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Porcupine Tree - Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991 -1997 CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.20 | 272 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I'm not big on compilations either, but there are two reasons you should buy this one. First there are 8 songs on here that either haven't been on an album prior to this release or were previosly unreleased. And secondly the liner notes are fantastic, each song is commented on by the band with some interesting revelations. As mentioned above the two discs are very different from each other, the first more electronica, the second more of a rock / spacy flavour. The second is my favourite. "Waiting" is my favourite track followed by "Stars Die" and "The Sky Moves Sideways". I love the album cover with the piano looking like it's just gone through earth's atmosphere, it's on fire about to crash.

Instead of reviewing the songs, most of which I have already done in my reviews of the albums they come from, i'd like to relay to you some of the comments in the liner notes. The first four songs are from the "On The Sunday Of Life..." album. "Radioactive Toy" was written by Steven and was inspired by the movie "Threads" which is about the aftermath of a nuclear attack on Britain. I like the raw sounding guitar on this one. "Nine Cats" was originally performed by Steven at 14 years of age. A psychedelic ballad. "And The Swallows Dance Above the Sun" is Steven's favourite track from the "On The Sunday Of Life..." album. It's "about the contradictions of being trapped in boredom while still being surrounded by wonder." "The Nostalgia factory" title "was a sly dig both at the "tribute band" mentallity on the psychedelic scene, and at the short, passive memories of music reviewers and consumers".

"Voyage 34-Phase One" is an almost 13 minute sample of the original. I love the guitar 9 minutes in. "Synesthesia" is the 8 minute extended version.This was the first track on the "Up The Downstair" record. "Phantoms" was left off the "Up The Downstair" album because Steven didn't like the way his voice sounded on it at the time. He's since changed his mind about that. This is a melancholic song. "Up The Downstair" was the first song that Richard Barbieri worked on for PORCUPINE TREE. A trance epic. "Fadeaway" is still a favourite with Steven and Richard. This is the version with Gavin on drums. "Rainy Taxi" is an instrumental Steven wrote when he was listening to a lot of Krautrock. He says "I can clearly hear the influence of the organ driven "Kosmische" sound of ASH RA TEMPEL and Klause Schulze. I still love this kind of music..."

Disc two starts with "Starsdie" a song Steven left off of the "Sky Moves Sideways" album, which he says is the worst mistake he's ever made. That mistake was corrected for the American version. "Men Of Wood" was originally recorded for "Up The Downstair". It mixes psychedelic pop with heavy Krautrock. "The Sky Moves Sideways" is "Probably the most single-mindedly beautiful composition in the PORCUPINE TREE catalogue". "Waiting" was their third single they released. "The Sound Of No-One Listening" was cut from the "Signify" record and became a b-side to the "Waiting" single. "Colourflow In Mind" was a song Steven wanted on the record but the rest of the band didn't. "Fuse The Sky" was another b-side from the vinyl version for "Waiting". "Signify II" was also left off the "Signify" record. This one for lack of space, and with some regret. "Sever" "is perhaps the most dramatic track on "Signify" "it's certainly the densest-and features one of Steven's most distressed lyrics." "Every Home Is Wired" is about "Steven's early concerns about the depersonalising effects of life in cyberspace." "Dark Matter" is "the last song on "Signify" and therefore a good place to close the "Delerium" chapter of PORCUPINE TREE's career".

A must-have for PT fans.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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