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Transatlantic Live in America album cover
3.43 | 152 ratings | 11 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (53:10)
1. All of the Above (30:47)
2. Mystery Train / Magical Mystery Tour / Strawberry Fields Forever (15:32)
3. We All Need Some Light (6:51)

CD 2 (46:48)
1. Watcher of the Skies / Firth of Fifth (10:47)
2. My New World (16:51)
3. Medley: There Is More to This World / Go the Way You Go / The Great Escape / Finally Free / She's So Heavy (19:10)

Total Time 99:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Neil Morse / vocals, keyboards
- Mike Portnoy / drums, vocals
- Roine Stolt / vocals, guitars
- Pete Trewavas / bass, vocals

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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TRANSATLANTIC Live in America ratings distribution

(152 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

TRANSATLANTIC Live in America reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars With only one album in their back-catalogue, TRANSATLANTIC is releasing a double-CD live album, which was recorded last year in the USA. Four out of five tracks from the debut CD "SMPTe (Stolt Morse Portnoy Trewavas)" (2000) can be found on this live album together with some BEATLES and GENESIS songs. Have they run out of ideas or what? These guys (Neal Morse / SPOCK'S BEARD, Roine Stolt / The FLOWER KINGS, Mike Portnoy / DREAM THEATER and Pete Trewavas / MARILLION) are definitely not known for being lazy when it comes to compose music. Well, don't worry! They are planning a new studio album, which will be released later this year. After listening to this CD a couple of times I'm however glad that they have released it. The magic and energy that are shown is amazing. They are giving new life to the songs from the "SMPTe" album, although the vocals aren't as good as on the studio versions. What make it worth owning though are the BEATLES and GENESIS covers that are purely magnificent. There's also a medley containing one song from each of the main bands of the TRANSATLANTIC members, and it ends with the BEATLES song "She's So Heavy". Although SPOCK'S BEARD, The FlOWER KINGS, MARILLION and DREAM THEATER are some of my favorite bands I don't think that this is an essential live album, but the high quality and all the surprises makes it however recommended.
Review by Muzikman
4 stars If you have been looking for the ultimate progressive rock super group you need not look any further. Transatlantic is made up of members from four of the premier prog-rock bands active today. Represented are the Flower Kings - Roine Stolt (guitar, vocals), Dream Theater - Mike Portnoy (drums), Marillion - Pete Trewavas (bass), and Spock's Beard - Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals). This is an impressive group of musicians to be sure. And the music is more than you could possibly expect from any group, super group or otherwise. Previous to this live recording release the group had never actually played together because of their tremendous workload recording with their main groups, touring, and spread out locations (hence their name being a perfect fit). Due to these circumstances each member recorded their respective parts for each album at different locations worldwide. This situation really just has me awestruck, how could these guys just come together for the first time, go out on stage and pull this off? And they do it with such ease, just as if they have been together forever, Now that my music loving friends is the true meaning of talent and a real genuine love for one's craft.

You can tell that they are all enjoying themselves so much on these tracks. Just wait until you hear the "Magical Mystery Tour" and "Strawberry Fields Forever," it's a slice of heaven and nostalgia, and a nod to the great Beatles and their acknowledged influence upon anyone that started a group after they hit these shores back 1965. The nineteen minute medley on disc two is a superior showcase of prog-rock at its very best and most transitional. They cover five songs in the medley and leave nothing to chance, or to your imagination. There are so many reasons I love this kind of music. You are never bored, its always changing, and when you least expect it, and you never have time for your mind to wander off into useless mental masturbation, this is thought provoking intense music with meaning and thought put into every note.

Welcome to the Transatlantic musical experience, welcome to progressive rock.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Last week, when I was visiting a local music store down here in my city, a young man approached me asking: "Excuse me, do you think this live album of Transatlantic is okay?". (I was actually surprised with the fact he was approaching me - how does he know me? Finally, he told me it's because the Pink Floyd "Wish You Were Here" T shirt that I used at the time. Hm . prog t shirt talks!). I thought for a while ... and finally told him "Yeah it's okay if you like live albums. However, I would recommend you to purchase their studio albums first". --- Quite honest with you, the readers of this beloved website, I have had this CD for so long in my collection but I think I only spin 3 or 4 times - not complete spin, it includes some skipping if necessary. To give an opinion? It's hard for me if I only spin less than 8 times to give a fair deal. It's becoming a burden for me if I recommend a prog album with minimum number of spins. I shared with him as well on this judgment. This CD I spin only by the time I received it and I was not impressed on my first 3 - 4 spins due to many medleys and jamming that took parts of Dream Theater, marillion, The Beatles, etc. I didn't like it. So I put aside the CD. Once I return home, I give another 4-5 spins of this double CD during the week, and this is my view ..

The opener "All of The Above" is a very long track. By design, it's a relatively complex composition combining all talents of the musicians involved By influence, it's basically a Spock's Beard track as it has all of similarity (about 90%) in style with The Beard music, and the rest is Flower Kings music. So you know who contributed a lot in this track - the singer, writer and keyboard player of The Beard - : Neal Morse. It's an energy driving track with various tempo changes and multi instrument solo. It's an excellent track. All musicians contribute their best. I especially like the part that features guitar solo followed with piano / organ solo with dynamic bassline and drumming at approx. minute 10 onwards. This part is really when I reached my ultimate musical orgasm with this song. Oh man .. what a very satisfying stream of music here! The excellent sonic quality produced by the CD has even made better impact to my listening pleasure. There are some transitions to quieter passages emphasizing more on vocals and guitar fills in bluesy style. This is a very enjoyable live track.

The next track is a medley : "Mystery Train / Magical Mystery Tour / Strawberry Fields Forever" that starts off with a kind of funky style with amazing bass guitar and drumming. The intertwining work between drum and organ is also very enjoyable. That's all about "Mystery Train". When it turns into The Beatles part . uuughhh .. so disgusting man . I hate the band played this - it's not better than The Beatles at all - no improvisation - so dull. And the singing? Really bad! Nah! I'm not going to say any good thing about this part - it's a lousy part! The band should take the music seriously and why bother playing The Beatles if it cannot do better?! It's enough man. If we want to give tribute to the legendary Beatles, do it better!

"We All Need Some Light" starts with a nice guitar opening in its simplest form. Overall this track is less attractive compared to studio version. A good track though.

CD 2 starts, again, with another tribute (read: cover) of GENESIS "Watcher of the skies / Firth of fifth". It's good performance but it's much better GENESIS performs this track. If you just want to get something different, you may like this track. But not me. I prefer Genesis themselves play this great track. Morse, Portnoy, Treawavas and Stolt: please stop playing tribute! It's so booooriiinggg ..!!!

I'm lucky that CD 2 still has one track of the band's material "My New World" that is performed dynamically by the band with great solos. I like this track very much, especially that it is combined with excellent sonic quality. The keyboard solo combined with guitar solo augmented with dazzling drum sounds is really stunning!!!

But again, the band made another medley that tribute (read: cover) their original band but . sorry to say it's all worse than the original versions. It has lost the soul and spirit of the original music, I'm sure about it. It is concluded with another cover for Beatles' "She's So Heavy". Lousy composition and performance - despite great musicianship of individual member of the band. Sorry, I have to be honest with my review.

Overall, some tracks are really excellent while some are really bad (my view). You are the final judge. If you do not have the studio albums, you'd better get them first. It's NOT a must to have this live set. Only when you have extra monies or you are truly a fan of the band or collector.. Keep on progging!"

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia

Review by rushfan4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Transatlantic's two CD releases, Live in America and Live in Europe are about as close as most of us will ever get to seeing/hearing Transatlantic live in concert, especially since Neal Morse left this band and Spock's Beard to concentrate on Christian music. The Live in America CD was recorded during a short tour of the U.S. east coast and it was the 6th show that they had ever played together as a band. The liner notes include a comment by each of the band members regarding the fun that they had playing together, but also the difficulties that they incurred along the way. This tour/concert was in support of their first album SMPT:E and includes 4 of the 5 songs included on SMPT:E. In addition, it includes cover versions of three Beatles songs and a combination of two Genesis songs. Interestingly though, they did not include their cover of Procol Harum's In Held (Twas) In I, which was the 5th song included on SMPT:E. Generally, I am not a fan of bands releasing live albums until after they have released three or more albums and for that I am not entirely thrilled with this CD because it is basically SMPT:E live with some decent cover songs. On the other hand, it is always a goal of mine to have a live version of every song a band does so by releasing this live album after the first album, I have a version of their 4 original songs performed live. (Live in Europe includes 3 of these songs plus 3 of the 4 songs from Bridge Across Forever). All in all this is a very enjoyable listen. It is highly recommended for fans of Transatlantic and each of the four bands that its members came from (as Mike Portnoy called them "their day jobs"). Their studio albums are masterpieces and the live albums are excellent additions to any prog music collection. The only other thing that I can say is that I hope that some day soon Neal gets a message from above to make more music with these guys because Transatlantic music makes the world a better place.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Introducing the band. . . to each other!

During their all too brief existence before Neal Morse called time, Transatlantic recorded two fine studio albums. These are excellent neo-prog sets, with lengthy tracks (some of which are extremely lengthy!) reflecting the supergroup status of the band. While the four members had not given up their day jobs in other outfits, they still found time to tour together in Europe and America.

The fruits of these tours were recorded, and have since been released in CD and or DVD format. Just how valid these releases are (and specifically this "Live in America" album), is questionable. The tracks are not really mature enough to have been fully developed from their already complex studio origins, the band performing them very faithfully. The only real difference is that the benefits of a studio recording in terms of multi-tracking, overlays, production techniques etc. are largely lost, leaving arguably poorer second rate versions. The need to remain within the confines of the originals is emphasised by the fact that the guys had not actually played together until they undertook the tour. Their first album was recorded by each member individually, and the parts later brought together to form the whole. It took a few nights on the tour for the band to literally get their act together. As a result, some of the guitar and keyboards parts have been overdubbed. At the risk of sounding unkind, some of the singing cries out for similar treatment.

Although this album was released in the same year as the band's second album "Bridge across forever", no tracks from that album are included. On the other hand, only the cover of Procol Harum's "In held t'was in I" is missing from the tracks which made up the first album. There are just 6 tracks here, spanning 2 CDs. Some of these are medleys, but "All of the above" alone runs to over 30 minutes, and "My new world" to 17 minutes.

The main interest is in the tracks which do not appear on Transatlantic's studio albums. The first pair of these are a couple of Beatles songs tagged onto "Mystery train". The first of these is rather predictably "Magical mystery tour". Thankfully, it is kept brief and soon leads into "Strawberry fields forever". I am sure the medley would have been fun for the live audience, but on disc it simply sounds unrehearsed and unfocused. The highlight of the set is when the band becomes a Genesis tribute act, performing a medley of "Watcher of the skies" and "Firth of fifth". The symphonic mellotron sound which opens "Watcher of the skies" is faithfully recreated while "Firth of fifth" is pretty much note for note. Unfortunately, the guitar solo is too far back in the mix to be completely effective.

The final medley takes in tracks from each of the band member's current or former day jobs, The Flower Kings, Spock's Beard, Marillion and Dream Theater, in that order. To this is added another Beatles number "She's so heavy", the latter part of "I want you". Once again, this is more about indulgence than substance, although the musicianship is of course of a high quality.

In all, a rather unnecessary live album which offers little of real value. The tracks from SMPTe are far better obtained in studio format, and the cover medleys are clearly only included due to a shortage of original material.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Live in America is the first live album from Transatlantic. Transatlantic is a kind of prog supergroup which consist of Mike Portnoy / drums, vocals ( Dream Theater, OSI), Neil Morse / vocals, keyboards ( Spockīs Beard and solo), Roine Stolt / vocals, guitars ( The Flower Kings, Kaipa, The Tangent, Karmakhanic and solo), Pete Trewavas / bass, vocals ( Marillion). The debut album from Transatlantic called SmPtE was a really excellent album IMO even though it was very obvious who had written what for the album. Most material was written by Neal Morse and some was written by Roine Stolt. As I like both Spockīs Beard and The Flower Kings that wasnīt a problem for me though. Live in America is a 2 CD set.

The music on Live in America is mostly taken from the debut album and weīre even presented with the 30 minute epic All of the Above. The only song from the debut that is missing from Live in America is the Procol Harum cover In held ('twas) in I. Besides the obvious choices of songs from the debut album there are also a couple of Beatles covers in a medley called Mystery train / Magical mystery tour / Strawberry fields forever. Magical Mystery Tour is only played briefly while Strawberry Fields Forever is given the full treatment. We also hear the Norwegian Wood motif played between the two Beatles songs. CD2 starts with a Genesis medley. We get the first couple of minutes from Watcher of the Skies and then most of Firth of Fifth. The album ends with a medley with parts from a song from each of the members main bands and a cover of The Beatles Sheīs So Heavy.

The musicianship is excellent and even though it says in the booklet that this recording is from their sixth show together as a band there are surprisingly few errors. The vocal performances are pretty good too. But what I enjoy the most is that Mike Portnoy restrains himself and plays some really enjoyable drum parts. His performances on most Dream Theater live albums are always way too complex and most of the time destroys the mood in Dream Theaterīs songs IMO ( this only counts for their live albums of course.

The production is good but not excellent IMO. I donīt believe they corrected many errors afterwards and thatīs always a positive sign on a live recording.

Live in America is a good live album, but it never reaches excellent in my book. The performance is good and the song selection is great, but the overall impresssion is still that this album isnīt very essential. 3 stars is deserved for a good but generally average live album.

Review by J-Man
3 stars For those of you who are just getting into Transatlantic and are looking for a live album I'll tell you right now, go check out Live In Europe. There is nothing wong with this double live album, and is worth buying for fans, but is drowned in comparison with Live In Europe.

When the album starts, you get the amazing epic All of the Above played perfectly (though not much different from Live In Europe's version). Next comes a medley of Mystery Train and two great Beatles tunes. To finish off the disc they play their 6 minute masterpeice We All Need Some Light, and then starts disc 2.

Next up comes a perfectly executed version of two great Genesis epics smashed into one. The comes the epic My New World, again, showing the skills of Transatlantic. To finish off the album comes a 20 minute medley of songs by each member's band and another Beatles song. It's arranfed well for what it is, but I wish they would just play all of the songs by themselves and not as a medley.

Again this is a great album, and is worth a purchase for the Genesis, Beatles and Transatlantic, and closing Medley, but for starters Live in Europe is the place to start.

Latest members reviews

2 stars When I was a teenager I discovered that the music my brother listened to when I was just a little boy was this strange genre called progressive rock. Yes, he listened to Rush, Queensryche, and so on, and I liked it. Now that I had grown up a bit, and had a little more independence and pers ... (read more)

Report this review (#2405884) | Posted by judahbenkenobi | Sunday, May 24, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well, as a live album, this is nothing to write home about. I loved the first album, so I decided to get it, but it certainly had the feeling of "cashing in" about it. And the performance certainly leaves something to be desired. I, for one, enjoyed the covers, as aside from an outstanding per ... (read more)

Report this review (#64386) | Posted by | Thursday, January 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars While the album is generally good, I expected more from it. It is so close to sounding like the original "studio recorded" titles that I do not see the point in buying this "not-so" live album. I mean "All of the above" is identical in every point to the studio version down to the duration, bu ... (read more)

Report this review (#7362) | Posted by | Thursday, June 24, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a great live album, if you know the circumstances around it... The band didn't had much time for rehearsals, and some problems happened during the mini-your that originated this CD. But they did a great job, the songs are very well executed. The only problem is the guitar solo in the Genesi ... (read more)

Report this review (#7359) | Posted by | Monday, February 9, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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