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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original - and best
There have been several CD releases of this album. Up until now only the version that the band largely re-recorded in the 1980s has been (legally) available on UK release. As well as a lot of reworked music, the tracks were renamed, and the album came with different extra tracks, depending on the particular CD release.

The band first released the re-recorded...
Published on 17 Aug. 2010 by Jim

versus
2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for anti piracy discs
I'm not commenting about the music here, just using the space to say that this disc (purchased through Amazon) like others produced by EMI is likely to be unreadable on many computers. Given that a high proportion of music listeners nowadays put their new CD straight into their computers, in order to put it on iTunes or the like, this is a pretty big failing.

I...
Published on 18 Jan. 2012 by TobMann


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original - and best, 17 Aug. 2010
By 
Jim (South Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In The Region Of The Summer Stars (Audio CD)
There have been several CD releases of this album. Up until now only the version that the band largely re-recorded in the 1980s has been (legally) available on UK release. As well as a lot of reworked music, the tracks were renamed, and the album came with different extra tracks, depending on the particular CD release.

The band first released the re-recorded version in 1987, which had a lengthy extra track `Reverberations'. This is an outstanding piece of music, although it wasn't a good stylistic fit with the rest of the album. Then in 2001 came a CD release on the Inner Sanctum label, that added previously unreleased rough mix versions of `Judgement' and `In The Region of the Summer Stars' from the original 1976 sessions. These extra tracks were the closest we had thus far come to a CD release of the `side two' tracks from the original vinyl album.

But now in 2010 comes this new release - by far and away the best - on the band's own Operation Seraphim label. This is the pure, unalloyed album recorded for EMI in 1976. There are no bonus tracks - an album as singular as this really doesn't need them.

For this release, the original stereo master tapes have been transferred to digital by EMI and provided to the band, whose guitarist Max Read has done a great job of CD mastering. The resulting sound quality is wonderful: a far cry from the crackly vinyl recordings that most of us would have had to put up with to listen to In The Region of the Summer Stars (ITROTSS) in all its original glory over the last quarter century and more.

This album is variously hard rocking (Fool/The FallingTower), gentle and soothing (The Lovers), gloriously bombastic and symphonic (The Sun, The Last Judgement). Only a genre-busting band like The Enid can resolve these disparate threads into the remarkable musical oxymoron-free zone that is ITROTSS. It was and remains a stunning debut by one of England's best-kept musical secrets.

Actually, rock audiences have always hugely appreciated The Enid. As evidence I'll cite my own most favourite ever `rock moment', which came during a performance by The Enid to a huge crowd at Reading Rock Festival in August 1983. It was a cloudy afternoon, but with perfect timing right at the majestic closing bars of `The Sun' a beam of sunshine broke through the clouds and, amazingly, shone right down on band leader Robert John Godfrey like a spotlight. RJG raised his arms to the heavens and laughed, and the crowd roared!

Maybe this new release will bring an opportunity for a critical reassessment of The Enid's unique contribution to British rock music, so they may gain at last the widespread acclaim that they richly deserve but which so far seems to have eluded them.

To sum up, In the Region of the Summer Stars is a true masterpiece. It is absolutely essential for all fans of rock, classically-inspired rock, progressive rock, great music, and everyone who was at Reading in 1983!

The CD comes in a simple jewel case. There is a 8 page booklet that reproduces the original artwork, and contains a track by track explanation of the music and concept, plus a short retrospective of the band.

NB there has been another CD release of ITROTSS in 2010 - once again on the Inner Sanctum label. The band state that this is an inferior quality bootleg that has been illegally copied from vinyl. If you buy the new Operation Seraphim release, either from Amazon or other retailer, or directly from the band, you can be sure that you are acquiring a legal, best possible quality release that benefits the band as well as your ears!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the very best, 21 Sept. 2003
By A Customer
One of my favourite albums of the past quarter of a century. This beautifully crafted masterpiece has everything: power, emotion, guile, reflection and a perfect sense of scale. The themes pursued are beautifully set out and the payoffs are perfectly executed. This isn't fully the original version due to a dispute with EMI. However, fans of the original vinyl version needn't worry too much. The re-recorded second half works really well AND there's a lengthy bonus demo version of the final quarter on the CD that is so close to the original as not to matter. Therefore, this is actually better than the original. A new lease of life for an old friend.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best instrumental rock albums ever made, 29 April 2002
By A Customer
If you're someone who likes melodic, accessible music full of twists and turns, you must listen to this record!
'In the Region of the Summer Stars' is a very special album. Full of emotive themes and boasting tremedous dynamics, The Enid's debut is presented here in its definitive remastered form.
The music is closer to classical music than rock, although all of the pieces are fairly short and accessible. There are shades of Rachmaninov, Elgar and Bizet from the classical side, and King Crimson and Led Zepellin from rock. Instead of a musical collision, you get a sublime blend of rock's sheer power combined with a deep classical arrangement.
Enid fans should note this is not the complete original 1976 version (side two was re-recorded in 1984), but at least there is a great bonus of a 1975 demo version of most of the second side of the LP. If you want the original version on CD, ask EMI to release it.
In the meantime, sit back and enjoy this wonderful album.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are two versions of this album. They're both excellent, but it helps to know which is which., 17 Sept. 2010
By 
Lee Mendham "Lee M" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In The Region Of The Summer Stars (Audio CD)
Unfortunately the reviews on the page for the reissued ORIGINAL 1976 version of this album include notices for the REVISED 1984 version, which is confusing but an unfortunate quirk of Amazon's layout. Both versions have their strengths and weaknesses, and I'd recommend both if you can afford them. In broad terms, this is how to tell them apart.

1976 recording: Unavailable on CD until 2010 for legal reasons. Currently available from Operation Seraphim, EWCD16. Cover: a crouching, red-tinted female nude superimposed on a landscape within an egg-shaped vignette on black.

This was the band's first album, and sounds a little rough in comparison to their later work, though it remains one of their best compositions. In technical terms, there's a small amount of peak level distortion, which however does not really detract from the overall quality. Incidentally, the album has been mastered to CD with absolutely NO loudness enhancement or peak brickwalling, which will cause much rejoicing amongst music purists.

1984 revised version: Most recently issued on Inner Sanctum ENID001CD; however, the band have acrimoniously split with this company and a reissue from Operation Seraphim may be pending. Cover: the faces of a man and woman look down upon a tiny figure in a moonlit landscape.

Side 1 of the album was remixed with some new overdubs and a new intro. Side 2, containing the title suite, had to be completely re-recorded when the multitracks proved to be missing. There's a different drummer and trumpet player, and part of the ending has been rewritten. Musically it's more assured but lacks some of the punch of the original version. Technically there's less distortion, though a bit more compression in the most recent release. The Inner Sanctum release does include a rough mix of part of the 1976 version for comparison.

COnclusion: if I could only choose one of these discs I'd go for the 1976 version, which demonstrates a fresh young band starting out with lots of naive optimism and musical vitality. But as I said, if you can afford it, I recommend buying both so you can compare their strengths and weakness, as I enjoy doing.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Album!!!, 27 July 2006
By 
DSR (out beyond the sticks) - See all my reviews
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YES!!!!!!!!! The original 1976 version of this album is now available, digitised by EMI and carefully mastered by the band's Max Read to a superb standard. WONDERFUL!!!!!!!! The expansive soundfield seems wider than ever on this version compared to the LP, enabling the listener to delve deep into the heart of the mix. Truly sublime and interestingly, I can enjoy both this and the re-worked 1984 version side by side without feeling in any way cheated..

This is a lovely album, whether the original LP mix from the seventies, or the slightly re-worked version which is this.

For people like me, not overtly aware at this time of the treasures available in the "classical" music field, this release was wondrous, both in scale and power (almost beyond the LP medium at the time) and in the tenderness of composition. It was thanks to this collection of tracks that I discovered Rachmaninov a few years later and the wonderful pieces that influenced tracks on this album like "The Lovers/Loved Ones" for example.

I'd strongly recommend this disc to anyone wanting to try something highly involving to listen to, something that engages the soul, rather than just the intellect, as so much "prog" stuff seems to do to me these days... The Enid could quite easily "go off on one," as some of their later releases show, but this album is sublime!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original and best!, 22 Jun. 2010
By 
Amazon Customer "Janea" (Bracknell, Berks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In The Region Of The Summer Stars (Audio CD)
When I was in my late teens back in the dim and distant 70's, I kept seeing banners with The Enid logo at every festival and many of the larger gigs I went to.

So, curious, I bought the vinyl version of In The Region of The Summer Stars for the princely sum of [...] (I've still got the price sticker!) and booked to go to see them (I think it was at The Marquee.). This was a the start of a love affair that has lasted until this day.

This album is full of wonderful melodies, beautiful piano sections and soaring guitars. I played that album until the grooves had nearly worn out. It's unlike anything you've ever heard. Is it classical? Is it progressive rock? I don't know - all I know is that I love it.

For many years, EMI held the master tapes and refused to release it on CD. So, after the demise of my record player I was unable to listen to this masterpiece. Because of this The Enid later re-recorded and the album with several changes but it wasn't the same - I knew every note of the original by heart, and for me, it was the best and although the new version was still excellent, it wasn't MY In The Region of The Summer Stars.

However, when EMI came under new management earlier this year, they agreed to give the master tapes to The Enid, and current member Max Read worked his magic on it and cleaned them up to produce this pristine version of the original ITROTSS.

I am in seventh heaven! I can now listen to my favourite track - The Last Judgement - as it was originally recorded but because it is so clear, I can hear things I've never heard before on my old record player. The quiet piano piece The Lovers, played so beautifully by Robert John Godfrey, sends shivers down my spine and makes me come over all emotional - it's so glorious. And the final track - after which the album is named - leaves me breathless and wanting more.

I've fallen in love all over again. This is the original and best version - released on The Enid's own Operation Seraphim label - and a must have for anyone who loves powerful, melodic rock.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without peer, 27 Jan. 2011
This review is from: In The Region Of The Summer Stars (Audio CD)
It's hard to convey the impact that this album had when released in 1976.

Having never heard of The Enid, I was browsing around the stalls at the back of Reading Festival when I heard something that - without exaggeration - was to change the course of my life. Pushing my way to the front of 30,000 people, I barely breathed as the band played the bulk of "The Region" from start to finish. Sure, I recognised the blatant influences, from Rachmaninov's 2nd whatsit to Bruckner to Bernstein and elsewhere, but the themes were woven so perfectly into the immense power generated by a really loud dual-guitar, dual-keyboards rock band that the whole was far greater than the sum of its parts. My friends and I became huge fans of The Enid, seeing them many (dozens of) times and following them throughout their many ups and downs over the ensuing three decades. But I suspect that nothing that they later recorded - nor anything that anybody else has ever recorded - even approached the perfect marriage of classical music and rock music that is In The Region Of The Summer Stars.

This is music that will make you laugh and will make you cry, and will fill you with wonder.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In the Region of the Summer Stars 1984, 16 Oct. 2009
BUY IT. A real treat awaits ...

May 2011 update Since Amazon Reviews are unable to get to grips with the 2 versions of this album that they sell (both markteted with same title- this is my review of the 1984 version ,generally available with the a portrait of 2 heavenly faces on the cover. This review appears for both album versions ...I abandoned my attempt to do one for each but hopefully this will encourage you to buy either or both.

This is "In the Region of the Summer Stars 1984" - an excellent update of the music from 1976 accompanied by the beautiful cover art of William Arkle. The track titles also differ from the '76 original.

This later version appeared first on vinyl on The Enid's own label. I've not heard this on CD but understand that the later CD releases on Mantella, Inner Sanctum (this) and the band's own CD-R all capture the essence of this 1984 version extremely well.

So I dug out '76 and '84 versions on vinyl and sat back ...and let it all wash over me as it has done many times before.

This is The Enid's debut album, emerging at the same time as punk, with whom they shared the just-do-it ethic. Many regard it as thier greatest work.

From memory, I came to this expecting to favour the '76 original record due to the increased contribution of guitarist Francis Lickerish (departed from the band by the time this material got re-recorded, leaving Stephen Stewart as the sole guitarist from the original band).
This is one of The Enid albums where the twin personalities of the two guitarists are very much in evidence in the compositions and in the mix and that could have been lost ....but remarkably it isn't because Lickerish's presence is retained from the master tapes of the original 70's "EMI" sessions that are used here as a basis for the first 5 tracks.
As the band said at the time, they also replaced and updated certain keyboard parts. The '76 original in itself is fabulous with a more obvious "'70s" feel and synth sound but given the timeless quality of the music itself, this 1984 version shades it for me for that reason...listening to both close up in 2009.

(STOP PRESS - May 2010 - The EMI/BUK original from 1976 is now also available after 25 years of languishing in the vaults and ,having been transferred to digital by Abbey Road, The Enid themselves have made it available with EMI's full backing. [] for more info. Many of the band's fans prefer this to the 1984 version and you can listen to both at the band's website before deciding).

So to the 1984 version offered here. BUY IT.

The 1980's Enid (without Lickerish) generally had a different vibe to 1970's Enid, sonically and compositionally as evidenced by the extraordinary albums that came later. Robert John Godfrey's evolved arsenal of keyboard / synth sounds and Stewart's eclectic and spiritual guitar style defined the sound by 1982 and are deployed here on the earlier material to fantastic effect.
RJG's claims to have enhanced the keyboard / synth passages hold up and the additional material and refrains are great. His updated contributions really shimmer here.
Stewart - the lone guitarist now on the last 6 tracks here - plays beautifully, his mournful tone and sustain, more than making up for the absence of the twin guitar approach that was such a part of those first 4 albums by this truly unique band. Something lost / something gained.

The addition of extra lone trumpet motifs add to the drama.

If the orginal record still holds a couple of trump cards it is in the following areas :- Lickerish and Stewart's fluid guitar interplay seems more balanced particularly on "....The Falling Tower" , renamed "The Tower of Babel" here.
It is on this track that these two announced themselves to the world.
The other area is the clarity and resonance of the bass guitar.

The Enid have always had great drummers bringing different things.
The original vinyl listed Robbie Dobson as the drummer on this but in fact it can be attributed to original member David Storey who remains integral to the band to this day, having been and gone a couple of times. He perhaps understands best what Enid music needs, on the original - his style busy, overtly percussive and with a super clean snare sound. Sympathetic throughout.
The touring drummer in 1984 was Chris North who is playing here on the new passages (certainly on last 6 tracks) ....but he sounds very different to the style adopted on the other albums that he featured on at that time (eg. Something Wicked ..perhaps not surprisingly given the change of material. So much so that I thought it might have been Storey throughout ..as he came and went throughout the 1980's .... but he tells me it was Chris North. If that's the case it sounds so seamless across the whole album that perhaps they overdubbed him over Storey on to the tapes of the first tracks too.

So to the music :-

Fool (originally "The Fool ....") - RJG's strident keys and effects dominate with a newly introduced lone trumpet theme a nice touch.

The Tower of Babel (originally "....The Falling Tower") is a tour de force ...the full band announcing itself. Guitars arrive ...and what guitars ! Staccato riffs and a fluid lead interplay between Lickerish and Stewart sustains and defines this track. Stewart's formative "crying" tone (vibrato ?) joining forces with Lickerish's more rounded fuller sound. Wishbone Ash / Thin Lizzy ...this isnt !
Storey's precussive flurries drive it on.

The Reaper (originally "Death, The Reaper"). Utterly beautiful starting with a church organ sound, very sombre and with an emerging delicate guitar building the sense of occasion - both an ending but also a spiritual rebirth. One of the refrains from Fand which is the mighty signature track on the follow-up album "Aerie Faerie Nonsense" - appears here for the first time if I'm not mistaken.

The Loved Ones (originally "The Lovers") has no guitars and RJG plays the piano throughout - I always had a sense of having heard it before somewhere by someone else and the supporting synth "string-section" is improved here. A lovely piece and not remotely cheesy given that it was planned for use in a porn film. Maybe that's where I heard it first !

The Demon King (originally "The Devil") - Back come the rest of the band, the drums hitting hard to change the mood. This one rocks a bit if The Enid can ever be said to rock. Towards the end, a little refrain lifted from a child's nursery rhyme pokes fun and scorn at the devil and sounds like a kazoo !
This music also formed the basis of one of the novelty singles that the band later released ...in this case "666 The Great Bean". However that single's amusing lyric "He lets it hang loose with the old self abuse and he doesnt do much for me, sir" and referenes to "legions of demons in my nether regions" have no place on an album like this.

Side 2 of the original album (the last 6 tracks) - here completely re-recorded

Pre-dawn /Sunrise (originally "The Sun") - my favourite moment. Introduced by a lone trumpet signifying the return of something (life goes on ?) and then RJG makes a gentle entrance with a lilting keyboard soon augmented by Stewart's mournful guitar tone. I saw them play this live many times.

The Last Day / The Flood (originally "The Last Judgement") - A timpani type build up announces the coming of something. Something of portent. Building, building the tension rises , lightly picked guitar notes join in. The guitar crys in to life ...the track crescendos. The gods come crashing down bringing retribution ...or is it release and forgiveness ? RJG, at the top of his game, lets rip with brass -sounding keyboards eventually culminating in the sound of swirling masses of water as the trumpet signals change once more.
Could a full orchestra make this sound better or more powerful ? Probably .... but I'm left wondering !

Under the Summer Stars / Adieu (originally "In the Region of the Summer Stars" the title track) ...has a wonderous opening refrain that signals peace. Utter peace and revelation is conveyed. The melody is haunting and reflective. Stewart plays his heart out. He always did.

A true delight to warm the soul.

In the Region of the Summer Stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars The progressive rock debut, 3 July 2008
By 
Archy (ALTRINCHAM, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This album, to which RJG has returned to again and again during The Enid's chequered history, is where it all started, back in 1976. It has something of a chequered history itself. The original album has long since been deleted, and what you have here is the re-recorded version from 1984, when the 80s Enid were in dispute with EMI. Fortunately, unlike many re-recordings, this actually improves on the original. As RJG said "there are times when a synthesiser simply will not do." The whole of the second side is new, and though the changing of the titles (the original idea was to match with Tarot cards) seems a bit of an unnecessary whim to me, the music is super.

1976 was a little late for a progressive rock debut, especially an instrumental one forced on the band by the death of their singer, but it really works, and at the time was a shining light amidst the three chord disaster that was punk. The classical style that came to dominate the band is kept in check, but the melodies, the drama, the wonderful blending of keyboards and guitars (courtesy of two great guitarists in Steve Stewart and Francis Lickerish) are there in abundance.

Few progressive rock fans can be unaware of The Enid's stature in this field (though RJG has since shied away from the derogatory 'prog-rock' tag of the 90s) but I wonder how many have actually gone back and listened to their early albums? For this album still stands as a huge landmark in the group's career, and was only subsequently equalled (and it was equalled!) on a very few occasions. Investigate now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, powerful original at last on CD, 16 Oct. 2010
By 
Keith R. Fleeman (Sutton Coldfield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In The Region Of The Summer Stars (Audio CD)
The Enid have a unique meld of classical and rock and this is an extraordinary moving, powerful, exciting debut that sets out their "sound" so confidently from the start. If you are interested in what can be done with a classical approach to rock music (as opposed to rocking up the classics a la ELP) you should give this a go (not that it's played with an orchestra or anything - more like the rock band is arranged like an orchestra). Composition, production and sound are excellent. This is a beautiful album. (Aerie Faerie Nonsense - my favourite - Live at Hammersmith and the new Journey's End are also well worth checking out)
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