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Porcupine Tree - On the Sunday of Life... CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

3.04 | 974 ratings

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Chris M
4 stars Give me Radioactive Toy

On The Sunday Of Life... is listed as the first album by Porcupine Tree however it is merely the compilation of two cassettes, the first being Tarquin's Seaweed Farm and the second is The Nostalgia Factory. As Steven Wilson says this "really is the cream of the cassette material" and half the songs were written by Steven Wilson while he was still at school during the mid-80's.

The album has a mixture of different sorts of styles of music which led to the tag of Progressive Rock on the album and including Psychedelic and Space Rock as the majority of songs have that style and sense. That said Porcupine Tree was only a imaginary band created by Steven Wilson.

On to the songs from the remastered edition of the September 2004 digipack reissue:

1) Music For The Head - This is like a instrumental intro to an album

2) Jupiter Island - The first song with lyrics and an apparent drum machine, the sound is not the direction that Porcupine Tree would take once it became a band. This is a song that took me a few listens to the album before it agreed with me.

3) Third Eye Surfer - This is an instrumental song with the drums section taken from the drum solo of track 5 from 13 (for Phil Seamen with love & thanks) from Soft Machine's album Six. On the album the drums are credited to John Marshall.

4) On The Sunday Of Life... - This is the same explanation from Third Eye Surfer apart from the drums being credited to John Marshall on the album but together the two tracks form a nice relaxed section to the album.

5) The Nostalgia Factory - This is the second song of the album to include lyrics and i love the intro to this before the lyrics.

6) Space Transmission - This is an unsual monologue and seems to draw you into listening carefully. Because of its strangeness i seem to enjoy it and i believe it is used excellently to pause the music if only to give some mystery about the album.

7) Message From A Self Destructing Turnip - Again this leads on from Space Transmission and sits perfectly after the previous song if you can call it that. I also do love crazy song titles such as this which always brings me a smile.

8) Radioactive Toy - I guess you can say this is the star piece of the album and is the clear indication of the direction that the band would take. That said it also became a encore classic for the band and became popular enough for the band Riverside to play a cover version at a gig in Sjiwa, Baarlo in Holland in 2005.

9) Nine Cats - This song was originally played by a school band circa 1983-85 called Karma. I should also mention that nearly all of the lyrics for the songs on this album came from a friend of Steven Wilson called Alan Duffy who Steven had lost touch with by the time this album was released. This is a very chilled song and later made a reprise in the form of an acoustic version on the Signify album.

10) Hymn - This is more of a soundscape interlude between songs.

11) Footprints - This is another song with lyrics which seem to tell a story with psychedelic lyrics during the chorus.

12) Linton Samuel Dawson - This song has the same style as Jupiter Island. This was written by Steven Wilson while he was at school along with Jupiter Island and Footprints.

13) And The Swallows Dance Above The Sun - This is a song that uses sampling to great effect and will get continuly used by Porcupine Tree in later albums.

14) Queen Quotes Crowley - The song starts of with lyrics of gibberish which took me a few listens to realise that it is the title of the song backwards. Oh how the penny dropped when i realised! Brilliant.

15) No Luck With Rabbits - Again this is more of a soundscape between songs.

16) Begonia Seduction Scene - This is a lovely instrumental that really relaxes you.

17) This Long Silence - A song that follows the same style as Jupiter Island and Linton Samuel Dawson.

18) It Will Rain For A Million Years - This is a song that passes the time for me in that you can just dream away with it and before you know that 10 minute song has vanished.

There we have it, all songs listed and accounted for however i tend to listen to music in albums and not songs which is why i don't give mass information on how good each song is or how it is played or compared with others, i listen and judge whether it will be an album i will come back again and again to listen to for which this is one of those albums that i thought i wouldnt until i realised i was. Being that this was the first album from Porcupine Tree it was not the first album i heard of theirs. For me Porcupine Tree began with Up The Downstair and i found myself drawn into their music and i started to go through each album. This was an unusual album to listen to and i found that it did take quite a few listens to before i truly loved it but it is not a masterpiece.

An above average debut album from a band that didnt exist which would go onto to greater heights.

Chris M | 4/5 |


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