- Audio CD (May 13, 1996)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Emd Int'l
- ASIN: B000006SZZ
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,699,727 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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The Forgotten Tales (Remastered 2007)
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1996 compilation on Virgin by the German metal act featuringhits, covers & live tracks! 13 tracks total, includingrenditions of The Chordettes' 'Mr. Sandman', The Beach Boys''Surfin' U.S.A.', Uriah Heep's 'The Wizard', Queen's 'SpreadYour Wings', Mike Oldfield's 'To France' and more.
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Despite what some reviews say, I found Blind Guardian's covers of "Mr. Sandman", "Surfin' USA", and "Barbara Ann/Long Tall Sally" surprisingly effective, and definitely good-natured. Consider the unusually symbiotic relationship between the US and Germany after World War II, and the enactment of the Marshall Plan, it's no surprise that American oldies had an impact on German musicians. (Obscure factoid: lead vocals on Barbara Ann are by their former producer Kalle Trapp, while the surprisingly good Little Richard impression for the Long Tall Sally section are by German singer Rolf Kohler.) The inclusion of Queen's "Spread Your Wings" is a logical choice of a band to cover, even if the song chosen is a little out of left field (the same cover is also found on "Somewhere Far Beyond" as a pseudo-bonus track). While I have a bit of a dislike for Uriah Heep (more so in execution than musical intention), Blind Guardian's cover of their song "The Wizard" is also logical, and, in my opinion, better done than the original. Mike Oldfield's "To France" is another rather surprising choice at first blush, but once you make the association, it's hard not to hear an element of his guitar playing in Andre Olbrich's very deliberate timing. In fact, when you think about it, Oldfield's love of Celtic music and bagpipes is reflected in the band's work since "Somewhere Far Beyond" featured a bagpipe section! The remastered version also features 3 somewhat more predictable covers for a metal band, those being Deep Purple, Judas Priest, and Dio.
The band's reworking of its own material is also interesting, although for the life of me, I still have trouble sensing any major difference between the "Imaginations" version of "A Past and Future Secret", and the one on this album. "Bright Eyes" benefits greatly from a very effective acoustic facelift, while "Lord of the Rings" gains a whole new feel from the addition of mutiple vocal harmonies, and a new, slower ending section (which appears to feature some marimba sounds, oddly enough). The orchestral, vocal-free version of "Theater of Pain" is more of a curio than anything, as is the charming, but somewhat superfluous live version of "The Bard's Song". The remake of "Black Chamber" is entertaining, as is the piano and acoustic guitar-based version of "Mordred's Song".
The problem with this album, however, is that there's really no completely new music here, especially with "Barbara Ann/Long Tall Sally" and "Spread Your Wings" being standard issue on 2 prior albums. As a result, I can only give it 3 stars, as good as the music is. If you're already a fan like me, it's an obvious purchase, but if you're just getting into the band, or just like them fairly well, but not incredibly so, this might be one to buy only after you've gotten most of their other albums, or if you're in the mood for a somewhat quirky collection of songs.
For example, the tracks that are labeled as "remastered" are NOT "remastered." They're completely different recordings. Which is good. For example, the "remastered" version of "Bright Eyes" is EPIC, and I like it even better than the original.
Hard to believe but this album is as good as it is comical, seriously Mr. Sandman right off the bat, way to set the tone!
This album is pure gold to any Blind Guardian fan. In my opinion, it is one of their best. (Nightfall in Middle Earth being the best of the best)
Most of the songs on the album are covers from other bands/people, but has returning classics such as "The Bards Song", "Past and future secret", and "Theatre of Pain".
Definently a must buy for any fan of TRUE METAL!