All-purpose Spock's Beard love-fest thread...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by jmpatrick, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. jmpatrick

    jmpatrick Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    I saw Spock's Beard last Saturday in Chicago. Superb performance! I've seen then several times since the "Beware of Darkness" days, and this may be their strongest lineup yet. That's pretty amazing considering they've lost Neal Morse (the heart of the band) and Nick D'Virgilio (an incredible drummer). Ted Leonard is as strong as Neal vocally, and plays excellent electric guitar which is something they were always lacking, IMO. I do miss Neal's keyboard work, however. Jimmy Keegan was quite a surprise on drums, and vocally outstanding.

    Any other SB fans?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
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  2. Dr Mike

    Dr Mike Well-Known Member

    They are excellent, although a bit adrift creatively since Neal left. The new album is very good, however, and it's good to see Neal return in a sort of Brian Wilson-esque capacity—writing some songs and occasionally appearing live with them.

    I was thinking about attending that show, but I ended up helping a friend move instead. Oh well...
     
  3. Rodney Toady

    Rodney Toady Waste of cyberspace

    Location:
    Finland
    I love Spock's Beard - and I've been like this ever since I heard The Light back in 1995, soon after it was first released. Still, despite me having been a fan of the band since their early days, I think they have released much of their strongest work after the departure of Neal Morse. The last three albums in particular are huge favourites of mine, right up there (above) V and The Kindness of Strangers in my SB Top 5.
     
  4. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Was a huge fan in the Neal days after seeing them open for Dream Theater in 2000. Saw them in 2006 in Chicago...was a good show, but unfortunately was before their two best NDV-era albums.

    Unfortunately living far, far away from anywhere the band might ever do a gig has dampened my fandom a bit. Thought the last album was solid, but kinda 'meh' about the singer choice. Ted Leonard seems like a nice guy and a good singer, but I just can't get excited about him.

    I really want to like some of Neal's solo stuff, but I also have zero desire to hear anyone sing about jesus, so kind of at a crossroads there. With normal music, the vocals are just another instrument to me a lot of the time, but his solo album lyrics are so literal and awkward that you can't really ignore them.
     
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  5. SteveMac

    SteveMac Well-Known Member

    I've only come to Spock's Beard and Neal Morse's music in the past year, and have to say I'm very impressed at the sheer musicality of it (both early and late SB). But as for the the quoted part, I wonder if you've heard the Momentum album/CD? I don't listen as closely to lyrics as to music, but I don't recall the lyrics being very much "in your face". And the music on that CD is so powerful and well-written that other than one song I think it is nearly a perfect collection of songs (can't think of the title of that one song at the moment -- I skip it every time :)). Listen to some of it on YouTube and if you like what you hear spring for the CD.
     
  6. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I've heard all of his solo albums at least once. I don't remember that one sticking out significantly more than the others, to be honest. I think the guy is an absolute compositional genius, but between putting out a solo album every other year (if not sooner), Transatlantic, and Flying Colors, and each of those records being 60-70+ minutes long for no real reason, I can't help but feel like he's spread himself a bit thin since leaving the Beard.
     
  7. ElevatorSkyMovie

    ElevatorSkyMovie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I don't have a lot to add, but I would like to say it's good to have some Beard talk around here. I do miss Nick in the band.
     
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  8. sound chaser

    sound chaser Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK.
    I still think "X" is a magnificent album.
     
  9. Sparkler

    Sparkler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Leesburg, VA
    I love Spock's Beard, though I haven't kept close tabs on them since Neal's departure. I saw them perform at a soundstage in Baltimore after The Kindness Of Strangers was released. There may have been about 50-75 people crammed in there, and it was an awesome performance. This must have been in 1998.

    Incidentally, I picked up The Light and V on vinyl not long ago. As far as I know, they are the only SB titles available on LP, as least from the Neal Morse era.
     
  10. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    How are they? I've thought about trying to grab The Light on ebay but wasn't sure if it would be worth the expense, sound-wise. Didn't know V existed, either. I don't really have much experience with Inside Out vinyl releases other than the most recent Beard album, so I have no idea if they sound significantly better than old CD versions.
     
  11. PJayBe

    PJayBe Forum Resident

    Reversed into the band via Transatlantic, and it took a while for them to grab me. Then, one day it clicked. Lot's of CDs bought then!!!

    Great band, love the current line up, and saw them live with the initial post-Neal line up which was an amazing night. Hopefully they'll keep up the good work.

    Philip
     
  12. Jvalvano

    Jvalvano Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    I've enjoyed SB since their debut. Glad to see them mentioned here.
     
  13. CybrKhatru

    CybrKhatru Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Enjoyed Spock's since "The Kindness of Strangers" came out many years ago.

    Like their new album very much.


    Perhaps the coolest news of all (at least for me)... Our band (Heliopolis) is opening for them at ROSfest this coming year! :)
     
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  14. Sparkler

    Sparkler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Leesburg, VA
    The Light double LP is absolutely worth it. It's an improvement from the original CD in every way - more detailed and dynamic with a stronger bottom end. Perfectly flat and quiet 180g vinyl. This is a great release.

    The V double LP is almost indistinguishable from the CD, except that it is a tad darker and there seems to be a high-frequency rolloff on the LP cut but it's very subtle. Nice presentation and lovely quiet vinyl - just not a drastic change from the CD.
     
  15. PHILLYQ

    PHILLYQ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    I've never heard them and I'm curious. Without listing every single one of their recordings, are there one or two essential/best recordings of theirs for a newbie to their oeuvre? Thanks much all.
     
  16. PJayBe

    PJayBe Forum Resident

    The Light - Great starting point, lets you know what you're in for if you go for the ride.

    Snow - Their big concept piece, and their "big" album, although not my favourite. Strangely rather like another concept epic, The Lamb Lies Down......, whilst I don't get the album as a whole, it does contain some of my favourite songs by the band.

    Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep - New album, and obviously the best guide to how they sound now.

    V - Possibly my favourite, great blend of classic songwriting and prog.

    If you've heard any of Morse's solo stuff, you already have got that "catchy epic" feel that early Spock's albums have, after he goes, it becomes a little more conventional proggy, but that's not a bad thing.

    Philip
     
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  17. rockledge

    rockledge Forum Resident

    Location:
    right here
    It is a band I would check out, but I am not paying 17 bucks for a CD just to check them out. The library doesn't have their stuff and I never see used copies.
     
  18. sound chaser

    sound chaser Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK.
    You make a good point, I felt he was spreading himself thin even towards the end of his tenure with the band. I preferred the more technical Nick d'V direction, great voice too, he's a big miss IMO, last album didn't grab me.
     
  19. Mr Mojo Risin

    Mr Mojo Risin Well-Known Member

    Location:
    South Florida
    I love the Neal years. They pull a little from all the classic prog bands and throw in some Dream Theater/PT riffs as well.
     
  20. PC31

    PC31 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ottawa, CAN
    Want to mention the Official Live Bootleg release.
    It features killer versions of the tracks from The Light.
     
  21. Jvalvano

    Jvalvano Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    A quick look on Amazon showed that you can get most of their albums used for under $10. Bands I'm not sure about I've tried lots of used copies from Amazon sellers. I've never had a problem. :cheers:
     
  22. rockledge

    rockledge Forum Resident

    Location:
    right here
    I don't buy stuff online, already got burned by having a paypal account that apparently got hacked into and had to spend a day changing all my bank accounts and such. Not chancing that again.
    I have a Sam Goody about 30 miles from me, I stop in there now and then. They have a lot of reasonably priced CDs but for some reason Porc Tree and Spocks Beard CDs are always priced sky high.
     
  23. old school

    old school Forum Resident

    Spock's Beard are awesome first heard them in 1995 and bought the Light. Saw them live at Progfest 97 where I met Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio really nice guys must have talked to them for 20 minutes. There set at Progfest was a good 2 hours incredible show they put on very tight, have most of there albums. Met Damon Fox also we were standing next to each other checking out Spock's Beard show. I remember Damon saying I can't wait to go on and show the people what are band has I said what's the name of your band Damon said Big Elf they were the big surprise that night I think Spock's Beard got Damon motivated to kick some butt.
     
  24. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    I have terrific memories of seeing Spock's Beard at Progfest '95. I don't think "The Light"-the first Beard album-had been released yet. I really like them and I think the addition of Ted Leonard from Enchant is a real coup. I also saw SB at Rosfest in 2007.
     
  25. PHILLYQ

    PHILLYQ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    Thanks from one Philip to another:)
     
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