Single review of:

All Around The World

4 April 2005

Is there a market for singles in the Progscene? No I think not, but this one will change the world; Proggers, Symfo-lovers gonna want to have this splendid release.

A great mini disc of 32 minutes, with 5 excellent different versions. The radio edit is a poppy proggy version. Could be a radio hit.
The "Definitive Mix" starts with the voice of Neal Morse, Alan Reed, Stu Nicholson, small chorus, Roine Stolt and then all the others, a big chorus, has 10 guitar solo's in a row of your favourite hero's, keyboards solo's that make you dizzle, acoustic guitar, piano, harp, ullian pipes, violin, rumbling bass lines, great drums and some of the most looking girls of the Progscene, who are giving their best, gathered on one track.
The "Cue" and "Air Mix" are nicely done too, different singers, different tunes and a few excellent guitar solo's (the Cue mix got another excellent solo of Arjen Lucassen/ Ayeron). And of course there is an instrumtal track... what more do you wish? A video? Oké here it is:

The video documentary is a real treat for all who want to see what happened on the day and will make you all feel closer to the event. You can see that they all having fun and that will you make smile from ear to ear too. It's fun to see allmost all your heroes in one clip: WhoisWho?
Rob Reed and his ProgAID-team did a wonderful job.

1) Single Mix
2) Definitive Mix 12 minutes ... awesome!
3) Air Mix
4) Cue Mix
5) Instrumental Mix
6) The Making Of... Documentary.

Nick Gielkens from the lovely South of the Netherlands.

5 April

This review is from:
a great site with excellent reviews, please visit them!

© Copyright 2005 ProgressiveWorld.net/Joshua Turner

ProgAID - "All Around The World"

Released: 2005 Label: F2 Music Cat. No.: 200503S Total Time: 32:19 (plus documentary)

Reviewed by: Joshua Turner, April 2005

ProgAID is perfect on many levels. The same song comes in five different flavors, but it is so good, you’d probably want to hear it five times in a row anyway.

The songs are a cross of Transatlantic's "Duel With The Devil" and Yes' "Magnification." It really is that symphonic. This might explain why I like it so much. Speaking of symphonic, the tracks are quite a bit like RPWL, especially in the guitar playing. I would have sworn Kalle Wallner was playing here. This is odd when you consider nobody from RPWL actually signed onto the project. It's really okay since their spirit somehow made it onto the music.

As for the contributing artists, the single features some big names in progressive rock. Neal Morse's voice opens the song. Roine's (Flower Kings) is not too far behind and his guitar playing is just magnificent. There are many other great moments packed into the song that features members of IQ, Pendragon, and Arena. Troy Donockley's (Iona) whistles add a very nice touch as well. Along with these well-known artists, there is a substantial supporting cast. Several dozen artists combined each give their own special gift. The harmonies and hand-offs between vocalists is chilling. Plenty of diverse instrumentations burst out into the mix resulting in the most colorful wall of sound.

Each version features its own subtle twist. My favorite is probably the epic version or as they like to call it, the definitive track. The air mix is a close second, but I can see why the single version is first in the pecking order. It's the one with the most universally-accessible appeal. In addition to these other tracks, there is also cue version and a cool fifth track that's completely instrumental. Last, but not least, there is even a video embedded on the disc that shows the making of this marvel.

In an era when most music releases contain an hour of so of fluff with numerous half-baked cookie-cutter songs, it is nice to see a single with so many quality ingredients. Not only do fans get to hear this gorgeous track five different ways, but buying a copy allows the consumer to contribute to a worthy cause in their own small way.

The ProgAID team has an enormous golden heart. This unprecedented project is nothing short of priceless.

Rating: 5/5 (the score gets a "big" nudge for all of the artists' heartfelt contributions)


© Copyright 2005 ProgressiveWorld.net/Joshua Turner


5 April

Another excellent review from:

© Copyright 2005 ProgressiveWorld.net /John Morley

Reviewed by: John Morley, April 2005
Produced to aid the survivors of the Tsunami disaster, Progaid is an incredible coming together of progressive musical talent from all over the world.

I was lucky enough to be present at the recording session for the song and can tell you what a pleasure it is to finally have the completed product in my hand - it's a fine achievement and has produced something quite unique indeed.

The song "All Around The World" was originally recorded by Cyan, one of producer and Magenta keyboard player Rob Reed's previous bands. Original vocalist Nigel Voyle also makes an appearance on this version. It was decided when putting this project together that this would be a suitable song for such a venture, with some slight alterations to the lyrics to make it more relevant to the cause.

One thing that struck me at the recording sessions was the sheer amount of material being submitted - occasionally people would just turn up at the studio unannounced with instrument in hand and ask if they could contribute. And I wondered how they were going to fit all of this on to one song - it seemed only fair to be able to include all of the contributions if people had been so willing to participate.

So the sensible decision was taken to produce one main version of the song for the single, and a number of different edits, which would incorporate all of the other contributions so that we could experience the vast array of talent on display.

And it works beautifully. The approach was similar to the original Live Aid single, with different vocalists taking turns to sing the lines. Of course this being a progressive musicians collective there is some emphasis on the instrumentation, too, but this has been kept to a minimum on the main single version because obviously the song has to have as broad an appeal as possible in order to sell, and that after all is what this whole venture is about. The song itself is very melodic and appealing, and has a great catchy chorus that I find myself singing over and over. It would not sound out of place on the radio and if there is any justice it will get the airplay it deserves.

Progressive fans will rejoice in the 12 minute "Definitive Mix," because this is the epic, full version - lots of guitars, keyboards, violins, harps and various other instrumentation combining with heartfelt vocals - wonderful. The instrumental outro section has a piano part that reminds me of the climax to Supertramp's Crime Of The Century - incidentally one of my all time favourite albums so you can take that as a compliment.

2 other mixes showcases various other musicians, and it's interesting to hear the different vocalist's interpretations of the lines. The instrumental mix is also a nice bonus.

And the icing on the cake is a 3-minute QuickTime video of various snippets of footage of the recording sessions accompanied by the main single. It really does give a good impression of what went into the recording, and also manages to convey the upbeat, often humorous atmosphere of the weekend.

You will notice that with one exception I have not mentioned any of the artists taking part. For the simple reason that I don't think it's fair to single anyone's particular contribution out for praise on a project like this, everyone gave their time and their talent selflessly. Progaid is a project that consists of many individuals coming together for a very worthy cause, and we should not forget that.

Besides - part of the fun is recognising who's who, and those who wish to know names can obtain that information from the website below, where they can also order the single.

This page will grow...

Next week I hope the boys of DPRP have a review ready ;-)

Yes they've www.dprp.net, again a good and splenid review.



5 April

Another excellent review from:

(16 April 2005) fter the logistical heroics performed in getting the Progaid single "All Around The World" (F2 Music (UK), 200503S, 2005) recorded in such a short space of time, and the huge importance of the cause for which it has been produced, it almost seems churlish to submit the end product for review. With this in mind, it is therefore a great relief to report that the end product is something of a triumph.

As expected, the single contains five mixes of the song, plus an entertaining video that is part the "making of" and the remaining part a traditional music video, with footage shot principally on the two days recording at Briar Bank studios in Penarth, South Wales, at the end of January 2005. Of course, this means that not all the contributing artists are featured, but the edit cleverly combines lip-synched vocals and instrumental moments with lively and candid moments from the two days. It all looks great fun as indeed it was for those of us privileged enough to have been there.

The song itself is well chosen for the job. Originally a song by producer Rob Reed's old band Cyan, it is almost impossibly catchy, and perfectly structured to allow plenty of contributors to come and go without damaging the impact of the song. The slightly-revised lyrics work perfectly, positive and uplifting, yet vague enough to allow the song to stand on its own outside the context of the Tsunami disaster.

As for the individual mixes themselves, the "Single Mix" is an amazing achievement, cramming in contributions from almost everyone involved over its 5 minutes, while still maintaining the integrity of the song itself. For even the most attentive listener, piecing apart each contribution--especially the various tastefully edited-guitar solos--is an impossible task. Inevitably, this version is a little cluttered, and some artists are further down the mix than others. However, several contributions stand out: Neal Morse's trademark vocal on the opening two lines: Alan Reed's (of Pallas) passionate vocals: Troy Donockley's haunting low whistle: Christina Booth's (of Magenta) supporting vocal in verse two and Nick Barratt's (of Pendragon) delightful slide guitar cameo. Yet it is the overall effect that matters most, and the overriding impression is both awe-inspiring and emotional. Every musician involved deserves equal praise, and the listener will no doubt have plenty of fun deconstructing his or her contribution line by line.

The 12-minute "Definitive Mix" is well named. The first three minutes echo the single version, but then some spine-tingling 12-string guitar--surely courtesy of Anthony Phillips--introduces an extended section of solos, before a return to the chorus. Just as the song seems about to peter out, a keyboard throb and some angelic female vocals introduce a few more minutes of wonderful guitar and keyboard soloing before some gorgeous piano closes the track. The next two mixes are fairly subtle variations on the main version--there are no particular variations in tone--but the "Air" mix is relatively sparse with piano dominant--and an emphasis on lead vocals from the British Neo-prog contingent like Alan Reed, Peter Nicholls of IQ and Tracey Hitchings.

Transatlantic fans will certainly enjoy the "cue mix," as it pairs the vocals of Neal Morse with Roine Stolt of the Flower Kings. Musically, this has a greater acoustic feel, with drums entering much later, but building gently to an uplifting climax. The final mix is possibly the least interesting; it is a straight instrumental version. Liz Prendergast's (of Blue Horses) violin is certainly more prominent as a result, but has the benefit of doubling as a karaoke mix--for singing along to at home or the car. You will probably want to; the song is THAT catchy.

So, buy this single as soon as possible, please. The cause is the most important, and the survivors of the Tsunami need your help now. However, you are also buying a little slice of progressive rock history, not to mention a great song. An essential purchase.
--Stephen Lambe in Cheltenham, England and Russ Elliot in New York.

Buy it here!
7 Euro's or 5 English Pounds (including postage) is not much for 32 minutes wonderful music, besides that you will support some people who realy need it!



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Updated April 2005 by Nick.
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