» » Al Stewart - Complete Studio Albums 1967-2009 (21 CD) + DVD Live at Musikladen

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16-12-2013, 17:19

Al Stewart - Complete Studio Albums 1967-2009 (21 CD) + DVD Live at Musikladen

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Al Stewart - Complete Studio Albums 1967-2009 (21 CD) + DVD Live at Musikladen

Al Stewart - Complete Studio Albums 1967-2009 (21 CD) + DVD Live at Musikladen
FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 8.1 Gb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 3.34 Gb (incl 5%) | Time: 19:05:05
DVD-5 | MPEG-2, NTSC, 720 x 480 (4:3), 8000 kbps | AC-3, 6ch, 448 kbps ~ 2.73 Gb | Time: 00:43:05
Genre: Rock, Soft Rock, Psychedelic, Folk Rock, Pop Rock, Singer-songwriter

01. Bed-Sitter Images 3:19
02. Swiss Cottage Manoeuvres 4:02
03. The Carmichaels 2:53
04. Scandanavian Girl 2:35
05. Pretty Golden Hair 3:40
06. Denise At 16 3:20
07. Samuel, Oh How You've Changed! 4:02
08. Cleave To Me 2:53
09. A Long Way Down From Stephanie 3:29
10. Ivich 4:27
11. Beleeka Doodle Day 7:00
12. Lover Man 2:35
13. Clifton In The Rain 2:48
14. Go Your Way 1:52
15. My Contemporaries 0:31
Love Chronicles (1969) Reissue 2007
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 363 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 145 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Collectors' Choice Music | # CCM-766 | Time: 00:52:03
Al Stewart's second album is most renowned for the 18-minute title track, an autobiographical recount of different love affairs with guitar by Jimmy Page. That track was also quite controversial for its day in its use of the word "f*cking" at one point in the lyrics, though that's not typical of the tone of the composition. It's actually not the best of the six songs on the record, which saw Stewart wisely discard the orchestration of his debut in favor of fairly straight-ahead folk-rock backing. "Ballad of Mary Foster" is Stewart's best early song, as a two-part suite neatly divided between brusque cynical commentary on a bourgeois English family and the introspective musings of the ravaged wife. That second part bears considerable similarity in melody and tempo, incidentally, to sections of the far more famous Stewart song "Roads to Moscow." The rest of the album has additional solid vignettes in the standard gentle yet detached Stewart mold, the best of them being "Life and Life Only," which exploits his knack for insistent, repetitive minor-keyed hooks.
Review by Richie Unterberger, Allmusic.com
1. In Brooklyn 3:43
2. Old Compton Street Blues 4:26
3. The Ballad Of Mary Foster 8:01
4. Life And Life Only 5:50
5. You Should Have Listened To Al 3:03
6. Love Chronicles 18:04
7. Jackdaw 3:20
8. She Follows Her Own Rules 3:19
9. Fantasy 2:15
Zero She Flies (1970) Reissue 2007
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 331 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 153 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Collectors' Choice Music | # CCM-767 | Time: 00:51:13
Al Stewart's third album wasn't much different from the territory he had claimed, with reasonable success, on his prior effort, Love Chronicles. Narrative tales of romance and experience, sometimes third-person and sometimes autobiographical, set the mood, complemented by mild folk-rock arrangements and Stewart's warm yet bemused voice. A few placid folk guitar instrumentals break up the involved, lengthy vocal tracks. The best cut is "Electric Los Angeles Sunset," which puts Stewart's eye for locale-based storytelling to more forceful use than it had ever been previously heard, detailing the grim side of the city rather than its glamorous one. "Manuscript" was also an important work in its focus upon past history and its effects on various characters, an approach that would within a few years become prevalent in Stewart's work. Trevor Lucas and Gerry Conway of Fotheringay were among the backup players.
Review by Richie Unterberger, Allmusic.com
01. My Enemies Have Sweet Voices 5:14
02. A Small Fruit Song 2:02
03. Gethsemane, Again 5:28
04. Burbling 3:20
05. Electric Los Angeles Sunset 3:48
06. Manuscript 4:46
07. Black Hill 1:22
08. Anna 1:48
09. Room of Roots 3:52
10. Zero She Flies 5:36
11. Stormy Night 3:30
12. News from Spain 6:05
13. Lyke-Wake Dirge 4:22
Orange (1972) Reissue 2007
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 325 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 139 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Collectors' Choice Music | # CCM-768 | Time: 00:46:05
This is a transitional Al Stewart album. After stretching the boundaries of song length and language with Love Chronicles, he was in a something of a holding pattern on Orange, without any obviously profound inspiration or moments of daring. "Songs Out of Clay," however, does reveal the first signs of the mix of acoustic and electric guitar sounds that he would perfect on his next album, Past, Present and Future, two years later, while "The Fourth of May," a six-minute personal story-song, gets something of the beat and the sound that Stewart would refine in achieving his subsequent success -- he just needed subject matter other than busted relationships. Orange also introduced Tim Renwick, whose lead guitar would become central to the sound on Stewart's subsequent albums. His singing, however, is still of a rather mournful and even monotonous nature, except on those two songs; he hadn't yet found sufficient variety in his tone and delivery, and even the presence of Rick Wakeman's elegant, classically based, arpeggio-laden piano accompaniments couldn't rescue most of these songs. There's also a pretty cool cover of Bob Dylan's "I Don't Believe You," cut as a warm-up for the rest of the album.
Review by Bruce Eder, Allmusic.com
01. You Don't Even Know Me 4:00
02. Amsterdam 2:57
03. Songs Out Of Clay 4:17
04. The News From Spain 6:39
05. I Don't Believe You 3:38
06. Once An Orange, Always An Orange 4:19
07. I'm Falling 4:29
08. Night Of The 4th Of July 6:29
09. Soho (Needless To Say) 4:01
10. Elvaston Place 2:53
11. It Doesn't Matter Anymore 2:26
Past, Present, And Future (1973) Reissue 1992
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 332 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 142 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Arista, RHINO | # R2 71045 | Time: 00:42:48
As good as portions of it were, Orange was essentially a transitional effort, the necessary bridge to Past, Present Future, the record where Al Stewart truly begins to discover his voice. This is largely through his decision to indulge his fascination with history and construct a concept album that begins with "Old Admirals" and ends with "Nostradamus" and his predictions for the future. A concept like this undoubtedly will strike prog warning bells in the minds of most listeners but, ironically, he has stripped back most of the prog trappings from Orange, settling into a haunting folk bed for these long, winding tales. If anything, this results in an album that is a bit too subdued, but even so, it's apparent that Stewart has finally found his muse, focusing his songwriting and intent to a greater extent than ever before. Now, the key was to find the same sense of purpose in record-making -- he didn't quite get it here, but he would the next time around.
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic.com
1. Old Admirals 5:57
2. Warren Harding 2:41
3. Soho (Needless To Say) 3:56
4. The Last Day Of June 1934 4:47
5. Post World War Two Blues 4:18
6. Roads To Moscow 8:03
7. Terminal Eyes 3:24
8. Nostradamus 9:44
Modern Times (1975) Reissue 2007
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 364 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 152 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Collectors' Choice Music | # CCM-769 | Time: 00:51:46
Surely the title is a bit of an allusion to the Past, Present and Future of its predecessor, but Modern Times also brought Al Stewart into the present, establishing his classic sound of folky narratives and Lennonesque melodies, all wrapped up in a lush, layered production from Alan Parsons. Hearing this production makes it clear that this is what was missing from Past, since it gives epics like the title track a real sense of grandeur that makes their sentiments resonate strongly. But it's not just the improvement in production that makes Modern Times the beginning of Stewart's classic period -- his songwriting has leapt up and met his ambitions, as it retains the historical sweep of his earlier material but melds it to a melodic sensibility that's alternately comforting and haunting. This skill is apparent throughout Modern Times, and is married to a sound that is its equivalent, making this an exquisite pop-prog gem.
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic.com
01. Carol 4:25
02. Sirens of Titan 2:51
03. What's going On? 4:05
04. Not the One 4:35
05. Next Time 4:25
06. Apple Cider Reconstitution 5:20
07. Dark and the Rolling Sea 5:30
08. Modern Times 8:19
09. Swallow Wind 3:23
10. Sense of Deja Vu 4:50
11. Willie the King 4:01
Year Of The Cat (1976) Reissue 2001
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 408 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 181 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: EMI | # 7243 5 35456 2 8 | Time: 00:56:05
Al Stewart had found his voice on Past, Present Future and found his sound on Modern Times. He then perfected it all on 1976's Year of the Cat, arguably his masterpiece. There is no overarching theme here, as there was on its two immediate predecessors, but the impossible lushness of Alan Parsons' production and Stewart's evocative Continental narratives give the record a welcome feeling of cohesion that keeps the record enchanting as it moves from "Lord Grenville" to "Midas Shadow" to "Broadway Hotel," before it ends with the haunting title track. Along the way, Stewart doesn't dwell too deeply in any area, preferring to trace out mysteries with his evocative lyrical imagery and a spinning array of self-consciously sophisticated music, songs that evoke American and European folk and pop with a deliberate grace. This could be unbearably precious if it didn't work so well. Stewart is detached from his music, but only in the sense that he gives this album a stylish elegance, and Parsons is his perfect foil, giving the music a rich, panoramic sweep that mimics Stewart's globe-trotting songs. The result is a tremendous example of how good self-conscious progressive pop can be, given the right producer and songwriter -- and if you're a fan of either prog or pop and haven't given Al Stewart much thought, prepare to be enchanted.
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic.com
01. Lord Grenville 5:03
02. On The Border 3:22
03. Midas Shadow 3:11
04. Sand In Your Shoes 3:05
05. If It Doesn't Come Naturally, Leave It 4:32
06. Flying Sorcery 4:22
07. Broadway Hotel 3:58
08. One Stage Before 4:41
09. Year Of The Cat 6:49
10. On The Border (Live) 3:49
11. Belsize Blues 3:30
12. Story Of The Songs 9:43
Time Passages (1978) Reissue 1991
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 364 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 136 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: EMI | # CDP 7977652 | Time: 00:44:39
Year of the Cat brought Al Stewart a genuine worldwide smash with its title track, and for its successor, he did make a few concessions. These, however, were slight -- just a slight increase of soft rock productions, an enhancement of the lushness that marked not only Year of the Cat but also Modern Times. These happened to be welcome adjustments to Stewart's sound, since they increased the dreamy continental elegance at the core of his work. And that's why Time Passages is the equal of Year of the Cat -- it may be more streamlined, but the adjustments to his sound and the concessions to the mainstream just increase the soft grace of his eloquent historical pop epics. It's possible to view this as too precious, because it is pitched at an audience who believes the common-day concerns of pop are piffle, but this is exceptionally well-crafted, from Stewart's songs, where even three-minute songs seem like epics, to Alan Parsons' cinematic arrangements and productions. This added concentration on the texture of the recording, ensuring that it was clean, spacious, and gentle, with a welcoming surface. Of course, this means that Time Passages can work very well as background music, but it also reveals much upon concentrated listening -- enough to make it stand proudly next to Modern Times and Year of the Cat as one of Al Stewart's very best albums.
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic.com
1. Time Passages 6:42
2. Valentina Way 4:04
3. Life In Dark Water 5:49
4. A Man For All Seasons 5:50
5. Almost Lucy 3:44
6. Palace of Versailles 5:20
7. Timeless Skies 3:36
8. Song on the Radio 6:22
9. End of the Day 3:11
24 Carrots (1980) Reissue 2007
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 365 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 148 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Collectors' Choice Music | # CCM-770 | Time: 00:53:29
The pun of the title of 24 Carrots -- the first overt signal of humor Al Stewart has displayed in years, possibly ever -- illustrates that a lot has changed since 1978's Time Passages. The loosening of his wit is perhaps the most evident, but the most significant is the departure of producer Alan Parsons, who collaborated with Stewart on his mid-'70s triptych of masterpieces. In truth, 24 Carrots isn't far removed from those high points, because he is indeed still writing at a remarkably consistent pace. No, this record isn't quite at the high standard of the previous three albums, but it does have a number of brilliant moments, from the opening "Running Man" through the silly but effective "Mondo Sinistro" and the gorgeous "Midnight Rocks." Though there are some songs that don't quite click (something that did not happen on the aforementioned trio), overall the record coheres nicely, thanks not just to the uniform classiness of Stewart's songs, but to his production with Chris Desmond. Although the production does hint at the antiseptic cleanliness that sank many of his latter-day recordings, here, it is just a perfect balance of audio precision and elegant studiocraft. Despite its occasional missteps, it still is a fine record, a fitting, wistful coda to Stewart's classic period. [The 2007 Collectors' Choice Music reissue included three different bonus tracks than those found on the 1980 Razor Tie edition.]
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic.com
01. Running Man 5:12
02. Midnight Rocks 3:56
03. Constantinople 4:42
04. Merlin's Time 2:45
05. Mondo Sinistro 3:11
06. Murmansk Run_Ellis Island 7:15
07. Rocks in the Ocean 5:14
08. Paint by Numbers 5:31
09. Optical Illusion 3:31
10. Candy Came Back 3:45
11. The Ringing of Bells 4:15
12. Tonton Macoute 4:11
Live - Indian Summer (1981) Reissue 2007
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 570 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 223 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Collectors' Choice Music | # CCM-770 | Time: 01:19:23
Live/Indian Summer is the tenth album by Al Stewart, released in 1981. It is a double studio/live album, with side 1 tracks recorded at Evergreen Studios, Los Angeles between June-August 1981. Sides 2, 3 4 were recorded live at The Roxy, Los Angeles in April 1981. This was the second and last album Stewart performed with his band Shot in the Dark. This album was never released on CD until 2007, where previously, the five studio tracks were released as bonus tracks on 24 Carrots and the live tracks on the 1997 re-release, Live at the Roxy, Los Angeles 1981. The 2007 re-release includes all sixteen tracks on one compact disc.
01. Here in Angola 4:40
02. Pandora 4:37
03. Indian Summer 3:34
04. Delia's Gone 2:53
05. Princess Olivia 3:20
06. Running Man 4:44
07. Time Passages 6:16
08. Merlin's Time 2:57
09. If It Doesn't Come Naturally, Leave It 4:26
10. Roads to Moscow 7:53
11. Nostradamus 13:03
12. Soho (Needless to Say) 3:48
13. On the Border 4:31
14. Valentina Way 4:09
15. Clarence Frogman Henry 1:27
16. Year of the Cat 7:06
Russian And Americans (1984) Reissue 2007
XLD | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 409 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 154 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Collectors� Choice Music | # CCM-772 | Time: 00:57:39
Out of all of Al Stewart's grandly ambitious albums, Russians Americans is among the most problematic, since he takes an actual political position, which tends to hurt the flow of the music.
Review by Daevid Jehnzen, Allmusic.com
01. The one that got away 4:02
02. Rumours of war 5:29
03. Night meeting 6:01
04. Accident on 3rd street 3:33
05. Strange girl 3:57
06. Russians Americans 4:33
07. Cafe society 5:38
08. 1-2-3 3:14
09. The candidate 2:09
10. The gypsy and the rose 4:19
11. Lori don't go right now 4:31
12. In red square 4:06
13. How does it happen 3:06
14. The world according to garp 3:12
Last Days Of The Century (1988) Reissue 1997
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 380 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 154 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: EMI | # 7243 8 21616 2 2 | Time: 00:52:22
Al Stewart was prevented from releasing new music for four years in the mid-'80s, and when he did return, it was with the muddled Last Days of the Century, which failed to capture the excitement of his earlier work.
Review by Daevid Jehnzen, Allmusic.com
01. Prelude 1:11
02. Last days of the century 6:08
03. Real and unreal 3:35
04. King of Portugal 4:25
05. Red toupee 3:39
06. Where are they now? 5:58
07. Bad reputation 4:58
08. Josephine Baker 4:14
09. License to steal 3:55
10. Fields of France 2:55
11. Antarctica 4:08
12. Ghostly horses of the plain 2:31
13. Helen and Cassandra 4:44
Al Stewart Live - featuring Peter White - Rhymes In Rooms (1992)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 408 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 152 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Mesa | # R2 79042 | Time: 00:53:43
Sometimes the most unexpected jewels can be crystallized in adversity -- this album was a case in point, the indirect result of the financial collapse of Enigma Records, to which Al Stewart had been signed, in 1990. In tandem with Peter White, Stewart went out on the road, and the resulting 11-song album was duly issued on EMI (which was still Stewart's label, outside of the United States). There actually wasn't any shortage of live Al Stewart material in the can, but Rhymes in Rooms allowed him to deliver fresh reinterpretations of his best-known songs, this time out all-acoustic and in a more intimate setting than his earlier live recordings -- with a full band -- had permitted. The results are pleasing and never repetitive, even for those who are extremely familiar with the original versions. Stewart's and White's extended intros and vamps on the most familiar fare here are delightful, and the intimacy and immediacy of the setting and recording allow Stewart to add some new inflections and directions to the vintage material, which goes back more than 20 years in his career.
Review by Bruce Eder, Allmusic.com
1. Flying Sorcery - 4:30
2. Soho (Needless to Say) - 3:54
3. Time Passages - 5:42
4. Josephine Baker - 4:05
5. On the Border - 5:09
6. Nostradamus - 10:18
7. Fields of France - 4:09
8. Clifton in the Rain/Small Fruit Song - 5:01
9. Broadway Hotel - 4:20
10. Leave It - 5:33
11.Year of the Cat - 6:35
The Best Of Al Stewart - Songs From The Radio (1992)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 470 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 215 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Arista | # ARDCD-8433 | Time: 01:04:09
Eleven songs from Al Stewart's albums Past, Present and Future (1974) through Live Indian Summer (1981), remastered in 1992, which gives it more than decent sound. "Roads to Moscow" is drawn from Past, Present and Future (the inlay card erroneously lists Live Indian Summer), and "Year of the Cat" is the hit studio version, but the producers have chosen live versions of "Nostradamus" (which emphasizes its Tommy-like central riff) and "On the Border," rather than their superior originals, probably to retain the value of the original albums. Includes full lyrics (but no instrumental credits) and notes by David Dasch, which may explain too much, removing the mystery from some of the material.
Review by Bruce Eder, Allmusic.com
1. Time Passages - 6:39
2. Running Man - 4:18
3. Delia's Gone - 2:52
4. Roads To Moscow - 7:58
5. Song On The Radio - 6:22
6. Midnight Rocks - 3:56
7. Lord Grenville - 5:01
8. Merlin's Time - 2:42
9. Nostradamus - Part One / The World Goes To Riyadh / Nostradamus - Part Two (Live Versions) - 13:06
10. On The Border (Live Version) - 4:33
11. Year Of The Year Cat -6:42
Famous Last Words (1993) Reissue 2006
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 473 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 202 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: EMI | # 00946 3 74035 2 5 | Time: 01:00:00
Al Stewart just never misses! There is a very upbeat feel to this entire CD; it's refreshingly energizing (in contrast to Al's more thought-provoking productions, even when the topic is more serious than silly. The charmingly effusive "Feel Like" is a sets the cheery mood for the album. "Don't Forget Me" is a lovely, unexpectedly romantic tune, compelling me to remember my own partings, inevitably wiping away a tear as the song fades. "Genie on a Table Top" never fails to make me laugh with its sometimes outrageous similes (a simulated what????). "Trains" is evocative and haunting. And it's impossible not to play "Charlotte Corday" over and over again, a gentle little gem, beautifully performed.
Review by A Customer, Amazon
01. Feel like 3:38
02. Angel of mercy 3:24
03. Don't forget me 5:24
04. Peter on the white sea 3:38
05. Genie on a table top 3:49
06. Trespasser 4:48
07. Trains 8:18
08. Necromancer 3:41
09. Charlotte corday 3:49
10. Hipposong 1:53
11. Night rolls in 4:39
12. In the dark 4:58
13. Blow your mansion down 4:56
14. Mixed blessing 2:54
Between The Wars (1995)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 380 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 159 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: EMI | # 7243 8 34018 2 6 | Time: 00:48:51
Al Stewart is the single best folk songwriter of tales of long ago and far away. He has a way with words and stories that transcends labels. His skills as a songwriter and storyteller have been far too long overlooked. "Between the Wars" is the beautiful melding of musical styles, great guitar playing and tales of events between WWI and WWII. No one but Al could pull it off. He has made a truly exceptional recording. His accompianists, as tasteful as ever, take his songs to new heights and lend so much to each compostition.
Al Stewart writes with such intelligence that the listener yearns to learn more about the subjects. In concert, he usually provides glimpses into the creation of his songs, which is very entertaining. Of course, those few people who know that this man has continued to make incredible music after his fling with "Year of the Cat" fame, are well aware of his estimitable catalogue of great music. "Between the Wars" ranks up there with his very best.
Review by Vinzo, Amazon
01. Night Train to Munich 4:26
02. The Age of Rhythm 4:00
03. Sampan 3:38
04. Lindy Comes to Town 4:24
05. Three Mules 5:37
06. A League of Notions 4:18
07. Life Between the Wars 2:47
08. Betty Boop's Birthday 2:05
09. Marion the Chbtelaine 3:41
10. Joe the Georgian 3:31
11. Always the Cause 3:18
12. Laughing into 1939 4:16
13. The Black Danube 2:48
Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time (1996)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 407 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 154 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Not On Label | # none | Time: 01:01:52
Rare limited edition release for fun club. Collection Of Demos And Outtakes.
1. Where Are They Now?
2. Fields of France
3. Soho (Needless to Say)
4. In Red Square
5. A Sense of Deja Vu
6. How Does It Happen
7. The Coldest Winter in Memory
8. Candy Came Cack
9. Jackdaw
10. The Bear Farmers of Birnam
11. In the Dark
12. Blow Your Mansion Down
13. Willie the King
14. Merry Monks
15. Ghostly Horses of the Plain
16. Mixed Blessing
Down in the Cellar (2000) Reissue 2007
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 410 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 164 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Collectors� Choice Music | # CCM-777 | Time: 00:55:35
Down in the Cellar is the sixteenth album by Al Stewart. Released in 2000 in Europe by EMI, it was to have been issued in the United States through the independent label, Miramar, but shortly after making the deal for distribution, Miramar filed for bankruptcy putting the album in legal limbo. Consequently it was not released in the U.S. until 2007 by Collectables Records. Its primary theme is that of wine, and almost all the songs on the album refer to various varieties of the alcoholic beverage, including Chardonnay and Shiraz.
01. Waiting for Margaux 4:36
02. Tasting History 4:06
03. Down in the Cellars 3:10
04. Turning It into Water 4:37
05. Soho 4:01
06. The Night that the Band Got the Wine 6:09
07. Millie Brown 2:40
08. Under a Winestained Moon 3:34
09. Franklin's Table 4:24
10. House of Clocks 3:00
11. Sergio 3:21
12. Toutes les Etrolles 2:12
13. The Shiraz Shuffle 1:59
14. Dark Side 2:53
15. Belsize Blues 4:53
A Beach Full Of Shells (2005)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 410 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 185 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: EMI | # 0946 3 11821 2 9 | Time: 00:48:44
Al Stewart has always had a distinctive vocal style -- making his radio hits like "Year of the Cat" immediately recognizable -- while also possessing a knack for writing tuneful pop songs. A Beach Full of Shells qualifies as his first U.S. release since 1995, and while it's been some time since the singer conquered the pop charts, both his vocal style and craftsmanship remains intact. It would be a mistake, however, to view Stewart as no more than the maker of pop confections specially designed for a mass radio audience. The cover of A Beach Full of Shells offers the first clue of a playful mind that enjoys the weight of words: there are two types of shells on the beach, one from the sea, the other for use in a gun. The complexity of his approach is best experienced on "Somewhere in England 1915," a lengthy song (nearly seven minutes) with shifting dream imagery. Weaving fantasy with brief references to World War I, the narrator eventually wakes up 90 years later to find himself on the edge -- the song seems to suggest -- of yet another war. Stewart accomplishes all of this without ever being obvious, giving the song a subtle quality as it reveals its surprises to the listener. This, however, is only one of many moods on A Beach Full of Shells. "Katherine of Oregon" is as light as air, a pleasant, flowing ballad with nice acoustic guitar and light percussion, while "Mona Lisa Talking" shifts through a number of intriguing chord changes to offer a little common sense advice. A Beach Full of Shells probably doesn't spell Stewart's return to the Top 40, but it is a solid effort that will certainly please fans.
Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Allmusic.com
01. The Immelman Turn 4:40
02. Mr.Lear 3:00
03. Royal Courtship 4:11
04. Rain Barrel 4:00
05. Somewhere In England 1915 6:56
06. Katherine Of Oregon 3:07
07. Mona Lisa Talking 4:26
08. Class Of '58 4:11
09. Out In The Snow 2:52
10. My Egyptian Couch 2:18
11. Gina In The Kings Road 3:49
12. Beacon Street 2:20
13. Anniversary 2:53
Sparks of Ancient Light (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 360 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 154 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Appleseed Recodings | # APR CD 1112 | Time: 00:47:05
Though it was released in 2008, Sparks of Ancient Light sounds very much like a '70s Al Stewart record that happens to be lacking the more elaborate features of '70s rock music production. And that's a good thing, allowing what have always been Stewart's principal strengths -- pleasant haunting melodies, mellifluous vocals, accomplished folk guitar work, and literate, historical-minded lyrics -- to stand at the forefront, undiminished by extraneous arrangements. With the passing of years, Stewart's songwriting became increasingly history-focused, and that's quite evident from the songs on this record, which address topics and eras rarely dealt with in pop music. As just a partial sampling, there are looks at the innocence of the Eisenhower years, the fall of the Shah of Iran, and Elvis Presley's vision of Stalin in the clouds (a real-life incident, not a songwriter's fantasy). There's even an ode to early 20th-century U.S. president William McKinley. Several of the songs not sparked by specific historical incidents are imbued with images of wandering, seafaring, and nostalgia (though from a third-person character sketch perspective), though the opening line of "Silver Kettle" ("and in the last days of the world of plastic records") indicates it's actually set in recent times. The production and arrangements by Laurence Juber (who also plays guitar on the album) are straightforward, clear, and tasteful on this quite respectable recording by a veteran singer/songwriter.
Review by Richie Unterberger, Allmusic.com
01. Lord Salisbury 3:28
02. (A Child's View of) The Eisenhower Years 3:13
03. The Ear of the Night 3:08
04. Hanno the Navigator 4:17
05. Shah of Shahs 5:05
06. Angry Bird 2:45
07. The Loneliest Place on the Map 3:33
08. Sleepwalking 4:32
09. Football Hero 5:39
10. Elvis at the Wheel 3:10
11. Silver Kettle 3:58
12. Like William McKinley 4:16
Uncorked - Al Stewart Live with Dave Nachmanoff (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue, Log) + Scans ~ 473 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320, Stereo) + Scans ~ 162 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Wallaby Trails | # WAL-001 | Time: 01:02:12
This live recording is something of a surprise -- make that a shock, in the most positive way -- appearing 45 years into Al Stewart's professional career. From the opening notes of a medley of "Last Days of the Century" and "Constantinople," Stewart -- in partnership with guitarist/singer Dave Nachmanoff (who also produced this record) -- launches into a set with the kind of energy and enthusiasm one would more easily expect from a twenty-something neophyte than a sixty-something veteran. And the energy level never slackens, nor does the virtuosity -- the teamed acoustic guitars ripple with exquisite textures, across old songs imparted with new permutations, while the new songs are more than good enough to stand next to such fare as "Bedsitter Images," "Carol" (which gets a virtuoso guitar treatment here that makes it worth the price of the CD by itself), "Running Man" and "Old Admirals." Some of the new material, most notably "Coldest Winter," refers obliquely to vintage Stewart songs, but all of it is consistently fascinating in its own terms and imagery -- and one song, "Princess Olivia," manages to incorporate a breezy acoustic guitar vamp to the "Ode to Joy" theme from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 that works perfectly in the exuberant context of the song, one of the most delightfully, uninhibitedly joyous of Stewart's career, and one that could have made a killer single in a different era, when there were singles to sell by artists like Stewart. This album also is decidedly different from other Stewart live recordings, of which there are many from across his career -- he has avoided including here any of his most familiar fare; there is no "Year of the Cat," "Roads to Moscow," or "Nostradamus"; only solid album fare and core repertory, a survey of a lot of the best of his material that wasn't over-exposed on the radio. In that regard, it's a special treat for longtime fans, but it's also a great way for the uninitiated to discover Stewart's work beyond the obvious hits.
Review by Bruce Eder, Allmusic.com
1. "Last Days of the Century / Constantinople / Last Days" - 7:23
2. "Coldest Winter" - 5:56
3. "Warren Harding" - 3:10
4. "News From Spain" - 5:59
5. "Bedsitter Images" - 4:14
6. "Midas Shadow" - 3:53
7. "Running Man" - 4:37
8. "Palace of Versailles" - 4:29
9. "Auctioning Dave (Story)" - 1:11
10. "Princess Olivia" -2:58
11. "Life In Dark Water" - 5:03
12. "Carol" - 4:59
13. "Old Admirals" / [hidden story] - 8:21
Al Stewart � Live at Musikladen (1979)
DVD-5 | MPEG-2, NTSC, 720 x 480 (4:3), 8000 kbps | AC-3, 6ch, 448 kbps ~ 2.73 Gb | Time: 00:43:05
Capturing American radio airwaves with his stunning acoustic masterpieces, "The Year of the Cat" and Time Passages", Al Stewart is one of music's most accomplished and underrated six string troubadours. Heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, Stewart's silky sweet voice and intricate songcraft is a remarkable testament to his prodigious talent. This MusikLaden Extra includes such Stewart hits as On The Border, Time Passages, Year of the Cat, So Ho (Needless To Say), Palace of Versailles, Valentina Way and Song On The Radio.
01. On The Border
02. So Ho (Needless To Say)
03. Time Passages
04. Palace of Versailles
05. Valentina Way
06. Year of the Cat
07. Song On The Radio

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