Snow (Spock's Beard album)

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Snow
Spocks Beard Snow.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 27, 2002
RecordedLawnmower and Garden Supply, Pasadena, California
GenreProgressive rock
Length114:31
LabelMetal Blade, Radiant
ProducerNeal Morse and Spock's Beard
Spock's Beard chronology
V
(2000)
Snow
(2002)
Feel Euphoria
(2003)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Rock Hard9/10[2]

Snow is the sixth studio album of the progressive rock band Spock's Beard, and the final album with main songwriter and vocalist Neal Morse, who left immediately after the release of the album due to his conversion to Christianity. It was released in 2002 on InsideOut Music.

Background and recording[edit]

Neal Morse began recording Snow in summer of 2001, when he flew from Tennessee to Los Angeles, California. Upon arrival, he wasn't satisfied with his recording of the album, and decided to re-write it, in order to create a decent concept piece. For that, he needed to fly back. He then returned with an almost completely rewritten version, which Dave Meros was surprised by, because he awaited the revised version. The group then completed recording it overnight, on September 10, 2001. The next day, Spock's Beard was scheduled to fly back to Tennessee, but due to the September 11 attacks, ended up stranded in the airport.[3]

Spock's Beard decided to rent a car so they could get safely home. During that time, while the group listened to Bob Dylan and God Bless America (which was sung by Congress over the radio), Neal Morse got an idea for the album's concept. It will become a mysterious Albino psychic and healer. Upon returning to Tennessee, Neal spent months polishing the concept and writing more songs, but upon returning to LA, he suffered an emotional wreck, and decided to quit the band, the announcement of which came nine months after the first recording of the album. He told his band members that he was a devoted Christian, and viewed the songs "Open Wide the Flood Gates," "Love Beyond Words," and Wind at My Back" as prayers. He then had a hard time deciding whether to go with the band's ideology, or create his own solo album, with a focus on Christianity as its base. After the recording was complete, Neal said his farewells to the former band. Due to Neal's departure, the Snow tour was cancelled.[3]

Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio returned to the band in 2016 for the Snow Live concert in Nashville, Tennessee.[4] Snow Live was also performed once more in 2016 at the Night of the Prog festival in Loreley, Germany.[5]

Release[edit]

On November 10, 2017, Spock's Beard released a Blu-ray DVD version of the album via Metal Blade and Radiant Records. The DVD version contains both parts of the album, as well as encores "June" and "Falling for Forever", and behind the scenes featurette "The Making of Snow Live".[6]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Neal Morse except where noted.

Disc one[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Made Alive/Overture"5:32
2."Stranger in a Strange Land"4:29
3."Long Time Suffering"6:03
4."Welcome to NYC"3:32
5."Love Beyond Words"3:24
6."The 39th Street Blues (I'm Sick)"4:05
7."Devil's Got My Throat"7:17
8."Open Wide the Flood Gates"6:14
9."Open the Gates Part 2"3:02
10."Solitary Soul" (Alan Morse, N. Morse)7:33
11."Wind at My Back"5:12
Total length:56:23

Disc two[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Second Overture" (Spock's Beard)3:47
2."4th of July" (Spock's Beard)3:11
3."I'm the Guy"4:48
4."Reflection"2:49
5."Carie"3:06
6."Looking for Answers" (Nick D'Virgilio)5:17
7."Freak Boy"2:12
8."All Is Vanity"4:35
9."I'm Dying"5:09
10."Freak Boy Part 2"3:01
11."Devil's Got My Throat Revisited"1:55
12."Snow's Night Out"2:04
13."Ladies and Gentlemen, Mister Ryo Okumoto on the Keyboards"2:40
14."I Will Go"5:08
15."Made Alive Again/Wind at My Back"8:27
Total length:58:08

Disc three[edit]

The Special Limited Edition of this album contains a third disc, made of acoustic tracks, work-in-progress and a cover ("South Side of the Sky", originally on the Yes album Fragile)

  1. "South Side of the Sky" (Jon Anderson, Chris Squire) – 9:11
  2. "The Good Don't Last/Open Wide the Flood Gates" (Live acoustic) – 11:26
  3. "Working on 'Devil/Fiddly/Disco" – 4:41
  4. "Looking for Answers" (Live acoustic) – 4:59
  5. "Stranger in a Strange Land (Demo)" – 2:34
  6. "4 O'Clock" – 0:24
  7. "Working on Ryo's Solo" – 7:42
  8. "Lost Bass Solo" – 2:01
  9. "The Light" (Live acoustic) – 6:08
  10. "Working on I Will Go" – 2:10

Personnel[edit]

  • Neal Morse – lead vocals, piano, synths, acoustic guitar
  • Alan Morse – electric guitars, vocals, cello
  • Ryo Okumoto – hammond organ, mellotron, jupiter 8, minimoog, vocoder
  • Dave Meros – bass, vocals, French horn
  • Nick D'Virgilio – drums, percussion, vocals, lead vocals on "Carie" and "Looking for Answers"

Production

  • Chris Carmichael – violin, viola, cello
  • Jim Hoke – saxophone, clarinet, autoharp
  • Neil Rosengarden – flugelhorn, trumpet
  • Molly Pasutti – backing vocals on "Open the Gates Part 2"

See also[edit]

Snow was unofficially adapted into a live musical, Snow: the Modern Opera, and performed in 2012 by a small theater group in New Hampshire.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jurek, Thom. Snow at AllMusic. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Rensen, Michael. "Rock Hard". Rock Hard. No. 184. Archived from the original on September 24, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Shilton, Nick (September 17, 2020). "The story of Spock's Beard and Snow". Louder Sound.
  4. ^ Michels, Alexandra. "Spock's Beard - Snow Live". Rock Hard (in German).
  5. ^ "Spock's Beard Setlist at Night of the Prog XI".
  6. ^ Barrios, Joel (September 22, 2017). "Sppock's Beard – Snow Live CD/DVD/Blu Ray (Album Review)". Sonic Perspectives. Retrieved April 1, 2021.

External links[edit]