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Thread: FEATURED CD - Happy The Man The Muse Awakens

  1. #26
    Member bp's Avatar
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    I'm back as bp.

    I will always agree that the live side of HTM had the energy that never seemed captured in the studio. Having seen any version of the band live and mixing all but one of the reunion shows gives me a perspective that I wish I could share more easily with the fans. From "The Muse", Stan's song Adrift was very powerful live but was only played out two or three times. I'm still looking for a board tape of that song from the Bergamini tour. Joe really did an excellent job on that tour. The Muse was recorded before Joe had done any live shows with the band and the tunes really developed a stronger dynamic both musically as well as in the changes in arrangement during the rehearsals after the CD was recorded.

    Steve - regarding the live part of the Muse CD discussions, there were some band politics involved but the biggest issue in the end was that one of the multitrack tapes had a technical issue that made a mix of the desired show (the last HTM ProgDay show) impossible. The bad tape had the vocals, saxes, audience mics and stereo FOH board mix on it. I've felt awful about that for years and years. In many ways, that day was the finest show that the reunion HTM had ever played. "Ibby It Is" was mixed from that show and can be heard on YouTube and a benefit CD.
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  2. #27
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bp View Post
    In many ways, that day was the finest show that the reunion HTM had ever played.
    It certainly felt that way to me. It was an astoundingly great show; I'm happy I saw it!...
    Steve F.

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    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  3. #28
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    I would like to hear this in elevators.

  4. #29
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    What kind of elevators do you plan to ride, anyway?

  5. #30
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    I like this third behind Crafty Hands & Oblivion Sun - s/t, as others have mentioned its a bit too clean for me compared to the others.
    Ian

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  6. #31
    Love it!

    While not quite up to the quality of their 70's releases, it is still great.

    Saw them at Nearfest soon after their reunion (what was it, their 2nd or 3rd performance?), and they were brilliant.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  7. #32
    Member Firth's Avatar
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    especially live
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  8. #33
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    What kind of elevators do you plan to ride, anyway?
    Our company elevators mainly. Those are currently music-free but Muse Awakens could be pleasant background music. And I don't believe that nobody would be too offended.

  9. #34
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    I like this one a lot, very fine comeback effort. Nearly on par with the first two albums, and far better than that unfinished demo release "3rd Better Late". And I did catch them live playing this material at the NJ Proghouse show back in 2004. I was hoping to hear more work by them with Joe Bergamini (4Front) on drums, and David Rosenthal on keys, but it was not meant to be. Still, I quite like Oblivion Sun, which is the very same musical direction. I agree the firt OS is stronger, but the 2nd one is still quite a fine work. Hopefully it's not the last.

  10. #35
    Considering the music on "Better Late" was demos, I really like it. I'm glad the effort was made to get that music to the fans.
    Coming September 1st - "Dean Watson Revisited"!

  11. #36
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    There are a couple of really, really great songs on Better Late & The Muse Awakens (and on Beginnings, for that matter), but the first two studio albums are just so fantastic... The stellar production on those Arista albums helps propel the songs forward, too.

    I do feel fortunate to have seen the band at ProgDay. Didn't realize that was their final show until now. Rosenthal left me wanting for nothing-- he was an amazing fit for HtM; I can't imagine we'd have gotten any reunion of that caliber without his efforts!

    All in all, HtM bundled everything I love about the first wave of "Big 6 Capital P. Prog" and condensed it into a rather unique & very fun repertoire.

    No PE member should be without the Arista albums, IMHO. We can sit around here endlessly debating the relative merits of This Heat, Ottawa Music Co., Battered Ornaments, IQ, John Payne, John Cage, John Mayhew, Guru Gypsy, Starcastle or Smallcreeps' Day (!), but HtM is canonical.

    Oops, forgot to pepper my post with "IMHOs!"

  12. #37
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mx20 View Post

    No PE member should be without the Arista albums, IMHO. We can sit around here endlessly debating the relative merits of This Heat, Ottawa Music Co., Battered Ornaments, IQ, John Payne, John Cage, John Mayhew, Guru Gypsy, Starcastle or Smallcreeps' Day (!), but HtM is canonical.

    Oops, forgot to pepper my post with "IMHOs!"
    PE has been giving HtM love forever.
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  13. #38
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I only have their first album. Yes, it sounds great for something that was recorded in 1977 or 78. Haven't played it in a lot of years though. It's just not my cuppa but it's worth keeping.

  14. #39
    I found this interesting post on the Happy The Fan-forum: http://htfo.proboards.com/thread/252/track-order-muse

  15. #40
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    I've liked this album for a while. At first I really was into the flashier stuff like "Contemporary Insanity" and "Barking Spiders"

    Now I listen to the softer tracks. I just turned on the title track. Maybe not as good as "Starborne" but its up there with "Hidden Moods" for me

  16. #41
    Heard a tape at a friend's house of Happy The Man live in 2000 at Nearfest. The version of "Contemporary Insanity" was amazing! All the material, old and new, was completely outstanding. I hope someone on this planet officially releases this concert. I would die for this. The members of this band are characters on stage. They are a bit comical and entertaining in a sarcastic way.

  17. #42
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    That Nearfest show was one of the best performances I've seen by anyone!

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    That Nearfest show was one of the best performances I've seen by anyone!
    It's in my top 3 too (together with Genesis 1977 and Isildurs Bane 2000).

  19. #44
    Member Joe F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    That Nearfest show was one of the best performances I've seen by anyone!
    Yeah. That was a great show!

  20. #45
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    It does indeed sound like the classic HTM lineup and songs. Did it have Kit on it - No. Was he missed - I don't really think so. Certainly the new keyboard player channeled his sound remarkably well. Perhaps he was missed in the composition of some of these new songs.

    Yes, I also felt they tried pretty hard to replicate what the band did 15-20 years ago, maybe too closely. A 2nd album from this lineup would certainly have moved them forward away from that focus and would have been great to explore.
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  21. #46
    Well...

    As long as this thread has been revived after 4+ months, I'll go ahead and post.

    I kind if think of this CD as an EP. I just skip the weakest songs, and play the great ones, which adds up to an EP worth of great music.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  22. #47
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    It does indeed sound like the classic HTM lineup and songs. Did it have Kit on it - No. Was he missed - I don't really think so. Certainly the new keyboard player channeled his sound remarkably well. Perhaps he was missed in the composition of some of these new songs.

    Yes, I also felt they tried pretty hard to replicate what the band did 15-20 years ago, maybe too closely. A 2nd album from this lineup would certainly have moved them forward away from that focus and would have been great to explore.
    I consider the first Oblivion Sun record to be a proper follow-up! I think it's better than Muse and on a par with Crafty Hands. Essential!

  23. #48
    Is this now out of print? I note that even Amazon doesn't have it at a reasonable price.

  24. #49
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    it's been out of print for a number of years, Chris. Certainly since Inside Out / SPV went bust and possibly before
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

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    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  25. #50
    Really love the cd, although the balance was tilted just a bit too far to the mellow side for my taste. IMHO, the Rosenthal-penned tracks are the strongest with the most memorable melodies. Along that line of thinking, the Frank/Stan tunes have always benefited from a 3rd writer/arranger in the band (Kit, Rosenthal, Bill Plummer) as their efforts without one (Pedal Giant Animals and OS's second release) aren't nearly as strong. YMMV.

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