'Deserter's Songs' was undoubtedly a masterpiece. 'All is Dream', its follow-up, passed me by, however. This four-disc retrospective release from Cherry Red is the perfect way to reassess it. An album that, in the wake of its predecessor, may not have had the acclaim it deserves.

When the opening bars of 'The Dark is Rising' pour out of the speakers, it is evident that '...Dream' is the perfect move after 'Deserter's Songs'.

The album's cinematic soundscape and restrained, minimal production encapsulates the listener in its beautifully constructed dream world. Full of romanticism and effortless orchestral landscapes, 'All is Dream' lyrically plays with your emotions and worms its way into your consciousness. Often, Grasshopper's guitar catches that flavour of melancholy like early morning mist reflects sunlight. 'Lincoln's Eyes' is an art-rock triumph while 'Chains' floats like a dream.

Returning to 'All is Dream' is akin to visiting an exhibition of familiar artworks painted by an old friend. Like a tapestry of magical delights is an absolute joy to listen to.

There are more delights to be had from the rest of the box set. A disc full of B sides outtakes and demos accompany the album. Two lovely classical instrumentals from Peel Sessions are a highlight. A cover of The Beatles' 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' is a real joy.

A disc of live recordings on disc three completes the package. It reveals the band at full power from this period. 'The Black Sessions' on the fourth disc, recorded in Paris, is an unreleased collectors item. Add in three badges, artwork and prints presented in a hardcover book this "deluxe" edition is a fans' dream.


The 'All is Dream' box set is released on Cherry Red on November 29th 2019.
















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