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The 10th Anniversary Compilation

by Tempest

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Celtic rock icons Tempest have marked an important milestone in a vagabond rock band’s career: ten
years and still ticking! Towards celebrating that end, Lief Sorbye and his troubadours have
assembled a boisterous ‘thank you’ to the fans in the form of The 10th Anniversary Compilation.

But in true Tempest fashion, the band has wrapped this present with a twist and a smile. Ten years
is quite the time span for such a prolific act to celebrate, so the first point of business was to
ask the band’s fan base (“loyal and opinionated fan base”, Lief adds with a laugh), which tracks
to include, only stipulation being that these are to be crowd favourites from the band’s
increasingly collectible, pre-Magna Carta back catalogue.

Lief explains: “Well, this is the band’s seventh release. And the first four releases (Bootleg,
Serrated Edge, Surfing To Mecca and Sunken Treasures) were done on various independent labels and
are now so obscure, they are impossible to get. A couple of them are out-of-print and the other
ones have no distribution. But there were certain songs we did in the old days that people never
stopped requesting. So we figured, hey, it’s our 10th anniversary, why don’t we give the fans what
they want, which would help celebrate ten years as Tempest. Plus these songs have proved
themselves to be audience favorites. They're almost singles. I don’t want to call them catchy, but
they are memorable and full of hooks, more verse/chorus than the material on Turn Of The Wheel and
The Gravel Walk, which comprise longer, more progressive pieces and more heavy duty instrumental
workouts. These songs are more in the folk rock genre; they communicate. When we do these live,
you immediately see people singing along. It’s great.”

Second point of business was to take the celebration far beyond the usual meaning of
'compilation.' Having acquired both a new bass player (John Land) and guitarist (Dave Parnall),
along with adding years of maturity and touring experience, Lief and crew decided to re-record
these band classics from scratch. "I've been trying to get John in the band for years," explains
an enthusiastic Lief. "and finally the timing was right so here he is. And Dave, well Dave came to
us from New Mexico. He had played ethnic music, flamenco, and had been studying in Spain for a few
years. He’s been playing a lot of classical stuff, but his electric is inspired by people like Joe
Satriani. So he’s very note-intensive on that level. So for him to it was very easy picking up on
the Celtic stuff because he could sight-read and was familiar with ethnic styles. He was able to
jump right in and take over. We’ve been on the road for a few months, and he’s made it his own,
you know what I mean? When you join a band like Tempest, you have to take the material and make it
your own, add your own interpretation and base it on the feel. And for me, since I’ve been running
the band since day one, whenever we’ve had a line-up change, it’s always been a healthy thing. It
gives you an new injection of energy and inspiration because you get new viewpoints. So as long as
when somebody leaves, we upgrade the line-up, it adds to the evolution."

So this new, high-octane line-up dove into the vaults. "These tracks are way superior to the old
recordings, much more mature" offers Lief. "It's all new arrangements, the new line-up, with
Robert Berry producing. Whenever we work with Robert, we add more keyboard touches. So that gives
it a little bit of flair. We also made the arrangements a little more sophisticated, whereas on
the original recordings they're a bit square. We also wanted to give them a little bit of the new
energy we’ve been developing with the new line-up, which in many ways is more capable of arranging
and performing on a new level. The band's developed into a tighter and better performing unit, and
we’re more musical. So we’ve done better justice to the source material."

"When you make an album there is a lot of experimentation that goes on," Lief continues. "But this
one was so streamlined because we already had the blueprints. We knew exactly what we were doing
and how to go about it. It all sounded good because the material had proven itself already. So
it’s a heck of a lot better way to make a greatest hits album than simply re-releasing the old
masters, which always results in a more disjointed product. This was the album that made a lot of
sense to do. "

And the source material is a Tempest treasure trove to be sure. 'Queen Of Argyll' was a surprise
choice, even to Lief, as fans insistently tapped this one for the project, even though it was all
but forgotten by the band itself. 'Captain Morgan' was a track the band thought they had retired
in '92, only to have it show up on lists of fan faves. 'Montara Bay' however gets the biggest
makeover. "Our new guitar player has a background in classical so he is featured on Spanish guitar
and it’s very, very different from the original version. With the other ones it’s more like
playing around with the structure a little bit, changing the time signatures, changes in tempos, a
little more progressive and a little more sophisticated. We used the old recordings as blueprints
and kind of hipped them up. It’s all in the arrangements." Appropriately the last track is 'The
Sleeping Highlander', a whirlwind of Celtic jiggery that is one of the band's favorite encore

Most of the dates logged so far on the band's international, 50 date tour have reflected the
material on this album. And it's gone over so well, "The 10th Anniversary Tour Part II" in early
'99 will also feature almost everything from the album, along with selected tracks from the
critically-acclaimed Magna Carta releases Turn Of The Wheel and The Gravel Walk. In addition
listen for glimpses of the band's new material penned between November '98 and February '99. Given
the present chemistry and vitality, the future looks tempestuous indeed.

A turning point in the Tempest saga? Maybe. But there's no disputing Lief Sorbye and his
merry-makers have marked the transition in thoughtful, passionate, ever thankful style. A
celebration has been dutifully appointed. Send in your RSVP, belly up to the bar, and join the
festivities . . .


released January 26, 1999

LIEF SORBYE: lead vocals, acoustic and electric mandolins, octave mandolas, flute, pennywhistle
and bodhran.
JOHN LAND: fretted and fretless bass, harmony vocals
MICHAEL MULLEN: acoustic fiddle and five-string electric violin, harmony vocals
DAVE PARNALL: electric and acoustic guitars
With special guest ROBERT BERRY: B-3 Hammond organ, piano, accordion, synthesizer


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