Few bands in the prog world have done as much to shape the last quarter century of the genre as has Porcupine Tree. In many ways, they defined what is often called “third-wave prog,” giving it a certain psychedelic and hard edge.
The glorious Delerium Years, 1991-1997, boxset captures the earliest part of the band’s history in a rich way. Indeed, I would go so far as to say it’s the nicest boxset I now own, and I’m comparing it against/to boxsets/earbooks from Rush, Big Big Train, Spock’s Beard, Yes, Chris Squire, Ayreon, Dave Brubeck, Steven Wilson (solo), and others.
The Delerium Years comes with the latest mixes of the five major releases from the band: On the Sunday of Life; Up the Downstair; The Sky Moves Sideways; Signify; and the live Coma Divine. Each CD is individually packaged within the larger box set, though absent the individual booklets with lyrics and liner notes. One can find all the liner notes and lyrics in the book that comes with the set—more on this below. The Delerium Years also—rather wonderfully—includes the more experimental Voyage 34; Staircase Infinities; Insignificance; and Metanoia. Best of all, at least in terms of CDs is the inclusion of Transmission IV, a wild 40-minute improvisational rock epic, “Moonloop,” and a disk of previously unreleased tracks, The Sound of No One Listening. Though I love all the music, I’m most taken with “Moonloop.”
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