Nektar: A Tab in the Ocean-Deluxe Edition
ItsAboutMusic.com has been busy remastering and reissuing the Nektar back catalog recently, and there's more to come, but right now we are looking at the classic A Tab in the Ocean, Nektar's legendary 1972 prog/hard rock release. We've already reviewed this practically flawless album before in its various incarnations, so let's just say that CD 1 of this set, which includes all the essential cuts "Desolation Valley", "King of Twilight", "Crying' in the Dark", "Waves", and the sensational title track, once again sounds great and as always, should be a mandatory part of every CD collection. The main reason to seek out this reissue though is what is included on CD 2...let's take a look.
Included here is the rare In the Beginning-The Boston Tapes, recorded early on in the bands career as they were gigging in Hamburg, Germany but caught the eye of American producer Charlie Dreyer, who invited them to his studio in Boston, Massachussetts to record a demo. The results are included here, and it shows the early sound of Nektar starting to gel in the studio. Early versions of "Gooday" and "New Day Dawning" are mixed with other psychedelic pop rock fare such as "The Life I've Been Leading", "Where Did You Go", and the Vanilla Fudge influenced "Sealed With A Kiss". "Our Love Will Last Forever" is a nice blues-pop rave up, with a sizzling Roye Albrighton guitar solo, but still pales in comparison to much of the stellar work the band would put together in the years to come. For the casual fan, these early recordings might not be of much interest, but loyal followers of Nektar will certainly want to have this in their collection.
Overall the sound is pretty good throughout this reissue, but like the Remember the Future release from ItsAboutMusic.com, the packaging here leaves a lot to be desired. A short essay from Albrighton and one band photo is all you get, which is kind of skimpy for an album of this magnitude.
1. A Tab In The Ocean (15:31)
2. Desolation Valley (5:45)
3. Waves (2:53)
4. Cryin' In The Dark (5:27)
5. King Of Twilight (4:07)
In the Beginning-The Boston Tapes
1. New Day Dawning
2. Do You Believe In Magic
5. The Life I've Been Leading
6. Where Did You Go
7. Sealed With A Kiss
8. Our Love Will Last Forever
Added: June 11th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Nektar @ ItsAboutMusic.com
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|Nektar: A Tab in the Ocean-Deluxe Edition
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-06-10 17:00:14
As I've mentioned in my recent comments on the deluxe version of Nektar's Remember The Future, I am a complete newcomer to this glorious progressive band. So after savouring RTF, I dived headlong into A Tab In The Ocean expecting similar fare, which is almost what I found, but not quite. There are still similarities to the likes of Yes, Uriah Heep and Pink Floyd, but there are also more harmony vocals and building guitar passages in the style of Genesis on this effort, which once again will leave no doubt that this is progressive music at its very best.
All four of the songs that make up the original album are perfectly pitched, with drama, subtlety, bombast and indulgence round every corner, but more importantly it all comes together to make stunningly strong statements that linger long in the memory and leave you yearning to hear them all again. The musicianship is quite breathtaking, with skill and dexterity on show at all times, but it is the subtle manner with which the arrangements being all the different elements of the band come together to make music that is completely convincing and utterly involving. I have to be honest and say that I really can't believe that I have gone so long without hearing this band and aim to rectify that further by investing in the rest of their catalogue quick-sharp.
To add to this already fantastic CD, this deluxe version comes complete with a bonus disc of very early Nektar recordings, which I have to say I thought wouldn't be of too much interest for a new Nektaree like myself, but in fact I found them to be interesting and charming, if a little naive. The early version of "Gooday" is a complete delight and other highlights include "Where Did You Go" and "New Day Dawning", although I could easily have done without the rather twee cover of "Sealed With A Kiss".
Finding fantastic new music is always a pleasure and while this may well be old new music, this is one pleasure I aim to make up for lost time with over and over!
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