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Big Big Train

Crossover Prog

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Big Big Train The Second Brightest Star album cover
3.75 | 306 ratings | 7 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Second Brightest Star (7:17)
2. Haymaking (3:23)
3. Skylon (6:44)
4. London Stone (2:01)
5. The Passing Widow (5:33)
6. The Leaden Stour (7:19)
7. Terra Australis Incognita (4:16)
- Grimlore :
8. Brooklands Sequence (17:33) :
- On The Racing Line
- Brooklands
9. London Plane Sequence (13:14) :
- Turner On The Thames
- London Plane
10. The Gentlemen's Reprise (3:03)

Total time 70:23

Line-up / Musicians

- David Longdon / lead & backing vocals, flute, melodica, electric & acoustic guitars, banjo, piano, celesta, synth, mandolin, lute, percussion
- Dave Gregory / 6- & 12-string electric guitars
- Andy Poole / acoustic guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
- Rikard Sj÷blom / guitars, keyboards (1), backing vocals
- Danny Manners / keyboards, double bass
- Rachel Hall / violin, viola, cello, backing vocals, string arrangements
- Greg Spawton / bass, bass pedals, backing vocals
- Nick D'Virgilio / drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Dave Desmond / trombone, brass arrangements
- John Storey / euphonium
- Nick Stones / French horn
- Ben Godfrey / trumpet, cornet
- Jonathan Truscott / tuba
- Lucy Curnow / violin
- Keith Hobday / viola
- Evie Anderson / cello
- Philip Trzebiatowski / cello

Releases information

Brand new songs and instrumentals alongside an additional 30 minutes of music presenting songs from Folklore (2016) and Grimspound (2017) in extended arrangements.

Artwork: Sarah Louise Ewing

2xLP Plane Groovy ‎- PLG056 (2017, UK)

CD English Electric Recordings ‎- ERCD0020 (2017, UK)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy BIG BIG TRAIN The Second Brightest Star Music

BIG BIG TRAIN The Second Brightest Star ratings distribution

(306 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

BIG BIG TRAIN The Second Brightest Star reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
5 stars

Having been blown away by the sheer beauty of 'Grimspound' earlier this year, I certainly wasn't expecting another album just yet, so when I received an email telling me about this I was incredibly excited. The album features forty minutes of new songs and instrumentals which explore landscapes, rivers and meeting places and take the listener on voyages of discovery across the world and to the stars. Alongside the new tracks, there is a bonus selection of thirty minutes of music where songs from the last two albums are presented in extended format. I know I shouldn't be surprised at just how mature this music sounds, given that I have known the band for some twenty-five years now, but it continues to delight and entrance me to see how this band have grown and changed. Nick D'Virgilio is probably my favourite drummer in modern progressive music, and I have always loved watching him play, yet with BBT one doesn't notice the complexity of what he is doing unless one listens for it, as he is so much at one with the rest of the band.

The use of so many different instruments within an octet allows them to layer sounds that would be beyond many others, but the pastoral progressive sound they create never overpowers David Longdon's rich vocals. They are a very English band in so many ways, and not just when they are singing about London, as they evoke a feeling not of the current age, but of times gone past when the world was a simpler place. But, there is never anything simple about the music they are performing, but it never feels heavy handed or over the top. It is fresh and bright, never leaden or conspiring to show what everyone can do just because they're proggers, but rather the music always seems perfect and on point, with all the musicians doing exactly what is required. This can mean that they sometimes provide accompaniment to others as opposed to demanding a lead role, or may even sit out sections of songs if that is what is right for the music.

Big Big Train will feature at the top of many music critic's albums of the year, and that there may be a doubt only about whether it is this or 'Grimspound' shows just how important the band has become. Truly wonderful, in so many ways.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The Folklore remakes are the best tracks. Like all BBT albums, this one leaves a really positive impression on first listen. The performances and recording quality are top notch, and the singing is great as usual. However, like some other BBT albums (e.g. Folklore), this one doesn't fare as wel ... (read more)

Report this review (#1818953) | Posted by Walkscore | Friday, November 3, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 'The Second Brightest Star' may not be the 'best' Big Big Train album, but it is certainly among my favorites. (Well no album I know can top English Electric Full Power in my opinion) Where BBT really excels, at least for me personally, is in their pastoral side, when they are at their most beauti ... (read more)

Report this review (#1791427) | Posted by cirrusbay | Saturday, October 7, 2017 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Review # 63. The Second Brighter Star is the 11th studio album of the English Prog Rock band Big Big Train, that followed the release of Grimspound, with only two months difference. Grimspound released in April, and 'Brighter Star' at the end of June. That was a little weird, and caught many pe ... (read more)

Report this review (#1769718) | Posted by The Jester | Wednesday, August 9, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I actually like this more than Grimspound. I consider the versions of the songs London Plane and Brooklands what they *should* have released on Folklore. So the redone songs don't bother me near as much as hearing the tracks "in full" (as I consider them). And quite enjoyable. A lot of kudos wer ... (read more)

Report this review (#1765687) | Posted by axeman | Sunday, July 23, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Strange little album, but to me the best the band have produced. All of the songs are a straight hit. The album starts calm with a few ballads, some folksongs and jazzy songs. Skylon and Second Brightest Star are amongst the best progballads have created thusfar. The icing on the cake, are t ... (read more)

Report this review (#1744584) | Posted by Kingsnake | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is an odd release. There's a couple of songs that sound quite unlike any recent releases (title track, skyline) a couple of instrumentals that feel like they were left out of the middle of some other song (haymaking, terra austalis), one stellar track that is as good as anything on folklore ... (read more)

Report this review (#1737318) | Posted by moulsham | Saturday, June 24, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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