Why a review about this album? Well, it’s because it’s one of my favourite albums of all time. Every time I put this album on I enjoy it in its entirety.

We know Richard Barbieri as the keyboardist of the bands Japan and Porcupine Tree. Tim Bowness is known for his work with Steven Wilson together as the duo no-man, has collaborated with a lot of other musicians and released wonderful solo albums as well. This beautiful album named Flame is sadly the only album Richard Barbieri and Tim Bowness ever made together. Richard and Tim are assisted by several wonderful artists on this album; Steve Jansen & Mick Karn from Japan, Chris Maitland & Steven Wilson from Porcupine Tree, Michael Bearpark and even Gavin Harrison (who became the successor of Chris Maitland in Porcupine Tree later on).

The album couldn’t start any better with the track A Night In Heaven. It starts very light and sweet, but gets a bit more heavy during the chorus. Mick’s saxophone solo is short but strong. Brightest Blue is my favourite track of the album, every time I hear it I get goosebumps. Tim’s unmistakable voice is making me swoon. Danny Thompson is doing a tremendous job on the bass during that song (note: according to the booklet it is an acoustic bass, but I think I hear a double bass). Title track Flame gets carried by the charismatic bass playing of Mick. Torch Dance is an instrumental track, which is also the longest track on the album. It’s electronic music which gives you a slightly haunted feeling.

The album has the perfect length, containing 45 minutes of music that never bores. This album gets the full five out of five stars. Too bad they only made one album, because this combination is just perfect according to me. It was only released back in 90s as a CD and cassette on a label named One Little Indian, but I really hope this album will be rereleased someday…

***** Iris Hidding

  1. A Night In Heaven (5:44)
  2. Songs Of Love And Everything (Part I & Part II) (6:10)
  3. Brightest Blue (4:33)
  4. Flame (5.18)
  5. Trash Talk (4:35)
  6. Time Flown (5:57)
  7. Torch Dance (8:24)
  8. Feel (4:10)




You can listen to the track Brightest Blue here:

You can also read this review on my personal page named Grendel Headquarters (where you can find all my other album/concert reviews, interviews, radio shows and more!):

Richard Barbieri & Tim Bowness – Flame (1994)