Tuesday, 11 March 2014

"Twin Sons Of A Different Mother" / "Phoenix" by DAN FOGELBERG. A Review Of His Fifth and Sixth Vinyl Albums From 1978 and 1979 - Now Remastered Onto 2CDs By Beat Goes On Records Of England In 2011.





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"...Once I Was A Man Alone...Time To Carry On…" - DAN FOLGELBERG'S "Twin Sons Of A Different Mother" and "Phoenix” Remastered

I purchased these superb sounding Dan Fogelberg 2CD reissues by Beat Goes On Records of England way back and have been meaning to review them ever since. I’ve covered Volume 1 “Home Free” (1972) / “Souvenirs” (1974) and Volume 2 “Captured Angel” (1975) / ”Nether Lands” (1977) in separate reviews. Here are the details for Volume 3...

Disc 1 (34:44 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 are his 5th album “Twin Sons Of Different Mothers” [credited with Jazz Flautist TIM WEISBERG] first issued September 1978 in the USA on Full Moon JE 35339 and in the UK on Epic EPC 82774.

Disc 2 (42:52 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 are his 6th LP first issued December 1979 in the USA on Full Moon Records PE 35634 and in the UK on Epic EPC 83317.

Like the other reissues in this superb series - the 16-page booklet is excellent – all artwork reproduced, lyrics to both albums, full credits and liner notes in this case by noted writer JOHN O’REGAN. With the outer card wrap – it’s a classy presentation. But the big news for fans is the fabulous remasters. ANDREW THOMPSON at Sound Mastering in London has done the deed (he’s handled large numbers of BGO’s reissues) and his transfers on this 2CD set are beautifully handled. On to the music…

I can still recall the shock of “Twin Sons…” Having done 4 albums of Eagles-type singer-songwriter fare – Fogelberg went Instrumental and probably scared the crap out of his loyal fans. Excluding an acoustic and string ditty here and there – most of the 7 instrumentals on the 10-track LP are Flute Driven Jazz Fusion of sorts – a little like Jeff Beck’s “Blow By Blow” or “Wired” but without the lead guitars. One of the three vocal performances “The Power Of Gold” even became a minor US 7” single hit (features Don Henley on barely perceptible backing vocals). Beautifully produced - it was given a Half Speed Mastered Vinyl LP reissue in the Eighties. So it’s not surprising that the CD remaster here is breathtaking. I only wish I could say that the album warrants it because for me “Twin Sons…” has always been a failed curio. Some of the tracks are interesting for sure (like "Intimidation") - but there are no real songs on here. But if "Twin Sons" is three stars then Fogelberg more than made up for it when he returned in 1979 with what is easily his most accomplished all-rounder album - the five-star “Phoenix”…

Opening with a fantastic double-whammy of the pretty acoustic instrumental “Tullamore Dew” – it launches into the long rocking “Phoenix (lyrics above). The trio of gorgeous soft ballads “Gypsy Wind”, “Heart Hotel” and especially “Longer” were tailor-made for Radio and not surprisingly “Longer” became a hit single for him in January 1980 (reached Number 2 on the Pop charts). But I’ve always felt that the album finisher “Along The Road” is a true Dan Fogelberg masterpiece – haunting to this day. And having lived with the crappy Eighties American CD all these years – I can’t stress enough how good this 2011 remaster has made the album sound. Wonderful…

He would really open out with “The Innocent Age” double in 1981 (featuring a rare duet vocal appearance by Joni Mitchell on the track "Nexus").

I posted a note on Dan Fogelberg’s website when he sadly succumbed to cancer in December 2007 - yet another teenage hero of mine gone to the great gig in the sky.


Luckily this beautiful-sounding 2CD reissue does his musical legacy proud.

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