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Kayak The Last Encore album cover
3.45 | 101 ratings | 9 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Back to the Front (4:31)
2. Nothingness (3:57)
3. Love of a Victim (2:50)
4. Land on the Water (2:27)
5. The Last Encore (3:59)
6. Do You Care (2:49)
7. Still My Heart Cries for You (4:32)
8. Relics from a Distant Age (4:54)
9. Love Me Tonight / Get on Board (2:40)
10. Evocation (3:50)
11. Raid Your Own House (3:35)
12. Well Done (0:52)

Total Time 40:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Max Werner / lead & backing vocals, Mellotron, percussion
- Johan Slager / acoustic & electric guitars, backing vocals
- Ton Scherpenzeel / piano, Pianet, clavinet, organ, Mellotron, synth, String Ensemble, accordion, double bass, backing vocals
- Bert Veldkamp / bass, double bass, saxophone, zither, backing vocals
- Pim Koopman / drums & percussion, marimba, piano, lead (12) & backing vocals

- Peter Scherpenzeel / recorder (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Fred Hansen

LP Vertigo ‎- 6360 854 (1976, Netherlands)

CD Mercury ‎- 518 751-2 (2002, Europe)
CD Mercury ‎- 371 913-8 (2012, Netherlands)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KAYAK The Last Encore ratings distribution

(101 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

KAYAK The Last Encore reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's not as excellent as other Kayak albums, but this album is worth collecting. For me personally, there was time when I found it very difficult to get this CD (especially in my country). When I got it couple years ago... uugghh ... I feel relieved last I got this rare album (in CD format). Some tracks do not really stand out in terms of composition and/or melody. For example "Love of a Victim" - it is probably too simple and more poppy even though it still has the soul of Kayak unique music. Boring tracsk are "Love me tonight / Get on Board", "Do you care".

Some best cuts of this album are: "Back to the Front" - classic Kayak tune with good composition, melodious, presented in pop progressive style. The piano sound is simple but enjoyable. "Nothingness" - great piano and melodic vocal harmony with classical music influence. The melody touches my heart, really! The ambient vocal harmony augmented with piano in the middle of the track is really excellent. One of my favorite Kayak's tunes. "Still My heart cries for you" - melodic. "Relics from a distant age" - great piano work and melodic; classical influence. "The Last Encore" - melodic prog pop rock with classical touch.

It's not full 4 star and I think 3.5 / 5 is a fair rating. For Kayak fans, this album is an excellent collection because it demonstrates unique Kayak sound! GW, Indonesia.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Then after the last encore, we'll play on forever more"

Contrary to what the title might suggest, this was by no means Kayak's final release. "The last encore" was in fact the band's 1976 follow up to the highly revered "Royal bed bouncer".

It has taken me a long time, and at least four albums to pinpoint the similarity which I hear in Max Werneer's vocals. Finally, I have realised that he reminds me a lot of Chris Squire (of Yes), in his tone, phrasing, and slight lisp. The vocals on this album are in fact one of its high points. Right from the spirited opener "Back to front", there is an underlying strength to the harmonies and vocal effects. This is particularly evident on the Beach Boys like vocalising on the beautiful "Nothingness", the track also having some highly effective orchestration. "Love of a victim" retains the Yes similarities, sounding very like an outtake from the "Drama" album.

Ton Scherpenzeel's piano playing is once again the basis for many of the tracks, coming to the fore superbly on pieces such as the excellent title song. Johan Slager adds some fine guitar here too, although his solo could have been more dynamic.

While the compositions are generally strong, the album leans towards the pop orientation of subsequent albums such as "Starlight dancer" and "Phantom of the night". The orchestration is certainly used effectively to add further dimensions, but the tracks are brief (2-5 minutes), often falling short of being fully realised. "Land on the water" for example has some fine guitar and keyboards, but at only 2:27, it lacks substance. There are some definite prog, or at least prog related moments, such as the Alan Parsons Project like "Still my heart cries for you". Conversely, the wartime like music of "Love me tonight/get on board" is ill advised, and a needless diversion.

I hesitate to appear over critical though, as this is a highly enjoyable album, full of strong melodies and competent performances. Any frustration I have is entirely down to the fact that the band has a tendency to play well within their capabilities, and do not exploit to the full their enormous potential.

Review by friso
5 stars Kayak is a Dutch symphonic prog / pop group that had some considerable succes in the charts in the seventies. 'The Last Encore' is the album that did not produce a hit, whereas the single 'Land on the Water' was still to artsy a song to be picked-up by the mainstream. Kayak reached both pop and prog audiences by simply being one of the most melodically advanced groups of the progressive movement. While it picked up some of the light-heartedness of a band like Supertramp, it also had a serenity to it like the best Genesis albums have. Furthermore, keyboardist and pianist Ton Scherpenzeel has some major influences from the grand piano chord progressions we know from classical music. On 'The Last Encore' Kayak reached its creative peak with some very artistic songs of great beauty and all songs are quite moody in their own distinct way. Perhaps even too moody for some, reaching the point of not seeming aware there is an audience to attract here. The falsetto voice of Max Werner is an acquired taste, but I really love how honest his performances sound on this album. The album simply has too many songs I love, but I would like to mention a few. 'Nothingness', a soul crushing ballad with an un-earthly haunting a capella ending section. 'The Last Encore', with its unique vulnerable atmosphere and strange, yet beautiful chords. 'Still my Heart Cries for You', a mini prog epic which reaches a great rock orchestra intensity and a has a touching ending with an accordion. Finally; 'Relics From A Distant Age' with its amazing piano leads and magical atmosphere. To me this album will probably remain THE underrated classic of progressive rock's history, though in a extensive poll by the Dutch online magazine 'Progwereld' the album did great. Recommended for listeners of melodic progressive rock and I guess the album might also persuade some Italian prog fans.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This Dutch band is quite confidential on PA (only four reviews so far for their fourth album). In those days, they were quite successful in their home country with their pop-oriented prog music.

They have a lot to share with ''Supertramp'' IMO. The music is not aggressive at all, it flows nicely from one song to another. As for their earlier releases (''Kayak II'' and ''RBB''), the music is pretty much accessible but not boring at all.

Vocal harmonies combined with nice keyboards parts are so enjoyable! There is a lot of feeling in those elements which are highly dominant in the beautiful ''Nothingness''. Lots of progheads who like the eclectic genre will of course consider this type of music with a lesser appreciation, but I'm in this sort of mood tonight: to listen to such easy listening music and enjoy it.

''Love of a Victim'' is a punchy rocking song which is quite fun and different from the other songs available on this ''Last Encore''. Not all songs are so pleasant though; the mellow ''Land on the Water'' is a bit too much at this point. Some sort of complaint which isn't memorable.

The title track is again a pleasant rock ballad whose highlights are some good piano work and an emotional guitar part. The quality of this album might also well be its weakness in the sense that you could play it when receiving friends and there are little chances that anybody will be annoyed with the experience, but at the same time few of them will remind it as a great souvenir.

Most of the songs are on the short side, but ''Kayak'' has never been recognized for his long and complex epics, right? So, this simple music has to be listened as it is and no search for intricate stuff is needed.

You just have to relax, sit back, have a nice drink and enjoy these fine pop-prog melodies. ''Still My Heart Cries for You'' is another fine moment: between the ballad and some rocking experience. Amazingly enough, the piano intro of ''Relics from a Distant Age'' show some flamenco influences and this is rather rare to be noticed. This is another highlight from this record (as well as the longest track featured): a moving song indeed featuring such delicate vocals and beautiful piano play (again).

Some flow in the last section of this album like: ''Love Me Tonight'' could have been avoided (it has certain links with ''10CC'' but it doesn't hold the comparison with the sophisticated arrangements of these genious).

IMO, their best work was their debut which showed a more prog angle. But so far, ''Kayak'' didn't release any weak album and this one is in line. A good album. Three stars.

Review by kenethlevine
2 stars By the mid 1970s KAYAK was Holland's answer to the intellectual but oh so self-satisfied art pop of 10CC, CITY BOY, and SUPERTRAMP, although they appeared to be forging a parallel course rather than using those bands as a blueprint. Their admittedly short and generally vocal oriented tracks do qualify as progressive in their quirky structures and shifts, but their attitude is the antithesis of prog as they try to outsmart and distance themselves from their audience with a humorless parodic take on the genre.

Nonetheless, in some cases strong melodies do shine through and salvage this release from life imprisonment. The ambient "Nothingness", the maudlin "Land on the Water" and the cosmic "Relics from a Distant Age" all distinguish themselves while exposing the wasted talent elsewhere. For each of these are a couple of vapid duds like "Back to the Front", "Love of a Victim", "Do You Care", "Still My Heart Cries for You", "love me Tonight/Get on Board".

KAYAK combined some of the worst aspects of pop and prog: the ephemerality of the former and the impenetrability of the latter. Even the cheesily rousing anthems of STYX and QUEEN, and the late 1970s/early 1980s concessions of YES, GENESIS, and CAMEL seem more authentic than the Kayak of 1976. Nonetheless, they did garner a sufficient audience to ensure that "Last Encore" would not live up to its name. Slightly under 2 stars.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Kayak , this great dutch progressive rock band from the '70's manage to take my attention for the first time 11 years ago. "Till then I manage to collect only two of their albums, this one and Periscope life from 1980. So, the music Kayak offers, at least on this album a mixed bag, here we have that mainstream prog , (but good) a la Styx, some Supertamp polished prog, some keybords who remind me of Genesis, some aswell Queen in places, specialy on orchestration and choruses. So, a soup of everything was prog in that days, the band gatherd all around in one single unit - Kayak. The voice is ok, in some parts even great, specialy on mellower parts like on title track The last encore Max Werneer voice is ok, good in this kind of music, but to my taste is a little without varation of the tone here and there, to linear , but good. Some great keys passages, who remind me of Genesis , just listen to the intro of Relics from a distant age, great piece with excellent playing, Nothingness is another good ex of Kayak in that period, in the middle of the piece I swear I was listening to some Queen from that period, same chorus like the british musicians. So , a pleasent album, a little lighter then previous works but still good, 3 stars is the best I can give.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The Last Encore is the last record with Max Werner on vocals and marks the end of the symphinic progressive period of Kayak. After this record Kayak moved more into the cross-over prog scene hoping to achieve some more commercial succes. The last Encore seems less influenced by other bands lik ... (read more)

Report this review (#636604) | Posted by the philosopher | Monday, February 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Of all the wonderful Kayak albums to pick from, I gravitate to The Last Encore most of the time. I'd say it's easily the most melodic of the bunch - and Kayak has always been one VERY melodic band. The album is also the most rich with vocal choruses, if that's one of your joneses (it's one of mine ... (read more)

Report this review (#202417) | Posted by Steven in Atlanta | Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars To me, this is the very best Kayak album of all. The songwriting of Ton Scherpenzeel and Pim Koopman is very well-balanced on this record. The melodies, atmosphere and songwriting on this record are amazing. Only two songs are not that great: Love Me Tonight/Get On Board [wich is a joke] and Rai ... (read more)

Report this review (#4152) | Posted by Robin | Wednesday, May 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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