Grand Tour (Big Big Train album)

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Grand Tour
Big Big Train Grand Tour.jpg
Studio album by
Released17 May 2019
StudioEnglish Electric Studios, Abbey Road Studios, Real World Studios, Sweetwater Studios
GenreProgressive rock
LabelEnglish Electric
ProducerLongdon, Spawton
Big Big Train chronology
The Second Brightest Star
(2017)
Grand Tour
(2019)

Grand Tour is the twelfth studio album by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. It contains all new songs unlike the previous, The Second Brightest Star. Thematically it broadens the lyrical landscape for the group into the European world, previously having a largely domestic British focus. It moves from English folklore and landscape, to the 17th and 18th century habit of well-to-do Europeans going on the 'Grand Tour' to experience a wider circle of art and science.[1]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Daily Express5/5 stars[1]
The Times3/5 stars[2]

Initially well received, The Times says of this release, "A prog rock album that doesn't yield its secrets straight away and repays repeated listening".[2] Tony Colvill in his review has been critical of the last two releases but then writes of this offering, "it's something new, a little bit different, but to the same high standards" presumably harking back to the 'railway inspired' subject content of English Electric: Full Power.[3] He continues to heap praise on this offering with repeated and positive comparisons with Genesis both vocally and its instrumentation.[3] Daily Express writer Paul Davies also make Genesis comparisons and adds reference to Queen. Significantly piking up the subject of the renaissance when referring to progressive music in general, he clearly implies the band as well. He assigns a rating of 5 out of 5.[1]

Track listing[edit]

Grand Tour[4]
No.TitleLyricsMusicLength
1."Novum Organum"Greg SpawtonNick D'Virgilio, Spawton2:25
2."Alive"David LongdonLongdon4:34
3."The Florentine"LongdonLongdon8:17
4."Roman Stone"
  • "Part One: Foundation"
  • "Part Two: Rise"
  • "Part Three: Ne Plus Ultra"
  • "Part Four: Fall" (instrumental)
  • "Part Five: Legacy"
SpawtonSpawton13:33
5."Pantheon" (instrumental) D'Virgilio6:12
6."Theodora In Green And Gold"SpawtonD'Virgilio, Longdon5:32
7."Ariel"
  • "Part One: Come Unto These Yellow Sands"
  • "Part Two: Noises, Sounds and Sweet Airs"
  • "Part Three: New Place"
  • "Part Four: O! There are spirits of the air"
  • "Part Five: Music, When Soft Voices Die"
  • "Part Six: Casa Magni, 1822"
  • "Part Seven: Approach, My Ariel, Come"
  • "Part Eight: Coda: The Triumph of Life"
  • LongdonLongdon14:28
    8."Voyager"
  • "Part One: On the Ocean"
  • "Part Two: The Farthest Shore"
  • "Part Three: The Pillers of Hercules"
  • "Part Four: Further Beyond" (instrumental)
  • "Part Five: Grand Finale" (instrumental)
  • "Part Six: The Space Between the Stars"
  • "Part Seven: Homecoming"
  • SpawtonSpawton14:20
    9."Homesong"SpawtonSpawton4:50

    Personnel[edit]

    Big Big Train

    • Nick D'Virgilio – drums, percussion, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on "Theodora in Green and Gold", additional keyboards, guitars
    • Dave Gregory – 6-string and 12-string guitars
    • Rachel Hall – violin, backing vocals
    • David Longdon – lead vocals, flute, additional keyboards, guitars
    • Danny Manners – keyboards
    • Rikard Sjöblom – 6-string and 12-string guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
    • Greg Spawton – bass guitar, bass pedals, additional 12-string guitars

    Production

    • Rob Aubrey – mixing, mastering
    • Rachel Hall – string arrangements on Voyager (with Manners & Spawton)
    • Dave Desmond – brass arrangements (with Spawton)

    Charts[edit]

    Chart (2019) Peak
    position
    Scottish Albums (OCC)[5] 12
    UK Albums (OCC)[6] 35

    References[edit]

    1. ^ a b c Davies, Paul (16 May 2019). "Sarah Jane Morris and Tony Remy, Big Big Train, Nazareth: New music REVIEWED". Retrieved 21 May 2019.
    2. ^ a b Bungey, John (10 May 2019). "Big Big Train: Grand Tour review". Retrieved 21 May 2019.
    3. ^ a b Colvill, Tony. "Big Big Train – Grand Tour". Retrieved 21 May 2019.
    4. ^ Grand Tour (booklet). Big Big Train. English Electric. 2019. EERCD0024.CS1 maint: others (link)
    5. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
    6. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 May 2019.