Search - Kayak :: Merlin

Genres: Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Digitally remastered reissue of the Dutch prog rock legend's 1980 album. Features the original cover art, full lyrics and all 10 of the cuts that first appeared on it. 1994 release.


Larger Image

CD Details

All Artists: Kayak
Title: Merlin
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Si-Wan
Release Date: 6/29/2004
Album Type: Import
Genres: Pop, Rock
Styles: Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 667344110927


Album Description
Digitally remastered reissue of the Dutch prog rock legend's 1980 album. Features the original cover art, full lyrics and all 10 of the cuts that first appeared on it. 1994 release.

CD Reviews

Once upon a time
Troy | the Netherlands | 01/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dutch torchbearers Kayak are currently back in the limelight after releasing an excellent comeback album entitled "Close to the fire". Influenced by some of the most distinguished, mainly British (prog)rock bands of the period such as Yes, Camel, Queen, Genesis and E.L.P., they were at their artistic best and most popular in the late 70's and early 80's. Although they have had their share of hit singles, they were more commonly known for making great albums. After "Starlight dancer" had earned them the title of most promising band of 1978 (according to Record World, a leading music magazine) and single success in the U.S. charts, there were some significant changes in Kayak's lineup. While the awesome Edward Reekers "replaced" lead singer Max Werner (who chose to play drums instead), they were joined by two female backing vocalists, Irene Linders and Katherine Lapthorn. Subsequently they released two of the best albums ever recorded by a Dutch rock ensemble, namely "Phantom of the night" (1979) and "Merlin"(1981). The former is most famous for its monumental rock ballad "Ruthless queen", which was the band's greatest hit."Merlin" is a semi-concept album. Its first five tracks are part of Kayak's masterful musical interpretation of the Arthurian legend. All of the songs were composed by keyboarder Ton Scherpenzeel, co-founder and principal genius behind the group. The exceptional, unusually poetic lyrics he wrote together with Irene Linders. (In flawless English, i feel obliged to add, which should never be taken for granted with (European) bands for whom English is not their mother tongue.) The early medieval atmosphere is captured perfectly, partly due to the use of additional stringed and brass instruments - such as flute and banjo. On the whole the balance tips over decisively in favor of ballad oriented material, giving Edward Reekers and Ton Scherpenzeel every chance to show off their preeminence on vocals and piano. Still there is many a moment when Kayak prove they are very much a (high calibre) rock outfit, who know how to cut loose. Check out epic opener "Merlin" for instance, the dramatic buildup to its chorus featuring a plenitude of soaring guitars and pompous keyboards, rockers like "The sword in the stone" and "Can't afford to lose" or the gorgeous guitar solo toward the end of the infinitely delicate ballad "Niniane (Lady of the lake)". "Seagull" was a single release and, deservedly, a hit in the Netherlands. "Now that we've come this far" is another fantastic track, the lead vocals to this heartbreaking ballad are delivered with great pathos (in the best sense of the word). On "Love's aglow" Edward Reekers yielded his place behind the mike to Kayak's helmsman Ton Scherpenzeel, resulting in a rather long-winded, dreamy song extemely reminiscent of Camel circa "The snow goose". Odd one out is the cheerful "Boogie heart", a fair composition not lacking in merit, but not quite able to hold its own in this company of excessive overachievers. In "recent" years a number of titles from the Kayak back catalogue have been (re)released on CD by Pseudonym Records in a digitally remastered version. Of these albums "Merlin" is their best and brightest. Two decades after its initial release, this rare gem sounds far from dated and has lost none of its impact. If you're looking for a classic rock album, which showcases superior artistry, dazzling skill, awardwinning melodies, intelligent lyrics and unforgettable songs this is the one to buy. It should be noted that on their new album "Close to the fire" vocal duties have been reclaimed by Max Werner (also known for his solo hit "Rain in May"). Although he is a very accomplished singer, he is not as good as Edward Reekers, who has contributed as guest vocalist to recent releases by Ayreon and Erik Norlander. I can also unreservedly recommend Edward Reekers' 1992 solo effort "Stages", a fine poprock/AOR album."
Wonderful ! Mind Blowing ! Get it !!! | Virginia, USA | 09/30/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I heard Kayak's hit "Seagull" in the early 80's and went out and bought this album. I have never regretted it. Most of the album is a rock opera based on the legend of the wizard, Merlin, and is an excellent example of "medieval" progressive rock. The rest of the songs are more commercial love songs. The vocals, keyboards and guitar are AMAZING. Warning: this album causes a serious lump in the throat !"
bob | UK, Liverpool | 12/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This was the first Kayak album I had and it is my favorite. I also just found out that kayak still makes music, they have recently released another album. I am gonna buy that one soon. But about this album: it's great. If you like pop/rock from the seventies or eighties, then this is a must have. The song merlin is worth the price of the album alone! I will rate the songs for you:

Merlin --> 10/10
Tintagel --> 9/10
The Sword In The Stone --> 9/10
The King's Enchanter --> 10/10
Niniane(Lady Of The Lake) --> 10/10
Seagull --> 10/10
Boogie Heart --> 8/10
Now That You've Come This Far --> 9/10
Can't Afford To Lose --> 9/10
Love's Aglow--> 9/10