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Thread: FEATURED CD: Porcupine Tree - Up The Downstair

  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    There's also a difference between the initial versions of these albums and the more recent reissues where SW replaced some of the original tracks (drums I know, also I think some keyboards?) So the original versions sound more like a home studio effort (though a remarkably good one).
    I'm among these that prefer the very first recording of the original Delerium LP of Up The Downstair (with the drum machine) than the reworked version. The overall sound is more close to the feel of the space rock/psych prog festival scene of the era, thus more original and less artificial to my ears...

    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    Wilson was just bubbling over with creativity, plus the experimentation in projects like IEM and Bass Communion were feeding into PT, which just heightened the "anything goes" atmosphere. The predictability factor was much lower, IMO.
    BASS COMMUNION leave me somewhat indifferent. The only album I've returned for a listen is "II". I also think that I.E.M. is Steven Wilson's most interesting project to date.
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  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    I disagree with Steve Sly though. I like "On the Sunday of life" a lot.
    Well, I'm probably the only one on earth that considers On the Sunday of Life as the best Porcupine Tree album... In other words the most unpredictably creative
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  3. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Some of the PT albums a little later on, especially LBS and SD, also had very alternative rock sensibilities to them(imo).
    Yes and that attempt to reach a bigger audience by simplifying the sound and compromising soundscapes for song-friendly approach was a major let down for me. Similar misstep as Sun Dial's "Reflecter" after their "Other Way Out" mindblowing debut, though the later retained their psych guitar outbursts.
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  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    Yes and that attempt to reach a bigger audience by simplifying the sound and compromising soundscapes for song-friendly approach was a major let down for me. Similar misstep as Sun Dial's "Reflecter" after their "Other Way Out" mindblowing debut
    I agree wholeheartedly, and that's an apt analogy; On the Sunday of Life and Other Way Out were, along with only a handful of titles by the Ozrics and Bevis Frond, the definite marker that the neo-psych underground scene was becoming more established. Other Way Out is in a completely other class to almost everything else which was made by anyone adhering to that scene, though - an instant sort of subcultural sensation whose future status was recognizable immediately. I remember Thurston Moore mentioning this record in a 90s interview with The Wire, and expressing somewhat of a surprise when the British journalist had no idea who Sun Dial or Gary Ramon were. It's still analog distorted Gibson SG Fender Telecaster Space Echo Vox Continental Farfisa heaven when I listen to it once in a while today.
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  5. #30
    For the credit of Gary Ramon is that they tried to jump on the sonic bandwagon of bands like early RIDE with "Reflecter"; a style which still had sonic outbursts of noisy psych bliss. On the contrary, Steven Wilson embracing indie/alternative stylings with Porcupine Tree had been on more conventional terms.
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  6. #31
    Member davis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    The best era for Porcupine Tree.
    my favorite also. The first 4 albums. and I love that front cover artwork. always have.

  7. #32
    Member Ivory Forest's Avatar
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    This was a fairly decent album, one I listen to occasionally. But I enjoy his music a lot more once he release The Sky Moves Sideways, and onward. My favorite PT album being In Absentia. I dont really care for The Incident very much though. I love what Wilson has done with his solo albums, which seem to be getting better and better! I heard a few leaked tracks from The Raven that Refused to Sing, and think its some of his best work since In Absentia! I also liked the Storm Corrosion album he did with Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth, which is one of my favorite bands of all time! The earlier Porcupine Tree music still has a lot of passion, charm, and great creative vision! It shows even back then Wilson was a well rounded musician and recording engineer/producer. I liked the Pink Floyd style vibes, Floyd being my favorite band of all time. But I do like that Wilson progresses, and explores new ideas and styles of music as Porcupine Tree evolved into a full fledged band. The man never seems to run out of creative juices, and as he grows older his music takes on new emotions, and diverse elements. A lot of bands and musicians that label themselves Prog, or Progressive end up sounding like bands from the 1970s. But Wilson is truly a Progressive artist, and any fan of his work should give his earlier albums a serious listen to see just how much he's evolved and progressed over the years!
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  8. #33
    Member davis's Avatar
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    Before the 'fame', before Opeth, before the shoulder-length haircut, before his parents kicked him out of the basement for making all that noise this was Steven Wilson


  9. #34
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    Love this stuff. For those who have the re-issues you get the Staircase Infinities EP as a bonus disc. According to the liner notes Wilson had originally planned to release a double album with Voyage 34 as the center-piece of it all. The Staircase Infinities EP contained songs that were to be on the double album and are from the same sessions, well except for the Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape which was from earlier. Of course his plans changed as he released Voyage 34 on an EP and Up The Downstair became a single album.
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  10. #35
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davis View Post
    Before the 'fame', before Opeth, before the shoulder-length haircut, before his parents kicked him out of the basement for making all that noise
    Before the glasses and back when he still wore shoes on stage.

    But that was awesome -- thanks for linking that vid. Never seen it before. That should get a commercial release, IMO.

    Oh, and one more thing: Chris Maitland totally rocked, IMO. I don't know what the heck happened to cause him to become persona non grata so quickly, but -- and I know Gavin is no slouch -- I really miss him in the later PT stuff.
    Last edited by Paulrus; 01-17-2013 at 03:18 PM.

  11. #36
    Very significant album for me, and probably in my all time top 20. I got a copy a few weeks after hearing a PT radio session in Dec 1993 and being fairly blown away by it. This album really sums up what I like most about Wilson's work, and that's the atmosphere and sonic universe he creates. That gorgeous intro to Fadeaway gets me every time!! Also second the opinion on Chris Maitland...I remember getting the PT newsletter (Transmission) that said he'd left and I was totally gutted

    I love the "metal" era of the band but the early days are pretty special IMO.

    Matt.

  12. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by gryphs also View Post
    Big fan of this era of PT, but I definitely prefer Signify to this. I think In Absentia is a brilliant recording but is the only one of the more prog-metal era that I think is special. .
    I agree. Signify was the first PT I heard in the late 90s. Loved the soundscape and the drumming really stood out to me. It was getting less interesting around Light Bulb Sun. But, In Absentia transcends all of that while magically displaying a mainstream appeal.
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  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Troopers For Sound View Post
    Also second the opinion on Chris Maitland...I remember getting the PT newsletter (Transmission) that said he'd left and I was totally gutted

    I love the "metal" era of the band but the early days are pretty special IMO.

    Matt.
    Same here.

  14. #39
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    I too really miss Chris although I acknowledge as well that Gavin is equally if not better in the eyes of some. I got to talk quite a bit with Chris after a show in Chicago. He was the only member to really come out after the show and be accessible to the fans after. Really down to earth and fun loving guy. Saying all that and getting back to topic, this is the one early PT release that I keep coming back to. My 1st exposure to them was TSMS and Signify (my personal favorite).
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    Before the glasses and back when he still wore shoes on stage.

    But that was awesome -- thanks for linking that vid. Never seen it before. That should get a commercial release, IMO.

    Oh, and one more thing: Chris Maitland totally rocked, IMO. I don't know what the heck happened to cause him to become persona non grata so quickly, but -- and I know Gavin is no slouch -- I really miss him in the later PT stuff.

  15. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    Chris Maitland totally rocked, IMO. I don't know what the heck happened to cause him to become persona non grata so quickly, but -- and I know Gavin is no slouch -- I really miss him in the later PT stuff.
    I dunno. I love what Chris did during the band's first era, but to my ears Gavin is really a better fit for what came after. In the end the switch was probably the right thing at the right time.

  16. #41
    Member scags's Avatar
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    I agree

  17. #42
    That's one opinion. Sad its the officious one.

  18. #43
    Yeah, I loved Chris's work in PT, but the change to Gavin made sense. Now I love Gavin's playing not only with PT, but with King Crimson. I was floored by what he added to KC's music when I saw them in '08.

  19. #44
    I think i am the only person who thinks porcupine Trees last album THE INCIDENT was better than there early records

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil View Post
    I think i am the only person who thinks porcupine Trees last album THE INCIDENT was better than there early records
    Sorry, Neil, I can't agree with you
    I can find something to like about every PT album. I'm really excited to see Steven Wilson live in April because I hear he's been playing "Radioactive Toy" off On the Sunday of Life as the encore.

  21. #46
    Member scags's Avatar
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    I prefer it to the pre Lightbulb stuff.

  22. #47
    Member FredOCal's Avatar
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    I heard this right when I was discovering prog, and I still think this is my favorite version of the band, although I love Fear of a Blank Planet and Recordings as much as I love the three from this era (Up the Downstair, Sky Moves Sideways, and Signify). Yes, there's a huge Floyd influence, but there's also a noise influence and an electronica influence as well, all of which I find particularly appealing. I was just talking with a British friend who's my age and remembers being hugely into Porcupine Tree around this time. He's also a DJ and he was enamored with the way they combined these several styles. I think this era of the band would hold more appeal for those of us around 40 who were into the electronic and noise scenes of the early 90s.

  23. #48
    Member Chris Kemp's Avatar
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    I like "Up the Downstair". It was one of the first "Prog Revival" records I bought based on what I read about it in the GEPR. "The music you are listening to..." I love it. I even liked working out to it. I bought it at Borders. Ah, those were the days. I have to say, though, my two faves are "Signify" and "Stupid Dream." That's the PT sweetspot for me. I like "Lightbulb Sun" but it starts moving too far away from the earlier trance-like psych elements. Unlike most, I'm not much of a fan of "In Absentia". A few high points but it doesn't sustain my interest. I know I am in the minority there. I am interested in picking up his new solo album. It sounds intriguing.

  24. #49
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Kemp View Post
    my two faves are "Signify" and "Stupid Dream." That's the PT sweetspot for me.
    You are not alone, Chris. The reason SW really blew my socks off when I first discovered PT was for the songwriting, even more so than the production wizardry. It's how Steven put the two together that made that era of his career so magical. Lots of people can do amazing things with their computers, but few can write a song like "Waiting" or "Even Less".

  25. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by FredOCal View Post
    I think this era of the band would hold more appeal for those of us around 40 who were into the electronic and noise scenes of the early 90s.
    Wilson was heavily into MUSLIMGAUZE and kraut rock around that era...
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