Blue Shift: Not the Future I Ordered (CD, 43:08); MD2002, 1997 Mayday Records 11013 Fuqua # 254 Houston Texas, 77089 http://www.blue-shift.com Imagine for a moment Yes invites Keith Emerson of ELP over for a song or two. Word gets out of a name-rock group recording in the works so Genesis, that's in the Steve Hackett era mind you, shows up. Steve Howe agrees nervously. Jon Anderson gets the idea to invite Supertramp for some vocals --Roger Hodgson says cool. Led Zeppelin refuses to attend but okays a redo of "Immigrant Song". Paul McCartney offers to write some Beatlesque passages and song structuring.Plant and Page are a tad miffed when they hear the new version of "Immigrant Song" cuz instead of lotsa guitar, Keith Emerson does a mean organ lead break/finale in that "Knife Edge"/"Barbarian" mood. All is set, the backup tapes rollin', digital to digital bytes pulsing, no jacks here -- it's an all soldered set-up and then you wake up . . . None of the superstars are here but the talented music of Blue Shift remains a near- perfect mirror of all them. Stewart Meredith's vocals are so Yes and even Supertramp on "Rome", that it is simply a delight to wrap yourself in them. Mark Barton on keys and Joey Backenstone on guitars work precision, ELP/Yes, magic throughout. Tight drumming drives it all along due to the groove Steve Sklar throws down. I'm not big on vocals in progressive rock but Meredith can sing all he wants. His crooning evokes a dreamy land that's home to nostalgia -- the search for the golden chord. Blue Shift has a strong ability to write interesting material that's not copy-cat but springboards off a solid foundation laid down by the old masters of progressive rock. Yeah, I also heard signature Beatles hooks everywhere. Listen for the Asia and 90's era Yes here and there. Not the Future I Ordered is enjoyable and listenable time after time. Look out 21st century, here comes Blue Shift -- cruisin' the fast lane. Nice job guys. -- John W. Patterson
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"Immigrant Song" variant excerpt
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