on 30 March 2010
This was the first Mission album I heard and the one that set me on the path to true Gothdom. You can never measure the impact of an album like this - it was truly life-changing at the time and this remastered version really does it justice. The sound quality is superb and really emphasises the crunching (yet also tender, on tracks such as 'Breathe' and 'Black Mountain Mist') production by Led Zep's very own John Paul Jones. The additional tracks are also a hidden pleasure with a more commercial version of 'Heat' produced by later Mish producer Tim Palmer. 'Tadeusz' is also a welcome addition from b-side history, seeing The Mish come over all classical, along with an extended mix of 'Kingdom Come' and a fairly unnecessary live version of 'Child's Play'.
All in all, if you still own the crackly vinyl version, or even the original CD, this is well worth shelling out a few quid for the extras and the remastered sound. It reflects perfectly a band of it's time moving from Goth cult status to rock stadium success, yet still sounds awesome today.
on 26 December 2008
Having started my feast of Faith with 'First Chapter' and 'GOM', I instantly took a shine to the Mission. Their music danced around my head with my stereo headphones like some Gothic symphony. I always wondered about 'the crystal mirror' from Wayne's window, or how long the 'Dance Goes On' whilst proceeding to leap about my living room. However, when the boys retired to the black country, emerging later with 'Children' in 1988, I had found an album that not only connected with my mind, but with my soul. Carved in Sand was great, yes, but as an entity, 'Children' is in a league of it's own; the strongest collection the band ever produced. This is for two reasons; firstly, the songs are just great, and secondly, they were able to blend the eastern and celtic influences that Wayne had wanted to explore - the result is phenomenal. As soon as the sitar-like intro of 'Beyond the Pale' ensues, you instantly become lost in a towering, monumental sound. The former is in my opinion, one of the band's finest songs, and at over 7 minutes, one of their most epic. 'A Wing and A Prayer' continues, a dark song, but with a smile lurking behind the shadows. 'Fabienne' is next, and another element of depth here as the band's most 'metal' type number, with some great orchestration from the legendary John Paul Jones. The two-part 'Heaven On Earth/Tower of Strength' is critically argued to be the Mission's finest moment, and really is something special, a worthy contender to the mighty Zep's 'Kashmir'.
My favourite song 'Kingdom Come' is perhaps the straightest rocker the band had done since 'Serpent's Kiss' but again with that celtic influence - blending a damn good tune with Wayne's dark, mysterious lyrics.
'Child's Play' again shows a more rocking side to the Mish, with a very Zep-alike riff powering the song forward, but the turnaround middle section sends you straight into the east again with some great arpeggio passages.
'Shamera Kye' provides a haunting lead-in to 'Black Mountain Mist', the very song that describes Wayne's songwriting style at this time. Celtic Folk meets Goth in this one, with All About Eve's Julianne Regan providing some superb backing vocals.
A cover of Aerosmith's 'Dream On' maybe a shock some, but it is totally unrecognisable, a 'Stairway to Heaven' with a difference, and a truly anthemic, strident piece, this should have been their big one!
'Heat' and 'Hymm for America' close the album, with the former being perhaps the most sensual song ever written, and the latter the heaviest Mission tune ever, kicking off with some fabulous eastern 'sitar' arpeggios before spiralling into a riff worthy of Megadeth's finest efforts.
A dark album, an eclectic album, a stunning album, the best album.
on 6 April 2008
Children is an album that sits in my "top 3" albums of all time, and The Mission one of my favourite bands. Around the time of its original release in `88, not much else had the quality, direction and "crossover" appeal of this baby. The diversity and strength of the songs are still plane to see and still sound fresh on listening in 2008.
For what its worth, in my opinion, The Mission never quite achieved another album as good as this, and only glimpsed at their potential on later releases, but again, that is only my own opinion.
The Mission were about making a decent and diverse rock sound, and tracks like "Hymn for America, Heat, Childs Play - are what The Mission did best - aggresive/heavy guitar sound, coupled with a decent tune along with pure class like Tower of Strength - all turned up to 11 - Happy days.
This album also shows their diversity but still keeping their sound and direction firmly in place - Heaven on Earth, Tower of Strength, Beyond the Pale etc, etc, not even a hint of an album filler song here.
Having JPJ produce this was a step in the right direction - making this album stand out head and shoulders, and not following a "safe" formula, and in doing so, making an album that is worthy of a "top 3" slot in any decent rock fans catalogue.
I saw them at the NEC in Nov 88 and they were awesome, previewing some heavier/rockier sounding songs (Grip of Disease, Deliverence, Hungry as the Hunter)but still very much Hussey & Co`s own stamp, which saw them heading in a direction I think would have seen them go massive, but again, thats only my opinion...
The added tracks are worth a listen and the sound on this remastered disc does seem enhanced, oh, and the Live track is cool to, but thank the Gods this album didnt end up sounding like the other version of "Heat" added here, maybe it was a sign of things to come......
PLEASE, BUY THIS ALBUM, ITS A CLASSIC, and yes, it does sound a little better
I wasn't going to buy this as the remastered 'First Chapter' sounds no better than the original recording in my opinion. However, I crumbled and went for it. The sound on Children IS better than the original though, the bass is more pronounced. Not much in the way of bonus tracks though unfortunately, the two remixes on offer here are rubbish and the live track only average. Buy this for the improved sound quality of the album, not the extras.