Released: 2006, Frontiers Records/Zink Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Ten celebrates ten years in the business with this double-disc album filled with re-recordings of the band’s songs. When they started out they had a different lineup, with Vinny Burns and Greg Morgan from the band Dare. In 1997 they released their second album, THE NAME OF THE ROSE, which many consider their best album. It was THE ROBE that claimed their huge breakthrough as one of England’s most established hard rock acts during the 90’s.
After numerous albums and band members, the band has finally come to their tenth year in the business and band leader Gary Hughes says the following about THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION, “The tracks included are completely fresh recordings of the songs and more in keeping with the way the current lineup play the material, with new ideas on the old themes.” It could be that, or maybe Gary Hughes just couldn’t get ahold of the original recordings.
The compilation is divided in two different parts: one part and disc dedicated to ballads, and the other one to rock. Disc number one is the essential rock songs, with 9 tracks and running 70 minutes. The music is brilliantly-delivered melodic hard rock with heavy guitar playing. The main focus is set on Gary Hughes’ lead vocals, which really are impressive. A few of the songs have an “Irish” feeling and reminds me a lot of what Gary Moore did on the album WILD FRONTIER. The most outstanding rock tracks are “The Name of the Rose/Wildest Dreams”, “Ten Fathoms Deep”, “Apparition”, “After the Love Has Gone”, “Rememberance for the Brave/Red”, and “Spellbound”.
Disc number two is all about ballads, also containing 9 tracks but a bit shorter in length - only 60 minutes. Even though I’m not that into ballads, I can admit that some of them are actually really good. All of them are extremely well-played and arranged and Gary Hughes takes the songs to a totally different level with his voice. The best ballads are “Til The End Of Time”, “Yesterday Lies In the Flames”, “We Rule The Night”, and “Silent Rain”.
It’s stylish, and Ten brings the heritage of British hard rock one step further in a classy way. This is simply British hard rock at its best; if you haven’t discovered Ten yet it’s about time you do, and this compilation is a great way of getting to know the band better.