Coinciding with the progressive couple´s lastest releases (“Covers Collection” by Lana Lane and the double album “Music Machine” by Erik Norlander... please read the reviews at your favourite e-zine progVisions), this special limited edition (2000 copies) is also on the streets. This album contains fifty five minutes of music. Most of the tracks are unreleased studio recordings and live recordings.
Obviously this kind of compilations are released for completists and fans´ delight. Of course this good music could be enjoyed by all audiences, but this album is not a “Best of” but little sweets that, because of different reasons, are of interest for those into Lane and Norlander´s music.
So along with tracks taken from “Music Machine” (“Beware the vampires” and “Metamorphosis”) and Project Shangri-La (title track), this album also offers a overwhelming and interesting medley that contains “Dark Water part III”, “Fanfare for the Dragon Isle”, “Garden of the Moon”, “In the hall of the Ocean Queen” and “Escher´s Staircase” recorded during 2002 Japanese tour with Arjen Lucassen (guitars), Vinnie Appice (drums), and Don Schiff (stick). Interesting line-up, isn´t it?. In the same way a Rocket Scientists live recording from ProgFest 2000 is taken from the vaults, with Nick D´Virgilio on drums. The band plays “Dark Water part I/Earthbound”. This recording could be also found in the compilation Musea ProgFest 2000. The last live recording is the beautiful “Autumn Leaves” sung by Lana´s marvelous voice.
On the subject of unreleased (or rare) studio tracks we can enjoy with “I believe in you”, composed by John Wetton and already released as bonus track of Project Shangri-La´s japanese edition, with Greg Bissonette on drums. Also from different japanese editions are “No quarter” – a very original cover of Led Zep´s classic song with Arjen Lucassen on guitars and synths – and an incredible, amazing, wonderful “Phantom´s Theme”. If you rememeber the shock-glam-rock film “Phantom of the Paradise” I´m sure you´ll love this cover. It´s strange but time ago, listening to the soundtrack, I thought of Lana when I listened to this song and I wonder how would this song sound with her voice.
Finally Don Schiff has a moment of glory with “The eighth wonder”, an interesting instrumental experiment composed and performed by this stick virtuoso.
If you´re not into Erik and Lana´s career this album won´t serve you as a guide, so I´d recommend you any other Lana (“Curious Goods” or “Live in Japan” would be good starting points), Norlander or Rocket Scientists´ albums. There you´ll find very good music and impressive guest musicians. On the contrary if you are into these artists´ career this compilation is the missing piece which rounds off a discography plenty of good music although prog taliban´s don´t admit it. Releasing “European Tour 2003 Souvenir CD” the couple has a nice gesture with the european fans, so western people won´t have to spend half the salary in japanese editions.