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Jim McCarty

Crossover Prog

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Jim McCarty Out Of The Dark album cover
3.83 | 4 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Out of the dark (4:38)
2. We're still dreamers (4:57)
3. Signs from an age gone by (5:22)
4. Just a breath away (4:38)
5. Just breaking through (5:01)
6. What if summer never came (3:44)
7. Still you don't believe (3:27)
8. Longing (0:32)
9. Home is where the heart is (4:08)
10. Back to earth (3:43)

Total Time 40:50

Line-up / Musicians

- Jim McCarty / vocals, drums, keyboards, composer & co-producer

- Jane Relf / vocals
- Jackie Rave / backing vocals
- Mandy Bell / backing vocals
- Eddie Phillips / guitar
- Dugard Brown / guitar, backing vocals
- Don Crane / guitar, backing vocals
- Matthew Fisher / keyboards
- Matthew Hammond / keyboards
- Clifford White / keyboards
- Rod Dimick / bass

Releases information

CD Higher Octave Music ‎- HOMCD 7057 (1994, US)

Thanks to kenethlevine for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JIM MCCARTY Out Of The Dark ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (25%)

JIM MCCARTY Out Of The Dark reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars Jim McCarty is one of the few longtime progressive artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although this achievement was based entirely on his work in the seminal YARDBIRDS. McCarty has stated that his move in a mellower direction was a direct reaction to the high decibel lifestyle, and this decision gave rise to his larger and arguably more significant body of work. As a key member of the original RENAISSANCE and ILLUSION he is well known to symphonic fans, but he has also been involved in several other formations, among them PILGRIM (like a less flashy BLACKMORE's NIGHT) and STAIRCASE (new age), and has released two solo albums, via which route he comes to our attention at this time.

On the surface, "Out of the Dark" is merely a collection of good soft rock tunes along the lines of ILLUSION's rather ignominious "Enchanted Caress" swan song. But minimal exploration reveals a concept album reflecting the idealism of the 60s brought into the post Thatcher era. It's a philosophy tempered by the realities of the day while heartened by the wisdom of experience and musical inspiration, both of which McCarty sports on his plaid sleeve.

Every track offers a simple yet gorgeous melody, powerful lyrical imagery, understated sincere vocals, and heartfelt playing in all areas. The musicianship and arrangements are what would appeal to progressive fans, and indeed some of the lovely keyboards of THE Matthew Fisher and another Matthew, surname Hammond, do taste sweetly of early Renaissance. It's hard to pick highlights because each song helps both its predecessor and successor sound richer. The dreamy drone of "Signs of an Age Gone By", the haunting self discovery of "Just Breaking Through", the emotive chill of "What if Summer Never Came", the devotional aspect of "Why Don't You Believe", the gentle blues of "Home is Where the Heart is", and the soaring finale "Back to the Earth" are all exercises in unfettered class.

McCarty's first solo album serves up a consistent vision of soft crossover prog without a trace of guile. If some of the more commercially successful 1970s bands of this sub genre had gone this route, there might have been fewer chart appearances but greater respect for prog as a whole. "Out of the Dark" positively illuminates what might have been. 4.5 stars.

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