Porcupine Tree-Where do I start?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Jim_C, May 11, 2005.

  1. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    I've finally decided to try these guys out but I don't know which album to start with. Any advice?

    TIA
     
  2. Lee M T

    Lee M T Second Unit

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    That's a good question. I would start with either of thier newest albums, since they are easy to find. I personally would try In Absentia first. It was their 2002 release. That album is a little more accessible. But it still has the vintage PT and all the vocal harmonies and solos aplenty.

    If you're liking that, I would actually search the net and purchase their 1996 album Signify before their latest effort Deadwing. It's pretty easy to find for a decent price from Amazon.com, Towerrecords.com, etc. This album, while still having a lot of the qualities of the In Absentia album, still comes out being so totally different at the same time. Only a band as genius as PT can do this.

    Then I would move to the new album Deadwing. It features pretty much everything PT has done to date rolled into one album.

    Their albums in the middle, Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun, are considered their best by many (along with In Absentia, Deadwing, and even Signify, lol). These two albums are out of print right now though. Lightbulb Sun you can get used for a relativly decent price, but Stupid Dream is going for crazy amounts. So, I would wait on finding these albums until a bit later. Plus they are supposed to be remastered and reissued later.

    Their even earlier albums are also good, but everyone's tastes are different and these albums are a bit more genre specific. The Sky Moves Sideways is a great album, but it is fairly heavy on the psychedelic, instrumental, experimentation, prog movement.

    Plus their are other great albums to get, like Warzsawa, a live album from Poland. It contains mainly songs from the Stupid Dream/Lightbulb Sun era and may be good for a farily early purchase. The Coma Divine live album is very good too.

    Basically, all thier albums are great! [​IMG]
     
  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    In Absentia.

    1. It's easily available (some others are out of print)
    2. There's a DVD-A as well as a CD, so you can experience in any way you choose.
    3. It's not "prog" or anything weird, just solid, well-crafted rock, the kind of music that anyone can enjoy.
    4. Every song is great (as great as the other ones are, they have down moments, as most albums do). IA is one of those rare "perfect" records where every song is killer.
    5. Stylistically, it streamlines the best of everything that came before it and heralds their current direction.

    If the band is around for a while, IA will be looked at as their Dark Side of the Moon.
     
  4. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    I would also vote for In Absentia, with Stupid Dream second. This would give you a great look at their different moods and styles. If you like IA better, get Deadwing next. If you like SD better, get Lightbulb Sun next. Note that SD and LS are out of print, but will be coming back this summer from what I understand. Their older albums have some good moments, but the song writing is less consistent. In general, those older albums fit into the "good psychedelic music", but nothing that really stands out above the rest.

    Chris
     
  5. Chris Stainton

    Chris Stainton Second Unit

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    Jim,

    Stupid Dream was the first album of theirs I was introduced to and it remains my favorite. It is not as heavy as their more recent ones.

    The album that I can't recommend enough is a side project of Steve Wilson's called Blackfield. It is on the mellow side but it is outstanding. Someone else here was talking about it and I picked it up based on their recommendation.
     
  6. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I'll pick up IA and Deadwing because I can get them easily.

    Given the prices for Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun I think I'll hold off on those until they're re-released.


    >>The album that I can't recommend enough is a side project of Steve Wilson's called Blackfield. It is on the mellow side but it is outstanding. Someone else here was talking about it and I picked it up based on their recommendation.
     
  7. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I can't say how impressed I am with Deadwing. I loved IA and picked up Deadwing last week. I never thought they would follow up IA with an album as good, but I'm torn. I am really digging the latest release and I think it's time for me to pick up some of their earlier stuff for sure.
     
  8. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Amazon has a special release of Lightbuld Sun available. Of the PT CDs I have, I think I like this one the best. There are a couple of tracks I don't care for but the rest are outstanding. I listened to IA so much that I really don't care to listen to it too much; however, I feel it's the best CD to use to get to know PT. I agree with the above posts to hold off some of the earlier stuff until you know whether you like them or not. I'll probably get Stupid Dream when it's released again.

    My favorites:
    1. Lightbulb Sun
    2. Deadwing
    3. Signify
    4. IA - simply because I listened to it sooooo much.
    5. Box set of early releases
     
  9. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    The titles that I have would probably be like this:

    Top tier (very very close)
    1. In Absentia
    2. Lightbulb Sun
    3. Deadwing
    4. Stupid Dream

    Second tier (fairly big drop):
    5. Signify
    6. Recordings (amazing or a b-sides album)
    7. Up the Downstair

    Third tier:
    8. The Sky Moves Sideways (just can't really get into it)

    Most of my other "favorite bands" are either extinct or well past their prime. It is so great to have one where every new CD is as good or better than the last one.

    Chris
     
  10. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Four Chords That Made A Million ?

    Wilson admits this song was a mistake.
     
  11. Lee M T

    Lee M T Second Unit

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    And Mr. Wilson has, he's made a lot of songs about mainstream music, but no one listens.

    It is also ironic to me that the major US single for Deadwing is titled "Shallow." [​IMG] How convenient.
     
  12. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Catchy lyrics, but not my favorite track on the CD either.
     
  13. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Opeth's Damnation is an amazing CD, and I recommend it highly to anyone that likes Porcupine Tree. It's more laid back, but has the same high quality song writing as PT. I think the CD has better overall sound quality too.
     
  14. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    Finally got a chance to listen to IA and DW. Excellent, excellent stuff. I just wish I discovered PT sooner. I'm looking forward to picking up some of their other CD's.

    Thanks for the recommendations!
     
  15. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    If you like those, give Opeth's Damnation and Blackfield a listen.
     
  16. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    Mackie, isn't Opeth one of those bands that does the "death growl" instead of singing? I would've never connected them to PT, style-wise.
     
  17. Lee M T

    Lee M T Second Unit

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    Opeth's lead singer Mikael Akerfeldt definitely has the best growls in the business, in my opinion. I've never been a fan of that type of singing, but I can definitely tolerate him.

    It's the ways he mixes the growls and heavy riffs with soothing vocals and mellow melodies all in the same song. Each track is a separate journey into the unknown, but yet all the tracks somehow flow together. Much in the way a PT album does...yet totally different. [​IMG]

    I definitely prefer the Damnation Opeth as opposed to say the Deliverance style Opeth. But both can co-exist in my CD collection along side my ever expanding PT collection.

    Opeth's new CD should be coming out in August. [​IMG]
     
  18. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    I haven't listened to Opeth's death growls since I really don't like that type of music, but the other posts above describe nicely how Damnation is similar to PT. All I've read though is that Opeth does it the best, so I might have to give them a try. I hope the new Opeth CD is similar to Damnation.
     
  19. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    Well, I'll give Damnation a try. I don't like the growls very much but I'm willing to give it a shot. I'll get Blackfield, too.

    The local rock station here in Boston has an hour long show weeknights called "Harder, Faster" which is all really, really heavy music with a lot of bands that growl. Opeth, Slayer, Sepultura, Hate Eternal, Suffication, Swedish death metal, etc. It makes bands like Iron Maiden sound like pop rock. I love the music but I'm still having a hard time with the bands that growl instead of sing.
     
  20. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I doubt the new Opeth CD would be like Damnation. That album and its companion, Deliverance, were delibirately focusing on the "light" and "dark" aspects of their sound (Deliverance was all cookie monster vocals).

    For this reason those two albums don't interest me.

    Opeth's best music happens when they mix everything together and it all flows smoothly. Thus, IMO, Opeth's three masterpiece albums are My Arms Your Hearse, Still Life and Blackwater Park. I'm hoping the new one will be like that.

    If one can't handle the cookie monster vocals, than you're not going to like anything of theirs outside of Damnation. I also don't like growling but make an exception for Opeth's best.

    The connections with Porcupine Tree are many:
    - Steve Wilson has produced every Opeth album since and including Blackwater Park
    - He sings on Opeth's song "Bleak" in Blackwater Park
    (the part that goes "Devious movements in your eyes...." etc)
    - The two have toured together. Here in NY, for example, PT opened for Opeth.
    - Each has influenced the sound of the other. Opeth was certainly doing the "lighter" thing before associating with Wilson but no doubt his presence helped steer and solidify their ability to do that. Meanwhile Opeth probably inspired Wilson to dig back to the heavy sound he liked but just didn't put in PT before, resulting in the crunchy riffs of In Absentia and Deadwing.
    - Opeth's singer guests vocals on the title track to Deadwing ("Like a cancer scare, on a dentist chair...")
     

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