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Gandalf - Gandalf featuring Steve Hackett - Gallery Of Dreams Live (part 1) CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.96 | 4 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Between Different Worlds

My first encounter with Gandalf was the studio album Gallery Of Dreams which featured ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett as a guest. The present live album (which is the first out of two parts, released separately as well as part of a 3 disc set including the aforementioned studio album) is a recording of a show from around the same time (early 90's) when Hackett joined Gandalf and his band on stage in Vienna for a few numbers. The majority of the songs performed are from the Gallery Of Dreams album, but also a couple of songs from earlier Gandalf albums are performed as well as a few Hackett/Genesis classics when Steve comes on stage. It is the last four tracks on this live album that feature Hackett (and one further piece featuring Hackett is included on part 2).

Black Light and the eternal Horizons are of course acoustic pieces that are very familiar to fans of Steve Hackett and Genesis. Naturally, on these two Steve takes the stage alone. In That Quiet Earth (originally from Genesis' Wind And Wuthering album) is equally familiar to all of us and Steve often plays this excellent instrumental live. On this as well as on Between Different Worlds it is Gandalf's full band playing with Hackett to great effect. Between Different Worlds is a track off Gallery Of Dreams that is actually rather similar in the style as In That Quiet Earth and works very well here.

What is most striking about this excellent live album is how much better great the Gallery Of Dreams material sounds live compared to the studio versions. Even though it was because of Hackett's presence that I came to check out Gandalf's music in the first place, it is not only the tracks on which Hackett plays that are excellent here. Most of these numbers are extended in live format and they are given a much rockier edge compared to the studio versions. The live versions are more "lively", energetic and less New-Age-like. No doubt this is the best that I've heard from Gandalf.

Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised by how good Gandalf sounds in the live arena compared to in the studio (at least compared to the studio albums I've heard from him so far). This is definitely the recommended entry point into Gandalf's world as I know it.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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