First thoughts on Transatlantic – ‘The Whirlwind’ (promo version)

While getting ready for various Court appearances preparing documents to be filed, I’m not in the best environment to evaluate the ‘promo copy’ of Transatlantic’s The Whilrwind, but I am able to make the following observations:

  1. I happy to say that I already paid for the album and bonus disc, so I have no hesitation about enjoying this promo version nearly a month before the album comes out.  It should be noted that this copy does not have the bonus material, although those of us who pre-ordered got an advance download of ‘Giant Hogweed’ and it’s just great, extra giant.
  2. The promo copy is separated into 12 separate tracks.  That’s not supposed to be the case with this record, and I’ll be pretty disappointed if that’s how the official version turns out.  The whole deal was that they were going to hit us with a 70+ minute single track.  In my mind that’s exactly what they should be doing – go BIG or go home!  Is it kind of a dick move that forces you to by the ‘bonus disc’?  Sure, but everyone’s free to pass on the extra expense and just make themselves comfortable for over an hour every time they want to listen to any part of this new work.  Personally, I admire their prodigious marketing ability
  3. Which brings us to the promo copy itself; they have ingeniously ‘watermarked’ it with vocal interruptions that remind the listener this is a promo copy and not the real deal.  This is a great example of how to front load all your marketing and hold on tight to the finished product until the last minute.  These guys know that, once it’s out there, it’s gonna get passed around like a hot potato, and that’s just the way life is right now.  I’m not going to be the guy to put it on bittorrent or rapidshare, but I’m pretty sure I know exactly who will, and I don’t begrudge them that conduct.  Until the artists can find a way get their fans to actually want to pay for music, the file sharing and downloads will continue.  Transatlantic have done a great job – they’ve got my money, don’t they?

So, those are my thoughts for now, or my meta-thoughts.  The audio reminders are annoying, but they are strategically positioned to cause minimal interruption to the flow of music.  I’ll hold off on any deep thoughts and observations about the drama, the poetry and the goosebumps, but, knowing this crew, that’s coming soon with the real copy of The Whirlwind, touching down on October 27.

October is shaping up to be a big month for prog heavyweights


Marillion (pictured above) is betting that their fans will still shell out the bucks even though the ‘new’ record doesn’t have any new music. ‘Less Is More‘ (October 2) contains acoustic arrangements for older tracks – some favorites and some obscure. They’re emphasize that they really worked hard on doing something new with these songs. I’ve already placed my order.


Steve Hackett looks to get up off the mat after his ex wife Kim Poor metaphorically shattered his jaw with a lawsuit that could cost him his Genesis royalties. As a result of the hard times, this electric rock album, featuring hall-of-famer Chris Squire, had to be completed in Hackett’s apartment. ‘Out of the Tunnel’s Mouth‘ is available on October 5.


On October 27 we’re all going to be crushed by Transatlantic’s ‘Whirlwind.’ No word about touring yet, as bass player Pete Trewavas will be busy promoting Less is More with Marillion (see above). And you can decide for yourself whether it’s genius or a dick move to have the record as one track. this pretty much forces us all to buy the ‘bonus disc’, which has the rest of the songs and some covers. Of course, that bonus disc will, no doubt come at a premium.

You will notice that only the Transatlantic title is slated for a Tuesday release. Hackett’s record is due on a Monday, which is, I think, normal for UK releases. But the Marillion release on a Friday is just more proof that, no matter how many years you have in this business, traditional distribution rules don’t hold up for prog records – unless you’re Dream Theater.