For all of you who thought the career of Al Stewart started and ended with "Year of the Cat", there's good news! He did an awful lot more before and after. This album in particular is one of my favourites. It has a great feel to it. I agree that a crisper re-master is long overdue; however, you can't fault the quality of the songs on display.
A lot of artists would be panned for having another big sax solo on the follow up title track, having played that particular card on his big "Cat" hit. However, on "Time Passages" it really works because the song is of such quality.
Any artist, even if he isn't an accomplished guitarist like Stewart, must be applauded for having musicians such as Tim Renwick and Peter White on board. I have always been a huge fan of Renwick's. His guitar solos are stand-out pieces on their own. Peter White is simply a very versatile musical genius.
Personal favourites for me are the intriguing and claustrophobic "Life in Dark Waters", the historical "A Man for All Seasons" & "Palace of Versailles" plus the sublime "Timeless Skies" and "Song on the Radio". But having said that, I really love all the tracks with the possible exception of "Valentina Way".
I once saw him at the Dominion Theatre in London when he still used to tour with a full band. Many of the songs from this album were part of his repertoire and all stood up well live.
The album puts you in an almost trance like state of mind and succeeds in taking you to times and places few artists are able to do.
Tremendous lyrics, great musicians, and wonderful arrangements.............without getting carried away any further, buy it and see for yourself!