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Esperanto Last Tango album cover
3.97 | 93 ratings | 14 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Eleanor Rigby (7:43)
2. Still Life (7:27)
3. Painted Lady (3:26)
4. Obsession (4:33)
5. The Rape (12:07)
6. Last Tango (3:29)

Total Time 38:45

Bonus tracks on 2001 CD release:
7. In Search of a Dream (4:45)
8. Busy Doing Nothing (3:44)

Line-up / Musicians

- Roger Meakin / vocals
- Kim Moore / vocals
- Bruno Libert / keyboards
- Gino Malisan / bass
- Tony Malisan / drums
- Raymond Vincent / 1st violin
- Godfrey Salmon / 2nd violin
- Timothy Kraemer / cello

Releases information

Artwork: Fabio Nicoli with Paul Wakefield (photo)

LP A&M Records ‎- AMLS 68294 (1975, UK)

CD A&M Records ‎- PCCY-10178 (1991, Japan)
CD Si-Wan Records ‎- SRMC 5015 (2001, South Korea) With 2 bonus tracks
CD IUKMUSIC ‎- 80204624 (2009, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ESPERANTO Last Tango ratings distribution

(93 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

ESPERANTO Last Tango reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I have never been a big fan of The Beatles but of course I knew some of their songs. When I heard ELEANOR RIGBY performed by ESPERANTO - it blew me at first listening! Wow!! What a wonderful and neat arrangement this band has made. The intro part (keyboard sound without other instruments) reminds me to EARTH and FIRE's "To The World Of The Future" but it's totally different thing when all instruments are played together. It's so uplifting and full of energy that even I could not remember the original melody of the song, really. The arrangement really struck me. I love the domination of violin and cello in this arrangement. Even, having heard various versions of ELEANOR RIGBY to-date, I still consider that the one produced by ESPERANTO is THE BEST! The second version that I like is the one performed by my home country rock band GOD BLESS in their debut album 1976.

For those of you who never heard any music of this band, I want to brief you the kind of music they play. It's actually tough to describe any association or reference of "the like" about their music. Definitely it is NOT like KANSAS (violin-based prog rock) or RENAISSANCE (female vocal). Probably, I would describe it "similar" (not really) with Dutch's EARTH and FIRE. The only difference is in the heavy violin and cello that ESPERANTO uses. Hope you can picture the music of the band in your mind. Well, if in 70's prog we knew the name of VAN der GRAAFF GENERATOR who experimented with saxophone to replace guitar, ESPERANTO was the one who replaced guitar with violins and cellos. It's a great experimentation.

I first knew the band from this album. Later, I found out the two previous albums of this MULTI NATIONAL band. Yeah, they are all citizens of the world with different nationality: English (Timothy Kraemer and Geoffrey Salmon), Belgian (Raymond Vincent and Bruno Libert), Belgian/Italian ( Gino & Tony Malisan). Well, music is universal man ..!

I enjoy every track of this album. It has a very strong songwriting and musicianship. Having considered these only, it's enough for me to forget the mediocre sound production (hey, it's 1975 man .. don't expect too much!). I consider this album is legendary and MUST HAVE for any of you really want to explore various kinds of prog.

"Still Life" is an energetic song with great blend of violin and bass guitar sounds at the intro part. The upbeat tempo is combined nicely with female vocal voice and great piano fills. Violins and cellos accentuate the textures of the song.

"Painted Lady" is a relatively short song (3:26) with poppy touch. The beauty is that it does not flow as typical pop song, it's a little bit heavier. This track has little touch of violins / cellos, only at the interlude. Keyboard flows with the music.

"Obsession" is a relatively slow tempo song with great vocals. The keyboard sound plays nicely at background to form a sort of orchestration. Very enjoyable. I especially like the orchestration by violins and cellos in the middle of the song.

"The Rape" is an epic (12:07) that is my second favorite after "Eleanor Rigby". The arrangement is so powerful. The intro part reminds me to KANSAS, actually, but not really when the music flows to the body of the song. This is accentuated with a ELP-like keyboard play. The violin and cello orchestration has enriched the composition of intro part. Very very interesting intro. I used to play my stereo set loud during this intro to create a symphonic nuances of listening pleasure. Observe when the vocal part enters the play (followed by dazzling violin & cello sound)! It's stunning!!! The melody changed dramatically (with smooth transition!) when the RICK WAKEMAN-like keyboard sound starts to roll in. Ghusszzz ... so beautiful!

"Last Tango" is a piano-based song with excellent vocal and melody. This track is well positioned to conclude the album. The violin and cello are used sparingly in this track. Really cool.

Oh man .. don't waste your time reading my review! Just PURCHASE the CD and enjoy yourself! You would hardly regret with this record. I'm not that naïve if I give this album with FIVE STAR as this is a masterpiece. - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Review by Guillermo
3 stars This is the only ESPERANTO`s album that I have, and in 1983 one friend gave me this album as a gift because he did`t like it, but I liked this album when he lent me this album days before. I didn`t know nothing about the history of this band until I read their Biography in this website. This album has some good things, but the song of the Side Two of the L.P. ("Obsession", "The Rape" and "Last Tango") are better. "Eleanor Rigby" is a good arrangement of this song. But "Still life" and "Painted Lady" sound pop and commercial for me, sometimes "theatrical" in the voices of the singers. "Obsession" is sung only by Roger Meakin, and it has some good keyboards, drums, and cellos and violins which sound like a full string section of an orchestra. The same is for the longest song of the album, "The Rape" (the best of all), which is sung by both singers. This song has increasing "tension" until it reaches the end. It also has good drums and bass guitar. The last song from this album, "Last Tango", could have been a single (I don`t know if it was released as a single), as it sounds like a "Pop Tango" for me, with a very good arrangement. The L.P. version of this album that I have was released (or maybe re-issued, I don`t know) in 1982, in my country, and "Danse Macabre", too. I know that Godfrey Salmon (credited as playing "2nd. Violin" in this album) later worked with Emerson, Lake & Palmer in their 1977 tour of "The Works" album (when ELP used an orchestra for some weeks of that tour). He is credited as "Conductor" in the back cover of ELP`s "In Concert" L.P.
Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Esperanto Last Tango

This is another special band, because i think they are a mini - orchestra, besides bass, drums, and some keys, they have a couple of violinists and a cello player, and with those instruments and of course great musicianship, they made an excellent album, i have also Danse Macabre, but im still prefering this album, another detail is that Esperanto is a band WITHOUT GUITARS, its rare no?, but it sounds great , i dont miss guitar sound at all in this album

The opening track is simply awesome, maybe the name is known for you, "Eleanor Rigby", yes, it is a Beatles` cover, im not a huge Beatles` fan, but one of my favorite songs is Eleanor Rigby, but... wait a minute,this Esperanto`s version is still more awesome, with a harder sound, with great violins in the intro, and a very special tone of voice, makes that song very enjoyable, im not going to compare it with the original one, because it coulde be pretentious and relative, and Beatles and Esperanto are different styles, but believe me , this version is really great!.

After listening to the first song ( which is beautiful ), i was shocked and of course i fell in love immediately, then, i was excited to listen to the other songs, "The Rape" is the last song, it is specially good, some great changes, but what i love the most is the mix of a creative symphonic sound with a clasical violin edged sound, it makes it really great, some of the songs are soft than others , and they have some cool changes, for example the second song is harder and with more energy, they have a superp musicianship, vocals are also great, and the piano is awesome, maybe the shortes song is the weakest , but it is still good, with a nice poppish touch and some jazzy roots and influences, great arrangements in the most of the songs, and powerful sound followed by a extremely fine sound.

I dont know if im describing good this album, but i think it is good, i love it, i highly reccomend it to all of you; despite my love for this album and despite i find it so attractive, i think this is not a masterpiece of progressive rock, 4.5 stars for me, because maybe one little piece is missing here, i dont know what exactly, but anyway, enjoy it.

Great Stuff!

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars I remember "last Tango" from back in 1975, because it actually did get local airplay where I lived, chiefly the songs "Obsession" and "Last Tango". My comments are based on the LP version which was recently loaned to me by a friend, the only person I know to have ever owned an Esperanto album!

This is very orchestral progressive rock that sometimes seems to crumble under a certain manufactured intensity, particularly in the first three songs. Not much memorable there really; even "Eleanor Rigby" has me reaching for the Beatles, which I never do. But the final three are all very good, and at different times remind me of A&M stablemates Chris de Burgh (particularly the title track), Rick Wakeman and even Le Orme (intro parts of "the Rape") , and the Moody Blues (the orchestral ballad "Obsession"). "The Rape" is the real discovery for me, featuring two very progressive mostly instrumental sections sandwiched around a suitably theatrical and varied vocal part that works far better than the other longer tracks. No guitars here, and, thanks to the judicious use of cellos and violins in an axe-like fashion, they are not missed.

Given the expression of the universal language employed by Esperanto in the latter half of this album, it is a shame that this indeed proved to be their last tango.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 01. Eleanor Rigby For me, the only two versions of Beatles I were approved: With A Little Help From My Friends of Joe Cocker (sensational) and Eleanor Rigby in the version of Ray Charles (animal!). Here's what I get an unknown with an Esperanto complete deconstruction of Eleanor Rigby which more or less until the third minute of the song is unrecognizable. This release is a scandal, with violin, bass and keyboard playing a few riffs that relied more seem to have left a session of musical crazy (laughs). The timbre of low Malisan Gino is exceptional, with the two he tecladistas (Geoffrey and Raymond) making it a more excellent too. When the voice enters a scare! The voice of Roger Moore is excellent, and when they enter the voice of Kim Moore? PQP, the most sensational voice I've ever heard in a long time, and transformed the chorus of Eleanor Rigby in something even more captivating. That band! The synths sounds estranhíssimos give life to the bottom of everything. That riff sensational! Because if you do a version of a song you like these three cases I mentioned, desconstrua the song, one thing is you play a cover on your show very similar to the original, the other is you write to a disk version exactly equal the original, as many bands do, which is pathetic.

02. Still Life The battery of Tony Malisan (brother of bassist Gino) begins the second track, while the band following a broken instrumental full of questions and answers (and that bassist from the underworld!) The voice of Roger when enter there by 3 minutes is already highlighted, and with the voice of Kim, the two marry perfectly. A percussion that I am not mistaken is a maraca follows closely the entire verse. Parts of electric piano are the best, essential for the sound track. The music has a contagious rhythm, the vocals are sung to the rhythm of the melody, all very well diagram.

03. Painted Lady Have seen that the strong doas guys are riffs (laughs), but once the music starts to voice changes completely, the vocal reminds me of Kim (and very) Sonja Kristina of Curved Air, and once again the vocals are perfect married . And it is very nice the macabre laughter to the bottom of the verses. These ideas were that the world is turning. Excellent ground for the violin and I think it is a flute, a perfectly over the other.

04. Obsession Starts well, with these keyboards on ad infinitum, and the vocals reminded me of some vocal Tale Of Mystery And Imagination Of Edgar Alan Poe (The Alan Parsons Project) for dammit, which is very good. The violins and the parties are quite similar to classic Electric Light Orchestra (the band has a wonderful range of influences and different). The vocals are always prominent in the sound of the band.

05. The Rape The violins Arras, do all the paper that would make the guitar (since we have not here) and more, give the band a sound unique and magical. But what is this bassist? Lines always fantastic and a great pitch. Soon after the first minute of the song from the keyboard Bruno Liberte - keyboards and has an unusual timbre and 'dark', the violins take advantage of that tone you get the thing even more strange, and I was next to me forgetting keyboards always in perfect Communion is the cello of Timothy Kraemer. On this track the vocals are perfect for Kim, with a clarity and melody without equal. The voice again after an insertion instrument without equal. After the back most part super broken, and I think I love the disk (laughter). Several parties orchestrated a kind of mini-orchestra with the same melody for cello making a counterpoint to the violin and keyboard, but each in their quest in the same sound. Vocals' air 'on offer with a beautiful melody after the mini-orchestra, but make no mistake the orchestra can not stop. In the part below the battery takes care of the situation in a crazy pace and desperate. Even the police are arresting you call these 'crazy' (laughs)

06. Last Tango Last Tango. How could no longer be a 'quasi-tango' with a beautiful voice and rhythm syncope. As it is expected the band is a tango esbalda the first since its formation is totally strange conducive to pace Argentina.

This disc is a pleasant surprise favorable, a band known and very good.

Review by Sean Trane
5 stars For Esperanto's last album, gone is singer Keith Christmas (and to a lesser extent 2nd violin Tony Harris) and in comes the duo of Kim Moore and Roger Meakin. But the core of the group again remains intact, and still they don't find the need for a guitarist. With a disturbing artwork about a disturbed dancer, this album is even more impressive than the previous Danse Macabre. It was also recorded in the famous French studios of Hérouville, and does it ever sound like it. Read the excellent bio to see why this group stopped on top of their art.

Starting the album on one of the craziest version of Eleanor Rigby, the least we can say is that Esperanto starts all four wheel and eight cylinders biting the asphalt on the highway to your heart. But hat to say of the sublime Still Life with plenty of drama and intense string interventions. The weird Painted Lady is sonically sticking out of the rest of the album, but crazy little features (like those sardonic laughs) are making still not out of line. The stunning Obsession is another beauty of a track, even if playing on an easy-to-please terrain, but the execution is so immaculate and they're pulling all the right c(h)ords that it's close to perfection.

On the flipside, in comes the disturbing 12-mins The Rape, where the groups climbs up and down every alley of sanity with their string section and the lyrics referring to Manson's rape and murder Sunday afternoon ballads and we're hearing the Helter Skelter stolen to Eleanor Rigby's creators. The closing section of this epic is a lengthy crescendo, which allows to recuperate from the previous madness. The album-closing title track is indeed a tango, one that could've been sung by Queen, if it hadn't been for the string section.

Difficult to make a better album than this Last Tango, especially given the group's inhabitual construction of the group. While not perfect, I find few albums that I keep coming back to over the last 30 years and listen with such delight, even if the periodicity of spinning is down to a couple times per year. Much recommended.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars An eclectic musical language

This band with British and Belgian origins released three albums in the first half of the 70's. I didn't know anything about them until recently, but was quickly impressed. The closest comparison I can make of the band's sound is to those of Curved Air and early Electric Light Orchestra mostly due to the strong presence of cello and violins but also due to the female vocals that sometimes remind strongly of Sonja Kristina, particularly on Painted Lady which could have come straight from a Curved Air album. The male vocals remind rather of Roger Chapman of Family. Other band that come to mind while listening to Esperanto's Last Tango are String Driven Thing, Beggar's Opera, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Gentle Giant and Carmen. But the band is really as eclectic as the language from which they have taken their name.

The album starts with a cover of The Beatles' Eleanor Rigby which is as wonderfully different from its original as Manfred Mann's Earth Band's several covers of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen songs. For not having any guitars in the band, the band's sound is surprisingly aggressive. Whatever could be done with electric guitars is here done with cellos and violins to great effect. The bass guitar is Chris Squire-like and often functions as a lead instrument rather than merely as part of a rhythm section. In addition there are keyboards and drums.

Still Life continues with some very nice instrumental work outs with cello/violin, piano and great bass guitar. The more symphonic and piano/harpsichord dominated parts remind me of Renaissance, the bass guitar is a bit similar to that on Renaissance's Ashes Are Burning album. But despite the absence of guitars, Esperanto often has a harder and more aggressive sound.

The three shorter tracks are slightly more conventional but no less good. Painted Lady in particular is a great song that, as I have said already, remind of Curved Air. The closing title track is indeed a bit of a tango. And finally we have the 12 plus minute The Rape which is a strong number that represents the album very well.

Last Tango is an enjoyable and recommended listen.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Any time a rock band resorts to covering "Eleanor Rigby" you have to wonder if maybe their creative juices have become depleted. When a studio album opens with this cover, the traditional order for a record's strongest work, that suspicion is reinforced. In the case of Esperanto their third and final album has some decent music to offer, but even though this version of the song is one of the more energetic and ambitious that I've ever heard, the 'Last Tango' title for the most part aptly describes both the state of the band and their music. Aside from the in auspicious cover, the band managed barely 38 minutes of music for this record, nearly a third of which is taken up by the creepy, uncomfortable opera tome "The Rape".

Esperanto brought their career to a close with yet another frontman for the record, in this case the relatively unknown Roger Meakin replacing Keith Christmas who had departed in favor of a solo career. By this time the band's original vocalist Glenn Shorrock had already begun to emerge in what would prove to be a hugely commercial success fronting the sort- rock Aussie group Little River Band, while Esperanto themselves were on a fast track to obscurity.

An emerging disco industry wave seems to have influenced at least some of the band's music, most notably on "Still Life" which features a heavy bass line, jaunty piano and strident female vocals. "Painted Lady" is similar but with vocals and a rhythm that are both slightly awkward; and "Obsession" is a purely AOR number that finds the band offering little more than clever strings and a smooth bassline to back Moore's crooning vocals.

The centerpiece of the album is the twelve-minute mini rock opera "The Rape", whose title hearkens back to the band's second album 'Danse Macabre' and whose lyrics tell a predictably bleak tale revealed in the song's title. There are some great string movements interspersed throughout this song, but the overall effect comes off as ambitious but just slightly disappointing in the delivery.

As with the other Esperanto CD reissues this one has a couple of bonus tracks, and again as with the other two records these offer little to enhance the album's appeal and were clearly included as simple filler to give the longer recording capacity of the CD format a little more heft.

This was a band that probably should have been much more successful and well-known then they were. In reading the band's history it's clear that poor management and timing played role in their early demise, along with the expected challenges that come from trying to maintain and support such a large group of musicians on a touring rock-band's budget. Of the band's three albums this is neither their finest nor their worst, and overall it is a decent though not exceptional offering. That pretty much describes a three-star (out of five) record, which is what I'll give it, along with a mild recommendation especially for folks who find well-constructed string arrangements on pop music records appealing.


Review by GruvanDahlman
4 stars Usually I shy away from albums including covers of Beatles songs. I have no quarrel with The Beatles. I like them, as most people do. The problem is that I find it boring and uninteresting when bands cover them. On many occasions I have to admit that the covers work well, such as in the case of Kaptain Kopter's "Ticket to ride" or Blood, Sweat & Tears "Got to get you into my life". So, hearing the unanimous praise about "Eleanor Rigby" I was sort of curious but I felt, mostly, suspicion and distrust.

Putting on the album I was soon convinced that Esperanto had indeed made something very special with this song. When you cover a song you need to put something little of yourself into the interpretation. Esperanto poured their very souls into the effort. The original recording of "Eleanor Rigby" is a pensive, thoughtful, beuatiful and mellow, almost baroque piece of music. Esperanto twisted and turned the song into something completely own, unique and over the top. At first you barely recognise the track but when the vocals kick in you know what song it is. Everything from the instrumentation to the vocals are amazing and gives the track a very special feeling. When the lyrics reach "All the lonely people, where do they all come from..." you recognise the original feeling of the song, making me nod my head in recognition as indeed I think they meant it. The vocals apart from that are harsher, less pensive and melodiuos. They are raucious and raw, reminding of Maggie Bell from Stone The Crows. This is one of the most perfect covers I have ever come across and it is progressive rock at it's finest. When bands like Ekseption rewrites classical works into something else you find yourself in awe. The same can be said about "Eleanor Rigby". By now Beatles is as classic as Bach and just as influential. So, when a band rewrites, arranges and kicks up a storm like this you cannot be anything but marvelled. I have no words to describe it. I discover new things every time I listen to it. Utterly complex and genius.

After such an opening, how do one carry one? "Still life" has an intro reminding me of crime shows on television from the 70's. Sort of funky and groovy. A great track in it's own right. "Painted lady" is a more accessible, straight forward prog-rock song. It's a good track, yet again reminding me of Stone The Crows. After the three opening tracks, full of energy and kicks, it is nice on the ears when "Obsession" starts. It is a very beautiful ballad styled song. Very warm, mellow and wonderful organ.

Apart from "Eleanor Rigby" the only true epic is "The rape" with several sections and complex arrangement. Ominous and foreboding, with violin and exceptional keyboards it really is as impressive as the forementioned track. The brass that kicks in at two minutes is glorious. I can't give this track enough praise. The title track is a nice ending of such a complex, entertaining and very special album. A mellow piece to wind things down. It is the slice of mint after a very steady meal.

As a conclusion I can only say that this is a true gem of the progressive movement of the 70's. It holds everything that is great in the genre. It is complex but not to the point that you cannot make out the music. In tone I'd say that it is very british, though they are multi-national, as it were. I would really recommend this album to almost anyone into prog. Top stuff and simply genius.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I always love a richer timbre in the progressive rock that comes from violin or wind instruments. Esperanto music is one of this kind. 'Last Tango' is one of their three albums that I like the most. Duo violists Raymond Vincent (also the founding member) and Godfrey Salmon and Timothy Kraemer on ... (read more)

Report this review (#2436326) | Posted by Mark-P | Sunday, August 9, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.5 stars. Another excellent release from this interesting rock orchestra. It is indeed a major change from their masterpiece "Danse Macabre", but despite the massive change in sound (perhaps due to the loss of a guitarist) they still managed to create a very great album. Musically it comes cl ... (read more)

Report this review (#125117) | Posted by Speesh | Friday, June 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a tremendous album, a major progression from their classically-tinged Dance Macabre, with a unique vitality and energy. They perform the best version of Eleanor Rigby that I've ever heard, with acid violins and a powerful vocal, and "The Rape is just a masterpiece, with a Bolero - styl ... (read more)

Report this review (#69807) | Posted by bruin69 | Friday, February 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars maravilloso, wonderfull, fantastique, wundervoll. this is a must have for every prog fans, and for music fans in general. its complex, artistic, melodic, intense, passional. its flawless, it cannot be described by words, just by thoughts, so go out and buy it now. ... (read more)

Report this review (#36722) | Posted by | Friday, June 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Permainan orkestrasi yang dimainkan oleh kelompok ini benar-benar prima untuk sebuah grup rock yang mengawinkan unsur rock yang garang dengan keanggunan aransemen musik klasik, dengan mengandalkan kekuatan melodi alat musik gesek, baik biola maupun cello. Permainan mereka dalam LAST TANGO, be ... (read more)

Report this review (#31663) | Posted by | Sunday, July 25, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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