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Thread: Help Please - Post Morse Spock's Beard Output

  1. #1
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    Help Please - Post Morse Spock's Beard Output

    I stopped my Spock's Beard collection at "Snow" (after Neil's departure). I felt that they would be like Yes without Jon or Styx without Dennis.

    Now I am contemplating investing in the post-Morse era albums and I have read the various reviews that exist on the usual suspect sites. However, I trust the cabal of experts on PE to give their honest and forthright opinions relative to the albums from "Feel Euphoria" to "Noise Floor". It appears as if "X", "Brief Nocturnes" and "The Oblivion Particle" take the cake as the highest rating of that era.

    What do you think, PE music lovers and afficionados? Your input is appreciated.

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    In contrast to advice regarding most prog bands, start with the most recent and go backwards in time. When you hit one you dislike, stop.

  3. #3
    They might not be my #1 anymore but I still listen to them a lot. Because of that fandom I would say to simply go through the rest of the catalog in chronological order. I think it's an interesting journey actually. If pressed my fave 3 of the era would be the eponymous 9th, X & Noise Floor. I love Jimmy's drumming, just not as much as Nick. Also happens to be that I enjoy Ted's vocals more then Nick's. To that end I enjoy Brief Nocturnes.. & Oblivion.. more then Feel Euphoria & Octane. And yes, NF is a special one for me as I get the best of both worlds finally. But not just that, from the first minute in, hearing Nick & Dave together again after all that time apart, for me was just all and it still is if I'm honest.

    And as an aside to add more weight to where my opinion was formed, the first time I saw SB was in a tiny little club here & Enchant opened for them. I was all in for both bands. It was love at first listen and after the show I mentioned to my gf at the time something to the effect of, "Wow, that was the best live vocalist & band I've seen in like forever. Imagine if they got together?" You just never know...

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    I think all Spock's Beard albums are worth owning. Some are better than others, but they are all quality stuff.

  5. #5
    What has happened to the band? No word from them for a couple of years.

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    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    I stopped my Spock's Beard collection at "Snow" (after Neil's departure). I felt that they would be like Yes without Jon or Styx without Dennis.
    In my opinion, it’s more like The Doors without Morrison. With all due respect to the musicians, if they didn’t have the SB name and legacy, few would listen to their music.

    I would recommend Brief Nocturnes only, and that is because it has Neal’s writing on a few songs as well as a solid performance from Ted Leonard.

    Even though Neal can be too much Neal at times, I would go after more Morse related material over anything in SB without him.
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  7. #7
    I like the Ted Leonard albums better than the Nick D'Virgilio ones but that's a personal thing with me. Whenever I hear Nick sing I picture in my mind someone pushing their way through other people to stand in front of the stage.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

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    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    Would suggest listening to Disc 2 of "the First Twenty Years" and finding what you like. I had jumped ship after not feeling "Euphoria" so skipped "octane" but returned to the fold with "X" and have enjoyed pretty much all their subsequent output.

    For those enjoying the current SB iteration, don't miss the three Pattern Seeking Animals albums.

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    Alright, thank you all for the excellent and varied input; very helpful indeed. I think I know how to approach their later catalog now.

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    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I keep buying the Nealess Spock's Beard and have been consistently disappointment. I'd recommend stopping.
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound.

  11. #11
    Member IMWeasel's Avatar
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    Honestly I never like Neal Morse in the first place (he was one of the main reasons I didnt like neo prog in general) so Ive always been a bit intrigued by the albums without him. Maybe I'll give it a spin some time.
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

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    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    Not sure I've ever heard Neal described as "neo".

  13. #13
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I'm not sure why neo is a bad name. There is room for all types of music.
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound.

  14. #14
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    I find the last 3 or 4 SB albums at least as good as the Neal era albums. At a time when Neal's output is becoming a little stale, SB deviating from that is actually quite refreshing.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Splicer View Post
    I like the Ted Leonard albums better than the Nick D'Virgilio ones but that's a personal thing with me. Whenever I hear Nick sing I picture in my mind someone pushing their way through other people to stand in front of the stage.
    What is your beef with Nick?

    Have you ever met him, or seen him perform in concert before? I have, multiple times, and he is nothing like you are describing. I spoke with him after the shows I saw him at, and he was really down to earth and gracious, and even when he was on-stage he was not a prima donna at all. Just energetic and goofy.
    Last edited by aith01; 1 Week Ago at 03:11 PM.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    I keep buying the Nealess Spock's Beard and have been consistently disappointment. I'd recommend stopping.
    The only post-Neal SB album that really didn't do anything for me was The Oblivion Particle. I've liked or even loved all the others.

    X is phenomenal, their self-titled one is really good, Octane and Sound Floor are more punchy and immediate, and Brief Nocturnes is excellent.
    "what's better, peanut butter or g-sharp minor?"
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    In my opinion, it’s more like The Doors without Morrison. With all due respect to the musicians, if they didn’t have the SB name and legacy, few would listen to their music.

    I would recommend Brief Nocturnes only, and that is because it has Neal’s writing on a few songs as well as a solid performance from Ted Leonard.
    This is an interesting take, even though I don't agree with it. I think by X the band found their own footing without Neal.


    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    Even though Neal can be too much Neal at times, I would go after more Morse related material over anything in SB without him.
    I like the way you said this.

    IMO, Neal is at his best when he's in a band setting with other people collaborating/contributing. His style is highly idiosyncratic and identifiable -- which is not a bad thing -- but the "Morse formula" becomes apparent pretty quickly when it's just him writing the songs. The guy is a brilliant musician though; if I could write songs like him, I'd be more than happy.
    "what's better, peanut butter or g-sharp minor?"
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  18. #18
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    What is your beef with Nick?

    Have you ever met him, or seen him perform in concert before? I have, multiple times, and he is nothing like you are describing. I spoke with him after the shows I saw him at, and he was really down to earth and gracious, and not a prima donna at all.
    Nick is one of the nicest people I've ever interviewed. 100% genuine and just was just as interested to talk to me as I was to him.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Nick is one of the nicest people I've ever interviewed. 100% genuine and just was just as interested to talk to me as I was to him.


    Is that interview on your site? I didn't realize you had interviewed Nick before, but I'd like to see it.
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  20. #20
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post


    Is that interview on your site? I didn't realize you had interviewed Nick before, but I'd like to see it.
    Yep, I've interviewed all three Spock's singers actually! Here you go:

    https://www.velvetthunder.co.uk/nick...ce-right-time/
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

    'The best stuff is really when Mick Pointer was a baby, banging on pots and pans. That was their most "out there" stuff.' - JKL2000

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Yep, I've interviewed all three Spock's singers actually! Here you go:

    https://www.velvetthunder.co.uk/nick...ce-right-time/
    Gracias!
    "what's better, peanut butter or g-sharp minor?"
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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    Would suggest listening to Disc 2 of "the First Twenty Years" and finding what you like. I had jumped ship after not feeling "Euphoria" so skipped "octane" but returned to the fold with "X" and have enjoyed pretty much all their subsequent output.
    This right here is the best idea. Hell I think it's worth it for the track "Falling for Forever" where everyone who's played in the band gets to have fun & show off a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Nick is one of the nicest people I've ever interviewed. 100% genuine and just was just as interested to talk to me as I was to him.
    My experience has always been the same. But when someone is only ever viewed & experienced from afar & on a screen... I think we can all agree that sometimes (now more then ever) perspectives can get a bit skewed, eh?
    Last edited by reynard; 1 Week Ago at 09:30 PM.

  23. #23
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    I always joked that Spock's Beard, with NDV as the singer, came across at times like an edgier, suped-up Billy Joel. But then again I like Billy Joel. I can honestly say every SB album has good songs, maybe even a great song. I actually prefer a couple of the NDV albums over any of the Ted Leonard ones. The 9th self-titled album from '06 with, IMO, the band's best 1-2 punch of an opening pair of songs On A Perfect Day and Skeletons At The Feast. I like several songs from FE but was late to the party because I couldn't get past the poor reviews. I got the bonus edition for cheap and yes, the album was as bloated as described and the attempts at a suite or epic where stiff and forgettable. It's the 'regular' songs that stuck with me. 'X' also has what I think are great songs and they're best efforts at long-form prog. I can take or leave Octane; when I first heard that album I thought they were through. Lots of people like A Guy Named Syd but to me it was (what was termed long ago by someone at PE) frankenprog.

    I'm surprised that I didn't like the Ted albums more than I did. I own and love a couple of album from his old band, Enchant. Ted's got a better voice than NDV or Neal but the writing just isn't there, at least not consistently.

    But yeah, if you're looking to satisfy a major prog jones you might be wanting because Neal took the prog with him when he left. Thing is I'd still rather listen to my NDV-SB playlist than most any Neal Morse solo stuff.

  24. #24
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    What is your beef with Nick?

    Have you ever met him, or seen him perform in concert before? I have, multiple times, and he is nothing like you are describing. I spoke with him after the shows I saw him at, and he was really down to earth and gracious, and even when he was on-stage he was not a prima donna at all. Just energetic and goofy.
    I think that's just sort of Nick's lot, to get the short end of the stick when making his moves into bands. I'm not saying it isn't fair, it's just the way the cookies crumbled. He took over for Neal, and he joined BBT after they already some sort of fan base (I think). It's not always an easy road to hoe. I actually have sort of negative feelings about Nick, but I can still realize it's not really his fault.

    Hey, a lot of Fish fans really don't like Hogarth! Nick's in good company.
    Primary procreation is accomplished…

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post

    But yeah, if you're looking to satisfy a major prog jones you might be wanting because Neal took the prog with him when he left. f.
    Just my opinion of course, but I totally disagree with this statement. There is plenty of prog on both then Nick and Ted Spock's Beard albums to my ears.

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