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Grey Lady Down


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Grey Lady Down The Crime album cover
3.32 | 57 ratings | 7 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. 12:02 (5:05)
2. All Join Hands (4:23)
3. Thrill Of It All (6:36)
4. The Ballad Of Billy Grey (the Crime Part One)(11:28)
5. Circus Of Thieves (7:03)
6. Annabel (6:09)
7. The Fugitive (the Crime Part Two) (12:12)

Total Time: 52:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Mark Robotham / drums
- Louis David / keyboards
- Julian Hunt / guitar
- Sean Spear / bass
- Martin Wilson / vocals

Releases information


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GREY LADY DOWN The Crime ratings distribution

(57 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (19%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

GREY LADY DOWN The Crime reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Ok, mea culpa. When I bought this CD last year I just gave it a couple of spins and thought it was too much of a derivative band, another Marillion-wanna-be. A few weeks ago I picked it up again and this time I decided to give a little more attention. And I was completely surprised how good The Crime really is! Although their sound is very much that 80´s neo prog style, they still delivered in a fine, modern way.

Grey Lady Down is a tight unit, everything working for the music. They are fine players, but nothing is overblown, which is a big quality in the prog field. I specially liked Julian Hunt´s guitar playing which relies much less in the Steve Hackett/David Gilmour sytle than most of his neo prog peers. He is very soulful, with some excellent melodic solos, but he also adds some hard edge riffs here and there, giving the songs a boost when they call for it. He is not that kind of a million notes a minute guitarrist, he uses his fine skills to enrich the tunes rather than just showing off. The same goes for keyboards player Louis David, who does some tasteful keyboards runs that remind me of Tony Banks or Mark Kelly, without aping neither. The rhythm section is precise and Martin Wilson has a fine voice, with that dramatic tone so beloved in the neo prog field.

There are no real highlights on this CD, but I´d li8ke to point out their longer tracks, The Ballad Of Billy Grey and The Fugitive, both a great showcase for the band´s ability to write great, melodic and varied tunes. Yes, they are not very original, neither groundbreaking, and still The Crime sounds very convincing, refreshing and full of passion. So it´s a must have for any neo prog fan. Or anybody who likes good prog music in genera

Review by progrules
4 stars In the mid-nineties GLD did a few gigs in The Netherlands, I saw them twice, already bought Forces earlier and thanks to the gigs decided to buy The Crime as well. GLD is (was ?) a nice, serious band giving their very best to please the crowd and they compose and play good neo progressiv songs. I already was aware of that thanks to Forces but I think this one is even better. It's a pity the production isn't optimal at least not the version I bought because otherwise it would even be more enjoyable. This album is somewhat more accesable than Forces, some catchy songs (the shorter ones) but still I like the two epics best. They are great compositions with great instrumental parts (keyboards !) and a good build up. Funny is that on a much later album (Fear, 1998) there's even appearing a Crime part three which ultimately completes the story.

All in all a very nice album without weak songs. So a well deserved 4 stars.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars Neo-prog genre delivers sometimes good surprises. "Grey Lady Down" or "GLD" from the next five reviews dedicated to their discography (entire of course) is one of them.

I like the voice of their lead singer very much. No attempt to sound like anybody else. Martin Wilson sings like Martin Wilson. Period. He has a real smooth voice. Extremely melodic and passionate. No shouts here. As for the music. Don't look for the utmost complexity; this is next door. "GLD" music is very accessible, simply structured and offers marvelous melodies (and you might know that I like this quite a bunch). Of course, their music has a flavour of "déjà vu" and it might hurt some of you : lack of originality would you say. OK, I'll take it like that.

Nonetheless, the compositions are very nice to listened to. The most obvious source of inspiration is "Marillion" (the genuine one of course) as well as "Genesis" which is rather usual in this genre. If you have any doubt, get an ear at "Thrill Of It All". A brilliant and poppy song, full of great synthesizers and as usual, a fantastic work from Martin. But I'll come back several times on this aspect during my "GLD" reviews. His voice is really a pleasure to listen to.

The core of the album is their suite "The Crime". Two parts on this album and a third one on a later one ("Fear" in 1997). We'll get the whole on their live album "The Times Of Our Live". "Part I" opens on a truely "Genesis" -oriented synthesizer sequence. Very pleasant. It's almost as if Tony is playing with them ("In The Cage"). I already have expressed my feeling about some of these bands. There are some that I like very much (like "GLD", "Neuschwanstein, "The Watch", "Chaneton"...) and others that aren't really great to my ears ("Citizen Cain", "Puppet Show"...).

This is an effective song, one with feeling : strong beat, passionate vocals, beautiful melody. "Part 1 - Ballad Of Billy Grey" is a highlight. A condensed kaleidoscope of the neo-prog genre. But it is truely symphonic at times as well. Almost twelve minutes of pure pleasure.

Twelve minutes : that's the lenght of "Part 2 - The Fugitive". The intro (three minutes) is a bit harder and more guitar oriented this time (somewhat more "Arena" like). Backing band is very powerful (I like the drumming very much). When Martin enters the scene, it becomes all subtlety and lightness. The mood is completely different. Almost symphonic again. Keys are taking back the major role. This band sounds really fantastic, emotive. This "Part II" is again a highlight of this very good album so far. It is the closing number but when I prefer to listen to these two parts in a row. I don't like those splits usually.

"Circus" like the opening number "12:02" is a straight-forward song. But these vocals again are adding value and make "GLD" a band apart IMO. The emotion is always present. This is just beautiful music. I made this comment a lot during my "Pendragon" reviews. But the music here is much more keyboards influenced while Pendragon is more depending on Nick Barrett's guitar.

"Annabel" is a good rocking song. A bit heavier probably. It is the weakest song of this album which I will rate with four stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The story of GREY LADY DOWN begins at late-80's when singer Martin Wilson met keyboardist Louis David and formed ''Shadowland'' along with guitarist Julian Hunt.The original rhythm section consisted of Andrew Rae and Stuart Ellerington,but in 1992 they were replaced by Sean Speare on bass and Mark Robotham on drums,while the band was renamed to GREY LADY DOWN (after an eponymous film of 1978 with Charlton Heston),as Clive Nolan had already a project under the name ''Shadowland''.The band gigged at the Oxford area and entered Phoenix Studios in 1993 to record their own material.Followed by a memorable performance at the Marquee Club of London the band signed a two-albums deal with Cyclops and ''The crime'' meant to be the first one.

Led by the sensitive and magnificent voice of Martin Wilson,GREY LADY DOWN played typical British progressive rock of the new wave with lots of digital keyboards, deep atmospheres, nice guitar hooks and symphonic tendencies.David's style of playing is very close to MARILLION's Mark Kelly with distinctive solos and grandiose fillers dominating the album.Julian Hunt has his own style with a guitar sound gearing up where it should (Gary Chandler of JADIS comes sometimes to mind) and far from being the band's hero with boring solos and any kind of this stuff.We meet an excellent drummer named Mark Robotham and a groovy bassist under Sean Speare,completing a quartet of excellent musicians...But the singing performance of Wilson is the real highlight of ''The crime'',a singer with theatrical chords and an emotional approach to music.Simply awesome!For fans of light-symph/song- based progressive rock this should certainly be a fascinating purchase.Strongly recommended, especially for the great vocal work...3.5 stars for this nice effort!

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is the debut of Neo-Prog band GREY LADY DOWN released in 1994.They're from the UK and feature drummer Mark Robothom who go on to play in THIEVE'S KITCHEN. Certainly the synths, drums and vocals dominate the sound here. It's kind of cool that they have a "Crime" Part One and Two on this album, and a Part Three on their "Fear" album.They put them all together on their final live record for an interesting 33 minutes suite.

"12:02" opens with samples before the music kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes. Vocals follow and they are the focus. "All You Join Hands" is drums and synth led as vocals join in in this energetic and catchy track. "Thrill Of It All" features laid back guitar to start as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in after 2 minutes.This is better with the synths and drums out front. "The Ballad Of Billy Grey (The Crime Part One)" opens with spacey synths and electronic-like sounds. A beat before a minute. It settles before 3 minutes as reserved vocals follow. It picks up before 8 1/2 minutes.

"Circus Of Thieves" has a good guitar intro then synths and drums join in.Vocals before a minute as it picks up. Not a fan when it settles down, especially of the vocals. Contrasts continue. "Annabel" has some fairly heavy guitar early along with pounding drums. It settles 1 1/2 mjinutes in as reserved vocals join in then it picks up again. A guitar solo after 4 1/2 minutes then the vocals return late. "The Fugitive (The Crime Part Two)" is energetic to start. It settles before 3 minutes and relaxed vocals join in. It picks back up before 5 minutes. It settles back again as contrasts continue.

A good debut but I prefer their "Fear" album more and would suggest starting there.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Criminal record

Grey Lady Down is an archetypal and rather generic British Neo-Prog band playing music that is quite heavily and straightforwardly in the same style as that of (early) 80's IQ, Marillion and Twelfth Night, but without any of the novelties and distinctive features of those bands. This debut album released in 1994 (but could just as well have been released in 1984 from the sound of it) also lacks the memorable melodies of the more well-known 80's Neo-Prog bands. Personally, I fail to see the attractions of The Crime and my biggest problem with it is that every song sounds just like any other. There are not enough of changes in mood, tone, tempo or in the instrumental attack on the album and the result is rather flat. I detect a Punk (or Post Punk?) flavour in this recording, especially the drums are often simplistic and straightforward.

If judged one by one, almost all the songs here are decent and even mildly pleasant, but after only a few tracks I tend to tire of the sound of the album. All the way till the end, the listener is basically offered just more and more of the same middle-of-the-road Neo-Prog. There are a couple of exceptions, though, one positive and one negative. The positive one is the acoustic introduction to Thrill Of It All which sounds very good. But when the synthesisers and drums enter it all gets back to the same established sound once again. It does get a bit tedious after a while, even for me who have learned to appreciate much music in the Neo-Prog category. The negative exception is the embarrassing Annabel, the only track of the album that is downright bad and cheesy (which frankly could be expected as it is after all a song with a girl's name as its title).

The vocals of Martin Wilson gets a lot of praise, but for me he has a rather anonymous and indistinctive voice. He has some talent for sure, as does the rest of the band in terms of instrumental skill, but as song writers, they leave a lot to be desired. They are obviously attempting to be catchy, in a Marillion' Market Square Heroes-way, but as the songs lack strong enough melodies, they fail to "catch" the listener (this listener, anyway). I thus found this album to be a rather tedious listen, but after having forced myself to sit through it several times, I can conclude that it leaves little impression on me.

Only recommended for Neo-Prog fanatics

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is the debut Album of a neat and tidy English five piece progressive rock band. The keyboards remind me of Marillion or IQ, all very swirly with a few Banksian keyboard licks thrown in. My favorite track is No 3 - Thrill of it all, from it's classical guitar intro to the very catchy sythe ... (read more)

Report this review (#2960) | Posted by Swinton MCR | Thursday, November 11, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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