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Nektar: Remember the Future (Remaster)

After many, many years of frustration by the band and their fans, the classic Remember the Future by Nektar has finally been re-released and remastered. Let me give you a little history. Back when Bellaphon Records was getting ready to release the original CD of this album back ten years or so, the label unfortunately did not use the original album master but used an abandoned master that really was totally different than the vinyl release. Long time fans, as well as the band, were furious, but could do nothing about it as the CD was already available to the public. Now, close to thirty years after the original album's release, a true remastered CD is available in all its sonic glory.

Without going into too much detail, everything that was flat and muddy about the "other" CD release has been wonderfully improved upon here. There are passages that that your ears will pick up on that were not present before, as well as tons of guitar parts that were missing on the original CD. Roye Albrighton vocals and guitar are clear as day, and Allan Freeman's keyboards are distinct and lively. The booklet contains lots of vintage photos of the band, as well as lyrics and band history. Two short radio promo singles never before released are also thrown in for good measure.

Now, for those who have never heard this album before, Rememer the Future is a forty five minute, two-part concept album. The lyrics have a combined fantasy/religious base, with lots of psychedelic overtones, and the music contains hard rock and progressive styles. Nektar utilized many styles over their career, fluctuating from similarities like Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, and Yes. Here, they combine a bit of Floyd and Purple, with great melodies, crunchy guitar riffs, and raging Hammond organ.

Any Nektar fan probably has plunked down the bucks for this reissue already, but this CD should be a required part of any prog collection.

Added: July 7th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Official Nektar Website
Hits: 5509
Language: english

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Nektar: Remember the Future (Remaster)
Posted by Duncan Glenday, SoT Staff Writer on 2004-07-07 18:31:14
My Score:

The review above was written in 2002
Two years before the release of the remaster from Eclectic Discs in 2004
The review below refers to the 2004 remaster

Every Nektar album stands apart from its stablemates. You could play A Tab In The Ocean for someone, then play this CD, and if they didn't pick up on the distinctive guitar work you could easily convince them that they'd heard two different bands.

Remember The Future is essentially one song broken into the two parts necessary to fit onto a vinyl record, and although that was the only time Nektar produced such a sweeping epic, it was the style that set this one apart. Nektar's other albums were melodic progressive rock, but this one has long passages of pure funk! It is defined by upper-register riffs played through plenty of Wah, which are repeated and reprised many times across the album, and form the backbone to the whole piece.

Listen for elegant guitar work interacting with a grinding Hammond. See if you can find the clear references to The Who. Look for the frequent shifts and the tidal ebbs and the upbeat tones, and the consistent build up, pull back, return to that funky groove and build up again. That long, flowing format leads to plenty of opportunities for solos and improvisation, which is one of the reasons Remember The Future part 2 is Roye Allbrighton's favorite piece to play live. That funky sound may be a bit dated and the repetition may not appeal to some, but it is an excellent 1970s forerunner of epic progressive rock, and one of Nektar's better albums and of course, there's no arguing with success: It was originally recorded in 1973, made record of the year in Germany in 1974, and was the album that launched the band into the American market where it achieved a position on the top 20 Billboard chart.

The concept behind the album is somewhat unusual. It tells the story of a bluebird and a blind boy and imparts a semi-religious message wrapped in a feelgood yarn that stretches the imagination. Rather psychedelic, very 1960s.

Mark Powell's remastering of the original is a work of art unto itself. Play the original version of this album back to back with the the SACD 5.1 surround mix and you'll hear notes that you never knew were there! It is clear and clean and an absolute pleasure to hear. This remaster includes two extra tracks plus a shorter version called the "Made In Germany edit".

So we've established that Remember The Future is different from other Nektar albums. But it is probably different from anything else out there as well.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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