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Articles Home » 2003 Articles » FM (UK) - 2003 Long Time No See (3CD)
 
FM (UK) - 2003 Long Time No See (3CD)



ARTIST: FM (UK)
ALBUM: Long Time No See : #1 Paraphernalia
LABEL: Escape Music
SERIAL: ESM 086
YEAR: 2003
SPONSOR: Escape Music

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Steve Overland - vocals, guitars * Andy Barnett - guitars * Merv Goldsworthy - bass * Pete Jupp - drums

TRACK LISTING: See below..

WEBLINKS: www.fmofficial.com


Background
Long time fans of UK favourites are gonna be overjoyed at this latest Triple Pack effort from Escape Music. After the resounding success of the Sugarcreek affair last November, the latest 2003 effort sees FM getting the glossy packaged treatment from Escape, and a great combination of material is compiled along the way. The Triple Pack includes previously unreleased material (excluding Japan) from 1996 - 'Paraphernalia', a re-release of the popular 1992 album 'Aphrodisiac', plus the 1989 live set 'Live At The Astoria'. We'll go through each disc separately, and focus on the timeframe, and the music contained within. I am not going to rate this CD, as serious followers of melodic rock will know what to do in any case. Surely with over three hours worth of music on offer, you'd be looking a gift horse in the mouth. Need I say anymore..

It's certain that another milestone in the cap of Escape Music has been achieved. Thanks to Khalil Turk for the opportunity, particularly with our website helping out by providing the Liner Notes, and to Steve Overland for ensuring I got most of it right.. lol.

URL: www.escape-music.com

CD#1 PARAPHERNALIA (65.19)

This CD contains material previously unreleased outside of Japan. Apart from the three bonus tracks at the end of the CD, 'Paraphernalia' first appeared in 1996, after the 'Dead Mans Shoes' album the prior year. It is a mixed bag, primarily showcasing Steve Overland's vocals - played out in a rock/blues fashion, in the style of a young Paul Rodgers, or if one was to throw an American slant on it - a band like Tangier would be a good example. Apparently, most of these tracks are outtakes left over from the 'Dead Mans Shoes' period, but all in all, there are some jewels to be found among the laser etched grooves.

The smooth AOR of 'Caught In The Innocence' acts as the silky entree for the remainder of the tracks following on. The first hint of their melodic and rich blusey style appears with the next duo 'I Don't Wanna (Play These Games)' and the likeable 'After Hours'. FM then venture into a smokey bar-room blues workout on 'I'll Be There'. The vocals of Overland impassioned beyond the point of no return. 'That's The Way' is slightly similar, perhaps in the same vein as a Bonnie Raitt tune. The cool air of passionate desperation continues on 'Promised Land', slow burning blues fuel. We're back on the melodic rock path with the nice pairing of 'Heavy Heart', lots of pulsing bass lines among the acoustic guitar jangle, while 'Three Seconds' also smokes up a whiskey induced storm with a killer chorus that the aforementioned boys in Tangier would gulp down in double quick time!

Thankfully, the band turn up the volume on 'Finish What We Started', as if they've just realized the 'kill' switch was in fact set to maim. The final three tracks are bonuses. Two cuts from 'Tough It Out' return: 'Burning My Heart Down' and 'Don't Stop'. Both fairly grunty versions it must be said, especially when compared to the original. As for the 'Indiscreet' classic 'Frozen Heart', it is provided with a completely new makeover. Think The Cars hit single 'Drive', then apply it to FM and you're in the zone! Fascinating to hear, masses of thick keyboard layers, and reverbed drums, and a slower delivery. So, there we go.. Disc One out of the way.

Track Listing:
01 Caught In The Innocence
02 I Don't Wanna (Play These Games)
03 After Hours
04 I'll Be There
05 Locomotive Love
06 That's The Way
07 Promised Land
08 Tempted
09 Heavy Heart
10 Three Seconds
11 Finish What We Started
12 Burning My Heart Down (98 Version Bonus)
13 Don't Stop (98 Version Bonus)
14 Frozen Heart (98 Version Bonus)

CD#2 APHRODISIAC (67.27)

After 'Indiscreet' and 'Tough It Out', this is probably my next favourite FM album. It contains the elements that best represent FM through their career - the early commercial polish mixed in with their later heavier bluesy style. At this junction point, the band, still with the Music For Nations label had dropped to a four piece, keyboardist Didge Digital departing the previous year. However, the ivories are still in the background, provided instead by Romeos Daughter tinkler Tony Mitman.

The opening duo are some of the best harder edged stuff that FM have done. 'Breathe Fire' literally does that, a furious and powerful number guaranteed to get the blood pumping. Talking of which, 'Blood And Gasoline' could be primetime Bad Company, the Rodgers like delivery harking back to an era nearly two decades before. The energy is still maintained on 'All Or Nothing' - the sound reminiscent of many 80's Scandi rockers. We move into the classic ballad 'Closer To Heaven', a soaring affair that gets the lighters and the fans waving for sure! 'Ain't Too Proud' has many punchy moments, suitable guitar aggression, pulsing bass and a fat brass/horn section. After a short instrumental, the band continue their melodic onslaught courtesy of 'Inside Out', Barnett's guitar getting a right seeing to. 'Ain't Gonna Run No More' is another personal highlight - taking on a near 'southern rock' epic approach. Again, an outfit like Tangier or the Rossington Collins Band spring to mind.

You gotta love a tune like 'Rivers Run Dry', a beefed up tune not about the weather as it turns out, but of a relationship about to be terminated lol! The last of the studio tracks is 'Hard Day In Hell' - not as vicious as the title suggests, but a piano laced blues/jazz ballad which probably has its roots in that smokey bar-room I mentioned earlier! The disc ends with two bonus tracks: 'Chinese Whispers', a harder rockin' tune similar to 'All Or Nothing' and a very stripped down version of the aforementioned 'Closer To Heaven'. Here endth Sermon #2..

Track Listing:
01 Breath Fire
02 Blood And Gasoline
03 All Or Nothing
04 Closer To Heaven
05 Ain't Too Proud
06 Take The Money
07 Aphrodisia
08 Inside Out
09 Ain't Gonna Run No More
10 Play Dirty
11 Rivers Run Dry
12 Hard Day In Hell
13 Chinese Whispers (Bonus)
14 Closer To Heaven (acoustic Version Bonus)

CD#3 LIVE AT THE ASTORIA (65.05)

This live set was recorded just prior to the Sept 1989 release of 'Tough It Out'. The venue - London's Astoria, 17 August 1989, FM were the headliners with Sandi Saraya's band flown over from the USA as support band. The band lineup was their classic AOR membership, with both Overland brothers, keyboardist Didge Digital, Goldsworthy and Jupp. The majority of the songs on this set come from the 'Indiscreet' period, while the band took the opportunity of demoing a handful of new songs on the night from 'Tough It Out', namely: 'Don't Stop', 'Every Time I Think Of You', 'Bad Luck', 'Burning My Heart Down'. I understand there were more, but these are the ones that appear on this set. According to Steve, the live recording is a 'warts n all' experience, you can even hear Chris Overland's crackly guitar lead at the best of times.

Despite that though, it is great hearing some of these magical studio tunes, particularly the 'Indiscreet' ones heard in the live environment. Steve as always the consummate frontman, gets the audience into the swing of things, with many instances of audience participation heard throughout. I can't really say a lot about this disc, except that its worth every moment of its 65 minute duration. All of your FM favourites are here; 'Face To Face', 'Frozen Heart', 'That Girl', 'The Other Side Of Midnight', the glorious keyboard splatter of 'Heart Of The Matter' (an old HOTR web-page I'll have you know) and the anthemic set closer 'American Girls'. The only deviation is the Rod Stewart hit single 'Hot Legs', which gets the FM injection of melodia applied to it.

For me, this is probably the pick of the three CD's, as it's the early material I admire the most, and wanting to hear it live was definitely a must-hear for me. Compulsory listening!

Track Listing:
01 I Belong To The Night
02 Face To Face
03 Don't Stop
04 Every Time I Think Of You
05 Bad Luck
06 Burning My Heart Down
07 The Other Side Of Midnight
08 Frozen Heart
09 Heart Of The Matter
10 Hot Legs
11 That Girl
12 Americans Girls


Related Articles
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FM (UK) - 1989 Tough It Out
FM (UK) - 2003 Long Time No See (3 CD)
FM (UK) - 2010 Metropolis
FM (UK) - 2013 Rockville
FM (UK) - 2013 Rockville II
FM (UK) - 2014 Futurama [ep]
FM (UK) - 2015 Heroes And Villains


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