Fireworks

John Wetton - 'The Studio Recordings Anthology Volume 1' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     October 18, 2015    
 
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Listen to it, it's clear what a talent he is; just do it in small doses, that's all...

It's easy to see John Wetton's career as bits of this and that with a massive slice of Asia in the middle; short times with King Crimson, Roxy Music, UK and then those ten chart busting years. But it's more than that; with Asia now reconstituted, it's a great time for a recollection of Wetton's solo work and this double release, with impressive packaging plus honest and well-written notes from Nick Shilton, is a worthy vehicle.

Never afraid to make big and grand music, the classical intention of some of this might surprise and entrance, the noisier fare might make you stroke your chin, the whole thing might go in one ear and stay around for a few bars before exiting the other. It's not that this is bad, clearly that isn't the case, but it is a little reserved, grown up and shows that Icon "pouring syrup all over the mixing desk" sound.

Best stuff here is the bright Rock of 'Another Twist Of The Knife', the tumbling drums and organ of 'Lost For Words', saxing us up on 'Caught In The Crossfire', 'The Last Thing On My Mind' is well fed, 'Heart Of Darkness' sounds big and important with a Supertramp solo and 'Cold Is The Night' is soft and sexy, mixing a fluid cocktail of a chorus. Lastly, 'Raised In Captivity' is so simple that it will listen to no complaints and wins that way.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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There are thirty-two tracks here. That can sometimes cause a little boredom to break out. That would happen for most artists of course, but big, important, grand sounding music mixed with plaintive acoustic pieces and classically-inclined offers, sometimes just makes things a little samey.

And Wetton is anything but. Listen to the great music he has produced with those bands. Read his story, the drinking, the success, the fallouts, and the honest appraisals of what he wanted to do with each album; this is an artist who has followed his heart in his solo work and he should be honoured for that. Listen to it, it's clear what a talent he is; just do it in small doses, that's all...

Steve Swift

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