Strange & Beautiful Original recording remastered
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Digitally remastered and packaged in a digipak and limited to 2,000 hand numbered copies only. This prog-metal classic from the 80's is available again and now includes the rare bonus track "Far Away" (single edit). An absolute must for fans of Queensryche and Fates Warning!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Strange and Beautiful, Midnight's final album with the band, marked a departure from their signature sound and style. It featured a less intense, bluesier sound, and the lyrics moved away from the cosmic and dramatic and towards the romantic and spiritual. I was a bit upset when I first heard this album, since it was definitely not the Crimson Glory I was used to. However, upon further listens, I found that it was really growing on me. It is now one of my favorite albums, and I enjoy it every bit as much as the self-titled album and Transcendence, albeit for totally different reasons. Rather than comparing it to their earlier releases, I think you have to look at this album on its own merits. I can easily compare Crimson Glory's first two releases to early albums by Queensryche, but Strange and Beautiful is not so easy to find a comparison. I think the closest I can get to it (and this may come more from the feeling I get listening to it than anything else) is the pre-grunge glam rock band Mother Love Bone. I know that's probably not the comparison a lot of metalheads would appreciate, but I think there are definitely similarities in terms of vocal and musical style. I know some people consider this Crimson Glory's "hair metal" album, but honestly, Strange and Beautiful is hair metal like Led Zeppelin is hair metal.
I highly recommend this band and this album. If you are looking for straight-up traditional power metal, then I would recommend Crimson Glory's first two albums ahead of Strange and Beautiful. If you are a bit more open-minded, and/or already have those albums, then by all means check out this great overlooked album. Listen to it a few times and I think you will find that it really grows on you.
NOTE: Metal Mind reissued Strange and Beautiful in 2006, giving the album a much needed sonic upgrade. In addition to the digital remastering, the reissue comes in a numbered digipack with expanded liner notes. It's limited to 2000 copies, so act fast!
NOTE 2: While the description of this album boasts of a bonus track - the radio edit of "Far Away" - the album does not include any bonus tracks. I never saw much use for radio edits anyway, but if you're ordering the reissue based on that track you're going to be disappointed.
R.I.P. John Patrick McDonald ("Midnight"). You are missed deeply.