IT BITES – The Tall Ships +2 [Remastered 2021]

IT BITES - The Tall Ships +2 [Remastered 2021] full

IT BITES wonderful fourth studio album ”The Tall Ships”, originally released in 2008, is getting a remastered reissue, with the album available on a new digipak CD format, as well as for the first time ever on vinyl. Featuring a new remaster from John Mitchell, the CD edition also includes 2 bonus tracks.
‘The Tall Ships’ was the first It Bites album to feature singer & guitarist John Mitchell, and the band’s first new music in nineteen years. And what a quality music.
In the late ’80s, It Bites resulted a refreshing, unique blend of music mixing melodic rock, pop-rock and progressive. And comeback album ‘The Tall Ships’ augmented that recipe with an even more exquisite musicianship.

Straight away you can tell that anyone who was a fan of ’80s It Bites days is going to be more than comfortable with the familiar sound of the opening tracks from ‘The Tall Ships’.
‘Oh My God’ and ‘Ghosts’ both have the classic keyboards, powerful guitar and hooky choruses so apparent in songs like ‘All In Red’ from the band’s debut album, The Big Lad In The Windmill, and ‘Kiss Like Judas’ from Once Around The World.

‘Playground’ was the only new song previewed on the band’s first Mitchell-fronted tour with his wonderfully emotional vocals showing the strength of this latest collaboration. The pace picks up and the vocals take a more edgy turn to accompany Dalton’s powerfully punchy beat for ‘Memory Of Water’. It demonstrates the band in full flight and shows that John Mitchell is more than capable of filling Francis Dunnery’s shoes both vocally and on guitar.

Title track ‘The Tall Ships’ tells of the ships that comes to take you “home” at the end of your time on this mortal coil and is the perfect partnership between keyboardist John Beck and Mitchell. Back to the classic It Bites sound of power pop on ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ the difference between the contrasting sections and the galloping drum rhythm hinting at a slightly more progressive approach.

In contrast ‘Great Disaster’ drips their early era with it’s bouncy MTV friendly harmony vocals it will have you dancing around your living room singing “Dum Diddly Um Diddly Ay Oh”. Although all the songs are credited to Beck/Dalton/Mitchell, ‘Fahrenheit’ and ‘For Safekeeping’ are Mitchell at his lyrical best heartfelt and emotional.
Before the final epic closes the main album out another chance to dance around the house with ‘Lights’. I challenge you to not be singing, skipping and playing air guitar by the end.

‘This Is England’ is the song which shows the way forward for the 21st century It Bites. Grab a cup of tea and strap in for some proper English melodic Neo prog with thirteen minutes plus of beautiful story telling.
When it was originally released in 2008 ”The Tall Ships” European and Japanese versions had different bonus tracks but with the new version remastered by John Mitchell we get both ‘These Words’ (Japanese) and ‘When I Fall’ (European). They are both worthy additions and it must have been difficult initially to decide which one to leave off because both are very good tracks.

This album sees the coming together of two forces and it shows the transition and joining of musical minds. If you enjoyed the original three albums released by the band in the 80s there are enough musical reference points within ”The Tall Ships” to make you feel at home.
After the album was released, the band hit the road once more this time performing a mixture of old and new material. Then in 2011 they returned to the studio with Lee Pomeroy (ELO/Archive/Steve Hackett) on bass to write and record the follow up, ”Map Of The Past’, also reissued 2021.
Highly Recommended


01 – Oh My God (2021 Remaster)
02 – Ghosts (2021 Remaster)
03 – Playground (2021 Remaster)
04 – Memory of Water (2021 Remaster)
05 – The Tall Ships (2021 Remaster)
06 – The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2021 Remaster)
07 – Great Disasters (2021 Remaster)
08 – Fahrenheit (2021 Remaster)
09 – For Safekeeping (2021 Remaster)
10 – Lights (2021 Remaster)
11 – This Is England (2021 Remaster)
12 – These Words
13 – When I Fall

John Mitchell – lead vocals, guitars, bass guitar
John Beck – keyboards, backing & harmony vocals, bass
Bob Dalton – drums, backing vocals



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