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Past, Present And Future

76 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 18, 1992
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$12.19
$5.78 $4.91
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Frequently Bought Together

Past, Present And Future + Time Passages + Year Of The Cat & Modern Times (Remastered)
Price for all three: $38.83

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Editorial Reviews

The British singer/writer made his U.S. debut with this 1974 breakthrough. One of Stewart's best-selling albums to date!

1. Old Admirals
2. Warren Harding
3. Soho (Needless To Say)
4. The Last Day Of June 1934
5. Post World War Two Blues
6. Roads To Moscow
7. Terminal Eyes
8. Nostradamus

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 18, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0000032V0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,856 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Fleisig VINE VOICE on March 17, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
that an album like Al Stewart's Past Present and Future could ever have been produced? I can imagine the look on the face of Al Stewart's record producer when he told him about his idea for a "concept album". Perhaps something like "Ill start with a song about retired British navy officers, follow it up with a song about President Warren G. Harding, Then, after a song about Soho in London, one about a night of Nazi terror followed by a British take-off of Don MacLean's "American Pie". Oh, and did I tell you I also have one about a Red Army soldier's experience in World War II and a song about the supposed prophet of the future, Nostradamus." Somehow I cannot see a record like this being made today. But, this was England in 1973 and, fortunately, some producer said something like "uh, sure Al, go ahead mate". When I first heard this album, in England in 1973/1974 I probably said something like "Nostradamus? Wow man" and played the album over and over again. I have listened to this CD quite a bit recently and am happy to note that my current reaction is not much different from my college age response.

Past, Present and Future is a memorable album in many respects. Stewart is an accomplished songwriter and every one of these tracks is well written, some are, and remain, brilliant. His voice works well for the music and he put together a set of studio musicians that provided excellent backing and a strong rhythm section.

Stewart is at his best in Roads to Moscow. He sings it as a ballad with an excellent orchestral arrangement that creates a very Russian mood. As he sings the tale of a Red Army solider from the 1st days of the Germany invasion through the triumphant entry into Berlin he provides an extraordinary of the war itself.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By John Harwell on June 16, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is the first album that I heard by Al Stewart. I was working on the air at an FM station when it was released. The program manager asked me to listen to the album and report what I thought. My assessment went something like this:
This album is GREAT. "Roads to Moscow" may be the best guitar work since Santana's "Abraxas". His lyrics make sense, too. I've never felt like I was a part of a song before. When I listened to "Terminal Eyes" under the headphones I picked up some very intense but subtle mixing. "Nostradamus" makes me want to re-read "The Centuries" again. "Soho" is strong and gritty. I feel like going downtown and hanging out in some smokie clubs just for the atmosphere. The whole album is worth playing.
Since we still played "In-a-gadda-da-vida", he listened to me and put the whole album on the play list regardless of how long the songs were. All the jocks picked favorites and played them. Our listeners started requesting Al Stewart. This is truly an album that is still fresh, meaningful, and enjoyable in a new millenium.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Justin Playfair on June 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I first heard this album on the Janus Label back in 1974. This was a time when it was considered "progressive rock" and was music for "people in the know". His music could not be played on traditional stations due to their length and frankly, the rest of the world had just not matured enough to hear it. It is one of the greatest albums ever recorded. Artisticly pure right down to the cover. Whether Janus, Arista, Rhino or an old Eight Track it is still artistically viable. Now, thirty years later it is still going strong and validates everything anyone has ever said about it. "Roads to Moscow" is legend. The other works are interesting and memorable. I strongly recommend this album for anyone uninitiated to any of Al Stewart's work. Most will respond "Year of the Cat" but this and "Modern Times" best implies the genius of the artist.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amy Parsons on August 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album after hearing "Roads to Moscow" on the radio in 1990. Not only do I agree that it is one of the best songs ever written, but the rest of the album is also very strong. It took awhile to get used to "Old Admirals", and "Post World War II Blues", but the strength of "Soho (Needless To Say)", "Roads to Moscow", and "Nostradamus" keep you coming back. I also just wanted to say that Al Stewart's lyrics got me more interested in learning about history that even my most inspirational teachers in high school and college. Do you know what happened on June 30th, 1934? I do.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Roger D. Hyman on March 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
"Time Passages" is good; "Year of the Cat" uniformly excellent; but "Past, Present & Future" is THE BEST album by Al Stewart. Every song tells a wonderful story, and the music is just fantastic.

Others have corrected the gentleman who claimed "Roads to Moscow" was based on the experiences of a soldier in Napoleon's "Grande Armee" of 1812; sorry, but no. The original liner notes made clear that the album tells the story of the 20th Century, and the lyrics (Gen. Heinz Guderian was commander of Hitler's Army Group Center in 1941!--and the final approach to Berlin--not Paris!!) makes one wonder whether that gentleman even listened to the song!

More importantly,for those too young to remember, this album came out shortly after two major works by famed Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, and The Gulag Archipelago. "Roads to Moscow" is actually a tribute to Solzhenitsyn, whose real-life experiences as a Red Army Soldier during WWII was more or less what the "unnamed soldier" tells about. This is because Stalin's policy towards Soviet POW's was extremely harsh; even those held only a short time were suspected of being either collaborators, or else "poisoned" by their "exposure" to "bourgieous capitalism", thus requiring "reeducation" in Siberia . . .!

Solzhenitsyn was a victim of just such treatment. Point is . . .the song is even better when you understand the real context and the real tribute.

In any event--this is THE ONE!!!
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