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Big Big Train - From Stone And Steel CD (album) cover

FROM STONE AND STEEL

Big Big Train

 

Crossover Prog

4.38 | 74 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I was anxious to see how Big big Train would perform in the live ambient, so I got this CD when I heard it was a live recording. Well, not so much so. I mean, yes, it's a live recording, but not in front of an audience. Stone and Steel was a kind of live in the studio recording (preparing themselves for the "real" live gigs they produced in London a little later). So I got a little frustrated because I was expecting to hear them in front of a big crowd, just like live albums should be. However, my disappointment was short lived: playing together in one place, all at the same time, with a few new arrangements to add up to their live presentation, the music here is quite stunning.

It is not only interesting to hear those terrific musicians playing those intricate and complex tunes with seemly such ease, but also with an energy and passion that surpass the studio recording. The music delivered on Stone And Steel is so organic and energetic it really shines through the CD in a special manner, although no radical changes were made from the originals. In fact if there is one thing I did not like very much from these recording is the fact that could have played more old songs, specially the ones recorded before singer David Longdon joined the group. However, if you consider that they were rehearsing for a live show how could they not play mostly stuff from their masterpieces The Underfall Yard and English Electric? To satisfy the curiosity of the ones like me, they did play a couple of tunes from their early days: Wind Distorted Pioneers, the opener for their first official album, Goodbye to the Age Of Steam (1994) gets an acoustic piano & violin arrangement, while Kingmaker from BBT's EP The Infant Hercules (1993) is played in its full 10 minutes of duration. Their inclusion is a nice touch and work very well among their latter day stuff.

After repeated spins I was more than satisfied by this album. Big big Train live is as accomplished live as they are in the studio. Perhaps even more so, Well, with such talented musicians backing up the core members of the band, and not forgetting their remarkable material they produced recently, you always expect at least competent playing. But actually you get much more than that. Big Big Train has proved they are now one of the greatest prog bands ever. 4,5 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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