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Lifesigns picture
Lifesigns biography
Founded in Leighton Buzzard, UK in 2008

Veteran keyboard player John YOUNG (The Strawbs, John Wetton, Bonnie Tyler, The Scorpions, Fish, Uli Jon Roth, others) realized in 2008 that he had never done a pure prog album. The band LIFESIGNS, is the direct result of that realization.

John started writing the music for the first LIFESIGNS album in 2008 working closely with sound engineer and next door neighbor Steve RISPIN. As John was often touring with one of the many projects that he was involved in, it took the better part of two years for the writing to have progressed enough to enlist a friend. In 2010, John recruited longtime friend Nick BEGGS (Kajagoogoo, Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson, Rick Wakeman, others) to play the bass and Chapman Stick and drummer Frosty BEEDLE (Cutting Crew) to round out the trio. Over the next two years the band completed their first album, enlisting the talents of prog luminaries Steve HACKETT (Genesis) , Jakko JAKSZYK (King Crimson), Thijs VAN LEER (Focus) and Robin BOULT (John Young).

The band has a modern sound with lush, multi layered keyboards and the distinctive sound of the Chapman stick. John and Nick blend their voices beautifully and frequently throughout their first album in higher pitched harmonies reminiscent of Yes.

With the list of musicians that had been compiled for their first album, "Lifesigns" was released with great anticipation in January of 2013.

: : : Tom Wright (Roland113), US : : :

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LIFESIGNS discography

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LIFESIGNS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.81 | 212 ratings
3.74 | 60 ratings

LIFESIGNS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LIFESIGNS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.67 | 12 ratings
Live in London - Under The Bridge

LIFESIGNS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LIFESIGNS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cardington by LIFESIGNS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.74 | 60 ratings

Lifesigns Neo-Prog

Review by proghaven

4 stars A front page news: Galadriel's Calibrated Collision Course has laid a delayed egg. That studio album from 2008 was heavily criticized by special collaborators, prog reviewers and ordinary members (here at Prog Archives, on the respective page, you can see how it was criticized and how lowly it was rated). I nevertheless dared suppose that it could announce a new paradigm for prog music, and now, with the release of a new studio album from Lifesigns, I see that this may be true. The opening track, lapidary entitled N (sic!), shows the band's approach to building the relationships between musical sounds following... no, not Galadriel's 2008 prescriptions but Galadriel's 2008 algorithm for making up a prescription. It sounds very unusual and fresh.

Another possible musical analogy is, perhaps unexpectedly, Haken. Early Haken, not fussy and clamorous The Mountain or glum and insipid Affinity, but magnificent Aquarius and intricate Visions. According to most of sources, Haken is 'heavy prog' while Lifesigns is 'neo- prog', but Martin Orford hates the term 'neo-prog' not without reason. Sometimes strict definitions produce confusions, and there's no reason to pay too much attention to tags. I can find a number of musical parallels between N and, exempli gratia, The Point Of No Return (the opening track from Aquarius) in melody making and arrangement techniques.

But with the track two, Voice In My Head, any hints of Galadriel and Haken disappear, and - quel passage! - we hear another Telephone. Do you remember? It's the second track of the previous (self-titled) album from Lifesigns. Now, four years later, the band exploits the same structure: track one is epic, long and complex, while track two has simple melody and simple rhythm and sounds almost dance-like. Okay, okay. The next track, Chasing Rainbows, is an excellent short song in the vein of Pendragon, Jadis or IQ... and then - quelle surprise! - the third Telephone begins! Hey guys, maybe enough? (Just to be clear: I do like Telephone. I like it very much, it's one of my faves from the band's debut!) But no, far from enough, the next track is again a reincarnation of Telephone! And only the closing track, Cardington, restores the initial atmosphere, it's a long epic suite with a lot of innovative moments, and the shade of Calibrated Collision Course is again here.

So, the album includes two amazing, absolutely incomparable epics, one beautiful short song and four Telephones. That's why I am so base and spiteful to give it only four stars. Otherwise, if the entire album was sustained at the level of its opening and closing track, even a five-star rating would be too low for it.

 Lifesigns by LIFESIGNS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 212 ratings

Lifesigns Neo-Prog

Review by chopper
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars I have to thanks Amazon for initially alerting me to this CD which stood out thanks to the wonderful cover photo (apparently taken at speed on the M6). I was then also sent details of it on Facebook by John Young himself.

At first listen, this is an album that appears to contain nice, melodic if slightly "easy listening" prog music, however it's unlike most prog albums I've ever heard in that it slowly reveals itself to you over time as you begin to appreciate the vocal harmonies, the intricate melodies, the standard of musicianship and the wonderful songs. I've been playing this regularly over the last 18 months or so and I'm still hearing new bits.

The band consists of John Young (who wrote all the songs), prog bassist de jour Nick Beggs, ex-Cutting Crew drummer Frosty Beedle as well as guest musicians Steve Hackett, Jakko Jakszyk and Thijs van Leer (who contributes some wonderful flute).

Highlights? There are many - the thundering bass riff of "Fridge Full of Stars", the flute solo in the same song, the Chapman Stick on "Telephone", the blistering guitar at the start of "Carousel" and the wonderful riff played simultaneously on flute, bass and guitar that pops up at regular intervals throughout the same song.

So this is an album to listen to and cherish as it slows reveals itself to you throughout repeated listens. There are no obvious reference points although some of it has an It Bites feel to it. If you like melodic prog but want something with depth to it, then you need this album. I saw the band perform it live last night - I did wonder if they would be able to reproduce it live but they managed it brilliantly. If you can catch them live, don't miss them!

5 stars all the way, best prog album of the last 5 years.

 Lifesigns by LIFESIGNS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 212 ratings

Lifesigns Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I'll be honest that I've had trouble rating this debut album from Lifesigns. This three-man outfit includes the likes of Nick Beggs on bass, John Young on keys, and Frosty Beedle on drums. These three are fairly well known, especially Beggs with his dynamic approach to bass and Chapman stick. The problem, then, is how to review an album created by three music veterans.

This album is deceptively simple. Its five lengthy pieces come across as light and fluffy most of the time, but inside their hearts beat with fiery bass lines, sweeping and atmospheric keys, and delicate drumming. This album thrives on heady technical performances, but somehow remains simple and accessible, too. Beggs is his usual self with inventive and incredibly interesting bass offerings. Indeed, this is definitely one of the best bass performances of 2013. Young offers keys with elegance and skill, playing everything from outstanding solos to subtle touches. Lastly, Beedle plays his drums with expert precision and appropriation to the music type. Indeed, this album is full of intricacies and subtleties. On top of these musicians, a great group of guests is involved, such as Steve Hackett with his ethereal guitar.

Alas, though, the strengths of this album may also be what keeps it from being a complete masterpiece. Subtlety. This album might be too subtle at times, to the point where passages seem to have nothing happening at all. I found again and again that a track would start out really well, have an outstanding middle, and then finish strongly. However, the minutes that provide transition between those parts are pretty uneventful and downright dull at times. Another strength is its guest lineup. However, the lack of an actual guitar players detracts from the overall feeling of the album slightly. The music often lacks a fullness or satisfaction. Don't get me wrong, though. This is an excellent album in almost every way possible, from interesting lyrics and great harmonizing vocals to skillful instrumental sections and extremely catchy rhythms.

The tracks themselves are somewhat varied. From the organic "Lighthouse" to the desperate "Telephone" and the elegant "Fridge Full of Stars (my favorite), this albums starts off very well. It doesn't let up, though, as the sweeping "At the End of the World" and the funky "Carousel" finish the album on a really high note. Throughout these tracks, we are treated to incredible variety in keys and really infectious melodies. I am especially impressed with the vocal melodies at the end of "At the End of the World". Once you hear it, you will be singing it for hours.

So, how does one rate this type of album? It has its flaws, but they are small and don't really ruin the experience. On the other hand, the music is masterfully composed, professionally performed, and simply beautiful in ambiance. On one hand, some passages drag on without really going anywhere. However, then an infectious keyboard melody or bass line will rear its head, and the song will have changed in an instant to something glorious and divine. Overall, the album is worth everyone's time. It has the right amount of tastiness to keep the listener interested, and the album will grow and grow like a weed within your mind. This album is truly an excellent addition to the prog scene.

 Lifesigns by LIFESIGNS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 212 ratings

Lifesigns Neo-Prog

Review by jmeadow

2 stars I found this album disappointing. If there is a point of comparison it would be post-Gabriel Genesis, but while there is much technical proficiency on display here I found this is album so laid back that it lacked energy and therefore interest.

A particular problem for me was that I found the vocals bland and unengaging. I imagine that if they had recruited a really top notch vocalist this could have become a much more interesting album, but as it is I find the vocals just hold my attention sufficiently.

Unless you like *very* mellow prog I would judge that this album should come way down your to-buy list, because there is much more new exciting music out there at present.

 Lifesigns by LIFESIGNS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 212 ratings

Lifesigns Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I've held off posting a review or rating for this album for months because I knew, upon first listen, that herein was something special, something that required time to seep into my brain cells. There is such professionalism, such polish and thought and detail gone into this album that it is hard to not want to give it the five star "masterpiece" rating. Yeah, "Telephone" may well be my favorite song of the year and "Carousel" is not far behind, but I have to admit it that the album's other three songs are lacking something. Call it memorable 'hooks' or 'magic' if you like but, despite wonderful compositional and performance displays throughout--and awesome production--and one of my favorite album covers of the year--this album still comes up a bit short of "essential" and "masterpiece." Actually, I find this album most intriguing for the way three things keep drawing my attention (and I have listened to these songs dozens of times): 1) the backup vocalist (whom I believe is Nick Beggs) and vocal arrangements that are so reminiscent of one of the most magical groups at vocal arrangements of all-time, AMBROSIA, 2) the masterful bass/Chapman stick play, and 3) the incredibly alluring flute contributions (which, I believe, are courtesy of Thijs Van Leer).

I wanted so much to find the same magic in all of these well-polished songs that I find in the above two but, alas! it is not to be. I hope against all hopes, however, that John, Nick and "Frosty" feel compelled to give their collaboration one more try. I, for one, will be looking for that release with high interest.

Five star songs: 2. "Telephone" (9:18) (10/10) and "Carousel" (11:46) (9/10).

Four stars: a most excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

 Lifesigns by LIFESIGNS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 212 ratings

Lifesigns Neo-Prog

Review by Kjarks

4 stars What a charming music ! Each of these five pieces is a long song (13, 9, 12, 8 and 11 minutes respectively) based on a finely conceived melody, elaborate harmonies and subtle musical developments.

This music is clearly more neoprog than symphonic rock, but it's neoprog with a lot of symphonic moments and colours : piano arpeggios (with a reference to Genesis in the end of "Fridge full of stars"), some classical strings here, a delicate flute chorus there...

I don't know what these musicians did before ? They look experimented. The musicianship is quite good. There is no real virtuosity but everythng is perfectly in order. John Young has a nice, original and never failing voice. The music flows, never boring, often crossing enchanting landscapes.

Simply beautiful ! Next work has chances to be brilliant. I would give between 4 and 4,5 stars to this former and full of promises recordings.

 Lifesigns by LIFESIGNS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 212 ratings

Lifesigns Neo-Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Lifesigns is a Brittish prog band lead by the keyboard player John Young and the process for making this album has been going on since 2008 but it lasted til 2013 to finally release it. Young sings and playes keyboard. Nick Beggs is the bass, stick and choir man and Martin Frosty Beedle is the drummer doy in this man. I was curious to review this album which has been said to be great. The cover is nice and very English, which is never wrong, but perhaps not very artistic. The lasting time is 53 minutes and I read that even Steve Hackett, Thijs van Leer, Jakko Jakszyk and Robin Bould contribute as guesty, I don't know when.

I don't find Lifesigns music especially spectacular. The play a quite symphonic, but not progressive, pop rock. Partially I consider it interesting to listen to, but after three listenings I wouldn't say I like it very much. The absolutely best part here is "Carousel"(8/10), the last track, which is almost lovely. What I like most here is the similarity I think I've got from Camel's Snow Goose. A reappearing theme, lead by a flute, makes the powerful dream come true and I also think the singer is competent, though not very unique. "At the end of the world" is heavy and I like the pointed title sung some times, but it's a little too mainstream(6/10). The same with "Fridge full of Stars"(6/10) which good thing is a nice flute part in the middle, and the instrumentation is good. The lyrics is quite similar with Yes' "Yours is no disgrace". Also "Lighthouse"(6/10) is partially sophisticated but principally vague. The least interesting thing is "Telephone" which I would give(5/10). Hear I think the singer's voice is similar to BigBigTrain's.

I think Lifesigns should have done more songs like "Carousel" but I am not the man to decide what they should do. The time widths were progy but for me this was really too ingratiating. I will give it three stars!

 Lifesigns by LIFESIGNS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 212 ratings

Lifesigns Neo-Prog

Review by sussexbowler

3 stars At the end of the 80's I heard the album 'Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe'. It made me realise what a waste the 80's had been musically...

having heard (and enjoyed) the last track, 'Carousel', on a demo, I have to say that I'm disappointed by the rest of the tracks.

One of the problems that I have with the eighties, is that musically it's 'Pop' over 'Prog'. And that's how I'd describe 'Lifesigns'. 'Pop' over 'Prog'.

Sadly, the dexterity and complexity afforded to 'Carousel' are not to be found elsewhere in the album. This is a shame, because it shows what the band are truly capable of in the 'Prog' field.

 Lifesigns by LIFESIGNS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 212 ratings

Lifesigns Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars I have never been on such a magical progressive journey, buying new releases that are simply stunning and forcing me to dish out five star ratings as if it were going out of style. The main attraction here is undoubtedly my new bass fiend Nick Beggs , who finally has the recognition after decades of silence perhaps due to his Kajagoogoo debut, what with his tortuous hair-do and all, as if that mattered! (If it does, go and flock a seagull!) . Beggs has graced albums by early Iona, recent Steve Hackett, the Kompendium project with Magenta's Rob Reed and Steve Wilson's current bass man. He is an English version of Tony Levin, playing fretless bass and stick like a true creative genius, with a profound predilection for seismic rumbles and slick technique loaded with feeling. John Young is also well- respected for playing with Fish, the Strawbs, John Wetton, the new Greenslade and solo outings, a talented ivory dervish and finally, Frosty Beedle who drummed with one of the more adventurous new wave bands Cutting Crew back in the mid-80s ('I Just Died in her Arms tonight' was a great song) as well as session/live drumming for a boat-load of well- known international artists. The attention to details is obvious with stellar production, spirited cover artwork and first-rate classy packaging.

First impression, there is a new Squire, Wakeman and Bruford trio out there in 2013, ably helped out by some dudes you may have heard of (Steve Hackett, Thijs Van Leer, Robin Boult and Jakko Jakczyk) . The music is vibrant, fresh, inspired and very prog! In fact, 'Fridge Full of Stars' will simply blow you away, as well as 'Carousel', two colossal and epic monster tracks that will 'out yes' Yes. I mean, that good, Guys= 'fly from THERE'! The other tracks are dazzling too, nothing under 8 minutes, BTW.

The nearly 13 minute 'Lighthouse' flings this disc straight into the progressive fire, a laser beam of sonic light piercing the shrouded mist, a beacon of things to come, full of adventure and solidity, as Beedle does his best Bruford wham-bam pushed along by Beggs' nimble low-end rumble. The mood for the day is prolific, Yes-ish, armed with slithering synths carving around that treble-heavy bass swirl. The main melody is straight-laced but passionately expressed, showing the first Genesis tendencies, especially in the mellow mid-section with some patented Hackett electric glides. The music displayed is symphonic, accessible, smooth, professional and exhilarating.

'Telephone' starts out like a Tony Levin-fueled Peter Gabriel-esque tune (think 'I Don't Remember'), a progressive pop song loaded with melodic beauty and beastly rhythm. Strictly fascinating, deeply engaging, almost breezy in a strange way, with eccentric and unexpectedly lush choir work and a general sense of effortlessness. Young unleashes a scintillating flurry of synth lines while doing a masterful job on lead vocals but Beggs' bass really rules the roost! The man is just incredible! Some lovely guitar phrasings (Boult or Jakczyk?) adorn the spectacle, stamping this majestic piece as a prog radio song 'par excellence'! A memorable performance and delicious track.

The impeccable 'Fridge Full of Stars' is the ultimate show-stopper, a bruising bulldozer of portentous sound, deeply progressive and audacious, decorated by tickling piano ivories, that scandalous brooding bass and a melody and a chorus to expire over. This has to rank among the best progressive tracks in the last 10 years, well-constructed and utterly enjoyable, superb vocals and crowned by a Thijs Van Leer flute extravaganza that permits a crazy Hackett guitar solo that sears and scars profoundly! My goodness! I caught myself nervously laughing at this (a sign of edgy disbelief) every time I pressed on the repeat button. Gigantic, titanic, colossal, absurd and darn brilliant! 'Watching the world go by, a smile upon my face', indeed! Long suffering Yes fans would need copious amounts of diapers to overcome their joy at listening to such genius. Someone please send a copy to Squire and explain that this is what you should have been doing for the past 20 years. Open YOUR eyes, for Chris sakes!

The shortest track here at 8. 24 ,'At the End of The World' is just as delicious, a thoroughly ecstatic vocal performance with a laid-back groove that shows off their absolute restraint and eschewing any kind of overblown redundancy. This is far from bloated and overbearing, quite the contrary, a mesmerizing piano-led arrangement that seeps deep into the soul, gearing up for a windswept synth solo that will elicit wide grins and a proper sense of reverence. The oft-repeated chorus of 'the end of the world' holds little doom, just the usual human predilection for trepidation and negativity. It's all coated in some positive vibes. Now how cool is that?

'Carousel' as the name implies will serve only to come back to the beginning and listen to this beast again and again, round and round we go, to our delirious pleasure. Swirly determination, bold affirmation of chops with that mixture of furious bass and that booming organ sound, the arrangement finding itself close to the edge and yet not all that fragile (punster!), glittering piano rifling along, hard-nosed drum support and Peter Gabriel-like melodies that will adhere to your skull for evermore. Luxuriant, lush and lusty, the stunning mood just careens along at a brisk but thoroughly controlled pace, further proof of these veterans possessing mastery over their respective instruments. Upon finishing the audition, you will feel refreshed, amazed, spellbound and excited. Music can do that you know, a feel good exploration of bliss.

Fans of the Flower Kings will adore this new contributor to the scene, hopefully one that will yield many more exemplary albums in the future. Together with Comedy of Errors' recent colossus, British prog is doing quite well, thank you! A total keeper, a future classic.

5 shy shy pulses

 Lifesigns by LIFESIGNS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 212 ratings

Lifesigns Neo-Prog

Review by robbob

4 stars What a good discovery.

This atmospheric neo prog new band

Solid work from start to end

Beautiful melodies of neo prog rock music keyboards oriented.

Reminds me very much Cairo,It Bites and K2....of course Yes and Genesis too(75-78 era )

This is light neo prog rock .Relaxing neo prog rock...but this does not means that is in a pop prog line or that we won t find a creative or innovative prog rock : .This is a serious ,solid work, with very good musicians and compositions.

So expecting their next works ..because this is a very good start and we must congratulate this guys.

For me at least four stars

Thanks to Roland113 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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