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Various Artists

The Moon Revisited

Review by Gary Hill

Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon was more than likely not only the best selling prog album of all time, but definitely the album, of all albums (not just prog) to stay on the charts the longest. From that point of view this tribute disc makes sense. However, I question the wisdom in trying to reproduce such a masterpiece. Indeed, it may have been a wiser choice to do a more traditional Pink Floyd tribute album. For one thing, that would allow for more creativity and for the work to be taken more on its own merits rather than comparing it point by point to the original. However, since the Magna Carta people chose to do it this way, that is precisely how I will review it, comparing it point by point. Taking the album from that direction, these guys do a fine job of recreating the album. Only a few songs differ in any substantial way, and the main areas where it doesn't quite measure up is in the vocals. I have to say, "bravo" to the producers for taking tracks from a variety of artists and making them mesh into a seamless melange, just like the original.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
Cairo-a. Speak To Me/b. Breathe
Cairo is a great band who by now have three albums out. At the time this album was done they only had one. They seem to do the Speak to Me segment a bit slower and less ethereal than the original, but it comes across remarkably close. If that one is close, their take on Breathe is nearly a dead ringer. You can almost imagine you are hearing good 'ol Pink. The only appreciable difference is a moderate one regarding the vocals.
Rob LaVaque-On The Run
Rob LaVaque is the keyboardist and co-leader of the band Dark Side of The Moon. That band is essentially a full-scale (stage production, videos, the whole thing) tribute to Pink Floyd. With credentials like that you can do little but expect him to put in a convincing effort. He does just that, this effects laden piece feeling very close to the original, but with a little more organic, rather than mechanical texture to it. This is even more impressive when you find out that he performed his rendition "live", using samples and such that he has collected.
Shadow Gallery-Time
What Shadow Gallery does here toward reproducing the sound is fairly easy to describe. They come quite close in nearly all aspects. Indeed, there are only two notable differences. First, the vocals on the cut sound closer to Geoff Tate than Roger Waters. This is a refreshing change. Secondly, the guitar solo, while note for note, cannot quite capture the trademark sound of David Gilmour. That last issue is almost splitting hairs, though, and indeed they put in a very convincing cover.
Dark Side Of The Moon-The Great Gig in The Sky
Coming right out of the gate, I need to make a confession here. I have always had mixed feelings about this song. Although I appreciated it in the overall structure of the whole piece, the wailing vocals have always struck me as over the top. That said, these guys have produced almost a carbon copy of the original, wails and all.
The first real innovation on the disc, Magellan have done a nice reworking of the cut. First off, they update the introductory segment, then play the song proper with a bit harder approach than the original. Add to that some subtle differences meant to show a sense of humor, and you have a fresh new take on a classic piece. The ironic thing is that the vocals here probably come closer to the original than on the rest of the album. Bravo to Magellan for having the courage to change things around. And an extra "thanks" for doing such a good job of it. This one is the highlight of the disc.
Enchant-Us & Them
Enchant seems to bring a more modern prog sound to this one, especially in the keyboard layering. They still manage to maintain the jazzy sort of texture of the original, though. That must have been some feat. Where they fall short, though, is in the vocal department. The singing here feels flimsy and immature. It really flaws the cut a bit.

World Trade-Any Colour You Like
Billy Sherwood's group seem to be comfortable with revamping the classic sound, Their changes are not so obvious as Magellan's, but they do manage to bring a more modern texture to the piece.
Robert Berry-Brain Damage
A true solo effort, Berry does quite a faithful rendition of this piece, playing and singing every part himself.
All of the various vocalists from the CD make their presence known on this powerful closer. It is a fairly straightforward and convincing take on the piece, and the vocals here are the strongest of the entire album.

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