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Sparks of Ancient Light CD

17 customer reviews

Price: £28.99
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Dispatched from and sold by Mo's Music & Media.
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£28.99 Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by Mo's Music & Media.

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Biography

Al Stewart was born on September 5, 1945, in Glasgow, Scotland. At an early age he moved to Bournemouth where he bought his first guitar from Andy Summers (The Police) and learned his first guitar licks from Robert Fripp (King Crimson). Escaping the harsh confines of public school at the age of 16, Al began his musical career playing guitar in various bands (one with disc jockey Tony ... Read more in Amazon's Al Stewart Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Sept. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B001BDZHVC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,083 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)


Product Description

Our product to treat is a regular product. There is not the imitation. From Japan by the surface mail because is sent out, take it until arrival as 7-14 day. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Peter E. Bauckham on 24 Sept. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Having been an Al Stewart fan for many years and owing all his albums, I think this is quite a grower but unlikely to attract a new audience - though I doubt that that is his intention. While I prefer his earlier albums, this is a pretty good listen. In fact there is only one track I dislike, Football Hero - especially the jazzy piano at the end - that makes me skip to the next song. The opener Lord Salisbury reminds me a little of Old Admirals. Angry Bird is fun and catchy and I am glad that it is on the album. If you like Al Stewart -especially his more recent albums - you'll enjoy this. Production and sound quality is pretty good too.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By MH on 23 Sept. 2008
Format: Audio CD
It seems that it is the long terms fans who write the reviews of this new Al Stewart release. I have followed Al Stewart for 35 years, so maybe I am to be considered one of the younger fans.

"Sparks of Ancient Light" is the fourth release from the fruitful partnership Al Stewart/Laurence Juber since the 1995 release "Between the Wars". What these four releases have in common is the technical virtuosity of Laurence Juber, which allows Al Stewart the freedom to compose in all musical genres. There are no limitations as to what can be played.

On comparison with the 2005 release "A Beach Full of Shells" the songs on "Sparks of Ancient Light" seem less distinct. There's no "Somewhere in England 1915", no "Katherine of Oregon" and no "Gina in the King's Road", but in return you get a more musically coherent album. The songs are jazzier and the use of organ in many of the songs provides a sound not found on any of the previous three albums. Thus this release adds to the musical universe of Al Stewart.

There are standout tracks on this album. I'm particularly fond of "The Eisenhower years", a wonderful up-tempo three minutes song. To be played loud. My favourite track is "The Ear of the Night", a jazzy, Anji-esque little tune, trademark Al Stewart. "The Shah of Shahs" and "The Loneliest Place on the Map" are great songs as well.
Before "Sparks of Ancient Light" I would have found the idea of making a song about football or footballers preposterous. But Al Stewart pulls it off and creates a great song "Football Hero". Even if you don't appreciate the lyrics, it is a magnificent tune, worth alone for the jazzy organ solo in the end.
On the other hand, I'll probably never listen to "Angry Bird" again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bagpusspal on 19 July 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've loved Al Stewart's work ever since my boyfriend introduced me to 'Past Present and Future' in 1976. I immediately went out and bought the entire back catalogue, and have every album he has released since. In fact as I replicated my collection on to CD I possibly bought the whole lot twice. I used to love his sleeve notes, which not only gave lyrics but also the story of the songs. here we have another collection of gems: the prime Minister song- Lord Salisbury's splendid isolation; the US President- Mckinley. On every album there is a gem that for me stands out from the others. For me this is 'The Loneliest Place on the Map'. When I listen to this, I see Napoleon on St Helena, watching his life and career taken from him. I'd love to know the story behind this particular track.

Yes Al doesn't write the sort of song he produced at 30- but his listeners aren't 30 either. he's an intelligent, witty, insightful songwriter who is more poet than lyricist. I just wish that radio stations would take a gamble and go beyond Song on the radio and Year of the Cat- this man is a star- and his writing- like a good wine improves with time.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Shepherd on 17 Sept. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I always look forward to an Al Stewart release. I know what I'm getting - cleverly crafted, mostly acoustic songs about obscure, often historical, subjects. Sparks of Ancient Light lives up to this expectation.

Al fans should be very happy with this album - more of the same from Al. Those who aren't fans yet may not be turned on by this album. They may find the subject matter a bit esoteric and the style a bit whimsical and even camp, but that's what I like.

Only Al Stewart could get away with a song called "Child's View of the Eisenhower Years" - not top 40 material but a lovely look back in time. "Ear of Night" starts with an archetypal acoustic intro that you instantly feel you know.

What is different about this album? There's a bit more of a jazzy, swing feel at times - brass, organ solos etc. Al also seems to be focussing a bit more on US subjects - Eisenhower, McKinley for example.

To sum up - catchy, typical Al Stewart that won't disappoint.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Firenze on 2 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Let's be blunt here. I love Al's music and have just spent the last few days listening to 24 of his CD's on the bounce in the car. If anyone is inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, it's me. I really wanted to like this album and I do - but not a lot.

We shouldn't criticise Al at 63 for not writing the sort of songs he wrote when he was thirty but his historical folk songs -Roads to Moscow, Palace of Versailles, Lord Grenville, Old Admirals etc - were what he did best, in my opinion. He seemed to find his stride in a 6-8 minute song and developed his ideas better in such a format. He has, since Famous Last Words in 1993, favoured a shorter, more mainstream pop-type format and although his ear for a good tune and Laurence's ear for a catchy arrangement is flawless Al seems to be happy with the quick shot of an espresso rather than the deeper, more complex rich roast of a long-percolated brew. There are some catchy songs here but I want more than that: I want "Somewhere in England 1915" or "Lindy Comes to Town" or "Trains" or "Russians and Americans" or "Fields of France" but instead we have a daft song about football (where Al sounds quite of his depth with the whole idea of the game let alone the language), a strange song about Elvis seeing Stalin's face in the clouds that's all over in 3 minutes, and a silly bit of nonsense about Lord Salisbury.

I will go on playing this album until it clicks. The quality is there but the ideas are only half-formed and none of the ideas is quite good enough for a rattlingly good Al Stewart song. It's a shame to say it about any new release from Al but this CD will never be anyone's favourite Al Stewart album. I meant to give it three stars but the system won't let me change my mind now...
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