2000 - Blast From The Past
Michael Kiske sings on 'Land Of The Free'.
This is a 2 CD compilation with re-recordings and remasters of old Gamma Ray stuff from Ralf Scheepers years now with Kai Hansen on vocals. All instruments for old songs were also re-recorded, with new arrangements, by the then current members of the band.
Note: All tracks on CD 1 and tracks 1-3 on CD 2 are completely new recordings from the year 2000. Tracks 4-10 on CD2 are remastered versions of the original recordings.
The tracklisting was choosen by the fans.
Mixed at: Hansen Studio, Hamburg, Germany
Engineered by: Dirk Schlächter, Kai Hansen
Cover Art by: Derek Riggs
Digital Artwork and Booklet Design by: Henjo Richter
- Digipack edition 2 CD: This is the standard edition. 20 tracks.
- Japanese edition 2 CD: 20 tracks + bonus track 'Rich And Famous'. (Same Korean edition).
- Cassette edition: 20 tracks. This edition was released in Poland by Koch International label.
'Land Of The Free' different version?
'Land Of The Free' was also re-recorded and re-arranged by the band. Is this song version very different than the original album version? Yes, not very much but you can easily find the differences. The Kiske vocals on the chorus are now in a higher level, you can hear him better, more clear sound, now with Michael as the lead vocalist in the chorus and Kai as backing vocalist. It's a different mix. Also the Hansi Kursch backing vocals are almost imposible to hear now.
The song has a better sound in general, it sounds more clear with a better production, all instruments were re-record (except the latest songs which were recent) and also the drums are quite different.
There is not a lot of things to talk about this release because is a compilation with old stuff, but actually it has an interesting history behind. The Gamma guys wanted to do something interesting for fans on their 10 years anniversary of Gamma Ray so through the official site they launched a campaign giving the chance to the fans of chosing their favourites songs of old records to make a "best of" compilation. But they didn't want to make it more original so the idea was re-record the old tracks which were played for a different line-up, also different vocalist. Another reason Gamma Ray decided to re-do many of the older songs was according Kai Hansen: "...to correct any screw ups, and to create new ones!".
They started work at Hansen studio to re-record completely the old songs for the 2000-line up and re-master the most recent stuff.
When the album was released, there was the typical discussions about if it would be good idea of re-record again old stuff, if the old versions would be better than the new versions. And everything grow up because at first Ralf Scheepers, former vocalist of Gamma Ray didn't like the idea, he commented: "At the beginning I got angry a lot when I knew Kai re-recorded the tracks with his voice, I phoned him and I said: 'What is that crap?' And he explained me he wanted to offer something new to the fans. I can understand that, now I'm ok with that. I understood that because the fans already know how it sounds Heading For Tomorrow and Insanity And Genius with my voice so it would be stupid to remix and release again."
After the release of this album, Kai had the idea of touring with some old members but finally it didn't happen. Ralf Scheepers said about it: "It was an idea of Kai when he recorded Blast from the past. He would tour with the old members but i think that if he already recorded the album why shouldn't sing it live? So it would make no sense for me . On the other hand i'm very busy with my own band."
- Which is the opinion of Ralf Scheepers about the album, about the new versions and Kai vocals on "his" songs?
Ralf Scheepers: "I listened the album and... I mean it's a strange feeling if you hear somebody else singing your songs and in the beggining i was a little bit dissapointed but when Kai explained to me what he was trying to achieve i understood."