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Gathering Speed (Remastered)

Gathering Speed (Remastered)

28 Dec 2009

£6.93 (VAT included if applicable)
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 28 Dec 2009
  • Label: English Electric Recordings
  • Copyright: 2009 Big Big Train
  • Total Length: 55:38
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0036644IO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,606 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jim on 1 Jan 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Looking back I feel that BBT really hit their stride in terms of establishing their unique sound with The Difference Machine (2007), an evolution that continued splendidly on The Underfall Yard in 2009, and which was impressively consolidated on 2010's excellent EP Far Skies Deep Time.

So if The Difference Machine marked a sort of turning point in the band's musical journey, not to mention public profile, what is to be made of their somewhat more obscure prior offerings? Gathering Speed, originally released in 2004, was the band's 4th album.

An excellent album in many ways, significant influences are nevertheless apparent. To me it is their `Steve Hackett album', replete with Hackettisms such as ebowed lead guitar and rippling acoustic guitar arpeggios backed with soaring keyboard sounds. (By way of contrast, I'm tempted to loosely characterise the reworked version of `English Boy Wonders' as BBT's `XTC album'). This is not to suggest that the music is overly derivative, but you can appreciate where they are coming from. Indeed, those exploring the back catalogue from a vantage point of the more recent releases will find much that is familiar on Gathering Speed, both in terms of songwriting and overall feel.

One defining characteristic of BBT's music is a melancholy outlook that is perhaps inevitable with the subject of their songwriting, which has a tendency to focus on the past. The songs are often heavily suffused with a sense of loss, evoking people, places, times that have passed into history. Sometimes the melancholy is of the nostalgic kind, an appreciation of and perhaps yearning for older ways of life. Sometimes it is unhappier, particularly when dealing with break-ups in personal relationships.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By inkspot on 27 Jun 2008
Format: Audio CD
New vocalist and new feel. This could be one of the best old school prog albums I have heard. The sound is very retro, Yes, Genesis era, but with a modern approach to production. Some great sound effects link the songs in true prog rock style and the album tells the story of the death of a fighter pilot in WW2. There are some free download samples from the bands website. This is well worth the investment, I can't recommend it strongly enough. Excellent!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Outastace on 30 Jan 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Gathering Speed was the first Big Big Train album featuring Sean Filkins as singer that I had heard. Previously I had worked my way through the BBT back catalogue - Underfall Yard, English Electric 1 & 2 and the Far Skies EP - that featured David Longton's vocal skills (and his prowess with flute etc). David's style felt like an amalgamation of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins and seemed to fit the band's way with melody. Listening to the same instrumentalists topped by Filkins, who sounds nothing like Longton (to me, anyway) seemed strange. A case of same musical style, different vocalist...hmmm. At first I wasn't too sure. The music was as grandiose, dramatic and engaging - with many conscious and unconscious nods to early Genesis and Yes - but I couldn't get used to Filkins' voice. Not that there was (is) anything wrong with it, just that Longton seemed a much better fit with the band. But I persevered, mainly because the tunes and musicianship and bubbling ideas we're quintessentially Big Big Train, albeit filtered through a different voice. After half a dozen plays something clicked. I began to listen to the album as a whole and not over-analyse it. And it's a cracker, the equal to their earlier stuff, with light and shade, power and gentleness in correct proportions. The music grabs you and takes you on a journey of delight with Filkins' voice acting as a narrator. Worse than BBT with Longton? No. Better? No. Just great stuff. Now what I would like to hear is the album with Longton as vocalist, just to see what qualities he can bring to a magnificent set of songs. Just an idea, lads!
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Format: Audio CD
This is a really great album and the emotional impact of the story of a young guy lost in the Battle of Britain and the effect on his family is powerful. The track "The Road Much Further On" is brilliant and the guitar solo which breaks in as a Spitfire flies over is a spine tingling moment. If you enjoyed English Electric and The Underfall Yard you will fall in love with this album. The different vocalist takes a little while to get used to but in the end you appreciate this great album just as much as the above.
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