Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Janison Edge


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Janison Edge The Services Of Mary Goode album cover
3.68 | 51 ratings | 10 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Twist in the Tale of Earth History (9:29)
2. "OLDMAN" (2:02)
3. Beneath the Boy (8:29)
4. The Services of Mary Goode (5:40)
5. The Birth of Mary Goode (9:34)
6. Mary Goode and the Dwarf of Dreams (4:09)
7. Joker (5:49)
8. Julie Lies (7:18)
9. The Day That I Fell (11:36)

Total Time: 64:04

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Brown / bass
- Ian Salmon / guitar
- Sue Element / vocals
- Dave Wagstaffe / drums
- Mike Varty / keyboards

Releases information

CD Gargoyle Records (UK) GRG001 (1999)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to psarros for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy JANISON EDGE The Services Of Mary Goode Music

JANISON EDGE The Services Of Mary Goode ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

JANISON EDGE The Services Of Mary Goode reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
5 stars The opening track is 'A Twist in the Tale of Earth History', this track starts with some spacey keyboards and a wailing guitar, sounding a little similar to early GENESIS, but it's not long before a slightly heavier guitar and keyboard riff take over creating a superb backdrop to Sue's excellent vocals. They're full of emotion and powerful when there's a need to be. I suppose you could say there is a slight similarity to RENAISSANCE. Also contained within the track are some sampled voices and lots of multiple keyboard sequences. What a great opening track.

The next track is 'OLDMAN', this is a quieter track with just a solo piano and Sue's vocals.

The third track 'Beneath The Boy', starts with some excellent guitar work from Ian and after a while quietens down before Sue's vocals come in. There's also some great keyboard's from Mike. This track reminds me a little of ARENA/PENDRAGON especially some of the keyboard work.

The next track 'The Services Of Mary Goode' is split into two parts. 'The Services of Mary Goode' and 'The Birth of Mary Goode', this track starts with the opening two bars from the hymn "To Be A Pilgrim" before some heavier guitar work comes, this is followed by some excellent keyboards and a soaring guitar. The track then quietens down to a church organ sound and then Sue's vocals come in, but this time they are a little softer until the chorus comes along then they become more powerful. There's also some military style drumming and quite a few interchanges of loud and quiet passages. The second part is more powerful with lots of keyboard/guitar interchanges.

The sixth track 'The Services Of Mary Goode', part III 'Mary Goode and the 'Dwarf Of Dreams', starts with some nice guitar and atmospheric keyboards, wind effects and some fine percussion which is followed by a solo piano and Sue's vocals.

The next track 'Joker', starts with a haunting melody, which at the same time is kinda spacey too. This then flows into a WAKEMAN-esque type sound similar to what he was doing around his 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth', 'King Arthur' period. The whole thing then changes completely into more a gothic style, in fact it's quite difficult to describe what follows as it is quite unusual although it does retain the haunting theme throughout even behind Sue's excellent vocals. There's also some excellent keyboards and guitar work.

'Julie Lies', is a fairly mellow track with Sue's vocals being very emotional.

The ninth and final track is 'The Services Of Mary Goode' part IV ' The Day That I fall' and what a wonderful track it is too. Starting with some soaring keyboards and a wailing guitar which lasts just over a minute the track then quietens down and Sue's vocals come in. Quiet verses, Loud and heavier chorus's and it's a catchy chorus too. In fact the whole track is catchy with some superb guitar and keyboard solos. There's also some nice harmonies towards the end of the track with an echo effect too and the keyboards here remind me quite a bit of Wakeman.

Overall, well what can I say other than this is a brilliant album, strong melodies, excellent musicianship and creative song writing producing in my mind one of the best progressive rock albums at the start of 1999. To be honest, I couldn't find any fault with this album at all and i will certainly be playing 'The Services Of Mary Goode' a lot in the near future. This is one album I can highly recommend and is a must for all lovers of Progrock.

Review by Prog-jester
3 stars Ian Salmon and Mike Varty decided to start their own band, when Clive Nolan put SHADOWLAND on hiatus, but musically JANISON EDGE sounds a lot like their previous ensemble (besides both Clive Nolan and Karl Groom are listed as producers here). The only main difference is vocal - it's female here, and it's pretty good. Tracks are lengthy and well-crafted, forming together a some kind of concept story (which is sometimes inescapable for Prog bands). Unfortunately, this debut effort is at the same time their only studio album. Quite promising band it was, but they decided to go further separate ways, and I wonder who remembers these folks now? Recommended for genre's fans
Review by progrules
4 stars Here we have another one I have been chasing after for years. As said in some of the other reviews of this album: this one is pretty hard to get but finally I managed. And fortunately it was worth it I can conclude after several listens. It's not quite the (near) masterpiece I hoped for but it comes pretty close I can tell you. Because not all songs are equally good I will do them one by one once more.

A Twist in the Tale of Earth History gives the impression of an interesting overture to something special I can tell. It's an nearly 10 minute treat that brings you in the right mood. The up till now (to me) unknown Sue Element does a very fine vocal job accompanied by the usual neo progressive instruments though the keyboards are dominant here. 4,25*.

Second is the short Oldman. All songs have been written by Sue and Mike Varty who is known for his appearances in Shadowland. Together they composed an impressive concept album. This short song is quiet with captivating vocals by Sue and nice piano by Varty. 4*.

With Beneath the Boy the cylinders are fired up again with another wonderful display of neo at its best. These people know their way in this subgenre and you could call this album one of the neo pinnacles in history which is interesting for a one time project like Janison Edge. Great keys by Varty halfway the song followed by the first significant guitar display by Ian Salmon who is also from Shadowland by the way. Great track. 4,5*.

Next three tracks form the heart of this album literally and are combined called conform the title track (The Services of Mary Goode) and is divided in three parts called respectively the Services, the Birth and Mary Goode and the Dwarf of Dreams in total clocking almost 20 minutes. First part is not the strongest segment really (3,75*), the second is along with the 3rd track the highlight of the album (4,5*) and since this part lasts almost 10 minutes it's once again proven that the longer songs are usually the better. Third part lasts about 4 minutes and is one of the more ballad-like tracks (3,75*).

Joker is an almost funny sounding track with a special rhythm. Still it's not quite a highlight to me but that will have to do with my continuing hunger for impressive instrumental solos and they are not on this track. It's good for the variation though. Nice but no more (3,25*).

Julie Lies is another ballad accompanied by piano and it sounds a lot like second track. Another very nice one without the extra quality (3,75*).

The Day that I fall is actually part 4 of the title track and if it would be added in time the whole thing would be an impressive epic of over half an hour. But somehow the composers and producer decided to place it at the very end of the album. Doesn't matter really, it's another stunning track and is the third highlight ending the concept album very worthy. (4,5*)

Conclusion can only be that this is a typical example of the 4 star description on PA: excellent addition to any prog rock collection but you'd better be a neo fan for this one. Like I said in the beginning it's not quite what I hoped for due to dominant attention for the lyrics and the concept instead of great instrumental contributions. Thus it could have been better but it's still a must have for true neo devotees.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This was JANISON EDGE's lone studio album released in 1998. There are pleasant female vocals from Sue Element who wrote the lyrics and along with Mike Varty wrote all the music. Karl Groom mixed this album and the mellotron used was borrowed from Clive Nolan. Oh there's more connections to the Neo-Prog world. Mike Varty played with LANDMARQ,CREDO and SHADOWLAND. The drummer Dave Wagstaffe also played with LANDMARQ. Ian Salmon on guitar plays with ARENA but used to play with SHADOWLAND. Are you confused as i am right now,i hope not.

"A Twist In The Tale Of History" opens with synths followed by guitar then vocals. It settles after 3 1/2 minutes with reserved vocals then kicks in a minute later. Some spoken word samples on this one as well. "Oldman" is a short tune with laid back vocals and piano. "Beneath The Boy" opens with soaring guitar right off the hop. Vocals before a minute. Some heaviness after 3 minutes. Synths take the lead 4 minutes in then it's the guitars turn. More guitar soloing late. "The Services Of Mary Goode" builds then settles with fragile vocals and organ. Marching style drums come and go.

"The Birth Of Mary Goode" sounds good to start out. It settles right down when the vocals arrive before kicking back in. Contrasts continue. "Mary Goode And The Dwarf Of Dreams" is a mellow track where vocals and piano stand out. "Joker" opens with atmospheric synths. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes with drums,vocals and keys leading. Not a fan of this one. "Julie Lies" opens with mellotron and piano. Soft vocals before a minute with lots of piano. "The Day That I Fell" features synths,vocals,drums and keys before it kicks in before 4 1/2 minutes. Some welcomed guitar a minute later. A calm 9 minutes in as vocals return.

If your into some of the bands i mentioned like LANDMARQ,SHADOWLAND and CREDO you may really like this. The female vocals are well done although i'd rather have Damien Wilson.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Janison Edge can be considered another super group in neo prog field. All the members are well known in thier domain, without the female vocalist, the rest are all coming from other bands from neoo zone like Medicine Man, Landmarq, Arena, Shadowland. So a great line-up full with talented musician. But what about the music???? Well nothing really impressive to me, really, I was expected much better album to be. Same problem like in cases of Stranger on a train or Casino, at least for me, same almost boring neo prog music with minum consistency in the pieces, the song writting is almost usual stuff, only the voice of Sue Element is ok, but not even she doesn't save the album to be almost mediocre. I've listen this album 3-4 time before making this review , but to be honest I didn't find anything exciting here, maybe the first copule of pieces are worth investigated A Twist in the Tale of Earth History or Beneath the Boy if you like this kind of music, the rest is ok but without any excellent moments like on the bands memebers come from. I mean Landmarq, Arena or even Shadowland are miles ahead then this Janison Edge album, who BTW they release the album in 1998 named The service of Mary Goode at Gargoyle records same year. Similar in places with Stranger on a train, both musicaly and in vocal arrangements, this neo prog album doesn't bring nothing new in this field, even the musicians have an impresionant pedegree in this zone. In places is to mellow, musicians don't burst with something more catchy , I want the keyboards to be more uplifting, with more vein. I will be very indulgent this time, 2.5 maybe rounded to 3, the cover art is better then the music. Another example of dull and totaly unintrsting realse in this subgenre, but with all that compositions aren't band, just doesn't seam to be exciting at all. A mediocre towards good in places, but totaly non essential album to my ears for sure.

Review by Warthur
3 stars With the enigmatic Sue Element providing a confident vocal performance which seems rather reminiscent of Tracy Hitchings' style, and band members drawn from the likes of Credo, Shadowland, and Landmarq, this album falls smack in the style of that particular tradition of British neo-prog - as practiced by Shadowland and Landmarq and so on - which all sounds rather pleasant but which leaves me rather cold. Like those other two bands, Janison Edge play music in a style which seems overall rather shiny-happy, and which offer absolutely no surprises to anyone with a reasonably broad knowledge of the neo-prog stars of the early 1980s. It's a decent enough stab at that approach, of course, but it really isn't especially essential.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A one-shot British Neo Prog act, formed in 1997 and consisting of prog veterans of the British scene.Dave Wagstaffe had been the drummer of Landmarq since their beginnings, Mike Varty on keys is an original Credo member and Shadowland's keyboardist since 1995, Ian Salmon on guitars has been the Arena/Shadowland bassist for years and Paul Brown on bass comes from the less-known Medicine Man.They were accompanied by young female vocalist Sue Element and the band even established their own Gargoyle Records label to distribute their albums.Their debut from February 99' was entitled ''The Services of Mary Goode''.

Janison Edge sound like the second coming of LANDMARQ and ''The Services of Mary Goode'' has plenty of references to their music, maybe you should also add a touch of ARENA in the heavier parts and MAGENTA on the thetrical moments.Classic British Neo/Symphonic Prog with tons of keyboards, breaks between sweet textures and bombastic passages, alternation between vocal and instrumental themes and well-crafted guitars.The musicianship contains plenty of twists and turns, from the edgy synthesizer solos to the atmospheric symphonic moments and from the sensitive vocal atmospheres to the slow guitar solos.And speaking of vocals, new entry Sue Element has a delicate and fairly balanced voice, nicely suited to the whole atmosphere.On the other hand comes the obvious flaws.Lack of originality, every song on the album could have been a track from any of the members' aforementioned bands, mediocre songwriting, which lacks the inspiration of either LANDMARQ or ARENA, and strong similarities between the compositions, which makes parts of the album forgettable.

Janison Edge went on to produce another EP during the year, entitled ''An Acoustic Session'', again on their Gargoyle label, and this one seems to be their farewell to the prog world.In the meantime ''The Services of Mary Goode'' will definitely please fans of the British Neo Prog school as well as lovers of the contemporary Symphonic Prog sound, but do not expect something masterful or even original.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Ideal neo prog album for fish-Marillion and Arena fans. very nice and melodic compositions, beautiful female vocals and flute: comparable with the last Flamborough head's or first Quidam's albums. Easy to appreciate since the first listening. A problem is that this album is very difficult if not ... (read more)

Report this review (#145224) | Posted by babbus61 | Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I don't think there are better albums than this one. Sue Element has a very pleasant voice and she knows how to write good music. There is never a dull moment on this cd. I like the bombastic songs as much as the ballads. OLDMAN makes the most impression because this is Sue at her best. The mi ... (read more)

Report this review (#68308) | Posted by Clepsydraakje | Saturday, February 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow wow , is the only think i can say. The only real Neo Progressive band with a woman singing. The only band that comes close would the French 'Arrakeen'. But different from the kinds like 'Karnataka' or 'Mostly Autumn', thsi band sounds pretty close to old style Marillion, Twelfth Night, Grey Lady ... (read more)

Report this review (#4066) | Posted by | Wednesday, November 19, 2003 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of JANISON EDGE "The Services Of Mary Goode"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.