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The Syn - Original Syn 1965-2004 CD (album) cover

ORIGINAL SYN 1965-2004

The Syn


Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.29 | 9 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Proto-proto-Prog or maybe just 60's Pop (with one shining exception!)

This band is a very strong candidate for the most unlikely come-back ever! Despite never having had any substantial success in their original days - that is, in the mid 60's - and never even having released a full length album back then, they decided to reunite in the new millennium! Incredible! If it wasn't for the great success Chris Squire achieved elsewhere, this would not have happened, of course.

This album is a two-CD compilation comprising of the few Pop singles the band released in the mid-60's plus a substantial number of demos recorded around the same time (under different names too) as well as a brand new song and an interview with Chris and Steve Nardelli. You really get the feeling that they scraped the barrel thoroughly in compiling this material, which is a good thing for the completionists. For the rest of us, however, the quantity of material here is clearly excessive in relation to the quality of the same. They could easily have fitted the best of this material onto a single disc.

If you are interested in The Syn, I strongly recommend both the very good studio album, Syndestructible, as well as the equally good live DVD, Syndestructible Tour 2006. Both these released are thoroughly enjoyable and very fitting additions to any Prog collection. This compilation, however, is clearly for those who need to dig deeper into the unusual history of this band. On the live DVD, three of The Syn's 60's songs are performed; Grounded, Flowerman and 14th Hour Technicolor Dream. These three songs are also featured on this compilation, in their original versions. But as far as I'm concerned the new live versions of these three old songs are all the 60's Syn you really need. Many of the inclusions here are of bad sound quality and are often too unfinished to be of any real interest for anyone other than those with a special interest.

There is one exception here, though. Illusion, a new, 14+ minute song which is almost as good as the material on the Syndestructible album. It has a very good keyboard and guitar duel and a strong melody. On this compilation this song stands out as a shining diamond in a pile of sand. While the rest of the material here is very much of it's time, both musically and in terms of production values, Illusion has a timeless sound to it.

The track list on my version of this is slightly different from the one listed above. On my version the second disc consists of just Illusion and a Chris Squire interview. The interview is not very interesting. My version does not have Time And A Word on it, unfortunately. It would indeed be very interesting to hear The Syn's version of that old Yes song, but I strongly doubt that it would change my overall judgement of this compilation.

Despite the very good Illusion, this compilation is clearly for fans and collectors only.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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