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Neal Morse (Spock's Beard and Transatlantic): amazing songwriter and musician


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#1 of 4 OFFLINE   Brian Perry

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Posted May 21 2003 - 01:36 AM

I just received a couple items in the mail: Neal Morse's The Transatlantic demos and Spock's Beard's 2-DVD set Live in Holland and The Making of V. After spending a few hours with these gems, I have a lot of respect for Neal Morse and regret that he suddenly pulled out of the music world to devote his life to religion.

I didn't realize that most of what Transatlantic created was demo material from Morse. Listening to "Full Moon Rising" (which, of course, became "All of the Above"), I marveled at how he had ALL the parts written--not just keyboards, but bass, drums, guitar, etc. I know the other guys changed some things around and added some great bits, but I was shocked at how complete it sounded before they even got involved.

Regarding The Making of V, Morse comes across as not only a great creative musician but also a good family man and nice guy. He accomplishes so much in his one-room "studio" -- even though much of the recording equipment is from the 1980s. As someone who would one day like to be involved in music (whether as a musician or recording engineer), I really was inspired by Morse, who seems to know a lot about both sides of the glass.

I wish more groups would put out more "behind the scenes" stuff like these DVDs and similar ones from Dream Theater's musicians. They give great glimpses at how hard it is to be a musician of mid-level commercial success (it's not as glamorous as many might think--these guys live in normal houses and drive modest cars/minivans). Highly recommended!

#2 of 4 OFFLINE   Mike Broadman

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Posted May 21 2003 - 05:01 AM

Yeah, it'll be odd to see what happends to the Beard w/o his input.

The first Transatlantic album was mostly his work due to the other members' time constraints. The 2nd was more collaborative, which is why I like it more. Roine Stolt, like Morse, is the leading creative force of his band The Flower Kings, so these two powerhouses writing together is a real treat.

I don't think Morse completely abandoned music altogether, just maybe music that is completely secular.

#3 of 4 OFFLINE   Dennis_H

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Posted May 21 2003 - 06:48 AM

Last I heard, Neal was doing some collaboration with kerry Livgren. Don't know if it is going to be for Kerry's or Neal's album though. Should make an interesting piece of work.

#4 of 4 OFFLINE   Trina

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Posted May 21 2003 - 07:57 AM

I LOVE Spocks Beard. I know the new CD has just been recorded and is supposed to be out soon. I think most of the songwriting/singing will be done by the super talented Nick D Virgilio. I guess it'll be best not to expect the new Beard to sound like the old one, and give the new stuff a fair shake.

As for Neal, he is an incredibly talented person who's going with his heart right now. I wish him the best, but wouldn't mind if he wanted to return to the Beard one day.

T