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on 17 August 2010
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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on 29 April 2002
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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on 21 September 2003
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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on 17 September 2010
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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VINE VOICEon 27 July 2006
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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on 22 June 2010
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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on 27 January 2011
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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on 22 March 2015
Certainly The Enid does not come better than this. Profound and beautify in a way that I cannot describe. If you're looking for music that touches you in a way that you cannot comprehend then you have found it in this album. This is a excellent introduction to the the wonderful world of The Enid,
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on 16 October 2010
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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on 7 June 2010
This is the first official, genuine release of the original version of "In the Region of the Summer Stars" from 1976, ever released on CD.
Ps. The only downside is that it is mastered a bit too loud and got some of the Hi-hats on the drums a bit to bright/sharp, especially on track one.
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