As the title suggests, Ultravox were in a gray mood as they launched into their seventh studio LP, their previous existential angst now pooling around personal anguish. The album's title track was a study in languorous melancholy, where the emotional pain lingered on and on. And why would it ever dissipate, when romance is forever doomed, as "When the Time Comes" exquisitely illustrated? Even "One Small Day," the most musically celebratory song on the set, battles depression but dismally loses the war. No wonder Ultravox were so keen to escape far into the past, with "Man of Two Worlds" taking them back to the gloriously romanticized days of the Celts. The modern world, in contrast, was filled with terrors, both emotional ("A Friend I Call Desire") and global. There was the omnipresent yellow peril to fear; but if "White China" warned of the dangers of creeping communism, the nation sworn to protect its citizens from a Stalinistic embrace proves just as nefarious on "Heart of the Country".
This set combines two of Sonny Rollins' LPs for Impulse Records, There Will Never Be Another You and On Impulse!, both of which were originally issued in 1965. There Will Never Be Another You featured the saxophonist playing a live set (in the rain, apparently) with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and Billy Higgins and Mickey Roker on drums. Rollins is in fine form, playing standards including a nearly 17-minute version of the title tune. He wanders off the microphone frequently, though, which is a problem, and it makes this otherwise very nice set less than essential.
Highlights Limited Edition Box Set include:
* 9cds including new Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp stereo mixes of Discipline (2011), Beat (2016) and Three of a Perfect Pair (2016), and the final concert from each of the band's tours: Japan 1981 (new to CD), Germany 1982 (new mixes for this edition), Canada (Absent Lovers) 1984 (remastered for this edition)
* 2cds of additional studio recordings including 1 cd containing edited and expanded of sessions for the abandoned third album and a 'making of…' CD featuring studio snippets and outtakes from across the studio recordings (providing a fascinating audio insight into the 'Crimson process')