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Jeff Wayne - Spartacus CD (album) cover


Jeff Wayne


Crossover Prog

1.57 | 17 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars This work holds everything that makes me run away from this sort of album. Almost two hours of spoken "lyrics" for most of it, heavy and pompous orchestrations. What a combination!

And actually, this mayonnaise doesn't work very well even if :

1. You take a good old story about a slave that became a great warrior as the main source of inspiration

2. You get some famous artists for your line-up

3. You manage to appoint a great actor as the main narrator

But this release will completely fail because :

4. There aren't any catchy melodies

5. Wayne was absolutely not in-line musically any longer with the nineties production

6. This album is insipid from start to finish

That's it! Pretty simple isn't ?

The commercial response was extremely poor. But justified because this is a real bad release. To endure this for about two hours is a severe punishment, believe me. I had listened to this twice before this review and I'm really fighting hard to distinguish one single good reason to avoid the one star rating.

Why did Fish and the great Anthony Hopkins jump into this grotesque farce ? This is a mystery. Most of the tracks are based on the same sort of boring spoken vocals, lots of bass to sustain this, some electronic sounds and totally uninspired song writing like during the long (over fifteen minutes!) and boring "The Eagle And The Hawk". But would you believe that there will even be a "reprise" of almost nine minutes for this !

This album has nothing to do with cross-over prog. But it definitely belongs to the dull recitation genre, no problem. Lots of songs are exaggeratedly extended (most of them are longer than eight minutes) and the length of this work is another minus point. Half of it would have been enough, but it wouldn't have changed the global feeling, just shortened the painful treatment of the listener. Some folkish influences during "Going Home" to give us a break are just average.

Poor world music is featured as well ("We Carry On"). The worse number IMO is "Trust Me". An infect soul influenced track. But don't expect good tracks here. There aren't ANY.

My recommendation is to watch the movie and avoid this album by all means. I fully agree with Joolz when he said that this one is for masochists even if "Appian Way" is not too bad. Fully dramatic (Spartacus was crucified there, together with another six thousands rebels).

One star of course (but it's one too much). Even both "Epilogues" are tasteless !

ZowieZiggy | 1/5 |


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