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The Flower Kings - Alive on Planet Earth CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.82 | 132 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Ah, the first Flower Kings live album, recorded with the original, classic, line up! with its futuristic stunning cover I knew I had to get it as soon as I saw it. After all TFK were THE symphonic prog kings of the 90s, and rightly so. However, as live albums go, this is not perfect. For instance, I was surprised by the absense of key member Tomas Bodin on CD 1 (recorded during the Progday festival, USA, 1998). Ok,. Robert Engstrand does a fine job here and as Gotot stated on his review, he plays so close to the original you wouldnt notice if he wasnt credit on the CDs sleeve.

The tracklist was always a controvertial point on all TFKs live appearances and this is no exception. First of all the CDs are a bit shorter (for TFKs standards, of course). They could have included at least another half hour of music in total. And there are always the case where you wish some song was included and some other discarded. Well, overall I liked the repertoire, and it could not be otherwise, since they were playing primarily stuff from their first 3 albums, all masterpieces. Plus there is a solo keyboard piece from Bodin on Disc 2 (very nice, with a good guitar solo by Stolt in the second part)) and an instrumental Kaipa song (Stolts former band in the 70s) called Nothing New Under The Sun (actually the translation for its original swedish title, Inget nytt under Solen). And, surprise!, a very good version of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, the Genesis classic.

As expected, the performances are simply terrific. They faithfully reproduce the intricated, long tunes with ease and even add some improvisations here and ther (like the jazzy segment on the extended version of The Judas Kiss). The chemistry between those guys is something unique. 24 carat symphonic prog. Although recorded in different places, the tracks are very well recorded and put together giving the impression of being all done on the same show . When you hear them playing one can understand why they have such reputation. Those guys are unbelievable! Pure music and magic! On the dowside, I really wish they had performed the whole Stardust We Are epic like they did on their brilliant DVD Meet The Flower Kings. The track The Sounds Of Violence seem to be a little out of place here and a bit too heavy compared to its studio version But those are just personal opinions. And I loved the inclusion of the song The Flower King.

Alive On Planet Earth is the kind of live album every fan of the band has to have. An important document of their most prolific and inventive phase, the final proof of the unique chemistry those guys had when playing together on a stage. Final rating: 4 to 4,5 stars. Highly recommended

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |


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