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Jadis - Medium Rare  CD (album) cover

MEDIUM RARE

Jadis

 

Neo-Prog

3.04 | 30 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Two EPs and a selection of rarities

"Medium rare" is a compilation album, but one which should appeal to those who appreciate the music of Jadis. Two early EP's by the band, "Once upon a time and "Once or twice", provide the first seven tracks here. All have been remastered, but are otherwise as they appeared on those now deleted EPs. The remaining seven tracks are a selection of demos, live tracks, re-recordings, and rarities.

Of the two EPs, "Once upon a time" is by far the stronger, the three lengthy tracks being well up to the standard of anything which appeared on the band's albums. The first two tracks, "Follow me to Salzburg" and "All in one day" merge to form a superb 11 minute piece. The music is of course pure neo-prog, but is slightly softer than that of sister band IQ, with lusher string synthesiser layers. The four tracks which made up "Once or twice" are more prosaic, generally lacking strong melodies or a real sense of purpose.

"Live this lie" originally appeared as the 9 minute opener to "Somersault", but here it has been re-written and re-recorded in an effort to make it more "commercial", and thus improve its chances of gaining radio play. The results are however mixed, and it is hard to see how such a track would appeal to the masses, even in this form. The demo of "Giraffe chariot" has some decent sounds but as with many of Jadis recordings, lacks a strong melody. The completed piece appeared on the "Understand" album.

The live version of "The world on your side" ("Across the water") rambles, and adds nothing to the original. The "Acoustic medley" which has extracts from "Sleepwalk" and "Falling away" arose from a series of unplugged gigs Gary Chandler and Martin Offord did together, the following acoustic version of "This changing face" (from the "Once or twice" EP) actually preceding the medley by about three years.

"Alive inside" was recorded in haste to fulfil a demand from their record label for a bonus track for the Japanese release of "As daylight fades". Due to the lack of availability of some of the band members, Tony Diaz makes a guest appearance on keyboards. The latter half of the track has some decent guitar work, but otherwise the song is a fairly normal upbeat rock song.

The album closes with a cover version of "Old and wise", originally sung by Colin Blunstone on the Alan Parsons Project's "Eye in the sky album". Gary Chandler recorded the song as an audition for a Dutch touring theatre show. His singing here sounds different to his usual performances with Jadis, the track being an enormously successful interpretation. He also adds a fine guitar break to replace the sax solo which originally closed the song.

In all, an interesting if somewhat eclectic mix of songs. Some of the otherwise unavailable tracks are really only of interest to committed Jadis fans, but the "Once upon a time" EP is superb in its own right, and the closing track is a real gem.

The album comes complete with extensive, well written sleeve notes by Gary Chandler but take care when reading them, as they are not in the same order as the tracks appear on the album.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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