As some of you might very well know, today is International Talk Talk Day. Sometime in 1987 or 1988—the memory fades—Kevin McCormick and I vowed that every April 5th, we would listen to the entirety of Talk Talk’s mid-period masterpiece, The Colour of Spring, as a reminder of three things.
First, that no matter how dark the world might become, beauty endures and promises—through the seasons—eternal renewal.
Second, that no matter where we are in the world, our friendship endures.
Third, that Mark Hollis (RIP) was a genius.
Since the late 1980s, Tad Wert has joined in the pledge. Please join us in celebrating that miracle that was Talk Talk.
Here she comes Silent in her sound Here she comes Fresh upon the ground Come gentle spring Come at winter’s end Gone is the pallor from a promise that’s nature’s gift Waiting for the color of spring Let me breathe Let me breathe the color of spring Here she comes Laughter in her kiss Here she comes Shame upon her lips Come wanton spring Come for birth you live Youth takes it’s bow before the summer the seasons bring Waiting for the color of spring
[Our friend and ally, Greg Spawton, has begun a book publishing firm, Kingmaker, and has announced the first book, Genesis, 1967-1975: The Peter Gabriel Years. Here’s the announcement, with the pre-order link at the bottom–}
Two of the almost constant elements of my life have been music and books. On the music side of things I am a member of Big Big Train, but involvement in book publishing remained an unfulfilled dream. However, last year I formed a company with journalist Nick Shilton which has a goal of publishing high-quality books about music. Our first book is now available for pre-order from our official store Burning Shed. The book has been written by Italian author and journalist Mario Giammetti and is called Genesis 1967 to 1975: The Peter Gabriel Years.
I have read of lot of books about rock bands and music in general and I have to say that this volume is an absolute gem. It tells the story of the early years of one of progressive rock’s most important bands. It is full of original interviews with band members and associates which have never before been published in English. There are photographs and insights in the book that cannot be found anywhere else. Most importantly, while the Genesis story is an interesting one full of personalities, the focus throughout the book remains on the most important thing of all: the music.
I would like to thank Mario for trusting us with his wonderful words. I would like to thank Octavia Brown who translated the book into English from the original Italian and has put her heart and soul into this project. I would like to thank Geoff Parks who proof-read the book with his customary eye for detail. Finally, I would like to thank Nick for being a most excellent publishing partner.
–Greg Spawton (of Kingmaker and Big Big Train)
If you would like to pre-order the book (a highly recommended course of action!) the Burning Shed link is here:
For anyone in the prog world, Roine Stolt is a grand and solid name, a trusted master of the craft and a man as honest about his opinions as anyone ever has been in the rock world. From The Flower Kings to Transatlantic to Anderson-Stolt to Steve Hackett’s band, Stolt is anywhere and everywhere excellence is.
Simply put, when I think of Stolt, I imagine that other master of amazing things, Tom Bombadil. And, yes, that means Goldberry is nearby. “He is.”
The new Flower Kings, WAITING FOR MIRACLES, is a thing of beauty, delicate yet everlasting. Sounding a bit like FLOWER POWER and SPACE REVOLVER, the new album has everything a fan loves: mystery, lingering, soaring, contemplating, undulation.
This is glorious and mighty prog.
The album opens with the fragile and compelling “House of Cards,” moving immediately into the Tennyson-esque rage against fate, “Black Flag.” Followed by ten-minute “Miracles for America,” a plea for the future of the free world, and then another ten-minute track, “Vertigo,” disk one is nothing if not dizzying. If there’s a rock anthem on the album, it’s track no. five, “The Bridge,” which might very well have topped the rock charts in 1983, with its reminder of the theme of the album, “waiting for miracles.” “Ascending to the Stars,” track six of disk one, gives us a mysterious and dark Flower King, an instrumental and orchestra joy somewhat reminiscent of Kansas in its heyday. Despite its name, “Wicked Old Symphony” is the poppiest of the tracks on disk one, a track that hints at the Beatles as well as early 1970’s America. “The Rebel Circus,” track eight, is another wildly wacky and infectious instrumental, followed by the intense and aptly-named, “Sleeping with the Enemy.” The final track of disk one, “The Crowning of Greed,” is a poem, at once reflective in theme, and progressive in tone.
Disk two is much shorter than disk one, and I have no idea if it’s meant to be a “bonus disk” or a continuation of the album. That track one of disk two is a reprise of track one of disk one does nothing to answer my confusion about all of this. Track two, “Spirals,” is a feast of electronica and reminds us once again of the theme of the album: “Call on miracles—For America.” “Steampunk,” the third track of disk two, seems to take us back into the world of adventures. If “Black Flag” followed the voyages of Ulysses, “Steampunk” has us follow Aeneas. The final full track of the album, “We Were Always Here,” is a rather beautiful rock song, reminding us of life and its unending beauties. “It’s so simple in its purities/All that genius—life energies/like forgotten springs of melody.” Disk two ends with the 52-second long bluesy circus piece, “Busking at Brobank.”
Overall, WAITING FOR MIRACLES, is a joy. It’s not just a joy as a Flower Kings album, it’s a joy as a rock album. Anyone serious about his or her rock music should add this to the collection. One final note—while I’m not wild about the cover art (too political for my tastes), I absolutely love the interior art, making a physical purchase of WAITING a must.
P.S. I proudly bought my copy from my favorite store, Burning Shed.