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Still Life

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Feb. 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Akarma
  • ASIN: B000089HBO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,601,956 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter D. on 4 Mar. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well, off and on over the years I've looked for a CD of this album. On finally getting one, it was every bit as good as I remembered the old vinly version. Brought back many memories - and the sound and the music are still (to my ears, anyway) very good indeed. But being a "Heep" fan and a "purple" fan, I would say that, wouldn't I?

Buy it!!
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Format: Audio CD
I possess an original Canadian issue of this album on Vertigo. Makes me wonder how it found it's way into Canada, as it sold zilch in this country. Listen to it and you will find out why it sold poorly.
Still Life is a collection of Hammond organ dominated prog rock that had already sounded out of date by a couple of years as soon as it hit the record stores, and sounds like Deep Purple circa 1969 on a bad day! albiet without the guitars. People In Black, the opening cut, is okay, but the rest of the album is mostly unmemorable and of little merit. No surprise then, that (musically) nothing was heard of the band again, and they thankfully went back to their day jobs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
excellent 22 May 2010
By Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This got some pretty lukewarm reviews, and when I first heard Sill Life, I was not too jilted in either direction myself. Frankly, I got this about five years ago when I was collecting anything on classic period Vertigo.

But I just took this out--at a loss for what else to play--and find this highly enjoyable.

Still Life are one of those progressive bands that basically stick to rock. There is not a lot of "out" experimenting or anything strikingly inventive on this album

But the band insert long keyboard jams into what could be merely heavy rock songs, and dammed if it doesn't charmingly work. Part of this is the singer: he has a pretty soulful voice, deep and heavy, and when the organ work gets a little generic--you know those prog bands that can play but just don't take it anywhere interesting-his singing comes back in and carries you home

Not the best, but pretty good
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not to be confused with modern group of same name 19 July 2006
By HootOwl - Published on
fine darkly weird and heavy prog rock.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Not a lost classic 9 April 2008
By Elliot Knapp - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you're looking at this album on Amazon, you're probably like me--scouring the internet for excellent albums, bands and songwriters from the 60's and 70's that never gained as much success as their quality seems to merit. Repertoire, the label that has reissued this album, makes a living off of re-releasing such lost gems (like most of the Vertigo catalogue), but this time it's not worth it.

I was initially attracted to this album because of the cool cover art, which features a skull surrounded by flower petals, and because a review I read described it as keyboard-driven and dark, which is a combo that has appealed to me in the past. Unfortunately, after numerous listens, I have to declare that there are very good reasons why this album and band never achieved success. In short, I'd say the main faults are sloppy, uninspired songwriting and aimlessly overlong arrangements.

Their strengths: for keyboard-dominated rock, they manage to rock and squeeze some pretty wicked sounds out of the organ that plays most of the lead parts and solos. The vocals can be good--one of the voices has a pretty thick British soul sound that blends well with the vaguely progressive style of music that the band constructs. Unfortunately, the glimmerings of promise that pop up throughout the album are far too often overshadowed by an overwhelming lack of focus. The band never seems like it really knows what it's trying to say--musically or lyrically. "People in Black" is a confused attempt at satire directed against social movements, but there's no clear point. If the lyrics and themes were stronger, the over-the-top vocal arrangement (think the strained lead vocals from Green Day harmonized with screeching falsetto) might work, but it just sounds ridiculous here. "Don't Go" is nearly an emotionally soulful plea, but again just doesn't make much sense. "October Witches" is probably the only track on the album that I really think is great, with a well-constructed chant-like chorus and a pretty sweet soul/prog sound. "Love Song No. 6," in addition to having a pathetically self-satisfied title, is an anti-love song full of sentiments that are pretty tough to find compelling or sympathetic, full of more ridiculous vocals. "Dreams" is a song about dreams that really doesn't say anything meaningful that hasn't been said better by another artist (plus, if I hear another band force a rhyme between "dreams" and "schemes," I might be sick) and is full of lame pseudo-dream imagery. The last track, "Time," is plagued by the same problems as the rest of the disc--in fact, I think with every song on this album, there was a point where I asked myself "Why is this still going on? This doesn't need to be 8 minutes long."

Too often, the band constructs a musical framework that doesn't stand out in any way, then drags out the formula with no real or interesting developments just to fill time with an unmemorable solo. I'm all for extended songs and jams, but they have to either be backed by good lyrics, interesting composition, or musical virtuosity, none of which are in evidence here. There's about 25 minutes of real songs on here, with a bunch of filler that makes you wonder where your 40+ minutes went. It's not that any of this music is particularly BAD, it's just that it's not good and doesn't stand out in any way. I debated with myself over giving this album 3 or 2 stars, then I realized that there isn't really anyone I would recommend this album to other than collectors of obscure music. There are just so many other great unheard-of bands out there who are more worth your time, money, and intellectual/emotional investment. If you're looking for great dark, keyboard-drenched proto-prog, check out The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and you won't be disappointed.
4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The poster children of strong driven emo bands. 27 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on
I've been listening to still life for five years. My ex turned me on to them, my friends brain washed me with still life and the band inspired me."sunrise,sunset" and "on the outside looking in" are the two most melodic ,cream in your pants, songs you will hear for the decade.And you thought Jeremy Enigk has a hypnotic voice.
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