Tag Archives: Saga

Alan Simon’s Excalibur V : Move, Cry, Act, Clash!

Well, I don’t much about Alan Simon or this series of Celtic rock opera Excalibur releases. This being my first take on the project which previously released 4 studio and 2 live albums featuring different musicians on each one, though there are a few holdovers. I do know that Cherry Red recently released the first 4 Excalibur studio albums plus a couple of live shows in a 6 CD box – https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/excalibur-the-20th-anniversary-box-set-6cd-2dvd-boxset/

As a fan of many of the artists involved this is an outstanding concept release that features singers such as Bernie Shaw, Roberto Tiranti and Michael Sadler singing in styles they may do with their respective bands. And with that said, that contributes to the appeal here as these singers deliver performances like they have never before. Amazing performances, as well as from the various musicians such as Steve Hackett, Martin Barre and John Helliwell, among others. The last track is a wonderful surprise, as it features the late great John Wetton singing a ballad, “The Vision”.

An amazing production from Alan Simon, who has written and assembled a stellar cast here. As a Heep fan it is really something to hear Bernie [who delivers quite a theatrical intro] and Roberto [Ken Hensley’s Live Fire] sing in such a different project.

*For more info check out these links, as well as the press release below….

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/alan-simon-excalibur-v-move-cry-act-clash/

https://www.facebook.com/Excalibur.The.Celtic.Rock.Opera/

Alan Simon’s Excalibur V – Move, Cry, Act, Clash! 

Featuring:

John Wetton (Asia / King Crimson)
Steve Hackett (Genesis)
John Helliwell, Jesse Siebenberg (Supertramp)
Bernie Shaw (Uriah Heep)
Martin Barre (Jethro Tull)
Jeremy Spencer (Fleetwood Mac)
Michael Sadler (Saga)
Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth)
Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra)
Shira Golan & Miriam Toukan (The Peace Tent Project)

Move, Cry, Act, Clash! is the fifth part of French musician and producer Alan Simon’s legendary Celtic rock opera series Excalibur.

Featuring Alan Simon, John Wetton, Steve Hackett, Bernie Shaw, Jerry Goodman, Martin Barre, Jeremy Spencer, Michael Sadler, Roberto Tiranti, John Helliwell, Jesse Siebenberg, Shira Golan and Miriam Toukan.

Move, Cry, Act, Clash! concludes its 12 tracks with “The Vision” featuring the legendary John Wetton (King Crimson/Asia) in a beautiful tribute to the friendship and respect between these two musical giants.

Alan Simon is a Breton songwriter and director. Author of modern operas, his works are performed in various national theaters (Russia, Germany, France …). More than 300,000 spectators came to applaud Excalibur or Tristan & Yseult. Alan has obtained several gold and platinum records and his creations have received several awards. In the USA, Alan won the Grammy for best producer in 2008 and for best song, “Circle of Life,” performed by Jon Anderson of Yes. His album Big Bang (2018) is the soundtrack of the City of Space in Toulouse (an educational park about the conquest of space). After the film O Gengis in 2005 (with Omar Sharif and Jean Reno), he has just finished Monsieur Constant, his second film for the cinema, which is in production during 2021. Today Alan wants to go on tour around the world with his extraordinary musical round table where many legends of folk and rock meet.

“‘Excalibur’ brought me a lot of happiness because by creating this musical round table, I had the great chance to collaborate with incredible rock and folk legends, pillars of mythical groups: Yes, Supertramp, Fleetwood Mac, King Crimson, The Moody Blues, Alan Parson, Asia, Barclay James Harvest, Genesis, Fairport Convention, Runrig, Jethro Tull, Saga, Uriah Heep… Since its creation 20 years ago ‘Excalibur’ has represented 5 studio and 3 live albums including 120 original tracks. Offering a new album is not trivial. You have to give everything. So I made this opus V by investing myself 100% with an ‘old-fashioned’ production. No home studio but the joy of living in a large studio (Drums code studios in Italy) with great soloists and a fantastic symphony. Then I contacted magical interpreters that I like. What a joy to hear the guitars of the legendary pillars of Genesis and Jethro Tull: Steve Hackett and Martin Barre or the voices of Supertramp from Saga and Uriah Heep: Jesse Siebenberg, Michael Sadler and Bernie Shaw without forgetting this incredible talented singer Roberto Tiranti. We spent 6 months in a mixing studio with an average of 100 tracks per title. I hope that this more rock album than the previous ones will sign a real return on stage of this universal legend, ‘ever green’ say the English. Thank you to all those who supported ‘Excalibur.’ After 300 000 spectators in 4 tours, I hope that this musical round table finally finds its audience under the aegis of sharing. These 12 new songs underline the urgency to get moving for our planet. More than ever our destiny is in our hands. And everything is good to take. The concept of Excalibur and its musical knights must contribute to this new start. Artists can (and must) get involved more than ever.” – Alan Simon

Track Listing:

1 Move, Cry, Act, Clash
2 The Prisoner
3 The Last Bird
4 Messaline
5 I Said Shout
6 Heaven
7 The Lady of the Lake
8 When Your Feelings Grow
9 Wake Up (Before the Last War)
10 Hey
11 A Brand New Day
12 The Vision

To pre-order: https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/alan-simon-excalibur-v-move-cry-act-clash/

Top 10 Canadian Albums Of 1985

Well, this is the year where things kinda took a turn, IMO. Not a huge list to choose from, and for the most part these are where bands got way more ‘commercial’ or pop oriented, more keyboards (or introduced keyboards)… Not the best from many. Considering I pretty much hated the ’90s, and there was less releases going forward; these lists may get tougher.

Rush – Power Windows

I thought “Big Money” was great as the lead off single here, and it’s still the stand out song for me on this. “Territories”, “Manhattan Project”, good songs, even if it was further into the use of keyboards, etc… but give Rush credit for always moving forward and doing something new – that is why they lasted. Released in October. I saw this tour at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Coney Hatch – Friction

The 3rd in the ’80s trilogy by the Hatch, and the 2nd with Max Norman. A very good album, though the focus on 1 lead singer lost a bit of the magic in the band. But, great tracks – “She’s Gone”, “This Ain’t Love”, and good singles “Girl From Last Night’s Dream” and “Fantasy”.

Headpins – Head Over Heels

The 3rd and final album from the Vancouver band fronted by the amazing Darby Mills, and lead by Brian “Too Loud” McLeod. This one seemed to come and go with less impact than the previous 2. Less of the heavy, a bit more ’80s pop driven, but plenty of good songs – “Stayin’ All Night”, “Never Come Down From The Danger Zone”, “Be With You”…

Helix – Long Way To Heaven

The 3rd Helix album during their heyday, released in November. My favorite one, with “Deep Cuts The Knife”, “The Kids Are All Shakin'”, “Without You”. I remember seeing these guys walking through a local mall back then – wearing their tour jackets! I got Brian Vollmer’s autograph on the back on gift card bag [I was Christmas shopping].

Loverboy – Lovin’ Every Minute Of It

The band’s 4th, released in August This one featured 2 top 10 Billboard hits, the title track [penned by Mutt Lange, who thankfully did not produce this album], and a ballad “This Could Be The Night” [with a co-writing credit to Jonathan Cain, uhg]. A bit heavier overall, another lame cover. I did like this album.

FM – Con-Test

The ‘reunion’ album w/ Nash The Slash returning. A definite more ’80s keyboard pop direction featuring a few hits like “All Of The Dreams”, “Just Like You”, and “Why Don’t You Take It”, as well as favorite “Distant Early Warning” [Ben Mink on guitar].

Kick Axe – Welcome To The Club

This Regina, Saskatchewan band’s 2nd album, and 2nd with Spencer Proffer producing. Some deliberate attempts at breaking the big time with a guest-list filled cover of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends”, but it’s the band’s own songs that I liked far better, like the ballad “Never Let Go”, “Comin’ After You” [single], the title track, and “Hellraisers”.

Saga – Behaviour

Released in August, the last to feature the ‘classic’ line up [for a few years]. Included the hits “What Do I Know”, “Listen To Your Your Heart”, as well as favorites “Here I Am” and the title track.

Orphan – Salute

The 2nd and final album from this Winnipeg band, released in the summer. Featured the hit “Lyin’ To Me”, as well as favorites “Open Up The Skies” and “Woman In Love”.

Aldo Nova – Twitch

Released in October. Not much hard-rockin’ here, with [again] way more keyboards and pop produced tunes. But, heck there are a number of very good songs, like the hits “Rumours Of You” and “Tonight (Lift Me Up)”, and rocker “Heartless”.

Other releases: Lee Aaron Call Of The Wild , Blind Vengeance Blind Vengeance , Hanover Fist Hungry Eyes , April Wine Walking Through Fire , Convict Go Ahead…Make My Day Touchdown Tricks Of A Trade

06 / ’21