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MULTI-STORY

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Multi-Story biography
MULTI-STORY formed in 1981 in Southeast Wales amidst the new wave of British progressive rock. Rob Wilsher (keyboards) and Paul Ford (vocals/guitar) had worked together previously in the late 70's cabaret-type band Dolphin. They fell out of touch after that band dissolved, but later met up again in 1981 in a multi-story car park (hence the name one would imagine). They decided to work together and began writing songs which would appear on a 5-song cassette tape. Some of these songs would later appear in different form on their debut release "East West". This cassette would also include regular bassist Roger Nasey and drummer Steve Byrne.

After another single release, several live appearances, and adding a lead guitarist, Andy Carney, they released a 7-song demo called "Chimes", again with some songs which would later appear on the album "East West" in different form. This demo managed to get the attention of several record companies and the band was signed to Heavy Metal Records' FM label. They recorded the album "East West" in early 1985, and after its release they went on tour with MAGNUM as their supporting act for "On A Storyteller's Night" tour. The tour was a big success for MULTI-STORY and they went on to headline at the Marquee Club shortly thereafter.

The band seemed to be headed for greater things, but musical differences caused first the departure of Steve Byrne, and then, during the recording of their second album, "Through Your Eyes", the departure of Paul Ford. They were replaced with Grantley Nicholas on vocals and Gary Davies on drums. Nicholas rerecorded all of the vocals for "Through Your Eyes", and also rewrote some of the lyrics. Due to personnel problems, their second album was not well-supported by FM Records and the band and FM split. Several other record companies showed interest in the band, but again musical differences came to the fore causing Grantley Nicholas to leave the band. He would later go on to front the band FEEDER. Having to confront yet more personnel changes, the band instead opted to dissolve.

The members went on to various careers in music, production and film.

The original lineup have been working together again after a long hiatus and have written and recorded some new music. How and when this music will be made available has yet to be decided by the band.

Multi-Story official website

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East-WestEast-West
Kinesis Records 1999
Audio CD$19.99
$7.48 (used)
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MULTI-STORY discography


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MULTI-STORY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.19 | 11 ratings
East West
1985
3.00 | 1 ratings
Through Your Eyes
1987

MULTI-STORY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MULTI-STORY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MULTI-STORY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MULTI-STORY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

MULTI-STORY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Through Your Eyes by MULTI-STORY album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Through Your Eyes
Multi-Story Neo-Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars The follow-up album "Through Your Eyes" demonstrated their new music direction where the debut was categorized under neoprog, now they entered a fresher music in AOR style with some flavor of neo-prog especially through the use of keyboard solo and guitar solo. Gone are the days with Jon-like vocal line as they have new singer here. From the composition and production stand point, this second album is much matured musically than the debut. I can say all tracks are straight forward composition with simple structure so that makes it easy to digest even for those who don't know what prog music is all about. Think of recent albums by Asia, this one is about similar and in fact better than Asia in term of AOR category. What differentiates is the technical skills of the musicians where in Asia you got all top notch players while here you have never heard the names yet.

When you start to play this album with "Hold Back the Night" as album opener I can assure you suddenly enjoy how the music flows even though melody-wise it's not something catchy that got your attention the first time. However by couple of spin in a relaxed mode you will find the musical subtleties are good. "All Out of Love" is actually in different vein but combined with the opener they form a very good enjoying pleasure. You will also find something catchy supported with straight-forward beats produced by the fifth track "Heart of Mine".

Overall, this second album is a very good AOR that I am sure you would enjoy the music the first time you listen to it. All tracks are quite easy to digest and you do not need any prog ear to enjoy this one. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 East West by MULTI-STORY album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.19 | 11 ratings

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East West
Multi-Story Neo-Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I have owned this album for quite a long time and never get noticed that this is featured in this site as I first considered the music was quite light even though there are prog elements as well. One thing I noticed that correspond to prog was the fact that the vocal characteristic was somewhat similar or in the vein of Jon Anderson (Yes). Overall, this is a very enjoyable album as the music flows nicely from one track to another and they all form one cohesive whole that makes this album worth-repeating. The beauty lies on its good composition by combining excellent harmonies between keyboard and guitar. yes, if we look at ho guitar and keyboard are played they confirm the musical category under neo-prog sub genre. Especially when it is combined with how vocal overlays the music throughout all tracks featured here.

The most favorite track is off course "Ahead of Your Time" as it's having the longest duration compared to other tracks. Not just that, it demonstrates the wonderful elements of symphonic prog music through the use of keyboard as well as guitar. "Carrie" and "Heroes" are also other examples of how the compositions were carefully crafted to produce good music. I can enjoy this album on the basis of playing it in its entirety from start to end. The music flows nicely and I can feel the relaxed nuances generated by the music.

Overall, it's a good album that combines nice harmonies of keyboard and guitar combined with quite melodic vocal line as melody maker. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 East West by MULTI-STORY album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.19 | 11 ratings

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East West
Multi-Story Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars This first album of the band MULTISTORY, entitled "East-West", it is a quite "nice" disk, because, although, in moment some presents great melodic passages or "instrumental virtuosity" of the type that does with that the listener feels rapturous for his sound, on the other hand the music is executed with competence, with well executed arrangements (inside of the already mentioned limitations ), and with a balance among the 8 tracks, so that the audition no it "suffers" with "high and low" moments , turning the audition very pleasant . The sound of the band presents influences of bands asMARILLION. ASIA, STYX and for some brief instants the vocal timbre of Paul Ford reminded the voice of the Scottish singer's Rod Stewart and Fish . My rate is 3 stars!!!

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 East West by MULTI-STORY album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.19 | 11 ratings

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East West
Multi-Story Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars 3.5 stars actually...

MULTI-STORY belong to the bands of the new wave of British progressive rock, emerged in early 80's.They were formed in 1981 in Southeast Wales by fellows singer/guitarist Paul Ford and keyboardist Rob Wilsher.With Roger Nasey on bass and Steve Byrne on drums they recorded a 5-song cassette demo and, after several lives and the addition of Andy Carney on lead guitars, they released the demo ''Chimes'' with 7 songs.They managed to attract some record companies with this material and finally signed on FM Records.Several songs from their demos appear in a different form on their debut ''East/West'', released in 1985.

Comparisons with early IQ and especially PENDRAGON are undenieable.MULTI-STORY base their music on carefully-arranged guitar melodies, magnificent warm vocals by Paul Ford and heavy digital synths, sometimes in a light symphonic nature.Ford's voice is definitely excellent and resembles to IQ's Peter Nichols (who himself resembles to PETER GABRIEL), while the album is oversaturated in fine melodic guitars and sensitive pianos and atmospheric synthesizers.What sets them apart from IQ and gets them closer to PENDRAGON is actually the lack of long (or even short) instrumental parts,as the album is filled with vocals and most of the compositions have a song-based form.However, Wilsher's keys have often a symphonic nature and I can help thinking of MARTIN ORFORD while listening to them.For some of you,''East/West'' might prove to be too light or heart-melting with all these emotional solos and its sensitive harmony.For me this album prooved to be a nice discovery of easy-listening prog rock in a typical 80's British style with some superb moments and actually I rate this one higher than PALLAS' or PENDRAGON's debuts.

MULTI-STORY didn't hit big time in their career,but their first ever release is at least a respectable work,especially when progressive rock was almost dead meat.Very decent and strongly recommended stuff.

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 East West by MULTI-STORY album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.19 | 11 ratings

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East West
Multi-Story Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After several listenings to this debut by eighties band Multi Story I keep coming to the same conclusion each time. A song full of nice (but no more) songs and one excellent (the longest) amongst them. For a change the rating will not be hard, this is a clear 3 star case to me.

The opening title track, East West is a short one and insignificant to me. 2,75*.

Second, Breaking Ground is hardly any longer and neither very interesting. This is not prog so far either, just a short keyboard passage after two minutes coming anywhere near. 2,75*.

Next is Traveller which is becoming more substantial and proggy, a ballad with some vocals and piano to start with, halfway suddenly a switch to the rougher edge, yet I have to conclude the real (prog) deal isn't there yet to be honest. But improvement compared to first two. 3,25*.

With the very highlight, Ahead of your Time, the album gets much more interesting. With each listening session it was the same conclusion. This is a class act of a song mainly due to a terrific instrumental performance by the band with outstanding guitar in the second half as ultimate highlight. 4,25*.

All the more a pity that with the next, Carrie, the band switches back a gear once again and heads towards the mediocre standard of before. Another poppy track with little prog leanings, slightly lifted up halfway with a short Iluvatar-like passage that is worth while. 3*.

Come Alive is a bit rockier than most other songs on this album and also here the progressive element is almost completely lacking. A bit of nice guitar and keys in the second half save it somewhat but it's all too little to convince. 3*.

The Wire is second longest clocking not even 6 minutes so that's another indication this can never be the best example of a prog album. Ok, time doesn't say everything but combined what I'm also hearing with this track Multi Story is at best borderline prog (yes, even neo, really !). Also here: halfway the song is the best part. 3,25*.

Last track Heroes confirms more or less all above stated, some nice moments here (bit Yes-like) but nothing that wins me over. Some nice keys near the end. 3,25*.

I can only conclude that this is a typical eighties product. Prog was hard to find in this decade and Multi Story is just another proof of that. Three stars is the best I can do (3,2).

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 East West by MULTI-STORY album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.19 | 11 ratings

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East West
Multi-Story Neo-Prog

Review by The Doctor
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is an album that I have been enjoying for well over 10 years now, having almost randomly picked it out in remastered form via one of my favorite prog internet stores, and will probably be enjoying for years to come. It's very well-crafted and well-executed melodic neo-prog. But one thing which sets it apart from most neo-prog of the period is that it seems to take more inspiration from Yes than from Genesis, although there is the occasional Genesis reference. While there is nothing Earth-shattering about this album, it's an album which stands up to repeated listenings and is highly enjoyable. Onto the songs:

East West - This one sounds like they took some inspiration from Marillion around the time of Freaks and Lady Nina, until you realize that this song came out before either of those two songs. Maybe Marillion took some inspiration from them. Paul Ford sounds distinctly like Fish in his latter Marillion days. A great track and for the longest time my favorite off the album, although it has subsequently been replaced by the fantastic Traveller and Ahead of Your Time.

Breaking Ground - A bit of a pop feel here, but that isn't a bad thing at all. This is an energetic song that wouldn't feel too out of place on an 80's Yes album without the heaviness of a 90125 or Big Generator. The accoustic guitar at the beginning is especially nice, as is Rob Wilsher's lush keyboard work.

Traveller - Some very nice piano work along with melancholy vocals start off the song and continue until the end of the second refrain where the whole band finally kicks in. Paul Ford's vocals at the beginning of the song are particularly fragile (pun intended) and moving. During the second half of the song, we have some very nice Wakeman-esque keyboard runs courtesy of Wilsher, along with a very nice guitar solo courtesy of Carney. This has become my favorite song off the album in the last several years.

Ahead of Your Time - The song starts off with a very dirge-like quality, which I find quite interesting, but it soon finds its way back to a more melodic, upbeat quality. Some more great keyboard and lead guitar work here on the song which can only be described as the epic of the album. Here Nasey also shines on bass, doing some great bass lines, although in parts his bass work is mixed too low. The instrumental end of the song, with Carney and Nasey on guitar and bass respectively, with Wilsher providing some background symphonic soundscapes, is quite appealing. This is my second favorite track on the album.

Carrie - Has the same feel as Breaking Ground. A fun, somewhat poppish song, with some really nice keyboard work.

Come Alive - Finally, Nasey comes alive. While his bass work has been great throughout the album, in many places it was mixed far too low. Here, they actually seemed to mix it up a bit and he actually has a bit of a solo in the middle of the song. Aside from the bass work, another upbeat and melodic tune.

The Wire - Another great tune, with some good bass and keyboard work here. The song starts off very upbeat, but about midway through the song kicks down a notch and Wilsher treats us to some very nice symphonic soundscapes, as Ford gives one of his most dramatic (pun not intended) vocal performances on the album, save Traveller, and Carney serves up some more great lead guitar work. And the accoustic guitar outro is quite enjoyable.

Heroes - This song goes back to a bit of a Marillion feel, although this one has more of an early Marillion feel, especially in the keyboard work. The vocals retain a very Yes-inspired quality to them however. Again, Nasey serves up some tasty bass licks, but I wish they'd been mixed a bit louder. Wilsher's keyboard work at the end of the song, reminds me of some of Banks early Genesis work. Another favorite for me.

As much as I enjoy this album is, I do have two complaints about it. It's short, at just under 40 minutes, there was a bit of extra time (even in the days of LPs) to let Wilsher, Carney and Nasey stretch out a bit on their instruments as they did on Ahead of Your Time. They are obviously accomplished on their respective instruments and I do wish they'd been given more room here. Also, on a lot of the album, Nasey is undermixed. As good of a bassist as he is, he should have been a bit louder in the mix.

In spite of these two complaints, this is a solid 3.5 star album and I've been going back and forth as to whether to give it 3 or 4 stars. I've finally decided on 4 stars because this album has had a lot of longevity in my playlist. Over the past 10+ years, this CD has received well over 100 plays, and that's saying something.

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Thanks to The Doctor for the artist addition.

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