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Fantasy - Beyond The Beyond CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.78 | 76 ratings

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5 stars Fantasy's second album Beyond The Beyond was never released at the time (1974). They were thrown off the Polydor label, their producer told them he hated them and considered their music worthless, and that was the end of that... or was it? Not exactly, released by the Norweigan label Colours in 1993 or 1994 and also on CD (I have the album without the bonus tracks), this album is Fantasy's masterwork. Everything that was great about Paint A Picture is explored much more fully here and the songs are extremely ambitious and adventurous without ever becoming pretentious. The title track alone is amazing, but songs such as "Alanderie" and "Winter Rose" show a fiercer side to Fantasy whilst staying very melodic. The guitar is mixed way better, as is everything, and every track is a brilliant progressive adventure with lyrics that suit the band's much disliked name of Fantasy perfectly. The reason for Fantasy hating their name is probably because it was forced on them and this really irritated the group. When they went into the studio to record this album they knew that they had something really amazing that they had to record and had it been released it may have established them as one of THE big league progressive/cosmic psych bands. So what works so well on this album that makes it even better than the first one? The group sound more confident, and Paul Lawrence who already sounded great on the first album reveals himself to be a brilliant vocalist very much like David Bowie. He even looked a little bit like him! Lawrence has a very appealing voice that is honest and pure sounding, and the same goes for the rest of the band and all the songs here- very appealing, honest and pure sounding. One thing that must be brought up that was lurking beneath the surface on Paint A Picture that comes out to be fearlessly direct here are homosexual overtones in the lyrics- just listen to the track "Worried Man" and you'll know what I'm talking about. I don't know if this was because Fantasy really were trying to write openly gay lyrics or if they were encouraged by David Bowie, but if you put the words to both their albums together especially this one I think you can understand. This daring lyrical approach takes shape in other ways too, the songs here are fully of great words and images that are sometimes comparable to Peter Gabriel's words in Genesis and the afforementioned David Bowie. The strangest thing about this album is that everything sounds so right and so confident you can't believe the group were about to come to a premature end. Find this album either on vinyl or CD and you will be very rewarded. It's a fantastic gem and one of the most impressive albums recorded during the golden age of British progressive rock. And also here you can tell that Fantasy's two albums had the same pop sensibilitiy and adventurousness that made them into a daring group. They broke a lot of rules, and that's always a good thing in music, Who dares wins, with music the S.A.S motto is just as true, as proven by these masterful madcaps from Chapel Farm.
| 5/5 |


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