THE QUEEN IS DEAD: 30 Years Later

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Wait, that doesn’t look like the queen.  Yes, the subtlety was lost on me when I was 18.

Amazingly, THE QUEEN IS DEAD came out thirty years ago today.  For me, it was that magical time between graduating from high school and heading off to the University of Notre Dame.  I spent that summer of 1986 dreaming of college, working as an overnight DJ at a local radio station, and rather madly chasing around a young woman (who is now, thankfully, happily married and living in central Kansas).

 

Strangely, though, THE QUEEN IS DEAD did not inspire or trouble me once that summer.  For whatever reason, I completely missed its release.

It wasn’t until I arrived at Notre Dame that a great friend (and now an extremely famous philosopher) introduced me to THE QUEEN IS DEAD.  From the first listen, I was bowled over.  Being rather partial to prog rock, I didn’t cotton easily to non-progressive music.  Yet, there was something in THE QUEEN IS DEAD that captured my imagination.  There was a wit, a whiny intelligence, a reference to some of my favorite writers, and a strange cynical romanticism that pervades the whole album that tugged at my soul.

With Morrissey, I wanted to walk the cemetery gates, and I knew that there was a “light that never goes out” when it came to that Kansas girl I chased for almost two years.

I felt sorry for the Queen and for Prince Charles, of course, but I chuckled about the vicar, and I thought I knew a Bigmouth, here or there.

Thirty years ago.  Amazing.  It could’ve been yesterday.

Worlds Have Collided: Galahad at age 30

Galahad is a band that knows where it’s been, where it is, and where it’s going.  I love this.  But, then, I love Galahad.  And, so should you.

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Progged to 11.

For the latest release, When Worlds Collide, Galahad has re-recorded a number of its older tracks and meshed them with the more recent ones in a wonderful and engaging two-volume set.  In existence now for thirty-one years and with most of its original members still members (amazing; can you imagine saying the same thing about, say, Yes?), Galahad is neither shy nor cocky, just happily content.  They never wanted to be rock stars, puppets of some record label, or the playthings of some marketing firm.

They just want to be Galahad.  And they do it with such grace.  That grace finds its way into their lyrics, their music, and their very presentation.  If you forced me to make a comparison of the band, I would suggest imagining Peter Gabriel and Tony Levin playing with Ultravox and then progging it up to 11.

Here are the tracks and the dates (original and re-recorded):

CD1

  1. Lady Messiah (1985/2015)
  2. The Chase (1988/2015)
  3. City of Freedom (1986/2015)
  4. Chamber of Horrors (1990/2015)
  5. Dreaming From the Inside (1985/2015)
  6. Room 801 (1990/2015)
  7. Ocean Blue (1996/2015)
  8. Don’t Lose Control (1990/2015)
  9. Exorcising Demons (1992/2015)
  10. Karma For One (1997/2015)

CD2

  1. Empires Never Last (2006/2014)
  2. Sleepers (1992/2012)
  3. Richelieu’s Prayer (1990/2012)
  4. Painted Lady (1985/2014)
  5. Bug Eye (1997/2014)
  6. Singularity (2012)
  7. Guardian Angel (2012)
  8. Seize the Day (Single mix) (2012)
  9. This Life Could Be My Last (2006/2014)

As is obvious from the above track list and the accompanying dates of original recording and the re-recording, the band has been re-creating its sound for years now.  All to the good.  Even the older tracks—regarded as “neo-prog” by the press at their release feel much more dynamic and more “Galahadian.”  Just as a test, I played several of these tracks—all from different releases—in succession to get a feel for just how different When Worlds Collide.  The audio quality is simply amazing.  It always has been, but with all of its confidence and just pride in being in existence for over three decades, Nicholson and Co. give us everything they have with When Worlds Collide.

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No, I won’t be coy.  I think the world of Stu, and this is one of my most-prized possessions.

Sadly, I didn’t encounter the music of Galahad until Lady Alison introduced the band to me in 2012.  Since then, I’ve been hooked.  I own the CDs, I own the authorized band biography, and I consider the lead singer, Stu, a friend and ally.

Whether you’ve loved the band for thirty-one years or if you’re reading about them for the very first time right here, right now, do yourself a huge favor: purchase When Worlds Collide.  It’s a delight for the ear, the mind, and the soul.

Galahad: 30th Anniversary

To celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary Galahad will be releasing a historical double CD retrospective with a twist, the twist being that ten of the tracks included are brand new re-recorded versions of old Galahad songs, some dating back to 1985, the year the band formed, including one thirty year old track (City of Freedom) which has never been recorded properly before!

In some cases the new versions are similar to the originals but in other cases the songs have been re-worked and re-arranged considerably, either way we have tried our best to be sympathetic to the spirit of the originals whilst trying to bring them up to date in terms of their sonic quality and also so that they compare favourably, hopefully, with the Galahad sound of 2015!

As this is a rather special as well as an epic album, clocking in at approximately  2 hours and 36 minutes,  we have also included a few strategically placed ‘tributes’ to a few of our original influences within some of the newly recorded ‘old’ tracks, so it’ll be interesting to see if they’ll get spotted!

Hopefully, this collection is a fair representation of the Galahad cannon and will appeal to existing fans of the band and will also, perhaps, act as a taster to those yet to dip their toes in the world of Galahad music.

When Worlds Collide Track listing:

CD1
1. Lady Messiah (1985/2015)
2. The Chase (1988/2015)
3. City of Freedom (1986/2015)
4. Chamber of Horrors (1990/2015)
5. Dreaming From the Inside (1985/2015)
6. Room 801 (1990/2015)
7. Ocean Blue (1996/2015)
8. Don’t Lose Control (1990/015)
9. Exorcising Demons ( 1992/2015)
10. Karma For One (1997/2015)
CD2
11. Empires Never Last (2006/2014)
12. Sleepers (1992/2012)
13. Richelieu’s Prayer (1990/2012)
14. Painted Lady (1985/2014)
15. Bug Eye (1997/2014)
16. Singularity (2012)
17. Guardian Angel (2012)
18. Seize the Day (Single mix) (2012)
19. This Life Could Be My Last (2006/2014)