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Grand Tour (Big Big Train album)

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Grand Tour
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
Grand Tour
Common Ground

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] It is the last studio album to feature band members Dave Gregory, Rachel Hall, and Danny Manners who left in 2020,[2][3] and first without co-founder Andy Poole, who had departed in January 2018.[4]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Daily Express[1]
The Times[5]
The Imaginative Conservative(very favorable)[6]

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".[5] Tony Colvill in his review had 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.[7] He continues to heap praise on this offering with repeated and positive comparisons with Genesis both vocally and instrumentally.[7] Daily Express writer Paul Davies also make comparisons to Genesis and adds a reference to Queen. Noting the subject of the Renaissance when referring to progressive music in general, he clearly underlines the band's significance. He assigns a rating of 5 out of 5.[1]

Track listing[edit]

Grand Tour[8]
1."Novum Organum"Greg SpawtonNick D'Virgilio, Spawton2:25
2."Alive"David LongdonLongdon4:34
3."The Florentine"LongdonLongdon8:17
4."Roman Stone"
  • "Foundation"
  • "Rise"
  • "Ne Plus Ultra"
  • "Fall" (instrumental)
  • "Legacy""
5."Pantheon" (instrumental) D'Virgilio6:12
6."Theodora in Green and Gold"SpawtonD'Virgilio, Longdon5:32
  • "Come Unto These Yellow Sands"
  • "Noises, Sounds and Sweet Airs"
  • "New Place"
  • "O! There Are Spirits of the Air"
  • "Music, When Soft Voices Die"
  • "Casa Magni, 1822"
  • "Approach, My Ariel, Come"
  • "Coda: The Triumph of Life""
  • LongdonLongdon14:28
  • "On the Ocean"
  • "The Farthest Shore"
  • "The Pillars of Hercules"
  • "Further Beyond" (instrumental)
  • "Grand Finale" (instrumental)
  • "The Space Between the Stars"
  • "Homecoming""
  • SpawtonSpawton14:20
    Total length:74:11
    Japan bonus track[9]
    10."Journey's End"SpawtonSpawton4:38
    Total length:78:32


    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 on "Theodora in Green and Gold", backing vocals
    • Greg Spawton – bass guitar, bass pedals, additional 12-string guitars


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


    Chart (2019) Peak
    Scottish Albums (OCC)[10] 12
    UK Albums (OCC)[11] 35


    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. ^ "Rachel Hall and Danny Manners Depart Big Big Train; Big Big Train; 2021". www.bigbigtrain.com. 3 December 2020.
    3. ^ "Big Big Train postpone US tour; Jerry Ewing; 18 March 2020". 18 March 2020.
    4. ^ Ewing, Jerry (1 January 2018). "Andy Poole To Leave Big Big Train". louder. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
    5. ^ a b Bungey, John (10 May 2019). "Big Big Train: Grand Tour review". Retrieved 21 May 2019.
    6. ^ Birzer, Bradley (9 May 2019). "Seeking the Humane: Big Big Train's "Grand Tour"". Retrieved 24 June 2024.
    7. ^ a b Colvill, Tony. "Big Big Train – Grand Tour". Retrieved 21 May 2019.
    8. ^ Grand Tour (booklet). Big Big Train. English Electric. 2019. EERCD0024.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
    9. ^ "「Big Big Train / グランド・ツアー」 | Merurido". 芽瑠璃堂 | Merurido (in Japanese). Retrieved 9 September 2020.
    10. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
    11. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 May 2019.