Here we yet again have Clive taking a look at music which inspired him and performing it in a classical instrumental manner. Again he has taken the music and adapted it in a manner which is both true to the original and sympathetic to it but lifts the songs into new directions. It would be difficult to fault the choice of bands, with Genesis, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, ELP, VDGG, Led Zeppelin, Rush and Yes all here, but true progheads will be pleased to also note the inclusion not only of Marillion but also IQ and his version of “Widow’s Peak” is simply wonderful. I have always said the progressive bands who have been producing albums since the heyday of the genre should be recognised in the same breath as the classics, and here Clive ends the release by having Marillion close (with “Garden Party” segueing nicely into “Grendel”).
It is difficult to pick a favourite, but a special mention must be made of “Thick As A Brick”. We may not get the full length, but there is more than 20 minutes here to enjoy as he adapts his way through the classic. I am not overly fond of “Stairway to Heaven”, but I am sure that is because we have now been spoiled by the Heart version which will always be regarded as the gold standard. “Fanfare For The Common Man” is one of the most successful from a classical adaptation viewpoint, with glorious woodwind opening, and violins behind the piano for the main theme. Yes, this is all being played on synths, but Clive has done a wonderful job in using the best sounds for each “voice”. All it needs now is for a live performance with the LSO (or similar) showing just what Clive has managed to achieve with these great arrangements.
In recent years Clive has been producing some wonderful releases, and this is yet another that all progheads will surely enjoy, I know I did. 9/10 Kev Rowland