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PHENOMENA The Complete Works(3-CD)
Escape Music (2006)

Hold the Best Of 2006 lists this three CD set is my re-release pick of 2006! All three Phenomena albums are on here (although not this year's 'Pyscho Fantasy' released by Escape as well) along with bonus tracks and three new songs of the forthcoming fourth Phenomena album - a real delight all round.

The first two albums are genuine five star classics and with the vocal talents of Glenn Hughes, John Wetton, Max Bacon (GTR) and the late, great Ray Gillan you can't go wrong. The musicians are not to be sniffed at either with Cozy Powell, Neil Murray, Don Airey, Brian May, Ric Sanders (Fairport Convention) and Mel Galley to name but a few featured across the three albums.

Of the debut album 'Still The Night' and 'Kiss Of Fire' really stand out, whilst 'Double Six, 55, 44' and the glorious 'Did It All For Love' are highlights on the second album 'Dream Runner'. Bonus tracks include original rehearsals on the first album and a demo version of 'Did It All For Love' which bizarrely sounds really good in its stripped down format. The third album never quite lives up to the first two although with Brian May and Scott Gorham on guitars and Keith Murrell (Airrace/Mama's Boys) on vocals it still has some fine moments like 'What About Love' and 'Banzai'.

The three new songs of the fourth album all sound promising with the gentle refrains of 'Karma' the pick of the bunch. This album will be one to look out for next year that's for sure.

A truly essential purchase for fans of any of the musicians and vocalists featured on here and a fine example of how to bring together so many varied talents to create timeless, melodic hard rock music. Now all we need are some live shows!


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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