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Thread: FEATURED ALBUM: Collage - Moonshine

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    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    FEATURED ALBUM: Collage - Moonshine

    25 years old this year, at the time this was a hyped up neo-prog album that was a bit difficult to track down. Some consider it to be an essential recording of 90s neo-prog. Is it something that has stood the test of time or are we pretty much at "oh yeah, Collage" these days?



    Review from ProgArchives
    A year ago,on April 17th,2005,I bought this masterpeice.The album has grown on me from that time,and now it's my second favourite neo-prog release (after the stunning "Script for a Jester's Tear")!!!I remember looking at the cover artwork and thinking how does it perfectlly reflect the plot of the work.It is dark,but not miserable.It is Darkness with a spot of Light at the end of the Way.It is the best Polish release ever,and that's why I adore Polish prog now!!!

    "Moonshine" blows your ears with opening "Heroes Cry",which is one of the best opening tracks I ever heard!!!Mighty keyboards,fiery drumming and wild guitar(while Gil is said to be influenced by Rothery,I found him even more original than his "teacher"!!!).Closing riff will take you away,I bet!!!The next one,"In your Eyes" stars very moody and darkly,reminding of the best MARILLION's moments(the beginning of "Bitter Suite" or "Pseudo Silk Kimono").Then a theme in a major key follows,and it takes us somewhere far beyond heaven...a little break somewhere on 8th minute and again pompous ending("Here tonight..." etc)."Lovely Day" gives a break from astonishing epic,and second part of it is really nice.But then my favouritest part of the album begins - my fav 3 tracks!!!"Living in the Moonlight" could be made even by Guns'n'Roses or Led Zeppelin,this is stunning touching rock-ballad with great melodic lines(a break before the solo just drives me insane!!!).It crushes into "The Blues",which has plenty of changing complex signatures and vintage Gil/Palczewski duels.The song- part of it will make sing,I bet!!!And the highlight of that trio - "Wings in the Night" epic,written in 3/... signatures,which has awesome soloing coda...it seems that these solo-bridges would last forever!!!"Why..."chorus makes me cry - it is SO TENDER and BEAUTIFUL!!!The best track here,IMHO.The following mighty "Moonshine" is almost the same genius...and closing "War is over" reminds me of Polish folk songs(whose are so close to Ukrainian ones) and it's great coda - a return to your roots...

    Finally,I'd like to say,that "Moonshine" is the best Neo-prog release of 90s and it helds everything,that every progger needs - and even more!!!I recommend it to EVERYONE!!! - prog-jester



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  2. #2
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    That review needs more exclamation points!!!!!!!
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

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    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Great album. Too bad the disappeared after they were going to play NEARfest 2004.
    Chad

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    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    25 years old this year, at the time this was a hyped up neo-prog album that was a bit difficult to track down.
    Really? I bought it from Greg Walker when it was new. I also bought the next one, Safe, which lived up to its name by sounding much more MOR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nearfest2 View Post
    Great album. Too bad the disappeared after they were going to play NEARfest 2004.
    They discontinued the band because (?) Robert Amirian (vox) and Miroslaw Gil (guitar) formed Satellite.

  5. #5
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Don't have the album (and I thought Basnie was supposed to be their "masterpiece?,") but that prog-jester writes a mean review.

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    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    Don't have the album (and I thought Basnie was supposed to be their "masterpiece?,") but that prog-jester writes a mean review.
    Dude, Collage wrote a song in "3/... sig" and not even Rush has written a song in 3/...

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    25 years old this year, at the time this was a hyped up neo-prog album that was a bit difficult to track down. Some consider it to be an essential recording of 90s neo-prog. Is it something that has stood the test of time or are we pretty much at "oh yeah, Collage" these days?
    Still like it a lot after all these years. Stunning album with great music and cover graphics by the artist Zdzislaw Beksinski.
    Last edited by PCMusic; 03-26-2019 at 01:14 AM.
    "Confusion Will Be My Epitaph"

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Nearfest2 View Post
    Great album. Too bad the disappeared after they were going to play NEARfest 2004.
    They are still at it, although, nowadays it seems they limit themselves to live concerts. Below is the link to the concert from last year of Collage with Steve Rothery ... so yeah, you guessed it, they played mostly Marillion:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YURnzWFmTTg
    "Confusion Will Be My Epitaph"

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    Really? I bought it from Greg Walker when it was new. I also bought the next one, Safe, which lived up to its name by sounding much more MOR.

    They discontinued the band because (?) Robert Amirian (vox) and Miroslaw Gil (guitar) formed Satellite.

    They are still at it (per my earlier reply), although, from the original members I think only Szadkowski (drums), Palczewski (keyboards) and Zawadzki (bass - played on Basnie only) are left.

    I suspect the reason why you were able to buy these albums (Moonshine and Safe) with relative ease was because the Polish label Metal Mind had them reissued.
    "Confusion Will Be My Epitaph"

  10. #10
    I liked this album. Very rich melodies and emotional playing. This is like a subset of Neo-Prog that also includes IQ. Bands that pull at every heartstring. I suppose that's why it resonated with me since I tend to sit in darkened rooms and cry a alot.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  11. #11
    I love this album.
    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    They discontinued the band because (?) Robert Amirian (vox) and Miroslaw Gil (guitar) formed Satellite.
    Szadkowski was the main force behind both Collage and Satellite.

    They disbanded in early 00, but reunited several years ago without Robert Amirian (vox) and are slowly making a new ablum. IIRC Miroslaw Gil left some time after reunion.

  12. #12
    I remember liking it when it came out but being bored with it when I revisited it some years back.
    So you could say for me it hasn't aged well.

    To be honest only (some) IQ has stood the test of time musically off all the NEO prog bands. imho of course.

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    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    They discontinued the band because (?) Robert Amirian (vox) and Miroslaw Gil (guitar) formed Satellite.
    Right, but they had agree via email to play NEARfest 2004. We sent them a contract and never heard a peep from anyone in their camp ever again.

    "Safe" is also a very good album.
    Chad

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    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    To be honest only (some) IQ has stood the test of time musically off all the NEO prog bands. imho of course.
    Twelfth Night's three Geoff Mann albums — Smiling at Grief, Fact and Fiction, Live and Let Live — are classics in my book. Then Collector's Item has more material that Geoff sang on, like the epics "Sequences" and "The Collector".

    TN's all-instrumental debut Live at the Target is likewise essential.

    Pendragon's very first album The Jewel remains my favorite of their entire discography.

    I can't get into Pallas. I tried.

  15. #15
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCMusic View Post
    I suspect the reason why you were able to buy these albums (Moonshine and Safe) with relative ease was because the Polish label Metal Mind had them reissued.
    Metal Mind issued Collage in '94 and Greg got the copies in '95, IIRC.

    Safe was released in '96 on Ars Mundi. MM didn't reissue it until '03.

  16. #16
    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    Picked this up from Ken at Nearfest many years back. My cuppa Neo. Made me order the twofer box (Basnie/Safe) from Ken some time later, plus I have the Collage DVD (love when a stoned fan gets up to sing with Robert) and all the Satellite offerings. I bought a Believe DVD which hasn't thrilled me, and the only Mr. Gil I heard left me cold.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    Metal Mind issued Collage in '94 and Greg got the copies in '95, IIRC.

    Safe was released in '96 on Ars Mundi. MM didn't reissue it until '03.
    Was not aware Metal Mind issued Moonshine in 1994. I had in mind reissues of both albums from 2003.
    "Confusion Will Be My Epitaph"

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Nearfest2 View Post
    Right, but they had agree via email to play NEARfest 2004. We sent them a contract and never heard a peep from anyone in their camp ever again.

    "Safe" is also a very good album.
    Never too late, they are still playing live
    "Confusion Will Be My Epitaph"

  19. #19
    Member Camelogue's Avatar
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    Holds up better than Satellite.

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    Member TheH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCMusic View Post
    Was not aware Metal Mind issued Moonshine in 1994. I had in mind reissues of both albums from 2003.
    I'm Pretty sure that was released by SI (Dutch lable) and it was very easy to find in Europe back then.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    I'm Pretty sure that was released by SI (Dutch lable) and it was very easy to find in Europe back then.
    You bet SI released it, they even financed the recording of it of which most of it was done in a Dutch studio in April - June 1994. Metal Mind did release it but only in Poland where as SI Music made sure the album was properly distributed throughout Europe.

  22. #22
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    I had this back in the day when I was first discovering the 'reemergence' of prog. (quotes because there was plenty of prog, just outside my personal radar) I actually might still have it. I remember liking the album, a bit like Satellite, who I think was the project of Collage's drummer if I'm not mistaken. At the time I liked the first Satellite album more, and I enjoyed 'Moonshine' more than 'Basnie' at the time. I sold Basnie, but think I still have Moonshine. Seems to me it was pleasant. Now I'm curious. I'm sure I would still enjoy it. Polish neo prog typically is pleasant, nothing earthshattering or complex, but full of moodiness and feeling.

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    Isn't Symphonic rock like an eternal Medusa that every time when they cut off its head, а few new forms are re-emerging from its body always and forever? I mean, if we define Neo-Prog as a subgenre of Symphonic rock originated in the middle of New Wave hysteria and hence resulted with heavily bombastic digital-synth sound obviously influenced by 1980s' synthesizer-driven New Wave, with striking lack of folk elements that are so characteristic for Symphonic rock of 1970s, and with the influence of the 1980s Heavy Metal, then Collage's 'Moonshine' is a very good album made strictly within the frame of Neo-Prog subgenre. Thus, who likes that "awful" subgenre, surely this is an album for him / her. Probably the album would be better if the songs were sung in Polish language, but it's just my opinion.

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    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juba View Post
    Isn't Symphonic rock like an eternal Medusa that every time when they cut off its head, а few new forms are re-emerging from its body always and forever? I mean, if we define Neo-Prog as a subgenre of Symphonic rock originated in the middle of New Wave hysteria and hence resulted with heavily bombastic digital-synth sound obviously influenced by 1980s' synthesizer-driven New Wave, with striking lack of folk elements that are so characteristic for Symphonic rock of 1970s, and with the influence of the 1980s Heavy Metal, then Collage's 'Moonshine' is a very good album made strictly within the frame of Neo-Prog subgenre. Thus, who likes that "awful" subgenre, surely this is an album for him / her. Probably the album would be better if the songs were sung in Polish language, but it's just my opinion.
    The lack of folk and acoustic beauty is what I disliked about much of 80s music, which especially fits nicely within a prog framework. This is why I never loved that particular genre, though it was pleasant enough and had a measure of feeling. I did quite like Twin Age for a time, but they're more symphonic I suppose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bill g View Post
    The lack of folk and acoustic beauty is what I disliked about much of 80s music, which especially fits nicely within a prog framework. This is why I never loved that particular genre, though it was pleasant enough and had a measure of feeling. I did quite like Twin Age for a time, but they're more symphonic I suppose.
    The acoustic guitar i.e. folk elements in rock music of the seventies - not only in prog but also in Rock and heavy rock - were a hippie legacy and punk / new wave broken with it. In fact, the pub-rockers had already thrown it out in the mid-seventies, but they didn't care, while the punkers really campaigned against everything that smell on hippie thing, and with a big help of the then music-press, they did it thoroughly.

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