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2003 remastered reissue of 1986 album features 20 tracks including 7 bonus tracks, 'River Man' (Remix), 'Gone To Earth' (Remix), 'Camp Fire-Coyote Country' (Remix), 'Silver Moon Over Sleeping Steeples' 'Camp Fire-Coyote Country', 'A Bird Of Prey Vanishes
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If there was only one album that I could take to a deserted island, "Gone to Earth" would be it. In my opinion, this piece of atmospheric pop-chique is the best Sylvian ever did. So when the remaster was released, I went and got it right away. There are some obvious bonusses to this particular release: For the first time since the long-deleted japanese version you get the full album on CD. And not only the four tracks that went missing on the single CD release are back, but also three very interesting new mixes of River Man, Gone to Earth, and Camp Fire-Coyote Country. If it had been my choice I would have put the new mixes at the end of the second disc, so that you could first enjoy the full length of the original album, but then again, a CD player can be programmed... Since the MUSIC of the original release has been commented on often enough, I will concentrate on the SOUND of this remaster, to give an indication for all those audiophiles out there... Does it sound better? Quite a bit! The overall sound is deeper, wider and more dynamic. There is more 'space' too. The drums in Before the Bullfight (one of my favourite tracks when listening to new audio equipment) are thundering like they were recorded only yesterday. David's voice is more focussed, and the inner detail of the cymbals and other high-pitched sounds has increased by at least 25% without getting too bright. But what about that piano sound? In Laughter and Forgetting something weird has happened. On the original release the sound of the piano is not very bright, but straight. On this remaster it is brighter, but it sounds as if a high-rated chorus has been added. A bit like in the old days, when you would play a cassette on a deck with a dirty pinch-roller.Read more ›
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Having (almost accidentally!) loved and cherished this particular album since it came out, I think it is time for me to do my bit for this marvellous piece of music!
First of all, let me state that this was my first Sylvian album. I must confess though that back then, I bought Gone to Earth merely on a whim - just because the cover seemed strangely inviting. I did not have a slighest clue on what to expect of the music itself, when I lowered my not-so-hifi record player's stylus into the first grooves of what was to become a fixture in my all-time favourites for years to come. Well, it did initially sound a bit strange. (I blush to remember thinking: maybe I can still take this back to the shop and get my money back!) At that time, I was -to an extent- already familiar with the featured guitarist, Robert Fripp, of King Crimson fame, but this was very different, something like... oh well. Silver Moon seemed to be the only piece of music that was accessible and beautiful on the first go. It took a few listens to get used to the almost tribal and scarce drumming, the meandering atmospherics, Kenny Wheeler's trumpet soloing, and the second lp filled with nearly static instrumental pieces. But in the end I got the message.
And I'm still wondering what that message is, actually! However: once your appetite has been whetted, this album keeps you coming back for more.
Gone to Earth is now available in its entirety on cd, hooray with knobs on for that. But as for saying very much more about the actual musical contents, I'm afraid I'd mostly be preaching for the converted. I guess this is simply one of those albums that every fan has a very personal relationship with, and trying to share those experiences might just appear silly.Read more ›
I first found this book in the bargin bin at my local bookstore before I took a trip overseas. I read it on the plane ride over and I've read it 2 or 3 times since. I have to say that Mary Webb's story of Hazel Woodus is really one that gets under your skin. She weaves a very complex character that is both maddening and pitiable at the same time. I really like this story and I highly recommend it. The only reason that I didn't give it the 5 star rating is that sometimes the regional dialect she chooses to write in, is a bit much. I understand why she has it in the book, but at the same time, trying to figure out what they are saying is a bit difficult. All in all, this is a great book and I feel that you'll enjoy reading it.
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It's so hard for me to write about this album. The songs here are so beautiful, so rapt with emotion in their lyrics and the playing, that describing them adequately with words is a hellish exercise. Sylvian, on "Gone to Earth", seems to reach inside himself to such great depths to draw up the works herein. I have seldom heard such work of such emotional power before or since. And the music itself compliments this, shifting atmospheres seamlessly from jazz to ambient, to avant-garde, to quiet rock, and all around, always perfectly setting and setting off Sylvian's lyrics. The moods evoked here are done to perfection, and the songs here are ones which are true landmarks, one which can and should last the test of time. So why only _four_ stars? Well...I _cannot_ give this edition of this album five. It's not the whole album. There are a number of instrumental, ambient tracks missing here, which were originally present on the vinyl and cassette (and a limited import 2 CD version, I think only released in Japan), and which have been excised here for the sake of fitting 'everything' on CD...which, of course, means that not everything is fitted on the CD. In a work of this scope and breadth, such an omission and compromising of the artist's intent and vision should be considered nigh-criminal! For that reason, I can't and won't give this album its full measure of kudos until this critical flaw is corrected, which one can hope Virgin will someday see fit to do. This deserves to be released en toto!