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Nektar: Remember the Future-Deluxe Edition

Remember The Future is hands down my all-time favorite Nektar album. This is my second go round with this release (I reviewed this and several other releases from the band on the Eclectic Disc label in 2004) only this time there is an additional disc of bonus live material all packaged perfectly by reissue specialist ItsAboutMusic.com. Roye Albrighton (guitar, lead vocals), Ron Howden (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Randy Dembo (bass) and Tom Hughes (Hammond organ, backing vocals) were Nektar when this recording was originally released 1973. I always enjoyed the distinctive vocals and guitar work provided by the band's leader Albrighton and the complex music that followed his lead.

Remember The Future can still hold its own to this day and I believe if you looked at some of the publications available you would find this album in the top 50 to 100 prog rock albums of all time. That is of course a matter of opinion as everything else is in the anal and selective prog rock community (myself included with that descriptive). So what makes this remastered deluxe version so special? How about 9 high quality bonus live tracks? The live cuts are crisp and clear and you are treated to some stretched out improvisational versions of album tracks not found on the original Remember The Future. The studio album can stand alone as a prog-rock treasure with melodic slices of heaven however adding all of the live tracks will encourage yet more emphasis on the importance of the original tracks. The first disc is interesting because after you hear the studio recordings of "Remember The Future Parts 1 & 2" you immediately have the opportunity to compare and contrast the live cuts of the same tracks that follow. Disc two features all live tracks recorded in 2007 in Niteroi, Brazil were Nektar is bigger than Pink Floyd. You heard me right, bigger than Pink Floyd. When it comes to foreign countries it's a curious thing how they endear themselves to certain bands always ignoring the status quo, which I like to be honest. It's comparable to The Ventures being as big in Japan as The Beatles were in the U.S.

All of that verbosity cast aside, this is a classic prog rock album with the accompanying imaginative visual stimulation featured on the cover provided by artist Helmut Wenske. This music is also considered by some as prog rock's next of kin, art rock, while that holds some truth you can count on the fact that this is timeless progressive rock that was released in the golden era of the genre. All the elements are in place to make this one of the crown jewels of prog - great vocals, trippy lyrics, phenomenal musicianship and the obligatory freaked out colorful artwork.

It takes labels like ItsAboutMusic.com to provide the care, love and proper presentation of these classic recordings and they do a fine job of that indeed. Where else can you buy music that has a sticker on the front that says "Great Music Guarantee!"-If you don't agree that his CD is Great We'll take it back!" Believe me folks they stand behind everything they do and for good reason; you will not hear any crap coming out of the vaults of this label, period.

Sometimes it takes a look back to the past to Remember The Future.

Key Tracks: Remember The Future Part One, .A Tab In The Ocean, Desolation Valley


Track Listing
Disc One
1. Remember The Future Part One (16:35)
2. Remember The Future Part Two (18:58)
Bonus Tracks
3. Remember The Future Part One - LIVE (16:11)
4. Remember The Future Part Two - LIVE (19:27)
Disc Two "Vivo Niteroi" (LIVE in Brazil)
1. A Tab In The Ocean (15:37)
2. Desolation Valley (12:53)
3. Cast Your Fate (5:15)
4. The Debate (7:48)
5. Man In The Moon (7:32)
6. Good Day (6:27)
7. Woman Trouble (6:08)

Added: June 11th 2011
Reviewer: Keith Hannaleck
Score:
Related Link: ItsAboutMusic.com
Hits: 1232
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Nektar: Remember the Future-Deluxe Edition
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-06-10 16:52:51
My Score:

We've all got them. Bands that we've read about countless times and know they will tick all the right boxes, but somehow we never get round to actually investigating them any further. Well I'm ashamed to say that up until very recently Nektar fell into that category for me, before I finally took the plunge with Remember The Future and A Tab In The Ocean. Now I know that many (most?!) will be saying, "Wow, what has he been missing out on?" and all I can exclaim after spending time with the deluxe versions of these two albums is "Wow, what have I been missing out on!!" For anyone uninitiated like myself a simple idea of what Nektar are is an amazing blend of seventies prog in the vein of Yes and Floyd, with a little of the rockier side of the likes of Uriah Heep in evidence as well. Although that really is the tip of a rather gigantic iceberg and the sound between the two albums I have been listening to isn't exactly the same either.

The original album is made up of only two songs that I guess would actually have been just one if you didn't have to flip the vinyl, with both songs that make up the "Remember The Future" suite being a prog fan's dream. Poise, precision and a surprising looseness make for an enthralling journey through elongated guitar and keyboard passages, which when backed by the odd, partly religious concept make for a seductive, yet unsettling journey. This deluxe version of the album comes with nine bonus live tracks, with disc two containing a 2007 Nektar show in Brazil, while live versions of "Remember The Future" Parts One & Two follow on from their studio versions on disc one. That may sound like overkill, but the two versions have completely different focal points and even listened to continuously feel different enough to make for a wonderful contrasting journey. Even as a new comer to the band, I also found the live material on disc two to be captivating and of a high value to prog fans in general, never mind Nektar fanatics.

I know that I'm probably preaching to the converted here, but Remember The Future deserves a place in every prog collection and this deluxe version is a no brainer for any Nektar fan still playing catch up.

Nektar: Remember the Future-Deluxe Edition
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-04-01 09:17:10
My Score:

There's no denying the legacy of Nektar's Remember the Future -it's one of the seminal progressive rock albums that needs to be in everyone's collection, but even more so it's a release that paints a perfect picture of what early 70's rock and roll was all about. The two track, 35 minute album has been reviewed and picked apart many times, and we all know just how brilliant it is. Back in 2002 the band & Bellaphon Records remastered Remember the Future, which was something that was badly needed as the original CD version of the album was lacking in many areas. That reissue came with not only great sound but also an expanded booklet loaded with photos and a few bonus tracks.

Fast forward to 2011 and the always reliable ItsAboutMusic.com is reissuing some of the Nektar back catalog. Here we see another remaster of Remember the Future, with even more extras. I'd say this remaster sounds pretty comparable to the 2002 one, but you also get a ton of bonus live tracks. We have here a live rendition of the entire "Remember the Future" suite, however no information is given on when this was recorded from of where. It's quite good nontheless. On CD2 there is a full show from Brazil in 2007 with the latest incarnation of Nektar, which features such stellar gems as "A Tab in the Ocean", "Desolation Valley", "Man in the Moon", and a few others. Sound quality is pretty good, and makes for a nice bonus here.

The packaging leaves a little to be desired. The booklet is fairly bare bones, with just a few photos and short essay from Roye Albrighton, and again, no information anywhere on just where the live "Remember the Future" came from, which is kind of odd. If you already own the various versions of RTF, you'll certainly want to pick this one up for all the bonus live cuts, but I'd hold on to that 2002 remaster if you like having those 2 bonus tracks and the expanded booklet.



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