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4.5 out of 5 stars13
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 11 December 2001
This album really is one of the all-time classics of heavy metal. I was dubious about the concept-album thing as a dedicated Metallica/Anthrax/Testament listener in the very early nineties, but this album changed my views. The emotions wrapped up in every song, the soaring, screaming guitars.. If you like heavy metal, you owe yourself this album!
That said, I still like Metallica, Anthrax, and Testament, and if you can't handle slower hair-metal, this album may be difficult for you to handle. It's definitely an earlier breed of metal, focusing on actual musical skill - Jon Oliva has a great singing voice (no incoherent bellowing in this album), Criss Oliva is an incredible guitarist who impressed even the best guitar players I've known.. This album is a class package, and every old-school metalhead I've hung out with respects it.
(I will admit if you're only a nu-metal bod, you may find this album rather disorienting. Power chords are not the driving force of this album. Go on though, TRY it!)
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on 29 March 2010
Savatage have never failed to make a fantastic metal album, whilst this loosely a concept album it's no less brilliant. A story of a failed musician now an alcholic down an out "DT" Jesus and his life. Simple as that.
Chunky guitar riffing from the late Criss Oliva drives through the epic songs, deep lyrics from Jon Oliva wrapped around well crafted melodies. Songs like Tonight He Grins Again, Can You Hear Me Now and title track are storming metal songs with every musician playing a blinder.
Jon Oliva ranges from gritty screams to slow emotional singing,he is one of the few rock singers who can do both.
There isn't a bad song on here, they all hook you in and get in your head,my favourites are the double header of Soemwhere in time /Believe with it's hearfelt lyrics: "I'll be right here ,I'll never leave all I ask of you is believe".
Jon Oliva left the band not long after this album-although still does backing vocals now-after his brother Criss tragically died.This should stand as his finest hour. When rock and metal gets overlooked it's bad enough but when an album of this quality isn't heralded it's criminal. Buy every Savatage album please, start with this if you are unsure whether they are your thing; you like power metal you will love Savatage.
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Streets: A Rock Opera was the sixth full-length studio album by the American Progressive Metal band Savatage. As you can probably tell from its title, the album is a concept album that is tied together by a singular narrative in which each song tells a part of the same story.

The story in question is based on a play called `Gutter Ballet' (which was also the title of the band's previous studio album with which some material here overlaps) written by the album's producer Paul O'Neil. It chronicles the life of a petty drug dealer who gains success as a rock star before loosing it all, trying to get it all back and who sees his friend murdered when his past comes back to haunt him.

Singer Jon Olivia masterfully expresses the emotions of the story's central character (named DT - `Down Town' or `Detox' - Jesus, depending on the flawed memory of another character) and the musicians are excellent at conveying the mood of each track as determined by the story (for example `Sam And Tex' is a faster, more anarchic track which reflects the fight which is occurring in the story).

Furthermore, Chris Oliva's guitar solos are absolutely out of this world. There are some seriously creative, impressive and expressive solos on this record that really elevate it to a whole other level musically.

If you are generally into the excesses of Prog Metal or even modern Prog-like music, and love the theatrics of albums like Metropolis Pt. 2, Operation: Mindcrime or the whole Amory Wars series then this should almost certainly be of some interest for you. It flows very differently than a lot of other concept albums seem to however, and is already pretty interesting on that structural level alone.

To be fair, if you are only into very straight faced Metal and don't care for the overuse of ballads, pianos, `cheesy' moments or anything too theatrical then this is not a great album to start your Savatage journey with. The album got labeled as `Broadway Metal' by some people at the time precisely because it shares an awful lot in common with musicals, so if that idea seems unappealing then maybe you should start off with something heavier and more direct like `Hall Of The Mountain King' instead.

After releasing this album Jon Olivia would take a back seat within the band's line-up away from the limelight for over a decade and a new era would begin. Just a few years later Chris Olivia would be dead. Historically, Streets is a very interesting final chapter of sorts and its easy to see both musically and historically why it is so dear to many fan's hearts. If you are a fan of the band at all then you really ought to check it out.

Overall; It could be argued that the album is a little overlong, a bit cheesy and that there isn't enough Metal sounding material on offer. When you are listening to album highlights like the amazing `Ghost In The Ruins' or `Believe' however, you probably won't regret purchasing this record. It is definitely an interesting album and it grows a lot on repeat listens. I'd definitely recommend it as long as ballads and concept albums aren't absolute anathema to you.
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on 2 July 2002
This album surprised me when I first heard it, but amazed me in that a brilliant musical talent shows throughout the album. Based on the story of New York drug dealer, this concept album makes you "feel" the emotions of the characters. Not your typical heavy metal album, the music is almost of "muscial" style (hence the title "a rock opera") but undeniably metal. The songs are powerful, the lyrics build even further on the music. The blend of metal and piano is superbly composed. An absolute classic I'd recommend it to all metal lovers.
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on 9 November 2003
This CD is not always well received by the casual listener. It definitely needs a special mood to listen to it.
Simply put, this is probably the most emotional and powerful CD I have heard in over 30 years. The lyrics are touching and overwhelming. Jon Oliva's voice is so moving... yet brilliant, fierce and full of passion. Jon is able to reach the deepest parts of your soul here (i.e. "If I Go Away", "Believe"). The guitar wizardry of Criss Oliva (r.i.p.) is beyond anything I've heard since Randy Rhoads. The more I listen to it, the more I like it (I have listended to Streets for thousands of times now!). The intricate guitar parts and arrangements are over the top on Streets, but still it's not over-produced like other Savatage's later albums. There is not a single flaw on Streets. Steve Wacholz's precision drums and Johnny Lee Middleton's thunderous bass also click with perfection to the overall music.
I always discover something new every time I listen to this magnificent album. Only a very few CDs are able to offer something new each time is played. Streets should be an essential CD for any person with taste for powerful music.
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on 9 August 2003
This album is a classic. Mixing powerful metal riffs with piano and orchestra in the way that only Savatage can, the album is a story based on a down and out, wannabe musician in New York. The underlying storyline is written out in the cover but the music and the lyrics tell the full story.
All the emotions within the story are betrayed in the music, from the despair in "St. Patricks", to the anger in "Sammy and Tex" and the much awaited final peace in the great finale to the album "Somewhere in Time/Believe".
It is powerful music that stirs the emotions, and has some strong moral messages about the dangers of drugs. The musical composition is nothing short of brilliant and its full title "Streets, A Rock Opera" almost describes it perfectly. Not the operas as many of us have come to think of them: wailing in a language we can't understand, but opera as in music with a message, a story, and to stir the heart. If you like your metal a little different and certainly very original, you will love it.
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on 13 August 2009
This album was the first Savatage album I ever heard and since then I haven't looked back.How a band so amazingly talented were not that successful is an absolute disgrace.This concept album based on the rise and fall of fictional character D.T Jesus is right up there with the very best albums of it's kind (Scenes From A Memory by Dream Theater or Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime)and what really stands out to me about it is that unlike most rock/metal albums of the time, this album is amazingly diverse.It goes from a full on rock/metal track to a song with just vocal and piano,there's even stuff on here that's like listening to a hymn,I don't know whether to ROCK or pray but this is why this album is so brilliant.I would like to mention the standout tracks, but as there are so many it'd just be a long list.Forget the "Black" album, this was the band that were REALLY making waves in 1991.
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on 31 August 2010
Savatage at their peak. Don't be put off by the rock opera tag, or even that this is a concept album. The breadth and depth of work here is astounding. Some of the greatest riffs ever are here! The emotional landscape evoked by the CD is suprisingly good, even down to the Welsh hymn (suo gan). Frome here the savatage output was patchy, and now they plough there furrow as the much more sucessful transiberian orchestra- good luck to em. Criminally underrated.
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on 21 November 2012
This for me is their best album.
Savatage are one of those groups who come up with the odd one or two
Epic tracks on each album, but have never really held my attention until this album
which probably is because The Rock Opera is a concept album that works.
Somewhere in Time/Believe brings an Epic end to a Epic album.
It reminds me of The Crimson Idol from W.A.S.P. my No1 concept album.
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on 14 January 2013
This is just one of all 14 releases being re-issued as a special digipak, which when stacked or lined up on the bookshelf with all the others as a complete set, the spines display the Savatage logo. Some albums contain bonus tracks (half of which were relased on previous re-issues in 1997 and 2002), and others contain brand new acoustic renditions of Savatage songs, by Jon Oliva.

However, there are a number of grievances I have about this set, which really hurt the integrity and overall quality of this latest incarnate of the Savatage library, things that cost this collection a full 5-stars (for EACH album) in my reviews...

First of all, these were released completely random and all out of chornological order (pretty stupid move, if you ask me), so anyone with mild OCD dispositions (like myself) may be tortured by having to make the choice between sorting them in their proper order, or in the mixed-up, re-released sequence, JUST to display the spines' logo "puzzle" correctly.

Secondly (and speaking of the spine-logo "puzzle"), while there are indeed only 14 studio albums from Savatage (including the mini-album/EP, THE DUNGEONS ARE CALLING), the first two albums (SIRENS, and the mini-album/EP THE DUNGEONS ARE CALLING) have been compiled together onto one CD, and entitled as "SIRENS & THE DUNGEONS ARE CALLING : The Complete Sessions".

So what is the 14th disc? Well, I didn't think there even WAS one, thinking the SIRENS and TDAC in a "twofer" format was still counted as "two spearate" albums. But,I discovered that there most certainly had to be a 14th disc, by how the logo created by the digipak spines appeared to be missing one last "piece" (the end of the last half of the "e" in "Savatage")

So, not only are the spines mixed up (according to the original album sequence), but now there is a missing piece for this "spine-logo puzzle" concept - and that "piece", that 14th disc/album, turned out to be the band's "greatest hits / best of" compilation release, called FROM THE GUTTER TO THE STAGE, which I have discovered to be a very very elusive component to this set. Either that, or, it is not being represented properly on the many many marketplace websites, with the correct images?

Thirdly, on top of all that, while MOST of these re-releases have all-new liner notes from Jon Oliva (of which, even these are inconsistent with their content ; some have song-by-song descriptions/explanations/anecdotes, other just have Jon's reminiscing commentaries), a couple of them DO NOT have any new content, and instead, have either recycled the previous liner notes from the 2002 re-issue (as with EDGE OF THORNS, the second album to be re-released in this set), or, retained their original release layout (as with WAKE OF MAGELLAN, the first album to be re-released in this set).

Either way, what could have been a BRILLIANT re-issue of an amazing heavy/progressive metal band's discography from 1982-2002, has been blemished by these pitiful and preventable oversights. If you are a "stickler" of a collector as I am, then these kinds of details may bother you as they bother me.

HOWEVER, if you don't care about the liner notes inconsitencies, the booklets' content, etc, and care ONLY ABOUTTHE MUSIC, then you probably won't be too terribly disappointed.

When it comes to all these remastered re-issues that have come out out in the past decade or so, many tend to sound anywhere from poor to downright awful, but this batch of Savatage albums did alright on that front this time around, with the ONE exception of THE DUNGEONS ARE CALLING -- I found it to be of poorer quality than the 1994 Metal Blade re-issue (which, along with SIRENS, contained some of the "lost Sava-tracks demos), but just marginally better than the "Silver Anniversary" edition (which, again, along with SIRENS, had a few "hidden" bonus tracks at the end of the disc, which followed like 80-90 blank tracks with durations of just 2-3 seconds each, placed in between the bonus tracks and the album tracks). All the other albums, however, sound anywhere from good to better, if not just simply sound almost the same as the originals.

The only reason I bothered with (yet another!) Savatage library re-issue set, is cos this time, all the albums are here (including the greatest hits/ best of FTGTTS, if you can find it), and more importantly 9for me), I wanted the new Jon Oliva acoustic versions of the Savatage songs. Rather than just buy those albums with the new track, the collector in me just said "get them ALL and be be done with it".

I hope this review made snese and was useful for you.
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