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Thread: Big Big Train - Welcome To The Planet

  1. #1
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    Big Big Train - Welcome To The Planet

    BBT are now regularly getting into the mainstream music press. Mojo opines:

    'Strongly melodic tunes feature lots of bright vocal harmonies and fewer proggy instrumental diversions - the sound is often closer to Crowded House than say, King Crimson, and BBT's signature history tales are for once absent. Lots of good moments, though - Made From Sunshine, Proper Jack Froster especially. The only misfire is, oddly, the title track (and how inapt that title seems now), which starts promisingly before veering into whimsy.'

    3 stars.

    I like whimsy (& Crowded House!)

  2. #2
    I’m happy to hear the history lessons don’t make an appearance. Those have felt contrived for a long time. But I still have very low expectations.

  3. #3
    Member bigjohnwayne's Avatar
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    I am eager to hear it. I got English Electric Full Power as a gift 5 or 6 years ago but it unfortunately didn't click with me until after David Longdon's death. I have fallen in love with the band the last month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Master View Post
    I’m happy to hear the history lessons don’t make an appearance. Those have felt contrived for a long time. But I still have very low expectations.
    I'm not expecting too much from this album either, we have already heard most of it and there are already 1 or 2 tracks I'm not overly keen on but I expect I will like most of it. I've pre ordered it anyway, I feel the band deserves our support at this very difficult time.

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve983 View Post
    I'm not expecting too much from this album either, we have already heard most of it and there are already 1 or 2 tracks I'm not overly keen on but I expect I will like most of it. I've pre ordered it anyway, I feel the band deserves our support at this very difficult time.

    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
    Yes, similar to how I was happy for bands that already had an album in the can when COVID appeared so that they had some income from it right away hopefully, I'm happy that the presale for this BBT album started while David was still alive so that that revenue stream was there for the band members now.
    Primary procreation is accomplished…

  6. #6
    It’s a bittersweet release. We have heard six of the songs already and so have a high degree of familiarity. I think we are some way from the BBT of English Electric days, but everything moves on. I’ve followed them avidly for all of the journey since, and will be picking this up on release, but I wonder if they will continue past this one. It must be so hard to know what to do next, so at least they have this in the can and it may give a modicum of breathing space.

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    Here's a full overview of the new album for you, including some details of the 3 songs not yet released. Unavoidably, it also serves as a tribute to David:

    https://www.sonicperspectives.com/al...to-the-planet/

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottAM View Post
    Here's a full overview of the new album for you, including some details of the 3 songs not yet released. Unavoidably, it also serves as a tribute to David:

    https://www.sonicperspectives.com/al...to-the-planet/
    Thanks, some helpful info there.
    Primary procreation is accomplished…

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    Well this is different:


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Master View Post
    I’m happy to hear the history lessons don’t make an appearance. Those have felt contrived for a long time. But I still have very low expectations.
    Why all the pessimism?
    "what's better, peanut butter or g-sharp minor?"
    - Sturgeon's Lawyer, 2021

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve983 View Post
    Well this is different:

    Stunning

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    My take on the new BBT.

    The Prog Corner

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Progtastic View Post
    Stunning
    Agreed! Difficult to watch, though. Still, stunning.

    The lyrical message reminds me of a more optimistic, less "bitter old man" version of the famous Vonnegut quote:

    “Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you've got a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies: 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.' "
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  14. #14
    Member lazland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progtastic View Post
    Stunning
    Isn’t it just!

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    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    My take on the new BBT.

    Thanks for the review, I too am somewhat baffled by those lyrics at the end of the title track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve983 View Post
    Thanks for the review, I too am somewhat baffled by those lyrics at the end of the title track.
    Those lyrics are the primary problem I have with the song. As I wrote in my review:

    "When the opening lyrics taunt “Try not to get abducted, try not to be afraid,” one can almost hear the resulting monolog from John Oliver, “Oh, right! If anyone tells me to try not being afraid after telling me to try not to get abducted, you can be #!?!# sure the one thing I’m going to be is VERY, VERY AFRAID!”

    John-Oliver-.jpg

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    Although I've not heard the whole album yet, it seems to me this album is intended as a showcase for the new BBT's individual song writing talents while feeling their way for a new direction. Of course that is made all the more complicated by the loss of David which forces an unwanted change meaning the band will never sound the same again. Will be interesting to see what they announce at Easter time.

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    For me, the classic period of BBT starts with The Underfall Yard and runs through the live album Empire. That performance in retrospect capped their career IMO. Common Ground was underwhelming to me. I could tell it was composed and recorded remotely with the remaining band members scattered across three countries. But to see in the Prog Readers Poll 2021: Band #1 Big Big Train, Album #1 Big Big Train Common Ground, Male Vocalist #1 David Longdon (Big Big Train), and Person Of 2021 #1 David Longdon (Big Big Train). Seriously? I think Jerry Ewing had extra votes there due to his sister's relationship with David Longdon. BBT had it all going musically once upon a time. But a hesitation to widely tour, then the pandemic, and finally personal tragedy have put the train into the railway museum.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by RandallB View Post
    But to see in the Prog Readers Poll 2021: Band #1 Big Big Train, Album #1 Big Big Train Common Ground, Male Vocalist #1 David Longdon (Big Big Train), and Person Of 2021 #1 David Longdon (Big Big Train). Seriously?
    Can't accept that your opinion might just differ from others', eh?


    Quote Originally Posted by RandallB View Post
    BBT had it all going musically once upon a time. But a hesitation to widely tour, then the pandemic, and finally personal tragedy have put the train into the railway museum.
    That's a bit premature I think. And tacky.

    I don't think it was a "hesitation" to tour, so much as it being financially impossible to tour. They're not the only "prog" band who weren't able to widely tour; it's not unique to them. It hasn't hurt them either, as they've still got a following and have been putting out music consistently.
    "what's better, peanut butter or g-sharp minor?"
    - Sturgeon's Lawyer, 2021

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    [QUOTE=aith01;1096971I don't think it was a "hesitation" to tour, so much as it being financially impossible to tour. They're not the only "prog" band who weren't able to widely tour; it's not unique to them. It hasn't hurt them either, as they've still got a following and have been putting out music consistently.[/QUOTE]

    I talked with NDV when Folklore came out. Told him how impressed I was with the CD and that now was the time for them to tour the US and make their mark. He said in so many words that there was resistance from across the way to doing so. BBT really only performed two gigs outside the UK. One in the Netherlands and another in Germany. Both easily reachable, ironically, by train from their home country.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by RandallB View Post
    I talked with NDV when Folklore came out. Told him how impressed I was with the CD and that now was the time for them to tour the US and make their mark. He said in so many words that there was resistance from across the way to doing so. BBT really only performed two gigs outside the UK. One in the Netherlands and another in Germany. Both easily reachable, ironically, by train from their home country.
    How would touring in the US help them to make their mark exactly? And how many prog bands (both domestic and overseas) do you know who successfully tour over here?
    "what's better, peanut butter or g-sharp minor?"
    - Sturgeon's Lawyer, 2021

  22. #22
    Remember there is no record company budget paving the way for a world tour, and Greg has said before that touring is still a loss leader for them. It’s a large entourage to take on the road, with the brass ensemble an integral feature of the live sound. Therefore a tour of the US had to be on their own terms, and sadly recent events have wrecked those plans. BBT is a self-funded operation, and they have done brilliantly to reach the audience they have, it has been a heart-warming story, and I do hope they can continue.

  23. #23
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    Thirteen musicians on stage. Not a cheap act to tour.
    "I have not yet begun to procrastinate."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Progtastic View Post
    Stunning
    They are expecting this song to divide opinion amongst listeners - and, in that sense, it is a brave and bold move. Such a heartfelt piece of songwriting, I think.

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    The title track is definitely unusual for them. I like how they try new things and give new members a chance to shine, especially on interim albums such as this one or The Second Brightest Star. Here they seem to deliberately lure you into a kind of lullaby before the song gets going all of a sudden. It does take a bit too long to get there though (at least the album version) and I'm not too sure about the "auntie Carly" lyric which seems a bit too personal for a band song.

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