on 4 January 2014
This is an excellent album. Some of the production is a little dated. A few sax and guitar solos will make you cringe. But the songs are very well written and both Tracey and Ben really pushed themselves in terms of their vocals. The bonus disc contains an unreleased track, some interesting demos and remixes, and a few essential live performances. This is a unique album in the EBTG discography.
on 10 March 2014
The had a little change in this album....they collaborated with some of the best talent people from the jazz music scene. Love this album so much especially Driving, Imagining America & The Road. I have the original release but i decided to get this 2 CD expanded edition to hear more.... Those bonus tracks sound so fresh to me, i feel good & satisfied :)
on 23 May 2016
BEWARE: This Idlewild and Language of Life vinyl reissues from Music On Vinyl are not authorized and NOT remasters - not even the 2014 remasters done for the cd reissues.
Sounds quality is terrible - just a hissy digital transfer of the 1988 cd pressed onto vinyl.
Also,the LP does NOT come with any insert, no original artwork or lyrics (you need to get permission to print those things again...)
Best to wait for proper reissues from authorized companies like Superdeluxe Edition who work with the artists
on 24 November 2013
Since the release of the first 4 Deluxe EBTG albums , which i by the way didn't buy , because i already had all those B-Sides , live tracks , and the US version of the first album . The demo versions presenting no special interest for me ( i could have gone weak for an acoustic version of Angel or Little Hitler but as it didn't happen , i was waiting for the Plus Version of The language of Life ,which is a very special album to me .
Don't call me a freak , but i have this album as cassette, vinyl , and three CDs . The german edition , the american , and the japanese one, the latter sounding lightly better than the rest . I am a kind of audiophile and i've been a sound perfectionist for the last 25 years . This album is musically speaking one of the best Tracey and Ben did . The production including " la creme de la creme " of sessions musicians of the time , like Omar Hakim, Russel Ferrante , Michael Landau , John Pattituci, Kirk Walhum , Larry Williams , Lenny Castro , Joe Sample, Michael Brecker and Stan Getz among others is of a very high level . The music , the arrangements , Tracey 's voice , all of this is brilliant . Sadly the sound enginnering didn't match the quality of the music. I don't mean it sounds bad . It's by far a lot better than Baby the stars shine bright , which is EBTGs worst sounding album from an audiophile point of view . But it's not as good as Amplified Heart . I wish they had hired someone like Gary Pagzosa who did such great jobs like on a lot of Alison Krauss' productions . This could have been a better sounding album as it would really have desserved better engineering and mixing quality .
I am very happy with this new package . There are the live songs i was looking for . I met Ben Watt on the first of his solo concerts in London back in August this year , and told him how much i miss a live album . I loved very much the bonus live tracks on the Missing Single and would have given up a kidney for the whole set . He told me they were about to release some albums with some demos and live tracks . And this is what i was longing for . Unfortunately no acoustic set , but the 5 tracks recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in October 1990 are stunning , especially Me and Bobby Dee . These 5 Songs alone are worth buying the CD, even if Meet Me In The Morning was already released as a Bonus on the " Twin Cities " Single .
You get also two demo songs Tracey and Ben played to Tony Lipuma in his studio in New York to convince him produce the album and you will feel how much heart and soul they were putting on that rendition . There's a great alternative version of The Road on which Stan Getz is playing his solo part a different way , and some alternative takes of Michael Brecker on Driving and Letting Love Go . The remixes of Driving and Take Me are worth discovering if you don't have them already .
I like very much the synth bass line on the home version of Driving which is a gem .
Another track , which didn't make it on the album is also included here . Will The Roof Fall In is a beautiful song . It is closer to the songs on Idlewild than those of The Language Of Life and of course has the same ugly drum machine which almost ruined the beautiful songs of Idlewild :-) . I'm happy they didn't use it anymore . I still don't understand why they didn't hire a proper drummer for the studio sessions . There's a bootleg of a Liverpool concert they did in march 1988 on the web , and they are playing with Damon Butcher on keyboards , Steve Sanger on drums ,Steve Pearce on bass and Pete King on sax who is doing an absolutely great job and you can hear the difference .
So i hope we will get the chance to become that whole Hammersmith Odeon concert integrally or a a whole acoustic set recorded in the UK , France, Canada, Japan or elsewhere ... Ben and Tracey , we have been following your career for nearly 30 years now and we won't give up . So please work on that !!!
5 stars , what else ? I wish i could give it more ...