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Various Artists (Label Samplers) Dreams And Visions, Verglas Music Sampler Vol 2  album cover
4.00 | 1 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sirens -Arena (13:57) from Welcome to the stage, live
2. The Hunger -Shadowland (6:27) from Through the looking glass
3. Lightshow - Strangers on a Train (3:34) from The Prophecy
4. The Hanging Tree - Arena (7:10) from The Visitor
5. The Vision Clears - Strangers on a Train (6:57) from The Labyrinth
6. The Mission - Nolan & Wakeman (4:32) from Jabberwocky
7. Heaven's Isle - Oliver Wakeman (4:42) from Heaven's Isle
7. Escape - Tracy Hitchings (5:16) from From Ignorance to ecstasy

Line-up / Musicians

Per track listing above

Releases information

Verglas records VGCD018

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
and to easy livin for the last updates
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Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
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VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Dreams And Visions, Verglas Music Sampler Vol 2 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Anyone seen Clive?

Released in the same year as Volume 1 (which was subtitled "Lions and fables") "Dreams and visions" is another highly impressive sampler from the Verglas label which sells through their website at a rock bottom price. The objective is of course to impress the listener so much that they will find purchasing the source albums an irresistible temptation, and for my money it works! The selected tracks follow straight on from those on volume one, being taken from Verglas releases 9 through to 16.

Principle house band Arena contribute two tracks this time. The first, "Sirens" originally appeared on the "Pride" album. The 14 minute version included here though is the live one from "Welcome to the stage". It shows the band to be supremely competent in that setting, capturing the drama of both the song and the performance. The other Arena track is "The hanging tree" from the sublime "The visitor" album. This deceptively simply structured song builds climactically, and even here when taken out of context, still stands as one of the bands finest moments. I have to say though that no matter how good the track sounds here, the source album is an essential acquisition.

The other act to be allowed two tracks is Clive Nolan's Strangers on a Train project with Karl Groom and Tracy Hitchings. The two tracks here are taken from the band's first and second albums in their "The Key" trilogy, the final part still being awaited some 13 years later! Since parts 1 and 2 are currently out of print, this an opportune way to sample their contents. "Lightshow" from the first part "The Prophecy" is a soft acoustic piece which features Hitchings strong, rather theatrical voice. "The vision clears" from "The Labyrinth" is a stunning power ballad which affords Hitchings the space to deliver a movingly emotional performance. Karl Groom adds some ethereal lead guitar and though the song is not actually that representative of the album, it is a great track nonetheless.

Nolan's Shadowland band, with whom he takes on vocal duties, submit the rather 80's kitsch "The hunter", an overly vocal commercial piece. Oliver Wakeman appears on two tracks, once as a solo artist, and then with Clive Nolan (again!) on their "Jabberwocky" album. Bob Catley of Magnum is guest vocalist on "The mission" from the duo's first project together, his distinctive vocals immediately meaning the track sounds like a Magnum outtake. This is accentuated by the dominant lead guitar, despite the fact that both the main protagonists are keyboard players! Wakeman's solo track is the title track from his first solo outing "Heaven's Isle". Inevitably, comparisons will be made with his illustrious father, and the indications here are that Oliver finds it all too convenient to slip into the shoes of the old man.

The set closes with a solo track by Tracy Hitchings (who has already appeared on the two Strangers on a Train tracks). "Escape" was (surprise surprise!) written by a certain Clive Nolan, and his hand can be easily detected in the instrumentation too. I'm afraid the song is rather prosaic, and sounds all too like something Nolan was having difficulty finding a home for. Hitchings is undoubtedly a talented performer, but pop rock songs like this can do little to expose those talents to the masses.

Despite the slightly disappointing ending to the collection, it is nevertheless another fine advertisement for the Verglas stable, and the many projects in which the prolific Clive Nolan has a hand.

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