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UK - Night After Night  CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.44 | 132 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars After the release of "Danger Money", the last prog supergroup of the Seventies called it a day. It was the end of an era, the golden age of progressive rock, as well as the end of a very promising musical reality that had unfortunately lasted all too shortly, torn apart by egos and different visions. "Night After Night" bears witness to what was and what could have been - a band that had talent in spades, but ultimately lost momentum and didn't live up to the promise.

Night After Night offers a selection of songs taken from UK's two studio albums, plus two unreleased tracks which show rather clearly what direction they would have taken, had they decided to stay together a bit longer. The title-track, which also opens the album, is a slice of airy, keyboard-driven symphonic prog dominated by John Wetton's sweeping, heartfelt vocals; while "As Long As You Want Me Here" borders on the territory later covered by Asia, but without the shameless pandering to FM radio listeners, and with a lot more bite. However, neither song is on a par with compositions such as "In the Dead of Night" or "Caesar's Palace Blues" - although the former is present here in a somewhat shortened version than the one featured on the band's debut album.

To these ears, one of the undisputed highlights of the album is the absolutely beautiful version of "Rendezvous 6:02", with Wetton (never my favourite vocalist) at his emotional best, and Jobson's scintillating keyboard work adding depth to a song that I would not hesitate to choose as my favourite romantic musical moment. Jobson's violin really comes into its own on classics like the majestic "Alaska/Time to Kill", "Presto Vivace/In the Dead of Night" and the brisk, hard-edged "Caesar's Palace Blues". However, some of the band's most interesting tracks - such as the epic "Carrying No Cross", or "Nevermore" - are missing from this live offering, which is of course a pity.

As it is to be expected, the musicianship is outstanding throughout, with Jobson being the main star of the show, and Bozzio and Wetton providing a textbook-perfect rhythmic background. Wetton's vocals have matured immensely from his days with King Crimson, though I still maintain his voice is more suited to hard rock and AOR than straight prog. Even if "Night After Night" may come across as lacking the warmth that is essential to a really successful live album, it is still a very rewarding listen for every fan of classic prog.

Raff | 4/5 |


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