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lunes, 29 de agosto de 2016

Esperanto - Last Tango (1975)


Otra vez tango hecho rock progresivo pero ahora no fue hecho por argentinos. Tremendo discazo nos deja el Mago Alberto, de una banda anglo-belga que tuvo una corta carrera al inicio de los años 70s, pero han dejado algunas obras que no podemos olvidar. Aquí los recordamos en el blog Cabezón, presentándo estas maravillas también a las nuevas generaciones. Educando a los nuevos progheads en la Escuelita de Rock.

Artista: Esperanto
Álbum: Last Tango
Año: 1975
Género: Eclectic Prog Sinfónico
Duración: 47:14
Nacionalidad: Multinacional


Lista de Temas:
1. Eleanor Rigby
2. Still Life
3. Painted Lady
4. Obsession
5. The Rape
6. Last Tango
7. In Search Of A Dream
8. Busy Doing Nothing

Alineación:
- Timothy Kraemer / cello
- Bruno Libert / keyboards
- Gino Malisan / bass
- Tony Malisan / drums
- Roger Meakin / vocals
- Kim Moore / vocals
- Geoffrey Salmon / 2nd violin
- Raymond Vincent 1st violin



No es el último tango en París de peor Gato Barbieri sino el maravilloso "Last Tango" de los Esperanto. A pesar de tratarse de música progresiva que de por sí requiere un poco más de maduración y procesamiento, "Last Tango" es una excepción a la regla. Excelentes fases musicales combinados con melodias vocales pegajosas logran amalgamarse perfectamente en este trabajo, en un trabajo que logra mejorar la riqueza de composición y arreglos al hacerlo melodías más llevaderas y pegajosas.
Y mientras presentamos este disco estoy pensando que yo cría ya publicado el maravilloso "Danse Macabre" de la misma banda, pero revisando veo que aún no está publicado en el blog, grosso error. Alguien debería subirlo y comentarlo como se debe porque es otro de los grandes clásicos del rock progresivo. Sobre este maravilloso disco, aquí está el comentario del Mago Alberto:


Si nos situamos en 1975 y escuchamos a esta banda llamada Esperanto, podemos distinguir dos cosas en pleno apogeo del progresivo; primero que no suena a nada parecido de todo lo que habitaba el mundo musical de entonces, segundo que suena a rock-progresivo nato, con una estructura musical novedosa y contundente. Es esa clase de discos que te llegan de prima o no te llegan.
En lo personal detesto profundamente los covers, por la sencilla razón de que jamás van a igualar la versión original, pero esta la gran salvedad de VERSIONAR al propio estilo canciones de otros intérpretes y esto es precisamente lo que hacen los Esperanto con Eleanor Rigby, una propia versión impresionante.
Una profunda raíz rockera en las voces van abriendo junto a loquísimos arreglos de cuerdas un abanico de ritmos y fraseos atonales descomunales, y van dando forma a un trabajo descontracturado y un tanto alejado de toda la parafernalia del progresivo de aquellos años, o sea un album distinto y digno de tener en cuenta.
Podríamos mencionar un origen belga en su formación pero también hay integrantes ingleses y luego también italianos, o sea una mezcla extraña pero muy jugosa en lo musical.
Otra banda referencial de la época, pero que con los años tomó su verdadera dimensión, un trabajo que quizás no sea tu disco de cabecera pero que te va a distraer tu oído precoz o desarrollado (según quien escuche). Denle sin prejuicios. Altísima calificación de Progarchives y comentarios buenísimos respaldan esta producción.
Mago Alberto

Esperanto fue una banda creada por un violinista belga como un proyecto para experimentar musicalmente, para lo cual conformó un ensamble formado por músicos de diferentes países para ampliar la tendencia de cada uno y amplificar su búsqueda. Antes de la era de Internet hubiera sido muy dificil conseguir esta canción, no es de las que podías escuchar en la radio o comprar en cualquier tienda de discos. Este tango suena así... tango hecho rock progresivo (otra vez, pero ahora no fue hecho por argentinos):



Esperanto, como muchos de ustedes saben, solamente produjo tres discos ("Esperanto Rock Orchestra", "Danse Macabre" y "Last Tango"), de los cuales
los dos últimos son verdaderamente buenos. Este discoe es una muestra fehaciente de que estilos y géneros musicales tan particulares como el tango, en este caso, se pueden incluir en el rock sin perder su esencia y sin sonar fuera de lugar, y sin que los intérpretes tengan que ser necesariamente argentinos.
La naturaleza multiétnica de este grupo se traduce en música difícil de definir o describir. Su primer álbum, "Rock Orchestra", va del soul (con voces muy a lo Janis Joplin), al pop y al beat, donde el abanico pluricultural del grupo también se manifiesta más forma negativa; mas que el álbum debut de un grupo suena como una recopilación hecha con canciones de distintos grupos. Pero a partir de este disco ya brillaron con luz potente y su estilo ecléctico derivó en un gran disco.
Aquí hay algo de la biografía de la banda, que no es extensa pero sí es rica:

ESPERANTO se forma en 1971 por iniciativa del violinista Raymond VINCENT y del pianista Bruno LIBERT (belgas), a los que se sumaron Gino y Tony MALISAN (italianos, en el bajo y la batería, respectivamente), Glen SHORROK (voz, australiano), Bridget LOKELANI (hawaiiana, en vocales y guitarra acústica), Tony HARRIS (ingés, viola y sax), Brian HOLLAWAY (anglo-australiano, piano y guitarra), Tomothy KRAEMER (inglés, violonchelo y piano), Godfrey SALMON (inglés, violín), Janice SLATER (australiana, voz) y Joy YATES (neozelandesa, flauta y vocales) sumando el inverosímil número de 12 integrantes.
Esperanto es el nombre de la lengua que ZAMENHOF inventó en 1887 con la intención de convertirla en una herramienta de comunicación mundial, y también es el nombre de una de las bandas más originales del rock progresivo, mundial por el origen de sus integrantes y por la intención de su propuesta musical.
El primer álbum de la mega-banda, titulado "Rock Orchestra" salió en 1973. Considerando que el grupo no se conocía previamente, es lógico que la música carezca de una identidad bien definida, pero a pesar de esto ESPERANTO debuta con un álbum excepcionalmente original, de clara influencia clásica, mezclado con un poco de pop, rock y progresivo.
En 1974, con la banda reducida a 8 miembros, graban la que quizá sea su mejor obra. "Danse Macabre" es un trabajo mucho más homogéneo y progresivo, saturado de la atmósfera hechizada y extraña propia de los castillos de la Inglaterra medieval donde se realizó la grabación del álbum, y alrededor de los cuales gira el concepto de la obra. Además, el mismísimo Peter SINFIELD (escritor y productor de KING CRIMSON, ELP y PREMIATA) fue el productor de la versión final del álbum, y puso tanta energía y dedicación en este trabajo que rechazó la oferta para producir el tercer álbum de SUPERTRAMP después de éste.
Finalmente, en 1975 sale el que sería su último álbum, "Last Tango", producido por Robin Geoffrey Cable (ingeniero y productor de QUEEN, GENESIS, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR y Elton JOHN). "Last Tango" es excelente. Empieza con una irreconociblemente buena versión de "Eleanor Rigby", que los fans de los BEATLES seguramente odian, pero que muchos otros adoramos; y continúan con una propuesta aún más original que la de "Danse Macabre", aunque para algunos el concepto sigue siendo oscuro. Extrañamente, después de este álbum, y a pesar de las ventas cada vez mayores y las giras cada vez más exitosas, el sello discográfico A&M decide no renovar el contrato con ESPERANTO y la banda se disuelve poco tiempo después.
Manticornio

Recuerdo un capítulo de la primera temporada de South Park, un especial de navidad, en que Jesús se canta el cumpleaños feliz a si mismo en completa soledad. Bien, pues hoy es mi cumpleaños y me siento así. No es que esté solo por ingratitud o indiferencia de la gente, es que así me gusta pasar este día: agasajándome a mi manera con maratones de juegos y música, sobre todo música que me recuerde momentos de mi vida. Fue así como terminé poniendo un DVD con música que no escuchaba desde hace unos años, pero que repasé casi cada día de mis primeros años universitarios; y también fue así como terminé regalándome la música de Esperanto. Esperanto fue una banda como tantas que nacieron a la sombra de los grandes titanes del progresivo (como Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis o ELP) y que no pudieron ver el éxito mundial, a pesar de ser talentosos como pocos, además de ser mundiales. Sep, es que Esperanto estaba conformada por miembros de distintos países, como Australia, Bélgica, Nueva Zelanda, Inglaterra e Italia, dandole valor al nombre de su banda si recordamos que el esperanto es una lengua inventada por Zamenhof a finales del siglo XIX con el fin de unificar a las culturas en una sola lengua. Es algo parecido a la labor inintencionalmente unificadora de la música, que va más allá de las fronteras y las lenguas y nos muestra que siempre podemos tener algo en común con alguien que la política o los dogmas raciales o sociales nos dicen que es nuestro enemigo.
Pasemos de lo abstracto a lo concreto... bueno, lo más concreto que pueda. Esperanto debutó en 1973 con Rock Orchestra, un disco tan bien logrado y tan accesible, por calificarlo de alguna manera, que se me hace difícil entender por qué no les ayudó a disparar su carrera como le pasó a otras bandas que lograron el éxito a la primera. La gente multinacional de Esperanto tenía todo para pasar a la historia: músicos virtuosos, buena fusión musical y un buen contexto musical en el que se insertaron. Quizá fue eso, el hecho de que ya habían bandas de rock progresivo por todas partes que llenaban las ondas radiales (recordemos que en aquellos años el prog era parte de las vidas de la gente, no estaba reducido para grupillos de gente que aún lo considera el mejor tipo de música en general si se ve como una metáfora de la búsqueda de la perfección o para snobs que creen que eso los vuelve más intelectuales) reducía un poco las posibilidades de que sea algo nuevo para los oídos de los oyentes. Aún así, la mezcla exacta de música clásica con rock setentero y ciertos cambios de ritmo característicos del progresivo, notorio sobre todo en el violín de Raymond Vincent, que cambiaba de clásico a jazz sin dificultad, le dan una marca propia al trabajo de la banda. Hay canciones como Never Again que capturan la escencia del rock suave de la época y otros como Roses que sirven como palestra para demostrar que la banda era más que música que alguien osaría bailar en algún carrete rockero, mientras que Move Away nos trae a la memoria los viejos tiempos en que Jefferson Airplane tocaba esa mezcla entre folk y psicodelia. Ok, según lo último eso de la"marca propia" no sería tal; al menos no hasta que pasara un año.
Al otro año... después de un ligero cambio en la alineación de la banda el sonido se centró más en lo progresivo y clásico, tomando el tema medieval de la Danza Macabra, el baile alegorico de la muerte en los campos feudales en que se llevaba consigo y con su música a reyes, vasallos y caballeros hasta la tumba; algo muy apropiado para los tiempos de la peste negra y toda la parafernalia religiosa y neurótica que le acompañó, como eso del baile de San Vito que fue mas que una canción de Black Sabbath. Un detalle que no se puede dejar escapar es que Peter Sinfield, que ya se había hecho fama como poeta de las letras de King Crimson, ejerció como productor del disco, lo que ayudó mucho al sonido virtuoso de la banda. De hecho, dice que después de terminar la grabación queda tan cansado que no pudo aceptar el trabajo de producir el primer disco de Supertramp, lo que me parece raro porque ese disco salió en el 70... quizá se refería al Crime of The Century, que es del 74.
El título del álbum no fue lo único medieval del concepto, pues la grabación y mezcla se realizaron en un castillo en Gales, como para captar la onda y reflejarla en la música y si que les funcionó, porque basta con escuchar el tema "The Castle" para atrapar esa vibra fantasmagórica y de espacio abierto de un castillo rocoso, ambientado por cuerdas y teclas suaves, junto a la suave voz de Keith Christmas. En general, los otros temas captan muy bien el ambiente anacrónico del lugar, tanto los instrumentales largos como el tema que cierra el disco, Danse Macabre, que es un cover cortito en versión rockera sinfónica de la obra homónima de Camille Saint-Saëns.
Pasa un año y la banda vuelve a las andanzas, después de unas giras por Europa con Magma, pero con una alineación renovada y con menos integrantes. En este nuevo disco la música da un giro más progresivo y menos centrado en el instrumentalismo de los discos anteriores, enfocándose más en las voces de sus nuevas adquisiciones Kim Moore y Roger Meakin... mucho más en Moore que en el Roger, según me di cuenta después. A mi parecer Last Tango no es tan bien logrado como Danse Macabre, pero de todas maneras tiene puntos altos, como Obsession, el temón The Rape y Last Tango, que hace honor a su nombre con una bella melodía de tango de salón que hasta llegó a ser "covereada" en español como "El último tango". Hay otras canciones como Eleanor Rigby que destiñen el potencial del disco, pero a la larga se va mejorando. Si el orden de las canciones fue una táctica para mantener el interés in crescendo se logró, pero a riesgo de perder a algunos que prefirieron la etapa anterior y más instrumental de Esperanto. Aún con el relativo éxito de sus trabajos, Esperanto no volvió a aparecer más en el escenario musical. Dudo que lo vuelva a hacer, pero está bien, lo que nace grande y se mantiene grande deja siempre mucho que desear, y uno, como humano, tiende a cagar todo en el momento del apogeo. Love ya, Esperanto, and thanks for what you gave us... your whole blood, sweat and passion.
Alsophocus


Si quieren leer otros comentarios en inglés, van a ver que si bien tiene muchas críticas positivas y muy positivas, la gente no se pone muy de acuerdo, aunque nadie dice que este disco sea malo ni mucho menos:

maravilloso, wonderfull, fantastique, wundervoll. this is a must have for every prog fans, and for music fans in general. its complex, artistic, melodic, intense, passional. its flawless, it cannot be described by words, just by thoughts, so go out and buy it now.
hofer17

For sure, less exciting than Danse Macabre. Rather than doing all the wacky Béla Bartók stuff in a rock context, this time the string section (reduced to a trio after the departure of the viola player) are mainly there to do more ordinary orchestration, the sort of thing most bands of the era used a Mellotron for. That said, “Still Life” and their nearly unrecognizable version of “Eleanor Rigby” do have their moments, and “The Rape” is so over-the-top bombastic (in a Japanese 80’s prog sort of way), it can’t help but be somewhat appealing. The title song was later covered to some commercial success by Sylvie Vartan (as “La drôle de fin ”).
The band sports two new lead singers for this outing: female singer Kim Moore (who’s decent but lacks personality) and male vocalist Roger Meakin (whose voice has an often strident and unpleasant timbre).
Progbear

I have never been a big fan of The Beatles but of course I knew some of their songs. When I heard ELEANOR RIGBY performed by ESPERANTO - it blew me at first listening! Wow!! What a wonderful and neat arrangement this band has made. The intro part (keyboard sound without other instruments) reminds me to EARTH and FIRE's "To The World Of The Future" but it's totally different thing when all instruments are played together. It's so uplifting and full of energy that even I could not remember the original melody of the song, really. The arrangement really struck me. I love the domination of violin and cello in this arrangement. Even, having heard various versions of ELEANOR RIGBY to-date, I still consider that the one produced by ESPERANTO is THE BEST! The second version that I like is the one performed by my home country rock band GOD BLESS in their debut album 1976.
For those of you who never heard any music of this band, I want to brief you the kind of music they play. It's actually tough to describe any association or reference of "the like" about their music. Definitely it is NOT like KANSAS (violin-based prog rock) or RENAISSANCE (female vocal). Probably, I would describe it "similar" (not really) with Dutch's EARTH and FIRE. The only difference is in the heavy violin and cello that ESPERANTO uses. Hope you can picture the music of the band in your mind. Well, if in 70's prog we knew the name of VAN der GRAAFF GENERATOR who experimented with saxophone to replace guitar, ESPERANTO was the one who replaced guitar with violins and cellos. It's a great experimentation.
I first knew the band from this album. Later, I found out the two previous albums of this MULTI NATIONAL band. Yeah, they are all citizens of the world with different nationality: English (Timothy Kraemer and Geoffrey Salmon), Belgian (Raymond Vincent and Bruno Libert), Belgian/Italian ( Gino & Tony Malisan). Well, music is universal man ..!
I enjoy every track of this album. It has a very strong songwriting and musicianship. Having considered these only, it's enough for me to forget the mediocre sound production (hey, it's 1975 man .. don't expect too much!). I consider this album is legendary and MUST HAVE for any of you really want to explore various kinds of prog.
"Still Life" is an energetic song with great blend of violin and bass guitar sounds at the intro part. The upbeat tempo is combined nicely with female vocal voice and great piano fills. Violins and cellos accentuate the textures of the song.
"Painted Lady" is a relatively short song (3:26) with poppy touch. The beauty is that it does not flow as typical pop song, it's a little bit heavier. This track has little touch of violins / cellos, only at the interlude. Keyboard flows with the music.
"Obsession" is a relatively slow tempo song with great vocals. The keyboard sound plays nicely at background to form a sort of orchestration. Very enjoyable. I especially like the orchestration by violins and cellos in the middle of the song.
"The Rape" is an epic (12:07) that is my second favorite after "Eleanor Rigby". The arrangement is so powerful. The intro part reminds me to KANSAS, actually, but not really when the music flows to the body of the song. This is accentuated with a ELP-like keyboard play. The violin and cello orchestration has enriched the composition of intro part. Very very interesting intro. I used to play my stereo set loud during this intro to create a symphonic nuances of listening pleasure. Observe when the vocal part enters the play (followed by dazzling violin & cello sound)! It's stunning!!! The melody changed dramatically (with smooth transition!) when the RICK WAKEMAN-like keyboard sound starts to roll in. Ghusszzz ... so beautiful!
"Last Tango" is a piano-based song with excellent vocal and melody. This track is well positioned to conclude the album. The violin and cello are used sparingly in this track. Really cool.
Oh man .. don't waste your time reading my review! Just PURCHASE the CD and enjoy yourself! You would hardly regret with this record. I'm not that naïve if I give this album with FIVE STAR as this is a masterpiece.
Gatot Widayanto

For Esperanto's last album, gone is singer Keith Christmas (and to a lesser extent 2nd violin Tony Harris) and in comes the duo of Kim Moore and Roger Meakin. But the core of the group again remains intact, and still they don't find the need for a guitarist. With a disturbing artwork about a disturbed dancer, this album is even more impressive than the previous Danse Macabre. It was also recorded in the famous French studios of Hérouville, and does it ever sound like it. Read the excellent bio to see why this group stopped on top of their art.
Starting the album on one of the craziest version of Eleanor Rigby, the least we can say is that Esperanto starts all four wheel and eight cylinders biting the asphalt on the highway to your heart. But hat to say of the sublime Still Life with plenty of drama and intense string interventions. The weird Painted Lady is sonically sticking out of the rest of the album, but crazy little features (like those sardonic laughs) are making still not out of line. The stunning Obsession is another beauty of a track, even if playing on an easy-to-please terrain, but the execution is so immaculate and they're pulling all the right c(h)ords that it's close to perfection.
On the flipside, in comes the disturbing 12-mins The Rape, where the groups climbs up and down every alley of sanity with their string section and the lyrics referring to Manson's rape and murder Sunday afternoon ballads and we're hearing the Helter Skelter stolen to Eleanor Rigby's creators. The closing section of this epic is a lengthy crescendo, which allows to recuperate from the previous madness. The album-closing title track is indeed a tango, one that could've been sung by Queen, if it hadn't been for the string section.
Difficult to make a better album than this Last Tango, especially given the group's inhabitual construction of the group. While not perfect, I find few albums that I keep coming back to over the last 30 years and listen with such delight, even if the periodicity of spinning is down to a couple times per year. Much recommended.
Sean Trane

This is the only ESPERANTO`s album that I have, and in 1983 one friend gave me this album as a gift because he did`t like it, but I liked this album when he lent me this album days before. I didn`t know nothing about the history of this band until I read their Biography in this website. This album has some good things, but the song of the Side Two of the L.P. ("Obsession", "The Rape" and "Last Tango") are better. "Eleanor Rigby" is a good arrangement of this song. But "Still life" and "Painted Lady" sound pop and commercial for me, sometimes "theatrical" in the voices of the singers. "Obsession" is sung only by Roger Meakin, and it has some good keyboards, drums, and cellos and violins which sound like a full string section of an orchestra. The same is for the longest song of the album, "The Rape" (the best of all), which is sung by both singers. This song has increasing "tension" until it reaches the end. It also has good drums and bass guitar. The last song from this album, "Last Tango", could have been a single (I don`t know if it was released as a single), as it sounds like a "Pop Tango" for me, with a very good arrangement. The L.P. version of this album that I have was released (or maybe re-issued, I don`t know) in 1982, in my country, and "Danse Macabre", too. I know that Godfrey Salmon (credited as playing "2nd. Violin" in this album) later worked with Emerson, Lake & Palmer in their 1977 tour of "The Works" album (when ELP used an orchestra for some weeks of that tour). He is credited as "Conductor" in the back cover of ELP`s "In Concert" L.P.
Guillermo Vázquez Malagamba

This is another special band, because i think they are a mini - orchestra, besides bass, drums, and some keys, they have a couple of violinists and a cello player, and with those instruments and of course great musicianship, they made an excellent album, i have also Danse Macabre, but im still prefering this album, another detail is that Esperanto is a band WITHOUT GUITARS, its rare no?, but it sounds great , i dont miss guitar sound at all in this album.
The opening track is simply awesome, maybe the name is known for you, "Eleanor Rigby", yes, it is a Beatles` cover, im not a huge Beatles` fan, but one of my favorite songs is Eleanor Rigby, but... wait a minute,this Esperanto`s version is still more awesome, with a harder sound, with great violins in the intro, and a very special tone of voice, makes that song very enjoyable, im not going to compare it with the original one, because it coulde be pretentious and relative, and Beatles and Esperanto are different styles, but believe me , this version is really great!.
After listening to the first song ( which is beautiful ), i was shocked and of course i fell in love immediately, then, i was excited to listen to the other songs, "The Rape" is the last song, it is specially good, some great changes, but what i love the most is the mix of a creative symphonic sound with a clasical violin edged sound, it makes it really great, some of the songs are soft than others , and they have some cool changes, for example the second song is harder and with more energy, they have a superp musicianship, vocals are also great, and the piano is awesome, maybe the shortes song is the weakest , but it is still good, with a nice poppish touch and some jazzy roots and influences, great arrangements in the most of the songs, and powerful sound followed by a extremely fine sound.
I dont know if im describing good this album, but i think it is good, i love it, i highly reccomend it to all of you; despite my love for this album and despite i find it so attractive, i think this is not a masterpiece of progressive rock, 4.5 stars for me, because maybe one little piece is missing here, i dont know what exactly, but anyway, enjoy it.
Guillermo H. Urdapilleta

I remember "last Tango" from back in 1975, because it actually did get local airplay where I lived, chiefly the songs "Obsession" and "Last Tango". My comments are based on the LP version which was recently loaned to me by a friend, the only person I know to have ever owned an Esperanto album!
This is very orchestral progressive rock that sometimes seems to crumble under a certain manufactured intensity, particularly in the first three songs. Not much memorable there really; even "Eleanor Rigby" has me reaching for the Beatles, which I never do. But the final three are all very good, and at different times remind me of A&M stablemates Chris de Burgh (particularly the title track), Rick Wakeman and even Le Orme (intro parts of "the Rape") , and the Moody Blues (the orchestral ballad "Obsession"). "The Rape" is the real discovery for me, featuring two very progressive mostly instrumental sections sandwiched around a suitably theatrical and varied vocal part that works far better than the other longer tracks. No guitars here, and, thanks to the judicious use of cellos and violins in an axe-like fashion, they are not missed.
Given the expression of the universal language employed by Esperanto in the latter half of this album, it is a shame that this indeed proved to be their last tango.
Keneth Levine

01. Eleanor Rigby For me, the only two versions of Beatles I were approved: With A Little Help From My Friends of Joe Cocker (sensational) and Eleanor Rigby in the version of Ray Charles (animal!). Here's what I get an unknown with an Esperanto complete deconstruction of Eleanor Rigby which more or less until the third minute of the song is unrecognizable. This release is a scandal, with violin, bass and keyboard playing a few riffs that relied more seem to have left a session of musical crazy (laughs). The timbre of low Malisan Gino is exceptional, with the two he tecladistas (Geoffrey and Raymond) making it a more excellent too. When the voice enters a scare! The voice of Roger Moore is excellent, and when they enter the voice of Kim Moore? PQP, the most sensational voice I've ever heard in a long time, and transformed the chorus of Eleanor Rigby in something even more captivating. That band! The synths sounds estranhíssimos give life to the bottom of everything. That riff sensational! Because if you do a version of a song you like these three cases I mentioned, desconstrua the song, one thing is you play a cover on your show very similar to the original, the other is you write to a disk version exactly equal the original, as many bands do, which is pathetic.
02. Still Life The battery of Tony Malisan (brother of bassist Gino) begins the second track, while the band following a broken instrumental full of questions and answers (and that bassist from the underworld!) The voice of Roger when enter there by 3 minutes is already highlighted, and with the voice of Kim, the two marry perfectly. A percussion that I am not mistaken is a maraca follows closely the entire verse. Parts of electric piano are the best, essential for the sound track. The music has a contagious rhythm, the vocals are sung to the rhythm of the melody, all very well diagram.
03. Painted Lady Have seen that the strong doas guys are riffs (laughs), but once the music starts to voice changes completely, the vocal reminds me of Kim (and very) Sonja Kristina of Curved Air, and once again the vocals are perfect married . And it is very nice the macabre laughter to the bottom of the verses. These ideas were that the world is turning. Excellent ground for the violin and I think it is a flute, a perfectly over the other.
04. Obsession Starts well, with these keyboards on ad infinitum, and the vocals reminded me of some vocal Tale Of Mystery And Imagination Of Edgar Alan Poe (The Alan Parsons Project) for dammit, which is very good. The violins and the parties are quite similar to classic Electric Light Orchestra (the band has a wonderful range of influences and different). The vocals are always prominent in the sound of the band.
05. The Rape The violins Arras, do all the paper that would make the guitar (since we have not here) and more, give the band a sound unique and magical. But what is this bassist? Lines always fantastic and a great pitch. Soon after the first minute of the song from the keyboard Bruno Liberte - keyboards and has an unusual timbre and 'dark', the violins take advantage of that tone you get the thing even more strange, and I was next to me forgetting keyboards always in perfect Communion is the cello of Timothy Kraemer. On this track the vocals are perfect for Kim, with a clarity and melody without equal. The voice again after an insertion instrument without equal. After the back most part super broken, and I think I love the disk (laughter). Several parties orchestrated a kind of mini-orchestra with the same melody for cello making a counterpoint to the violin and keyboard, but each in their quest in the same sound. Vocals' air 'on offer with a beautiful melody after the mini-orchestra, but make no mistake the orchestra can not stop. In the part below the battery takes care of the situation in a crazy pace and desperate. Even the police are arresting you call these 'crazy' (laughs)
06. Last Tango Last Tango. How could no longer be a 'quasi-tango' with a beautiful voice and rhythm syncope. As it is expected the band is a tango esbalda the first since its formation is totally strange conducive to pace Argentina.
This disc is a pleasant surprise favorable, a band known and very good.
Diego Camargo

An eclectic musical language
This band with British and Belgian origins released three albums in the first half of the 70's. I didn't know anything about them until recently, but was quickly impressed. The closest comparison I can make of the band's sound is to those of Curved Air and early Electric Light Orchestra mostly due to the strong presence of cello and violins but also due to the female vocals that sometimes remind strongly of Sonja Kristina, particularly on Painted Lady which could have come straight from a Curved Air album. The male vocals remind rather of Roger Chapman of Family. Other band that come to mind while listening to Esperanto's Last Tango are String Driven Thing, Beggar's Opera, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Gentle Giant and Carmen. But the band is really as eclectic as the language from which they have taken their name.
The album starts with a cover of The Beatles' Eleanor Rigby which is as wonderfully different from its original as Manfred Mann's Earth Band's several covers of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen songs. For not having any guitars in the band, the band's sound is surprisingly aggressive. Whatever could be done with electric guitars is here done with cellos and violins to great effect. The bass guitar is Chris Squire-like and often functions as a lead instrument rather than merely as part of a rhythm section. In addition there are keyboards and drums.
Still Life continues with some very nice instrumental work outs with cello/violin, piano and great bass guitar. The more symphonic and piano/harpsichord dominated parts remind me of Renaissance, the bass guitar is a bit similar to that on Renaissance's Ashes Are Burning album. But despite the absence of guitars, Esperanto often has a harder and more aggressive sound.
The three shorter tracks are slightly more conventional but no less good. Painted Lady in particular is a great song that, as I have said already, remind of Curved Air. The closing title track is indeed a bit of a tango. And finally we have the 12 plus minute The Rape which is a strong number that represents the album very well.
Last Tango is an enjoyable and recommended listen.
Fritz-Anton

Any time a rock band resorts to covering "Eleanor Rigby" you have to wonder if maybe their creative juices have become depleted. When a studio album opens with this cover, the traditional order for a record's strongest work, that suspicion is reinforced. In the case of Esperanto their third and final album has some decent music to offer, but even though this version of the song is one of the more energetic and ambitious that I've ever heard, the 'Last Tango' title for the most part aptly describes both the state of the band and their music. Aside from the in auspicious cover, the band managed barely 38 minutes of music for this record, nearly a third of which is taken up by the creepy, uncomfortable opera tome "The Rape".
Esperanto brought their career to a close with yet another frontman for the record, in this case the relatively unknown Roger Meakin replacing Keith Christmas who had departed in favor of a solo career. By this time the band's original vocalist Glenn Shorrock had already begun to emerge in what would prove to be a hugely commercial success fronting the sort- rock Aussie group Little River Band, while Esperanto themselves were on a fast track to obscurity.
An emerging disco industry wave seems to have influenced at least some of the band's music, most notably on "Still Life" which features a heavy bass line, jaunty piano and strident female vocals. "Painted Lady" is similar but with vocals and a rhythm that are both slightly awkward; and "Obsession" is a purely AOR number that finds the band offering little more than clever strings and a smooth bassline to back Moore's crooning vocals.
The centerpiece of the album is the twelve-minute mini rock opera "The Rape", whose title hearkens back to the band's second album 'Danse Macabre' and whose lyrics tell a predictably bleak tale revealed in the song's title. There are some great string movements interspersed throughout this song, but the overall effect comes off as ambitious but just slightly disappointing in the delivery.
As with the other Esperanto CD reissues this one has a couple of bonus tracks, and again as with the other two records these offer little to enhance the album's appeal and were clearly included as simple filler to give the longer recording capacity of the CD format a little more heft.
This was a band that probably should have been much more successful and well-known then they were. In reading the band's history it's clear that poor management and timing played role in their early demise, along with the expected challenges that come from trying to maintain and support such a large group of musicians on a touring rock-band's budget. Of the band's three albums this is neither their finest nor their worst, and overall it is a decent though not exceptional offering. That pretty much describes a three-star (out of five) record, which is what I'll give it, along with a mild recommendation especially for folks who find well-constructed string arrangements on pop music records appealing.
Bob Moore

Usually I shy away from albums including covers of Beatles songs. I have no quarrel with The Beatles. I like them, as most people do. The problem is that I find it boring and uninteresting when bands cover them. On many occasions I have to admit that the covers work well, such as in the case of Kaptain Kopter's "Ticket to ride" or Blood, Sweat & Tears "Got to get you into my life". So, hearing the unanimous praise about "Eleanor Rigby" I was sort of curious but I felt, mostly, suspicion and distrust.
Putting on the album I was soon convinced that Esperanto had indeed made something very special with this song. When you cover a song you need to put something little of yourself into the interpretation. Esperanto poured their very souls into the effort. The original recording of "Eleanor Rigby" is a pensive, thoughtful, beuatiful and mellow, almost baroque piece of music. Esperanto twisted and turned the song into something completely own, unique and over the top. At first you barely recognise the track but when the vocals kick in you know what song it is. Everything from the instrumentation to the vocals are amazing and gives the track a very special feeling. When the lyrics reach "All the lonely people, where do they all come from..." you recognise the original feeling of the song, making me nod my head in recognition as indeed I think they meant it. The vocals apart from that are harsher, less pensive and melodiuos. They are raucious and raw, reminding of Maggie Bell from Stone The Crows. This is one of the most perfect covers I have ever come across and it is progressive rock at it's finest. When bands like Ekseption rewrites classical works into something else you find yourself in awe. The same can be said about "Eleanor Rigby". By now Beatles is as classic as Bach and just as influential. So, when a band rewrites, arranges and kicks up a storm like this you cannot be anything but marvelled. I have no words to describe it. I discover new things every time I listen to it. Utterly complex and genius.
After such an opening, how do one carry one? "Still life" has an intro reminding me of crime shows on television from the 70's. Sort of funky and groovy. A great track in it's own right. "Painted lady" is a more accessible, straight forward prog-rock song. It's a good track, yet again reminding me of Stone The Crows. After the three opening tracks, full of energy and kicks, it is nice on the ears when "Obsession" starts. It is a very beautiful ballad styled song. Very warm, mellow and wonderful organ.
Apart from "Eleanor Rigby" the only true epic is "The rape" with several sections and complex arrangement. Ominous and foreboding, with violin and exceptional keyboards it really is as impressive as the forementioned track. The brass that kicks in at two minutes is glorious. I can't give this track enough praise. The title track is a nice ending of such a complex, entertaining and very special album. A mellow piece to wind things down. It is the slice of mint after a very steady meal.
As a conclusion I can only say that this is a true gem of the progressive movement of the 70's. It holds everything that is great in the genre. It is complex but not to the point that you cannot make out the music. In tone I'd say that it is very british, though they are multi-national, as it were. I would really recommend this album to almost anyone into prog. Top stuff and simply genius.
Christian Tideman

4.5 / 5 stars.
Another excellent release from this interesting rock orchestra. It is indeed a major change from their masterpiece "Danse Macabre", but despite the massive change in sound (perhaps due to the loss of a guitarist) they still managed to create a very great album. Musically it comes closer to their debut release, though with much more progressive influence in the songs. It is a much more driving sound this time, probably because of a loss of some classical influence.
The album begins with a cover the The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby". I'm not really a fan of covers, but if a band feels the need to do one it should be something like this. It is a huge departure from the melancholy original, a very upbeat and driving track that you can't even recognize as Eleanor Rigby until they reach the chorus.
"Still Life" represents the driving sound to be heard throughout the album. It starts out in a similar way to parts of Danse Macabre, a seemingly aimless arrangement that encompasses most of the instruments. About halfway through the music starts to become more focused and the vocals start up. "Painted Lady" is a nice tune, though it doesn't really hold much progressive influence. "Obsession" is slightly more progressive and has some very nice keyboard work throughout. More laid-back than the rest of the album, though that's certainly not a bad thing. It is dark and depressing but at the same time very powerful.
"The Rape" is likely the only Esperanto song that could be considered an epic, and at over 12 minutes clocks in as the longest track they've ever recorded I believe. It does not disappoint either. Easily the most powerful track here. Outstanding performances from the vocalists, keyboards, and strings dominate every moment. The closer title track "Last Tango" is similar to the closer on Danse Macabre (also a title track). The latter is a rock version of a classic tune, while Last Tango is basically a rock version of a tango song. Like the Danse Macabre track it doesn't serve much of a purpose to the direction of the album; but it does function well as a fast, fun closer track that ties off the album well.
Overall the change in sound works well, though it is disappointing that it doesn't create the kind of atmosphere that was prevalent on Danse Macabre. This is however a much more accessible album than the classically influenced Danse Macabre, and for that reason I'd recommend this one as a good first choice for someone looking into Esperanto's tiny collection. Recommended for fans of symphonic especially.
John Speesh

This is a tremendous album, a major progression from their classically-tinged Dance Macabre, with a unique vitality and energy. They perform the best version of Eleanor Rigby that I've ever heard, with acid violins and a powerful vocal, and "The Rape is just a masterpiece, with a Bolero - style increase in tension and power. Lovely!
Steve Gardiner

Permainan orkestrasi yang dimainkan oleh kelompok ini benar-benar prima untuk sebuah grup rock yang mengawinkan unsur rock yang garang dengan keanggunan aransemen musik klasik, dengan mengandalkan kekuatan melodi alat musik gesek, baik biola maupun cello. Permainan mereka dalam LAST TANGO, benar-benar bisa membawa suasana tango sesungguhnya, namun masih bisa kita tengarai aroma musik rock disitu. ELEANOR RIGBY? Well, The Beatles pasti sangat "merestui" keindahan lagu mereka bisa dibuat dengan aransemen yang luar biasa jenius dibawakan Esperanto. Salut.
erwinjigib



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