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Stackridge - 'Preserved: Best Of - Volume Two' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/93/13/2d/2641_stackridgepreservedbestofvolume2_1345550581.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 21, 2012    
 
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Excellent introduction to a band that deserves far more recognition than they currently receive.

Quite amazingly the history of Stackridge stretches back over four decades, with the band releasing their debut album back in 1971. A huge variety of line-ups have come and gone, either side of a 23 year lay off between 1976 and 1999, however since that reformation these progressive pop-folksters have continued to sporadically release new music, while their live performances have proved to be far more regular and ever popular. Back in 2006 reissue specialists Angel Air released the rather wonderfully titled ‘Purple Spaceships Over Yatton: The Best Of Stackridge’, but not content with that retrospective, we now have further catalogue plundering in the shape of the slightly more straight forwardly named ‘Preserved Best Of - Volume Two’. For some bands one ‘best of’ collection is stretching things, however what ‘Preserved’ proves rather admirably is that delving a little deeper into the Stackridge canon and you’ll find a further thirteen tracks to fully enthral, entertain and generally paint a grin on your face.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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To cite influences would be rather disrespectful when you consider Stackridge were one of the bands setting the standards for folk inspired progressive rock. However if flowing, intricate music which incorporates everything from the usual vocals, drums, guitars and the like, to flutes, trombone, penny whistle and accordion sounds like something that would interest you, then this is going to be a real treat. With that list of instruments in mind, the fact that the whole vibe of this album is reasonably easy going is not too surprising, leaving the eclecticism on show to demand your attention. Dip into this CD at any point and you’ll find little gems of all variety. ‘It’s A Fascinating World’ comes across like a more focused, flute infused Syd era Pink Floyd track, while ‘Hey Good Looking’ adds a bluesy confidence to some more outlandish, if laid back jazzy themes and fantastically, ‘Who’s That Up There With Bill Stokes’ is like the sound of Sparks covering the theme tune to ‘John Craven’s Newsround’! Skip back a few tracks and ‘God Speed The Plough’ is out and out classical music composed with great skill, while the obviously titled ‘Something About The Beatles’ pays homage to the band that really created all of this sort of music when they hired the bus for their magical mystery tour - although 10CC, or even ELO are also good comparisons. Unlike most compilations, ‘Preserved’ doesn’t shy away from including the shorter quirkier Stackridge tracks, allowing highlights like ‘32 West Mall’ and ‘Can Inspiration Save The Nation’ to catch your curiosity as they pass by.

Really that is just scratching the surface of the flavours and textures served up on this excellent introduction to a band that deserves far more recognition than they currently receive. However what ties it all together are beautifully crafted songs that have obviously been created with great care and attention, making each and every one a journey well worth taking in its own rite.

Steven Reid

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Simon Malia said:

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An excellent, well-thought-out review of what is a delightful compendium of music by one of the very best bands Britain has to offer. Well said! smilies/smiley.gif
 
August 22, 2012
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