Author Topic: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread  (Read 99920 times)

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Offline j

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #70 on: November 13, 2010, 09:33:37 AM »
Upon further review, I can safely that ? and One are undoubtedly his two best solo records. 

Also, assuming Neal does more solo albums, I'd love for his next one to be proggy as usual, but with all individual songs, as opposed to having any type of concept or theme, musically or lyrically.  As much as I like his stuff, he goes overboard with the musical reprises way too often, and going for an album that is all different songs, like he usually did with SB prior to Snow, could bring out the best in him again, I think. 

I'm with you on this entire post.

I really don't get the disliking of Lifeline, it's superb.

When I first started listening to Morse's solo stuff, Lifeline was the last album I checked out because of all the negative buzz I read about it.  When I eventually heard it for the first time, I was shocked at how good it was.  It's a very solid album: I prefer it to Testimony and Sola Scriptura.  A bit lacking in consistency maybe, but that's my only big gripe.

-J

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #71 on: November 13, 2010, 10:00:42 AM »
Two questions for ya, Kev:

1- Do you own the Special Edition of One with the bonus tracks? And if so, do you listen to the album with the restored 11-song tracklist?

Yes to the first question; no to the second.

2- What did you think of Lifeline? It's not any type of concept or theme, and as you said, is full of different, and individual songs. Infact I liken the album to more along the lines of SB's V, especially in that it opens with a 14-15 minute epic (and even aspects of "Lifeline" are similar to "At The End Of The Day"), and contains a lengthy multi-part epic that is based on Neal's life ("The Great Nothing" and "So Many Roads"), and between them are sandwiched 4 shorter songs of varying styles and ranges (loud and heavy, to soft and acoustic).

I have to admit that I still haven't listened to Lifeline.  I wasn't that wild about either of the two songs I heard from it at the time, it seemed to get pretty meh reviews across the board when it came out, I was in a very non-proggy listening phase when it did come out, so I wasn't in a hurry to get it, and by the time I got back around to a prog phase, the very little talk I read about it made me not to want to check it out.  Maybe soon...

Offline Jamesman42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #72 on: November 23, 2010, 07:13:05 PM »
There are some beautiful songs on Lifeline.

Lifeline is just fun, a bit repetitive at the end but whatever.
The Way Home (or whatever it's called) is a cool little acoustic tune. Same with God's Love.
Leviathan is an awesome, fun song. Really sounds like the band had fun creating that beat (har har).
Children of the Chosen is hauntingly good.
So Many Roads is a bit long, but it still flies by for me. All sorts of fun little things going on there.
Fly High is a sober and concise closer to an album meant to have some fun but deliver its message.

Great album all around, not my favorite but by no means bad.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #73 on: November 23, 2010, 07:29:07 PM »
Upon further review, I can safely that ? and One are undoubtedly his two best solo records. 

Also, assuming Neal does more solo albums, I'd love for his next one to be proggy as usual, but with all individual songs, as opposed to having any type of concept or theme, musically or lyrically.  As much as I like his stuff, he goes overboard with the musical reprises way too often, and going for an album that is all different songs, like he usually did with SB prior to Snow, could bring out the best in him again, I think. 

Two questions for ya, Kev:

1- Do you own the Special Edition of One with the bonus tracks? And if so, do you listen to the album with the restored 11-song tracklist?

2- What did you think of Lifeline? It's not any type of concept or theme, and as you said, is full of different, and individual songs. Infact I liken the album to more along the lines of SB's V, especially in that it opens with a 14-15 minute epic (and even aspects of "Lifeline" are similar to "At The End Of The Day"), and contains a lengthy multi-part epic that is based on Neal's life ("The Great Nothing" and "So Many Roads"), and between them are sandwiched 4 shorter songs of varying styles and ranges (loud and heavy, to soft and acoustic).

-Marc.

I'll bite on this as well even though it wasn't directed at me.

I do not have the special edition of One, but I really should get it.  It is easily my favorite Neal album, and most days probably my favorite album of all time.  VERY powerful.  Several parts still manage to move me to tears.

Lifeline never really impressed me for some reason.  It's funny because I can't really think of much I don't like (other than not being crazy about Leviathan).  As I go song by song in my head, I'm pretty much saying for every song, "Yeah, I like that one."  So I'm not sure what it is.  But I am glad he broke out of the concept album pattern.  I felt he really needed to, although the concepts for his solo albums have all been superb (? being my least favorite).
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Offline Jamesman42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #74 on: November 23, 2010, 08:17:49 PM »
(? being my least favorite).

Hmm. How about you ban yourself, sir? That is just blasphemy. Smite thyself!

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #75 on: November 26, 2010, 05:33:20 AM »
I really like Lifeline.  I think it's better than Sola Scriptura.  There are one or two songs that are less than amazing, but the title track and Leviathan are gold, and So Many Roads is outstanding as well.
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Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #76 on: November 27, 2010, 03:45:51 AM »
I really like Lifeline.  I think it's better than Sola Scriptura.  There are one or two songs that are less than amazing, but the title track and Leviathan are gold, and So Many Roads is outstanding as well.

These are pretty much my exact same sentiments toward this album.

Also, just for a note for you Neal Morse fans out there, I've brought back the Neal Morse Survivor (with permission from Quadrochosis, who started it with Testimony). I hope to see more than 3 voters/round this time (as was the case with the first album).

I've started with One and will be moving forward in order, with ? after, then Sola Scriptura, and finally Lifeline, before doing Consolation Rounds and the Finals.

-Marc.
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Offline Jamesman42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #77 on: November 27, 2010, 05:03:02 AM »
I'm in.

I haven't listened to his stuff in a good long while.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #78 on: December 03, 2010, 11:03:34 PM »
So, in addition to the Morse/Morse/Portnoy/LaRue project, apparently Neal is working on a "Testimony 2" album, as someone has posted on the SB forums (cited from the InnerCircle newsletter). I'm not sure how I feel about it, but if the music is fresh it might be good. If it turns out to be a rehash of themes/motifs from the first Testimony, I may have to rank it lower than Lifeline. However, if it begins with "Part 6", I'll rejoice in the "continuity" of it!

Also, Roine Stolt has gone on the record as saying he's highly interested in working with Neal/Mike/Pete again and is actually writing material that has yet to have a home (which could be for Agents Of Mercy, Transatlantic or *gasp* The Flower Kings). He says Neal really enjoyed the album and tour and it's great success, so if Neal wants to, I'm sure Mike and Roine would be ALL OVER doing another album, they'd just have to work around Pete's schedules with Marillion, and their own schedules as well.

However, it would be a lot for Neal if he was doing a solo album, the Morse/Morse project, AND Transatlantic... But hey, Roine released 3 albums last year (3rd World Electric's Kilimanjaro Secret Brew, Agents Of Mercy's The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight, and of course Transatlantic's The Whirlwind)... Maybe Neal could pull off the same feat?

-Marc.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #79 on: December 04, 2010, 12:43:14 AM »
Also, just for a note for you Neal Morse fans out there, I've brought back the Neal Morse Survivor (with permission from Quadrochosis, who started it with Testimony). I hope to see more than 3 voters/round this time (as was the case with the first album).

I've started with One and will be moving forward in order, with ? after, then Sola Scriptura, and finally Lifeline, before doing Consolation Rounds and the Finals.

-Marc.

I wanted to participate.  But unfortunately, you included the bonus tracks instead of just going with the standard album.  Since I haven't heard the bonus tracks, I can't really vote.
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Offline Jamesman42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #80 on: December 04, 2010, 05:14:07 AM »
Yeah, including the bonus tracks probably wasn't the best idea. I am still new to them for the past few days and it's hard to truly rank them even after a few listens. I am so used to the standard that inserting the new tracks is weird, at least at this point.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #81 on: December 04, 2010, 08:27:04 AM »
Yeah, including the bonus tracks probably wasn't the best idea. I am still new to them for the past few days and it's hard to truly rank them even after a few listens. I am so used to the standard that inserting the new tracks is weird, at least at this point.

Well this'll be the only NM album that'll do that. I'm not including either of the bonus tracks for Lifeline, and both ? and Sola Scriptura did not have bonus tracks anyway.

Sorry if including them has thrown anyone off, but perhaps once they're gone (one already is, another may be soon, and the third probably in a couple of rounds), please feel free to vote in the last couple of rounds!

-Marc.
ATTENTION - I am currently taking a hiatus from running any Survivors at the moment,
 but feel free to check out others' that are running in the Polls/Survivors Forum!!! Maybe in the coming months, I'll start up again with a different band if there is interest...

Offline Jamesman42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #82 on: December 04, 2010, 05:43:42 PM »
I have to say, though, I wish they were left on, all 3 are fantastic ( and rank higher than some of the other final tracks).

Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #83 on: December 04, 2010, 05:57:59 PM »
I have to say, though, I wish they were left on, all 3 are fantastic ( and rank higher than some of the other final tracks).

They are pretty good! So much so that I only ever listen to the album with that restored track listing with the bonus tracks put back in their place. Even for my CD-copy case (because I don't listen to/play actual CDs in my car, I make copies of alot of things), I made One a 2-CD set (92:28) with "The Creation"-"Author Of Confusion" on the first disc (tracks 1-5, 38:37), and "The Separated Man"-"Reunion" on the second disc (tracks 6-11, 53:51).

-Marc.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 06:29:01 PM by The Letter M »
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Offline Jamesman42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #84 on: December 04, 2010, 06:17:17 PM »
I'm probably going to do that. I haven't listened to NM in my car in a loooooong time (really, his stuff in general, and he's like my second favorite artist ever).

I feel a NM phase coming on. :biggrin


Also, I couldn't find the chords to Children of the Chosen, but I am trying to figure it out by ear. I think I have it mostly right, will need to listen to it more. I would like my band to cover this, I could do bass/keys at the same time (split keys), and it would be awesome.

Offline Ħ

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #85 on: December 05, 2010, 12:21:20 AM »
I am very interested in NM's specific religious beliefs.  Apparently he rejects the Trinity and says that Jesus is not God.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline Quadrochosis

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #86 on: December 05, 2010, 04:54:52 PM »
I am very interested in NM's specific religious beliefs.  Apparently he rejects the Trinity and says that Jesus is not God.

He doesn't reject the trinity, he rejects the idea of it being one monotheistic god. Technically he's polytheistic. I don't ever recall him saying that Jesus wasn't a God either.
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Offline Ħ

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #87 on: December 05, 2010, 07:02:11 PM »
Um.  If that's true then wow.  I've seen in interviews where he quotes a lot of scripture, and he even does so in songs.  He seems like a well-read guy.  That belief of his really surprises me since there are a bigillion verses that say there's one God.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline Jamesman42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #88 on: December 05, 2010, 07:05:36 PM »
I am very interested in NM's specific religious beliefs.  Apparently he rejects the Trinity and says that Jesus is not God.

He doesn't reject the trinity, he rejects the idea of it being one monotheistic god. Technically he's polytheistic. I don't ever recall him saying that Jesus wasn't a God either.

Source? Lyrics to the end of Reunion don't really support that..."One mind, one voice, one love, one Spirit."

Offline Ħ

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #89 on: December 05, 2010, 07:10:40 PM »
I took this out of Christianity Today's interview with him.

Q: Your message board has a long, ongoing discussion about your views on the Trinity and the nature of Jesus, but can you give a thumbnail sketch of what you believe?

Morse: I believe there is one God the Father, that he has a son, Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the father; and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. I'm neither Trinitarian nor Oneness Pentecostal. I think I'm something different. I simply like to say that I'm a disciple of Christ. I believe that the best thing to do is to stick with Scripture.

Q: Do you believe Jesus was a created being?

Morse: I wouldn't put it that way. I think "begotten" may be distinct from "created." I don't want to make less of God's Son than some people say I do. He is the unique Son of God, and all power has been given to him in heaven and earth. But a son comes from a father. In 1 Corinthians 15:28, it says that in the end times Jesus is subjected to the Father. In the Gospel of John, Jesus doesn't do anything except what the Father tells him to do. I don't see in the Scriptures how Jesus and God can be co-equaI and the same person. I'm just trying to acknowledge what the Scriptures say—that all power has been given to him, and that we should worship him and serve him.

Q: Weren't these issues settled for Christians at the Council of Nicaea, when the Arian view of Jesus as a created being was rejected and the Trinity affirmed?

Morse I probably need to study it more. I'm not sure exactly what the Arians believed. I think that the Council of Nicaea was not a godly event. I was watching the History Channel where it showed that Constantine really didn't care how it came out; he just wanted unity so he could conquer other nations. So it seems to me that the spirit of conquering was very present there, but I wasn't there, and I don't want to pretend to be an expert on the Council of Nicaea.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline j

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #90 on: December 05, 2010, 09:00:56 PM »
I really like Morse's music, but from what I can gather his theology is pretty shoddy to say the least.  I mean he cited the History Channel in that interview for crying out loud. :lol  Luckily, it's not that often that it comes through in his lyrics.  He seems like a genuine guy who is doing his best to sort things out, which admittedly is a very difficult task for anybody.

-J

Offline Ħ

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #91 on: December 05, 2010, 10:07:59 PM »
Holy mackeral I just thought of something!!!

What if...

the REAL reason Mike left is the SAME reason Morse left? 

1)  There's an upcoming Testimony 2.
2)  There's an upcoming Morse/Morse/Portnoy/LaRue project.
3)  Neal Morse is not going to be the lead singer...(perhaps he doesn't feel it right to be the lead man?)

"My heart is not with DT."

*brainsplode*
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline bosk1

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #92 on: December 06, 2010, 11:31:29 AM »
I am very interested in NM's specific religious beliefs.  Apparently he rejects the Trinity and says that Jesus is not God.

I'm not sure where you got that he rejects the trinity or that he believes Jesus is not God from the excerpt you quoted above.  While I certainly disagree with him on some religious issues, his statements in the interview are pretty dead-on.
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Offline Ħ

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #93 on: December 06, 2010, 04:33:28 PM »
No Trinity - "I'm neither Trinitarian nor Oneness Pentecostal."
Jesus is not God - "there is one God the Father, that he has a son, Jesus Christ"
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline bosk1

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #94 on: December 06, 2010, 04:44:19 PM »
No Trinity - "I'm neither Trinitarian nor Oneness Pentecostal."

That does not mean he rejects the trinity.  It means he rejects at least some denominational teaching regarding a trinity.

No Trinity - "I'm neither Trinitarian nor Oneness Pentecostal."

Similarly, this does not suggest to me that he rejects that Jesus is God, but merely that he is saying Jesus is distinct from God the father.
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #95 on: December 07, 2010, 09:55:35 AM »
I don't see anything non-Biblical in what he said in that interview.  What's the problem?
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Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #96 on: December 08, 2010, 10:34:11 PM »
So, with rumors of Testimony 2 in the works (well, probably not really "rumors" if it was in the InnerCircle Newsletter), anyone think Mike would be up to touring with Neal in support of that album? With Mike's 2011-schedule looking a bit more free, I say it's quite possible.

Mike seemed to have had a blast playing on the first Testimony Tour, and I think it'd only be fitting if Neal brought back his Testimony-Band to play on the second album and tour (with the addition of Randy George on bass, of course). Nothing against his European band, but I think it'd be awesome to see Neal tour around the US for his second Testimony album, and it'd be a great way for Mike to fill up some of his time in 2011.

Just putting that out there...

-Marc.
ATTENTION - I am currently taking a hiatus from running any Survivors at the moment,
 but feel free to check out others' that are running in the Polls/Survivors Forum!!! Maybe in the coming months, I'll start up again with a different band if there is interest...

Offline Jamesman42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #97 on: December 08, 2010, 10:44:11 PM »
Testimony 2?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #98 on: December 08, 2010, 10:54:33 PM »
Testimony 2?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

Someone's not reading my posts lately... (cue flashback to 5 days ago)...

So, in addition to the Morse/Morse/Portnoy/LaRue project, apparently Neal is working on a "Testimony 2" album, as someone has posted on the SB forums (cited from the InnerCircle newsletter)...

 :loser:

-Marc.
ATTENTION - I am currently taking a hiatus from running any Survivors at the moment,
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Offline Jamesman42

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #99 on: December 08, 2010, 10:57:53 PM »
Hey man...this is the week of finals....I...don't have time to read every post...SHUT UP

:p

Offline The Letter M

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #100 on: December 08, 2010, 11:13:00 PM »
Hey man...this is the week of finals....I...don't have time to read every post...SHUT UP

:p

Hahaha, it's cool, no worries. It's finals around here too - all the college kids are going crazy :lol I work with a good lot of them, so I feel ya. Hey, I was a college kids once, too!

But yes, Testimony 2!!!111onetwotwoone... Really though, I'm holding on to all hope that it opens with a chunk of songs designated "Part 6".

-Marc.
ATTENTION - I am currently taking a hiatus from running any Survivors at the moment,
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #101 on: December 09, 2010, 12:03:29 AM »
Could Neal even afford to do a U.S. tour?  And could he pay Portnoy enough money for it to be worth his while?  Let's face it, Neal's fan base has shrunk more and more over the years, to the point where he barely does shows in the States anymore, and even when he does, he barely draws. And I doubt him touring on a sequel to one of his religious CDs would bring any of the old fans who've jumped ship in the last eight years back. Even if Portnoy would agree to do a short tour for pennies, more or less as a favor to his good friend, I just don't see Neal selling enough tickets for this to be profitable for him at all.

Offline Ħ

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #102 on: December 09, 2010, 12:52:42 AM »
He and Portnoy are practically best friends.  I don't think Portnoy will decline if he's not offered that much money.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline Quadrochosis

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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #103 on: December 10, 2010, 03:50:11 PM »
He and Portnoy are practically best friends.  I don't think Portnoy will decline if he's not offered that much money.

Not when he was in DT, but now that he is unemployed it might be a bit out of his control where and when he tours.
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Re: Official Neal Morse Appreciation Thread
« Reply #104 on: December 10, 2010, 08:01:36 PM »
He and Portnoy are practically best friends.  I don't think Portnoy will decline if he's not offered that much money.

Not when he was in DT, but now that he is unemployed it might be a bit out of his control where and when he tours.
I suppose you're right.  It's unfortunate that so many people have abandoned/forgotten about Morse.  He truly is an outstanding musician.  Perhaps they should stick with Transatlantic until Morse's name gets big enough to where he can go out and do shows.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges