you hear here, really, at least for my ears. Sure, some of Peter Gabriel's former band influences are evident, but the CD is far from derivative. In fact I found his compositions very pleasant, creative and original. The closest thing I can compare with is the very fine dutch combo Trion, which also uses a lot of analog sounding keyboards as the core of their music. It is hard to believe this piece of work was so recently recorded, for it sounds too much like something coming straight from prog's heyday in the early 70's. And, make no mistake, this is a big compliment.

The first three tracks are good, but the truly gems are the ones from the fourth onwards like the brilliant Triumphant Forrest Going Frenzy and, specially, Minor Mischiefs In Big Ways, an 8 minute masterpiece . All songs are instrumentals and I must say you don't miss any singing either. The production is very good, even if the drums seem to be recorded a little too loud for my taste on some parts, but that's something I can live with. Like any great prog record, the more you listen the more you enjoy it. Brilliant.

If you like very fine, tasteful prog instrumental music, with lots of vintage keyboards this CD is highly recommended. Another nice surprise from Sweden! My rating is somewhere 4 and 4.5 stars.

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