Still Life

SKU: 94631139420
Label:
Virgin Records
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Essentially an extension of "Godbluff". This was recorded in early 1976 (Pat Moran, lead singer of Spring was the engineer!). Future classics like "Pilgrims" and "La Rossa" appear. The remastered edition comes with liner notes, photos and a previously unreleased live version of "Gog". 

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  • Domestic jewel box edition has the identical contents to the European version."Tim Bowness, one of the most expressive voices in contemporary music returns with the second chapter of his brand new, solo sonic experiments. Released roughly a year after Abandoned Dancehall Dreams, Stupid Things That Mean The World can be seen as a direct follow-up that not only manages to consolidate his strengths, but also takes a step forward towards new territories. I was anxious to hear the results as the man never fails to create something interesting and gripping (at the very least).Although a sequel, STTMTW contrasts its predecessor in both the atmosphere it creates, as well as the emotions it evokes. Since the production is substantially airier this time around, it manages to unfold quicker than ADD, creating shorter, but profound tunes. We get cuts like the title track or 'Where You've Always Been' whose playful, sustained rhythms bring forth quite an unusual, uplifting side of Bowness we rarely get to see. However, this is only a part of a darker record that often feels tensed and frustrated. The characters he portrays have missed several opportunities over the years, feel overwhelmed by life, ugly or devoid of any feelings that once made them feel alive. The most representative numbers are 'The Great Electric Teenage Dream' and 'Press Reset'. There's anger in the powerful guitars and regret in the nostalgic piano lines, whereas the cold, industrial touch present especially on the latter, magnifies this uneasy vibe. Tim also delivers his parts with a poignant tone, boosting the tracks with some of his heaviest hitting moments.On the other side of the spectrum, we have two of the most gorgeous, subdued tracks on the album, 'Sing To Me' and 'Know That You Were Loved' lying in between the aforementioned rockers. They are a lot more comfortable for older fans as each shares similarities with previous helmed projects. 'Sing To Me' stemmed from a 20-year old No-Man demo, entitled 'Best Boy Electric', recorded somewhere in the middle of Wild Opera's recording sessions. Tim reworked it and created a lovely ballad with eerie guitar leads, warm bass and echoed piano lines. Sound-wise, it reminisces 'Smiler at 50' from ADD. 'Know That You Were Loved' is a mostly acoustic affair that brings to mind the low-key No-Man album, Together We're Stranger. Occasional lap steel touches and guitar solos embellish the stripped foundation, yet his voice is once more the focal point.There is a dark appeal to Stupid Things That Mean The World that some might or might not be fond of. Abandoned Dancehall Dreams was a melancholic yet grandiose affair that was easier to wrap your head around. This time, the often bare bones instrumentals push Tim's vocal melodies in front, usually focusing more on the lyrical content than the music itself. Moreover, helped by some elite members of the British nu-prog/art rock wave such as Bruce Soord of Pineapple Thief (who also produced the album), Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree, long time collaborators Stephen Bennet, Phil Manzanera and Pat Mastelotto of King Crimson, Michael Bearpark or the classical composer Andrew Keeling (among others), Bowness has managed to avoid repetition and create a piece of work that truly complements its prequel. This is a beautiful, cohesive album that stirs so many emotions and speaks for itself. It might not be as immediate or as catchy as ADD, but does the most important thing: paving new grounds." - Sputnik Music
    $15.00
  • "Their debut album, Dreamboat Annie, was first released in Canada and then in the United States on February 14, 1976. It was an immediate hit, reaching number seven on the United States album charts, and achieved a platinum award for sales.At this point in its career, Heart was still a band, but the Wilson sisters had already begun to exert control. They co-wrote wrote nine of the 10 tracks on the record and wrote the remaining track with the rest of the band. In addition, Ann, as the lead vocalist, was the centerpiece and main focus of the band.It was an auspicious first album. The music had a rawer feel than their later polished sound that would propel them to further stardom. It was hard rock with a bluesy sound mixed in. It all added up to one of the better debut albums of the seventiesThe album's first track was the Top 10 hit single “Magic Man.” Ann Wilson’s vocal immediately grabs you. It was instantly recognized that she possessed one of those rare voices that was a gift. The other Top 40 single, “Crazy On You,” was an anxious and urgent rocker. The acoustic intro led to a building electric guitar sound with a repeated riff that continued throughout the song.There is a lot to like about the album. “Soul Of The Sea” is a nice guitar ballad with strings. “White Lightning and Wine” is a bluesy rocker and a forgotten gem in their large catalog of material. “Sing Child,” which is the only group composition on the album, has a guitar jam in the middle that presents early Heart as a true band. “How Deep It Goes” is another rock/blues outing.When this debut effort was first released, it seemed as if Heart just appeared on the music scene out of nowhere. Thirty-four years later, the Wilson sisters are now recognized as lasting rock superstars. If you want to explore the music of Heart, Dreamboat Annie is the place to start." - Seattle Pi
    $7.00
  • "The debut recording from the Dixie Dregs (The Great Spectacular is considered a demo) stands as one fusion's high-water marks. This music is wholly original and played with a freshness and vigor that had begun to wane in a genre that was becoming a model in self-parody. The influences here are plentiful, but it is the country roots that provide the music with its vitality. Founder/guitarist Steve Morse proved to be an important new guitarist, offering an inimitable style with the technique the music demands. The music is complex and challenging, but that's easy to overlook due to the band's sunny approach. While they would go on to create more fully realized recordings, this one proved that fusion had a soul." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • New release from Italy's Lacuna Coil finds them moving subtlely in a more commercial direction. The music is not quite as heavy as in the past and the male vocals are all clean now. The band seems to utilize more synths also creating an atmospheric backdrop for the riffing. Christina Scabbia is still her brilliant self and for me that's what counts when it comes to judging this band. While the band still sounds very much like The Gathering it's starting to move a bit more in the direction of the Dutch band's current output. So basically I'd say it's like a slightly toned down version of Unleased Memories. Comes with a video track for you computerholics.
    $12.00
  • CD version of the live show from Katowice, Poland in 2005. Basically the audio soundtrack of the DVD previously available. Digipak - supposedly a limited edition.
    $9.00
  • "Described as “the Enya of heavy metal” and a Celtic vocal goddess, Leah’s brand new EP will certainly make waves with fans of acts like Nightwish or Leave’s Eyes. The beautiful siren has a voice that is unmistakably brilliant, showing off right from the start on piano-laden ballad “Shores Of Your Lies.” But for those of you who might be under the assumption that this is just going to be a light-hearted affair with no sign of guitars, drums or other metal elements, you are quite wrong. “The Northern Edge” sounds exactly like what would happen if you threw Enya right into the middle of a sprawling metal band, blast beats included. I don’t know about you, but I’m already impressed with this one. “Surrounded” is a bit lighter, but still showcases Leah’s vibrant vocal chords and some slick guitar playing to boot. I think that other female vocal artists are going to have a healthy amount of competition in this woman, who once again proves her prowess with “Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep.” But finally, there’s the album closer “Dreamland,” which features none other than Eric Peterson (Testament, Dragonlord) on vocals. With his black metal approach (and a so/so clean vocal that doesn’t work for the piece) providing a great balance of dark and light, along with thundering guitar riffs – this track definitely sets the stage for a welcomed heavier side of Leah. Maybe not everyone will understand it, but even if you don’t, you can’t deny that the other four tracks on this EP are quit magnificent. Out of the many female vocal pipes that I’ve heard in the metal and rock genres, Leah is a force to be reckoned with. Metal has never been more majestic." - New Noise
    $10.00
  • New studio album finds them sans David Jackson...
    $14.00
  • "Three years after Ai, Taiwanese symphonic power metal band Seraphim is back in strength with the well-titled Chinese language record Rising, which was also released with English lyrics to the international market one year later. A lot of things have changed between the third and the fourth (and up to now, last) records from the band. Guitarist Lucas Huang, drummer Simon Lin, bassist Jax Yeh and even singer Pay Lee left the band for numerous reasons. Band leader Kessier Hsu was responsible for guitar and bass duties on this release. The new singer Quinn Weng had joined the band back in 2004, and new drummer Van Shaw completed the trio in 2005. Bassist Mars Liu only joined the band shortly after the recordings in 2007, while second guitarist Thiago Trinsi from Brazil came to the band in 2010.Despite all these changes, the fourth record is typically Seraphim, with all the trademarks that distinguished the first three records, and only a few minor differences. The clean male vocals and death growls are less present on this release, and the music focuses on the vocal duties of new singer Quinn Weng. She had quite a difficult task in replacing the unique and powerful voice of Pay Lee, but does a very solid job. Her vocals are very grounded, but nevertheless variable. They are less operatic and spiritual than those of her predecessor, but I think she appeals to a wider audience, as her vocals rock more and fit more neatly into the power metal genre. This being said, the new record has less symphonic elements and focuses on more power metal sounds. The songs have become faster and heavier than ever before, and the drumming in particular is a killer on this release. Just listen to an energizing song like “Spring Wind” and you will understand what I mean. The music makes me think of the Liechtenstein gothic metal outfit Elis or Germany’s Xandria at times.The softer tracks are much less prominent on this album, but once they finally appear they are very strong. “No More” is a dreamy and transcending rock ballad with some commercial potential (and I mean this in the most positive way). The track has an amazing guitar solo, but it’s the calm parts that make me think of a symphonic new age epic. Let me add that Quinn Weng gives her best performance of the record on this track, truly equaling Peggy Lee. She sounds almost as heavenly as her predecessor did, but adds her very own touch upon this track that sends shivers down my spine. This song is definitely one of two highlights of this release, and also one of the strongest tracks in the band’s entire discography, as far as I’m concerned.My personal highlight of the record is nevertheless an epic symphonic piece that goes back to the style of the previous records and takes it to a new level of greatness. The stunning title track “Rising” is easily among the best of Seraphim’s catalog. In almost ten minutes, the song never gets boring, and features very elaborate song writing with catchy parts and diversified changes, as well as folky passages and heavier instrumental parts with tight riffs. This track is a firework of diversity and an absolute must-hear anthem for fans of gothic, power, and symphonic metal alike.In the end, this record is generally much heavier and obviously power metal-oriented than previous releases. Gone are most of the heavenly symphonic elements, but Rising is a lot faster and really rocks. Despite this new direction, old and new fans alike should be kept happy, and funnily enough, the two most outstanding songs are the ballad and the self-titled epic. The new line-up sounds fresh and promising, and I still hope for a new fifth release that might arrive in coming years. The band members are now living all around the world in Canada, Iceland, and Taiwan, but they are bound to meet again this year, and will hopefully work on new compositions. I will certainly keep in touch with Seraphim, and suggest that you do so as well, as well as (re)discover their back catalog while we wait for new things to come!" - Black Wind Metal
    $13.00
  • Upstart Finnish label Svart Records has undergone a licensing program with the legendary Love Records label for an ongoing series of vinyl releases.  Many prog reissues are on the horizon.Tabula Rasa cut two albums for Love and this is their second.  Strong Camel influence - guitarist Heikki Silvernnoinen sounds quite a bit like Andy Latimer in tone. The use of electric piano, string synthesizer reminds me of Mirage.  While it doesn't quite hit the heights of their debut its a very nice slice of mainstream prog.This is a limited edition of 300 copies on black vinyl.
    $28.00
  • "The Royal Scam is the first Steely Dan record that doesn't exhibit significant musical progress from its predecessor, but that doesn't mean the album is any less interesting. The cynicism that was suppressed on Katy Lied comes roaring to the surface on The Royal Scam -- not only are the lyrics bitter and snide, but the music is terse, broken, and weary. Not so coincidentally, the album is comprised of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's weakest set of songs since Can't Buy a Thrill. Alternating between mean-spirited bluesy vamps like "Green Earrings" and "The Fez" and jazzy soft rock numbers like "The Caves of Altamira," there's nothing particularly bad on the album, yet there are fewer standouts than before. Nevertheless, the best songs on The Royal Scam, like the sneering "Kid Charlemagne" and "Sign in Stranger," rank as genuine Steely Dan classics." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Famed Jazz pianist Keith Tippett is one of the greatest and innovative figures in modern jazz. His work has also seen him cross into the world of Progressive rock, working with King Crimson and his own outfit Centipede.The Keith Tippett Group’s debut album was recorded in 1969 and featured a line-up of Keith Tippett on Piano, Elton Dean on Alto Saxophone, Marc Charig on Cornet (also in Soft Machine), Jeff Clyne on bass (later in Nucleus), Nick Evans on Trombone and Alan Jackson on drums. "You Are Here… I Am There” is rightly hailed as a classic of the genre.A superb and highly sought after modern jazz – rock work, "You Are Here… I Am There” has been newly remastered and the booklet fully restores the original album artwork and includes a new essay."
    $17.00
  • One of the best US prog metal. Firmly rooted in the Dream Theater sound.
    $5.00
  • Not content with the 30th anniversary edition, Arista decided to come out with a more deluxe package 5 years later.  Now in a 2CD digipak, it features the album remastered, a second disc with 14 bonus tracks - 9 of which are previously unreleased.  It has a new 20 page booklet with rare photos and liner notes from Alan Parsons.
    $16.00