Monday, 22 February 2010

A Farewell to Bard

We're down to the last couple of boxes of the Bard CD and will shortly be saying goodbye to this release for ever, as, once the last copy is sold, it will be deleted and will not be reissued nor made available via iTunes.

Bard was our first album as an indie band and the first to come out of our own studio, so it was an important release for us at the time. But it's no longer representative of where we are or want to be and so it's time to say farewell.

This is not a moment quite in the order of Boromir's death scene in the Lord of the Rings, and certainly a long way short of Butch and Sundance's final dash into sepia-toned history. But it does make me feel a little nostalgic and so, tonight, I shall raise a glass to Bard.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can perhaps understand why you won't be doing another CD run, but why not on iTunes (I presume it must cost you to have it there)? After all your last 2 albums must have generated some new interest in the band and it would be a shame for new fans not be able to access Bard, which in my view is an excellent album.

Carl

Gregory Spawton said...

Hi Carl

it's fair to say there is a difference of opinion on this in the band and we have discussed iTunes. However, we want to keep up the quality of BBT's output and, whilst Bard has its supporters, it's not something we particularly want out there in large numbers so we think it's best to let it go.

Jacques said...

We may be making a martyr here

Jim said...

I love Bard, the writing and playing are as good as anything you've done. Broken English and A long Finish are classic prog tunes and really should be available. The Last English King is a great song and some of the vocal harmonies are unequaled. However, as a vocalist Tony was a great pianist, and his vocals let the album down. I'd love to hear a new version of the album sung by David. Perhaps you could re-record the vocals on some of the highlights and release these with the proposed re-recorded versions of Kingmaker and other earlier material - which appear to have been shelved?

Anyway I'm pleased I have a copy.

Steve Dunstan said...

Can I just mention 'A Short Visit To Earth' as well - one of my favourite BBT songs.
I still love Bard and listen to it regularly. It's a shame new fans wont be able to easily hear it and disappointing that you feel it's not representative of where you are now. I guess in these download-driven days it's far easier to leave an album behind than in the old days, when labels would keep repressing as required.
If you haven't got Bard, get it while you can - don't listen to Greg - it's a bloody fine album :)

claus said...

i feel exactly the same as jim: bard is a good album and has some really great tunes. a rerecorded version of some stand-out tracks with david on vocals would be a strong idea.
anyway i'm glad that i don't have to say farewell to bard as i own the album since its release and i still play it regularly... ;-)

MatD said...

So I'm glad to own Bard for now about 2 years or so. :)
I agree with Greg that this is (also in my opinion) the weakest BBT album (btw, I don't know the Age of Steam by now), but nevertheless I like it!

Re-recording the vocals is a cool idea as these are the weak point of the album.

Sers, MatD

claus said...

... and with "blacksmithing" there's one of my favourite bbt songs on bard. don't let it die!!

Jacques said...

You see what I mean?

Anonymous said...

Carl has already made the case. Underfall will get you a much deserved wider audience. Like me, after hearing age of steam, they will want to hear more. Unless it costs you money why kill it off? I think it is a great album, actually listening to long finish writing this.
It more than deserves to survive.

Lee said...

With the end of an era approaching, I should certainly dig out 'Bard' and give it a proper listen again --- it's been a long time.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I don't understand why you have decided to do this. Your latest jewel is scoring very high notes on Progarchives and you must get more attention for your other releases now.
I especially like Bard because it's making me feel very relaxed. I can dream away with it.
This soft side of Bard is something that more people should be able to hear .... for ever and ever and ever.
There must not come an end to releases like this one.
But, there is always the illegal circuit, where it will stay downloadable. Now people must do these illegal acts because you don't offer them the real stuff. It's a shame

Anonymous said...

I read that a few comments think the vocals are not good.
I personally think they are great.
The voice fits the music very well in my opinion.

ChrisXymphonia said...

I am a recent convert to Bard. The reissue of English Boy Wonders (which I love) made me seek out this album and was lucky to score a copy at a very reasonable price. And boy, am I glad I did. This album right now is my favourite BBT album (with Underfall and Far Skies close behind). As has been said before, there is something magical about the relaxed atmosphere this album has. Also, I don't really understand the negative remarks everywhere on the vocals (I see a parallel with all the remarks on the vocals on Tony Banks' A Curious Feeling album) because I think they fit the material so much.

Bard is a very subtle record and like all subtle things in life isn't for everyone. I for relish in its beauty and sincerely hope taht the band will make this one available for future BBT enthusiasts.

Throatwobbler said...

"Bard" may still be bought from www.mp3va.com at the price of about $1, for all new BBT fans.

Gregory Spawton said...

We've never licensed Bard for digital release so I suspect mp3va are making money for themselves.

When we get time, we'll try to sort out a remastered version and make it available so I would advise not to spend money on an unofficial download service.

Throatwobbler said...

Hey... in that case, that sucks. All info I have (e.g. reviews in media) indicate that mp3va.com is completely legal - albeit cheap.

piebaldd said...

Sorry Gregory. I am such a BBT completionist, I could not wait to get Bard. I picked it up last night. I have not listened to Bard in its entirety, yet, as I am stuck on the superb Blacksmithing and A Long Finish. I very much appreciate how A Long Finish ends where The Last English King started. (Shades of English Electric Full Power - Edgelands / East Coast Racer). I will be back for a remastered Bard, and any new material, or other remasters.

Anonymous said...

Have you guys seen the prices that are asked (and are being payed) for secondhand copies of Bard?

Philip Birtwistle said...

Last copy I saw was over £70. Whilst the band may not see it as true canon, surely they do not want others to profit.......

Gregory Spawton said...

When we get time we will do a full remix of the album and make the best possible version of Bard available at an affordable price.

Anonymous said...

Hope you do it soon. I'm a big fan of the band but discovered you guys adter this went out of print. I have everything else you've put out and am really hoping to be able to get this.

Anonymous said...

Any news on this, Greg? I'd love a re-mixed/re-mastered version.

Gregory Spawton said...

The only thing delaying the re-issue is getting the time to remix it. As soon as our mixing engineer has some spare time we will get this moving forward.

Ian G said...

I have been looking for a copy of Bard for ages and stumbled across an authorised download from realgonerocks. I don't recall seeing any announcement about this by BBT but it does say authorised. A great find, wonderful album I would still like on cd.

Anonymous said...

Greg

Although I bought Bard upon release and again after I scratched it, I was disappointed all those years ago when it seemed to be consigned to the bin. I am delighted (for the newer fans) to read more recent posts that it might be reissued. Start to finish, an excellent album.

Carl

Anonymous said...

Dear Greg Don´t know if you or anyone elese sees this but anyway :-)
My youngest sons and I are from Denmark, and have been following Big Big Train with great pleasure for many years now. We Attended both the 2015 and the 2017 concerts, which were really lifetime experiences for us. Surely I prefer the newer Big Big Train albums to Bard, but never the less, I find it a great album. Actually I find the vocals very suiteable to the music, and I hope you´ll consider giving it a rerelease.
Kind regards
Leif Petersen