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COMEDY OF ERRORS

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Comedy Of Errors biography
Comedy Of Errors were a Glasgow-based progressive rock band formed in January 1984 with Joe Cairney (vocals), Jim Johnston (keyboards), John MacPhee (drums), Mike Barnard (guitars) & Steve Stewart, soon replaced by Mark Spalding (bass).

Their first recording was a demo called "Ever be the Prize", and was recorded at a studio in Blanefield (Scotland) in 1985. They recorded a number of songs with Rog Patterson (of "Twice Bitten" fame) as producer, which were then further refined with the assistance of Mike Bentley and Niall Mathewson (Pallas). These were released as a "mini album" in 1986, strongly influenced by Pallas or Abel Ganz style.

In 1987 when Mike Barnard left the band, Barry Henderson joined the band on bass while Mark Spalding played guitars. This line-up recorded the demo tape called "24 Hours" in November 1987 at Evenload Studios in East Kilbride. This was later combined with the mini album to form the band's only CD release under the french MSI label. Unfortunately, the quality of this release is very poor, being a direct transfer from vinyl, rather than master tapes. This is compounded by the fact that "The Student Prince Part One" has been omitted and replaced by an inferior version of a track from earlier on the disc.

A change of direction was heralded in in 1989 with the arrival of new lead vocalist John Cowden, replacing Joe Cairney who went on to join the Fire Brigade. The demo tape "Hold On" was recorded at Evenload Studios (East Kilbride) in May '89. The band were playing more standard rock songs, which were more suited to the new vocalist. They played regularly around Scotland, and then quietly disappeared from view.

: : : Yves Le Perchec : : :

Remarkably though, the story does not end there, and in 2011 Comedy of Errors reformed. As the band's official website succinctly puts it:

"One man however kept faith in the original concept, dropped out of the prog scene completely, stayed in his room, kept writing new material and revising songs and waited.and waited.His name I don't recall but that's not important right now. Suffice to say it was hoped these mini-rock symphonies would, at some point in the future, see the light of day and find an appreciative audience. And so it was, thanks to those who kept faith in the music, the new incarnation of COMEDY OF ERRORS came to release their debut album ' DISOBEY ', a difficult birth, a long time in the making, but well worth the wait."

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Spirit (autographed edition)Spirit (autographed edition)
Import
Comedy Of Errors
Audio CD$21.99
SpiritSpirit
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$13.05
$13.04 (used)
Fanfare & FantasyFanfare & Fantasy
CD Baby 2014
Audio CD$15.98
$9.98 (used)
DisobeyDisobey
Original recording
CD Baby 2011
Audio CD$14.63
$11.92 (used)
Disobey by Comedy of Errors (2011-05-04)Disobey by Comedy of Errors (2011-05-04)
CD Baby
Audio CD$58.98
Fanfare & Fantasy by Comedy of Errors (2014-03-19)Fanfare & Fantasy by Comedy of Errors (2014-03-19)
CD Baby
Audio CD$40.76
Spirit (autographed edition) by Comedy Of Errors (2015-05-04)Spirit (autographed edition) by Comedy Of Errors (2015-05-04)
Comedy Of Errors
Audio CD$58.98
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COMEDY OF ERRORS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

COMEDY OF ERRORS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 235 ratings
Disobey
2011
4.05 | 434 ratings
Fanfare & Fantasy
2013
4.00 | 197 ratings
Spirit
2015

COMEDY OF ERRORS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

COMEDY OF ERRORS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

COMEDY OF ERRORS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.40 | 35 ratings
Comedy Of Errors
1988

COMEDY OF ERRORS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.42 | 3 ratings
Ever Be The Prize
1985
3.50 | 4 ratings
Mini Album
1986
5.00 | 1 ratings
24 Hours
1987
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hold On
1989

COMEDY OF ERRORS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 197 ratings

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Spirit
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars An amazing album, once again!

Comedy of Errors has been on my neo-prog radar since they released Disobey, a wonderful that I knew thanks to the same Joe Cairney who I've been in contact with ever since. And man, I have to tell that they are one of my favorite neo prog bands nowadays, I loved Disobey, I also loved Fanfare & Fantasy, and now I can tell you I love 'Spirit' an ambitious concept album where the neo prog is present, but I could say the band has morphed its sound compared to the previous works, here adding a dose of symphonic and classical music. Here, the band divided the album in 12 short tracks (none of them reaches even the 7-minute mark) giving us 55 minutes of extraordinary progressive rock.

It starts with 'My Grief Lies All Within' and wow, what a powerful way to open this album. I love the energy and the guitars that explode on the first minute, and then I love how it slows down and then Cairney's voice appear very softly, so drums, strings and keyboards create a calm atmosphere that continues like that, with a charming sound until the very end, adding in the last minute a great guitar solo. 'Infinite Wisdom?' starts with energy like the first minute of the previous song, very symphonic but with a touch of metal (or maybe heavy prog). This short track offers a feast of keyboards greatly complemented by vocals (lead and back) and drums. Then when it vanishes and the sound changes, 'Spirit Shines / Spirit' has already started, giving a spacey background in the first minute, but later a sound tender, shiny and bright, representing that spirit that shines. I love the vocals here, both, main and backing vocals.

I love that the album has no pauses required, so at first it is difficult to know when a song finishes and other starts, however, when you listen to it over 3 or 4 times you already notice those changes. 'Can This Be Happening? / Timeless' starts a bit atmospheric, then some heavy guitars appear, again it vanishes but then a rock song begins with a somber atmosphere, a darker and I think more heartfelt voice enter. 'In Darkness Let Me Dwell' has a great game of voices once again, the choir is great and the keyboards superb all the time. I also like a lot the bass notes and the drumming, the rhythm section. And then the lead vocals along with the keyboards create a darker atmosphere. Then all of a sudden it all slows down and 'I Call and Cry to Thee' starts, whose first two minutes are like a choir in a church, then it disappears and the instruments begin to build up a new structure until it explodes at minute 3 with raw guitars and loony keyboards full of energy.

'Set Your Spirit Free / Goodbye My Love Until We Meet Again' has a moment of peace when you can close the eyes and just like the title suggests, set your spirit free. This is a short track that let you take a deep breath. 'Ascension / Et Resurrextit / Auferstehen - Arise In Love Sublime, Arise ' Spirit' is the longest track of the album, reaching almost 7 minutes and it is wonderful how it is progressing little by little, using symphonic classical elements and making our emotions float on, I really love that crescendo and how in a moment it reaches a climax at minute three and then a new structure begins, in which vocals enter. This track might be one of my favorites here, again I love the voices and the keyboard choirs and atmospheres. Amazing! Even better that all of a sudden you are listening to 'Into the Light', this is one of those track-changes that I found more difficult to notice. But well, before the first minute the keyboards take leadership and then bass and drums join, later vocals and together create a track that reminded me of Marillion, but well, without being Marillion of course, because the sound of Comedy of Errors is actually unique.

'Above the Hills' is a beautiful progressive rock composition, the sound is very symphonic and classical again, and the feeling is just cute, wonderful, like you have to smile every time you listen to it. When this track finishes, the sound disappears for the very first time, I mean, you can actually notice when a song finishes. But there is a bit more to come. The epilogue, entitled 'This Is How It Has To Be' is a great instrumental song that has that sensation of goodbye, and I think it is an excellent way to close this wonderful album.

There is an extra track, 'Spirit' which is marked as the single of the album.

Well, Comedy of Errors did it again, and am very happy to review it and tell to the world this band has created a wonderful album, once again. My final grade, 4.5 out of 5.

Enjoy it!

 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 197 ratings

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Spirit
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is one of those prog albums where the lyricist decides to tackle the big questions of life and death and whether there's anything after that and all that jazz - think IQ's The Wake or Ever for preceding examples in a neo-prog context, though anyone with a reasonably-sized prog collection can probably cite a bunch more. It's also one of those albums where the artists decide to be proggier-than-thou by including a really epic song - in this case, the titular Spirit is a 45 minute epic, and then there's a last song tacked on at the end as a sort of epilogue - a bit like Mike Oldffield's Ommadawn has On Horseback at the end.

So, there's the blueprint, but how did Comedy of Errors do on the implementation? Reasonably well! The lyrics are not going to offer any major philosophical revelation to anyone who's been at least momentarily thoughtful on the subject of mortality, but the same old sentiments are at least expressed in a pretty way, with a mostly solid musical backing. That said, I don't think it's as consistent as the preceding Fanfare and Fantasy, and I think there are moments where the challenge of constructing the long piece overshadowed the requirement to make sure every piece of music was top-notch.

 Fanfare & Fantasy by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.05 | 434 ratings

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Fanfare & Fantasy
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

5 stars "Fanfarre & Fantasy" of Scottish band COMEDY OF ERROS show to us another good example of how to make good progressive rock music without the necessity of complicated use of scales and time signatures , being enough inspiration and good taste. This album flow with such naturalness which , although the musicians are skilled in their own instruments, in fact isn't the main attraction in their compositions. This second album ( how already said the P A collaborator - Easy Livin SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin - "While "Disobey" was a landmark album of "neo- prog", "Fanfare and Fantasy" takes a more symphonic approach, the nine magnificent tracks here being carefully crafted masterpieces of the genre". Review #933466, Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013) and I entirely agree !!!! The band show some influences like GENESIS, YES, CAMEL from the old stream of symphonic prog and PENDRAGON, JADIS and MINDGAMES ( in fact in some vocals passages , Joe Cairney's vocals reminds me a lot Bart Schram's voice from MINDGAMES) and including , some musical "lanscapes" like in track 4 "Going for a Song". Other interesting moment be in track 6 "The Cause" a true symphonic piece of music, with a long keyboard / choir introduction in a ceremonial mass atmosphere and a posterior "minuet" ( or something like this). The last track 4 "The Answer" and his keyboards arrangements and the sequent ballad theme guided by electric-guitar and vocals, close the album with perfection ! My rate is 5 stars !!!
 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 197 ratings

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Spirit
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by javajeff

5 stars I really love this album, and it is their best one to date. My Grief Lies All Within starts with an awesome bass line layered with background vocals, excellent lyrics and musicianship. The album takes off from there with many changes and surprises, and it is an excellent adventure to explore again and again. If you are a fan of Comedy of Errors, you likely already have this one. If you love progressive rock, this is a must buy. Their previous two albums are also excellent, but if you are new to the band, start with Spirit. Joe Cairney's vocals are always excellent and provide an excellent tone for a perfect progressive rock album. I highly recommend this release.
 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 197 ratings

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Spirit
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by branchranch

3 stars I was quite impressed with this band's previous effort "Fanfare & Fantasy" (definitely a 4-star recording), so I was looking forward to this release. The title suite is a concept piece based upon a personal tragedy (I don't know if it affected one the band members, but I suspect it did), perhaps the loss of a daughter. As one would expect in times of difficult trial, the writer's attention is focused upward. "Why?" is a completely human and understandable reaction, as is even some anger when we cannot grasp the unexplainable. Unfortunately, the lyrics go on and on there, in a exceedingly lengthy rant against Almighty God as the writer says in the opening piece "You're God and You let me down". I get it. You prayed and didn't get what you asked for. You feel abandoned, betrayed perhaps.

But the writer continues to pursue after God, declaring Him uncaring, even plotting evil. In the lyrics "Why take the innocent? Why punish the good? And why make us suffer as only You could?", he declares his wisdom and knowledge superior to God.

This concept had the opportunity for real greatness, had the writer come to grips with his smallness, as did Job. When God questioned him "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know!" Job realized his lack of understanding in even the most basic things of life. Who is he to question the motives or wisdom of the Almighty? "I put my hand over my mouth."

Finally, toward the end of the suite, the author passingly attributes that someday we will know all things and they will make sense:

"Rise again, oh rise again in everlasting love. Death is but a shadow and conquered from above. Your spirit soars in love and joy, carried to the light. Everything makes sense now. As the dawn breaks through the night."

But there is no repentance for the long-winded screed against God which consumes most of the lyric. There are some moments of great music here, even some surpassing "Fanfare". The title theme "Spirit shines" is particularly uplifting, and I would have liked to have heard more of it.

Normally, I would consider this a 4-star release, no question, but the lyrical content is very poor theology, and, as a Christian, I find this hard to overlook.

3 stars for what could have been 5 stars plus.

 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 197 ratings

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Spirit
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Comedy of Errors has raised the progressive bar to unprecedented heights. Let's not dilly-dally any longer ad infinitum and cut straight to the chase:

This is the best Neo album ever made!

Yup, yesseree, si senor, jawohl, numero uno! This album will enter the legend and simply redefine a much maligned genre that admittedly had quite a few stinkeroos, but this? Phew! Let's use the ill-used OMG tag and let's stick it on this supposed comedy of errors! No errors here, very little comedy, just straight forward brilliant music played deliriously and brimming with enterprise. Terrific pace, genial details abound, mini symphonies, oratorios and some vicious bass playing up front and center!

Rarely have I had to witness such a musical act of bravura, a spectacular opus that gets going from the opening note and does not let go until the final track has faded into silence. Scottish group Comedy of Errors thus releases its third album, after the remarkable Fanfare & Fantasy, which by most accounts was a rather typically 'safe' neo- prog album, with mounds of delicious melodies with tight playing and great vocals. It was quite well-received by most progressive pundits, even non neo-aficionados liked it, though it must be said that 'Spirit' is an all-together different kettle of fish (please excuse the Marillionish pun).

Vocalist Joe Cairney really elevates his talent by sounding both convincing and imposing, a sublime set of tones to the overpowering instrumental package and solid drummer Bruce Levick shows off some thoughtful chops and monstrous beats that pummel, thump and explode willingly. The now dual guitars of Mark Spalding and new- comer Sam MacCulloch offer up a winning formula of criss-crossing riffs that recall vintage Wishbone Ash or recent Final Conflict. But the true stars that shine brightly on all these tracks are the tremendous bass playing of Jim Fitzgerald and the sumptuous symphonic touches brought to the console by main-man Jim Johnston, whipping out his choir mellotron patches and adding grandiose adornments to the mix. But the most obvious difference is the sheer quality of the compositions, each one perfectly constructed and well-balanced, as well as a multitude of eargasmic melodies that seduce immediately. Throw in a great production and sumptuous artwork and yes, we have a winner of the very highest order. A glowing, simmering and mesmerizing masterpiece that deserves the greatest honor, like the bold headline for this review. I received my copy in the mail on Friday November 13, 2015, so it behooves me to dedicate this review to the innocent Paris victims of primitive barbarism, and my 2 cousins living in St-Denis, near the Stade de France, who are safe yet shaken to the bone. Their spirits will live on forever. The track list titles almost eerily forewarn of the impending terror that was occurring, as I was listening to this treat the first time.

Though all tracks effortlessly form an unending suite, when you listen to the opening jewel, there is no screwing around with light fluff, the band go straight for the jugular and punch your ears out with aggressive guitar slashes, blinding thunderclaps of tectonic drums and a turn-on-a-dime supersonic arrangement that leads into one of those bass guitar grooves that seduces lovingly and that one dreams about in fantasyland, like Mike Howlett's magnificent reptilian furrow on 'Isle of Everywhere' or Leland Sklar's devilish playing on Billy Cobham's 'Stratus'. Yes, fans, iconic monuments to insistent, mind-numbing bass guitar heaven! 'My Grief Lies All Within' is a classic piece of progressive rock and a scintillating first course in a long-line of terrific tunes that will follow. The short track 'Infinite Wisdom' is whirlwind guitar-driven, organ-fueled and rhythmically propelled ditty with raging vocals as well as nimble choir work, and serves as a fine opener for the stately 'Spirit Shines' , which serves as the main anthem that define this work, to be repeated two more times later, under different guises. The urgent and heartfelt vocals really touch an emotional nerve, caressed gently by twinkling piano and lush symphonics, a massive chorus that can only leave one breathless, a stupendous sense of elation and a general feel good sentiment, full of hope and resolution. This invincible crescendo bleeds straight into the stultifying explosion that is 'Can This Be Happening?', a rambunctious outburst that spares no prisoners either lyrically, vocally or instrumentally. Bombastic, meticulous and sensitive, one cannot help feeling overwhelmed by the sheer quality of the music displayed, adorned by a multitude of little quirky details (stunning choir work, slick cymbal minutiae, and massive mellotron whooshes) that astound and confound in a factual progressive way. There is a strong Fish-era Marillion feel that is also exquisite and impressive, loaded with dynamic theatrics that are never overblown or histrionic. This washes into the more delicate and Celtic-tinged 'I Call & Cry to Thee', a lavish and intricate rambler that starts off pastoral and bucolic, suddenly evolving into a furious tornado of guitar, keys and boom drums, soaring like some upward vortex of exhilaration. There is a hint of Shawn Guerin's classic 'Monsters in my Room' that made me smile immediately, a clever wink full of melodrama and angst.

The overtly classical overtones that are the hallmark of this work appear on 'Set your Spirit Free', as it continues to trumpet the life-force cause, a transcendent instrumental keyboard showcase, laden with dexterous, feminine and delightful insights, lush with emotion and awe. This impressionist tendency continues on 'Arise in Love Sublime', pipe-organ and synths, in an ivory embrace that would make Wakeman blush with envy. When the pompous bluster veers into heady circumstance, a simply celestial vocal enters the fray with ceremonial bombast, manic mellotrons whirring and purring magically, arching high and wide into the night sky. Gulp and wow! The main theme 'spirit shines' does an encore performance of the highest order, branding the gorgeous melody deep into the brain, forever seared by the ornate beauty within. The majesty heightens further with the glorious 'Into the Light', a ray of sunshine where slippery synths celebrate the renewal of the hopeful, everlasting and undaunted spirit of everlasting love, the sheer aural delight is unstoppable, the music unshakably genial and the impression eternal. One cannot help wondering why recent Yes could not give birth to something this 'close to the edge'. 'To touch you, to hold you, to see you, AGAAAAAAAAAIN'! Cairney's vocals are effing brilliant! Its companion piece, 'Into the Hills' just expands on the shimmering symphonics even further, scouring the loftiest expanses and glorious horizons, keyboard cannonades that defy the norms, intensely orchestral and defiantly imposing, musical monuments to progressive rock's take on classical music. Thus ends the main suite, a sensational avalanche of sonic beauty.

Bonus tracks are not too shabby either, as the magnificent instrumental 'This Is How It Has To Be' perpetuates the previous standard of elegant musical sorcery, a bewitching medieval styled piece, drenched in a torrent of choir mellotron, led by a beguiling bass guitar rumble and a mystically euphoric premise. A Kerry Minnear-like organ solo is a sheer delight, playful, expertly played and thoroughly inspiring. There is a slight stylistic resemblance to the previous album's 'Time Motet and Galliard', so one can surmise that this is a standard Comedy of Errors diversion into the past.

As promised, this crown jewel is put to rest with a third encore of the spirit theme, a radio friendly 'Spirit' that should be playing on any radio show, prog or not, it's that bloody brilliant! Piano, electric guitar and a chorus to expiate over, this is simply superb music. As perfect an album as one could ever hope for. The proof is in every note. As it stands, my fave album of 2015, another splendid year of stellar prog.

5 esprits de corps

 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 197 ratings

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Spirit
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by Ludwigvan57

5 stars This is a masterpiece. There is a journey here which encompasses the human spirit; from dark to light or from despair to hope. The music takes us on that journey and leads us to a place of transfiguration or if you prefer, resurrection. No mean feat. The first part of Spirit is rightly broken down into smaller sections because those sections are markers on the journey. 'My grief lies all within' sets the scene with an atmospheric opening quickly drowned by strong guitar introducing the vocalist but always cleverly backed by other vocals maintaining the atmospheric and fugal feel. The lyrics speak of grief and sorrow. There is real anger here. The lyrics are excellent with a very fine guitar solo bringing this to a conclusion. The mood continues tumbling into 'Infinite wisdom' with strong guitar and keyboard maintaining a fast pace emphasising the anger and unfairness. Lyrics are excellent; 'helpless, hapless, hopeless' is very good. 'Spirit shines' really does it for me, I love this, it's rich in ideas, it's got everything. From the atmospheric opening reminiscent of Pink Floyd (wish you were here maybe?) to the clear keyboard statement just after a minute, with the two counter themes leading to the Mahler second symphony ( Resurrection) key theme of hope laying the ground for the big central theme of Spirit Shines with Mahler's second in the background, wow! Then the "Spirit Shines" motif takes over. This is clear, strong a glimpse of the transformation to come. This is magnificent music, lyrics and vocals are excellent and the keyboard passages are beautiful. 'Can this be happening' lulls us into a false sense of happiness for a few seconds before the strong guitars and solo drum beats bring us back to despair and anger from vocals guitars and keyboard. Lyrics are excellent especially 'Timeless, Eternal, Infinity'. I understand the complete contrast between parts 3 and 4 (and 5) and how this works so well. 'In darkness let me dwell' excellent words again with the 'Timeless, Eternal, Final, Absolute' really telling. I love the beautiful atmospheric overlay of voices at the beginning of 'I call and cry to thee', very like Bach , almost religious. Builds and maintains a passive power with excellent keyboard work, referring again to the Mahler theme and variations. Then full on guitars with the sound of 'confusion' in the background and a kind of descent into oblivion. Works very well and leads nicely to; 'set your spirit free' with an absolutely beautiful atmospheric opening. At first hearing my initial thought was 'cosmic' and maybe that's not too far away. Everyone knows there is something happening here, and with a lovely pause adding drama before the xylophone type touches confirm the other worldly nature of this gentile interlude. An excellent non- vocal statement which for me, just simply points to transition. It's smooth, loving and a huge contrast from the power of some of the earlier sections. Now we're at 'ascension/ arise Spirit' and everything becomes clear. Atmospheric, struggling to reach up to something and then we have the answer through the keyboard. We're climbing, moving upward until wait for it'.. the answer we were hoping for, our old friend the Mahler theme and Spirit Shines echoing the third section. A fantastic return to the main theme with the full Mahler Resurrection treatment succeeded by the Spirit theme. Moving directly into 'into the light' is a natural progression. Good guitar continuation for the previous section. I've listened a few times to the cross over from guitar to keyboard because I think it's symptomatic of the way the whole piece fits together. Then the keyboard starts to counter the guitar and then goes off to take the lead magnificently with a little 'trill' and then we're off again in a different direction with a good pause for dramatic effect before the vocals come in. This is joyous and it keeps coming , after about 3 minutes we have the keyboard again bringing in another clever variation of the 'Spirit' theme leading to 'the past becomes a part of us''. The next verse; 'to touch you' is exceptionally well put together, excellent lyrics with the voices echoing leading beautifully into- 'Above the hills' which is just fantastic. This was my favourite after first hearing, now I just can't single out any particular section! Anyway this is special. Simple, beautiful words packed with meaning and feeling, making a huge impact. Magnificent blend of guitar and keyboard. The 'clapping' about half way through is a nice touch here just before the change of pace back to strong guitar leads. Then I was blown away by the final minute or so starting with the very classic movie sounding lead to finale rounded off with the xylophone touches before the crescendo which is held for a long time , you could almost say lingering (like Mahler would have done). Then it's done, we've completed the journey, there has been a transfiguration, a resurrection. I just love the Epilogue. That beautiful Thomas Tallis like beginning It could almost be Harry Cristophers and The Sixteen and the guitar entry doesn't spoil it, it enhances the cosmic atmosphere. The guitar parts have a medieval feel in the way they interlink playing a lovely theme. One might have expected the piece to end in this way but wait another different idea'. a direct quote form Falconieri's Giaconna! Didn't see that one coming and guess what? It works perfectly, a master stroke. Excellent guitar intro. and then wow! absolute magic from the keyboard carrying the theme and even castanets (if that's what it is). Now we're dancing, racing to a sublime joyous ending. Who would have thought that we would end with such a positive note? So what does 'this is how it has to be' mean. It may mean different things to different people, what it means for me is; acceptance - there can be tragedy, suffering and heartbreak but what should our response be? I'm firmly of the view that we must go on regardless in fact more than that, we go on in the best way we can, never forgetting but somehow owing it to others to be happy or strive for happiness. I think this is what the Epilogue may say. In summary, I love 'Spirit'. I think it is a deeply personal work which has universal appeal and the music is wonderful. Looking at this note I've used the words 'atmospheric', 'beautiful' and 'excellent' quite a lot and I don't think that adequately describes the quality of the music and lyrics of 'Spirit'. The fusion between 'classical' and modern is seamless.

This is unquestionably a masterpiece, it's an important piece of music whichever way it's viewed and do you know what? It's fun to listen to and it made me very happy.

 Spirit by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 197 ratings

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Spirit
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

5 stars This is how it has to be

Back in the days before mobile phones, the internet and home computers, a band called Comedy of Errors came together in Glasgow, Scotland. Over 20 years later, in 2011, they released of their first official album ("Disobey"). Now, a mere 4 years later, we find them onto album number three, having successfully negotiated the challenge of the difficult second album in 2013 with "Fanfare and Fantasy". As if that was not enough, three of the band members were also a part of the superb Grand Tour album released earlier this year.

It would be something of an understatement to say that Comedy of Error's latest album "Spirit" is ambitious. One glance at the tracklist substantiates this, the title piece running to around 45 minutes. Although nominally broken down into 10 sub-tracks, it is intended to be approached as a complete work. The entire album was composed by Keyboards player Jim Johnston, who declares his influences as ranging from Shakespeare through composers such as Bach, Mahler and Purcell, to other less familiar names such as Dowland, Tallis and Falconieri, plus a few others. Johnston himself states that "this is the most personal of albums and the whole structure musically has been intensely worked out thematically and motivically".

With the previous album "Fanfare and fantasy", the band moved from the fine neo-prog of "Disobey" towards a more symphonic approach, and "Spirit" completes that migration. In terms of structure, this is a classical work demanding so much more than a cursory listen. It is a feature of the best in progressive rock that an album reveals itself only with repeated listens, and that is very much the case here. While the distinct vocals of Joe Cairney are the band's signature, the fine lead guitar contributions of Sam McCulloch and Mark Spalding and the symphonic keyboards swathes of Jim Johnston on which the album is based, only fully reveal themselves after several plays.

Lyrically, there is a fair bit of anger and cynicism bordering at times on despair to begin with at least ("You're God and you let me down, you're supposed to help, what the hell are you thinking"), but this is transformed into optimism and hope as we progress ("Everything makes sense now as the dawn breaks through the night").

The album is completed by a separate Epilogue "This is how it has to be", a delightful instrumental which in reality is coda to the main piece and intended to be heard as such, and a "bonus" track called "Spirit" (marked as "single") which draws in themes from the main track to create a pleasingly melodic conclusion to the album.

In all, "Spirit" is a mighty statement and a true masterpiece of symphonic progressive rock. Influences as diverse as Marillion, Yes, IQ, Genesis, Spock's Beard, and many more could be cited, but there is at the same time a true sense of originality here, of the band recording something they feel they can be proud of without necessarily craving the recognition they truly deserve.

Nice sleeve design too, inspired by the wonderful scenery of the Firth of Clyde.

 Fanfare & Fantasy by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.05 | 434 ratings

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Fanfare & Fantasy
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I thoroughly enjoyed COMEDY OF ERRORS' debut so it was an easy choice to pick up "Fanfare & Fantasy" their latest from 2013. While there's lots to enjoy here I was surprised at how much of this I just didn't enjoy, so in my opinion this is a step down from the debut but at 3.5 stars well worth checking out if your into Neo-Prog.

"Fanfare For The Broken Hearted" opens with reserved vocals and piano but it will start to build as the guitar joins in. It settles back with percussion, vocals and atmosphere then builds again. Themes are repeated and we get a ripping guitar solo before 7 minutes that goes to the end. "Something She Said" builds with drums out front as the vocals join in. I like the keyboard work that reminds me of YES. It settles back before 2 minutes with the vocals being the focus but we get some instrumental workouts mixed in. Good song! "In A Lifetime" is mellow with vocals but some outbursts of heaviness comes and goes. A guitar solo arrives before 3 1/2 minutes then it turns pastoral again to end it. "Going For A Song" has a beautiful sound to it with the melodic guitar and vocals standing out. It sounds like strings joining in then it kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes to a GENESIS vibe with pulsating keys. It settles back as contrasts continue. Lots of mellotron late.

"Merry Dance" is a catchy little number with dance-like beats and vocals. The sampled mellotron sounds good along with the guitar solo 3 minutes in but overall i'm not a fan. "The Cause" has a heavy intro that gives way to strummed guitar and keys then it turns fuller. Vocals after a minute and i'm reminded of PENDRAGON. I like the meaningful lyrics too. An emotional track and my favourite. A soaring guitar solo arrives late. "Time's Motet And Galliard" has a spacey intro that lasts until 4 minutes in then it changes as drums and vocals lead the way. Not a fan of this one. "Remembrance" has piano and reserved vocals to start as it slowly builds. Not a fan. "The Answer" has some nice drum work early on and there's plenty of keyboards. It settles back before 1 1/2 minutes and vocals join in. Some nice soaring guitar 2 1/2 minutes in followed by pulsating keys and chunky bass lines. It settles back with vocals but i'm not into this section. I like the pulsating keys before 5 minutes as it builds then kicks in. Another calm before 6 1/2 minutes as the vocals also return along with a guitar solo.

This is an excellent Neo- Prog album but it has it's flaws in my opinion that prevent me from offering that fourth star. I'll stick with their debut.

 Hold On by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1989
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Hold On
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
2 stars While one would expect that the 88' self-titled CD compilation would give Comedy of Errors the much needed lift to make the breakthrough among the existing 80's Prog acts, instead the band would measure the last years of its original phase.In 1989 founding member and singer Joe Cairney left the band to join the group Fire Brigade and he was replaced by John Cowden.A short effort named ''Hold on'' was recorded in May 89' at the Evenload Studios in East Kilbride and released as an independent cassette.

It's good to see that there is still some flame left in Comedy of Errors, despite knowing that they were and would propably remain an underground group for years to come.Newcomer John Cowden had a slightly AOR-flavored, powerful voice and combined with the displayed style of the band they made a nice set of three pieces with fiery grooves, big time keyboards and blistering riffs.In fact the title-track sounds more like AC-DC and BOSTON, a straightforward piece with focus on cheesy voice tunes and sparkling Hard Rock vibes, pretty representative of what the band was experimenting with at the time.The other two pieces are on the more accesible side of Neo Prog melded with monster Hard Rock/AOR colors, these contain the most sharp guitar work ever to be heard in a Comedy of Errors recording and I even detect a discreet Punk vibe in the metronomic and constant rhythms of ''Free spirit''.The keyboard work though along with some guitar solos are definitely coming out of the classic 80's British Prog tradition, this eventually ended up to be a rather confusing affair for a struggling band.

Mostly a Hard Rock/AOR effort with solid songwriting but no apparent prog content, despite the sincere efforts to come up with some symphonic grandieur in specific moments.Definitely a collector's item and the weakest recording of the band...2.5 stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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