Past, Present & Future
Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.
||Old Admirals||Al Stewart||5:54||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Warren Harding||Al Stewart||2:38||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Soho (Needless to Say)||Al Stewart||3:56||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||The Last Day of June 1934||Al Stewart||4:44||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Post World War Two Blues||Al Stewart||4:16||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Roads to Moscow||Al Stewart||8:04||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Terminal Eyes||Al Stewart||3:21||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Nostradamus||Al Stewart||9:43||$1.29||View in iTunes|
As good as portions of it were, Orange was essentially a transitional effort, the necessary bridge to Past, Present & Future, the record where Al Stewart truly begins to discover his voice. This is largely through his decision to indulge his fascination with history and construct a concept album that begins with "Old Admirals" and ends with "Nostradamus" and his predictions for the future. A concept like this undoubtedly will strike prog warning bells in the minds of most listeners but, ironically, he has stripped back most of the prog trappings from Orange, settling into a haunting folk bed for these long, winding tales. If anything, this results in an album that is a bit too subdued, but even so, it's apparent that Stewart has finally found his muse, focusing his songwriting and intent to a greater extent than ever before. Now, the key was to find the same sense of purpose in record-making — he didn't quite get it here, but he would the next time around.
his best non pop
an album with historical meaning, and a sense of purpose, I bought it when it came out as an album 30 yrs ago and rebought it on itunes. brings back fond memories. hope to see his show tonight 9/30/06 in phoenixville pa, but it's been sold out a while.
A truly missed gem
Like a really good actor who becomes known for one role, or a writer who pens one great novel for which they are identified forever, Al Stewart is blessed/ cursed to be known forwever for "Year of the Cat". While YOTC is certainly good music, and I'm certain Al isn't bemoaning the handsome royalities he gets every time the song plays in a hotel elevator, it is not the best of what he has produced. PPF is a beautiful, complex and haunting album. With songs like The last day of June, 1934 and Road to Moscow, Stewart transports us to dark places and dark times, and yet makes us feel as though we are experiencing them as the very real people who lived through them. This is a monumental talent. "Soho needless to say" is a profane, poetic elegy to urban London- akin to Simon and Garfunkel's "A Simple Desultory Phillipic" The showpiece of the album ( some would argue "Roads" is the showpiece) is Nostradamus. A mesmerizing look at time. Aside frm the occult aspects of the subject, which is secondary, the song neatly encapuslates five hundred years if history and offers the pointed observation "man, man your time is sand, your ways are leaves upon the sea". If you like Fairport Covention, Nick Drake you should defeintely get this album.
Post-war baby in a small Scots town
Astounding poetic verse, alluringly obscure historical references, beautifully complex guitar rhythms. This is surely one of Al's best; certainly it is the album where he clearly defines his style and "voice" that he was testing out in Modern Times and Orange. I find it somewhat disturbing that you can get ringtones of Roads to Moscow, a ballad about the horrors of war. It just seems inappropriate to me.
Born: September 5, 1945 in Greenock, Scotland
Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s